Tuesday, May 16, 2006

NPS Round 3 – Lumpers

Last weekend saw both Mel and I racing again. It was on a course that was reasonably technical and almost completely on single track through the forests above Dundalk (there was a 5 minute fireroad climb at the start of the lap). The weather had been nice for a while and we went on a preride of the course on Saturday, it was bone dry and really flowy. The then rained for the next 12 hours...

What had been a nice dry course on Saturday had now turned in a wet slippy course just waiting for a few hundred bikers to make it super muddy.

Mel started first in the sports category. She was going to be doing 2 loops of the track. After about an hour of racing she finished in 14th position! (out of 23 who finished) Very impressive for a complete beginner.

Mick and Mel at the start of the Sports race (look how clean they are :))

My race started shortly after Mel's ended. Experts were going to be racing 4 laps of the now muddy slick course. After the initial dash up the fireroad the race turned into a parade through the single track as there were few passing opportunities and when a technical section caught out a rider, the whole parade behind also got caught up in the stop. About midway through the lap a guy in front me slid and crashed across the trail causing me to go over my bars too – I got up to find my gears and brakes in the wrong position. Damn it – my first mechanical. I calmed myself down, got out my tool kit and set about fixing (as I watched about 5 people pass me by). For the next two laps or so, I couldn't really get focused on riding properly. I was not very happy with the way I was riding and not very positive about the race (even though the single track was great). By the end of the fourth lap, I pulled back a few positions and finished in 9th position.

On the only fireroad climb of the course

Decending a slick section towards the end of the race. On Saturday, in the dry, I was ramping off this stuff

Overall, the course was excellent – I just wish that it was a nicer day. The rain didn't bother me during the race but it didn't entice me to hang around for the criac after the race. (Cold, wet, tired and covered in mud - a sure way to get a cold)

There are no more XC races until June 18th for us now, so it will be back to going on long spins at the weekend.

Monday, May 08, 2006

NPS Round 2

Mel and I were racing again at the weekend. This time we where taking part in the NPS round 2 which was been held in Balinastoe forest.

This is a description of the course:
Basically, you climb a fireroad, then a really steep fireroad, then MORE fireroad. Then left into some muddy single track. Then back onto some fireroad, then left into a long enough single track section - lots of ups and downs (by the end of the race this was actually quiet tricky as there where big slippy roots everywhere). Then a sharp right onto a fireroad climb followed by a fast fireroad decent. Then a single track climb onto some, guess what... fireroad climb. Then right into some fun single track that ended with a rollable jump and a bomb hole and back out of the forest to the start/finish line.

Mel's race (sport) had 2 laps of the course while my race had a grueling 5. My race started reasonable well. I wanted to make sure that I was ahead of most of the group going into single track (two weeks ago I got stuck behind people on the single track) I managed that but my chain fell twice on the first lap (I had to get off twice) which lost me a position or two. The other four laps went well enough until I crashed mid way through the last lap (damn slippy root!) but it was nothing serious – just a sore knee. I finished out the lap with some energy left with an overall time of 1:48 (something). That was enough to give me 8th position overall which I was happy with. Two races in and I've already learned a lot!

We still don't have the full results of Mel's race yet, but I'll post them when I get them.

Not many pictures this time, but I did find this one of me on my first lap (I think)