Fitz's Classic

Fitz's Classic

Postby fatherofmany » Fri Oct 01, 2010 10:02 am

Hi ACT'ers

I've been thinking about riding the Fitz's Classic, or even the 207 km Epic. I'll be coming down from Gosford (just north of Sydney) to ride it, and will probably bring the family as the flyer I have says camping at Mt Stromlo is OK. Maybe not this year because of injury but I'll be training up for next year.

So,

1 is the camping family friendly? By then I'll have 6 children from 9 down to 5 months.

2 what is the terrain like? I'm no stranger to hills and ride the highway from Gosford to Berowra often.

3 how's the event catering, are there plentiful water stops and refuelling stations

4 any other tips?

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by BNA » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:30 pm

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby number21 » Sat Oct 02, 2010 3:30 pm

I'm down to do the 207km so as its my first attempt I'm not really sure. Water checkpoints seem pretty well spaced out from what I've found online. Anyway I'll relay what I find on to you if no you don't hear anything.

I'm going the soft option if the family decide to come down and we'll stay at a motel for the night. If its just me I'll be camping as close as possible to the start.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby Bantam Roosta » Sat Oct 02, 2010 9:38 pm

fatherofmany wrote:1 is the camping family friendly? By then I'll have 6 children from 9 down to 5 months.

2 what is the terrain like? I'm no stranger to hills and ride the highway from Gosford to Berowra often.

3 how's the event catering, are there plentiful water stops and refuelling stations

4 any other tips?

FoM

FoM,

1. No idea. I hate camping at the best of times. There would no chance of me doing it with the kids. The weather should be good.

2. Hilly. The entire 165km (or 207km) is continual rolling hills, with a few biggies thrown in.

3. Heaps of water stops, with some food (fruit, lollies). Also a shop at Tharwa if you want anything else. Two bidons is more than enough to get you from point to point.

4. a. Take sunscreen with you. You will need to re-apply. It can get very hot (like last year).
b. Over pack on the food. It's better to have too much. Don't forget your salt.
c. Take your time. Don't blow yourself up early.
d. Let me know if you're coming down. The family can come around for a feed the night before, or after.

BR
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby WarrenH » Sun Oct 03, 2010 3:53 pm

Enjoy the race ... I did, about 30 years ago, I enjoyed it greatly.

Warren.
Last edited by WarrenH on Sun Oct 03, 2010 6:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby Ross » Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:01 pm

I would recommend you come to Canberra before Fitz's and at least drive (preferably ride, at least part) the course to see what you are in for.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby Gassy » Sun Oct 03, 2010 9:41 pm

I'm coming up to do the epic for the first time. Looking forward to it. Done the AAC many times so I thought I should do this for a change.

Ross wrote: would recommend you come to Canberra before Fitz's and at least drive (preferably ride, at least part) the course to see what you are in for.


I remember many years ago driving up Mt Buffalo before my first AAC. Scared the crap out of me, especially as that was the final climb, so I'd rather not know. I also went horse riding up at the Mt Buffalo Chalet at the same time. To this day I still cannot work out why, I guess I didn't realise how sore my butt would be, but thats another story.......
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby psike » Tue Oct 05, 2010 9:59 am

For what it's worth, as a comparison, generally most considered the Alpine Classic Extreme 250 an easier ride than Fitz's 207km option. Whilst the Victorian climbing seems to be longer it's also more consistent and generally less steep. The 165km Fitz's course is undulating pretty much the whole way, there's little flat riding. A mate completed the 207km course last year in about 8.5hrs and said it was the hardest ride he's ever done, and he's ridden things like the Goulburn to City classic.

In terms of water it depends how much you sweat, I go heavy on the water and ran out with two large bidons. I'd also stress that the heat can be extreme, especially if you are considering the 207km option on which the Corin climb seems quite exposed and last year was very hot. With hydration remember to consider hyponatremia. Last year in the heat several people ended up in hospital because they allowed their sodium levels to drop to dangerous levels by drinking adequate water but not maintaining sodium intake. There was an article in a recent Pedal Power magazine about it, so make sure in the heat to consider electrolytes etc.

