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An Average Day Out

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By hathill - Posted on 06 May 2014

NB: Originally posted elsewhere on the Global Riders Network and appears via syndication.
Re: This ride meeting: 
Convict 100 2014
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
100km Male Veteran
Position (Category): 

Well, where do I start? Talked into doing this by Stephen back in November last year, chucked in the entry and then settled down to procrastinating about training for it.

Roll forward to the 3rd of May, managed to rack up around 1500k's of training between January and now, both on and off-road. This included some WSMTB clubbies along with one of the WSMTB summer series 4 hour rounds. The road riding really helped me learn the power of spinning as well. Living in the Mountains with Anderson's in the backyard means no shortage of hills to climb too.

Almost off to a false start with the plan to car-pool with Steve falling at the last hurdle as the better half got crook on Thursday night. Luckily much better by Friday afternoon so I was off and managed to arrive at St Albans around 7-ish in the dark. How the hell am I going to find everyone in the dark with no mobile phone? Parked the car in the Bulga road camping area, claimed a spot with the groundsheet and set off to find Steve and Matt. Pure luck, their car was 2 bays further up from where I parked so I figured that was as good an omen as any!

A quick dinner and a bit of pulling/poking/hammering/tearing and the tent was up and I was ready for bed, just one job left to do, put the number on the bike and off to bed. Funny to wake up at around 1:30am to the cacophony of snoring from the other happy campers around me. Anyway, head down to join them in chorus and next thing the alarm is ringing for 5:00am.

Time flies now and soon enough I'm in the start group ready for the off. Tristan comes in a bit late and is waved through toward the front of the group.

The race starts and is heaps of fun in the peloton but I cannot manage to hang on all the way to Blue Hill deciding to save my cold (old) legs for the climb up Blue Hill. This turns out to be a great strategy, apart from walking about 20 metres at the bottom, I was able to ride up. What blew me away were the shouts of encouragement from the other riders as I pushed on to the top. Thanks everyone, you made my day.

Head off to the first feed station and stick to my strategy of no stops until the canoe bridge. A slight moment on the sniggle sees me take an off track excursion but no damage and back on the bike. Making great time I manage to hit 10 Mile Hollow with the average speed just on 20km/hr. I relent on my no-stop strategy and grab a Gu Brew and a slice of orange cake and then straight back to the climb up to the Old Great North Road, these being the only 2 sections of the track I had ridden before (but in the opposite direction). Lots of fun on OGNR with the rock steps etc. Felt a little flat here but managed to press on, the ride was a blur until I hit Shepherds Gully - the run through here certainly woke me up, great fun.

Hit the 3rd feed station and grabbed a banana, filled up the water/electroylte and headed off across the canoe bridge. A little bit wobbly at the start but with the fear of being cold and wet held it together to the other side. Headed out onto the road and toward the Woomera Range climb. I had no idea what I was in for and boy it didn't disappoint. Lots of soft pedalling in the low gears to avoid cramping wondering when it would finish. Strava says 59:31. Wish I had known that beforehand.

Now along Jack's track, pick up someone on a hardtail and pass them on the way down the less steep bit. The last steep section was a blast, trying not to think of the mess I'd make if I came off. Back onto the road, drag another rider down to the creek crossing and trudge through the sand in and back out. Grab another Gu and head off down the road, lots of drafting and being drafted to the finish line where the announcer recognises my WSMTB jersey which was nice.
Managed to beat my goal of 6 hours which was very satisfying.

A great day out and I'll certainly hope to be there next year.

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