That hurt, the chili, it was properly hot. Everyone I saw eating it had tears in their eyes and a look of shock on their faces after a few forkfuls, no-one was dwelling on how they’d just ridden their bikes, flat out, for 12 hours, after getting up at some ungodly time of the morning to get to Gisburn Forest for the 7.30am start.
After quaffing several large gulps of local ale to ease the burning sensation I felt able to have another stab at the mountain of con carne pain piled on the plate in front of me, in much the same way I’d been able to get back out onto the course after each of Jase’s laps to hammer round the lower sections of the Forest’s Red Route. Just enough respite to forget how painful everything had been shortly before, y’see.
The slice of garlic bread (“the future”…much like 29ers) gave some respite from the heat in the same way the race course’s cheeky, new-build singletrack sections provided some enjoyable respite from the hammer-hammer-hammer-faster-faster-faster dusty fireroads, but each return melted another layer of skin from the inside of my mouth just as each lap ripped more fibres in my leg muscles until…
…I gave up. On the chili. It defeated me. The race didn’t, both Jase and I nailed that – not even a mid-race double puncture, dropping us down from 1st to 3rd with half the race already gone, could prevent us taking top spot, but by god that food took no prisoners!
Results available here – we wus orsums