Fitz - Sunday October 27 2013

Road cycling & upcoming rides
andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 22 Jul 2013, 14:10

So - who's in this year?

Registrations have opened
https://sitedesq.imgstg.com/customdata/ ... OrgID=4063

I'm in for the extreme again. Hopefully I will not have a head cold this year and will do better than 2nd last finisher.

Last year was a great day out.

Honeysuckle cant be that bad - its only 5.9% average ;)
http://app.strava.com/segments/3526961

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 22 Jul 2013, 15:05

5.9% forever!!

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 22 Jul 2013, 15:45

Registered for the Extreme last night (21/07)
Training commences Tuesday morning.
Too stupid to be worried.
Have a great ride,
Peter

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jonboy
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Postby jonboy » 22 Jul 2013, 15:47

Nut jobs, the lot of you...

Is there an extreme downhill event I can enter?

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 22 Jul 2013, 16:20


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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 22 Jul 2013, 22:04

I'll probably do the epic... Mulling the extreme, though.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 22 Jul 2013, 22:15


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jonboy
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Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 22 Jul 2013, 22:54

I think I am in for the Extreme
I will have two goals:
1) to finish
2) to get to dinner afterwards

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 23 Jul 2013, 09:00

Just realised...
Legendary Stoner Rock band Sleep are playing at Manning Bar on the evening of Sunday October 27.
This is a dilemma
Peter

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 23 Jul 2013, 10:38


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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 23 Jul 2013, 11:36


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anna_g
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Postby anna_g » 23 Jul 2013, 13:06

we are in..haven't decided on the distance yet.. Robert & anna

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 23 Jul 2013, 13:10

I'm most likely in for the Epic again. That way i have a time to beat... and honestly, Epic is pain enough for me.

btw, If I get to the post box and it's stuffed full I'll be really pissed.

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 23 Jul 2013, 19:32

Yes I was thinking about the risk of post box overload

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 23 Jul 2013, 19:34

I may sabotage the post box because it was such a clever idea and I didn't think of it :-)

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 17 Aug 2013, 18:37

against all my better judgement i'm all signed up for the 255.

onward and upward... repeat... repeat... repeat...................

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Postby Anthony K » 18 Aug 2013, 05:39

Ditto, 255, ... Judgement.....upward.....

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Phil D
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Postby Phil D » 21 Oct 2013, 08:36

I'm registered for the classic 165km so if you're not doing one of the 'E' rides, look forward to seeing you at 7am :D

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 21 Oct 2013, 12:29

The new / courses are up. The 205km has a shorter Corin climb, and covers Mt McDonald both ways (start and finish); the 250km goes to the end of the tar on Brindabella Rd, on top of the usual diversions and instead of the Corin Dam turnaround.

Looking at the predicted temperature range, I reckon it will be a race to the Tharwa postbox.

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 21 Oct 2013, 13:17

Damn me and my big mouth!

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 21 Oct 2013, 13:58

Yes Philip, everyone's going with the genius suggestion :-).
Is it a small post box?
Perhaps we should notify the post office so the postie can bring help to lift a huge sack of arm warmers, gillets & roubaix tights on Monday morning.
2 degrees forecast.

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 21 Oct 2013, 14:57

Yes it's a small box. :(

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 24 Oct 2013, 21:51

OK
Who is staying around on Sunday night and planning to be awake enough to have dinner? (I'm looking at you 250 riders)

Eleri

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 25 Oct 2013, 07:11

1. Andrew Mattes

;)

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 25 Oct 2013, 07:59

1. Andrew Mattes
2. Anthony Kenway

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 25 Oct 2013, 08:02

1. Eleri
2. Andrew Mattes ;-)
3. Anthony Kenway
4. James Rogers

And if anyone wants a lift I'm driving down Saturday lunchtimish and returning early Monday morning with the intention of being at work in Ashfield before 10am.

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 25 Oct 2013, 09:04

I was slow last year. I expect to be faster this year.

