Dynamic Adventure 25/01/2009
The alarm went off at 5.50 am and I had to load the bike and kit into the car in the rain. The drive to Thorley hill was uneventful if a bit damp the weather cleared up briefly when I got there at 8.30 am and was able to pump up my tires without getting wet. But then of course it started raining again. We set off in good spirits and got to the first couple of points ok, but then we had great trouble when we needed to cross a small bit of ground to one checkpoint. I went in to mid thigh and was certainly a bit cold when we got that checkpoint. We ploughed on though to the next checkpoint by an invisible path it was so waterlogged it was difficult to spot except at certain features like bridges. This meant we spent quite a bit of time going through bogs. After this section we did start to ramp up the pace and shot past a number of competitors. We didn't have any more problems navigating and got home early having only missed one checkpoint, I was struggling however to keep up with Graeme on the last half mile or so which was uphill and against the wind. But we got in and got ourselves ready for the next stage donning all our waterproof kit. The bike started out pretty well, we were certainly much faster than all the competitors we met, probably because the course was flatter and less technical being in the new forest. We were racking up some good points and got the two farthest checkpoints worth 50 points each. We got those with some dead on navigating, then set off home it was a very long slog along some fast roads. We looked set to be just a little late but right at the end we took a wrong turning and ended up off the map. We found some others who had made a similar mistake and we asked some locals for directions. This got us back to the place but a half hour late. We lost quite a few of the extra points we had picked up, but more importantly Graeme was done in from the long fast slog to the finish. We set off on our mountain bikes to the start of the night naive, but we only collected 2 checkpoints then returned home at an easy pace to allow Graeme to recover. As we were back early to the centre I didn't stop for the prizes but drove home to get a well deserved Chinese and some sleep.