Entries just opened for the Audax Alpine Classic

Road cycling & upcoming rides
Richard
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Postby Richard » 05 Aug 2010, 11:55

Dear all

The entries have just opened for the next Audax Alpine Classic to be held on Sunday, January 23rd 2011. I couldn’t recommend highly enough how good this ride is. The organization is the best I have ever experienced and the riding through the Victorian Alps is spectacular but tough.

For those who have never ridden an Audax ride the challenge is to simply try and finish within the time cut-off. It is not a race. The cut-off is usually fairly generous and it really doesn’t matter if you finish outside the time. There is usually a huge outdoor French feast set up at the finish line in Bright. After a bottle or two of champagne at the finish line the pain of the ride seems to dispappear (tends to return the next morning with interest).

David O (also from DHBC) and I have ridden both the Alpine Classic 200km (AAC200) and the Alpine Classic Extreme 250km (ACE250) and they were tough but fantastic rides. Plenty of climbing with the ACE250km having over 4500m. Simone is relatively new to cycling and successfully completed the 70km up Mt Buffalo and is planning to do the 130km next time.

There are distance options for all levels:
• 60km Bright-Mt Beauty-Bright - Two climbs both sides of Tawonga Gap
• 70km Bright-Mt Buffalo-Bright - One big climb up Mt Buffalo to Dingo Dell
• 130km Bright-Mt Beauty-Falls Ck-Bright - Three climbs both sides of Tawonga Gap and Falls Creek
• 140km Bright-Mt Beauty-Bright-Falls Creek. - Three climbs both side of Tawonga Gap and Mt Buffalo
• 200km Bright-Mt Beauty-Falls Creek-Bright-Mt Buffalo - Four Climbs Both sides of Tawonga Gap, Fall Ck & Mt Buffalo
• ACE250* (Alpine Classic Extreme) -Three Climbs , Mt Hotham, Back of Falls Ck, one side of Tawonga Gap

We take the family down and have already booked accommodation in Bright. In previous years we have stayed in Bright and there are quite a few options ranging from camping / caravans in Bright or Porepunkah upwards.

Great swimming options in the river in town and Bright is at the end of the cycling rail trail for the kids.

Most importantly if you are thinking of coming down then you need to book your accommodation NOW. The sleepy country town gets completely booked out by scrawny looking shaved legged cyclists.

Only downside is that the ride is just a few weeks after Christmas New Year and all that food and wine = excess ballast to carry up the hills.

Go to http://www.alpineclassic.com.au or ask me for details.

Richard

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 05 Aug 2010, 13:16

Jo (200k's) & I (130k's) are in and looking forward to it

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paul
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Postby paul » 07 Aug 2010, 20:58

I'm doing the 200. Margo maybe the 70.
It will be my third after 2001 and 2009.

Paul

Richard
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Postby Richard » 14 Aug 2010, 08:16

Simone will probably be doing the 130km and I'll do either the 200km or the 250km depending on how much training I can get in over Christmas

If you are keen on doing the Alpine there is an Audax ride in mid December 'In Search of Hills' that is great for training. Check out the Audax website. Starts at Hornsby over the Roseville Bridge, Wakehurst Parkway, Powder Works Rd climb near Narrabean, Church Point, West Head, Bobbin Head, Mt White, Berowra Waters, Galston Gorge and back to Hornsby 150 or 200km versions.

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Trouty
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Postby Trouty » 14 Aug 2010, 11:30


Richard
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Postby Richard » 14 Aug 2010, 11:55

I think Camilla meant that there are no flat sections!

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 14 Aug 2010, 16:40

I've entered the 200km. January is a long time away and by then I reckon I might be able to make the distance. I picked the earlier start - that 10 minutes might really come in handy.

Jo and I can search for the flat bits together. I noticed on the profile that there is quite alot of downhill as well.

weller
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Postby weller » 14 Aug 2010, 16:49

It's a shocker - mainly due to the heat, they now stop the ride if its over 40 C. Mt Buffalo after 130ks is something to behold (35 ks up and then - thank god, 35ks back down). I rode past a bloke on walking his bike up the hill and remarked that the machines were meant for riding. He said he was riding at 4ks and hour, but walking at 5ks, so he decided to walk! Fair point.

The 3 peaks ride in march is a better alternative I reckon. For those who choose Jan good luck!

CW

davidos

Postby davidos » 14 Aug 2010, 17:03

There is also a "soft" option to ride the 250km course over 2 days. Lovely course.

My body will be happier with the 130km course.

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Camilla
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Postby Camilla » 15 Aug 2010, 22:14

I'm down for the 200. We'll have quite the DHBC crew going! And Eleri's right Jo - lots of cruisy downhills.

Richard
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Postby Richard » 30 Aug 2010, 08:28

Free to a good home - MICHE 28t Sprocket

I have a Miche 28 tooth ringfor a Shimano 10 sp cassette that can come in handy late in the day climbing Mt Buffalo. It is relatively easy to replace your largest ring in a 10sp shimano cassette with the 28 gear.

I used it in the Alpine a couple of years back and it came in very useful when the temp hit the mid 40's. I upgraded to an Ultegra 11-28 for the Alpine last year.

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Camilla
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Postby Camilla » 30 Aug 2010, 10:47

I know someone who'd happily take that off your hands: Ted's worried about Mt Buffalo and talking a special Alpine Classic cassette but I reckon just the 28 ought to do it.

Richard
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Postby Richard » 30 Aug 2010, 11:46

Camilla

You friend is welcome to it. Better than collecting dust under the bed. I also have an old but still reasonable 12-27 10sp cassette that he can have as well. I replaced the 27 with the 28 on that cassette for the Alpine. Doesnt sound like much of a change but when things got really hot the extra granny gear meant that I could still stay seated and spin up the hills.

Send me a PM to organise collection. I live in Ashfield and work in the city.

Terry
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Postby Terry » 01 Sep 2010, 21:09

I'm in for the 200 Should be fun...in a massochistic kind of way

Richard
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Postby Richard » 01 Sep 2010, 21:22

Free Miche 28t Sprocket

Now gone to a good home.

JonB
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Postby JonB » 02 Sep 2010, 23:46

I remember last year climbing up Mt Buffalo and the road edge littered with bodies whilst other riders hurtled down with smiles ear to ear. Great way to finish the day and what a climb and descent. 35 degrees in Bright but dropped 10 degrees at the top of Buffalo to 25.

Signed up for the 250k this year which should be interesting (gulp).

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G
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Postby G » 03 Sep 2010, 16:32

same day as Tour downunder final? Where I wanna be?

Richard
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Postby Richard » 04 Sep 2010, 14:24

jonB
Did the ACE250 last year. The 250 course is a cracker. If you are doing the early 4am start you get to the top of Mt Hotham at daybreak. Amazingly beautiful.

The couse had three really steep bits. The Meg which is early on after Harrietville but you are still fresh so its OK, the final stage of the Mt Hotham climb (CRB hill) sucked but the climb up the back way to Falls Creek from Omoe is bloody steep. Rode past a quite few who were reduced to walking their bikes.

How I wished I was 20kg lighter, in lieu of that a triple crank would do....

Terry
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Postby Terry » 04 Sep 2010, 19:23


Richard
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Postby Richard » 06 Sep 2010, 11:46

Terry
I am a really crap climber and did the AAC200 and the ACE250 with a compact crankset (50X34). I put an 11-28 on the back and this worked well. The ACE250km course has much steeper climbs than the 200k. The biggest thing in the 200 course is not necessarily the gradient but the heat. If it's a stinker of a day like a couple of years back then it's good to be able to sit back and spin.

The good guys seemed to just use a normal 53X39 and an 11-25 on the back. They also finished hours before me as well. Bastards.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 06 Sep 2010, 16:50

I'll be riding compacts with a 11-28, but I'm doing 130. Triple groupsets or cranksets & shifters etc can be had on Wiggle et al - I was looking at Ultegra for a possible touring bike. Full groupset is about $850 and you can put the pieces together without brakes for about $600. I assume 105 at around the $500 mark.

Richard
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Postby Richard » 08 Sep 2010, 10:21

According to Shimano all rear derailleurs that are pre DuraAce 7900 , Ultegra 6700 and 105 5700 series can only cope with a 27 tooth as the largest cog on the rear cassette.

Unofficially I ran a 28 tooth on the rear cassette on a Ultegra 6600 series for the Alpine a couple of years ago and it worked. I needed to adjust one of the limit screws to the absolute limit. Wasn't always the smoothest nor the quietest but it still worked.

