Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pig & Whistle Fundraiser

Thanks to Gregg Brown at the Pig and Whistle there will be a fundraising night on Thursday the 25th in the Upstairs bar to raise funds for my World title defending trip to Canmore in Canada.

Last year I raced the race of my life to claim the Junior World title in 24 hour Solo Mountain Biking in the Canadian Rockies. Without doubt the toughest course I have ridden for 24 hours making the most of the wild terrain of the famous mountain range.

This year the event again returns to Canmore and the gruelling mountain course on the 25th and 26th of July.

Armed with knowledge from last year I hope to back up this performance and improve my overall ranking this year. This will be greatly helped by this fundraiser

As it is on the other side of the world it requires considerable amount cash. Some of which will come from this evening at the Pig and Whistle.

There will be a presentation of photos from last year’s event and the winner’s jersey and medal will be on display.

I will be leaving everything out on the course in Canada as i smash myself for 24 hours, all you have to do is indulge in evening of at the pub.

So to all those in Rotorua, come along for a great Thursday night. And to those not in Rotorua, why not make the trip and have a long weekend on the trails while your here.

Things will kick off at 7pm in the upstairs bar at the Pig and Whistle on the corner of Haupapa and Tutanekai Streets in central Rotorua.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Here We Go Again

June is crunch time, worlds rise large and ominous just over a month away. Training is hitting hard and time is not there to waste. The weather is playing its part in making things difficult. In the last month 10 degree highs are the best it has gotten. Last year’s preparation seems so very distant but painfully familiar.

I fear it is some time since my last confession and my sins have not eased accordingly. Although my good for nothing knee injury has been forgotten and none too so soon either. My longer hours have meant lots of hours pounding the k’s out on the road machine. Not only does it make the odometer readings on the speedo look good it is an easier way of getting in 4 plus hour rides.

At my usually 12 hour test ground things went moderately. I blew myself up in the first few hours and slipped into 24 hour cruise mode for the next ten. With the exception of the last lap where let a few taps loose. I felt little incentive to push to my limit on this one and the organisers abusing my support crew did not encourage a stellar performance. Controlled then, a check that everything is working and capable of stepping up to thigh plate, pass.

It goes without saying the arctic temperatures bring the need for more attire when in the great outdoors. But when I am training for summer in the Rockies there is a greater need to wrap up. Temperature adaption is one of the killers when travelling to overseas events, especially when crossing the equator and the height of the seasons. So I’ve become somewhat of over dresser on both the trails and the tarmac. Getting use to being on the edge of uncomfortably warm in winter is not a normal run of affairs. But now I’ve being trying it for sometime, I can’t leave the front door without at least two layers on.

With my decent into to my training, and it is a decent. The time to let my mind wonder on those long hours turning the pedals through a blur of landscape increase lineally. Here is an abridged snippet; ‘was that a bat, no wait it’s a nothing. Gezz only four hours and I’m hallucinating. I wonder if anyone else is out this was on a bike. Is there anyone behind me (quick glance back) no. Well I’m banking points anyway. What would it be like if rode straight on at this next corner, hmm could be interesting. Would be different down there, I could be still. No come on. Quick drown that in logic. (Long interlude of me staring at things as I pass, consumed by my perspective changing as ride past.)

Now don’t fret if none of this seems coherent of seneschal. The truth is that on long rides I can become semi-conciseness, a daze if you will. Referred to in business as “The Box”. I’ve taken the time to make my “Box” a happy place. Now it is more of a sphere and is bright friendly colours.

One point I touched on in my snippet earlier was the mention of ‘points’. Again a hypothetical concept. These are sometimes used a bragging rights. A general rule is the more epic or cool something you’re done the more points. Ride to the dairy and back equals no points. Ride from Rotorua to New Plymouth equals big points. Another rule is the amount of points awarded or accumulated is neither defined nor mentioned, merely referred to in relative terms as larger or smaller.

This is an extension of bicycle riding’s inherent nature of competitiveness. Whether a person will admit it or not, most of the time they are driven by the goal of catching someone in front of them or loosing someone behind. I am happy to come clean on this, I am chronic for it. I see the slightest glimpse of someone ahead and that’s it, lock and load. I will chase them down for all money. Likewise a rider or riders appear behind me I will endeavour to keep them at bay.

Such a situation came up not so long ago. I turned right into a road and a little later a group of riders turned left down the same road. As usual I was by myself and a little bored. So I did something not all together nice and taking full advantage of the unwritten rules and I have mentioned. I did what I like to call fishing. I eased up till they got close enough for them to think they would have me, and then I put some coal on the fire and disappeared out of sight. To my amusement they took the bait hook line and sinker. This cycle repeated three or four times before I felt a little sorry for them. One of the group pulled alongside and stated what was all too clear to me ‘we’ve been trying to catch you for ages’. I acknowledged this fact and he commented that his bunch had broken up because they had been chasing me.

So I did the only thing left to in the game of fishing. I rode away again and never saw them again. Unkind maybe, but I need my entertainment sometimes and there has to be the occasional fringe benefit to filtering your life away aboard a bike.