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Old 09-14-03, 03:49 AM   #1
Chris L
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Just once, I would like to do that ride in temperatures below 30 C

Saturday in Brisbane saw the annual slaughter that comes from the Wonders of Glorious Mee. 215km with an estimated 4,000 metres of climbing (including Mt Nebo, Mt Glorious and the steep Mt Mee). Of course, I rode to the start from Fortitude Valley where I was staying for the night. There's not too much mucking around at the start of this ride, as a group of around 20 (more than double last year's turn-out) set off from The Gap and headed straight for Mt Nebo.

This is a climb where it is difficult to get any sort of rhythm, mainly because it is a series of short sharp rises, punctuated by false flats. This was made even worse by the branches all over the road from the previous night's wind storm. Of course, the wind on the mountain provided a reminder of what was to come later in the day (most frightening was that it came from the north-west).

After climbing into sweeping mountain views on Nebo, it's then a short, winding descent before climbing once more - this time the rises are sharper and slightly longer to the first food stop at the summit of Mt Glorious - although in the temperatures there was more water consumed than food. This is actually quite a nice section of the ride, travelling through about the only patch of rainforest in that area.

Unfortunately, there must be a descent, and the descent of Mt Glorious is treacherous, with steep gradients and sharp hair-pin bends that seem to corner for just a little too long to be comfortable. At one point, hard on the brakes, I was seriously wondering what that railing in front of the cliff would feel like. I didn't quite get curious enough to find out. There were actually a couple of crashes on this section behind me. Apparently there were no serious injuries thankfully, but the potential for serious consequences in any crash is more inherent here than anywhere else.

Down into the Brisbane valley, where the wind was massive, and the heat even worse (probably close to 35 C by now). On to the long 50km stretch to Kilcoy, straight into the teeth the same wind that had already snapped branches from trees. Having rather stupidly decided to go on a solo-breakaway here, I decided to take a lower gear and spin for 50km. The wind got even more stroppy (or maybe it was my taunting), but the best part was, there was bugger all it could do to stop me!

There is one savage climb on this section, a steep bit shortly after Lake Wivenhoe. This was worse than last year - a bushfire had recently killed all the surrounding vegetation, leaving only the scent of ash in the air.

By the time I arrived at Kilcoy (the lunch stop for the day), the wind and the heat were taking a toll. I think it was only the thought of lunch that actually kept me going through that section. I also noticed a magpie - the same one who had a 'pop' at me in last year's edition. I flashed the water bottle and he backed off. Evidently he has a long memory.

It was hard to get the legs going after the lunch, an undulating ride to Woodforde, made more interesting by learning that magpies sometimes attack in pairs. This is a problem - how do you decide which one to squirt? Fortunately I had a tailwind by this point, so I took off and left them behind quickly.

Despite having already consumed several litres of water for the day, I topped up in Woodforde (and drunk some more). A smart idea as it turned out. The next challenge was the climb of Mt Mee. For this first 2.67km, this is pretty steep. There were actually a few walkers here (I wasn't one of them - a triple is a good thing), but nobody criticised any of them. The heat was becoming unbearable, and most of the water I picked up at Woodforde ended up being squirted through my helmet vents in a bid to keep my head cool.

Eventually I fought off the urge to throw up, crested the steep section, and encountered another problem. The road turns sharply west in the rolling hills near the top of Mt Mee, straight into the headwind from earlier. Again, I decided to put it into a spin, but with a little less vigour after 160km. Most of the riders were rejoicing in making it to the water stop at Mt Mee. This was a victory in itself.

Someone produced some of that Gatorade powder-mix. Some of it found it's way into one of my bottles (well, at least it would be something different to squirt magpies with). Setting off was even harder this time, but it did give a few moments to enjoy the rolling green hills and spectacular view of the Glasshouse Mountains offered from Mt Mee.

The descent into Dayboro is actually quite scenic, and not quite as steep as the descent of Glorious. The road basically flattens out here, but with a couple of smaller climbs to test the legs. There was one quite challenging climb between Dayboro and Samford - but with under 30km left of the ride, I was feeling pretty good, and tore it apart.

