Friday, August 29, 2008


G'day everyone,
It's your lone and wayward Australian rancher reporting in with race results. The race season locally is a short one, just two big races, plus a very popular small local series. Folks here will drive 800 miles to a race without an afterthought, and slowly the fire to race is starting to burn, so next season you can expect a few more reports. It is a time-honored Australian tradition that telling a good story is far more important than telling a completely true one, and being in Australia I will follow that important guideline in this report.
Just finished the Herberton 8-hour Race, where I competed in the solo division. I did this race last year, finishing second, so I decided to keep my race strategy intact, which was:
  1. Ride the oldest bike in the field again, to match my oldest guy in the field status. (It's a KHS alum hardtail that Gabe organized for me with Revolution Racing, love that bike Gabe, thanks!)
  2. Train by not having a car, and by rushing the 18km into and out of town at the last minute for appointments and business meetings once or twice a day.
  3. Maintain the bike minimally, so that everyone underestimates your racing potential.
  4. Go to the market and buy a huge bag of bananas, gatorade, water, and other fuel for the race.
  5. Ride as hard as you can for as long as you can, then stop.
Actually, after last year I thought I would get smarter, and early in the race I caught up with the guy who beat me last year, and just hung out behind him for a couple of laps so I figured out that I was faster on any technical section which by Australian standards translates to an American standard of nearly impossible to ride unless you are both highly confident and have great medical insurance.

OK, so there's a few sections like that, not enough to make up big time on another racer, so I thought I would get ahead keep the pressure on him, then get him to follow me at high speed through these sections, and see what it takes out of him. That sort of worked, but then came THE GUY. Another guy in our category, but a superfit guy, in fact someone that has won what's the gnarliest endurace event around these parts the Pyramid Race. Its a running race, here's the stats from their website. The folks that win are usually world class enduro runners. It's 6km run to the base of the mountain, 1km pretty much straight up, 1km straight down, then 8km back. The trail on the peak is really just a goat path.
NUMBERS: COMPETITORS LIMITED TO 100 (For safety reasons on the downhill run)
Anyway, he zips by us on a long flat, like we are standing still, so we both look at each other and give chase. We kept up for awhile then he just rode off and disappeared. That effort, given my training regime, was, by any measure, pretty stupid, I cramped up after 5 hours, and sort of curled up in a sort of living origami sculpture around my bike while rival #2 continued the chase.
He crashed on the last lap in one of the tech sections, but the time I spent folding/folded/unfolding kept me from catching him.
Anyway, that's at least a semi-good story, and worthy of this esteemed group. Here's a couple of pics and comments. (Sorry I am in retro ranch gear, I ordered and paid for a new kit, but never got around to sending anyone me address, is there still one laying around anywhere?)
Pic 1: almost looks like out by UCSB. The second lap through here I jumped off the rock at the foot of the bridge and made it halfway across the bridge in the air, with a nifty little cross up, but the photog missed the shot (At least he missed the one of me falling in the easy S-turn at the timers gate at the finish line on lap 8)
Podium Herbeton Style: Just this pic tells you that these guys whacked me, they had time to take a shower! By the way, everyone races in skins here, I think I caught a note from that Greg or someone sent around. All I can say is that they work, and that probably 60% of racers wear them here. (unfortunately that guy in first had long tops and bottoms on, have to put that on the strategy list for next year.)
OK, now for the glorious and motivating summary. I had a blast, and every time I race I remind myself of how much fun it is. There's tons of riding here, and I am getting to like how technical it gets. If you get the chance to come down do it, where I live is like Hawaii, but with kangaroos, crocodiles, and venemous snakes and jellyfish, cool!
I do wish that there was a riding group here like the CR folks have created. Keep enriching the community you have created, I read the emails and then go out and get on the bike. Remember, every Wednesday I am at the roundabout at Trinity Beach waiting for someone to go ride the Smithfield track!
All the best,

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