RR:Bendigo 8hr MTB Sunday 12th Feb [bit wordy]

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Marx SS, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Likes Received:
    Don’t you love recovery day, the day after an event, when it’s OK to eat anything that takes your fancy, the ride into work is crusiey & nothing seems to stress you out at work.
    It not all roses though, I can feel the sores on my right knee , thigh & forearm throb, result of a brain fade moment with yesterday afternoons encounter with some of Australia’s more scrappier looking granite.

    Me & Paulie drove up from Melb early Sunday morning to the private property somewhere between Sutton Grange & Segdgwick south of Bendigo where we entered in men’s pairs [ the Flat Matadors] , in the 8hr MTB event held by the Bendigo cycling club. Forecast was clear 27degrees, at 6am the sun was just barely up but you could tell it was going to be a warm one. Roos hopped about all over the place as we arrived at the start/finish area, apart from the overnighters there I reckon we were the first to rock up that morning. We set up in a prime possie under some trees 10mt from the transition area, hoisting the ‘pit’ tent, chairs, esky, etc.
    Even though we had some time before the 9am start we didn’t consider a reccie lap, our thinking was to save the legs for the following 8hrs. The lap was about 6kms of 90% singletrack with some open going. Most of the climbs were early on & I found some to be really sapping to the legs even with the granny, the terrain was dry & rocky, with lots of sparse tree cover & open undergrowth of sparse long grasses. Pretty sparse all round really.

    The start was a 50m foot race up a hill to the bike & off on a access rd that looped back to the circuit & away. Paulie offered for 1st lap duties (I hate first lap bottle necks etc), so as his bike-handler I rode his Specialised Hardrock to the bike area.
    At 9:07am they were away, there I was with all the other bikes & bike-handlers watching the stampede of riders up the dusty access rd to where we were, this followed the usually confusion as you’re yelling out to your bloke in the scramble to their bikes. Wit hthe last away we could make out the rides by the plume of dust rising up from the trail, & this was the first lap….

    Anxious at the transition area suited up & raring on my Speicalised Stumpjumper hardtail, looking out for Paulie. It was about 30mins lapsed & he should be round any sec, & there he was, the trail just before the transition skirted the pit area so you had a min or so to catch sight of them before they came around for the changeover. He rolled up, but I quickly got the lowdown in 5secs of the worst & I off I went.
    The first 1km of the track looped around the pit area in & out of a gullied creek area with some little dropaways & sharp climbs, fresh as a daisy these were a ball, then the trail started out through the scrub climbing up. With the nature of MTB courses there can be a thousand corners in 2kms with various climbs & descents, but this first half , about 3.5kms generally had climbing. The scrub here was low & pretty sparse with almost no cover from the sun & with the still air early on the dust kinda hung in the air. The rocks were poking out of the dust & grass everywhere here, even if you had a clearing between trees/bushes you had to watch for nasty looking jaggered rocks hiding unseen. There weren’t that may riders I could see ahead of me so I was pretty much on my own during this 1st lap.
    As it was my first lap I was trying to take it easy, looking out for little surprises, but racing is racing & I found myself climbing out of the seat all the way up on the climbs & slamming down descents as if I had 7 inches each end to play with. During all this I was finding my gears were not changing cleanly & on more than one occasion I brought my crank ‘round to foul up with the chain (is this called chain-suck?)having to back pedal to clean it up on the fly. At about the 3km mark banging down a decent the chain let go & wrapped itself around the cassette. I coasted to the bottom. Shit.

    Easy fix really, but my chain breaker was sitting safely in the Hydration pack I left in the tent back at the start/finish. The bush around here was pretty open so I scanned the hills for the direction home. I noticed an access rd through the bush & shoulder-ed the Stumpjumper & took off hopping over rocks & dodging the bushes, as it cleared near the access rd to grassland I saw another rider who lost her seat heading back too. As we walked back I noticed that it was a downward slope so I mounted & rode my bike down pushing long with my free foot, a-la-scooter holding my busted chain.

    It was a pretty long ‘scoot’ back to the pit area, I had to run the inclines so I was pretty spent when I got back. Paulie was chowing down on banana when I rocked up, He offered to head out again as I got busy.
    Upturned the bike & checked the length of the chain for damaged links apart from the ones at the end. I had everything I needed to do this except for a spare link (Shimano or SRAM) which is always the case – you never break a chain until you forget to bring spare joining links. I had to shorten the chain by 2x sets of links as the next ones along was also squashed, this would make it a squeeze for running the chain on the large chainwheel but it was an easy choice as I had no other options. I dropped the busted links & then tried to save pushing the pin out on the outer plate to re-use or to push it back to join the chain. I understand you should never re-use chain pins like this but again, an easy option to take when there aren’t any others.
    The test ride was success but it didn’t like changing to the two largest (lowest) cogs on the cassette, still I had the granny & 32t middle chainwheel to play with though. Time was coming up for my lap so I settled for my ‘14speed’ & tagged Paulie for my next lap.