For last years Alpine I changed the rear derailleur to a Ultegra 6700 and this is compatible with my 6600 series shifters.

Richard
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Postby Richard » 15 Nov 2010, 13:01

Great training opportunity for the Alpine Classic

'In Search of Hills' Audax ride
Sunday 12 December

http://www.audax.org.au/joomla-calendar.asp

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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 16 Nov 2010, 06:26

I'm also planning to do "In search of Hills" and the ACE 250 in Jan.
I've never really thought that much about gears but might explore getting a larger cassette.

Richard
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Postby Richard » 16 Nov 2010, 12:05

I will be doing the 130km with Simone this year. Havent been able to get in the requisite training to do the ACE250 again this time.

8 weeks to go.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 15 Dec 2010, 15:14

Adrian needs a Lift to Bright for the Alpine Classic if anyone can help him out!


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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 15 Dec 2010, 15:43

So to do the 130k or the 140k ?
I think the 140k with the climb of Mt Buffalo is the harder looking of the two as Buffalo climb is 18k but the Falls Creek climb is also fairly decent and the amount of climbing at 2364 is more if you believe MapMyRide.

Any feedback from previous riders? Thoughts please people.

130k topo



130k climb data



Here's the 140k



and the 140k climb data


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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 15 Dec 2010, 16:14

OK - The 130k it is. After reviewing the topo I think that doing the climbing earlier in the day is the right idea

Richard
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Postby Richard » 16 Dec 2010, 10:36

My pick would be the 130km to Falls Creek. Having done the two longer rides for the last couple of years I agreed to do the 130k with Simone this time round.

Advantages of the 130km
The climb up to Falls Creek is beautiful and if you are a nervous descender the run down from Falls Creek is generally on the inside (hillside) of the road compared to Mt Buffalo.

Most of the climb up Falls Creek has tree cover, which is a real benefit if the weather is anything like last year. Sections of Mt Buffalo can be REALLY EXPOSED AND HOT.

Disadvantages
The only downside is that the climb up to Falls Creek from Mt Beauty has a few false starts. You start climbing and then have to go back down again a couple of times.

The return over Tawonga Gap from Mt Beauty to Bright can be pretty hot.


Never really understood the logic behind the place naming down there:

Mt Beauty is in a valley
Falls Creek is on top of a mountain
Tawonga Gap is a ridge not a valley

We are going down for two weeks starting the 15th. I am planning to do the other climbs in the area that are not in the 130km in the week beforehand i.e. Mt Hotham, Mt Buffalo if anyone else is interested.

A bit of advice - make sure you have plenty of brake pad and rim wear left. You spend a long time descending and its not a great time to realise that the pads were due for replacement and the rims were on the thin side.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 16 Dec 2010, 16:23

Hi Richard - where are you staying? We'll be there for a week starting the 17th and staying in Bright. I don't know that I'd be keen for a trip up Buffalo but might consider it - at least half way up anyway! I'll PM you my mobile and our location details.

davidos

Postby davidos » 18 Dec 2010, 19:40


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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 20 Dec 2010, 08:26

Excellent - It's snowing at Falls Creek.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010 ... 097298.htm

Richard
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Postby Richard » 20 Dec 2010, 13:17

Even on a really hot day it can get chilly up the top. Last year it was in the mid 30's in Bright but was in single digits on top of Hotham.

If its cold to start with then it will be bloody freezing on the descents.

The poor bastards who did the Three Peaks (course is virtually the same as the ACE 250) in March ride last year had shocking weather, rain and near zero temperatures the whole day. More than 50% pulled out due to the conditions. Doug from DHBC was one of the minority who finished.

Best to pack the winter woolies just in case.

Hung
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Postby Hung » 20 Dec 2010, 14:04

http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/sp/road-t ... IORZUSS300

I use one of these

even on warm days it wicks away the sweat
and it has a special layer similar to windstopper in the frontal area when the decents are colder

Richard
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Postby Richard » 07 Jan 2011, 18:40

Dear all

I have a 7X4' box trailer with racks for 4 road bikes (can be made to accommodate 5 if need be) that you are welcome to use to get your bikes down to the Alpine. I wont be needing it as we are only taking 2 road bikes this time round.

