Squadra di Vecchi Tori

40 minutes in the pain box – Dirty Deeds CX 3 – 29.8.10 by kiwicyclist
August 30, 2010, 10:55 pm
Filed under: Rides

Dirty Deeds CX co-organiser Nikcee showing us how its done – Canadian style.

The third race and the series was wrapped up on Sunday afternoon back at the site of our original race, the surrounds of Brunswick Velodrome in Northcote.  However the sneaky beak course designers came up with an absolute cracker of a course, over a similar area to that covered last time but in a reverse direction and with steps and about a third more area covered,  including a section out across the road and up a hill outside the immediate vicinity of the velodrome.

Somehow this race was special – maybe with experience the organisers had got the formula ‘just right’ or maybe it had something to do with the crowd, or maybe it was because this was the last in the series and all three had been so good.  Either way it was the best race yet, starting with the course which ‘flowed’ and allowed plenty of fairly fast paced (by the leading riders anyway) racing.  Dave Ollie even showed up with a video camera and footage will feature on his TV show topbike TV (Channel 31) later in the new year http://www.topbiketv.com/.

The open category was well supported with a number of riders sporting ‘inappropriate’ bikes again – our bmx champ was there and in good company with another bmxer taking part, Matt Gray on his fixie who ended up taking out the win (I told him afterwards that with riding like that he should come down and ride track with us) and a range of ages from the oldest competitor (who came down from Mt Beauty for the weekend) at 54 and the youngest competing with her dad on a mini mtb at the tender age of 9.

The mudpit this time provided the most vocal crowd participation – as can be seen from the photo above it was even more viscous, foul smelling and lengthy than our first race and attracted plenty of heckling and enthusiastic crowd participation with plenty of riders ending up getting a mud bath or beer shower.  I was told no less than 5 riders spilled into the fence or fence post so we were probably lucky that only pride was wounded.

As per previous races I finished fairly far down the pack at around 36 out of 50 or so in the cx category – an ‘honest effort’.

To give you an idea of what it is like to race I’ve tried to capture a stream of consciousness on my most eventful lap – the first one out of 6.

“Ok I’m sitting just behind the lead row of riders on the start line at the far end of the grass in the centre of Brunswick Velodrome with an expanse of marked out grass in front of me listening to Brendan crack lame jokes while we wait for the start. I edge forward right foot clicked in to get in behind the front row of riders spread out about 20 across with several rows behind – “better to get a good start while I can”.  Nath our commissaire suddenly yells ‘go’ and we are off in a mad scramble trying to get cleats clicked in and engaged.  

“This could be interesting” I think as about 12 of us try to take the first sharp left hand turn in the middle of the velodrome, “phew, around safely” despite almost bumping tires with the guy in front.   

Hard right hand turn, I drop a gear,  as the first barrier to jump looms – I unclip the right leg, swing it over the back of the bike and leap “gazelle like” ( at least in my minds’ eye) over the barrier (more likely like a sack of potatoes – ed) while unclipping with the left.  I reclip by jumping off my right foot,  to land on the flat part of the sole of my shoe on the left, swing my leg over and bang hard on the pedal to re-engage the cleats – left in ‘good’ ‘don’t slip off the right’, right in now we are away again, heart pounding we race up the perimeter of the velodrome, loop through a 90 degree turn and smash down the other side, through a small mud pit and back over the next set of barriers before switching onto the concrete perimeter. 

Meantime the pack has spread out and I can see other riders stretching out ahead – quick headcheck – about 20 or so behind me “not to bad” I think as I bump the gear lever up a couple of notches and hit higher gears to get around the concrete as quick as I can.  I pull up half way on the bank as the next turn comes and drop down quick across the concrete skirt before hitting the grass – “gotta watch out for that mud patch near the edge onto the grass as its slippery”.  I drop a gear and get out of the saddle to get a fast route across the middle of the velodrome before turning through the barrier and exiting straight up and over the concrete again past the kiosk – large crowd yelling and the announcer blearing but I can’t hear or concentrate on too much as my head is pounding at the effort to pump blood around my system.  I exit over the hump and into a short sweeping downhill left turn – mudpit at the apex up against the concrete path and fairly slippery again but I make it through unscathed and bump up a couple of gears pushing hard along the concrete path.  A quick shimmy between the posts at the entrance to the carpark chasing another rider hard with 3 riders on my tail,  quick weight transfer to the left to avoid hitting the low rail next to the path out on the street.  I can see the hill coming up too quickly on my right as the markers take me into a sharp right hand turn and the sealed path that heads up the hill. 

