The Escapade isnt a race but...from the start I my legs felt good, after about 20 km I took the lead and held it until the first refueling stop at 79km just as the rain really started to hammer down, this is when my issues started, the heavy rain got into my Garmin, it would freeze or restart leaving me with no navigation, this lead to a number of off course excursions, stops and general frustration.
I refuelled, tried to get my head straight, dry my garmin and push on, with the easing of the rain this worked for a while, then the rain returned and the Garmin (after about 300 restarts) finally stopped being of any use.
I decided to strap my phone to the garmin and navigate using that, it wasnt long before the rain got into the charging port and although the phone worked the battery was rapidily dying. At this point I would like to issue an appology to the badger who pulled out of the bushes near box hill almost taking my front wheel out (you know who you are!) my language was unacceptable, inferring you were on an ebike was said in the heat of the moment as you rushed past me, I am sure you were not motor doping!
I digress, I somehow made my way to Check point 1 169km into the Escapade, I was ready to scratch, I couldnt see how I could continue without navigation. Kevin (nice chap who runs these events) was manning CP1 and suggested a hard reset of the Garmin. It seemed to work, I was now 2 hours behind the front 2, everyone had their issues, many punctures and electronic issues so the gap was probably about right (my fitness probably wasnt up to staying with them at this stage). I had a gap of about 6 hours over the 4th place rider, everyone behind me had stopped for a few ours sleep to get out of the rain.
I pushed on just as the rain started to come down much heavier again, it wasn't long before my Garmin started to freeze/restart again, maybe about 5km into section 2. I realised it wasnt realistic to continue and reluctantly returned to CP1 to scratch.
These endurance events can be so cruel, it doesn't matter how fit or well prepared you are, you can get taken out of the event due to circumstances beyond your control, I encourage anyone who likes the idea to give it a go, you will get some dark moments on the ride but you will also get some amazing experiences, even this event, leading for about 50km was a new thing for me, I have never even been close to the front of something like this before, having a chat with a badger! all these things I would never have experienced sitting on a sofa at home.
Keep going, no matter how slow you are turning the pedals, everything can change round the corner, smile and move on.
HAND BUILT TITANIUM FRAMES.