Rapha Festive 500 – 2012

I have signed up for the Rapha Festive 500 – 2012.  The Festive 500 is a challenge to Ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve posting evidence of your endeavours. Use photos, videos, prose, poetry, drawings, or any other creative application you see fit, through these channels using hashtag #festive500.

This seems straightforward enough even though I am working through Christmas without a break.  Here is my plan for getting it done:

Day No Date Day Type of Day Distance
Day 1 24-Dec-12 Monday Work Day 25km
Day 2 25-Dec-12 Tuesday Public Holiday 100km
Day 3 26-Dec-12 Wednesday Public Holiday 100km
Day 4 27-Dec-12 Thursday Work Day 25km
Day 5 28-Dec-12 Friday Work Day 25km
Day 6 29-Dec-12 Saturday Weekend 100km
Day 7 30-Dec-12 Sunday Weekend 100km
Day 8 31-Dec-12 Monday Work Day 25km
Total 500km

I think I will have earned a rest after that!


Fleche Opperman All Day Trial 2013

It has been a while since I have posted but that doesn’t mean that I have abandoned cycling! I took a break from long rides for a while but have maintained cycle commuting 9 km each way for most days of my working week. Although the distance I cycle each day is not far, the consistency of riding most days a week helps keep my fitness up. I was fit enough to complete the Santos Great Bike Ride for Charity 2012 in under 2 hours. Ok, so 53 km in 1:59:55 isn’t that great a time but it’s ok considering that is my longest ride this year! Anyway, the Great Bike Ride was an awesome day out on the bike and it was good to see nearly 4,000 cyclists of all ages, shapes, sizes and fitness levels out there giving it a go.

Fleche Opperman All Day Trial 2013
I have signed up for the Fleche Opperman All Day Trial in 2013. The Fleche Opperman All Day Trial (or “The Oppy”) is an annual event held by Audax Australia. The Oppy is an event for teams of three to five bicycles and is held over 24 hours. The course and distance are chosen by each team and must be at least 360km long and finish at a designated location in each state. You can find out more about the event here: http://www.audax.org.au/public/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=52&Itemid=72

I will be spending the next couple of months training hard to make sure I can keep up with my team. Should be fun!

Audax ‘Avonguard’ – 200km Ride Report

I was worried about this ride. My kilometres are way down and it was not going to be an easy ride with forecast temps of 37C, hills and headwinds.

Leg 1 – Clackline to Northam – 46km
We set off a bit after 8. Temp was fine but I immediately started to struggle. All the other riders took off but Perry hung back to have a chat. My heart rate was unusually high, peaking at 170bpm, 13 minutes into the ride but my speed was very low – I was struggling to maintain 15km/h. I had a chat to Perry who left me to fix my rear mudguard. Mudguard fixed, I set off again. It took about half an hour to warm up and then the ride into Northam was relatively easy. I really enjoyed the sections of the ride that followed the Avon River. Nicely scenic and a great way to start the ride. The weather held and being an overcast day it remained a pleasant riding temperature. Riding time: 2:05 (22.08km/h).
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Goals for the 2010-2011 Audax Year

Since I am now 40 I decided to set myself some goals for the 2010-2011 Audax Year.

My goals are to qualify for a Year Round Randonneur award and a Super Randonneur award.
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Opperman All Day Trial – 2010

Well, I am not too sure about how to write this one up. I, me, former couch potato and former fattie, competed in an national endurance cycling event over the weekend.

On Friday, I was wondering what had made me think it was a good idea to compete in a 24 hour, 360km cycling event. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to finish. But it was too late. I was team leader of a team of four, so I was committed.

I got up early and left on time to ride to the start point at the narrows. I arrived 10 mins before the start time and there was no one there, so I thought I might have the location wrong. It didn’t take long for my team to turn up and we set off a little late.

There were some headwinds heading down the coast to Port Bouvard but the views were spectacular and made it an enjoyable run. After the turn around at Lake Clifton we had a quick run in to Pinjarra with a nice tail wind to push us along. The sun was setting as we left Pinjarra so we donned hi-vis gear and set up our lights.

