The endurance cyclistâ€™s magazine
No. 41 Spring 2009
Cycling across a continent Australia, North America, Africa London-Edinburgh-London EL and back 2Ă—600 in NSW Dungog 600 and the Border 600 On a Trek in the Himalayas Tibet Cycle Challenge
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Checkpoint No. 41—Spring 2009
with Garry Armsworth���������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 3
News and announcements���������������������������������������������������������������������������4
EL and back?���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������6
Bay City Roller
An AUK in AUS������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 9
The Ride of Your Life
Knowing your core values�������������������������������������������������������������������������� 12
The Border 600
Rob Godkin and Hari Goonatillake take a break while riding Bumpy Boddington in July Photo: Andrew Bragg
Where the support is good������������������������������������������������������������������������ 14
Brutal but fair? �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15
Be prepared—or lucky�������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 15 What’s in my bag �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������17
Footscray to Darwin by bike���������������������������������������������������������������������� 18
Breaking the Cycle Expedition
Across Africa by bike �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������21
Fremantle to Bondi
“Well, that’s done!”�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 22
The Race Across America
Team RANS in 2009 ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 24
Break the Cycle Challenge
Across the country then Around the Bay�������������������������������������������������� 26
Preventing heat stroke in endurance cycling���������������������������������������������27
Tips and Techniques
A collection of thoughts on hydration������������������������������������������������������ 29
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge
Your invitation to Taupo������������������������������������������������������������������������������ 30
Tibet Cycle Challenge
On a Trek in the Himalayas �������������������������������������������������������������������������31
Mallee Routes���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 34
Semaine Fédérale en Australie
A word from le Président, Fédération française de cyclotourisme���������35
Australian quota allocation������������������������������������������������������������������������ 36
Why Audax?������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 38
My first brevet
Chris Walsh, 1994���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 39
Results compiled by Stephen George ������������������������������������������������������ 40
A few random bits and pieces�������������������������������������������������������������������� 44
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Editorial Editor & Producer Trevor Gosbell firstname.lastname@example.org Brevet Editor Stephen George email@example.com Distribution Ian Boehm firstname.lastname@example.org Contributions, especially those accompanied by photos and graphics, are always welcome. The closing date for the next issue is 1 November 2009, for publication in December. Please send to: email@example.com, or Editor PO Box 12144 A’Beckett St Melbourne VIC 8006 Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the respective authors, and not necessarily those of the Audax Australia Cycling Club Inc.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
“Obsession, n. An idea, image, or influence which continually fills or troubles the mind; a compulsive interest or preoccupation; the fact or state of being troubled or preoccupied in this way.” [Oxford Dictionary]
else could you make happy—in 13 hours, or even three hours? (If you’re the first type of obsessive, this may take some effort and imagination.) And that’s without the training needed to get the miles into your legs.
This is why I think David Rowe’s book is so important and why I have arranged to print selected extracts in Checkpoint. The final Audax tends to attract a few obsessives. instalment in this issue (p. 12) talks about Broadly, I think randonneurs come in two ‘core values’, a key concept in the book and types of obsessive. For the first type, it is a useful tool for anyone who wants some about the bike—only the bike. If told, “From semblance of normality in those rare off-bike family, job and bike you may pick two” these hours. If you’ve found David’s advice helpful, folks would respond, “One is enough, thanks.” I urge you to go and buy his book from the Much as I admire their focus, I am not of Ride of Your Life website. this type. (If I were, I wouldn’t be ‘wasting’ valuable bike time producing Checkpoint!) While we’re on the subject, I’d be interested to hear how you handle your The other type of obsessive sees the long own obsession—and the reactions of those hours in the saddle as an opportunity to around you who just don’t get it. indulge their other obsession(s). With the body otherwise occupied, their inner Trans-continental cycling. If you’re anything mad scientist gets a free hand to dream like me, you look on those who’ve done it its fiendish schemes. At least, that’s how it with a mixture of awe and envy. (Someday, seems to me. maybe…) This issue covers no less than six intrepid riders (p. 18–26) who are embarking Naturally, I don’t have an obsession. I just on, or have recently completed, such epic have a strong and healthy interest in things rides. Each one an inspirational story. cycling. But as for the rest of you... Finally, I’d just like to thank Sandy Vigar, who Of course, it’s easy to make light of obsession, supplied the LEL coverage in this issue (p. 6) as I just did above, but it can have serious while still on tour in the UK—that’s the kind implications. We choose to engage in a of obsession that an editor likes! time-consuming activity. Just look at the 13.5 hour time limit of the shortest BRM brevet (200 km). What else could you achieve—who Trevor
From the President’s Pedals I started the previous magazine’s column on the topic of PBP country quotas and could do so again but for limited space, so there is a separate article on the quota allocation system that the National Committee has decided to adopt. As noted in the conclusion to that article, the National Committee has strived for a fair allocation mechanism which will also help increase the overall Australian quota. If some riders must miss out it will be unfortunate but perhaps we might see a group representing Australia for the first time at the fixed pace Union des Audax Français Paris-Brest-Paris which will also be run in 2011.
Audax Australia Cycling Club Inc.
with Garry Armsworth
interest in helping out either on a temporary basis or permanently. On other matters, the administrative processes with Cycling Australia for the discounted membership policy for people who hold both an Audax membership and a competitive licence through another CA affiliated club are being bedded down. Watch the website for the announcement which will be out prior to the new membership year which commences 1 November.
A couple of magazines ago, I mused whether we are really an endurance cycling club because of the popularity of the sub-200 km Brevet Australia events relative to the traditional 200 km+ BRM events and the lack of numbers for longer rides like 1200s. Well it would seem that the SydneyThe National Committee has also been Melbourne Alpine 1200 which was the progressing various other issues such as featured ride in the Winter Checkpoint has the new logo, considering adjustments to caught peoples imagination as it was easily the ride rules to better accommodate some fully subscribed with a record setting 50+ non-standard distances (such as the Alpine entries for an Australian 1200. Classic Extreme 250) and establishing some criteria and benchmarks for the award of This week I’ve been filling in for Lorraine life memberships. while she is away and have been processing the small surge of new memberships and While mentioning ACE 250, it has been renewals and other queries that come with well received with some 145 entries received the Alpine Classic opening for entries. Of in the first week of registrations. Data from course if I’d planned things better, I’d have the national brevet secretaries show that made sure that the National Committee had ride participation levels are quite good and appointed a “deputy” for each of the club the Year Round Randonneur award has administration roles so that there could attracted some following (with one member be a seamless transition when someone is even managing to achieve 2 BRM rides per temporarily unavailable or decides it’s time month for the first 6 months of the year). to hand over. But at least it gives me first- Membership numbers are also trending up hand experience of the admin processes after the usual post-PBP fall in 2008. for membership as we progress with the redevelopment of the membership system. Finally, thanks (in no particular order) to Gareth Evans, Alan Walker, Ian Alcorn, Identifying people who can take on these Geoff Farnsworth, Natalie Puchalka and roles has been pretty ad hoc so we’ve put up Yves Quaglio who helped translate the a ‘Want to help?’ page on the website which Audax Club Parisien 2008 results booklet. gives a brief outline of the administrative A copy of the booklet and translation can roles within the club at a national level. be found on the Audax website. While there are no vacancies as such, we’d like to identify people who might have an Enjoy your cycling
Association No. A0014462N ARBN 125 562 307
President NC Garry Armsworth - 0411 252 772 firstname.lastname@example.org Vice President NC Peter Curtis - 03 9503 4554 email@example.com Secretary NC Lindsay Harvey - 0428 284 907 firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer NC Stephen Chambers - 03 5952 5969 email@example.com Membership Secretary Lorraine Allen - 03 5783 2427 firstname.lastname@example.org Brevet Secretary Simon Watt email@example.com National Calendar Coordinator NC Howard Dove - 0403 215 027 firstname.lastname@example.org Training Secretary NC Russell Freemantle - 03 9395 4963 RusselljFreemantle@hotmail.com Committee Members NC David Minter - 0419 755 302 email@example.com Tom Nankivell (ACT rep) - 0432 409 755 firstname.lastname@example.org Lisa Turner - 02 6722 2210 email@example.com Webmaster Mike Boehm firstname.lastname@example.org Region Presidents ACT Kerri-Ann Smith - 02 6258 0607 email@example.com NSW Chris Walsh NC - 02 9924 2200 firstname.lastname@example.org QLD Vaughan Kippers NC - 07 3376 6761 email@example.com SA Ian Peak NC - 0417 834 525 firstname.lastname@example.org TAS Paul Gregory NC - 03 6229 3811 email@example.com VIC Gareth Evans NC - 0408 497 721 firstname.lastname@example.org WA Nick Dale NC - 0400 300 850 email@example.com NZ Duncan McDonald +64 21 267 2193 firstname.lastname@example.org NC National Committee member
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Vale Des Taylor
Noticeboard Send your notices to email@example.com
Wanted in 2010: New Treasurer The club will be looking for a new treasurer at the next AGM as Stephen Chambers will not be renominating. After five years in the role he has decided to call it a day. You don’t need to be a CPA, but the following skills are required:
Audax Australia has lost a great supporter with the passing of Des Taylor. Des came into the Club almost twenty years ago, progressing from pootling along Beach Rd near his home, to regular 50s and occasional 100s, and two Murray–to–Moyne Relays. However most of us knew him as the cheery face at checkpoints behind the food, often in most unattractive places at very antisocial hours. Think Portsea at 2 am with only the hoons for company, or Kow Swamp in the middle of nowhere, black cold night, zonked riders coming and eventually going. All the time keeping the water hot and the fruit cake sliced, and stashing some food for the Lanterne Rouge. Always ensuring that those all important brevets got stamped. Des’s palmares included supporting his daughter and her partner Phil Bellette in their early Opperman All Day Trials. When that energetic pair moved into organising, he helped with numerous randonnees, including every Irene Plowman, the Gippsland Gambol 600, the infamous Flat 400 (see above), lots of OADTs and Alpine Classics. He was there all through the first three Great Southern Randonnees, only missing the fourth because of illness. In 1995 he and Sharon Ferguson pioneered the Australian support at Loudeac. What a boost to hear Des quiet greeting and offer of a cuppa, then a bed in his scrounged cardboard box, which slept two when the tents were full. Hot-swapping at its best. A couple of weeks before he died, Des reminisced about coordinating the Australian entries for PBP 1995, in the days before email a much more complex task, between the requirements of French officialdom and the casual attitudes to paperwork of Australian riders. Des also supported his late grandson Luke through his personal difficulties, and took him along when they backed Sue and I in the Murray River Marathon, a different slant on randonneuring. Our condolences to his wife Lesley, his daughters Sue and Leigh, and his two granddaughters, Mia and Georgia. As a Club we need to make sure we show our appreciation for the generous contributions of people like Des—they are a rare breed.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
• Good bookkeeping knowledge • Familiarity with an accounting package such as Quickbooks or MYOB (Audax currently uses Quickbooks) • Knowledge of GST and preparation of quarterly Business Activity Statements • Able to prepare financial reports for National Executive meetings and at end of year for audit • Able to use Excel If you want to know more about the role, give Stephen a call on 0401 038 812 (or have a chat to him if you spot him on a ride sometime).
Volunteer Opportunities in Vic Region With the expansion of the Alpine Classic to include the ACE 250 and Semaine Federale en Australie the Vic region is on the look out for even more volunteers. The dedicated band that look after the Alpine Classic are going to need more help as the club takes on these two new events over the summer. With the addition of Semaine Federale the long weekend has become a long week and although local help has been recruited we are still looking for a core of Audax members to assist. Volunteer opportunities will be many and varied, with something suitable for every one. So no matter what your abilities or your time commitments you will be able to make a valuable contribution to the success of the Alpine events. Not going to the Alpine? No problem. If traveling isn’t your thing and you prefer to stay closer to home there is more to Audax than just the Alpine. The many supported rides that take place throughout the year are ready for your help and assistance. Whether its buttering sandwiches, stamping brevets or just making tea, you can contribute. So why not leave the bike at home for the weekend and take the opportunity to give a little back to your fellow cyclists? The riders you are helping this weekend could be volunteer helping you next weekend. To register your interest send an email with your details and the level of support you can give to firstname.lastname@example.org
Letters Go ride a bike
Send your letters to email@example.com
Rotary Spring Ride (Canberra)
A note of thanks
Shedding some more light
27 September 2009: Get together with a group of family, friends or workmates to enjoy the scenic beauty of Canberra in spring. Rides from 22 km to 100 km www.rotarnet.com.au/woden
To our many friends in the Audax Cycling Club, thank-you for the beautiful flowers and the many cards and emails of sympathy and great memories following Dad’s death.
In the Winter edition of Checkpoint I classified some taillights into a number of different categories to allow for some critical discussion of their effectiveness. Due to a shortcoming in my definition of the ‘Searchlight’ there might be some confusion over ‘bag’ mounted lights.
Sydney Spring Cycle 27 September 2009: Experience the thrill of riding over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, pedalling through some of Sydney’s most beautiful scenery, and then celebrating your ride in festive style at Sydney Olympic Park. Rides of 40 km, 45 km, and 50 km. www.springcycle.com.au
Tour Challenge (Ballarat) 11 October 2009: The Tour Challenge gives you the chance to test yourself on Stage 1 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour a day before the stars will tackle the course. Rides of 70 km or 150 km www.cyclosportifvic.com.au
Fitz’s Challenge (Canberra) 1 November 2009: Canberra’s biggest and best known long-distance one-day participation event. Test your skills, fitness and endurance by taking on the Brindabella Ranges in one of four challenges 50 km, 105 km, 165 km, or 207 km www.ocf-fitz.com
Kelly Country Classic (Glenrowan) 8 November 2009: Following in the footsteps of the legendary Kelly Gang who roamed the region in the 1880s cyclists will pedal past vineyards, farm gates and historic villages with strong links to the Kelly story. Rides of 50 km, 100 km, 150 km and 210 km. nhw.hume.org.au
Rainforest Ride (Apollo Bay) 21 November 2009: The Rainforest Ride is a mass participation road cycling event with four different rides to suit all types of cyclists, from a challenging 140 km circuit to a tranquil 23 km journey, all amidst the magnificent Otway Rainforest in and around Apollo Bay on the Great Ocean Road. This event is being conducted for charity with all participants encouraged to raise funds for the Burnet Institute. www.rainforestride.com
Dad was very proud to wear his PBP, Alpine and Murray–Moyne jerseys on his daily Beach Rd rides and chat to his many Audax friends, or tell people about the Any light that is attached to the rider, events, and greatly valued his association be it helmet, pocket or bag mounted, is a with the Club. ‘Searchlight’. As the rider moves around, so too will the direction of the light’s We miss him terribly, and midnight beam. While the current road rules allow contrôles will not be the same. lights to be used like this, the Audax Ride Rules do not.
Casually promoting Audax Earlier this year I found that I was very unfit and starting cycling again. I completed my first Audax ride in March and enjoyed it so much I have now completed eleven rides! It seems hard to believe that I have already completed two 200 km rides and even a 300 km ride. In April I started promoting upcoming rides on the Australian Cycling Forums. I found that ride reports and notifications of upcoming rides have generated interest on the forum and have attracted new riders. I have kept a log of all of my rides, if you are interested see casualcyclist.wordpress.com. My nickname Casual Cyclist refers to my rather laidback riding style—I have been the last rider on all of my rides! I would like to thank Audax WA for organising so many great rides and to the other members who have been so welcoming and friendly. Fellow riders have been great company on some really long rides. Now I am looking forward to participating in the Perth-Albany-Perth 1200 km ride next year. I am sure it will be challenging and there will be a lot of hard training between now and then.
This leads neatly into yet another category of potentially ineffective light: the ‘Rag Doll’. This is a light that is attached to the bike but not by a solid mount. The best (or worst) examples of this are lights clipped to tool kits which swing around lazily under the seat as the bike rocks from side to side. This category can also include lights which are clipped to rack bags or panniers. Quite often mounting a light on such an item looks like a good idea: up nice and high, no obstructions to the rear, protected from being knocked from the front. What could go wrong? The very nature of storage compartments constructed from fabric (that is, bags) allows them to be, to varying extents, flexible. So it’s possible that putting something inside the bag (or taking it out) will change the shape and hence mounting characteristics of the light that’s attached to it. A light which has been cleverly mounted initially can end up pointing askew once you take out your cheese croissant at the checkpoint or repack your sunscreen. Even donning a rain jacket might run the risk of upsetting your lighting setup. It may be a handy spot to mount that light but its success can vary greatly depending on what’s in your bag…
Checkpoint Spring 2009
EL and back? Sandy Vigar
On Sunday 26 July, 520 intrepid (crazy?) souls set off from Lea Valley, outside London, for Dalkeith near Edinburgh and back. 1400 km to be completed in 116 hours 40 minutes—an overall average of 12 km/h including stops. LEL is Audax UK’s flagship event, run every four years. Its popularity has been growing and the 2009 field was twice that of 2005 and capped because of checkpoint constraints. This year, the time limit was extended by two hours in recognition of the atrocious weather (worse than PBP 2007 but more of that later!) but over 400 finished within the time limit including, I am told, five of the six riders “officially” listed as Australians: Nick Dale, John Evans, Hari Goonatillake, Eamonn McLoskey and Martin Pearson. Very sadly, Barry Stevenson had to pull out at a bit over 900 km due to back and leg injuries received when another rider crashed into him after hitting a pothole.