I am going to suggest a restaurant

the Hungry Budda in Curtin
http://www.thehungrybuddha.com.au/

Nepalese - so goat curry for us meat eaters (shake hands with goat?). Lots of vego options for Eleri.

On the whole - good reviews on urban spoom
http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/344/1624522 ... dha-Curtin

trip advisor
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Restauran ... errit.html

and eatability
http://www.eatability.com.au/au/canberra/hungry-buddha/

and Anthony and I can walk to our motel ;)

I'll toss it out there as one to jump over if people have other and better ideas. We can ask James where not to eat....

FWIW I had a quite acceptable Chinese meal in Manuka 2 months ago
http://www.ginsengrestaurant.com.au/

Probably less vego options tho - the Chinese do tend to add pork and/or prawns to everything - and I love it!

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anna_g
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Postby anna_g » 25 Oct 2013, 23:28

We MAY come, so i'll just put the name down first.
1. Eleri
2. Andrew Mattes ;-)
3. Anthony Kenway
4. James Rogers
5. Anna
6. Robert

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 26 Oct 2013, 09:12

sounds like a plan. Shall we say 7pm?

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 26 Oct 2013, 11:42

Have submitted booking request via form on website. Will confirm (or otherwise) when I hear back.

I did ring, but the answerphone told me to use the website for booking.

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 26 Oct 2013, 12:49

For numbers, please add Ben L and a ring-in from my work, Clinton, who is possibly a CGI work-in-progress.

(I'm having phone issues amending the list).

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jonboy
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Postby jonboy » 28 Oct 2013, 12:31

Ride report please.

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 28 Oct 2013, 12:49

I'm knackered!
More to come,
Peter Bownes :-)

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 28 Oct 2013, 14:08

Honeysuckle cruelled me again. I'm shagged. More to come.

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 28 Oct 2013, 16:54

Jon,

I think Peter and Andrew's ride reports above capture it pretty succinctly.

But to fill in a few of the gaps:

I went into this year's Fitz thinking that I am significantly fitter than last year and should do it quicker, easier or both. The result, almost as hard and no quicker. I think next year I will be doing 160 km.

It was cold at the start, 4 degrees on the Garmin and most of the first 10 km downhill so by the time we crossed the Murrumbidgee I was frozen stiff. I had a moment of panic as the corners tightened coming down to the river. The brakes don't work! Am I going to join that upside down car with the police tape on it? Thankfully, the brakes were fine, it was the fingers that didn't work but a bit adrenaline fixed that.

My game plan was to pace myself carefully early, so the next 50 km to Tharwa should have been a doddle but the cold in my muscles refused to go away and it just seemed like hard work. Legs, warm up and work properly please!

At Tharwa I met Robert and Anna, sick with the flu and suffering after 60km in the fridge. The snot was flowing but Anna was determined to continue so onwards and upwards we went, 15km of rolling gradual climb and then the mighty Fitze's hill. A bit like 3 x Artillery Hills but with watermelon and muffins at the top.

The back side of Fitze's is a cracking descent then more of the rolling climb that seems to make up all the bits of the ride that aren't big climb or big descent. Down a bit, up a ramp, down a bit, up a steeper ramp, down a bit, up... past the guy walking his Zipps up the steepest of the ramps. Whoosh, was that James? Another fun descent to the turn-around point at Rendezvous Creek. More watermelon and muffins and the occasional person who comes in too hot and can't get the Zipps to stop, overshooting the checkpoint.

At Rendezvous I get a mild verballing from a 6 times Tour de France rider ( and 4 Giro and 4 Vuelta ). "That's the old man's hip flexor stretch" he preaches. "This is the correct way to do it". I guess with a CV like that he does speak with some authority.

