Oct 16, 2010

Glutton for Punishment

So when Peta asked me to feed her and Jarrod for the Melbourne to Warrnambool, I readily accepted. That was 2 days before the 24 hr mtb race, AND before our long trip home from Canberra AND before cramming a week's work into 3 days for the second week in a row. I had also not bothered to check the weather forecast for that weekend....BIG mistake. Call me a glutton for punishment!!!

Set the alarm for 2.30am and hit the pillow at 9.00pm on Friday night. Woke at 11.00pm to a phone call from Peta checking to see if we were still coming. Maybe she was secretly hoping that we'd changed our minds and she could have a sleep in. Up and on the road before 4.00am, arrived at the Werribee Racecourse just after 6.00am. It was absolutely freezing and I couldn't believe that all these lycra clad idiots were going to jump on their bikes for 260km in the cold howling wind. The race started on time and we made our way to the first feed station at the 82k mark at Inverleigh. Peta was well positioned in the main peloton and happily chatting to anyone that would listen to her.

Getting to the second feed station was an absolute nightmare. I wanted to turn right just out of Inverleigh but missed the turn as a heap of motorbike scouts came past at the same time and I didn't see the sign. Sat on 20k/hr for a few k before I was able to take the next right turn. I seemed to travel forever down a dirt road before hitting bitumen again and headed towards Cressy. Came up to the Hamilton Hwy and was stopped by the police and a scout. They weren't letting anyone through as the head police vehicle had gone through which meant the riders were coming. Funny thing though, we could see a couple of k down the road and there was no signs of bikes. After pulling the crocodile tear act they decided to let me through but refused to let the dozen or so cars behind me through. Needless to say, there were some very irate people sitting there with feed bags that they couldn't get to their riders. I got to Lismore and had to wait almost an hour before the first cyclists came through so I thought that maybe the road closures were based on the estimated time of arrivals from the original mocka....but this was not your average day as the cyclists were battling strong head and crosswinds.

Peta rolled in a bit behind the peloton and called it a day. It was always going to be a tough call to back up after the 24hr the week before and the grueling conditions didn't help. Her knee was playing up and 150k in those conditions was good enough in my books. I was more than happy not to have to drive on down to Warrnambool and was looking forward to a good steak sanga and a chocolate milkshake anyway. The race was described by many as the toughest conditions ever....not too sure about that but it was definitely tough out there!!!

Will we go back??? It's a damn long way and I hate point to point races with a vengeance. There is so much organising involved in getting transport for the cyclists to the end point. I prefer the Bay Crit Series and races like the Scotty's Race. But at the top of my list at the moment is definitely the mountain bike racing. The people are friendly, the venues are great and overall it is just a lot more relaxing than sitting in a car all day following the car in front and stressing because you can't get to the feed station just to watch them whiz past.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Bike adjustments since last ride

- lowered seat a little
- shoe cleats back a little