Riders registered on Saturday and systems limitations meant that all riders were channelled through a single registration point, resulting in queues of 4+ hours for some in the yard of the Lea Valley Youth Hostel. Luckily the weather was fine, warm and calm that day. Still, it did give people a chance to meet, swap stories and compare pre-ride nervousness levels. With about half the field being non-UK riders from 25 different countries, there was a terrific international atmosphere, with larger rider
contingents from Italy, Belgium, Germany, France, Sweden, Denmark, Canada and USA and riders coming from as far away as Brazil, Costa Rica, South Africa and Australia! LEL doesn’t require qualifying rides, and for some riders it was their first Audax ride, and for some their first ride over a distance longer that 100–200 km. Interestingly, there is also no bike check or requirement to wear helmets (an issue which raises a
The very dashing Western Australian contingent: Rob Godkin, Nick Dale, Eamonn McCloskey, Hari Goonatillake, Wayne Hickman and Colin Law.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
fairly enthusiastic debate on both sides) and while ankle reflectors were issued I did notice that many riders chose not wear them or reflective vests despite the crazy weather. The view appears to be that riders are responsible for their own safety and equipment/gear and are expected to be sufficiently competent and fit to manage themselves over the distance. Being summer, the sun sets late and rises early and there seemed to be two major ride plans, sleep while it’s dark every night (effectively doing 350 km each day) or ride through the first night to get 500–600 km under the belt and then “relax” a bit after that to match the time available with a buffer in hand. There was a third option that saw the first riders back in about 65 hours but that was pretty extreme (although it did miss the worst of the weather). Because many of the afternoon starters chose to ride through the first night, the two starting fields tended to merge quite a bit from Monday on, and this, together with the weather making it unsafe or undesirable for riders to keep going, meant that controls in the north became very crowded with limited places for people to sleep (I saw one chap fast asleep on a window ledge and another in the middle of a hallway to the toilets with people stepping over him).
Martin Pearson dressed for the condtions at Washingborough
positivity and determination. Fires and stoves were in high demand to warm bodies and dry clothes!
There was a morning start and an afternoon start on Sunday, with riders leaving in groups 15 minutes apart in each start. The Western Australian contingent looked very dashing in their convictthemed jerseys. Most Australian riders started at 8.30 am or 9 am and enjoyed fair conditions and a tailwind for the first 200–300 km. After that, things deteriorated fast with the worst conditions being in the hilly areas around the Scottish border over Tuesday afternoon/night, Wednesday and some of Thursday. During these stages, riders experienced torrential rain, flooding, hail and gale-force winds, sometimes at the same time. The “secret” control at Traquair with hot porridge, whiskey and warm blankets was very welcome. There were times when the wind was so strong that people had to pedal downhill and walk their bikes (including recumbents) uphill to cope with the crosswinds and headwinds. A number of riders hadn’t come prepared for “…and counting” Directional sign at Middleton Tyas wet weather and alternative cycling fashion included garbage bags, plastic bread bags I was privileged to be able to help out at for hands and feet, and brevet bags for registration and at several of the controls hands. They cycled on unless forced out along the way, and was able to see first by physical or mechanical circumstances hand the huge effort and heartfelt care and generally maintained a high level of offered by the volunteers and organisers of
LEL. They went to extraordinary lengths to assist riders who were very wet, cold, in some cases disoriented, and whose bikes had fallen victim to the extreme conditions. Much of the ride was in very rural areas with little in the way of support facilities and volunteers cannibalised their own bikes, made “creative” repairs (including extensive use of cable ties in some instances) and drove large distances to get needed spares to get riders back on the road. They also took people badly affected by the cold into their own homes and offered an assortment of dry clothing, towels and blankets at controls when they were overwhelmed by the numbers. Local people along the route also helped out unasked with riders being offered warm drinks, places to stay “out of the weather” and in Martin’s case free milk from the local milko out on his rounds who said the conditions rivalled anything he’d seen in the Royal Marines and he was surprised to see people out in it by choice! The weather fined up on Friday when it was all over! I’m sure you’ll hear more of the ride and ride reports from the riders themselves, but I certainly take my hat off to all the riders, organisers and volunteers at LEL2009—an amazing effort!
Checkpoint Spring 2009
NEW MELBOURNE ADDRESS
225 Park Street South Melbourne 03 9682 3939 MELWAYS 2K - D3 373 Old South Head Rd North Bondi 02 9130 2349 SYDWAYS 68 - R3
Bay City Roller
An AUK in AUS David Matthews
We were called to Australia to help out our daughter’s family while she was in hospital. After a frantic week of preparing and packing, I mentioned to my wife how much easier travel would be on this holiday, unencumbered with a bike. She responded, “As we are going to be away for a month, I think you should take a bike—you’ll be like a bear with a complaint if you can’t ride for all that time, and I’m not sure any of us will be able to put up with your withdrawal symptoms.” So I was able to explore some well-known cycling routes around Melbourne—and take part in a few Audax rides. “Super Series in a week—The Audax Melbourne region presents a series of rides that give members the chance to complete a Super Randonneur series in one week”. What a challenge (for the locals that is) and what a chance to meet up with Audax Australia when I discovered through the Internet that this series of events coincided with my stay in Melbourne. The ride sequence was 300 km “Dances with Dinosaurs” on Saturday; 200 km “Bay City Roller” on Monday; 400 km “5 to 9—Beats a Day at Work” on Wednesday and finally the aptly named “You would have to be Crazy” 600 km on Saturday.
not fancy getting lost at 5.30 in the maze of streets and high speed motor routes through the city, which event could cause me to miss the ride altogether. Thus I set out on Saturday morning to find Gareth’s house, picking a day when the city traffic should be much reduced.
My recce plans were justified when I missed a crucial road junction in Melbourne centre which set me off on a 30 km south-easterly diversion through the suburbs. Eventually I realised my error and returned north to the small town of Highett where I located Gareth’s house in a pleasant avenue behind the main strip—conveniently close to a large, modern cycle shop. Once I had located the I arranged to enter the 200 km “Bay City house, I called in to meet Gareth’s partner. Roller” by email sent to the organiser Gareth Apart from introducing myself, this gave me Evans, consistent with the “everything at an opportunity to borrow the mandatory the last minute” tradition of this trip. The lights and reflective jacket which are required ride was originally flagged as starting at on Audax Australia rides of 200 km and 8 am from near St Kilda. However the above. Leaving Highett I was able to retrace email response from Gareth informed me a route directly back to Werribee which I that the start had been moved to 7 am from intended to follow in reverse in the early his home in Highett, some 20 km south- hours of next Monday morning. west of the city centre alongside the bay. This start time gave the twin advantage of Later that Saturday I set off on a short avoiding much of the early morning traffic 50 km circular ride round the outskirts rushing into Melbourne and maximising of Werribee, to warm up for Monday. the available daylight. Everything went well until I returned to my daughter’s house at 5 pm. About 500 m The Bay City Roller was enticingly from the house there was a loud ping from described as “Mondayitis? Here’s the cure! my back wheel as a drive side spoke let go. A Starting from the city do an anti-commute combination of my old, worn winter wheels following the beach road south along Port and a tree branch laden ride to Warburton Philip Bay to the Mornington Peninsula for had conspired to cause this damage—easy some coffee, gentle hills and views of the to fix back home in UK where I have tools Western Port and the Ocean”. How could and spare spokes—but quite a different I resist? matter out here in Australia. My previous car trips through Melbourne had convinced me that I needed a recce of the drive to the start in Highett. I did
My only chance of riding the Bay City Roller on Monday now depended on getting my rear wheel fixed tomorrow, Sunday.
Fortunately, following a phone call to Gareth, he rang back and was able to direct me to Abbotsford Cycles in the centre of Melbourne. They had kindly agreed to fix my wheel provided I could get to the shop early on Sunday morning, and would also provide some spare spokes in case of further mishaps on the Monday. When we arrived at the shop on Sunday morning, we found a retro cyclist’s heaven. The shop was stuffed full of steel frames, alloy parts and clothing from the 90s and a charity sale of special retro bits was taking place in the back yard. One of the counter staff soon had my wheel in bits, made some new spokes to fit, re-built the wheel and wished me a good ride the next day. We reluctantly left the Aladdin’s cave of bike bits intact as our baggage allowance on the flight home did not allow for any purchases. Just as I put the wheel back in the car boot, I happened to notice that the quick release centre clamp was missing. Back in the shop, the quick release was returned to me by a very embarrassed mechanic as I silently prayed that this would be the last setback prior to the ride next day. I arose at 4.30 am on Monday, grabbed some breakfast and drove to Highett through the early morning Melbourne traffic. The recce proved a godsend as I successfully navigated my way to Gareth’s house, arriving at 6.15 in time to meet the half dozen other riders and collect the route sheet (the first time I had seen it!) We set off as a bunch into the gloomy dawn at 7 am and all made steady progress south down the Nepean highway, riding at a steady 35 km/h against the flow of traffic for the first 60 km to Safety Beach. Up to this point I had managed to stay with the other riders, prior
Checkpoint Spring 2009
to the route swinging east from the sea to climb steeply up to the lookout point Arthurs Seat (305 m). As the gradient increased, the other riders soon moved smoothly ahead of me, showing their superior fitness. As I effortlessly fell off the back of the bunch, I suddenly realised that these guys were at the end of their cycling year and had the sort of fitness we northern hemisphere types get by September. No wonder I was rapidly losing touch with the bunch in April, coming out of our winter season! Once over the summit of Arthurs Seat, we regrouped in an excellent cafe near Red Hill. I had my first wedge of Australian lumberjack cake here, which is rather like fruit cake compressed to 5 bar pressure. Very nutritious, once you learn how to digest it. As a result of my relatively slow speed over Arthurs Seat, it was clear to me that I would have to ride the remaining 130 km at my own speed, as my early season lack of fitness would not allow me to keep pace with the Australians. Thus I read the route sheet (for the first time) and descended south from the cafe along Creek Road towards the foot of the Mornington Peninsula. The route sheet seemed straightforward, giving clear directions and denoting the name of roads traversed—roads that extended for up to 15 km before the next junction. Unfortunately I soon found a problem with navigation as Australian roads have superb signs for all turnings off, but omit to mention the name of the road itself. Route sheet instructions such as “TL into Browns Rd (go figure)” and “TR into Cook Street and follow for 17.7k” were giving me a few problems. I had no real idea where I was and could not afford to erroneously ride 20 km down the wrong road. Fortunately, each time I got really confused I found a helpful local to advise me regarding the correct route to follow. This local help saved me a load of trouble when I got to Flinders at 105 km with an instruction to take the first exit right at a roundabout. As the first exit was left, I paused to ask a group of local builders the correct way to the lunch stop at Merricks 117 km. Fortunately they put me on the correct track to the left, sparing me a wrong way ride into the ocean. The scenery down in the peninsula was really beautiful, with green fields, woods and occasional glimpses of the blue ocean. The road was a real switchback of steep climbs and descents—it soon became 10
Checkpoint Spring 2009
apparent that the name Bay City Roller refers as much to the terrain as to the sea. The lunch stop at Merricks was in a local winery store, typical of this region. Unfortunately I had to forgo the liquid nectar on this occasion, but a big bowl of soup fortified me for the roads ahead as I turned back towards Melbourne. The return route uses two major highways, the Old Moorooduc and Nepean, to return north to Frankston on the southern fringes of the city. Fortunately all these roads have good quality cycle lanes which allow for safe and rapid progress. Some 35 km after leaving Merricks, the route sheet stated “TR into Wooralla Drive”, which turns back inland from the main Nepean highway, circumventing Mount Eliza. There were plenty of likely looking
roads off to the right, but Wooralla Drive failed to materialise as I rode on northwards. Eventually I stopped beyond a major junction to re check the route sheet. I looked back at the signs around the junction I had just left and lo and behold—there was a big sign for Wooralla Drive off to the left (as I looked backwards). I had just discovered another feature of Australian road signs; they are not necessarily the same each side of a junction and one needs careful scrutiny of all signs to avoid getting lost. Wooralla Drive is a typical peninsula switch back road which leads in 4 km to a T-junction at the very busy Moorooduc Freeway—the main artery south from Melbourne. Once at the T-junction, the route sheet instructed “TR into the highway and then TL in 2k into Two Bays Road”. Crossing the dual carriageway took about
David about to set off on a scenic tour of the Mornington Peninsula
five minutes as I waited for a small gap in the continuous, high speed traffic. I then followed a small cycle track at the side of the main road at my maximum speed so I could spend as little time as possible next to this automotive inferno. After 1 km travel alongside this unnerving road, my sense of unease was heightened further as the road negotiated a busy roundabout and then yet another roundabout after a further 2 km. There was still no sign of Two Bays Road at the second roundabout, and the feeling was growing that I had missed the correct
out that one of the local riders took a 25k detour at this point—so I guess I was lucky to detour just 12k). Two Bays Road ascends a steep, tiring hill back west to the next control at a bakery on top of Mount Eliza. At the control, I telephoned Gareth to advise him that I may be a little late in returning due to the time lost on my unplanned diversion. I felt much better after politely unloading my feelings about Australian route sheets on to Gareth. Once I had taken a short rest at the Bakery
Once back on the Nepean Highway the return route was quite enjoyable as a following wind had blown in and the traffic had subsided. I almost felt at home as the road signs directed me through Chelsea and Cheltenham towards Brighton. Eventually I was able to swing left off the highway at Highett town and return to Gareth’s house after 212K of riding in just over 11 hours. Gareth laid on an excellent feed of fruit and rice pudding (just like AUK!) before I drove back to Werribee following a
Heading up Arthurs Seat
route. When I reached a third roundabout after 6 km, I called in at the local BP service station to get some directions.
and scoffed down of a huge bun and can of Coke, I felt sufficiently refreshed to ride the remaining 40 km back to Highett.
The girl at the till was most helpful— checking a large scale local map for me in between serving a constant stream of customers. Eventually she found Two Bays Road leaving the Freeway some 8 km to the north! So here I was at 160k into the ride, tired, unnerved by the freeway and needing to retrace my route 6 km back to where the route sheet incorrectly instructed TR rather than TL. Suffice to say I was not a happy AUK as I retraced my steps back up the highway to the eventual calm of Two Bays Road. (I later found
Beyond the control the route descends steeply east back to the Nepean Highway which I had left some time ago on Wooralla Drive. Halfway down this road, as I was descending at around 60 km/h, a large Mercedes suddenly exited a driveway on the right of the road and tried to ram me straight off the highway. Why couldn’t I understand that the lady driver was having an intense and meaningful conversation with her daughter in the seat alongside, and had no time for niceties such as looking where she was going?
great ride in great weather which gave me the opportunity to visit the scenic and surprisingly hilly Mornington Peninsula.
… David’s other Melbourne cycling adventures included riding the Bay Trail, surviving the dry wilderness outside Werribee, end-to-end on the LilydaleWarburton Rail Trail, a sobering tour of the Kinglake area, and finished with the 100 km leg of “You would have to be crazy” at Lancefield. His bike remains in his daughters garage, in anticipation of future rides in and around Melbourne.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
The Ride of Your Life
Knowing your core values David Rowe
What is the trick to accomplishing big riding goals and keeping your life in balance? If you have trained for and completed a century, then you already know what “concentration of power” means, even if you haven’t heard the term. According to time management expert Charles Hobbs, concentration of power is the ability to focus on and accomplish the most vital priorities of your life. In the process of accomplishing your cycling goals, you may also have learned about “incongruity.” According to Hobbs, we experience “congruity” when there is balance, harmony and appropriateness with the events in our lives. Long hours on the bike, week after week, may get you to the finish line of the Death Ride—or even Paris–Brest–Paris—but it may also create serious incongruities with your job, your partner, even with your own health. Like
anything of value in life, it requires an investment of your time, and since your time is limited, you will need to take it away from something or someone in order to give it to cycling. So what is the trick to accomplishing big riding goals and keeping your life in balance? Hobbs teaches us that success is on a surer footing when goals are grounded in what he calls “unifying principles,” which he defines as personal truths or values used as a guide in goal-planning and living. Though I subscribe to his method and have had great success with it, I find it more natural to refer to unifying principles as “core values”. I have developed about a dozen core values, and I use them as both compass
Knowing his core values, David pursues his cycling goals in balance with other important things in his life.
and barometer to set goals, and to make sure my pursuit of them doesn’t overwhelm everything else in my life that is important to me. It is easy to set your mind on a goal like a century ride and forget that to finish a 100-mile ride feeling strong, you will ride 2000 miles preparing for it. Unless you are living off the fat of the land, there is going to be a job, a yard, a bank balance, or a loved one that is going to get ignored for long periods of time. Maybe that’s okay with you. Then again, maybe it’s not. Core values will help you work through what is really important before you ride headlong into conflicts with those you love, or those who pay you to do great things at work. Once you’ve thought them through and written them down, core values give you the resolve to do what’s necessary to experience the things that are most important to you, while you’ve still got the legs to do it. The basic idea is that our core values are personal truths that form the foundation on which we make most of our decisions in life. Individuals with a highly defined set of core values have a strong footing and are able to marshal their own energy— and the support of others—to accomplish their goals. In fact, most productivity experts agree that successful time management is dependent on first having clarified your values. Goals follow, and are derived from those values, as you begin to describe the circumstances you want to experience that will bring your life in alignment with those values. What you do each day, and what you write down as “to dos” in your calendar, are the small steps you must take in order to make that future state a reality. Most of us
Checkpoint Spring 2009
understand and accept this process, when it is laid out for us by someone else. Want to get an advanced degree? To do that, you need to study for the standardized entrance exams, and once admitted, complete the coursework until you have satisfied the degree requirements. It usually takes two years or more, but for those who do it, the value of the degree and what it will bring them professionally in the future is greater than the value of hours they must invest today. Want to retire comfortably at age 65? A financial planner will help you determine how much money you need to set aside from each paycheck and how it should be invested to achieve your financial goal. The value of having financial security in the future is more important than the value of the dollars set aside today. Want to complete a double century in 12 hours? Unfortunately, achieving a goal in cycling isn’t quite as straightforward. There is no career or professional counselor available to the recreational cyclist. Unless you are on a cycling team or hire a personal coach, it will be up to you to clarify the objective, to analyze the requirements for accomplishing it, and to chunk them down
into monthly, weekly, and daily actions that you will take to prepare your mind, your body, and your bike for the event of your dreams. Another aspect of accomplishing a cycling goal, which makes it unique, is that its payoff is intangible and somewhat fleeting. We have all heard it said that we should enjoy the
It is the ride up to the starting line that is the greatest challenge, not the ride to the finish line. For every rider that starts a century, there are ten that wanted to be there. journey. Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn puts it this way: “The major reason for setting a goal is what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be of greater value that what you get.” In fact, it is the ride up to the starting line that is the greatest challenge, not the
ride to the finish line. For every rider that starts a century, there are ten that wanted to be there at one time or another. But the work that must be done and the sacrifices that must be made in the weeks of training which lead to a successful event ride are the acid test of our commitment to our dreams. If the dream is out of alignment with our core values, we simply won’t start, or if we do, we may not finish. Conversely, it is your core values that will help you to get out of bed early and head to the gym to lift weights, or ride into a dark winter morning, when your neighbors are sitting inside warm and dry, enjoying their first cup of coffee. And it is your core values that will pull you through when the going gets tough. And the going can get very tough on a ride of 100 miles or more, if that is your goal. Of course, if it were easily done, more people would be doing it.
