by Rod Scott
On Sunday 14 April, 48 riders assembled at the Glenaroua CFA for Chooka’s Race, the fourth race in the Northern Cycling Super Series. The 55km course consisted of an undulating out-and-back section of around 30km, followed by two 12.5km laps of a hilly circuit. It was a perfect day for cycling, sunny and 18 to 22 degrees, with a light SSE breeze.
Our group was second limit and first away on the dual distance circuit. Prior to the start, Vince Sinni announced to the rest of us in the out-marker group that based on last year’s race, we would have to average about
31kmh to stay away till the end. It wasn’t looking good when we lost David Drew within the first kilometre. As it was, he only just made it to the starting line in time and did not have the benefit of a warm up. He was further unsettled at the start when much to the amusement of the rest of us, his daughter Melanie dobbed him in to Harry that he didn’t have a tail light, causing him further angst as he scrambled through his van looking for it!
With Vince giving constant updates on our average pace, the other five of us worked together and stayed well ahead of our target speed until the turn, averaging about 34kph, when it became apparent that we had done so with the benefit of a pretty good tailwind. At around the 20km mark we also lost Allison Watt and Ian Buckingham. On the run back to Glenaroua, it seemed that the groups behind us had made up substantial ground, with our average speed dropping to about 30kmh, and we were battling to maintain the pace into the breeze.
The remnants of the out-marker group, off 27 minutes, in Vince, Dave Halliday and Rod Scott were still together commencing the final two laps. We worked together through the first lap. On the second lap, Rod led up the schoolyard hill climb, with Chooka, Melanie and Carla cheering us on, and Vince and Dave clawed their way back to rejoin Rod with a couple of kms to go. Little did they know that Rod was having some gear problems, or he may have stayed away. In the run to the line, Dave took the honours from Rod and Vince in a time of 1:48:25. In what was another awesome handicapping effort by Bruce Logan, over the dual distance race, the scratch group came in at only 2:25 back, led by Darren Roberts in the fastest time of 1:23:51.
Many thanks to Chooka and Ian Buckingham (Motion Printing) for sponsoring this terrific race and to all the marshals and officials assisting, without whose efforts the race would not have been possible.