G'Day Fellow Mountain Bikers,
Whilst the Hill 2 Hill is a great race, it was some time ago so you are probably wondering what I am doing drawing it to your attention again now. What made the 2007 event unique was the fact that Richard Beswick competed (in a year where business and an early midlife crisis have dominated his time). He could have come third without training for it if he had not stopped to check on the pilot of a media helicopter that crashed whilst filming him (Rich, put the bibs back on), and even with the stop got 5th.
It also has one of the greatest sport photos of all time embedded in it. Check out Burry and Brendan sprinting FLAT OUT after 105 kms of climbing.
Now whilst the exploits of these winged gods of cycling can be inspirational on a good day, it is also all too possible to be demoralised by their super human powers. I look to the common man when seeking my most inspirational performances of 2007, and that definitely means Wayne Flood and Jonty Doke of Mugg & Bean SuperCycling MTB Club.
At the Mugg & Bean 24HR, Wayne got up off the ground a big sleepy (and as close to grumpy as Wayne gets) lump and rode a lap time that was as fast as the pros. This is truly inspirational because Wayne is not a small lad, and it was the last lap before the cut-off time.
What prompted this super human performance was his team's need to get another rider out on the course before the cut-off to win their category. When Wayne got off the bike in the timing tent (you have to walk through in the 24HR) his legs wouldn't support him, but he had got Jonty out on the track by 30 seconds and inspired Jonty to ride a super human lap a seal the event for their team. That's the stuff legends are made of.
Speaking of heroics, if we define that as facing things that frighten you, then there are a couple of guys who have posted a very heroic ride performance on You Tube for you to check out. Well done lads!
Frankie Four Fingers has been known to have flashes of brilliance and insight in the course of his workaholic day, and during one of those decided to pack his bike in his car and have a mountain biking road trip with his cell phone turned off. I believe he is giving lessons in "turning off the phone" if you feel you need help.
He visited some well known and lesser known (almost secret) sections of single track and sent us back a review of his experiences. Check out the FOUR FINGERS AND NO PHONE REPORT here.
Just in case you drew the short straw and had to sit in the office all through the break, and all this talk of folks riding their bikes and having fun is just totally bleaking you out, we have a little something just for you. CHECK IT OUT HERE.
All that said, I have a new hip (thanks to the contents of my bank account) and a new bike (thanks to Mr.Gary Fisher himself), and there are new bike parks in the wings at Cult Cycling, and I can now almost keep up with children on the bike, so all in all it has been a good year from where I (now) stand (without crutches). I hope your has been as good, and look forward to riding some trails and telling some tall tales and true afterward with you soon.
Keep the rubber side down.
Geoff the Aussie