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Mont 24 2013: How good was that?

By hawkeye - Posted on 25 March 2013

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Mont 24 2013
NOBMOB Team Big Test Icicles
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Brady Bunch
Position (Category): 

It's amazing how much difference a little word makes sometimes. In my case, this year it is "lumens"

This year the lighting was much improved thanks to kind "sponsor" Ferei Lights Australia, who also bring in the German brand MyTinySun providing some vastly improved bar lights. Apart from a headcold a few weeks ago the training leadup was much better too.

As I hate getting to these kind of events with a rush, I like to get there early and get rego and a part or full course recon out of the way. It turns out this was a good choice as we needed to give our Mont first timers a run in daylight to familiarise themselves with the track, meaning part or all of Josh and my first lap would be under lights.

And what a course it was. Some of the nasty bits like "Organ Grinder" were gone and a whole new section called "The Far East" was cut in, with ripper sections called "Love You Long Time" and "Stud Muffin" which were a hoot. Not sure if it was new this year, but "The Front Nine" was also highly memorable. And then there were last year's favourites "Kowalski's Sideshow" and "Kowalski's Beer Garden", and a few fun bits of timberwork elsewhere to spice things up. Best Mont track ever.

I was stoked to find my first lap which was wholly in the dark, at 1:10:15 was as good or better than my fastest previous daylight lap on a much shorter course. Having decent lighting with a nice broad beam spread made such a difference to maintaining momentum on the twisty bits, as I was able to stay off the brakes much more, maintaining speed and conserving effort. I could see what was coming up without having to fill in the gaps between the hotspots by memory, which I find really difficult to sustain for long.

Hans's son Ben took my 1:10 lap personally Eye-wink and set out to show me who was quickest. A sub-1hr lap next time out - I think he definitely won that argument Smiling

My second lap at 1:15-odd was in part due to only using half-power on the bar lights - in my exertion-addled brain I didn't think to check the power setting, I was thinking the issue was me. Near the halfway mark on a fire road section I clicked the button - facepalm time.

The twisty bits where I was creeping around last year in survival mode at night I could see so much better, I was so much more relaxed and comfortable around the spots like both Kowalskis and Aunty Flo it was almost as good as riding in the day. Instead of being constantly asked to move over, it felt weird to be the one doing the asking so much of the time, and I could see well enough to let the elites past without breaking my momentum much at all.

Due to some mechanical and lower back discomfort issues in the early morning shift Sunday, our two first timers were off the track, Josh was unable to fill the gap due to an inflamed knee and we had no-one on the circuit for a couple of hours. C'est la vie.

One disappointment was Hans being barged into a tree by an unannounced last overtaker in a train of three, trying to squeeze past through a gap that wasn't there. Failing to stop or even apologise, I believe a word was had to them about their riding afterwards by race control thanks to the rear-facing race plates. Hans was in a bit of pain but returned to the track for another lap later.

Lap three I underestimated Hans's pace and arrived at transition a few minutes late, but by that stage our race was over and we were circulating just for the fun of it. So my start-to-finish time of 1:12 and some seconds per the Garmin I was pleasingly consistent, considering I had zero sleep due to generator noise from a nearby team.

But that's not why we went. For me it was about scooting around the forest together with my son and a bunch of like-minded maniacs on a great course and trying to ride your absolute best. After last year, in the leadup to this year I was thinking this would be the last one I do. But I had such good fun hurtling around there I wanna do it again. More please!

I was really impressed with my young bloke's efforts. A big improvement in his fitness, and his character is maturing too. He came across a rider stranded at the 7km mark with both sets of lights dead. Without being asked he offered to swap helmets with him, and arranged where to swap them back. Sure, he was a few minutes late but we're not in it for the sheep stations and it saved someone a very long walk in rigid bike shoes. Well done, young man! Smiling

Thanks to Hans and Ben, Lach and Jordan for tagging along, the company and humour were great. Lach and Jordan, you guys did really well. It can be hard first time out, especially with all the quick guys wanting to pass seemingly every few minutes, but I view it as an opportunity to learn a bit from them for the few seconds they're in sight Eye-wink

Time to go and do some more stretches. Man am I gonna be sore tomorrow Evil

Sounds like you guys had a good time.
Was a great race.

Josh was bummed that his knee blew up. Until then he was pretty determined that we were going to be staying overnight Sunday night so we could ride again Monday morning!

Glutton for punishment lol Evil

I needed a rest stop just b4 I got home & tried the Harrington Grove track lucky I did it was awesome .

My mate and I did the 37km Sparrow loop on Monday morn!
We stayed in Queanbeyan Sunday night, went to the pub and had pizza.
I couldn't have driven home Sunday arvo.

... much more civilised than staying out there with no showers or loos.

Did you have to book ahead, or was it simply a matter of turning up and picking up a casual vacancy?

Booked ahead. Fairly basic place but pretty cheap, we've stayed there 3 times now - no complaints about bikes inside either (they might not have noticed?). Also walking distance (10min) to the pub so we didn't have to drive after a few beers.
Last year we stayed there and rode out to Kowen and Sparrow after my mates car broke down.

Sound like a lot of fun was had. Its a tough game that 24 hour racing, regardless of how many are in the team. Look forward to riding the Kow some time soon, probably not in a race situation. Nice times too, you must be pretty pleased with that sort of improvement, but more pleased with just enjoying the riding more now you can see where you are going.

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