Every year I enter the daylight accompaniment to the Solo Nats thinking, “Maybe I’ll race the whole six and six hour, maybe I’ll just race the three plus two and have a great Easter weekend catching up with mates, while watching the solo 24 hour riders shred themselves to pieces.”
Normally, once I start riding, I’m having too much fun to stop and 12 hours has gone past before I know it. This year I was feeling pretty smacked, both physically and emotionally, and didn’t seem to have any drive to push along the harder parts of the track. Four plus three hours later (along with a great sleep, and much time spent chatting with friends I don’t often get to spend much time with at these events) I was feeling more like my normal self again and thanked mountain biking for another brilliant weekend away.
The Solo Nats has a vibe unlike any other event I’ve been to. There’s a lovely calm on the track and in the pits, and an amazing sense of encouragement, support and pride between everyone on the track and off.
The other highlight for me was the $4 lentil pasta at the Canberra Off-Road Cycling Club (CORC)-run kitchen. I’d go back next Easter for that alone!
I’d like to say a big thanks to everyone who put the event together, most of whom had a family member participating in the race. Events like this couldn’t run without such a strong community of volunteers.
A huge thanks also to Phil Learned from Dirt Works Australia for servicing my forks the week before the race. They felt so plush out on the course, I swear they felt even better than when they were new!