Name: Courtney Shinn
Occupation: Physical Education and Health Teacher (Orbost Secondary College)
Weapon of Choice: Giant Anthem X2 (2008) frame upgraded to XT components and a Carbon Hardtail for training and 100km races.
About Me: I am 25 years old and started mtb’ing in March 2009 after I sustained a knee injury from triathlon and decided to give mtb a crack until my knee got better. The knee got better but have fallen in love with this awesome sport and I’m hooked!!
Racing 09/10: In April 2009 my partner in crime, Alistair (also known as ‘Gribble’) decided to enter us both into the Woodend Dirt works 100km (as it was only $10 more than doing the 50km and not saying he is a tightass or anything but….) so after a month or so of training we rocked up to do this 100km mtb, and I was in the box for a good 70 or so k’s. Was the best/worst 8 ½ hours of my life, and as they say the rest is history!
I continued to race the rest of the year solo in the Bendigo 100km, Castlemaine 6 hour, Bendigo 6hr, Surf coast 6hr and finished off with the Kona 24hour. Had some surprising results, winning the Surf coast 6hr and coming 2nd at Kona. After all this racing after a short introduction to mtb, I needed 2 months off after this with returning knee injury.
January 2010 we made the move up to Alice Springs to teach, we also trained up for the Ingkerreke Commercial MTB Stage Race and had an awesome experience, largely due to the awesome program John Pyper (JP) had us on. The event attracted world class athletes such as “Queen of Pain” Rebecca Rusche, Jodie Willett, Gracie Elvin and in the men’s Adrian Jackson, Jason English and Andy Fellows it was great to watch and learn from the pro’s. Coming in at 8th position overall for Open Females I was stoked and absolutely stuffed after 18 hours 21mins for the week. Awesome event, one every mountain biker should do once in their life!
Gribble’s racing experience over the past 9 months has been annoying to say the least, at Kona 24 the effects of a bad pork bun consumed the night before kicked in at the 7 hour mark and his race was all but over when he fell asleep on the port-a-loo during the night, next up the Red Centre Enduro saw him have a tremendous stack 30k’s into Day One, which landed him in emergency with broken ribs, and most recently at the Castlemaine 6 hour where only one lap in he managed 2 flats and a smashed rear derailleur. Fingers crossed for his next race…!
Racing 10/11: After the Red Centre Enduro, I was forced to take 2 months off due to the knee injury returning, and decided surgery was the best option. Always a frustrating time, I decided to head to Japan to teach English until the end of the year. I took my bike with high hopes of being able to start training and racing again, in one of the most forested countries on the planet. Things didn’t really work out, couldn’t ride anywhere, NO-ONE spoke English and it was not the place for me. So after one week I jumped on a plane and headed back to Aussieland, where I knew the trails were radical and I would have more than just myself to talk to!
Competed in the World 24 solo last October and learnt a great deal, opting to ride the race rather than race the race as I had only 6 weeks of training under my belt, I saw firsthand the importance of eating/drinking and pacing in a 24hour race.
I have decided to start up this blog to share our adventures, or should I say MISadventures as many of them turn out to be, as many rides we venture on turn out to have a fantastic failure or comedy scene come out of it. Hope you enjoy the read. Cheers