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Octopushy

27 March 2013

27 March 2013

Octopushy

The TriHards arrived a few moments before the elite field (which included Mr Green) started, taking off at a stunning pace. A pace, no doubt, they would keep up all race. Given 00D was starting mid-pack, there was plenty of time for 00C to try riding the SuperFly on flats; his roady pedal stroke didn’t take too well to that!

Then it was time, and 00D joined the pack for his start, and was off.

Mountain bike race start
00D taking it easy in the start pack

Now, the first section of the race consisted of a lot of firetrail. Dry, dusty firetrail. This served a number of purposes. Firstly, and most importantly, given the day was forecast to be a cracker (something quite unknown for the Capital Punishment) it was important for all riders to have some sun protection. Being the environmentally friendly and considerate people they are, the AROC team ensured all riders were protected by ensuring all but the leaders had a dust shower; gently coating all exposed areas in a fine layer of dust which, in turn, would protect them from the sun.

It also gave the field a bit of a chance to spread out before entering the singletrack.

Mountain bikes on firetrail
A chance for a drink before heading into Sparrow

The combination of Kowen Forest and Sparrow Hill provides a lot of single track, and while the Capital Punishment course only utilised a fraction of it, there was certainly enough to keep the riders occupied for some time! The course wound around Kowen for a while, nearly returning to the hub, before heading generally south once more towards Sparrow. After flying down Big Wednesday and crossing under the highway, riders were treated to a long firetrail climb, which levelled off before climbing again! Then it was into some of the fine tracks of Sparrow from the top, where 00D could rail his bike around corners and let it run and run through the smooth, flowing track.

Suddenly, about 18km into the ride (those freaks at the front may call the Capital Punishment a race, but for the likes of the Cyborg, it’s a ride!) a tree leapt out of the bushes and attacked 00D as he rode around a dam. With cat-like reflexes that defy his age 00D managed to bump it off with his left shoulder - which was pretty lucky as that’s the one which is still stabilised by a collar bone. This did serve to wake him up and remind 00D that he was, in fact, out on a mission.

A mission once more forgotten as he cruised into the link trails, and back to the fast, flowing fun of the Kowen forest trails! Still, as yet there was no sign of menace; although a disturbing trend began to emerge, and 00D began to suspect foul play. The course was marked with a combination of pink tape, and red arrows for the correct way, and red or black crosses to indicate the wrong way. Increasingly it began to seem as though every single red arrow pointed up hill!

After climbing yet another hill, the course ducked into the West Kowen tracks, which were similar, yet different to those found in East Kowen. These tracks were smooth and dusty, though quite flowy and fast, with a few pinches to keep riders honest.

Stay Tuned: Cyborg’s Adventures continue in Part 4: A View to a Hill