So it was that our team had a mixed bag going into the weekend with all coming out smiles and some great insight into our sponsored product we put to the test.
@Tripleplay cycle kit was superb for both Nick and I and Kylie and Trish. The elite leg grippers in particular for me were a winner with Triple Play the only ones I have seen using the double layer lycra band which spreads the compression, grips and has no silicon rash if you are susceptible to that. Add in the mesh side fir the warm long ride was very happy to be takig on the 87km with this kit.
The kit had a bit of help in the comfort department as I went for the Downunder Lube from @ridemechanic to make sure the engine room was kept running smoothly. This did the trick and while you can’t hide from the pressures of sitting on a hard tail over a rough 87km ride all the parts came back in good condition. Some horror stories of riders not using crutch lube on long rides and I fully recommend getting some Downunder for the 50km or 100km Blast distances.
Bike started clean a pity it doesn’t stay that way. Having said that the Zalish polish does help in protecting the look and dust/ dirt does seem to wash off easier when keeping the Zalish up each clean.
The mix of Bike Milk and Bike Cream to hold on the chain for the arduous Epic distance was a good choice and the dry and dusty conditions sure put it to the test. Looks to have done the job and not left lots of caked on gunk so happy with all the Ride Mechanic products. I would recommend following the instructions on the chain lubes as the preparation is crucial to success.
Speaking of preparation, yes my own pathetic attempt to ready my legs and body fell way short of what a 87km MTB ride should have. Good warning to all looking at doing the Blast to get out there join some club rides or arrange groups on the club facebook as you will be thankful as the km’s roll by.
While Nick placed 2nd in Single Speed my goal was to complete without too much pain. The @32GI was up for a real test with me in other words. Almost asking for a miracle you could say! I tried to pace by talking a lot…something many say I do anyway. Thing was I felt great, sipping on 32Gi Endurance in my bottle, hitting about 30km I had downed one bottle and took my first 32Gi Gel. (Great system to pop the gel in while riding too, simply fold into your mouth and you can bite down slowly taking it in or squeeze the lot in quickly.) I prefer the slowly take it as pedalling along and then swill down some water. Gel kicked in and I felt great. 40km and I had a little muscle fatigue kick in and realised maybe I was going a bit too fast given my preparations. I knew I had 47km to go and a new 32Gi water bottle waiting at the 50km mark. Chew on a bit of 32Gi Endurance bar and breezed into the 50km turn around feeling good but worried I had a lot of pedalling to go.
Start the next loop and those that know OHV and the Epic will know that “Old Mans” while not steep will test your strength. Well I had my first good twinges here. Back down the gears to spin as much as possible. The sweat was taking its toll on me with salt marks now evident across the jersey. I had my first “power outage” as I refer to them (you know where you feel like the energy is dropping out). I soon realised I needed the next gel. After a short while this kicked in and again I felt good and proceeded to spin along remembering I still had a lot of pedalling to nurse my tiring legs through.
60km !! Oh dear my legs have started to give full signs of cramping. Focusing on rotating my muscle groups to spread the work load as much as I could. I was now beyond any chemical help I fear. The lack of preparation could not be hidden any longer. I surged down my last bottle and the last of my energy bar and hoped it would give me enough to limp my cramping legs home.
Pain is your friend!! Well that’s what I was trying to tell myself as leg cramps continued to create issues with any hill or tech feature I attempted. “So this is why you should make the effort!” I was now talking to myself explaining I had no one to blame but myself. I am not super human and need like everyone to put some effort in to condition my body for what truly is a marathon event.
Now out of my planned 32Gi nutrition I was gasping for anything I could get my hands on. By the 77km station I drank and ate and stayed for a good 10 minutes to gain some strength. The sausage, orange, lollies and coke handed to me was not so much consumed more inhaled. I knew the sugar hit would be fast and drop fast so decided to then kick on as steady as I could to the finish. Unlike 32Gi I knew I would hit a sugar low after a short while with the sugars I had consumed spiking then dropping out as insulin kicked I hard. Yep sure did. I went into ultimate spin mode. No pedal pressure and what felt like crawling along. It didn’t help that since the 40km mark I had picked up a side wall thorn which would not seal with the puncture goo I was running. Every time I would stop to reinflate the tyre my legs would cramp up and create a mini stoppage as I waited for the release to again start spinning. I must say I was very happy to see the end of “Escalator” as I knew I was almost home.
Crossing the line I was pleasantly surprised that I had still managed under 5hrs 30minutes. Not fast by my previous marathon events but still not bad considering my lack of riding before hand.
The amazing thing that impressed me about the 32Gi was not just how it helped to hide my inadequate prep but the downing of the “Recovery” drink immediately after was obviously a huge benefit as I had no late night cramps, very little muscle soreness and no stomach issues.
In all I could say that no miracle but without the 32Gi I am sure I would not have completed the 87km. My advice get riding now and try some 32Gi before the blast. It is easy to consume and will definitely keep the engine running long after any sugar lollies or high sugar energy drink will have left you crying for your mamma.
See you all at the BlastJ