Wednesday, October 29, 2008

CApe to Cape MTB wrap - Stages 3 and 4

Stage 3 dawned with rain. and a lot of rain! In fact it was flat out pouring for quite a while before the stage, but strangely, and thankfully, the sun came out as we rode to the start.

Starting at Wharncliffe Mill, we were again subjected to a few calamities, this time perhaps of our own doing. The instructions we were given the night previous said hope back onto the bike path that you finished on the day prior and take that all the way to the Mill. We rode along the same path, but found that it took us back out to the Margaret River surf beach. We realized as we puffed up a 'rail trail' (how steep can trains go??) and elected to return and try again as this obviously was not the right way.

We'd been out to the beach the night previous and found the swell was running pretty good. In fact there was lefts and rights for all the family, and no shortage of surfers out there enjoying it.

Back to the Rail trail however, and Jason, Rohin and myself were swapping turns along the correct Rail trail to get to the start on time having left it as late as possible due to the rain. Arriving in good time, covered in rail trail mud, we signed on and took our place on the start line.

With another ralaxed, softly uttered "off you go", we were away. Downhill or sandy starts mean that Willow is going to be on the rivet, and sure enough we were smashing it straight away. Back onto the bike path and it was rolling turns and dodging posts whilst the pace was racheted up.

A short while later, we'd shelled the rest of the field to be back with our 5 of Johhny, Willow, Rohin, Jason and myself, and we were heading for Yallingup. Screaming winds were bashing us around the paddocks that we rode through, with a fair stint on the bike paths, but later in the day we hit the dunes again.

Some suspect navigation was again getting us confused, with presumably locals getting a bit mischievous and forcing us to take some guesses. Some nice fellow had even collected a bunch of the markers and stacked them up in one place for us, so we had a pile of lefts and rights in one spot. Charming...

More sandy climbs made things tough, and once again Willow took his leave from us. Rolling off the front through the sand, he established a break once again. Back out onto the roads for the final kilometres, we worked hard to drag him back but it conspired against us by turning back into the fire roads and sand, and we simply ran out of road over the last new climbs and once again he took the first place.

Staying at the lovely Seashells resort, we again had the opportunity to get out and check out the local area. Yallingup - thumbs up!

And you know its a good place when enough people are sandboarding to get it banned!!

More to come as we go, and we're still waiting on some racing photos. They definitely exist, we just can't seem to get our hands on them as yet.