open topic, for anything cycling related.
Thought a nice way to finish off the month would be with an easy cruise on the 29er which had been neglected as I prepared for the AAC. Not sure why my next thought was to go to Blackbutt. Was good to get out on the 29er but as easy as I tried to take it Blackbutt made sure I had to put some effort in.
I should have mentioned in my AAC ride report that the ride marked a few milestones for me as well. Firstly the AAC is a ride I remember reading about as a teenager and saying I'm going to do that ride one day. Then I got my licence and for many years riding bikes was not something I did anymore. A few years back into it and I can finally say I've achieved that goal. Somewhere along the way I also managed to pass 10000km for the Felt, the first (and only so far) bike that I built up from parts. I also set a new PB for metres climbed in a single ride at 4285 and passed my previous monthly best during the ride as well.
At the end of the month I'd covered 840.5km, which is not the longest month I've had, but the 13005m of climbing was well ahead of my previous 11353 and both get me off to a good start at meeting my yearly goals.
857km for the month. Happy with that (500miles?) all things considered. It's my biggest month ever by miles, just gotta try and stick with it through the year.
Litespeed Tuscany Ti, Trek Superfly AL 29er, Trek 8000 rigid MTB
My biggest month by a fair margin too. 740km and 11,635m climbing. For some reason kids being off from school normally kills my riding but this month it went the other way. If I could keep it up I'd nearly hit 9K in the year... but somehow I doubt I'll manage it.
Why, how many times will you change gears in Feb ?
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Some very impressive January's people, well done.
Dave, hope your better soon and good to start chasing the triangle again.
I also forgot to mention another milestone the ACC helped me pass, it was my first 100+ NPCCI ride, something I believe the original route would have fallen short of.
norbs, Audax is heading down your way this Saturday with Grant running the Berry Mountain 200. If you didn't feel like riding out to meet us at some stage you could always swim across to see us at the halfway point.
Give me a rough time you'll get to Nowra and I'll ride with you for a while if that is kosher. Can show what bumps to look out for.
BTW : Kliometres 134-147 or so are going to be a bit hairy. Not a nice piece of road that.
Yeah, decided that the official photo from my first AAC was something worth getting. Went the 22 megapixel option and am very impressed with the detail. I can zoom in and read things like Garmin and Sony.
It'll depend on what pace the other riders want to sit on and how early the southerly picks up but I'll make a rough guess of around 11:30. I can message you when we're about to leave Gerringong and then again when we're about to head down Cambewarra. As far as being kosher my understanding is that as Audax rides are on public roads there's nothing to stop anyone from coming and joining us for a section of the ride. Reading through the rules the only relevant one I can find is that we aren't meant to draft off any rider who isn't part of the ride.
Hard to resist
Do you mind me asking how much it cost? Just curious for when I sell my own photos.
A late January report:
A slow start but finished with 507km and 5122m climbed thanks to a visit to sunny SA and the TDU .
Keeps me on track for my 60,000m climbing target.
Merida 903 from the LBS; Diesel engine
Well that was a fun day on the bike, torrential rain, howling wind, huge climb in the torrential rain and howling wind, strange agricultural aromas in the howling wind, cows, chickens, providing first aid to a small child with a stubbed toe, a puncture and an unidentified bird.
Did I mention the howling wind? Trust me it was quite blowy
My Garmin went to sleep (repeatedly) but I ended up with 212km (about 12km under) and 2400m of climbing. I also have a sore back and beautifully soft hair.
yeah great riding guys, i cant brag too much cause the weather here in newcastle is terrible, the storm we had on friday afternoon was scary, could not see 5 metres in front of you, howling winds and torrential rain, so the bike is parked in the garage and maybe there for a few days if you can trust the forecast weather men!
So the Berry 200 is a new route, and while there are wrinkles to iron out, the ride was as challenging and enjoyable as a good audax ride should be. Travelling through diverse countryside, regulated farming, urban, national park, wooded climbs coastal and flat estaurine plain the route demonstrates the geographical diversity of this thin strip of land along the Pacific Ocean.
Poetic route design aside, practically the days ride was looking bad. The weather forecast promised rain, chance of storms and strong southerly winds. All of which turned out to be true. It was also very cold (for February - actually it was very cold for August) though we were committed to the ride.
