Calendar Event: March 22, 2008

Should the Santa Cruz Heckler be a spot prize or a performance prize?

Spot prize
Performance prize
Total voters : 41

Postby kingkong7 on Sun 23/Mar/08 7:40am

dale mcglachlan, nathan fa'ave, dean fulton, robin reid, andy thompson, ollie whalley, georrge bennett, stu thorp. think i missed one between ollie and me?
Member for: 14 years 5 months

Postby goatie on Sun 23/Mar/08 8:22am

good line up of names there...did stu do it on the single speed?
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Member for: 14 years 4 months

Postby 98percentCAULIFLOUR on Sun 23/Mar/08 8:55am

If hes the trials dude then yup. Awsome race guys, how far up are the council up grading up boulder valley?
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Member for: 13 years 0 months

Postby gunslinger on Sun 23/Mar/08 9:26am

goatie wrote: good line up of names there...did stu do it on the single speed?

Not only single speed, but fully ridged as well :crazy:

Plus he had a major UD and a flatty and still went round the epic in 2hours 43min.

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Member for: 16 years 5 months

Postby mtnkiwiishere on Sun 23/Mar/08 9:42am

First woman: Sandy Vincent
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Member for: 12 years 11 months

Postby Jono on Tue 25/Mar/08 2:29pm

Well, that was a fun day...

I took it easy off the start - no point blowing up - and then really easy up the first climb to the saddle, joining the dun mountain walkway. For the most part the walkway was pretty easy, but it was warm and I was sweating like a drug smuggler with a botty package. By the time I got to the turnoff for the "epic" part of the course (basically a steep climb up to the summit of fringe hill), I was rather tired.

But Chris Burr was at the top of the hill blasting out shape shifter from the generator-driven stereo he had up there, which definitely helped. I could hear the bass from a couple of corners away, and it upped my spirits no end.

Which was useful, because there was sweet, sweet singletrack immediately after the summit. Unfortunately, it did include a fair amount of pushing and walking up steep slopes. What I remembered was that freeride bikes aren't really made for pushing - my upper body got a pretty good workout from this section. The descent back onto the dun mountain walkway made it all worthwhile though - steep, rooty, dry, and with masses of robins to keep you company.

The upper walkway was more technical than lower down - narrower, in beech forest, with more rocks and steps to keep things interesting. And then I was out into the mineral belt. The change was so sudden it was amazing - no trees, short grasses, and lots of yellow rock. I really enjoyed this section - it was gradually uphill, covered in rocks, steps, small drops and plenty of places to get into trouble. I finally started passing people here, which was a nice change.

At the summit/saddle I asked the search and rescue people if this was where having a DH bike would pay off.

"Not quite. See those people over there in the distance?"
"See how they are pushing and carrying their bikes?"
"It's rideable from that point on"
"Oh Piss"

Some new singletrack has been cut from the saddle, but it's quite a mission. Lots of small stumps that you can imagine easily going through your tyres. Lots of rocks to throw you over the bars (or twist an ankle). It was maybe 10 minutes of walking, but it certainly felt like more.

Then boulder valley started.

At first it was barely rideable - plenty of huge rocks just looking to smash either your dérailleur or head. But after a bit it mellowed out somewhat (they stopped being boulders and started being loose rocks - mostly about half the size of a head - and I could absolutely hammer it down here. Yay for 8.5" of travel.

Of course, lots of tensing my legs and not really pedalling meant that I got cramp in both thighs at the bottom of the hill, but I decided to ignore it, and after about 5 minutes of pedalling it disappeared.

The maitai valley walkway was a blast - smooth, rolly hardpack in native bush and lots of width so you could really rail the corners with confidence. And finally out onto the road.

I caught 4 people coming back down the road - fortunately it followed the river and didn't really ever climb too much - more hills and I would have been broken. I was pleased with the suggested choice of WTB Weirwolf LT's - they roll really fast, didn't puncture on any of the rocks, and had good grip in everything but the really loose stuff.

The final section of the race was along the walkway that runs behind the golf course - a narrow singletrack with a couple of small rises, but nothing to really break me. Which was good, because I was rather knackered. About 3:39 or so - not the fastest time for 40km, but I was happy(ish) with it, given my tiredness and 43 pound bike.

So here I am a couple of days later. I didn't get a chance to get out on sunday (a mixture of family commitments and spending the afternoon with victoria), and I was driving back to picton on monday morning. I had originally wanted to get up and ride peaking ridge, but I suspect that another climb up to the top of fringe hill would have killed me. My legs are still sore - both the fronts of both thighs and my hamstrings :)

All in all though, it was a mint day - I'm definitely planning on going back for next year.
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