Good luck to all you nutters participating tomorrow. Unfortunately I won't be there because I had a bowls event all weekend, but they decided to finish tonight to miss the impending weather tomorrow.
Don't get *too* wet
2009 Avanti Cadent Team
2007 Avanti Carbonio Team - Died and gone to heaven
2005 Avanti Barracuda - Reincarnated
Well, I came down yesterday, can't give in too easily I thought.
I'm sitting in my tent now at the start after watching the Epic riders leave at 6am. It's raining hard and blowing a gale. Not quite the day for a pleasant ride in the Canberra countryside.
We'll see what the next hour brings.
Good hard day on the bike! I did the Classic and ended up doing 180kms door to door. Congrats to all who started, its never easy when you're warm and dry to jump on the bike and roll out into the rain. Turned put to be a nice day. The guys doing the Epic probably had it the hardest with the weather as well as the terrain, an extra 90 minutes out in the rain ahead of the Classic riders. Head wind wasn't too fun on the return and I felt for the guys doing the Epic riding into it knowing they still had to do Corin. Chapeau to all of them, bigger cojones than I! That head wind turned into the most beautiful tail wind from the top of the climb from Uriarra crossing.
A great day in the saddle. Well done Pedal Power. Cog
I only ended up doing the 105. I was feeling 75%, but the weather was too much of a risk. My recovery was nothing short of miraculous to even start the Tharwa run. All my fellow riders from Sydney bailed on the 165 as well. A good day in the saddle indeed, except for the weak feeling I had at the end. Headwind coming back across Mt McDonald to Uriarra Rd was a lowlight.
Ended up being a great ride (well, apart from the hills and the mf'er headwind all the way back from Rendezvous Creek).
Turned up at 7 to do the 165, to find pouring rain. Most of our group pulled out to do the 105, but there were 4 of us decided to stick with the 165. So glad that we did. It was the toughest day of riding I've ever done, but I would've been very let down to only do the 105.
The rain in the end only lasted for the first 10 or 15 mins, and with a rain jacket we stayed mostly set and warm.
Well done to the organisers and to those who ended up riding.
2006 Giant OCR Comp
2010 Felt TK2
2010 Niner 29'er
What a day. Pete, the 64 yo vision impaired stoker I was riding with, was pretty damn pleased to complete the challenge, now having ticked off his cycling goal for the year. He did comment that if he knew how tough the ride from Fitz's to Rendevouz Ck return is he wouldn't have tried it.
Thanks to the vols and to fellow cyclists who all took an interest (sometimes saying we were crazy) in the tandem ride.
My summary is simply next year I will be riding a single bike with climbing gears, or maybe I will hand out snakes halfway up Fitz's.
Oh, so we finished in the audax required time. We also rode all but about 200m of the ride. Managed to get up Fitz's, but a persistent chain issue (dropped it 11 times... grrr) brought us to a stop on the short sharp climb after Fitz's. We couldn't get started properly, the attempts and chain problem resulting in me having a nasty meeting with the stem.
One month til the Hartley Challenge...
Kona Jake The Snake
Scott Scale 35
Oppy Le Mauco
I watched you start from the relative warmth of the cycle city tent. Major props to you, bud. That weather and that distance is mightily impressive. I just couldnt get down there to start with you all. I was freezing cold, and really, really didnt want to get wet and ride in the cold wind til the sun came out as I was still feeling like I was sick.
Glad the day improved for you. How are headwinds on a tandem?
Like many others I watched and waited at 7am, changing my mind a dozen times and finally pulling out when I was about to get my bike out of the car only to be hit by another huge wet gust. I watched the brave bunch leave for the Classic and decided to wait for the next hour and consider the Tharwa. I decided to give it a go, given that the weather was clearing and I had come a long way. When it cleared right up I was kicking myself I hadn't started earlier and given how easy the tailwind assisted leg to Tharwa was I didn't think the 105km would be much of a challenge. Little did I know!
Immediately on the return leg we hit the headwind, I worked with a bunch of blokes for a bit but since I wanted to do the ride under my own steam I went off the front - finding a few times that I still had a tail of riders behind me. I kept passing and getting passed by the same group all the way back. The climbs on the way back combined with the headwind started to stretch the legs but I was making good time, after about 65km I noticed that my average speed was around 26km/h and thought I'd try to get home in under 4hrs if I could (that's moving time, I'd had a bit of a rest at the turnpoint). All was well until the turnoff on Brindabella Road. That is a bugger of a climb, combined with that, the headwind at the top and the rolling hills really hurt. Going over every little hill I'm hoping this is the one with the big downhill on the other side to the finish. Needless to say that never came but I managed to make good time in the side/head winds. By the end I was crawling up each incline in my lowest gear and pushing as much as I could down the other side. I passed 100km just over the 4hr mark, rolling in to the finish a little later. Legs and neck very stiff. A great ride.
Could I have managed 165km? I'm telling myself if I hadn't tried to go fast I could have gone on longer but really that last climb would have been hell with those extra 60km in the legs. Props to anyone who made it. Maybe next year!
well that was fun.
rocketing along the course till Fitz's Hill killed my thighs. once someone else got off and walked a bit, i got off and let the cramping thighs recover. it only got harder to the turn around point, after which every hill hurt. temp at the start was 11deg, by lunch time 28deg. head winds were 20+ knots all the way back...
