Thursday, December 22, 2011

Completely unrelated to cycling

I love youtube. Apologies if you have already seen this elsewhere, but I just had to share. Shouldn't laugh at others misfortune, but sometimes.... Funniest thing I've seen in ages. Enjoy.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

World famous (well aussie at least)

In our own humble opinion; heres a hopefully entertaining read on the last page of the Decemeber edition of Australian Mountainbike Magazine. Some random NZ MTB'ers...

Saturday, December 17, 2011

A nice bit of video for a rainy day

Nice feature from SBS in Australia on this years Cape to Cape. Hopefully it see's some airtime in NZ. Also keep your eyes peeled for a featue in the next edition of NZ Mountainbiker mag. Great reminder of what was a very cool week. Starting to think I should organise a tour group for the 2012 event. Any takers?!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sneak peak

Exciting courier delivery today. More details to follow, but a sneak preview for our blog readers.....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cape to Cape - Video Highlights

A wee taste of the spectacular race that the Cape to Cape was. Joining us next year then?!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...

Ok, so this update is a week later than it should have been, but perhaps unsurprisingly typing it out one-handed hasn't been that appealing (so excuse the typos!). More on that later.

What was on our racing menu was race 2 of the incredibly popular GNCC series of XC moto racing. We'd missed round one due to other commitments but weren't about to let this opportunity slip by. Nic was chomping at the bit to get more ride time on her new KTM, and I was just keen for racing. My bike speed was good and I was looking forward to testing it in a race environment.

First up was Nic, taking her place rather nervously in the rookie womens field. The GNCC organisers have done an amazing job of encouraging women into what is an intimidating domain of men who think they know everything. 25 women on bikes of all sizes fronted the starter. More than many MTB events.

One of the harder obstacles seemed to be the tyre chute that was perhaps a tad challenging. The 1st lap saw many caught out and toppling over struggling with the slow speed balance required. Motorcycles are not that close to the ground. Thankfully, the chute was modified on the fly by proactuve organisers.

After a tentative start, Nic started to really get to grips with the 2-stroke and started carving up. Lap times got quicker, and the powerslides got bigger. Eventually working her way throught the field to a final place of 10th after 1hr30 or racing. Solid, and very encouraging.

My turn, and I was quietly focussed and confident of a good result as I faced 2hrs on a demanding loop featuring a mix of tight singletrack, and wide open farmland. I fluffed the star and bogged the bike down, entering the first corner last of my start wave, which got me angry. I buckled down and focussed on riding smooth, fast, and patiently. All was going well, and 2/3 of the way through the lap I had already passed 15+ riders from earlier star waves, but things were about to go pear shaped very quickly....

On an open (fast) and rough section I pulled out to pass a guy, but thought better of it as our bikes danced sideways. I tucked in about 10m back and looked for an opportunity. Passing through an open gate we both overshot a turn marker, and glanced left up the hill we were suppossed to climb. At that split second, rather than slowingthe leading rider jammed his brakes on, as I glanced back it took another split second to process the scenario in front of me. I hit the brakes, but at 50km/hr+ it doesn't long to traverse 10m. we collided with a rather sickening impact.

Initial thoughts were of the damage to him as he lay in a ball. I got him up, he was ok, but understandably shaken. We untangled bikes and got him on his way. It was then I looked at my left arm which felt kinda strange. With good reason, my hand wasn't pointing where it should be and there was a big bend in it. Many thoughts went through my head, most of them unprintable.

The response of race organisers was fairly swift, and with the help of some laughing gas I was soon back in an ambulance. Soon after than I was on a rescue chopper for a very scenic to Tauranga ( the chopper was for a girl with a suspected spinal injury... she was ok in the end). A snapped radius, and dislocated ulnar were diagnosed. 48hrs later (and lots of starving too) I had surgery in Rotorua to plate it together.

So my arm will be heavier from now on... I am hoping it will benefit my swimming. Perhaps give the left arm a bit more momentum and correct the directional challenged technique I exhibit in the open water?! Either way I am facing a long break from the bikes (pedal or engine powered) so plenty of time to think about it. I am gutted. But at the same time thankful it wasn't worse. These are the risks we take and sometimes things will happen and we have to except that. Such is life.

