Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Run to the Hills

With the Molesworth out of the way its time for me to start concentrating on my hill climbing abilities, especially since the Moa Hunt has a great big 600m climb in it and its only 2 weeks away. Eeeep! I had a pretty much bike free week last week so by Friday I was ready for a decent ride. Luckily it was a holiday here in Christchurch for Show Day and we headed for Kennedy’s Bush. Feeling like I was probably fully recovered I decided to tackle the Crocodile at the start of the ride (instead of my usual trick of heading up the road). Not fully recovered. The first 6 switchbacks went really well and I felt like I was climbing nicely and faster than previous attempts. It was probably this false sense of wellness that did me in because 5 corners later I was lying on the side of the track gasping for air and trying not to vomit. A nice young man checked if I was ok and told me I was mad for going up this track. I agreed with him. Things were pretty suck for the rest of the Croc with light headedness after each switchback and many more rests. By the time I got to the top of this bit I was destroyed and seriously considering heading home. It was a lovely day though, and I was in great company, so after a bit more resting we all continued on.

While I wasn’t faster I did manage to keep going to the top of Kennedy’s (with a few rests) and then up to the top of Marley’s Hill for some lovely Flying Nun action. It is slightly disconcerting when you’re about to head down a track and there’s a big group of armoured up downhillers waiting to head down too. I felt a little underdressed. Flying Nun was brilliant as usual and I managed to clear more of it than last time. There’s only one section I can’t ride now and I just need to harden up and do it because I know it’s only psychological.
Despite my protesting legs we decided to head up to Vic Park, more hill – booo, so we could head down Seasame St and Dazzas, yeah!!! It felt really different with my xc tyres on, but still super fun and flowy. Then the boring ride back to Halswell. A lovely and tiring way to spend a holiday morning. Thanks to Pete, Greg and Liv for their patience.

I rested my legs for the weekend after the Friday mission and last night hubby and I went home via Rapaki. I decided it was time to attack Rapaki. Usually I just cruise up in my usual hill cruising mode and it takes around 42ish mins for me to get to the top. I decided that I was going to do it in under 40 last night. I really pushed myself and got to the top in 32.35, wahoo, a huge improvement. After a brief lie down, Pete headed up Mt Vernon and I decided to try and race him on the road. Amazingly I was able to keep pushing and thanks to a chain problem Pete had I managed to beat him. Yeah. After a refuel, some warmer clothes and some strange hair standing on end (literally) weather we took off along the Traverse in the rain. It was really nice and I wish I’d had my camera as the view was stunning. I attacked all the rocky sections, taking the most techy lines and got through them all with only 2 dabs, which is a first for me. Then I was in the trees at the end and heading down the dodgy Thompson shared use track, which has a couple of harrowing bits that aren’t really designed for bikes and tend to send you down the bank if you’re not careful. From there it was more climbing to get to the top of Kennedy’s and a fast blast home.
It was a hard ride and today I’m feeling completely shattered, but that’s obviously a good thing and after a couple of days rest it’ll be time to head up again on Thursday.

For those of you who thought I might have lost my mind and started running after reading the title to this post, nope, I’m off to Iron Maiden in February with my hubby and brothers-in-law. Should be interesting. To balance that out I’m going to Don Quixote by the Royal NZ Ballet Company on Wednesday (no shuttlez!). A friend from school is dancing the male lead, it will be very cool to see him dance and I can’t wait.

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