Good Friday Friday 18 April Friday CLOSED
Easter Saturday Saturday 19 April Saturday OPEN 10AM TO 4PM
Easter Monday Monday 21 April Monday CLOSED
Tuesday 22nd OPEN 9.30am to 6pm
Wednesday 23rd OPEN 9.30am to 6pm
Thursday 24th OPEN 9.30am to 6pm
Anzac Day Friday 25 April CLOSED
Saturday 26th April OPEN 10am to 4 pm
It was a clean, explosive start as I sprinted with the bunch up the village road. As we rode across the stoney entry to the single track it became a little erratic, more so as any rhythm was sapped while the bikes got bounced across the tops of the rocks scattered along the trail. I was sitting in 6th position as we filed into the wheel-to-wheel charge down Gang-Gangs and into Split-Rock. Things began to stretch out once the climbing started with positions three and four slowly pulling away from Michael Brill (at fifth) and me (sixth). The course levelled once on the Village Family Trail and the speed rose as the gears made their way down the cassette. Passing through the village, the opening lap of just over 15 minutes seemed about 10 minutes quicker than that as the road climb to Gang-Gangs was back on the cards.
The field had spread just enough to make a clear run of the dusty descent. Behind me I could hear Michael’s chain slap, not gaining but not getting any less faint either. We had swapped places midway through the first lap and were enjoying the speed of the approach to the cork-screw style left-right bermed descent of Split-Rock. Back at the base of the single track climb to the Village Family Trail I worked a smooth pace across the rock strewn trail, accelerating through the switch back climbs. I opened a slight gap but Michael had that closed again as we crested the steepest of the course’s climbs.
Climbing through the third lap I caught some more of the veteran field that had started a couple of minutes before us, driving hard from the exit of the last switch back climb up to the Family Trail to get onto the rear wheel of Adrian Scott for the open road traverse of the alpine village.
Becs and Adrian U were on deck at the feed zone offering bottles as I passed through. Adrian handed me a fresh bottle as I headed off for the last lap and that last climb of the paved village road. Thanks team, it worked seamlessly. Keeping focus on the 5 minute descent of Gang-Gangs I let the bike drift where there was room and centred it through the minor rock gardens of the trail. The Split-Rock descent section that followed was more technically demanding, it was about committing to the best banked lines as the track showed inevitable signs of wear. Once reaching the lowest part of the course the hairpin signified the start of the climb back to the village which featured several switchback climbing corners.
Popping out onto the Village Family Trail I pushed hard to where the course veered left down an over-grown four-wheel-drive track. This provided a fast approach to a mild pinch where I picked up another place as I pedalled over the crest. I figured that I had best give everything I had left into the last effort up the steepest climb that loomed ahead so as not to lose the place I had just gained, so I kept feeding the power in as the climb steepened, drilling it out of the saddle to the gravel road above. The gravel road was a fast, open descent running into a sketchy esses which led into the second last of two short gravel pinches, the last one tipping back to the finish line. I held position, crossing the line with 3 seconds clear of third, creating a double take moment for me as it was announced I had come through in second place.
The consistent effort over the multi-lap race was my best result to date. Mechanically I stayed out of trouble, although the lead-up week had thrown a few challenges my way with the forks needing repair. However, cheers to Peter and Zeke of Topgear Cycles who were 100% supportive as always, and had me ready for the weekend. Physically it was up to me to deliver from the training that Pedallab is so good at prescribing. Thanks Jen!
For the Hellfire Cup pairs race I teamed up with Ollie Klien, a mountain biker from South Australia I have met through several epic and marathon events over the past few years. We were on neutral territory for the inaugural running of the event in the south east of Tasmania, taking on the Male Pairs 40-49 category. When Ollie accepted the challenge to take on the event with me it signaled the start of some pretty intense preparation. I suggested to Jenni King (Pedallab) that I needed a training program to help me stick with Ollie. He is no slouch on the bike and I didn’t want to let him down in his efforts to get to the Hellfire Cup.
With logistics and accommodation arranged it wasn’t long before we were signing in.
The opening stage was a mass start of chattering pairs teams ready to stake their claim on the event. Heavy rain had fallen through the night making the trail conditions greasy, but this had not dampened any of the collective enthusiasm for the 25 kilometre stage.
