LunarC Mountain Bike Cross Country

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jethro's picture

4th of Feb late afternoon I headed for the LunarC MTB XC event with Andrew my team mate. We borrowed the Wolves Support Vehicle, loaded it up with all our gear, 2 bikes each and a couch and a mattress.

By early evening we were working in a practice lap, good thing too as Andrew broke his chain and I hadn't pumped my rear shock up. After a quick pitstop mid lap we continued and decided the course wasn't too bad.

2011-02-04 LunarC MTB 167Andrew went home for dinner and a sleep and promised to return by 11PM. I had a rest on the couch reading a book, chatted to the neighbouring competitors, had a meal and relaxed. Come 11PM the site was buzzing as the countdown began for over 140 competitors. Andrew decreed I should ride first and who was I to disappoint. Lining up on the start line with all the other cyclists wasn't a new experience for me having raced many times before, however lining up in the dark with headlights blazing everywhere was. the first kilometre was bedlam and thick dust. After that it settled down a bit and I finished my first lap in a fast 45 minutes, just short of being lapped by the fastest riders but about mid field as it turned out. I was so wrecked that I missed Andrew passing through on his first lap (he was doing 2 laps to my every one) and consequently mistimed his return. I had lost some air from my rear shock, though it was still rideable, and my glasses were covered in sweat. I was still pulling on my gloves when Andrew returned and I raced over to transition (right over the track from our position) without rectifying these things. This proved to be a mistake as about 5ks in there were some very dusty berms and i was unable to see the ground clearly, crashing at a low speed. Bit comical really. I washed my glasses with water from my bladder and then found a checkpoint official who had a tissue. I finished the lap in 46 minutes so consistent with the first one.

At the end of lap two i really thought that i couldn't ride any more than maybe three laps. However half a banana, a gel and a bottle of endura sorted that out and when Andrew came in an hour later after his two laps I went out ok. I didn't rush it, just paced myself and managed to complete the lap in 56 minutes. I was happy it was under the hour and I wasn't feeling too bad. I had been using Andrews helmet because he had the helmet lights and it was too loose and bouncing all over the place.

Another half a banana, a gel and a bottle of endura and I was ready on time for the next lap. This time i was able to wear my own helmet as it was daylight and I didn't need lights. This lap was actually faster - around 47 minutes or so. However I was so sore that i knew I really didn't want to go out for one more lap. while Andrew was doing his first lap i went and checked the race positions and discovered to my surprise we were in 12th (from 21 make two man teams) and that the team immediately behind us was the only team on the same number of laps. however they were 20 minutes behind and their average laps were slower than ours. i quickly calculated that we didn't need to do an an extra lap to keep the place and we would never catch the team in front. As Andrew came through transition I called him to stop and explained this. He agreed he would just complete this lap and be able to take it easy. He took it very easy - taking almost 40 minutes to complete (after averaging 30 minutes a lap through the rest of the night). He actually crossed the line 47 seconds after the 8 hours was complete.

And thus our epic adventure completed. Thanks heaps to Andrew (for riding 8 laps to my 4), our wives for "letting" us go, Tony for the use of the Wolves Bike Den van, Ally and Chloe for supporting us and providing drinks, and gels!

More photos at Flickr

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