FITZ'S CHALLENGE 2014

Road cycling & upcoming rides
Adam W
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Postby Adam W » 23 Sep 2014, 18:57

26 October down in Canberra.

I just signed up for the 165 km Fitz's Classic. Any other red jerseys coming?

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 23 Sep 2014, 20:22

I will be there. Also 165.

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 23 Sep 2014, 21:04

Me definitely. Not sure what distance yet but probably I will make myself do the 265 again. Just this time I'll prepare.

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 23 Sep 2014, 21:13

Extreme (255 km) for me, I think I've almost forgotten how hard it was last year.
Have a great ride,
Peter

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 23 Sep 2014, 22:55

I'll be there, so will Bnej (Ben). Riding either the 205 or 255... Depending on how far the hotel is from Stromlo. Ben will probably ride the 165.

Liamo
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Postby Liamo » 24 Sep 2014, 16:32

I stayed at the Greenleigh Motel the couple of times I've done Fitz's. Cheap and close. :D



Michele Wood
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Postby Michele Wood » 25 Sep 2014, 08:36

I'll be going for the first time - 165km

Michele Wood

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 25 Sep 2014, 10:19

255. What else?

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 25 Sep 2014, 10:30


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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 25 Sep 2014, 12:07

Clearly my preparation is lacking. It's only 255kms.

The ladies' accommodation of choice in Canberra is University House at ANU.

doylep
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Joined: 12 Sep 2010, 10:53

Postby doylep » 09 Oct 2014, 10:13

Hi all, I am doing the 105km with a mate, and some other friends are doing the 255.
Will wear some DHBC gear on the day.
Cheers
Peter

Bruce
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Joined: 19 May 2013, 18:37

Postby Bruce » 16 Oct 2014, 14:58

Y is Fitz's hill so far from the start?
I'll do 165Km for the challenge.
Anything less misses the hill so I'm told.
Bruce

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Philip
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Postby Philip » 16 Oct 2014, 15:32

I've officially run the white flag up the pole and downgraded to the 205. ;( or perhaps that should be a yellow flag. Andrew kindly reminded me that Honey suckle is still in the mix, so there will still be suffering.

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 20 Oct 2014, 10:29

I have started another thread if anyone is onterested in a recovery dunner on sunday night



should have done that after lunch - now I am going to have to go and get some dumplings.....

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 20 Oct 2014, 18:05

Would anyone(s) like a lift to and from? You'll have to fit in with my schedule however. I'll be going down Saturday arvo and returning Monday morning, aiming to be in Ashfield for work by 9:30am.

I've now got 4 bike racks so can fit a few bods in.

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 20 Oct 2014, 18:41

Oh dear, clicked 255km.

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Phil D
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Postby Phil D » 20 Oct 2014, 21:33

Weather forecast this Sunday is looking good for Fitz...

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 21 Oct 2014, 04:12

Near perfect atm. Not too cold. Not too hot. Just right. Here's hoping it turns out that way. I could even start sans arm warmers!

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Stuart
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Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby Stuart » 27 Oct 2014, 15:32

I guess it was a little warm out on the road yesterday? Lets have some reports!

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 27 Oct 2014, 16:18

My brain is still salt encrusted mush. It got toooo hot.

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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 27 Oct 2014, 17:09

I rode to the start and got lost in the process. I heard a wombat or wild pig snorting (or probably something much more dangerous with razor-like teeth) in the pre-dawn dark as I attempted to get back on course. Made it to the start in time, uneaten. There was a small cluster of DHBC jerseys gathered around for the 205 & 250. The start was like all mass participation rides; a bit unpredictable. Had a good chat with Blake on the way out.

The longer rides left early (6am), and we were up and over Fitz's Hill before the heat of the day. On the return descent, I think all of us at the post-mortem dinner agreed that we noticed more carnage than usual, with a lot of people walking their bikes up.