In a random addition to this update, I had to post the picks below. Whilst I was laid up in a hospital bed an insane hailstorm hit our suburb. Absolutely nuts. It shreded leaves of trees and bushes so on the bright side much of our hedge trimming has been done for us

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Redbull Sundown Shootout

Just had a few images sent through to us that we thought were worth sharing. As a part of the Cape to Cape event, Friday night saw the innagural "Redbull Sundown Shootout" for the top 30 men, and Top 10 Women.

Format was an individual TT on a short section of some of the sweetest, bermiest (?), jump littered singletrack in the region. Typical redbull... sweet sounds, good action, and good crowd. Nic and I were both loving the course and jammed in multiple practice runs into the 30min on offer. Fast times were in the low 3min20 bracket. The race...?

Nic railed the singletrack, and had the crowd pretty excited at her speed. Hands down smashed the other women racing. Sadly it was fastest time of the day takes all... so up against the guys didn't get to stand on the podium. Maybe next year?

I was pretty confident I had the course dialled and seems I looked pretty quick. Commentator and crowd were pretty sure I'd be in the hotseat. However what they didn't see was the first 1min of the track was a climb + false flat. Wasn't too flash up there and lost it before we'd really begun. Solid run, but Chris Jongaward smoked it for the win.

Looked somewhat stylish(?) so theres some consolation I suppose.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New team bike

Feeling pretty pro here in Rotorua. Not only do our MTB's and Roadies finally match, but the KTM seems to be breading. Just have to get the BMX's matching now.

Bit of an upgrade for Nic. Mint condition SX85. The thing is a wee rocketship. Beautiful afternoon in Rotorua yesterday so what better way to help speed the recovery from Cape to Cape.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cape to Cape MTB Stage Race

Geez... been a bit busy since touching down back on Rotorua soil so still haven't managed to type up a story here on our adventures from our awesome week in Western Australia for the Cape to Cape MTB stage race.

So in order to get something out asap, here's the link to the report on Sportzhub

Monday, October 10, 2011

Blowing up @ the Motu 160

I would rather have titled that "blowing up the Motu160".... except it was me that did the blowing up. One bloody tough day at the office; that’s what the Motu160 is. And we are paying for it today.

The concept sounds simple enough. Do the MTB leg of the Motu Challenge, then hop onto the road bikes and blast back to Opotiki. Easy enough, except the MTB is 65km of gravel, long climbs, and often nastily wet/cold conditions. The road bike undulates, slaps you in the face with a stiff headwind, and depending on your race smarts and/or luck my leave you solo TT’ing for 90km+. Not easy.
Certainly so early in our season we thought we would get a good hard workout. We were confident we were fit. Speed and speed endurance had a question mark hanging over it.

Nic’s race was a bit of a character builder. Motu’s first 20-25km is generally a bunch ride till it hits the first real climb... so when she punctured just 10km in and watched the free ride disappear into the gloom she was in for a long day. Without the group to work with, and motivate it’s not so much fun. Isolated, she gritted her teeth and made the best of a bad day, holding 3rd overall till late in the road section when a recurrence of some vision issues forced her to cruise to the finish a disappointing 4th. Frustrated, gutted, but with a solid 160km in the training bank to be withdrawn later, hopefully with interest.

I on the other hand blew spectacularly with a bit of a death or glory approach. It was a pretty slow trip for the first 40min while all the hitters watched each other, or more likely watched Richard Ussher. Carl Jones made the first attempt to split it up as we hit the first real climb, and feeling surprisingly strong early on I followed Carls example and kept the pressure on. We soon went clear and set about extending the lead. We worked really well and I was happy to match his pace. The danger was Carl was a team rider, I was on my own. I was committed so we pressed on.

Carl distanced me on the final climb, but still I started the Road ride with almost 3min on the chasers (teams and solo’s), and set about my best impression of a Time Triallist with “only” 90km to go. It was tough knowing that some would be working together as team and individual riders shared the load in the chase. It worked for 70km till a strong Scott Thorne (also on his own working solo) caught me.

We tried to work together and he was very patient, but with about 12-13km to go my lights went out. I lost 5min in that last period, and even got caught for 2nd with about 800m left. Ah well. 3rd it was. It was a bold strategy, and I was off the front for ¾ of the race. Didn’t work, but I won’t die wondering. The positive is that I was good for 4hrs... much longer than any race I have coming up in the immediate future. Silver linings....?!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pukeora Adventure Races

A fun few days down in Hawkes Bay over the weekend, as we lined up for the Pukeora MTB "Adventure Races". A pretty cool concept that saw both XC and DH events, along with a unique Sprint/Jumps Time trial event. Something for everyone, a low pressure environment, and lots of mixing between the disciplines came together for a really enjoyable concept.

