Monday, February 14, 2011

C2C 200 (Canberra to the Coast 2011)

This weekend was a fun "organized" training ride from Canberra to Batemans Bay ... and back!

"Organized" is used lightly - as this ride is an Ed McDonald special. He provides the GPS nav details and in theory you are on your own to follow the route down.

Although there were originally nearly 30 names down for the ride, Thursday and Friday saw the excuses roll in thick and fast. Some mumbling about weather, and others blaming their self inflicted "haematoma".

So, at 6am (ish) about 7 of us rolled out of Dickson McDs - and there was another 5 or 6 single-speeders already an hour ahead.

Usually, the ride would see a quick lap of Majura under lights, but with the heavy rain overnight we opted to head straight over the ridge between Ainslie/Majura and out to the airport road heading for Queanbeyan.

The group (Ed, McAvoy, Spoonboy, Joel, Speary, Roony) stuck together until the climb out of Queanbeyan, and then Jase and I went off the front.

Although we did not see any of the others until the end of the day, apparently Joel was hot on our tail until Rossi.

For Jase and I, we set out at a reasonable pace. Nothing too hard, which was good for me as I could definitely still feel my ride from last weekend.

The route takes us out on the rolling Captains Flat road, then turn off for a gentle false-flat to Hoskintown.

From Hoskintown there is a mixture of rolling sealed and dirt roads that eventually leads to Rossi.

From the back of Rossi there is a climb up into the forest - and if you look carefully enough you can see single-speeders hanging out in the trees ...

Coming out of the Rossi forest we hit some low cloud / fog / rain and the fast descent was nasty with no visibility.

The eventually leads back to a short tarmac stretch and then back onto the dirt for a gentle climb to Majors Creek. From here there is a super descent down to Araluen ... well, it usually is a super descent but in the rain it is not so much fun :).

A quick stop at the pub for some water and we hit the rolling Araluen Rd. Although this road takes you all the way through to Moruya, we took the left up to Knowles Rd - a 500 vert m climb. The upside of this is that we come out above the Mogo single track trails, and we get an awesome run down tracks like AST and Snaketrack!

A quick food stop in Mogo and we were heading out the back of Mogo, climbing up to the top ridge line above Batemans Bay. It was probably now that I realized that a "burger with the lot" was not a good quick food stop. With the blood rushing to my gut at the top of climb, I had a lovely few minutes of dizziness and hot/cold sweats.

Luckily Jase was patient as I slowly got the blood flowing again, and we hit the single tracks above Batemans Bay.

Rolling into the town, we quickly ended up at a local fish & chip shop ...

The ride back the next day was always going to be a lot more social. But social means "lets have some fun" - so Ed, Jase and I played some games - attacking on climbs, pace line shenanigans, and general baiting and smack-talk. All good fun!

Well done to all the riders for making it back in one piece. Aside from Roony's dodgy front wheel valve, there were no mechanicals or other injuries.

So, all up ~ 195km on Saturday and 190km on Sunday. A good weekend of riding.

Food wise (excluding the burger with the lot) was simply a Torq Gel every hour, and 1/2 Torq Bar every hour. 2 litres Torq Energy ever 4 hours.

Bike wise the Scott Spark held up well. The Ergon GX-2 grips were really comfy on the long fireroads, and handy for getting out of the saddle on the climbs. The Spark's remote lock out was (again) super. Quickly switching the bike between fully-rigid and full front/half rear with the flick of the thumb is great!

Time now for a rest week!

Double saddle bags to carry extra gear

Ed showing off at the top of Majors Creek

Hanging out in the forest above Rossi - waiting for a bent Spoon

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jet Black 24hr

1st 24 hr pair mens team / 2nd overall

57 laps @ 24hr:21mins

This weekend saw Ed McDonald (Maladjusted) and I pair up to race the Sydney Jet Black 24 hr.

Ed is better known for being one of the Team Beard single-speed freaks ... but he sucked it up this weekend and rode gears.

The race was held in the Del Rio resort located outside of west Sydney at Wisemans Ferry.

Our fingers were crossed for good weather - as this race had been severely affected by rain in the past two years. I think we all crossed out fingers too much - as there was not a spec of rain during the race, and instead we had a scorching day and night.

The race started at midday on Saturday, and on-track the temperature was hitting 47C! Even by 2am the temp was still over 30C. The Garmin reported an average temp over the weekend of over 34C!

Having not ridden a 24 hr as a pair before, we were not quite sure how to plan the race out. So, we decided to run 2 x laps each during the day, and then swap to 6 x lap stints through the night. This worked quite well during the first 8 hrs of daylight, as we could smash out quick double laps and then sit on a bag of ice to cool down! 

The course itself was quite short - around 9km in length and mostly fireroad. Leaving the start line the track followed the Del Rio entry rode along the river, with just a little roller. A hard left hand switch back up onto a dirt road then saw three little climbs to ascend about 100 vert m.