It was a sporadic start, that used the vehicle tracks that skirted the race village before setting into a 3 kilometre section of single track. A couple of riders got between us but the traffic through the trails meant more congestion than pace. At the next chance I accelerated to get past and onto Ollie’s wheel, then any time the trails opened up we would leap-frog forward a couple of positions. Some brief respite on a downward stretch of open road prepared us for a 4 kilometre climbing 4WD road climb that gradually increased in steepness and brought us in touch with a handful of other teams that had a better start. It seemed everyone was maintaining a similar, solid pace as we swapped positions several times across the next few kilometres of undulating dirt road.
The course left the road and into an off-camber trail that showed what influence the wet conditions had brought to what would otherwise have been a dusty, rocky weave across the terrain. If there wasn’t enough challenge in that my glasses were fogged inside and caked with mud on the outside. The boggy switch back pinches were, in places, too slippery to keep any traction so I found myself running through a few of them, Ollie had the same problem. Soon enough we were skid-steering down a fast link of trails and climbing back out to the top of a generously bermed descent that pitched us back to another open road.
As we tipped back down to the single track approach to the race village the rain began to steadily increase. By the time we crossed the finish line the race village was sodden, with the adjacent creek filling, not only with water but also with finishers looking to clear the mud from bikes and bodies.
Day 2 set a relay of a 20km lap each. The vibe was good, the rain had ceased and teams were warming up along the adjacent forest roads. The first rider of each pair assembled en masse for call of the stage start. Ollie started and hung with the front bunch for as much of the initial climb as possible. Within 45 minutes the first of the riders were coming back across the line plastered from head to toe with tyre-sprayed mud. Soon enough Ollie appeared sporting the same splattered livery. Tagging me to start my lap Ollie gasped, “30 minute climb…” and I was on my way.
The first few hundred metres escaped downhill but as I followed the course left onto the next road it soon became obvious that the corner signified the start of that 30 minute climb. I don’t know which of us had the better or worse deal – Ollie started with the masses and so stayed with a group but also had the pressure of wanting to stay in touch with the front-runners whereas I found myself riding off solo but using the strung out field of second riders as motivation onward through the climb. For 10km the forest road stepped up, false flatted, and stepped up again and again, eventually breaking left for one more climb before picking up the rewarding, 10km return journey. A few diversions into some single track loops honed the skills through the mud-slopped corners and pinches. Although clear skies presented themselves for the day there was still plenty of water flowing across and at times down the tracks we were riding. This explained the spectacle of the mud-peppered riders returning to the race village. It was slick, muddy and fast! I sat with a couple of others through the soggy descents, eventually being spat out onto the forest road that gently rose back to the race village. The three of us pushed hard to get every last drop out of the tanks as we ascended to the finish to post our respective team times.
The rain was back on the scene for Day 3 demanding another course realignment. We rolled out for a controlled ride behind the Hellfire Van to to the stage start on a farm road alongside Bream Creek. Similarly to the first stage this was a mass start. After identifying our closest competition Ollie and I discussed the loose plan we should follow, which was to mark the other guys and not let them get away. The start seemed to hold a manageable pace along the flat, dirt road for just under 2 kilometres, although looking back at the data the group was pressing on at somewhere between 40 and 45km/h. Rounding a bend the next challenge came into view. As riders noticed the exit across a muddy approach to a sharp incline it was as though a gun had gone off, with riders attacking, knowing that anyone caught too far back in the pack would probably have to get off the bike to get through the rapidly worsening boggy section. From here it became a solid, steady climb over the next 3 kilometres. With Ollie on the front I followed faithfully through wheel tracks, across slight ridges and around edges of deeper puddles. We had broken past our category competition and were keeping the hammer down, unsure though as to whether we were increasing our advantage or being chased and they were keeping us within their sights. A welcome descent of about 1 kilometre dropped us to the base of the next 3 kilometre climb to burn some more fuel from the legs. We soon descended to a much smoother road surface and found ourselves working well with two other teams. We used the chance to keep the pace up but also recover the legs a little where possible. Once Ollie took the front it was the end of the bunch and the recovery as I dug as deep as I could to stay within a bike length or so, as the other two teams dropped back into their own pace. Mindful that the stage couldn’t be too much longer we worked to put every second that we could into the bank. The finish line soon appeared on the horizon and we crossed adding another 30 seconds to our advantage.