The event was put on by the Senior PE class from Central Hawkes Bay College as part of their NCEA course work. Led by their enthusiatic teacher Jamie Welch it really mad ethe vent attractive to us as something we wanted to support. Fantastic initiative and exciting for the future. Last time I was invovled with CHB College in a sporting sense was about 15yrs ago in a 1st XV Rugby Match. I came away with a gashed knee and a broken nose so was hoping for better this time.

The DH was first on the Menu for us, and it had some really fun stuff. Nice jumps, some sweet berm sections, roots, and a random rock garden. Thankfully for us plenty of pedalling meant it was quite Super D like, which was good as we were on our XC hardtails. Nic had one practice before posting a race run time. Not too shabby she was only 3-4 sec off Madeline Taylor. I had the benefit of two looks at the course before deciding to lay down one solid run before the XC. It wasn't too bad, and I even made a last sec decision to hit the stepdown. I took the chicken line at the last drop/huck thinking I'd preserve my bike. Time was good enough for 2nd just 1sec behind the winner. Solid.

Sprint/Jump course was mean. Just over a minute of full noise TT with a Moto start gate, step up and down gap jump options, Dh, bridges, and uphill. I went safety and missed the gaps, thinking I'd come back later for a 2nd crack (I didn't), but was still 5th overall and 3rd senior. Mean. Nic cracked out the best ladies time, and and so nearly beat Gav as well.

The XC? Hard. We'd never rideen Pukeora before but what we were met with were awesomely flowing trails, and zero flat. 5 x 7.5km laps was gonna hurt, and it did. Matt Waghorn, and Fiona McDermid laid the smackdown on us during the first lap of our respective races as we struggled to get out of 3rd gear. I slowly started to pressure Matt mid race before he gapped it late. Still some encouraging signs for both of us early in our build up. 2nds for both of us, but enough points for the overall King/Queen of the Mtn titles for the day. Mean.

If you haven't ridden there, Pukeora showcases some fantastic trail construction. Really fun and flowing... but there are a few steep pinches!

Nic's first XC MTB race in over 10mths. Bit of a shock to the system, but nice to be back amongst it and see how the body responded. Tough to back up just 6 days after the 11hrs of Spring Challenge Adventure race, but a good platform to build from for the season.

The finish, and not sure what this face says...? Either happy to be done, or "geez, I have a bit to work on". Probably both.

Next up, the Motu 160 this weekend. Consequently lots of resting and very little training this week. Thanks CHB College for an awesome day. See you next year.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Game on

Daylight saving + spring time.... it's all on again. The only drawback is that it also signal's lawn-mowing/gardening season. But I think we can live with that. Now that Nic's just swapped the wee honda 150 for an SX85 (to complement my 125) we'll just have to be extra vigilant not to put mix the 2-stroke and the mower fuel.

On the racing front, it's all on again. We have a pretty busy few months ahead, and the weekend just been saw the first steps toward our later goals

Nic's weekend was a little more arduous than most. Together with Eloise Fry and Susie Wood, they decided to take on the gruelling Spring Challenge 12hr adventure race in Marlborough. As you can see, they scored some pretty stunning views for their efforts.

They raced a strong and measured event, and were able to give some very experienced multisport stars a real scare Still full of running at the finish... 10hr45 later...

Second place, just 10min behind the headline R&R Sport team of Coast to Coast Champion Sophie Hart, they were left ruing a couple of small errors. They were deservadly pretty happy with their efforts and am sure are now plotting their elevation to the top spot next year.

Feeling a little guilty at the day long efforts of the girls I managed to throw together a 4hr road ride + 3hr on the MTB. Not as impressive as it sounds as the MTB ride involved that much gas-bagging with PAttle & co we'd be lucky if I did more than 2hr riding time. Anyway, great (?) prep for the following days Spring Fling Super D

Two timed runs down Jumps/Corners would decide the winner. As the rain pelted down and the track turned to a slick muddy bobsleigh course, perhaps not the best place for a 29er hardtail in full XC set-up? Unfortunately it was my only choice, and a last minute one at that after I damaged my other ride in practice and had to make a rushed trip home to grab the trusty Team Competitor.

Thankfully Avanti has the geometry pretty well dialled and while its an XC bike, can certainly find its way down a hill ok. As you can see by the legs after run 1, it was a bit damp...