The weather is very unpredictable, so plan for it. Last year the 5 Peaks Ride (early Oct) had sleet and freezing conditions, a month later for Fitz's and it was damn hot.

I've made it sound bad - and let me tell you Fitz's Epic was the worst day in a saddle I've ever had for a few reasons - but the course is awesome, and this year without illness (touch wood) I'm hoping for a much more pleasant ride.

I'll be one of the idiots on a tandem doing the 165km - when you pass say hi :)

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby number21 » Tue Oct 05, 2010 8:17 pm

I should never have clicked on this topic! Whoever said ignorance is bliss was right I reckon!!
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby psike » Wed Oct 06, 2010 10:04 am

number21 wrote:I should never have clicked on this topic! Whoever said ignorance is bliss was right I reckon!!


Sorry mate, but last year there were blokes down from Sydney and 'Gong who had no idea at what the ride would be like, they weren't prepared for the climbing or the heat. I think it's better to understand (especially on the 207km) it's a tough ride, but completely do-able, just come prepared. As I said it's actually a great ride, the volunteers are really friendly and man when you roll back into Stromlo Park it's so easy to fall asleep on the grass :)

Russ.

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby fatherofmany » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:33 pm

Thanks to all for the info. I missed about 3 months of cycling this year due to injury so I'm in training for next year. I'm ok with hydrating (and the salts) but a few more 100's and 150's should see me ready to tackle a double century. I'm back up to regular 70's and 80's now so it's just a matter of peeling myself out of bed early enough to fit 4-6 hours of riding into a Saturday.

Thanks Rooster for the invite, you do realise you've invited a family of 8 around for a feed, we may just take you up on it when the time comes, we don't get that many, wonder why?

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby DarrylH » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:36 pm

fatherofmany - I note the flyer mentions camping but I'm not certain that facilities exist. May be worth checking with Stromlo Forest Park [email protected] .

Re the previous mention of hyponatremia in Pedal Power magazine, my interpretation was that they drank too much water, rather than getting too little salt - 10 L of water over that distance is a LOT. Any medicos care to comment?
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby scotto » Fri Oct 08, 2010 2:50 pm

DarrylH wrote:...Re the previous mention of hyponatremia in Pedal Power magazine, my interpretation was that they drank too much water, rather than getting too little salt - 10 L of water over that distance is a LOT. Any medicos care to comment?


not quite correct. Its not the excess water, but its the insufficient sodium( and other electrolytes excreted via perspiration)

the problem is that with endurance events (esp in hot climates) many people replace the lost fluids by drinking lots of water. Sounds reasonable.
Try tasting your own perspiration sometime. Its salty because it contains..well.. salt. Now if you dont replace that lost salt, you can become unwell. Drinking more water simply dilutes the salt already in your system. Staminade, etc etc typically contain the electrolytes that you will need.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby psike » Fri Oct 08, 2010 3:09 pm

DarrylH wrote:Re the previous mention of hyponatremia in Pedal Power magazine, my interpretation was that they drank too much water, rather than getting too little salt - 10 L of water over that distance is a LOT. Any medicos care to comment?


I think it's a balancing act.

The amount of water consumed should be dependent up on the environment, and nature of the amount being sweated. Ideally you should be approx replacing the amount of sweat with water + sodium. Yes they drank a lot of water but that probably wouldn't have been a problem if they'd been replacing salt as well. 10L seems like a lot, but depends on how much the sweat and how long they were out there.

Good article: http://www.uni.edu/dolgener/Advanced_Sport_Nutrition/fluid_intake.pdf

