Kona Dirty Weekend – Race Report by Andrew Bell

I’m always up for a road trip to an interstate enduro event, and what better event than the Kona Dirty Weekend run by Bike SA in Cudlee Creek in the Adelaide hills. I made it to this event in 2010, but due to a broken leg I missed out last year, so I was super keen to get out there this year and race again. I decided to compete in the 12hr event within the 24hr race. The 12-hour race is broken into two six-hour races separated by twelve hours of rest.

The trails make this event a must do for every mountain biker in Oz. I would describe them a mix of Majura Pines on steroids and some of Mt Stromlo’s best bits put into a fun flowing 12km of smiles. There were a few changes made since 2010, the main one being the introduction of an extended daytime lap, this added about 1.5km of sweet single track. There was nearly 300m vertical of climbing per lap, but it all came is small burst meaning you were never grovelling up a hill.

The hills were hit with constant drizzle on Friday. Anne and myself went out for a lap late in the afternoon and ending up sliding around every corner and slipping on every exposed root in the pine forest. But come race morning, the race had cleared and the track was mending very quickly. By race start (2pm) the track was in amazing condition and the nearly 300 mountain bikers were keen to start shredding. I was quick to settle into a comfortable pace and simply planned on holding that for the first 6-hour stint. Starting so late in the day meant we had to do three hours in the dark. The extra element made an interesting course that little bit better. I was suffering a pretty sore lower back but decided to harden up and maintain pace.

During the 12 hours of rest, I had a massage to loosen my back up, ate a bit and attempted to sleep. Come dawn I was ready to go again. Once again the conditions were perfect and I was looking forward to flicking my King Kahuna around the extended lap a few more time. My back felt great and once again I settled into consistent lap times. In the final three hours we decided to get some helmet cam footage for Jake to use in his video wrap-up of the event. This gave me the chance to spend a couple laps riding with teammate Anne. It was a great way to finish up a successful event for the two of us, both winning the 12hr event.

A big thanks to Kona, AyUp, SRAM, Schwable, Adidas Eyewear, Rik for feeding and driving our tired bodies home and Robyn for toughing

Kona Dirty Weekend – Race Report by Anne Symes

Last weekend saw the Kona Factory Team travel to Cudlee Creek Forest, near Adelaide for the Kona Dirty Weekend. The race organised by Bike SA offers 24 Hour, 12 Hour and 6 Hour race categories, both for team and solo riders.

Andrew Bell and I both chose the 12 Hour Solo category. The race is broken up into two 6 Hour blocks, racing from 2pm till 8pm on Saturday and 8am till 2pm on Sunday.

Friday:
An early start meant we arrived in Cudlee Creek Forest with plenty of time to set up our Kona marquees and team tents and head out for a recon lap with just enough light to make it back in time for dinner…The 12km course full of sweet single track, tight switchbacks through endless pine forest, lots of little rocky bits and certainly no shortage of climbing. A slightly shorter night lap made for an easier loop in the dark.

Saturday:
After a good breakfast and some minor fine tuning of our bikes we were all set for a 2pm start of the race and ready for six hours in the saddle. Both Bellie and I got a good start and leading the race comfortably by lap 3. As the sun set it was time to chuck on our Ay Up’s and enjoy the slightly shorter and easier night loop. I suffered from upset guts and took it a bit easier for a couple of laps hoping I would feel better in the morning. We both finished at 8pm, Andrew 1 lap up on 2nd place, I had a two lap lead. Now it was time for a hot shower, some pizza a massage and some sleep. Brrrr it got cold that night.

Sunday:
The alarm went off at 6.30am. A hot shower and a couple of sandwiches woke me up a bit, although I still wasn’t feeling 100% and my stomach was still not quite right but going into the race with a 2 lap lead took the pressure of. Again, we both got good starts and settled into a comfortable pace. After struggling through lap 1 to my surprise all of a sudden I started feeling a lot better and got a new stint of energy. The TORQ gels and bars surely helped with keeping me moving. Rik joined in with the helmet cam and took some footage, cannot wait to see it… The 6 six hours on Sunday went really quickly and I certainly rode a better and stronger race on Sunday feeling really comfortable on the King Kahuna. Both Bellie and I won our categories and took out the wins.

All in all a fantastic weekend packed with lots of great riding and laughter. Thanks to Ty, Jake and Rik for their support and I’m looking forward to the next event with you guys.

Cheers,

Anne