18 posts • Page 1 of 1
Announcing - the 2014 version of the annual February training ride - The Sheffield Shimmy.
After the seven day ride around Tassie of this February gone the February Ride returns to the three day format for 2014. The southern Regatta Day long weekend covers Saturday the 8th to Monday the 10th. For those in the category school starts back on the Tuesday beforehand - good for quieter roads and not so good for our teacher riders.
For those a bit tired of the same roads in the South we have something for everyone this year. The base camp will be centered around Sheffield in the North of the state. The basic plan is to drive up either Friday night or Saturday morning with two shortish legs on Saturday and two longer rides on the Sunday and Monday. For those who know about the terrain - either salivate or cringe at the thoughts of the Gog, Cethana, Wilmot Hill, the Lake Highway and any number of other sources of leg pain in near vicinity to Sheffield.
The standard set of information for all: -
Why? - Why not! Some of these roads were used in "Rod's Ride" back in 2001 when he took us from Launnie to Hobart via the West Coast. We have had a training ride ever since and still going strong. For those who like the Fondo format - this is basically the same at a fraction of the cost.
How much? - No charge this year. With the format of driving up and back and staying in one spot there is no need for a support vehicle so each rider is responsible for only their own costs this year. The rider picks their location and their daily menu so it is an organisational dream this time - for a change.
How many? - We have been turning out around twenty riders each year and we could do a bit better for this one. That will give us a lot of options on speeds, distances and routes so that riders can get into a bunch of their choice.
How fast? - The "norm" for the February ride is bunches ticking along at around the 26-28kph mark depending on distance and elevation. The format for this ride will make it easier to vary that bracket to allow everyone to ride at their own pace and distance. Obviously the more we turn out the more likely the bunches will be bigger rather than smaller.
Who can join in? - We haven't knocked anyone back yet so everyone is invited as long as they abide by the normal safety rules of riding in a training bunch. If you are interested all you have to do is get there. We'll set a few of the basic courses as we work them out to give everyone a bit to think about. If you haven't been on one of our rides before - don't worry - we're a friendly lot and this is all about enjoying the bike and finding good cafes.
What about the family? - Bring them along. Sheffield is a great place to visit with lots of things to do in a short radius so while you are out huffing and puffing if they aren't there with you then they will have plenty to do to keep them busy.
Off the bike activity? - Usually we find a pub or the like to have a cyclist's meal, down a few beers or wines, and swap stories of the day. This is always my favourite part of the day.
What else? - That's about it - I'll keep the updates coming as we work out some options. For now all you need to do is start planning on being able to get there and how that suits you and your training needs. If you have any specific questions that need answering this far out just send me a PM and I'll catch up with you.
Be careful out there.
I've been looking at the maps a bit to check out the choices for rides for the Shimmy. We'll have a couple of rides on Saturday - a short one in the morning for those who get there on Friday night and a medium one starting around 12ish for those driving up Saturday morning. Sunday is likely to incorporate a climb over the Gog and then out to the Moina cafe - needing to negotiate the Cethana Dam climb - and back to Sheffield - needing to negotiate the Cethana dam climb again. Monday looks like a ride through Golden Valley towards Liawenee until the bitumen runs out. That should just about do us for the weekend. With the Regatta on in Hobart on that weekend accommodation should be plentiful in Sheffield and surrounds.
I have an email update list going so if you want to be included in that send me a personal message. Email addresses won't be given out.
The Gog and Cethana Gorge (both ways) all in a day - that will be fun.
Here's a pic I took on the Gog when I crossed on my loaded touring bike back in 2009. The grade was 18% as I recall, but don't worry, it's not a long walk to the top...
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
For anyone interested The Gog actual climb is only 1.5kms long Avg 7.6%. according to Strava anyway
This ride maybe good training for the Southern Valleys Tour 2014 in February 22-23
Can I suggest that you map out on Strava all the courses so we can look them over?
Hmmm. Strava. I've heard people talking about that.
The climb of the Gog is affectionately known as "Heartbreak Hill" as it has made many appearances in Tours of Tasmania in years gone by. I can understand the sentiment behind the name. Towards the end of a long day an 8% climb for more than a click does tend to test the legs and the heart strings. After both sides of Cethana it might seem a bit longer and steeper!!
If you give me the route I will map it on Strava and post it here includes elevation etc which will be useful.
I haven't settled on the courses as yet. That will come after a "scouting" trip some time soon. We can start worrying about the intensity after that. That said, the courses already noted are likely and a few alternatives with less climbing will also be added in for a variety of options. At this stage I am thinking we will get 25 - 35 riders along so there should be plenty of choices of riders to ride with.
For those who already have enough training in their legs to cope with the three days in Sheffield there is a couple of options to extend the pain for a bit longer. We are looking at a two day ride from Hobart up to Sheffield via Miena on the Thursday and Friday. I reckon we'll go via Melton Mowbray on the Thursday and backtrack and through Poatina on Friday.
Same bunch rules apply as for the rest of the "Shimmy". Everyone organises their own food and accommodation. The pub at Miena has plenty of accommodation and does good food. We will have a tail/support car along to carry gear (with petrol contributions expected).
And the trip back - oh! - that would hurt too much - wouldn't it?
No need to let me know just yet - I'll start getting numbers estimations some time in November.
Be careful out there.
Yep, it is a fantastic toothpaste
This is a nice loop our group does a couple of times a year. We usually start/finish in Sheffield.
The view from Mt Claude is fantastic.
2013 Oppy SL
2013 Boardman CX Pro
2012 KHS Yuma 29er
What is the latest on this?
Much interest from members of RBWR and DFBTR. Looking like a large gathering.
Will the exact routes will be published? Need to look at my schedule at least a month before hand.
December update as below.
Two months to go - nine weeks to go - 65 sleeps! How's the training going!!
If you are interested and haven't received an email as part of the normal mailing list then send me off a PM with your email and I'll add you on. All updates are sent BCC so your address is safe. Whilst I don't do much admin for this ride as it is a bunch ride and riders are responsible for themselves I can do some organising if you need help with transport or shared accommodation. The other admin bit is to be able to answer the main question on "how many are coming this year?"
Below is the basic itinerary for the ride. It hasn't changed since the last update so it is looking like settled for now. We'll add in the assembly point as being the center of town at the intersection of Main Street (B14) and High Street (C150). It has a bakery on one corner and a service station opposite. Toilets are nearby.
So, the courses look something like as follows:-
Saturday 8th Feb: 8:30a.m. Sheffield – Devonport - Sheffield 70km
Saturday 8th Feb: 1:00p.m. Sheffield – Harford - Sheffield 70km
Sunday 9th Feb: Sheffield – Moina – Mole Creek - Sheffield 57 or 108km
Monday 10th Feb: Sheffield – Breona - Sheffield 95 or 150km
Max = 400km
Saturday morning will be out to Devonport for coffee via Nook and Forth, and back via Spreyton and Railton.
Saturday afternoon will be out to Harford via Railton and Sassafras, Latrobe for coffee, and then back via Barrington. We have split Saturday so you can use the morning to get to Sheffield if that suits you.
Sunday is out to Moina for coffee via Promised Land. On the return the choice is to head straight back via Gowrie Park for 57 kms or turn right and head to Mole Creek for another coffee. Back to Sheffield from there. There are some serious hills to traverse here. Cethana is a 5km climb up to Moina and a 4km climb on the way back. The road from Mole Creek to Sheffield traverses the Gog Range and “Heartbreak Hill”. There should be some tired legs Sunday night.
Monday takes us to Kimberley, Elizabeth Town and Deloraine for coffee. Then up through Golden Valley to the lookout over the Great Lake. Back the same way will give us 150km for the day. The shorter route for the day would be back from Deloraine over the Gog for 95km for the day.
Don't forget that this isn't a race - for most - and the ride is for all levels of rider. I would like to think it is more a Challenge ride as being a bit harder than your normal weekday/weekend bunch ride and it certainly gives you some incentive to train a bit harder. For those lining up for the various Fondos and charity rides - this is similar except more of a bunch (regrouping) format. It is also, hopefully, a good social ride as good friendships have been created over our many iterations over the years.
Under four weeks to go!
Nothing much to update. For those getting up to Sheffield early on Friday we'll head out for a trundle at 3pm for a leg stretch ride. Distance and direction dependent on the wind and weather. Same leaving point as for other days - corner of High and Main Streets.
