Okay, so I always write too slowly and then put off writing up a blog post during the week because I come home and feel like I’m too tired to write anything coherent so I’ve decided to experiment with just putting something up and then adding to it during the week as I have time and remember things that happened. Maybe this will work better than hoping I can sit down and write a post in one hit when my time management skills are so obviously poor. Anyway, to start with, here are some pictures from this weekend’s 12-hour MB race:

Or you could look at Jason’s flickr photos of the day, which are considerably better than mine.

So with a whole day’s mountain biking experience under my belt, it only made sense to enter a 12-hour race at night. Our team of four was me, Chong, Uncle Jason and Karl. Karl is the only one who has done one of these before and he was the driving force behind our team being set up. Whereas he was very prepared, the other three of us hadn’t even got supplies in until the morning of the race. I should have spent Saturday morning in bed but instead I got up early to take some students to surfing lessons; something I would pay for later. I didn’t actually surf, I just waved the students in the direction of the surf school, it was the early-ish rising that I would pay for. In any case, by the time I got home, Kazuko had done her morning ride and was busy preparing things for us to eat. The team was most impressed with her onigiri and chicken karaage that we got to eat during the night.

When Chong and Jason came around to pick me up, I was still figuring out what I needed to take and fluffing around the house throwing random stuff in my bag and hoping I hadn’t forgotten anything important. We had tasty hamburgers for lunch before heading off to Karl’s place.

Kaz waves goodbye from Rollerson Towers

As you can see, Rollerson Towers is experimenting with this season’s cutting edge fashion, ‘building site chic’. This time next year, everyone will decorate their house like this. And our place will probably look the same, as my brother has employed the world’s slowest builder to build the house out the back.

Loading up Karl's massive car.

Karl has some sort of massive four-wheel-drive car which allowed us to load it with stuff, including all four bikes without having to take any wheels off.  We also hada tent, a couple of chairs, a blow-up mattress, a chilly bin full of food, and sundry other items. We got to the site of the race in good time, paid our gold coin “donation” for parking and were able to choose a campsite right next to the race course.

Young child tries to infiltrate our operation.

Uncle Jason breaks out the peanut butter.

You may think  we over-catered for ourselves, but let me assure you, it turned out we were slumming it. The aging bogans in the camp next to us had brought a generator to power their ridiculous music system and whatever other electric toys they had brought with them. I didn’t catch whose music they were playing, but I did overhear one of them singing the Wiggles to himself as he was doing something to his bike. I suspect the Cold Chisel only comes out on special occasions these days when the missus is away. And without wishing to be too snide, there does seem to be something of a disconnect between the lap times they were telling each other they got during the race and their final team times.

Uncle Jason almost certainly took better photos than me of the event. (And he did)

Karl gets ready to open the racing for our team.

Once we’d settled in, there was little to do but wait about for the start and work on eating all the food we had brought with us. Our plan of attack was to send Karl off first,as he was the only one among us who had done one of these before. The rest of the batting order was chosen on strength, with Jason at first drop, then Chong and finally me. We based our calculations on averaging about one hour per lap so it made perfect sense to me to go last because if we didn’t have enough time for all of us to get three laps in, I would be the one to miss out and it would probably be my fault as well. Also, I reckoned I was most likely to not want to do a third lap.

Big crowd for briefing.

At the pre-race briefing, we were informed that the race had the maximum possible number of competitors, 400, and I’m pretty sure that out of all of them, I was the only one who still had reflectors on his spokes. I thought I might have pie-plate exclusivity as well but I did spot one on another bike during the night.

After the briefing, Karl headed off for the start line while Chong, Jason and I lingered around the finish and transition area before heading back to the campsite to make ourselves comfortable and wait for Karl to cycle past.

Karl nears the end of the first lap. Note the red eyes of rage. His chain came off very early on and he claims he was the last rider on the course for a while. Luckily for me, this meant I didn't ride the slowest lap of the night.

Karl and Chong get a Mexican wave going while Jason is out on the course somewhere showing the rest of us how to ride.

Early morning. The sun is up, making riding easier but it was a bit chilly in the forest.

Uncle Jason waiting to ride what would have been our 14th lap.

The course ran through the campsite. Here is some bloke riding past.

And here is the reason we only got 12 laps in. Karl is too strong for his chain. Apparently this is all the excuse he needs to buy a new bike. He was overheard telling his wife that there was a world-wide shortage of 10-speed chains.

Part of the campsite.

My bike.

I crashed so much that I may as well have just rolled my bike in dust.

Jason's bike. Not a Bianchi?

My forks. I knew you'd want to look at them.


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