I hate it when MTB races are cancelled due to rain. It’s the cycling equivalent to the mate who is up for a big night out then pulls out at the last minute. Disappointing. So kudos to Tailwind for running the 4 hour despite the lashing of mud and water on the course. Yes, I know there are trail care issues, but sometimes it’s good for people to harden up and learn to ride to the conditions. If Belgians only rode when it was sunny do you think they would have become a global cycling powerhouse??
Riding in the wet exposes a lazy bike handler. If you only get over logs by bumping into them you will quickly find yourself having a sit down on the trail. Too stiff in the arms or heavy on the front wheel – bam! As I told a PCS client, it takes finesse to ride in the wet. Pick the front wheel up over the slippery log, stay loose and expect to slide. Speak sloooowly to the bike as it takes a bit longer for it respond.
One big lesson I learned on the day: do not, under ANY circumstances, wash your muddy glasses off with electrolyte while they are still on your face. It stings your eyes. A lot. After my May in Europe dealing with rain EVERY DAY I’ve learned to appreciate a more aggressive tyre up front. The Nobby Nic inspired complete confidence even in slick off-camber corners. Al Grant provided endless entertainment doing his best ‘dog on lino’ impression riding a single-speed with slicks. Al – did you not stick your head out the window on Saturday afternoon?? Maybe he just likes a challenge.
I think this provided some good simulation of race conditions I can expect in Canada in a few weeks as well as an epic core-stability session. The hard nuts of the Brisbane MTB scene revealed themselves so I thank them for turning up and making a day of it. Always nice to get a win in less-than-ideal conditions.
Thanks to my sponsors: Giant, For The Riders, Ride Mechanic, Shotz, SRAM, Schwalbe and PCS Coaching.