One week to go. 20+ so far. Anyone else interested can see the start times etc and we'll see you there.
The summary 2014 February long weekend bunch ride – aka “the Sheffield Shimmy”
Another fantastic weekend of solid riding was enjoyed by a wide variety of riders and friends. The following is a bit of a run-down of how it all went.
Even though the “official rides” started on Saturday those of us able to get up to Sheffield beforehand gathered together at 3pm for a quiet leg stretch ride out through Gowrie Park to Cethana. It was exceedingly humid and warm making the undulations a bit more uncomfortable than they really needed to be. We turned right before we got to both of the buildings in the township of Cethana and found a nice little undulation (an often used word here) that took us up through Staverton to the Promised Land. The turn to Nowhere Else came and went as we had the smell of coffee in the nostrils. Back into Sheffield for an enjoyable 40kms. Tea at the pub finished off a great start to the week end.
Saturday’s morning ride took us on an undulating loop north and west of Sheffield on one of those still, warm and inviting days that don’t come around very often. The trip out of town on the Nook Road gave us a taster of the roads we were to see all weekend. Quiet country roads winding their way through idyllic farming landscapes with undulations galore. The first of many wrong turns eventually got us to the main road into Devonport for a coffee. The road out was via Don and Forth Roads to get us to Forth and a turn up Wilmot Road. Just before all the nasty climbing started we turned off on Paloona Road and headed towards Lower Barrington. The front bunch mistook the “3 kms on Paloona Rd” for 30 metres on Paloona Road and turned onto Paloona Dam Road. We all ended up at the same spot but our trip was a bit longer and the contours weren’t as close together. A regroup under a shady tree was a great idea. A chat ensued about the relative merits of the two courses. We went back to town with the smell of coffee becoming stronger. With one rider up the road the nice easy trip back to town suddenly turned into a chase – why? – who knows but we were to pay for the effort later. A great ride at a tick under 70 kms.
The addition into the bunch of those travelling up in the morning was off-set by a couple of those sensible “gentlemen” who saved their legs for the next day. The afternoon course was east and north of Sheffield. We tootled out on the Railton Road and dropped down the magic descent into Railton and then started the navigational exercise of finding the various “C” roads that were to keep us away from traffic. Out onto the undulating Native Plains Road through more idyllic countryside and then – gravel – oops. There wasn’t much of it but it was downhill and shifting so caution prevailed. Back on the tarmac and out to Sassafras for a very short stint on the Bass Highway and off again sent us towards Harford. Another wrong turn – my fault – and we ended back on the Bass Highway but managed to get back on track though a bit of local knowledge. A few more undulations and we were in Latrobe for coffee. Caffeine and sugar hits later and we were off again through Railton and up that “magic descent” to Sheffield. We managed a tick over 70kms for the afternoon making 140 for the day with elevation gain of a bit over 2,000 metres.
Tea at the pub again – at ‘our’ table. Lots of laughs and a bit of trepidation as we stood around the map of Sunday’s journey.
This was to be the shortest ride of the weekend scheduled at a bit over 110kms but with some solid climbs and constant undulations. The weather again started as a magic day being warm to hot with little or no breeze. This time we headed west and south. First stop was at the junction of Claude Road and Olivers Road where the bunch split with the sensible ones going left and the rest of us taking the descent/climb of Cethana to Moina for a quiet coffee at the café. Our Garmin-istas were talking 12 to 15% for the climb and with a distance of 5kms and 400m of elevation for the climb it was nice to get to the top.
Back down again gave us a bit of interest with a blown rear tyre on the way down. A new tube, inflated and blown again, and the first one repaired and semi inflated before we found the problem. The casing had come away from the bead. Lucky it was the rear tyre. The only way home was by the good deed of a local in a ute. We continued on to catch up with rest of the bunch back at the café on the Sheffield side. Two k’s down the road and we turned onto Olivers Road to follow in the path of the gentlemen.
