Setting: Private property about 30 minutes inland from the Gold Coast. 8km cross country circuit.
Start time: 7pm. Yes, it was dark
Finnish time: GMT + 3 hours
Finish time: 7am
Duration: 12 hours
Actual ride time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Kms: errr don't know, don't care
Metres of climbing: see Kms:
Race Mantra: Kirstie believes in me, so should I.
The annual Ay Up Dust to Yawn was on last weekend. It is one of those courses that doesn't reward you for climbing well, it just asks you to pedal for every single km. Very little to no resting areas.
The temperature dropped of to a few numbers above 0 deg C brrrrrrr...
I was really excited about racing. I had lots of stored up frustrations after being a spectator at the recent Merida24 hour.
So for the first 3 1/2 hours of the race I started digging a hole. You know the sort of hole I am talking about the one that you bury yourself in. The sort of hole that is very painful yet very satisfying in some strange way.
Don't be afraid of these holes. They are great 'soul food
Mr. Ay Up "How are you feeling Matt?"
dog "Shattered! Legs are rooted, guts are churning..."
Mr. Ay Up "Oh?!"
dog "yeah! but fuck I am having fun & I am not going to stop!"
1 hour later...
Mr. Ay Up "hey Matt, how are you going?"
dog " Oh, man!"
Mr. Ay Up "Wanna coffee?"
dog "Oh yeah!"
So I get a coffee, take my helmet off & get under the gas heater not caring one bit about racing but still loving exactly where i was.
I finish my coffee & wander off & check the results.
dog "Hey! about 40 minutes ago I was in 2nd place, WTF am I doing here & not on my bike?!?!"
So I get back on my bike. Very quickly I found my endurance pace. I had all of my lines dialled in for the course. Just a matter of pedaling smooth flowing lines. I found my Ay Up lights to be TOO BRIGHT in the dust & sand. So I flicked them down to 1/2 power. Ahhh....that's better.
Most people I ride with know that I don't race with a speedo, clock, HR montor or anything. The numbers are too distracting. If I feel good I pedal faster in bigger gears. If I feel like crap I kick into survival speed, eat, drink & just keep moving forward.
So, I don't know how long it took until I saw fast man Anthony Zahra. He was in second. It would have been about 2 or 3am. So I sat on his back wheel for about 10 minutes to see how he was going. Read his blog here for how his race went When antz slowed a little on one of the bends on the last climb before the transition I attacked & didn't look back.
How did I feel through out the race?
I loved every single minute, every single corner, every leg sapping, sandy, grass section. I was singing to my iPod "Fuck I can sing really well!" I barked & growled at other riders to give them a gee up the hills, I gave one of the tough woman of adventure racing one of my race secrets to keep the gremlins away too.
Reader Question: Dear Mr. Dog, how do you manage to stay on your bike for 12/24 hours?
Dear rider. I have a little hole in my soul to fill it I ride MY bike for MYself.
Until next time: Keep digging those holes & never be afraid to bury yourself.