With a reputation for a happy atmosphere, great trails and being a well-organised event, the Wannaride Spring Fat Tyre Festival is an 8 1/4 hour race I’ve wanted to experience for a while. Better yet, I got to experience it with a whole campsite full of riders with great attitudes and tidy bike skills, people I look up to and admire. The race also meant I would finally check out the Glen Jacobs designed trails at Awaba, near Newcastle, which I’ve been hearing so many good things about.
Everyone is right, these trails are rad! The course had a fair bit of climbing, but nothing was too long and the single track had great flow and just begged you to go faster. If you haven’t been there yet, I recommend swinging by for a visit. The trails reminded me of some of the best bits of also-loved race tracks at Killingworth and Ourimbah and this new network is only going to get more extensive as time moves forward. Incidentally, the Adidas Eyewear LST light lens was perfect out at Awaba on this overcast day and did it’s usual trick of creating rider envy when I passed my glasses around for other people to have a look through them.
On the racing front, our little campsite crew did really well. Trenton Day, Adam Freeman and Michael Hogan took out third in the men’s threes, only a couple of minutes short of the first place GU team. Alice King and Jeremy Scrivener worked hard for third in the mixed pairs. Nicola Hogan and I won the women’s pairs and Gaye Camm entered solo purely to check out the trails for a while until it wasn’t fun anymore!
After being fairly run down all year, I’m on orders to take it easy for a while so I can feel like the person I want to be again. I found it a bit hard backing off while racing instead of pushing hard and can’t thank Nicola enough for her support as a teammate and doing extra double laps to bookend our race. Time now for me to take it easy over summer and look forward to that amazing feeling of everything coming together again out on the trails in 2011. Bring it on!