15 Mar 2010
Dirty Duo 2010 – A Riders’s Perspective
I love the Dirty Duo.
This race represents everything that is mountain biking. The bike course, a 30km trek across some of the North Shore’s finest XC mountain bike trails, has everything that got us all into mountain biking in the first place: sh#%tloads of mud, log rides, stunts, gnarly roots everywhere, gnarly climbing, gnarly descending (read: Ned’s), and of course, great people. And what would the Dirty Duo be without snow? Hehehe…
Even though this really is Pricey’s blog page I’m not gonna start carrying on about what HR zone I was in on Old Buck (take a guess), or what my average cadence was throughout the race when at my VO2 max and what I ate on Wednesday and so-on (no offense fit people).I’m gonna tell you what I love about this event & why you should do it:
- THE LASAGNE. The organizers truck in about 14 pallets of lasagna for the finishers. That’s just unbelievable.
- THE VOLUNTEERS. There were people at the top of Ned’s in a foot of snow, soaked to the bone yelling at everyone and giving out gummy bears. Even when I came thru cramped up to the gills they cheered me on. You lot are awesome.
- THE DIALOGUE. Runners telling riders “they’re crazy” for riding down Ned’s in those conditions, and the riders holding the exact same opinion about the runners….
- THE FANS. I’m slow and unfit and yet there were people all over the course shouting & cheering me on, as if I was challenging for first place.
- THE COURSE. It’s just awesome. C’mon, an XC race with Ned’s Atomic Dustbin stuffed in the middle? Enough said.
I’ve done this race before, and it is the stuff above that made me come back. This was my second crack at the Dirty Duo, my first on a relay team.
As you already know my partner was the one and only Chris Price (aka Pricey). He’s fast, he’s fit, and when something sets him off he’s gonna run hard. I knew he’d set a fast time. So off he goes – he puts the pedal down and wouldn’t you know out of the relay men it he was third or fourth back.
(What I haven’t told you yet is that I’ve not trained whatsoever in 8 months. I’m a Weekend Warrior. If I have a lactate threshold I wouldn’t know where to find it.)
I’ve got a bit of pressure on me now! Wicked. So off I go, do-dah, do-dah, trying not to explode in the first 10 metres. I made it to the cemetery thinking ‘don’t look at your heart-rate monitor you jack-ass’, so I didn’t. I just kept going.
Things seemed to be going well until I lost 7 minutes due to a wrong turn around Circuit 8. Ah what the hell, I’m a Weekend Warrior anyhow so I figure just leave it alone and keep going and have fun.
Except I can’t leave it alone, can I…. the thing with Weekend Warriors is that they (we?) think they’re invincible and as such I decide to go full bore to make up time. By the time I get to Old Buck I’m pretty much cooked. Definitely not the place you want to end up and be ‘pretty much cooked’. What do I do now? I do what any other Weekend Warrior does: he reflects on the heinous bet he made with his friends just before the race.
Two of our friends, Paula Armstrong & Katie Dreschel (aka the Bushwhacking Barbies), bet us that we couldn’t beat them by 40 minutes overall. Sacre-bleu! The wager: losing team buys winning team dinner.
Refreshed with my new-found enthusiasm to beat those two cheeky monkeys and the desire to still win the bet, off I go again. Feeling good, climbing not so bad. But I’m fading before the top of Ned’s, thinking to myself “This is not good….”
But I still manage to get to the top of Ned’s because I’m also thinking “We’ve gotta beat these chicks and that I’ll make time up on the descent right?”
WRONG. I do the descent like a drunken sailor and of course, just before Bottle Top both of my legs figure it’s a good time to have a Monstrous Leg Cramp Party. Together. Leg cramps are not fun, especially when you’re on the side of the mountain in freezing rain, uber-tired wondering if you’re losing a bet.
But what do I care, I’m a Weekend Warrior! I keep pedaling and eventually finish the race, and boy was I glad it was over. The whole time I was cramping and freezing on Ned’s I was thinking this race should be renamed ‘A Really Bad Idea’.
The end result was the time posted by those cheeky Bushwhacking Barbies was only 33 minutes slower than us. Meaning they won the bet. I hope they like McDonald’s…….
For anyone who’s ever ridden in this race & finished it my hat goes off to you. This race is not easy. It’s not your everyday ‘hey, let’s grab a latte and go for a bike ride’ kind of course. It’s hard, it’s nasty, and if you’re a sucker like me, it can turn out to be expensive. However it’s all totally worth it. The people are rad, & there is FREE LASAGNE!!!
And of course congrats to the Bushwacking Barbies…not just because they won the bet but also because they scooped up 1st place in their category for the relay. WAY TO GO!!!
PS – on a sad note, and because I was having so much fun, my brand new MTB shoes went missing from the transition area of the race (behind Jaycee House). They were Shimano M086 shoes, black with white trim:
If you heard of a pair being found at the race or mistakenly picked up, or god forbid knows about a stolen pair please message or call me. It was only my second ride on the shoes, they were brand spanking new.
604 318 7478