    The track was starting to chop up with very fine power-like dust in places. Rocks were being dislodged from the trail , but it kind of made the trail faster in places, using the developing dusty berms in corners & taking out most of the loose rocks that you couldn’t avoid. At the end of the downhill where my chain broke I had a little smile “at least I made it past this point’ I thought. After this point the track actually opened up & didn’t have the constant climbing & the snotty switchback downhills of the first half. Out on some open access road to the ‘official’ half way point - A bloke with a ute, an esky & a hammock, the track only had a little rocky/dusty tight point & then it was all open & fast blasting through open fields. The track circled down another section of access road where you could clock up about 40kms/hr & then out long some open singletrack which dipped in & out of a little creek, a sharp gully crossing every time. There was a narrow plank-bridge as well thrown in for good measure. All this open & fast going put you in a good mood for the return back to the start/finish & the little dips & turns bunted around the pit area just before the transition was a good time to whoop it up styling the bumps into jumps & the corners got the sliding out the rear - squared-off - treatment.

    My next lap was the early afternoon, the sun was almost as bad as the dust in places. Luckily a fresh wind was picking up every now & again. I was having a real bad time of the climbs , even though I was not being able to use the lowest gears didn’t help I was struggling in places I cruised earlier on. I bailed more than I would like to admit walking the bike up. I tried to make up this lost time by going banzi on the descents & keeping off the brakes in the tighter stuff. Near the tail-end of the lap where the track opened up in the grassy area I was shooting along towing a high-ish gear out of the saddle & I banked for a fast right hander, slowly my front began to washout & , as you do when you getting abit dozy, I started to turn in into instead of countersteering to get it back , so down I went into the long grass alongside the track , feet still clipped in & all. I tumbled & rolled the grass giving me a soft but abrasive landing. Got up, I was in one piece with no bad cuts, just that stinging on my right arm & leg from where the grass rubbed me up.
    Mounted, rolled it home, no fancy antics into the transition area.

    Paulie was going great guns, turning over the laps & taking the climbs, heat & dust in his stride.
    There were a lot of flat tyres happening. Almost every 5mins there would be someone running their bike into the transition area on dead tyres. Out on the track, riders were hunch over their bikes were some shade could be found pumping away on their spare tubes, those black circular Taiwanese snakes started to litter the course here & there.

    I was kind of struggling, that afternoon lap was crap for me & I was trying everything I could to get over this dead feeling. Eat lots, drink even more, go lie down, walk about, elevate the legs, short of jumping on the air trainers they had there I was in no frame of mind to get out there when Paulie came back from his lap. Paul said he was good for maybe 2 more but doing 2 laps back to back would be struggle. After a rest for the both of us, Paul struck out again at 3:30pm. I took the opportunity to get some video footage from his new digi camera that does the short-movie-thing on part of the track near the pit area.
    As he came around from that lap I headed out at 4pm , this would be my last so I made the most it & enjoyed the fun bits. With the extended rest I had almost what you would call a 2nd wind. The early climbs were dispersed with short, sharp descents. One of these had a couple of switchbacks & I was jamming down , out of the seat positioned way back like they say on the instructional videos. All was going well, the track hugged a rise, the trail off-camber curving right crossed a rocky outcrop. I get off the anchors & opt to coast through the rocks not giving pedal clearance, but that OK as it’s slightly downhill & I’m gaining speed. As I skip through the rock outcrop the front wheel hits & deflects off a rock (of all things), I go to crank in a vain attempt to catch it & down I go onto warm, inviting & jagged granite.

    The rest of the lap was OK, the dust I was half covered in was a good bandage for any bark I may have lost on the off. I really got into the trail end of the lap & came through to tag Paulie for his victory final lap.

    Not sure where we finished up, hopefully it wasn’t last in the men’s pairs. No flats, which sounds like a fulk by all reports. My Stumpjumper looks like it needs a bit of freshening up, new cogs/chain. I’m very suspect about the front and rear derailleurs . Then there is the headset bearings..... and the ...

    Recorded laps:
    (using on-board bike comps)

    Lap1: Paul: Time: 38:18 Average: 11.9kms/hr Dis: 7.63kms Max:41.5
    Lap 2: Mark: no time recorded.
    Lap 3: Paul: Time: 34:07 Average: 12.5kms/hr Dis:7.18kms Max:40.5
    Lap 4: Mark: Time: 33.63 Average: 13.34kms/hr
    Lap 5: Paul: Time:33:39 Average: 12.7kms/hr Dis:7.17kms Max:41.5
    Lap 6: Mark: Time: 34:25 Average: 13.10kms/hr
    Lap 7: Paul: Time: 34:30 Average: 12.3kms/hr Dis: 7.18 Max:40.5
    Lap 8: Mark: Time: 36:56 Average: 12.17kms/hr
    Lap 9: Paul: Time: 36:04 Average: 11.8kms/hr Dis: 7.17 Max:42
    Lap10: Paul: Time: 36:47 Average: 11.6kms/hr Dis:7.16 Max:42
    Lap11: Mark: Time: 34.51 Average: 12.89kms/hr
    Lap12: Paul: Time: 36.55 Average: 11.50kms/hr Dis:7.17 Max:42

  2. Trevor_S

    Trevor_S Guest

    Marx SS <[email protected]> wrote in
    news:[email protected]:

    > slamming down descents as
    > if I had 7 inches each end to play with.

    Laughed at that bit :D

    Good stuff, thanks for sharing, I just wish there was more MTB in here...

    Trevor S

    "Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."
    -Albert Einstein
  3. Marx SS

    Marx SS New Member

    Jun 8, 2004
    Likes Received: