A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:59 pm

They must have big arses if the $20m liability insurance and paragraphs of indemnity clauses in the permits aren't enough to cover them :lol:

Disappointing lack of riding at the moment, still getting over the daycare ebola Winnie gave me last week, Mrs LDR is crook as, and it was just a touch below freezing this morning.

Sunday's Brisbane-Gympie recce went well, it's been a long time since I last rode down Eudlo way and it was good to refresh my memory on just how steep the pinches are through there. Max would be around the 20% mark, which is going to be tough work after doing the first 80km to Landsborough at 34kmh or more. I was already thinking of swapping from the TT to a road bike for the big climb up Eumundi Range Road, now the plan is to swap in Landsborough while having some food, then swap back to the TT at the old Cooroy abattoir for the last 50ish kms.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:51 pm

Another day, another spanner in the works.

Road Policing Command in Brisbane rang (I should stress the officer there is lovely to deal with and as helpful as he can be under the circumstances) to advise that they cannot issue a permit outside daylight hours :o I did point out that I left Innisfail in pitch darkness, but the policy down here is open and shut, no night riding. Deary me.

So Brisbane-Gympie has gone from a 2:30am start to 5:15 (frankly I'm not overly upset about that! :lol: ) and Brisbane-Toogoolawah from 5am to 5:45. He also said that he wouldn't be surprised if Toogoolawah encounters opposition due to going along the Brisbane Valley Highway :roll: .

On the plus side, Rockhampton Council finally gave the go ahead for the 2 rides up there, 20 days after Gladstone and Livingstone Councils! No explanation as to why they took a month instead of a week but whatever. It was just shy of freezing here this morning, with frost up to the house (up on a ridge) and ice all over my car, so not much riding happening!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 24, 2018 4:18 pm

And on it goes, RPC emailed to ask me to send a risk management plan ("the one you did for Cairns will be fine"). I rang and advised there wasn't one, which brought a slightly embarrassed silence ("there really ought to have been one...") but Gavin as usual was extremely helpful and sent through a template which made the process very straightforward. Completed and emailed back to him in under an hour :) .

Then today TMR North Coast finally got back to me and apparently the reason for the lengthy and increasingly concerning delay with the approval from Central Queensland was, wait for it, not wanting a support vehicle to follow directly behind me on the highway. EXACTLY the issue I sorted out with Cairns two months ago, clearly addressed in the event management plans and I even sent them a copy of the Cairns approval so they could copy and paste the conditions from it! :evil: Mother Theresa incarnate that I am, I calmly explained as much and emailed that (along with my shiny new risk management plan) so, fingers crossed to breaking point, that should settle things there. It needs to happen FAST, as Gladstone-Rockhampton is a mere 16 days away now.


On a different topic, with the drought dragging on, I again needed to fill the house tank from the dam. It was a straightforward plan, pick up the pump from the hire place, plug it into the pipes and fire it up, but the fitting for the discharge was missing. I looked everywhere, getting increasingly angry and eventually resorting to digging through buckets of junk at the family farm to come up with a bodge that would work. Went down this morning to retrieve the pump, and there was the fitting, ONE FOOT from the pump hidden under a single leaf :x .

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:03 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:30 pm

I'm in a state of shock at the moment, because my record breaking endeavours just got a whole lot easier.

After my local MP got in touch with the State Minister for Main Roads, there must have been quite a kerfuffle at TMR, as they sent me an email stating that as I was "travelling as a normal road user" they would not issue corridor permits, but instead a blanket "letter of no objection" to cover all the rides. They had 27 conditions on said letter, none of which was overly surprising, except for a bonus condition at the end from the nincompoops in the Darling Downs office, to say that I was NOT allowed to use the highway between Stanthorpe and Warwick, and MUST use Old Stanthorpe Rd instead.

Well I've ridden that road racing the steam train, so I know it has about 7kms of gravel. And "normal road users" are allowed on the highway (which is the only sealed road between Stanthorpe and Warwick) so why not me?

So I let the MPs office know, and sent the TMR letter off to the police as it was sufficient to cover the Toogoolawah and Gympie rides.

Road Policing Command very quickly rang me, and said that if TMR say I'm a "normal road user" and don't need any permits, then I don't need a Special Event Permit do I? I pointed out the problem of Section 85 of the Transport Operations Act, which states I need approval from the commissioner to conduct a record attempt. The extremely helpful officer thought for a moment, and said "I'll give you a call back".

Well I just got that call, to advise that section 85 of the Transport Operations Act does not apply to a single rider.

