It’s the 10th Semi Nocture VTT Rando just down the road at Verneuil sur Vienne, they’ve got “Saucisses frites a l’arrive”, and at just 28kms it sounds like fun. I decide it’s time to take ‘Big Bird’ out for an evening.
Big Bird is my Kona Coiler. I bought her for a trip to the Magavalnche later in the year. She’s a freeride bike really, not suited to XC type stuff, but she rolls suprisingly well, she’s very comfortable, and she’s great fun.
Some French riders in the car park suggest that I may be over biked. Yeah, I know that. I also know that the first half of the course has a lot of downhill in it, so I line up near the front. This gives further amusement, and scoffing. I don’t mind.
Off we go. 500metres to a T junction, and suprise suprise, we turn up hill! It’s only a short climb, I hold my place, we turn right, and now it is downhill. Yaaaaaayyyyy!!!! Big Bird flies! She gains maximum speed (topped out with no big ring ‘cos I got a bash guard fitted), she soaks up the bumps, I’m flying, straight into second place.
We zig-zag through some tight wooded sections, cross some ditches, there’s a few rises, Big Bird is hard work, but I’m still there. With half distance done the climbs start. There’s a group of 5 of us now, well clear. As we fly along the valley road I know things are gonna go horribly wrong. 4 XC hardtail riders, and one idiot on a huge full susser.
I move to the front (yeah, that old tactic 😉 ), but as the ground gets steeper, I drift back, and off. I work as hard as I can to limit the damage, and I manage to get back on. In the technical section I just point and pedal making the most of Big Birds assets.
Onto the final climb. It’s long and it’s steep. The frisky lad on the S-works carbon hardtail makes his move, the others give chase, I’m dropped. 5th rider home.
Back at the car park I’m washed, and packed, Carla is back as well, as we go to get our sausages and chips we notice that the car belonging to the mockers is still there, with no sign of them. Too bad, because I wanted to tell them I’d broken a couple of spokes in my back wheel 😉