Monday, November 26, 2007


While mens ego's are generally blamed for the ills of society, there is at least one instance where it can be of some use. Some time ago, Jason (No peace be upon him), cheerfully suggested that we ride both the mountain bike race and the road race which takes place on consecutive days. Common sense and prudence instantly jumps into action and loudly proclaims that this is just daft. The ego on the other hand says cool lets do it. Hmmmm! The point is that without an ego, I would never even have attempted to do both races and I would never have been in the position that I now am where I was able to do both. Of course ego taken to extremes lead one into the land of survival of the fittest and the demise of the dumbest but in moderation it does lead one to extend one's boundaries.

So there I was on Saturday morning lined up in the pen waiting for the start when I saw andrea in the pen next to me. She is starting to show that she is pregnant so I was surprised that she is still racing but who am I to comment. The 40km course was great with the first 20 or so being quite hilly with some nice climbs and downhills not to mention a couple of vaguely technical sections. I must have done only about 10km before the leading ladies of the 35-45 age group came barreling past me, it is quite amazing just how fast they actually are and they're not even professionals. I managed the first 20km on my bicycle but the next 20km saw a couple of dismounts - unplanned of course.

The first was a tricky muddy section where the guy two in front fell to the left just off the path and the guy immediately in front of me fell to the right, again just off the path, leaving about 3" for me to get through. Needless to say, I didn't make it and fell on top of the guy on the left thus creating a tatoo on my hip where his chainring made 7 neat puncture wounds. Fortunately, you don't seem to feel these things at the time as much as one does later in the shower.

My next dismount was at the top of a very steep embankment where most guys baled between half way up and three quarters of the way up. Technically, I made it to the top after avoiding the riders that were in front of me but I fell over on the top. Damn, so close but at least all I had to do was get on and freewheel down the other side. Walking/running uphill with a bicycle actually isn't so easy.

Finished in a time of 2:27 which sounds ok until one compares it with Jason who did a 2:08 or even worse, the other Jason at 1:41 - although this was the winning time for his age group.

Sundays race was a very unusual one for me because my legs felt distinctly tired and for some reason I was starting in the C group which is way too fast for me so I let go of the bunch as we rolled over the timing mats. The whole race my legs felt like they just couldn't go any faster while my heartrate hovered around the low 90% which is fairly low for me. Not much to write about during the race, just chased one wheel after another. Saw kim, sage and aldon who had walked up the road to cheer me on which was greatly appreciated. I managed to stick with various groups up until the last 15km which I just ground out slowly. It was great to finish and a real sense of achievement at having completed both races. Surprisingly, my time was 3:08 so my legs seemed to have felt worse than they actually were.

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