otway odyssey

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otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 12:44 pm

anyone doing it? i'm signed up for the 100 :)
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by BNA » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:25 pm

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Re: otway odyssey

Postby btothec » Thu Feb 02, 2012 11:25 pm

jules21 wrote:anyone doing it? i'm signed up for the 100 :)


Not this year. I've done it the last two years and was hoping to line up again this year to try and make it under the 7 hr mark for the first time. Is this your first time or have you experienced the pleasure and pain of the odyssey before?
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 8:08 am

otway virgin over here. i'm anticipating a mixture of pleasure and pain.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby Wanta-bike » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:03 pm

ive participated since its inception.... unfortunately not gonna be able to make it this year - BLOODY WORK! ....and also im in a different state now....
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby Mugglechops » Sun Feb 05, 2012 7:51 pm

I am going to give it a go next year.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:06 pm

was so excited to finish my first otway i wrote up a report on it on Sunday!

Otway Odyssey ride report - 100 km

I’d never done a mountain bike race before, but decided to throw myself in the deep end. I’d been practising on the Yarra Trails on my commuter-MTB after work and on a whim decided to spurn my dodgy hardtail and splurge on a new Anthem 29er a week before the event. I swear the bike shop sales guy had a mildly concerned “good luck” look on his face as I wheeled it out of the shop.

After a 4.30am rise and drive down the Great Ocean Road with my long suffering partner, I made late registration and stuffed my pockets with energy bars and bananas. There's something gratifying standing on the start line while the MC is asking Adrian Jackson to head to race control and collect his GPS transponder. The ~800 strong 100km bunch rolled out of Apollo Bay at 7.15 am. We headed up the Great Ocean Road for a few km, then turned into Wild Dog Rd and got into the serious climbing.

The climbing went on for quite a while and all of the road biking I’d been doing was paying off as I overtook a lot of people, after starting off mid-field. After going over the top, I got over-excited on one of the first downhill gravel corners, overcooking it and rooster tailing all the way around the outside on the rear brake, narrowly missing a slightly concerned looking rider who had stopped on the verge - sorry about that mate.

Soon we got onto some muddy 4wd tracks and the fun began as riders got bogged and we had to walk up sections. I've gotten off and rested, but never walked my roadie on a ride and found it strange that walking seemed harder work than riding - my heart rate went through the roof pushing my bike uphill. One guy complained that he'd have taken his cranks off if he'd known that he'd be walking so much of the course.

Preparation is key for these events and I'd let myself down in that respect. I had to stop at one point to figure out why I couldn't suck water out of my (plastic) bladder. Precious minutes were lost until I discovered that I'd sealed the hose shut. At the first water stop, I forgot to clip the bladder to the top of the bag and it started leaking onto my arse - the cooling effect was great but I really needed the water for drinking so another stop and time was lost figuring that one out.

The first section of single track was heaven - it was the first time I'd ridden the Forrest trails and I had a giant grin on my face bombing the descents. All I could think of was "I gotta do this more often!"

Unfortunately that rare combination of exuberance, naivety, unfamiliar new bike with impressive stopping power, mediocre-at-best skills and blissful feeling of life's worries disappearing from view could only end one way. I was flying down a steep section of single track with big whoops, not entirely in control but somehow deluding myself with what could have been a maniacal-sounding voice in my head that "these whoops are no problem" when it dawned on me that I was fast approaching the last whoop. A fairly sharp turn followed straight after it.

In hindsight, mild panic and grabbing a handful of front 7" Elixir 9s wasn't the most pro reaction, following by mild relief that I was still rolling and hadn't crashed yet but then panic again as I sensed that the back wheel was towering above me. I ran out of track very shortly afterwards and was catapulted over the bars, off into the bushes for a very fortunate soft landing on my back. A following rider reassured me that it was well worth the trouble.

On the transition through Forrest footy oval I wasn't sure how much work was left to do in the final sections and asked where I could source some food. Luckily a couple of generous ladies were standing there who had somehow missed their riders and offered me a sandwich and water - thanks ladies! That is one of the best things about cycling events - the overwhelming sense of camaraderie and friendliness.

I lost a fair bit of time in a second over-the-bars and spinning-around incident which, as I hit my head, left me more dazed than the first one and having to think more carefully about my answer to the chorus of "You OK mate?"s from passing riders. My front brakes also stopped working after the lever was twisted out of position by the tree I had clipped. I managed to get them partly working again after mucking around with the slack adjuster and twisting them back into position.

