The February Ride-the "NW Everywhere" Ride-6th-8th/Feb/16

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Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Bellerive, Tasmania

The February Ride-the "NW Everywhere" Ride-6th-8th/Feb/16

Postby BenevolantDictatorD » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:19 pm

Watch this space. The initial email is about to go out to my private list so if you haven't received one and are interested just send me a personal message and I'll get a copy out to you.

Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Bellerive, Tasmania

Re: The February Ride-the "NW Everywhere" Ride-6th-8th/Feb/1

Postby BenevolantDictatorD » Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:42 pm

The Northwest Everywhere Ride

What is it?
The 2016 three day February training ride held over the long weekend is on the 6th, 7th and 8th. The bunch ride/s is/are a training/endurance ride for cyclists a bit like a fondo but with regrouping. It is not a fund raising, charity or profit-making venture for anyone. It is about riding in new and different locations in a normal bunch ride environment. You choose (and cover) your standards of accommodation and there is no commitment required on your part – basically like any bunch ride.

This will be our fifteenth edition of the February Ride so we have been having fun for a while now. This year we have another challenge, or series of challenges, for everyone. The basic plan for this year is that we meet outside the Lighthouse Hotel in Ulverstone (33 Victoria St) at the designated time and go for a bunch ride.

The February Ride is a bit of a challenge for most and this year it will be nothing different! This time we are centred in the rolling hills of the northwest so the hardest part of each ride will to be to find some road that is flat! Apart from the little bits between Penguin and Forth there’s hardly a flat section to be seen. The key points will be the Gunns Plains climb on Saturday, Hellyer Gorge on Sunday and the Wilmot climb on Monday.

Normal bunch rules around regrouping etc apply so we will be catering for all levels of riders with an expectation that riders will understand their own capabilities – again just like any bunch ride. What we generally find is that some riders will have already mapped out their variations so if you are hesitant about the full distance or speed required there is likely to be a bunch organised that will suit you.

How does it work?
The annual February bunch ride is a chance to get some solid miles in the legs in good weather in good company. In previous years we have done trips down the East Coast, up the East Coast and back, the South Coast on mountain bikes, Queenstown and back, Strathgordon, the central highlands and around the State a couple of times. In 2015 we based in Campbell Town and did some serious hill climbs interspersed with some long flat sections. For those choosing a single day there is a variety of challenge rides to choose from and for those doing multiple days there is a series of rides that will test you.

Our ride is very loosely organised. Again, just like any bunch ride, you choose what and how much you want to do. There is usually a good range of rider standards so there is usually someone to ride along with. I just set the daily start and stop points and riders work out what they want to do in between. Some ride all the way – some ride part of the way or on some days only – your choice.

You bring yourself, your bike, your spares, and organise your own food and accommodation whether that be for yourself or with others. If you cannot make the whole journey that is fine - as long as you sort out your transport side of things – again just like any normal bunch ride.

Whilst that is the basic level of administration there are a variety of layers involved. Some riders may want to share a lift and some may want to share accommodation. As we go through the process I can help with putting you in touch with others with the same needs. You can then sort it out with them.

Saturday the 6th to Monday the 8th of Feb (the 8th is Hobart Regatta/Cup Day).

How many?
As many riders as would like to come along are welcome to join in. As you can see there is no great administration load for me and you look after your own costs. Since the first ride in 2001 we have had between 10 and 25 riders along. Over the last few years with the increased challenge factor we had around 20 on the road most days.

Sat 6th:a.m. Ulverstone – Gunns Plains – Sth Riana - Ulverstone 70km
Sat 6th:p.m. Ulverstone – Upper Castra – Preston – Ulverstone 60km
Sun 7th: Ulverstone – Hellyer Gorge - Ulverstone 160km
Mon 8th: Ulverstone – Moina - Ulverstone 160km

Saturday morning kicks off at 11am for a leg stretch out to Gawler and then on to Isandula Road (C124) for its length. We then head west to pick up the B17 and head over the little rise heading to Riana. This climb was recently used in the Tour of Tasmania and it says something that there is a lookout half way up. Once we get over the top its back to Ulverstone via South Riana, Penguin and the old coast road for 70kms and in time for a late lunch.
Saturday afternoon’s ride starts at 3pm and takes a similar loop but further east. This time we head out Castra Road to Sprent and Upper Castra and then across to Preston before heading back via Gawler with another 60kms in the legs.

Sunday is the challenge day! We kick off at 8:30 with a trundle to Penguin and then head south for a while and then west until we pick up the Murchison Highway and head south to the other side of Hellyer Gorge. The return journey uses the same route. The roads will be the coast road (Lonah Rd) to Penguin, the B17, C115, C102, C103, C101 and then the A10. The turn is around 80kms out for 160kms for the day

Monday is going to be a bit of a test. For those who have ridden each day the legs will be tired and this is going to be tough. For those picking this as a one off – it’s a toughie. At 8:30 we head out to Forth and get onto Wilmot Road (C132) and stay on it until we get to the coffee shop at Lincoln’s Corner in Moina at the top of the Cethana climb. Its only 50kms so can’t be that hard surely? Last time I rode the Wilmot hill climb I had to do the ‘weave’ a few times to get there. I’m pretty sure it won’t be that steep this time. The return journey heads back to Wilmot and then off west on Back Road, Spellmans Road (C133), Castra Road (B15), Central Castra Rd (C124), and then to Gawler on Isandula Road (C124) and Ulverstone on the B17. All up 100+kms for the day.

There is plenty of accommodation available in and around Ulverstone at a wide variety of standards and prices.

