Is chewing tobacco UCI legal?
Thursday: pack lots of stuff into bags, ti bike is out of commission as i havent had the time to sort brakes or forks which are sounding creaky with the headset. Pink bike put into action by removing racks.
Friday: run around like mad, pack up stuff into car and belt down to Kirroughtree. Meet up with Dave, Hamish, Damo and marty, Anja and Phil and after a late evening phone call Mel and shaggy turned up about 4am. Oddly, the last of us had gone to bed not long before that in a late night beer frenzy.
Saturday: against all the odds, sunshine. The course was rockier, and even less forgiving than last year, but somehow managed to be even better in terms of quality riding and singletrack. The climbing all seemed to be hidden in short sharp rises, and there was the fantastic, swooping final decent all present and correct.
3-4 hours in: 4 laps done, hadnt seen many kent faces on course, but i had seen several broken chains for others. Amazing. I have never snapped a chain other than at the same event last year. In total, i saw 6 snapped chains. Indeed andy, who was racing with shaggy as replacement for an absent team member, snapped a chain, fixed it then re-snapped it in the car park, causing the inevitable knee/concrete interface and bam, he was out of the game.
Meanwhile, jac was plugging away, as was marty resplendent in the VC Moulin colours, joining anja+phil in mixed pairs, and andy wardman and steevo going for the win with the pairs also for VC Moulin.
Damo, knackered from building a huge bridge across the Tyne, and dave, were just about to tuck into their first beers, chilling in the sun and considering further laps.
Hour 8 or so: 7 laps done, a huge dehydration collapse* and a very sore back. Jac looking like a win, marty unknown, anjaphil duking it out for somewhere around 6th in pairs, whilst comfortably winning the mixed pairs, and steevowardman still fighting it out for a pairs win.
Hour 10: eventually, i got it together to go out and do an 8th, jac came in a fine first, marty clocked up his 7th and winning mixed for anjaphil and steevoandy taking second in pairs.
Needless to say, the fine mix of marinated meats, salads and beer trina, mel and heather had waiting barely touched the sides and we had a long evening, chatting and enjoying the sun. Hamish, shaggy and myself closed the celebrations down around 3 am.
A top time had id say.
`*huge dehydration collapse.
This race was acting as a prep for the shenandoah 100 in september. I was trying to race with several new routines.
Energy spooch only.
No wingnut, just bottles.
A lower gear.
Pretty much all of the above were less than ideal. Still, i have gained some important knowledge.