May 20, 2008

Krakadouw MTB Classic

I rode in the Krakadouw 80k MTB Classic in Montagu on Saturday, which is the main event of the Montagu Mountain Mania festival. The ride was great and I had a lot of fun, but it was also very tough with 1970metres of climbing making it one of the harder MTB Classics on the race calendar.

The scenery was stunning and the route was well laid out and despite the huge amount of climbing there were some great descents too. Unfortunately I did see some guy wipe out on a downhill stretch and it looked like he'd broken his collarbone. Hopefully he's OK. I struggled between 30 & 50k's but finished quite strongly, although I am a bit disappointed with my time.
According to my Polar heart monitor, I completed the ride in 4:45 with an average heart rate of 161 which is not bad for a race. I'm guessing my time will put me just in the top half, but as yet the official results have not been published.

I only have two gripes about the race. Firstly, registration was supposed to open at 5pm on Friday (according to the website) but it didn't. Secondly, the single track at the end was not great. Ordinarily I would have really enjoyed it as it was reasonably technical and free flowing, but after 75k's or so you really just want to finish rather than have to suddenly concentrate. One wrong move over some of those rocks and you could easily be in a lot of trouble. Having said that, the only alternative would have been to have the single track at the beginning which would have got a few tempers flaring! All in all a great ride and highly recommended. My personal view is that this is tougher than the Karoo to Coast and tougher than many other MTB races.

For an idea of just how tough the ride is, take a look at this photo of my snapped frame! At some point I heard a crack which sounded like a big stone hitting the bottom of the bike, but now realise that my bike suffered some serious damage by cracking at the point where the top tube and seat tube meet. Thankfully I only bought the bike in August last year so this will be a warranty job.

Subsequent to wring the above, the bike shop have confirmed this is indeed a warranty job so now I just have to wait whilst a replacement frame is sourced. This makes me very happy!

This video was taken by the missus as she attempted to photograph me crossing the finish-line. However, after having waited for 50 minutes (in which time you'd think she might have got the camera into photo mode) she managed to shoot this three second (yes, 3 second) video. But wait, there's more..listen to the wife at the end, pure comedy!

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