Fitz's challenge rides in October

Road cycling & upcoming rides
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Philip
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Postby Philip » 10 Jul 2012, 22:21

Anyone thinking of doing one of these rides, or has anyone done one before.
I'm thinking of having a crack at the 205km one, 3300m of climbing, sounds like
fun.

http://www.fitzs.com.au/

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Adrian E
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Postby Adrian E » 11 Jul 2012, 08:54

Hi Phillip,

I've done both the 205km and the 250km. They're both fantastic rides. IMHO it's a lot harder than the Alpine Classic as you don't get the same rythym and the climbs are more punchy. It's definately worth doing... my advice would be to train, train, train and always ride at your own pace. Make sure you're comfortable with that distance and have your bike setup appropriately with all the gears (gear range) and equipement (saddlebag set-up) you'll need. The event is well catered with many food and water stops, so you won't have to carry too much spare food. 4-5 gels or energy bars and some electrolyte power should cover it.

I'm not sure if I'm going to go down again this year. I'll think about it a bit closer to the event.

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Postby andrewm » 11 Jul 2012, 14:03

I'm seriously thinking of the 250. I even appear to be training.

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Nozzle
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Postby Nozzle » 11 Jul 2012, 17:10

I'm keen for the 205km but October is shaping up to be a busy month. I'm off doing the Ride to Conquer Cancer earlier that month, then there is the Gong Ride which I might give a miss this year.

Gotta lose some pies if I'm to get up those hills!!!

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 11 Jul 2012, 18:44

You guys a freaks !!!! The 105km was hard enough last year but peer pressure from my mates has pushed me to enter the 165km this year.

I do recommend it though. As Adrian said, it is well organised and you can also fundraise for the Kid's Cancer Project if you so choose.

I've only ever ridden 105km before so any training tips to help me get to the end would be appreciated.

Cheers
Spiros

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 11 Jul 2012, 20:03

Excellent, the more wheels I can cling to the better.
Having said that though, I may still chicken out. 3300m is an awfully big number.
They say it's the same as the sea to the top of Mt Kosciuszko and then half that again.
I must be sick. How many laps of Akuna bay do I have
to do to climb 3300m.... ahhh my head hurts almost as much as my legs will.

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Postby patn » 11 Jul 2012, 20:21

its 17 and a bit by my count!!

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 11 Jul 2012, 20:53

I'm going to do something, either the 200 or maybe the 250 if I'm feeling game.

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Postby Anthony K » 12 Jul 2012, 21:31

I am very tempted.

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 31 Jul 2012, 20:51

Signed up today for the 205km ride. Only to realize that the Gong is on the following Sunday. So perhaps the gong will only be a one way ride this year. See how I shape up I guess.

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Postby andrewm » 01 Aug 2012, 12:04

I'm in for the extreme. :shock:

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 01 Aug 2012, 13:46


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Postby Anthony K » 04 Aug 2012, 18:00

I just entered for the 205 km. Training, training, training required if I am going to do that much climbing in a day.

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 30 Aug 2012, 18:16

I have entered the 165km and will also be fundraising for the Kid's Cancer Project. I am running a raffle with prizes including an Apple iPod Nano, 2 cases of Little Creatues finest Pale Ale, Little Creatures Merchandise (baseball cap and bottle opener) and a Kid's Cancer Project Teddy Bear. Every $5 donated gets you a ticket into the draw (or 5 tickets for $20).

Anyone interested can donate at http://www.everydayhero.com.au/spiros_tzelis_165

Cheers and see you at the start line

Spiros

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Nozzle
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Postby Nozzle » 03 Sep 2012, 14:32

I'm still fence sitting on this ride. Had a look at the website and noted this amusing blog. Not sure if it makes me want to do this more or less....

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 03 Sep 2012, 22:33

That was a great read. I was laughing along until I realised that would be me in less than a couple of months :shock: The only consolation is that doing the 165km I turn around after Fitz's hill.

What are the hills like in the RNP ? Do any of them hit anywhere near 14 percent gradients ?

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Postby Philip » 04 Sep 2012, 06:42

Great read agreed.

I've been extending the Sunday Waterfall rides to include some RNP hills. There are some nasty little bumps. Both sides of Audley Weir are pretty steep. Last Sunday I turned right after the Waterfall decent and made it to Coaldale before turning back. The climb back to the park after Stanwell Park is also a pretty decent climb.

While I suspect we're in for a world of pain come the day, I figure if I get in as many hills in before hand I might live to tell the tale.

Here is the profile of this Sundays Waterfall and beyond ride. I think Strava has exaggerated some of the climbs.
http://app.strava.com/rides/20535885#

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 04 Sep 2012, 08:18

Thanks Philip. That route looks like perfect training for the 165.

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Postby Anthony K » 04 Sep 2012, 11:09

Philip, Spiros,

I am interested in adding sonme RNP into waterfall rides to build some hill climbing in before Oct 28.

Either in at at Audley turnoff and out at waterfall or the return direction, entering at waterfall.

I suspect I would be going quite a bit slower than you Phillip but would be interested in joining forces if either of you are interested.

Anthony

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 04 Sep 2012, 12:52

Hi Anthony and Spiros,
I'm keen to join forces. I've done the in at waterfall and out at Audley a few times now and am keen to do the reverse. Though if I get a longer leave pass from the family, I'm also keen to enter at Audley, get all the way to the ocean and then return and back out at Audley. We can always do part of it together and split up when time or effort dictates. I usually ride with the middies or lately I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to keep up with the fasties. I'm happy to ride with a slower group though if it suits you guys better. At the moment it's all about getting some vertical and horizontal metres into my legs. I'm also thinking of joining up with the Audax group to do a few long rides before the day of reckoning.

Cheers,
Philip

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 04 Sep 2012, 13:51

Yeah - do some Audax rides. That's what I do

And probably should do more of :-)

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 04 Sep 2012, 15:29

Hi Philip and Anthony,

I would be happy to join you guys, although I generally ride with the 25's and would be way too slow for you.

I might see how I go on a 28's ride first to see if i can keep up until the Audley turn off. Will have to be in a couple of weeks though as I am away this weekend.

Cheers
Spiros

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Postby Anthony K » 04 Sep 2012, 19:45

Phillip,
I usually get dropped by middies around the Audley turnoff so in that way would be excellent for me. Let's chat on the way to Sutherland.

Spiros,
I'm happy to ride with 28 's the following Sunday. Also happy to slide off the back with you if needed. Let's talk closer to the date.

Anthony

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Nozzle
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Postby Nozzle » 05 Sep 2012, 12:54

Why dont we all just bite the bullet and do RNP. I'm keen to get away @ 6am if that helps all? Either way i'll be there this Sunday trying my chances with Fasties again but will be promptly dropped at the Taren Point bridge again unless I opt to suck some wheels this time.....

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 08 Oct 2012, 18:10

BUMP

OK - I'm definitely in for Fitz's. Was doing the 165 but my riding buddy just pulled out so I may upgrade.

Anyone want a lift or anything? I'm going down Saturday lunchtime and coming back Monday morning. Not sure where I'm staying yet.

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 08 Oct 2012, 21:15

Bnej and I are going down same time, returning same time-ish. I did the 205 last year, probably will do the 165km with a ride to the start and back to top up the kms! I anticipate Ben will refuse this and drive to the start :). Staying at Univ House.

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Postby Eleri » 10 Oct 2012, 16:20

Great - thanks for that James. Maybe we can catch up for dinner on the Sat or Sun night? University House - now that might be a good idea.

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Postby andrewm » 10 Oct 2012, 17:35

I have accommodation (belconnen way motel), but no transport yet. I would love a lift Eleri. Dinner sat or sun sounds good as well.

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Postby Eleri » 11 Oct 2012, 13:27

Sorry Andrew - someone got in before you for a lift. I had an offer in two different places. But if that falls over, I'll let you know.

I reckon we should get a dinner organised however.

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Postby Anthony K » 11 Oct 2012, 17:58

Andrew,
I can offer you a lift. I am staying with an old friend in Belconnen.
I am planning to drive down Sat afternoon and back Monday morning.