This article is an edited extract from The Ride of Your Life Aligning Heart and Mind for Success in Long Distance Cycling by David Rowe Available as a 164-page eBook from www.rideofyourlife.biz
The Ride of YouR Life Aligning heart and mind for success in long distance cycling
Featuring a simple 8-step process that will get you to the finish line of the ride of your dreams.
“The Ride of Your Life will help get your head and heart ready to tackle any grand cycling challenge.” —Selene Yeager, “The fitness Chick” columnist for Bicycling Magazine
for more information visit www.rideofyourlife.biz
Checkpoint Spring 2009
The Border 600
Where the support is good Bec Morton
In the last edition of Checkpoint, Howard mentioned our intention to head to Inverell for the Border 600 based on hearsay that Martin would be riding, and consequently, Sandy would be providing support. So we were delighted to receive confirmation that Martin would indeed be riding and we would be once again treated to the luxury of Sandy’s supported checkpoints. For me, there was the added benefit of riding with Lisa Turner. It is wonderful to have friendly female company on a long ride, particularly when you are used to slogging it out alone. It was a clear and chilly morning as we rolled out of Inverell at first light. The predominantly flat and downhill terrain made the journey to the first checkpoint at Wallangra relatively easy, but it did mean that it took a while for cold fingers and toes to warm up. Just like the Parkes 1000, there was Sandy with everything laid out and offering a variety of food and drinks. This was to be the pattern for the rest of the ride. By the time we left Wallangra the day had warmed up enough to peel off some layers. The route continued through fairly flat terrain to our second checkpoint in Texas, just over the Queensland border. The weather was glorious—clear, blue skies and no wind to speak of…in fact, perfect weather for riding. Lisa and I were going well and we arrived at the third checkpoint in Inglewood in good time. Sandy filled us up with some veggie pasta and we donned our reflective gear and some warmer clothing and headed off into the gathering dusk. Fortunately the traffic on the Cunningham Highway was relatively light, but the narrow shoulder meant it was not possible to ride two abreast and I was happy to turn onto the much quieter Stanthorpe–Inglewood Road. The full moon illuminated the surrounding landscape and it would have been possible to ride without any lights at all. Sandy met us at a “secret control” between Inglewood and Stanthorpe with steaming mugs of soup. We added some more layers of clothing and headed off in the direction of Stanthorpe, our overnight stop. Here the terrain 14
Checkpoint Spring 2009
became a little more challenging—firstly undulations and then some longer climbs appeared in the beam of our headlights. Sadly I had forgotten to put my warmer gloves and socks on at the secret control and my fingers and toes started to feel the effects of the rapidly decreasing temperature. I was in quite a bit of pain by the time we rolled into the Top of the Town Caravan Park in Stanthorpe. After showering and stuffing some casserole into ourselves, we settled down for a cosy three-hour sleep.
challenged. Lisa and I were in good spirits as we rolled into the Texas checkpoint. Howard and Martin were still there and asked us how we liked the last section. When we replied that we thought it was OK, they looked at us incredulously and asked if we had done the same route as they had. Perhaps they had pushed themselves a little harder than us? They left Texas ahead of us and we didn’t see them again until the finish.
From Texas it was basically south through Ashford to Inverell. The rolling countryside continued, with barely a flat section in sight. However, our constant conversation Howard and Martin asked distracted us and we arrived in Ashford just as the light was starting to fade. After us how we liked the last more excellent food service from Sandy, we section. When we replied that rugged up against the cold and pedalled off in the direction of Inverell—just another we thought it was OK, they 58 km and we’d be finished. Lisa was now looked at us incredulously in her element as she knows this road very well. I was starting to tire, but she pulled me and asked if we had done the along describing the road ahead in detail as same route as they had. we went. I hauled myself up that final hill that Lisa had been talking about and was dismayed to discover that there were still Just after 4 am, Lisa and I rolled out of the some more lumps between us and Lisa’s caravan park and headed off on a 55 km loop home. It is strange how your mind and south of Stanthorpe. It was pretty frosty at body start to scream at you near the end of that time of morning, but a steady uphill a long ride: stop, stop, stop! I have to grit gradient kept us warm. I was now wearing my teeth and tell myself that it isn’t much my thicker gloves and woollen socks to keep further and think about how wonderful it my extremities a little more toasty and Lisa will be when I’m finally finished. At last we had loaned me her spare neck warmer— hit the outskirts of Inverell, then tackled something I have never used in Sydney. that short sharp up to get to Prince Terrace. Yes, we’d done it! The day dawned clear and still as we made our way back to Stanthorpe. Martin, then We had the foresight to place a bottle of Howard caught us up at the secret control bubbly in the fridge prior to our departure between Stanthorpe and Texas where we the day before. After cleaning ourselves up, ditched some of our warmer clothing. The we cracked the bottle and toasted Kerriday warmed up rapidly and Lisa and I Ann Smith and Michael Bentley, who had gone less than 20 km before we had had been married the previous afternoon. to stop and peel off some more layers. The Lisa’s hubby, James, had whipped up a flat terrain of the day before was a distant delicious curry which we washed down memory as we continued on through hilly with a beer or two. Ah, what a perfect way country towards Texas. A bit of a headwind to finish a ride. had sprung up to ensure that we would be
Brutal but fair? Chris Walsh
Several years ago Steve Vesel described the Dungog 600 as ‘brutal, but fair’. Seven audacious riders lined up at the start at 6.15 am on the last day of Autumn to test Steve’s assessment. Some 39 hours and 30 minutes later (for the last rider in), we agreed with the first part of Steve’s assessment and only very reluctantly with the second. The audacious seven were Chris Walsh (organiser), Howard Dove, Bec Morton, Geoff Burge, Garry Armsworth, Fraser Rowe, and Phillip Jang. Fraser came from Victoria for the ride—we wondered if this was a case of coals leaving Newcastle but he assured us that this was his best option for a 600 and a super series. Apart from a stretch of forty-odd kilometres on the New England Highway between Singleton and Muswellbrook and a shorter one on the Golden Highway out of Jerrys Plains, we followed byroads all the way from Hornsby to Wollombi, Maitland, Dungog, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Denman and then back through Broke and Kulnura to home. Back roads score highly for scenery and lack of cars but do suffer slightly from hills. See www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path/ Dungog-600-2009-Mk-II for a detailed map of the ride. Putting that minor problem aside, we travelled through some of the best country the Hunter Valley has on offer, with the bucolic sections around Paterson and the wine country further west between Muswellbrook and Denman being personal favourites. The hills around Dungog were less appreciated by the group, especially Sugarloaf just west of Dungog and a 10% brute of a climb just south of the town. The Rosemount Road loop near Denman wound its way through spectacular rock formations with the enormous
Rosemount estate with acres of vines and the brooding escarpment of the Wollemi National Park as a backdrop. While this was a very tough ride, the spacing of the checkpoints allowed all riders to get a reasonable sleep at Muswellbrook. This was surely a major contributor to all riders being able to finish, as the last section was very tough, with a hard steep climb out of the Hunter Valley and numerous sharp rises along the ridge to Kulnura followed by the climb up from the Hawkesbury. Some legends were made on this ride. Bec and Howard completed their second 600 in three weeks, but Howard’s ride nearly finished when he took a nasty fall on a wooden bridge only 110 km into the ride. His effort in riding the next 500 km with bad bruising on one thigh, plus a really nasty gash on his knee, is testimony not so much to the anti-inflammatories he took as to his determination. Congratulations, to Fraser, Geoff and Phillip, who successfully completed their first 600, and indeed to all the riders. A major vote of thanks to Lindsay Harvey and his wife Marie, who transported our overnight bags to Muswellbrook and kept an eye on the riders as we moved around the Hunter.
Be prepared—or lucky Phil Smith A week ago on our work group river ride, I joked that we all had spare tubes yet none of us carried a first-aid kit. Thirty hours ago I knelt on the road tending to an unconscious friend who had blown a front tyre on a corner. Another cyclist (thank you Paul) stopped and monitored his pulse. A motorist (thank you Rachel) called 000 and relayed information. What’s his name? How old? Does he have a heart condition? Nearby residents cleared the bikes and controlled traffic (thank you Ebenezer). The ambos were there in less than seven minutes. There was a whirl of phone calls
to family, admission to Accident & Emergency and the dreadful hours of waiting. Only an hour ago he regained consciousness. We were lucky. We were cruising on hybrids to a coffee shop. No big deal. We never expect this stuff to go down. Are you current with first aid? Do you know your riding buddy’s basic medical details? Do you have a people-patch-kit permanently on your bike? Or are you just hoping to stay lucky for the next few thousand kilometres? From Australian Cyclist, July/August 2009 Reproduced with permission
Checkpoint Spring 2009
What’s in my bag Steve Airey
How much can you carry for the 1400 km London–Edinburgh–London (2005)? I used the quick release saddlebag mount for ease of removal at checkpoints. I also had a spare short sleeve top and long sleeve top, the shorts were times three. My camera and wallet and food for on the move were carried in a small three pocket waist pack.
Ⓐ Ⓑ Ⓓ
Ⓖ Ⓛ Ⓜ
Ⓐ Spare shorts Ⓑ Jelly babies Ⓒ First aid kit basics of plasters, fabric plaster tape and a bandage with pins, pack towel and small shower gel plus sun and arse creams, toothpaste, and ibuprofen tabs Ⓓ Goretex waterproof jacket ⒺThe Tardis or Carradice 23l saddlebag Ⓕ Plastic bags for separating wet dry kit Ⓖ Head torch for reading route sheet at night Ⓗ Spare chain links, cable ties, lamp bracket, chain tool, spoke key, roll of tape Ⓘ Cable lock Ⓙ Reflective gilet Ⓚ Spare inner tubes
Ⓛ Ⓜ Ⓝ Ⓞ Ⓟ Ⓠ Ⓡ Ⓢ Ⓣ Ⓤ Ⓥ
Puncture repair kit and Swiss Army knife Spare bulbs and mudgaurd bolts Compass and spare batteries Spanners, allen keys, lock ring tool and tyre levers Spare lenses (clear for night, tinted for day) Spare track mitts Wind proof gilet Arm warmers and leg warmers Goretex helmet cover, also good for storing arm/ leg warmers Spare tyre, in addition to the one around my belly Piece of bar tape for lining split tyres
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Footscray to Darwin by bike Nick Cowling
You always carry the next ‘big ride’ with you, in your metaphorical back pocket, one to tick off in the future when circumstances allow. I had three months leave from work beginning the 1 May and resolved to spend the bulk of this time ‘traveling north’, bicycle touring alone and unsupported from my home in the Melbourne suburb of Footscray to Darwin. My eight year-old Iron Horse–Marauder MTB doubles as my touring bike, with a BOB Trailer attached, the bike has lots of brazed-on bits for racks and panniers, while the ‘A’ frame geometry and Shimano Deore running gear has proved faultless on several past adventures in Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
Nick on the road with bike and BOB
Prior to leaving I had ramped-up my cycling, taking every opportunity to get some extra miles in the legs, in between painting the house and making all kinds of outlandish promises to the family in a thinly disguised attempt to justify my extended absence; thankfully they are very supportive of my cycling lifestyle. I also took the bike into Abbotsford Cycles for a comprehensive service. The Moore brothers did an excellent job, a new front derailleur with velocity rims, cables, chain, chain rings, and Geax evolution tyres, along with an aged, sprung Brooks saddle, my bit of ‘bling’. I mapped out a tentative route, up through north-western Victoria, along the South Australian border; follow the Riverland to Port Augusta, then straight 18
Checkpoint Spring 2009
up the Stuart Highway to Alice Springs and Darwin. It sounded simple enough—with rest days, I expected the ride to take six weeks. The longest day would be roughly 155 km and the shortest about 60 km with a daily average of 108 km, for a total distance of approximately 4000 km. I decided to complete the section from Port Augusta to Darwin as Audax Raid Pitjantjara (2735 km), thinking this would add some structure and context. My brevet card had ten checkpoints and the route notes had a single instruction: “Head North”.
When the conditions are good I’m travelling at about 15 km/h, but there’s just enough rain to be annoying as the wind springs up and I’m reduced to about 10 km/h At Nhill I place a plastic poncho over the tent to stop from getting wet. It’s difficult because the nights are freezing while the condensation wets everything. The countryside changes from the thick bush of the Grampians to flat grazing and cereal country in the Wimmera. BOB, bike and I are all coping well.