It was incredibly hot, which made it harder than previous years. My Garmin hit 37°C for an hour while ascending Corin Forest, which is just shy of 200km into the ride. Worse still, I heard that at (some? all?) the checkpoints behind were running low on water, and rationing to one bidon per rider, which would have made it pretty tough to complete the ride.

It was a pleasure to see DHBC riders at different stages of the routes, it certainly gives you a lift on what always is a lonely sort of ride (the constant hills tend to break up any groups).

I finished with impressively salt-stained clothing. I was happy with my times, beat my previous Fitz's Hill climb time by almost a minute, but don't think I felt comfortable at any point after about 100km in (or about 9am, when it got hot). The exceptions were the longer descents, and the chance to sit down and take my shoes off for 5 minutes at the Kangaroo Creek check-in.

So what did I learn? Well, I learnt that five Coles bakery mini-brownies will fit into my mouth at once. Consuming these 15km from the finish, and prior to the last climbs up Uriarra Rd, is patently unwise. Psychotropic drugs may have had a less overwhelming effect.
Last edited by James Rogers on 27 Oct 2014, 21:07, edited 1 time in total.

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 27 Oct 2014, 19:08

"Last rider approaching."
How did it come to this? We'd gathered in the pre dawn light at Stromlo Forest Park clearly having erased the memories of previous experiences of this ride.
Just after 6 when the sun rose the riders headed off for the 200 and 250 km events. The mild weather probably should've warned us of things to come, the year before it was 1 degree when we set off, yesterday it was balmy.
The ride starts out over rolling farmland as the bunch stretches out and the first descent took us down into an eerie mist. I rode with Eleri for a bit then Rob. We rolled on up hill, down dale. I stopped at the feed station at Tharwa village for water and breakfast.
You cannot fault the Fitz for support. There is ample food - fruit cake, muffins, lollies, fruit (bananas, oranges & watermelon), potato crisps & sports drink supplied.
After 70 km comes Fitz's Hill which is a slap in the face, picture three Artillery Hills added together only steeper and it was starting to get a little warm. Approaching the turn around at Rendezvous Ck I got the first indication of how the other DHBC riders in front of me were traveling. First came James Rogers close to the leaders, then Andrew Mattes looking sharp, then the anonymous DHBC rider who no one knew? Who are you? Lastly Blake who yelled out "3 km!" to let me know how far I had to go to the turnaround.
The way the course works is the 165 km ride goes from the start out a valley to a turnaround at Rendezvous Ck and back. The 200 and 250 km rides add various side roads which meander up valleys and hills on the west of the valley.
I found Phil Le Masurier filling his bottles so of course he took my photo. Robert & Anna rocked up and Phil & I set off up the hill as it got warmer still. We passed Eleri as she neared the turnaround. Phil kept me company until I turned off on the Orroral Rd for the 250 riders.
From The Orroral Rd checkpoint I rode with Robert & Anna, we saw Anthony K, Michelle W & Phil D heading the other way to Rendezvous Ck (The 165 ride started later). As the mercury continued to rise we headed up the next side road - Apollo Rd, to Honeysuckle Ck. The road gets it's name as the valley is home to the Tidbinbilla Deep Space Tracking Station. Orroral Rd and Apollo Rd were home to now decommissioned space tracking stations that were built to monitor NASA missions.
Honeysuckle is notorious, 8 km of up, gradients in parts at 19%. My Garmin says at this point it was 39 degrees. There was also a hot NW wind in our faces. 8 km up means 8 km down but don't forget the cattle grid. I made it back to the main road, next stop back in Tharwa for lunch.
A seat in the shade, a bread roll and a tub of yoghurt then back on the bike.
At this stage it was still hot and I was feeling pretty average. I occupy myself trying to calculate average speeds and estimating finishing times. It seems my hopes of bettering my last years time are evaporating pretty quickly but I can't worry about this as we turn off for the Corrin Rd side trip.
I thought Honeysuckle was bad but Corrin Forest Rd is 11 km of climbing, maybe not as steep as Honeysuckle but pretty steep and long. I was also really feeling the effects of the ride. Now I was on survival mode, spinning as much as I could, saving any energy I could. I couldn't drink enough, I was dehydrated.
At the top of Corrin Forest Rd was the checkpoint for the 200 riders but I had to go on to Kangaroo Ck for the 250 and the road started to go down and down. I wasn't prepared for this and each metre I went down meant another metre climbing out from the turnaround. I was feeling quite despondent.
Robert informed me Anna was withdrawing - she'd put in a huge effort. I also didn't see Blake this time and learned later he'd pulled the plug at the top of Corrin Forest. I was really wondering why I was doing this to myself and vowed never again.
I rode on. The descent from Corrin offered some relief but I was running on fumes but I only had 40 odd km to go. I got a flat on the last big descent to Cotter. A couple of riders past me as I changed tubes and hit the road.
The last checkpoint, some watermelon and water. Another 2 riders showed up and they were the last. We left with 20 km to go and they rode away from me.
I was last on the road.
"Last rider approaching" was the announcement on the PA as I came down the hill into Stromlo Forest Park. A dozen people applauded, a couple of them cheered. 7.30pm, 13 and a half hours. Robert & Anna greeted me after the line as the start/finish kite was deflated. I was shattered. Anyway I threw my bike in the car, went back to the motel for a shower and off to join the others for dinner at a Nepalese Restaurant.
Food, beer and good company restore the spirits, we swapped war stories, offered and received advice. Then a well earned sleep.
Can't wait for next year, it's a great ride.
Thanks to my club mates who encouraged me and the crew at the Fitz.
Peter

