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My Kowalski 100

Black Flash's picture

By Black Flash - Posted on 22 September 2015

Re: This ride meeting: 
Kowalski Classic - 2015

Ok. So it wasn't my smartest decision. But it was my decision. To ride with a crappy chest infection whilst on all manner of "medicine", and completely against all medical advice. But such is the draw of the Kowalski.

My prep had been good, as was everyone else's on the team, but a family weekend away the weekend prior didn't see me finalising my training. What's worse is I returned with an URTI... Bugger. The best chance of riding well was to get as much rest as possible.

Saturday comes around and the boys and I head down to Canberra. God only knows why we need to take sooo much stuff! It was like we were going away for 3 weeks. But I might need this, I might that, can't have enough of these, or those. Guilty as charged! Checked into some comfy accommodation again, dinner at the pub with the usual pre ride banter. Love it. Great mates!

Race day. Feeling crap, but smiling. Can't breathe but trying. Can't let the boys down now. Hit the fire trail for the warm up, pretty clear this wasn't going to be my finest day out. It was only a couple of kms, but I was struggling. Oh well. Will find out soon enough. Caught up with a few familiar faces and some other ride buddies. Good to know we will all be sharing the fun... We kept to the plan, which was to start at the end of wave 2 so as to have minimal disruption ahead, whilst no real pressure from behind. Perfect.

Hooter goes, and we're away, the pace isn't cracking, but it's too fast for my body. 1km in and I can't breath. I'm off the back. I'm now forcing air into my lungs with every accessory muscle available. Until they cramp! Holy crap! Who'd have thought you could get cramps in your intercostal rub muscles? And it hurts too... 3kms in and I'm telling myself to relax and pedal. The boys in the team were good, backed the pace down, but without losing sight of riders ahead. I must have come good as we were all bunched up again. Romper room was over too soon, and stairway wasn't as bad as I'd expected. Blasted down the beer garden, through HQ and straight for the portaloo. Read too much pub food. Lol.

The communal esky was a great idea. Cold bottles and quick food. Not that we cared about timing. More gdays to more buddies, and we're off again. And then I hit my first wall at 30kms. I argued with myself for 6kms about whether to pull out. The boys could see I was really struggling again and helped me through - cheers boys. After stopping at a feed station at what my gps said 42, I lubed my chain (it was noisy, and making me cranky), had some watermelon, some hydration, and 1 single salt n vinegar chip. And boom! I was back! Let's go boys, I'm on point, try to keep up! I confirmed that I must have found @antsonline's mojo, and completely abused it. But it sent me up the trig track.... Just for some more technical track. Sorry boys.

The breathing had come good, the legs were good, the arms, well the were about to fall off my shoulders. At some stage we stopped to help some poor bugger with a broken chain. I gave him my quick link, but he'd never used a quick link before so I gave him a 3 minute crash course on how to use his multi tool, join the link etc and we were away. I hope he got himself underway again.

Back through HQ again, another lengthy stop (not for me this time), and then on up the fire road. Just to hit my next wall... Breathing was out again... I've made it this far, just cruise on through. But, we are a team, and we stopped regularly, just for me... We were at the top of one of the fire roads and this fella wheels his bike up to us. It had literally shaken itself apart thanks to the bumpy trails (my arms were right then, it was bumpy). We dud our best to put the pivot bolts all back and tighten them up. Wouldn't be good to come flying down the trail only to find the rear triangle come off....

We continued on until some big boomer was spooked by the lead rider of the group, only to stop smack bang in the middle of the trail 20 metres in front of me. I yelled at it to "get off my trail!" Only to then look up at a camera man positioned at the jump photo. I hope he caught that on film..! Some deluded rider talking to the animals. But it didn't stop there. With 5kms to go I was now yelling at trees, rocks, everything. So decided it's definitely time for a gel. Recovered for another fun run through the beer garden and over the line in god knows what time.

And so there it was, I stupidly ignored all medical opinion and completed what was for me a very very hard ride. My lesson learned, if you're sick and can't breath, don't ride.

Big shout out to my team mates Doug and Johnno for getting me through. To the organisers. Great format. No traffic dramas, all good. And to the other riders - no dickheads! Everyone was awesome.

Congrats to all that completed.

hawkeye's picture

Minus several hundred thousand for disregarding medical advice Sticking out tongue

Sounds like the trail was great. Hope you recover soon Smiling

Antsonline's picture

Great effort. Sounds like you had a blast, even with the illness. Its a long 100km if you are not feeling your best.

In the prophetic words of the Verve "...the drugs don't work, they just make it worse..."

Once you have done with it, please drop the mojo back to my place. Growing a new one from scratch is a longer process than I have time for!

Brian's picture

Well done Heath. A great effort.

Black Flash's picture

Thanks for lending me your mojo. I've put it in an express envelop and mailed it to you. You should receive it tomorrow. Sorry for the delay, I was enjoying using it for the gardening and other domestic chores that awaited my return from Canberra.


doc's picture

Epic day out.....wavering spirits, trail repairs, mojo found, and awesome wrap. What more could you ask for Eye-wink

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