I managed to finish the 250 ride this year and had a lot of fun doing it. Last year I pulled out at 140km in (Anglers Rest) as I was way too slow and wasn't going to make it home before the cut off. This year I came back with a different plan, the earlier start, more training and a pannier full of hindsight.
90kg clydesdale, expat Aussie living overseas. Primarily a rower, but now riding more and racing.
Aim was 12.5hrs riding with 2.5hrs of breaks (15 total). Did it in a shade over 13/3 (16 total).
Last year my lowest was 34/25. This year I was 36/28. New bike (steel, custom, sexy etc) for that overall feel-good factor.
Carrying 4 bottles (two in frame, two in seat mounted 'tri-style' rocket launcher) with 3 'wet' and 1 for dry storage. The third bottle makes a big difference.
About as hard as the terrain here will allow. All the local riders thought I was nuts when I went up and down the local 550m/7% hill here 6 times on a Sunday - and that only recreates the first quarter of this ride!
Starting at 4 put more of the day in the cool and gave me extra time to help complete. Comfortable up Hotham. Tired of course, but a lot easier than last year. Having the extra gears and also folks around you (last year I was probably lantern rouge all damn day) makes it much nicer. Hello to Lisa, the 48kg lady who rode most of the way up with me - and then left me in her wake!
Across to Omeo was fun. New bike was eating up the miles and quite literally out rolling folks. Riding in small groups made the pace OK. Chatted to some good folks. That is one of the best parts.
W T F hill was exactly that. That white flecked road surface and the middle of the day combined to make it Hot Hot Hot. At one point there were about 10 of us playing leap-frog with short rests in the shade (and breeze) on the far right of the road. The second steep section (after the dip) was where I had to stop and walk for a couple of hundred metres along with a few others. Saw that yellow steel Paconi folks have mentioned above and was also overtaken by the couple on the black tandem.
Once I hit Raspberry Hill I was a happy man. In my heart I knew I had it licked. When I rolled out with a smile and a "it's in the bag" type comment I got a few dirty looks and some cautionary words or two. The fact that I had to go past some poor guy flat on his back being treated by the paramedics (seriously overheated looking) probably made me look like a terrible tool (edit - used a w word here but the auto censor changed it to something that wasn't really getting my message across!). Across the top, over the dam, and into Falls Creek by 5pm.
After the fun of descending to Mt Beauty, the final climb up Tawonga wasn't the sufferfest I was expecting from all the talk. Sure, I rather not have done it by that stage of the day, but it was a consistent gradient and just needed me to grind it out. At the top I got a big cheer and lots of encouragement from many of the key organisers and volunteers. Thanks lads.
A fast descent and a powerful ride at into Bright and I was home just after 8.
- There were patches I could have gone quicker on.
- Didn't eat enough early on. Was in a bit of a bonk out the back of Falls.
- could shorten up the breaks (the bonk cost me a bit of time).
Overall I was happy with the ride. Finished, had fun chatting, enjoyed the view and so on. I was dead tired at the end of the day (cue vague eating, shower, bed), but pulled up fine with no injuries and only a slightly sore backside for a day - not bad considering the hours in the saddle.
Will come back.
Consider it training for the 2013 ACE. You're in front already!
Last edited by number21 on Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
I enjoyed reading your whole post. It kept my interest all the way but the first sentence was the most important part of the whole story. Good onya!
Nobody younger than <del>27</del> 28 has experienced a month cooler than the 20th century average.
I had fun last year too, despite not finishing!
What better way to pull out, than to do it before your body is wrecked and to do it conveniently at a pub with a mate there with you (and a loving wife on her way in a car to pick you up)?
Some great stories here Well done to all.
After cramping near the top of Hotham (poor hydration....) and struggling up back of falls, I vowed to never do this ride again.
Driving home the next day I was planning the training I should have done so I can perform better next year
I must be a sucker for punishment.
2010 BMC SLC01
Training and hydration / nutrition. I reckon lots of people don't eat and drink enough.
I think it's true about eating and drinking, but there are always exceptions. Such as me - I just had to eat one of everything at Falls Ck. One of the joys of long-distance cycling interrupted by feasts is the feasts!
Then when we got to Mt Beauty, we were feeling the heat a bit and pulled in to the servo to buy a cold drink. I thought, well, the pros use Coke for the final stages, so I gulped down 600m.
I got the wished-for kick and hammered along to Tawonga feeling like a hero. But there was another feeling. More basic and urgent. The mix of food and fizz was starting a riot in my stomach, which was producing short bursts of gas propulsion at both ends. Something wanted to get out of the bus, and quickly!
I fought back, trying to repress both urges, and started up Tawonga Gap feeling pretty crook and wondering how this would end. Gradually the concentration on the climb overtook previous concerns, and by the time we started rolling down the other side, I was ready to ride. It had me worried for a while though.
2011 Genesis Equilibrium 20, 2012 Felt F75, 2013 Giant TCR Advanced SL, 2014 Wabi Lightning SE
Yep to this. Last year my traing was lacking and my food plan worse, result at least 20 mins spent sitting in the gutter half way up Buffalo sheeting sweat and dizzyness followed by an agonising 9km/hr ride to the top swearing I would never do this ride again if I could just finish it. Of course the next day I am re thinking training plan etc for the 2012 assault!It took me 3 weeks to fully recover from it.
