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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-27-11, 10:35 PM   #1
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Clyde on the loose in the mountains - one day 250km audax event

Last weekend I took part in the Alpine Classic - an audax in the mountains and high plains of Victoria state in Australia.

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 ( 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. - 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.
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Old 01-27-11, 11:09 PM   #2
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Bummer about the time limits! But over 8000 ft of climbing, still a darn good ride! Keep at the long climbs, you'll smoke this ride next time.
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Old 01-28-11, 06:23 AM   #3
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I'd say you did great on your first try! Now that you know what to expect, I bet you'll get it next time.
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Old 01-28-11, 10:29 AM   #4
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Awesome. Every ride is an opportunity to learn something.
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Old 01-29-11, 04:39 AM   #5
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Wife is already looking to book accommodation closer to the start line for next year!

She's planning to do one of the shorter events with my sister.
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Old 01-29-11, 09:40 AM   #6
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Not bad for what sounds like a first attempt at a ride with hills of that magnitude. I've done some mighty hilly brevets around here; the 3 Volcanoes 300k crosses 3 mountain passes and gains 11,500' over 190 miles. The key when you're doing slow grind hill climbs like those isn't to ride super fast, but you've already nailed it down: Be fast at your controls. That was my problem early on with my brevet riding, is that I'd dawdle at the controls and lose a ton of time. You can pick up an easy 30 minutes by getting efficient at your control stops on a 300k.
"I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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