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Postby andrewm » 11 Oct 2012, 19:40


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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 23 Oct 2012, 06:03

I notice with some interest and trepidation that the current long-term forecast for Sunday in Canberra is a refreshing -1°C min, 17 max.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 23 Oct 2012, 06:34

Hmm, chilly! At least it's not hot which could be worse.

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Postby Eleri » 24 Oct 2012, 15:11

I put a dinner arrangement in a separate thread here

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Postby Nozzle » 27 Oct 2012, 21:37

Good luck to everyone doing the Fitz's tomorrow. Hope you all get some decent weather. Look forward to hearing about it next week.

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Postby andrewm » 28 Oct 2012, 04:11


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Postby Anthony K » 28 Oct 2012, 20:19

Fitzes Epic, a very big day in the saddle for this little black duck. 10.5 hours in the saddle, 12.5 elapsed. My Garmin says 5000 calories. That's 50 GU gels.
I think it will take a few days for the complete feeling of achievement to settle in. Right now I just feel shattered.
9 o'clock so it's sleepy time now
PS Thanks Eleri for the neurofen. It made the difference between completing the 200 and cutting it short. :)
PPS. Sorry Eleri we didn't make it to dinner. :(

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 28 Oct 2012, 21:16

Well done Anthony and all the other DHBC riders. I gave a couple of shout outs whenever I saw the red jerseys on the road.

I managed to complete the 165km in about 7hr 40mins rolling time, 9hr total time.

I'm pretty happy to make it to the finish. It was my longest ever ride by 60 km which also maes it my first ever imperial century ride.

Looking forward to a good night's sleep.

Cheers
Spiros

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 28 Oct 2012, 21:20

Well that was a big ride and great to see the DHBC people out and about at all stages of the course. It had a few out-and-backs in it so we saw each other descending / ascending at various points. I usually saw Philip while he was descending and I was slogging away up the hill cos he was faster than me.

Started off very cold at about 4 degrees at 6am. Me, Philip, Andrew M, Anthony K and Peter all ready for the 200. I started as I hoped to finish, adequately but not overly dressed. I soon regretted short gloves - at least for the first hour. Lucky I have Di2 or I wouldn't have been able to change gears at all!

Before I knew it, we were climbing Fitz's Hill and it was a slog but not too bad. I was worried I should have ridden the bike with compacts but it was OK. At the top the vollie told me I was only the 2nd woman to come through the stop. I said "Yay Silver" and she said sternly "It's not a competition". Oops. On the way up Fitz's my bib straps decided to part company with the bottoms (it's got a clip thingy). The consequence of this is that I nearly got strangled by the straps as they shot up and choked me. Disaster averted but it meant i had to stop which was annoying. You pay stupid amounts for this stuff and then it does stupid stuff like that.

Next big hill was Honeysuckle Creek which was about 9km of unrelenting uphill with some quite steep bits. But a nice snack at the top and a speedy descent. Still averaging about 22kph ride time at this point. Lunch at Tharwa and caught up with James and Ben for a little while. GOt in some obligatory social media, failed to pay attention to where I had to go next. So, trusting my own judgement I took off in what I believed to be the correct direction - aided and abetted by a sign. After some few kms I began to grow suspicious that there were no others riding in that direction so turned about and, at that point, found Anthony so we road back to Tharwa where I passed over the drugs and took off in the right direction this time.

Found a little woman who had been dropped by her bunch. They had kindly let her sit on the front til she blew up and then spat her out the back. So I told her to jump on my wheel and gave her a tow back to the bunch. Not often I'm any use in those situations. :-)

Each hill seemed to be worse (or less enjoyable) than the one before and the one up to Corin Dam wasn't much fun I didn't think. But coming down was good and then it was only 30kms or so to the finish. But the climbs coming out of Cotter Dam and then Uriarra causeway were tedious and the last 10kms were torture.

Anyway - great ride! I was really happy with my time of 10hrs 45 mins elapsed - especially as I did 6-7 kms I didn't need to on top of the 205km ride.


Strangest thing - some of us had dinner in an Indian restaurant. At the next table was a big group who we thought were cyclists. Overheard from one "He rides with Dulwich Hill Bicycle Club. I think he's a bit of a name there, quite well known." WHO WERE THEY TALKING ABOUT? We never found out.

