Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mt Perry Gold Rush

Mt Perry is one of the MUST DO events on the south east Queensland mountain bike calender. I was kicking myself last year for not doing the race and there was no way I would miss it this year.
For those not knowledgeable in things geographical, Mt Perry is located...........er.........pretty much in the middle of nowhere, about 100km to the west southwest of Bundaberg is the nearest bearing I can give.
After loading enough provisions for three weeks for our three day camp into the mighty Prado we set off for Wolca Reserve not knowing quite what to expect. Five hours later we found a pleasant campground sporting flushing toilets and HOT showers! She who will be obeyed was most pleased.

After a sighting lap with Sparky (Chickendrinker's teammate) I was thinking "what have I got myself into"? It is technically a fairly challenging  eleven kilometre track, quite apart from the 280 metres of climbing per lap! I decided to go back out later in the afternoon to session the last few kilometres of track and calm my nerves, which was an excellent idea!

The night crit was interesting to watch as the kids enjoyed themselves and then the elites absolutely blasted around the one kilometre course.


Elite night crit start line.

After a night in the tent with kids, my sleep surplus was a thing of the past. Oh well, just work with what you have I tell myself.


The Daisy Hill Wednesday Morning Crew.

For the start I decide to try to postion myself toward the front in this mass start. With 300 riders entered, although not all on the track at once, it would save a lot of effort in the early stages to be ahead of as many people as possible. So it was that I found myself about four rows back from the start, with Sparky two rows in front of me. It was nice to have a familiar face close by and as it turned out, close by is how the opening lap panned out!


Start lap.


Sparky is just out of shot on the right here and I am leaving a safety margin to the next rider? Isn't this meant to be a race? I caught up to Sparky on the first climb and decided to sit on his rear wheel as his pace seemed about right. At "Hilltop Hooligans" I felt I could go a little faster and put a pass on him. He soon returned the favour just after "Fat Cow Highway". I cannot remember where I re-passed Sparky, but coming into the last kilometre or so I was in front again, but coming under attack.


This is about 100 metres away at the nine or ten km mark.


Less than a kilometre to go and he is right on my wheel!

Coming down through the last 500 metres of track I came up behind two slower riders and instead of calling track, slot in behind. Sparky (Graeme) calls track, flies by so fast he nearly parts my hair forward and I realise my rookie mistake and call "Track Right" and charge off after him but he is absolutely flying! It was quite impressive to watch. We crossed the line,"tagged" our teammates and pant like overworked cattle dogs, all the while grinning like idiots! In the wash up, Sparky put in a 36m:57s lap to my 36m:59s lap! AWESOME. How much fun is this race within a race?


Checking our lap times on the monitor.

From here it was a matter of resting a bit, filling the water bottle and trying to take in some energy food in what was the shortest 38 minutes, before Andrew came back in.



Laps two and three were a lot of fun. I pushed as hard as I possibly could and felt like I was scorching around the track, but in reality I think I was slowing on the climbs and making up time on the descents as I got to know the track better. Laps four and five were a painful grind on the way up the aptly named "Punisher", until "Hilltop Hooligans" again loomed large and the track pointed down for a while. On my fifth lap I was pushing the six hour mark, but was determined to get Andrew (sorry mate!) out there again for another lap. After 55km and nearly 1400 metres climbing at my own personal maximum intensity I think this photo shows best how I felt about Mt Perry.


Bloody hell that was FUN!!!!!

Team Framebusters managed ten laps in 6h:34m:28s, which put us in 12th place out of 33 in the two man teams. A huge thanks to my teammate, Andrew, who put in consitently quick laps and kept coming back in from his lap smiling!

The Monday finished up with a family cruise around the Mt Perry countryside with a look at an old gold mine and a railway tunnel that is now part of a farm road. The finish was beside a BBQ at the Mt Perry pub for the best tasting self made steak sandwich known to man!








 

Lucy smashing a huge hill on the Monday cruise! No wonder she was hungry when we got to the BBQ!


Chriss4242 and Lauren on the cruise.


Some horses along the way. Notice it is careful not to get too close to that hungry little girl.

After loading up and joining the procession back to the rat races, we all reflected on what a wonderful weekend we have just experienced. I had a blast riding in the race. The track was just good fun. The kids had a blast riding around the campground with their new friends all weekend and it is almost a given that they will be riding in the Dirt Dash next year. We will most definitely be back. Well done to Mike and all of the crew from Grindin' Gears that made the Mt Perry Gold Rush such a well run reality.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Flyboy!
    It was a fabulous weekend! It really was 'just good fun'!
    And the Sunday cruise just seemed to be the right way to bring it all to an end!
    Your Lucy has uber cool ST skills. I had many smiles while watching her descend in her 'attack' position! Just wonderful. Jaman will pass the photos on to you!
    Wonderful to meet you and your family!
    Miff ;-)

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  2. Thanks Miff
    Very nice to meet you too! Lucy had a massive grin on her face for most of the ride. There were just a few small looks of consternation toward the end, but 28km for an 8 year old is huge! I am very proud. Any photos will be gladly accepted too.

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