When you don’t mind the thorny bushes beside the trail making artwork on your skin; when you don’t mind the skin being peeled off as mother earth takes generous amounts of it as you do a funky slide on the trail; when you don’t mind the tiny rivulets of that red liquid which looks like tomato ketchup oozing out of you; and when you don’t mind the earth shaking and bone jarring feeling when a tree or two take offence to your intrusion and decide to take you head on; does that mean that the fun quotient is higher than the pain quotient? You bet it is!
That was certainly the case at BBCh XC race this morning at Turahalli.
|At the start line this morning at Turahalli..|
The guys did a tremendous job of selecting a trail that had just enough uphill grinding, just enough technical drops and turns and just enough heady rush of the fast sections. It was quite a package. All in a 3km loop. There were probably as many spills and thrills as there were riders. Plenty of them. It was a huge turnout as is becoming the norm this season in BBCh.
The loop started out with a tricky grinding climb on lose soil followed by a slightly steeper climb but on more firmer ground. Then it descended with small drop and sharp turn which takes you into a couple of fast sections through the forest leading again to the start, closing the loop.
The huge turnout and a mass start meant that those who managed to sprint ahead got away from the slow train pileup that followed. Once you get attached to a train it is not very easy to break away by overtaking people on the single track. The trail did take out a lot of casualties with punctures, a few bad falls, plain old fatigue and a quite a few mechanicals like derailleur hangers breaking in two.
Once I missed the break away front group and spent a lot of time sorting through the latter group, it was clear that it is going to be a lot of struggle to complete 5 loops. I got washed out on a turn on a fast section in the first loop and landed heavily on my hip. I managed to get up and start riding immediately and was joined by a burning sensation for the entire ride. Just as I got up and got going, Surya decided to fight for right of way with a tree and the tree won. What was he thinking? It was its terrain of course!
As the loops went on one by one, Gana of Cleated Warriors and Vivekanandan of Veloscope Racing went past me. I was beginning to feel effects of riding on an empty stomach. The ridiculous mismatch of single digit speeds and redlining HR was quite disheartening and I was hoping that the leaders would lap me a couple of times so that I can stop with just 3 loops. According to the rules once the leader of the race completes 5 loops the race ends with whatever loop you’re at after that. I was on my 4th lap when Darren went past me. That meant that the race ends for me at the completion of my 4th since someone ahead of me would have completed 5 loops. I was relieved to realize that and see the checkered flag just as I was approaching the finish line.
The KYNKYNY Wheelsports team made the podium in Men’s category their own by taking the top 5 positions.
|George(3rd), Bharath(2nd), Darren(1st) and Naveen(4th) on an all black and yellow Men’s podium|
|Shilpa(2nd), Meera(1st) and Manmeet(3rd) made the Women’s podium|
The Kid’s Race..The Real fun..
The main race was followed by kid’s race. Many parents were at the venue with their kids and their bikes. It was like a picnic atmosphere. The kids of all sizes and ages were brimming with energy and enthusiasm. 16 kids participated in the race with a few parents running behind their kids to ensure their safety. I think the kids did much better than most of us. They had a ball.
|Kid’s podium… The tiny package at back came first 🙂|
As is always the case, the volunteers did a splendid job of doing the recce of the trail, marking it and orchestrating the race on the day. Superb job again, guys! Thank you!
Here are more photos from my camera for the race: https://picasaweb.google.com/102172342564541481938/BBCh2MarchOffroadXCRaceTurahalli#
More awesome photos can be found on Veloscope’s FB Page here: https://www.facebook.com/Veloscope
PS: The Cat2 results were not announced by the time I left the race venue. I will update the post once the full race results are published.
Update(27thMarch): Here are the results: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ApARfAOncSY-dGFvWlJHR21zeFdvems2QTZWU0tkS2c#gid=0