Last weekend we had our first family, racing outing in the caravan for 2014. After a mighty 8 hour drive we arrived at our destination. As both kiddies were along I had to either not race or do the open event on the Saturday. As it is now too much of a tight squeeze for me and phil both to race on Sunday. So, as there was 5 in the open, I opted to have a stab at that.
Saturday mid morning, when sign on opened I registered and headed out for a loop of the course. There were a few new sections, which had replaced some other bits and there was still down to brown, the Shute and the horse shoe. I have yet to conquer the horseshoe and down to brown, I need phil to come with me and show me where I'm going wrong!!
On the Shute I managed to hit a rock and be guided into a gully, causing me to topple into the ditch and go down on my right knee! Ouch!, after a few moments I carried on in a bit of agony, bit of blood and ripped knee warmers!
In summary the course was once a again, fun, scary in places a few climbs and plenty of rocks!! I had decided in my head that if I was far enough in front is was going to just ride the b lines, but if they were on my tail I would get over my off and ride the Shute, which was significantly quicker.
3pm arrived and it was race time. Bang the gun went and for the first time ever I lead out of the arena!! Am I getting better at starting ???? I wanted to be first into the first technical singletrack, because I knew I could ride it without dabbing. The lap was un eventful really, a few minor waits in a few places but generally no problem, on coming into the arena a quick wave a shout to my little cherubs and I headed off on the second lap, knowing that I had a little gap. So all i wanted to do was get around with no mechanicals or offs and maintain my lead. This I successfully done and came home on first place! Aha! Now I can relax and enjoy the rest of the weekend supporting Hali-Rae in her race and phil.
After the podium and on getting my fantastic prize, 2 rocket Ron 29er tyres!! It was on to XCracer.com to support the kiddies race. Also the bouncy castle provoked to be a great hit with the youngsters, great idea.
The kids race was great three separate races on a very technical little loop. Amazing to see the under tens and twelves descending at speed!! Well done to all and especially racey Rae who completed her race without round the course assistance. Becoming very independent! Wonder where she gets that from?
Saturday night was really chilled, karaoke, disco, bar, atmosphere. Nothing else needed in a field in the middle of nowhere!
Sunday morning was chilled, I went for a six mile run, then pottered about with the kids until the women's race. I then took my little girl down to down to brown to watch the hard core women racers and the unfortunate ones that took tumbles!! We then came back up for daddy to get sorted for his race.
One o clock soon came and Phil's race was under way. He didn't have his usually start and was third going into the singletrack, he managed to get in the lead on returning to the arena, but there were riders right on his wheel. The second lap he managed to gain a gap, but on the third lap he succumbed to a jammed chain and lost a fair amount of time and gained about 100 burst blood vessels from fretting!! Once fixed the chase was on, he had to go like hell to get back past the five riders who had passed him whilst fixing his bike and who were now all nearly at the top the climb! He pushed hard and by the end of the fifth lap he just overtook first place under the arch, he pushed on hard and knew he needed to shake him off on the long climb. He managed to do this and came home about 20 seconds ahead.
So mission accomplished for him and thankfully a nice calm 8 hour drive home!! A bit frustrating to have lost all his gains by a jammed chain, but thats racing at the end of the day!
A massive well done to Maddie, jay and the full sussed crew! Amazing weekend! Can't all the national rounds be like this one???? Nothing could be faulted!!
Finally thanks to my our sponsors