After a couple of months of so, of intense marathon racing, I was looking forward to the more social Chocolate Foot SingleTrackMind Series to come around.
It was a fantastic start to the series, with the Rnd 1 being hosted at the awesome trails at Kiwarrak State Forest and hosted by the Taree Tip Riders club. A spectacular day for racing, buffed trails, had teams and solo riders alike turning up in numbers for the first round with over 200 riders entered. The event centre was buzzing with plenty of smiling and familiar faces.
I had been up to Kiwarrak some years ago, and had great memories of the trails up there. The 'racetrack' for the event didn't disappoint, with 10km a single track selected out of the trail network that was filled with flowing track, bridges, berms and only a couple small but very achievable climbs. This made for a great track for all levels, which is was Chocy Foot races are about - fun and participation.
The SXC Racing team was represented this weekend by one of our new team members Graham Nisbet and myself, both entering the 4hr male solo (fun with a little bit of pain thrown in). Graham had some nerves and was a little apprehensive, but after a faster recce lap, was ready to race.
Race day was a sunny 23 degrees, and was perfect for racing. Lining up on the second row had me with all the familiar faces, and set expectations for a fast couple of laps. That's exactly how it begun, with the first 3-4 laps had us racing around in the top 10 overall averaging over 22kmh. It was first time i had raced solo at one of these events, and i was little unsure of the pace. It was a little trial and error, and i used some known racers Mike Israel and Phil Welch (riding pairs this year) to help keep the pace honest.
After the intensity of the first few laps myself and one of the younger solo racers set a rhythm, swapping turns and keeping each other company over the next couple of hours. I love these races because, everybody is friendly and ready for a chat, making for a great day out on the bike.
Graham had a similar day. Being more tuned for the 2hr or 50km races he kept the pace smooth and even, to ensure he didn't over do it too early. Consistency is key and he performed brilliantly for his first 4hr in a pretty hot open field.
It turned out to be a great day for results for the team, i took out the Masters 4hr Solo and came in 4th overall and Graham coming in 3rd in Male 4hr Opens and 6th overall a fantastic start for Grahams first ride in this format.
Thanks to. Chocy Foot for a great fun day out. Looking forward to the next round down at Mogo - bring on that Single Track !