Fluid and fuel intake during exercise
EDWARD F. COYLE
The Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology and Health Education, The University of Texas at
Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA
Accepted 7 August 2003
The amounts of water, carbohydrate and salt that athletes are advised to ingest during exercise are based upon
their effectiveness in attenuating both fatigue as well as illness due to hyperthermia, dehydration or
hyperhydration. When possible, fluid should be ingested at rates that most closely match sweating rate. When
that is not possible or practical or sufficiently ergogenic, some athletes might tolerate body water losses
amounting to 2% of body weight without significant risk to physical well-being or performance when the
environment is cold (e.g. 5–108C) or temperate (e.g. 21–228C). However, when exercising in a hot environment
( >30C), dehydration by 2% of body weight impairs absolute power production and predisposes individuals to
heat injury. Fluid should not be ingested at rates in excess of sweating rate and thus body water and weight
should not increase during exercise. Fatigue can be reduced by adding carbohydrate to the fluids consumed so
that 30–60 g of rapidly absorbed carbohydrate are ingested throughout each hour of an athletic event.
Furthermore, sodium should be included in fluids consumed during exercise lasting longer than 2 h or by
individuals during any event that stimulates heavy sodium loss (more than 3–4 g of sodium). Athletes do not
benefit by ingesting glycerol, amino acids or alleged precursors of neurotransmitter. Ingestion of other
substances during exercise, with the possible exception of caffeine, is discouraged. Athletes will benefit the most
by tailoring their individual needs for water, carbohydrate and salt to the specific challenges of their sport,
especially considering the environment’s impact on sweating and heat stress.
Keywords: carbohydrate, dehydration, fatigue, gastrointestinal function, hyperthermia, sodium.

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby scotto » Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:56 am

Ingestion of other substances during exercise, with the possible exception of caffeine is discouraged


hehe.i like it
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby number21 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:59 am

psike wrote:
number21 wrote:I should never have clicked on this topic! Whoever said ignorance is bliss was right I reckon!!


Sorry mate, but last year there were blokes down from Sydney and 'Gong who had no idea at what the ride would be like, they weren't prepared for the climbing or the heat. I think it's better to understand (especially on the 207km) it's a tough ride, but completely do-able, just come prepared. As I said it's actually a great ride, the volunteers are really friendly and man when you roll back into Stromlo Park it's so easy to fall asleep on the grass :)

Russ.


Nothing to be sorry about. I'm actually really excited, just behind in what I had planned as far as training goes but we'll get there.

Another question- Would anyone know if its possible to lock my bike up at Stromlo park for the early start on Sunday? The family are doing the tourist thing on Sunday and might want the car, don't think any of them are keen on a pre 5am trip to the country side to drop me off. So I'll have to taxi it there.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby Robdog » Mon Oct 11, 2010 10:02 am

number21 wrote:Another question- Would anyone know if its possible to lock my bike up at Stromlo park for the early start on Sunday? The family are doing the tourist thing on Sunday and might want the car, don't think any of them are keen on a pre 5am trip to the country side to drop me off. So I'll have to taxi it there.

Hey,
I'm sure if you asked nicely that there might be someone available to pick you up (not me unfortunately because I've got other commitments all weekend :cry: :cry: :cry: )
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby Ross » Mon Oct 11, 2010 7:44 pm

number21 wrote:
Another question- Would anyone know if its possible to lock my bike up at Stromlo park for the early start on Sunday? The family are doing the tourist thing on Sunday and might want the car, don't think any of them are keen on a pre 5am trip to the country side to drop me off. So I'll have to taxi it there.


There's no enclosed storage area, there are metal bike rack things down outside the toilets, you could lock your bike there with a couple of good locks depending on what sort of bike it is. Or maybe you could lock it inside the toilets though Security might be a bit iffy about that and they don't lock them until 9 or 10 at night and reopen about 4am.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby psike » Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:35 am

think laterally :)
You drive to Stromlo and have them catch the taxi to get the car :) or
you drive to Stromlo and they do a walking tour of Canberra or
ride to Stromlo, the flat kms of that ride won't count anyway, and will just make you seem that much more hardcore

as Rob says, post closer to the date once you know where you are staying. If it's enroute I'm sure someone would drop by. Past 2 years I've picked up out of towners on the way... hmmm that sounded much more interesting than it actually was and also proves that I'm not hardcore enough. :(

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby number21 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:03 pm

Thanks for the replies guys. Once I've got the details all sorted out I'll post it up here. Had to know, just in case, if it was at all viable locking the bike up there, although theft is a problem, not keen on letting the bike collect all the morning due either.

