February 23, 2011

Otway Odyssey

Last weekend was the 5th running of the Otway Odyssey. It is a 100km mountain bike race from Apollo Bay to Forrest in the Otway Ranges.  I lined up at the start clean and ready.

Rain the night before promised mud on the course, and that promise was definitely fulfilled!  After asphalt and dirt roads for the first hour, we turned off to Mount Sabine and straight into water and mud.  The next hour saw plenty of steep 4WD tracks that overnight had turned to slippery, muddy, wheel clogging hills.  Lack of traction meant lots of pushing the bike.

A great feature of mountain biking events such as this is that all riders race together.  So the average chick off the street, or singletrack in this case, can compare herself to the best riders in the country.  We all ride along side each other, at least for the first few kilometres and can compare split times over different sections of the course.  In my case I found myself, late in the race, covered in mud, pushing my filthy bike up the muddy, slippery sledgehammer, fighting off cramping quads alongside a legend of Australian cycling, Phil Anderson, who was also covered in mud and pushing his filthy bike up the muddy, slippery sledgehammer, fighting off cramping.  How cool is that!

Ryan Moody (on right) who finished in under 5:30 on his Baum rigid singlespeed.  Neil Robinson was the other Baum team member who raced.