Monday, June 25, 2007

Mountain Mayhem 2007 - Solo - Fixed - Scandal 29er

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After arriving on Thursday I can't say there was a great deal of race preparation that day, other than some carb loading in the form of a mediocre Chinese takeaway and some beers in the evening.

Friday, a few more of our friends arrived, some bike fettling and some bargain shopping at the bike stalls. Ann and Skye arrived late in the evening. No beer tonight.

8am I awake on Saturday. 6 hours to go to the start. The Scandal was mechanically ready for action. All I needed to do was to mount the dinotte lights, one to the bar, the other to the helmet. At 1pm the race briefing, then 45 minutes to get some suitable clothing on.

We're off. A Le Mans style 1/2 mile run to start, or walk for me and several others. No point sprinting when there is over 24 hours of cycling ahead. Once on our bikes the first lap was a steady affair, with bottlenecks a plenty. By the next lap we were all spread out a bit, so everything was rideable. Though I did find a couple of the climbs quite hard. I knew that I'd be pushing at least some of this course from now on. Gearing started out at 34:19, though after the 4th lap I pitted and swapped the 19 for a 20. More comfortable up the hills, and a little slower down.
The course was in the main on tracks across grass fields,through bracken, with a couple of sections through some trees. In the dry the course was technically undemanding.

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The previous week the weather forecast had been saying that the rains were going to come, and sure enough they did. The first rainfall was not particularly heavy, but quickly had a detrimental effect on the course, making certain sections very difficult to control the bikes direction. We had a few dry hours, in which the course dried out a bit. More rain, and heavier too, came in the night. New lines appeared, and 2 foot wide singletrack turned into 20 foot wide routes to avoid the worst of the slop. I lost count of the number of crashes I had in the mud.

The bike was a pleasure to ride throughout, though my tyre choice for the mud was not so good as the 2.3 Choirmasters clogged up with mud. After sunrise, I swapped these for some 30c (1.2") Michelin Mud tyres. They looked weird on the bike, but they cleared easily and provided better grip.

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16 laps

140.8 miles

18th male soloist / 102.

Pics courtesy of Jonathan Murray

Thanks to Ann, Jon for the photos, Stu and Dave for cleaning my bike in the early hours, plus everyone who cheered me on. And finally ta to Brant for the bike.


At 9:40 am, Anonymous dave said...

dude, you seriously rocked!

i have no idea how you got round in the mud...

At 11:21 am, Blogger Steve said...

Nice work Rich. You must be in danger of getting fit :)


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