My performance at yesterday’s Oceania Championships was a rather spectacular display of how NOT to ride a bike in slippery conditions. If you close your eyes and picture Bambi on ice, and then picture Bambi on ice with two sprained ankles and blurred vision, then that’d come close to replicating how ungainly and uncoordinated I was on the muddy and rocky descents.
Despite my sloppy descending, I was able to climb and slip and slide my way to second place, a massive 12 or 13 minutes behind Rosara Joseph (NZ). I have mixed feelings about my race. On the one hand, I am frustrated by how slow I was in the wet conditions and disappointed to waste so much time in singletrack. On the other hand however, it was satisfying to achieve my goal of placing on the Oceania podium, and I am happy with how much my climbing has improved in the last three months. I was also happy that I rode to my race plan, which involved pacing myself and pushing smaller gears on the climbs.
Racing aside, the weekend was a lot of fun, with a lot of contrasting personalities crammed in to our apartment accommodation at Thredbo Alpine Village! The torrential rain was a welcome novelty after such a dry hot summer, and it was novel to ride in the mud - I think I’ve only ridden in the mud once or twice in the last few years!
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