The normal process for determining a February Ride is to pick out the coffee shops first and then pick the route accordingly. Saturday shouldn’t be a problem and Monday is covered if the Moina shop remains open. We might be struggling for a coffee shop on the Sunday – Hellyer Gorge day but we’ll work something out if necessary.

All the costs are up to you. This is probably why the ride has continued for so long.
If you change your mind the day before the ride the only problem you have is if you have booked accommodation already. Similarly if you decide on the day before the ride starts that you want to come along the only issue is your accommodation and transport.

What next?
Whilst there is generally no administration there is always administration!
The resoundingly common first question I get is “how many people are coming?” The second question I get is whether there is someone of their standard riding – to ride with.
To deal with those questions I keep a private list of anyone interested so that I can keep in contact and answer any questions as they come up. The list is private and I send out an email to those on the list in a blind copy. There is no commitment expected from anyone – if you turn up all the better – if you don’t we’ll have a good ride anyway.

So – if you are interested, or want to be included on the update list, you should send me your email details and what you are expecting in terms of involvement. I will send out updates as we count down to start day. If there are any questions feel free to contact me

What else?
That’s it for now. I doubt the routes or dates will change between now and February so you can start working on your training plan now.

Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Bellerive, Tasmania

Re: The February Ride-the "NW Everywhere" Ride-6th-8th/Feb/1

Postby BenevolantDictatorD » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:20 pm

Five weeks to go :twisted:

Posts: 306
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 pm
Location: Bellerive, Tasmania

Re: The February Ride-the "NW Everywhere" Ride-6th-8th/Feb/1

Postby BenevolantDictatorD » Sat Feb 13, 2016 9:17 pm

Hi pedallers
Another February Ride ridden and enjoyed. We had close to perfect weather with temperatures of 24, 25 and 28 degrees for the three days. We had light breezes each day. The traffic was very friendly and the road generally were in pretty good condition.

Day 1 – Saturday morning saw ten riders assemble in Main St Ulverstone at the allotted 11am for a start. We headed out to and through Gawler making a left turn soon after onto Isandula Road and followed it for a long way – even when it turned into dirt. That was a bit of a surprise. We got off that after a while and headed west to Preston where we lost our first rider to lack of fitness. The rest then descended to Gunns Plains and crossed onto the South Riana road to tackle the signature climb for the day. Over we went and reached South Riana to turn north and follow Pine Road through to Penguin and the coast road back to Ulverstone. This leg was around 75kms and managed a tick over 1300 metres of climbing.

Day 1 – Saturday afternoon ride started off at 3pm with seven starters. The course was similar to the morning one. We headed south through Sprent and kept going for around thirty kms and then cut west and then north on Gawler to bring us back to Ulverstone. All up it was a tick over 60kms and around 1000m of climbing.

Day 2 – Sunday morning and we started with nine riders. The course took us on the coast road to Penguin and then onto Pine Road where we picked up our tenth rider. We crossed the highway and headed up Pine Road and headed inland once again. We headed through South Riana and then on to Upper Natone where our numbers reduced by one. Next was Hampshire and we continued on to join up with the Murchison Highway. Unfortunately the road again turned to dirt when we got into forest plantation territory. After five or six kms of this we were greeted by a “road closed ahead” sign. Just what we needed! It turned out to be a fun day for the Targa cars and Hellyer Gorge was closed to traffic. Things weren’t going well. No option but to head to Yolla for lunch. If you get the chance stop at the Yolla shop and have a burger or roast meat roll – wow! Back on the road and heading for the coast we had another change of plans and headed in to and through Wynyard and climbed Table Cape to enjoy some spectacular views. On the road again for a coffee stop in Somerset and then Burnie, Penguin and the finish at Ulverstone. We clocked up somewhere near 170kms with around 2100m of climbing.

Day 3 – Monday morning and nine sets of tired legs assembled once again in Main St Ulverstone for the climbing day. Out to Forth and then south on the Cradle Mountain Road took us though some more magical countryside. The nice stuff came to a grinding halt as we crossed the little bridge and met Gentle Annie and her climb. Most survived and we lost a couple soon after as common sense prevailed. The rest of us continued on through Wilmot and then on to the Wilmot climb. You’ve gotta love a good 20% climb on tired legs. Moina was our turn point and a nice coffee got us going again. Back to Wilmot for a turn onto Back Road and then Spellmans Road. This is an expensive road. I managed to delaminate a front wheel on the way down. It was seriously steep and winding and around a kilometre in length. I waited at the bottom and waited again. No one coming so I started heading back up. Luckily someone came down to let me know it was only a puncture at the top. Another puncture at the bottom and we tackled the uphill. With pinches at 30% it was a bit of a struggle and I wasn’t far off having to give up and walk but got there. Over the top and off we went at speed through Sprent and back to Ulverstone. A tick over 100kms with over 2000m of climbing and it took us around five hours. A hard day in and out of the saddle.

It was said many times that riding on the roads was followed was like riding in a different country. The green countryside, constantly rolling hills and climbs is very different to the riding in the south of the state. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. The weather was perfect. The bunch behaved well and everyone did their bit as necessary. Another successful February ride!

Next year - ……..
I’m looking at a course for an around Tassie ride. To date it looks something like seven days going up the East coast first. I am working on setting two courses each day – one longer than the other. At this stage the shorter route averages somewhere around 140kms a day. The probable stops will be Swansea, St Helens, Launceston, Cradle, Queenstown and Bronte. We’ll head off on Regatta weekend Saturday (the 11th?) and finish on the following Friday.

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