Friday, April 26, 2013

Hawea Epic 95km 2013

How hard can it be riding a farm track around a lake - water is flat right ??

"much to learn in 6 hours and 40 minutes you have"

 - Look Yoda, its a cold southerly, dark and drizzling - what would you know.

Apparently he knows lots, cause I did learn many things that day, just a week ago.

4.45am is really early to wake up, have coffee and try to keep breakfast down

5.30am is not any more civil, but the lift to the start with Zeph & Sarah was.

"Here, let me put your bike on, have another coffee"
Love that shit.

Note to self, take a head torch next time, trying to wipe your bum in a DOC toilet in pitch black is pure guess work.

Ok, 5 mins to start. We are in the first 3 rows. It is dark still and then we ride through a tree canopy which is darker.

Some muppet tries to lock handle bars with me, but he ends up in the water ditch. A few folks have lights - they are my friends.

A 2 km climb early on has many many people removing jackets. I unzip mine and sweat it out.

I pass many slower riders on the downhills.

They pass me right back when I get a flat.
I pump my shit arse little pump like maybe one hundred times, the tire self seals and we're off again. I catch Sarah crossing the river at the top off the lake.
As soon as I turned into the headwind it was much much colder - funny that.

Gloves saturated from rain and river crossing. Can't move ankle/shin interface, so stomp on pedals like a Russian.

The first 4 guys in the 125km race pass me soon after - they are like a team pursuit on the track.
Didn't look like fun so left them to it.

Saw my personal photographer, Stefan and mechanic Nick at Green Bush hut. Refill camelback, eat food, put on knee warmers and jacket.

Happier now.

Riders with grim faces on hard tails pass me, they are hating life right now. Glad I stayed up late the night before and made a few quick mods to dual suspension 29er:

Install new used brake pads.

Tighten headset.

Changed wheels.

And cassette.

Oiled chain.

Forks had the new cartridge installed mid week.

New bearings installed after facing bottom bracket shell.

Swap out pedals - hate mine to fall off, huh.

Otherwise I just pumped up the tires

The scenery is stunning - the near valleys are topped with snow - it really is picturesque.

I feel like I'm stuck on the slow lane and the only people I pass are broken down. This is hard work.

Trying to eat and drink is a chore. Every time you think It's food time, an up or down arrives that requires either two hands on the bars or an empty mouth to breath.

Drink some water - sure thing. Take a leak - it's really cold.

Repeat all day.

I caught Sarah who had a puncture.

I took over while she ate.

We laughed at some guy who was laughing at us, until he realised he had a puncture too. He was n't happy and his mother would not of approved of his potty mouth.

We were gone before he even had a tube in.

Steve Gurney nearly takes me out as I veer left to go around a big hole/puddle. He's coming up the inside, but not fast enough. I can see his bars beside me so I do the nice thing and go through the hole. I laughed and said a few words.

I also said "you're lucky I'm not a train Steve"

He laughed and commented that my jacket was the same colour.

Ho ho ho.

Dingle Station was serving tea and scones.

The ride thus far was serving up pain and suffering.

It was fun fun fun and then it wasn't anymore.

I thought Keighley might not like to do this next year.

No matter, the last 30 kms was on gravel road that was damp and not fast.

Oh, unless your name is Gavin Mason and the big diesel was finally getting would up after too much steamed pudding the night before. Freak.

I walked up the hill out of Timaru Creek so I could eat and stretch everything.

Melissa Newell passed me looking very wobbly.

Squeaking chain - hey lady, can I oil that for ya ?

"sure, got any water and food ? I'm frozen"

She finished 9th women home in the long one.

Hannah Thorn caught me at the top while I was taking another leak. Her chain was barking too. She passed Melissa before the finish.

Sarah and I rode and rode and rode. I'm sure the distance signs were up the shit.

No matter, we crossed the line to rapturous applause from the locals and then were besieged by the local CRT real estate agent and his mate the cop.

