The light blue sky was bribing me to ride my bike, while sitting in my room I thought about the racing season and decided maybe I could try persuading Clyde, my best mate, to go for a ride with Me. I called him up and he said he would be down to ride so I got ready. The ride to his was easy as all I had to do was hop on the bike and ride 5 minutes through a maze of intersections and pedestrian crossings, when I got to his he had his bike in his Ute, his bike was an $10,000 red TREK session, one of the best bikes money could buy and my $4,000 YT Tues looks amateur compared to his.
“I thought maybe we should go out to fox and get some practice down lone gum for state champs” Explained Clyde. I thought that it was great idea, so we quickly chucked my bike in his car went inside his house to grab snacks and then we headed off. The drive was quite scenic through Woodside and the valleys on the winding road, once we got to the dirt road the excitement was high. We started off by hitting the top half of fox fast, the trail was very rocky and had a few drops and jumps but minimal corners. The surrounding bush was burnt out and the trees were bare of leaves, I felt like I was going quite fast and when I got to the end I had to wait for a couple seconds before Clyde reached the road. It felt great to get on the bike after several weeks of not riding. The next part of the trail was flowing and the dirt was filled with an orange colour that stuck to your tyres. Clyde and I were so excited that we were back that we forgot how long we were spending out on the trails, By the time we got back to the car it was dark and so it was a scary drive home. On the way back we decided that we would try and ride the trails every night leading up to the race on the weekend, that gave us 4 more nights to go as fast as we could and be consistent.
Today was the day, I was scared because yesterday we had a whole today to do constant laps and perfect our runs, I had felt like I put down some good runs through the speedy sections but struggled in the flat open terrain. Everyone who was there had nice bikes and were going super-fast, when I pulled over to look at some of the sections that were surrounded by trees and all I could smell was dust. We had 1 more practice run before the race that Clyde and I did together, we were both going really fast and we managed to overtake some of the other riders on the short course. At the bottom everybody was super keen and ready to do some racing, people were in their own groups but when the organizers at the caravan started the rider briefing everybody came together to listen, some people stank of sweat while others smelt of dirt. People had to wait around or warm up in the carpark while they waited for their category to be called for the shuttle buses to pick them up. When it was my turn I put my bike on the custom made trailer and hopped in the mini van, the ride up didn’t take long up the windy road with a cliffside on the left. The top of the track was cold, I can feel the icy wind against my skin. I went down to the first corner to watch people go through and check different lines, most people were taking the inside line because it was faster than taking it wide and risking slipping out on the brown, dried up pine needles. Under my jersey I had body armor and knee pads to protect me if I fell.
I heard the organizer at the start gate say “Rider 104, Clyde Murray”. And a couple seconds later he came flying through but he took the outside line and his front tyre hit a hidden rock and it made him put his front brake on out of surprise, he got kicked up and he started tipping forwards. He then jumped off his bike and landed on top of his arm, he was screaming and groaning in pain. I quickly called to the latest Marshall and the paused the other riders at the start gate, We pulled Clyde over to the side of the track while the organizers examined him. They thought it would be best if they called an ambulance, they started walking Clyde to the top as it would be fastest to reach the paramedics to get help for him. When they arrived they examined him and decided that it was probably a broken arm so it would be safest to take him to hospital for x-rays and see if there was any other damage.
I went with them in the ambulance, It was quite cool to see how they could fit all of their gear inside of a small van. The trip to hospital felt fast and they took me to the waiting room while they did x-rays, I was a bit worried what was going to happen to his bike seeing as we just left and not lock them up. The hospital felt clean and they had Clyde bandaged up with a cast in no time and told him to come back in 2 weeks to see how the healing process was going, When we got back to fox creek our bikes where there but everyone was happy to see Clyde well. But now he isn’t allowed to ride his bike for another 6 weeks so that’s irritating for me but its alright because he isn’t in pain.