Well, the good folk from Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club have put on another great mornings racing with the staging of their annual Karingal 4 Hour on Sunday.
The setup featured a new, spacious race base with plenty of room for setting up your tent, shelter or home away from home. Great prizes like Garmin 705s and new bikes were on offer thanks to major sponsor For The Riders.
Another new feature this year was a dry track! No more mud and carnage as displayed last year. No sir, it was going to be fast and flowing so I thought I would take it down a notch by attacking the race on my trusty fully rigid single speed. Just to make sure I took the sting out of myself, I was saddled with the wrong gearing for this undulating little track. 32/18 is not the ratio for me to push here. FedEx wasn't going to have the 32/20 freewheel here in time and two teeth on the rear doesn't sound like much difference, but it is so much more forgiving on my pipe cleaner legs.
Undaunted, I lined up somewhere near the back so as not to hold anyone up when I blew up on the first hill! It was a very leisurely start with a 500 or so metre roll along the fire road to help sort everyone out before dropping into the singletrack. On said first hill, having only one speed, I could not entertain the speeds being showcased by my fellow back markers simply because my legs would not turn a 32/18 ratio that slowly on such a steep climb, so the only solution was to smash it! So I did for a while, then backed off for sustainability reasons. This was after all a 4 hour ride er....race. And that was how I paced myself for the day. A new toy helped with the pacing. As I completed each lap I pitted under our shelter, changed camera angles, grabbed a fresh water, a bite to eat and had a chat to Chris. All very civilized!
My goal was six laps and I must admit that on my third lap I was thinking to myself, as the morning warmed up, that there is no way I can double the number of laps in the time left. Just then, Shane, the eventual winner of Open mens, flew past me into a corner and gave me a little inspiration. Although there was no way I would be backing it in like he was! Really impressive to watch a seriously fast rider racing, if only briefly.
I continued to roll around, chat and generally enjoy myself for the remainder of the allotted time. In the end I pushed out six laps in about 4:20 with a moving time of 3:30. Obviously taking it pretty easy, but the legs were toast by the last lap.
Please bear with me a little as I attempt to figure out how to use the new camera. I promise I will change the mounting location in the future (unless I receive requests for more ;) ). In the mean time, I present...um... "scrote's-eye-view"! Look away if easily offended.
A huge thanks to all from BSMC that pitched in and helped out with the set up, running and of course the pack up after the event. Many club members choose not to race so as to provide everyone else with a great day out and I am selfishly in the riding group, so without mentioning names, this core group of volunteers always puts on a race day that equals professionally run mountain bike events. Take a bow ladies and gents. Top effort.