My first lap went pretty well, although the dry tracks meant that there was no traction around the corners and there were a couple of tight turns where I messed up a bit.
The second lap was the same course and I was fairly consistent, the third was a slightly longer lap with loads more pedaling, where fitness really comes into your success – that was probably my worst lap.
So, a good result overall but loads of room for improvement and lots of things to work on for my next race!
At the weekend my daughter Sienna found a stick insect in our living room. It was on our TV remote, tiny and wobbling from side to side. Incidentally no one is sure why they do this.
We put the stick insect in a clear container and sienna carried it around the house until it got out and we found a lid to put on it.
I told Sienna about how she was going to have to keep it safe in the container, opening the lid to give it air and that she would need to feed it. What an earth do stick insets eat though? I hadn’t a clue!
It turns out they eat brambles and a select few other leaves.
As I went out for a ride that day I started thinking about that stick insect and the things it needed to thrive. It was quite simple really, food, air, water and a safe home. Unless it had those things it wasn’t going to do too well.
Then, I started to think about myself and mountain biking. To thrive and do the best I can I need certain things. I need to train and practice, I need to eat properly and I need to sleep well and I also need my equipment to work (which doesn’t always happen).
In reality how on earth can anyone expect to be the best they could possibly be if they don’t have the things they need to thrive? These may be different for everyone.
Interestingly there are many different types of stick insects in NZ and they are not well understood because they are camouflaged and nocturnal, so hard to catch. It is quite possible they have many different needs to thrive too.
It’s made me contemplate what steps I need to take to be the best mountain biker I can, but also what limits me in terms of my capability i.e. two kids, a fullish time job!
Who would have though a stick insect and a mountain biker have any thing in common!
Later that day the stick insect escaped again and whilst Sienna was looking for it she stepped on it… it turns out wilderness is something else they need to thrive too!
This is three stage course race that takes you along variations of two tracks, Ridgeline and Northface
It’s a mixture between a XC race and an out and out gravity enduro. However, Ridgeline is a gnarly descent and has more ruts than a Russian highway, so i’m hoping what I can’t do on the uphills i.e. ride fast, I can make up for on the descent.
I had my first practice run tonight, which was going swimmingly until I hit a table top jump at about 30KM and flew sideways for about ten metres, before my face stopped me that is. The bike was fine BTW!
Today, I broke my bike. The clamp that holds my brake onto the handle bar sheared right off.
There is always a sinking feeling when you know that your ride has been cut short by a broken bike.
Endorphins are replaced by sorrow and despair.
It’s not the walk back that hurts nor the price of replacing or fixing what’s broken. What causes the most pain is the realisation that you can’t have any more fun, and that your mates are going to go on without you (which is of course part of mountain biking etiquette).
Unless you manage to fix your bike that is, or better still someone else does. Then that empty feeling is replaced by jubilation and possibly even more endorphins than before.
Whilst riding Tina (Tinakori Hill, Wellington, NZ) today a very innocuous crash into a tree sheared my back brake right off the handlebars.
I thought it was all over.
That was until two mates, grip ties and necessity all came together. The result? Something that we could all be proud of, and a ride back down the hill.
The moral of the story? When you need to ride, you’ll find a way.