The racks are above the trailer so you can put all your gear underneath.

Send me a PM if you are interested.

davidos

Postby davidos » 08 Jan 2011, 20:09

I'm in for the 200.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 19 Jan 2011, 07:20

There's a fine contingent of DHBC riders at Bright, all settled in. It's great weather here - cool nights and sunny days,not too hot but warming up for Sunday.

Yesterday, Mark, Amy, Jo, Camilla and I climbed Tawonga Gap, went on to Falls Creek and back over Tawonga again before heading back to Bright. The climb to Falls Creek is 30km but Mark said it was "rolling hills" - the downhill bits weren't really evident I have to say although everyone found them on the way back. A spring 3/4 up Tawonga on the home climb cooled my head down considerably.

We declined a great offer from David OS and Richard to watch the sunset up on Mount Buffalo. Nice offer, no legs.

Now we know what 3 of the 4 hills are like - bring on Sunday!

Here's the photos





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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 19 Jan 2011, 08:51

Looking forward to joining you soon.

Hung
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Postby Hung » 19 Jan 2011, 15:22

Looking good everyone

me sure your making everyone who is not there jealous

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 20 Jan 2011, 05:24

Adrian - let us know when you arrive!

We went on easy rides yesterday, except Richard and Simone who did Falls Creek. Top effort! There's 2 choices of rides here - flat rides and mountain rides and not much in between. Weather perfect but deteriorating slightly towards the weekend which is a little worrying - hot and stormy apparently.

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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 20 Jan 2011, 20:00

Hi Eleri,
Pia and I will be down Sat arvo. Pia's got a volunteers meeting at 2pm. We're in the caravan park. It would be good to catch up with the DHBC crew on Sat night as we'll be rushing back straight after.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 20 Jan 2011, 20:21


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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 21 Jan 2011, 14:33

what a great week it's been so far! Fab food, great company, nice wines, excellent house to stay in, good riding (although the hills are a bit too long and steep for me really) and nice scenery. Maybe I should have done some more actual cycling training before I arrived, rather than concentrating on the eating and drinking training. Never mind, I've downgraded to the 70k option up Buffalo and back instead of the 130k. lovin' it.

first day, combined households


cycling with style


feed the cyclists









Peter T
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Postby Peter T » 21 Jan 2011, 15:58

Well hello to all the Bright People from a steamy Sydney.

Thanks for keeping us in the loop about the adventure and all the great pics. Looks like a great time!

Of course everyone here is wickedly jealous, and some have even taken to riding RNP in the dark.

Trust ride day is good with the weather and that you climb like eagles.

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Trouty
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Postby Trouty » 21 Jan 2011, 16:06

Yeah Pete, Pity you and Michele couldn't make it. We have done some "not so hard core" cycling also. Plenty of rail trails and riding to cafes. See you back in Sydney

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 22 Jan 2011, 08:40

Mark scared himself by driving the 250km course yesterday. He's our only contender so he has to make it!

[Edit] actually 3 DHBC riders are doing the 250km - Adrian and David OS are both confirmed starters.
Last edited by Eleri on 22 Jan 2011, 12:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 22 Jan 2011, 09:51

I really like this one - Joanne descending from Tawonga - the only hill I've ridden up so far


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Postby PeterOS » 22 Jan 2011, 13:35


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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 25 Jan 2011, 07:53

Part 1 of the ride reports herewith

I counted 13 DHBC riders at the Alpine Classic (if I am allowed to count Simone) - a great effort. With all families etc, we contributed quite a deal to the local economy :)

There were 5 DHBC starters in the Alpine Classic 200km ride - Camilla, Amy, Paul, Ron and me (note - us women had the numbers) and we we were all off for an early start. It was a cool start to the ride with cloudy skies for most of the morning which was excellent. Fortunately for me, we had ridden the first 130km earlier in the week, and then Tawonga again so were well prepared for Tawonga which seemed pretty straightforward 3rd time up. A quick fruit bun and a red drink at Mt Beauty and I was ready to go. But before we left, Camilla and I were astounded by a woman riding in the shortest shorts we have ever seen – a talking point for a few bunches on the way out of Mt Beauty.

