Sunday, April 15, 2007

Beechworth SHITS

Beechworth is what, 3.5 hours away? Yeah, that's what I thought as well. Left home at 5.30 on Friday, thinking I'd be there at 9 for a good nights sleep, however it wasn't to be.

Made a stop in Donnybrook for petrol, and got sucked in by some tasty looking roast beef at the truck stop kitchen, so sat down for a roast complete with potatoes, pumpkin, peas, carrot and broccoli - even got called 'love', but everyone seemed to be 'love' so nothing special.

Back on the road half an hour later and the local CFA truck went by yelling something to all the cars leaving the truck stop, didn't understand a word, wish I had though. Five minutes up the road I hit this.

The friendly CFA man had been yelling something about the highway and not getting off it until 11 o'clock. Wish I'd got the message and taken evasive action as the next 8km took about 40minutes.

Plenty of others behind got caught out as well judging by the stream of stationary lights behind me. After about 40 minutes they were nice enough to let us know there was a traffic accident ahead.

Creeping past some friendly officers 'radioactive waste' was heard over their radios, and then a sizable detour resulted. Off the highway at Wallan, way over toward Whittlesea and back on the highway at Wandong. An hour and a half lost and it was back to top speed, arrived at the race site at 10.30pm, in bed asleep (pictured below, yes it's the back of the car) at 10.50pm. It would have been a pretty good nights sleep as well had it not been for the abnormally loud ticking of the clock. Note to self: disconnect battery next time.

I rolled over, it was light, there were plenty of cars, bikes and people rushing around. 8.30am and it was time for business, two hours to race start. Breakfast, bike prep, moving the days supplies up track side to the Felt tent, changed and I was ready to go. 10.36am the gun (car horn) went and we were off, just what you want at the start of six hours, a long steep fire road climb. Take it easy you say, all good until you're caught 100th wheel in the first bit of singletrack, no cruising up this climb, the heart rate was flashing and I was straight in the box.

With 65 other solo men mixed in with plenty of other riders I had no idea where anyone was though so just rolled along at a pace I was hoping I could hold all day. The first 5 laps stayed sub 30 but were slowly edging up, transitions were staying pretty smooth thanks to all the willing helpers stationed at Team Felt, another 3 laps ticked by and I came in to the news that some results had been posted and I was third, not far behind second. Alas, the box was pretty big and I was more interested in how far in front of fourth I was. The laps really blew out over the next three but I still managed to come through about 15 minutes before the six hour mark so had to go out for number 12. Knowing it was the last always makes you push a bit harder and nearing the end I started to, making that lap three minutes quicker than the previous two and crossing in third - 15 minutes down on first, 6 on second and 9 minutes clear of fourth. Dismounting the trusty steed that was faultless all day - thanks MTBPrecision, Industry9, Formula and Middleburn - and my first serious cramp for the day was well timed. When the race is over they're just funny, and all around got a laugh at me stretching the hamstrings only to have the quads cramp up, and then the hamstring go again when I stretched quads. Well done to all who competed, while the course was a blast, it was also brutal on the body. The hands took a beating and are still tingling slightly, the lower back is just sore and I'll certainly be getting on the swiss ball to get some core stability back before embarking on another solo mission anytime soon. The Polar says it was 2515 vertical metres in 6hrs 20 minutes covering about 110km consuming a tick over 28000 kilojoules. Lucky I had that pot of pasta hey Ash.

Again, thanks to MTBPrecision (Industry9 Wheels, Formula Brakes, Middleburn Components), and all stationed at the Felt Tent along with all the other competitors for being such good sports on the track and the Beechworth Chain Gang for a very well run event on an as always fun but challenging course. Although it's Sunday results are already up here. Well done Chain Gang.

Photo Credit Tony Pincan

There were plenty of photographers on course so hopefully more piccies to come. Lastly a little video, sitting at home watching the footy after a thankfully event free drive home, the beating my hands took made an appearance with some twitching, rather humorous. Don't worry about the sound, nor even watching it all, a few seconds and you get the idea but no, I'm not doing it on purpose, it's just...well happening. Didn't even catch the best of it on film, there was real party there for a while with the thumb, index and middle finger all getting going.

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