2010 Whaka

Check the race report from Ron below. That guy is a true MEC man. Mike
What motivates someone to set out on a tough 100km MTB event on a log-chopper (aka a fixed MTB)?
A cry for attention? Avoidance of performance expectations? Denial of age? A selective rejection of bike marketing and technology*? Truthfully, all I know is that I was curious, it sounded like an adventure, and Durno told me to.
[*my disc mounted 29er is a fantastic, and currently marketable, piece of kit]
The deal for the 2010 Whaka was always going to be fast or fixed. Lining up on Sunday I had a grand total of 3 rides longer than 1hr in the bank since February, though with plenty of twice a day 20-40min hilly fixie commutes. So it wasn’t going to be fast at that distance.
Despite never having ridden off-road fixed I was enthusiastic rather than anxious at the prospect. I normally come a’cropper in such events and figured I had feet if the downhills all got a bit much.
‘Cripes this is fun’ was my impression within the first 15min. And that lasted the whole, hhmm what was it? 8:40hrs? Well not all of it was riding, between the pies, pizza, and Guiness (and a Guiness in the bottle cage for good measure), I clocked in a solid 6:55min ride time. Figure it’s not called Enduro for nothing.
Funny thing was this was the first year I actually managed to ride the whole course, no walking, no pushing, period.. I did fall into the bushes at one point, but that wasn’t my fault.
I’m telling you riding a log-chopper is the most fun I’ve had on a MTB, maybe ever (riding in good company too). I’d need some new skills to make it sustainable though. The log chopper moniker comes from the fact that getting your pedals to clear obstacles while carrying pace is a bit tricky. My pedals (Crank Bros) were literally full of wood at the 40km mark.
Alternative was to lock & slide the back wheel to position pedals, which is definitely not good for the trails. Been told there are advanced techniques for avoiding this, will investigate, certainly don’t want to be cutting up the trails like that on a regular basis.
To top it all off, actually felt more in control on the stetchy, slippery downhills than I normally do – have theories why but this would turn into a chapter book (and well done if you’ve read this far).
Now bring on the Worlds (not fixed)!!
Ron
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