Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Gearing up for ATRC round two

I had hoped to ride the WTRA Drovers enduro again this year. Sadly though, the bank balance doesn't want to play ball, so I'll be using my time to train instead. That means I'll have had a 7 week break between events, which was not part of the plan. Bike fitness takes a very long time to acquire and only a short time to dissipate, so I need to make sure I stay fit in any way I can to improve my chances of a good result at the next event, which will be the second round of the 2014 All Terrain Rally Challenge: Pikes Peak Baja Rally.

The event will be run by the RallyMoto club, with an optional (upon entry) roadbook loop. This is a fantastic idea and something Burt, Moly and others at the club have been working very hard on. I don't have any rally navigation equipment at the moment, so I'll be on the shorter loop.

One thing I'm slightly apprehensive about leading up to this round is that it's likely to be the highest speed test layout of the year. Not that I have a problem with speed (I love it!), I'm just hoping there won't be any long flat-out sections where speeds of 80mph+ could be reached, because that means the poor bike will be at its limit with the current gearing setup. I like the way it is and I'd prefer to keep it that way, but more importantly I can't afford a new sprocket and potentially a new chain to go with it to change the gearing just for one event. So, I'll just have to take it as it comes and back off if necessary! I don't fancy seizing the engine at that speed, I had that happen to me once on my Gas Gas at around 70mph...

I've been ill for the last couple of weeks and I haven't re-started my training since the Brechfa Rally, so I really need to get better as soon as possible and get back on it!

Speaking of training, it's been a little hard to accomplish on the mountain bike of late, it's been in need of some TLC for a while and it got to the point a couple of weeks ago where it actually became a bit dangerous. Commuting in traffic on a bike that throws its chain and skips teeth at every opportunity is asking for trouble, not to mention the headset which is now completely beyond repair and needs replacing (manifesting itself as a wobbly front end)! Anyway, I've finally got round to sorting it out and did most of it myself: new chain (which was 6 links too long when it arrived...), new cassette, new outer chain ring and a new headset. There will be more to come but at least I can ride it with confidence again.

I'm hoping to get two solid weekends of enduro/motocross training in before the Pikes Peak, I definitely need it!

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