Well what an interesting ride that turned out to be... started off all good and going up the gorge was superb and the amount of people going up fox creek road was amazing.
Got through to Mt Barker OK and was heading down the main street when we were all stopping for a red light and someone cleaned me up from behind and broke 2 spokes... one very buckled rear wheel. (That was a bit crazy getting through Mt Barker with all the groups, traffic lights & cars.) Anyway walked back up to the drink stop at Littlehampton and was extremely lucky that the very helpful guy from Adelaide Hills Cycles was able to replace to spokes are re-true the wheel as best he could.
This took about 45mins and by then all the big groups had already gone through so there was mainly tail enders left coming through... had an awsome tailwind through to Strath and assessed what to do from there. With the wind being so strong and no groups/wheels to hook onto and having already lost 45mins I opted to cut through to Finniss from Strath (sounds like that was a wise move as I waited and caught up with the guys I was riding with at Finniss and thay said it was carnage from Langhorne Creek to Finniss).
Finished feeling quite fresh as I'd had a good 45min rest while my wheel was being fixed and about 30mins waiting for my mates in Finniss. All in all a pretty good day except for a bid of bad luck.
Now for a couple of gripes... without BikeSA running the show it was very poorly run. After reading on this discussion that sunscreen was going to be available I asked at 2 different stops and was advised at both that there was none. And unless I was running late due to my wheel that lack of food choice at Strath was disappointing (bananas, bananas or bananas?) what about the fruit cake and biscuits? And for the second year in a row the run into the finish was spoilt by having to share it with traffic inside the last kilometre.
What sort of day/experiences did everyone else have out there?
"Don't Wish It Were Easier... Wish You Were Better!"
More drink stops than advertised, although the extra stops became piles of cardboard casks and empty silver bladder bags. That would have been depressing for later riders.
Drink stop at Lenswood was total chaos.
The wind was a problem over the last 40km resulting in a lot of roadside litter consisting of worn out riders sitting or lying at the side of the road and looking bewildered. Don't know if any could have got going again.
Very hard to use a mobile phone at the finish as the number of riders finishing seemed to overwhelm the networks.
Impressed by the Police, I thought they did an excellent job.
Very tough ride, but I am pleased to say I completed, or survived it without mishap.
Next big one is Coast to Coast, and back to the fruit cake/sunscreen etc.
Last edited by Clydesdale Scot on Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
no sunscreen, I only expected it cause someone here posted that they would have it. Good thing my mate brang some.
Water stops where much quicker than expected stopped at strath, milang and one just before strath. Geez i just realised i drank about 7 litres then more when i got home, crazy. I did not get any food except for at the end. Muffins and bread and fruit where actually quite fresh. They also did give out free powerbars.
Mountain was also easier than expected, I reckon it would have been easier by myself, then I wouldn't have to slow down/speed up so many times.
being my first ride over 80km, I was personally quite happy, no back soreness (one of my bigger worries) butt was getting a bit sore towards the end, shoulders and neck where starting to get uncomfortable at the end as well but nothing major. Still had enough energy to hammer home after getting dropped off in adelaide. Would have not been fun if we had a head wind instead, the crosswind itself was not great.
only gripes where cloak room queues and waiting for bus and bus driving down king william during peak hour all of which I dont think are fixable.
Interesting incident, someone stacked just heading out of the drink stop from Milang and the front wheel looked seriously buckled and I couldn't really figure out how that could have happened.
things for next time avoid a bag if possible avoid a bus if possible.
Milang to Finiss was absolute carnage. People everywhere - about a km out from Milang you started seeing people sitting on the side of the road and the number of them just kept increasing.
Came across from Perth for it and would do it again.
Congrats to all that completed the 161kms today - great effort to what turned out to be a pretty hard tough ride... as has been mentioned the milag to finniss stretch was utter carnage, and saw alot of decent riders sitting on the edge of the road (thanksfully i wasnt one of them)
The riders, and th econditions made the event a great one, and completing it even greater... the organisation of the event however was nothing short of appalling, and negligent...
the water stops were shocking, several unmanned, and the fact most were without food was a disgrace... Dont they make enough money out of the event? 8000 x $100 = wow...
where there was water, it took an enternity to actually get it, so boo again...
the homeward stretch (last 15kms) was fast, with 45 to 55kmh on my watch... as mentioned previously, it was pretty crap that the final few kms were chockas with traffic...
