Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Bull Raid 2012

That was a tough day in the saddle and wallet. 2 hangers, a rear mech and chain. The conditions for the majority of the race were pretty challenging with heavy rain showers for the first 4 or 5 hours. The course held up well though. The problems began when the rain stopped and the course started to dry, turning the mud tacky. That with the corn field were causing a lot of mechanicals. 

Myself and Oisin started well and were comfortably in the lead. Our first problem was when Oisin got a puncture - no big deal and did not cost us much time. Things started going pear shaped when I broke my first hanger which cost us over 15 minutes. In the end I hopped on Oisin's bike while Conor, Sean, Cormac and Scrivo got my bike up on the stand and started to see what was salvageable. Oisin took the next 2 laps - as we could not get the remains of the hanger off my bike. We got Daragh Maloney to find a drill, and with the help of Alfie got the bugger out. 

Bike scrubber duties
The mech looked a mess, but seemed to be working ok. Oisin came back in after putting in 2 savage laps, pulling back about 12 minutes on the guys from MBCC who took the lead. I went out on my bike and grabbed the last 3, passing the MBCC rider before the NPS course. Unfortunately my 2nd hanger broke on the far side of the loop so another 20 minutes was spent walking back to the start to grab Oisin's bike to finish my lap.

After that we could not get back the time. I only could manage 1 more lap as was falling asleep on the bike so Oisin did the final 2 laps (but puncturing one more time!). We finished in 2nd place 1 lap down on the winners.

Its nice to have gotten 2nd, but the win was there. Massive thanks to Conor for the tech support and motivation and Scrivo for the hugs. As well as Cormac, Sean and Alfie. Big thanks to Oisin for his superhuman efforts on the bike too (and the home brew)!

Daragh did a great job with a small team keeping the show on the road in very very difficult conditions. He made the right call taking the corn field out later on in the day. The BBQ was great craic afterwards too.

There was a very poor turn out to the event compared to last year. Possibly to do with the weather, cost and early start. I think a lot will be learned from this years race and I hope some changes will be made in relation to the duration of the race and the start time (shorter race, later start). Given the type of race, there's no need for chip timing which would bring down the cost of the race and entry fee. I'll be back next year and I hope we can get a big crowd from the club to race and support a great event in a great location.

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