Last weekend I took part in the Alpine Classic - an audax in the mountains and high plains of Victoria state in Australia. https://www.alpineclassic.com.au/
There are a number of ride lengths starting at 60km, but I decided that if I was going to bother traveling this far I might as well go for the 250km event.
I studied the ride profile (http://www.cyclingprofiles.com.au/HT..._ADXACE250.htm) and did a few calculations. Gradients were consistent with some of the climbs at home, so I wasn't too worried. There was a choice of start times (4am and 6.19am) and after my calculations I decided on the later one. The finish line timing didn't stop until 8.50pm that night, so I should have plenty of time even if I wasn't particularly fast.
However, I've never done any of these particular climbs nor an event this long, and this inexperience showed. Doing a shorter climb (even if as steep) multiple times just doesn't prepare you for the 35km grind up to Mt Hotham.
Three big mistakes:
- should have done the 4am start
- should have had an extra cog out back (a 28 or 32)
- should have been quicker with my rests and stops
I was the last man to get officially logged in to the Dinner Plain check point. The staff told me that I would miss the next one in Omeo, which I did.
I was having fun and riding along well through Omeo, but I pulled out at Angler's Rest because I was going to miss all the remaining check points and food stops, and probably the timing cut off at 8.50pm as well.
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/64912350 - did 140km before deciding to withdraw.
Moving ave was just over 20km/h, but too slow up the steep climbs and I didn't realise how long all my stops were. The Dinner Plains and Omeo stops (longer) and the odd short one (to pee or to get some food out of a pocket/wrapper) all added up.
I was the Lantern Rouge for a while there with the guy in the truck behind me picking up the event road signs!
The Blue Duck Inn was a perfect place to stop even though I could have continued - a cold beer never tasted so good. I did have my wife in a car as back up heading over from Falls Creek, but it was safer to stop when I did. The pub was pretty much going to be the last building for the next 50km. Not worth getting stuck in the middle of no where waiting for a ride.
Bit disappointed, but had a lovely ride and will be back for another crack at the 250 (with a few lessons learned) or a go at one of the shorter rides.
Organisers were fantastic. The officials who I chatted to outside of Omeo were very sensible (they checked all my gear out and my physical condition) and also very supportive (they were happy to let me continue).
If you want to do some wonderful rides, then this is an event worth checking out.