Wednesday in Bordertown—I thought it was Tuesday. I’m starting to lose track of time. My new life had a different rhythm, Victoria: Footscray, Ballarat, up early, break camp, ride then make camp, Beaufort, Stawell, Horsham, explore little country towns, no radio, Nhill, Bordertown newspapers or TV. Bliss. Leaving Footscray at 9 am on Friday 1 May, it’s uphill all the There’s so much to see on the road: snakes, way to Ballarat where I arrive kangaroos, birdlife and strangely banana at 5 pm; cold and wet. BOB was skins. At first I put this down to other a lot heavier than I’d like, 32 kg cyclists, bananas being a preferred food of bike riders, however, closer to the SA border I see more and more banana skins, It would fully loaded add another 20 kg for the bike seem people were scoffing them down prior and panniers, meant the whole ensemble to the quarantine bin. In SA you’re unable weighed in at over 50 kg—even more when to bring a loaded banana into the state! it’s soaking wet. Despite the load and weather, the bike performs well. South Australia: Pinnaroo, Loxton, Morgan,
Burra, Crystal Brook, Port Germein, Port
Things get even better the following Augusta, Woomera, Glendambo, Coober day when the sun came out. I cruise Pedy, Cadney Park, Marla through Beaufort rolling along on a I am excited and a little nervous about good surface to Stawell. It’s cold in camping alone in the wilderness, out here the evening and I awake to icy foggy any fears or doubts you have pushed to the conditions; thankfully my Mont three- back of your mind come to visit especially seasons sleeping bag keeps me snug at night. It’s cold and beautiful under a cloudless full moon in the Ngarkat/Scorpion I arrive in Horsham early, passing Springs Conservation Park. It takes me two through the scenic Grampians, Mt Difficult days to travel the 155 km from Bordertown to and the Wonderland Range, taking a road Pinnaroo, a journey that you could do in a less travelled to Roses Gap I am rewarded car in less than two hours. I move at a slower with a flock of yellow tailed black cockatoos. pace where time is measured in days rather
On the road to Port Augusta
than hours. I notice far more as I make my way further north. It’s getting warmer and the country smells different. The birds sing, I ring my bell and sing back—it’s harmless enough; simple and different. Camping among the kangaroos on the banks of the Murray at Loxton is delightful. The next day I push-on past Waikerie, Ramco, and Moorook, crossing the river by punt at Morgan. After a ‘Dingo’s breakfast’ (a pee and a look about), it’s a fun day on the bike amid the low salt bush, a foggy start is short-lived as conditions fine-up into a crisp, clear morning: ideal cycling weather. I get full use out of my ‘triple’ in the ‘granny’ up a couple of sharp hills then running out of gears on the big chain ring for a delightful 20 km stretch into Spaulding. The days roll together: Burra, Crystal Brook, Port Germein and then Port Augusta It feels like I belong out here, living the dream, the bike and I easing through the environment. Physics tells me you have to ride harder to push through the wind, so I just change down a gear and work with what I have in this open, hilly country where the wind plays tricks, sweeping you along one minute and pushing you back the next. It’s 178 km from Port Augusta to Woomera, so I ride for about 90 km then bush camp in a clearing sheltered by desert oaks about 300 m left of the highway. Next morning I break camp early and I’m on the road at sunrise. A road sign says “No service for the next 110 km”. The country gradually changes from red dunes and spinifex to empty gibber plains, an almost lunar landscape. At Woomera a local says, “Today was just a taste mate, there’s nothing out there.” The Stuart Highway snakes across an ancient foreign land; the road itself is the
modern world. I keep as road. It’s a well-worn routine by now: ride, far to the left as possible, camp, sleep then ride again. and get off completely for the road trains. I move Northern Territory: Kulgera, Erldunda, back in time. Saltbush Stuart Well, Alice Springs, Aileron, Ti and an occasional Tree, Barrow Creek, Wycliffe Well, Three stunted tree can be seen Ways, Tennant Creek, Renner Springs, pushing up through the Elliot, Larrimah, Daly Waters, Mataranka, rust red soil, which is Katherine, Pine Creek, Adelaide River, peppered with bleached Darwin white bones of unknown The wind moves round to the southanimals. As Spock said east and it’s great riding. I’m chased most to Captain Kirk, “It’s of the morning by a storm cloud that life Captain…but not as eventually catches me about 11.30 am and we know it.” Vastness dumps a tidy sky full over me, washing and loneliness envelope off some of the red dust. I yell at the sky, me—it’s not often in life “Send it on down Huey!”, which he does in you’re confronted with spades. Dried out and stained red, I roll isolation and space on into Kulgera Roadhouse about 3 pm after such a scale: no phone reception, no plan B crossing the border into the Northern and no way back! This is what self supported Territory from South Australia. Only touring is all about. 280 km to Alice Springs. At most times over the next few days the highest point on the horizon is me, which becomes an issue when desert storms roll in. No cover, fearful of lightning, I’m shivering cold lashed by a biting wind. I ride on as there is no alternative, later it gets hot. Real hot. I dry out while the wind and heat whistles off those rocky plains making it hard to think. Refilling my bidon in the silence I could hear the rocks moving, rolling together. Glendambo. Coober Pedy. Cadney Park. Marla. Once just mythical names on a map become welcome rest stops. At the Coober Pedy Post Office I collect a package from home. At times the wind is hot, strong and in my face. After four hours riding I’m only 35 km out of Marla and exhausted! I think about chucking it in, hitchhiking, anything to get out of the wind. After a mini break (down) I resolve to push on and do 100 km today, that way if the wind is Crossing the border worse tomorrow I have at least covered half the journey to my next rest stop. I try to imagine the wind blowing with me not against me. Shakespeare said, “Things are neither good nor bad only thinking makes them so.” Or words to that effect. I ride on in a manic determined kind of way. By 5.30 having done 95 km I have to look for a campsite. I find a place, pull off the
I enjoy the landscape of NT, its open country with better roads and granite outcrops. They are called the ‘weeping rocks’ which hold the rain water in cracks and crevices for days before leaching it out to give the appearance of crying. Passing through Erldunda, where the road is being resurfaced I pick up a fresh coat of tar and stones that stick to my tyres. The trusty Swiss army knife comes to the rescue. I dig out most of the stuff however a lot has dried. Stuart Well is the last stop before Alice where I was greeted by Dinky the Singing Dingo, that is a dingo that runs over the keys of an old piano and sings. It sounds like a mix of pain and barking to me, but what do I know? The ride continues in benign conditions through range country at the foot of the
Checkpoint Spring 2009
MacDonnell Ranges. Suddenly I’m getting close; a prison on the outskirts of town is always a good indicator. My wife Therese and daughter Grace have flown in to visit and before I know it I’m in Alice Springs. I have my Audax brevet signed at the caravan park. I am 2500 km from Footscray and had 1500 to go to Darwin, so I am over half way and looking forward to a couple of rest days with the family. We drive in our rented Britz van to Yulara the resort at Uluru. We see the Rock in its entire splendour. Grace is sick with a stomach upset and deteriorates on Friday night, so on Saturday morning we call-in at the clinic to have her checked out. The paramedic suspects acute appendicitis and calls the Royal Flying Doctor Service. This was not part of the plan! The flight is scary. Grace is doped up on morphine and we share the plane with a nurse, a heavily pregnant woman and her mother. It’s tight and cramped and the light aircraft is thrown around in the torrential rainy thunderstorm. There is some concern that we won’t be able to land at Alice Springs. During the 35-minute flight, the pregnant woman’s waters break; the paramedic has to attend to her over me. I avert my eyes and focus on my drug-addled daughter. The turbulence gets worse. The cockpit is open and all sorts of alarms are sounding, the pregnant woman is moaning, Grace is crying and I think we are all going to die. After four days Grace comes out of hospital, a little washed out, but recovered from a servere case of gastroenteritis. I decide to keep going riding on to Darwin and say goodbye to the family. About 40 km north of Alice Springs I cross the Tropic of Capricorn. A slight wind at my back makes the going easy. The landscape changes, termite mounds appear, small at first then larger and more frequent. There’s been a lot of rain recently, too much even for this parched landscape to soak up, flat sheets of still water cover the ground, seeming like the fabled inland sea. Wildlife is everywhere, birds are in profusion: budgies, finches, spinifex pigeons, assorted parrots and of course eagles, which seem as common around the range country as seagulls are at home. While I’m on a big bike ride, each day is a ride within itself, a stage if you like, with its own rhythm challenges and opportunities: flat stages, hills, wind, rain, sun and other unforeseen hazards such as road trains, wild cattle… I break down an average day 20
Checkpoint Spring 2009
of 100 km into four stages with small breaks; this works well. Feeling strong and with the bike performing well, I power along through magnificent country in excellent conditions making good time and revelling in the experience. The next week is full of great days with long distances covered in near perfect cycling conditions. It is a long 138 km run to Renner Springs, on top of the previous day’s 135 km. Covering 270 km over two days is a tough Audax weekend on the road bike! It is a further 150 km to Daly Waters where I camp among familiar faces: “grey nomads” who I had first met three weeks back in Coober Pedy along with others that I’d seen along the track.
Update on Dave Byrnes You can’t keep Dave Byrnes down. He is currently making a third attempt at the solo, unsupported around Australia record. Both of his previous attempts were halted by injury (see Checkpoint 35 and 36). At press time, Dave was somewhere in Western Australia, but sadly time was not on his side. Despite making good progress since leaving Gosford (NSW) in July, a mechanical failure near Timber Creek (NT) required him to make a two day detour by bus to Darwin for a new bike! Having lost a couple of days, he will need to maintain an average 314 km per day in order to beat the record.
At Mataranka I make camp at the Thermal Despite the setbacks, his reports at his Pools Resort where the ground is rock hard Yahoo! Group (tinyurl.com/pk34o7) are and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to generally positive, and he is receiving set up the tent. I cobble together a swagmany messages of encouragement. type situation incorporating the bike and BOB as part of the frame. It only needs to davebyrnes.com.au hold together for three or four more nights. The thermal pool is beautiful, but I just don’t like being there by myself. It’s all couples: I am set for the run into Darwin and the blokes in budgie-smugglers or lolly-bags last day of my ride. While I was distracted and women in sarongs or oversized towels. thinking about the next adventure and this one coming to an end, the City of Darwin People chat to me and I’m happy for the was sneaking up on me. conversation. “We saw you on the road,” they say or, “How far do you travel each day?” Darwin is well laid out and you really start I do my best to make people understand to hit the outskirts some 30 km from the that apart from our bicycle fetish, cyclists city—lots of caravan parks and gun shops, are just like everybody else, but end up or so it seems. When I get about 15 km out of sounding like a pervert trying to explain Darwin at Howard Springs, I see a bike path away their nasty little habit. Oh well! that runs alongside the highway into town, so naturally I take the path and roll right I push on in the now tropical conditions along, past the RAAF base. I turn right up towards Katherine, encountering the usual Bogat Road to Bike Fit a bike shop where I cross-winds. The last 8 km into Katherine is had pre-arranged to box my bike for the on a separate bicycle path, which is nifty. I flight back home and have my Audax brevet pull into a caravan park by the Katherine signed for the last time. I spend the rest of River, have my brevet signed, the last Audax the afternoon cruising around Darwin City checkpoint until Darwin—unless there is a and the beach. secret control at Pine Creek! I didn’t really want this ride to end. When After a balmy 100 km from Materanka to I started back on the first of May, I allowed Pine Creek, I relax in the afternoon sun as myself to believe I had an outside chance the realisation that the ride I have been on of making it all the way from Footscray to these last six weeks is nearing its completion. Darwin; however so much is out of your The next morning I am feeling cherry ripe control. The fact that I did make it is pretty and strong on the bike. I suppose I have much down to the mechanical skill of the ridden myself into condition. Its 112 clicks good folk at Abbotsford Cycles, dumb luck, to Adelaide River and rather than push hard good weather and the support of family. I resolve to ride within myself and enjoy the There’s always another ride somewhere, penultimate day of my ride. At Adelaide perhaps a cycle from Darwin to Adelaide River I strip the panniers and the rear rack via Broome and Perth from the bike. I repack BOB and discard anything that was originally white and Nick’s full ride diary can be viewed at was now stained red from the desert dust. melbournetodarwinbybike09.bigblog.com.au
Breaking the Cycle Expedition
Across Africa by bike Kate Leeming
This October I set off to Africa where I will attempt to be the first person in history to cycle continuously from Africa’s most westerly to its most easterly point. Breaking the Cycle will involve a 24,000 km, ten month bicycle journey across the breadth of Africa, from Senegal in the west to the Horn of Africa in the east, exploring the realms of the Sahel, Central African and the Rift Valley regions. The purpose of the project is to learn firsthand about the causes of extreme poverty and through the story of the expedition which unfolds, educate and inspire actions which will assist in making communities more sustainable and resilient to the issues. Essentially this is about ‘giving a leg up rather than a hand out’. The expedition is due to begin on 1 October 2009 starting from Cap Vert, Senegal, the most westerly point of Africa with the aim of reaching the most easterly landmark of the continent, Cape Hafun, Puntland in July 2010. The itinerary has been timed to fit in with the seasons, avoiding the heat of the Sahara and the Wet in the tropics as much as possible. Each part of the expedition has been carefully researched to feature a theme related to extreme poverty. These issues will be highlighted on the educational website, during the documentary film (now in development), in the media and planned book. If the journey is completed in one continuous line from west to east, then this will be a world-first achievement. UNESCO has formerly recognised Breaking the Cycle as an ‘official activity’ of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Complementing the expedition will be an innovative education program which is being developed, funded and promoted by the international division of the Education Department of Victoria. The program is being designed so that materials created will be relevant and useful to inspire and educate students long after the expedition is complete.
Kate rode the length of the Canning Stock Route, on the GRACE Expedition
This isn’t my first such expedition. On the Trans-Siberian Cycle Expedition (1993) I became the first woman to cycle across the new Russia unsupported, and on the 25,000 km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (GRACE) in 2004/05, I made the first bicycle crossing of the Canning Stock Route by a woman (1000 sand dunes). The latter expedition was recorded in a book, Out There and Back, the story of the 25,000-km Great Australian Cycle Expedition (see www.gracexpedition.org). On this expedition, British cyclist Daniel Harman will be riding with me and our support driver will be John Davidson. It is
also intended that local African cyclists will join the team for short stages of the journey to enhance cultural understanding. We are working with eight different partner organisations with projects located along the expedition route to allow us to focus on the specific issues to a more meaningful depth. These include: UNESCO, Plan Australia, World Bicycle Relief, FARMAfrica, Edun Live, 500 Supporters’ Group, Afar Pastoralists’ Development Association, Tidene (Niger). www.btcycle.com
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Fremantle to Bondi
“Well, that’s done!” Simon Watt
“Well, that’s done!” The typically understated words of Peter Heal on completing his sole, unsupported Indian– Pacific ride from Fremantle to Bondi Beach. A journey of 4000 kilometres in fewer than 12 days. Pete has been a dedicated long-distance cyclist for quite a few years, and has been the ACT Audax president in previous years. He is an easily identifiable figure in Audax rides as one of the few who rides a recumbent bike. His orange Lizard, a machine of his own making, has carried him successfully through many rides including the Perth–Albany–Perth 1200 in 2006, the Paris–Brest—Paris 1200 in 2007 and Great Southern Randonnee 1200 in 2008. For this venture, Pete chose to ride his Velokraft VK2 carbon fibre recumbent. Its 700C rear wheel offered better gearing for sustained higher speed runs (hopefully assisted by westerly winds) across the paddock, and a possible improvement in comfort over the planned 12–to–14 days of riding. It was fitted with triple chain rings
to cope with the Blue Mountains at the Pete arrived in Perth on Friday 24 July. Pacific end, and a modest aerodynamic He did the Coastal Cruise 100 with Audax tailbox with hinged lid to carry his spares, WA on Saturday, before setting off on his change of clothes, emergency sleeping kit, ride home on Sunday. He was happy just water bladders and other gear. For daily having a small community of family and food intake, Pete filled his trusty 2007 friends in the know. This expanded to the PBP musette with bread rolls and muesli Audax and recumbent online lists once he bars and tucked it neatly under his left was underway and travelling to schedule. arm where it could be easily reached while rolling along at 30 km/h. His plan, all things being equal, was to leave Fremantle on Sunday 26 July and Pete had been thinking about a trans- arrive at Bondi Beach in around 14 days. If Australia ride as a personal effort for all went really well, maybe fewer, and then several years. He decided that he was as to ride back home to Canberra by Saturday prepared and healthy as he’d ever be to 8 August. In between, the plan was to eat, give it a go this year. His plan was to ride ride, and sleep! the 4000 km from Perth to Sydney in less than 14 days. He planned it as a lone ride Pete hired a SPOT GPS tracking and with no organised support, staying in emergency beacon device for the trip motels and roadhouses on the way, and which updates a Google Map at a publicly this is how he rode it. accessible website. A Google Map of Pete’s
Photo: Andrew Mathews
It’s not called the Nullarbor Plain for nothing! Pete on the road on Day 5.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
ride created from the SPOT data and other sources at: tinyurl.com/kn7nsw.
SPOT enabled us to follow Pete’s journey hour by hour in real time, a boon to the family and friends of lone riders everywhere. As one of his mate’s commented, “It’s better than tele...” Pete also sent and received SMS messages when he had time and there was mobile coverage. There was even the odd phone call to the odd mate, and of course regular calls to family. GSM mobile coverage is non-existent for the 1200 km between Norseman WA and Ceduna SA, but you can send SMS messages from the Telstra phone boxes at roadhouses. It was also a pleasant surprise to discover that Nullarbor now has Telstra mobile coverage.
Fleet St Pier at the Indian Ocean in Fremantle to the Pacific Ocean at Bondi Beach, Sydney. The route was the most direct from coast to coast, taking the Port Pirie, Crystal Brook, Burra route to Mildura and bypassing Adelaide. The daily start and finish times, and the daily and cumulative distances are in the following table:
He stayed in motels and roadhouses en route and bought food on the run. Most days he was under way a few hours before dawn and he’d arrive at his accommodation a bit before or a bit after nightfall. See the side panel for his daily start and finish times for the journey. Andrew Mathews was driving to Perth on business, and managed to schedule his trip to meet Pete at Nullarbor on Day 5. It was great to get first-hand feedback that Pete was enjoying the ride, getting cool but good weather, and feeling fine. Andrew said he hopped off the bike “looking like he had ridden an easy 200 not 1600 km!” Pete’s biggest complaint was the unexpected sub-zero temperatures in the early morning starts. He later purchased extra gloves from a chemist and hardware store to protect the frozen fingers. In a fit of enthusiasm Ian Boehm and I drove up to Hay to meet Pete on Day 10. Pete had sent an SMS indicating that he expected to be in Hay by 3 pm. We arrived at 2:55, and Pete arrived at 3:15 after stopping on the road to chat to us. We were pretty impressed at his estimation of his ride time after 3300 km. Hay was his scheduled stop, but he told us that he didn’t want to waste the fine tail wind and excellent conditions and was going to ride the extra 110 km to Goolgowi for the night. After riding into town, purchasing a musette full of supplies from the local IGA, he was interviewed and photographed by a reporter from the “Riverine Grazier”. The trip to Hay had several amusing moments. One of them was the reporter asking him to smile for the photo. He said, “I am smiling, aren’t I?” He gave us a wave and set off for Goolgowi. We drove out the
11 h 43 11 h 10 14 h 50 12 h 45
Dist (km) 0 281 301 359 340
Total (km) 0 281 582 941 1281
Fremantle Merredin Coolgardie Balladonia Motel Madura
0440–1830 § 0510–1701 § 0505–1814 § 0350–1920 §
14 h 20 11 h 51 13 h 09 15 h 30
381 296 316 360
1662 1958 2274 2634
Nullarbor Ceduna Kimba Burra
14 h 00
10 Tues 4/08/2009 11 Wed 5/08/2009 12 Thurs 6/08/2009
0410–2000 0420–1915 0210–2023
15 h 50 14 h 55 18 h 13
408 301 322
3391 3692 4014
Goolgowi Cowra Bondi Beach
2 h 50
12 h 13
Start–End Times (EST)
0303–1445* 0600–1710* 0400–1850* 0630–1915*
30/07/2009 31/07/2009 1/08/2009 2/08/2009 3/08/2009
Western Australia 1 Sun 26/07/2009 2 Mon 27/07/2009 3 Tues 28/07/2009 4 Wed 29/07/2009
South Australia 5 6 7 8
Thurs Fri Sat Sun
New South Wales
Australian Capital Territory 14 Sat 8/08/2009 0515–1728
* Subtract 2 hours for WA time. For example, Pete started at 1:03 am Sunday morning! § Subtract 30 minutes for SA time.
