Monday, June 18, 2007
Great fun though!
The strange orange glowing things are apparently a type of slug called 'Arion Rufus'. Which, if you're a student of greek/latin, will make you smile. It made me ROFL! I also saw a Newt very late on Sunday night. It was nestled down in a recent cycle track through the mud and I thought "Suicide by MTB: way to go Mr. Newt!". I also inspected many roots, stumps and rocks at exceptionally close quarters.
Really great bunch of people from all over the world, everybody helping each other out. Most problems were with brakes just plain wearing out due to the conditions. Several teams were sponsored by bike shops, some with branches nearby and they went and got loads of new brake pads so people could carry on. Me, being me, came with spares, even a spare bike. Ner ner!
So much rain-water that part of the site flooded and it looked for a while that the scaffolding they were using as the lap stage was becoming unstable. Spades appeared and trenches were dug to encourage the water into a large pond nearby. Smell got a little strong. Rain kept the blessed mosquitoes away, which was nice, and only got bitten once, even nicer!
It got so muddy on the course that it bunged up between the wheels and frame. I had to scoop the mud out and then carry the bike to the next ridable section. Saw several detachable mud guards which appeared, due to their placement in the track, like they'd broke off rather than they'd been discarded as useless. Also found a CO2 bike pump. I picked such things up and put them on stumps and branches so people could find them easily if they came around later.
Lots of people injured, ambulances came and went several times. The leading girl had to be helped to the prize giving by means of being lifted there by two guys. Looked really sassy. There was one guy who got his eye hurt, but carried on with an eye patch. Now, with no distance perception, it certainly made it all the more fun for him I guess! Lost my protective glasses: a branch stole them in the dark. Was a little worried I might befall the same fate, but was lucky. Yet, I have to buy new before my next race on Wednesday.
Crashed really badly somewhere in my first lap, but carried on thinking it was just bruising. Noticed as I started my second lap that I had difficulty getting on my bicycle. Then realised as I came to the end of my second lap that I'd fallen on just about every right turn. When I finished my second lap the team captain stopped me carrying on as he considered the conditions too bad. To be realistic, I couldn't do right turns so I couldn't manage the turn around at the lap, and the rest of the team grabbed me just as I tried to work out how I was supposed to get back out. Yes, yes, the turn around was a U to the left, but the entrance in was a right and just too tight for me. After a little sleep in the morning everything was hurting real bad and I got talked into talking to the Doctor. Well, blow me if the Doctor wasn't the one eyed guy from earlier! He diagnosed an over extension of my left shoulder rotator cuff, whatever that is, which would explain most everything. Later I went to the hospital and as additions my other arm is fractured and have two broken ribs. Only hurts when I laugh, cough, try and ride a bike...
My teams laps
GPS logs of my laps: (this will take you to the Garmin website site)
You may well notice that the distance my wheels traveled is shorter than the routes, being 17.1 km. The reason is that it was so muddy I could not even push the bicycle in many parts but had to carry it, and on the downhills I had the brakes just off locking the wheels up, but enough so they would turn slowly. Never seen it give such a big difference in distance before. Just goes to show how fantastically muddy and slippery the course was.
The stopwatch buttons failed on the Garmin Edge 305 due to getting back-filled with mud. I gave it a quick blast from the shower this morning, and they're working again now. I think the front of the unit shall be covered with gaffer tape in future to prevent such problems recurring.
For my night lap I used Sigma lamps, two on the bars, one on the helmet, and had plenty of batteries. The frame holder got smashed off on one fall, so I ended up with that battery in my front pocket. The battery for the helmet lamp I had in my camel back. I then had a spare pair of batteries along with a spare tire tube, some tools and a mobile phone in a bum bag. Next time I think I shall gaffer tape the batteries to the frame for each lap. Just gotta get that weight lower down.
Things to remember for next years Nordic24 race:
Marquee style tent
Gas powered camp stove / BBQ set
A very very light-weight cyclo-cross bike, so if it is that muddy again I can strap it to my back and just run around the frikin course!
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