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I've entered the 50km event in the Veteren category. I'm just wondering about the different groups you can be in, is it better to be at the front of group 2 or the middle of group 1 when it comes to congestion. I'm looking at the times for last year and think I should be around the 2:45 mark, were the conditions poor last year meaning the times were slower than expected?
Should be good fun, I haven't done one of these in a long time, looks like there'll be around 900 people in the 50km, around 2000 all up, I've never done a MTB event this big. I think I'll aim to get there at 6:30am, I'd expect some parking/traffic issues. Congestion on the track might be a real issue, looking at the times from last year a lot of the rides were real close together. I'm excited
What other event did you do Clackers?
From my experience at the Back Yamma Bigfoot a couple of years ago, if they're not marking your race time from when you cross the start line with some sort of electronic timing, you want to be as close to the front as you can get.
Some events deal with the congestion by putting a big nasty fire road climb into the first couple of kilometres to string people out, but more usually a traffic jam forms rapidly at the first entrance to singletrack, and then you might as well break out the Earl Grey and scones while you wait
If they are doing electronic timing, it could almost be worth waiting until 10 minutes after everybody else has gone. You then get to yell "Rider!" at everybody in front of you and feel very pro overtaking everyone . You should check with the event organisers to confirm how it will work.
50s are really good fun
The Kona Odyssey at Forrest earlier this year. As Trail Gumby guessed, they started us up the long dirt road to Lake Elizabeth (a platypus wonderland, apparently) to spread everyone out.
Everything was new to me, but everyone was great - shared pain and all of that!
31 degrees, quite a slog. Nicer day for us on Sunday, by the look of it.
If it's any consolation, you'll be a couple of kg lighter for the next event...
I keep trying to tell myself I'm not sick, it doesn't seem to be working. Even if I miraculously woke up tomorrow feeling fine, I've barely drank or eaten anything and would suffer terribly, next year maybe.
"Sacrifice your own race to help someone else out. This isn't Beach Road", the MC had said before the start.
I remembered this guy from Around The Bay. His schtick was the same ... according to him, we might have only been the 50k competitors, not 100, but at least we had personalities.
Overtaken constantly by the athletic riders later in the day, the first kiddie riders from the 18km event were suddenly also among us, and I found myself side by side with what must have been an eleven year old, both of us gunning for the finish line.
Could I let him finish ahead of me? How ugly it would have looked to the parents, me gritting my teeth in a sprint finish against their son.
I remembered the MC, and gallantry took over. No need for recognition, although if it does get remembered when awards are handed out next Australia Day, I won't be saying no.
A terrific day. Some trail bikers tried intimidation buzzing past on the roads still open to the public, the head honcho mocking with an impersonation of pedalling. I earlier had to restrain myself from approaching Jenny Fay for an autograph. If you haven't been to Wombat State Forest, Keiran Ryan describes it in his great book as:
A singletrack lover's delight! Up to 21 kilometres of tight turns and constant change of direction. Smatterings of short, sharp hills to attack out of the saddle but no real climbs to deal with [sic: the connecting dirt roads aren't flat]. Plenty of squeezing between trees with the gap not much wider than the handlebars if you don't line up the approach, just about the right amount of constructed obstacles and log jumps, most with a 'B' line option.
Adrian Jackson looked really intimidated as he passed me - I'll get him next year, Bentnose.
4 hours, with 3 hours 40 minutes on the bike itself was enough to finish around 140 out of 170 in the 40-49 year old category, 450 out of 520 overall, on a cheap 26" hardtail.
I felt good at the end and could have kept going, whereas at the Kona Odyssey I struggled to even walk back to the car afterwards ... there was nothing left in the tank.
Didn't have a mountain bike this time last year ... so much fun, I wish I'd gotten into cycling about 20 years ago!
Yeah, I used to race against Adrian Jackson in MTBO were he was a 5 time world champion or so, I punched the air the first time I beat him on a check point, may have been the only time. Interesting to see the winners of the 50km and 100km are MTBO riders.
@clackers, if you still want Jenny Fay's autograph, she and her coach Ant Shippard park their bikes in the cage next door to mine at work
How true is that!
@TrailGumby: Fay didn't finish, courtesy of a broken cleat, so best not to mention that next time you guys find yourselves comparing D-locks.
Hence, she is beatable ... if she has a mechanical!
She came first in the National championships at the weekend but being Irish couldn't be given the trophy, proving that for the rest of the field, they really are just fighting it out for second place.
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