Congratulations to those that accomplished their goals, there were some terrific efforts
After my problematic prep I was very happy to see sunrise on Buffalo and return before enjoying a day at the brewery and cheering the riders coming in. Already looking forward to next year!
Indeed there were! I'm the owner of the black one, not the green one.
Hmmm .... that might mean (at least) three, although I'm not that good with colours - you'd have to check with grasshopper.
It was Grasshopper I meant.
lol (AT) warthog. that is a great effort though. congrats to all other participants.
i had a fun day doing the 250. missed the start, so had no free tow out to Harrietville. latched on to a fellow latecomer, who towed me all the way out there. this guy was on a mission, but i wouldn't have given it that much, that early on. i did thank him. Hotham was pleasant in the cool early morning and i had few problems pushing over the steep bits, out of the seat.
it was a lonely ride, i picked off only a few riders so clearly the majority had cleared off on me! i saw only a couple of people on the way to Omeo. it was only on the back of Falls that i started passing some of the more shell-shocked 4am starters. that is a brutal climb - it's not as long as Hotham, but it just goes straight up.
coming down Falls i got blocked by a couple of cars, one very politely let me through but the SES dude towing a boat clearly thought he could out-run me, with his boat trailer tyres squealing around the corners. nice try buddy! me 1 SES 0. coming up to Tawonga Gap i latched on to a train of 5 riders, then became unlatched on the climb, but used one of them to pace me up.
this is a great event, Audax do such a great job of organising - including all the volunteers. many thanks to them.
Had a great day. only downsides were three flats. Was gonna replace those tyres last week but never got around to it. My mate pulled out at dinner plain - he'd been crook all week and really shouldn't even have got in the car on Sat morning let alone attempt the ACE. Solid effort though starting at 4 and climbing Hotham in that state. The most perfect cycling weather made the best event if ever done perfect. Wonderfully organised and run.
Don't want to whinge but in future it would be great if more people took note of the guidelines and left their lights on solid instead of flash. It makes for a pretty unpleasant ride for the first hr.
How good was that sunrise over Hotham Jim?!! And there was one point near the top of Hotham where the cloud from the valley to the right was rolling across the road and into the valley on the left...amazing to see:) And here here re the flashing lights...we asked a few riders to switch to solid, surprisingly a few were not happy about being asked...
It was my first ACE250...very impressed overall:)
Well done all riders and organizers. Great spirit to the event ... definitely worth the trip up there. After a day of methodically consuming gels and water I went nuts at the finish on crepes, custard tarts, lamingtons and pots from the Bright Brewery. Have now finished the event with nine kilos more than I started with.
This might have been the reason the lights were flashing.
I did the 06:19 start and everyones' lights were flashing, well those that had them anyway.
I do agree they are annoying though, particularly when its dark.
Not as annoying as being too stupid to follow glaringly obvious signage as I was though
Last edited by warthog1 on Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.
mmm i never saw that. I'm sure I read somewhere they asked to not have lights flashing. They might need to re think that. Flashing lights in a small group or on your own is necessary but having flashing rear lights in a group of hundreds is really quite dangerous.
Well done to everyone who did it!
I was up at DP for a relaxing weekend and rode down to Harrietville and back on Saturday morning. There were plenty of people out in ACE250 vests doing Hotham the day before the big event... Personally, 1 lap down & up Hotham was enough for me, let alone doing even more the following day! Good job!
They may have been 2-day Raiders going to Omeo on Saturday, then around Falls back to Bright on Sunday.
Ahh.. There appeared to be 2 vests though - a normal high vis vest (i assumed the 2 day raiders), and one with ACE 250 on it.
There were quite a few two day raiders around, but 10 or more with ACE250 written on the vest as well!
Well I attempted by first Alpine Classic this year, the 620 am 200 classic. It was quite an eventful day and I learned a lot.
Started off running late and rolled into the town centre as the first batch of riders was leaving.. so I missed my mate who had already left. Managed to tag onto the back of the group and avoid a few near-misses as the pack compressed and concertinad over the first rolls heading towards the Tawonga Gap turn off.
The Tawonga gap climb went smoothly enough..it was longer than I remember (have driven it many times in the car). I slowly passed a few people and met my mate at the top who waited for me. Took some lovely pictures at the lookout and then had a beautiful descent into Mt Beauty. I love that road in a car but in a bike it's magnificent. Lovely corners and a great surface.
