Friday, January 29, 2010


My Ride was one of contrasts, for the the greater part of the ride I felt very comfortable. Naturally the Milang to Currency creek wind testing tunnel tested my love of cycling. Prior to this developing speed wobbles at 81.3k on the wrong side of the rode was a little concerning, after surviving that to almost kill two other fellow cyclists was regrettable but once we turned with the wind at our backs for the last 20k all those little things did not matter & I found the pleasure of cycling again. I was impressed by the way the roads were managed by SAPOL, but the drink stops were an abomination!
My experience of TDU ride from Milang to Goolwa (did this leg only as I am an old man!) and beside that had only been back on the bike, at time of registering, for a month after 42 years of not riding.

Leaving Milang we were all lulled into a false sense of 'this won't be too bad'; moderate temperature, no wind, easy ride to Finniss then a couple of valleys before a quick downhill run to Goolwa. Stupid thought really!

About a third the way on the long, straight, unprotected road to Finniss the severe breeze, otherwise known as a gale, sprung up and there was flying dust, hay, leaves, sheep detritus and I don't want to think about what else billowing into the air. Of course I was stuck on my own, with either slower pokes in front of me offering little worthwhile protection, or fast trains from Woodside ripping past. So head down, bash into the wind at about 18 - 19 km/hr for 6 kms to the drinks break at Finniss.

Bikes everywhere, warm water, but not too bad at that time. The ride to Currency Creek was buffeted by strong side winds with rolly Poly tumble weeds ripping across the road (I think I saw the ghost of John Wayne out there somewhere). Then relief with the slight bend to the south at the top of Currency Creek, a couple of fast dudes to hook up with and 40+ km/hr into Goolwa.

Temperature average 35°, with peak of 43° for last two kilometres according to the Polar.

With respect to the long distance riders it was probably not too bad for me as I had only done a few km's before the wind hit, not 80 or 130.

Cheers and keep your knees up! Peter Smith
Thank you everyone who wished me well. I completed the 161km stage on Friday. It looks like the preparation and training paid off as I finished feeling very good and pulled up well the next day. I am not sore at all

My stats
Distance 161 km, 845m of Ascent (Plus 8km getting to the start) Average Speed: 25.4 kph Max Speed: 69.5 kph Time on the Bike 6hr, 23min, 24sec Elapsed time 7hr, 15minutes Kilojoules Expended: 22317 Consumed 14l of water and power aide

Ride Report
The week leading up to the event was a bit of a panic as the jersey this year was 2 sizes too big. Helen saved the day and put her sewing machine to good use and took it in. Otherwise I would have been wearing a spinnaker. Got up at 4:45am and it was lucky I did as the start had 6500 people and was complete bedlam. The Bastardi gathered and amazingly we managed to stay together from the 6:30am start all the way through the city up the gorge and to Kangaroo C reek. It was a huge line stretching for kilometres and was quite a sight. I got over the first climb without an issue which is more than can be said for a lot of people. The KOM climb at Fox Creek was hard. It was 10% most of the way but it kicked to 13% for the last 100m at the end. Lots of people were walking up it. I was following the wheel of the guy in front when he simply couldn't roll his pedals over and promptly fell off in front of me. Missed him by that much. I asked if he was okay as I went by and only his pride was damaged.

I got over the climb without incident and had enough left for a quick pose with the Devil lady. The first stop at Lenswood was even more chaotic than the start with the whole road blocked and a long wait for water. I rode on through Woodside to Littlehampton and then to Nairne. The line thinned but was still continuous and the wind that would curse the rest of the ride began to blow around about Mt Barker. The descent from Wistow to Strathalbyn was very fast and I hit close to 70kph . The Bastardi regrouped at Strathalbyn and we rode as a group toward Milang. The wind was strong but over our back. When we turned at the lake it became a crosswind almost blowing me off my bike. The wind combined with it the temperature hitting around 40 made it a real struggle. We got to Milang and a couple of the guys were suffering so we spent longer at the stop than we intended. The next 13km was a grind into a really wicked strong cross/headwind to Finnis. It was a graveyard with police and ambulance picking up people off the side of the road. Rumour has it there were more than 200 abandons on this stretch and there was a heap of people waiting for the bus at Finnis. We worked as a group and shared time at the front as we worked into the wind. As we turned toward Goolwa we got rained on and then hit by tumbleweeds. My wheels were festooned with stuff. The rain dropped the temperature and eventually the wind got out of my face so riding was made easier. The wind had ripped the group to shreds so we arrived in Goolwa in dribs and drabs. My brother had done the shorter 110km ride and was waiting at the Aquacaf with Helen. We had a great lunch of squid and chips before braving the ridiculous traffic home. 45 minutes to get from Goolwa to Victor Harbour maybe riding home wasn't a bad idea..

Worst Day seen; Guy on Gorge Rd with his wheel folded in half and then folded half again. I swear every spoke broken He was holding the hub shaking his head
Biggest Idiot: Guy doing 'S'es from one side of the road to the other. No reason for that with that many people on the road.
Most unprepared: Lady on a Kmart Mountain bike asking a resident to fill her only water bottle, a small 500ml Mt Franklin while having to walk her bike to the top of the Parade.
Bravest: Very overweight guy riding the 110km at 10kph slow, steady and determined. Hope he made it.