Hi Andrew, Hi Philip, Hi Peter, Hi Ben. The “Extreme” guys wiz through while I guzzle muffins and watermelon and some of Anna's superb home-made florentine. A short(ish) climb and then we thunder back down the rolling descent, the steep ramps now a source of fun. Spotted Phil and Greg, spotted Eleri. This is great fun. Climbing the back of Fitz’s we are passed by a wheezing guy on a full suspension e-bike. I can't believe his battery will last 160km with so many hills. Surely this guy is headed for the Sag wagon.

The run down Fitz’s hill is a cracker. My ailing Garmin says 230kph but I think 70 is more realistic. What this really means is riding conservatively and braking quite a lot to keep it down to 70.

And then the big one looms, Honeysuckle creek. The course sheet says 9km at 6% but what it really means is down a ways, up a lot, sometimes over 20%, along a bit, and then a steep bit to finish. At top, no one is capable of eating watermelon and muffins, they just stand around looking stunned or ill. At least this year there does not seem to be any one vomiting. Hi Andrew, Hi Keith, off they wiz again.

The descent from Honeysuckle is a cracker. Fast, steep ramps, Aaargh-cattle grid, Spotted Philip, Spotted Peter, sweeping turns and again my Garmin is going crazy, 120kph, zero, auto pause, auto resume, beep beep STFU.

I get to the bottom of Honeysuckle thinking I am full of beans and ready to power it home. By the time we get to Tharwa (10 km later) it is obvious that the beans are almost gone. Time for more food, fantastic rolls made lovingly by the wonderful ladies of Tharwa followed by multiple tubs of yoghurt. Just one little climb and then it's all flat from there says Robert. Perhaps not completely flat I think.

Corin Forest climb has been cut in half by a landslip and no one seems sad that a 9km climb has been turned into a 5km climb. Compared to Honeysuckle it is a doddle but that doesn't make it easy. At the top my spirits sink momentarily, they are out of watermelon :( But then Ann pulls out some more home-made Florentine and life is good again.

The final 40km to the finish is just a matter of digging deep and finishing it off. Roll down, climb up, down to granny gear, roll down, climb up ... A long false flat down from Uriarra village to the Murrumbidgee is the only bit where you can just pedal along without constantly changing gears. Then climbing back up the hill that froze us to the core this morning and back to a cheering crowd of one at the finish ( thanks Andrew ).

Thanks Robert for waiting for me at the top of every climb. Massive kudos to Anna for keeping on despite the flu. And massive Kudos to all the DHBC folk who took on the Epic/Extreme/Challenge. Winners all.

Did anyone take any photos?

Anthony

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 28 Oct 2013, 17:38


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Dougie
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Postby Dougie » 28 Oct 2013, 19:38

Total respect. I am thinking of giving it a go next year. Is there anything under 50k available?

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 28 Oct 2013, 20:24


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Philip
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Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2013, 20:31

It hurt, I have to say that now while I can still remember the pain. Memories of pain diminish quickly to be replaced by memories of glory and triumph. So while I still can, let me say it again, IT HURT!!! IT HURT BAD!!! Fast forward 9 months..... "the Fitz, really, is it that time again? Sure i'll do it! Last year was a blast. I'll really blitz it this year. Who's in?"

Pre race I agonising about what to wear. How to cope with the cold start and hot hills was a real struggle. I can now say I was really pleased with my final decisions. I was warm for the start and fine for the hill climbs and also fine on the cold descents. The other decision I was pleased with was my decision not to stop at every rest stop, especially the ones at the top of climbs. Drop the tag, fill the water, grab a cake and go. Honysuckle rest stop is the worst trap as is lunch at Tharwa. Rode right by Fitz's Hill stop and Tharwa lunch stop. After every savage climb there was an equally long descent, I rested on the descents. So over 11 hours 13 minutes I stopped for 39 minutes and 9 of those were fixing a puncture. Weirdly last year I also stopped for 39 minutes, but no puncture and I only did the Epic. By my reckoning Keith and Andrew are both fitter and faster than me so I was really pleased to have come in not too far behind them.

