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Sniggle de luxe


By Lach - Posted on 23 September 2013

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Kowalski Classic 2013
Status: 
Finished
Laps: 
1
Time: 
03:45:29
Position (Overall): 
334
Position (Category): 
37

Did the half, but no heroics to report here. Congrats to all that did well.
I knew I was in trouble as soon as I realised that Seismic Hill just kept going up and up, way past where the Mont "sort out" lap had speared off into the first bit of real track. I'd optimistically started with wave 3b and by the time I eventually reached the first bit of sniggle, I was languishing well and truly near the back of that group. Got to ride by myself for the next few km's, until the front runners from group 4 started to drift by. At that stage I was still re-aquainting myself with damp roots and rocks. Some of the roots were polished to a brilliant shine...
Just as well I'd read all that forum talk on overtaking Smiling Actually , Kowen is pretty good for this, especially the pine forest areas, where there is often space to ride just off the track and let riders by without having to stop. Had no real issues, although one guy who I'd been talking to about the track suddenly appeared on my right as I moved right and called him by on the left. Lucky there was a bit of room just there...
Found the first half of the course pretty hard going, as it not only had the most climbing, but seemed to be on the south side of the ridge (I'm guessing here), and so was still pretty damp from the rain earlier in the week. Don't know what it was like for the early starters, but some of the wetter bits were very ordinary by the time I got there, especially the newer sections. There were a few sections where I was having worrying flashbacks to the 2010 Capital Punishment. Sure, it was a bit warmer and it wasn't raining, but I was still struggling to plough through some of that mud, which sucked my wheels almost to a standstill. Anyway, with another year of riding, the newer sections should be OK for 2014...
After the first feed station, the conditions were generally better (north side of the ridge?), and more frequently downhill, so I had a ball. Great to do some of the Mont sections again in daylight and with a back brake!
Got to the finish just after it started to rain, so didn't stay around to get soaked in the atmosphere of the event centre.
Thanks to Ants for the tips on bike set up in the forum prior to this event. Ran both forks and shocks a tad softer than usual, took a psi or two out of both tyres and wound the rebound back a click or two. That all meant I winced in nervous anticipation a few times on some of the jagged rocks that abound in Kowen, but with tubeless tyres, I had no problems and I felt the bike handled better and my back was less troubled than it often is on that sort of single track.
My almost-new Rubena Kratos on the front didn't miss a beat, but the Crossmark on the rear was a bit sketchy. Maybe that's just my riding style....
Looking forward to a flatter (and drier!) hit out at the Husky, but need to change out a fair bit of ageing drive train on the Niner before then. Even more reason to hope for a dry track there this time Smiling

That mud sure was energy- sapping stuff. But at least it made us appreciate the dry sections even more!

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