Dealing with the Steely Dagger of Disappointment
Without doubt, the Kowalski Classic is a brilliant event. It is almost exclusively raced on singletrack, which has been expertly crafted and designed by the Kowalski Brothers. The race incorporates most of the best trails Kowen and Sparrow have to offer and is ingeniously linked by short sections of fire trail. With highlights being almost too numerous to mention, this race is one all self-respecting mountain bikers should experience. The inaugural event last year was great - this course was even better. At times, the rider is zooming through the trees at high speed which is clearly reminiscent of the 'Speeder Bike Chase' in Return of the Jedi.
My training regime this year has been geared exclusively towards success in the World 24 hour solo event in October and, therefore, has taken the form of long rides covering great distances. Many of my rides have been undertaken alone; perhaps it is no surprise that few of my friends relish the thought of the majority of the daylight hours being spent sitting on a narrow saddle with few comforts, riding with lycra clad bikers, and not spending quality time with warm, cuddly loved ones or doting kids. My wife is in the UK and I have no children to care for but I do have a lot of bikes and plenty of lycra and a lot of spare time. This has meant that I have regularly been able to ride for over 500 km in a week. Recently, I have teamed up with the likes of Pete Selkrig and Mike Israel, both crazy enough to ride as long, and as far, as I do, resulting in a recent ride of 313 km with an average speed of 29 km/h. Pete is even worse than me, actually much worse, and last week I found myself riding with him for 261 km on Saturday, then riding 70km to a 3 hour mountain bike race, with the intention of riding back 70 km afterwards. Mercifully, my seatpost cracked 2 hours into the race and the return trip home was cancelled. My average distance for each of the last 6 months is well over 2000 km and I have almost ridden more in those 6 months than I had ridden in either of the last two years.