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Convict 50 on a CX Bike

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By ben510 - Posted on 04 May 2014

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2014
Position (Overall): 
Position (Category): 

I have been reading these blog entries for a while and thought I would try to write my own.

So the convict 100, Well the 50k version anyway.
Last year was the first year I had done it after only doing two 50k races before it, I was a bit turned off by it being all on fire trail, road and no single track, Though I must admit that I’m glad that i did it, I had a ball and did it in 2:05 and I was happy with my time.

Moving onto this year and I thought well I bought this Cyclocross bike not long ago I might give it a try on it.
Thinking I would probably go a sub 2-hour time on my mtb, but I still thought I need to do this CX thing rather than just wonder what it would be like.

Well yes it hurt, coming from a dual suspension bike to a CX bike I knew the descents would definitely not be as fast and with the gearing on the bike some of the hills may be a bit tough. Yes they were.
My main concerns with riding a CX bike was just keeping it upright and hopefully not getting any pinch flats (something I’ve had a few of lately on my local easy fire roads) so I ran about 70psi in the tyres.

I arrived early but took my time getting ready, I rode up to the start and had to put my bike over the barriers to get into a position I thought would be ok to start in.

So I left in what I think must have been the middle of the first wave, On the CX bike I felt like I could have got out in front of the pack on the road, but knowing that I wouldn’t have the legs to get this thing up the first hill with the gearing I had, I held back and got stopped by the masses of people walking up the hill.

I was quite surprised by the attitudes of a just few of the others up to this point, not what I have encountered at other events, A few people that thought their shit don’t stink.
I do agree that people should try to stick to one side or at least off the riding line to give others a chance to have a got to get up the hill.

Anyway somewhere around or just after 25k mark I was doing fine till my left calf decided a cramp would be good right about now, having never suffered from cramps before I just thought I’m not going to let you stop me and just tried to ride it out. From here on my lower back was hurting really bad and my nose thought it would run as well, but I pushed on trying not to let it worry me.

In my mind the whole time I was worried about the last big decent!
Last year I had a ball smashing down it and getting air off the water bars,
This time I knew I had to really pick my line.

During the race I had a lot of encouragement along the way with things said to me like “your crazy riding that thing”, “that looks crazy from behind”, “good work your doing well on that bike” which did help me along the way.

So skip to the last decent, at a few points it was easier to just let the brakes go and just hold on, trying to keep it on the ground and right side up.
Once I hit the road home I thought oh well this is where you actually want to be on a CX bike and gave it as much as I could.
Those really corrugated bits of road really hurt though.
The first rider I passed thought great and jumped on my wheel and let me deal the head wind, I didn’t mind at all as I would have done the same thing, I got a bit tired and he over took and had a go in front we swapped a few times then I dropped him and caught another rider and we rode together for a bit picking up some others.
As we hit the last hill I think we all were feeling about the same, I felt like we all nearly stopped.
I managed to get across the line in front of the other riders I had been riding with for the last few k’s

One of the other riders shook my hand and introduced him self and thanked me for coming a long at the right time to get him to the end.

After the race and presentation I had more great remarks about riding a cx in this race, I had placed first in the CX category with a 2:07.

Would I do it again on a CX…I’m not sure at his stage my wrists and legs hurt bad, my lower back doesn’t hurt as much as did in the riding position so maybe I need to look into my bike setup.

Was it worth it? Sure was!

Tristania's picture

Doing that section with no suspension just seems like pain to me. Glad you got through it though and congratulations on a first place!

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