It was the last of the Summer XC series today with a forecast that wasn’t too summery. Thankfully the hail didn’t come and there was no rain at all just a moist track. I’d ridden the course last Sunday on the way back from the Festival of Mt. Doom and on my warm up noticed a few minor tweaks.
It was an uphill start on some fire road then straight into a single track descent through a pine tree section. The pine needles had made this section slippery last Sunday but we where all through without dramas and I felt happy with my start and place in the string of riders.
Down and over a creek crossing and up into a short sharp section with two rutted out switch backs. I’d swapped out my back wheel for a Maxxis Medusa shod one for extra grip in this section and it did the trick.
More single track and I could sense that the guy behind had dropped off and the guy in front was a touch slower. “Early days” I thought and no real passing opportunities for a while so I just sat in.
Another short sharp climbing section and the guy in front has his elastic broken. There’s a short fire road section coming up so I take him there.
There’s a power climb towards the end of the 1st loop of three that make up a lap and I see some guys ahead I’m smashing it along nicely as I look down and see I’m well into the red then towards the false flatting top 'BOOOM' I feel like a dragster halfway down the quarter mile that’s burst into flames. Not long after the guy behind is now in front as I try to recover.
2nd lap and on the 2nd short sharp climb I get some major chain suck and I’m side lined trying to get it out. Not long after the head of the Expert race, James Walker, comes past. Not long after this Tim McColl comes past in pursuit.
I’m really struggling on what feels like 3 out of a potential 6 cylinders but keep plugging away.
I come in for my 5th bottle and some lady is standing between me and my table. I hold up my bottle and move my head repeatedly to the side to signal she needs to move as I head straight for her. He jaw drops and she’s out the way just in the nick of time. It’s time to kick back and enjoy the laps as the lights are well and truly out.
Coming in for the last lap I had a hard time convincing the legs to go around one more time. I’m not into DNF’ing and I wasn’t going to now even if I was flogging a dead horse. The crop is out for most of the last lap and if I was aboard a horse I’d have been reported to the RSPCA. Luckily I’m not and no animals were hurt during the making of this tale. Looks like I’ve had one too many races.
On the drive back to Melb it’s a stop off at the Black Kettle in Sassafas for some pancakes and coffee.
I'm off work to enjoy one more ride tomorrow before I go under the knife Tuesday to see if I can get my manky finger fixed up. Doc’s saying 6 weeks for the scaring to heal, so I get to rest up good and proper after a stupidly fun filled Summer of riding and racing bikes!
Full results here.
State Series results here.