A cool invitation arrived in the inbox a while back, to a Easter Invitational MTB 3 Hour Enduro (thanks Madhatter) . It’s been a long time since I’ve participated in a multi lap MTB event — Thredbo and Buller back in the summer of 1993/1994 I guess, competitive cycling has never been my thing — but the Easter Invitational had a relaxed family vibe and I reckoned it would be a fun thing to do, to ride somewhere new and meet up riders you’d never meet otherwise.
The 3 Hour Enduro would be a first for the Mojo HD too. A ~30 pound All Mountain rig with 160mm travel front and back, 2.5″ High Roller on the front, 2.25″ Crossmark on the rear, 1×10 drivetrain set up as a whoop ass, goofing around in the bush bike isn’t really the weapon of choice for XC flat track racing. This is where the Mojo HD’s ‘little’ (and lighter) brothers, the XC orientated Mojo SL and SL-R 140mm travel bikes, would be better suited but one very cool thing about the HD is that it’s such an efficient platform just about any style of riding is enjoyable.
So I arrived at Sheep’s Head with a packet of lolly snakes, 3 litres of water and a race strategy of having a fun ride. The small gathering included teams, individuals, families, juniors through to veterans, riding everything from single speeds, full rigid to dually’s. Cool stuff!
The ~5km Sheep’s Head loop flowed nicely through scenic bush with undergrowth that was lush and green compared to around Castlemaine. There wasn’t anywhere on the course for the Mojo HD to stretch its legs so it was about settling into an aerobic groove and enjoying the ride with a fairly consistent pace of 20-25km/hour for the three hours. In some ways it reminded me of the 6 hour MTB Orienteering events I’ve ridden on my mountain unicycles — just keep spinning those cranks baby!
The track surface was generally smooth too but daydreaming was kept in check by a smattering of sandy corners. For me the highlight of each lap was the tight and twisty Liam’s single track, with Liam himself (MadHatter’s six year old son) on hand to direct riders. The Mojo HD purred along, although I probably should have loaded up the chain with Squirt lube beforehand to help combat the dry and dusty conditions.
I had surgery on my lower back about 7 years ago now I guess which kept me off MTB’s for a long time — read many, many dark days. When out goofing around on the HD these days I usually have regular breaks to help keep the back demons at bay. During the three hours my lower back complained off and on but a couple of minutes out of the saddle each lap kept it in check. Overall the time passed by quickly with the groove only temporarily interrupted by coming across other riders every now and then. At the end of 3 hours the numbers were 11 laps, ~56km, not a bad effort for a 40+ hippie and the body feels good today. A few years ago I wouldn’t have believed even just being back on an MTB was possible… so nothing to complain about!
With bling-o-licious trophies handed out we headed back to Kingsley’s for some of the best tasting pizzas I’ve ever had. A fun end to fun day, looking forward to heading back next year. Thanks to MadHatter and his family for putting on the event!