Saturday, 4 October 2008

Dusk 'Till Dawn 12hr Pairs

Coming just one week after my fantastic ride at the MaXx Exposure, I was brimming with confidence at the start of Dusk Till Dawn. My partner for the day, or rather for the 12hrs of nigth through which we would race, was my regular, reliable and exceedingly fast friend, Gavin Baxter, my regular riding buddy from my days living in New Mills and riding in the Peak District National Park several times a week.

Unfortunately, catching up with old friends took more time than we expected. "Shall we go to the start?", "OK", so we looked out the tent and several hundred riders were queuing up already. Bugger. So I filed in near the back, bit the biggest bit I could muster as firmly between my teeth as I could I got ready to give it all the beans.
The race was a blur! Madness from the start (see photo above), I never saw Gav for more than 2 seconds between laps and we never knew where we were or what the split to the other guys was. We were gaining places every lap it seemed, imagine our surprise when were found out e were heading towards a podium finish. We had hoped for top 10, perhaps, if everybody else fell off!.

By the end of the race, once sunrise had come out we could see were were gaining time on the teams around us every lap, damn that shocking start tactic! We eventually came in 2nd, less than 7mins off the lead. We were gobsmacked! It runs out that, on the last lap, Gavin got stopped for 7mins to use his first aid skills on a poor rider who had a nasty crash which resulted in the course being closed for him while everybody made sure the guy was OK, the leaders however, were through before this. We lost by less than this. However, you make your own luck, if we'd been in front at the time, we'd have been clear. That's racing, it always comes with a whole bunch of "if only" and "what if", and we have to leave that behind or it'd be no fun at all, that's why it's exciting, and why, when your day comes, it's ectra special.

Big high-5's all round, we stood on the podium a little stunned and more than a little happy! 

2nd place: My first podium finish - I'd arrived

Working HARD!

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