And the final nail in the coffin, NO DRINKS AT THE FINISH????? followed by the fruit nazi yelling "only one piece of fruit per person!!" ARE U KIDDING??? after 161kms, no drink and limited fruit? organisers u suck! they shouldve had an abundance of both given all the extra wind resitance riders had to endure in their jerseys which were 4 sizes too big for them!
the police were fantastic....
SAAS, St Johns, Med Star and all the othe rmedical personell trying to keep everyone safe... U guys deserve a big pat on the back....
Latest report is there are alot of hospitalisations from the last 35kms... Im working in a southern fleurieu hospital tonite so i have reasonably accurate info about this... hopefully the event organisers get the feedback of this and then have a good hard long look at themselves...
next year when i do the challenge, i will donate my entry fee to associated charity, and ride in this years jersey...
Well done to everyone on the ride and hope you all completed safely.
Those drink stops, although plentiful, were definitely a challenge for all and the "food" stop was ridiculous. One banana truck (but the bloke did a mighty job) to feed everyone? As for sunscreen, I found a skoda van handing it out at the first stop after Fox Creek...perhaps you guys went through too quick.
That section to Finnis was amazing...people everywhere. I am wondering if I got to ride with any of you guys.... I was on my BMC and had blue and white Capo bibs on. There were some amazingly fast sections where we had a train going around the 60 kmh mark for kms. Really good fun, but the old wheel sucking etiquette got me wound up (in a friendly way) a couple of times. I think it was free loading interstaters though .
Overall it was great fun, but I agree that with all the money they made there could have been a bit more effort made to look after rider comfort.
I'm visiting from Sydney and did the Community Challenge ride yesterday. Clocked up 175km for the day.
It was organised chaos as others have said. Some of the drink stops were dangerously placed or poorly laid out. Ambos and cops did a great job, but too much was left to them.
The first 40km including the big hill seemed to go fast and much easier than I expected. Saw one sad bloke standing by the side of the road with an exploded carbon front wheel. There were fit-looking riders struggling on the hill, but I think my hilly commute has been very good training.
Loved the smooth roads on the long descents. One place in particular, I got all aero and was doing 75km/h for a long time. The tailwind after that helped me along, until we turned INTO the wind and the carnage began, followed by heavy crosswinds, raised dust and little tumbleweeds.
I've ridden a fully loaded touring bike in gale-force winds across the north of Scotland, so I know the only answer is "drink, eat and keep going". The kilometres went by very slowly, but sometimes there were bunches to ride in (nice to be on the inside of the bunch with a crosswind from the right, hard work being on the outside). The bunches kept splitting, so there was much solo battling to be done.
There weren't enough ambulances or broom wagons to help all those casualties. It would have been worse to stop, because then you had to cope with the heat and further dehydration from the wind, while running out of water because you're not reaching the next drink stop. Like I said, the only solution is to keep going.
I finished just before 1pm and felt good. That's the trouble with having learnt from touring - I'm too conservative with energy, just in case there's more to be done.
The prebooked bus ride home was ridiculous. All bikes stacked inside trucks with no means of identification beyond saying "that's my bike" at the other end. Add to that a long wait in the sun when they ran out of buses, plus an hour waiting for the bus to move anywhere. I had a great day, but I was glad to escape the organised chaos.
Thanks to all the other riders for being good company and well done on your achievements.
First of all congrats to everyone who completed this ride - any of the distances, a great effort.
Just thought I would contribute a bit of hard data to the conversation. That tailwind from strathalbyn was very strong. The BOM website listed it as between 20 and 40 kph depending on the time you were riding in it with gusts up to 60kph! And from what I can see Hindmarsh Island recorded gusts of 67kph at 11:30am. Hindmarsh Island Observations. So very windy. I almost didn't make it with it all looking lost when i reached Milang was feeling very tired. That crosswind was hell, but the guys i rode with gave me a the HTFU princess talk and 5 minutes of shade in the big pine trees. The hardest part was actually getting back on the bike after that. It turned out the legs had the power still it was the mind that was letting me down. In the end made it to the finish in about 6 hours 30 minutes.
