Saturday, 31 July 2010

24/12, The Podium Tales

I like to think that the key for a distinctly average XC racer is intelligent catagory selection. There's no point me entering the most hotly contested races, with the biggest and best prizes. For example, an Olympic gold is probably beyond me. There is little point me dressing up in replica kit and sneaking onto the start line for London 2012. Not after last time anyway, with the shouting, the pushing, the (short) chase and the taser.

No, my time is far better spent reviewing old races to understand what categories have the fewest people and still offer prizes. My palmares consists of
  • 2nd place in the mixed team category of the 24hrs de MTB, Coin, Spain
  • 3rd place in the World Corporate Games mixed team relay
  • 3rd place in the mixed team Nightrider12
These excellent results need to be tempered by
  • There were three teams that entered, but one team went on strike after 2 laps
  • There were four teams that entered, but one couldn't be bothered to race and went to the bar instead
  • There were three teams that entered. We came third.
There is another factor running through these results. "Mixed". There aren't that many women who race mountain bikes so there is much less competition. My training regime for this year's Bontrager 2412 mainly consisted of finding a willing female partner for the race. It wasn't a very difficult regime. I can outline it in two easy steps.
  • Caroline says "How about doing a mixed pair in the Torchbearer race at the 2412? Not many people entered last year, so we might win something".
  • I reply  "OK".
So I attribute my first victory in a mountain bike race to my ability to say the word "OK".

That's my kind of training.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Glow sticks on the helmet.

Race starts in 1 hour. Conditions are poor to say the least.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

First race of the year

I've not posted for a while, partly due to laziness but mainly due to a lack of inspiration. I really didn't want to bore people with tales of my holiday ("...and then we went on a guided tour of of the museum of British Columbian Fish Canning..."), suffice to say that we all had a lovely time and learnt that whilst some bears may shit in the woods, at least one prefers the car park of a ski resort.

As a friend pointed out, it does make you wonder if all the Popes are actually Catholic.

Anyway, back to the so-called point of this post. Next weekend I've got my first bike race of the year. I'm doing the "Torchbearer 12" as one half of a mixed pair (I'm the male half, Caroline is the female half). The Torchbearer 12 starts at midnight Saturday and runs until midday Sunday. We're feeling fairly confident as according to the entry list we are the only people in our category, so we're hoping for 3rd place at least.

I'd like to say that we were hoping for a large competitive field and that we didn't pick this race simply because there were so few people in it last year.
Moving on, I'm in the process of planning some more trips, all thought of by Darren. I like to think of myself as the reality filter that holds back the bitter coffee grounds of serious injury ("Let's ride on the railway line to Wolverhampton") and lets through the stimulating espresso of inspirational challenge.

I'll write more when they become slightly better brewed.