Being the senior of the Yr 10 team, it was my turn to start the race. The delay due to rain only made nerves run higher, but before I knew it we were 'speeding' round the track. Even though its been a year, it felt like only yesterday that we were pushing on the uphill and enjoying the breeze as we flew down the hill after crash corner. Despite the pouring rain, the competition proved to be rough and extremely fast.
After a rather unsuccessful night trial, I started to doubt whether I was fit enough to ride as fast as I should, and even though we had changed the size of the front gear, it was still a tough slog, and difficult gain momentum.
We each started with 5 or so laps, with our lap times being fairly consistent individually and as a group, generally between 3:30 and 4:00. The pressure amounted as we realised these speeds/lap times would not get us to our goal of 500 laps. Unfortunately by about 5:30pm we were down to just 6 riders, meaning we were in the trike much more frequently and exhausted very quickly. Legs were aching and knotting, so it was only lucky we had a couple of great masseuses amongst the team and the free physio service to try and relax our legs and moderately rejuvenate ourselves for each ride.
We implemented a riding schedule at 10:30pm, which enabled our remaining riders to get some sleep. Our times remained at around 4 minutes.
At some stage during the night, Mr Ratcliffe thankfully noticed that the trike seemed to bounce as it passed along the front straight. During the next pit stop, we realised the back tire had been flat and was slowing us down the whole time. With a quick pump, we hit the track again this time with much faster speeds, for the same amount of effort being out in. There is still about four hours left... bring it on!
- Antoinette Moliterno