JetBlack 12 Hour

The 2010 JetBlack 12 Hour for me was full of moments that added layer after layer of happiness to my already-beaming face.  The trails were quick and I became smoother through the singletrack as the day went on.  There was a bonfire.  A big one.  It felt like almost all my favourite people were there with me over the weekend.  The long pedally sections of the track allowed for some great conversations with riders I don’t always get to catch up with.  I rode as one of two Australian Mountain Bike Clinics (AMBC) teams and the women’s development program the company has started begun.  Someone bought me a hot chocolate.  Bellchambers sang “All the single ladies” from the top of the podium.  Our team got to stand where Bellchambers stood (and won beer). It was sunny, and I got to ride in shorts!…

The moments listed above were pretty up there in terms of a perfect weekend, but the biggest highlight of all was seeing a group of 12 women, most of whom attended the Western Sydney Ladies Day we held at Yellowmundee in January, ripping up the tracks, and filling the event centre with excited chatter and endless enthusiasm.  This group has stretched to a group of about 30 riders from all over NSW and ACT, and their enthusiasm is so infectious and contagious that you can’t help but feel excited about being a biker too.  The group is so big now there’s talk of starting a women’s club and holding a women’s race.  They’re even launching a website soon.  Every time I bumped into one of these girls over the weekend, I’d hear the story again as they cheered each other on at the race transition area.

I couldn’t stop smiling at the time, and four days later, I’m still smiling.  Over the last few years, women’s teams at this event have pretty much been a one team per category affair.  This year the four women category was five teams thick, and all this, and the story above has stemmed from the clinics we’ve been running at AMBC.  You hope that something like this might happen one day, but when it actually does, it really makes you feel like you’re part of something amazing!

Thanks to Rob Parbery for the pode pic.  More photos and a story about the actual racing are over on the Enduro Mag blog.