Sunday, March 30, 2008

Monsoon attacks at Nelson Enduro!

Sue winds it up for her first dry lap...

Last weekend a team of Ventana Gringos embarked on their first 12 hour assignment; the R&R Nelson Enduro.
Usually renowned for it's awesome course, the organisers didn't fail this time round, although pinch climbs and the threat of an impending monsoon served to halve the number of teams at this normally well attended event. Hard core bikers who did turn up were treated to some premium single track riding.

Jane Rose on her maiden race aboard an El Fuego pumped out smoking first laps, Oliver following with another two, powering the El Padrino 29er to a position at the lead of the field. Sue and Jo aboard El Saltamontes put in some solid times before the rain began to set in, and the track began turning to mush.

Climbs that were previously on the edge of rideable became traction sucking quagmires, and water began to pool on descents, giving the riders a muddy but refreshing shower.

Still team Ventana soldiered on, braving the tough conditions to spit out consistent lap times; no mean feat given the deteriorating conditions.

Many riders enjoyed the conditions so much,
they took home part of the track with them!

It was no surprise when the organisers decided to shorten the event to 8 hours, and after 6 hours of hard slog in the rain the pop-up caravan was hastily popped-down, and muddy bikes and bodies were stashed in the comfort of the car.

Recovery of the day to Jo, who after being headbutted off the side of a bridge by a wayward solo rider jumped back on and pulled off another lap, a testament to true grit!

Munter of the day to Oliver who was so caught up in his first lap excitement that he took a two minute detour. Perhaps his failure to attend race briefing had something to do with it!

Kudos also to Aaron whose single speed team placed first overall. His choice of an El Toro with 2:1 ratio was ideal given the chain suck inducing muck that was being thrown around. Aaron also scored the fastest lap time proving irrefutably that gears are indeed an unnecessary luxury (if you have the determination and legs of an ox!)
Aaron shredding the course on his Toro

The Ventana team recorded fastest lap times for both genders in the mixed division, with Jane and Oliver pulling off flyers during the early dry laps.

Finishing second in the mixed category, the team showed courage and determination in the adverse conditions. It is riding experiences like the one they survived that make mountainbiking challenging yet rewarding, and despite mud caked bikes and faces it is safe to say that not one of the Ventana Gringos would have rather been somewhere else!

Mountain Pedaler out...

No comments: