Friday, June 28, 2013

Cycleworld Dunedin CX Series Race 3

Like one glass of red is never enough, I was back for more.
Keighley had worked Saturday, I was 50/50 on making the 600 km round trip for another hour of mud and splash.
The weather was also in question after Wellington's south coast had been slammed by weather not seen since the Wahini disaster.
Wanaka and Central Otago had snow too.

Within 15 mins of Keighley arriving home, I was back out the door wishing the Tardis had been first cab off the rank on Jumpstarter....
So I drove the 3 hours with snow chains at the ready, but alas they stayed inside the truck.

Matt & Trudy were once again gracious hosts with excellent coffee, muesli, toast, cheese toasty sandwiches and muesli bars all on tap before the leisurely start of 2.30pm.

A different location this week around the Forester Park - just up the valley from the steepest street in the Wooooooooooooooooooorld.

Great course: tar seal, muddy walking track, bark garden, uphill walk/carry, culverts to cross, plywood covering the same culvert down the hill (slidey slidey), singletrack in the Spooky Forest, tight turns and the BMX track......

Not surprisingly Scott Lyttle again lapped me - but only once this time.
Maybe he was toying with me like a cat does a mouse, maybe I had him strung out and he was on the ropes ?
Guess we'll find out in Race 3.

Mechanicals played havoc with a couple of locals before the start with punctures, mud ate most everyone's traditional brake pads away during the race.

My prediction is that next year disc brakes will be the norm, not the exception.

Wellington & Christchurch hosted their first races the same day and had good turnouts - no mention of Fight Club though.

Round 3 is ooking good with the import controls being relaxed to allow a couple of Cantabs in da house.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Cycleworld Dunedin CX Series Race 2

The local Cyclocross season was already one race ahead of me and my enthusiasm was low.
Enter Big Gav, also from Wanaka, who said he would collect me on Saturday and “be ready”
Luckily he hadn’t prepared a playlist in the style of “As Good As It Gets” and we arrived in Dunners 3 hours later.
I had quietly observed him devour a packet of Jet Planes single handedly and wondered what else he was on?
So much potential for crass blokey humour as this point.

I stayed in Mosgiel. The rain was horizontal.

Gav was in the North end of Dunedin where the street lights were still on mid morning.
Perfect biking weather.
Tomahawk is on the East Coast and comparatively sheltered.

Cycleworld had set up a brilliant course around the sports grounds with a road section to join it back together – after we’d splashed through the estuary.

31 riders started, 30 finished. One hit the road and then tried to hit the rider that he hit.

Around 50 mins later Scott Lyttle passed me for the second time, timing couldn’t have been better as that meant just one more lap.
I was pretty cooked so that was a blessing – except the timing lady insisted it wasn’t the bell lap….my new friend Nick and I discussed the ramifications of this and trundled around for one more and maybe one more.
Gav and Tristan Lawrence passed us just short of the finish line for 2nd & 3rd.

Nick and I thought we were owed an extra lap so we used that as a warm down and swapped stories; he’d watched the first race of the series the week before and stepped up this week for a ride.
Post race smack talk had rumours circulating of an altercation during the race.
 It turned out it was just like Days of Thunder : “rubbings racing boy” except it had escalated to Fight Club.
Good times.
Our trip home was looking low key, just 3 hours, until we hit Clyde. Rather big rocks had hit the road and closed it prior to our arrival and wasn’t reopening till the next morning.

Two options, no three presented themselves.
1)      Find beer and consider next move.
2)      Ring Bluebird Malcolm and invite ourselves round for the night.
“Gidday it’s Malcolm here, super busy right now, please leave a message”
3)      Go cross country up and over the hill to Bannockburn was what we tried. Last time up that hill was for downhill shuttles in a big 4WD – we were in a Subaru Outback with a river running down the track towards us.

Up the top things got progressively worse; the puddles bigger and deeper. We turned back when the water was over Gav’s gummies.
Another call and a few beers later had us, well me, snoring my way thru a forest all night long.
Driving home next day you couldn’t see any sign of the rock fall.

Oh well, no matter. Happy Birthday Gavin.

16 June 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tarras - Roubix 2nd June 2013

Paris - Roubaix; a race steeped in history.
Tarras - Roubaix; a ride steeped in filth and a little cow shit.

So a wet and windy day greeted the Gentlemen this morning at the Tarras Coffee Shop. We supped coffee while waiting for one late entrant to arrive.

Scotty Rainsford - local Outside Sports bike shop guy and carbon cop out.

Myself - informal Club Captain for the day.
Matt Corbett - a visitor from Dunedin with most unsuitable bike of the day rolling tubular tires and no spare, until I lent him a couple.

David Drake - obviously riding with me last weekend didn't scare him off for today.

Marty Rowan - the smiling assassin. Turned up with a Titanium bike and 23mm tires and rode strong all day. 

Gavin Mason - Didn't need knee warmers. Everyone else did. Certainly had a spring in his step.
Sarah Goodwin - another visitor from Dunedin, actually a 28 year old dentist with excellent oral habits; no doubt.
Seat height difference - you do the math...............

Dan Van Asch - the elder statesman and our late arrival sporting a fancy new bike to ease his old bones.

 A 10am departure led us north towards the Lindis Pass, about 10km on the road. 

A real mixed bag of cross winds through the trees, getting blown up Cluden Hill and hanging on for dear life on the way down: I mean really hanging on not knowing which way the wind would try and whip your bars.
Down on the flat Scotty had obviously forgotten the gentle part of the ride and bought his heart rate up to cruising speed, of course Marty and David couldn't leave him alone.
I felt like the little that engine that couldn't.
A couple of times I felt helpless in a 39 x 24 headwind haze.

A quick regroup and photo, then off up the gravel hill to home.

Yes, I was last up the hill -  I was in no hurry.
Actually I was trying as hard as I could and still went backwards compared to the others.
That's ok, I didn't have to wait at the top in the rain.

 The descent was long and fast - remember this is gravel and had turned into an impromptu Enduro, as is the go these days.
Taking a few right handers mighty fast the wind catches you like bringing a boat into the wind and slows things down sufficiently.
Some of that poo on the road might not have come from cows ya know ?
Some tailwind action brings the speed right round till you're all out of gears - holy shit, I'm spinning out the dog - yee ha.
16km of gravel bought us back around to the cars and another coffee.
The ladies thought we were nuts before we went riding and cussed us in the kitchen for dripping all over the floors afterwards.

Scotty is hatching his own version in a few weeks, but it shouldn't clash with any CX action.

A good couple of hours in atrocious weather.