All photo's are Copyright of Scott Swalling or the tagged Photographer. (Background photo Scott Swalling Photography).

About Me:

24Hr MTBike racer and general bike rider, climber and mountaineer. Good coffee drinker and cake eater (any cake, seriously, don't leave your cake laying around). Also, I like to try new things that challenge me.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Best Laid Plans and all

On 6th May it was Gorrick 100 time and the Gorrick team pulled a great and not too wet track out the bag nice work.

Arriving not feeling the love and having not chosen which incarnation of SIR9 to ride I bumped in to Chris Noble, Irish (Graham) and Darren Garlish returning from a long lay off. The first two convincing me to run single (it never takes much) I got sorted and was soon on the start line. We started and by the end of the first bit of technical track, myself, Graham Chris were in the top 20 a good start.

Chris was a few riders in front of me when disaster struck, a slightly dodgy line choice and Chris and his bike bounced down the track in spectacular fashion.  I was surprised and a bit disgusted at the number of riders near the crash that kept riding without considering a fellow rider crashing that badly.  I stopped and soon Graham, whilst we tended to Chris we kept calling to the other riders to get a medic. Many rode pass without taking any action, eventually the last rider in this start group stopped, then turned around and went back for help.  She soon returned and said help was on the way and offered to stay with Chris.

Now he was a bit more lucid and had someone else to take care of him, Graham and I said take care and headed off working together to ride back on.  We caught many riders by The Wall, which somehow I managed to clean and lost contact with Graham. From this point on I would need to work by myself to get any sort of result.

On a bit of flat grassy trails I approached a small furry lump on the ground and my heart sunk as I realised it was a tiny fox cub maybe 6 weeks old.  Not knowing what to do, but knowing it had been hit by the front runners I hoped someone would move it, but I vowed to do so if it was still there on the next lap.

Soon I would catch another group of riders nearing what should have been the last couple of k's of my first lap, somehow though as we sped along the fire road we managed to miss the turn.  10 minutes later we returned to where we had gone wrong and I immediately went on the hunt, drawing a few in the group with me.

I had lost lots of time and the effort making it up would tell towards the end of my race.  On the next lap, my opinion of my fellow MTBikers sunk even further, I found the cub still on the trail.  I stopped and gently picked it up, it was still warm, it had certainly been hit by the front runners as there was one tyre mark across its chest.  I placed it a couple of meters off the track and climbed back on my bike.

Quite annoyed with whoever had hit it.  Even if you don't like foxes or animals, whoever hit it should have had enough respect to move it.

I raced on and would pay the price in my last two laps for the chasing back on, where my times where my lap times stretched a bit too much.  The kilometers of flat fire road hadn't helped the single speed times either, but we are racing each other anyway.

On the last lap, Graham caught me as I was wobbling a bit from my double effort and he even offered a tow, which was kind, but I was a bit too knackered now and didn't wish for him to lose a place due to me.

Surprisingly I did find enough to hold off a late charger and even distance him thanks to a technical climb with a super fast descent after.  I rolled across the line in 28th in the 7 Lap event and was pretty surprised with that.

I guessed to myself I proved I can chase back hard from a terrible spot and that there is always time for a fallen competitor friend or foe and any fallen wildlife, a little of respect doesn't cost much.

To Gorrick, another great course and I get why there was so much fire road, weather has been great.  Also, are you ever going to consider a Single Speed category at the bigger races you run like the 100, Brass Monkey Series and 12:12?

Cycleworks, Alpkit and Weldtite - thanks guys.

(Photos to follow) 

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