This means I DO NOT need any permits, approvals, or letters, from anyone or any organisation to conduct a record attempt. So long as I obey the normal road rules, and the support vehicle does the same (including not having a flashing yellow light on the roof) I can just hop on my bike whenever I want, and try to break any road record that takes my fancy.


SO MANY trees died to reach this point! :lol:

Now I can finally concentrate on just riding my damn bike! Gladstone-Rockhampton then is all good to go for Sunday week (September 9), and the weather looks pretty good at this stage too!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:59 pm

ldrcycles wrote:.......- and the weather looks pretty good at this stage too!


Probably shouldn't have written this, Murphy and his Laws etc...(Cyclist blown to Tasmania after freak Cyclone hits Gympie region)
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby RobertL » Fri Aug 31, 2018 3:01 pm

Well done! That does seem to be a result for common sense. Pity it took so long.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:45 pm

Woot. Now you need to get some training in.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:49 pm

RobertL wrote:Well done! That does seem to be a result for common sense. Pity it took so long.


Hear hear, imagine how much easier it would have been to get this back at the start of May!

I feel better today than I have in a long time, just from not having to stress about bureaucratic nonsense :) The morning temperatures should start to warm up soon too. Gladstone-Rockhampton and Brisbane-Toogoolawah will be easy records to break, as the roads for both were particularly dreadful at the time the current records were set, Rocky-Yeppoon-Rocky on the 30th will be more challenging, as the current record is 2:30:06 for 84kms, and I will need to get a good time if it's to stand for more than a few days with the fast blokes up there.

In terms of speed, Stanthorpe-Warwick is by far the hardest, the aim is an average of at least 38kmh for a touch over 60kms (current record is 36.18kmh). The first 10 or 15kms out of Stanthorpe is uphill, so I'll need to be holding a very brisk pace from Dalveen on. Makes me smile just thinking about it :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby find_bruce » Sat Sep 01, 2018 1:11 pm

I'm laughing that they introduced the rule to make it too much work to get approval & through persistence, you made it too hard not to approve :D

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:43 am

find_bruce wrote:I'm laughing that they introduced the rule to make it too much work to get approval & through persistence, you made it too hard not to approve :D


I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the TMR and QPS offices when they finally gave up :lol:

There's no doubt in my mind that the rule is intended to cover single rider record attempts, but if the police have no intention of treating my rides as a breach, then I couldn't care less. At the end of the day all that ever mattered was making sure I could do a ride and claim it as a record without breaking any law, no matter how obscure or arcane.


No time for a proper post, I've had a few good training rides the last couple of days, and yesterday went down to Brisbane to drive the route out to Toogoolawah. I was very happy that it's simpler to navigate than I thought, and the elevation profile is quite mild too. One big downside though is the road surfaces between Brisbane and Ipswich leave a LOT to be desired, Sherwood Road at Rocklea in particular is atrocious. I'll be starting after first light though, so it shouldn't be any great issue.

The task at hand after that drive is finding someone with a drone to film going over Wivenhoe Dam, there don't appear to be any restrictions on drones in the area and it would look unbelievable.


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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Sep 08, 2018 11:19 am

LDR the media tart strikes again :lol: Brilliant article in the Gladstone Observer this morning, and they've organised the Rocky paper to have a photographer at the finish line :mrgreen:

https://www.gladstoneobserver.com.au/ne ... e/3515762/
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ft_critical » Sat Sep 08, 2018 2:40 pm

Gladstone Observer article is great and you, and your endeavour, come across really well. Nice work.

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby g-boaf » Sat Sep 08, 2018 3:12 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I'm in a state of shock at the moment, because my record breaking endeavours just got a whole lot easier.

After my local MP got in touch with the State Minister for Main Roads, there must have been quite a kerfuffle at TMR, as they sent me an email stating that as I was "travelling as a normal road user" they would not issue corridor permits, but instead a blanket "letter of no objection" to cover all the rides. They had 27 conditions on said letter, none of which was overly surprising, except for a bonus condition at the end from the nincompoops in the Darling Downs office, to say that I was NOT allowed to use the highway between Stanthorpe and Warwick, and MUST use Old Stanthorpe Rd instead.

Well I've ridden that road racing the steam train, so I know it has about 7kms of gravel. And "normal road users" are allowed on the highway (which is the only sealed road between Stanthorpe and Warwick) so why not me?

So I let the MPs office know, and sent the TMR letter off to the police as it was sufficient to cover the Toogoolawah and Gympie rides.

