Sunday, August 28, 2011

Single Speed Sundays: Round 3

The Saturday night before the race involved a last minute conversion of my bike into a single speed (courtesy of with Ash and SS parts from David). It was a rushed job due to the time limitation, which meant no time to test the integrity of the build.
It was freezing on the Sunday morning, with the outside temperature showing 0 degrees at one point, but once the sun came out it started to warm up. I took my bike for a little spin 1 hour before the race, and this realized very quickly that I had a problem...the chain was constantly falling off, on every big bump- (which is obviously VERY frequent in mountain biking).
Ash and Brad redid the chain alignment on the bike which seemed to solve the problem at a glance…then it was race start.

The race began with the lined up bikes on one end of the field, and the competitors (most in fancy dress) at the other end with our front wheels. At the random 'go' we all ran with our wheels to reunite with our bikes, and then we were off.

The first lap was a shambles for me, the chain continued to be a constant problem- falling off on almost every downhill. One of the times it bounced off while I was going over a root on an uphill, I ended up falling off hitting the dirt. By the last trail of the first lap the chain had gotten all tangled and jammed, so I resorted to running, and coasting down the hills. On one of the "coasts" I was talking to Tim (race organiser), was not looking where I was going and went flying over the handlebars in superman style…luckily it was not captured on the camera.
I continued on with a wounded pride, and galloped to the beer tent where help was available for my bike.
It was agonizing watching everyone pass me, I went from first women with a great lead to 3rd, behind by about 10min. It looked very doubtful that the bike could be fixed. Luckily for me, superhero Brad came to the rescue, and by using cable ties managed to secure the tensioner.
I was off, brutally behind, but bike was now fully functioning. For the next lap I was on the rivet, putting everything out there to catch up. It paid off- by the end of the beer shortcut I was comfortably in first place again…and a wee bit tipsy from sculling the beer.
The next lap was enjoyable; I kept the pace up to extend the lead and see how many guys I could catch, finishing in a sprint finish.

Very cool race! Hope they bring the series back next year. In the mean time I am looking forward to Round one of the Endura Auckland MTB Series on my birthday- the 4th September! :) 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Karioi Classic

I have been a bit busy with training, assignments, university and work that I've procrastinated in writing up this race report, so here it it finally..seriously overdue, but complete :)

The Karioi Classic is a 46km race in Raglan that heads up and around Karioi Mountain on sealed and gravel roads, whilst incorporating spectacular coastal views. We were exceptionally lucky with the weather, nice cool temperature and crystal blue skies.

There was plenty of climbing that was rewarded by long and fast downhills-hitting speeds up to 70km/h down one section of gravel hill.
I led the women's field from the first 2km road climb, surprising myself with how good I felt. To begin with, I mostly rode by myself passing the occasional person, but once I reached the second tarseal section I was caught by 5 guys. For the remainder of the race I rode with the pack, pushing the pace to secure a respectable course time.

I finished with a time of 1.41hr, smashing the women's record by 9minutes. For winning, my name engraved in the trophy and won a crown with money melted in it, some prize money, and a goody bag full of trade aid stuff.
Ash  also did really well winning the Single-speed category, scoring a great prize- a free stay at an Ohakune holiday house.

It was such a lovely trip, and really nice to catch up with everybody and to share the day with Ash, Katie (uni friend), and riding buddies David and Shaun. Will hopefully be back next year :)

David, Katie, Ash and Rae