Stage 4 was held at the nearby show grounds on a small arena set on the side of a hill. Snaked back and forth across it 5 times the course took about 80 seconds to complete with teams sent off at 1 minute intervals in reverse GC order. Day 4 was another cool, rainy day. The stage had more of a festival atmosphere than a race feel with everybody getting the chance to watch every other team complete the course. Once every team had finished their run it was time to relax into the end-of-event celebrations.
Racing with Ollie was great fun. The three main stages saw me pushing consistently the hardest I can remember, from start to finish, to be sure not to let our pairs team down. The reward was in the result, with us cleaning every stage without mishap and winning our category for the event. Thanks Ollie!!
A major part of our success was in the preparation. It was great to have the support of Topgear Cycles to keep me supplied with all the spares and race nutrition I could imagine might be needed. Thanks Peter, for helping me keep my Specialized Stumpjumper pedaling, shifting and braking smoothly. A broken spoke was the only unrepairable casualty. My thanks to Adrian (team mate for Becs) for generously lending me a spare wheel he had brought along. Becs and Adrian took third in their category and fellow Topgear riders, Karina Vitiritti and Phillipa Birch teamed up to take second of the Female Open Pairs.
I followed the training program and once again I was amazed at how effectively Jen’s coaching could push and elevate my own riding performance.
Not the fastest and not the slowest , but maybe one of the most determined athletes on the start line
We have know Leonie Keilour for over 15 years, and last week she competed her 15th Ironman [ 3.8km swin, 180km ride and a 42 km run]. People sign up to Ironman for all different reasons, for Leonie its a way of life to keep fit , she swims rides and run, not fast but as she has proven she can go all day when she sets her mind to it. This year Leonie signed up to raise money for the Tour de Cure, a great charity to raise money for Cancer research. She has been touched by this terrible disease as she goes on to tell in her race report.
l.o.n.g. email… story….
Thanks so much for your support, encouragement, emails, and facebook messages….. I compiled them all and stuck them to my bike handlebars for inspiration…. Funny though I couldn’t read them without my glasses, but knowing you were there got me through J
It was FANTASTIC this year to know that the insanely crazy thing I was doing was worthwhile to raise funds for Cancer Research through https://www.tourdecure.com.au/pages/default/index
What do I say…?? what an amazing day…. J turning 50 this year and finishing my 15th Ironman J what more could I want… well, I’ll leave that to your imagination J
After months of training, hours + km’s in the pool, (both swimming and water running) fingers and feet permanently looking like soft mush from hours of soaking in water, sore ‘backside’ from many more hours of mountain bike, road bike and exercise bike in front of the air-con / tv, aching legs, knees, and blistered feet from km’s of running – hhmm perhaps ‘plodding’ at IronMan pace on the Eastern Fwy bike path and more water running to save my knees, Race Day was finally in my face!
I changed my training this year as I just couldn’t bear being away from Bonnie for 8 hours of bike riding, and with the heat I couldn’t take her in her in her Croozer http://bike-trailers.com.au/products/pet_trailers/display/54-croozer-dog-trailer-mini so I did more of 4 hours outdoors followed by lots of clothes changes on the indoor exercise bike… with all that heat it was great for ‘fluid loss!’
My 4 hour long runs were also not what I would of liked, I wanted more! But my hamstrings just couldn’t take them, so I had to settle with lots more pool running, which in theory (and now practice) I know works! Yippeeee J
As with every other competitor, we all wish for perfect weather, little wind, side wind ok but not head wind on the bike, some sun to keep the hypothermia temperatures away on the bike due to lower temperature when the wind blows, (previous years I have Frozen in the Ringwood tunnels, even had to stop as I was shaking frozen so much!) and we want the sun to stay up as long as possible to see the run path through Elwood on the way to the finish….
Saturday I took my bike to Frankston where it goes into ‘transition’ security overnight, imagine 2000+ bikes at an average of $5000 each, plus a bag of bike shoes, helmet, clothes, and another bag of runners, the $$$$ sure add up for security!
My Race day…. Starts with the alarm going off before 4am… drive my car to St Kilda and get the shuttle bus with other competitors to Frankston for the start. My car has to be at St Kilda so I can drive home at nearly midnight … LOL… I am extremely fortunate to say that in 15 years of racing Ironman I have never had a DNF (Did Not Finish) and never plan to! So my very grateful car is waiting for my sore legs to get home safely.
