my first multi-day mountain biking event

I’m regularly riding my Merida hardtail since we moved back to the Lion City in 2012. Regularly means one to two times a week, recently closer to three times a week, each ride is in the 35 km (+/- 15 km) distance range. The tri-weekly bike hash adds some high level cardio to it, when I (often unsuccessfully) try to keep up with the semi-pros in the group.

The point is: I’m not training any multi-day riding, hence any multi-stage event, no matter how easy or difficult it might be, appears too much of a challenge. So where to start – with the ambition in mind – to join a multi-stage event in the near (or far) future?

The 2016 Phuket Interbike Hash is a good opportunity to test stamina and endurance and find a yardstick for my body’s ability to recover overnight in a reasonably demanding environment (AKA the bloody heat..). The organisers in Phuket promised ample supply of drinking water and opportunities to short-cut the ride. Head over to the “Schnitzeljagd” post for an unbiased introduction into “hashing”.

The ride on day one leads over app 27 km through dry fields and forests, a few single trails, past some angry buffalos, a few detours and not much climbing, i.e. a nice warm-up. Hydration and hydration is the mantra of the day. I feel good after the ride, the legs not too tired. The circle takes close to two hours, luckily the dinner buffet is fixed at 20:00, otherwise the show would have continued for another few hours. Apparently their record is a six hours circle.

Day two leads us through villages, over asphalt roads (a particular pleasure in the plain afternoon heat) into a forest, back on a road, where I overlook a left turn and end up doing 2 km extra. A second oversight of an obvious sign leads me into another dead end and back, all chances of riding with the fast&furious are gone by now.

I’m on my own, just riding at my own speed, cruising through forest and villages, grinding through a few very steep climbs, which I manage to ride and Gopro-ing good chunks of it.

Down to the beach, remnants of the 2004 Tsunami are still visible, another five kilometres over asphalt and through a few backyards bring me back to the hotel. 

Two hours twenty pure riding time for 37.8 km. Legs are tired, I’m sweaty and dusty, but not overly exhausted.

inner peace

PS1: Needless to say that the Singapore extremist’s contingent claimed to be the first ones back at the hotel in well under two hours – always must be kiasu 😉

PS2: Endless circle, dinner buffet, by 22:00 I rest my legs.

PS3: A short video is here.

PS4: more about bike hashing here.

May 2016