Anyway, this first event was a mountain bike rogaine held out at Riverhead which is notorious for being a mud bath because of its clay base. Apparently it's been brilliant and dry all summer and even last week it was supposed to be perfect riding conditions but, of course, in the days leading up to the event the rain came. And to make matters worse it was raining before the race too! Yep, it was gonna be muddy.
I'd never done a rogaine on my mountain bike before and I'd also never ridden at Riverhead (I'd done a 3-hour foot rogaine last year when the weather had been so mad I was up to my chest in watery mud at one point) so I was pretty apprehensive. Rob wasn't very encouraging either when he came up and told me I was gonna hate it (I love his methods of encouragement)!
Yeah, I wasn't too happy with my route choice in the end but I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected. I should have left more time for the controls in the bush nearer the event centre but I'd missed most of them out thinking that because they were single-track I would struggle in the mud. Turns out the couple I did manage to get to were beautiful. Damn it! There was a really frustrating part where I'd pushed the bike up this narrow single track through the gorse (should have gone round) and the clay had completely coated the bottom of my shoes so I had to attempt to scrape it out so I could clip back in once I started riding again.
It was quite a mission cleaning up the bike afterwards...took me a good hour of scrubbing 'cause mud was everywhere and by the time I'd got home it had started to dry off and clay does not want to be moved once it's dried. The shoes took another half an hour. Afterwards I realised I'd forgotten about my camelbak and mapboard which were also splattered in mud. Guess that's a task for tonight!
And here's a closer look. No wonder clipping in and out got pretty hard by the end!