road for a couple of photos before heading to Goolgowi ourselves. We booked motel rooms for us and Pete, and had a counter meal in the pub. Told everyone in the bar what was going on, one or two even came out to welcome the crazy cyclist just after 8 pm. Shower, pasta, sleep and Pete was up around 3 am getting ready to go. We wandered out and took a couple of photos before he set off at 4.20 am in a blaze of LED light in the early morning darkness—amazing. Neil Irvine met Pete at Centennial Park in Bondi and rode with him for the last halfdozen kilometres to Bondi Beach where Malcolm Rogers and his wife Marja had waited for several hours to offer a welcome, congratulations, and take a few snaps of the occasion. Neil’s account of Pete’s arrival can be read online at tinyurl.com/lrblnm. Pete arrived at the Pacific Ocean at Bondi Beach, Sydney 11 days, 17 hours and 20 minutes after leaving the Indian Ocean in Fremantle. The distance is a bit under or a bit over 4000 km depending on your
measure. Pete’s odometer shows 4014 km, the Google Map shows 3964 km. For the sake of convenience let’s call it 4000 km. He rode solo and self-supported for the entire distance, averaging 340 km per day for nearly 12 days. He had no mechanical failures or problems, and not one puncture for the entire ride! The previous best time for this class of lone, unsupported ride across Australia is a little under 14 days. ••• As a matter of record, Pete rode 60 km to a friend’s house in Campbelltown on Friday, then rode the 245 km home to Canberra on Saturday. He was home on 8 August as planned. Rod Evans, former 24-hour and Around Australia Record Holder, current 1000 km Record Holder and Australian Cyclist of the Year 1990 and 1994, was suitably impressed. His email message concluded by quoting the famous Sir Hubert Opperman, “I dips my lid”.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
The Race Across America
Team RANS in 2009 Glenn Druery The Tour de France is undoubtedly one of the oldest and most prestigious bicycle races in the world, with a race distance that varies from year to year covering anywhere from 3000 to 4500 km, and racers compete over three, gruelling weeks in daily stage races of varying lengths. Sounds tough, doesn’t it? And it is. The Race Across America or RAAM, is an altogether different epic. RAAM racers cycle over 5000 km—in nine days for solo racers, and around seven days for teams. That would be like cycling from Melbourne to Sydney or Sydney to Brisbane five times in around a week. Impossible? Not for the several hundred cyclists from around the world who complete RAAM, arguably the toughest bicycle race in the world. Of course not all who start RAAM finish it. There’s a very high attrition rate. On the Tour, riders start and stop each day, with relaxing meals, massages and warm beds provided. But on RAAM the rider or team doesn’t stop at the end of the day. If you want to finish the race you get on your bike at the beginning and you keep on cycling, day and night until it’s over, 5000 km later. In team RAAM, one member of the team is always cycling on a tightly regulated roster with the other team members.
which was tremendously hard, being a roster of one hour on, one hour off, nonstop for seven days. We came second that year and set a new race record in the division. RAAM presents a unique opportunity to compete against some of the best ultra distance racers from all over the world. This year’s race had a record entry with over 300 riders ready to depart Oceanside
So how do you prepare for a race like that? I train in excess of 20,000 km a year and compete in regular racing events. This not only strengthens muscles but also hones my racing skills. In recent times I’ve added racing as I cycle to and from work. I’m just a naturally competitive person and I look for other cyclists to race against as I commute. I even race cars and trains if there aren’t any cyclists around! As a member of Audax Australia I have many friends who regularly participate in long rides of 200 km plus, and I join them when I can as a break from the harder and faster races that form my regular training. This of course takes a lot of time—time away from family and friends—but to be seriously competitive in RAAM it’s essential. RAAM isn’t just about the cyclist/s in the race. A good support team is critical. This year we had a crew of 14 individuals, four vehicles including an RV where the racers ate and slept, as well as the follower car, which kept close behind us as we rode, protecting us from the traffic behind us and providing light for us at night.
During RAAM you can burn up to 10,000 calories a day so you need to eat—a lot! People ask me what I eat during the race. Apart from my weakness for gummi bears, So if it’s so hard, why have so few I fuelled myself with a variety of mostly Australians heard of it? It’s hugely well Glenn before the start natural foods: grapes, yoghurt, nuts, berries, known in America and very prestigious, tomato/V8 juice, bread, sandwiches, pasta, but not many Australian cyclists compete on 20 June. I was in a four-person team this protein drinks, choc milk, and masses of in it and it doesn’t enjoy media coverage time and my team mates were Americans. water—all prepared by the support crew. like The Tour. With twelve RAAMs between us, we were Even so, I lost around 3–4 kg during the race, very experienced. As the only Australian and remember, that’s in under a week! RAAM has been operating since 1982 and in the team I was proud enough, but this runs from the west coast to the east coast year I was the only Australian competing in You don’t just participate in RAAM, you of the United States. In 2009 it started in RAAM. I wanted to do well. Aussie, Aussie, live RAAM. Like all endurance athletic Oceanside, California, north of San Diego Aussie! events the test goes far beyond the physical. and finished in Annapolis, Maryland You learn about yourself: what motivates and involved a little over 33,500 metres of Our team divided into pairs, each pair you, what your limits are, physically, climbing—the equivalent of almost four cycling at time trial pace for 20 minutes on, mentally and emotionally. At times I felt Mount Everests. 20 minutes off intervals for a period of four tired down to my toenails. Through sheer hours. Then we’d have a four hour break physical exhaustion RAAM pushes your This year was my third RAAM. In 2005 in the support vehicle and the other pair body to the absolute extreme. It’ll grind I was the first Australian to compete and would do the same, and so on in rotation, you down one day and the next day give in 2007 I raced in the two-person division for the duration of the race. you a high like nothing else in the world. 24
Checkpoint Spring 2009
It’s confronting. It can be spiritual. It strips away your superficialities until you’re faced with what you’re really like. You face your demons! More and more as the race progresses life becomes a sleep-deprived RAAM blur. Sometimes it feels as though there is nothing else in life but RAAM, no way to escape. You might well ask why someone would do such an event. I often wonder that myself. My answer is always the same, RAAM has become a part of me, and I love this madness! After the 2005 RAAM I was quoted in the press as saying: “I wouldn’t say I was hallucinating, but at one point I was talking to my dead grandmother. I logically knew that she wasn’t there but it was nice talking to her so I kept chatting for awhile.” And also: “Somewhere in the middle of Indiana, I started looking for a small cliff to ride off. Nothing too big; I didn’t want to get seriously hurt, but I thought breaking an arm or something would be worth it if I could just get some sleep.” This year the days were generally very hot, but it got very cold in the Rocky Mountains, especially above 10000 ft. We had a temperature range of 46°C to -3°C over the race. Hot or cold, steep or flat, simple things would boost morale, like a superb sunrise or a motivational word from the crew. The words of the great Don Bradman often ran around my head: “When you play test cricket, you don’t give the Englishmen Simple things would boost morale, like a superb sunrise
Cameraderie and sportsmanship on the road
an inch. Play it tough, all the way. Grind them into the dust.” Did I mention climbing? We certainly did! From the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Rockies of the West, with their enormous uphill slogs, to the short but brutally steep killers of the Ozarks and Appalachians of the East, we climbed. The rewards were exhilarating descents, incredibly fast but far too brief. But there was more to the route than just climbing. We enjoyed the sparse scenery of the desert areas of the Southwest, and the boundless farm fields of Kansas and Oklahoma, refreshed by the varied terrain
and small towns of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. RAAM’s route traces the building of the United States in reverse. Someday I’d like to go back and visit all those places again, spend more time studying what I saw from my bike, but not this year. This year I was racing. After all this talk about the race, where it went, what I saw, what I ate: how did we do? What was our result? Simply this: we won! Our team, Team RANS, finished in first place, ahead of all 18 of the fourperson teams. We even succeeded in beating most of the eight-person teams, whose members were obviously more rested. We finished in a time of 6 days, 3 hours and 40 minutes, which is an average riding speed of around 33 km/h over 5000 km. Apart from the primary goal of winning, the secondary goal of our team was to set a new four-person race record. We didn’t quite achieve that goal this year, but we came close, awfully close. We were a little disappointed, but we realised what that meant: we’d be back. The only Aussie in the race and now on the podium at the finish line in Annapolis, I was indescribably proud and happy and I remember crying. I felt ten feet tall, invincible. If I could do this, I could do anything. I looked at each of my teammates, smiling and accepting the accolades of the crowd, and I was already thinking: now we’re the team to beat. We may as well be wearing giant targets on our backs. Next time we’ll have to do even better.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Break the Cycle Challenge
Across the country then Around the Bay Gary Harvey
I have been a keen cyclist for over ten years and now I’m about to push myself for my ultimate test: cycling 5500 km across Australia over 20 days to raise $300,000 for The Smith Family. My Break the Cycle Challenge aims to raise money for The Smith Family’s Learning for Life Program, which will result in 1000 disadvantaged Australian children being able to access literacy support and fund school essentials such as uniforms and books. The ride will depart from Fremantle, WA on 26 September 2009 and go through some of Australia’s toughest terrain, including the Nullarbor Plain where temperatures can reach over 45°C during the day. The route dips into South Australia and the top of Victoria, then onto Sydney and finally to Melbourne. After a rest day, my final ride will be on Sunday 18 October, in Around the Bay in a Day; yet another 250 km! I have been the winner of The Smith Family’s ‘Highest Individual Fundraiser’ award for the past nine years, raising more than a quarter of a million dollars in total for The Smith Family. And this year will be my tenth and final year participating in the event but I’m planning on making it particularly memorable. I’m doing this ride for the kids. I was so surprised when I realised the number of disadvantaged kids in Australia, I just never expected it to be so high in a developed country like Australia. There is also some personal satisfaction that you feel when giving something back to the community and conquering a new challenge. I’m scheduled to pedal over 250 km a day for 20 days straight, which has required preparation, research and focus. My training regime consists of an average of cycling 350 km–400 km per week and a mixture of interval training including gym work-outs, spin classes and even long distance, hilly rides from my home in Singapore across into Malaysia. But my main concern is the mental frustration I will endure. I’m really hoping people will feel inspired by the work of The Smith Family and join me along the way. In the gym I can listen to music but not on the ride so having people to chat to will really make a difference. After that, it’s the physical stress of riding every day and hoping that I don’t get sores in places that will be aggravated every day! All keen cyclists and sports people, of any fitness level are welcome to join me on the Break the Cycle Challenge, whether it’s for just a few kilometres or a full day. The only thing will be that I have a route I must follow and have to stick to get to my destination 26
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Gary is set to face his ultimate cycling challenge
every day. So although it would be nice, please don’t invite me in your home for a cuppa as I won’t have time! For those who are keen to ride a stage with me please contact Belinda Griffiths from The Smith Family on (03) 9473 4308. aroundthebayfundraising.com.au/?GaryHarvey
Preventing heat stroke in endurance cycling Russell J Freemantle RN BHSc, MN (Neuroscience), Training Secretary
Australia is the driest inhabited continent in the world and our climate is decidedly unpredictable throughout the continent and from year-to-year (Aust 2008). The mean ambient temperature in Australia has consistently risen by one degree Celsius since 1950. The effects of global warming are becoming more noticeable with a forecast rise of 1.4°C to 5.8°C in average global temperature over this century (CSIRO. 2009; Matthies et al. 2008). There were several deaths reported in the summer of 2008/09 that were directly related to heat waves. During the 20th century, heat waves caused more deaths in Australia than any other natural hazard (EMA. 2009; VSES 2009). An increasing occurrence of heat waves is expected over the next decade (CSIRO. 2009; Matthies et al. 2008). Fortunately heat-related death is preventable and directly related to situational factors (Belshaw 2009). Endurance cyclists who continue to train and ride over summer should endeavour to understanding the physiological nature of heat stroke. Thermoregulatory mechanisms allow the body to react to normal situations of heat production but when the body is exposed to extreme heat the system is unable to compensate, resulting in heat stroke. Heat stroke, also known as sun stroke or thermic fever, occurs when the body’s core temperature rises above 40.5°C. Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency that requires immediate medical treatment to prevent brain damage, organ failure or death (Govt. 2008). Adequate hydration and keeping cool is the best way to prevent all heat-related illness, especially heat stroke.
Symptoms of heat stroke: • • • • • • • • • •
Anxiety/irritability* Confusion/delirium* Cramping Headache High body temperature (>40.5°C PR)* Hyperventilation at rest Loss of Consciousness Nausea/vomiting Rapid resting pulse (>130 common) Red, hot and dry skin (no longer able to sweat) • Tremors • Urine output decreased or nil * heat stroke should be suspected in any patient with changed mental status even if the temperature is less than 40.5°C.
Training Notes Russell J Freemantle Training Secretary Risk Factors: There are three main factors that lead to body’s heat gain; they are ambient temperature, clothing and physical activity (Belshaw 2009). Radiant heat from tarmac and being out in the open exacerbates hot conditions. Other risk factors include: • Circulatory diseases • Diabetes • Heart disease • High blood pressure • Junior riders • Lack of sleep
• Obesity • Poor acclimatisation (e.g., overseas visitors) • Respiratory disease • Renal insufficiency • Senior riders, especially those over 65 • Some medications (e.g. diuretics)
Prevention The combination of high ambient temperature and sustained vigourous exercise is particularly hazardous for endurance cyclist. Under normal conditions radiation, convection and conduction account for about 77% of body heat loss, however when the ambient air temperature is greater than 34°C radiation, convection and conduction become negligible and evaporation of sweat from the skin becomes the primary cooling mechanism (Helman and Habal 2007). Therefore endurance cyclists cannot rely on radiation
WHO out-of-hospital guidelines for health care professionals Condition
Changes in mental status (anxiety, delirium, seizures, coma) are observed.
Position unconscious patients on their side and clear airway.
Minimise risk of aspiration.
Administer oxygen 4 l/min.
Increase arterial oxygen saturation to > 90%.
Give isotonic crystalloid (normal saline).
Ensure volume expansion.
Rapidly transfer to an emergency department. (Matthies et al. 2008)
Checkpoint Spring 2009
and convection on hot days for cooling and must seriously consider fluid and electrolyte replacement. Electrolytes found in sports drinks such as Staminade decrease the urinary water loss and facilitates the recovery of the fluid balance (Matthies et al. 2008). Simple measures can be applied to reduce the incidence of heat related conditions: • Do not drink alcohol. • Eat regular light meals. • Electrolyte replacement drinks such as Staminade are excellent but may become unpalatable at 40°C, simple water may be more drinkable. • Freezing your water bottles prior to the ride will keep water cool for longer. • Hydrate well prior to the ride (check with your doctor if you are on medication or limited fluids). • Limit riding to cooler times—11 am to 3 pm is generally the hottest time of the day. • Prevent sunburn with lightweight clothing and sunscreen. • Replace fluids continuously during the ride. • Rest regularly in the shade. • Wear lightweight clothing, light coloured clothing will absorb less heat. • Wear sunglasses. Mortality from untreated heat stroke is as high as 80% but early intervention can reduce the mortality rate to 10% (Helman and Habal 2007). The rider with advancing signs and symptoms of heat stroke will have impaired thought processes. Cyclists observing other riders with advancing signs of heat stroke need to alert them to their predicament and if necessary take charge of the situation and arrange for appropriate care. • Call 000 and ask for ambulance. • Remove the person out of the sun and into a cool, shady area. • Remove excess clothing. • Lay them down while you’re waiting for emergency medical help. • Spray the person with cool water, such as from a water bottle or garden hose if possible. • Take an extra water bottle. • Spray cold water on the skin and fan. • If alert encourage gentle oral rehydration (do not give alcohol). • If unconscious, position the person on their side and clear their airway. • If medical attention is delayed, seek further instructions from ambulance or hospital emergency staff.
Photo: Noel Cranswick
Spray the person with cool water
The unconscious patient
Best practice aims to actively cool body temperature to under 39°C within about 30 minutes. There is strong evidence that cold water, preferably immersion, offers the best opportunity for a normally healthy endurance cyclist to survive and avoid lasting physiological damage from heat stroke (Casa et al. 2007)
The unconscious patient should be nursed on their side and the airway maintained. While awaiting ambulance commence oxygen therapy if available and consider preparation for intravenous fluid administration.
If the heat stroke victim is being treated at a field station or in somebody’s home, cold water immersion in a bath or tub, a cold shower, continual dousing with cold water or with cold water-soaked towels becomes possible. These approaches provide the fastest cooling rate. The heat stroke victim must be observed continuously during this process. When body temperature is down to 39°C a more passive approach can be employed as normal physiologic mechanisms reassert (Casa et al. 2007).
