Links

Audax Australia
This is the umbrella organisation running long distance cycling events in Australia Their website includes a calendar of events.

Bikejournal
A place where cyclist can keep track of their mileage and any number of other statistics, as well as an attached forum.

Bikeforums
A set of discussion forums covering almost every conceivable cycling related topic.

Cycling Adventurer
The Cycling Adventurer has tossed in the structured life of an urbanite to explore the world by bicycle. A well-written site detailing how he came to cycling, and what he learned along the way.

Crazy Guy on a Bike

Bicycle touring journals from all over the world, including a couple of my own.

Johns Cycles

This is my LBS on the Gold Coast. While they cater more to the racing market, their service, advice and workmanship is the best on the coast.

St Kilda Cycles

Importers of all manner of things hard to find in Australia, including the legendary Schmidt hub dynamo & E6 lights.

Blogs

Bicycle-eye
Wonderings and wanderings out and about in Portland, Oregon, US

The Journey
The journey begins in Perth, Western Australia.

Lance Notstrong
The "other" Lance!

Ms Mittens
The Wired Cat on-line

Iron Gambit
.

Aussie Writer and Cycletourist
A blog chronicling the writing and cycling of a seaside baby boomer.

Up in Alaska
Jill's subarctic journal about ice, bears and distant dreams of the midnight sun.

The Kin Chronicles
Taking mediocrity to a new level of ordinary.

Allez
Riding and running with a vengeance.

London Cycling Diary
Pedalling across the capital since August 2005.

CouchPilot-2-BikePilot (Zin's cycling blog)
Living an adventurous life with Type-2-Diabetes.

The adventures of Crazy Biker Chick
... Including cycling, adventuring, cooking, knitting and ranting.

Redneck Espanol
The two wheeled Spanish redneck.

Treadly and me
"Work is something I do between riding my bicycle".

Crowlie
Womanist philosophy and theology. Cycling, climbing, art, single-motherhood and fire-twirling.

Adrian Fitch's random rambling.
A bit about cycling, a bit about genealogy, a bit about radio but mostly a lot about nothing at all.

Geo's big adventure
The life and times of Geo.

It's about the bike
Musings on the cycling life.

Spinopsys
Various cycling tidbits.

Industry Outsider
A blog about bikes and stuff.

Tweed Coast Treadly
An old man's bicycle riding diary.

A cyclist's life in Tenerife
(Canary Islands).

Bike to work to live to bike
It's never too late to get back on the bike

Stupid Hurts
Just the random scribblings of a guy with a bicycle

I'm not drunk enough for this
Really, I'm not.

BikeHacks
What can I say? Just read it.

Mozam's cycling adventures
A random collection of the things I like to do most, and mostly that is to ride my bikes, bicycles that is... My musings from competitive riding, long distance endurance to puttering around the neighborhood..

More cycling blogs

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Monday, May 07, 2007

Thirty-four



There were thirty-four good reasons I retired 200km into the weekend's 600km ride -- all of them degrees celcuis! Just how it managed to get so hot in May is totally beyond me, and the lack of shade on the route didn't help. I had coped well on the first 150km or so, but toward the end of that stretch I had a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach, and after eating something at that checkpoint, I was almost vomiting.

On reflection I probably should have just taken a few more minutes at the checkpoint and tried to wait the feeling out, but I honestly thought the next 50km or so would allow it to clear up, and the temperature would drop a little. Instead I spent time laying in a heap on the side of the road in whatever shade I could find (which wasn't much), trying to cool down. I think I need to either learn to handle the heat, or move to Tasmania.

Everything had looked promising up to that point. The ride to the pub at Lowood from Ipswich the previous night went without incident, and the night air was a beautiful temperature. Indeed, staying at the Lowood pub was quiet enough that I was able to sleep reasonably well (even if my train didn't get me to Ipswich as early as I would have liked). The shower seemed to be on Perth time -- given that everytime I went to adjust the water temperature, it took several minutes to respond.





Most of the ride was reasonably scenic without being stunningly beautiful. It was also frighteningly dry. Here one can see the full extent of the six-year drought currently gripping south east Queensland. Lake Atkinson itself was nothing more than a crater filled with brown grass, and the water levels in the other lakes were alarmingly low. For all that I was able to get into an easy early rhythm, and everything seemed to be progressing well.



It was en route to the second checkpoint at Laidley that things started to happen. I actually had to give some water to another rider who was seriously struggling with the heat on the hilly stretch between Esk and Gatton. She, in turn, showed me a farm house where we could refill enough to get through to Laidley. We got through that, but the signs were already there. On reflection, the bikejournal.com jersey probably wasn't the best choice in the heat.

After the Laidley checkpoint I set off without stopping as long as I probably could have, but in the hilly first 10km through Plainland, it didn't seem to be bothering me that much. It was on the flat stretch, grinding into a headwind that I had problems. During the next 40km I made at least three roadside stops to try to recuperate in the shade. I made another stop at a store to drink a litre of sports drinks (anything cold would have sufficed at this point, because even the water in the camelbak was hot). I knew then that this ride was slipping away.

I'm going to take a quick ride early tomorrow morning to reassess my goals for the remainder of this season. What disappoints me is that I had been so much stronger on the "training rides" of the previous weekends than on the actual day of the event. Perhaps there's a lesson there somewhere, and it's something I need to think about. On reflection I'll probably go ahead with the 400k at the end of this month -- even if only to prove something to myself. I know within myself that I'm still capable of doing these longer rides, I just need the ingredients to be there to nail one, and I'll have the confidence to finish them off.

1 Comments:

Blogger Surly Dave said...

What a shame. Riding in that sort of heat is so debilitating. I had the same result on my first attempt at a 600, although for different reasons. There's always that nagging feeling you could have tried a little harder, but I've always had a policy not to use the benefit of hindsight to second guess decisions made on the road. I still haven't done a 600, although I'm working towards a 400.

Hope the outcome hasn't left you feeling too down.

10:28 am  

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