5 riders had expressed an interest though the prevailing weather mean't that just Shane and I would attempt the ride, Ben and Harvey decided to come along as far as Gerringong before heading back and Barry thought better of it before driving the 100km from Sydney at 4.30am.
So from the start the forecast strong southerly winds were there. As I rode from home to the start at Dapto I had to push hard into strong gusts.As the day wore on, the gusts would only get stronger. Luckily things stayed pretty dry until we passed through Jamberoo and were on the way to Kiama.
From here the rain got steadily worse and we were happy to arrive at the controle at the Gerringong Ice Creamery for a bit of dryness, second breakfast and coffee.
Berry Mountain 200 by _granty, on Flickr
It was here that Ben and Harvey turned back and Shane and I pressed on into the weather and the (for me at least) unknown.
Once through Gerroa the road flattens out before we turned right to make the undulating passage to Berry. Here we found some shelter from the wind and the rain backed off a touch given us a nice respite. Arriving in Berry we detoured around the back of the town avoiding the traffic and were soon starting to climb. Not familiar with the route and tangled in my spray shell I bid Shane adieu as he rode away, catching glimpses of him at the switchbacks. The climb was not particularly steep, through the corners were, with grade increasing to 18% for short stretches. Nearing the top the road swung back out into the wind and I learn't to appreciate the protection the hill had been giving me for the last 20 minutes.
After making it to the top of Berry Mountain I was able to extricate myself from the oven of the jacket just in time to start dropping a bit of height along tourist road and for the rain to start up again. It was along here that the Garmin route map began to experience confusion and it continued to insist that I was off course, before finding it again. Not knowing the road, it was a bit disconcerting, especially when turning at the well signposted road to the summit lookout it was insisting that I make a u turn. Nearing the summit, I'd clearly entered into cloud base, as the rain intensified and visibility began to reduce. The single lane road had a bit of traffic too, as sightseers retreated from the weather in their 4wds, but before long I was at the top and enjoying the view!
Berry Mountain 200 by _granty, on Flickr
The descent was good, after a few more undulations we turned onto the Moss Vale Rd, with it's large warning signs of long steep descent ahead flashing past. As escarpment descents go, this is a beauty, not as technical as some, and quite exposed at times so you can both build up considerable speed while taking in the vista. As we'd dropped back below cloud base the road was dry and we sped on to Nowra.
Navigating through the traffic at Nowra was shortlived and we were soon traversing the coastal flats dominated by cows and corn enroute to the turnaround point at Greenwell Point. It was here that we experienced the worst of the wind, as we met it head on and unprotected by any geography. Eventually we made it and the cafe at the end of town made for a welcome respite from the weather and a huge meal, before we once again set off out into the wind.
Photo by _granty, on Flickr
Berry Mountain 200 by _granty, on Flickr
I had been anticipating that the return leg would be easier, however the wind had contrived to strengthen and veer, so it was another hard slog back to Nowra and across the river were we saw the local sailing club enjoying the conditions. We turned out towards Shoalhaven heads, still finding the wind, and the stench of fermenting sugar at the Manildra ethanol plant not to our liking. Though it was now drying up and we occasionally saw some patches of blue sky. Soon, but not too soon, we had cleared the heads and now more protected by vegetation we enjoyed a tailwind back up to Gerroa. However it was along here that my garmin decided to switch off so I missed a few kilometers.
Our last planned stop was at the Gerroa Caravan Park cafe, which had a pleasant ambience enhanced by a chicken who kept curious sentry at the front door. Shortly before we left a family came in with a clearly distressed little boy. He had stubbed his toe and they were in search of a bandaid. Happily I carry a stripped out first aid kit on longer rides and more happily have not yet had to use it on myself and I was happy to lend a hand.
Back on the bikes we traversed through Gerringong, and down onto the Princes Hwy where the wind was again gusting strongly, but thankfully from behind and it wasn't too long before we were streaking back along the hwy for home. Nearing Shellharbour I felt the rear tyre go down, and on closer inspection found a staple stuck through the tube, but this was quickly repaired and we continued along through Albion Park to arrive at Dapto Station at 5.45.
Despite the weather, it was a very enjoyable day out, quite tough at times, but that is as it should be. I'm looking forward to riding it again.
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