Racing Near Home
The Nambucca Valley Cycle Club have been working hard to make this race as enjoyable as possible for those that have entered the race including clearing the whole 13 km of MTB track with leaf blower making the trails smooth & fast. The weather had been dry & the day was shaping up to be perfect as well.
My daughter had just turned thirteen & she had a party organised the day before the race with half a dozen friends also staying over, so I was not able to travel up for the race till the morning of race day leaving before six thirty Sunday morning.
After all the excitement at the party I thought the girls would not take much to get off to sleep, but who was I kidding. After asking the girls politely to keep the noise down several times just before midnight I decided to turn of the house WiFi after hearing all the talk about Instagram & other social media. Yep that did the trick, just after midnight I was finally able to get some sleep. It was all good though, the girls were having fun & I was telling myself it was all training for 24 hour racing.
I missed the opening of the new highway North of Kempsey by one day unfortunately & the road works seemed to go forever on the trip North arriving at the event an hour before race start.
I found a few riders in teams that I would go around on a lap & as they swap they would go back around me, it took me a while to work out who was teamed up with who.
I found the track much more enjoyable than previous times I had ridden it with the added sections of track varying the terrain & a few extra ramps & jumps that were really fun to ride. My favorite part of the track would have been Totem Poles where you hit a ramp jump over a tabletop on a left bend naturally letting you do a whip in the air that felt smooth on landing.
25km into the race I was still feeling good & decided to try & keep my pace solid by seeing how well I could nail each section of singletrack. Yep I was having a ball.
50 km in I did a quick pit stop to lube my now dry drive chain that started skipping teeth on the front chainring (time for a new one already) & grabbed a water bottle that had a caffeine mix I wanted to try hoping it would give me a bit of a kick to the end. First mouth full tasted nothing like it did in the taste test I had done before. Maybe it was from all the electrolyte I had drank beforehand that made it taste bad I do not know but I had to force it down every sip. By the end of the bottle I was starting to feel the effects of riding for so long & realised the drink just was not doing it for me despite what the company that sells it tells you about it being all you need to race with.
After 75 km I was starting to regain energy from my normal nutrition but now my legs were stating to lag. This is something I have been working on in training & I feel I went longer this time than I had been previously for my legs to become this tired, so it mad me happy to know that the training is starting to work.
Heading out on my second last lap down the fast dippers I heard a loud pop & thinking it was my tyre my heart rate would have spiked to its limit thinking of the worst if I was to come off at that speed. Turned out that the fork had popped the seal & I lost all my air pressure. I stopped & pressed the seal back into place & proceeded around the track with one tenth of the normal pressure in my front fork. You don't realise the importance of fork settings till you try & ride with 10 psi. I had to back the pace off on all tight corners or I would wash out the front wheel. With only one lap to go I put 100 psi back in my fork & ramped up the pace to hold 3rd overall but unfortunately with only a few kilometers left to go I started to cramp loosing two places overall but still rolling over the line in 1st place in the over 40's Masters with an average speed of 22.2 kmh. That is nearly one k an hour average faster than the Convict 100 a few weeks back on what I thought would have been a much slower track with all the twists & turns.
Well done to all other 130 or so riders on the day & congrats to the winners Ethan Kelly & Anna Beck, the winners of the Brian Cockbain Trophy. Left of picture is Donna Cockbain.