A few text messages in the morning and then it’s time to say farewell to the phone in my jacket pocket until my ‘gear’ gets transported to the finish where I can get my phone and keys and clothes to go home.
Swim start was ok, there is always someone who thinks that by grabbing your feet and pulling you down they will overtake you… but watch out, you are dealing with me! A good hard kick and they don’t try again! I do love the swim, and when I’m in my zone just kind of don’t want it to end, it’s a strange feeling of ‘can’t wait to touch land, but I know I am an ok swimmer so feel good’. A quick look at the watch and 3.8km later it’s 1hr 11min, YAY just what I would like… no hard done, now gotta get on the bike !
Bike Transition takes a while to get the wetsuit off, socks, bike shoes, helmet, sunglasses, leg and arm warmers, and vest on and all warm plus the all important loo stop before getting on my bike, all looking good thanks to http://www.topgearcycles.com/ Pete, Zeke and Jess have looked after Bonnie and I for all my Ironmans… thank you Top Gear cycles. J I guess I am lucky that I can train on the Eastlink Bike path so I know the unpredictable cross and head winds…. What will today bring? WOW I got through the tunnel to the first 45km turnaround in 1hr 25min… extremely happy! Will it stay this way??? NOOOOOOOOO back towards Frankston and into a headwind…. Push, push, think of those urging you on, think of the pleasure of finishing not the pain, and soon enough Frankston arrives and another turnaround and back to Ringwood… problem is HOME is above the turnaround, and it would be easy to just ride 2km home!!!! Back into another headwind, but it’s worse this time, legs getting tired, wind stronger, curse that wind! (but I suppose it’s not as bad as last year) just counting the km’s until I can get off the bike and start running…. P.l.e.a.s.e no punctures…. Push, push, curse, push, drink, caffiene NoDoz, painkiller Nurofen and I keep pushing, I’ve never tried Nurofen in a race before, but I’ve got nothing to lose to try, for my aching knee! And it seems to work.. yippee…
Bike- run : I finally get to Frankston and off the bike 180km in 6hr 40+ min ! yippee …. Take my little black soft toy dog with me and clip her to my top, Bonnie is with me all the way. Now I am free, it’s just me and the earth…. And gravity, and sore legs, and blisters, and hhmmm have I had enough to drink and nutrition on the bike … hhmmm more NoDoz…. Hhmmm when should I take Voltaren (haven’t had that in a race before either – only training!)
Run : I knew people were going to be at the 10km aid station on the run… would they be there???? Inspiration to keep me pushing to 10km and ¼ of the way…. Yes, there they are, Pete+ Celine and their girls from TopGear….. so wonderful to see them. OK now I just have to keep going along the road from Frankston to Mordialloc, around the corner then it’s onto the bike path and safely all the way to St Kilda… Mordialloc is about 19km, nearly ½ way… yippeeee … what am I thinking about you ask… I was doing a lot of maths and calculating my pace and if I would do the 42.2km in under 5hrs…. so that kept me going… AND OF COURSE knowing I was doing it to raise fund for Cancer Research was a POSITIVE change this year … such a difference knowing my pain was nothing….. but PAIN at the time !!!! after 35km you think “it’s only a short 7km to the finish’ but it seems so far away, and this year I could still see the path, as I was way ahead of my time from the last few years – whooo hoo!!! Running past people who were walking gave me such inspiration, I was in so much pain, and aching tired, and nothing left in me, but HOPING there would be friendly faces at the finish was urging me on… and I didn’t want to be out there any longer than I had to!!! Enough was enough for this old girl !!!! Bonnie and Missy were waiting at home and that’s where I wanted to be… getting sloppy kisses and cuddles.