Yippee! I passed the guy on the recumbent! And a rather weird recumbent it was too, with big wheels, maybe 24” and an odd set up. He was going the 200km and I think he made it all the way. I also saw some folding bikes – not sure what distance they were doing. The ride up to Falls Creek was good, and fortunately cool. I got up in a higher gear than the other day so was pleased to keep one in reserve for most of the climb. About halfway up someone said "keep those wheels going round Dulwich Hill" and it was Ron, slow and steady up the hill and just that bit faster than me.

I saw Camilla starting her descent just before I got to the top. It was cool for me at the top, but freezing for Adrian’s friend, Pia who was volunteering and looking distinctly cold. Rice cream – yum! And glad I brought my windvest.

I took it down the hill easy, too many boy racers, short stop at Mt Beauty to get more water and the climb back over Tawonga. Oh no – the sun has emerged from behind the clouds and it’s toasty warm. My garmin says it’s mid 30s on the way up. I stopped at a spring and put my head under the water about 2/3 of the way up. Like Falls Creek, the climb was definitely easier this time I knew what to expect. And the descent was fast because I knew the road and pedaled down and had a good time.

I came into Bright and turned left for the lunch stop for the 200km group and the bloke behind me yelled out “don’t go down there, that’s for the 200 riders.” He must have taken the soft option :) Fantastic lunch – I had to eat the salad roll but they had custard pies for dessert. Yum – rice cream and custard tart all in one day. Changed my nicks to hopefully overcome a chafing issue (lucky me had Adam down there waiting with a bag of stuff) and then I was off again for the final climb.

Up til now I had pretty much stuck to the timetable I had drawn up. I planned to finish inside the cutoff. I didn’t know anything about Mt Buffalo so had no idea how long that would take. It’s a hard climb as it turns out with some annoying down hill bits part way through the climb. It was also very hot and in the direct sun. At the first water stop a few kms up, a number of riders were about to pull out, especially when they heard there was another water stop about 10km up and then the end about 7km after that (actually that was a massive under-estimate but there you go). One of them was sweating an unbelievable amount. Later up the hill, I saw someone who had dropped his bike on the side of the road but still on the tarmac, and was lying in a ditch. Everyone who passed thought he had had an accident but he claimed to be just resting. Plugged up the hill, to the next water stop and fairies ministered the back of my head with a deluge, wiped my eyes and cleaned my glasses. I decided this was the time to finally break out the gel and have some red drink and kept on going, confident I was going to make it. The top is tricky – flat bits, more hills and even more annoying down hills. I'd found a screen on my garmin that told me what elevation I was at. The bits where you go downhill, when apparently so close to the top, are bad. Seeing the elevation drop on the Garmin made it just that bit more dispiriting. Note to self - don't ever, ever look at that screen ever again! Was pretty much over the ride at this point.

Finally I got to Dingo Dell and found out they had Milo! Milo!!! Haven’t had Milo for years and was trying to read the instructions but clearly struggling and a vollie came over and made the Milo for me. Excellent! So good I had a second one and carrot cake (fortunately I avoided any hated banana cake all day). Down the hill and back to Bright and I felt so good to be finishing, I put everything into a fast trip back along the Alpine Way and into Bright. Woo hoo! no failing now! Everyone who had finished before me (that’s everyone :) ) was waiting there for me at the finish line which was really nice. Thanks guys!

I finished in 12 hours and 46 minutes. The cutoff was 13 hours and 30 mins so I made it easily. This was my first ride over the distance and certainly the most climbing I have ever done so I am really, really pleased with this ride. When I first rode with DHBC about 15 months ago, I couldn’t even make it to Waterfall.

Here’s me finishing.



You can tell I'm really happy to have finished from this one!



And for a bit of light relief, 2 photos that show the contrasting bike transport styles in our household.

Camilla puts her bike in the ute, wrapped nicely in an old towel.



Jo's Pinny on the roof (how did that even happen in the first place??) and glad wrapped to stop "bugs getting on it". Note that Stuart's Pinny is not similarly attired.

Last edited by Eleri on 25 Jan 2011, 08:26, edited 1 time in total.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 25 Jan 2011, 08:02

Forgot to say - the scenery in and around Bright is absolutely beautiful. And Falls Creek and Buffalo are significantly different which mixes it all up in a very good way.