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Postby GregPankhurst » 28 Oct 2012, 21:59

Well done guys. Epic ride

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Postby JoTheBuilder » 29 Oct 2012, 08:04

Oh you should have asked Eleri! One of those ultimate 'Dulwich Hill Spotted' moments... Bummer about your nicks... I wondered what would happen if those clasps ever came undone at an inopportune moment.

Congratulations on completing the ride everyone, and on your fundraising efforts Spiros.

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Postby Richard » 29 Oct 2012, 09:21

Well done Eleri and all.

From what I have heard Fitz's usually is really hot. Sounds freezing.

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Postby Philip » 29 Oct 2012, 09:32

It was BIG.
Hindsight is not only 20/20 but it is also very 'rose coloured'. One day on and already I am looking back fondly. I swear I have some rapidly receding memories of thinking, "i'm never going to get on this @$%#$@$ bike again", and "why did I not know about this ^@%#%@ hill and this ^&@$^@# hill and this *&&$%&^ hill". It was a festival of hills. One thing I have learned, doing a few local hill repeats on a suburban hill of 400m does not prepare you for 9km of up. Glad I did at least some training or yesterday may well have killed me. The art of looking good for the "Dulwich Hill Spotted" moments is to stay far enough ahead so as to only be spotted on the downhill sections. No one saw the sick dog expression I maintained the whole way up the Honeysuckle or Corin hills.

We all started out on a very brisk morning, not knowing whether to take that extra layer or not. I will now reveal my cunning trick to overcome the extra clothing issue. I packed an addressed Australia Post bag. I had already google street viewed Thrawa to check there was a post box. So when I got there I stripped off the extra layers and posted them back to Sydney.

The ride seemed very well supported but I opted for the no food stops strategy. I didn't eat breakfast, but started drinking liquid fuel as soon as I started riding. I can load 4 hours in one bottle and carry extra powder to mix up for the second 4 hours. Works a treat. Top that off with an occasional non sugary gel and I stay fuelled for the whole day. Hammer Perpetuem is my friend. I also find if I stop for too long I start to seize up. As most of the rest stops were at the tops of massive climbs I would stop long enough to fill bottles, apply sun screen and the like and then have a rest on the long descents.

Whether it was the adrenalin or the fuel or both I don't know but I still had some strength left for the final dash home. The last 20km's were a blast. After going solo for most of the day, the ride was very spread out with hardly any workable groups, I finally found some good wheels. The last 50km or so had a lot of riders from the shorter routes, so a lot more fast fresh legs to tag along with.

Can't say I'll be rushing back to do it again next year. Though you never know, the rose coloured hindsight may have totally coloured my memories by then... till then I look forward to a gentle dawdle or two up to Waterfall.

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Postby Dougie » 29 Oct 2012, 10:11


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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 29 Oct 2012, 10:19

How did everyone go with the stench from the rotting 'roo carcasses on the side of the road ? They seemed to coincide with hills when you were breathing hard and the smell almost turned my stomach on more than one occasion.

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Postby Philip » 29 Oct 2012, 11:33


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Postby andrewm » 29 Oct 2012, 13:20

Well that was hard.

I had felt confident leading up to this. But I had a head cold, and a day of sick on Thursday. I suspect due to training a wee bit too hard. Before leaving the Motel in the morning I swallowed a Sudafed, an anti histamine, some garlic and horseradish and sprayed some stuff up my nose. I knew that would keep the passages clear till the ride started. After that – the wind of my passage would keep them clear.

Found myself in a nice bunch at the start - going quite a bit faster than I knew I could sustain all day - but decided to go with it. I suspected these would be the only wheels I could suck all day. I was pretty right. Had a nice tow out to Fitz’s Hill – my average was 28. I knew that would come down. On my way up to Rendezvous Creek I saw the leaders descending – and they were flying. I also noticed rather a lot of extreme riders coming down on my way up. My ego was wondering where I was placed in the scheme of things.

