EXCUSES, EXCUSES. NO EXCUSE.
What a day ...
The 4-day is really in full swing now, the intensity of the whole event has risen in the last 24hrs. The trails are getting chopped up, the tests are even more chopped up and the riders are charging harder than ever. It's interesting how conditioned you become to the terrain after just one day, because seriously, the pace has lifted and every rider seems bent on going one better with every test they encounter. Whether you're riding your first 4-day or your 12th, you can't help but get caught up in the search for speed when it comes to racing the clock. What's mind blowing about this event though, is that just when you think you've put in a solid effort charging through a nasty, flogged-out pine forest test at full speed, you then go and check the times set by the likes of Price, Merriman or Bewley and realise you're really just a mid-pack punter who can't ride for shit.
Carrying an injury doesn't exactly help the situation, but at times the tests proved so challenging to ride at speed, I'd literally bean beaten back to trail pace by the time I crossed the finish line. It just goes to show the level of skill and absolute athletic ability of the top guys in this sport, because they're riding just as hard through the last corner as they were the first.
So given the circumstances, I've been having fun over the last two days. I've managed to maintain enough pace on the trail to stay zeroed at the controls and even have a little in reserve to have a dig in the tests. However, I'm now guilty of the cardinal sin of time cards, whereby I didn't check my designated clock-in time and just went by what my pit crew had written down at the 4th control. Unfortunately, they had a time written down that was ten minutes after my actual time. Long story short, I'm standing around with the crew having a good ol laugh, a bite to eat and an extended rest, when I should have been 7-minutes into the next stage. Bugger!
It only occurred to me what had happened when I got to the time control and the clock was nearly ten minutes after the due date on my time card. I felt really pissed-off, but that was soon overcome by a more foolish sensation. Idiot. Only you can truly be responsible for checking in on time.
Oh yeah, managed to fumble a new tyre on the rear as well with running instructions from Damian Smith. Damo's knew of my limp-wristed ability to change a mousse tube, so his years of expertise on hand got me through an otherwise impossible ordeal. Cheers Damo.