This comes as illogical but I do believe (now) that some races are not meant for you. For me, it happens to be a really simple night Jamboree held in Ulu Tiram. I attempted it last year and ended up with a broken tooth. However, it was also my second night ride and 4 months into mountain biking so it was likely my incompetency that costs my front tooth.
To briefly recap what happened last year…
I was told at the last checkpoint that I am just behind the first lady rider. Gungho me got switched on and pedal damned hard. I really did manage to catch up with her and overtook her with an arrogant face. Arrogance doesn’t work this way – my helmet lights battery went low and the light dimmed down just when I was approaching a loose rocks section. The front wheel hit a big rock and steered towards the left and the gunghoness disappeared, I probably pressed the brake and wahlaa.. I landed on those rocks. She took the chance to overtake me while Wilson was looking for my tooth (yes, I know right -.-) and I looking left and right, not too sure how to react then. Teck wee then gathered us the two lost souls to stop my bleeding instead. Eventually I decided that we have to finish the race afterall. The two of them were worried sick and checking and re-checking whether I am sure of doing that. I guess we all realized that is the best decision – ride back to finish where there will be proper first aid. Nothing serious just a broken tooth and a second placing in that night jamboree.
When I know the night jamboree is on this year again, I was determined to win it. I always aim to do my best for all the races and winning has been a bonus. I am happy to embrace second, third or no placing because of all the problems in each races. This jamboree has no excuse for the sake of my tooth – I want to win it badly, even knowing that jamboree won’t have much competition in women’s category.
We set off from Singapore at 1630, knowing well there will be a massive jam due to school holidays, little did we know it will take a whole three hours! With the atlas that got us lost in KL once, we made a wrong turn again and wasted even more time getting to the race start. Upon reaching Ulu Tiram we were unable to find the race start. We then saw a marshal on motorbike and asked him ‘mountain bike race’? He directed us to a small road as he nods his head with big smile. As we drove in, the road became a trail with massive potholes everywhere, that is when I say ‘wow this looks more like the race route for the bike’ (which turns up to be true later!!). After all the hoohah blah blah, we started the race probably 15minutes later without proper dinner.
It was disappointing that Wilson was not able to aim for the podium and so he accompanied me throughout the race. It comes as a blessing for me somehow, else I will be riding most sections by myself in the dark. We were overtaking riders but there are sparse through the course so I was unable to tell how I was doing in the race. I kept telling myself I just have to keep riding and probably I will see the leading lady again. I didn’t and was told at the finish I am second. I was disappointed but results aside, I didn’t have broken tooth this year. Not too sure getting conjunctivitis is good news in any ways but I did end up with red eyes for the last couple of days!!!!! Must be the mud or dirtwater that flew into my eyes during the race. To wrap up the epicness, Hairul, Sam and Bk all have some technical malfunctions that ended their rides earlier too.
I will return next year, to see whether it is ‘third time lucky’ or ‘bad things come in threes’.