Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Dirt series round two

With the wether forecast being right, saying there was a wether bomb due to hit the night before. Its an under statement to say we had some rain leading up to round two of Sean Clarks dirt series race at "old tar hill" a few km south of Tokoroa. The track had been shortened 5km to a 15km loop before we started, we started in the rain and on the red clay around that area it was always going to be rather slippery and hard work to get up some of the climbs. With 103 starters the tracks were going to get ripped up rather quickly. I got an ok start again sitting mid field and slip sliding my way along the tracks holding it up rite, things were going ok until we hit the first big climb. As I started the climb I found a bunch of bikes stuck in the quickly forming ruts and had to wait my turn to have a go at getting up. I spotted a different line than the one everyone else were trying to take and as soon as the gap opened enough for me I had a crack at it making my way up and past a bunch of riders, by this time there were a few marshals including Sean Clark digging at the sides of the ruts so the bikes wouldnt get so stuck..... Once I was clear of that hold up I had clear track and I was making the most of it but it wasnt to last very long at all, I soon found another bottle neck of bikes. This time there were twice as many and the climb was twice as long!People were trying all sorts to make it up including going bush and making there own way up and working together to get each others bikes up the climb. Once I finally made it past that climb I once again found I had clear track for a bit, well thats until I came across a few more bikes stuck on a small but steep pinch, once the pinch was clear on one side I had a crack but the ruts were too deep and I also got stuck.

After a while of trying I ended up working with the guy next to me (who had been near the front until he got stuck at this point), this was the last big climb of the lap although with the conditions and soil type what would normally be simple, had big ruts to get stuck in or it was just slippery and you had to be on your game the whole time. Lap one took me 1hr 15min and after stopping for more fuel I headed out for another lap, the lap had now been shortened a lot more with the major climbs being cut out! This didnt mean it was going to be easy now, as I found out in the very first corner turning off the gravel road getting stuck in a rut so deep my back wheel was off in the air. It took two of us to lift my bike out of the rut before I could get going again, From here I only had a few more issues with getting stuck or cross rutted and ending up on the ground taking about 40min to do lap two (Im picking about 7km) I still had a few minutes left if I wanted to do another lap but decided to save the bike (and my bank account) for another day. I finished mid field with a lot of riders only completing one lap and some not even making that!    
I have spent about 6hours so far stripping and cleaning then putting my bike back together after the 2hr race but thats all part of the fun!!!  

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