A first – I have never had anyone ask me if I would like them to drive me home J thank you J … choking tears xxxxx I know people often think I am insane, mad, crazy, off-the-planet, whatever !!!!! and maybe just too tuff! (on the outside) J 2 years ago 2 friends surprised me on the run and followed me with their car and supported me on the run to the finish….. this year I was not sure if someone would be there… you never know until you get there J which keeps pushing you wondering…
FINISH LINE – I’m sorry that you can’t experience the exhilaration of completing an Ironman and getting to the finish line unless you are on the inside… after 13 hours, the last 30 sec is all you really want… that finish line…. That finishers medal around your neck and to be called out YOU ARE a 15 time IRONMAN FINISHER…. I absolutely never would of thought turning 50 this year I would finish my 15th Ironman…. More tears… for those who couldn’t be with me to see and watch xxxxx BUT …. If you are on the outside watching, I also don’t know what it’s like as I’ve never watched!!!!! Thank you to my wonderful doggie friends, you are my FOREVER friends, you are stuck with me now in my memory, and photos, as is everyone who has a special place with me with IronMan Triathlon…
Since my gorgeous Bonnie has come into my life 4 years ago, I haven’t gone under 7 hours on the bike or 5 hours on the run, or total 13 hours, as it’s so hard to get the time to train when you have ‘kids’as a ‘sole parent’ !!!!! My dream was to ride for 6hrs +, run 4 hrs +, and finish in under 13 hrs… well I managed to achieve 2 out of 3… 6.40ish on the 180km bike, 4.55 run 42.2 km, and finish in 13hrs 4 min (coz I needed that loo stop!!!!) My swim has always been consistent about 1.11 for 3.8km, so happy J
Soooo, i’m at the last bend 200m from the finish and suddenly I cant go any further, I just stop… people on the outside of the barriers banging and saying keep going… why did I stop… I just needed a few seconds to compose myself and then it’s into the finish straight… lights, action, camera, you are on the video and big screen, and people calling your name… it’s AMAZING…. I’m doing ‘high5’s for the kids who want to touch your hand, and then I see my friends with a sign saying ‘go Leonie’… all I want to do is stop, get hugs, and finish… I can’t hear anything, it’s all a blur… you want to finish but you want this amazing feeling to keep lingering…
I try and reach them with my outstretched arms but I can’t reach, so I keep going…. But I want to see them, to feel them, any everyone who is thinking of me, and all the money raised for Cancer Research … THANK YOU xxxxxx
The ‘catchers’ catch you and put a towel around you and the medal around your neck, and medical staff decide how you are… they thought I was NOT ok… I was hyperventilating…. Breathing too fast and short… wanted me to go to the medical tent, I refused! I wanted to stand, but they made me sit in a wheelchair! But I thought if I sit I wont get up again… I so wanted to see my friends so got permission to go to the grandstand to look for them, but couldn’t find them, so the medics took charge again and ushered me to the massage tent. Someone got my clothes and organised a leg massage and took off my shoes. I thought my feet would fall off the pain was awful! The medics wrapped me in tinfoil as I was shivering.. and getting a bit hypothermic… it’s wonderful stuff! Cooking a roast I reckon and I don’t eat meat ! They said I had to eat and got food but I just couldn’t eat it… I tried to go out the athlete’s chute to those waiting outside but they wouldn’t let me. Then I got an ice-cream in a cone – yum! But the cold went straight to my head and I collapsed and people put me on a chair… I was trying to tell them it was just the ice-cream but I could hear them saying take her to medical…. NOOOOOO…
Eventually I got out looking for friendly faces…. Then THERE THEY WERE…. Wowowowow….. gobsmacked…. I’ve never had so many people waiting for me at any Triathlon finish … xxxx choking tears again xxxxx
I wish I could of said something sensible and grateful but alas I don’t think I did…. I only know how bad I looked from the photo taken of me coming out of the chute with tinfoil wrapped around me… I usually stay in the athlete area for a couple of hours to recover and make sure I’m ok to drive myself home, but this time all I wanted was to get out…. To say THANK YOU for coming… THANK YOU for your support, THANK YOU for giving up your Sunday night…. Just to watch me for a few minutes finish Ironman and then carry me home !!!!! I remember one of the ‘boys’ getting a chair and there I sat while 2 of them braved the security, took my car keys, and drove over the embankment and gutters, through the St Kilda Kiosk, and brought my car so I could be a passenger in my own car while I got driven home!!! Wowowowowowow
Thank you for looking after Bonnie… xxxx Thank you for taking the time to watch and wait… xxx for going out of your way to make sure I was OK ….xxx
Thank You to everyone for supporting Cancer Cure…
YES I entered the following day for 2015…. Call me crazy, call me insane, but it’s amazing to know I am now doing it to make a positive difference for the lives of those who can’t…
I better stop, coz as an Ironman you can keep going all day…
I raised $995 for Cancer Research… if you still wish to support just click the red Donate to Me box in the link below….