7 hours of rising later we cross the line, and i did a quick lap of the crit course for extra fun !
Well what a day...up slightly later than I wanted, hence a mad rush and Maccas run for brekky for my girlfriend and her friend, all the while there were black clouds and it was pouring. Frantically got everything ready and about to get to start line a couple of minutes before the Classic was due to start, when my riding mates decided to pull the pin on the 165 and wait for the 105 to escape some of the bad weather. I was slightly relieved but more dissapointed (how this would change later on).
Within minutes of the Classic starting off, the announcement was mad that the bad weather was forecast to be clear for the rest of the day . Oh well, headed off an hour later for the 105km and the ride out to Tharwa was the most pleasant 2 hours on a bike i've ever experienced. Great scenery and beautiful rolling roads. It was noted though that there seemed to be more descents than ascents, meaning only one thing for the trip back..
Well, as soon as we turned back for home, uphill + headwind = Worked a bit with my mates for about 10km before the efforts took some toll on the boys and i pulled ahead in my own rhythm. I got passed by everyone on the cotter descent, plus got caught at the redlight just before the final checkpoint. We regrouped at the checkpoint and headed off for the last 20km....
Far out that last 20km was tough for me. Started getting stitches and cramps just before the checkpoint, which just got worse over time, before I got dropped by my group. Loneliest 12 or so kms to the finish ever. Got there and was very well satisfied with my efforts, and was greeted to cheers from my girlfriend which made it all worth it . Sat back for a drink and onion and sausage sandwich and soaked up the atmosphere. A great day and well organised. Will be down again next year for sure.
I was on the red and black cervelo s2 with soul wheels (if you saw me)
Ride clock had 4 seconds short of 4 hours for the total ride time. top speed of 73km/hr
Mate's Garmin registered 1700m climbing
My girlfriend was the tippsy one at the finish drinking $4 wines all afternoon..
Very much doubt I could have completed the 165km in a fair state yesterday, and determined I wasn't fit enough and got my nutrition wrong for the ride. All for next year.
i forgot to mention how much i enjoyed the emergency bunny hop over the cattle grid, which was well signposted from the other (slow) way. and there was the decent down fitzs hill which was brought to s not overly sudden stop by the wombat walking across the road. then at urialla crossing some kids through their inflatable boat up onto the bridge after whitewater rafting down the murrimbidgee, missing me by 6ft or so.
oh and did i mention the lovely refreshing breeze, gently blowing into my face. and the dead rotting animal half way up fitzs hill which forced everone to go faster..
yep, after breathing in rotting carcasses for 165km's I now have a better appreciation for the HCC road patrol van that travels the old pacific highway scraping roadkill off the bitumen.
2006 Giant OCR Comp
2010 Felt TK2
2010 Niner 29'er
your comment after the ride about the kangaroo sausages they were selling at that stall may have been accurate to. some sausages appeared to have some distinguising marks on them - looked like a Vittoria tred pattern vaguely
Here's the news clip from Canberra ABC
Unfortunately it doesn't come close to capturing any of the feel of the ride - the duration, the hills, that mf#ker headwind, nor the numbers of riders out there.
2006 Giant OCR Comp
2010 Felt TK2
2010 Niner 29'er
Well what an appropriate name, epic. Thats exactly what it was!
As I was grinding my way up the honeysuckle climb waiting for some indication that there was an end to it I couldn't stop thinking what sadistic MF thought this ride out, knowing I still had the Corin forest climb to go. Or was it me who is the pain freak, actually paying to do this to myself! That I think was the hardest, the 11km Corin forest climb wasn't as nasty as the previous ones, just long. Then had a nice long descent before another climb...
After the corin forest I felt pretty good considering and although most of the remaining kms were pretty lonely I loved it. And I'll be more than happy paying to do it all again next year.
Almost didn't happen though, about 24kms in I broke a spoke in the rear and pulled up at the side of the road after staying in touch with the guys at the front. Standing in the rain cursing my luck and feeling sorry for myself I figured I could be standing here for hours waiting for assistance and whats the point of driving here, setting up a tent and organising myself to be here only to ride for an hour in the rain. Being a relative bike mechnic novice I thought whats the worst that could happen, so I released the rear brake and carried on to see how I'd fair.
The bike felt good and got some advice from other riders who said it should be fine just take it easy on the descents. Then as the sun started to appear i realised I'd dropped one of my tinted lenses somewhere so the only sunnies I had were my yellow tint ones. Oh well...
Also as 99.9% of my riding is solo I had some fun reeling in a group of 6-7 riders when we were going into the headwind. Made up ground on the short uphill sections then as one guy dropped off the back we worked together on the downhill to reach them. Though by the time we did we were both too stuffed to work up front. I thought it was cool.
Anyway thanks to all the organisers, volunteers and riders, it was fantastic.
Next stop Bright!
Here's a picture of the Epic start that I took from outside my tent at 6am. This has to be an image of extreme optimism, or maybe masochism.
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