Hi Guys, This year was the first time I've ridden the full distance, some friends and I did the 30k last year. I was just wondering how it rated in the difficulty stakes compared to other years ??? I know the stage was flatter that other years although slightly longer, the talk was that the ride would be a bit easier this year. But with the conditions faced in the last 40k's how did the ride compare ???
Onto my ride. As I said this is the first time I've ridden the full distance, and the first time I've ever ridden more than 100k's, found the ride to Fox Creek relativly easy, the last K before the summit was fairly taxing but was short and sharp. Then it was a fairly nice ride through to Langhorne Creek with some really nice fast decents. I was traveling quite nicely until the turn at the Lake into Milang (This was just over the 100k mark) The cross wind had me leaning to the right on my bike so I didn't get blown off, I've nerver ridden in wind like that.
Having seen the wind direction I knew it was going to be really hard going from Milang to Finnis. I didn't realise how hard. Riders were strewn along the side of the road all the way to Finnis and beyond. I'd like to thank the guy on the red bike that helped on the way to Finnis, we were going abouth the same speed and just mutually decided to help each other by taking turns at the front. I was so buggered I didn't even get his name.
I should have realise I was in a bit of strife when I went to put powerade in my drink bottle at the Finnis stop. The lady at the stand put it in for me as I had the shakes. Ha Ha.
Anyway I left Finnis and the first little rise after the left had tuen had my drivers cramping up. So I had to sit on the side of the road rubbing the cramp out. This happened again at another little rise in the road and the little hill coming out of Currency Creek. Everytime I tried to put a bit of power through my legs they would cramp. (The mind was willing but the flesh was weak) having to jump off and rub them out a bit.
The last time was 800 metres from the finish. We had to stop for a bit of a traffic jam. I was Ok just slowly rolling along but as soon as I stopped and had to get going again my legs started cramping again. So I rode the finish straight furiously rubbing my legs to try to stop them from totally cramping in front of all the spectators. I was in a lot of pain but I made it. I did it in a time of 6:09 on the bike not including drink and cramp stops.
After the event I thought to myself 'I am never doing that again' but now a day later the pain has subsidded a bit and I think I'll do it again next year (Maybe it's a bit like child birth)
As for the organisation, my jersy was the wrong size but I didn't really notice it during the ride. The refreshment stops were a bit chaotic but I don't know what they were like other years and I wouldn't want to try to organise this sort of thing for 8000 people. The lack of water/powerade at the finish was very dissappointing as I needed it, but there were more refreshment stops that advertised and it looked like most of them were used so well done for that.
A big thanks to the police and the ambo's who had a very busy day and were all helpful. I rode back out of Goolwa and stopped to help a lady who had crashed her bike 3k's from the finish, she was most upset. (She'd hurt her leg and taken a fair chunk out of her arm, I hope she's OK) A nice Canadian fellow was helping her but didn't have a phone so I called the ambo's for her and they arrived very quickly. But said that they had run out of resources due to the amount of people who were requiring assistance.
All in all a good ride although for me very hard. Well done everyone who participated.
Great Jens Voigt Quotes:
"I get paid to hurt other people, how good is that?"
"Shut up legs"
Just a followup as to why there was no bottled water at the finish. One of my colleagues has just informed me that the organisers were told by Medstar (SA Medical Retrieval Service) hierachy to move their water from goolwa to finiss, where everyone was going down. Medstar was obviously gravely concerned about the carnage that was happening out the road.... Very poor that this privately organised event had to pull out all the volunteer emergency services in the area in a last minute exercise to try and keep people safe. A little foresight might be useful next year????
Well done to u posters above who completed it!!! Props to u guys!!