The success continues through the start of the triathlon season
After a great winter season culminating in winning the Australian Duathlon Championships the plan was to hold enough form through the first part of the triathlon season to gain some World Championship qualifying points before going back into a heavy training phase through December and early January.
As a sharpener before the first triathlon I took part in one of Melbourne’s longest standing running events the Spring Into Shape Series. I had had some success in this event before winning my age group on a number of occasions. However this time I was in good enough form from my winter’s racing to take out the overall win in the 5km event.
Within a few days it was back on another plane and up to Queensland for Australia’s biggest multisport event the Noosa triathlon. I was feeling great leading into the event but got sick the day before and struggled around in a very disappointing 7th place. I guess it is the usual situation when if you are close to your peak you are also close to getting sick or injured.
I took the rest of the week easy and tried to recover in time for the opening Melbourne triathlon the first round of the renamed Team Up Tri Series at Brighton. I came out of the water in 3rd place probably showing the winter focus had been run and bike. But at less than 30 seconds down I had the lead within 5km of the bike leg and continued to extend my lead throughout the race winning the 45-49 age group by almost 2minutes and finishing in the top 20 places overall.
The final race in this block was the World Championship qualifying race in Kurnell, Sydney. This was my 5th race in 7 weeks in 4 different states and the fatigued showed. I finished a disappointing 4th, missing the podium by less than 10 seconds. The good news was that I was qualifying for a place in the Australian team in the age group above and my performance gained me the maximum points in that age group almost ensuring I have already qualified for the team for Edmonton in 2014
After a good training block I will return to racing for the 3rd race in the Team Up Series at Elwood in January, before competing in both the Australian and Victoria Championships in February.
Topgear Cycles Christmas hours 2013
Monday 2nd 9.30am to 6pm
Tuesday 3rd 9.30am to 6pm
Wednesday 4th 9.30am to 6pm
Thursday 5th 9.30am to 6pm
Friday 6th 9.30am to 7pm
Saturday 7th 10am to 4 pm
Sunday 8th CLOSED
Monday 9th 9.30am to 6pm
Tuesday 10th 9.30am to 6pm
Wednesday 11th 9.30am to 6pm
Thursday 12th 9.30am to 6pm
Friday 13th 9.30am to 7pm
Saturday 14th 10am to 4pm Demo day at Westerfolds 8am to 2pm
Sunday 15th 11am to 3pm Demo day at You Yangs 8am to 2pm.
Monday 16th 9.30am to 6pm
Tuesday 17th 9.30am to 6pm
Wednesday 18th 9.30am to 6pm
Thursday 19th 9.30am to 6pm
Friday 20th 9.30am to 7pm
Saturday 21st 10am to 4pm
Sunday 22nd 11am to 3pm
Monday 23rd 9.30am to 6pm
Tuesday 24th 9.30am to 4pm
Wednesday 25th CLOSED
Thursday 26th CLOSED
Friday 27th 10am to 6pm
Saturday 28th 10am to 4 pm
Sunday 29th CLOSED
Monday 30th 10am to 6pm
Tuesday 31st 10am to 5pm
Happy New Year! 2014…
Wednesday 1st CLOSED
Thursday 2nd 9.30am to 6pm
Resume normal hours
The Alias: one bike with dual personalities. Training for a triathlon? Leading up to the event, it’ll be your hardworking training partner, comfortable on the climbs and while putting in mile-after-mile on the road. Come the tri itself, that’s when you’ll see the race side of Alias. With Women’s Alias Geometry designed specifically to allow you to swap between the road position and triathlon position with ease, the Alias is the perfect bike for those looking to train hard and push limits. Check out more here http://www.specialized.com/au/en-au/bikes/road/alias
If you would like to Test ride bikes from the 2014 Specialized range this is the event for you. Where Saturday the 14th of December at Westerfolds Park. Time 8am to 2pm. What to bring, Id and a bike helmet, bike shoes and pedals [Shimano road and MTB pedals will be available on the day].Bikes on offer to test, Road , Mountain, Triathlon, all sizes and mens and women’s models available. Call or email the shop if you have any other questions 03 98574060 or email@example.com
Each October we focus on getting more women on bikes. By helping more women understand the basic mechanics of bicycles and little tips to make cycling more enjoyable. This year we have two mechanic course’s and a mountain bike fun ride. Check out the dates and course below, if you’re interested drop us a line at the shop firstname.lastname@example.org or call 98502996. Bookings essential!