Conclusion Heat stroke is a life threatening condition for which endurance cyclists are particularly susceptible when riding during hot weather. It is important for riders to prepare meticulously for hot weather riding by having the appropriate clothing and hydrating sufficiently before and throughout rides. During rides cyclists should monitor themselves for signs and symptoms of the advance of heat stroke. Cyclists encountering other riders with signs and symptoms of heat stroke must take charge of the situation and organise appropriate care and treatment. [For reference list, see addendum]
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Tips and Techniques
A collection of thoughts on hydration Recently on audax-oz Andrew Priest asked, “I am interested in what if anything you put in your water and also how much you carry on longer rides (100 km +) and how you carry it.” An edited selection of responses follows. Alan Tonkin: I add EM•PACT (360 g) by Mannatech (www. mannatech.com) and use either the CamelBak Chill Jacket Podium Bidon that keeps liquids chilled for hours (put it in the fridge the night before) or an earlier no frills version of CamelBak’s ThermoBak® 2 l that has proven itself with most major military organisations worldwide (www.camelbak.com.au). I use the latter for 100 km plus rides, especially in mass rides to avoid the need to bend down and grab a luke warm bidon off the frame whilst in the midst of dubious riding company. As for 1 l bottles check out the Zefal Magnum. Mike Boehm: Zefal Magnums and/or 2 l CamelBak for longer rides. Usually a solitary Magnum for rides shorter than 100 km and the CamelBak for 200s and MTBing. From time to time I’ll carry a Magnum as well for either cordial or Leppin Enduro Booster or just carry it to aid filling the camelbak which can be pretty tricky in some sinks. Jane May: I have done some experimenting with various commercial sports drinks. I have used 750 ml bidons and a 1.5 l CamelBak on rides. I found bidons easier to carry but wear a camelbak on hot summer rides allows very frequent sipping and I stay well hydrated. I prefer Gatorade and Staminade. Gatorade doesn’t contain magnesium but is palatable and compact. I think Staminade tastes good, contains some magnesium but is a lot bulkier. I pre-measure bidon/CamelBak amounts into small freezer bags and knot the top. This makes it easy to use on the road and store in my Ortlieb bag. I prefer to carry enough for the entire ride which would be about two sachets per 100 km. I drink H2O and other fluids at intervals and at controls
that on longer rides soft plastic bags such as freezer bags and zip lock bags can develop holes as they rub against the other contents of your rack or seat post bag, which can cause a very nasty mess in your bag, particularly with a sticky powder like Gatorade. I don’t like riding with a CamelBak—too hot and uncomfortable for me. I don’t even like to have a lot of stuff in my pockets. But I know lots of people who do use CamelBaks for longer rides. I carry 2×750 ml bidons. If I am doing a hot ride where it may be difficult to get water between two checkpoints, I throw a Kathmandu flexibottle into the rack bag—it holds a litre of water when full and folds down to a very compact size when empty. I have replaced the pop-top with a 1.25l soft drink lid. I don’t think I could fit a 1 litre bidon on my compact bike frame, but if there was room I certainly would. Oh the curse of having short legs! Peter Mathews: I have been using Nuun tablets (www.nuun.com) for about a year and have noted a significant reduction in cramping while riding. They are very similar in format to the Shotz tablets which seems to be a very easy to use, secure and mess free. From their website I notice that Nuun seems to have more Magnesium which was what I was looking for. Nutritional information on nuun tablets is available online at www.nuun.com/nuunis/science.html. Managing diabetes and bugs in my hydration system, I didn’t want any sugar in the water. I thought Nuun has a little sorbitol but can’t see it listed The berry flavour is my favourite as it seems to leave the least residual taste.
Keith McCulloch: I currently use Electrolyte Shotz (www. carboshotz.com), an Australian-made electrolyte tablet that readily dissolves in 500 ml of water. They are easy to carry, have all the necessary electrolytes and come in a compact plastic bottle.
Ian Boehm: The only thing I add to my water is more water. My jaundiced view that the commercial offerings mentioned are overrated, over priced, over here and over advertised. Sorry I forgot over packaged.
Bec Morton: Howard and I use Lemon Electrolyte Shotz (fizzy tablets that you throw into your bidon). They do not have carbs, only electrolytes, so if you are looking for fuelling as well as hydration you need to supplement them with something else. We have found that they are palatable even on very hot days when the water in your bidons gets warm.
I had a bit of a romance with Bob’s Jungle Juice for a while but farting around with powders of this and that is no substitute for getting off the bike and waltzing into a bakery/pub/café/ fruit shop and getting simple and complex carbohydrate and electrolytes from food you have to chew. Wash it down with generous quantities of vitamin C(affeine) and you wouldn’t be dead for quids.
We also use Hammer Endurolytes, capsules you can either just swallow with a bit of water or throw into your bidon. We carry both of these in a small hard plastic screw top container. We have found
I’m happy to listen to independent, evidence-based opinions to the contrary however.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge
Your invitation to Taupo Keith Crate, Event Director
The Wattyl Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is New Zealand’s largest cycling event and has endured for 33 years circumnavigating the country’s largest lake of 160 km and situated centrally in North Island. Since 1995, Enduro distances have been included. Currently we have two endurance challenges, both Audax brevet qualifying: the Enduro, (two circuits=320 km) and, the Maxi-Enduro (four circuits=640 km). The total field usually reaches close to 100 riders, mainly Kiwis but of late more Australians and indeed one Golden Bike rider from Scotland. The lap of the Lake is, in old terms, 100 miles with 1390 metres of climb. Only one urban area is passed, the town of Turangi, the rest comprises undulating farmland
and scenic lakeside. The Southern section of the course is proximal to our active volcanic mountains, Ruapehu, Tongariro and Ngaruahoe but it is comforting to know that no earth-shattering eruptions have occurred for 1800 years. The night time climate around Turangi can be alpine at event time. The roads are all well sealed and maintained with a very low traffic volume on event days. On the final ‘lap’ Enduro riders have the company of the other 10,000 riders. They
are easily recognised with their Flouro overcaps and receive numerous comments both flattering and humourous. Personalities of this component are Peter Barnie whose crazy idea it was; Colin Anderson who this year will have completed 50 circuits of the Lake as an Enduro rider and Australia’s own Gary Armsworth who is a regular participant and helps out with the Audax qualifiers. In the year 2000 we offered a 1000 km Enduro to recognise the millennium, this was taken up with 13 hardy souls with nine finishers, Crunchie Donaldson leading the way in 53 hr 40 min. John Downey, aged 71, also finished in a creditable 56 hr 49 mim. Next year 2010 we are offering a Southern Hemisphere Audax (completely unofficial) and named the Extreme, eight laps equaling 1280 km. This has come about following riders’ requests! Our Enduro Manager for the last 15 years has been Lynley McCaughan who can be reached for enquiries on: firstname.lastname@example.org We also offer an accommodation service with enquiries to email@example.com. Other contacts are Event Director: keith@ cyclechallenge.com with more information on the website www.cyclechallenge.com We are a Charitable Trust owned and organised by the Rotary Club of Taupo Moana.
Come and join us to experience a great Kiwi welcome
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Tibet Cycle Challenge
On a Trek in the Himalayas Ross Trevena
I thoroughly recommend Tibet Cycle Challenge through OCF/RAW Travel—it was utterly stupendous! Had everything: adrenaline and challenge on the bikes, massive scenery, clear weather around Everest (both on the road and the flight from Kathmandu to Lhasa), dust storm, snow storm, hot springs, culture and history (monasteries, ruins and caves, Potala Palace, spectacular Tibetan villages) and fossils and geological features for those into rocks. The endorphins are still running hot and I’ve been on a high ever since I got home. I need to lock in plans for another trip to help deal with the anticlimax! I won’t give you the full travelogue, just a few highlights and background points:
Riding distance around 1000 km in six days of dirt, mostly rough, uphill and with headwinds. Some sensational downhill runs (both sealed and unsealed). There were five or six passes over 5000 m (depending on which map and guide you read—place names, distances, altitudes are very inconsistent). Most climbs were long (up to 30 km) and relatively ‘gentle’ with lots of switchbacks (i.e. they were slogs!) The highest point was 5250 m.
Eleven in the group, five female, six male with average age around 50. Support was excellent and comprised truck with camping and mess gear, three Landcruisers (we expected Most spent some time in the two), Tibetan guide (essential— sag wagon due to exhaustion, the permit processes to get effects of altitude, cold or maybe in/out of Tibet, to visit some Ross gives his much-abused mountain bike a rest fear of some of the downhill dirt monasteries and for Everest base rides. No one suffered too badly camp are mind boggling), hotshot young Canadian guide (who from altitude, everyone gets breathless, especially when lying down, had travelled all over China but not to Tibet) with his girlfriend/ but usually so buggered at end of day that get reasonable sleep assistant, drivers, cooks/camp setter-uppers, Nepali bike mechanic anyway! A few had mild headaches and nausea. Had a sprint one and sweep rider (who suffered from altitude and spent a fair bit of day and pushed it hard to test myself; it took ages to get my breath time in sag wagon!) back and I thought I’d never breathe again, bit scary for a while. Most bike nights were camping, two-man tents were good. Food was good (but not sensational). Two days in Kathmandu at front end then four days in and around Lhasa to acclimatise before we hit the bikes. Spent 14 days biking (the plan was for 16–17 but last two days were largely in the cars because of snow, fog and roadworks) and a few days R&R at the back end. I had a Trek mountain bike hired from Himalayan Mountain Bikes in Kathmandu. Full suspension, disc brakes and lots of gears. Yes, the granny gear was used a fair bit This bike performed admirably and it was well and truly abused but suffered only one broken spoke and one flat. Two people took their own bikes, most others took their own saddle and gel cover. I should have too—my ass suffered big time. I just used walking shoes, no pedal clips or straps. It was a bit of a disadvantage going uphill but I wanted the freedom to get my foot down in a hurry in crowds or going downhill.
Rongbuk Monastery and Everest Base Camp were the highlights, closely followed by a huge tailwind ride down a gorge, across a plain and ending in a dust storm. Absolutely wild. The only negative was the last two days coming off the Tibetan plateau, across the border and down into Kathmandu Valley, the worlds biggest down hill ride from a 5200 m pass down to about 1300 m. The weather, extensive roadworks, landslides defeated us and we only rode bits of it. A bit of an anti-climax at the end but you need to expect something to go wrong on a trip like this. I’m going back to Tibet in the next year or two, small group, hire a couple of Landcruisers, go to some more remote areas, explore some of the ruins, caves, hills I was too buggered or had no time to do on this trip. Perhaps have a bike for the odd spin. I also intend to do some more long distance rides overseas, perhaps with OCF/ RAW in Asia somewhere and/or a more upmarket European tour.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
EVERY YEAR AROUND 700 AUSTRALIAN CHILDREN ARE DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER. 200 WON’T SURVIVE.
We invite Audax members to help us make tomorrow a reality for kids with cancer. 200 TOMORROWS is a program of cycling and trekking events in Australia, Europe, Asia and South America. Our adventures combine a physical challenge with a commitment to fundraise for OCF’s research programs. Audax members have always been strong advocates of our cause and we hope to enjoy your support at our upcoming events in Australia. If you are planning an adventure in 2010 then ensure you also take time to look at our inspirational cycling challenges calendar. Visit www.200tomorrows.com.au.
WHERE WILL YOUR CHALLENGE TAKE YOU?
UPCOMING EVENTS SUPPORTING 200 TOMORROWS
More info and sign up at >>
Nine challenges Four continents One goal The Oncology Children’s Foundation’s (OCF) charity challenges program will take you to the world’s best and most awe-inspiring road cycling, mountain biking and trekking routes in Australia, Europe, South America and Asia. The 200 Tomorrows program gives ordinary people the opportunity to do something truly extraordinary for themselves and for the fight against childhood cancer. Imagine the feeling of cycling in Tibet as the Mount Everest base camp comes into view or riding through Tuscany and on to iconic Italian cities of Florence and Venice followed by the soaring Dolomite mountains or facing the same challenging peaks of The Alpes made famous by the Tour de France. Imagine knowing that your involvement has aided some of the world's best researchers to pursue a cure for the childhood cancer. OCF recognises the challenge children face when diagnosed with cancer. Sadly over 200 children in Australia die from cancer each year. OCF’s goal is to dramatically improve the recovery rate of children with difficult to cure cancers, by funding cutting-edge research. Financial year 2009 was a milestone for OCF. A record $2.3 million was donated to OCF’s research partners at The Children's Hospital at Westmead and The University of New South Wales. An important and growing contributor to OCF’s fundraising is the charity’s association with cycling through its charity
challenges and events program. The program has raised close to $300,000 over the past 12 months. Participants at The 2009 Audax Alpine Classic donated $75,000 alone. A cycling or trekking challenge is obviously not in the same ball-park as the challenges faced by a child with cancer, but those that have taken part in an OCF event and raised money for research are motivated and encouraged to push themselves as they ride or walk knowing that completing their personal challenge will make a difference. OCF has announced a bumper program of overseas charity challenges in 2010, with nine challenges across four continents. Getting involved in an OCF challenge or event changes lives—not just for the participants but for Australian children diagnosed with cancer. The very nature of the cancers we target means cures don’t come easily. Our researchers need courage, innovation and persistence to succeed. The same can be said for those participating in our challenges and events. Some people talk about making a difference. Others actually do. www.200tomorrows.com.au
Mallee Routes These rides offer a great weekend in the Mallee, riding through the rising wheat and canola. Distances available are 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 or 600 km. The routes are predominantly flat but can be plagued by wind and heat, so it’s important to always carry at least two bidons.
The rides will be run from the Mallee Bush Retreat and we will be able to offer some accommodation and campsites there. This will be on a first-in, best-dressed basis.
Date: 26 September Time: 8 am Start: Hopetoun
There will also be a pre-ride dinner held at the local pub on the Friday night. This is a great chance to catch up and have some fun before the rides.
Ride costs The ride costs will be as follows: • 50 km–$15 • 300 km–$35 • 100 km–$20 • 400 km–$45 • 200 km–$25 • 600 km–$65
Ride organiser: Peter Annear firstname.lastname@example.org 0438 036 892 Distances: 50, 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 km Further information, including route maps and cue sheets, is available at: groups.google.com.au/group/audax-mallee-routes.
Retreat. These will be available to campers and caravaners for $10 per night. Accommodation at the Mallee Bush Retreat will be Early payment before 18 September will attract a $5 discount. Non- available for the Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights if required. members will be charged an additional $5 for temporary insurance cover. This charge is not discretionary. For those who wish to arrange their own accommodation, twelve motel rooms are available at the Community Hotel/Motel, phone Accommodation (03) 5083 3070. Caravan and camping sites only are available at Limited accommodation is available at the Mallee Bush the Hopetoun Caravan Park, phone (03) 5083 3001. Retreat at Hopetoun. The rides will be run from this site. This accommodation will cost $15 per bed per night and all Pre-ride Dinner bookings will be handed through the ride organisers on a firstThere will be a pre-ride dinner at the Community Hotel/ in, best-dressed basis. A deposit will be required to secure Motel on the night before the rides. Friday, 25 September. Dinner this accommodation. Failure to send your receipt will result will be served until 9 pm. Payment for dinner and drinks is up to in your booking being cancelled. There are also a limited each individual. Registration will be able to be completed at the number of powered and un-powered campsites at the Mallee dinner and rider packs will be available.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Semaine Fédérale en Australie
Bright 17–23rd January 2010
Seven days of rides and entertainment from a central base. Semaine Fédérale is week long series of rides organised from a central location catering for cyclists of all abilities, whose aim is to give cyclists the opportunity to share their passion in a festival atmosphere that celebrates cycle touring. To summarize the spirit of the Semaine Fédérale, it is an annual gathering which makes it possible to gather in the same point the families and the clubs of bicycle touring. The goal is to discover an area by bicycle, with simple routes accessible to everyone. The organised events and meetings that are part of the program help to create a friendly and convivial atmosphere on the rides. The goal is not a sporting one, nor the search for improved performance; it is above all “tourism by bicycle”. It is a special occasion for those with a love of cycling to meet, exchange ideas and experience their passion. It is also a week when ideas for new trips in the years to come are born. This is why many stands are directed towards the material and the equipment of the bicycle. It is important to emphasise the heritage of the area, so much activity focusses on the cultural, geographical, gastronomical, etc. It is also helps to promote the area visited. Dominique Lamouller Président Fédération française de cyclotourisme
The FFCT has agreed to partner Audax Australia in organising this event for the first time in Australia and also the first time outside of France. Whether you are kicking back and relaxing or preparing for the Audax Alpine Classic, Semaine Fédérale has something for you. So come along and find out for your self what it’s all about. For more information see www.sf2010.com.au.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Australian quota allocation Garry Armsworth, National President
Those with an interest in Paris-Brest-Paris 2011 will have probably seen the information in Checkpoint and on the Audax Australia website concerning the implementation of rider quotas for certain countries for the next edition of Paris-Brest-Paris. This article explains the process by which the Australian quota will be allocated and aims to explain the rationale behind the system adopted. To briefly recap on the reason why a quota is being implemented, Audax Club Parisien needs to limit the number of riders to maintain the quality of the event and to ensure that organisational capacity to provide services such as supported controls, sleeping facilities, and course management is not overwhelmed by the sheer volume of riders. Consequently, 13 countries (including Australia) which sent the largest number of riders to Paris-Brest-Paris in 2007 will have the number of places available for the 2011 event determined by a formula. The formula is based on the number of riders in PBP 2007 but adjusted for the growth in riding for each country relative to the growth for all 13 countries. Audax Club Parisien will be measuring growth based on the number of Brevets de Randonneurs Mondiaux (BRM) rides homologated by ACP in the 2009/10 Audax year against an earlier year. For those not familiar with the technicalities of the rides offered by Audax Australia, all of our calendar rides of 200 km to 1000 km (except for the fixed pace Brevet 22.5 rides) are homologated, that is, ratified, by Audax Club Parisien. The impact of the quota system is that we are most unlikely to be able to repeat the 50% growth between the 2003 and 2007 editions in the number of Australians attending Paris-Brest-Paris for the next edition. Interest amongst Australian members in participating in Paris-BrestParis 2011 is nonetheless strong and the National Committee must therefore establish a way in which the Australian quota can be allocated in the event that the number of Australians wishing to participate in PBP exceeds the number of available places.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
In addition to establishing the quota Specifically, the following ride types will system, Audax Club Parisien has also count in a rider’s kilometre tally: advised that rides completed in the 2010 Audax year (being 1 November 2009 to • Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux 31 October 2010) will determine when (1200 km or more) individuals can register for Paris-Brest• Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux Paris. Complete: (200 km-1000 km) • Brevet Permanent (only 200 km or • a BRM 400 km in 2010, the rider may longer) register from 15 April 2011; • Fleche Opperman (for 360 km) • a BRM 300 km in 2010, the rider may • Brevet 22.5 (only 200 km or longer) register from 1 May 2011; • a BRM 200 km in 2010, the rider may It is important to note that only register from 15 May 2011; Brevet Randonneurs Mondiaux events • no BRM event in 2010, the rider may (200 km–1000 km) count towards the not register until June 1, 2011. Australian country quota as the other types of rides (with the exception of the The National Committee has considered Oppy) are not homologated by Audax a range of options for allocating the Club Parisien. Australian quota including do nothing (so riders simply register at the earliest Should there be at any stage in the opportunity provided by Audax Club registration process more Australian Parisien with places being allocated to riders registering than places available, those who register the earliest), a random the places will be allocated based on the ballot and a ranking system. kilometre tally. Places will be allocated first to those have attained the maximum The first two options were rejected as kilometre tally (2500 km or more in they do not encourage riders to complete rides that count) and then in descending anything more than a single ride to enable kilometres. In the event that places have to “early” registration or to increase the be allocated between riders with the same Australian quota. kilometre tally, the rider(s) to first register will be allocated the place(s). The National Committee has decided upon a ranking system based on kilometres In conclusion, your National Committee ridden in the 2010 Audax year which will has endeavoured to put in place an encourage riders to complete BRMs, which allocation mechanism that is fair to all count towards the Australian quota, but is PBP aspirants and that mitigates some designed to balance other considerations. disadvantages while maximising the overall Australian quota. We also wanted In very simple terms any Audax to get it in place early so that members are Australia ride of 200 km or longer (except clear on the requirements and can prepare Raids) ridden between 1 November 2009 accordingly. Inevitably, if there are more and 31 October 2010 will count towards a applicants than places available some rider’s kilometre tally. A maximum limit riders will miss out. however has been set for the kilometre tally of 2500 km.
