Woodbridge Surfers 2011 D2D A Team, DP & DH and
What was he thinking entering Solo, IH
I wanted it all to be different from last year, warm, dry, no mud, less pain and definitely no urges to crawl into the undergrowth. So despite the onset of rain, I thought I would position myself in the top 50 or so riders to see if that would help. I desperately tried to resist racing off with the pack at a pace I would not be able to sustain, but inevitably as we completed the “thinning-out” loop and came around to the start again my legs were aching already.
I felt a little like I was in the wrong race as riders streamed past, my body was saying ease back, until we hit the single track. Suddenly I felt involved, keeping up with the faster guys was a possibility, I even managed with my superior weight, to squeeze past a few, the fire tracks saw them disappear into the distance, but it felt good at the time. All the time I struggled to see through my glasses for rain, they had to go, but what I did hold onto, in my mind, was the dry forecast I had seen the previous week. It had started to rain before we arrived and it continued to lash it down until after the finish, I had run out of clothes by 4AM, but at least the bacon sandwich (which got me through the 3rd lap) was in the sunshine.
The trails deteriorated quite quickly to a mix of edgy fire tracks, thick mud, sandy corners and exposed roots. The 2nd lap was acceptance that the rain was here to stay and it was truly going to be tough. All my concentration was on staying upright and holding the burn in my legs, just below cramp.
I didn’t mind been overtaken on the straights, but the woods and bends were mine, unfortunately one fellow rider did not understand this properly and in an attempt to make a turn towards some single track he did not quite make it. It was possible to make the corner at that speed but not together, I did only ride over his wheels. The hour and a bit rest while Darren screamed around was very welcome and I did feel more up for the 3rd lap than I actually was. My equipment was suffering as badly as my legs, gears jumping, brakes (not that I used them on the 3rd lap) waterlogged and jammed up cleats, eventually I had a little off, compounded by one cleat not releasing, causing a rather uncomfortable landing with one leg still attached. As the arena lights loomed through the rain, a sense of relief and achievement overcame the other stuff in my head and I forced a smile to a happily waiting DP.
I celebrated with soup, peanuts and a health bar, some water, another health bar, lucozade, pasta, some more peanuts another health bar and a banana. I really wanted the 4th lap, but needed some rest, set my alarm for 5am, which would give me and then DP, if he fancied, enough time to do a 2 hour lap each. Unfortunately my earlier knock had taken its toll and despite a small amount of encouragement my leg would not extend fully. All I could do was check DP was back, turned out IH headlight and grabbed a couple of hours sleep, reassuring myself I had done all that I could. 50% more laps than last year, faster and not last, not last by a long way. So very happy, 2 man team worked well, respect to IH for attempting solo. Next year will dry and awesome. Sign up here.
So until further notice Thursday nights are 8.30-8.30AM and then breakfast in the Cherry Tree.
Lasting memory from this, not noticing a small hole appearing in my shorts, giving a through flow of mud and sand to the crease, can’t remember feeling sandpapered there before.