280km Is A Long Day In The Saddle
Myself and 30 others rode from Melbourne to Inverloch yesterday. That’s 280km from the start/finish cafe, and over 300km for some of the hardmen who rode to and from there! That’s over 40,000 pedal strokes. We smashed it in just over 8hrs and beat our time from last year due to some favorable shifting winds. I’ve never been so lucky with tailwinds in my entire cycling career! Wish I could say the same about the rain however…
The lumpy section from the 65km to the 210km mark in the course profile below has some of the most sensational roads I’ve ever ridden on. Absolute magic! Even though the rain and fog persisted (and it was a beautiful sunny day in Melbourne) we were prepared for it and the conditions gave it a spring classics type of feel that was quite amazing in its own right. Attacking the gravel roads to stay up front (so you didn’t get sprayed by mud) made me feel like Boonen on his way to Roubix for a moment or two. If only Inverloch had a velodrome to finish on…
We averaged almost 33km/hr which is a reasonable pace for a ride that’s not a race. The power that I averaged is just below what I recorded at the Melbourne to Warrnambool last year where we did 300km in 7hrs (41km/hr). The difference here is that there were some decently big hills in the mix where there was no hiding yesterday (the Warny is as flat as a pancake). If only the Warny had a lunch stop at a seaside cafe in the middle. I’ll be talking to the organizers about that.
Below is my powertap summary of the day. Even though it looks like I spent a lot of time in my recovery zones (which I did), however over the 280km I still spent 1.5hrs at threshold and above. No wonder I feel like I went out for a big night on the piss last night! My legs have a hangover. I hope everyone else does too.
The more people who read this site the more comedians I encounter. There’s never a shortage of lighthearted “taking the piss” as the Aussies call it.
Any CYCLING TIPS Wade? Well, as a matter of fact…
On a long ride like this were you have a support vehicle traveling with you there are a few luxuries you can afford to you ensure your 8hrs in the saddle are as comfortable as possible.
– No matter how good the forecast is looking, bring a complete change of kit. Socks, booties, arm/leg/knee warmers, gloved, vest, jearsey, cap, and whatever else you can fit in.
– Bring twice as much food as you think you’ll need. If you can bring “real food”, even better. I burned over 6000 calories on this ride and it’s important that a good portion of them are replaced during the ride. With the heaps of food and drink that I ate, I figure that I only replaced 3000 calories. Jam sandwiches on white bread are a great real food snack. They’re relatively high in calories, easy to eat, and easy to digest. They give you a feeling of satisfaction that you don’t get when eating energy bars and gels all day long.
– Bring extra lube. I would have taken 2yrs off the life of my drivetrain if someone else hadn’t been smart enough to bring extra lube.
If you’re doing a ride like this and you don’t have a support vehicle, then there are still some things you can do to make your ride as enjoyable as possible:
– bring an extra undershirt in a plastic bag and change it half way through the ride. You’ll feel fresh a daisy.
– I chose to wear two sets of knicks as well as chamois cream on the base set. Best decision I made all day.
– One thing that I wish that I had was a rain vest. I had a full rain jacket with sleeves but kept getting too warm and constantly was taking it off and putting it back on. I had always wondered why you’d want a rain vest instead of a full rain jacket until yesterday. With the full rain jacket you’ll most likely get soaked with sweat and condensation. The rain vest look like the perfect clothing choice for yesterday when it was raining off and on.
– Even if you don’t have a support vehicle, it would be a wise choice to bring a small bottle of lube. If you don’t have lube and absolutely need some, try this tip from the ghetto.
I cannot thank Crowie and the rest of the Ridewiser crew enough for organizing this fantastic day out on the bike. They provided a support van/sag wagon, motorbike with photographer, extra water and food, unbelievable organization and expert riders to make sure everything and everyone ran smoothly. If you do the math, these guys didn’t make a penny from the small fee each of us paid.
I’ll be linking to some photos that our professional photographer Veeral was taking of the ride yesterday. Judging by his previous work, we’re all looking forward to the stunning photoset that he’ll be posting. I’ll be working with Veeral in the future to get the high quality photos I would like for some future posts.
Some excellent sample photos that Veeral took yesterday that captured the essence our our EPIC day.