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Big Hill Bites Back

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 05 May 2013

Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2013
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Veteran
Position (Category): 

After a couple of years of going backwards with my fitness I pulled my finger out and started training in January with Convict 100 as my yardstick on progress. I've even stopped drinking wine mid-week which is a huge sacrifice. Last year I did about 5:52 and set my target as 5:15 this year.

I built a new bike a couple of weeks ago – a Whyte M109S. It is a marathon dual suspension 29er but not a race bike like my FRM so putting it on a diet was in order. The drivetrain is a XX/FRM combo and I put a set of sub 1300g FRM wheels on. I normally run Kenda Small Block 8 tyres which are quite heavy (and bullet proof) so I chose to save some weight here and got some Specialized Renegade Control tyres which save about 600g over the Kenda’s.

Raceday arrived and I turned up at the start to see the chute full and @ps & @doc positioning themselves to jump the fence to get a good position so I joined them. I ended up next to our own Aussie champ @dicko. The start was uneventful and the ride to the big climb actually felt slow. The trail up the big climb was in good condition so I decided to ride it. When I got to the top I screamed out “take that mother f&%$#er hill” but the hill bit me back just a couple of km later when my rear tyre let go. So much for my lightweight tyres…

I don’t normally carry tools but luckily I did carry them this time as my bike is new and bolts can work loose etc. I needed my pliers to get the valve out which was glued in by the sealant. It took quite a while and even though I was shitty at how long I was taking I did laugh at myself at one stage as my last flat was in 2006 in Coffs Harbour so I had to work out how to actually go about inserting a tube. 14 minutes later I was on my way.

I’d gone maybe 5km then the same tyre let go again. Problem this time is I had used my only tube and gas cartridge! It wasn't long before someone gave me a tube and gas. I fiddled around and as I went to pump the tyre up with the gas the nozzle blew apart dumping all the gas into the atmosphere. Doh! That was it. I spat the dummy and quit. I packed up my things and started to walk back to the big climb hoping I’d have enough mobile reception to organise for my wife to meet me at the bottom of the climb and get me the hell out of Dodge.

Plenty of riders asked if I was ok and I waved them all on but finally one guy stopped and didn’t accept my quitting. He told me he arrived without a Camelbak bladder and only got to race because of the generosity of a stranger so he was determined to get me going.

So after what would have been another 20min of downtime I got going and finally arrived at the halfway drink station in 3:01. I spent a bit more time there than expected there as I decided to go and confront a mate and give him a spray as he had ridden past me on both occasions without stopping. The heated conversation started something like “thanks a lot mother f%$#@er for not stopping to help while complete strangers were donating gas and tubes to me…”

So I finally left my lengthy stay at the halfway with a head full of steam and was now in race mode. I rode well to the canoe bridge where my wife was in her usual state of anxiety when I turn up an hour later than what she had expected. I got the “I thought you must have crashed and been choppered out…” thing. I soon regretted not throwing my singlet and arm warmers to her on my way past with my empty gel packs as I soon heated up riding up that never ending climb on the Womerah Range. I had an uneventful ride to the finish and came home with a big smile as not one person rode past me in that last 50km and I finished knowing that had I not had the tyre stoppages I would have achieved my goal of 5:15 which makes all of the early morning training rides worthwhile.

Congrats to the other Nobmobbers who achieved their goals. I couldn't believe when @antsonline told me he did 4:01 and only got 7th. Those guys at the front are off the planet!

doc's picture

Ah the ebbs and flows of a marathon ! Well done as you would have made it on corrected time.

Even though your hopes got blown away that smile at the end says it all.

Bad luck on the tyres. I choose to run control casings and am pretty happy with them, however the lighter s-works are a gamble for me.

Brian's picture

Well done for pushing on to the finish.

PS. I ran brand new Control Fast Trak front and rear with a heap of stans. I didn't want to have any tyre issues.

GAZZA's picture

It shows that its not always a race against others. It's a race against yourself half the time.
I knew my prep wasn't ideal for this race as I'd had a virus I couldn't shake but had a time and an average speed I wanted to keep to. Although I was riding with Brian for a long time, it was my Garmin and my average speed that I was racing against.

Tristania's picture

Sounds like a rough day, and can completely relate to your fury. Glad you didn't pull out, and hopefully you can get that time up 'officially' next time!


ps's picture

I am running the renegade controls at the moment and they have been pretty good so I think you were unlucky. Shit happens sometimes.

My only advice is to never ever even think about giving up during a marathon. Its always worth putting in the effort to finish!

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