Monday, 4 May 2009

Dyfi Enduro

This weekend I travelled to Machynlleth in north Wales for the Dyfi Enduro.
I travelled up Saturday and met my parents (who were also racing) at the event site.

The Dyfi is always has a great atmosphere, really relaxed and fun. Machynlleth is a small town, extremely relaxed and full of small shops selling local, natural and organic products. This reflects the Dyfi nicely. As I waited for my parents to arrive I relaxed to the sound of some Reggae being played by the Dj (complete with dreads and a joint!).

We then headed off the ride the Climax trail. It’s a great ride and defiantly worth a trip, the final descent has to be one of my very favourites anywhere. The sun was even shining which made it even better. However there had been plenty of rain in the previous days so although the trails were fairly dry there were still huge puddles lurking in the shade. It was as we reached these puddles I wished I had remembered to pack my Neo Guard. I finished the ride with a big smile hidden by mud!

From the climax trail we headed to our accommodation for the night, a bunk house in Corris. This was one of the more, errrm, how can I say politely, interesting establishments I’ve stayed in. Although in a lovely location with an amazing view it was all a bit creepy. There were no locks on the guest room doors, a variety of cuddly toy cats in each room and more worryingly owners with a fascination with dragons and wizards. There seemed to be gargoyles and model dragons everywhere, a little creepy! Then the local wedding party arrived at the adjoining bar…. Lovely! I was gently lulled to sleep by the wailing of a local singer!

We survived the night with out being eaten by dragons or put in a potion by the local wizards and headed down to Machynleth for the start. It was still sunny although the wind was a picking up and a bit chilly. The race begins with a neutral start for around 4 miles before the riders hit the first fire road climb. I was right at the front as we hit the fire road climb and around 10 of us formed a small group right away before we began to split a mile or so up the climb. I began to hurt a little so eased back to a comfy pace. A few riders passed me but I was not too worried as I normally keep the same pace at the end when other fade. After the first climb I was around 20th position in a group of seven or eight. I was struggling to hold them a bit on the climbs but catching up and passing them on the descents.

After around an hour we hit a loose flinty descent before a long fire road climb. I was sat at the back of the group on the climb. I was beginning to struggle with the pace and began to drop of when I realised that my rear tyre was really soft. I stopped and found a nice inch and a half gash in the sidewall; the latex had no chance to seal it. So I took the tyre off and put in a tube. Unfortunately a realised I had forgotten 2 things at the weekend, my Neo guard and my CO2 canisters, so I stood there pumping up the tyre for 5mins.

Once I got going again it was pretty cold. I took a few places back but then my legs decided that they didn’t want to work anymore. Every time I hit a climb from that point onwards my legs screamed at me to stop and I ended up loosing a few places. I even considered stopping at one point I felt so bad, but I couldn’t face 2 DNF’s in a week (I was a DNF at my 21st Birthday party as well, managed 11:00 before being put to bed, oops!). So I grovelled on trying my best to enjoy it but hurting lots.
I finished in the end, I’m not sure where. I was 40 something after my puncture so probably somewhere in the 30’s. At least I had a good ride out, although I’m not entirely sure why I went so badly. May be it was the after effects of my birthday, maybe it was just a bad day or maybe I had a curse put on me whilst I was in our accommodation!

No excuses though, my next race is Bristol 12. Between now and then its lots of uni work and training.

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