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Fling + a few km...

Fatboy's picture

By Fatboy - Posted on 08 November 2015

Re: This ride meeting: 
Highland Fling 2015
Race Category: 
Full - Men

This was my big comeback event following my crash back in March. I’ve been doing lots of base km over the last 2 months but no specific training yet so came to the event knowing I’m underdone but desperate to have a go.

I also built a new bike during the week and only tested it on the road over few short km.

We arrived half hour before the start, checked in then arrived at the event centre to be surprised at how few cars were parked compared to previous years. Another shrinking event? Not sure what’s happening to our sport but events are getting smaller.

Without wasting too much time I was into the start chute with wife & daughter alongside to send me off. Daughter - “daddy don’t crash and break your neck and die please”. Mmmm, maybe I wasn’t the only one traumatised by my last experience at Wingello.

Off we went and I felt very comfortable. About 6km in we had to wade through the creek and I was already isolated. As I climbed the hill the other side the group of 6 was about 100m away and behind me I had a big gap. After about another km while still climbing I took the right hand turn we took last year and buried myself knowing this was a brutal climb that went on for 2km. Just before the top I started to think to myself it was strange the group in front had pulled away out of sight and nobody was on my tail. As I got to the top I started looking at the ground and noticed there were no tyre tracks. DOH!

I quickly realised I should have gone straight on instead of the right turn earlier and arrived back at the intersection just as the lead group of elites passed. Not only did I waste 4km but up a mother of a hill!

I arrived at transition and my wife knew by my look something was wrong. I told her what happened, grabbed my supplies then off. I had let my wrong turn affect me and was brewing on it until I finished the Great Wall in the next section when I started talking to myself about being a bloody victim and letting minor mishap turn me into a big baby. I snapped out of it on a section of single track I hadn’t ridden before and really started enjoying the ride. From that moment nobody passed me and stayed past. I was racing!

I went through Halfway Hill and for the rest of the Wingello stage just grinded away trying to keep out of that dark place I usually visit with all that climbing. When I came out onto the open road back to Wingello it was windy and I was alone so I waited for the 2 guys behind to catch me so we could work together. After the other 2 took short turns I smashed out 2km or so at the front then soon after dropped off the back smashed. One of the guys saw me and came back to get me and drag me back on. We rode into Wingello and as we approached we rode side by side where we started to talk and I thanked him for coming to get me and he replied that my 2km on the front got him out of his dark place so we were all square.

I rode well in the last loop and didn’t see another rider for about the last 15km. It felt eerie as normally you get held up by the slower 50km riders and ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is usually littered with riders dragging themselves up but I had the hill to myself.

Finally I arrived at the finish feeling very satisfied I’d shaken off some gremlins and had done well despite my deviation. While I was having a beer and a feed with my family the guy I had swapped turns with on the open road into Wingello approached with beer in hand, said cheers, smiled then walked off. I thought it poignant - we share lots of adventures during one of these enduros.

So with only some minor gear change problems and a few dropped chains my new bike had done its job and I’m excited to be back racing and daddy didn’t break his neck and die…

Antsonline's picture

Well done mate - the result, speed etc - they dont matter. You got back on the horse, and got it done. The Fling is such a hard race that just getting round is a huge accomplishment - let alone after a setback like you have had.
Really good work - you are officially 'back' now.

Lach's picture

... to do the Full Fling as the first up event after a big setback. Well done!

GarethP's picture

Well done on the come back! It's not easy getting back on after a big stack so thumbs up!

Blades_Utd's picture

Good to see you back racing. Sounds like you had some good company out there despite the (not so minor) deviation. Well done!

Pyrate's picture

Good news story of the whole race I reckon.

For what its worth I took a wrong turn as well mate, but admittedly not as punishing an outcome.

AND, when I called home post race to let the missus know I was finished (literately and figuratively) I was met with a 'You're alive!' - heartening....

'Well done' doest seem to do your effort justice!

Black Flash's picture

It's not a wrong turn, it's an impromptu adventure!

Brian's picture

Well done. Great to see you've got back into it.

the pedaling donkey's picture

Hey Craig,
Considering your monumental accident was only just a wee while back and now your already back pedaling and back pedaling doing a huge event, huge km's, great stuff indeed, seriously impressive, so well done. A great read too, sounds like your having fun rolling again

doc's picture

Welcome back Craig, that was a great satisfied smile you were sporting at the finish !

Fatboy's picture

I'd like to respond to every comment individually but I'd just be doing a 'copy & paste' as I really appreciate all of the positive and welcoming comments from my fellow Nobmobbers. I'm still undergoing fortnightly physio but am largely back to normal and controlling my pain and am really enjoying being back on the horse.

The last couple of months have been all about training alone to get the km under my belt to handle the Fling. My goal has been completed so I'm going to make an effort to join Nobmobbers on social weekend rides so post it and I'll be there!

Thanks again for all the support.

Tristania's picture

After last year's DNF and the nightmare two years back, it must be satisfying to have pulled through 100% (plus a few extra just for fun) of the race this time round. It hurts whatever time you do it in and just completing such a painful course is an achievement in itself. Well done in not letting the wrong turn get to you, I had to face a similar feeling yesterday and it's hard to keep your head high so glad you were able to put it behind you and keep going!

jp's picture

Awesome mate, well done.

sikllama's picture

I think the mental battle may have been harder than the physical one - I'm not sure how I would have reacted to my daughter saying that to me before the race!

Good to hear you are back - hope you can make the NobMob xmas ride Eye-wink

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