Rode pretty average on the first run, while Pattle blitzed everyone. 5th or 6th and I was clinging to the "first hardtail" token claim of success. Got it together a bit better on the 2nd run while everyone else crashed their brains out on death or glory Danny Hart style runs. Unfortunately none of us were Danny Hart.... Moved up to 3rd overall so pretty happy with that. 2 x 12min runs certainly got the lungs working.

Next up? We are off to Waipukurau this Saturday for the Pukeora Challenge. A cool event being put on bythe students of Central Hawkes Bay Challenge. Not sure how the bodies are going to like their first XC race hit out in about 5 months? But only one way to find out.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Back on the start line

So Nic is back racing again.... maybe not what everyone would expect?! Was happily hitting up one of the doubles even though Mikey P thought it'd be easier without suspension rather than what is on the trusty 150....Think trade me surfing might be on the agenda again while she looks for something with better ability to hit up the big tabletops?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Welcome to Rotorua...

So while I was having a ball trashing round the forest testing out the all new Avanti Vapour 29er, I thought I should maybe strap a helmet cam to my head.

Mainly for the benefit of our international friends here is exhibit (a) in the case for visiting Rotorua. About 1km of the 100km or so of trails we have to play on on our doorstep.

And for you XTERRA athletes..... this is 2min of the XTERRA NZ course. If you get down here for April 2012 you'll get about 20mins+ more of this style of downhill singletrack.... Along with the rest of the stunning 30km bike.

Where did July go?

It's a bit of an odd feeling when despite no real racing the year seems to be flying by even faster than normal. Leaving us chasing our tail's and trying to catch up. July and through the start of August have proved to be pretty hectic for us so time for a bit of a catch up.

First up, and most important has been the launch of Nic's new business.....

Handily located instore at the brand new Avanti Plus Rotorua is Nic Leary Physical Therapy Ltd... Steep learning curve for Nic as she sorts out the business aspects of the venture, but she is loving the ability to build her own client base through her specialist physiotherapy skills and knowledge (She's also operating the Bike Fit studio). With her experience and knowledge not just as a physio but also as an athlete she offers a unique understanding and premium service (if I do say so myself!)

So when in Rotorua be sure to book yourself for visit. or else 027 244 6997

Meanwhile my job has changed too, and I now find myself working for Sport BOP rather than BikeNZ as previous. As program advisor for the Rotorua in Gear project it actually gives me even more leeway to try out a few other ideas locally for cycling development and community skills training so it all works out well.

I've also just come back from a full on week in Auckland at the Avanti/Scott 2011 dealer conference (and 2012 product release). Found it kind of odd looking at bling new bikes presented with that funny looking dude in the background pictures I must say.

Was able to assist with the Avanti MTB 2012 presentations and hopefully add some value. Was great to meet dealers from all over NZ and Australia (especially the ones who wanted to talk Moto!), and I was stoked to be invited and involved. It might sound strange but this is perhaps the first time I have felt of real value to a bike sponsor. Believe it or not this is the first time I've ever even been invited to a product release, let alone being part of it. Better late than never.

Of course I was especially excited about this piece of hardware. The all new Vapour 29er platform. My somewhat cryptic twitter references were indeed directly related to this feet of engineering; and whilst rumours abounded amongst dealers I was busy putting in about 15hrs of trail time on the prototype during the week I had the privilage of "hising"it in the garage. Super fun to just go ride with no purpose other than to play, and test the limits of the bike. Was great fun... now the show is over can't wait for the bike to make its way back to our garage. Huggie...?

And racing? Well we now have a few exciting developments and events locked into our schedule giving us plenty of training motivation. More on that later....

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cyclocross Nationals 2011

Another nationalchampionship on the list for 2011, so to keep consistent, it was another 3rd place for me. Happy with that and considering the "preparation" that went into my debut in "cross" I'd be pushing it to expect more.

Huge credit to the team down in Queenstown that made it happen. While cross has a rich heritage in europe it is essentially a newborn here in NZ so its a learning process for everyone. But QTMBC put together a great track, spectacular location, great crowd = the start of something big.

Perhaps my legacy on CX 2011 might be the Downhill bog.... A quick pre-event discussion with T-Man concluded a slippery slope was required. T-Man promptly grabbed a hose and began creating the soon to be centrepiece of the course.

Pretty spectacular location for a big race eh? Might look sunny, but the temp was struggling to crack zero. The lungs didn't lke it, but perfet for cross.

