Not exactly an old timer, but I have done ATB a couple of times & advise
1) keep up a good food & drink intake right throughout the day. Hunger flats are no fun....
From what I recall the lunch provided was pretty dodgy, so don't rely on that too much. Take plenty of other supplies/gels/powerbars whatever & some extra cash is always a good idea too.
2) Not sure what your personal bunch riding skills are, but be aware that there will be many out there who are bit nervous in a bunch and are quite likely to do something unexpected - so stay alert.
3) Watch out for magpies around Werribee & Lara
We went well thanks Dilettante. Did the 250 with my girlfriend, started at 5.30 am and rolled in at 6.30pm. Had a long break during lunch and the ferry. Averaged about 26.5km/h on the computer in nearly 10 hours of riding. The road south to Geelong was fairly tough, head wind most of the way. Seemed to be at the front of some of the packs for a fair while. The road up to Port Arlington was hillier than we expected so the three hours rest between arriving at Queenscliff and leaving Portsea was worthwhile. The tailwind on the second half was a dream come true!
We had been told that there would be lots of groups to draft, but on the day there weren't too many. We probably found the ride harder than we had anticipated, but bounced back well on Monday. Had a slow and steady 7km commute to work to ease the lactic acid out. We probably under estimated the cold, could have done with another layer during the day. The southerly seemed to sap a lot of energy as we waited around for the ferry.
With the food we ate loads of pasta the night before and had large bowls of oats in the morning. This served us well, to the point we didn't want to eat too much on the day. Fruit and nut bread with honey sandwiches, snakes and power bars got us through.
Found the group riding skills of some groups lacking. No signals, no calling out and stopping en mass on the road. However, people were pretty friendly and we both had a good time.
Overall a fun day, but next time we will probably just ride to Portsea have a lazy lunch and ride back. Have done round the bay, looking for the next challenge now..!
Did the 250 with my girlfriend, started at 5.30 am and rolled in at 6.30pm. Had a long break during lunch and the ferry. Averaged about 26.5km/h on the computer in nearly 10 hours of riding.!
Well done. I rolled in about 15 minutes ahead of you, with about the same AVS. Very pleased as was my first ATB. I sheperded a mate from Sydney around the course, so would like to try it solo next time and go a bit harder.
You and your girlfriend didn't happen to be wearing mostly red, and does she have long dark hair? We kept passing (and being passed by) a couple meeting that description from Drysdale to Port Melbourne.