October Thursday 17th Mechanic Course; Road Bikes /Basic skills 6.30pm [1.5hr]
October Saturday 19th Mechanic Course Mountain Bike 4.15pm [1.5hrs]
October Saturday 26th Mountain Bike ride day start 4.15pm, this will focus on first time mountain bikers, [we will have limited bikes to borrow please call if you would like to borrow one] going over bike sizing and set up, and why you would choose a dual suspension or a Hardtail bike. It will be a no drop ride with friendly helpers to answer your questions and pass on helpful tips. We will be riding a mix of single track and bike paths.
All sessions are from our shop at 194 Bulleen Road, Bulleen, Please book early as there is very limited spaces available.
send email to email@example.com or call shop on 98502996
MOUNTAIN DESIGNS GEOQUEST ADVENTURE RACE 2013
TEAM TOPGEAR CYCLES RACE REPORT by Angus Rodwell
It all sounded like a great Queens birthday long weekend challenge to compete in Australia’s Premier Adventure Race when Paul pitched the idea to me. A few weeks before the race however, two questions still puzzled me. “Can you really race non-stop for 48hrs without sleep?” and “how long before we’d begin battling with the dreaded Sleepmonsters?”. These questions stuck unnervingly in the back of my mind as the team travelled the 1200kms together from Melbourne to Harrington NSW (Just below Port Macquarie) by car to reach the start line.
Our team consisted of three Warrandyte residents, Paul Gruber, Karina Vitiritti and myself, along with Brendan Hills (a previous racing partner of Paul’s). We were joined in Harrington by a gun support crew of fellow adventurers – Philippa Birch and Gary Angee. We would all join forces to take on the “Geo”.
My teammates had between them Adventure Racing experience in various locations across Australia and overseas. This race was to be my introduction to the sport. Nothing like jumping in the deep end, eh? What was I doing here? I may have been low on race experience, but I made up for it by conducted many hours of YouTube research. It made me confident that if nothing else, I knew previous races inside out, what teams we needed to beat, and I could talk the talk. So I felt a degree of comfort as we walked into the Geoquest HQ to register.
Adventure race organisers deliberately don’t disclose the actual course until the night before the race starts. This ensures everyone is kept guessing and can’t preplan. All we really knew was that the disciplines would require continual compass navigation (No GPS or Mobile phones permitted) and involve Sea Kayaking, River kayaking, trekking, swimming and Mountain Biking over approximately 200km. Until we received the maps and 30 orienteering checkpoint locations, we didn’t know what order or how far each stage would be. We didn’t even know where we would start from!!
The excitement levels inside the Harrington Hotel built as the organisers finally gave the pre race briefing and handed out the maps. Into the evening, we highlighted tracks and possible routes, applied contact to protect the maps from water and packed our copious quantities of energy bars, gels and powders supplied by our very generous sponsor Topgear Cycles.
With only several hours before the starter’s gun we settled in for our last sleep of the weekend before an early rise to a dark drizzling Saturday morning. Race day had finally arrived!!!
Stage 1- 16km Ocean paddle. After a quick run from the start at Crowdy Heads lighthouse to get our hearts racing we started paddling from headland to headland off the coast in some large and tricky swells. Whilst others battled with capsizes and the cold, Team Topgear Cycles stayed upright (just) and reached the safety of the beach. So far so good!!
Stage 2 – 19km Trek with a 500m Swim in the middle. “Look after your feet “ my YouTube research had told me so many times, so keeping nice dry shoes and socks was a priority. But after only 3km of trekking the lovely coastal tracks turned to knee deep swamps which lasted several kilometres. All I could think of was the horror stories I had heard about severe blisters!! After a freezing cold mid hike large tidal river crossing, we battled barbed wire and leach filled swamps , then scaled a small mountain before we descended quickly back to sea level ready for another kayak.