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 27 Oct 2014, 20:24

Well I had a most unenjoyable ride and DNF.

I decided at about the 100km mark that I wasn't going to make the cutoff unless I did a negative split. This seemed unlikely as it was already about 30 degrees and only going to get hotter. And there was a headwind up all the climbs.

Fitz's Extreme is basically an out and back with branches that are out and back. All of them uphill and, as it turned out, right into the wind.

But I just couldn't ride well. The bike felt sludgy, my saddle was too high (I realised that after the ride) and I just didn't have it on the day.

The problem with and out and back is that you pretty much have to ride back. So dragged my sorry self 80km back to the start - the last half with Philip. Every turn of the pedals felt like torture.

Next year. (But at least I wasn't late for dinner this year!)

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 27 Oct 2014, 23:53

Some words to come.

Some VERY amateur video for starters.

Clearly I am never going to make a living as a Cameraman, Commentator or Editor but something is better than nothing and at least you can see how green the grass is.


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Philip
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Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2014, 05:54

Very cool Anthony! Passing riders up Fitz hill!!

Here's my report.

http://instagram.com/p/upe8--QIYi/

Standard cranks, bad idea Philip, very, very bad idea!!

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Julio
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Postby Julio » 28 Oct 2014, 07:37

Anthony K, Did the guy you spoke to @ the 1:18 min mark going up the Fitz say 'You Suck' after you pass him lol. From all accounts it sounds like a hard day at the office, well done everyone.

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 28 Oct 2014, 08:15

Julio, From memory he said "its good to be a target".
Phillip, Very marginal gains. 4kph walking.
6.something riding. Heart rate rising.

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Robert
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Postby Robert » 28 Oct 2014, 09:25


Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 28 Oct 2014, 10:24


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Philip
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Postby Philip » 28 Oct 2014, 11:40

I don't know what those numbers mean, I know I have a 28 on the back but no idea what the front is, other than knowing it's not a compact. I can't remember numbers, I can barely count, perhaps that's a problem. [DISAPPOINTED FACE]

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 28 Oct 2014, 12:57

Great video Anthony!
The pain just came flooding back [SMILING FACE WITH OPEN MOUTH AND SMILING EYES]

weller
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Location: Dulwich Hill

Postby weller » 29 Oct 2014, 07:37

One of our TTT members, Tom Hartley came 2nd in the 165k loop. Legend!

