Made a weekend of it to have a mini-break having worked right through xmas/new years/ january
Stayed @ Creswick and there were several other people had the same idea staying @ same hotel.
Watched part of the women's race on the Saturday. New spectacle for me to watch a major race in action.
Did the 100km ride on the Sunday:
Started in the 4th group and finished in the final 10 riders with most passing me on the very first climb up Mt Buninyong.
Counted 2x 13% climbs, 1x 11% climb, 4x 9% climbs and lost count of the 6-7% climbs. The initial climb up Mt Buninyong was a cruel start and day went downhill from there. But I could be wrong, all a blur.
Got caught up in the confusion of the gas leak 200metres from the finish "line". Fireys and police all on one side of the road. I couldn't smell anything, but then again I think I lost my senses around the 50km mark.
Toughest ride I ever did. I came, I saw, I conquered.
Thanks to the group of "MAMILS" in original greenedge kit I spent hours playing tortoise vs hare. One gave up with severe cramping @ 45km but the other 3 kept pushing and left me around the 70km mark. Was taught a new term "WASSIE" (wog aussie) as one called himself.
Did most of the final 60kms on my lonesome. Ahhh the serenity. However riding most of the ride on my lonesome on small country laneways: I have figured out how to get Julian Assange out of the embassy without being shot by police; worked out where Osama Bin Laden is hiding, think I know that Tony Abbott wears briefs, not boxers; Julia Gillard wears big floral undies; Tony Abbott waxes his back; who the next 3 Australian prime ministers are and finally how life is generally pretty ok, despite the crap it throws up.
1256m of climbing (I'm lucky to climb out of bed each day so was impressed with myself)
5hrs 15mins in the saddle for the 100kms
Drank 6.5litres of water and still lost 2kgs - burned 4617 calories
Had the paramedics follow me for 10kms until I waved them through as I was going too slow, even for them
Had the 2nd last sagwagon follow me for 5km before the final rest stop @ 81km and he ultimately passed me @ 92km never to be seen again.
spent longer @ the final aidstop - someone had to finish those final 8 pieces of fruitcake or they woulda gone off
As per above comments, roads were single farm lanes much of the way with annoying winds whistling around the helmet. roads were full of potholes and dodgy fillings
Was quite cold despite arm warmers, leg warmers and windvest staying on all day.
The finish line?: gentleman in pink t-shirt: "hi I'm the finish line, you've just finished Amys ride, congratulations". Me: "about f@cking time you showed up.....". The finish line or lack thereof was a big disappointment. No banner, no marching band, no cheerleaders, not even a chalk line drawn on the road.......
Would I do it again now I've done it? Visit Ballarat/Creswisk/ Buninyong - definitely. Watch the National champs - yeah in a few years. Do 100km Amys ride @ Buninyong - nope, crossed that one off the bucket list and all too hard for me.
In summary: I always admit I'm not a hill climber - I'm a plodder on climbs - well yesterday confirmed that. I've done it but wont be back to do this ride again in this current location. Rode up every single climb bar one (just missed the top by 100metres)
Hung around for 2 laps of the men's race before lethargy kicked in and had my chauffeur drive me back to Melbourne. In bed asleep @ 9:15pm and slept through to 5:15am this morning.
Surprised @ the infrastructure inplace. Dozens of police around.
The Buninyong CFA put on a great BBQ and the fireys were great, both Saturday and Sunday (favourite post-ride meal - local sausages in bread @ bunnings or Officeworks
). Funnily the gas leak was about 300metres up the road from the firestation but another brigade was called to attend because the CFA were too busy cooking sausages to raise funds.
Picked up a cuppla cheap 2012 Canberra Canberra Big ride/AGF jerseys that I didn't buy when i did the ride.
Happy to support a cycling advocacy group and several rural communities by injecting funds into their economy by staying locally and eating locally.