A quota allocation scenario In 2007, 125 Australians registered for Paris–Brest–Paris. Let’s assume the Australian country quota for 2011 is 140. During the 2010 Audax year, 100 Australians hoping to participate in Paris-Brest-Paris complete a 400 km BRM event and another 60 complete a 300 km BRM event. Of the 100 riders who have completed a 400 km BRM, 95 register between 14 and 30 April 2011. All 95 riders received a confirmed place as the number of rider registered at the conclusion of the first registration period is less than the quota. This leaves 45 places to be allocated in the subsequent registration periods. 50 riders who completed a 300 km BRM register between 1 and 15 May 2011 and two riders who completed a 400 km BRM also register between 1 and 15 May. The remaining places are allocated based on the kilometre tally; it makes no difference that two riders completed a 400 km BRM when allocating the places. Of the 52 riders, 30 completed 2500 km or more of rides and the remaining 22 riders completed between 300 and 2499 km. The remaining 45 places are allocated first to the 30 riders who completed 2500 km+ and then to the 15 riders with the next highest kilometre tallies and seven people must miss out. When allocating the final two places, there are four people with the same kilometre tally. The two places go to the two riders who registered first. What happens if the three riders who completed a 400 km BRM but have not yet registered try to register after 15 May? They will miss out because they did not register early enough and all the places have been allocated. Similarly, riders who completed one or more BRM 200 km also miss out. A rider who even completed say 13×200 km BRMs and reached the maximum kilometre tally limit will miss out as the rider did not complete a longer BRM to enable early registration.
Questions and answers Why include Permanents and other rides that don’t count towards the country quota? The Committee did not want to distort the ride calendar by creating an environment where organisers and riders focussed solely on BRM 200 to 1000 km events. Riders living outside of the major metropolitan centres would have fewer opportunities to undertake rides which count towards the quota if only calendar events were included. Additionally, shift or weekend workers would also be disadvantaged if only calendar events, which are almost exclusively held on weekends, counted.
Why have a maximum limit on the kilometre tally? The Committee sought to avoid creating a quota allocation process which turned into a race of its own. A maximum tally of 2500 km is achievable for someone aiming to complete Paris-Brest-Paris, including first timers but also shows a commitment to endurance riding. It is equivalent to riding the BRM400 to enable registration at the earliest time plus 11 x 200 km brevets; one ride per month aims to strike a balance between endurance riding and riders’ other commitments. It also lessens the risk of less experienced riders over-training or burning out. If a rider completes a super randonneur series then it is even fewer rides by number. Setting a maximum kilometre tally means that we may forgo an opportunity to absolutely maximise the Australian country quota however while riders may not get an individual benefit by riding more than 2500 km, we would nonetheless encourage members to ride as many BRM events as possible. Available club data shows that in the 2005/06 Audax year, 18 people rode a total of 2500 km or more in 200 km and longer brevets versus 32 people in 2007/08. If a large percentage of those who fill the Australian quota ride 2500 km or more (and with BRM 200-1000 events being most of the rides), Australia should record a healthy growth in homologated rides.
When will the Australian quota be known? It is anticipated that the Australian quota will be known in January 2011.
When will I know my position in the kilometre tally and how many people have achieved the maximum kilometre tally? This information will be available in December 2010.
Does this allocation process replace the usual qualification requirement? Definitely not. Intending participants will still have to complete the Super Randonneur series of qualifying rides during the designated period (November 2010 to May 2011). Those failing to do so will not be able to participate and the places will be allocated to others in accordance with the quota allocation process.
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Why Audax? Madam Raven
Etymologically, from the Latin, via the Italian, meaning bold, courageous and spirited; or foolhardy, presumptuous and rash. You may take your pick over which of these applies to the ladies and gentlemen of Paris–Brest–Paris… Philosophically, the Cynics would approve of the physical exercise and self-sufficiency while questioning the speed convention and mocking anyone using proprietary sports drinks. The Peripatetics would presumably enjoy the more moderate distances while the Neopythagoreans would argue that the painful behind resulting from ultra-endurance events was good for the soul. The Marxists might argue that Audax is an egalitarian endeavour in which every participant owns his or her success or failure (although they might also denounce it as being apolitical and achievable only by the endurance elite). The Stoics would see it as an opportunity to exert will over emotional weakness, the Sophists would still be stuck on the first paragraph and the Epicureans would see it as an opportunity to eat cake. In the end, however, I would suggest taking a more Pragmatic approach and giving it a go. Then you can decide for yourself. First published in issue 48 of citycycling (www.citycycling.co.uk). Reproduced with permission.
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My first brevet
First brevet becomes first super series, 1994-95 Chris Walsh
I first found out about Audax cycling in the early 90’s from articles by Neil Irvine, Stephen Poole and others in the Australian Cyclist. Neil and Stephen wrote about their Paris–Brest experiences of ’87 and ’91 as well as about the practice of long-distance cycling. I was fascinated and strangely attracted to this seemingly quite extreme form of cycling and was keen to give it a go. Highlands Double Hundred My opportunity came with an event called the Highlands Double Hundred in 1994, an event organised by Russell Moore (who also completed Paris–Brest in both ’87 and ’91). Russell had organised this event for a number of years and offered participants the opportunity to register for a brevet. Here was an opportunity to ride a 200 km brevet event with a few hundred others, and with plenty of support along the way. It was a great opportunity. The event started and finished in Campbelltown, on the south-west fringe of Sydney, and headed down the Hume Highway then to the coast near Wollongong over Mt Keira, down to the south of Lake Illawarra, and then inland to the Southern Highlands via the scenic but steep (and long) Macquarie Pass. From there we rode back to Moss Vale in the heart of the Highlands and back down the hill to Campbelltown. I paid my entry fee, then on the day stumped up another $4 (as I recall) to Russell for a brevet card. Russell at that time was the Sydney Audax “correspondent”, a charming term which meant in fact that he was a one man committee who did everything for everybody in the Sydney Region. Despite the large number of entrants the riders spread out almost immediately and the groups thinned very quickly—just like an Audax event today! I found myself riding with a small group including a wiry female rider who clearly knew how to turn the pedals; this was Sue Attreed, with whom I would share many rides (including PBP ’99) over the coming years.
The day was hot—very hot—and we all suffered enormously going up Macquarie Pass. It was November, and hot northwesterlies often blow at that time of year in Sydney. This meant that we had the wind on our beam as we rode along the Illawarra Highway into Moss Vale and directly on the nose as we turned to home. Russell and his volunteers popped up everywhere with water, every 20 km it seemed, and he always had a crowd of willing drinkers around.
Then I was in Singleton, where the reality hit me: I had only completed 200 km, the sun was going down and it was a long way home. I got back OK, turned in my card and was advised by Russell that this would be returned to me duly homologated “in several months”. I drove home, flew to Perth the next day on business and spent most of the next few days re-hydrating.
Back for more My first brevet turned rapidly into my first super series. I did another 200 km event early in 1995 and everyone else on the event was talking Paris–Brest. I rode with Stephen Poole, Steve Vesel and Brian Joyce, all much better riders than me but very willing to chat and share their knowledge about cycling in general and endurance cycling in particular. This got me thinking about Paris and a few weeks later I saw a 400 km ride running from Sydney to Singleton and back, organised by Malcolm
Rogers. I resolved to give it a go (much to my wife Marian’s horror).
First 400 This 400 really felt like my first brevet event. Mal was running 200, 300 and 400 events concurrently and it was a PBP year so there were plenty of riders. I rode with the 300 km riders to Cessnock at which point they turned around and I rode on by myself to Singleton. About 10 km out from Singleton I met the lead group heading home; they were led by the late Bob Chorley, a much-admired rider from Canberra who I believe was the fastest Alpine Classic rider one year—at the age of 54! About 2 km out I saw Mark Burgess, who was having a bad day (a bad day for Mark is better than a good day for the rest of us) and then I was in Singleton, where the reality hit me: I had only completed 200 km, the sun was going down and it was a long way home. But I was on my way home, and that was a good feeling. I found that my spirits lifted as I turned for home and that I was enjoying myself. Night fell after Cessnock, where Mal was waiting with words of encouragement. This would be my first extended night ride and I found to my surprise that it was more pleasant than during the day. The temperature was more comfortable but it was also more stimulating. I loved the novelty of night riding, with the pencil beam of light on the road and the blackness of the bush. I did get tired, however, and I was so pleased to be back at Hornsby on 3 am, having started at 8 am the previous morning. Mal was there waiting for me, almost as pleased as I was at my achievement. I owe a great debt of gratitude to Mal, who
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supported many subsequent Audax events that I rode in.
Sydney to Canberra return This story finishes with my 600 km brevet—Sydney to Canberra return— organised by Russell Moore in April 1995. By this stage I had got myself a Union headlight and dynamo and was keen to go. The field spread out remarkably rapidly, led by Bob Chorley and Jonathon Page, who rode as if their life depended on it and arrived home in 24 hours. I rode most of the way with a group of riders including Russell Moore and Stephen Poole. The ride to Goulburn was hard, but we had a slap up feed at the Paragon just on dusk and the ride from there to Canberra via Bungendore was just a pleasure. Our group rode at a relaxed but steady pace, chatting about everything from cycle touring in Scandinavia to our favourite music, but stopping rarely. We slept overnight in Canberra and headed home pretty much the same way the following day. We arrived home at Liverpool around 6 pm, about 34 hours after setting out, and for the first time I was asked about PBP. To my amazement I heard myself say, ‘Not this year. I’ll be there in ’99”. I must have been turning this over in the back of my mind during the ride and I realised what an enormous commitment it would be to train for such an event, and how substantial would be the consequent impact on my family and professional life. The feeling of a step too far also loomed large. I told Marian about this in the car on the way home and she was so pleased that she immediately agreed to come with me to Paris in four years time, but that’s another story.
Do you have a “My First Brevet” story in you? Of course you do! The hardest part is remembering it*, after that it’s just a matter of writing it down and sending it in to email@example.com. * Facts and accuracy are optional. It’s your story, after all!
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Brevets Stephen George, Brevet Editor Contact the Brevet Editor: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bravo! Felicitations! 100 km, 22-Feb-2009, ACT, Snowies Epic #2 Organiser: Peter Heal
100 km, 16-May-09, QLD, Douglas – Feel Dirt Organiser: Howard Brandis Howard Brandis, David Minter, Dino Morgante, Peter Roehm
ROAD SERIES 50 km 2-May-09, VIC, Goldfields Double Century Organiser: Peter & Robyn Curtis Sally Braddy
50 km 17-May-09, VIC, Not Just a Blackgate Saunter Organiser: Maxine Riggs &Geof Bagley John Sobczynski, Jonathon Van Cleef
50 km 8-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour
Greg Cunningham, Peter Heal, Don Mankweich, Roger Northcote, Fraser Rowe
100 km 18-Apr-09, VIC, Malmsbury Meander Organiser: Paul de Podelinski Tim Bell, Judy Beswick, Sally Braddy, Chris Brewin, Danielle Bruneau, Tony Carlton, Mark Chapman, Helen Cronin, Robyn Curtis, Fausto Didonato, Jenny Farrow, Naomi Fountain, Barry Hahnel, Craig Halliday, Ray Hannan, George Judkins, Richard Kruger, Jane Martin, Peter Mead, Myra Morgan, Heather Murray, Malcolm Reed, Fiona Silver, Peter Silver, Fiona Siseman, Mark Slater, Richard Taylor, Leigh Thornton, Atrel Turner, Alan Wallace, Adrian Whear, Steve Xerri
100 km 26-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy Organiser: Andy Moore Ken Allender, John Doran, David Matthews
100 km 3-May-09, VIC, Wheels on Fire Organiser: Kevin Ware
Bernard Collins, Libby Haynes, Shelley Knoll-Miller, Timshel Knoll-Miller, Tim Taylor, Jan Walsh, Neville Walsh
Kath Akarsu, Charles Day, Rod Dixon, Ian Fromholz, Anthony Harris, Lyndon Johnson, Bruce Kitson, Peter Kostos, Lee Cahill, Leon Malzinskas, Gabrielle McBain, Ronald McInnes, Steve Murphy, Lance Sharman, Tony Wolfe
90 km 18-Jul-09, NSW, Woy Woy 90 Series
100 km 9-May-09, VIC, Tour De Tarwin
Organiser: Lindsay Harvey
Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes
Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands
Larissa Beattie, Tom Cox, Stuart De Jong, Geoff Farsnworth, John Florin, Tim Hancock, Lindsay Harvey, Phillip Jang, Ian Maloney, Wok McAlpine, Phil Newby, Kiran Reid, Natasha Sutherland, Ron Webster
Lorraine Allen, Felix Borda, Christine Brown, Robyn Curtis, June Debono, Pat Dorey, Mary Green, Libby Haynes, Trvor Hoare, Peter Hollands, John Laszczyk, Robert Melville, Geof Payne, Ian Rouget, David Skinner, Patricia Stewart
100 km, 9-Nov-2008, ACT, Bungendore Bash
100 km 16-May-09, NSW, Baby Gorges
Organiser: Tom Nankivell
Organiser: Howard Dove and Bec Morton
Jorge Cerro, Alf Hoop, Geoff McFarlane, Joel McFarlaneRoberts, Tom Nankivell, Ann Thu Nguyen, Daniel Oakman, Phillip Price, Eu Ho Siew, Martin Slade-Swan, Cecilie Young
Larissa Beattie, Phil Dodd, Geoff Dunlop, Lindsay Harvey, Ian Maloney, Janardanan Mohandas, Margaret Mohandas, Philip Newby, Jane Palmer, Kieran Reid, Tony Rubenstein
100 km, 18-Jan-2009, ACT, The Gun Gun Century Rides
100 km, 17-May-09, QLD, Douglas 100
Organiser: Tom Nankivell
Organiser: Howard Brandis
Dexa Arounstvat, Andrew Donaldson, Claire Graydon Don Mankewich, Joel McFarlane-Roberts, Geoff McFarlane, Jeff Morgan, Richard Niven, Trevor Osborn, Sheridan Roberts, Graham Savage
Vaughan Kippers, Steve Lawrance, Sue May, Jonathan Spillett
100 km, 17-May-09, SA, Rocking Horse 3
100 km, 1-Aug-09, SA, North Eastern 123
160 km 2-May-09, VIC, Goldfields Double Century
Organiser: Alan Capell Volunteers: Mary Capell & Lexia Cherry
Organiser: Richard Scheer
Organiser: Peter & Robyn Curtis
Lorraine Allen, Peter Curtis, Hans Dusink, David Harrington, Anne Harrington, Martin Haynes, Liz James, Tim Laugher, Leigh Paterson, Rodney Snibson, Kathryn Temby
Alan Capell, Michael Dwyer, Dean Lambert, Ian Peak, Matthew Rawnsley, Frank Scheen, Richard Scheer
100 km 17-May-09, VIC, Not Just a Blackgate Saunter
150 km, 9-Nov-2008, ACT, Bungendore Bash John Anderson, Don Mankewich, Vince Martin
160 km 3-May-09, VIC, Goldfields Double Century
150 km, 14-Dec-2008, ACT, CeeGee CeeGee
Lorraine Allen, Hans Dusink, David Harrington, Libby Haynes, Liz James, Tim Laugher, Leigh Paterson, Rodney Snibson, Kathryn Temby
Organiser: Tom Nankivell
Organiser: Maxine Riggs &Geof Bagley Judy Beswick, Glen Bethel, Alister Briggs, Harry Cartwright, Mark Chapman, Michael Dunstan, Ian Fraser, Howard Gibson, John Green, Suzanne Hallifax, Rosemary Hogan, Elaine Johnson, Fiona MacDonald, Colin McFadyen, Shawn McKeon, Jane May, Malcolm Moorin, Myra Morgan, Derek Nicholas, Pauline Nicholas, Ken Quinn, Bruno Rabl, Rowan Riches, Jim Sobczynski, Joan Stribley, Leigh Thornton, Grant Tudor, Sue Vivien, Adrian Whear, Ewan Williams
100 km 6-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands Geof Bagley, Marie Bagley, Bernard Collins, Mike Geraghty, Barry Hahnel, Libby Haynes, Martin Haynes, Sue Horne, Jane May, Peter May, Jan Walsh, Neville Walsh
100 km 7-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands Marie Bagley, Bernard Collins, Peter Delphin, Gareth Evans, Julie Graham, Libby Haynes, Martin Haynes, Sue Horne, James Kent, Jane May, Jan Walsh, Neville Walsh, David Woodman
100 km 21-Jun-09, VIC, See Sea Rider Organiser: Chris Rogers Geof Bagley, Marie Bagley, Sally Braddy, Robyn Curtis, Diane Daniell, Hans Dusink, Jeff Gosbell, Trevor Gosbell, Alison Hutchison, John Hutchison, Helen Lew Ton, Peter Mathews, Steve Murphy, Derek Nicholas, Pauline Nicholas, Mary Pemberton, Frank Preyer, Chris Rogers
Organiser: Kerri-Ann Smith
Organiser: Peter & Robyn Curtis
Michael Bentley, Michael James, Tor Lattimore, Tom Nankivell, Kerri-Ann Smith
150 km 9-May-09, VIC, Tour De Tarwin
160 km, 18-Jan-2009, ACT, The Gun Gun Century Rides
Tim Laugher, Meg Warren
Organiser: Tom Nankivell Greg Burghardt, Joshua Bramah, Bruce Luckham, Tom Nankivell, Daniel Oakman
150 km, 22-Mar-2009, ACT, Gunning Gallop Organiser: Daniel Oakman Jon Anderson, Andrew Donaldson, Pete Heal, Alf Hoop, Deborah King. Don Mankewich, Anh Thu Nguyen, Anthony Nocka, Daniel Oakman, Anthony Ockwell, John Taylor, Cecilie Young
150 km 18-Apr-09, VIC, Malmsbury Meander Organiser: Paul de Podelinski Bruce Baennisch, Peter Curtis, Roy Jenkins, Paul Russell, Kathryn Temby
Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes
150 km 16-May-09, NSW, Mummy Gorges Organiser: Howard Dove and Bec Morton Graham Jones, Chris Walsh
150 km 6-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands Rus Hamilton
150 km 13-Jun-09, NSW, Springwood ‘n Sackville Scamper Organiser: Howard Dove & Rebecca Morton Peter Barlow, Larissa Beattie, Thomas Bodor, Geoffrey Burge, Nick Cooper, Lindsay Harvey, Phillip Hellman, Patrick Hopkinson, Naomi Morris, Kieran Reid, Nicola Tonkin
Photo: Sandy Vigar
At Rosewood 2 May, during Audax 22.5 First 300 in Queensland. Led by Dave Minter. Five starters: Dave and George on tandem, Martin, Emory and John.
