The first evening of Summer had arrived in true style here in Palmerston North... The sun was out with a few fluffy clouds hovering in the blue sky and a very slight cooling breeze to top it off. I have been riding my bike to work all this week... To do otherwise would be criminal, the weather has been so nice. So today, I cruised into work on my Yeti 575 and had to spend the whole day looking it at in the office, with it begging me to ride it... Soon my friend... Very soon... 5.30pm came and I was out the door in my kit with bike in hand and a big grin on my face.
Our store is sponsoring the MMBC Summer Series, which is a multi-lap short course race at different venues close to town. The aim of the game is to ride your guts out for 45mins plus one lap. After feeling a little jaded for the past couple of weeks, Coach Sadie and I had decided on a week of rest for me, with just some active recoveries... This event didn't really fit in with this plan, but I certainly had no intention of missing out on the fun. I wore my baggies in the hope that it would make me feel a bit less serious about lining up on the start line. In hindsight, it probably moreso made me ride like a complete hoon. I had pumped a bit of extra air into the rear shock on the bike and made some minor adjustments since the weekend, so when we took off from the startline, I was pleasantly surprised at how easily the bike was carrying itself... Contrary to our plans for a week of rest, my heart rate hit the red within about 50 metres the start line and stayed there for the next 45 minutes. I spent the first lap in front of Katherine... The bike handled really nicely over the singletrack along the river and it really only took me that first lap to realise that I didn't need any brakes along this section of track. The second lap, Katherine passed me and I thought that I may have dropped off the back but I stuck there pretty tight, and overtook her again just before the little technical mound near the end of the lap. She was catching me on the flat firetrail sections, but the majority of the course was singletrack and the 575 really had a mind of it's own... I dropped the hammer along the river, hollering and hooning, railing corners and doing fat skidz. I truly believe that nirvana is when you are riding a bike so hard that you can barely supply your limbs with oxygen, but you don't even notice because you are having too much fun... I was having such a blast.
I think each lap got faster and faster, especially along the section of trail by the river. I didn't see Katherine for the last two laps. Trees and shoulder-height grass whipped at my limbs and flashed past in an instant. I was sorely disappointed at the end of my fifth lap to find I'd missed the cutoff by about 30 seconds and wouldn't be going out on another lap. What a hoot!!! We did spot prizes (all really awesome stuff from Mitre 10 MEGA, of course!) and then I enjoyed my roll home back along the river. What a perfect way to see in Summer! May there be many more days and evenings like this over the next three months!!!