Race two of the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind series was held on Sunday at East Kowen Forest in Canberra. Let’s just say that after a hectic day of housewarming celebrations the day before, we really appreciated being able to drive to and from the event in one day.
That morning I didn’t feel envious of the team riders at all. It was -2 degrees and they were shivering away on the start line in minimalist lycra, ready for a lap of extreme exertion before donning a puff jacket and collapsing into a chair to await the return of their team mates. I, however, in multiple layers, buff and winter gloves, was ready to churn out the 7 hours in cosy warmness (so I thought). That is what I look forward to the most from solo racing, none of this stop start business!
I had started a fair way back in the pack and had no idea who was in front of or behind me. I rolled around lap after lap and things were going smoothly. I was feeling great and nothing exciting really happened except the odd high five to Gumby mid-track and yelps every lap as I found myself crossing that bridge log-roll-over without meaning to! It was a tough course for me as it would soon be revealed that compared to most other riders on course, my downhill finesse probably resembles a wobbly ice-skating elephant. I guess that explains the reason for the looks of horror in most of the photos from the day.
Not to worry, the Superfly is a demon uphill and I couldn’t get enough of it! The bike now has a complete new rear end after a few issues with cracks. Once again I have to thank On the Rivet Cycles, a complete once-over of the newly fixed bike dislodged buckets of Stromlo dust from the Scott last October, Tasmanian sand from Wildside and Majura gunk from Easter 24hr. Thanks guys, the bike was absolutely sensational!
Towards the end of the race I did have the unfortunate experience of watching a rider in front go flying through the air, completely off the track and landing neatly on his head between the pine tree stumps. He was complaining of a very painful neck and tingly hands and that was enough warning signs for us to get the medics there ASAP. I hung around until there were enough experienced people to deal with the situation and an ambulance was on the way.
Leaving the poor fella wrapped up in my long sleeve winter jersey, I tried desperately to warm up from the freezingness, totally unprepared for riding in just a sweat-sodden short sleeve jersey! Not knowing where this left me in terms of race timing I just kept pedalling.
Finishing with big smiles I was absolutely stoked to hear that I came third, just over a minute behind second. After a final high five to Gumby and assurance that the injured guy was going to be ok, we headed home to pizzas and 12 hours sleep, utterly exhausted but happy to have experienced some good karma at Kowen!
It was great to see Connie from Hammer Nutrition down from Qld: she braved the cold and manned the Hammer Nutrition tent all day. Also great to see so many people lining up for some proper enduro nutrition! I managed nearly a full spectrum of Hammer products throughout the race including Perpetuem, Hammer Bars, Hammer Gels and fizz Endurolytes. All restocked now (thanks Connie) and ready to tackle Nowra – here’s hoping it is warmer than -2 degrees!! Thanks for an awesome race Chocolate Foot!