I have committed a vast amount of time and energy to some things this year that have proven incredibly fulfilling. There has been a feeling of pressure and of impending deadlines since September last year and sometimes this has really eaten at the enjoyment I might have gained from doing the things that I love. So I have made a decision. I am going to enter the Merida 24 hour race in July and attempt to qualify for the World 24 hour Championships in Canberra in October. Yeah I know, it's more riding. This time however it's for me. I have no team mate to let down, I have no donors onboard and most of all I have nothing to prove.
My training has started again and I plan to well and truly have my race face on by June for the Mount Perry 6 hour race which I will use as a tuneup for the Merida after which if I qualify for the Worlds, I will have a short break. To be honest, I don't even know if I can still qualify for the Worlds because the places were running out fast. Only the top 10 finishers are automatically eligible and it would take a miracle for me to finish in that company. But hey, you will fail at 100% of the things you don't try.
I have the luxury of a support crew willing to give up an entire weekend to come out to a race course and sit through 24 hours of me going around and around a track. There is definitely a certain amount of sadism involved in it as not often can you get away with telling a mate to harden up and go out and do some more laps and be thanked for it at the end. The difference between racing with a support crew as opposed to without is polar though. You can pedal the bike, navigate the course and thats it. Food and fluids are sorted for you, the bike might even get a little tune up and most of all there is at least one person in the place just to rev you up. So whois this sadistic samaritan? Bloody Nick. Maybe the hiding he gives me on our rides isn't enough? Now he wants to make me suffer through 24 hours.
I must also mention how stoked I am to once again be able to suit up in the Giant/Cyc'd for Bikes gear and aboard the XTC1 29er for both races. The bike continues to amaze me with how nicely it rides and with a few recent modifications how much more enjoyment I have gotten from it. Spencer made the discovery that torching the brake pads silenced them and improved the performance all in one go. When you couple that with a ghetto tubeless conversion and the ability to run much lower pressures now the thing corners on rails and stops hard enough to loosen your teeth! Awesome. My descent into the world of the XC whippets is now also complete. I have bar ends on my bike. Hey, they feel good.
So there you go. There should be some more fun and games to read about soon. Stay tuned and be along for the ride and see where the trails take us.