Out of the saddle I pump the pedals as hard as I can feeling my heartrate jump another couple of notches – quick check of my heartrate monitor tells me it has soared to 171 bpm or about 95% of my max.  As we near the top of the hill a small cocker spaniel saunters across the course – a frantic yell of “dog” gets passed down the line – I crest the hill and start to zigzag back down next to the path I’ve just climbed on the grass, narrowly missing the spaniel – left hand turn, lean hard into the corner, touch of the brakes, another chicane and then a flat section of path ending at the steps, about 2 feet high through what looks like a garden with trees and a shrub to avoid.  I hit the brakes and similtaneously swing my left leg over again and while still moving push int0 the first step with my right foot, bike swinging around and onto my right shoulder – it lands hard – 4 quick pumps of the legs taken at a run and I’m up and over to the path above the velodrome – lot of noise at the top with cowbells and yelling from around 20 spectators, cameras clicking, I jump back on the bike and fumble with the cleats – left in pump the pedals, speed building up as I take the sweeping right hand turn and then left hand bend of the path around the perimeter of the velodrome. 

At the bottom I touch the brakes to burn off speed and make a sharp left hand turn into the mudpit section.  “Better hit this hard and keep going” I think as it looks deep, I move over to the section on the right, close to the fence.  Unfortunately the rider in front thinks of the same and just before the end of the fenceline 2/3rds of the way in he slides out right in front of me, his bike jackknifing at a right angle while I plough on powerless to stop the impact I know is about to come.  A huge roar comes from the crowd as I T- bone him and slide out in the mud – “shit” I think.  I get to my feet, pull the bike up, jump on and keep pedalling, doing a quick inventory check – bike seems ok, legs sting a bit but they are ok, nice scrape down the calf but its superficial.  “Hope I didn’t break a spoke on the other bike.”

I exit the mud and stand on the pedals, steering seems slightly out as I glance down and realise the handlebars are a bit out – “must have been a bit too loose” – I’ll have to find a good spot to do a quick realignment.

I drop down to the lowest gear and build up momentum for the small hill in front that I push up and across before freefalling down the otherside into a sharp right hand turn.  Next barrier coming up, I leap over it in one movement to remount quickly before heading into the sharp left hand turn – quick touch of the brakes I’m around and zigzagging along a nice fast singletrack section with bushes whipping at my arms and legs. 

I check my heartrate as I turn to the left again – still high at 170, my lungs are burning.  I look up and pump the pedals hard to climb the hill once more, angling slightly to the right as I go up, I have to get out of the saddle in the lowest gear as I feel the back wheel sliding out but I stay upright and crest it successfully.  Quick stop at the top I dismount, front forks between my legs I twist the handlebars back into alignment and jump back on  – “good only a couple of riders sneak past” . 

I click up a couple of gears and hit a faster speed as I skirt along another gravel single track, past the pylon and whizzing by the grandstand full of spectators yelling and screaming before hitting the brakes hard to turn 90 degrees to down across the apron of the velodrome.  I make the first bend on the grass, the commentator yelling out something about ‘Stu” and “his kiwi skinsuit” before I cut across the midfield of the velodrome for the second lap.”

And so on, for 5 more laps of pain.

Anyway, as always a picture tells a thousand words, and here are some of the better ones, taken by Sime who kindly commandeered my camera for the CX race.

Youtube clip swiped from fyxomatosis –

‘Look mum I’m on TV’:

The mudpit and ‘that fence’:

Barrier jumping – well the pros make it look elegant anyway…

One of the hottest dressed competitors and she rightly won a prize for the outfit…

The mud caused all manner of mayhem.




Worthy of a beer-up:

Greg –  prize winner for most inappropriate bike/riding gear – midrace chillin with attachable rubber chicken helmet accessory slung back – class:

“Hup! Hup! Hup!

“pass me a beer willya?”

“Lovin it”




1 Comment so far
Leave a comment

Nice work Stu. I note your caption to one of the pics, “One of the hottest dressed competitors and she rightly won a prize for the outfit…”. To my mind that necessarily infers that along with the dressed competitors, there was also a category for undressed competitors? If so, did you get any photos?

Comment by marcusoc

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: