Fitz's epic

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Fitz's epic

Postby Jace » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:41 am

As I am sure has been discussed elsewhere, Fitz's epic ride is coming along on October 27th.

My main question is: Just how hard is it?

I am looking at the 205km ride but I havent ridden that distance or done that amount of climbing in a single ride before. I rode Sydney to the Gong ride last year with no difficulty at all and generally ride about 150km per week which I guess includes about 1200m of climbing. I ride short sharp hills quite a bit (EG for those in Sydney I ride through Coogee quite a bit including the Oberon-Dundas-Rainbow St combo...albeit not fast) and I am planning on kicking the riding up to about 250km per week through September and OCtober.

Is that likely to be enough of a base to tackle the Fitz Epic?
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by BNA » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:00 am

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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby skull » Mon Sep 09, 2013 11:00 am

It is hard. I had completed the 7 hills dash in tassie in dec 11. That was over 200km and climbs 7 hills. I found that challenging but completed it without dying.

I attempted the 255 fitzs last year. Killed me. I pulled the pin at the 170km mark and got the sag wagon to take me home.

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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby rogan » Mon Sep 09, 2013 3:35 pm

Jace wrote:As I am sure has been discussed elsewhere, Fitz's epic ride is coming along on October 27th.

My main question is: Just how hard is it?

I am looking at the 205km ride but I havent ridden that distance or done that amount of climbing in a single ride before. I rode Sydney to the Gong ride last year with no difficulty at all and generally ride about 150km per week which I guess includes about 1200m of climbing. I ride short sharp hills quite a bit (EG for those in Sydney I ride through Coogee quite a bit including the Oberon-Dundas-Rainbow St combo...albeit not fast) and I am planning on kicking the riding up to about 250km per week through September and OCtober.

Is that likely to be enough of a base to tackle the Fitz Epic?


Hard to answer the basic question. Much harder than the Gong ride. Significantly harder than Fitz's 165. Not as hard as the 255 Fitz's or 3 Peaks or the ACE250.

Firstly, can you do the distance? Do a 150-180 km ride in the next few weeks to be sure.

Short sharp hills - there will be some. But you need to practice on longer steep hills. Fitz's itself (Hill 5 on the below link) has a flat spot in the middle of it, and the second half is all over 11%. The next 15 km to the turnaround has lots of steep climbing - Hill 6 is much harder than it looks, it includes 1.5 km at 9%. After the turnaround, Hill 7 is 1.5 km at 7%, but 12% for 200 m near the top. Then Apollo Rd, which is advertised as 3.7 km at 8.2% but largely over 10%, with a couple of much steeper ramps. Corin Forest is allegedly 11 km at 5% but is really 5 km at 9% and 5 km at 2%, with another 1km flat. And the worst bit is near the top.

http://www.cyclingprofiles.com.au/HTM/Recreational/REC_FCEpic.htm

Even that first little hill after Cotter Dam (Hill 1), is advertised as 2.58 km at 6%, but the first 1 km is at 9%, but not as steep after that. But considering you typically hit it in a bunch with people you want to stay with...

You're in Sydney, so choices include Somerville Rd, off Galston Rd, go all the way to the bottom next to the river. Bowen Mountain resembles Fitz's Hill. Bellbird Hill resembles Apollo Rd. Actually Bellbird may be a touch harder. I have never ridden Old Bathurst Rd from Emu Plains but it is supposed to be similar. The first 2 km up to Hawkesbury lookout is tough.

Others, the hill on the south side heading out of Audley, that's steep and longish. Audley up to the highway is no picnic. The Otford Wall.

Others on the north side - the steep side of Akuna Bay, plus bonus Cottage Point. Of the four Gorges done both ways, Berowra West is the hardest sustained gradient. The hill to get out of Wisemans Ferry is tough.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby Jace » Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:48 pm

rogan wrote:
Jace wrote:As I am sure has been discussed elsewhere, Fitz's epic ride is coming along on October 27th.

My main question is: Just how hard is it?

I am looking at the 205km ride but I havent ridden that distance or done that amount of climbing in a single ride before. I rode Sydney to the Gong ride last year with no difficulty at all and generally ride about 150km per week which I guess includes about 1200m of climbing. I ride short sharp hills quite a bit (EG for those in Sydney I ride through Coogee quite a bit including the Oberon-Dundas-Rainbow St combo...albeit not fast) and I am planning on kicking the riding up to about 250km per week through September and OCtober.

Is that likely to be enough of a base to tackle the Fitz Epic?


Hard to answer the basic question. Much harder than the Gong ride. Significantly harder than Fitz's 165. Not as hard as the 255 Fitz's or 3 Peaks or the ACE250.

Firstly, can you do the distance? Do a 150-180 km ride in the next few weeks to be sure.

Short sharp hills - there will be some. But you need to practice on longer steep hills. Fitz's itself (Hill 5 on the below link) has a flat spot in the middle of it, and the second half is all over 11%. The next 15 km to the turnaround has lots of steep climbing - Hill 6 is much harder than it looks, it includes 1.5 km at 9%. After the turnaround, Hill 7 is 1.5 km at 7%, but 12% for 200 m near the top. Then Apollo Rd, which is advertised as 3.7 km at 8.2% but largely over 10%, with a couple of much steeper ramps. Corin Forest is allegedly 11 km at 5% but is really 5 km at 9% and 5 km at 2%, with another 1km flat. And the worst bit is near the top.

http://www.cyclingprofiles.com.au/HTM/Recreational/REC_FCEpic.htm

Even that first little hill after Cotter Dam (Hill 1), is advertised as 2.58 km at 6%, but the first 1 km is at 9%, but not as steep after that. But considering you typically hit it in a bunch with people you want to stay with...

You're in Sydney, so choices include Somerville Rd, off Galston Rd, go all the way to the bottom next to the river. Bowen Mountain resembles Fitz's Hill. Bellbird Hill resembles Apollo Rd. Actually Bellbird may be a touch harder. I have never ridden Old Bathurst Rd from Emu Plains but it is supposed to be similar. The first 2 km up to Hawkesbury lookout is tough.

Others, the hill on the south side heading out of Audley, that's steep and longish. Audley up to the highway is no picnic. The Otford Wall.

Others on the north side - the steep side of Akuna Bay, plus bonus Cottage Point. Of the four Gorges done both ways, Berowra West is the hardest sustained gradient. The hill to get out of Wisemans Ferry is tough.



Yeah its the longer hills that I am worried about, 10% for 400m is one thing but doing it over a number of kilometres is another thing entirely. I was thinking I might attempt the Hunter Valley 170km beforehand just to see how I go and then commit afterwards if it doesnt kill me!
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby biker jk » Mon Sep 09, 2013 9:22 pm

You might also try some of the Audax NSW rides out of Sydney. Just check their calendar on the web site. The last one I did was over 300km with 3,000m of climbing, so it should be a good warm up.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby singlespeedscott » Mon Sep 09, 2013 10:20 pm

I think if you can do a 250km a week with a 100km + ride that includes more than 1500m of ascent you will be fine. As long as you pace yourself. Don't get caught up in a group that's smashing itself to do it in 7hrs or so.

There's 7 weeks until the event. Plenty of time to ramp up your km's and get in some longer rides with some steep long hills.

I think you'll be fine.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby Cossie Phil » Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:32 pm

I'd try and do a few 4 gorges rides north of Sydney. They are some nice long climbs. Still pretty soft compared to the 10 and 12km climbs you will do in the 205. And use a 11-28 and compact crank set.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby eon » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:10 pm

I've never done FITZ so cant comment.. I can imagine it would be an absolute slaughtering... :oops:

*some already suggested by Rogan.

if looking for places in syd/west - here is a comparison between BellBird+Wark , Bowen Mountain, Haweksbury lookout.
http://www.strava.com/activities/64599111
as you can see Bellbird climbs higher and i think its def tougher than the other two
a few repeats of that will for sure satisfy anyones hill fix.
*** at the top of BellBird is WARK HILL ROAD. the steepest part of the climb - ( it hurts . . . a lot :evil: )

if your closer to the northern sydney side
Galston Gorge, Bobbin Head, Cottage Point and Akuna are nice places for a ride/hurt
http://www.strava.com/activities/78837477
*** Cottage Point ( where i did the repeats ) has a very very steep short section. :evil:


if you dont want to go too far and your close to Galstone then do Galston Gorge a few times
http://www.strava.com/activities/50528415

Hope that gives some indication in meters/climbing.
So at 4000m or 5000 at FITZ - man thats gonna hurt.

Have FUN at Fitz !!!! :D
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby mrgolf » Thu Sep 12, 2013 8:46 pm

Descriptions of the big hills are correct. Apollo Rd and Corin Rd are by far and away the hardest bits. There is no such thing as short sharp. It is hard and relentless. I have raced Apollo and it is a pretty damn steep climb in places. I did the 255 last year, and it hurts. Worst is Corin. After completing the longest climb in the ride, you descend to the dam and then ride back up. This is all around the 200km mark, so if doing the 205, you wont have to worry.

Training? Find the longest, hardest hill in your area and do 6-10 repeats at the end of a 100km ride. That'll sort you out.

I did no specific training last year and the constant slow grind nearly ended my ride. My knees starting aching early at the 30-40km mark before we hit any decent climbs. By Corin Dam, I was ready to pull the pin but managed to walk my way back into contention. Ouch.

Heading back again this year for more pain. Can't wait.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby Jace » Thu Sep 12, 2013 11:31 pm

biker jk wrote:You might also try some of the Audax NSW rides out of Sydney. Just check their calendar on the web site. The last one I did was over 300km with 3,000m of climbing, so it should be a good warm up.


I have actually been looking at a few of those as well. Where do they normally run them?

Cossie Phil wrote:I'd try and do a few 4 gorges rides north of Sydney. They are some nice long climbs. Still pretty soft compared to the 10 and 12km climbs you will do in the 205. And use a 11-28 and compact crank set.


Thanks for the tip, I havent ridden up that way before.
eon wrote:I've never done FITZ so cant comment.. I can imagine it would be an absolute slaughtering... :oops:

*some already suggested by Rogan.

if looking for places in syd/west - here is a comparison between BellBird+Wark , Bowen Mountain, Haweksbury lookout.
http://www.strava.com/activities/64599111
as you can see Bellbird climbs higher and i think its def tougher than the other two
a few repeats of that will for sure satisfy anyones hill fix.
*** at the top of BellBird is WARK HILL ROAD. the steepest part of the climb - ( it hurts . . . a lot :evil: )

if your closer to the northern sydney side
Galston Gorge, Bobbin Head, Cottage Point and Akuna are nice places for a ride/hurt
http://www.strava.com/activities/78837477
*** Cottage Point ( where i did the repeats ) has a very very steep short section. :evil:


if you dont want to go too far and your close to Galstone then do Galston Gorge a few times
http://www.strava.com/activities/50528415

Hope that gives some indication in meters/climbing.
So at 4000m or 5000 at FITZ - man thats gonna hurt.

Have FUN at Fitz !!!! :D


Thanks for those, I might try a few of those out. I am in the East so Il have to work out which ones are the closest to me.

mrgolf wrote:Descriptions of the big hills are correct. Apollo Rd and Corin Rd are by far and away the hardest bits. There is no such thing as short sharp. It is hard and relentless. I have raced Apollo and it is a pretty damn steep climb in places. I did the 255 last year, and it hurts. Worst is Corin. After completing the longest climb in the ride, you descend to the dam and then ride back up. This is all around the 200km mark, so if doing the 205, you wont have to worry.

Training? Find the longest, hardest hill in your area and do 6-10 repeats at the end of a 100km ride. That'll sort you out.

I did no specific training last year and the constant slow grind nearly ended my ride. My knees starting aching early at the 30-40km mark before we hit any decent climbs. By Corin Dam, I was ready to pull the pin but managed to walk my way back into contention. Ouch.

Heading back again this year for more pain. Can't wait.


Sounds tough, il see how I go in the coming weeks before making a call.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby rogan » Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:57 pm

Just finished my major training ride for this. 218 km with 3000 m of climbing with a few mates. Averaged 28.3, happy with that.

http://www.strava.com/activities/82087148

I will try and knock out a couple of 140s in the next few weeks; apart from that my main focus is TT work and hills. Might give up the grog and see if I can drop a kilo or two as well. Not today though, I've earnt a quiet one...
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Sep 13, 2013 8:57 pm

I think you'll walk it in Rogan.
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby rogan » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:19 pm

Thanks Scott, really looking forward to it now!
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby jules21 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 12:05 pm

rogan wrote:Just finished my major training ride for this. 218 km with 3000 m of climbing with a few mates. Averaged 28.3, happy with that.

http://www.strava.com/activities/82087148

I will try and knock out a couple of 140s in the next few weeks; apart from that my main focus is TT work and hills. Might give up the grog and see if I can drop a kilo or two as well. Not today though, I've earnt a quiet one...

very impressive 8)
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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby leximack » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:37 pm

im hoping to do the 205.
Not really into "training" as such so will just do my normal riding until then and hope for the best.
I don't care about times as such and will just enjoy the day with an aim to finish in the allocated time.
Looks like fun :D :D

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Re: Fitz's epic

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Sep 19, 2013 4:46 am

That's the way to do it Don. That's my plan for the Extreme.
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