Monday, February 28, 2011

Pukete Spaghetti

I'd been eyeing off this event for a couple of years but it always fell on the weekend of another race... This year, my weekend was free, so I trucked off down to Hamilton for a little 6 hour jaunt around Pukete Farm. It had been a while since I'd done a reasonable length race (although for some reason I keep forgetting the 4 days and 520km I rode around the Whanganui) and the running I started doing again this week meant it would test the legs a bit.

It was a beautiful day and we set off with a le mans start (thankfully, the shortest le mans start I have ever done!). The track is really twisty and windy, a bit like the Royal Albany trails, only a bit more open, so it took me a while to get into a rhythm railing the corners. After a couple of laps I settled into a good pace knocking off an average of just under 19km/hr for my first 3 hours! The trail was quite dusty and I think I had my tyres pumped up too hard making the ride a bit rough because by the end of the race, my lower back was killing me (it didn't even cross my mind to stop and let air out of them once I was in the zone)

There were a couple of highlights out on the lap... The first of these called the "poo shoot" which ran along the fenceline and was a flowy, almost straight piece of single track where I think my max speed hit 40km/hr... Lovely! There was also some sweet little berms to rail and even this one really sandy little berm where you could just slide straight into the sand and the berm would just spit you out pointing the right way. There was also this one little dip where you could get up quite a bit of speed and hit this lip that was almost vertical. I kept pushing my luck with my speed on that one until one lap, I got what felt like a good metre of air then nearly snapped my forks nose-diving into the track on the other side (phew!!! slowed down a bit after than one!). It was awesome fun, just corner after corner of sweet trail, although pretty hard work considering it was generally quite flat. I've always found it bizarre how people complain about climbing hills when at least it means you can ride down the other side... When you are racing on the flat, you have to be on the pedals the whole time with the hammer down.

There was another girl just ahead of me and for the first couple of laps, I managed to keep her within sight, but once I lost her, I think she took about a minute a lap out of me and in the end I came second behind her. After about the first 3 hours, my legs started to get a bit sooky from the running and lack of big rides, but I kept pushing out respectable lap times. I finished my last lap probably 5 minutes too late to be able to squeeze another in, but I was pretty happy with my day's riding and a second place result, pushing out just under 100km in about 5 hours and 40 minutes. Off to Karapoti next weekend! YEEEEEOOOOW!!!

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