3 Peaks Challenge 2013

Road cycling & upcoming rides
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Joined: 08 Jan 2013, 09:02
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Postby Scott_W » 12 Mar 2013, 20:37

Hi Everyone,

I “officially” joined DHBC in January of this year (actually joined the club in 2011 while on a 2yr stint in Adelaide), however this year as I was home in Sydney started riding with my home club. I haven’t made too many rides as I have been chasing miles and mountains to take on the 2013 3 Peaks Challenge. It was through the club that I got to meet Greg Pankhurst and rode with him a couple of times, including when he had his accident in the JWJC. I am a Sports Physiotherapist and have worked at a number of professional clubs, seen lots of trauma and his accident still bothers me, when you take an episode like that out of professional context it’s a different story.

I am pumped to tell all of you that on Sunday I successfully completed my biggest ever bike ride – the 3 Peaks Challenge at Falls Creek in Victoria – Official time was 12hrs 50mins. The course was 230 km long, with 4000m of climbing. To earn yourself one of the official finishers’ jerseys you had to complete this course in less than 13 hours.

To add some extra fun the temperature ranged from 35-41 degrees through the day to really test our resolve to complete the course. In short the heat was punishing – and if we weren’t in a bunch working together through the valleys it would have been real trouble getting through at times.
About September last year I coerced one of my closest friends Matt to ride 3 Peaks for the 3rd time (legend). He agreed to ride with me and make sure I completed this event. He had 3 comments for me;

• You need to start riding up some massive hills
• Blokes your size will find this super hard (code for lose some weight)
• Are you sure you want to do this, you really don’t know what you are signing up for

So I got cracking and slimmed down from 104kg to 96kg for the ride, rode over 1600km this year and despite several promptings from Matty, was resolute in my desire to complete this ride.

The ride profile is here http://www.bicyclenetwork.com.au/genera ... des/94624/ , and my strava data is here http://app.strava.com/activities/43836659 . For most of you, to save you from boredom I will stop the email here, if you are really keen/sadistic/interested then below you can read the ride report.


Scott Wilson

I was staying with Matty and a bunch of his mates from Ballarat mostly, in a ski lodge at Falls Creek, there were some seriously good riders in this group – some of them rode under 10 hours for the course. Needless to say they were good company and full of information.

We started the day at the top of Falls Creek at 6:45am, temperature was about 16 degrees, so we knew we were in trouble for the day with hot temperatures! The descent from Falls Creek is 30km and I took my time going down, keeping my speed under 50km/h. After witnessing Greg’s accident I was playing it safe – it still plays on my mind on descents.

Got to the first climb of the day and went up Tawonga Gap in 34 mins, and had my fruit cake and first water stop, another descent and then onto Mt Buffalo – this was a killer, the best word I have for Buffalo is relentless. Eleri and Co who did repeats of this at Audax I have nothing but admiration for you as this was the pits to climb.

Almost 2 hours and 25.6 km of climbing, I stayed in the saddle pretty much the whole climb and as a result cramped in both hamstrings as I got the top of Mt Buffalo. At this point I commented to Matty that I was at my limit, which wasn’t quite correct. I was working my ass off, but for the rest of the day after a couple of tips from my tour guide I changed riding position regularly and was much better for it.

Another descent down Mt Buffalo where I almost lost my wedding ring – the vibration from the descent shook my ring almost off my finger, so I had to keep my ring finger closed for the rest of the descent. I have lost enough weight that I either need to get my ring resized smaller, wear my ring on a chain for riding or pork back out again.

Our lunch stop was at Porepunkah and was terrible, some wrap with couscous and something else in it that I forced myself to eat. A quick stop and we were off again, our focus at all water and food stations was short stops and keep cracking in to give ourselves as much time for the last climb of the day back up Falls Creek.

From Porepunkah we had about 80km of flat riding through the valleys – the heat was really cranking up and for the next leg we had a bunch of about 30+ riders to Ovens that made life much easier, we copped a beating from the heat, headwind and cross wind - and drinking your fluids when they are hot, not warm, is unpleasant to say the least. After the water stop at Ovens we were in a smaller group to the next stop at Running Creek, by now everyone was really affected by the heat and on their chinstrap getting through. Another water refill and we were off to Mt Beauty for the 2nd last stop of the day, thankfully just before we got to Mt Beauty we found a corner store. An air conditioned store, full strength coke, and an ice block worked wonders for us.

When we got to the Mt Beauty water stop I noticed 2 things;

• about 20+ people lying on the ground hammered, either trying to get themselves together to climb Falls Creek or sagging (pulling out of the ride) and ,
• 2 riders getting IV fluids from the Vic Ambulance Service.

We loaded up with fluids and food for the 2nd last time and again Matty led the way “ let’s keep our gears easy and take our time going up Falls, it doesn’t matter how many times we stop we have 3 ¼ hours up our sleeve and this should be a 2 hour climb – Max.” His words were prophetic.

The final 30km climb up Falls Creek took us 2hrs 49min, at the 15km mark, there is the final water stop, I tried to eat an energy bar and promptly threw it up – my body had officially had enough of food, so it was onto gels and pushing to the finish line. We had to stop a number of times but we crossed the line with time to spare and an enormous feeling of achievement.

I won't be out riding this week, but look forward to the Waterfall ride Sunday week.


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James Rogers
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Postby James Rogers » 12 Mar 2013, 21:04

Great achievement and a great read, especially for those of us who wish we were there (minus the heat). Having done the Alpine Classic in only slightly cooler conditions, I have great sympathy for you!

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Postby Eleri » 12 Mar 2013, 21:12

Great report Scott!! and congratulations. It sounds like a tough ride - but believe me, going up the back of falls would have been worse in that heat. Next year ...

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Postby JoTheBuilder » 13 Mar 2013, 07:07

Congratulations Scott! Wonderful riding... Greg will look forward to that report. And will probably wonder what possessed him to enter!

Recover well and we'll see you on the road soon...

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Postby Lizanne » 13 Mar 2013, 07:38

Scott_W wrote: to save you from boredom I will stop the email here

No way! as if, welcome to DHBC, home of the uber long over dramatic ride reports. I love reading this stuff! if makes me want to ride road races, but then i remember road races suck, and i stic to the track. but i still love reading them. its stuff to do while not working at work.

BTW great job on the time, you now have something to beat next year!

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Postby Philip » 13 Mar 2013, 08:23

great read, thanks and congratulations, great effort.

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Postby Dougie » 13 Mar 2013, 12:57

Lizanne wrote:
Scott_W wrote: to save you from boredom I will stop the email here

No way! as if, welcome to DHBC, home of the uber long over dramatic ride reports. I love reading this stuff! if makes me want to ride road races, but then i remember road races suck, and i stic to the track. but i still love reading them. its stuff to do while not working at work.

BTW great job on the time, you now have something to beat next year!

Scott, super report! Nothing boring about it. Despite Lizanne's comments, there is no one in the Club whom writes "uber long and over dramatic ride reports". It was a pleasure to read. Write some more.

Anthony K
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Postby Anthony K » 13 Mar 2013, 17:13

Half of me is in awe and thinking how can anyone do so much climbing in such temperatures.
The other half is thinking, wonder if I could do that.
Major achievement, well done!

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