With a big year of pretty much Racing everything this year, Kona was all about just going down to have some fun, test & show off the new 2010 model bikes & generally just do a bit of socializing, cut a few laps & enjoy a good weekend away at a great event.
Well that's what happened in a matter of speaking! Just 24 got crammed into 6.
So with TEAM KAOS entered in the 3 man category, consisting of "Captain Kaos himself Andy", Shane & myself with the emphasis on having fun! There's that word again.
Arriving in Forrest with the Knowledge that I wouldn't be joined by Andy & Shane until mid to late afternoon at best, due to work commitments, then being informed that the mixed 4 Kaos team had two members pull the pin at the last minute, throw in to the mix a good bit race atmosphere & my decision was made, Andy & Shane could join the others to make up the 4 & I would race SOLO!
Feeling good about my decision, just couldn't help myself!
Got off to a good start sitting in second place for the first few hours & loving the brand new Titanium "CLEANSKIN" hardtail all XX'd up, it's an absolute weapon exclusively distributed by KAOS.
Not far into the 5th lap on the hardtail the heavens decided to open, with the course at saturation point due to the heavy storms the night before, but holding up pretty well, this down poor tipped them over the edge causing the trails to deteriorate very quickly with some real boggy section making it heavy going on the legs & even worse the very fast, flowy & smooth descents became littered with breaking bumps like corrugation's on an ungraded Oonadatta track.
My back was starting to ache so I backed it of a little (pardon the pun) for the remainder of the lap, which in turn allowed Bellie to join me, I was looking forward to jumping onto 4 inches of comfort, being my trusty BMC FSO1, settle in for the afternoon & roll around with Bellie for a while, at this point we were sitting in 2nd & 3rd with Jase a few minutes up the road.
Only a quarter of this 6th lap down & my Forks deciding they would give up the ghost, turning my non lock out forks into you guessed it? Fully rigid lock out mode!
Managing to stay with Bellie for the remainder of the lap for moral support more than anything as 40 or so minutes of that torture & knowing the forks were terminal, I knew my race was done as I wasn't prepared to finish the next 18hrs 50mins on the hardtail, given the condition & not to mention coming off a couple of bulged discs in my lower back 3 weeks ago.
So I wished Bellie all the best as we rolled into the pits & watched in disappointment as he rode off for lap # 7.
As night fell so too did the showers, making my retirement from the race a little easier to chew on, by this time Andy & Shane had arrived to we headed on over to the cosy Forrest Guesthouse for a great home cooked meal & some sticky date pudding, helping to ease the empty feeling of abandoning the race.
It's now time to soak up some summer sun, rest the old bones, work on the core a bit before I start to focus on 2010, with the focus looking like it's going to be, TERRA AUSTRALIS & Possibly chasing another stripey jersey:-)
In Sponsorship news, most of you would have already heard DIRTWORKS are no longer the distributors of BMC, they have been picked up by ECHOLON sports from Qld & it seems they will continue with there focus on Road & Tri, therefore unfortunately the Australian BMC Mtb team will be no longer.
A big thanks go out to DIRTWORKS/BMC for all their support & looks like they have some tricky looking new products for 2010, again to Andy at KAOS for his ongoing support, NIGHT LIGHTNING LIGHTS simply the Brightest & best system going round, DEFEET socks & aparel for keeping me comfy, PORTLAND designworks for great CO2 systems & tricky grips, PLANET BIKE for keeping me safe out there, FIRST PLACE OSTEO for getting me back on the bike earlier than expected time & time again, PULSE for a great massage, RECOVERY for keeping me fueled on the bike & healthy off it & MTB IMAGES for all your great pics.
I will keep you posted on 2010 prospects as it unfolds, one thing I will say though it's looking all GOOD!
Have a great summer!