My race started well enough, then got a little over excited chasing Dan Warren and crashed rather spectacularly on an off camber rise early on losing contact. Whilst Dan heading off on a solo mission to dominate the day, I soon latched onto Alex Revell and proceeded to figure out strategy to get the better of him. Turns out the best strategy would have been to forget the strategy and just pedal. I had good legs for 50mins but unfortunately the race went 70. So despite feeling pretty confident all race, when it came down to it there wasn't anything left.

So congrats to Dan Warren and Alex Revell. I certainly learned plenty and think I may have developed a new addicition. There's an international CX scheduled for downtown Queenstown for Aug 20th. Airfares anyone...?

Monday, June 27, 2011

So that was June

Hmm. So June is at an end and no update on here since the Moonride. Well, I guess life got in the way and we've been, well, living! Nic has been really busy setting up her own business. Nic Leary Physical Therapy.... with a great wee physio clinic conveniantly located instore at Avanti Plus Rotorua. Now open so check it out.

Had good intentions of resuming training after the Moonride but after a couple of false starts decided the body just wasn't ready. I really did need that extended break I talked about way back after Karapoti. It really was a few years acumulated fatigue.

We've hardly been inactive. But any activity has been sporadic, unplanned, and certainly not structured. I would say there was no intervals, but I did volunteer to film the 3D multisport race with a helmet cam, and chasing Rich Ussher and Dougal Allen wasn't exactly easy. So I took the following week off after that too!

Looking to snap my mid-winter hibernation I did partake in a couple of events over the past weekend.

After a disaster at its last outing (when clutch basket disintegrated and jammed up the gearbox), $800 later the 125 was back in functioning trim and despite its rider having had only 30min ride time in the last month we were raring to go.

After a couple of hours and 80km odd of tight technical and muddy trails we were both still in one piece. I tried hard to break my leg on stumps and branches a couple of times (and maybe cartwheeled myself down a slippery clay descent, but no one saw it, so it didn't happen ok?!) but the protective gear did its job.

We even picked up this wee beauty of a trophy. It might only be intermediate grade, and I might only be finishing in the 40's (of approx 70) overall. But this ones goin straight to the pool room...

Sunday morning I was a bit stiff and sore. Figured I should try some intervals with the NZ CX champs looming and next to no quality training having been completed. Lacking the motivation for intervals, I instead cracked out the race shoes for the first time since XTERRA and towed the line at the RATS Winter Duathlon.

Of course I had to use the CX bike and it proved a good choice. Had a reasonable run, then soon took lead on bike leg despite a very average transition. Pro? yeah right. With Garth chasing in 2nd I figured with the luxury of gears I should be able to hold him off, and at worst I'd just have to out run him. Hung tough and grabbed a win. Good training session for sure and hopefully I'll last next week without blowing too spectacularly. We'll see.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Mudride 2011

Over the years, I reckon I must of spent well over a week camped out in a tent in the paddock at Waipa while my various teams took on the Moonride. Having done more than my fair share of time it shouldn't be a suprise it wasn't exactly high on the priority list... but its hard to avoid!

And after an approach from our good friends at Avanti Plus Rotorua, and a promise it was a casual team with no expectations we again found ourselves on the startline of the 12hr version.

Being a casual team I thought it'd be a good chance to give my brand new Avanti Circa CX bike a whirl. Fresh out of the box, the race start was literally the first time its wheels had rolled off road. Combined with legs/lungs that had done very little in 5 weeks, a track severely cut up from torrential overnight rain, and it was an interesting first lap

"casual?". Connor looking awfully focussed here. I think its more likely a pissed off look as he was hurried into action unexpectadly and had to put his food down when I lost my seat and had to send him out early.

Post riding and look at the state of that. Hard work for everyone pushing through the mud. Made a usually fast flowing track seriously hard work. A tough way for Nic to put herself back into competitive action. The CX bike was actually pretty quick, but after 3 or 4 laps I did woose out and "resort" to the 29er. Not a bad change.

Mid afternoon and the casual plan suddenly got a bit serious when we realised we were leading the bike shop category.... and it was Specialized NZ in 2nd. Suffice to say we made sure a few solid laps were then thrown down. Comfy win in the end and we picked up this nice decoration for display at the new Avanti Plus Rotorua store( Interestingly while we recieved a trophy to display for 12mths, no prize for winning, yet 2nd and 3rd did. Whats up with that event promotions?).

