The Taupo Day/Night thriller was held last Saturday, from 10.30am to 10.30pm. With over two thousand competitors it was the biggest race in New Zealand. There were about 400 teams (of five) and 30 solo riders. As well as the mountainbikers, there were also 4 crazy guys on unicycles and a monkey competing.
Team Johnsonville Cycles Unibombers consisted of:
*Peter ‘hub destroyer’ Bier
*Tony ‘I’m going to break the sound barrier’ Melton
*Malcolm ‘I eat bikes’ Todd
*Ken ‘singletrack whizzkid’ Looi
*Einsteins little brother; our mascot
The course looped around a large camping area where all the transitions took place. Each team had a site allocated in this area. The course was 8.1km of mostly flat(ish) and fast grassland/gravel road (~40%) and Singletrack forest (~60%). There were also a few nice steep banks to ride down.
It was an entertaining 12 hours. There were plenty of dressed up riders- the Teletubbies, The Snowman (boy it must have been hot in that suit), the Hawaiian team, the devils, the kinky half naked women, the naked guy (yes, a guy rode an entire lap naked, with a Prince Albert in situ).
We got numerous cheers and comments like: you guys are crazy, you guys deserve a gold medal, I can’t believe you just passed me, holy C$#%. My personal favourite was: ‘you got balls made of coconuts mate!’, someguy said as he passed me on a slippery singletrack in the rain and mud, after it got dark. We probably had the most cheers, except for the naked guy. (I thought this was a family event (?) should we lodge a protest?).
We competed on our 26’ MUni’s with 170mm cranks, except for the first lap which was done on a 24’. We had originally intended to use larger wheels but owing to the fact that I arrived at the race half an hour before the start we didn’t have time to change over equipment. After a couple of laps we stuck with the 26’ MUnis, and aimed to beat our own best lap times. This left us somewhat undergeared, although Tony blitzed the course with a sub 33min lap. We managed to do 17 Laps but lost about two laps due to dodgy lighting equipment. The last half of the race became very slippery and cold as the rain started pouring down, and we couldn’t see very well (especially the two of us with glasses). We beat 15 other teams and 7 solo riders. In our category (cycle shop), we beat one other team.
Thanks to Johnsonville cycles, I believe they are the only cycle shop in New Zealand with a sponsored unicycle team.
Some photos of the race:
The race results:
Category race results
p/s we all got given a Mavic 219 rim, and a cycle jersey for our effort.