After a good nights sleep yesterdays ride doesn't seem so bad. After starting an hour late from Woodside due to some unforeseen circumstances, i was lucky to be able to hook onto some of the faster groups coming through from Norwood. The run from Norwood to Milang was fantastic even with almost being knocked of my bike twice by other riders, and eventually coming off avoiding a stack in front. The section from Milang to past Finiss was some of the hardest riding i have done in years. Thanks to anyone here that i may have hooked up with along the way, and thanks to the organisers for making sure there was plenty of water along the way. Like many others i spent 15 minutes on the side of the road rubbing out and epic cramp, and trying to convince myself there was only another 45 mins to go b4 the wind would be back behind me. The last run into Goolwa was fantastic except for the traffic and the clown who decided he had to come screaming through the last 500m with traffic thinking he was a pro as he yelled for everyone else to get out of his way, oh well there is always one tool in the crowd
this was my 1st time doing the MCCT ride and im sure to do it again next year, lets hop the jerseys fit then.
speaking of jerseys what is the protocol to swap your maternity blouse for a cycling jersey?
The bus company is usually pretty good. However, they were asked to go to Finniss and retrieve the walking wounded from the carnage of the innocents. This, made worse by the sole congested route back into the oval, totally stuffed up any notion of timetabling.
Just to be clear, I think the organisation was pretty average. The bus company, SES, SA Ambulance Service, Medstar and the SA Police were all dropped into it on the stretch into Finniss. They responded with style, making the lack of a planned, coordinated on-the-ground presence from the organisers even more evident.
I rode the route five times before the MCCT. On two of those days the weather on that stretch was more demanding. So yeah, the organisers do need to take a good hard look at themselves.
I do think the riders need to take a good hard look too. I'd be interested to know how many of the people doing the course had done a training ride of equivalent length beforehand. It's not a race, so I can't see why people shouldn't plan to be self-reliant for food and puncture repairs, and view food stops and repair service as welcome extras. I was astounded by the thinness of a lot of jersey pockets at the start.
I too noticed other peoples jersey pockets. More so the fullness of them. What on earth do people bring?
I had 6 muesli bars (i ate 4), hankerchief, phone, credit cards/cash/license, lip balm, electrolyte tablets (figured the powerade stops would just be too tedious). I forgot the sunscreen (which i was expecting to get, but learn for next time).
I did notice a few riders brang spare tyres. some had drink bottles in jersey pockets and also saw some people with 2 more drink bottles behind the back seat.
just to mention I had never done the distance before (longest before was half) and was heavily relying on water. If I ride with the same 2 people next time, I am bringing a hydration system, i never noticed they where camels !!!
I think the drink stops could have been laid out better to enable better flow. Youseemed to have to get powder, the move backwards for water etc.
Better signage would have helped.
I thought the cops and marshalling was better this year but would agree that a bit of cake and a cuppa in Strath would have helped the event.
Part of the problem, in my opinion, for the carnage is that I trained for the hills, determined not to empty the tank for the cruisy run home.
I hadn't expected the wind to actually make the flat end the hardest part of the course. I wasn't mentally prepared for the hurt.
It was a little disenheartening to see the side of the roads full of hurting cyclists and wondering if and when I would join them.
It was a tough psychological fight against sanity. (Luckily bloody mindedness won).
And for the poor bloke on Gorge road, to me, it looked like another R-Sys wheel disaster.
05 Azzuri Primo (bought in 08)
10 BMC Team Machine
I was one of the many that didn't quite make it yesterday, the muscles were fine but the throbbing pain in the head became too much. Made it to somewhere just out of finniss, until picked up by one of the mech vans. On the way in we picked up a bike, rider had been taken to hospital, looked like he split his rim on the railway crossing just out of Goolwa.
I think more training is in order for next years event, and even though I had a throbbing head on the side of the road in 36 degrees blowing a dusty gale, it still beat being at my desk at work!!!!!!
I wont add to the above comments because I concur with what everyone has said thus far. What I would like to know is who do I reply to about the event. I feel it is important to express my concerns. I am flabergasted that after so many years of holding not only this event but many high profile events that the organisation of this event was poorly managed. Again from the similar complaints others have already expressed. From having been told sunscreen would be supplied and then not seeing any really pissed me off! Anyway I'm not posting to vent, I would like to know who to contact to write a letter too.
I really only had a few gripes about the event and this didn't detur me from enjoying the day but it just could have been that little bit better.
Well done to everyone who participated.