As for a blow by blow, I'm afraid they all blur into one long hill and one long descent. Some great country side, classic aussie bush and I love the start through the pine forrest. Saw my first fox while on a bike, had my first mob of roos cross the road in front of me, and saw my first DEEP SPACE TRACKING STATION (to be said with a deep slow sci-fi voice). Loved having my cheer squad (wife and daughter) mounted in the cycling statue cheering me home. Loved seeing so many DHBCers on the road, mostly smiling, some grimacing but all riding. Great catching up with a previous ride buddy Tom, of the post box fame. He tells me he's aiming at doing the Paris-Brest-Paris at some point, total hard man! Had a good time sharing some of the ride with Keith, where upon he tells me he's really struggling, only to then take off and get line honours. Champion effort, Keith, wish I knew how to "struggle" like that.

The final 30km were probably the hardest, the only wheels were all way to slow and the only guy that passed me was way to fast. Knowing home was so close though was a great motivator.

Knowing it can be done is a great feeling, doing it is not always a great feeling, but it has it's moments. If nothing else the Fitz has allayed any fears I held for the ACE in January and Vietnam in March.

So next year, who's in?????

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paul
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Postby paul » 28 Oct 2013, 21:37

I missed the start of the 200 by about two minutes whilst queuing for the toilet. I could hear the rider briefing, but by the time I got out, what had been a scene of hectic activity was now a deserted car park. I did toy with the idea of packing up and going back to bed, but instead set off alone at a leisurely pace, with no intention of chasing the bunch.

So that was my ride: mostly solo, steady pace, granny gear on the steep bits, plenty of watermelon, Margo's muesli bar, lolly snakes and fruit cake, and I finished in just under ten hours without ever feeling under too much under strain. Although I was annoyed at the time, missing the start really helped, it meant no temptation to try and stay with faster riders early on, and then suffer for it later. The steel Cecil Walker helped too, not light by modern standards, but comfortable and the with a triple chainring.

Now thinking of doing the ACE.

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marc2131
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andrewm
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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 29 Oct 2013, 11:00

That was hard!
But as Philip said, the pain fades and good memories replace the bad, so it goes.
Joined the DHBC crew waiting for the early cold start, decided to go for feeling the chill and carrying my long sleeve base layer later as I neglected to get a post pack.
Slow to start I rode with Anthony then followed James till he turned up Brindabella Rd with a full complement of wheel suckers.
Approaching first turn around at Condor Ck Andrew, Keith & Philip flew past the other way calling encouragement as they would all day as this pattern repeated itself. So from the get go I was a couple of km behind and the gap would only grow. Another repeating pattern was my sampling of all the different cakes on offer at the check points - would it have been too much trouble for them to put on a cup of tea? I saw Eleri on the way out and we'd pass each other many times, she always with a huge grin on her face!
So riding with a motley crew of journeymen who insisted on telling me how much it was going to hurt, I passed a bunch who'd taken out a kangaroo causing a rider to crash. It wasn't the only dead roo I saw on the day but certainly the freshest!
On the road to Tharwa the 165km groups started catching me and I jumped on the back but they were driving a harder pace than me so I settled down to do my own thing and watch the rabbits run down the road.
I caught some of the rabbits when we reached Fitz's Hill and was feeling pretty good spinning past quite a few - Tuesday's Hills ride works!
Paul passed the other way before again the trio of Andrew, Keith & Philip.
The turn around at Rendezvous Ck was where I caught up with Anthony, Anna & Robert. Cheers Anna for the yummy florentine and I was happy to see vegemite sandwiches - still no cup of tea :-(
Passed Phil D heading back north, he was looking strong.
Nows the bit where it all started to hurt, Orroral Rd I'm struggling now to even remember. I think rolling hills but manly up hill then back over Fitz's Hill and on to Honeysuckle Ck.
Thanks Andrew for the cheery "You're halfway!" as I wondered if my lungs or legs would give out first. 7 km up means 7 km down and that was a treat. I even managed to negotiate the cattle grid with no dramas. It was awesome to see Eleri grinding it out coming up the hill still with a smile on her dial!
Not to be overly melodramatic back on the main road I seemed to spend a lot of time in the small ring and it still felt like I was pedalling through treacle. The third quarter was the hardest, perhaps I'd overdone the cake?
A light snack at Tharwa and suddenly it seemed the end was in sight. I took my mind off things by calculating average speeds and ETAs.
Briefly saw Anthony, Anna & Robert again at the Corin Rd turn around then back on the bike to the Deep Space Tracking Station and the road home.
I'd been dreading the climb at Cotter Dam since we'd descended on the way out but the gradient wasn't too steep and so it was for all the remaining climbs. Perhaps I'd gone out too easy, maybe I was being carried to the finish by the promise of the end.
The finish line was pretty barren by the time I got there - Anna said hi as I sat eating the best steak sandwich I've ever had.
That was a great experience - already I'm looking forward to next time. It was really a pleasure to ride through the beautiful countryside.
Thanks to all the DHBC riders who gave me encouragement during our rides leading up to this and well done all!
Maybe I'll take it easy on the cake next year.
Have a great ride,
Peter.
Last edited by humanbeing on 29 Oct 2013, 11:11, edited 1 time in total.

