Surrey Off Road Cycling Enthusiasts - ride, build, learn, preserve.

Xterra’s Xhausting

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A normal guy’s view of the Maui XTerra Adventure Race by Dave Richardson

It was an interesting week but I wouldn't recommend a holiday where one of you is competing and the other isn't as I'm not sure hanging with her uptight husband was enjoyable for Wendy.

The week before was interesting as the Island was full of fit tanned greek gods and goddesses talking about their exercise obsession. I was the chubby pale kid from the North. They had a number of forums with the Pro's on different aspects of Xterra which were informative and in general the pro athletes were very nice and approachable. We talked to Melanie McQuaid, the Canadian who won last year and she is very nice and encouraging. She was unfortunately beaten by her arch rival, Jamie Whitmore, who is also very nice and reminded Wendy and I of our daughter Laurel.

The race start was on the beach in front of a posh resort. Five hundred people, hit the water for two loops of a 750m course with a 100m beach run in between. It was like one of those fish bowls with too many fish. One of the tips from the forums was keep your salt intake high so I decided to drink as much as I could during the swim. After exiting the ocean the transition area was over one km from the beach all uphill. At least I get to mountain bike ride now. People began to blow past me like I was standing still. I figured they were going too fast and would 'blow up' later in the race. Nope, that's just how fast they go. The bike course is on a private ranch which is only open to riding once a year. It consists of 4 wheel drive roads covered with red dirt, lava rocks/boulders, dead grass, dead animals, mountain biker’s bones and thorns. The thorns come from the scrub next to the road and are so deadly that everyone uses an alternate tire system like Slime or Stans' Notubes. Essentially, they are sealants which go inside your tires. Every corner you turned would reveal athletes trying to fix their flats as the slime doesn't stop the sharp lava rocks from 'shredding your treads'. On the technical downhills I did fine but on the uphills and flats (which were rare) I got roasted by these amazing aerobic machines. About two thirds of the way through the bike my legs were dead and the rest of the day was going to be a chore. I drank and ate lots so I think the heat and humidity got me. Feeling miserable with about 15mins left on the bike I was consoling myself with the fact I hadn't flatted when, BOOM, a lava rock tried to give me a rectal exam. After the sealant exited the tire under pressure all over me I tried to figure out how to convert a Stans' Notube back to an ordinary tire and tube. Ten minutes later I was back and rolling (for about five minutes until a thorn got me). I had about a km to go so I ran my bike in. Wendy had this look on her face like, "where have you been?" At least I could now run….. which lasted about 1km (or just out of view from the transition). That’s called race strategy. The rest was walking with a little stumbling thrown in. I think the run would have been fun if I wasn't already toast. Eventually, I staggered across the finish line... again with Wendy looking concerned and a little curious as to whether I had got lost or something. Overall it was a life experience... I finished, I wasn't last (almost was in my age group) but I didn't make my rough time goal. However, to quote a famous song 'two out of three ain't bad'. Thank you for all your well wishes and support, I was definitely the fastest SORCE member competing!!.

Dave

Upcoming Events

2024

April

Cap's South Shore Cycle Shed Fiver XC Race - Delta Watershed Park - Sun April 7

May

the Bike Zone JunkYard Dog Fiver XC Race - SSBP - Sat May 4

September

Cap's South Shore Cycle Shed Fiver CX Race - Delta Watershed Park - Sun Sep 22

October

JunkYard Cross CX Race - SSBP - Sun Oct 20

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