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the first fling has me feeling f.........

the pedaling donkey's picture

By the pedaling donkey - Posted on 09 November 2015

Re: This ride meeting: 
Highland Fling 2015
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Half - Men

Hiya all, josh here

Being that, this be me first fling, having no idea what to expect, to me was a huge bonus allllllllthough
my first thoughts of this race was it will be hoot, not easy but not mega hard. But then i started to read and look into this fling thing in the highlands and ummm errrrr its reading a-lot harder than i thought.

Well as i corolla'd along the humourless hume at 5am ish, constantly yawning my head off, the only thought process running through my pea brain still was hard can this be and geeez I wish I had taken up the offer from jp and his posted training runs (sadly saturday work rules) pick his brain, do the kays, do the climbs

so here it is, a chilly 8th of November and i am one of many peddaling away at 8:00am ish full of nerves
Now after my obligatory pre-race dump , a good position in the starting chute, all things were sweet & I was chuffed.
Im a notorious slow starter but happily & quickly found myself amongst many that had great speed, up and down through the hills.
After a wee while we had of course settled and got into the rhythm of racing on the sometimes sketchy rocky roads, watch out for the big bumps.... watch out for the water bottles just after the big bumps laying across the road

By now I had now found myself a few racing targets
One was a guy wearing zebra lycra, not hard to miss, the other was a girl in holden lycra ( louisa lobigs i think )
They were simply just that wee bit faster but i had them in my sights, my targets and as you know, the yo-yo of racing, sometimes i could catch em but the reality was they were just inching away.
Through the valleys and fields we go and cross the many free baths, just in case you forgot to shower that morning. Twas after the second river crossing tho I had managed to remember that todays wardrobe consisted of black tee and baggy shorts, in front left pocket was me lollies, the sugary kind that is, now deeply saturated with fresh southern highland water, they all felt like a slugs even with gloves on ...
if my lollies are wet what about my phone in front right ??? ...... couldn't care less, onwards and upwards boy

I now have a new buddy in tow, Tony D from super masters, he burps, i laugh, he has a small taste of breakfast again, had a cack going through the mud bath! and before i know it, at wingello in an hour and a wee bit into the gig.
Tony eases pass me and bundles up Louisa some 50m ahead ...... they then they take a wrong turn, took a fair bit of yelling, screaming whistling ... they stop, turn hesitate and listen ... and head my way
so off me goes, they will catch me . rolling along, lifes good then as i race across some guys padoock until a man in a skirt jumps out
hey buddy yeah STOP STOP STOP STOPPPP !!!
its the race organiser saying theres cows in this thar paddock , STOP racing , sure no worries i do, doesn't worry me
ladies and gentlemans we have ourselves a cow protest, yeehaa !!! ( but no one mentioned this is in the race schedule )
are they fighting for bovine freedom, is there chicken in choppers, do the cows have guns
you can see the farmer on his quaddie rounding up the herd, theres is now easily 20 of us in queue , some riders are edgy and getting angry
I look around and tony and Louisa are there, she looks shattered, there goes any chance of first place for her
So i guess after a couple minutes, get the go ahead and scoot across this freshly pooped paddock and down the hill into .... a now shut gate errrr do my dodgy eyes say this is true ..... yep so now cause i was first of this herd im now official gate opener too (i can only think farmer shut it to usher cows elsewhere ??? who knows ??? )
pedal on and real quickly i now enter a dark dirty place. I fall to bits, just tired, lazy, clumsy, mentally kaput but fully aware tis a great time for accidents to happen, plus that fantastic twinge in your legs ready to say NO, weirdly at this stage i have an epiphany
i have been on the search for a new bike, a new bike wont help you when your physically & mentally knackered is all i could reply with
gosh it was ugly, then i asked myself the worst thing possible ... how much further???
( no computer thingy )
in some sort of some survival mode now i guess, just pedal ... until those real nasty lil climbs, i waddled
how hard can it be ? ... I found out
Battled on, the twinge of cramp subsided and somehow someway got a clearer mind and wont say speedy a ok pace through the last of single track and thats when the fun kicked in again but still it was all a very long ride home, the legs had nothing ... they could pedal just dont ask them to push
the awkwardness of beer tent had me confused at first but i now get gag and spirit of it all ...
and across the line ( insert a few choice swear words )

in summary your honour the things i learned on a lil sunday morning

thank the organizers
thank the support crew & volunteers
thank god it wasn't any warmer cause i would of been in more trouble
the pace of elites full stop in any category IS astonishing
the folk who do 100kays or 100miles are absolute loonies
i had fun, no stacks, no punctures happy days

the stats are
58 / 503
18 / 98

how hard can it be ... quite
do it again ? ... HELL YEAH

happy pedalling to you all, now if you dont mind time for that beer and the colonel

cheers josh

jp's picture

Well done Josh, good result. Good that you were in the small group that was allowed to continue past the cattle muster... I was right behind you, and it was almost another 10 mins before we got through!

Tristania's picture

Particularly with the enCOWnter, that is a seriously fast half fling time, so well done for pulling out your first fling in that event! I can totally relate to the pain of waiting for the cattle and having all motivation crumble with a buckled wheel last year so well done on pulling through nonetheless!

Fatboy's picture

Very entertaining and well done.

Antsonline's picture

Great ride. Well done.

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