Tuesday, 19 April 2011
My first time at hog hill circuit. Great to meet Tanya Hunt who also rode for us today and got a superb 4th. I held on for about half the race but dropped off on a corner and couldn't get back on after about 35 mins. I chose the wrong wheel, and it was my experience that got the better of me today. It was a hard, fast and that hill seemed to keep coming round far too quickly. Some more hill and cornering training for me I think!
Posted by anna g at 07:29
This weekend I practised a race run the day before for the first time, and it made one hell of a difference. The PORC Mr Bling race course was really tech, with several chicken runs. On my first run I took all the chicken runs, and by the end there was just one huge ladder drop that I was missing out. The course was short, 45-60 seconds, so I guess they'd tried to cram in everything. On the start straight there was a double that I was only clearing (and not very smoothly) by race morning, there were some steep, tight switch backs, a rock garden and several "boosters".
Only 2 girls raced, I met 2 others who came up and decided at the last moment not to race. One because she hadn't practised the day before and couldn't get her head around the tech course enough to feel prepared, the other because she felt frustrated at having to take so many chicken runs (though, from having raced against her before I'm sure she'd have been fine!) It was a shame in a way, because the competition wasn't close. The other girl, Aimee, beat all of us by miles at the last Aston Hill, she's a really good, experienced rider and I knew that she was a level above me and I'd never beat her. She did however inspire me to do the double (I didn't tell her that).
I found the course hard, once I decided to ignore the ladder drop I didn't find it scary, I just wasn't sure where and how to carry my speed. Despite lots of practice, I'd like to have had more. I made up for it by playing in the quarry jump park between runs, my jumping has really "clicked" finally and I know that with a small amount of pushing myself I'll be going big very soon. I love the smooth feeling when a jump, or line of jumps, gets nailed and I'm really excited about the speed of my learning curve.
I'm going out and doing 2 hrs a day jump practice this week. I started yesterday, but it was cut short when my boyf smashed himself up. It was a weird experience, normally I'm the one that hurts myself and he has to watch and deal with it. Seeing him gasping for breath when he was winded was horrible and I'd rather it was me. My brother is taking me out today, and he's really used to smashing himself up, but hopefully it'll just be a good fun evening in the sunshine and dusty trails. Watch this space, I'm not going home...
Posted by anna g at 07:21
Monday, 11 April 2011
Tuesday, 5 April 2011
I was stupidly nervous. I hadn't ridden the course yet and had only spent an hour on my brand new bike. It wasn't fear of crashing, it was fear of doing badly, my sponsors are chilled, they understand that I'm gaining experience, but I was putting pressure on myself. I WANT to be good, and now with a good bike I have no excuses. This race was the race that, to me, would let me know where to aim this season, it was to realistically show my ability, and that bareness left me scared.
I got to Aston at about 0830 and walked the course. I met the guys from Aztec who immediately made me feel welcome and looked after. They checked my bike and changed the spring and even helped me with the push-up!!
The black run at Aston Hill is described as the most technical descent in the south east, I'd looked at YouTube vids but wasn't really sure what to expect. It started off long, straight and pedally, that pleased me because I know I've got a good sprint. There's some bomb holes that if you hit too fast and don't suck it up you get air and that's slower. After a bit of flat single track it suddenly becomes very rooty and very steep. I might use the wrong words in my descriptions here as I don't know all the terms, so bear with me! The steepness and rooty ness and tightness of the turns made it hard, it wasn't scary as such. Any ok rider could get down it, but getting down it fast was a trick to my mind, I didn't know how to or what to do. I was right over the back trying to lean hard into a corner and get traction, but at the same time wanting to unweight to allow the bike to flow over the massive roots. Some of the drops were about a foot and so tricky to understand how to do that fast on a tight turn. The course finished with a 3 foot drop with a steep landing, it was easy and fun to hit with a bit of speed, and then a final sprint to the line.
On my third attempt of the steep section I felt myself relax and was able to think about what I was doing and how to do it best. I wish I'd had more practice though, because it takes a long time to learn a 2 minute course and I wasn't really ever sure of what was coming next.
The 7 girls waited in queue together after introducing themselves, and we were chatting and sharing past expereinces until our go. 3 beeps and a couple of metres to clip in and then I went through the laser that started my timing. I went balls out. Half way through the flat section I had to sit down, I was so tired already! I went as hard as I could, I could hear my panting in my helmet, but could still hear people cheering for me and my hot pants! (such a show-off!). My arms, chest, thighs and calves burned before I finished, down hilling is going to take a lot of strength, fitness and core training. After the first run I was in second. I was so happy!
I hoped to maintain my position, I knew that first place was miles ahead and that third was only a second behind. Your fastest run counts, so I had to go faster or hope that third didn't go faster. Unfortunately for me I wen't the same speed and third place went 3 seconds faster to take second! Chapeau, she gave me a hug and we all walked back up.
I had a wicked time, my teamies the MuleBar Girls came to support me and we did a photoshoot after. It was lotsa giggles, lotsa fun and good to be out on a new bike, pushing my body and my knowledge with a bunch of my mates.
Posted by anna g at 07:23
Monday, 4 April 2011
After keeping with all the attacks and mixing it up at the front of the race the 4 MBG racers had to accept the race being abandoned due to crashes. All our girls were ok, but several women have come down pretty hard we hear, and we send our energies and best wishes for speedy recoveries. On tight open roads and with a massive mix of abilities it seems crashes were inevitable, just now hoping that it doesn't ruin the outcome of the rest of the series. We need these races, but perhaps we also need safeguards to keep them safer?
Posted by anna g at 02:06