Tuesday, March 24, 2015

(Mud)blane March Hare

Sunday the 22nd of March 2015, is a day that I will remember for the rest of my life. This was the day that I did my first MTB race with my loverly wife, Linda. We have been having a few social weekend rides that normally entail breakfast and coffee but never any serious cycling. We woke up early on Sunday, contemplating whether or not we should ride because of the overnight rain and the possible mud on the route. I did a 75km ride, the day before on most of the route and it was pretty dry - but the overnight showers would change things dramatically. Linda was pretty nervous doing the distance of 35km (ended up being 40km), as she had never ridden that far and was also a bit wary of riding in cleats with her new shoes. 

Well, we made up our minds and got in the car knowing that there would be a bit of mud but most of the route should be ok. It was a really nice race organised by the Rotary club in Benoni, so the proceeds go to a worthy cause. We lined up at the start, all eager for our first real experience of racing together. Linda was awesome she managed the whole route and really enjoyed herself. I am so proud of her!!! 
At WP 2 after walking in mud for a few hundred meters 
The route was not too bad until we got to water point 2, at about the 15km mark. Here we were greeted with a very muddy road next to the miellies that was unridable. In fact, just pushing the bikes was hard as the wheels clogged up totally.

Never the less we cleaned our bikes as best we could and carried on the the railway tracks to ride in some beautiful Cosmos flower tunnels.
The track did get better in places and we realised that the race would be longer then anticipated but this did not phase Linda, as she soldiered on. 
Linda at the 28km mark 
Unfortunately with a few kms to go Linda got a rear flat tyre, I stopped and bombed it a few times and we limped into Dunblane Horse Estate where the start and finish was held.  Inside the estate there was still a good km to go to the finish, so we had no option but to put in a new tube. Very disappointing as loads of stragglers at the end of the race overtook us, so we pretty much ended up last. 
Wish she was riding tubeless!!!
At the finish she did create a bit of a spectacle by not uncleating and falling right on the finish line :-)
Incredible for Linda to finish she was so brave and determined. What an incredible experience it was for me to share my passion for mountain biking with someone that I love…. I was in my element.
What a champion my beautiful love is!!!

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