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Trouty
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Postby Trouty » 25 Jan 2011, 09:58

Great Ride Report EMT. The elated expression on your face in the finishing photo is gold - you don't even looked tired. I guess endorphins must have kicked in by then!

The Audax week turned out to be a fantastic week for all, whether you were a casual rider out for fun, an intermediate rider looking for a challenge, or a hard core riding looking to punish yourself. The DHBC group had all of the above and we managed to fit in all levels of riding during the week, including wineries, great beer, eating out, and great home cooked meals by the several chef's we had on board. Having every one over for a cook up for me was one of the many highlights - in addition to seeing Ted's elation at having the Australia Post man arrive on the Friday before the big ride with his compact crank set from wiggle. A shame we didn't catch up with Paul and Margo but some one sighted them during the week so I know they were there. Congratulations to all that did the ride and challenged themselves, and to those that just rode the week to have fun, care for us with their culinary skills, mechanicals and photography. I highly recommend this trip for anyone thinking of doing it next year. I must say I've always known we have had some good endurance male riders at DHBC but this weekend has really brought out the strength and improvement in the DHBC woman. All girls did the 200km (except for me). Amy, Camilla & EMT...and Simone for the 130 - awesome effort.

The downfall was us hearing about Bruce Wright (not from DHBC) having a crash and being taken away by an ambulance after being found unconscious on the side of the road. But in usual Geoff Semon style - he was the first to offer help and pick him up from Wangaratta Hospital next day (60-70km away) - You're always a champ Geoff. The only funny side was that as Camilla rode into Falls Creek that day, her name was being yelled out on the PA system and she was elated as she thought she had won some thing - only to realise Bruce had recognised her from the ambulance and asked them to call her in. From reports Bruce seems to be ok.

Anyway - having shared the week with DHBC I have got to know some of them a bit better and realised what a great bunch of people we have in the club. Here are some photos (not posted by Stuart previously) of everyone..and a few things I've learned about some of our fellow members.

The House and the ute


Even the bikes had their own private lounge room


A picture of all of us in heavy cross training, having just watched the Tennis, Cricket and Cycling on SBS


The one of many cookups


Camilla and David - for once she is not trying to get on to Stuart! I also found out her nickname from Ted is "Radge". It means crazy woman in some other language, which makes sense as she is also famous for getting up Towonga and Falls Creek in full size cranks! More famous for living on red wine.


Mark Lacey and Richard talking race tactics. Mark isn't a bad cook, cleans up well and for anyone single, he seems to be a good catch!! oh and he can ride 250km in one day. Richard is probably a good cook too..but married.


The French Chefs doing Crepe Suzette:


Geoff Semon & Me. The only photo where I look tall as I am standing on a step. Geoff Semon - famous for his culinary & mechanical skills and just an all round nice guy. We only had to think that we had a mechanical issue and suddenly Geoff would appear from no where.


EMT (Alias bootlegger) rumoured to have brewed and sold her own beer to put herself through university. I always thought anyone that wore so much black looked like a criminal. Also voted girl who brought the most black dresses to Audax that she didn't wear (5 black dresses I think!!). Has also been known to "manually get a dog excited" FOR MEDICAL PURPOSES ONLY.


Ted - Famous for cross training at Audax, doing a kick arse pesto & getting up Towonga with full size cranks.
Amy - brilliant hill climber and a really kick arse descender. Also single and has learned to cook!
Stuart - Famous for being my hubby and just an all round brilliant guy. Also a brilliant cook, and a brilliant descender - Camilla hands off!
Adam - It's the quiet ones you have to watch - Partner to EMT. Sharp sense of humour, also a good cook, and has finally converted to lycra bike pants


Maid Marian - wife of Geoff. Famous for also being a great cook and our resident medical ER support...and loves to sleep.


Can't beat a good BBQ


You can't not like a girl who doesn't love a beer. David's wife's name escapes me - but I am sure some one will correct me.


The "Sprint Specialists" Ted Stuart and Me at the top of Towonga



Camilla and I at the Lavender Farm


Geoff and Marian at the Butter Factory


Camilla and the Ute again. Pity she didn't check her car tires at this stage....on the way home they disintegrated and we saw her and Ted Stranded on the side of the road, but were saved by the trusty NRMA road service.


