Cabin's Singlespeed Champs Report

Postby Cabin on Mon 28/Apr/08 3:26pm

Pretty much as soon as heard about the SS champs I was in. Any event that is going to be so much fun, without any seriousness (well, not too much) has to go on the calendar. Now it's not like I am a SS rookie. No no. I spend countless hours on my sweet chrome Panther BMX as a kid. I've got heaps of experience (?!).
First job was get a bike. 2nd job, get an outfit. After the Gary Fisher Rig 29'er showed up resplendent in beige with a brown saddle there really was no choice on the outfit. The action apparel guys came up with the sweet (?) beige brigade replica skinsuit. Matching beige walk socks and retro Smith Moab's. Mesh gloves and a genuine fluoro orange Pro helmet complete with safety stickers topped it all off.
As any real Singlespeeder would do I went through a rigorous and careful gear selection process. Raced bike at a club race stock and figured it was sweet. Then proceeded to get dropped by Nic when we were riding to work so clearly I needed a bigger gear (because commuting in dead flat Palmie sooooo replicates the forest?!).
So a 32 x 16 it was - on a 29'er. Clearly it wasn't a smart move, but I figured if I could push that then I'd win. Classic Tuckie logic *  Gaz from N-zo said "oh, that's an, um, manly gear." That was nice of him, coz in my outfit I was looking anything but manly. Fronting up at the start it probably was something of a site. Overhearing children saying "Mummy, why is that man wearing funny clothes" proved the youth of today aren't stupid at all.
 Race time, and plenty of fast looking boys in normal looking cycling clothing took the long Le Man start fairly quickly. Apparently with my XTERRA form I was favourite in the run start, but cruised in a bit behind because a) Running in cycling shoes is stupid. And b) I was scared striding out might result is busting out of the skinsuit.
Into the trails and the monster gear soon got me through the field and onto Mr Weinberg's wheel. What followed was an interesting game of Cat'n'Mouse at rather high, and painful speeds. I'd watch Garth as he knows how to ride Singlespeeds. Then he'd follow me to see how badly I rode them..
Did I mention 32 x 16 hurts?
We skipped the first beer shortcut. I figured it wasn't worth it (wise choice. Watson admitting it was actually longer). Lap four and the beer shortcut was on as:..A) I couldn't be arsed riding/walking the loose fresh cut track. B) My water bottle was empty. And C) Garth didn't take it so it was a tactical coup. My race winning move.
For a non drinker I pulled off a solid scull (although I did get some secret training in with the Kiwi triathlete's at Hamburg Worlds last year). The Speight's tasted quite good actually. Crowd went nuts. It was supposed to be a 30sec shortcut. But I pulled a 40sec lead from 5sec down.
Holy crap, I'm actually gonna win I thought. Concentration wavered as I considered the options for the Tattoo. I'd finally decided on a good location when to my surprise Garth arrived back on my wheel. Shit. Race on again, and the most epic race battle I've ever had continued. Into the last lap and it looked like it may come down to a sculling race unless one of sorted something out.
I was starting to make a few mistakes. Fatigue, or beer? Not quite sure. I messed up one corner bad, and Garth rocketed by, and attacked hard. Guess he didn't fancy a sculling race? I dug deep to chase but the 32 x 16 had caught up with me. Legs blew to pieces. I barely made it up a few climbs let alone with any pace.
Finishing with another well received beer shortcut, I crossed less than a minute down. Garth looked completely destroyed. Guess he really wanted the win bad. Judging by the size of the winner's tatt he got I guess it means a lot to him. The guy is a legend. I'm pretty bloody stoked I could push him that hard, and that close. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done (and I've done some hard races!).
 Overall, best event of the year hands down. Actually, best in NZ ever!. better than worlds (disclaimer: I was holed up in the NZ team hotel all week being all serious and stuff so missed lot's of the fun stuff). Will I be back? Hell yeah. Garth got a rather sizeable tattoo so doesn't need another.
 And duelling with him for 2 1/2hr I picked up a few things. Nothing better than learning from the master. And next years costume has already picked itself.  This year I've been 2nd at Sprint Triathlon Nat's, Triplecross, XTERRA, and now SS Nat's. Wonder how easy it'll be pedalling in a bridesmaid's dress?
* Aaron "Tuckie" Tuckerman. Famously removed the little ring from his XC bike for National Champs on the Worlds course (one which a certain K.Leuchs put his little ring back on for) declaring that "If I can push this all day I'll win. If not, I don't care." Tuckie flew thru the first 2 laps, then blew to pieces, requiring at least 2 redbulls and a 10min rest in the tech zone to make the finish. It's not all bad though. Tuckie is now a pro roadie with the Jelly Belly team. Schweet!. Unlimited gourmet Jelly Beans.




Member for: 15 years 7 months

Postby psychavoc on Mon 28/Apr/08 3:42pm


Nice report! :D
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Member for: 15 years 8 months

Postby Mel on Mon 28/Apr/08 3:46pm

Excellent report Cabin. And a great race. :thumbsup: It was awesome to see someone keeping Garth honest, and to see you guys come through the village so close together on each lap - made it more exciting for us spectators.
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Member for: 17 years 0 months

Postby wgtngrl on Mon 28/Apr/08 3:53pm

Faaaaantasic report! Loved it :)

The dress better have those puffy sleeves :p
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Member for: 14 years 9 months


Postby bluedogSS on Mon 28/Apr/08 3:57pm

Yep, The Main in Beige was a disturbing sight!
What a great race and what a fantastic atmosphere. Don't worry, Cabin, Garth is a space alien and will be going back to Alpha Centauri soon...
Look out for him at Worlds in Napa in August, first, though.
Dave D got himself a singlespeed and entered just a week before the race and summed it up best this morning: "For me, it re-kindled the memories of MTB racing from a decade ago".
As someone who only got into SSing a year or so ago I have to say what a great crew the Singlespeed tribe is. Good to see you all and hope ro see you bask same place same weekend (TBC) in 2009.
I was too busy to race (thank God with that course!) but my bike did get a good workout from Robyn Wong.
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Member for: 11 years 7 months

Postby VERT on Mon 28/Apr/08 4:08pm

Great report and was a great race, definately a favourite!!

Now I just want to ride my SS more
Member for: 16 years 3 months

Postby Scotty on Mon 28/Apr/08 8:11pm

:pmob: cabin = awesome :lol:
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Postby ryda on Mon 28/Apr/08 8:16pm

Scotty wrote: :pmob: cabin = awesome :lol:

well that's one word you could use ? :crazy:
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Member for: 13 years 1 month

Postby SlackBoy on Mon 28/Apr/08 8:17pm

Legend, the camletoe was spectacular.

:hmmm: although your video...... :hmmm:

I could barely move today my thighs were in so much pain
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Member for: 17 years 2 months

Postby Joel on Mon 28/Apr/08 8:21pm

SlackBoy wrote:I could barely move today my thighs were in so much pain

i thought that's from the after party?
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"Style over speed"
Member for: 16 years 11 months

Postby SlackBoy on Mon 28/Apr/08 8:22pm

Joel wrote:
SlackBoy wrote:I could barely move today my thighs were in so much pain

i thought that's from the after party?
Thats not the thighs....
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Member for: 17 years 2 months

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