Hartley Lifecare Cycle Challenge

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Wed Nov 07, 2007 5:14 pm

After several delays we finally received our team jerseys.

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LuckyPierre
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Postby LuckyPierre » Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:20 pm

The DEST Infront Frank bunch had a relativley quiet weekend's preparation for the Hartley Challenge.
With 5 of the bunch riding in the Tour de Femme today (Sunday), Saturday's ride was planned to be a roll around the Tour course, but those who turned out decided to tackle Black Mountain instead. Today I rode in the bunch making the support crews' instructional DVD, while the rest of the bunch rode the Tour. One of David's team mates (Brett) was there in his shiny new jersey!
With only one weekend between us and the Challenge, the bunch is tuning up any niggling injuries (I've got one rider with some significant hip soreness) and thinking about how much riding they want to tackle. I've got a slight chest infection, so I'm hitting the anti-biotics for the next few days to try and shake it.
Edited to add:
The Frank bunch's injury worries were added to in the Tour de Femme with one of our riders coming off and loosing her fight with the road. I haven't seen the damage yet, but there's been spray-on skin been applied to elbows. :(
Last edited by LuckyPierre on Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Mon Nov 12, 2007 12:51 pm

While Brett and Peter were busy starring in the support crews' instructional DVD the rest of Team Resolution (well...most of the team anyway) were out training on the roads south of Canberra.

We started out at the criterium track at Stromlo Forest park, an ideal spot to practice riding as a team and take turns on the front. After about 5 laps of the circuit we headed south to the Tidbinbilla Tracking Station. The plan was to have a cup of coffee at the cafe...but we arrived a 9.30am and the cafe doesn't open until 10am :roll: .

Like Peter's team we have a few members sporting various aches and pains so on the return trip we split into two groups. The majority of the team returned to Stromlo Forest Park via Uriarra crossing while the remaining three wussies (myself included) went back exactly the same way we headed out (hey...the climb out of Cotter was challenging enough for my recovering knee).

Only 2 weeks to go to the Hartley Lifecare Cycle Challenge.

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LuckyPierre
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Postby LuckyPierre » Sun Nov 18, 2007 4:14 pm

The DEST Infront Frank and Fearless bunches had their final tune-ups for the Hartley Challenge this weekend.
The Frank bunch did reasonably easy 2 hour rides (Federal Highway on Saturday, Pt. Hutt / Geals Creek on Sunday) to help settle their riding patterns (we're a 'relay' team after all). The Fearless bunch did the southern Cotter loop (Tidbinbilla / Pt Hutt) on Sunday after a 'free riding' day on Saturday.
We all got together to go through our support arrangements etc. after the rides. The reality is starting to set in - three days, 450kms, 5,000 metres of climbing). The bikes are as ready as they can be - perhaps a few little touches to do - as are the riders.
Hopefully, I'll be reporting on how it went next Sunday. :)
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:18 pm

And the Team Resolution bunches had their last team training ride today, with the main focus on staying together and riding as a group. Eight riders from the "quicker" bunch covered a touch over 100km at an average of 28.5km/h, which we were all pretty happy with.

All bikes are ready (one or two are having their bikes serviced this week...courageous?) although we have a couple of riders in doubt due to injury. One had a fall from his MTB :roll: and another managed to lock handlebars with a training partner and fell heavily onto his hip earlier in the week. And after so many months of training...cycling can be cruel some times.

I notice that the DEST Infront Fearless bunch is departing 4 minutes after the "25km Dreamers" Team Resolution bunch. Make sure you say "hi" as you go pass won't you? :wink:

Only 4 days to go!

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LuckyPierre
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Postby LuckyPierre » Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:31 am

'tis more important to notice that the Frank bunch is one of the first out. :wink: Your faster lot will catch us in about an hour and a half - we're expecting the Fearless bunch to pass us before lunchtime - so you'll be the one saying: "Hi!" as you whizz past.
Depending who's on the road we should be able to maintain our estimated 17.5 km/hr (with those who find any sort of hill an effort on the road) and a bit quicker (we did 21 km/hr for over two hours on Saturday) when the stronger riders are together. We'll do some thinking at Cooma - by then we will probably be having to decide how we beat the curfew. :?
The Fearless bunch have estimated that they will average 23.5 km/he, but somehow finished up behind bunches that had nominated averages 2 or 3 km/hr faster.
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks

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LuckyPierre
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Well, I made it ...

