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The weekend weather forecast had been foreboding, but reports from Wingello indicated it wasn’t looking too bad on Saturday afternoon. After waking to heavy rain early Sunday, a quick check of the BOM radar and the NOBMOB weather page convinced me that heading off into the wet darkness was right thing to do.
The BMCC has released a proposed Master plan for the eastern Blue Mountains escarpment including Knapsack Gulley and Yellomundee Regional Park as well as Yellow Rock. Please take time to invest in their very short survey and propose more cycling infrastructure including the reopening of the old Glenbrook tunnel. https://bluemountainshaveyoursay.com.au/seemaste...
After being happy with last years result but feeling I could do better, I immediately ramped up my training. I joined a group of roadies and trained with them during the week and rode the mtb on the weekends.
The training definitely paid off as my results show.
With a hectic work schedule over winter I was looking forward to my 3rd 50km Kowalski Classic and a weekend away in the nation's capital. Having the race postponed was a good thing for me and allowed a full recovery from a rather nasty flu in September.
I'm kinda glad the race got postponed as I couldn't imagine riding the trails last month after that amount of rain they've had in Canberra. Overall the trails were in really great condition, some entry points were a mudfest with really soft energy sapping mudfest.
My time is about the same (1 minute slower) as the time I did my last half Kowalski in 2014, but my overall position improved from 133rd to 83rd and my category position improved slightly from 26th to 23rd. Next year I will aim to be in the top 20 for my category.
The Kowalski Classic is one race in the year that I really don't like to miss. The amount and quality of singletrack really make it unique and also perhaps the toughest race on the calendar. After a long wet winter I had almost no time on the mtb but I had been doing plenty of road km's in preparation for the Tassie 3 peaks. So I was pretty fit and raring to go! No excuses this time!
After the late transfer from a wet Mt Annan to Awaba, a wild, wet and windy Friday night in Sydney had me thinking it would be a rough day. Obviously many others did as well, as the field was pretty thin. Hadn't been to Awaba for a few years, so rode the first lap blind. At my pace that's not too much of a drama. Decided to save the knees a bit by taking what I now know to be the much longer B line up Camelback the first time, but lost a lot of time and spent most of the rest of the first lap catching up to those that I had been riding near.
It was a rather cold start to the day with the car showing a minimum of 4.5 degrees on the drive up to ourimbah and it had me considering why I was doing this again. But when I got to the trail I caught up with Daniel (my team mate) and fatboy. Daniel and I performed a recce by discussing the trail with other riders as neither of us had ridden it before. In hindsight maybe we shouldn't have done this as everyone made out the drop zone to be worse than what it was and made Daniel and I think about taking the b line, shock horror.