Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Linger and die enduro

So over the weekend I raced my first race on the new bike, The NORCO Sight a 140mm trail bike with 27.5 wheels. I had a new set of SPANK wheels built up only a couple days before the race. It was a gravity enduro held in Clyde and Alexander (central Otago). Stage 1 was the stage in Clyde and it started up above the lookout and above the DH track. With a bright blue sky it was nice and warm although my muscles needed a bit more than the 1km ride from the shuttle drop off to the top to warm up after spending three days cutting and braking concrete at work leading into the race, as I sprinted out of the starting gate and into the first section of rough stuff my body started saying to me that it wasn't up for that today so as per usual I just told it to deal with it as theres going to be a whole lot more of this to come today! The track was awesome with plenty of jumps and burmed corners and it also linked into the DH track to really test rider and bike.
After stage 1 we drove into Alex and from there on it was all about riding (no more shuttles) We rode up behind the clock and out into the hills only to race stage 2 down some fast and rocky tracks to finish back at the bottom of the hill below the clock. My body was feeling a bit better this time and I was feeling like I could ride a bike again, until about half way through the stage when my chain came off the chain ring and jammed in the chain guide system I was using. I got the chain free and back on for it to come off again a few more times down the run..... Once I was at the end I had a good look and made some adjustments to try fix the problem before making my way up the next track and even further out the back to stages 3 and 4. 
Stages 3 and 4 had a couple wee climbs in each stage and were on tracks down through farm paddocks littered with rocks to ride over, off or between. I had an ok run on 3 ending up running wide on a couple corners and having to make my own line to get back on track. Stage 4 my chain decided to play games again but this time it just popped out and didn't get jammed still meaning I had to stop to put it back on... By this time I was well down on G.C. but it wasn't all bad as the amazing area and views (not to mention the awesome people taking part in the event) made up for all the disappointment. Every one was loving life even if they were feeling rather smashed from the race or the fact they had spent the whole day in the sun, almost every one had a story to tell about some thing that had happened during the day and we still had a stage to go! 
 This stage was full of rock rollovers, drops and probably the most challenging of all the stages. I decided I would keep my bike in an easy gear in order to try keep the chain from coming off again, I think I spent more time looking down to make sure the chain was still on and found myself going off line over drops and rocks. Once the track flattened out I stayed in the easy gear and peddled like a roadie (110-140rpm).
The tracks were awesome, the event was awesome and a big shout out has to go out to Phil Oliver and the team that organised the race as it is one of those events that I will be returning to for years to come and telling as many people as I can to make the effort to turn up! 


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