Unfortunately sometimes life gets in the way; I had every intention on racing the whole Vic Enduro Series, however after suffering though a very muddy round at Officer, and then having the wife rushed to hospital in an ambulance the weekend after I was forced to take a step back from racing, the bike, work and just about everything else in life to support the family that support me though my endeavours. Everything is ok now, the wife is well and truly on the mend and the time off the bike probably did me good!
A Muddy Mess!
Early August saw Round 4 of the Vic Enduro Series take place at Officer, the weather leading up to the event was pretty good, reasonably sunny and for the most part dry however the day of the race, it rained so much so I was concerned my Fiesta wouldn’t make it up the fast flowing river that once was a road. Soon the car was in position, feed zone set up and race number zip-tied on. At the start the small number of riders that turned up were raring to go, the race would be a battle against conditions rather than an actual race against other riders.
Soon enough the race started, with a solid climb up though the feed zone, and into the single track, it soon became apparent this would be a real mud bath. The first few laps were uneventful, I found a rhythm and although not really quick was consistent lapping within seconds of the last. After 4 laps the track had deteriorated quite badly so much so pinch climbs were unclimbable, and trying to navigate the off camber corners usually resulted in ending up in the bushes. By now I was having zero fun, and it became more about trudging on than anything else – coming though the start finish area, I heard one of the marshal’s advise just over an 1hr to go, a little bemused I was unaware prior to this a decision had been made to shorten the race… I managed another two laps, although there was more running than riding happening as the course had become pretty well unpassable.
Final results, I ended up 11th in Solo (mid pack). I wasn’t particularly happy with the result given the small field and the fact I’d given it my all but come up well short of my own expectations! In addition to torture that was riding around in the mud for 4hrs made me question WTF I am doing, and why – I didn’t have fun, the amount of effort put in certainly wasn’t worth the outcome! But hey, you have good days and bad days and that’s racing I guess!
Four washes, and I am still cleaning the thing.. This is why!
As I said above there were a number of life factors that severely limited my getting on the bike during late August and early September; while naturally I did lose a fair bit of fitness it was probably a good few week break that was needed. It offered the chance to gain some perspective and also just go riding for the sake of riding. My goals initially set for VES are now all but a pipedream having missed Rounds and 2, 5 and very likely to miss Round 6 as well due to family commitments; I am not overly disappointed though, Crit Season is now here, and GMBC’s Gazebo series is set to kick off again in December.
Whilst the winter season was a bit of a write off, it wasn’t a complete wreck, there are a few learnings to be had particularly around the effort required to manage cycling / racing with a newborn, and what works and doesn’t – I’ve tried a lot of new things this year both on the bike and trainer, some have worked some haven’t, but most importantly I am stronger now than when I was when I set out these endeavours.
SKCC Crit 05.10.2014