MuleBar athlete, Steve Day, gets heckled on the podium.
photo courtesy of Kevin Sheldrake.
"Following a recommendation that the Torq (who are they?!, hahaaa, we love you really!) 12:12 event was a good one, with lots of singletrack promised, I was convinced to enter the 12-hour.
True to form, the 8-mile course was a good one – lots of loamy singletrack, a couple of climbs a more twisty bits than a Curly Wurly. Fingers were seriously crossed hoping the weekend rain would hold off long enough to keep things dry for the race, especially as about 5 minutes before we left home the heavens opened!
Race start for the 12-hour event was at midday, and the Gorrick team had good news – free beer in the marquee at the finish and the forecast rain was due to hold off until the early hours.
After a very fast rolling start and sucking in loads of dust I tried to settle down in to a good rhythm... easier said than done on a singlespeed when the geared boys shoot past you on the fire-roads. However, once the field spread out I was able to settle into pretty regular 42 minute laps, with Ingrid & Erik (my wife & son) ensuring I was picking up water & MuleBar energy bars & Kicks energy gels each lap.
After a bit of a minor mechanical after lap 5 or 6 (complete loss of chain slack!) that needed some minor attention, Ingrid confirmed I was in first, but only with a 2 minute gap back to second... so head down for a few laps to try to get a bit of a buffer. From then on things went pretty smoothly – pretty even lap times and always ensuring I managed to ride up Spongebob (a really soft loamy climb where you could see/feel the ground compressing as you rolled over it) – it was worth the pain as it ensured my head stayed in a positive place for the rest of the race.
With 1.5-hours to go, I was told I had 11 minutes on Jason Hynd (MTB Guisborough/Bikescene) and a lap up on 3rd place Julian Rider (Swinnerton Cycles), so the last couple of laps were about staying focused enough to not drop too much time... a close shave on my next lap was a wake-up call as I almost went over the bars on one of the rooty sections due to a slip in concentration... oops! I eventually rolled across the line at just after 12.15am, 17 laps down and 135 miles ridden to accept my beer, prizes and heckles from the man from Torq about topping the podium in a MuleBar sports nutrition jersey.
As promised, the rain didn’t roll in until the early hours... and made for a very wet journey back around the M25."
September 03, 2014