I agreed to participate with some trepidation, even though I have enjoyed riding on a fairly regular basis, my road bike has been languishing in a garage for the last 5 years whilst I have been working away in idyllic locales. I resurrected my "red bike" a 1996 Specialized M2 pro, had it serviced, now ready to test the body and determined to rebuild old acquaintance. Left the entry until the last minute for the team nomination, then there was no turning back. If I was going to go in the ride, I did not intend to take it for granted, so the training rides began. Commenced with 2 hour rides along the Riesling Trail on the mountain bike in a group of 3 to 4 riders moving along at a fair pace. December allowed for a longer road ride, took the flat bar up into the hills, Checker Hill proved too tough, had to walk from half way. Hmmm, need to do more work, but all in all not too bad. Jan 2 was my first hit out on the course - did not even get up Gorge Road to attempt the Fox Creek Road climb. Easier to blame the machine then an inward gaze at the poorly maintained and overweight rider. Into the LBS, new cluster 25-12, kept the old 21-11 for sentimental reasons, new chain, new tyres & tubes; now it is all systems go.
What a great feeling it was to be in a ride with so many others, all ages, all sizes, all capabilities, brilliant. I was smiling so much I am sure I got bug spatters on my teeth. Even with the new cogs, Fox Creek Rd proved too much, I didn't care though, better to get off and walk and conserve some energy for what remained of a very long day. Water stop at Lenswood was like a slow moving conga line, waited for a while but decided to ride on rather than hang around in a queue, pulled in to Service Station in Mount Barker and bought a couple of bottles of water, chilled and refreshing. Lined up for the bananas in Strathalbyn, the rider next to me remarked that "isn't it great to get the good quality, but even if it was black I reckon I would eat them". Still felt fresh after a brief stop for water, on to the next step, must admit was wondering about the option of taking the escape route.
As I got along towards Langhorne Creek I wondered about the sense of challenge versus foolishness, I think if I was riding with people I knew and they put the suggestion that enough is enough, I would have agreed that 100kms is a pretty reasonable test of character. The road to Milang was crual, the doubts set in, why this madness? Decided to stop for half an hour in Milang. Stripped off the jersey and shoes and dunked myself under a tap in the caravan park, if anyone was offended by the flabby belly, what can I say, the desire to live outdid my sense of modesty.
The most inspiring sight I saw on the day, was the guy riding along between Milang and Finnis with his hand in the small of his companion's back, propelling and steering her in to best position behind other riders, for what seemed many a kilometre. I remain in awe of his stamina and endurance, controlling his own bike whilst assisting and encouraging her. It was but one of the many occasions I witnessed during the day of riders assisting others, a true community event.
Despite the shortcomings of some of the organisational issues, I enjoyed myself, I achieved something personally important, for me it was a challenge and one that I am glad I took part in. The motivation to take part in future rides is strong, the opportunity to assess lifestyle, diet and exercise provides healthy incentives, I feel a new bike on the horizon.
Congratulations to all - I reckon it is so great to have something positive to focus on, I am still buzzing with the energy I got from being a part of the whole event.
I have to agree to most comments here,the organisation of this event went downhill from last years in a big way.
I think that last years course was harder but the conditions you rode in are worlds apart.I came in just over six hours ride time,felt really strong up the gorge,and smashed fox creek by my standards, was flying for the first 110kms. At one stage ave was up around 30kms per hour.Enter strong wind and I was toast.From milang onwards I was stopping every ten or so kms to relieve cramp.I ate well enough and drank about eight litres of water/powerade.My preparation was not as good as last year, but obviously underestimated the course and what the conditions might be like.Hope all the others suffering on the side of the road have recovered,my legs are still sore,have not even looked at the bike since friday afternoon,will get back on tomorrow.Still enjoyed the ride,as hard as it was,I completed the challenge that I set myself,not as fast as I had planned, but finishing was an achievement on its own for me.Congrats to all others who toughed it out.
Echo those comments massivley.
Similar experiences to others re stops. had a blast leading into Strath with that tailwind, but the cross and head GALES into and out of Milang/Finnis were a shocker.
Thank god for the tailwind at the end.
Overall a good ride and bloody hard work.
I'll be back again next year for sure, but with plenty of advice for the organisers.