Postby LuckyPierre » Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:07 am

... but only just.
The DEST Infront Frank were pretty weary when they got back to Boomanulla Oval, but pleased with their achievements. We got to ride as much (and in some cases more) than we expected and we achieved better then our predicted average (we averaged 17.8km/hr).
I'll post a proper report later today - the photographic evidence will take a couple of days longer.
I got to meet DavidH - and even see him (albeit very briefly) on the road. His bunch averaged a pretty impressive 28km/hr for the ride.
edited to add the 'proper report'
Day 1 - Canberra to Jindabyne
Being true to our 'Frank' name, we'd nominated 17.5km/hr as our estimated speed for the Challenge - which meant we were out early, 6:25am to be precise. So, after waking in a panic at 5:08am (I had to work late and slept through my alarm), I made it to Narrabundah just before 6, got the bunch organised, our support bus all kitted out and even had time to grab a coffee before we rolled out. The weather wasn't the best - misty rain, grey skies and a head wind - and it lasted all the way to Bredbo. The Challenge suffered its only accident on the outskirts of Canberra - a party-goer, apparently on his way home, un-licenced and driving an un-registered car, managed not to see the flashing lights, 'Warning Cyclists Ahead' signs etc. and ploughed into the back of one of the support vehicles at about 90km/hr. After the compulsory stop at Bredbo, we plugged on through the rain - slowly, but surely towards Cooma. We'd taken on two of the 'Fearless' bunch who weren't comfortable with the pace of our quicker riders and they made life interesting as they adjusted to our bunch ettiquette. We went through our first 'mis-management' episode on the run in to Cooma, with one of the riders becoming increasing out of sorts with her bike and the terrain - but it contributed to our knowledge of what we were in for. By now we were having to plan to beat the curfew and had to take to the bus for a short trip to gain some time. Unfortunately, it turned out to be in vain, as the 6:00pm limit found us just outside Jindabyne, so it was another short bus trip to the end. Overall, I rode 152.7 of the 170 km on offer and was on my bike for 8 hours 50 minutes - were did the two and a half hours off-the-bike time go?
Day 2 - Jindabyne - Charlotte's Pass - Jindabyne
Once again, we were out early (albeit at 7:50am) for the predominantly uphill ride to Charlotte's Pass. By now, I was finding out where the 'off-the-bike' time was going - one rider still at breakfast instead of at the start point, another rider in the toilet, other riders undecided when and where to get in and out of the bus. Eventually, we got going and headed out towards Kosciusko National Park. Most of the bunch jumped into the bus just as we entered the Park and four of us tackled the 12 km, 700 metre ascent to the Guthega Road. It was a long, steady climb - my biggest to date - and after a brief downhill, it was climb, climb and climb again - past Smiggin Holes, past Perisher and finally to Charlotte's Pass. After a break (it's amazing how long some people can spend in the toilet), it was back to Perisher for lunch, then a climb, then the long descent out of the Park. The road that took over an hour to climb, took 14 minutes to descend. The ride from the Park entrance to Jindabyne was great (albeit, more bl**dy climbing) and we got back - last as usual - at 3:00pm. I rode the full leg in 5 hours and 22 minutes.
Day 3 - Jindabyne to Canberra
By now, we were getting better at bunch management, so after the full bunch riding through Jindabyne and over the dam wall, all but two riders (the minumum we had to keep on the road) got in the bus and one of the ring-ins and I climbed up from the lake towards Berridale. After a while, the rest got out of the bus and we rode together to Cooma and morning tea. We mis-managed the climb out of Cooma a bit, but swapped riders in and out of the bus pretty effectively as we headed to Bredbo and lunch in glorious weather and glorious scenery. Unfortunately, our average speed meant that we would have had to have no breaks to beat the curfew (and the breaks were mandatory), so it was back to tactical planning again to ride the most distance I could. After agreeing with the event director that we would get in the bus at 2:30 and transition to just outside Canberra, I went on a 'time trial' to see how far I could get - I managed 22km in 46 minutes, which I thought was pretty good after two and a half days riding. We all got out of the bus just past Royalla and did the last 15km or so together - arriving 12 minutes ahead of the curfew. I rode 144.8km in 7 hours and 8 minutes on the day.

Overall it was a wonderful ride - some real highlights (the first sight of the snow patches, the views down on to Lake Jindabyne, the leg from Cooma to Bredbo on the way back, the blast down out of the Park) and some lowlights (herding cats, fixing things that should have been done before the ride, waiting, waiting, waiting for riders in the dunny, or grabbing another sandwich or leaving it until roll off time to fill their water bottles ...) - but I'm already planning what to do differently next year! I rode 384.8km in 21:20:27, or 18.03km/hr - two 100km+ rides in three days, one of them a 160km+ (albeit with breaks). I climbed 5,180 metres. I helped 7 other riders (with an average age on the 'wrong' side of 50 - our 'baby' was 44) through three days of riding - and fix a broken front derailleur, patch-up a broken cleat, straighten a bent rear derailleur, change three flats, tune two front derailleurs and tape a poorly tracking patella.

Add to that, the over $500,000 that the ride raised for Hartley Lifecare and the role it plays in helping them support less-able people and it becomes a very worthwhile thing to do.

If you're looking for a team for next year, just let me know. :wink:

ps. embarassingly, I got back home only to remember that I'd given my keys to my son's mate who drove me to the start, so I was locked out of the house. :oops: But, there's a silver lining in every cloud - I rode over to pick up a key from my youngest son and finished up with 162.4km for the day. :)
Last edited by LuckyPierre on Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:50 am, edited 2 times in total.
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Mon Nov 26, 2007 3:19 pm

Did I say we averaged 28 km/h for the ride? Probably. Actually that was only on day three. If we'd managed that on day one and two we would have been Tour de France contenders!

