Sunday, 29 July 2012

Bontrager 24:12 a race report (a very late one)

I had been looking forward to Bontrager 24:12, I wasn’t as fit as I had been but I was hoping my early season form would help me through.

We arrived friday afternoon, we quickly set up camp and I headed out for a practice lap, I enjoyed the course and felt it complimented my climbing strengths. Friday night came and so did the rain, boy did it rain! I woke up saturday morning to a very boggy campsite, undeterred I got ready.
I lined up at the start, we had been told during briefing that a few sections had been removed and we were lucky the race was still on due to the river level almost flooding the campsite! I got off to a relatively good start and completed the opening loop, during the first lap it started to rain again, but it was warm so i didn’t mind. During the second, third and forth lap the course was getting more and more trashed and i was struggling to get through the deep mud with my single speed gear, and I had to walk more and more each lap!
I swapped onto my spare bike with a lower gear, and headed back out, I struggle round again as sections of course were removed due to them being unrideable, I changed the gear to the lowest I could, I wasn’t particularly enjoying myself but I was in 6th so had to continue. I was struggling, i’m really not built for pushing bikes through deep mud and was losing interest. I made it back to the pits and decided I’d had enough, I was going to kill myself for a top 10 finish, poor attitude perhaps but I didn’t have anything to prove, I completed my last lap, got washed and helped out my racing buddy Scott Swalling who was racing the 24hr, I didn’t feel too disheartened and knew I had saved myself from two weeks of recovery.
Thanks again to Dad, stirling pit work as ever, and thanks Andrew for the use of the Mobi Washer it helped a huge amount!
Next race is Brighton Big Dog, then I have a break until Dusk til’ Dawn where I need to get I thin and fast again!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bontrager 24:12 preparation with help from a few sponsors

With a less than a week till Bontrager 24:12 in Plymouth, where I will be racing 12hours solo I took friday off work and visited a few of my sponsors.

First up I visited TF Tuned in Westbury, having only recently gone back to riding with suspension forks i’d been advised that weren’t working as well as they could. Ian from TF Tuned had organised a one to one tuning session with Oscar, he quickly stripped the fork  apart, explaining what each part did and how forks new from the factory are never as good as they can be! changing a few internal parts and resizing the bushes to make  travel buttery smooth, everything was greased and the reassembled. I can vouch for them working so much better than they did when they were brand new, so thanks very much TF Tuned.

Second up I drove over to see Jimmy at Mulebar, one of the most important i’ve learned through the races that I have done is how important proper fuelling is during and after the race. Therefore I was happy when Jimmy agreed to help me out for this season, I picked up a few boxes of Mulebars and Megabites, I find that one of either, depending on lap length and an energy gel per lap is a good amount for me during long races, but it is not always as simple as that! Jimmy has great some racing and traveling stories and it reminds me there is more to cycling than just racing!