That's it. Plenty of other photos that I haven't been able to download yet (including some photos of Adrian and Pia) , but I will send the link to those who where there.
Last edited by Trouty on 31 Jan 2011, 19:55, edited 12 times in total.

Peter T
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Postby Peter T » 25 Jan 2011, 10:24

Woohoo!! Great rides and great stories.

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Postby Hung » 25 Jan 2011, 10:47

excellent reports Girls

looks like soo much fun was to be had leading up to the big ride

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Postby MarkL » 25 Jan 2011, 12:21

Great reports girls and excellent riding!!
For most of us, this would be the most climbing that we have done in one day! and possibly the most kms.

It was a fantastic week away in the cycling mecca of Bright, with something for everyone!
There was excellent food, wineries, cafes, home cooked meals and cycling. Oh, the Sat night pasta, yummy, l was back for 2nd,3rds & ?? :D :D It worked well for me on the day!

Bruce has a broken little finger and is ok, l think he is a lucky lad.

Thanks to Geoff for replacing my broken rear derailleur cable, which broke as l was going up Tawonga Gap on Thursday.

Never under estimate cross training :wink:

Cheers

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tedrobin
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Postby tedrobin » 26 Jan 2011, 09:23

I'm in total agreement with all the positive things that have been said about the cycling, scenery, accommodations, company and cuisine around Bright. I'm fairly familiar with the NSW side of the mountains, and was shocked at how much better the Victorians have got it. Lots of fun things I didn't get around to doing, so I'll definitely be back. Plus a few less-fun things I might have to put on the agenda one of these years (Falls Creek, Mt. Hotham etc.). My thanks also to Geoff who installed my compact cranks after the emergency delivery from Wiggle (the lady from Australia Post can never have had a warmer reception, and was still laughing as she went back to her van), and then supplying a rear wheel when mine revealed a buckle during final checks on Saturday night. I'm in total awe of those who completed the 200 and 250km rides. But a week in Bright can be recommended to cyclists of any standard, since the rides through the valleys are pretty much dead flat, and you can nip up one of the lesser hills if you're feeling frisky.

I hardly took a photo, but can contribute this one from Myrtleford, with DHBC members pumping another $100 or so into the local cafe economy.



PS the area is also heaven for cow-enthusiasts.

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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 26 Jan 2011, 10:25

This ride was simply fantastic and the thing I love about Audax riding is the opportunity to go to some really amazing places. I’d never been to Bright or the Victorian Alps before and I wasn’t disappointed. My preparation for the ACE was however somewhat poor. I didn’t get any good rides in over January and I’d barely slept in the two days before the ride. On Friday night, Pia and I had pulled into Gunning en route and we were constantly woken my trucks stopping and starting throughout the night. At the Bright campgroup on Sat night, I was kept up by the noise of fellow campers and the discomfort of my camp roll. I got to sleep around midnight then woke up 3.5 hours later to prepare for the 4am start.

The start of the ride was amazing. I’d never seen such a big peloton with thousands of lights and reflective vests all rolling out of town. I gather most of the ACE250 riders choose the 4am start time. We headed out to the footsteps of Hotham at a good speed and I stayed with the front riders. The climb was steep but you didn’t really notice it when it was so dark and cool. I rode at my own pace and every second person that I meet seemed to be a medical specialist from Adelaide! Coming near the top of Hotham the mountain ridgeline split in front of us with the sun coming up illuminating half the mountain with the road ahead covered in darkness. The fog intensified near the top and it was hard to believe were already 2000m above sea level. I saw David O on the way up although I lost him when I stopped to put on my gillet. At the Dinner Plains checkpoint, I fuelled up on bananas and coffee and started the 60km descent down to the second checkpoint at Omeo. I was feeling fantastic and pushed on quickly at the second checkpoint refuelling as rode. Riding to Anglers Rest along the Omeo highway was the most awesome road. The road was level but constantly winding as it followed the contours of the river valley below for some 50km. Then suddenly you saw the mountains ahead. A sharp left and I’d turned onto the climb up Bogong High Plains Rd which had most tough gradients of 8% over the first 9km before tapering off to 5% then 4% near the top of the mountain. I was lucky to get up the hill early in the day with some cloud cover and before the sun had got too intense. I was passing riders up the mountain and still feeling really good. I rolled into Fall’s Creek at 1.30pm and thought that I was really cruising. At Fall's Creek I stopped for a coffee, three ride puddings and three mini quiches and had good chat with Pia who was volunteering at the checkpoint. There was 70kms to go and half of it was downhill. The desent to Mt Beauty was fantastic, however, as I turned up the final climb at Tawonga Gap, which was 9km of 8%, my fantastic ride came a cropper. I started to cramp up in my ankles, then around half way the climb, I started to get the most foul stomach cramps which were like experiencing gastro. I was in a lot of pain and could not stomach any food or drink. I just had to pedal slowly to reach the top. Despite only having to roll down the hill into Bright, my pain did not end after the climb. The bumps in the road on the descent felt like punches to the stomach. I rolled over the finish line at 4:30pm after twelve and a half hours riding and I could barely raise a smile. I was hunched over holding my stomach. I saw Ted who offered to help me but there was not much he could do. After around 30mins of sitting down in the river, then a few salad rolls I started to feel good again. I’m not sure exactly want happened on Tawonga. I may have hit the wall or may have eaten too much of the wrong food to cause my stomach to go into spasms, but it wasn’t pleasant way to finish. As I had eaten well throughout the day, I think it was the latter but whatever had happened I hadn't got my nutrition right.

