I had a good day moving into 3rd place - stoked! I started out conservatively, but found my legs and enjoyed rocketing along the fire road and smooth meandering descents on my big (for me) wheels. 650B might be 'pretend 29er' but I reckon it combines the best of both. The bike remains stiff & nimble in the single trail/tight stuff, and I can still accelerate when I need to. But, it also has the benefits of the bigger wheel with regard to rolling resistance and momentum. Placebo or not...it is the goods for me! There are a heck of alot of 29ers here too. I reckon if you got a puncture and needed a 26" tube you could almost be out of luck!
I have got back from the Redbull Sundown Shootout. This is a smashfest in 'The Pines' where the top 10 women and top 20 men race a 2-3minute race track...for $500 cash and time credits. I got 2nd by 1-second! Bec Henderson won, good on her. It was a great course with some neat doubles, table tops, fast berms amongst a hard out 1min climb in the middle of it just to burn up the legs and lungs some more. I think I might have earned 30sec...it all helps.
Other stage musings...
- One dude got cleaned out by a kangaroo! It got spooked and jumped out totally taking out his front wheel and sending him into the dirt. Unlucky but also could have been much worse. (Remember the footage of the caribou/deer that cleaned out that rider in South Africa?)
- Meanwhile the guys up front were unsure what to do when an emu jumped out and proceeded to run down the single track in front of them. Fun times.
- I overshot 3-corners because my 650B wheels were rolling so quick I ran out of time to turn...one I got tangled in some barbed wire which opened up my shoe pretty good (stopped me in my tracks) and cut my big toe - oops!
- OK so perhaps bike handling on the 650 might need some work.
Tomorrow we go from Xanadu Winery to the Colonial Brewery (54km)...with over 25km of single track on the menu...does it get much better? Only if legs were fresh - they are definately feeling a wee bit tired climbing up the stairs this evening.
I will post a link to a video created by Chris and Mick from Flow MTB (Australia) that captures Day 2 nicely and I feature in an interview. Check back soon...thanks for reading!