SPAM Biking September Blast, Erlestoke, Wiltshire.
Choice of one, two or three laps of a 30km route.
I did three laps, although it turned out to be 78km in total.
I've been riding the bike fully rigid since I bought the frame and intended to leave it that way for this race.
The new (second hand off ebay) forks turned up on Friday, though, and I couldn't resist fitting them.
Well worth it as, although they are about 1kg heavier, I can ride over pretty much any type of terrain on an XC course without having to slow down just to be able to hang on.
My bike as it is now. I've tried a few different variations, but for me and the way I ride, it's just about spot on. The only things I intend to change are to mount the pump by the bottle cage and swap the position of the frame bag and GPS on the top tube.
Lynskey Ridgeline 29 titanium frame
Fox F29 100mm RLC forks
Rohloff rear hub with 13t sprocket
Truvativ Noir carbon cranks
Renthal 34t chainring
Hope ceramic bottom bracket
Egg Beater pedals with ward Industries titanium spindles
DT Swiss 470 rims
Fizik Gobi seat
Thomson seat post
Hope Mini Mono brakes
I've had a long term problem with pins and needles in my hands when riding and experimented with ergo style grips to help. They didn't make much difference, so I have gone back to regular round grips, but with a shorter, more angled stem to take some of the weight off my hands. That, combined with forcing myself to relax my shoulders since I learned that most of the problem was caused by tension in my neck and shoulders putting pressure on the nerves to my hands, has almost eliminated it.
The upright stem spoils the racy look a bit, but if combined with the stubby bar ends it means I can change my hand position and ride for 3+ hours non stop, it's worth it.
Anyway, back to race...
Only about 15 riders pre entered for 3 laps, so I knew it was going to get a bit lonely on the last lap.
The first lap was busy though, a long grassy track across fields to get everyone spread out, then in to the woods.
No traffic jams, everyone was holding a reasonable pace and it was fun being part of a long line of bikes snaking in between the trees.
The event starts at the base of an escarpment and the course generally goes up or down it or along the base or ridge. Lots of climbing and a bit windy up the top.
I managed to hit 66.9km/h down one chalk track.
I don't think I could have done that with rigid forks.
Only one crash, although it was a good one. High speed grassy descent and I got stuck in a rut hidden in the long grass.
I was off, sliding along the grass, up again and back on the bike within about 30 seconds. If that was on one of the chalk tracks it would have been a bit different, they're like concrete when they're dry.
I set off on my 3rd lap with no one in sight in front. there was one rider about 200m behind me and I held him there for the first half of the lap.
He eventually caught me up and passed me.
There was a bit of singletrack coming up and I didn't want to get stuck behind him, so I put a bit of a sprint on and got ahead again.
I left him behind, but then it seemed to be one long grassy climb after another and he got in front again.
I was soon on my own again with no other riders in sight until I saw him at the bottom of a dip mending a puncture. Probably a pinch flat from crossing the rock hard chalk ruts at speed. I'm glad I ride tubeless.
I caught up and overtook a couple of two lap stragglers and got back in 5:10.
16th/18 who did three laps, but there were quite a few who entered for three laps and only did two, so not so bad.
5547Kcal. Garmin's calorie counter is more of a novelty feature than a serious training aid, but this is the first time I've gone over 1000Kcal per hour on a long ride.
I also borrowed Mrs Wolf's HRM as mine doesn't seem to be working, so it's the first time I've got HR info for a long ride.
Average 150bpm for 5+ hours. I think the 211bpm peak at 0:03:00 must be an error.http://connect.garmin.com/activity/49717711http://www.spambiking.co.uk/downloads/m ... ESULTS.pdf