Friday, August 20, 2010

Roto-vegas and placebo braking

A break in the weather
My second single-speed road-trip took place last weekend when we hit the road for Rotorua via Taupo. It pretty much rained continuously the whole weekend. Not Wellington styled horizontal rain, but gentle, not-so-cold vertical rain.

This time it was Sepp and his buddy Kevin, myself, Peter "Magneto" Reynolds and his nephew Dan, who came down from Auckland. Once again the digs were pretty swish, but Peter and Sepp still had to have an arm wrestle over who got the double bed, even though there were two spare.
Dans Jefson Rohloff, very tasty.
It was quite a show, and after about 5 mins it was called off in a draw. I think the effort that Sepp put into it reflected in his below par performance on the sunday, and Peter elected not to ride at all, altho he did get out with Dan on the saturday. Sepp and Kevin also got out on the saturday where after a 2 hour ride Sepp decided he would sit in a hot pool by the side of the track and test his cell phone's water proof capabilities. After a couple of hours in front of the fire the phone was back to its original working state. Quite impressive.

Normally when it rains in an MTB race, I am not a very happy person, but in Rotorua the mud is completely different than the rubbish we have down here in Wellington. Everyone was basically riding around on summer tires! People obviously thought I looked a bit strange riding with a medusa mud tire on AND a rear mudguard. Yes, very uncool.

I just thought I'd throw this in...
My choice of a fairly low gear ratio was a good one in my book as I made a good start up the first hill. After about 30 mins my old buddy Susie Wood had caught me in the single track and we rode together for another 30 mins until we hit the first hills. I had to let Susie go at that point as my gear was too tall. (Susie went on to win the womans class). My rear brakes had already mostly gone (vee-brakes) so I was trying to limit my rear braking. I adjusted them 3 times over the race, and then started on the front brakes which were also coming into the bars. At least I was able to adjust them with the big knob on the top of the cyclinder. I was amazed at the "placebo-effect" of rear wheel braking when you dont actually have any brakes. It was teaching me how to ride more adventureously which is always a good thing.

I'd have to say the course was 95% rideable, apart from the walking bits, that only the single-speeders walk.
Another great weekend in Roto-vegas.