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Above Average TriHards?

4 July 2012

4 July 2012

Above Average TriHards?

The Team

The TriHards have entered riders in the Husky since it’s inception. In 2010 the Cyborg did it with Groucho; in 2011 it was the Cyborg and Father Brendan. Now, in 2012 the TriHards returned to their roots and fielded a team of three: the Cyborg, Engine and McFly. All of whom had very different goals and training regimens.

McFly, fresh from a stunning performance in the North Face had spent most of his recent training time running and very little on the bike. In fact, you could say his training for the Husky consisted of a 17km ride the weekend before.

Engine, who was taking time out from his busy orienteering schedule, was in a similar boat. With his work being further distant, he hadn’t even been riding on a commute, leaving him with next to no saddle time since the Mont.

The Cyborg, however, had been getting serious about his riding. He’d been building base kilometres on his commute to work, going for longer weekend rides trying to keep up with Groucho, and even taken to formal fitness training with Mic from Dynamic Motivation. Naturally, as with all good training programs, the Cyborg tapered in the final week. Which, for some unknown reason, also included shaving. We suspect he figured that if it works for Brett Bellchambers, it may well work for him. Unfortunately, the Cyborg’s head is not a friendly environment for hair of any form, so not shaving made very little difference to his appearance, or riding.

The Race!

Leading up to race day Cyborg’s mountain biking hoodoo may finally have been broken, with not a sign of rain - indeed, it looked to be a great day for a race with temperatures barely above 10 degrees (but not in the negatives!) Of course these opinions changed somewhat when the TriHards arrived at still soft ground of the HQ. At least it wasn’t too boggy - and soft, of course, means more comfortable landings.

The boys barely had time to don their numbers plates, ring the cool cow-bells they received in the registration pack (shortly to go onto Moz’s collar) before they had to ride back to the start. So much for a warm up lap or two of the carpark. Once again, the Cyborg’s best made plans were starting to fade - however, he decided he could just as easily warm up on the first part of the course; taking it easy until the first hill which was a good way in.

TriHards lined up at the start.
All in the new TriHards jerseys!

For yet another change of style, the TriHards started around the middle of the pack, and headed straight out onto the trail! Straight, even when they really should have turned. And were met by golfers who didn’t much like the idea of a hundred mountain bikes cruising over their greens. So, everyone turned around, and in the melee, the Cyborg lost site of Engine and McFly! Knowing Engine’s far superior navigation skills, the Cyborg assumed they had not missed the turn and were now well in front of him on the course. Naturally, the Cyborg put on the pace to catch up to his wayward team mates.

Meanwhile, the Engine and McFly, turning around, watched as the Cyborg sprinted off into the distance, wondering just how long it would be until he blew up.

Sprinting on the flat, then overtaking going up the hills, the Cyborg maintained a strong pace, looking for those elusive TriHards jerseys ahead of him. For a change, he overtook rider after rider, before settling into a bunch where they would just take turns overtaking each other, until he once more felt compelled to chase down the TriHards. He rode through bush, swept around single track, cruised on the firetrail and ran through bogs. But there was still no sign of his team mates.

The Prang (You know there had to be one!)

Then, it finally happened. In a course which had ruts that rivalled the Grand Canyon, log obstacles better suited to being a beam in the Olympics gymnastics events, and bog holes so deep they’d suck you straight to the Huffy factory in China, the Cyborg managed to lose control of his bike, going over the bars at speed on flat, flat firetrail. At about 26km into the course. With an audience. Almost every rider going past asked if he was okay, and offered assistance if required, but apart from losing a bit of bark - and R2 - the Cyborg was fine. Well, perhaps more stressed now that he’d lost more time, and those other TriHards may well be increasing the gap!

Now, you may not think that it’s very important if the Cyborg was to be beaten by the other TriHards, after all, he’s generally beaten by just about everyone else in the race. It wasn’t that he’d trained for this event and they hadn’t. It wasn’t that he’d spent time thinking about it, and planned a race strategy (which was, naturally, thrown out the window within five minutes of starting). No, you’re missing the most important factor of all. McFly, you see, is a Kiwi. And much as we may all go on about the ANZAC spirit and so on, the truth is, deep down inside, we all know that no fair dinkum, damper-eating, beer swilling Aussie can allow himself to be beaten by a Kiwi. Unless of course, it’s a three-way competition against England, then it doesn’t matter who wins, so long as we beat the Poms!

So, the Cyborg gathered up the bits of R2, jumped back on his bike, and took off - a little gingerly at first - then building up more and more speed until he reached the water station about a kilometre later. Yet, with the evil spectre of being beaten by a Kiwi, he rode on, putting pace on down the track, then climbing strongly. He knew the second half of the race held much more firetrail, with the dreaded rut-road still to come, but all in all, it was the much faster half of the course.

The rut road was a firetrap split in the middle by a huge rut, leaving two thin paths on either side for a biker to make his way; and in every race so far, that rut had dragged the Cyborg in. Last year, it was at speed, so that he came down so hard, and so fast, he crushed his Ayup mount on his helmet. This year, however, it looked to have been filled in somewhat, so much faster times could be had! Until, that is, it climbed - out of another bog. But then it was so boggy there was little choice but to dismount and run (McFly’s forte!)

The Sprint Finish

Then came the 10km marker, and the Cyborg put the pace on once more, only to come to a large hill. His legs started to feel not so fresh, and he sat down and span up the hill. Then he saw the fallen tree that Groucho had told him about. “The fallen tree, that’s when you know you’re almost there - it’s plain sailing - nothing technical. That’s when you put it all in.” So the Cyborg did. He picked up his pace again. Then went even faster when he finally hit the golf course, knowing he wasn’t too far from the finish. He sprinted into the finish chute (which seemed to be the theme of the day - even the elite boys did it), and felt some amazement at completing the race in well under three hours - around 2:46 (by the time, he couldn’t be sure with the loss of R2). Yet for all that, he had not seen the other TriHards.

The Relief

So, after stopping by the St John’s stand to be cleaned and patched up, the Cyborg returned to Engine’s car where there was no sign of Engine, or McFly! Had they beaten him by so much they’d already packed their gear and set off for a feed? After faffing around for a while, McFly showed up - it turned out he’d finished about 10 minutes after the Cyborg! Australia had beaten New Zealand after all! Well, one skip managed to beat another ex-pat Kiwi, who wasn’t actually competing in his chosen discipline... Engine finished shortly thereafter, coincidentally about the same time that the two other TriHards had worked their way towards the front of the line for a steak sandwich...

The Thanks!

Many thanks go out to iAdventure, and their sponsors, for putting on a fantastic event. Did we mention there was beer and pizza at the hub? The Husky is a great race, over an interesting and diverse course - definitely one that the TriHards will keep coming back to.

Race Stats

Date: 30 June 2012
Location: Callalla Beach, NSW (Jervis Bay)
Rating: (4) Tub Thumper!
TriHards: Cyborg, Engine and McFly.
Event website: iAdventure site
TriHard Time Av. Time Overall Gender Category
Cyborg 2:42 3:12 120/451 114/375 35/153
Engine 3:13 3:03 229/451 212/375 76/158
McFly 2:52 3:03 160/451 151/375 54/158