Stopped in Mt Beauty for a stretch and to ditch the leg warmers. I think I was one of two people wearing them. It would appear that leg warmers are a 'newbie' mistake (along with how you mount your timing chip) but it was 3 degrees at the top of the gap and I'm glad I packed them. I had catered myself (Clif bars and rice cakes) as I thought the supplied food would be rudimentary. Well I'm not making that mistake again LOL as the spread at Mt Beauty was fantastic. Didn't top up my water as I had two 700 ml bidons with isotonic drink which I had only sipped from at this point and there was water available at Bogong. So we started the Falls Creek climb. My mate was in better shape than I so I let him go and said 'meet you at Bogong'. Got to Bogong, no sign of him (or any water) so I kept continuing. Climbing up Falls was ok, felt fairly strong but noticed I was getting low on fluids. I ran out about 5 km to the Summit but figured as I was almost there I'd be OK. A nice rider called Dan (who I chatted to on the Tawonga climb) passed me and said hello and he offered me a few sips of water inside the last few km.
Got to the checkpoint, got off the bike and suddenly felt very dizzy and light headed. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that I was probably dehydrated and possibly had bonked. So I gently sipped a bottle of water before refilling my bidons and ate again. It took a while to get my head back again (as I wasn't going to ride that descent without my having my head together). My mate waited patiently for me and then we started the descent. Then I saw him grind to stop in front of me. He broke a spoke (rear drive-side spoke on a Giant proprietary wheelset) and his bike was now finished. Luckily it was within a few hundred metres of the summit so he turned around and began the walk to the top.
I descended without him. Halfway down the descent my legs begin to dump lactic acid..presumably my muscles had gone into recovery mode because I spent too long at the top. From below Bogong they felt Ok along the rollers..and my legs kept drifting in and out from me for the rest of the ride. The Tawonga Gap climb went fine (this time I stopped at the water stop half way up to refill one bidon). It was slow but steady going until the the top, and my legs got lactic again on the descent into Bright.
I had already made my mind up that I was going to pull the pin at 120 km. The original plan was to get back to Bright in a good condition, and if I blew up on Buffalo I could slowly grind it out for an hour or so and roll back home. But the events at the top of Falls had thrown that plan out the window. At Bright I stopped and had a icy pole and a couple of Apple turnovers (which were absolutely fantastic). Got back on the bike and the legs felt good again...thought about giving Buffalo a crack but thought I'll come back next year with better preparation and more experience under the belt. The idea of grinding out the Buffalo climb with sore legs didn't fill me with much joy.
And to cap off an eventful day, whilst playing cricket with my son in the afternoon a European wasp flew into my sandal and stung me twice under my big toe. I hobbled over to St Johns near the river who gave me some ice. They were glad to see me as wasp stings are more apparently more fun and interesting than standard cycling-related first aid
So what have I learnt?
a) Always fill up your water bottles when possible. Don't fixate so much about diluting your sports drink because plain water is better than nothing. There is a reason why people use triathlon-style double bidon holders and Camelbaks.
b) Train more. I had done 613 km and over 9,000 metres since January leading up to the event. But while I can polish of a 120 km ride with 2,000+ vertical metres around Kinglake and Eltham, it's not the same in the Alps as the longer, sustained climbs give you less of a recovery period. So more training of Donna Buang for me. I had planned a double-Donna and Dandenongs crucifix in the lead-up but I never got around to it
c) Don't bring your own food. Maybe gel shots and few Clif bars but the supplied food is fantastic. Apparently there were more apple turnovers at the Buffalo summit.
d) It's a tough event. At Falls we heard stories about broken collarbones and lost skin that had already occurred that morning. I observed other riders who were suffering dehydration and were collapsed/prone on the ground. And this on a day which was relatively cool compared to other events.
e) Maybe get a lower gear so I can spin more and take it easier.
Last edited by __PG__ on Wed Jan 29, 2014 8:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
Great account PG!
I've done the 200 a number of times and it never gets any easier. I sometimes think the training and preparation just enables you to endure the hurt for longer!
You will see a big improvement next year as you now know what to expect!
mine didn't have anything written on it
Yep, interesting account of your day __PG__.
