K.I.D.'S Foundation Ride & Forrest 6hr

431795 10151401637486003 613951273 nSo much time passes far too quick, and then I am a month down the track...

Creative juices must flow to write for me, I really don't enjoy writing a race report for the sake of advising my readers what I have been up to.

Today, rather than wait for creativity, I am going to let it flow...

since my last update about the 24hr Road race in Western Australia much has been ridden or raced.
I got back from the 24hr with a sore knee, sore bits, tired body but a glow inside that I really enjoyed that event, I loved the suffereing and what it renewed in me.

As scary as it is to admit sometimes, I love it, the suffering, and the longer the better. In the end, the win is awesome, its the icing on the cake for the hard work, but to be honest the hurt and being pushed to my limits is kind of what my search in a race is all about.

It helps me grow, it teaches me to be grateful for what I have, it teaches me that life is easier than I think and that problems or hurdles are in fact the challenge to accept in life, not avoid and succumb to.

946944 653308808029395 1141877406 nWhen Norm and I returned from W.A from this event, I had but a short time for recovery before heading off on the K.I.D.'S Foundation “Ride To Port” fundraiser event. 5 days – 1000km for a great cause with some great people. All I had to do was turn up, ride my bike, eat, sleep, ride and do it again.

Starting from Mansfield on day 1, and finishing up in Port Macquarie on day 5 we rode through some magnificent country side as well as some very crazy stretches of highway riding.
Harbouring my knee niggle, a sore saddle region and a mind that just wanted to chill out for a week instead of ride 1000km, I was off again, only 4 days after returning home from the 24hr.

482467 10151406607111003 937859028 nDay 1 was the most challenging, getting my sit bones on the saddle again and re arranging my regions to fit nicely with the least amount of pressure as well as focusing on proper alignment of my knee tracking using my glutes to assist with this, total focus on everything, including riding in a bunch of people that I knew nothing of, and did not fully trust yet. Yep, a bit of tension on the bike all over!

60km at our first break spot in Benalla was the point where I found myself “riding into the long haul”. I was no longer in any pain and was able to relax. Ahhhh...I am sure many of you know that feeling.

With great friends made and loads of riding, every single day, wake up very very early, eat breakfast far too early, on the bikes on sunrise, ride for 200km, arrive at destination, go to room, get changed, wash gear, shower, massage, eat, sleep repeat became the norm.

On day 4 when we got to 703km I thought to myself, I did this all by myself in 24hrs, not 4 days! Wow.

Finishing the ride at Port Macquarie on the Thursday, I had a flight already booked back home on the Friday so I could race the Forrest 6hr on the Saturday.

My mind says, “please let me rest, really? More riding? More racing? 6Hrs of hard racing, and then I can rest...please?”

Kylie came and picked me up at Avalon, an hour drive until home time and then I started to get ready for the Forrest 6hr the next day. No support person for me tomorrow, Norm always runs this event so I always manage to rope someone into assisting.

Anyone who travels a bit would know what I am talking about when I say I had the best sleep in ages that night. Not only had I been on the road in a new bed every night for the past week, but I was just so very tired. I could have slept for 10hrs, but happy to get a solid 8 and race the next day.

It was a cold but sunny day in Forrest, the beginning of May can bring anything from rain to sun, but it was a good day, trails in perfect condition, and about 500 people racing!

941238 10200379491903103 321376794 nWhen I turned up I could not believe what I saw, a very very very long and excited looking race hub going all the way down the power lines section of the Yaugher state forest.

It was awesome to see so many good people, saying hi, as nervous as I was to race, I was really happy to be there.

The race started at 9am and the solo riders got a couple of minutes head start on the teams. I had absolutely no idea how my legs would feel, but as we started they infact felt magnificent! So I cranked up the gears, got out of the saddle and attempted to pass as many roadies as I could before hitting the single track. I saw Peta Mullens go off ahead of me, but with too many riders on either side of us, I just worked on my race, not hers. After crashing at the Yowie last October, I was certainly hesitant of making any random moves in the bunch as we were travelling around 35-40km on the gravel road.

Its always good to get the first 5-10 mins of a race out of the way, settle into a steady race pace, find your spot and if you are lucky a good wheel to follow. Doh...not me. Roadie central in front of me and it was painful to watch, poor soul must have thought, whats this chick doing giving me hints and tips on how to ride better? But it was all I could do to try and get the most out of my time in marriners run. I asked to pass, yet he wouldnt let me, said he was going as fast as me, yet I knew if I was to pass, I would have just gone. Yes he had more “roadie power” on the climbs and flats and I knew I was wasting energy on these spots where he was good as I had to sit behind him on the bits where I could have just floated away with 50% less effort. You get the drift...

474567 10151418415241538 1712894334 o 1Eventually he and Stephen Fortuyn crashed in front of me and I was able to pass. We hung together again for a while later, and finally we chatted about the ettiquette of passing and being passed in mountain bike races and I got to vent – ahhh! Was good that he wanted to know and he even admitted he was “one of those roadies”.

Thankfully for me, Jason Archer had a mechanical and I caught up to him on the side of the track. About 1 min later he passed me on the road section and said, “Jess hop on and I will get those leeches off your wheel.” It was pure delight to have Jason do this for me and we stayed together for maybe 5 or 6 laps before I said thanks, now go and leave me...thats all I have today...

In the end, Jason finished a couple of minutes up on me but we finished 5th and 6th consequetively overall. Peta beat me by around 10 mins and finished 4th overall.

The most enjoyable thing about this race for me was doing it practically on my own, Stephen Fortuyn passed my bottles, Jason Archer shared his race with me, and I had a ball. No caffiene, no pain killers, no Norm, no time splits and with a bucket load of kms in my legs.

Happy racing.