Sunday, 8 April 2012


Fact - Michael, Penny and Simone rock. These guys have organised an Easter long weekend cycling tour that is world class in organisation, but with such a beautiful laid back family feel to it. I love the fact that wives and children are made to feel so welcome and part of the whole process. I cannot recommend this Easter weekend enough to anyone thinking that they can't do a cycling trip without upsetting the family. Big Russ brought his family and I am sure most of the other guys will be including their families next year when they return. if you wish to contact Michael at all regarding this tour or wish him to run one on any other date for a bunch of mates and their families just go to his website at Jindabyne is the perfect place for it and once you are here you will see why.

'The Wall". Respect it, fear it, stay in bed!
Now onto todays epic happenings. It was a shorter ride today but boy what a beauty. Eight-am was rollout time but not before a breakfast of baked beans, scrambled eggs, toast, cereal, fruit, juices and the obligatory coffee or tea. Once again it was a cooler morning that saw the leg, arm, and ear warmers pulled out for the first time. Today was all about rolling hills and one giant climb called 'THE WALL'. For days Milo has had this mischievous grin on his face whenever he mentioned 'The Wall', which was often. And now we know why. To get to 'The Wall' we first had to endure a beautiful three hours of riding through sensational and spectacular open countryside, with backdrops of mammoth mountains and lush fields full of hundreds of fat, happy and content cows and sheep that always looked at us as we went past. To said animals I would always ask the question; "if you think Baby Gorilla can win the King of 'The Wall' stop looking at us and run away."
Never did such a thing happen... We were in for whitewash.

The QLD/NSW battle up 'The 2.5 kilometre Wall'
As soon as 'The Wall' sucker punches you, you are at 19% for the first 500 metres, it then levels out to 15% then levels out again to 14%, and beside a brief interlude of lesser torture at 10% for 200 metres, the last kilometre is back to 15%! After four days and 450 kilometres in our legs, reaching the wall and then climbing it was sheer torture. With ten kilometres to the base of the climb the pace slowed as all the serious contenders were saving their energy for the epic battle ahead. Conversation died (except from Katrina who continued to yell out non-stop for four days, car back, gravel left, stick right, hole left, car up, cloud above and cruise liner close by on the Pacific Ocean) and serious frown lines of concentration were etched firmly into creased foreheads. There was no plan on the Queensland front; but with one kilometre to the base I heard Baby Gorilla yell out, with a sense of urgency and a tinge of desperation in his voice; "Go Sharky, lead me out, Johnno and New Man have stopped to pee." I was in two minds as even I know that to attack while peeing is a cardinal sin. But then I thought; "to heck with tradition, we need all the bloody help we can get!" So I jumped and the Gorilla went with me. My speed went from 25km/h to 26km/h! I lasted 500 metres... I suggested to the big man to proceed without me. Meanwhile the lads cut it off mid-stream and proceeded to first pass me before I even got to the climb, they then played with Gorilla and let him lead for half the climb before Johnno pounced and took the KOM comfortably from Mr New Man by 15 seconds. As much as I hate losing the series to the Blue's I am proud of Baby Gorilla's brave attempt to leave the Shark's side and then to have a crack up the hardest climb of the tour.

Stats for the day, including afternoon track session and Jindabyne world downhill speed attempt.
Once again here are the stats from today, and to coincide with the World Track Champs being held in Melbourne this Easter weekend, Milo included an afternoon Jindabyne World Championship track session for the crew. The facility has it's own outdoor 400 metre running track and on the outside is the 450 metre bitumen cycling track. All the kids were involved as part of either the timing, lap counters or cheer squad and they absolutely loved being part of it going on the squeals of delight. I can still hear their voices yelling for me each lap, "GO SHARKIEEEEEEE!" After the track session five of us; Johnno, Steve Newman, Milo, Gorilla and myself took part in the downhill championships. Bear in mind Milo has gone 213km/h downhill on one ski, so todays attempt would be slow by comparison, but still bloody quick on two wheels no wider than 23 millimetres!

Stats for the day
Distance: 84km's
Average: 25.2
Fastest: 78.1km/h By Baby Gorilla
Climbing: 1302 metres
Descending 1302 metres (Our only day where the amount of climbing was equal to the amount of descending, due to starting and finishing at the same point)

Track Stats Two teams of four riders.
Team Half Bottom made up of Milo, Gorilla, New Man and Sharky.
Team JJVKP made up of the two Johns, Katrina and the other not Newman Steve

Track Results:
One lap solo individual time trial: Baby Gorilla (He can now sleep as he has won something against the Blues.
Four lap elimination race: Team Half Bottom
Three lap team time trial: JJVKP
Ten lap points race: Team Half Bottom (Craig will sleep real well as he not only won the individual championship but was part of the winning team.

Downhill Championship results on the 15% gradient of Adventist Hill.
5th Sharky at 81.1km/h
4th Milo at 82km/h
3rd Steve at 89.7km/h
2nd Gorilla at 93.7km/h
1st Johnno at 94.6km/h

So Craig loses his speed record but gains a couple of titles today, so hopefully sleep will still come his way.

Sharky's last thoughts
So many activities were squeezed into this one adventurous special Easter day. Certainly a day I will remember for a long time to come. I will also remember the vast assortment and plentiful supply of food served up to us within minutes of being off the bike at any given time. Today Simone made Banana cake that saw four marriage proposals come her way. I will not mention any names here as there are only two single people on this ride! We finished the day off with an awesome barbecue dinner, (thanks Big Russ for being Barby Man) that was washed down with Corona's, and for desert we were 'forced' to eat chocolate brownies, fruit salad, custard and ice-cream. I can't take it any more! The night finished with the blog reading, read out by Robyn Conway, who has been a great help this weekend pitching in and helping out the team, trophy presentation for the track champs, plenty of reminiscing and laughter and for a few hardy riders stayed up to watch the Paris-Roubaix Classic live on SBS. It is now 11:30pm and as i had an afternoon kip I too am off to watch the last of the cycling with Johnno and New Boy. Tom Boonan has made a break away with 30km's to go. Will he hold it to the end?

Tomorrow stay tuned for the Baby Gorilla nick name story and a special surprise to finish my blog on this epic weekend of riding.

Take care and thanks again for coming along for the ride with us in Jindabyne.


No comments:

Post a Comment