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Tour de Manawatu double lapper 2010

On the first lap  the dozen of us all stayed together until the first hill out of Ashhurst, 3 , Brian Busche and Neville Weir rode away from the rest of us, I sat on the back following Colin Andersons wheel, but when I climbed out of the seat for that final push over the top my bladder made its presence felt, I pushed to try and keep Colin and the other 2 (not sure of their names) in touch but the need to wee out weighed the need to keep them in touch. I stopped for a moment of relief and carried on.


Pushing on I soon reached Lis , my partner and SAG wagon driver, manning the 1st of 3 support points at Colyton, 1st bunch was 6 minutes ahead of me, second 4 minutes, and a single rider (Scott) was 1 minute ahead. Tom , Catriona and Ken where coming up behind me another 4 minutes back. Pushing on I caught Scott part way up Kimbolton Road just in time to have to stop again…and then I caught him again. Coming up to Beaconsfeild we got caught by Stewart Doidge (? I think) who joined us for a few Km’s before riding away up the Beaconsfeild Hill. Lis was waiting at The Hall with water etc if needed. At the second split the 1st bunch had opened up to 19 minutes the second group to 12 minutes and the group behind was  6 minutes back. Scott and I pushed on together going over the top watching the sunrise and listening to the sound of the Manawatu Waking up, dropping down into Halcombe we caught up with Lis once more with water/supplements on hand if needed. The 1st group was sitting at 6.06am, 2nd group 6:17am so they had made a minute on the lead group, Stewart was at 6:33 ,Scott and I came through at 6:34 and Ken, Tom and Catriona past at 6:45. Continuing on what is probably the worst part, for me, of the circuit the haul from Halcombe onto Makino Road. Narrow rolling hill country with little in the way of interesting views, it just seemed to drag on and on, finally reaching Feilding I finally managed to find a favourable wind and could get onto the top chain ring and try to press on and make up some time. As I turned over the railway  lines onto Campbell/Waugh Road I  looked back to say something to Scott but he was not there. He had dropped back a bit and then to compound it the lights and bells started ringing and he got caught behind the lines of a passing train. I pushed on and caught Stewart just before the Feilding Aerodrome, coming up to him I said I thought I’d join him as he looked lonely, his face said it all as I got along side. K2 the weekend before had caught up with him, he was shattered, don’t know if he did lap 2 or not. I left him behind at Bunnythorpe and pushed onto the end of Lap 1 at the Gull Station. Stopping briefly for a ‘wee’ and change of gloves/socks etc and to take on more fluids in the form of Hammer Perpentum and Heed. I pushed on, Lis couldn’t give me an update on group 1 as they had gone through before she got there, group 2 left at 7:25. I’d rolled in at 7:35 and out at 7:40, Lis headed back out to make sure Tom, Catriona and Ken where coming, She then headed back out to Colyton as I pushed on solo to meet her, group 1 went through at 8:00, group 2 at 8:22 and I followed at 8:41.  Continuing on the slog which is Kimbolton Road onto Beaconsfeild I was to be honest all but shot and ready to throw in the hat, but as I approached Lis at the last support stop at Beaconsfeild she gave me the shot in the arm I needed and told me I’d closed the gap on group 2 and was now only 10 minutes behind, it was like getting a fresh set of legs, just in time for that last slog up the Beaconsfeild Valley Hill to climb to the highest point on the circuit on the Hunterville Cheltman Road, as I went through the marshals point I was greeted by a cheer and a rousing yahoo by friends who had got the job of marshalling on that corner, another shot straight into the go fast vein!

I surprised myself by managing to get all the way up and over to Stanway Hall before the first of the single lappers caught me at the 177km mark. I managed to sit in with the second bunch for about 5km, before their 20 something legs got the better of me. The 3rd bunch came through on the Halcombe to Makino Rd section and were moving at a pace I could match for about 15 minutes, but being so tired having only had 2 hours sleep couldn’t match them on the big down hill section onto Makino Rd, the eyesight was just a bit fuzzy and I opted to err on the side of caution. A 4th bunch caught me just on the Lethbridge St turn, and to  my complete surprise Tom Price , another 2 lapper, was sitting on the back of the bunch I hadn’t seen him since the start and last report from Lis ,driving support for the riders, told me that they were at least15-20 minutes behind me at the start of the 2nd lap. I’ve since found out that Tom managed to sit in with Bunch 1 of the 1st lappers for a while and as he got dropped managed to then jump on bunch 2 then again onto bunch 3 who dragged him back up onto my wheel. I sat in with them for a while but after nearly 7 1/2 hours and the last 5 of it being all but Solo just didn’t have the legs to sit with them for long so let them go and finished the ride coming in with a time Via the Garmin of 8 hours and 3 minutes.

It was my first Enduro event against the clock so to speak since the Manfield 6 hour, and whilst not a race, still a challenge. I was pleased with my time, having set a target of 8:30-9 hours to come in just over 8. I can’t say I felt elation or anything as I was just to numb and exhausted, but on reflection to finish in a time much better than I’d though it I would and to finish within 23 minutes of Colin Anderson who is a legend of long distance riding ( trying not to think that only 7 days earlier he’d done the K4) I think I could rightly pat  myself on the back :-)….but not to hard as Taupo is only a few weeks away and I have to find the endurance to do an extra 100km and probably another 3 1/2 hours of riding.