10 August 2009

sleepless in the saddle

sun burnt, dehydrated and pleasantly tired. a room of chaos, a muddy bike in the hall and a small pile funky smelling lycra. oh, a few half drunk bottles of lucozade,some very melted brie and a bag of melted/reformed/melted/reformed jelly babies. all adds up to a top weekend of camping and riding fun.

our team, unimaginatively named, NATS Singlespeed + Special Guest, was entered in the mixed category. all we had to do was ride as many laps of the 8m course in 24hrs as possible in a relay stylee.

Simon-riding god and owner of 'the best bike in the world'
chris-sharer of pants and gloves
alex-still in search of the perfect tyre
me-flapping around worrying about the time
and our special guest trio-enjoying a pre trans wales taper

not having ridden in a team before i was unsure what to expect. secretly i thought it would be easier than solo-i was wrong! firstly there's the pressure of knowing that someone's waiting for you to get back, no slowly but surely attitude here. then there's the element of nerves that i wasn't expecting. rather than just being a bit nervous before the start then settling into a rhythm of pedaling and pushing. i got full on race nerves every time i stepped into the change over area. then there was the 'down time' between laps. i apologise to everyone in the team and especially jane for constantly asking what the time was and how long i had before i had to go back out.

however, the pay off for this, is having a great bunch of folks to hang out with and sense of camaraderie that's obviously missing when going it alone. and the added bonus of having extra pit bunnies (fearless lucy and cambridge supporting ali). i know that jane enjoyed this a lot more than siting in a large marque waiting for my slow return and wondering what mood i'd be in.

as for the actual riding, well we were certainly very lucky with the weather. i don't think the course would have stood up to the rain and it could have been a very different event but that's the chance you take. riding on a mixture of chocolate blamonge and a mattress made of hay is what you have to expect and not something to complain about when so many people are circling a muddy field and weaving between trees. there where sections that made me whoop and grin and others that i dreaded and became my nemesis, some parts seemed to surprise each lap!

tactically we were all wrong. a 'handicap' of two ladies, no gears and me doing the first lap. but i think it was this complete disregard of competitive nous that led to such a relaxed (apart from me!) and chilled atmosphere. pleasingly we all did the same number of laps, no-one was left waiting, there was no falling out and despite a few spills and a chain malfunction we managed a credible 5th place.

good work guys!


Simon said...

We're the BTITW :-)

Red Bike said...

Congratulations Kate.

First lap out, thats brave!

Shelly said...

So glad the weather held for you all, a great result :)

Anthony said...

looks like you had a great weekend! Perfect weather for it. Looks like you had a great set up with gazebo, tents etc. Shame riding seemed to get in the way of a good camping weekend ;o)

trio said...

Red she had no choice, the rest of us were quick with excuses of not doing it. She also was so fast on the run that she will be doing it everytime!

Chris said...

Yeah! We were great!

None of the other top teams shared all the riding with the ladies, whatever happened to equality!?

Well done everyone.

Jo said...

Yay well done!! Particularly on singlespeeds! I agree, lack of rain makes all the difference in the enjoyment factor...

kate said...

simon- best running joke in the world ;)

red-they were all much quicker with excuses than me. i will know for next time!

shelly- thanks out of 5 24hr races this is the first that hasn't rained. it makes such a difference!

anthony-weather was perfect for beer and bbq but a little too hot for riding ;)

trio- i have now learnt my lesson ;)

chris- had a look at the results and i think we were the only equal ops. team :)

jo- cheers! a great team effort :) to be honest though on a course like that i think anything more than rigid ss is a bit of a hindrance

Runningbear said...

Well done on the result and staying in one piece, sounds like you all had a fab time too. Am jealous of your adventures, enjoy your work gap! RB.

terrahawk said...

I think you rode past me towards the end of the race and said "ooo nice bike". I remember this despite being almost dead.

kate said...

rb-thanks, i'm certainly getting used to this is ;)

terrahawk- nope, not me, you must have been hallucinating ;)

bettymountaingirl said...

sounds fun! I haven't tried a group thing before either. It sounds more challenging having people waiting for you to get back in. Cool!

kate said...

betty-it's certainly a different type of racing. personally i found it much more stressful but just as fun ;)