Sunday 24 August 2008

Sunday 24 August 2008 - Canberra 8hr Ride Report (Whisperer)

[via Whisperer]


While SUAR was having fun at our home of mountain biking, the legendary ONR, I was in Canberra at Mt Stromlo for the last round of the working week 8 hr series.

This was a 14km circuit based on the ‘Red’ loop of the Scott 24hr, included a 5km climb and then the ‘beginners’ downhill course, with lots of sweeping corners, berms, and overall made up of 90% singletrack. It was very technically challenging, ‘loose’ – fine gravel in the sweepers, and lots of rock. You could say it was challenging!

I drove down on Saturday with John Evans (Carl Groover of Nobmob), and we met up with Steve Knight and Bruce Oscroft. Another Nobmober – Matt, met us down there.

We camped overnight, it was cold but fun. 24 Solo was shown in the big marquee tent, and was very inspiring – the story of Craig Gordon winning the 24 solo world champs in the US, beating Chris Eatough.

As always great to have friendly banter round the camp.

The race started well, 8am, 400 or so riders, with 118 solo, and some lesser number of team riders on the course at any one time. The field spread out pretty soon, and circulated well. I had a good race, pacing myself well to my objectives, getting to the end in ‘good’ shape and avoiding cramps. Kept my heart rate below 80% most of the time, averaged 75% (143) over the 8 hours, didn’t cramp and had enough fuel in the legs for another lap. But.... the short travel bikes really meant hard work on the downhill track descent, and the rest of the time it was either pretty technical or open and gravelly, meaning pretty loose. As Steve01 commented, good practice for drifting & sliding around!

So I did 8 laps and had time to get in and do a 9th, but my right knee was starting to hurt, my ass was pretty raw, and then I got a slash in my back tyre about 2 km from transition. Too big for stans to seal – it just sprayed out, so I stopped and stuck a tube in. Still got in 3 minutes before cut-off, but called it a day, rather than do damage to my knee or ass. John was a legend as always, keeping his steady swift pace for 9 laps. Although he came 25th in the open solo class of 118, he was 5th in the masters age group. (I was 41st/118, and 9th/25 in masters age group). Considering the field had some serious elite riders, we were both pretty happy with that. Steve did 7 laps and Bruce 6, both good efforts.

Happy Whisperer at the end

Stromlo circuit (an old satellite photo, much greener now)

Elevation – pretty steep eh...



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