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- Posts: 306
- Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:41 pm
- Location: Bellerive, Tasmania
What is it?
The 2018 three day February training ride will be held over the long weekend on the 10th, 11th and 12th. 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 seventeenth 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 in Richmond on Saturday morning and ride to Longford and back, via Miena, by Monday afternoon.
The detail is a bit further on but the basic route is Richmond to Miena on Saturday for 132kms and 2100m of climbing, Miena to Longford and back on Sunday for 175kms and 2400m of climbing, and Miena back to Richmond for 132kms and 1,000m of climbing. There are a number of variations for everyone in terms of start locations and turn points depending on your choices. For example you can turn at the top of Poatina hill and only have an 80km ride on Sunday to save yourself for the return on Monday.
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 various parts of the northwest coast. Last year we got excited and rode around the state for the third time. 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 10th to Monday the 12th of Feb (the 12th is Hobart Regatta/Cup Day).
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 2002 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 10th: Richmond – Colebrook – Melton Mowbray – Miena 131km
Sun 11th: Miena – Poatina – Cressy – Longford – Miena 175km
Mon 12th: Miena – Melton Mowbray – Colebrook - Richmond 131km
Saturday morning kicks off at 8:30 from the Richmond Bakery. We head north on Colebrook Road through Campania and Colebrook and then up the big hill to the turnoff at the top which is Lovely Banks Road C316 after 32kms. Lovely Banks is a dirt road and lasts for about 13 kms. It’s a nice road through beautiful country. At the end we reach the Midlands Highway and turn left and head to Melton Mowbray some 5kms later. Right onto Highland Lakes Road A5 and off to Bothwell for morning tea after 70kms. Back on track following the A5 to finish in Miena after 131kms. There is some 2,000m of climbing and 1,000m of descending for the day. This route gives us only 5kms on the Midlands Highway.
Sunday is the challenge day! We kick off at 8:30 from the Great Lake Hotel and head back on the A5 to the turnoff on to Poatina Road B51 after 15kms. We will be heading north on the undulating road alongside the Great Lake for around 25kms until we get to the top of the Poatina Hill. Those turning here will get 80kms for the day. Down the hill we go with a probable stop at Poatina which has a general store for morning tea. Those turning back here will get at least 100km for the day. The rest head off again and turn left onto Saundridge Road C515 at the T-junction. 14kms and we get to Cressy with 76kms in our legs. Those continuing on will have another 12kms on Cressy Road B51 into Longford for 87kms and lunch. After that it’s a little trundle and a bit of a hill back to Miena. For those riding to Cressy or Longford they get the bonus of 2400m of climbing as well!
Monday should be all downhill from Miena back to Richmond on the same roads we use on Saturday. When we include the 1,000m of climbing on the way we get enough altitude to descend some 2,000m.
There is plenty of accommodation available in Miena at a wide variety of standards and prices. There are two pubs and numerous shacks for hire. Given it is a long weekend in southern Tasmania there may be a bit of competition for the available beds.
The normal process for determining a February Ride is to pick out the coffee shops first and then pick the route accordingly. Saturday and Monday will be covered by Colebrook and Bothwell albeit more in the line of ‘shops’ rather than cafes. Sunday is covered by the shop in Poatina, a bakery in Cressy and a variety of choices in Longford.
There is a sort of a shop in Miena at the back of the Great Lake Hotel but it was only open at random times when I was there recently – mind you it was in the middle of winter. I expect we will meet for meals at each of the pubs for evening meals. You will need to plan for accordingly.
Most years we have a support vehicle towing a lockable covered trailer to get your gear from place to place. We will do that again this year with those using it contributing to the costs for the driver and the vehicles. I haven’t worked out those costs yet so that will come later. I also haven’t worked out whether the support car will act as a sag wagon as yet either.
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.
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 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.
I also keep details on this site as up to date as possible.
So – if you are interested, or want to be included on the update list, you should Personal messafe me through this site and 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.
So – where are you going again???
I have drawn up the routes and used Strava as the base. For those not on Strava.com just sign up and join the PCCC group and you will have access to the courses with maps and elevations. Quite handy really but for most of it you probably don’t really want to know!!
That’s it for now. This is the first version of the route and I can’t see it changing. If there’s anything you need in the way of information you can find me on the contacts below.
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