So that was my ride. l‘m looking forward to doing more big rides throughout 2011. It was great to have dinner with all the DHBC people on Saturday night. I just wish I'we'd had more time to hang out with you all over the week. Thanks also to those who sponsored me. I recieved $900 in donations towards the Oncology Children's Foundation and was given an OCF jersey for my efforts.

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Postby bnej » 30 Jan 2011, 13:06

Hi all, I was there too! I rode the 130km, having done the 200 and 140 in previous years and knowing better this time. :) The 130 is a lot easier than the 140 as you aren't climbing Buffalo in the midday sun.

I don't have much to add, I had a good ride and it's always a fantastic event, it's as tough as anything and any cyclist owes it to themselves to go at least once - and if you go once, you'll probably be back.

I also have and a of the event up.

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Postby bnej » 30 Jan 2011, 13:13


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tedrobin
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Postby tedrobin » 30 Jan 2011, 13:18

A final thought on why the week in Bright was so excellent. Normally when you go on holidays, you're counting down to when you have to go home. But when the climax of the week comes at the very end, with a big ride, it completely obscures thoughts of going home and back to work etc.

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Postby Eleri » 30 Jan 2011, 15:30


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tedrobin
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Postby tedrobin » 30 Jan 2011, 15:39

Just noticed your new (?) avatar EMT. You must be pining for the Evandale hedges.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 30 Jan 2011, 17:18


Richard
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Postby Richard » 31 Jan 2011, 09:17

Simone and I just got back from Bright on Saturday.

We rode the 130km at a steady pace and on the way back to Bright Simone indicated that she would consider doing the 200 next time.

This time we had two weeks down there. We did a few more rides after the event including Mt Hotham on Australia Day. Damn that was hot.

I couldn't recommend the area, the Classic, the Audax organisation and combined DHBC thai cooking highly enough.

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tedrobin
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Postby tedrobin » 09 Feb 2011, 12:47

Hey Richard, what were those fantastic helmet-mounted lights you had down in Bright? Two globes, and you could turn one around to face backwards (with a red cap) if you wanted.

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Postby Richard » 09 Feb 2011, 19:26

Ted

They are AYUP's. Made in sunny/windy/rainy ol Queensland. www.ayup-lights.com

They come in different beam widths and I use a 'Narrow' on the pair on the helmet and an 'Intermediate' on the pair on the handlebar.

They also come in two power settings 'Normal' and 'Blind a Wombat from 10km away'

They are not cheap when compared to CELL's offerings but I have used mine for three winters worth of commuting without a problem.

I reckon they are worth the bit extra.

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tedrobin
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Postby tedrobin » 10 Feb 2011, 09:39

Great, thanks. One can never have enough lights when commuting, and you;ve road-tested these. They seemed fairly cheap but then I realised that you have to buy batteries, leads, pouches, caps, chargers, mounts etc. separately. Still, it looks like a worthwhile investment in not ending up on the ground.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 18 Feb 2011, 09:19

nice post on doing the 200k Alpine Classic in 20011. Also posts on the 130 & 140k rides.


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