Amy’s Ride Albury 130km (mC3)

28 02 2010

I entered my first ever charity ride today. Amy’s Ride is a non competitive ride in support of the Amy Gillett Foundation, whose primary objective is to reduce the incidence of injury and death caused by the interaction between cyclists and motorists. Amy’s Ride is run at a number of sites around Australia each year. Amy’s Ride Albury is a little different. It is not run by the AGF, but instead is run as part of MAC10 (Multisport AlburyCity).

I’m guessing that there were about 50 starters. Of those, I was number 26.

Tired but ecstatic, I clocked 130.82kms (81.76mi) in 5h 0m 10s which is an average speed of 26.15kph (16.34mph). My goal was actually for a sub 5 hour ride, and I came agonisingly close. 10s over a goal time is as frustrating as falling 11m short on a 30@30 ride.

The marshalling area was down by the river, which meant we were walking around in sand before the ride. As we started I had a little trouble with the left cleat. At the first traffic lights, I unclipped, stamped my foot and sure enough, a ton of dirt and sand and crap came clear. Locked in fine after that. Of course, as I was locking in the lights changed, and everyone started moving and I became victim to the famous zero K fall. Which meant I missed the lights, and had to wait for the next set by myself.

I caught the first group straight away, and discovered and old work colleague amongst them. After a chat, I pushed on. I was never going to reach my goal time in the 20kph group. And so went my morning, catching groups and riders for the first 30km or so, riding with them for a bit and then moving on. Eventually I found my happy place, and spent most of the ride by myself. I still don’t feel comfortable in a group sitting on someone’s wheel.

It was a pretty challenging ride, for me at least. The first 60km wasn’t too bad, but the climb after that was a killer. From the moment I turned north into the State Park, it was all uphill. I’ve never climbed continuously for 7km before, and I have no real desire to do it again. The 7km climb took about 40mins, and I was alone for the duration. I stopped for about 30sec and then discovered that I was only about 2min from the top. Bugger. Had I known I was so close, I would have pushed on.

The only good thing about a 7km climb, is the 7km downhill after that – the easiest 7km I’ve ever done. And thank god for the rider reviver at the bottom. I’d started the day with no fluids, having left my bidons in the fridge at home and not realising until a couple of minutes before the ride. 75kms, no water. I guzzled a bottle at the reviver, and then filled it to take with me. Unfortunately the water I refilled with tasted awful. It’s hard enough drinking warm water without it tasting metallic. But warm metallic tasting water is a damn sight better than none. Luckily I’d also grabbed another bottle for the last 55km. At least the bottled water tasted normal.

From the reviver to the end, it was a case of catch a group, get ahead, then drop behind. Then catch, lead, drop back. I didn’t plan to drop back, but working as a group they kept catching me. Of course once they had, they relaxed and slowed, so I’d pass them again. I had a goal time, and I was pushing for it.

I was well and truly spent by the end, and struggled to keep my speed up in the high 20s. About 500m from the end, I hit traffic lights, and came to a grinding halt. Had I not been forced to stop, I think there was a fair chance I would have scraped in under 5 hours.

Still, I’m very happy with my time. I’ve done two 130km rides in 3 weeks and I am feeling well prepared for next charity ride – Amy’s Ride Canberra (110km). Fully supported, free jersey, and I’ll be riding with a friend.

Finally, a few photos from the day. As a result of $500 in donations, I was required to keep my word and ride in pink lycra.

My first staging area, and it was a lot more casual than I expected. Also, note the start. I think we started backwards. We started facing the finish, and ended facing the start.




One response

28 02 2010

Taking into account the extra 0.82km, I think you can safely claim your sub 5 hour time. Good job! Did you get an Amy Gillet jersey like we did down here?

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