Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Not just a mountain biker

As some people know I grew up riding motos from 4years old to about 11. Last winter I bought myself a KX125 to play around on and do a few trail rides for fun and do something a bit different while keeping my skills up. I decided a couple months ago that while there are not many Gravity Enduro races on at the mo, I would have a crack at some Moto events.  As I seem to do, I jumped in the deep end for my first event. I decided to do the first round (of three) of Sean Clark's Dirt Guide series, Sean lives in just down the road from me and is well known for his events being well run and rather tough!!!
The first round the tracks were a little slippery (after some rain over the days leading up) but still all ridable, these races are a two hour race with the flag dropping at the two hour mark so if you come through at 1hr59 you get to go out for another lap.....
I had only been on the moto a few times in the months leading up to the race and I was about to find out just how tough these events really are! As I signed in at rego they gave me a number to put on my bike, I looked at it and thought to myself "101 Ben Townley and on a Kawasaki!" (Ben was a couple years younger than me at school and he rode a Kawasaki, he also went on to be one of the best riders in the world!!!)
I had a good start sitting mid field and felt pretty good for the first couple laps (about 20km per lap) Lap three I started to feel tired and week in the upper body and started to have some stupid crashes which made things worse for my "weak upper body" having to pick the bike each time. I stopped in the pits to full up the petrol tank and have some PEAK FEUL ESPRESSO  gel and asked the guy giving me a hand how much time there was, he replied: we are ate 1hr50 so you will get the next lap in! I thought OH F#*K....... ok a bit more gel in and off I go. I had a whole bunch more "stupid weak" crashes that lap, getting stuck under the bike down a bank and ending up with some nice blisters and a good ol bone bruise on my knee finishing well down in the field but placings (good or bad) didnt bother me, I wasnt there to try and win I was out there to enjoy and challenge myself and see what this type of racing is all about and if I like it. In all the years I have raced in mountain biking I have finished some races totally blown and with no energy but I have never felt that trashed! I was so tired and sore I couldnt even push my bike around behind my trailer and load it by myself, Although looking back at it (in a sick and twisted way) I loved it and really enjoyed pushing myself like that I decided to do the rest of the series.

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