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Happy Nuts at the JetBlack12 Hr

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By Whisperer - Posted on 09 August 2010

Re: This ride meeting: 
JetBlack 12 Hours WSMTB Race
Mixed Nuts
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

This race nearly didn’t happen.... A couple of weeks ago Gazza got a job out in Central Australia, and had to pull out of our regular Mixed Nuts team. Martine wasn’t happy to come along on her own with us (I’m still not sure how that reflects on the rest of us.... Eye-wink ), so it was down to Ladytoast and me, as Steve01 wasn't available either.
So I called on Lord Carlgroover to take up the challenge and he took it up with great enthusiasm. The final weeks ticked by and try as we might, we couldn’t find another ‘Master’ to take up the challenge. So it was the three of us that fronted up for the race in the masters 4s 40+ category.

Jetblack 12 hr - camp nobmob I went up on Friday afternoon and setup camp next to the creek with a great view of the downhill finish of the loop. The tarp was up, and the riding gear on by 4pm, and I got a couple of good sighting laps in as night fell.
The track was good with a nice mix of single track, couple of technical climbs, and fast flowing fire trail. As night closed in, so did the cold, but a huge bonfire kept things toasty for enjoying a few beers and chatting with the rest of the gang. The night was pretty cold back at camp, even though I was sleeping in my car. Frosty morning at the JetBlack 12 hr I awoke to a thick frost, with some serious ice on the car and anything else with a bit of dampness.

Carlgroover and Ladytoast arrived nice and early and it didn’t take long to get ready. After a few half-hearted attempts to get one of the other guys to start, I knew it would be up to me to take advantage of ‘at least having seen the track’, and making a decent start for the team. So onto the single speed (on the mag trainer), for a good warm up, and onto the start line. It was a good start, and being a 12 hr it wasn’t too crazy, so I got into a reasonable position without having to go into the red zone straight away. Whisperer On Top Of The Climb - All Downhill From Here The lap unfolded pretty well and I came in for what would be my fastest lap of the race at around 30 minutes. (Riding pic thanks to Damien)

As I came in, the pit was buzzing with comments about Supergav scorching the course and had come in first time around in 3rd place. Impressive stuff!

We had a strategy of ‘go out hard and build a lead early’, and it seemed to work. Carlgroover and Ladytoast put the hammer down too, and together we ticked off the laps consistently in the low 30s, and after a couple of hours we had 6 minutes lead over second place. The day progressed and we slowly extended it, 8, 10, 12 and I think a max of 16 minutes at one point.

Riding a short circuit of 10km was pretty intense. We were doing single laps, so we’d do our 30 minutes, come in, cool down, try to eat something – not easy when your system is ‘pumped’, get the legs up, do some maintenance, like oil the chain, check tyre pressures, get gear ready for the next lap, clean the glasses, check the lap times, top up the water bottle, rest some more, get on the warm-up bike and get back up to temperature ready to do it all over again. Eight times. Except at night, you have to deal with lights and all the extra layers as well, and by then you’re trying to cook some proper food and eat that too...

The Red Bull van arrived around 7pm with a killer sound system to liven up the pits, and was handing out Red Bull shots. I took one and had it just before my 2nd night lap. It gave me a real boost and I was off doing a blinder of a lap – thinking "we’ve got this in the bag now, just got to bring it home..." Right then at about the half way mark, my front tyre flatted! I jumped off and gassed it up, thinking the Stans sealant would get me back to the finish. That lasted about a kay, but it was too soft to be safe, so I had to stop and stick a tube in. Five minutes later I was on my way again, but I’d used one of my gas cartridges intially, and the second only took the tyre back up to about 22 psi, so it was a case of being ‘really careful’ on the corners on the way back so it didn’t wash out. I got back in about 8 minutes behind my expected time, so I’d halved our lead to about 8 minutes. There was still about an hour and a half to go, so we kept the pressure up, and the guys did really well keeping consistent times and pacing ourselves to get our target of 23 laps. I came in on my final lap at 8 minutes before cut-off, and Carlgroover went out for the final lap to seal our position. Final result was 23 laps in 12:25:52, a lap and 23 minutes up on second place. We placed 14th overall out of 150 teams, so pretty happy with that too.
As I was getting off the bike and wiping the sweat off (even though it was about 6 degrees), Gav was in the pits and asked if I knew what time it was - "Beer O'Clock" I replied, and I can tell you it sure tasted good!

Some random notes.....
Supergav’s teammate come down sick early in the day, so his race was over as far as placing was concerned, but he was going out and having some ‘fun’ laps. He did a 26-something night lap, the fastest one of the event – well done!
It was really nice having Damien around giving moral support through the day, and snapping off a few pics, and later on I saw Tate (of Nobmob) up on the podium with third place for the open mens fours – team ‘Ashfield Cycles Four’. Having a look through the results he was picking off some pretty fast laps, consistently in the 27 min bracket.
Smiley was there too, he'd put in quite a bit of work on the track leading up to the weekend, clearing and cutting back the bush; and was out there throughout the race touching up the gnarly bits and keeping it safe - good work mate!
I also saw a post from Chica – she mentioned her team was ‘right near the bridge’ – funny we must have almost been Nobmob neighbours without realising it!
So, thanks to everyone, and especially Martin and Juliana for putting on a great event and the best bonfires!


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