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Disappointing Fling

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 10 November 2013

Re: This ride meeting: 
2013 Highland Fling
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

I was so keen to do well at The Fling. My aim was to do 5:30-5:45 which would smash my pb of 6:25. I've been training well and have been coached for 4 months now by my mate Gordo who has won the event twice.

It all turned upside down after last weekend when I took my better half Liz to Derby Day in Melbourne and after a hot day we kicked on with a small group into the night and had dinner outside as the weather turned cold. Melbourne... I gave Liz my jacket (last time I'll ever be a gentleman) and froze. Ever since I've had an infection causing blocked nose and razor blades in my throat.

I started the race with my mate Justin who has done the last 2 Flings in about 5:30 so made sure I stuck to him. I lost him when I got jammed against a gate but rode 42mins with him in sight then flatted my rear tyre. 13mins later after a stuck valve I was going again.

At transition I was in a flap as I decided now to carry 2 spare tubes and hadn't really thought how I'd fit them so Liz & I frigged around way too long and I took off without lube. Doh! Soon into the next stage my chain was grinding as I had ridden in the water on stage 1 and then I began sliding out on corners and realised my rear tyre was losing pressure. Instead of stopping and fixing which I was scared about after my 13 min episode in stage 1 I pressed on and smashed hard to make up time. By halfway feedzone I was totaled having turned myself inside out riding on a semi flat tyre trying to make up time. The rest of that stage was a very black place. And of course when you lose time and go hard trying to make it up you tend to go faster than those around you so I rode the fast fire road sections at the start and finish of Wingello in the wind all on my own.

Got to next transition and as I wasn't doing any good took my time changing into warm clothes as I was cold & wet. This time I lubed and took off warm and riding a bike that felt great so rode a pretty good stage considering by then the 50km field and half the 100km field had gone through and turned it to slop.

In the end I finished about 10 min slower than last year but took away the positive that I finished without fuel in the tank as I always finish regretting I could have gone harder.

I feel Liz has squared away her debt now from last weekend by following me around today in miserable wet conditions and 8 deg temp.

As I write my infection has spread to my chest so I guess I'll be off the bike for a bit.

obmal's picture

I think we had a chat about flat tyres someplace climbing out of the shimano loop?
tough race indeed, but you know there's always next year.

Antsonline's picture

Holy shit - that sounds like a nightmare from start to finish!!
On the bright side, you finished (against all odds).
You also spent so much time pissing around, and it was a slower day than previous editions, that you were actually faster at riding than you ever have been, in worse conditions.

Thanks for the shout-out. I must admit to being surprised when I saw you so early...

jp's picture

Sounds like a tough day out, but you still managed a respectable time despite the delays. Well do e persisting to be end - I'm sure many would have given up.

Brian's picture

Well done on finishing in what was tough conditions.

Tristania's picture

I reckon it's the disappointment that you would have felt that made it so admirable to persevere, I know plenty (probably inc. myself) wouldn't and it's always a good feeling FINISHING properly no matter how long. Recover well; hopefully there's next year!

doc's picture

No mention of cement in there...but on all accounts it sounds like you consumed more than your fair share. Good effort and recover well.

Fatboy's picture

Ha, you're right Dave I should HTFU. It was funny I couldn't get hold of Gordo on Sunday to tell him I'd failed dismally. By the time he called me back Monday morning my story was more like " well my bike broke in half and I walked 50km...." He just wouldn't understand excuses!

Great to see all you sxc guys up front at the start and reading your stories. What a competitive bunch!

Thanks everyone else for comments. Awesome to see the progress Nobmobbers have made in enduro's. Lots of talent! What a terrific sport.

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