"how was it, would you do it again? do you like my new bike?'

"Hard, no, that's nice."

I felt pretty broken, my eyes were full of crap - glasses got rain on both sides early on, so sat atop my helmet the whole way. Might go pursuit helmet with visor next time.

My back was so sore I nearly asked Keighley to undo my shoes.

Yes, I fell asleep on the couch mid afternoon and had an early night.

I have no idea why I rode to work on the Monday, but I did.

It was a big day out or me, but hey, a few guys did it twice in one day last year and while I rode for just over 6 hours, in Rotorua the 24 hr champs were on - many people were riding solo, much of it in the rain and dark.

Spare a thought for those suckers.

That's truely a big day out.

How about next year the 24 hr champs bring themselves to Hawea and we see you solo's bust out 4 laps ??

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Naseby 12 hour MTB Race, 2013

Entering this race is prestigious in itself.
45 mins after they open, the entries are full.
Luckily for me, we sponsor it, so staying up past midnight was not required.

Our usual compliment of men folk were up for it:
Marc Sharman - now residing in Christchurch, working for KRD who are an importer of wonderful MTB goods such as WTB, Raceface, Lezyne and more, I'm sure.
Matt Boulcott - recently married to the lovely Emily and more recently residing in Palmerston North where he deposits over 1/2 his paycheck from flying helicopters, directly into the bike shop called Crank It.
Myself - still in Wanaka - no recent life changing events to report other than given up the devils drink since January, this is actually in question as to whether it is making me faster or slower.

Two new additions to the team for this year.

Simone Maier - superstar of the Ironman and Adventure racing circuit. Recent awesomeness include smashing the Motutapu race record by 8 minutes, but due to a technical bumble you won't see her name on the winners board.
Moving on she won the Goldrush a couple of weeks back by like an hour.
And finished 4th in the Challenge Wanaka Ironman in January.

Melissa Newell - Tall, Blond and with dodgy hips, I can say no more at this stage.

Mr Corbett had entered Solo, withdrawn, faltered, withdrawn his withdrawl, then turned up to ride Solo as if nothing had happened. And he did the most laps with a sneaky beer in between. Confusing I know.

Zero degrees and frozen windscreens greeted us in Ranfurly.
Dropping our gear out of a chopper would have been slower than our dump and run with our 3 cars and 6 people at the pits.

Cam McHardy had the helm at our campsite this year; his dad Jeff who is our regular camp mother had St Johns duty this year. We share with 4 other teams, so there is always plenty of action going on.

The only thing I forgot this year was arm warmers, but Mops (Melissa) had some new kit from one of her long line of sponsors, I borrowed them and they were great - so good, that if I was in a position to do so, I'd be buying a new home from

As you can see from the live timing system that Emily was in charge of, there was no delay in disappointment (in my case), much chest beating (from Marc Sharman), who the hell messed with my suspension ? (Matt Boulcott), well I'm still awesome (Simone), and take that you pussy boys - fastest lap hell yeah (Mops)

Early on we were in 6th place in the Mixed Teams, we liked that spot so much we stayed there right to the end.

It was truely a great day out - a constant stream of riders passing by from the kids, solo's, singlespeeders, fast whippets, not so fast older folk, fancy dress - you name it, there it was.

Having done this event I think 4 years now, you get to recognise many faces and meet a few new ones and a few faraway voices over the phone.

For myself, it's especially a big day out.
Organising a team, the tent, timing, food, 2 bikes and riding laps too.
Then there's the other stuff, like been first into the showers, yelling at unsuspecting souls from the sidelines with the only saving grace being: there is little chance of anyone turning around to discuss matters further.

If I had one request to make it better - top the trees so the sun can reach us all day long in sponsors row.
Sure does look pretty at nigh though:

Next year is the tenth anniversary.
Feel free to submit your application to be on my team, you're welcome.