Blind + Crazy: Rage, Much Rage

Postby crazychris on Fri 17/Apr/09 10:29am

So that's the Rage done and dusted!

Chris and I were better prepared mentally, hugely more prepared physically and APPARENTLY were riding a much better prepared bike....well as the saying goes -two outta three ain't bad!

so what went wrong? did we fail physically?...hell no; we were machines! did we fail mentally?....hell no!...we are still mental! Yuppers; the bike failed!(#$*^&! thing!)

After taking the bike in for a pre-race tune, lube and chain replacement we had a little leg turner before the race during which time we could hear a slightclick in the gearings...but figured it was the new chain bedding in....wrong!

At 9am, with "Somewhere over the rainbow" blasting out of <object width="320" height="266" class="BLOG_video_class" id="BLOG_video-29b729febea6ca8c" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase=",0,40,0">

<embed width="320" height="266" src=";nogvlm=1&amp;;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash"></embed></object> huge speakers we set off on the Rainbow Rage from a side road which runs parallel to Rainbow Road before joining up with it at about the 3k mark.. Some 140m from the start we encounter our first ford of the day...a little stream into which we treddled -leaving behind a huge bottleneck of riders and clearing the road ahead of us...but something in that water and something in the "new?" chain didn't agree with each other and the gears went downhill from there...buggar! some tinkering with the cable at the shifter end by Chris had it settle down a little but at the 30k mark we decided to take a look as the sounds that the chain was making as it rolled through it's revolution were becoming very sic sounding.

Chris quickly identified the issue -a very stiff chain stiff?....well Chris couldn't move it without putting huge amounts of force into it! Equallyas quick Chris came up with a solution...release the link pin with the chain breaker...then put it back in; this seemed to work and the chain began to run more freely without making chewing noises...we were off again!

Now was our time...a nicely moving chain, nice warm weather and a reasonable road...we were flying along, quickly picking up those cyclist who had passed while we made our repairs...this was our day now........Not!

some 20k on -not long before our big climb up Island Saddle, the chain was again making disgusting noises and we chose to stop and take another gander...lucky we did! The pin that Chris had tweaked was working itself out(This is a new chain apparently!)....what to do now. After our chain repair exercise following our last Rapaki training ride we knew what a shit of a job splitting the chain was going to be -but Chris had ensured that we were carrying a quick link(These things are great...two bits of a chain link that clip together and remove the need to faff about with the link pins) Decision made...Chris whipped out the stiff link and inserted the gold quick link...about 30mins all up I figure..but with the application of some borrowed lube the chain sounded wonderful!

This did however put us at the bottom of the Island Saddle climb with a well working bike...well; well enough if you remove both Chris and my apprehension about the amount of pressure we could put into the pedalling given that we were riding on what can only be described as the mountain bike equivalent of the space saver spare tyre!

But onwards and upwards...

After a brief stop to refill our water we began the climb in earnest. Now we had been told that there was no shame in walking up Island Saddle ..and I'm not sure that there was anyone actually riding up it when we opted to join the walkers -having ground our way up the first km or walk we did and personally I'm glad we made that decision. The climb is long, gradual and unforgiving -think of Rapaki butabout two times as long -if not more. At the top we took a quick rest to allow calf muscles a chance to relax, food to be consumed and minds to be prepared for what was reported as being a downhill course to the finish(some 42 odd k's.)

ON the bike and racing now! Whistling down Island Saddle we were quickly reminded of the speed that the tandem can achieve..quickly! We were flying, blasting past riders who were pedalling as we cornered under brakes..yes we passed people while braking -that's how quick the tandem goes, and that is without us turning the pedals for anything other than to clear the inside corner!

50kmph off the bottom of the Saddle downhill and grinding along at that speed for about 2k before hitting what can only be described as rapid 2 inch judder bars...braking corrugations that began to shake my legs, then my core...beforewobbling my helmet due to their regularity and our speed ...but we were in our element now.

The forecast Southerly began to pick up and we found ourselves riding into quite a stiff breeze from about 35 k out from the finish...then the temperature dropped and the rain came, wentand then came again.... 20k out...our last quick butt break and a chance to get some more food in without choking and we were into the homeward stretch...

Time began to pass quickly from here on in...but the k's dribbled by...we were doing the same work, covering the same ground with each pedal stroke but we were knackered..and it made each Km feel like 10...and then it was time to climb Jacks pass!

Up, up we went...Chris reporting that the low cloud was getting closer and closer ...and then up and up we went into the low cloud.... I said we were physically better prepared -and we were. I'm so rapt with the way we climbed Jack's groaning, no screaming...just grind grind grind and without too much worry we rolled over the top.

then it was down, down down...brakes progressively screaming more and more as Chris fought with the bike to keep us at a controllable speed...but after what seemed like 30k(it was only 1.5 or so probably) we were off Jacks Pass and into the finish line.

Our time? Just on 7 hours by the recorded transponder...but just under 6(5:58) by the bike computer!

So after being riding for nye on six hours and spending an hour stationary doing repairs we had completed the Rainbow Rage...and in much better condition than we were at the end of the Molesworth Muster -which is some 20km shorter!

What next? A rest! Oh and a visit with Vaughn at the bike shop to ask if the chain was indeed new and to suggest he take some time to consider where he might like me to place the chain!!!

All in all ...a great event and I'm hugely happy with the way in which Chris and I dealt with the physical aspect of it....Keep an eye out for us..we'll be on the tracks again soon!Image

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Original Published: 3:21pm Sunday, 22nd March 2009 - NZST
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