No disrespect to my normal riding partners but sometimes a change is needed for fresh perspective. Riding in White River with a bunch of roadies was a brilliant way to refresh mind and trash the body.
I met some really interesting people from all walks of life - deadly serious racing vets to babbling babes who talked up every single hill and down again. We rode and we rode and we climbed some mega hills. My scottish and almost scottish friends also provided me with a laugh a minute as they gently waged a psyche war on each other - good partnership skills that.
Mentally, I was glad to do over 100km at a time and spend over 5 hours on the bike. The area is astonishingly beautiful with forests, banana plantations, views, rocky outcrops and smooth roads (although there was pothole alley which claimed a collar bone). This is also mountain biking heaven and it would be great to come back for more of the same but off road. Hmmmm, now there's a thought.
I was also chuffed to spend time withRASA legend and record setter Tim James and his family, chatting about the race over a good tasty breakfast. The sad thing was that Tim had time to go home and shower before I finished - he's that good.
He is also doing a fine job of persuading some of the local lads to tackle the Big One....that should be interesting as there seems to be some navigationally challenged riders. But what a mentor.
So now I must plan a little for April because there are quite a few holidays and an opportunity to put some decent miles in back to back.