My training plan is posted in the training section and I stuck to this pretty well. Involved a min 300km per week and 5000 vertical metres with everything bumped up in Jan as time allowed. My longest single ride prior was 160km.The week of the Classic I got to Bright Tuesday and rode a total of 300 km prior to the event, not good tapering but who can resist going for a long steep ride when in Bright?
So my wife (who is good at this stuff) wrote me out a food plan which I stuck to. Basically- (and keep in mind I am hypoglycemic so gels and Gatorade don't cut it)
Bright to Falls - 2 Bottles Heed (Hammer Nutrition) up Tawonga 2 dates, at top small protein bar.
Up Falls 3-4 dates and a protein bar at the top.
Falls to Bright - 1 water, 1 heed, 2 dates up Tawonga
Lunch - We had a house on the road into Bright so stop there.Slice of Frittata and 500ml of water
To Buffalo - 1 Heed, 1 Water, 2 dates and 2 Gels (at this stage gels are ok won't get the adverse reaction I get early in the ride because the body needs a bit of sugar now). Plus a water refill half way up Buffalo.
Top of Buffalo - Just refilled water and headed home.
Result - 8.05 ride time, sat on a steady 12-13km up Buffalo, I'd be lying if I said it didn't still hurt but nothing like last year, got back to Bright feeling tired but not shattered.
Post race have recovered very well to the extent of setting a PB up Norton Summit 1 week later.
So for me the difference between a good eating plan and none was huge, most especially I think in terms of recovery. We can probably all train more!
Certified Brand Snob
+ 1 on this.
i didn't have an eating plan this year and thought 'audax provide food'. i hunger flatted towards the top of hotham, as i didn't want to start eating my reserve energy bars so early on. i ate at Dinner Plain, but conventional wisdom would suggest i'd already done some damage by digging into reserves so early.
an eating plan can make a big difference and save you from chasing half a banana as it rolls down Say What hill after dropping it and feeling like burke and wills.
Not nutrition, just dehydration.
It was quite humid at 4am and I didn't drink enough on the way out to Hotham.
I fixed that pretty quickly though and didn't have any trouble for the rest of the ride.
2010 BMC SLC01
I can vouch for that. Dehydration hit me with 4kms left of climbing in the ACE. Hit quickly too, was feeling great then BAM I had nothing. Got off at the next water stop dizzy and had tingling sensations in my hands feet and face. Took me an hour to feel good enough to get back on the bike, somehow felt great again once going. Then came back basically as soon as I finished in Bright. I blame myself for not using enough of my electrolyte/carb powder. Was drinking and eating all day, but my sports drink tasted gross when warm so skipped it for fresh water for the majority of the last half. Lesson learnt!
I had 1 bidon electrolytes, one of plain water and one of nutrition (Hammer).
I knew I was drinking enough when I felt the need for a nature break sometime after Dinner Plain.
2010 BMC SLC01
I consumed 3 litres of fluid between leaving Bright and arriving at Dinner Plain. A mixture of High 5 (food as didn't have time for much breakfast) and Nuuns tabs (for elctrolytes incl a good dose of Mg). No water stops for me just a 3 litre hydration kit and it was only just enough on 2 occasions during this ride.
I have no idea how riders carrying only 2 bidons and starting at 6:19AM cope with hydration needs on this ride. I guess most of them just go into various deficits, (volume & electrolytes) especially between Bright and Dinner Plain.
it was still quite cool heading up hotham in (or trailing..) the 6.19 bunch. i didn't have a problem with fluid supply, refilling in DP. i find that downing a few glasses of water before starting the ride allows me to 'bank' fluids. it was on the back of falls that i started sweating like an open tap, but there was plenty of water supply stations put on by audax. i could have done that leg with a single bidon, i reckon.
How far apart are the hydration stops?
Phil Liggett, TdF 2011, Alpe-d'Huez: "I reckon tonight in hindsight he may have won the Tour de France tomorrow."
Do you know what your total liquid consumption was on the ride? What time did you finish? I drank 14L and finished at 17:45 (Still quite hot on the Tawonga climb). I can't bank fluids like that in the AM it just makes me go....
Between Bright and Dinner plain there are no official hydration stops although you could stop and get water at Harrietville. (25km point before the Mt Hotham climb) That is a distance of 67km with about 1,750m of climbing.
I guess I must climb more energetically than other riders or something as I seem to drink about twice as much.
I had a huge breakfast of porridge and stewed apples, coffee, lots of water. Took 2* 750ml bidons filled with electrolyte and 4 doses of electrolyte all of which I drank. Once I finished the 2nd bidon of electolyte I switched that one to water. I probably drank 10-12 bidons of fluid, plus a gatorade, plus a lemonade and 2 milos. I ate all the food they gave me including about 3 or 4 bananas, salad sandwich, couple of cakes and 2 ricecreams. I ate 2 dried fruit bars and one gel half way up Say What hill. I
I have not done one of these official Audax rides yet, but I have done some long rides and some very hot rides. Last long hot ride I did, I wore an insulated Camelbak, and the difference was huge compared to the previous effort, where I just used plastic bottles. I actually use a "Snowblast" backpack, which has a 3L reservior as well as carrying capacity for water and spares etc. Being insulated, warm, yuk electrolyte is a thing of the past for me.
I think too many people take the Velominati way more seriously than intended, and disdain the use of Camelbaks, when they can be the difference between safe riding and dangerous hyperthermia. I see no logical reason to not use one.
Unless you are referring to your legs as "guns", then you are breaking Rule #1 anyway, so may as well break a few more.
You have officially become your parents.
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