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 29 Oct 2013, 11:01


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Phil D
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Postby Phil D » 29 Oct 2013, 13:39

This ride can really break you and believe me, I saw a few broken spirits along the way. Did the 105 last year and vowed never to come back. I came back to take on the 165 this year and I'm very grateful for the encouragement from many DHBC members this year to keep pushing myself. The conditions were excellent, organisation flawless and the food pitstops were brilliant. I tried not to think too much about where I was or what gradient the hill was but just focussed on a steady tempo and not stressing out on the steeper climbs especially when I saw others stop and start walking. It was such a lift to see other DHBC riders at various points along the route and hear my name called out as they pass or even just a wave or thumbs up. Well done to everyone who participated and sorry I missed the dinner - maybe next year if I'm crazy enough to come back and do the 200?? Aargghh!!!

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 29 Oct 2013, 15:43

It was a cold start, so I thought it would be a good idea to ride to Stromlo from the hotel. You know, to get warmed up. It was pitch black, and a thick fog was hanging around. My little hipster cyst front light did its best to illuminate a path. When a small child in a shroud appeared suddenly in the foggy distance, it scared the, er, sleep out of me. It took a while to recognise it was a kangaroo standing stock-still in the middle of the path, mesmerised by my blinky. I did about 15km of kangaroo dodgems in the dark.

Anyway, rode out with everyone on the 205/250 from the start. Nice sedate pace. Eleri grumbled about not being warmed up. My fingers stung with cold. Garmin said 2C. My Garmin feels the cold more than others. Peter put some pace on the flat of Uriarra Rd, so we sat together for a while. The 250s went off on their extra tangent, and us 205s went up Mt McDonald.

I met a nice irish man with a beautiful polka-dot Pegoretti. Hit Pierces Creek climb, but I was still in frozen mode. Didn't fang it up, but didn't seem to have a lot of people in front of me. Passed a few on the way to Tharwa, but no-one to work with. Solo'd to Fitz's, into a slight, but annoying, southerly breeze.

First time I've gone up Fitz's and saw nobody in front. Nothing to chase. Saw the devil up there, but she didn't attempt to molest me. There were a smattering of people at the station at the top. I stopped and ate cake. Seems like the station was within the Fitz's Strava segment. Pity. Rode on to Rendezvous Creek, and counted about 15 people on the turnaround. I stopped and ate cake. Removed clothing. Loaded up water.

I'm not sure where I saw most DHBC riders, I think before the Honeysuckle Creek climb. Tried to give everyone a wave. There were lots. Philip distinguished himself by having unzipped multiple layers, all gloriously flaying in the wind on a descent.

