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Single Speed race report from the Field: Marcel's enduro report
Saturday, 30 May 2009
Currumbene, Saturday night and the regular camping crowd had shuffled in...
A warm fire, the usual sledging and a few beers had us all in good spirits for the night.
Jiri's teammate, Bob Illchik, aka 'Gary Fisher', provided the lions share of story telling. He was Jiri's dark horse, and his stories of french and italian alpine roads, porcini mushrooms, real prosciutto and his mate Greg Le Mond had us worried that Jiri had brought along a full on pro tour rider to ensure overall victory on the Sunday....Our concerns were to be realized!
After drinking almost all of Keith's 10 year old port before he could even sample a drop - cheers Keith! - we all settled into a pleasant and fortunately dry nights rest.
Sunday morning and Andy continued his busy bussle geting matters in order for the 10.00am start.
Everyone was pumped, either by expectation and excitement or by the super coffee's from the mobile cafe.
The huge croud of competitors was gathered together and barely contained in the start corral so that when Andy pressed the start button we literally exploted out for the start!
I had teamed up for the day with my single speed adversary - el pres David Westie - and we had plans of single speed world domination on the day. David had a great strategy that involved going out in loops from the road crossings so once it was time to go we raced off knowing just what we wanted to do.
All was going well until the time trial...
Feeling frisky, I suggested that I take the SI stick and sprint the time trial on my bike. Bit tricky said David, as his bike had the stick properly afixed as per regulation.
But not for long, as in the excitement David managed to tangle the darn thing in his front spokes and tore it right away from his bike! Seconds were lost and then Stu Adams played a trick by having Gary, his team mate, fall down on the track in front of us ending our hopes of setting a blistering time...
We continued on without too much effort or incident - the rolling terrain suiting us single speeders perfectly, until i decided to lead and almost immediately took an early right turn and we rode a small loop back to a control we had just punched. Aaargh!. Darn ! - our first 4 or 5 minutes lost....
Then it started to fall apart with cramps starting to take their toll on David and the earth temporarily rotating us into the Northern Hemisphere with David wanting to ride East rather than the requirement of West with another few minutes lost....
It was getting close to cut off time but we had a few more controls to collect.
"what do you reckon, shall we go for guts and glory?" said David (or words to that effect) while quietly wishing to himself that I would disagree and conservatively head back in... but i was pumped and agreed that we should go for the lot!
Cramping and straining, we scrambled through the last controls to get within cut off time by a whisker!
Fantastic ! we did it !
What a great and super well organised day!
Part of the fun was the regular riding with other teams on course who had selected same or similar strategies which only built the motivation to keep going as hard as possible. The other part were the fabulous trails that Jim and Andy had thrown into the mix.
From all accounts that i heard everyone with a few exceptions, had a good day.
Huw Kingston complained bitterly (but comically due to his own Polaris reputation!) about inaccurate mapping, after his jungle trip attempting to bush bash, then having to retreat, from a swamp and Rob Prentice, who seemed to be struggling with the map early, lost his rear freewheel having to walk and run a significant portion of the course (but still winning his division !)
Jiri's dark horse came good with the Jiri and Bob team the fastest on the day.
Stu and Gary cleaned up on the day due to bonus points from the time trail. Their win was a little surprising as David and I seemed to catchup with them out on the course whenever they got away due to Stu's random style of navigation, but they had the power and endurance in the end to blast away in the later hours and get the overall victory.
Yes, let it be known again that the Chris Schultz and Simon Nott combination beat the two Men with Two gears decisively, allowing for excess gloating and hecking back at camp! Watchout boys, once the new daddies start to train again for next season, you will be licking your own wounds !
And talking of new Daddies, David took the opportunity to announce that Anne was pregnant with no. 2 so will no doubt be needing more assistance from members to keep all matters of the club in order.
Thanks again Andy, Jim, Rik and all others and I look forward to riding another event or two this year !
one man and one gear...