Sunday, 16 September 2012


Amy Gillett Gran Fondo:
If I have one piece of advice for those considering doing the AG GF, it's get accommodation closer to Lorne than Melbourne, for doing what Dave Kelly and I did, which is to drive down for the 6am briefing, makes for a wake up time closer that's to 3am than it is to 4am. That's not cool.

My stated plan for the day was to ride ride with the guys from Baum, including Darren, Dave, Ryan, Jim and Steve, hit the Skenes Creek climb at full pace, then ride with the guys again. I kind of wanted to be up the pointy end playing with the guys I normally train with, but this was too good an opportunity to ride with mates to pass up. So I set about rolling back down the 4,000 odd riders to find them. At the last moment, everyone appeared and we rolled off, 1,000 or so riders back in a sea of lycra bodies and carbon bikes (present company an obvious exception).

We bunch hopped along the GOR, giggling and attacking each other with abandon. It was fun, though occasionally required floating back to ensure everyone stayed roughly together.

Then the signs for the Skenes Creek township started and I got weirdly nervous. I'd done a great job of telling everyone my plan, which left me very open to someone trying to beat me and brining the whole house of cards tumbling down. I'll admit I was a little relieved to hear Dave back out of playing (he pleaded fitness) and also when I head Ryan had mechanical'ed (though I was simultaneously sad for Ryan missing out on the ride). Anyway as we hit the climb I tried to set a tempo, initially it was tough due to gutter to gutter riders blocking my way, but eventually I found a rhythm at around 85rpm. I had to stand a few times to ease give my muscles and arse a quick respite, but mostly I sat with my hands relaxed on the tops of my bars and worked on keeping the legs fluid. I feel there might have been a few more seconds in it, but all in all I was relatively happy given I had to pace myself up the whole way without the benefit of a sit or fast wheels. Oh, that might be worth mentioning, my race wheels need some love, so I had to make do today with my box section training wheels.

I'll compile a list of mates and my times for comparison at some point. The short version is after viewing the official results I'm reasonably pleased with my time given the lack of sit and lack of fast wheels.

Stolen from Steve's instagram (@pinstripes).

From the top of that climb through Deans Mash, the bottom of Benwerrin climb was relatively uneventful. We lost a rider or two (Darren attacked, Todd had to set his own pace due to cramps) and in Forrest I gained a sausage with onions in bread.

I rolled through Deans Marsh, telling the others I was going to set my own pace to ensure I didnt keep DK waiting too long, and set a tempo marginally under threshold. My legs were tired and I could feel the distant threat of mutiny, like thunder from a storm on the far horizon, and so I scoffed a gel. I haven't bothered to find my time up this final climb, I doubt it set anyone's world alight, unlike the descent from the finish line back to town. That thing is magical. I pushed hard into my legs to hold good speeds and cranked my bike over hard into every corner, loving the fact that it was closed to traffic till almost the very bottom.

So yeah, that's my day, I did exactly what I stated I would do, though I should have told people I was going to take photos, I didn't get the camera out once the whole day.

Strava link.

D: 123.7km
A: 1,808m

PMPW: 92kg

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