Honeysuckle Creek climb. My internal dialogue on this climb has been redacted.

It was quite a lot cooler at the top of Honeysuckle. Got some more water, ate some cake. Rolled down to Tharwa. My left cleat went from being stiff to being almost completely fixed in a crappy position. It wasn't dirt or grime, just a busted cleat. Speedplays. Sigh. Did my best to fix it while I ate half a coleslaw roll. What I really wanted was some cake.

I felt very flat going from Tharwa to the Corin Dam climb. Clearly my food program – which like Eleri – was vague to non-existent, is going to need some reviewing. Corin Dam climb was shorter this year, so that was nice. They had cake at the top. I almost didn't eat any. Rolled off there and some glucose returned to the system as I mingled with the 105 riders. I felt stronger and stronger coming back into Pierce's Creek, probably only only the mental effect of catching and passing some other riders.

A few body bits were complaining by now. Some dodgy descending ahead on Pierce's had me keeping a safe distance, also hoping not to get wiped out by the guy on carbon rims screaming in behind me. Picked up a bit of cake on Mt McDonald, because after all, it was the last cake stop.

The descent off McDonald wasn't as fast as I remembered it to be, which was pretty disappointing. I was ready to get pummelled by the wind on the return leg on Uriarra Rd – but my legs seemed to get a second life, and I felt stronger than I had all day. Thought I should get rid of some pocket junk, and downed my only gel – which was a rather interesting double espresso caffeine injection.

That turned all the lights on.

I passed a guy in a polka-dot jersey, and said hello as I went by – you know, just being polite. I don't think he liked that. Suddenly he comes barrelling past me, and accelerates off, watts into the wind. Quite a move, but he blew up about 30 seconds later.

The temp had cooled a bit with the wind, so the Three Sisters (last hills to the end) were not as a blisteringly hot segment as they are usually. I saw the devil again up those hills, so I scraped up as much machismo/tempo/ego as I could going past, camera clicking. I do believe I received a prod in the bib-shorts.

After all the climbing, the return up Uriarra Rd is a chance to put on some more pace. Besides, I was sick of riding and wanted to have a sausage sandwich. Finish. I got my sausage sandwich, and a milkshake. I waited for a few more people to return, and rode back to the hotel with Ben. There were no spooky kangaroos or fog on the way back. Washing the embrocated-to-death bugs off my legs was a joy.

Special award should go to Eleri, who was still on the course when we initially sat down at the restaurant. She finished and turned up in time to have dinner, direct from Stromlo. Chapeau.

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Stuart
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Postby Stuart » 29 Oct 2013, 18:01

You are all certifiable ... great reports though and good on ya .. still, you're certifiable.

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Postby Anthony K » 29 Oct 2013, 19:13

Timings are up on the web site.
My elapsed time, a whole 6 minutes faster than last year
My place, much better to count from the back than the front, 6 riders behind me last year, and six behind this year. I wonder if it was the same 6?
So I think that makes 6, 6, and 6 and I did chat twice with the devil so clearly there is order in the universe.

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Postby humanbeing » 29 Oct 2013, 21:17


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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 30 Oct 2013, 05:28

Some of us might be certifiable, but at least not as mad as this guy, who did Canberra's 4 peaks ride (Majura, Ainslie, Red Hill, and Black Mtn) immediately prior to doing Fitz's 250...

http://app.strava.com/activities/91548982

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Postby andrewm » 30 Oct 2013, 06:28


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humanbeing
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Joined: 26 Feb 2013, 12:16

Postby humanbeing » 30 Oct 2013, 08:50

That's just nuts!
In fact almost as crazy as doing the extreme with standard chain rings. But no ones that crazy!

Anthony K
Posts: 316
Joined: 30 May 2011, 23:17

Postby Anthony K » 02 Nov 2013, 18:24

Photos are up



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