I won't commit to riding to the start until I know where I'm riding from!
Cheers, thanks again.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby twizzle » Tue Oct 12, 2010 12:44 pm

I did the 48 km about three years ago and the 105km two years ago, I was thinking about the 160 last year and this year but family stuff has gotten in the way each time.

Anyway - I've done ~150km of racing over two days (52km Sat, 96km Sunday), so I'm no pushover... but I find the idea of riding the classic to be daunting. It's the kind of ride where energy conservation is incredibly important, and on a hot day it would be easy to drink 10lt of water and consume stacks of food. Triple chain rings or compact/27 highly recommended, as you expend too much energy on the climbs if you can't spin. Carrying powdered gatorade or similar to mix with water is a bloody good idea as it won't be available at the rest stops. Food is provided at points... but not enough to keep you fuelled for a big ride.

And I can't stress this enough : It's not a race, and if you treat it like one you are going to regret it. There will be some national level cyclists riding it like a race, but they will do this kind of stuff regularly, ordinary mortals should not try and keep up with them.
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby psike » Tue Oct 12, 2010 3:33 pm

twizzle wrote:I did the 48 km about three years ago and the 105km two years ago, I was thinking about the 160 last year and this year but family stuff has gotten in the way each time.


Didn't you do it on some gawd awful heavy-as hybrid thing with bricks in the panniers?

Seriously though - all good advise.

I noticed the 207km ride is finally an Audax brevet (why the hell it couldn't have been last year!?), so there will likely be more people in for the Epic. Anyone who's looking at the Challenge or Epic should also consider the Audax Alpine Classic series of rides in January in Victoria. The riding around Bright is awesome, and it really is a great event.

Russ.

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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby twizzle » Tue Oct 12, 2010 7:49 pm

Lol - panniers 'yes', but it mainly had bananas and powdered gatorade. I bonked about 20km from the end, those last k's were hell. Not to mention the cramping...
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby nickj_d » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:07 pm

If you are familiar with the ride from Gosford to Berowra, below are some links to compare the two rides
http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=181809 is the 165km Fitz's Classic (click on the summary tabs at top left to view elevation profiles)
http://www.bikeroutetoaster.com/Course.aspx?course=184072 is a ride from hornsby which includes the hills between berowra and gosford

The hills around Galston, Berowra, Brooklyn, Mooney, Bobbin et al have been good training for Fitz's. I did the 105km Fitz's last year relatively easy, but would suggest you'd need some significant hill training to tackle the 165km or 205km version. Last year there seemed enough drink and food stops on the 105km ride, can't say for the longer rides.

Awesome event though - beautiful scenery and great roads to ride on! Definately worth it. Just paid my rego for the 165km tonight. Done some hard km's training for it over the last couple of months. Hopefully I'm ready!
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby fatherofmany » Thu Oct 14, 2010 2:19 pm

nickj_d wrote:The hills around Galston, Berowra, Brooklyn, Mooney, Bobbin et al have been good training for Fitz's.


Good stuff, all I have to do is get myself able to ride all the gorges in one day and I'll be set. That is start at Gosford, ride to Berowra, then to Bobbin Head, turn around and head back up and then to Hornsby, down Galston Gorge, and around to Berowra Waters and the ferry, up to Berowra and back home to Gosford. Simple :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: Fitz's Classic

Postby stevecassidy » Thu Oct 14, 2010 9:07 pm

fatherofmany wrote:\
Good stuff, all I have to do is get myself able to ride all the gorges in one day and I'll be set. That is start at Gosford, ride to Berowra, then to Bobbin Head, turn around and head back up and then to Hornsby, down Galston Gorge, and around to Berowra Waters and the ferry, up to Berowra and back home to Gosford.


Just signed up myself and feeling a little unprepared - been doing lots of flat rides lately including the sunday morning races but not too many hills. I've done a couple of Bobbin Head rides mid-week but obviously need to pick up the endurance and quantity of climbing now. Planning on 100k+ around Akuna Bay and Bobbin Head on Sunday if the weather holds, then a couple of Bobbin Head runs in the week and maybe the gorges the weekend after. Then we'll see how we go in Canberra, should be an experience.

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