Oh, did it in 5:39 ride time, so happy with that (was averaging over 30km/hr prior to Milang )
I had my bike serviced earlier in the week due to unexpected problems & picked it up on Thursday. Sadly the servicing was a total balls up and the bike wasn't very rideable. I went as far as Littlehampton and called it quits, heading home via Hahndorf, Mt Barker Rd etc limping the bike into a strong wind. So i kind of get what it must have been like down south into the wind. Just coming down the veloway I was going full pelt into the wind downhill and only managing about 26km/h, normally I'd be doing 70 down there. The writing was on the wall for poor organisation and it lived up to expectations. It was always going to be a step backwards after BikeSA had managed it for so many years with accumulated knowledge - get someone new in who doesnt transfer the knowledge adequately from BikeSA and this is what you get. You'd hope they seek feedback from participants via a survey and everyone will let them have it. Then next year if they have any sense, they'll take on board the new knowledge & do it a bit better.
So my ride ended up being just a normal weekend ride - typically I go out on a Saturday and do 100km in the hills over similar routes, self catered & costing me under $20 with a half-way stop, e.g. Lobethal Bakery for powerade top up & danish. So to pay $130 for a ride where I have to self-cater anyway because the refreshment stops are inadequate & with the muck ups with jersey sizing 2 years running, I'm thinking its probably not worth paying to do these rides. In future I'd probably treat all stages of the TDU as equal opportunities and if there's one where the full distance looks attractive, I'd just go out for a dawn ride on the day and do it.
To continue the mcc 2010 conversation, I personally had a great ride even though it was the hardest ride I have ever done(longest distance strongest crosswind and most amount of nearly getting killed by riders flying past me on the descents early on). I have a hip replacement so its not just my bike frame that is titanium... means I go abit slower on the descents then all you naturals do but I make it up on the uphills. Thanks to all who gave me and the the old 94 litespeed a help along over the horrible stretch from Milang. Nearly crashed hi fiving the crowd in the last km! That was the best feeling though. I think the pre ride information was great and I followed the advice and carried puncture repair kit spare tubes multi tool and heaps of food and water. Also trained for four weeks combo of spin classes for cardio and 100km plus rides every weekend. I thought the organisatoion on the day was average...especially pissed off that the riders free food at the end was way round at the back of the finish line and completely unmarked and no staff to direct me. I had a feeling the coach transfers were going to be a dogs breakfast and they were...
I agree that the the cops and the ambos and ses were awesome on the day.
As were the locals.. the support on the route was nice.
Will probably do it again but I like big mountains better than big headwinds...
I rode the Woodside-Goolwa leg of the Challenge as part of a 4 person group. I carried enough carbs on board for the whole journey so only stopped at a couple of the refreshment stops to refill water bottles and use the loos. At Strath I was informed that the bannanas hadn't yet arrived. Leaving the Strath stop one of the arrow signs was missing at the first corner but the staff were straight onto it and a bloke was quickly on site to direct people in the right direction. The same thing happened at the turnoff just after Langhorne Creek. At Langhorne Creek I managed to get a bee under my helmet which presented a slight dilema as I trucked along at 40k/hr with the little bugger doing his best to sting the life out of me. I managed to jam the brakes on and tear my helmet off to get rid of the winged invader. A water stop was only 3kms away so I got to same with my throbbing head and the ambos worked their magic with some soothing lotion.....good on you guys, youre absolute gems! MIlang through to about 10kms out of Goolwa was hell with the worst cross and head winds Ive ever experienced on a bike. I'd got ahead of my companions but I learned later that one of my mates ended up ducking down a side road to have a 20 minute power nap (he was the guy on the Repco with the stuffed monkey hanging off the carrier). The last 10kms were a breeze and the ride up the main street of Goolwa with all the crowd cheering their heads off was a complete buzz. The Goolwa crowd were fantastic...they cheered everyone riding past..no matter how fast they were going. Even the guy with the flat rear tyre wheeling his bike along the finishing straight got cheers and high fives......
Overall the ride went alot smoother than I thought it would. There seemed to be a few issues with water/refreshment stops but hopefully the shortcomings that have been highlighted will be worked on for next years event.
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