This weekend’s activity was in the forests at Bundanoon. After mild gastro on Saturday night, I drove up on Sunday morning- easy 1.5 h drive. Got there for rego, all very smooth and went down to site to dress up, and met up with Bleeksie and Libby. Found the flag . Also recognized was NathanS , Amy and The Magpie (Ryan) were close by.
I entered the 110km. Lib and Bleeksie entered the 160km. I guess that will be the subject of a conjoined, or independent post. So anything I brag about is a grain of salt compared to the suffering that those guys endured.
The course is a mix of fire road, narrow fire road, and single track… and sand pits , sometimes in the corners after the long downhills, or in the bottom of long downhill sections….at high speed which one seems to learn to deal with .
The Single Track sections were all very different from another- crossing very different soils and different flora, and character. …That made it interesting…I balked at the first rock stairs where the guy in front of me crashed at the bottom. Lame. The first section had plenty narrowly spaced trees to deal with, normally not a problem but plonk a great big rock or two in the middle and now that’s more challenging.
Stacked once in the first few sectors, just a front wheel wash. I began a turn too late and changed direction too fast. Got straight back up but still classed as a stack.
Analysis : I don’t link 3 tight turns together well at all. 1st and 2nd OK, but the third turn and my apex entry is wrong wrong wrong and I can’t make the turn. Need to watch James. Still, I didn’t have people on my arse too often, I think I am improving.
The terrain in general was either small undulating hills or massive steep passes to climb out of the rivers. I spent record amounts of time in my granny gear 22-34. I mean, these hills were totally BRUTAL . I managed to stay on as others walked, more so in the 2nd half. These hills humbled me. I was getting tired, I felt pretty sore in the upper body at 1/2 way, my shoulders and arms and hands ached. More long distance training time required on MTB to adapt to this (rather than road endurance based training ).
The food at the stops was good. Plenty of free GUs to stock your pockets with . Ate lots of oranges.
2nd last single track (~90km in) was a slush fest. I failed to hold traction on a steep pitch and fell over off the track and down the hill into some bushes, smacking my top of my knee-ITB on the bars and this stopped me for about 3 min to wait until the pain subsided. Back on, but now I was crash- fatigued for the next 30 min. Cramps started.
They left the what I thought was the more difficult technical single track to the end. 100km in the legs at this point. This was as difficult as anything I have faced at stromlo. Maybe I was hammered in the mind and body . Many were walking their bikes, but it was quite ride-able, just I would describe as tricky-tricky . Rocky- a bad line or a brief confidence vacation and you would probably crash.
5:48 which put me 47/205 in Masters Male, and 198/616 overall finishers.
This was my toughest physical challenge ever…. I am thinking now I’ve been quite a wuss up till now. The combo of the overall body pounding and 100% physical output is more than I am used to.