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Rydal ramblings

Flynny's picture

By Flynny - Posted on 28 October 2012

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
SRAM Singletrack Mind Series Round 5
Position (Overall): 
Position (Category): 

It's a funny thing this racing caper. There's a whole bunch of stuff you have to get right for it to come together and the mind ply funny trick on you.

I went into last years 8hr at Rydal feeling reasonably fit. Lots of casual riding under my belt backed by a good lead in of regular Tuesday night races had me in good stead. Got a good start and went steadily down hill, cramping bad by the end of the day.

This year I hadn't done nearly as much riding and other commitments had kept me away from all but 2 Tuesday night rounds. Just a month ago I struggled to finish a 3 lap (short laps at that) Twilight race.

My usual team was out and every one else already seemed hooked up so when new riding buddies Craig and Ian ask me to join their team I thought what the heck.

Then I got a bit nervous. They seemed fast and I was worried about letting them down. 3 weeks of cramming in some training had me feeling Ok. My next Tuesday night race was much more respectable but come race day I was feeling a little flat and was worried I'd done too much too late.

Ian started and set a good time and Craig backed that up with his lap.

Moment of truth.

I took off and tagged in. short sprint down the start straight and around the back of the showground and I felt terrible. I struggled up the fire rd and hit the single track.

My legs felt numb, I felt like i had no power and no cadence speed. This day was going to hurt.

Actually started to feel ok by the halfway mark as I found a cadence I could hold and got into a rhythm on my fav bits of trail but still felt I had no leg speed to sprint or strength to power up the pinches.

The climb up to the finish felt slow but OK. I crossed the line, tagged in Ian and rolled back to camp.

And surprised the crap out of myself. As slow as I felt I had knocked about 30secs off my best ever time and laid down the fasted team lap so far (Ian would take that on subsequent laps, getting stronger as he went and smashing it on his last lap of the day)

Mmmm OK.

Second lap, took off and felt good. Got held up by the ambulance a bit at the start and a train of riders on the fast DH towards the end but was just 15 seconds off my first lap.

Last year I faded bad on my last laps, cramping bad. This year I faded a bit but my wort lap was with in 2min of my best and a couple of slight twinges were the only sign of cramps.

So what did I do right?

I still don't think I had anywhere near the fitness and endurance as I had last year but after *mumble* years of racing I think I finally got my nutrition and hydration right for a team endurance.

Last year I was comfortably smashing out 5 laps at club races but spread those laps out throughout the day and I suffered and my times went backwards. I really think I just didn't get the right stuff in when I needed it.

I think it helped that this morning was cooler, not over heating on those first couple of laps made a difference. In the past I'd also tended to buzz about the pits in between laps.

There are lots of great folk I only ever see at races and I'd get about and see people. Last couple of years I've been out of the scene a bit and the crowd has changed a little. I still caught up with a lot of friendly people and old faces but I chilled out more between laps and just bumped into them while doing other stuff, heading to canteen/waiting in transition.

Being a club rep I'd also stressed out a little before home races in past, chasing marshals up and making sure everything was perfect or as perfect as it can get at this sort of thing. but Fi and Joe do such a good job at running the Single Track Mind series and the club has a great bunch of experienced volunteer this year I chilled right out.

I felt slower on the trail but was going quicker. The mind is funny like that. I'm guessing I was pushing a slightly higher gear and instead of sprinting out of corners and up the little pinches I managed to hold a higher average speed on the rest of the course.

All in all I had a great day today. Big thanks to all our volunteers, especially Dan and Luke who came out to help marshal and got stuck in the timing tent all day, a tedious job at best over 8hrs.

Our riding marshals put in some good results in between official duties.

Thanks also to all the people who help prep the track. I got a lot of positive comments this year, and smiles on the podium indicated people enjoyed that configuration.

The show society looked after us again and let us use their awesome facility

Finally thanks to Fi and Joe for doing a great job with the series and bringing the circus to Rydal

Flynny's picture

Oh and I didn't bother with gels and goos. Had a childhood flash back with good old fashion Space food sticks.

Ian_A's picture

Good racing yesterday Flynny.
I said I'd get a 28, just took 6 laps to get there..... and only just.
Thanks for sorting out entry - we made a good team I thought. Was good to have the banter with your mates around too.
I've been working hard on getting consistent times - I used to smash 2 good ones then fade but I'm staying stronger these days. All my laps were within a minute discounting the extended first lap.
Looking forward to racing together again.


Here is a capture of the results;

Flynny's picture

You made the call of a 28min lap early. Can't believe you got it on your last. Top effort mate.

It was great we are all reasonably close. Gave that little bit of extra incentive keep on pedalling....

ChopStiR's picture

Well done and a great write up.

Ian_A's picture

Its funny seeing Kramer come in as a dribbling mess - he certainly knows how to push himself.
All our laps were within a minute or so - thats consistent over 17 laps. Was good fun.
Its amazing how fast the elites go around though, when that dude passed me and pulled away within 30 seconds I had to admire his bike handling abilities.

Ian_A's picture

Just remembered Andrew Hall also reversed into my trailer early Sunday morning.

Chuck's picture

Great work guys. Was Kramer still the flat pedal legend?

Ian_A's picture

He likes to think so..........

Flynny's picture

When you have those skills and proper pedalling technique you don't need clipless pedals to hide your deficiencies

hawkeye's picture

Nice write-up craig Smiling

Flynny's picture

Oh and another tip.

MTB James Wilson put me onto foam rollers

Great for releasing tight muscles in between laps. Not as good as a massage from the body mechanic, but the next best thing and ready when ever you are

Chuck's picture
When you have those skills and proper pedalling technique you don't need clipless pedals to hide your deficiencies"

Careful, his head was big enough after I called him a flat pedal legend a few weeks back. Smiling

Thanks for reminding me about getting a the foam roller Flynny.

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