I saw Eleri and Phillip descending from Rendezvous Creek. Last time I would see them going up. The side trip out to the old Orroral tracking station was pleasant. Looking back – I think this was the last time I was passed by an extreme rider – I had found my place in the scheme of things – the back third. I was feeling good – and confident. Then Apollo Rd/Honeysuckle Creek happened. I was not prepared mentally or physically for this. A 9 km low cadence grind – with 18% ramps. I was overheating and getting light headed. My heart rate was high – but my power was low. I was making hard work of this. I (very slowly) caught Anthony on the way up and had a chat – before (very slowly) pulling ahead. I figured I was going to miss dinner. I was also starting to doubt my ability to finish this ride.

At the top of Honeysuckle Creek there was a fellow laying on his back in the sun. I had a jersey on with the very witty phrase ‘veni vedi vomiti’. This resulted in someone volunteering that his mate, the fellow lying in the sun at the top of Honeysuckle Creek, was riding with a lurgi – and had already vomited twice and was lying in the sun because he had the chills! I followed a few wheels to Tharwa for lunch – and got a glimpse of a DHBC rider going out the wrong way. I now know that was Eleri. The climb up to Corrin forest was not so bad. I think I had finally recovered from Honeysuckle. I felt confident I would finish – about 6:30 I estimated. From there it was a pretty uneventful and quite pleasant solo ride to the finish. No wheels for me. Rolled in at about 6:40 for a very long and hard day in the saddle. Average speed included stops 20.3 km/h.

If I ever do it again I’ll take a post pack, spend less time stopped at the checkpoints (Adrian told me that eats time) – and have easier gearing. Even the bumps in Canberra are steep!

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Postby Anthony K » 29 Oct 2012, 15:00

Philip's post bag is sheer genius. I started with not enough clothing and spent most of the day wearing too much and carrying a heap more. Also I carried toooo much food, so my jersey pockets felt like a partner in a barn dance.

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Postby Anthony K » 29 Oct 2012, 15:19

Honeysuckle creek, no wonder it hurt. The graph on strava shows numerous points on the climb where the gradient is over 20% and a few over 25%. Think I need to swap the front sprocket with the back one.

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Postby Tod511 » 29 Oct 2012, 15:35


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Postby mr mojo » 29 Oct 2012, 15:55


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Postby James Rogers » 30 Oct 2012, 16:06

I was reminded this year (more than once), that the first thing I said to Ben when came across him on Fitz's last year was, "Well, Honeysuckle Creek can go and get @#$%@#!". So I have great sympathy for those who braved it this year.

I rode the 165km with Bnej, hoping that after months of utterly boring achilles rehab, the damned thing wasn't going to completely snap on the way up Fitz's Hill. Happily, it didn't. Then again, I had wanted to do the 250... and happily, I didn't.

I did manage to coerce Ben into riding from the hotel to the start as a nice warm up (which was, as Eleri pointed out, a rather crisp morning). Luckily we had done a recce the day before, because the whole area around Stromlo has completely changed. A housing estate which was just a couple of stakes in the ground last year has popped up, and the whole of Canberra seems to have a new arrangement circuitous roads and confused tourists (like us). On the other hand there are more bikelanes than you can shake a stick at, so we had an easy ride in.

The start was a rather genteel 7:30am (we got off lightly compared to the 205/250 riders). Normal dodgy riding on the way out of Stromlo, but mainly from me. First climb was Pierce's Creek, which I was quite looking forward to. It's short, not too nasty, and you can accelerate the closer you get to the top. The added bonus is that it also strings out all the starters and you aren't bumping elbows or riding four-abreast by the time you get over the top. It wasn't long until we jumped onto the back of a group who rode even more dodgily than I do. A mysterious super-fast flat bar man spent a lot of time on the front.

We almost blew through Tharwa, avoiding the generously scattered roadkill, but stopped to fill bidons and nibble the first of a considerable amount of cake. I also slugged back a 2-year expired gel, which tasted much like the roadkill was beginning to smell. Nevermind, it seemed to work. Got onto the back of another group on the way out of Tharwa, nice 'n' smooth, good riders. The best thing was that we were up the back, and by my calculations we would end up with a free ride up to the base of Fitz's Hill. Happy days.