Checkpoint Spring 2009
160 km 5-Jul-09, NSW, Out and About Organiser: Garry Armsworth Garry Armsworth, Geoffrey Burge, Howard Dove, Geoff Farnsworth, Nigel Freeman, Warwick McAlpine, Rebecca Morton, Steve Peters, Keith Scott, Maggie Tran
150 km, 1-Aug-09, SA, North Eastern 123 Organiser: Richard Scheer Emma Chorley
150 km 8-Aug-09, VIC, Bunches Down the Bay Organiser: Eryl & Keith Lowe Volunteers: Bridget Aitken, Jane, Alice & Peter May, Stephen George Paul Addison, Steve Ambry, Eddie Chan, Frank Davin, Joe DeLosa, Chris Drury, Daniel Drury, Mal Faul, Michael Fox, Jenny Gruenhut, Dave Harrington, Tony Harris, Phil Hayes, Liz James, Bill Jeppesen, Leigh Johansen, Lyndon Johnson, Niels Krazenga, Ray Lawn, Anne Leste, Helen Lew Ton, Andrew MacAuley, Peter Mathews, Bev McAlindon, Hamish Moffatt, Myra Morgan, Derek Nicholas, Murray Nicholas, Pauline Nicholas, Pepe Ochoa, Leigh Paterson, Graeme Robertson, Richard Taylor, Leigh Thornton, Grant Tudor, Rob Vandersilk, Kevin Ware, Peter Westley, Ewan Williams, Ian Wright
200 km 9-May-09, VIC, Tour De Tarwin
300 km, 11-Oct-2008, ACT, Bungendore Bash
Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes
Organiser: Tom Nankivell
Bernaud Collins, Peter Curtis, Hans Dusink, Elizabeth Hall, Rus Hamilton, Kevin Ware, Gavin Wright
Michael Bentley, Peter Heal, Bob McHugh, Tom Nankivell, Kerri-Ann Smith
200 km 16-May-09, NSW, Daddy Gorges
300 km, 4-Apr-2009, ACT, Junee Jaunt
Organiser: Howard Dove and Bec Morton Howard Dove, Melissa Grace, Phillip Jang, Douglas Kennedy, Rebecca Morton, Ricky O’Brien, Steve Peters, David Richardson, Maggie Tran, Ronald Webster
200 km 17-May-09, NSW, Berrima Ride Organiser: Henry Boardman Melissa Grace, Jonathan Page
Organiser: Henry Boardman Peter Barlow, Henry Boardman, Steve Peters, Richard Pinkerton, Mark Scragg, Maggie Tran, Grant White
200 km 7-Mar-09, NSW, Hawkesbury Loop
200 km 6-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour
Organiser: Garry Armsworth
Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands
200 km 17-Apr-09, VIC, Bay City Roller Organiser: Gareth Evans Hans Dusink, David Mathews, Stephen Rowlands, Graham Stucley, Tim Taylor, Colin Thompson
200 km, 19-Apr-2009, ACT, Long Two Organiser: Daniel Oakman Don Mankewich, Martin Sides
200 km 25-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy Organiser: Andy Moore Bernard Collins, Peter Curtis, Trevor Gosbell, Russ Hamilton, Roy Jenkins, Helen Lew Ton, Greg Martin, Matt Rawnsley, Stephen Rowlands, Kathryn Temby, Alan Wallace
200 km 26-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy Organiser: Andy Moore Matt Rawnsley
200 km 3-May-09, VIC, Wheels on Fire Organiser: Kevin Ware George Judkins, Marcus Thiele
Checkpoint Spring 2009
300 km, 19-Apr-2009, ACT, Easy Three
300 km 25-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy
Myles Bagley, Peter Bennett, Hans Dusink, Barry Hahnel, Sue Horne, George Judkins, Lyn Loudon, Greg Martin, Pam Morrow, Tony Peach, Steven Rowlands, Desmond Rush, Simon Watt, Ralph Wright, Gavin Wright
Greg Cunningham, Peter Heal, Don Mankweich, Roger Northcote, Fraser Rowe
Benjamin Barr, Anthony Nocka
Organiser: John Laszczyk John Bahoric, Stephen Chambers, Russell Hamilton, Greg Martin, Ronald McInnes, Leigh Paterson, Frank Preyer, Tim Taylor, Marcus Theile, Kevin Ware
Organiser: Maxine Riggs &Geof Bagley
Organiser: Peter Heal
Organiser: Kerri-Ann Smith
300 km 18-Apr-09, VIC, Dances with Dinosaurs
Organiser: Daniel Oakman
200 km 6-Jun-09, NSW, Thirlmere Ride
200 km, 8-Mar-2009, ACT, Highlands Hop
Michael Bentley, Tom Nankivell
200 km 17-May-09, VIC, Not Just a Blackgate Saunter
200 km, 21-Feb-2009, ACT, Snowies Epic #1
Garry Armsworth, Mark Bowman, Johan Brinch, Geoffrey Burge, Nicholas Cooper, Frank Galea, Ron Gauld, Melissa Grace, David Hart, David Matcham, Ricky O’Brien, Jonathan Page, Steve Peters, Mike Race, Andrew Thomas, Maggie Tran
Organiser: Kerri-Ann Smith
Henry De Man, Hans Dusink, George Judkins, Timshel Knoll-Miller, Tim Taylor
200 km 7-Jun-09, VIC, Queens Royal Tour Organiser: Merryn & Stephen Rowlands George Judkins, Tim Taylor, Carl Zammit
200 km 13-Jun-09, NSW, Springwood ‘n Sackville Scamper Organiser: Howard Dove & Rebecca Morton Stuart De Jong, Howard Dove, David Hart, Phillip Jang, Peter Kains, Douglas Kennedy, Greg Lansom, Rebecca Morton, Ricky O’Brien, Steve Peters, Maggie Tran, Ronald Webster, Ky Wittich
200 km 21-Jun-09, SA, Just another 200 Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer
200 km 11-Jul-09, QLD, Crazy Canungra Organiser: Dino Morgante
Michael James, Anthony Nocka
Organiser: Andy Moore Leigh Patterson, Chris Rogers, Fraser Rowe
300 km 9-May-09, VIC, Tour De Tarwin Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes Simon Cross, Peter Donnan
300 km 11-Jul-09, QLD, Crazy Canungra Organiser: Dino Morgante Roger Hawley, Brian Lowe
300 km 6-Jun-09, QLD, Downes & Back Organiser: Vaughan Kippers Mark Purvis
300 km, 1-Aug-09, SA, North Eastern 123 Organiser: Richard Scheer Allan Dickson, Peter Headlam, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer, Glen Thompson
400 km, 8-Mar-2009, ACT, Highlands Hop Organiser: Kerri-Ann Smith Michael Bentley, Bob McHugh, Daniel Oakman, Kerri-Ann Smith
400 km 25-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy Organiser: Andy Moore Peter Annear, Peter Donnan, George Judkins
Alan Baker, Michael Clare, Stuart Dowell, Kim Grylls, David Minter
400 km 9-May-09, VIC, Tour De Tarwin
200 km 12-Jun-09, SA, Just another 200
Organiser: Martin & Libby Haynes
Organiser: Matthew Rawnsley
400 km 6-Jun-09, QLD, Downes & Back
Allan Dickson, Glen Thompson, Matthew Rawnsley, Richard Scheer
Stephen Chambers, Leigh Paterson, Fraser Rowe
Organiser: Vaughan Kippers Lisa Turner
600 km, 4-Apr-2009, ACT, Junee Jaunt Organiser: Kerri-Ann Smith Michael James, Bob McHugh, Kerri-Ann Smith
600 km 25-Apr-09, VIC, You would have to be crazy
Cheryl’s Choice 100
Half the Greendale Jaunt
Organiser: Andy Moore
Mt. White 100
Wallangra Loop 150
600 km, 9 May-2009, NSW, The Border Ride
Wallangra Loop 150
Bingara & Beyond
Howard Dove, Rebecca Morton, Martin Pearson, Lisa Turner
600 km, 30 May-2009, NSW, Dungong 600
Garry Armsworth, Geoffrey Burge, Howard Dove, Phillip Jang, Rebecca Morton, Fraser Rowe, Chris Walsh
600 km 6-Jun-09, QLD, Downes & Back
Drouin Cruisey 200
Drouin Cruisey 200
Organiser: Lisa Turner
Organiser: Chris Walsh
Organiser: Vaughan Kippers John Fitter, Brian Lowe, David Minter, Martin Pearson
OPPERMAN ALL DAY TRIAL NSW finishing at Parramatta Park 360 km, Tombstone Blues Start: Rockdale
Garry Armsworth, Jeremy Lowes, Murray Town, Geoff Robb, Chris Walsh
360 km, The Real Men Start: Gordon
Graham Jones, Keith Lapthorne, Max Tonkin, Mark Wilson, Mark Wilson
Hawkesbury Valley Randonnee
363 km, Mixed Doubles Start: Berowra Heights
Hawkesbury Valley Randonnee
Hawkesbury Valley Randonnee
Hawkesbury Valley Randonnee
Seven Hills Dash
Water, Crops, Coal
Water, Crops, Coal
Glenn Druery, Douglas Kennedy, Rebecca Morton, Karen Ward
364 km, The Mongrel Dogs Start: Dapto Greg Lansom, Richard Pinkerton, Grant White
375 km, McCarrs Creek Cycling Club Start: Hornsby Warwick McAlpine, Lindsay Harvey, Stuart De Jong, Bruce McMillan
375 km, Hoss’ Heros Start: Monkerai Cameron Ainslie, Tom Boogert, Ron Gauld, David Matcham, Warwick Sherwood
420 km, Three Gorges Guys Start: Hornsby Howard Dove, Warren Page, Ricky O’Brien
Last Updated: 9 August 2009
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Backpedal Compensation? Mentioned on audax-oz was this rather special front pannier rack, on display at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
Assos aesthetics Having bought a pair of Assos’ latest riding bib and brace shorts “S5”, Howard Dove was amused to read the notation under the heading “Fitting/Sizing”. Assos warns: Assos garments are cut to fit a cyclist’s body. If you don’t have a more or less athletic body, Assos will not fit you properly. Opines Howard, “I think they mean that if you don’t look good in our gear, it is your fault not ours!”
Overheard on brevet Photo: David Niddrie / Momentum Magazine (www.momentumplanet.com)
During LEL, at Alston control in the worst of the weather: Rider 1: Why are we doing this? Rider 2: Well I’ve left my car at Lee Valley. Why are you doing it? Rider 1: Level 4 on Mario didn’t seem enough of a challenge anymore. Whatever motivates you…
How about the prefect house guest? Guess who was invited to dinner and ended not only servicing the host’s bike but also fixing their computer? The one-and-only Tim Taylor. If you’re really lucky he may even end up cooking dinner too. Tim is going to be looking after ‘Higher and Higher’ for Martin and Libby next year, so watch out for a bit of bike servicing and computer fixing if you take part. [If he can also throw in some lawn-mowing and child-minding, he’s welcome around at my place –Ed.]
The humble bicycle? I was speaking the other day with a fellow commuter, passing the time in idle and meaningless conversation as we pedalled in towards the city. Reflecting later I recalled that he had said something about just being on a humble bicycle. Laying claim to being an humble cyclist, I can understand for humility in the face of the world is a good and proper attitude, but I confess the concept of a humble bicycle is quite beyond me. How can a bicycle be a humble machine? The spirited, almost living machine that propels me so quickly, so easily, for so little; the handsome steed that gives me the bounteous enjoyment of God’s good earth asking only my indulgence in return is no humble machine, no minor invention of mankind. It is certainly a pinnacle of technology reached and maintained because it elevates man instead of swallowing him within its own self-defeat. Humble bicycle? Never! It is the wings of Pegasus that enables us to soar as an eagle toward being a Randonneur. from The Journal of the Audax Club of Australia, Summer 84/85 44
Checkpoint Spring 2009
Glen Thompson commented: Good one! I could have used it on the 300 km to Burra, when I bought my wife a bottle of Burra’s famous apple liqueur (to try to compensate for going on a ride on 14th Feb!) and carried it home in my jersey pocket. It actually helped to spur me on as I battled home into a head wind. (The thought, that is, not the contents!) For the record, the design is by Signal Cycles (www.signalcycles.com).
In pain? Harden the f— up! Everyone f—ing swears. True, some more so than others. But now a trio of complete b— over in the UK has gone and found out what the bloody hell swearing is good for: pain relief. In their paper Swearing as a response to pain, they found that people withstood a moderately to strongly painful stimulus for significantly longer if they repeated a swear word rather than a nonswear word. Swearing also lowered pain perception and was accompanied by increased heart rate. We interpret these data as indicating that swearing…actually produces a hypoalgesic (pain lessening) effect. So, next time you’re straining your way up a complete bitch of a 12% incline into a bloody headwind under a f—ing hot sun in 99% humidity and all your goddamn water has run out, feel free to let fly with the profanity. It’s OK, you’re just relieving pain.
Addendum The following reference list was inadvertently omitted from the Training Notes column (p. 27–28) in the printed verson of this issue. References Aust. Govt. 2008. Living With Drought. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/drought/livedrought.shtml. Belshaw, C. 2009. Preventing Heat Stroke in Australian communities. Australian Nursing Journal 16 (7):28-31. Casa, D., B. McDermott, E. Lee, S. Yeargin, L. Armstrong, and C. Maresh. 2007. Cold Water Immersion: The Gold Standard for Exertional Heatstroke Treatment: Conclusions. Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews. CSIRO. 2009. Climate change in Australia:Science update. http://www.climatechangeinaustralia.gov.au. EMA. 2009. Heatwaves—In My Backyard? Australian Government 2009. [cited July 2009]. Available from www.ema.gov.au/. Govt. 2008. . Heat Stroke. In NSW Health Factsheet., edited by Health. Sydney.: NSW Health. Helman, R., and R. Habal. 2007. Heatstroke. eMedicine. Matthies, F., G. Bickler, N. Marín, and S. Hales. 2008,. Heat Health Action Plan: Guidance. In EuroHEAT project on improving public health responses to extreme weather/heat-waves. World Health Organization. VSES, Victoria State Emergency Service. 2009. Heatwave Action Guide. Aust Govt 2009 [cited July 2009]. Available from www. ses.vic.gov.au/.