Thinking today about what made the Otway go comparitively well for me. A couple of things helped:
# Carrying 10kg less lard around than the last 100km I completed (about 10 months ago)
# No debilitating back pain! Normally a long technical ride results in some level of back cramping, requiring a stretching stop (more likely - multiple stops). None this time. Why this is, don't know. Could be changing to a dual suspension bike. Could be improved core strength (although I haven't been to spinal strength classes now for 2 terms). Could relate to lost weight.
# Getting my nutrition right. 1 gel every 45 minutes, no matter what. Stay on top of the eating rather than face the dreaded hunger bonk and the long slow recovery from same.
# Mental fortitude, not wanting to DNF 2 marathons in a row.
Whatever it was, it worked. And I recovered surprisingly well - well enough to face up to a club Dirt Crit on Wed night. It was looking good for about 1/2 lap too - sticking with the lead group (in C grade, although there were at least 2 in that group that should have been B or A) - until I got a little too carried away, sprinting out of the saddle on a slight downhill track. Weight over front wheel + high speed + downhill + something on trail = not much fun = Anthony over the bars at high speed, the resulting yard sale scattering pretty much everything in my jersey pockets (tube, tool, pump, phone, empty bidon) over about 20 metres.
And boy, oh, boy, do I have some marks to show for it. LH calf scuffed up nicely. Large chunk of skin removed on left knee. Left hip bruised and gashed. Back scratched top to bottom. 2 days of hobbling around and peroxide on the war wounds.
But I pulled up well enough to head out for a bunch ride this morning. 80 odd km, Barnawartha, Howlong, Albury and home. Good fun. Apart from the back half of the pack being taken down at the first roundabout (less than a km into the ride) - luckily I was well seperated from this.
An almighty loud rattling and chattering noise greeted me half way through the ride though - something loose, spare change in the saddle bag? No! Lockring on cassette vibrated loose, freeing up the 12 and 13 tooth rings, resulting in them rattling around on the axles like metal bangles on a teenagers arm. No loss of shifting accuracy though, just stayed out of the 12 and 13 for the balance of the ride.
What do they say about not buying a mechanics car?