Hartley Challenge Day 1 - Canberra to Jindabyne - 175km
The second Team Resolution team started the Challenge just before 8am on Friday morning. It was overcast, drizzling, and windy. Windy in the wrong direction, of course :roll: . But spirits were high and we were all glad to be on the road after so many months of preparation. We worked together well as a team, each taking a minute or two on the front battling strong headwinds. At this stage we were a team of 10 riders. Somewhere up ahead was the second Team Resolution team who had left at just after 6am. We had a quick stop at Michelago (toilet break mainly) after covering about 45km. The next stop was Bredbo at 75km for morning tea. By this stage my right knee was starting to twinge and by the time we reached Cooma every climb had become agony. Decision time...forge painfully on and risk missing the remainder of the Challenge or jump in the team car and hope for a better day tomorrow. Common sense prevailed and I spent the remaining 65km watching my team mates battling the steep hills on the way to Jindabyne. At this stage only seven riders remained in this group. Two other riders had decided the pace was too high and had dropped back into our slower team, who we had met up with over lunch. We finally rolled into Jindabyne at around 4.30pm. I had only ridden 117km at the end of day one and had spent just over 5 hours in the saddle. I'm guessing that the team would have averaged around 24km/h for the day (my computer said 23.3km/h for the first 117km). An early night was had by all since tomorrow was the 45km climb to Charlotte's Pass. I fell asleep disappointed but hopeful that my Challenge wasn't over just yet.

Hartley Challenge Day 2 - Jindabyne to Charlotte's Pass (and return) - 90km
I woke with a dull ache in my right knee, but decided to saddle up and see how things felt once we hit the road. My plan was to drop into my lowest gear as soon as the climbing began and then try and maintain a HR of 85% for the entire climb to Charlotte's Pass. Hopefully this wouldn't put too much strain on the knee and let me finish the 45km of climbing. Of course sticking to a plan like this meant ignoring my team mates (who had agreed to climb at their own pace anyway) and in the end I was on my own for the entire 45km (except for a few brief moments as the fast climbers whizzed by). But the plan worked brilliantly...I reached the top with little to no knee pain and even ahead of a couple of my team mates. Our quickest rider had reached the top in 1hour56min while I had taken 2hour10min. I overheard one of the riders who had whizzed past me earlier say that he had reached the top in 1hour47min. Impressive, but I was just thrilled to be there at all! After celebrations, photos, many pats on the back etc we headed back down the mountain to Jindabyne. I had been told that if you maintained enough speed you could coast over any of the hills encountered on the way down. Of course this turned out to be bollocks. Despite sitting on 70+km/h most of the way there were a few nasty climbs to negotiate as well. By the time I had reached Jindabyne the knee was talking to me again...and it was not happy. But at this stage I was beyond caring. What a fantastic day's cycling :lol:

Hartley Challenge Day 3 - Jindabyne to Canberra - 175km
I was determined to ride the entire 175km back to Canberra and thought that the best way to do this would be to drop back into the slower group. At the last moment I changed my mind and headed out with the quicker group, who by now had shrunk to seven riders. Right from the start the pace was high. This group was determined to return to Canberra as quickly as possible. We even skipped the first rest stop and rode for 65km straight into Cooma for morning tea. The stop here was so brief I still had a vegemite sandwich between my teeth when he headed out :oops: . The dull ache in my knee wasn't getting any worse so I was happy with my decision to stick with the faster team. Lunch was had at Bredbo with 75km to go. At least this time I had an oppurtunity to eat AND stretch. Getting going again after lunch was tough...we rolled along silently in a paceline for about 3km before getting up to speed again. We had one last brief stop at Michelago with about 45km to go. Just as we were about to head out I discovered that my front tyre was flat. A inspection of the tyre located a tiny piece of wire which I managed to tweezer out with my fingernails. New tube, quick pump up, and onto the last section of the ride. By this time the aches and pains (everywhere except the knee oddly enough) were becoming torturous. So what did we do? We upped the pace. I guess the thinking (irrational by this point) was just to end our misery as quickly as possible. Over the last 5km we were sitting on 45km/h with our two strongest riders up front...while the rest of us just hung on. We rolled into Canberra at 2.30pm. At the end of the day my computer told me that we had covered 179.4km in 6hours20mins20sec at an average of 28.3km/h.

Would I do it again? Absolutely. Would I prepare differently? Definitely. Will I complete the entire distance next time? Hopefully.

Oh, and by the way...this event managed to raise over $500,000 for Hartley Lifecare, an organisation that supports people with physical and mental disabilities, their carers and families. Awesome, totally awesome :lol:.

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s-s-a
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Postby s-s-a » Thu Nov 29, 2007 10:03 pm

Congrats to both of you and to all the other riders and team supporters (both on the road and fundraising) for your achivements in the challenge!

The teams returning on Monday had some heavy rain including one storm that forced the last bunch (one of the Fujitsu Health teams) to take cover at Williamsdale for 40 minutes! Some teams also had hail :shock: and rain on their way back from Perisher on Sunday.

See you again next year!

Steph

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