By this stage my riding style had gone from mediocre/out of control to very ragged as fatigue, mild fear and frustration started taking over. Throughout the day I had repeatedly traded 'race' positions (let's be honest, I wasn't really in a race) with a number of riders as I overtook them on hills, then they breezed past while I was lying on my back in the bushes or had stopped to fix something.

Britney's Meltdown at the ~85 km mark offered me a chance to consolidate my position. What seemed like the long climb up was a hill too far for many riders, whose legs had given up and had to walk. I retook a fair number of positions, (slowly) passing them and then suffered the descent back down into Forrest, as my legs could barely lift my bum off the seat.

I finished my first Otway in 7 hours to the second. My whole body was exhausted, I was shattered - surprisingly moreso than after I spent 12 hours on the bike in the 250km Alpine Classic in January. I’ll definitely be back and feel like I’ve been missing out – I wish I’d had a go years ago and have already been mapping out how I could save time on this year’s effort. My wife shook her head as she kindly pushed my bike back to the car for me and I explained why “I was covered in so much more dirt than the other riders”.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby Mugglechops » Mon Feb 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Sounds like you had fun. The dirt is so much harder, I raced yesterday and was more knackered after 18kms than I would be on a 50km road ride.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:18 am

Well done, Jules. That's a mighty fine effort. A couple of our flat country lads went down there to give it a shot and pretty much bracketed your time. The rest of us looked at it and went "Hills? Forget it."

As for ending up covered in dirt...the landscape is, as they say, there to be shared.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 8:27 am

cheers guys. it's a tough event - i like the longer events though, i suck at crits.

there sure are plenty of hills.

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Re: otway odyssey

Postby steve-waters » Tue Feb 21, 2012 12:50 pm

Great work on finishing sounds like it was a tough one.

Becareful though those enduro's are addictive it starts with one event and before you know it your muck around MTB becomes your race bike and your more expensive roadie is the trianing tool not that that is what happened to me...no really it did not.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:12 pm

lol steve, actually my roadie is significantly cheaper than my dualie so no risk of that. although i can see myself doing more of these.. the wombat 100 is coming up, as is the bike buller. the handbrake might get applied though..
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby steve-waters » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:18 pm

solution to that is second MTB?
Roadie: BeOne Black, SRAM Force, TWE 50mm full carbon clinchers, Vértebrae ceramic cable housings
MTB: Chin29er, Fox Terralogic, XT, 3T and TWE wheels
ex-MTB now commuter: Cannondale F900 (CAAD 4), Headshok, TWE wheels, XT and Elixr CR
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Tue Feb 21, 2012 1:43 pm

already have one - i commute on a cheaper hardtail MTB and combine commutes with a bit of singletrack. the roadie gets used for longer rides and road races.
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby steve-waters » Tue Feb 21, 2012 2:18 pm

I meant for the wife - if the handbrake applied was the afore mentioned :)
Roadie: BeOne Black, SRAM Force, TWE 50mm full carbon clinchers, Vértebrae ceramic cable housings
MTB: Chin29er, Fox Terralogic, XT, 3T and TWE wheels
ex-MTB now commuter: Cannondale F900 (CAAD 4), Headshok, TWE wheels, XT and Elixr CR
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby Mugglechops » Tue Feb 21, 2012 3:39 pm

All this time I thought you looked like your avatar :D
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby silentbutdeadly » Wed Feb 22, 2012 7:33 am

Mugglechops wrote:All this time I thought you looked like your avatar :D


Certainly not as dirt covered as he let on either....
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: otway odyssey

Postby jules21 » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:26 am

steve-waters wrote:I meant for the wife - if the handbrake applied was the afore mentioned :)

good idea - i was thinking about myself as usual. yes that handbrake. problem is she finds roadies unstable so MTB is off the cards for her.
Mugglechops wrote:All this time I thought you looked like your avatar :D

that's me in the avatar, i just dropped 20 kg in fluids on the day :)
silentbutdeadly wrote:Certainly not as dirt covered as he let on either....

that photo was near the start. here's one after i'd rolled in the dirt a few times! the photo still doesn't do it justice, i was covered in a layer of dirt/dust.
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