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.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Eelmoor Crash Fest

It was another round of Eelmoor last night and I was feeling the burn from a hard Sundays' climbing, single speed mash-up on Monday night and a hard chalk climbing session on the ice tools Tuesday night.  Not to mentioned a lob on said chalk onto a large rock that has bruised my right butt check.

Perfect prep, well they are only short and I never expect to do well as they are to build my leg speed and have some fun, and if all goes well do some work for the lads.

A nice warm up ride over with Natty, signed in and met the rest of the Cycleworks crew, some more warming up and it was time to race.  Surprisingly I found myself at the front and not having to do a lot to stay there, not on the pointy end, but first 20 or so and just mooching around there, a few turns of speed saw me a little slow to react, but I would calmly work my way back up to the front.

In the pack seemed uneasy, lots of little mistakes happening and serious lack of talking, quiet as a mouse compared to the E/1/2's.  The silence always unnerves me, knowing how animated the same category was back home.  There was also, far too much dodgy bike handling going on as well, people turning corner in straight lines, others trying to pedal with the bike leaning over too far.  At one point I guy just darted across in front of me, just about taking out my front wheel, then swung back to where he came from almost hitting another rider, WTF?

In the corners I had people lean on me about 3 times, but stayed calm and most times opted to hold a tight inside line, knowing that most can't hold these lines at speed (maybe 15 riders in our cat can).  This was evident as one guy tried to come up inside me with no call and me with no place to go, suffice to say I had a few words as did the guy next to me, as he would have been next on the ground.

Despite all this it was mid race before of the top corner there was the first crash, fortunately I was tight on the inside and manage to scoot pass and ended up right near the front, but back off to fall in about 10th wheel.  The race progressed with more of the same and I was staying comfortably with the bunch.  A few turns of speed, made me work, but I now think I know what works best for me.

on the last corner of lap 4 to go (or there abouts) I am not sure what happened, but I missed the sprint, it was a fairly hard one, I had got a bit caught in the middle and towards the back of the bunch and missed a gear.  It took me the entire start/finish straight to get back on and pull a few others back.  As I rejoined the group at the top bend the inside line was clear, so I called and darted into it and appeared on the other side about 3 wheel, with Jack alongside me. I stayed there for a little while, made the bottom corner and then sat in a bit.  We rounded the top corner again and a similar scenario played out, not quite 3 wheel, but managed to work up the outside towards the front again.

On the last lap I was going to use the same tactic, hold the tight line off the top corner as everyone sweeps left and then stay right and try to get near the front for the last bend.  The corner went to plan, but then there was a touch of wheels and a bunch of riders went down. I slammed on the brakes and ended up on the grass, and slid to walking pace, I had a quick look back and as many seemed to be getting on their feet I finished the race at a casual pace.

All the Cycleworks guys where OK and only young Calum had gone down badly, but he wasn't badly hurt at all, everyone else had missed the crash and Nick K had gone for a roll in the under growth.  Once lad still lay on the ground, with some minor head injuries and maybe a broken collar bone, but I am told he was conscious and talking when pop in the ambulance. Good show youth and mend quick!

Jack and Mike, managed to grab 4th and 5th, I believe which was impressive as they had done a massive amount of work in the race.  Maybe next week now that I seem to have some leg speed I can help out a bit more and give them a break.  We will see.

Weldtite TF2 Aerosol Spray

As some may know Weldtite have got behind me for this year and one of the great products I have been given is the TF2 aerosol.  This is one of the best lubricant products I have ever owned, if not the best.  In the bottled form it is great, but in the aerosol it is just so damn handy.

TF2 Aerosol Spray with Teflon® Surface Protector (400ml) thumbnail 

Why? Simply put, it does all the things the bottled TF2 does, but without needing wiping off or making a mess.  In particular it has been great at my endurance races where having the ability to give the drive train a quick spray to lube it again if much easier than the faff of a bottle.

Also, I find it much easier to give the springs in my pedals a spray with the can and get it actually on and into the springs rather than it dripping ever where and needing a wipe off after.  The little red pipe for the nozzle extension certainly comes in handy as well, allowing you to get to parts in difficult places, like mech springs, without covering you bike in lubricant.

How well does it work?  Every bit as good (extremely good) as it's bottled little brother, which I also use religiously on my chains when maintenance speed is not critical.  It repels water well, penetrates well and does not attract a lot of foreign bodies to the lubed surface, if any.

Top Tip: it can be used as a more gentle WD40 also, for those bits you forgot to lube or grease properly when you last had them off the bike or car.

I can't recommend TF2 products enough, I have used them for a while and I have never been let down.