I have seen the Peaks Challenge describes as the hardest one day mass bike ride in Australia. My mother would have suggested I was trying to run before I could walk. The prize for those that complete the 235 km and 4000 meters within the 13 hours allowed is a cycling jersey.
Preparing for any endurance event requires the outlay of emotion, time and money. There is a gulf between romantic notion and reality. To arrive at Falls Creek in the sag wagon would be to drop right into the gulf … public humiliation and no jersey. What makes me take the gamble?
It’s not entirely a leap in the dark.
Experiment number one. 200 km ride.
This on a fairly flat course.
Nutrition – 2 bananas 1 litre of water.
Results – Average speed 24 kph, sore bum, sun burn.
Lessons learned – sunscreen, more water.
Experiments 2, 3 & 4. Ride up and down Mt Hotham, Falls Creek and Tawonga Gap.
These are the three major hills on the route. Each is a worthy challenge in itself but I made it to the top of them. Falls Creek from WTF corner to Mt Cope is the toughest and that’s the one that comes last!
I’d ridden most of the course in segments before shelling out the entry fee and booking accommodation. Can I put all the segments together in the allotted time?
The hardest ride that I’ve done so far is Omeo – Falls – Omeo, 150 km, 2,400 meters of climb. Lets call that experiment 5. It took 7hrs 30min at about 20 kph. If I could hold that pace the ride would take 11hrs 45min. That doesn’t account for all of the 4,000 meters. Let’s assume that meters climbed are far more influential than kilometers on the flat and divide the time by 2,400 and multiply the result by 4,000 we have a prediction of 12hrs 30min.
It might be possible. The job in hand is to make it probable. Climbing is the key. There are 74 days.