Stage 3 – 16km Upstream River paddle. Setting off at Laurieton against the tide and over the mud flats we paddled our arms off and zigzagging across the map locating our checkpoints before finally arriving just after dusk at Ross Glen.
Stage 4 – 15km Trek. After changing into warm dry clothes but wet shoes we quickly devoured a banana roll and some raisin bread. Eager to warm up we then set off into the night with back packs and head torches for a hilly 15km. After 6 hours of hill climbing and bush bashing through vines and over waterfalls without a break (do we ever get a break??) we arrived at transition to our support crews gourmet feast of braised chicken, vegies and rice and some very nice strong coffee.
Stage 5 – 50km MTB ride. It was midnight by now and we were still all going strong with no talk of sleep. (Although admittingly it had very briefly crossed my mind!!) The night ride started badly, with our control card left at the transition which was back on top of the hill we had just descended. We lost a few places, so put down the hammer to recover the lost time. The ride was full of big steep hills and deep creek crossings, lots of mud and many over grown tracks that were not even rideable (affectionately know as “hike-a-bike” sections) . As dawn finally arrived we cruised into our next transition at a popular campground to the sound of a snoring tent city and timing our run beautifully for our breakfast. We grabbed Weetbix, milk and banana in a snaplock bag (We were now really racing!) and more beautiful strong coffee. A quick change out of our bike shoes and into the trekking gear ready for Stage 6, only 18km long. This will be nice! Or so we thought….
Stage 6 – Trek 18km. As the sun came up, we found ourselves on riverside walking tracks that definitely hadn’t had a customer in over a decade and Lantana vines that were out to trip your every move. We climbed (at times on hands and knees) up steep peaks and searched valleys for a few sneakily placed checkpoints. A navigational glitch trying to find CP18 added some extra distance, but we quickly recovered, cracked a few jokes and after a quick blister treatment stop jogged the last 8km into Comboyne where our support crew had made fresh pikelets. What a welcome sight after a 7 hr stage in the bush!
Stage 7 – Mtb 38km. After close to 3 hrs of grinding uphill tracks we were rewarded by some spectacular views over the valley (yes we took the time for a quick photo) and breathtaking fast descents that kept the eyes wide open and the team morale high. But as the sun went down again I realised we still had 3 Stages to go. More water, bars and gels and definitely some more caffeine was required, however we wouldn’t see our support crew until the start of the final stage! I’d have to dig deep now.
Stage 8 – Trek 5km. This stage sounded so easy!! A quick 5 km and we’d be back on the bike. The Stage involved splitting into pairs to test the entire team’s navigation skills. All was going well until Paul and I found ourselves climbing down a steep gully over a field of fallen logging trees. After following a creek bed for some time, we then found ourselves assisting an exhausted fellow competitor who had become totally disorientated. Luckily he recovered quickly and we finished the stage together.
Stage 9 – Mtb 25km. At 930 pm we set off down the hill on our second last mission. More checkpoints, with numerous track junctions to select from and several deep creek crossings which we ended up wading across while carrying the bikes. We were getting tired but kept pushing until we finally reached the river banks for our final stage.
Stage 10 – Kayak 16km. Fuelled by yet another strong coffee (or a can of Coke in Paul’s case) and geared up with bright headlights our final test was in front of us. We fought the sleepmonsters by paddling hard, splashing Karina with water, and dodging jumping fish who were dazzled by our bright headlamps. I was sure there was another team chasing us the whole way to the finish but it could well have been sleep deprived hallucinations. Either way we were not going to get passed at this late stage.
We crossed the finish line after a 1km run from the boats with only our super dedicated sleep deprived support team cheering all the way down the main street. It was 11.40pm and no one in Harrington was still awake!!
Cheering crowd or not…What a feeling it was to cross that finish line after almost 40 hours non-stop on the go. We were so happy to finish as a team, relieved to be in 1 piece and absolutely stoked to finish over 8 hours faster than we expected. Who would have thought beforehand that we could push for so long and still be smiling and laughing all the way to the end. We ended up the 8th Premier mixed team across the line, in a strong field of experienced teams.
A big thank you to our support team, Philippa and Gary, Pete from Topgear Cycles and of course our families and friends who were able to track our every move on their computers from the warmth of home.
Stay tuned for the next challenge….. XPD, a 10 day Expedition Adventure Race being held in Flinders Ranges in September www.XPD.com.au