Bayview Blast 2018
When you just aren't about the solo base km's.. take up marathon racing, then you'll never be alone right ? Bayview Blast - I have heard huge amounts about this race and its huge amount of sweet trail, so it automatically appealed to me. Although there was mass trail the race was 94km, definitely not my standard XCO race but after P2P I thought why not? A good excuse to escape the Armidale weather for the long weekend and have some laughs with a rough bunch of squids (Mick, Carlos and Riley..)
A big trip and late night Friday getting to QLD had me feeling cooked on our pre race course recon Saturday morning. The legs where sore and my head was tired.. I hadn't felt this bad on the bike in a long time, Carl was even carving me up on the fire road climbs. Yikes.
This definitely got the old nerves up.. Would I be able to hold it with our current XCM national champ AB ? Would I even be able to finish the 94km of single trail ?
With all this in mind I tried every trick in the book to prepare me for the next day to the extreme. I am talking bulk magnesium, watching Remember the Titans for motivation, bulk restin' and bulk carbs .. to the extent of food coma, where I had to lay in the recovery position to nurse my food baby. Surely this would cure me and put get the legs into gear?
With my unknown condition after a little post P2P holiday and my strange tired legs, I started talking tactics with coach Dave. How was I going to drag the body through the race and avoid leaving pieces of exploded Holly all over the track? We decided it would be a good opportunity to change up my usual flat out till you blow up routine and try a more conservative and well thought out approach.
An 8am start had the crew up early ready to go. Crumpets being my new race breakfast of choice. I then placed an entire row of trusty Clif Blocks along my top tube much to everyones disgust, especially considering the mud and creek crossings in the trail, but I'm not fussy when it comes to that.
We cruised down to the start line with a bit of confusion as to what direction we where actually going to start .. after working this out all the elite men and women started in the first wave. Quickly I scanned around looking for Anna's green and gold jersey, I attached myself to her wheel and didn't let go and dayum!!! AB can shred her rig down some single trail!! So smooth, hitting sneaky gap jumps that I otherwise wouldn't have noticed and railing the berms with maximum commitment. Froth levels were at an all time high.
Anna held a solid pace throughout the punchy trails, I tried to stay relaxed and smooth while saving as much energy as possible.
I maintained her wheel till just over half way where we went through the start finish zone about to go out on our second loop. I was happy to see the PCS crew holding out a bottle for me and providing heaps of encouragement.
As we began the first climb of the second lap I decided it was time to see what was in the tank. I waited for a bit of a fire road and increased the pace, putting myself on the front of our train. Then I continued my smooth is fast tactic while trying to maintain a solid pace. I worked hard... not thinking to much until I remembered that I had a big red headed mate up the road. Some could say that Riley and I are a little competitive with each other, but that would probably be an understatement. Now I had a target, I put my head down went up a few gears and punched it out until I caught a glimpse of the Base 2 Race kit (it's a hard one to miss).
I stood up and came past the big fella with all the speed in my legs. We battled it out for a while, trying to drop each other through the single trail. Unfortunately Riley picked up a little mate in his rear derailleur and I kept trucking.
With under 20km to go I tried to maintain my focus by catching as many teams riders and exploded elite men as I could. Soon enough I found myself on the last descent, my favourite piece of trail. Big smooth flowing berms, I mean really .. does it get better!
I was happy to cross the line with a win in the womens category and 6 minutes in front of Riley (but who's counting, right big fella ? ;) ). So I guess my Saturday legs had deceived me! I was even happier when I saw that Mick had snagged himself a 3rd in the elite men, not bad for the little fella!
Bayview Blast was an awesome race, definitely one to put on your list if you are a trail frother, the Rats Cycling Club definitely deserves a massive pat on the back for an awesome event.
Huge thanks to the PCS crew for taking Mick and I under their wing, it made our life so much easier! Also thanks to Riley, Carl and Mick - you three make racing feel more like a holiday then a race.