Road Policing Command very quickly rang me, and said that if TMR say I'm a "normal road user" and don't need any permits, then I don't need a Special Event Permit do I? I pointed out the problem of Section 85 of the Transport Operations Act, which states I need approval from the commissioner to conduct a record attempt. The extremely helpful officer thought for a moment, and said "I'll give you a call back".

Well I just got that call, to advise that section 85 of the Transport Operations Act does not apply to a single rider.

This means I DO NOT need any permits, approvals, or letters, from anyone or any organisation to conduct a record attempt. So long as I obey the normal road rules, and the support vehicle does the same (including not having a flashing yellow light on the roof) I can just hop on my bike whenever I want, and try to break any road record that takes my fancy.


SO MANY trees died to reach this point! :lol:

Now I can finally concentrate on just riding my damn bike! Gladstone-Rockhampton then is all good to go for Sunday week (September 9), and the weather looks pretty good at this stage too!

Well done on frustrating the bureaucrats and tripping them up in their own paperwork! Win. 8)

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:05 pm

lol...
I could be out buying motorbikes...


seriously though, good luck with it.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:19 pm

What a weekend that was, more ups and downs than any rollercoaster!

The drive up was excruciating, with my old man insisting on doing around 10kmh under the limit everywhere and playing classical music for the whole 6 hours (I do think of myself as reasonably cultured but all things in moderation!) The seats in his car didn't agree with my back either.

The "Siesta Villa" motel wasn't fancy, but was perfectly clean and tidy, and cost a mere $65 for the night. Being barely a block from the start line was great too. We headed out to Mt Larcom for a recce of the first 30kms, and although there was a fair bit of climbing as I expected, I was pleased to see nothing steep, and the road surface looked quite good.

I got to sleep at a reasonable hour (if not quite as early as I wanted), but then woke up at midnight :evil: . Obviously my subconscious was concerned about getting up late, and I only had patchy sleep from then until 3:30 when I finally gave up, as my alarm was set for 3:45 anyway. Whether it was the interrupted sleep or something else, I didn't feel quite right, but dismissed it as nerves and headed for the Post Office.

To my amazement, a car pulled up as I was getting my shoes on, and the lady driver introduced herself as Antonella from Channel 7. :shock: She got a little footage of me getting ready and setting off before heading up the road to film me passing. She contacted me afterwards to say she had to repeat the exercise several times as she couldn't believe how fast I was going and didn't have enough time to get out with the camera before I caught up to her :) .

The first few kms were fantastic, Gladstone glows at night from the millions of lights on the coal terminals, and riding past the massive gladstone power station is an experience I won't soon forget. I was sitting in the mid to high 30s just taking it easy and waiting to warm up before the climbing started. The road to Mt Larcom was a bit odd, in some places I seemed to float along at an excellent pace with no effort, other sections made me work for little return. There were a few patches of solid fog around, and it combined with the soft pre dawn light to make a beautiful sight.

There were plenty of smooth downhills to rest on, so I really enjoyed myself out to the Bruce Highway. I still wasn't feeling as good as I should have, and straight away I was onto coarse chip bitumen that sucked speed and energy almost as well as an ungraded dirt road.

It was all downhill from there, my body simply wasn't working and I soon realised the morning would just be about surviving. At best, I was only doing about 34kmh on the flat, and was often down to just 29-30. This was despite the forecast headwinds being absent (although the southerly change that had been predicted and would have been enormously helpful didn't eventuate either).

I was careful with drink and gels to make sure I had enough without upsetting my already upset stomach, and just kept the pedals turning over. The existing record only required me to average 24kmh, and with multiple news crews waiting at the finish pulling the pin wasn't an option no matter how bad things got.

At the 60k mark the usual tenderness in my legs started (though normally it wouldn't have taken so long to get to that 60k mark!) and by 90k there was a bit of tightness around my knees when pedalling out of the saddle. The traffic throughout was remarkably light, and there were a few who gave cheery toots after passing. Around 70k in an empty coal train running alongside the highway gave a big toot and the driver stuck his head out the window to give me a thumbs up, which was a fantastic pick me up :D .

From the Burnett Highway turnoff onwards I felt a lot better (and the road surface finally smoothed out) and I averaged 35.6 over the Yeppen Bridge. I got swooped by a magpie coming through the south of town, and after successfully navigating the only 2 turns that were required, I made a somewhat feeble charge up to the Old Post Office, relishing the prospect of being able to get off this accursed machine.

