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24/12 : The Aftermath
Ok - So I thought Id post my thoughts on the 24/12 as an event/race, feel free to comment too:

(Bearing in mind this was my first Enduro, and I guess first impressions count)

Well organised and well thought out course for singletrack (given the conditions)
Superb showers, pretty much no queues, nice hot and powerful - just what a sweaty rider needs
Adequate Toilets - got mucky quickly and ran out of loo roll quickly - but we all took our own anyway - all seemed fine there.
Helpful people on stalls : Bikeshed helped Rou for free with his mech, plenty of advice given out too.
Polite "Proffesionals" - every top rider who overtook me always was clear, concise, patient and polite in passing - especially the TORQ boys.
Friendly Marshalls - Top of the Clif Climb, I always had a chat with the 1 or 2 marshalls there (mostly to confirm I was not having a heart attack, and that is my normal "Clif Climb" face)

Tedious climbs - Could have been put into ST sooner after the first lap
Lack of Marshalls - some pretty hairy/dangerous sections had no marshalls for a long distance away - any accident could go unattended for longer than necessary
Poor camping planning - getting bike through the minefield of tents was no easy feat - should have been more "lanes" created for easier access between tents
Idiots who corden off a football pitch of space for their tent - you deserve a slap for being morons - and you deserve another slap for having a go at MrsBoy for walking through "Your" land.
Litter - gel packs, inner tubes and other cr*p left on the course - doesnt take much to bring it in with you.
Stupid commentating guy - Only seemed to care for the top end of the riding ladder - was quite rude/sarcastic about the amatuer riders thinking it was funny - everyone's out there doing their best with very little energy and need encouragement, not having the pi$$ taking out of them when they enter the arena.
Yup pretty much agree with you on everything there especially about the course commentator, he really was a bit off to the fun riders.

The most annoying thing was the poorly laid out tent pitches.

My parents commented at how easy it was for them to get in and see us all though!
Agree with you there Ben, but I kind of liked the climbs, its where I made most of my time up something to do with watching other people suffer as you pass them, its the sadist in me.

luckily for me is that I came home on the sunday because I spent 3 hours in A & E at Ashford with my son, who fell off his bike and banged his ear on the end of his handlebars, que lots of blood coming out of his ear, I thought he had damaged his eardrum, it turns out he has split the inside of his ear canal, and they bleed lots. But no real damage done, he now thinks he is an indestructable superhero.

He still can't explain to me how he did it though, I've never heard of anyone hitting there ear with the end of there bars!!
Best wishes to him - Im sure he'll be fine.

I just think I hate climbs full stop - I need to learn to embrace them!  Tongue

Your sons injury sounds just as daft as someone almost chopping their finger off in their rotor pulling a wheelie! - who would do that?!  Tongue

Back OT : Plenty of ranting going on the XCRacer forum about the lack of etiquette with the riders - I found most riders very polite - I had one rider who didnt say a single word then we had a going left, going right confusion so I ended up telling him where to go!.... and that was on the "Rubbish" road climb towards Clif Climb.

Im also still trying to fathom who the guy in the suit was, for some reason hes a main picture on one of the free downloads from Joolze website - anyone know? Hardly a poignent image to represent a 24hr race!  Undecided
Likewise, I never had a problem with anr rider wanting to pass, i think that most Pro riders realise that novices are on the course, so cut them alot of slack, with line choice and overtaking. The pros know they are going to get by sooner or later, so a few seconds won't hurt.
You can sense a faster rider clattering up behind you anyway. To be honest, having someone sitting on your back wheel puts me off my stride, so I always like to take a wider line as and when just to keep my rythym.

There was a few times when I rode up to other riders just as fast as me, they asked if I wanted to get by on some quite technical sections, I mainly responsed with "no, you're OK Im OK where I am" kind of thing, then they ALWAYS moved out of the way, only to get me on the climbs again.... oh well, the joys of racing.

I was usually happy waiting a few seconds for a clear and safe passing spot anyway, but usually got gifted a place earlier than expected.
I never had a problem with any faster riders overtaking me, i did get a bit furstrated at constantly passing and then being over taken again, id pass them on the downs or techie bits but then the hills came and they would go past me this would go on through a whole lap. I always replied to there calls, however i never stopped and let anyone pass.

I passed lots of riders and most of them would kindly move over as they heard me behind, id always thank them and they seemed happy. I always called out "on your right" when passing and would wait for an "ok" before passing. There was one overtake which i regret which was on the fast rocky downhill, i was going at such a speed that if i had called out it would have been to late or dangerous so it was best just to wizz past, the rider shouted something at me. Being my first event it was difficult to judge when to overtake or what was an acceptable overtaking spot, it is frustrating being held up by a lower rider on a techie section when you know you can be going twice as fast, i think this time i was a bit to cautious on over taking, i think next time i will go for small gaps or riskier overtakes.
I think a riskier overtake can be done if you can tell the person being overtaken is technically sound enough to move or handle it.

Once instance I recall on the big long straight DH to hairpin, I sat behind a very clearly less skilled rider who braked all the way down at a slow speed - being fairly dark-ish and wet, I wasnt taking any chances by dumping the bike in either channel off camber and simply sat it out - only to be interrupted by some unscrupulous rude rider in a Sketchy Top blasting his way through scaring the aformentioned less-skilled rider............*cough* Nick.

The rider ended up in the left hand channel wobbling and panicking, so I though f*ck it too, "On your right" to be polite, and followed Nick.

I probably shouldve done the same as Nick, but the DH was all of 20seconds long (maybe 35 behind this rider) so the safe and sensible option was to give him time/space.

Bloody Sketchy riders............ Tongue
How did everyone cope physically,  I have no major problems but i have 3 toes on one foot have gone numb!! Don't know why just feels a little weird
I was OK apart from my well documented sleeping mistake - otherwise, no injuries or strains - although I think I come off the bike a total of 4 times over the weekend.

Worst crash was on the Friday scoping the track out - smashed my shoulder and head on the ground - was officially "missing" mentally for the remainder of the lap - but no major problems thereafter.

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