Some other things I’ve learned are 1) All the local knowledge in the world won’t help when you’ve torn off your derailleur. 2) There’s nothing like a noisy crowd to help you find that extra gear! And 3) it may be tiring, expensive and time consuming, but there’s still nothing I’d rather be doing with my weekends.
Some personal Highlights of the season for me were the Coronet Peak course – A track so fun I couldn’t wipe the stupid grin off my face for the whole race… or for a long time afterwards!
The humbling feeling I got in Dunedin when I realised there was nothing left to do but laugh as slipped and slid down the mud with my ruined rear mech stuffed in my back pocket.
And then there were the National Champs – I attribute my performance to Stu Thorpe and his rowdy mates at the top of that hill – their infectious enthusiasm was such great motivation, I looked forwards to that uphill as much as the downhill that followed it!
Finding my rhythm on my home trails in Rotorua with my mum, dad, uncle and a bunch of mates to cheer me on.
And finally Wellington, where Robyn Wong was actually cheering me on – How crazy is that?!
It’s 9 months of preparation and anticipation, 10 hours of pain and exhaustion (spread over about 2 months of convenient 2 hour blocks), and about a months worth of recovery… Put like that, it almost sounds like childbirth. Especially when you consider your trusty steed, that no doubt now needs love and attention lavished on it to nurse it back to slick working order.
It’s been a challenge, a pretty massive learning curve and it’s certainly been rewarding. And, I know I’ve still got a few more things to learn. But there’s always next season!