From the top of the fireroad, the track entered a fast little descent though some rocky and then sandy switch-backs. From there some more sandy corners, a little bridge and the track entered a couple of nice rock gardens. Although quite rideable, you needed to carry speed to get through them - and with a busy track (and tired minds) there was many little offs in this section.

Once out of the rocks, there was another small pinch, another tiny bit of single track and then back on the Del Rio road back to timing.

So, for the first 20 laps we knocked out pretty quick laps, and stayed up there with the leading 4-man team and World Solo champ Jason English.

The longer time off the bike as we entered the 6 lap stints was tough. You actually feel better when riding and still moving, then when you are sitting around waiting to ride!

It was during the night that the heat really caught up with us. With the huge amount of fluids going in, and the ambient temp still really high our stomachs really started to give in. You can see our laps times increase over night. The legs felt fine, but out guts were a mess and were not able to get any food in.

By around 4am we were still only around 5 minutes behind the leading 4-man team - but our slow night and Sunday morning saw this slip to a lap behind.

It was not until around 10am the next day when it finally started to cool down a little that we could again get good food in and we could get the lap times back down. In fact my 2nd last lap was my fastest for the race!!

In the end, we were 1 lap down on the overall winning 4-man team, 2 laps up on the 3rd place 4-man team. We were 9 laps up on the next 2-man team, and 13 laps up on solo winner Jason English.

A big thanks to Robyn for supporting Ed and I this weekend. As always she was brilliant with keeping our food and drink in order ... and in dishing out the tough love when required. No dogs this weekend, so no-one to eat up the left over Torq bars.

Thanks also the Bike Superstore for getting my Spark race ready. The bike performed really well with no mechanical issues at all. The twin-lock (shock and fork lockout) was a real advantage on the fireroad climbs - enabling some really quick ascents. I also ran 2.1 Schwalbe Racing Ralphs on front and rear - fast rolling and great grip in the single track.

Thanks to Rockytrail Entertainment for running this fun race, and for the great Jet Black prizes.

Food for the race was;
  • Torq gel every 2 laps
  • Torq energy 2 scoops / bottle each lap (day), 3 scoops / bottle per 2 laps (night)
  • 2 x Torq bars
  • 4 x pizza slices
  • 1 x bowl pasta
  • 3 x nutella sandwiches
  • 1 x Hammer Electrolyte tablet every 2 laps
  • Many many litres of plain water
Lap times;
#       Lap time    Avg Spd Rider
57    28:05:00    20.94    Andrew
56    22:58:00    25.6    Andrew
55    24:21:00    24.15    Andrew
54    26:53:00    21.87    Ed
53    27:04:00    21.72    Ed
52    27:51:00    21.11    Andrew
51    28:11:00    20.86    Andrew
50    26:36:00    22.11    Ed
49    25:55:00    22.69    Ed
48    27:09:00    21.66    Andrew
47    26:32:00    22.16    Andrew
46    25:14:00    23.3    Ed
45    24:48:00    23.71    Ed
44    24:28:00    24.03    Andrew
43    27:42:00    21.23    Andrew
42    28:23:00    20.72    Andrew
41    30:38:00    19.19    Andrew
40    28:46:00    20.44    Andrew
39    26:44:00    22    Andrew
38    27:01:00    21.76    Ed
37    26:15:00    22.4    Ed
36    27:24:00    21.46    Ed
35    25:55:00    22.69    Ed
34    26:31:00    22.17    Ed
33    25:19:00    23.23    Ed
32    26:17:00    22.37    Andrew
31    26:05:00    22.54    Andrew
30    26:12:00    22.44    Andrew
29    25:45:00    22.83    Andrew
28    24:43:00    23.79    Andrew
27    24:34:00    23.93    Andrew
26    26:34:00    22.13    Ed
25    26:05:00    22.54    Ed
24    26:30:00    22.19    Ed
23    26:56:00    21.83    Ed
22    26:47:00    21.95    Ed
21    26:23:00    22.29    Ed
20    24:16:00    24.23    Andrew
19    24:25:00    24.08    Andrew
18    23:45:00    24.76    Ed
17    25:04:00    23.46    Ed
16    23:55:00    24.59    Andrew
15    23:49:00    24.69    Andrew
14    24:38:00    23.87    Ed
13    25:01:00    23.5    Ed
12    23:39:00    24.86    Andrew
11    23:42:00    24.81    Andrew
10    24:17:00    24.21    Ed
9    24:12:00    24.3    Ed
8    24:04:00    24.43    Andrew
7    23:29:00    25.04    Andrew
6    24:27:00    24.05    Ed
5    23:49:00    24.69    Ed
4    24:06:00    24.4    Andrew
3    23:18:00    25.24    Andrew
2    25:28:00    23.09    Ed
1    22:02:00    26.69    Ed