Quite a challenging afternoon. Met up with Snuffy, Oz & Weg and Fed square in lovely, but cool, sunshine.
Teamed up with Snuffy as we were both riding the same gear (69/70") Snuffy on his fixie and I on the newish single speed.
Collected the 'manifest' (list of waypoints/checkpoints) from the MCG and spent 5 min plotting them on the map to sort out the best route.
1st checkpoint was in South Yarra/Toorak with a nice cobbled climbed as a taste of what was to come. (glad a changed from a 78" to a 70" gear
) Then a quick crosstown ride to Albert Park with a number of quite long cobbled sections to I think 3 checkpoints
I thought we were riding reasonable 'tempo' until Mr B flew past in one cobbled section like he was riding on smooth tarmac
At this stage the drizzle had started to give that extra Roobaix flavor and had to be carefull with the wet cobbles with no sudden moves/steering to ensure the rubber side stayed down.
Then it was into the CBD for another few checkpoints, lost Snuffy when I had to double back as I had dropped my checpoint card.
One checkpoint was at the top of a carpark, 8 levels I think, boy was I getting dizzy just going round and round and round.
I couple of people stacked on the way down from the wet top level of the carpark into the 1st corner (wet concrete, white painted lines & too much speed will people ever learn)
By this time the rain had certainly 'set in' and staying dry was only a wish
A couple more checkpoints in back alleys going northish from the CBD through Parkville and into Brunswick and onto the dreaded
Col D' Ugly
a nice long and steepening cobbled climb to the penultimate checkpoint, at this stage Snuffy's legs were toasted (can't stopped pedaling on a fixie
at least a could coast/freewheel) so he went around the easier way as I attemped the climb, it was tuff with nice large gaps between the bluestones just waiting to trap your front wheel and as it was still raining quite slippery so you couldn't 'overcrank' and had to concentrate on being nice & smooth. I made it to the top OK and found at the checkpoint people with GEARED MTB's were walking down from the top how weak is that!!
Anyway made it to the finish at the Brunswick Veledrome bit of an anticlimax as it was truely p&ssing down and people weren't reallly hanging around and the concrete veledrome was probably to dangerous (wet) to ride safely (in the past there have been further 'events')
All in all a great fun event, the weather can't be helped, and would recommend it to anyone thats looking for something a little different.
Thanks to Snuffy for his local navigation knowledge and company.
My LBS had also loaned to me a Garmin GPS and will post the link when the map has been uploaded etc, assuming I managed to turn it on correctly
Edit: the blue bike with the white chain, rolls saddle & campag brakes is mine, nice photos OZ
Snuffy & I made every climb except for the last one for Snuffy