The Old PO now houses a cafe, and there were a few other cyclists there who clapped as I came in (even though they didn't know what I was doing, just that there was a support car following so there was obviously some significance), and the reporter from the Rocky paper was there along with some bloke who had read about the attempt.


Image


Image


You might notice the white car (which was the support) disappearing from the 2nd photo. What happened there is that due to some miscommunication, the 7 News cameraman didn't get to the finish until well after I had arrived (and had been talking Maddelin from the Morning Bulletin's ear off). He needed video of a man on a bike, so I had to ride off down the road and come back into the finish in a convincing manner, and to get the right angles took 3 takes. 3 sprint efforts is exactly what I needed after 3.5hrs of hell! :lol:

The end result was a time of 3:32:06, 1hr4m22s ahead of the record :) . My conservative target was 3h28, so given how poor I was feeling it was a pretty good result.

Eventually everything wrapped up there and after popping over to my brother's place to say hello and upload the GPS, it was back in the car again. After a short stop at Mt Larcom for one of the best meat pies I've ever had, and a phone interview with ABC Capricornia, it was another 5 or so hours of slow, uncomfortable travelling. The classical music was replaced by NRL coverage, which was like replacing syphilis with gonorrhea, not necessarily an improvement, but at least different. (I am strongly contemplating alternative transport arrangements!)


So on one hand, there were a lot of unpleasant moments over the day and a half, and I'm terribly disappointed not to have put in a much better showing. However, there were also a few wonderful experiences, and breaking a record by over an hour is nothing to be sneezed at.

To me the best thing to come out of the weekend was my newfound confidence with the press. Now that I've determined to set up a replacement for the League of Wheelmen to encourage other people to get on the record breaking bandwagon, it's so much easier than saying "well I'm a weekend hack harvesting low hanging fruit" :lol: . I did really well at getting the message across that the exploits of Opperman, Les Cecil, and their contemporaries are extraordinary achievements that deserve a lot more recognition, and that today's cyclists should commemorate those achievements by getting out there and pushing the bar higher.

I'm feeling a lot better today, so I think yesterday's troubles were down to the combination of a long, unpleasant drive and poor sleep. I'll make sure that isn't repeated on future attempts.
"I must be rather keen on cycling"- Sir Hubert Opperman.

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Sep 10, 2018 4:29 pm

congrats and well done, hope you feel better
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:29 am

Great effort mate.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby marty_one » Tue Sep 11, 2018 11:46 am

Well Done. Very Inspiring. Any links to the articles that you know about?
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:17 pm

Cheers guys. @marty, unfortunately the Rockhampton Bulletin article is behind a paywall, I was able to get those photos via google images. Hopefully I'll be able to get my hands on a copy of yesterday's paper.

Thanks to my sister-in-law, I have got a video of the 7 news piece which turned out pretty damn good for someone who isn't comfortable in front of a video camera- https://www.facebook.com/LDRcycles/vide ... 217164194/
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby find_bruce » Tue Sep 11, 2018 4:33 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Now that I've determined to set up a replacement for the League of Wheelmen to encourage other people to get on the record breaking bandwagon, it's so much easier than saying "well I'm a weekend hack harvesting low hanging fruit" :lol:

Interestingly there were calls to establish an Australian Roads Records Association back in the 30s. One Bruce Small had "offered" to assist, & there were suggestions it be made up of men who were leading writers on cycling and businessmen, but who do not take any part in cycling administration. Gee I wonder who they had in mind :wink:

We are however beginning to lose sight of the real issue here, which is: what are we going to call this organisation? ReFLoW works better than WHHLHF, ARRA or RRAA, but none are to the standard of the "The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society." :D

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby Tim » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:34 pm

find_bruce wrote:The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society.


I propose a 2 week forum ban. :lol:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 12, 2018 8:34 am



I really am a man behind my time aren't I? :lol:

I'll have more on this tonight, but I can advise that it will not be called the ARRA (my first preference), as I've found to my great surprise and even greater amusement that acronym is already taken by.... the Australian Romance Readers Association :lol:
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby marty_one » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:40 pm

ldrcycles wrote:https://www.facebook.com/LDRcycles/videos/235166217164194/


Nice one.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Sep 12, 2018 12:47 pm

find_bruce wrote:.....but none are to the standard of the "The Committee for the Liberation and Integration of Terrifying Organisms and their Rehabilitation Into Society." :D


only problem I can see is that no-one would ever find them..

and even if we did, we'd be outside office hours or they'd be redecorating..
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