Thanks to team mates Nic, Saul "the Roadie" Webb, Connor "Osama" Corbett, and Patrick "bike destroyer" Corbett.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mud, Shuttles, Hot Chips, and Crowns: Sunday in Vegas

It's officially. XC is clearly the best discipline of MTB sport, as proved yesterday as Nic and Dirk Peters were crowned King and Queen of the rapidly becoming iconic Triple Crown event in sunny Rotovegas yesterday.

Pitting riders of all disciplines against each other over 3 Super D runs the event really is an allround test. Too much pedalling to favour a DH rider, too intense to favour as XC rider, and varied enough to make bike choice confusing. If in doubt, don't change anything. Just ask Carl Jones with full XC hardtail set up in 5th.

Nic hasn't raced her MTB since December but showed her skills certainly haven't diminished. It was a successful comeback on all accounts. Rode some mean trails, did a few drifts and jumps, and talked smack with many equally stoked riders. Threw a trusty Nevagal on the front of the XC race hardtail to give some extra grip, and bombed away on the trails. Won the womens comfortably and scared more than a few of the men with a midfield finish overall. Was gutted defending champ Alice was out with a broken ankle. Showed some pretty sharp skill and hopes to see more top Women take her on next time. The challenge has been laid down.

I was, well, average. I got better as the day wore on. On the first run (that should have favoured me) I was smoked from pedalling so hard after weeks of complete laziness. Nearing the end I must have been sub conciously looking for short cuts and took an unplanned diversion off the side of roller coaster. Wouldn't reccommend the route as was someway down a bank and had trees in the way (Apparently a few others tried the same line with similar lack of success).

Lost way too much time on that run and put muself well out of top 5 contention as Dirk, Des, Pattle, Byron, and Carlos all put way too much time into me. I got better the less pedalling was required. Here I am pretty excited and maintaing good focus and speed as the finish line, and the mean feed awaits.

Quintessentially Kiwi. Not only was I handed a steinlager by fellow riders at the finish, but the organisers had thought ahead and ordered $100 worth of hot chips, pre-buttered bread, and loads of tomato sauce. Mean.

Johnny Click wasn't shy to get amongst the chips. A wee bit of consellation for him after I pipped him for 6th place by 0.3 secs (over 24min)! Big thanks to Stefan Bennett and his team of volunteers for making the day happen. Really look forward to the next one

And a huge thanks to Gavin and Brent at Avanti for the loan of the sweet Avanti Torrent for the week. One very capable bike, and a bucket load of fun to ride. It certainly wan't the bikes fault I missed the top 5. That was simply being outclassed by an awesome bunch of allround skilled MTBers

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stepping out of the comfort zone

So it didn't take long. Competitive people, you can only "participate" for so long. In Nic's case, it seems one week is plenty long enough. Even when it is a brand new activity/sport. I was keen to give the first race of the Dirt Guide XC Moto series a nudge to see how bad I was doing... While Nic thought no point waiting to actually do a trail ride. Why not check it out in a race?

Thankfully I am a scrawny bugger so my Old Moto pant from age 15 not only fit me still, but with a belt did the job for Nic too. Nice. After the realisation of what she'd commited to kicked in at briefing, she coped remarkebly well. Decided during the event she needed to do some strength work so took the chance to lay the bike down frequently so she could practice lifting it. Beat a few people. Now keen as for more.

I lined up in the 2hr senior race in the afternoon. Fired the bike up first kick on the shotgun start and was ready to fly... except for the wall of people in front of me. Must stop being polite when lining up. Frustrated for 10min before making some passes and getting clear space. Until one dude crashed on top of me and did this to my brake lever. Made the next 70km interesting.

Got going again then messed up a corner and almost hit a tree all of 2min later. Glanced it with a shoulder, but twisted so violently away from the possible impact did some solid damage to bicep tendon and muscle belly. Check out this bruising from the strain....

Next 2hr went well. Pretty sore shoulders from trying hang on with bung arm and dodgy brakes. Started to ride pretty decent, but then got plenty tired so took the chance to lay down for a rest on the nice cooling forest floor and also a few bogs during the last lap. Made it to the end though. Maybe just sneaking into the top 60-65% of the Intermediate field. Kinda satisfying to be so well and truely rooted post event and only be able to declare myself as decidedly average. Keen to try and crack the top 3rd of the field by series end. Should be fun.