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 29 Oct 2014, 13:32

Melt in the sun, melt in the sun! Who wants to come with me and melt in the sun?

Damm that was hot. I was so salt encrusted at the end it felt like I had spent the day swimming in the ocean (I wish).

Just before the start I told James I planned on hiding at the back of one of the front bunches, and seeing if I could get some free speed on the way to the base of Fitz’s hill without burning too many (ideally any) matches. James had a self-depreciating chuckle and said he wasn’t planning on riding that fast.

I moved my way up to the front for the start, away from all the other red jerseys – feeling just a little anti-social. I did indeed make it to the start of Fitz’s Hill with one of the front bunches – without ever being in any danger of doing any turns, or burning too many matches.

After the scary wooden bridge I dropped off the back and started riding at my own pace. I knew I could not stay in touch with the lead riders on any of the serious climbs.

Close to the top of Fitz’s hill James came flying passed like I was standing still. He was latched onto someone’s wheel and yelled ‘800 meters to go!’ as he passed me. I watched him go and kept riding tempo up the hill. I am pretty sure I made a flawed attempt at yelling some witty comment at him. I guessed James must have been 5 minutes or less behind the leaders at that point. Wonder how he would have gone if had decided to ride fast?.....

The rest of the ride was trying to maintain tempo pace in the rising heat.

Got to the top of Honeysuckle intact this year (just) – and called it a draw. It had broken me the two previous times. I saw Philip at the top of Honeysuckle and it was looked like it had broken him.

I thought with Honeysuckle done that was the hardest bit done and dusted. Corin was longer – but gentler. I was wrong. I found Corin the hardest climb of the day. It was hot. I got dizzy and light headed about 1 km from the top and dismounted to get myself together again for a few minutes. My feet were screaming. My legs were screaming. My back was screaming. Everything else was moaning.

I did manage to get my sh1t together after a couple of minutes and mostly enjoyed the rest of the ride. Some cloud came over and the temperature dropped a bit.

I came home from Uriarra and up the three sisters stronger than I have previously.

My time looks likely to be within a minute or two of last years – with a slightly longer moving time (I spent less time stopped this year).

I missed all of my time goals – and I think Pete beat me up all the climbs again! But adjusting for the heat – I am pleased enough with my effort.

Hoping for still, mild weather next year.

Adam W
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Postby Adam W » 30 Oct 2014, 20:39

Loving the reports guys. My 165km ride was pretty uneventful. Ate too much McDonalds the night before and struggled to drink water for the while riding for the first few hours. My breaks were way too long on the way out, so I made up for it by having a super quick lunch break, followed by a 30 minute stitch. I made plenty of mistakes on my first one of these rides but I still loved it! Just signed up for the Alpine Classic - can't wait!


Not sure if you've all seen this before, but here is the 'fly by' replay of the ride. Thanks to Pete and Michele for donating their rides :)

165km
http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#21 ... QvpgxtzKYM

255km
http://labs.strava.com/flyby/viewer/#21 ... 2eDMIznww=

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Eleri
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Postby Eleri » 03 Nov 2014, 20:14

Interesting - only 66% of the 255km riders actually finished. 7 DHBC riders - 4 finished, 3 didn't. James Rogers had a smashing time of 10hrs 47. Peter Bownes was just inside being smashed himself in 13hrs 28.

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James Rogers
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Location: Newtown

Postby James Rogers » 04 Nov 2014, 11:01

I should cut out so many fruit cake stops.

andrewm
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Postby andrewm » 04 Nov 2014, 11:21

I should get faster.

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humanbeing
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Postby humanbeing » 04 Nov 2014, 12:01

I could do both of these


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