3plus3: Smashed

Well, now we're well and truly back to the daily grind after an exciting weekend of 'crash training' racing at the 3Plus3 at Old Hidden Vale.

I've been trying to write this event wrap up for a couple of days but I have lacked sufficient inspiration; alas I think the sizzling heat has fried my brain and typing fingers along with Elva getting her first toofipegs (finally).

But here's what happened. It may be uninspired and factual but at least it's a race report.

Aiden and I decided to trial pairs racing for the first time. Like, together. We're both still alive AND still married so I rate the weekend a great success. It's quite ironic that the only time we get really pissed off with each other is when we're doing the one thing we both love so much together.

Anyway, we rocked up late morning on the Saturday to secure our 'quiet camping' area. After putting up our tent and generally getting ready, the radar was already on the wrong side of 30 degrees. Eventually, I slowly get ready for the inferno.

Warm up consisted of riding up to the start, up the fireroad and back once. I had my $4.99 Officeworks clearance speakers snuggled in my back pocket and hooked up to some tunes and that was enough to get me pumped. I didn't need to actually ride around to warm up. It was over 35 degrees now, my Garmin was in the sun and said 44. My feet were yelling "i'm melting, i'm melting" while being scorched by the hot sun on the start line. AWESOME!

Hot weather does not a fast rider make. However everyone was in the same boat. Aido kept on telling himself that it would be fine when we're out there, not standing around. I am like "are you smoking crack!? You raise your core body temperature up even further while racing and sweating like a pig and it's going to be BETTER punching out laps at 92% than sitting on your arse under a tent!?".

Aiden conceded that his theory was rubbish post Saturday's race.

I started hard, and the race plowed up towards the skills park in the hot hot heat, and eventually turned into some fun singletrack. I think AC/DC was pumping at that time, I can't really remember as my brain was melting. We came past the start finish and then headed out onto the first official lap, up the rocky fireroad climb to 007, then I don't know where from then, some field, a switchback climb, a big ramp, up the start fireroad and through the first singletrack to the start/finish again.

The course was ok, I wasn't loving the shit out of it. But I think the heat had something to do with this. People everywhere were busted. It was adverse conditions at their worst.

I did 3 laps and on the end of the final lap about an hour in, I was overtaking a lady up the final 100m of the lap when a dodgy line choice had me run over a rock a bit too sideways. Turning into transition I yelled to Aido that he had to go out as I had a flat.

He swore at me a bit (theoretically I should have gone another lap to make my end of the 1hr30 bargain), but got on his bike and pedalled off. Elva wakes up and I have to feed her while my vision is still a bit blurry. Always a great sign!

Eventually I am able to pop her down on some grass (which she subsequently starts eating straight away) so I can fix my flat.

2 1/2 hours in I am ready to head out again. Aido and I make another awkward transition, swapping spare tubes and transponders, and I head out.

The weather had dropped (Maybe it was only 35 degrees...) and having had some time in the shade and lots of water and good tunes, I was smashing it this lap. Having a good time too.

Aido finishes the final lap, while I figure out the mysteries of showering a baby in a port-a-shower, which is a process indeed. Somehow I had to hold her while I undressed AND put a bikini on so I can exit the shower, wash myself and the baby, then pop a nappy on her while wrapped in a towel and bikini outside the shower. It was kind of like being a living MC Escher drawing.

Nothing too much happened that evening. I made friends with a frog, whom I quickly unfriended when upon closer inspection it seemed that he was, in fact, a toad.

We ate some food and turned in.

I got somewhere between 50min and 1hr sleep all night. I guess it's a potential problem when taking babies camping, but seriously Elva, you weren't hungry twice! If you didn't feed twice overnight then you wouldn't have done that 2.45am poo, either. The final wakeup was just for playtimes, so I was glad when sometime after 4am Aido took her out for a walk in the pram and that's when my sleep happened.

The race Sunday wasn't as hot, it began at 9am, which was later than everyone wanted considering the heat! But it was more temperate overall.

The start was actually pretty subdued. The slightly shorter first lap sent us a couple of kilometres up the fireroad through the skills park and onto some new trails. The descent was pretty fun with some rocky bits and berms, but I wasn't able to hit it very fast first lap due to first lap traffic.

The next climb was really new, and not very fun. Loamy dry and rocky switchbacks (about 1000, maybe more) which hurt my but more than anything!

A rocky fireroad descent and climb lead us into the best singletrack of the weekend: Rock bottom.

It was awesome. The first lap traffic meant I was riding much of it slower than I would like, but it also meant I could check out the good lines too. By my other laps it seemed like I was getting airborne off everything and there were some good quality lines to take!

The rest of the lap consisted of the climb to transition from the Saturday (but lengthened) and then part of yesterday's track in reverse. It was probably a harder course than the day before with more climbing, but it was much more fun!

Our team-ing worked out much better this time and I did 1hr20 and sent Aido out to do the remaining 1hr40.

I spent the rest of the race dressed up as batman in a bikini with a maraca spraying riders with a spray bottle. A noble cause. Sorry if I unintentionally caused anyone blindness.

And this is how we went:

Living the top-step dream. (Pic thanks to Angele Shelton)
Cannot complain. It was a hard couple of days racing with the heat turned up to 11, but a good vibe. Maybe next time we'll take up the olds' on the babysitting offer.