So this was going to be my first cross country race ever. Never saw the fun in riding cross country because I never really had a proper cross country bike and I would be racing the Banshee Paradox, a 29er hardtail during the race.
I even bought myself some lycra to fit in with the scene, haha! I was supposed to do 5 laps of the carnival loop that took about 10 minutes each to complete.
I started riding more cross country about 2 months before the race and I wasn't even planning on racing the carnival. Me racing was actually a prank that a few of my friends pulled. They signed me up for the race without me knowing but I thought of it as an opportunity to get my fitness up so I rode almost everyday, did a lot of cross country riding around Bukit Kiara and finally saw the fun in riding cross country.
The race was definitely exhausting. The first 3 laps done without much difficulty but when the fatigue slowly came in, I slowly lost focus and it got a bit more difficult holding the bike in balance, especially climbing up the steep climbs where the power needs to be constant and body positioning was crucial. Squeezed every bit of energy to finish the last lap, had a bit of a tumble on a switchback but luckily it wasn't too big of a crash.
Got back up and pedaled off again. Finished just outside top ten.
The Paradox was such a fun bike to ride and race. True, it isn't a full on race cross country bike but it did the job very well. I had no problems with the descending as the 29er wheels rolled over everything with ease, that's pretty much where I caught up with most of the riders anyway.
The short chainstay helped really well with the tight swtichbacks and the uphill climbs for me. Unfortunately, I decided to slap on some downhill bars, Deity Dirty30s on the bike thinking that it would've helped but i had huge difficulty getting through the tight singletrack on some parts of the track, just gotta use a shorter bar next time!