The 2019 AMBC season kicked off at O’Halloran Hill with a unique twilight XCM race format. The stoke factor was high as participants battled light setups and the duos talked team strategy. The field went out hot up the first fire road in an attempt to find free dirt heading into the single track. True old-school handcut trails in the old OHH section offered some serious flow for veterans and newcomers alike. Griff Knight burnt some rubber setting the fastest lap while surprising everyone in the feed zone still scrambling to find bottles. Once 6pm rocked around the lights came on which was well policed by Dave Braithwaite, an excuse for some to visit their local bike shops to invest in a new setup I’m sure. The berms were sweet with one techy climb helping to sort out the field. By 7pm when most were headed out for the final lap, the rain that had been threatening all day came down (cheers to AMBC racegoers for breaking the dusty OHH drought). Strategy was abandoned as many went into body-preservation and not heading out for an extra lap, living to ride another day. As Mark Manning sprinted across the line at 03:59:07 to take the coveted last lap in on what was now being described as a proper Slip N Slide. The rest of the field rolled in with significantly little chatter as everyone searched for layers and scraped off some extra mud. Overall was a popular course with most loving the opportunity to do some night-racing and explore the lesser known back section of OHH. Podium results will be listed below. Now you’ve heard me rabbit on about how I saw the race from the feedzone, here are some interviews from racers on the night. Hope to see you all at Prospect Hill next week (the
course is truly epic) and stay tuned for the digital reinvention of the popular “Fat Chat”. Now have fun and go ride your bikes!
Meet Your Members – Race Review
How long have you been riding dirt? What got you started?
Julia Massey (Veteran) – Would you believe, I started riding off road maybe 20 years ago! I started because my hubby rode, too. So he built me up a bike and away we went. Someone in the club owns his Giant Cadex (for a vintage build)
Nigel McGaffin (First Timer) – I’ve been riding dirt for about 18months. It started as a way to get some cardio training in to help with martial arts. I’ve trained Taekwondo for 3 years and completing my black belt grading this year. I needed some extra fitness for sparring. I got this gumtree special "mountain bike" and thrashed it so hard the rear wheel buckled to the point I disconnected the rear brake to stop it rubbing. Needless to say we shopped for new bikes. Shopped around and found the boys at Bicycle Fix Woodside – bought a 2019 Trek Roscoe 8. Not exactly a XC race bike but it has some great features and is value for money.
Felix Bull (Junior) – Dad and I reckon that I have been riding mtb for around 6 years. I started on my 20” Merida hardtail which Dad and upgraded a bit, then I got my Scott Scale 650b which I did my first races on.
Anna Kublis (Female Racer) – I have been riding about 8 years and started riding trails for fitness. Julia Massey (AMBC President at the time) answered my call out RE: racing and encouraged me to go out to a summer series race at Eagle. It was soooooo scary, 2 laps and I fell off so many many times. I was in awe of the other girls racing at the time how fast and fearless they were. I was so cooked I had to lay on the couch for the rest of the day and cancel my sushi date!
Describe the OHH Course
Julia – That OHH course wasn’t easy, lots of flat turns …I love a good berm and there were very few of them. But it was also fun and a good one for the last bit in the dark. Somewhere there was a good view over the ocean, too.
Felix – The OHH course was fairly simple but it also was a bit powdery and it had some technical bits to it which made it more interesting. By the end of the race the rocks where very slippery from the rain, a lot of the course was muddy apart from a couple of sections which were dry which clogged your wheels.
Anna – Fast and Flowy
Nigel – Hitting the little creek dipper and getting some air out the other side was 10 seconds of fun each lap, before settling back in to a rhythm of discomfort.
Felix – My favourite part was the downhill with berms because you could really rip though it unlike the other downhills which you had to go a bit slower on.
Anna – The berms and drop downs into the creek.
Julia – Challenge for me was my fitness (or lack of). But I’m not racing for sheep stations, just fun so if I have to stop, so be it.
Nigel – That damn hill. It was so rocky and with the little rain we had it was even more technical. I must apologise to the faster guys that caught me going up there, well caught me anywhere really, I think I spent equal amounts slightly off track getting out of the way than I did on track. I just didn’t want my slow ass to ruin someone’s race.
Felix – The biggest challenge was on the last lap where you had come back though the tunnel, you had done The first bit of single and there was a fire road that was really muddy and I just couldn’t keep up with Kade.
Anna – When the rain came down last lap and the bit out the back turned into an ice skating rink!
Goals for next race/2019 season?
Julia – I am planning to do the Dirty Weekend 6 hour, and some CX and maybe gravity races later this year.
Nigel – I think there’s something special about a sport where the biggest way to improve your time is to get fitter. Having raced motorsport hill climbs for a few years the best way to improve is to get a faster car or better brakes but with this I think there’s only so much to gain from a lighter bike or better tyres – for me the best improvement I can have is to pedal faster for longer and to not gas out on climbs.
Felix – Go faster!
Anna – Easter in the Alice and trying to coordinate a tough work schedule with races!
What would you like to see from AMBC?
Julia – I’m really pleased to see a resurgence of numbers at races. AMBC does such a great job with a small committee! Don’t go changing (maybe a new kit)
Nigel – I think the best thing would be a “First Timer Tips” page on the website. I didn’t really know what to expect or what to bring and just copied what I saw other people doing as far as setting things up between start/finish. Also a little spectators guide too –
My partner wasn’t sure if she could walk around the track to watch and I was too knackered to communicate that I’d seen lots of others out there.
Anna – I think the volunteers already do an amazing job.
Round 1 XCM Race Results[table “17” not found /]
Please Remember All, Sandbagging isn’t chill. Pick your category wisely at Prospect Hill…