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

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

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.


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.

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".

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.

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.

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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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Over and out

I have now had time to ponder what happened. I will never be sure whether or not it was the right decision, but the decision came 330km into Saturday's 400, and the decision was made to retire with severe thigh cramp, and forget about it. As I said, I'm still not sure whether or not it was the right decision, but it felt that way at the time, and that's all the indication I have.

It had all started so well. I set off from the start at Lake Atkinson (which actually had some water in it for the first time in several years) in good form, and maintained it over the Walls of Lowood (those steep hills at the start), over the Marburg range, through Rosewood and the pictaresque hills behind Warrill View. I followed this up by continuing to scorch the next 100km through the area around Boonah, and over more rolling hills to Fernvale back in the Brisbane valley. I seemed unstoppable for the first 170km.

I did, understandably, slow a little after Fernvale and 170km, but still managed to maintain good form and technique through this part. That was important because it's generally the way to get through the tough parts on long rides. 200km was a key point, not only was it the half-way point of the ride, but it was also the end of the BIG loop. Now there were three smaller loops to make up the second half of the ride and complete the proceedings. Having completed the first big loop over an hour faster than on the same ride last year, I had every reason to be confident.

After the first 200, the temperature started dropping rapidly. It's worth considering at this point that I've barely seen a night with a temperature that dropped into single figures for the last two years, and it's fair to say that this sudden change did catch me by surprise. So much so, in fact, that I had decided to commence the first of the loops without leg warmers. It was a simple loop through Lowood, Fernvale, Coominya and back to Lake Atkinson, but by the end my legs were really feeling the cold, and the cramp was starting to set in.

At this point I still believed I could do it. I set off for the second loop, now with leg warmers, but in retrospect, with the damage done. This loop went to Esk, before heading back on the hilly Esk/Gatton road. The first 35km of it seemed to go OK, and I still felt reasonable. The cramp was there, but I could still manage. I was with a group of three other riders, and we paused for 10 minutes at Esk, and it was after this that I couldn't get going again. I was promptly dropped on the first climb (climbing is normally my strength), and my legs just would not get going.

A couple of kilometres from the return to Lake Atkinson I picked up a slow-leaking puncture. It wasn't the end of the world, but this frustration added to my cramp and the continually dropping temperature was probably the clincher. In retrospect, perhaps I should have been more positive in my attitude -- I still had 10 hours to complete the last 75km. As it was, I decided on a couple of hours sleep at this point, in the hope that I might recover. It wasn't to be, and for some reason I just couldn't get going again.

I did go and fix the flat tyre, with the thought that maybe that might spark me, but even then I was still finding it difficult to even walk, and my mind at the time told me it was over. Hence I returned, pulled the pin, and decided that I'd have to be satisfied with a double-century, but not quite a 400k.

I am now convinced that there is a huge gap between 300 and 400km. On the 300k at Banyo a couple of months ago, I felt as though I completed it easily -- despite the late headwind. This ride had no such headwind at any stage, and yet, I still didn't get through. The lesson here seems to be comfort, and erring on the side of caution when it comes to keeping warm away from the coast. Maybe next year.


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