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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

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Old 12-17-11, 04:33 AM   #1
Machka 
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Weekend Cycling/Exercise - December 17/18

It's the weekend before Christmas ... did you get out for a bicycle ride? Or skiing? Or skating? or swimming?



Saturday - Rowan and I are working our way through the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge (www.7peaks.com.au), and today we took on Mount Buller.

The Mount Buller climb is one of the longer ones because it starts in Mansfield some distance away. The first 33 km is a gradual-to-steep undulating ascent, against a headwind coming down from the mountains. A very long warm-up. It was also quite hot and I overheated on some of the steeper climbs. I was beginning to wonder if I'd make it all the way up, when the clouds started rolling in, and temperature dropped a little bit.

We took a short break in a little park at Mirimbah, at the park gates, and then the real climbing began and continued to the top. However, there was one section of about a kilometre in the middle where the terrain became a little flatter. I had been comfortably slogging away at 7 km/h for well over an hour, when all of a sudden my speed increased and I was doing the blistering pace of 15 km/h! I debated if the sudden increase in speed was the gel I'd eaten a short time before, or a smaller percentage of grade. I suspect it was the smaller percentage of grade.

The other thing that happened shortly after Mirimbah was the rain. It started to pour! Huge drops of rain bouncing off our frames and the road, and in no time we were soaked through. I debated about putting on a jacket, but opted not to. It was still reasonably warm (about 20C) ... except when the wind blew ... and I wanted to keep as much of the clothing I had in my Pendle Carradice as dry as possible for the descent.

The rain stopped several kilometres and some time later, and the sun came out again, peaking through the clouds so we were able to dry off a bit.

3 km from the finish we reached a hairpin turn, and the climbing became significantly steeper. I took one look at the road and thought I would have to start walking, but I gave it a go, and it wasn't that bad. There were a couple more steep pinches after that, and at 1.5 km to go, my legs suddenly told me that they'd had enough. I stopped for a little break and took some pictures, and then continued on.

My stomach was growling with hunger (I hadn't felt very hungry on the way up so hadn't eaten much), and my legs were protesting, as I rounded the next corner and took on the final steep climbs to Mt Buller Village. Again, I thought I would have to walk, but I gave it a final push, and ... puffing like a steam engine ... I topped the climb.

At some point around the 3 km from the finish hairpin, Rowan made a discovery. He had removed his 26T granny to put on the tandem for our 300K randonnee last weekend, and all he had was a 30T granny to work with. I think he toyed with the idea of walking too, but we both made it all the way to the top.


And, as on the other climbs we've done, there were lots of other cyclists around. We sort of leap frogged a couple women who were much faster than we were, but they stopped for a break partway up which allowed us to catch and pass them. Some of the cyclists were doing the 7 Peak challenge, others were climbing for other reasons.

We stopped for something to drink and a sandwich at the top, dressed in warmer clothes (the temperature at the top was quite cool and it was threatening rain again), and began the descent. The steeper 15 km down to Mirimbah went fairly well. I'm still quite slow on curvy descents.

But the remainder of the ride back to Mansfield was great! We had a tailwind and the lay of the land, despite the occasional undulations, was downhill. We flew along! We did have to make a few stops along the way, however, in order to shed layers as it was quite warm down in the valley.

And then we stopped for pizza.


Stats:
Total Distance: 97.59 km
Rise: 1214 metres
Grade Average: 4%
Grade Max: 13% (I suspect this was at the end)


Mt Buller is the mountain in the distance on the right ...


Me, taking an "I'm overheating after that last climb" break ...


Rowan, looking way too fresh in the heat ...


Shortly after the real climbing began ... we cycled into an unusual part of the world ...


(Click photos for more photos of the mountains we've climbed on the 7 Peak Alpine Ascent Challenge)

Last edited by Machka; 12-18-11 at 07:42 AM.
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Old 12-17-11, 06:21 PM   #2
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Tried a new 32 mile route today. 40* with a slight breeze at the start. After taking several wrong turns, I finally found the route I was following. At about mile 25, it started sleeting; at mile 27, it turned to snow flurries start. At mile 32, I flatted...wait a minute, shouldn't I be back at my car? This was only supposed to be 32 miles round trip.

