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|Topic: Chase The Sun round 4 - in words|
|After a very windy night, we all got to Lysterfield greeted by a strange sight - a transition area with no marquees, and only a few bikes and other bits and pieces lying around the glass. This made perfect sense - the few that tried to set up marquees quickly discovered they'd be going home with a snapped one in its place, and there were enough trees down around the course that it took the organisers a good hour to clear them. This resulted in a delayed start, and the race being shortened to six hours.
Sadly it remained quite blowy for the start, where we went across the dam wall - it was a task in itself just keeping the bike in a straight line, riding all the way across with a fair amount of lean on the bike. While the first two laps were reasonably uneventful, it did start to spit, but come lap three we were in for the real weather.
With rain coming down hard enough to consider stopping for mud guards at the start of the lap, I left it (a mistake), but opted to come in after lap three. Traction wasn't actually an issue at all - while it was raining, and on lap four coming down pretty heavily, it was visibility more then concern. When I eventually stop, I was struck with surprise - it was like everyone had gone home. All the equipment, bags, bikes which were across the lawn at the start of the race had disappeared - as had all my stuff. Eventually after an extended stop I got back out on the track - back in to the mud.
Brakes were the particular talking point of the day. You see, in general, people don't realize that resin brakes disintegrate in the wet. But in this case, even those who did know weren't bothered enough to change their brake pads - those people, of course, soon found themselves running into trees, of which there are plenty at Lysterfield.
The one particular section of track where I was picking up a lot of time due to good tyre choice (Maxxis ADvantage) had to be taken out as it was just getting chopped up, so that was a bit of a downer. But after that things cleared up, the track went from muddy to tacky, and lap times got quicker again.
All up a reasonably uneventful race, where I finished just on or around the top 10 mark, but finished feeling like I could have done another 6 hours due to the low heart rate through the rain. Of course at that point, I was thinking I'd be up for it all over again in a weeks time...