Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Singletrack Mind - 8 hr - Rydal

Singletrack Mind - 8 hr - Rydal (Lithgo)

1st place - Male Solo

16 laps / 8 hrs 07 mins 52 secs

This weekend was round 6 of the Chocolate Foot Singletrack Mind Series.

The race was in a little town called Rydal, which is about 15 minutes outside of Lithgo.

Heading up for this race I was not sure what to expect. Just two (2) weeks since the Scott 24 hr I knew my tank would still be running close to empty.

Post solo 24's are strange. It will take me a good four (4) weeks to recover, and during this time you can have days on the bike feeling great - and others where you may as well just stay in bed.

Regardless, I knew I had to give this race a shot.  Garry James and I went out for a practice lap on the saturday arvo and were a little shocked with the track. Not shocked in a bad way, just not something we had seen before.

The track itself is contained literally within a few hundred square metres. But withing this small space there is 9km of singletrack! In order to achieve this mathematical oddity, there must be 1000 corners in the track. This is a track to practice every type of cornering skill.

From 180 degree off-camber switch backs, to 90 degree deep berms, to cornering whilst ducking under trees, up hill corners, down hill corners, corners with logs in the middle ... it is all corners!

Despite all these corners, the course did have a reasonable amount of flow - especially once I had ridden it a few times. The course also sported a couple of novel obstacles. These includes a couple of nice little jumps, little rock gardens and some interest pump track roll overs.

This practice lap was pretty skatey for me on my front tire - the 2.2 Race King. With so much of the track being off camber, and a lot of new sections just being cut in the lack of tire knobs was a concern. I headed out for another lap with an X-King on the front. A world of difference!

Come race start we would start at the bottom of a little fireroad. The teams riders took off quick, and Ed stomped past me on his single speed. I entered the single track a wheel behind Ed.

The first section of single track was ridden at a furious pace - with riders (including myself and Ed) either losing their footing around corners, or sliding out all together!  As soon as we hit the first little section of fireroad I knew I had to get in front of Ed - as he would be riding the bulk of the twisty singletrack for the first time and would be slow.  So, I hit the gas and was off.

From that point on I saw Ed and Garry a couple of times through the trees, but I knew I was making time on them each lap. So I settled into a comfy race pace.  As it heated up, I stopped to take on more fluid each lap and this worked well to keep away any cramps or heat problems.

In the end, I was able to maintain a pretty good pace for the 8 hrs and came to the end of the race feeling quite good. 

I actually quite enjoyed this track, and would definitely race here again.

Food & Nutrition

  • 9 x Torq Gels, 3 x Torq Bars, 2 x Cliff Shot Blocks
  • 8 x bottles of Torq Energy (2 scoops) + another 4 bottles of plain water


The Scott Spark was a great bike for this course. It's geometry really allows for you to hit a tight corner and keep weight on the front wheel. It also allows you to really throw the bike into the tight berms.

I ran the Spark in the middle lock out mode for the whole day, with a slightly higher shock and fork pressure then normal. About 170 PSI in the shock and 80 PSI in the forks.

For tires I ran the Continental 2.2 X-King Protection on the front, and a 2.0 Race King UST on the rear. This course was pretty safe for tires, and you could easily run Protection level tires without concern.


  • Robyn - for coming up and supporting me, Garry and Ed. Robyn has become quite an expert support crew. She knows exactly what I need and when. It is great riding and not having to think about that stuff!
  • ACT Bike Superstore - for getting both of my Sparks race ready (again). The new kit looked and felt great too
  • Chris Newman from Avanti - for the new Scott drink bottles. Lets just say my old bottles were getting a little manky ... 
  • Chocolate Food & all their sponsors / support - for putting on another well run event. Great event and great prizes from SRAM.

I'll update with some pics when they become available ...

Into transition ... wondering what food I will be getting ...

Ed telling me how fresh he is feeling ...

Pump track roll overs

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