Phew. The lookout at the top was amazing. We continued on and then had one of those surreal events that happen every now and then. After a number of hot still days the wind got up. Some might remember the headlines on Hobart of 130km winds and severe storm damage. We missed the wind as we were down at the bottom of a very tall forest – but – we descended for a long, long way through a shower of leaves. One described it as a ticker tape parade and I thought of it as our version of the Tour of Lombardia known as the tour of the falling leaves.
Coming out of the forest we picked up a monster tail breeze and rolled into Mole Creek for lunch. The trip home was via the Gog and Paradise climbs on Union Bridge Road. This is a road used many times in the Tour of Tasmania with the climb being affectionately known as “Heartbreak Hill”. The weather continued to turn with showers now keeping the road nicely damp. The bunch split and fended for itself as the Garmin-istas were saying nasty words like “22%” on both climbs. Ouch. The combination of the rain, the gradient and the leaves on the road made traction an interesting concept at times but we kept on. Not far to go and the showers became solid with small hailstones bouncing off the road. Still not far to go and the huge bolt of lightning was followed by the loudest thunder clap I can remember. A bit more hail and rain and it all cleared and we tootled back into Sheffield.
Dinner at the pub again with many happy faces – some a little bit haggard – but happy and content faces with stories abounding. The garmin-istas reported something like 2,500 meters + of climbing for the day.
Another glorious day greeted the starters. I’ve always described the February ride as like herding cats. Monday took that to a new level! Some just pulled the pin and went home. Some started and pulled the pin and some just avoided us altogether! My PR work for the journey obviously hadn’t worked too well and we started with only eight from Sheffield heading east and south with around 170kms in front of us.
Out we went towards Railton but missed the ‘magic descent’ and headed along the undulating Bridle Track Road to Kimberley and then a quick turn back onto the C road Weegena Road. Hindsight is a wonderful thing as I look at the terrain map and see a climb of 180 metres in something like 2kms. That woke the legs up. Anyway we soldiered on along Dunorlan Road and then Bengeo Road through to Red Hills and then onto the Mole Creek road into Deloraine for coffee and multiple Mars bars.
And then there were seven heading along the A5 towards Golden Valley and the top of the tier. A ways up the road and seven became six as the climbing started. Through Golden Valley we went and then the switch-backs started. The grade was Grass Tree-ish as we ascended through some amazing country. A special appearance by one of our original February riders brought some laughs. His ascending is much better now that he does it in a car!! Half way up we met a couple of the early starters coming back. They hadn’t gone to the top so not enough information there. Off we went again and were very disappointed by going downhill. It didn’t last long and the climbs started again taking us up more switchbacks up to the highest point on the road at 1,210 metres. We rolled on for a bit longer until the calculations of the effort needed to get back up the hill took their toll. Eighty four clicks under the belt.
And then there was the downhill. What a magnificent descent as we flew down at 50-60kph between switchbacks rated at 15kph. It must have been something like 12-15kms of an exhilarating downhill. Wow. And then the slog came – it was slightly downhill back to Deloraine where we decided on the bakery for our coffee and sugar. Back through the undulations of the C roads got us to Sheffield with weary legs and 170 clicks covered. The Garmin measured us in at a tick under 2,400 metres of climbing.
This was another great February ride. No injuries – lots of laughter – lots of sore muscles – and lots of satisfaction of achievement. Even the hail was small, didn’t last long, and it wasn’t all that cold at the time.
Prizes go to
• Brett for over achieving by doing his biggest mileage in a day day and then doing the full Cethana ride.
• Casey as KOM.
• Our septuagenarians for being a constant inspiration for us all to keep going, and
• Jon, Jeff and myself for ticking off the full three day 400+ kms and more than 7kms straight up.
Well – next year we will head off in search of another legendary Tour of Tasmania climb called “Pepper Hill” which hides on the back road from Fingal to Avoca. The best advice Ray could give us when describing this short but sharpish climb was “bring your sandshoes”. I think we will do something similar to this year and base ourselves in Campbell Town (!!). That will put us in reach of Pepper Hill, Poatina Hill and Swansea via Lake Leake. For those interested in making it five days we will ride from and to Hobart on Friday and Tuesday. Start training.
For those who want to be on the email update list just send me details in a PM.
I move that the above report be accepted as a true and correct record of the pain experienced.
Plans for the next event look good.
Thank you BDD
18 posts • Page 1 of 1
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: No registered users