With all the wrong turns it made at first, I was still about a mile from my car. Since I was on my SS cross bike with my SPD mountain shoes, I decided just to hoof it back to the car as opposed to deal with the flat.
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Old 12-17-11, 07:15 PM   #3
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Just finished my ride for the day. Just 45 miles today since I got a late start. Nice enough ride with the temps right around freezing at the start but plenty of sun and only a mild wind. With good road conditions I was able to take the LeMond Zurich out instead of the cross bike so the pace was faster.
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Old 12-17-11, 07:33 PM   #4
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Today my friend and I rode 56.1 miles from palo alto to Fremont and back, and then had lunch. it was a nice 61 degrees outside with lite winds.
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Old 12-17-11, 09:10 PM   #5
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25 miles friday 40 Saturday bouldering Sunday, I would have gone farther Saturday but I couldn't find my booties and didn't bring energy bars. I started to bonk on the bike maybe one day I will get this long distance biking down.
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Old 12-17-11, 10:02 PM   #6
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Just finished a 255k brevet. It was cold at the start, but pretty pleasant (but cool) most of the day. Good time, good friends, two new riderst to boot.
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Old 12-17-11, 11:37 PM   #7
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Sunday - no cycling today ... a little bit tired from yesterday's ride. But did get in a walk which helped stretch things out a bit.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:46 AM   #8
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Saturday did a solo century because I wanted to get it in before the end of the year and this weekend had some great weather. I was seriously cooked after the ride, and had some knee pain the developed around dinner time. I went to sleep and when I woke up the knee pain was gone. So Sunday I didn't want to look at my road bike after Saturday's ride so I took my TT bike out and did 50 miles. The weather lined up nicely and the last 25 miles I had a nice tailwind. It's just so much fun to ride for an hour at 28mph, makes you feel like Superman for a minute until you realize that pros can hold that speed into a headwind.

Sunday's ride had another weird incident, I was sorta in the middle of nowhere and I see a large animal emerge from the woods ahead of me, and as I got closer I saw it was a cat, but frickin' huge. When I got about 20 yards away it saw me and stopped and I stopped to snap a picture. It was definitely a Florida Panther, which is rad because apparently there are only like 150 of them left a live in the wild. However, as I was fumbling with my camera I made eye contact with the panther and I got the signal from my brain that said, "this is a predator and you need to go." And it started walking towards the road so I beat it before it got near me. Not really a call, but still enough to get the heart racing.

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Old 12-18-11, 02:36 PM   #9
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I got 15 miles in thrursday late afternoon(65deg), friday mid day 22 miles(68deg) and saturday morning 43 miles (55deg). Today I`m going to rest and watch the Tebow Bronco`s beat the Brady Patriots
We get panthers up here in the panhandle sometimes too. A black bear was spotted about 40 miles from where I live this past summer. Nice picture of the panther, you must have a awesome zoom on your camera.

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Old 12-18-11, 03:26 PM   #10
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I had a similar encounter with a mountain lion while cycling in Alberta, in the Rockies, one day a few years ago along about dusk. But I certainly didn't take the time to get my camera out and take a photo!!

Nikephoros ... what kind of camera do you have? And what lenses are you using?
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Old 12-18-11, 03:48 PM   #11
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Have been sick all week . My mom didn't let me ride Saturday, went for a 35 mile ride today. Going to do a bigger ride on tuesday.
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Old 12-18-11, 03:54 PM   #12
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50 mile ride this morning. Started with temps in the low 20s and some serious fog coming off the lake. Spent the first hour of the ride covered in ice crystals from the fog freezing on me, pretty cool!! I am now just 35 miles short of 8000 for the year. I am going to make it easily!!!
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Old 12-18-11, 04:08 PM   #13
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If a predator like a panther or mountain lion picks on a cyclist, even from several hundred meters away, would it be at all possible for a cyclist to outrun it? Nikephoros and Machka, I think you were both lucky that they didn't pick on you in the first place. :shudder:
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Old 12-18-11, 06:34 PM   #14
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My some day father in law and I did go out despite the weather being Sub Freezing. Around 30 Fahrenheit. We had not done hills in a while and figured due to the cold we wouldn't stay out for too long. What better way to stay warm then to climb? About an 11 mile ride with as much up hill as possible. We climbed to the top of the two small mountains here where I live. Here are just a few shots taken from my cell phone.

