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Shut the gate on your way out

sikllama's picture

By sikllama - Posted on 09 April 2016

Hawk, Llama and the Honey Badger
Position (Overall): 
Position (Category): 

Round 2 of the Rocky Trail Shimano MTB GP was held for the first time just outside of Singleton on a club track which rewarded those who could hold corner speed on loose, dusty, and at times, off camber corners. Relatively flat which a few small pinch climbs it meant there were few opportunities to freewheel - a totally different course than that at Glenrock last month.

Our team of 3 had entered the 7 hour race and, arriving just before 0730, somehow managed to score a great position as first gazebo after the start/finish line - right with all the 'real' racers like Jetblack etc. I took the first lap and, despite the short and flat starting section, the congo line pretty much dissapated after a couple of km's and didnt come to a stop after going through transition for the first time. The race loop was punctuated with fun log rollovers and small drops - all taken at a fair speed.

The team decided that after we had all done one 'sighting lap' that we would move to a 2 lap per rider strategy. This seemed a good idea at the time given each lap was under 30 minutes however we each ended up losing a few minutes on each second lap as we fatigued. We reverted to the one lap per rider strategy for the rest of the race.

By now the clouds had gone and it was bright, sunny, and was threatening to become quite warm. Just as quick as the sun came out it went behind the clouds again much to the relief of everyone! Felt good with my 4th lap - gaining more confidence on the corners. Mid way through I spotted a large kangaroo about to jump across the trail about 20 meters ahead. The guy behind me shouted at it and it sort of stopped, curious as to the source of an unfamiliar sound of a human voice, which gave us enough time to scamper on through Smiling

By this time we had pretty much secured 5th category spot - 4th was half a lap ahead of us and we were full lap ahead of 6th. We all enjoyed our last, if somewhat lonely lap as the 4 hour racers had long gone...

Great day out on the bike - a different kind of race track in that the challenge wasn't tough climbs or technical sections, rather than technique and ability to be on the gas as much as possible throughout the whole lap. The 'No D!ckhead' rule was in force and, as usual, passing and being passed all happened very easily and maintained a friendly attitude as is par for the course at RockyTrail events.

Thanks to @Hawkeye and @Ahein (well done for quickest team lap) for being teammates! The track is on a travelling stock route and a nice little touch on the way out was to have to open the cattle gate to get out of the venue Smiling Just something a bit different to remind you that you've done something a little special...

ahein's picture

Was good fun with some good team mates. Next time you will have to atteack that a line

Lach's picture

.. sounds like a good day out.

Fatboy's picture

Thanks for securing prime position for our gazebo's @sikllama. Another great day out.

Those log rollovers you refer to were a great way to assess your speed. Over the first half of the race I was hitting them with speed and getting plenty of air. In the 2nd half had to peddle hard to get up & over them...

I agree this race was very good re the 'no dickhead' rule - while there is plenty of room to overtake a much slower rider it is an extremely hard course to overtake someone moving at a similar pace as you only get small opportunities before the next trees. I was telling @hawkeye of one exception to the rule. I was 3rd wheel in a line of riders and there was a rider about 3 behind me talking constantly to everyone in front of him about moving over. This went on for nearly 6km. Constant jibbering when it was clear we were all riding at about 25km/h on tight singltrack with absolutely nowhere to pass. When he finally got past he pulled a gap of 20m on us and that's where he stayed. I said to the others in our group loud enough so the dickhead could hear "with all that mouth action for the last 6km I thought he'd be off into the distance by now". Apart from that I thought communication between riders was probably best I've experienced.

hawkeye's picture

There was a guy in red and white kit whose mouth was running about passing whenever he came up on another rider. I was in a bunch of four when he tried it up a short climb and ended up causing chaos that slowed everybody down, including himself,n when he couldn't pull it off.

He was doing it to another rider on the way thru the transition area while I was waiting for sikllama - probably one of the dumber places to try for a pass with all the clutter so close to the track. Where did he think the guy was going to be able to move over?

Made me laugh. Laughing out loud

It was indeed a tricky track to pass on - the clear sections were all pretty short, and no fire road sectiions at all. Good communication really helped.

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