Only it didn't happen that way.

About 5kms from Fitz's there were a series of short turns on the front and Ben and I ended up with our faces into the wind. This wasn't the plan! But karma dictated a turn on the front. Despite some small respite thanks to some riders we caught up to, we hit the bottom of Fitz's Hill a little depleted. I must admit, it looked steeper than last year. I bid adieu to Ben at the bottom and we both tackled the climb our own ways. I prefer a cone of silence. I hate hearing anyone around me, suffering. I hate hearing myself suffering. I like to pace my gears, slowing clicking down through them, wringing each one of its torque with my puny legs. I don't like to look at anyone going up to a hill like that. Especially walkers. They have some power to sap energy through your eyeballs. To be avoided at all costs. Don't make eye contact. I passed a guy about 1/4 from the top. I barely made out him saying something. "Suffer...", he croaked. Zombies with bikes; that's what that hill creates. How fuzzy my memory is of the year before; the top is just around the corner – no, it is not – just more zombie time, and so it goes.

Reaching the top produces the most wonderful shower of endorphins. And after a quick refuel of brains and cake at the water stop, we were on our way. Without Honeysuckle creek to contend with, that's all I was there for. Fitz's Hill done.

We caught up with Eleri on the return to Tharwa, and she looked like she'd barely risen a sweat. Not a hint of confusion, either. I saw a man who looked and laughed like Tony Abbott there too, but dismissed the idea – clearly idiotic. Got showered by mysterious spores on Tanner's flat (which caused the equally mysterious super-fast flat bar man to choke), climbed Brindabella road passing two tandems, somehow ended up trying to chase down super-fast flat bar man on the wind-blown bit of Uriarra road (but didn't catch him), caught super-fast flat bar man on the three sisters. Belted home with a surprising burst of energy (2 year-expired gels work in odd ways). Had a great time. Again.

And it was "the" Tony Abbott. He did the 100. (Slowly).
Last edited by James Rogers on 30 Oct 2012, 17:41, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby bnej » 30 Oct 2012, 17:39

Well, despite saying that I was cured of any desire to do a 200 in the near future, I'm starting to think I could do the Alpine Classic 200 again, with a bit more training.

I lost about 6 kg between June and Fitz's thinking that would make it easier - it didn't make it easier, but I was a bit faster which was nearly as good.

I wasn't the slowest person on Fitz's hill this year. I got up there a good 3 minutes faster than last time, and I knew what to expect. I didn't think about stopping this time. When I reached the top I felt like I'd been punched in the lungs.

Three sisters and the interminable last 10 km of rolling hills on Uriarra road didn't seem quite so depressing this year. Got to the finish with a sprint still in my legs.

Glad I went. Starting to delude myself into thinking it was easy already.

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Postby Philip » 05 Nov 2012, 21:07

The results for the Fitz rides are up, I scraped into the top 1/3, very pleased about that.

https://sitedesq.imgstg.com/custompage/ ... OrgID=4063

Anthony K
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Joined: 30 May 2011, 23:17

Postby Anthony K » 05 Nov 2012, 21:24

Woo hoo. 7 finishers behind me. I wasn't last !!!

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Eleri
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Joined: 31 Dec 2009, 08:43
Location: Erskineville

Postby Eleri » 06 Nov 2012, 06:02

And I was in the middle of the pack but 3rd woman (having eliminated one suspected woman who turns out to be a large, hairy male) And given they were only half an hour ahead of me or something so if I hadn't spent so long getting lost, on social media blah blah blah.

Not that it was a race or anything :-)

Top work everyone. Lots of people appear not to have finished and we all finished the course we started, didn't come last, rode longer and faster than Tony Abbott and scrubbed up pretty well after. Yay DHBC randonneurs

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mr mojo
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Postby mr mojo » 06 Nov 2012, 07:10


Anthony K
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Joined: 30 May 2011, 23:17

Postby Anthony K » 06 Nov 2012, 21:38

Thanks Spiros, I was really glad you came up and said hello when I was feeling beat. 388, a very lucky number. Well done!

Eleri, third woman. A great result, not that it was a race.


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