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.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Gorrick Merida Brass Monkeys Rnd 2 and 3

After a so so year. I decided over winter to do what I felt like doing.  First came the Morvelo Battle Royale, a great laugh and awesome event.  I avoided the first Gorrick Merida Brass Monkey as I just was that keen.  A good job, it was wet and horrible I am told.  But I entered Rnd 2 and 3 each week before as I felt like it and by then had formulated another plan and entered the Rovaniemi 150 more on that later.

Rnd 2 I decided to ride over and met Amanda (training partner and all round decent Kiwi) :) at the event village after a great ride over with the Fatboy Expert bikepack kitted out carrying my supplies for the race.  It was cold and clear and the track was running fast.  After suggesting I would have a slow start, bang we were off and I went out pretty hard.  But the track was so enjoyable I pressed on, the fatty was just too much fun on this course.

I pushed on as the legs started go heavy, I dug a little deeper, but soon a couple in my cat lapped me, but that was to be expected, all things considered.  With cramp biting a little in the second and a lot in the last lap, I slowed to ensure I didn't give away too many spots and soon hit the finish line in 10th, a pretty good result.

Next would be Rnd 3, a few weeks later and after Christmas.  But I had ridden a bit more in between and had decided not to ride over as the weather had been a bit wetter in between, but on race day, it had cleared up. However, tiredness on entering had caused me to enter the wrong race (first noticed by Sam P, when he popped over to say "Hi"). "You idiot Swalling" a slight panic and a few minutes later that I didn't really have that was sorted and I was in the 4hr Vet Cat again.

I rode around the field about twice and lined up far to far back for a quick start. We started and at the left hairpin the fat tyres allowed me to take an tight and fast line, passing 20+ riders. OK, that is a start. However, the Fatboy does take a little bit of winding up and the next two straights I didn't pass some of the riders I really wanted to by the time we hit the single track, "Balls!"

Calmly I waited and pounced when I could, stealing a place here, nabbing a trail position there.  The Fatboy allowing me to be every more creative with my off camber inside lines. Although at one point my speed was far too high for such a move, but fortunately I only took myself. Remounted and was in front of that group by the next single track.

I was loving this race, I had no idea since about the 3 lap where the hell I was, but everything was going well. However, at race pace the fatty does get heavy and takes its toll on the legs, which started to get heavy in the last lap. I lost one position here and spotting some late chargers, at the last 10 meters and squeezing a final hard turn on the cranks, I finished equal 6th. Damn that was close to being relegated to 7th, but I will take equal 6th.  if I knew they were that close I would have dug deeper earlier.

I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed both these races and they have a hidden agenda, as does the long fatbike rides, short sharp CX and XC rides in the cold.  They are all training for the Rovi150 mentioned above.

There is more training to come, which includes a Scottish adventure, my next blog.  But for now.

Wolf Tooth Components
and, Weldite

for the continued support.

2015 will be a little different, but not much. :)

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