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|Topic: GMBC Winter Series #1|
|Well that was different, and fun. As another rider put it, the whole event was a complete gigglefest.
With a still-sprained wrist from Thursday night expected to make every impact painful, I rocked up thinking I could enter B grade, but getting bumped into A. I wasn't really bothered since really everyone rides the same grade anyway, and was fully expecting to get re-graded into A by the time I'm back in form around August. But that meant me starting off with the fast guys, so I started off by ensuring I was at the back of the A-graders.
A nice pace was set early on, but 7 weeks of no strengh or intensity made it pretty clear I wasn't going to be catching anyone through the flats of Kurrajong. It wasn't helped by my cassette skipping every time I put power down out of the corners. Slowly I went backwards through the field, just trying my best to not hold too many riders up, and using it to work on my new riding style and general technique - not trying to pin every corner certainly paid off.
By about the 20-30 minute mark it was pretty clear the guys I was riding with had already been pushing themselves pretty hard, so there was a lot of me just standing fully upright and coasting - I was in no hurry to pass them back either. Unfortunately it was about then that my first problem hit - a broken chain just before a section where everyone was dismounting to ride up. Out with the chain breaker, snap off the dodgy link, in with a powerlink and off I was again in about 6 minutes.
Once I got going I decided I'd ride up what everyone else was walking - the plan came undone a bit though when I put a wheel wrong, and where I tried to put a foot simply wasn't there, getting tangled in the bike. After getting going again, at the top I stopped to help a rider who's brakes were rubbing - turned out his rear caliper was loose. Off again riding slowly as a pair, entering the next boardwalk I'd produce a hatrick of offs - I was right on the edge from the start, and eventually my rear wheel dropped itself off the edge.
It was all pretty uneventful from there though - rode together, picked up another roadie at the top of Cressey so gave a tow to those two riders, and then dropped them down the horribly rutted Lactic. After that it was around the quarry and up Cressey (where we kinda took a wrong turn) - I thought I'd TT it up the climb. About a minute in I realised I didn't have it in me, sitting at 184bpm and not having even passed the boulder at the 1 minute mark. Clearly fitness still has some way to go.
At top top I sat waiting for the half dozen riders I'd passed at various points, intending to give them a tow back. Unfortunately once we did get onto the fire trail with me in TT mode, the last rider was so stuffed he couldn't even hold 35km with a tow, so we didn't pick up any kind of bunch. I'd take off a bit through the singletrack each time just to work on technique, and then stop at the exit for him to join up again.
For a bit of fun I thought it might be neat to stage a photo-finish - the two of us riding as close to side-by-side as possible across the line. Will the finish times reflect it? :) For anyone interested, I've uploaded a copy of my GPS data to Garmin Connect at http://connect.garmin.com/activity/4562762
Anyway, I think that straight away about blows my GMBC winter series, but it was certainly fun to get out.