"You've never really ridden a mountain bike until you've raced one!"
Lowdown on the 2007 Gravity 12 hour mountain bike event.
"You've never really ridden a mountain bike until you've raced one!" A happy snap.
Event: Gravity 12 hour
Team: Male Pairs "Ziggy and Zaggy get Zippy"
Riders: Camo (9 laps est. 121 Kms) and Craig (8 laps est. 108 Kms)
Circuit: roughly 13.5 KMs (according to organisers)
Results: if you really care then you're missing the point
What a circuit! Every course is different but they all amaze me at some point!
"Named sections (by organisers)"
- Two hairpins, then three more (just in case you needed to wash of some of that speed) before the final hill-climb where you're hanging your head and chest over the handlebars trying to keep the front wheel down on the ground. After grinding for about 20 metres you get a moments rest before Demon Descent.
- Crank it up and ride it out. If you're "lucky" you may still have some spped when you hit the short pinch hidden away around the corner. If not, say "Hullooo triple!" unless you still have legs for some serious stomping. Followed shortly after by a second unnamed and easier lucky dip, just before Death Gully.
- The "A-Line" essentially drops off the side of the top of a ravine. A few handy "ECO tree-roots" are placed so as to prevent erosion by preventing your traction as you drop down a 60-70% gradient and approx 5 meters to a thankfully wide bridge. "B-line" also available for sissy-boys like Camo...
"Sections I named"
- First serious little pinch after you exit the starting paddock
The Ramp Up
- A nice smooth flowing singletrack section where you can crank it up in the big-chainee and warmup for the cannonball run
The Cannonball Run
- A straight-ish series of dips weaving in and out of trees on a moderately steep slope. So easy to build up a LOT of speed but watch out for those trees!
- A moderately fast section featuring the biggest berm on the circuit, and that eventually leads you to Heartbreak hill.
- Right after Heartbreak Hill. Rough-as-guts heavily rutted screaming descent in the big-ring, but again - watch out for those trees!
- At the end of a long section of firetrail at the bottom of Demon Descent. A two parter climb featuring two gradients. The 2nd making you grovel again.
- A short sharp climb at the end of a small gully, shortly after Lucky Dip 2. A small bridge and some obstacles ensure you get no run up at it at all. After briefly flattening out, it is conveniently (not) followed but a long gradual climb.
- Not sure where the water came from that made this small mud-section, but eventually the amateurs made their own "B-Line" around this one. Sooks!
- a series of dips and berms before and after The Plunge but before the long gradual climb that includes Grinders Dip, and including Muddy Waters. The first decent bit of speed you can punch out after Lil Heartbreaker and Death Gully.
- An "A-Line" after a dip (with a small bridge at the bottom) where you can save valuable seconds buy stomping over the lip at the other side.
The Grind Of Shame
- The final climb back to the timing tent, where many sponsored teams had set up their flash pavilions. Here, as you burn the last of your bickies, hordes of onlookers comment and pass judgement on your supposed form and ability as they recline sipping ice-tea in the shade. Sleek and tanned pro-team riders are given massages and pedicures. Children point and ask "Why is his bike slower mommy?". Then finally as you pass by the last villa you see at last, through your sweat-hazed vision, the timing tent as it comes into view, and you wonder where your pairs buddy is, and if you'll have to do a second lap...
Other highlights come to mind such as;
1) Cams half-lap in the rain (lucklily my prayers to the weather-gods were answered before my lap began)
2) Cams last lap in the dark with twin night lights mounted on helmet and bars (alas the fickle will gods was unkind to me and I missed out on a final night lap)
3) No BIG crashes by either of us (amazingly), but for the record, apparently Cam did crash once, into a small tree on the first lap. Not sure if the tree survived...
1) my deteriorating gears - by the end the response-lag of my rear derailieur had blown out to minutes!
2) Cams gear trouble, tent trouble and timing trouble
"SHOW SOME ENTHUSIASM BROTHER!"