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Monday, November 25, 2013

Wooden Bike 200k ride

On the latest "round the bay" ride, the first and hardest bit was wet, windy and rural.....

and the last bit was all sunshine and seaside.

As mentioned in my last post, I enrolled for an Audax 200k ride a week or so ago and this was to fulfil one of my bucket list items for 2013, to ride 200k on one of my wooden bikes.  I'd had a previous attempt, in the Audax "Winter Surf Ride".  On that occasion, a conspiracy of bad weather and buggered up bicycle forced me to ride another machine.

On this occasion, no such stuffing up occurred and I got ready to ride my homemade iLean trike on "Buckley's Ride" ( Audax parlance), or "Round the Bay in a Day" (Bike Vic parlance).

In the past, I've done this ride on homemade and commercial vehicles, single and tandem recumbent bikes, a tandem recumbent trike,  clockwise and anticlockwise, in organised Bike Vic Rides, and solo unsupported.  Gosh one time right at the start (1993 or so)  I even did it on one of those upright bike things. (Yes, I was wild and crazy back in the day....) And now add wooden HPV and solo recumbent trike to the list. Here is video from a few years ago.

Anyway, the latest ride, although chosen for its flattness and general mild manners was not a pushover.  You still can't choose the weather!  There was rain and a south-west headwind just about all the way to Geelong and it was a struggle to keep up 15-20k.  The route I took to Geelong was the Audax  / Buckley's Ride and Winter Surf Ride route which doesn't go along the Geelong Road,  (major highway) provides great scenery but adds distance and wandering to the direct Geelong Road Bike Vic route.  So after a 5 am start, I was at the ferry at 1pm, and about 120k into the ride.  The Queenscliffe Music Festival was on and I hooned down the packed main street in the last few k's.

I had a big lunch on the ferry and kept going on the other side.  By this time the sun was shining and the wind was behind me but the damage had been done on the other side of the bay, I was knackered and couldn't take much advantage of the good conditions.  One of the highlights was riding the meandering,  hilly, ocean hugging road around the coast near Mornington. (The Bike Vic Route avoids this road because there are a lot of people on that ride, and the road is just too narrow to cope)  Eventually I pulled in at home at about 8pm, 235 k on the speedo.  A cup of tea, a shower then bed.  That was my Sunday!

Although I did this ride almost completely according to the ride guide from Audax, the 200k Audax permanent rules are actually not that strict.  You can ride "round the bay" either way and as long as you get your brevet card signed after the 200k point and within time limits the spirit of the ride conditions are met.  Of course I read about this "laissez faire" set of rules after I had finished the ride and did it far tougher than I needed to.  You live and learn: RTFI! (Read the Instructions)


Steve Nurse.

You self-check the paperwork the send it off and get it approved by Audax

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