With the kit we wanted to be out there racing in not able to make it to us on time we raced the weekend in 2018’s BTR kit, and were stoked to see some familiar faces out there racing in it (and the 2017 strip) with us. We’d been hoping for some real ‘cross weather with rain on and off early in the week, but it wasn’t to be with clear skies and sunshine the only thing raining down on us all day. We took up a place in the marquee section with the real teams and got to the real reason we were so happy that the National Series was starting - our friends from interstate all being around! With Paul, Seal and myself deciding to skip the middle rounds of the National Series so as not to burn out like we did last year, this would likely be our only chance to see some old ‘cross friends before we head over to Broadford for the Melbourne GP of CX late in the season.
As for the racing, it was my first time out on the new Bombtrack Arise 2 SSCX bike I’d built up, and having spent a few days ironing out the wrinkles of oval rings and singlespeed drivetrains I was glad to finish the Expert race with no mechanicals - and generally feeling pretty good! I haven’t trained at all coming into this season, so it was a good opportunity to stretch the legs and see how far I could push the tyres again. Paul lined up on his SSCX bike as well, though his is a much fancier custom Bombtrack Tension 3 build that weighs considerably less! He had a good clean race like I did, and finished the day in third place in the Open race, and in good spirits - it’s always nice to debrief about what was hard and what was easy, and it’s even better when you can bond over what was hard for a singlespeeder with another singlespeeder! Seal came away with a third place as well, hers in her age category of WMAS2. She’s not on a singlespeed, but after the weekend’s racing she messaged me to think about building up her old Bombtrack Hook 3 into one for some local racing!
The second day was a complete change from the day before - where we had sun and loose dirt on Saturday we now had solid rain through the morning and (seemingly) before every race start, a medical emergency during the first practice session which threw everyone off a little bit, and some tricky sections of the course which seemed like they’d been simpler the day prior. The results were much the same for Paul and Seal, though Paul did go one better than the day before and finished up in second. My race, however, was only two and a half laps long, with my rear tyre burping all its air out on a particularly heavy-handed double left turn. In the whirlwind to get the bike ready for this race weekend, I’d neglected to set up a second set of wheels, so my race was over less than halfway in!
Once we’d packed down the course there was pretty much nobody left up at the team tent section, so we filled my little Mazda to the brim and got home to a warm shower. A weekend well spent, as ‘cross double headers tend to be, but certainly not looking to a sore and sorry work day on Monday!