I think age and body shape/type may have a lot to do with how things go on these type of rides. If you can rock'n'roll around Eltham and Kinglake for 120kms without much trouble then you're a strong rider but maybe you're not getting enough long steady climbing training despite the kms and cumulative metres of ascent.
I don't have much raw leg power and I managed 3 (only 3 ...) Donnas over the last 4-6 weeks (on top of my regular Dandenongs rides) but they take me about 1hr 35m in low gear each time, which just about matches my time up the Buffalo climb on Sunday. So I got the training I needed. I also took it really easy out to Tawonga/Mt Beauty and back, and ate and drank plenty in the first half.
Another thing I reckon is important for early, long and warm/hot rides is overnight hydration, so you start 'full' and not dehydrated from a night's sleep. So I drank plenty of water before bed and more when I (inevitably) got up in the night, and more when I got up for an early breakfast. Just avoid the tea/coffee ... and maybe alcohol ... the night before. You can't hydrate with a morning coffee for a 100+km ride. And if you went out without breakfast, you probably won't be able to eat enough on the ride to make it up.
I drank about 1 litre on the first half and maybe 1.5l on the second part, with weak staminade as my additive. The other drink I had was 2 small glasses (about 375ml... ?) of coke at the halfway point, and maybe the same of plain water from the tap. And two cups of weak red cordial at Dingo Dell. You don't have to carry huge amounts with you as long as you take every opportunity to get some extra eg. plain water, can of coke, free cordial etc
A final thing is I don't see a lot of riders drinking while moving, and if your habit is to only drink when you are stopped (say at traffic lights or regroup points etc) then you will find yourself drinking less than you need on a long climb. You may be finishing your shorter training rides dehydrated but in ok shape, but a longer ride will find you out.
Anyway that's my two bob's worth, albeit from limited experience. Eat and drink more than you think you need, and don't start empty.
having done 5 alpine classic events now, i don't think you can stress this enough. this year was not the hottest it's been, but it was still hot. hydrate, hydrate... hydrate. if you don't, you will weaken and the event will become a slow, painful march for you. as you said - don't wait until the ride starts either, it's too hard to play catch up. you need to start over-hydrated. at omeo on the 250, i downed a full bidon before filling both up and leaving for falls.
Yeah I learnt my lessons from the Wiggle Donna Beast back in November and made sure the unit in Bright had cooking facilities so I could have my normal breakfast (porridge). I start drinking early on the rides (before I feel thirsty). I just should have topped up at Mt Beauty.
Am looking at Camelbaks now for big days in the saddle.
I have a time reminder on my Garmin set to beep every 10 minutes. If it's cool, I take a sip of fluid. If it's hot I take a good gulp. Now it's second nature to drink regularly.
I don't know where I got the idea from - it's too good for me to take the credit .
Phil Liggett, TdF 2011, Alpe-d'Huez: "I reckon tonight in hindsight he may have won the Tour de France tomorrow."
It was a mixed ride for me this year.
I completed the 250 in 2012 and did the nasty 3 x MtBuffalo ride last year.
Work was a problem in October and November, so my preparation was less than ideal. However, I was hoping to at least equal my 2012 moving time and pick up overall with quicker stops.
On track to Harrietville and only 3 mins behind at The Meg. About 15 mins behind 2012 at Dargo Road. Then I was about 1.5km from the top of the climb when my adductor muscles went all spasmo on me and I had to walk for a bit. Result was 30 mins down at Dinner Plain.
Managed to sneak 5 mins back by Omeo and another 5 mins by Angler's Rest, so I was thinking I might be ok.
Up the back of Falls Creek is the nasty spot and after successfully riding out of the 'OMGosh' or 'Say What' corner I thought I was hanging on ok.
However, a couple of clicks past the Shannonvale water stop it hit me. I was alone (riders a few mins ahead and behind) and I started to struggle. I calculated that I had 10-12km to ride of this 9-12% road and that I'd be about another 1.75 hours before getting to Raspberry Hill. This was not a fun calculation and I ended up in the back of a ute and then the Broom Van.
In hindsight I should have been able to do it - but I think that being alone at the worst point of the course was critical. That and being 5kg too heavy and probably 5% under prepared.
Maybe next year...
On a positive note: Volunteering for a few hours on Saturday was fun.
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