27 September 2012
The 50km Is Not Enough
The Cyborg was competing for his 00 qualification; he had to do 100. He had to do another lap. Groucho noted the expression on the Cyborg’s dusty face:
“Go on, you Only Lap Twice”, at which 00D’s face once again brightened and he held the mighty SuperFly ready to ride again. Miss BeerMiddy then chimed in: “Oh, I saw the Beard! He’s only got two hours on you! If you hurry, you may be able to ride him down!” So the Cyborg set off on a mission!
And a great pace he’d set himself too - faster than the start of his initial lap. In no time at all he found himself behind another rider, who himself was holding a very good pace through the initial flowing single track.
“Do you want to go?” he called back,
“Nah mate, I’m right.” the Cyborg replied, not prepared to rely on his own pacing. Then he let his concentration drift from the ride to the rider before him - the Man on the Golden Bike. Well, orange-gold. It was a Niner. An orange Niner just like the Beard rides. And a singlespeed. Was this the evidence they sought for the growing cult of singlespeed? Did this rider duck out ahead of the Cyborg on purpose, to slow him down, to act as a buffer for the Beard? Busily considering these possibilities, the Cyborg did not see the tree stump that leapt out of the forest onto the track to attack him, taking him down with his bike. Fortunately, he did see it on the way down, and managed to roll over the top of it rather than falling on it, which resulted in some grazes, but no real damage.
Cursing himself for being a fool, the Cyborg reminded himself that it was a race, not a time for reflection, and that he’d better get his head back into the game! Jumping back onto his bike, he headed off once more into the single track, catching, then overtaking the singlespeeder in minutes, before taking the B-Line through the gully, and riding happily into the singletrack once more.
And ride he did, reeling in rider, after rider - which caused him to reflect on the sound of his Shimano hubs as he caught up to yet another bike. It’s probably no coincidence that Shimano are also known for making fine fishing tackle, as it seemed to the Cyborg he’d cast his line to the next rider, and in moments he’d hear the whir of his hub freewheeling as he reeled in his prey. It wasn’t long before the Cyborg found himself at the dam pump track, and alone.
He continued over the dusty firetrails, up the hill, then sped down the hill, alone - though always with an eye out for the Sasquatch - you never know! In fact, he didn’t see another rider until the last singletrack section before the transition - about eight kilometres from the end. A spritely young lass on a SuperFly herself. The Cyborg easily caught her going uphill, but then she put him to shame with her handling skills through the flowing track - and given that was the last climb of the ride, he was going to have some trouble holding her wheel.
Yet, somehow he did manage to hold her wheel - or close enough. So, while the Cyborg had a good pace-setter to keep him honest through the last few kilometres of the race, a poor female rider, who could only hear heavy breathing following her, probably thought she had a deranged stalker chasing her through the forest. So, once the trail opened up, so did she, leaving the Cyborg in her dusty wake! But the Cyborg did finish, cementing his 00 status to become 00D. Unfortunately, he didn’t manage to catch the Beard, who came into the finish one hour, thirty-six minutes and forty-two seconds ahead of him. Not that Miss BeerMiddy was counting.
However, the Cyborg did overtake and beat another singlespeeder, which just goes to show something or other - and the Cyborg certainly wasn’t convinced to leave his gears behind. And he raced using a Shimano drivetrain - while the SRAM twist grip seemed to do wonders for grip strength (which may help with his climbing) the Cyborg just wasn’t keen on cross-training...
Stay Tuned: Cyborg’s Adventures continue in Part 8: Licence to Ride