I should also note, this (The red Fuji Newest) is the bike we just gave him for his Birthday 2 weeks ago. He's already put close to 200 miles on it. Not bad for the month of December, here in the Northeast of the states.

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Old 12-18-11, 06:49 PM   #15
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First ride after six months off with chronic tendonitis. A whopping 30 minutes, but damn it felt good to be on a bike again.
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Old 12-18-11, 06:55 PM   #16
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First ride after six months off with chronic tendonitis. A whopping 30 minutes, but damn it felt good to be on a bike again.
Congrats on the great return!
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Old 12-18-11, 06:58 PM   #17
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If a predator like a panther or mountain lion picks on a cyclist, even from several hundred meters away, would it be at all possible for a cyclist to outrun it? Nikephoros and Machka, I think you were both lucky that they didn't pick on you in the first place. :shudder:
A properly fit cyclist would probably be skinny enough to be of no benefit for a real predator looking for some meat. Lol.
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Old 12-18-11, 07:05 PM   #18
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Holy crap, Nikephoros, is that your photo? Amazing!

Yesterday I watched my bestie take 3rd in the SW4s Colorado State Cyclocross champs, then 3 of us went and rode 55 miles, pretty much the Elephant Rock metric century route.

Today, 50 miles, 35 of it with my new race team.

I'm so happy that the weather was nice through the weekend -40 yesterday, 52 today, sunny & no wind. Tonight it's supposed to snow again.
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Old 12-18-11, 07:56 PM   #19
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Nice ride! It's "cold" here, 50F, but dry. I don't like cold weather and this is my first year of forcing myself to ride year round.
Got out for a 28 mile ride with 1150ft of elevation. That's a lot for me; I suck at hills. Coming down the 10% backside a deer ran across the road ahead of me. I saw two more when I had stopped for a break.
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Old 12-18-11, 08:04 PM   #20
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If a predator like a panther or mountain lion picks on a cyclist, even from several hundred meters away, would it be at all possible for a cyclist to outrun it? Nikephoros and Machka, I think you were both lucky that they didn't pick on you in the first place. :shudder:
The one I saw crossed the road some distance in front of me, then ran up onto the embankment on the opposite side of the road. It crouched there, and it was when it crouched I realised what it was. I cycled past it, with only a bit of dirt from the embankment and half a road in between us. I sat up as tall as I could and looked at it with my helmet light shining hoping that I would look large and strange and not like something it would want for dinner ... because, no, it would not be possible for a cyclist to outrun it.

I was really, really nervous for a couple hours after that siting. For all I knew, it could be stalking me.
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Old 12-18-11, 08:22 PM   #21
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18 miles. And then my feet went numb. 22 degrees.
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Old 12-19-11, 07:41 AM   #22
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Had planned to ride this weekend but other plans royalling screwed it up! We were going to pick up the fiance's new bike Saturday and get a few miles in but we decided instead of spending 7 hours in the car just to pick it up wasn't a great idea. They're shipping it to us. Then I said, "Lets get some Christmas shopping done while they put the winter tires on your car then I'll go for a ride" Wrong. Christmas shopping took allllllll day. Sunday we worked a kids craft area on "Polar Express" tour of State College. I'm not complaining about that, it was a lot of fun. And the schedule's not getting any better so other than a mountain bike ride I have scheduled for next Tuesday, it doesn't look like I'm getting on the road again this year.
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Old 12-19-11, 05:27 PM   #23
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No, no. Not my photo, took it from wikipedia. I did stop to take a photo with my camera phone but once the cougar started walking towards me I got the hell out of there rather than stick around to get a picture.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:10 PM   #24
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No, no. Not my photo, took it from wikipedia. I did stop to take a photo with my camera phone but once the cougar started walking towards me I got the hell out of there rather than stick around to get a picture.
As a photographer I am glad to see this. Was going to break out the B.S. flag is someone said it was taken with a camera phone, LOL!! Oh, and I am jealous, I've nailed lots of wildlife shots but have yet to see more than just the tail of a mountain lion.



This shot needed a 12 lb 800mm lens to get.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:24 AM   #25
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No, no. Not my photo, took it from wikipedia. I did stop to take a photo with my camera phone but once the cougar started walking towards me I got the hell out of there rather than stick around to get a picture.
I thought I had seen that photo somewhere else before.

And good idea to get out of there!!
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