27 March 2013
A View to a Hill
But singletrack can certainly wear a rider down. By the time 00D reached the 40km feed station he felt as though he’d already done a good day’s riding! Fortunately the feed station was fully stocked with lollies, buns, fruit, water and Endura. So 00D took this chance to refill his now empty water bladder, take a moment to surveil other racers. He wasn’t resting, but working. Watching. Observing. Still, nothing out of the ordinary leapt out at him, all the riders seemed to be the typical, happy, friendly mountain bike riders, joking and revelling at the feed station, and taking in as many calories as they could before continuing on their epic journey to Stromlo.
Thus satisfied that all was well with the world, 00D jumped back on his bike to continue the ride. There was only about 60km to go - and he’d done that much before. And the feed station was more or less atop a hill, so surely finishing wouldn’t be that hard. Surely.
So 00D was back on the bike to fly along some firetrail, then drop back into more singletrack which led out to the side of the mountain and a fantastic view across to Majura - with everything looking like it was downhill! And down 00D went, at least until he entered some more singletrack, which was sort of across and down, with just a hint of up.
It was about this time that 00D realised he was alone. Now, for many other riders, that may well mean they’re doing very well - ahead of the pack. But 00D was very well acquainted with his abilities (and limitations). Being alone almost certainly meant one of two things: (a) he was coming last or (b) he was lost. He knew he couldn’t be coming last - there were plenty more people at the feed station when he left; and he couldn’t be lost - there was plenty of pink tape on the course. The dark, woody course amidst the ghostly grey pine forest... But, in this case being lost just meant riding more singletrack - so on he went.
And sure enough, he wasn’t lost at all; he just found a rare gap in the field, which closed up once more as he drew onto more road; a mix of bitumen and firetrail, with fast downhill runs, followed by some nasty, nasty climbs. It was interesting to note that atop one of these climbs sat a row of portaloos; which seemed odd odd. After all, wouldn’t you put portaloos at the bottom of a climb, so you wouldn’t have all that extra weight to drag to the top?
The roads led to the moonscape that is Majura. Once a proud pine forest, with legendary singletrack: a mixture of fast, flowing trails and some technical track, now it was all flattened to make way for roads, cars and consumers. 00D felt himself sympathising with Mr Green’s point of view - that is, until he reached the climb out of Majura to McKenzie street - then he was just sympathising with his legs as they spun him up yet another climb! But this climb had a reward: it was the start of the untimed section.
Stay Tuned: Cyborg’s Adventures continue in Part 5: Rest Another Day