Sunday, June 02, 2013

When spray painting your dog....

When spray-painting your dog its important to mask out the eyes and ears. After applying a white base coat you can over-spray in the colour of your choice.

Simon and Dave discuss tactics
 This little doggie (Ducat) was very popular at the Wainui Worlds 6 hour event the other weekend. He pulled more chicks than a well-heeled dude with a 'Fat-bike" !

Four of us were riding with the Biketec Team, and our Team Leader Simon was doing double time on the Cycle Science Team. Our team consisted of Dave -  907 Fat bike. Chris - Cannondale Prophet and Simon had a Merida hard tail and a Transition Transam. I had my Karate Monkey and my Singular Kite, both running drop bars. There wasn't room for my fully in the end, and with the weather looking like it was going to be miserable it was probably a good idea to keep springy and pivoty things home in the dry.

Simon had been raving about his Transition 29er for quite a while so I was keen for a blast on it. I tried to encourage everyone to run the same pedals so we could swap about. One of the coolest things with teams racing is being able to try a different rig on the same course and compare it with the previous one.

Dave's Fat Bike was not idea for the conditons (no snow or sand to be seen) and I think the lap Simon did on it saw him come in with the reddest of all his faces on. I wasn't that keen and had my hands full with other bikes. Considering Dave's fitness he did bloody well to punt it around in the sticky mud.

Someone had to say it. Dave, your baby is FAT !

I did the first lap on my Karate Monkey with the Knard on the front and it felt like hard work. It does feel hard when you are not even keeping pace with guys who are supposed to be racing for 6 hours themselves, but ours was strictly a fun team so there were no big expectations. 

Airing up the Knard
 I eagerly grabbed Simons Transistion Transam for my next lap and was really impressed. Its the closest thing to a motorbike I have ever ridden that still had pedals on. It had a big-hit fork up front with a 20mm thru-axle and big fat Hans-dampf tires on it. It had monsterous bars, a tiny stem and it was very forgiving while also being quick handling. The geometry reminded me a lot of my Karate Monkey, with its shortish rear stays, but a quick check of the stats showed that it was a full pound heavier at 6.4 pounds, and the cockpit was a fair bit longer. This bike is bullet-proof. It was a real blast to ride for sure, but not ideal for the course we were riding on. Had the Spoon Hill section been in the mix this bike would have been in its element.

Karate Monkey and Kite

 My next lap was on my Singular Kite cross bike which I had just recently converted to single-speed. I was running a 34-18 gearing combo and it just flew up the climbs. It was the lightest rig by a long way at a sniff over 20 pounds. This lap was a real blast but I would have lost a bit of time on the lower Snail Trail on my 33mm tires.

When you are in a 4 man team you don't get that many laps, and my last one was back on the Monkey, this time with the Knard substituted for something weighing about a kg less. It was my best lap and I think it was a toss-up for which lap was the most fun. They were all different in their own way, but I am definitely a drop-bar fan at WTP. On these kind of courses you can run a pretty simple rig, rigid, drop-barred or single-speed and be giving away next to nothing.

In the end the rain cleared up about 30 mins before we started and the course held up beautifully, which apparently is more than you could say for the event it clashed with in Rotorua. The organisation was awesome and there was a cool very low-key vibe. It would be a great course to do a solo 6 hour on.

My lap times
1. Wasn't a full lap.
2. 26.57 - Transition Transam
3. 26.12 - Singular Kite Singlespeed CXer
4. 25.24 - Surly Karate Monkey