Heading north on the new freeway PSP was an absolute pleasure again assisted by some tail winds. After a quick stop at Thomas Road, we headed off to Mundijong and then Armadale.

Armadale at midnight on a Saturday night was quite entertaining but we didn’t have any problems. Another quick stop and we pushed north towards Midland. Riding at night was quite invigorating and we all found new energy to keep going.

A couple of big hills to push through to Jane Brook slowed us down but after that we made short work of the trip through Midland to the glorious new Reid Highway. It was so smooth and fast to ride on with a nice tail wind.

I struggled to make it from there to Bayswater as I was tired and dehydrated. We got in at 4:00 AM with our host kindly heating a delicious veggie curry with Haloumi cheese. I was finished eating by 5 so crawled into bed for a 1/2 power nap which was over so fast! A hot shower got me going again and we were out the door on the dot of 6.

The dash down to Freo was mad! The other were riding so fast I had no hope of keeping up, but then one team mate let me draft off him so we made up some time.

We pulled into Freo at the end point with 15 mins to spare. I was really happy to successfully complete the hardest thing I have ever done.

4 riders, 24 hours, 368km. Opperman All Day Trial… check!

P.S. we are already planning next year’s ride!

Audax ‘Perru’s Parambulation (DNF)’ – 300km

I barley got 3 hours sleep so arrived at Bullsbrook feeling very tired. After faffing about setting up my bidons, rack etc, I set off with the group feeling like crawling into bed and struggling with energy levels. I was hoping with coffee, the right nutrition and the right hydration I would come good. I didn’t.

After the first checkpoint (Bindoon?) I started to struggle to keep up. The headwind got stronger and stronger and the hills got stepper and steeper, and I got slower and slower. Carolyn, Rowena, Steve and Grant kept stopping to wait but eventually Steve and Carolyn had to ride off because of time constraints. I eventually, barely crawled into Toodyay, the 100km point and realised I would not be riding 300km today.

The cafe at Toodayay is awesome! They have a range of amazing food, drinks and desserts and I felt better after after a huge salad and cheese sandwich and a drink.

I set off back to Bullsbrook along the very bumpy Julimar Road. I kept up with Grant and Row for a while but eventually they kept dropping me and then stopping to wait. I got slower and slower and they eventually took off to the control so that Grant could get water. I met them there only 10 mins behind (they took the high road and I took the low road). After a drink and a break I managed to hang on until the end of the ride.

I would rate this as the hardest ride I have ever done including Dambusters, a 300km ride and the first ride back 2 weeks after breaking my knee (i.e. my knee was still broken and extremely painful). The hill, heat and headwind were relentless and really sapped my energy levels which were low to begin with.

However, it was great to get out again and catch up with the guys, Caroline and meet Missy24. We rode through some spectacular countryside along very quiet roads with very little traffic. It was very relaxing to ride without the constant noise of cars. A huge shout out to Caroline who kept going on to do 300km after Toodyay, you are an amazing rider. Thanks to Grant again for the company and Missy… if that is how you ride when you are struggling, I don’t wanna see you on a good day. Congrats to all.

Link to the Map of the route

You can read my original ride report, and what other people said about the ride, here

First year of cycling

Well, it is now one year since I got back on the bike after more than 15 years without regular exercise. I started the year very unfit and obese. I don’t recall being particularly happy at the time and really felt like making some major changes in my life. I guess my impending 40th birthday played a big part in the changes I have made and my return to cycling could be considered my ‘mid life crisis’.

I started the year with a pretty basic goal, to ride the 9km to work and back every day. I was lucky to have a working circa 1990 Repco Superlite in the shed which I have owned for more than 15 years. A service and a new tyre later and I was off. What suprised me was how much fun I found cycling. I really enjoyed my rides to and from work. The feeling of cycling is pretty hard to describe.
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