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Rock and Road Max Solo 2015

Pete B's picture

By Pete B - Posted on 17 May 2015

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Position (Overall): 
Position (Category): 

As this was an early start I'd written my self a list of stuff to pack and duly went about loading the ute, ticking items off as I went. I once got to a race and realised I'dforgotten my gloves and another time forgotten my Camelbak so now I have a list!

Quick breakfast and large travel mug of coffee and I'm off on the road. Just over 2 hours later I arrive at Rydal showground to be greeted with a 6.5 deg temp. Much more my prefered temperature compared to 30+!

Rego was quick and then time to make sure the MTB was good to go and put it, my camelbak, gels and energy bars in the transition area ready for the swap over at the 80km mark.

There was about 45mins to the start so I grabbed another coffee from the van, had a sandwich and headed to the start line with the road bike. I'm used to MTB race starts were everyone is talking, laughing and generally enjoying the vibe but this was different, there was a bit of chat but no 'banter'- roadies, lighten up a bit, there's no need to take it so seriously! Sticking out tongue

The countdown is on and we're off! Following a pace car, and following it some more until at 6km it peels off and we're under proper race conditions. As we're still in a reasonably tight bunch, there is lots of jostling fo position, shouts of "slowing" "pot hole" etc and the buzz is now high. The front pack scream away and I settle in with a pack of about 10 riders. Pace is good but not as quick as Id like so I power on and catch up with another pack just ahead, their pace is more like where I'd like to be a we settle on a good rythm. They all leave me on any descent where the speed goes above 65kmh as I'm not comfortable about this speed (I must learn to ride in the drops) but I catch up again as it levels off. One of the guys start to pull away so I catch up to him along with 4 others and we're down to 6 of us. I take a turn on the front and the guy next to me is predominantly a mountain bike rider and we start chatting chatting and he gives me a few tips on road riding etiquette - I've never ridden in a pack before, never mind raced in one! We peel off and let the next pair take a turn on the front and it carries on like this for another 30ish km. We catch up with a couple of riders and they join our pack. I'm getting a bit more confident on the descents now and getting used to this road riding malarkey, I'm enjoying the experience and make a mental note to come back to the area for another ride in the near future. A few more kms pass and I'm really getting ready for a call of nature. If I stop, there's no way I'll catch back up but I need to do something as it's getting increasingly uncomfortable. I actually read an article online a few days ago on how to answer the call while still moving so decided to give it a go, I peeled off the back of the pack, hitched up my shorts leg and went about my business without stopping or making a mess - result! Quick sprint and I'm back on the pack, happy days! About 5kms out I remembered from the course profile that there was a long climb so decided to give it some and make a break, I found a comfortable cadence and just peddled. After a couple of minutes I looked back and everyone was dropping back into the distance, the buzz from this spurred me on and I caught up to a couple of guys ahead, they jumped in behind for a bit but they fell back too. I was over the moon with this but hoped I hadn't used up too much energy for the mtb stage.

A couple of mins later I was at transition, jumping off the road bike and on the the MTB, shit this bike feels spongy and the bars are wide. It's a strange feeling jumping from one type omf bike to the other and takes a few minutes to get used to it. Onto the single track and I'm feeling really good, if it stays like this I'll be a happy man, I'm even reeling people in, the singletrack is good and flows well. Then onto to some fire trail, then some more and dirt roads around a logging forest and the hill climbs are relentless some long, some steep pinches and then a quick dash down a waterbar littered, loose descent. My feeling of elation had gone. Fire road cimb after fire road descent was really taking it's toll both mentaly and physically, not only were my legs exhausted but my knees were starting to get sore from all the climbing. A river crossing came and went but left its mark in the form of cold wet feet and and now I just had to finish. I came to the final bit of singletrack which was riding up a downhill trail and caught up to a bloke stretching out cramps. I gave him some encouragement and he hopped back on and we rode together for the last 3km till the end.

Over the line in a respectable time, just over five and a half hours.

I didn't hang around after I'd finished, I just wanted a shower and a lie down but it conclusion:-

It's a great race format and anyone who does a bit of road riding along with mtbing would enjoy it. Yes, there could be (a lot) more singletrack but it's the first race so who knows for next year? Wingello could be good location as there are quiet roads and plenty of singletrack in the area. I'll be back again next year, to maybe better my time but also try and inject some life into the road startline Eye-wink

On a side note, thank you to all who were involved in organising and volunteering the race. Traffic control, mobile phone signal boosters, and course marking must take some doing. ☺

Flynny's picture

Top work completing it.

Very respectable time and placing

Pete B's picture

Full race blog now added.

Bize's picture

I'd not heard of this before. The concept sounds brilliant.

Brian's picture

Well done Pete.

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