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! :) 


  1. aaah, darn it could not make that my best to juggle family to catch you guys at the Endura series rnd 1 - great wee story, would have loved to see you smash a few of the guys on course!