Three of us reunited for the final section through Brisbane's suburbs. One last hill on Settlement Road - it offered little resistance in the end, before we came in to the finish at the Gap well inside the time limit (not that I cared by this point).

I guess the thing that will stick in my mind about this year's edition (apart from the heat) is the comraderie that all of the riders in this edition shared. There was no big-noting or putting anyone else down - only encouragement. People were quite happy to share whatever they had - even though this was a supported ride (and the support crew did a great job, too).

I also noticed that a lot of riders got cramp on this ride. I wasn't one of them, but I'm wondering (if anyone is still actually reading this) what generally causes that to happen. About the only cramp I ever had was leech-inflicted, but I don't think even the leeches would have hung around for long in this heat.
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Old 09-14-03, 09:34 AM   #2
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the cramps are from dehydration. that type of thing is common when you are sweating buckets.
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Old 09-14-03, 10:48 AM   #3
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geez, chris, you sure do whinge about the weather a lot...
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Old 09-14-03, 10:56 AM   #4
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Come on over to Chicago in about February. I'll take you to the northern part of the state with plenty of hills and drop you off on the outskirts and you can ride in similar landscapes at temperatures WAY lower than 30 C.

How does that sound?

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Old 09-14-03, 12:28 PM   #5
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I was wondering what 30 C is in F, so figured others might to in the US 30 converts to 86 F, and 35 is 95 F. That sounds like a great demanding ride Chris, I doubt Icould have finished that one.
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Old 09-14-03, 12:43 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Koffee Brown
Come on over to Chicago in about February. I'll take you to the northern part of the state with plenty of hills and drop you off on the outskirts and you can ride in similar landscapes at temperatures WAY lower than 30 C.

How does that sound?

Koffee
We need to pool are money together and buy him an airline ticket for february use only.
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Old 09-14-03, 01:09 PM   #7
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No problem, Johnny. I got 20 bucks in my pocket right now. Let's get this boy in some real weather he can whine about for a change!

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Old 09-14-03, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by velocipedio
geez, chris, you sure do whinge about the weather a lot...
It was actually a complaint and a gloat all at once. Maybe I should have put both in the thread title.

BTW Koffee, I believe Rowan intends to change my mind about the cold in Tasmania later this year. We shall see.
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Old 09-14-03, 11:59 PM   #9
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Just move down here Chris, we haven't had a day over 25 for 6 months. Winter is long and cold. Saturday was 8 wet with small hail and blowing a steady 30knots. Too crappy for me ride. Sunday was the same and today isn't much better. Might have to move to Queensland.

CHEERS.

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Old 09-15-03, 03:02 AM   #10
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Last time I was in Adelaide the temperature was just beautiful, but that was back in November, it might be different now. There are times when I'd love to change places, but as I watch my passionfruit vine grow toward the new season, and get to ride home in a relatively cool 27C with a seabreeze of the Pacific, and embellish a story like that one, I realise that it's not all bad up here. Now if I could just get it to rain occasionally!
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Old 09-16-03, 01:25 PM   #11
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Chris
Neat story thanks. But one question:


Quote:
Originally posted by Chris L

It was hard to get the legs going after the lunch, an undulating ride to Woodforde, made more interesting by learning that magpies sometimes attack in pairs. This is a problem - how do you decide which one to squirt? Fortunately I had a tailwind by this point, so I took off and left them behind quickly.

Didn't the tail wind help them too? I think you just dropped them.

Way to go


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Old 09-16-03, 09:25 PM   #12
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Originally posted by joeprim
Didn't the tail wind help them too? I think you just dropped them.
It's a nice thought, but as I learned about five years ago riding at 40km/h into a headwind, they aren't that easy to drop. Magpies are just territorial.
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Old 09-21-03, 07:39 AM   #13
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The part I find amazing is that this is what you do for fun; I can't imagine what a post about something you hate doing would sound like!

(It's not the heat; it's the humidity. I'll take 35C with low humidity over 30C with high humidity any day.)
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Old 09-21-03, 10:27 PM   #14
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I'll take 35C with low humidity over 30C with high humidity any day
You should come and live down here then. In summer the humidity is usually single digits around 8%, that's very dry.

CHEERS.

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