MTBO Training on the run!
19 minutes into it and I’m thinking, this shit is easy! Then as I gravity bashed my way down a particularly rocky powerline, ‘ye ole faithful’ Pythons hissed loud and hard before gurgling to a hush in a pool of Stans-No-Tubes. The front almost sealed, but the back fizzled to a miserable end, the hole too great for even Stanley to bridge! Dejected, I looked at my lame steed and wished I’d packed two tubes! Ripping the front off, I wiped dry the area around the hole and slapped some duct tape over the pinch before pumping her back up. Stanley did his thing finally and it seemed to hold. Now the back wheel! Tyre off the rim, tube in, tyre back in, Co2 canister attached and Bamb! That’s the shizzle right there. Wheel back on the bike, 10 minutes wasted and we’re off.
From here it was catch up to the pretenders that passed me on the roadside, pass them back and lay down some Angry pedalling. One hour later and I’ve moved on to map two, slurped a shot of Hammer Gel, sucked my fill of H2O and am working my way through the CP’s. Punched 13 in 14’s hole and reversed the process at 14, not real bright but surely no harm done? Collect map 3, dash off into the bush, pedal past a ribboned, rideable track and wonder why no one else has been where I am? Read the map again, backtrack to the ribbons and set off in pursuit of glory. Map three is a boring rendition of map two, but at least the efforts are more measured this time.
Scream into the finish after 2 hours and 26 minutes, only to learn that 1st place was no more than 6 minutes ahead!! Curse the flat tyres and all their 10 minutes of wasted slowness! I knew the tyres should have been replaced and in fact had their successors sitting in the shed waiting for a rainy day to fit them (the irony is that it’s been raining every day for two weeks and I’ve been riding so much that I haven’t had a chance to do the deed!)
Pa’s unclipping his helmet as I arrive, cursing the 45 minutes he spent wandering unnecessary trails and blaming his mechanic for the chain suck that his dry chain is causing. He’s racked up nearly as many km’s as me, despite only doing the medium course! One day he’ll get it right and we’ll all get to see him bask in it!
Disco Stu Adams has broken a derailleur and flatted, but is nowhere to be seen. I comment to Pa ‘he’s probably running the course now!’ The text later that evening confirms it. He ran from the start of the 3rd map and still manages to put 3 minutes into me and steal 2nd overall, relegating yours truly to 4th! Dirty running bastard! Thankfully they DQ'd his whippet legs and I get the glory back, but suffer in the defeat of knowing that he would have cleaned the floor with my baldy head had it all stayed together.
I reckon I’ll do another one of these little map reading rides, it was a blast! The dicky ticker averaged 164bpm and the ride time was 2:06. 10 of the extra 20 minutes on the race clock were definitely spent fixing flats, while the other 10 must have been when I got sick of riding and went bush with the hardtail, carrying it as the crow flies between checkpoints. Love the bush!
Keep it on two wheels,