With the chain keeper only arriving on the Friday, and the fitting somewhat tricky, it was an area of concern for me, but it was going OK and doing its job. The rough track was bouncing the chain a lot. With a 34T ring up front, my gearing was not exactly low, and proved about spot on, forcing me to stand on some of the climbs rather than spin. The 29er handled the tight switchbacks with ease.
There were some modifications to the track since I rode it last at the 24hr in October 09. All positive from my point of view, but the 7k length is too short for solo riders. I forgot how many rocks there were, and by the about the 8th lap, I was hurting. I rode a lap with MattDog. He left me behind in the rocks and downhill technical stuff (of course this was due to his dually and in no way attributable to superior technical ability :), but I would catch him on the climbs.
My laps between about 2 and 4 in the morning felt slow, but the girls at checkpoint 1 gave me encouragement as did the team rides and spectators. At this stage I stopped for some warmer gloves because my fingers were freezing and my brake control was suffering as a result. My right wrist too was very sore from changing gears(something my hands were not used too)
I had no idea or race position, and to some extent didn't care. I almost pulled the pin just before dawn. These sorts of endurance events take you to dark places and make you question yourself, your training and your motivation. I drew strength from some recent family issues, and thought of just heading out to lap at whatever pace, to walk if I had to and treat it as training. With some feeling back in my fingers and the promise of daylight I started to lap strongly again. Daylight came and went and with 1.5 hrs to go I worked out if I smashed out a couple of 45 min laps I could get 3 more laps in. I did it easy and set off on my last lap 15mins before the cut off time.
I crossed the like with a total of 12hrs13mins, 154km, 11260Kj, Avg HR 148. The MC said something about 3rd, but I thought he was talking about some one else, but no he meant me. So I was 3rd in category and 4th or 5th overall(I'll have to wait for final results)