Monday, April 20, 2009

I'm just going out for a ride. I may be some time.

Technical Director Richard and I have been thinking about a ride (for next year March/April 2010). A race, sort of, but mostly against oneself. A test of stoutness and fortitude. An investigation of body and soul. 
Broadly, we all catch the Overlander train down to National Park Friday morning. We'll stay the night at the Chateau (port/cigars/tales of bravado etc). On Saturday we set off on our bikes back to Auckland. 340km. Mainly downhill. Ideally we'd ride individually.

Participants carry nothing but a can of baked beans (no opener) and $3.49 in cash. No phones, cash/credit cards, or pre-organisation. We will encourage digital cameras to record interesting events along the way.

Some may try to complete the trip in one day; others may take it easier, using their skill and luck to find somewhere to hunker down for the night.

Just putting it out there. Keen to here your thoughts...


Anonymous said...

Still 12 months away and I've already got weirdness in the pit of my stomach. This is what we live for. Adventures into the unknown. A true measure of wheelmen (and lady members). Sorry, hopefully no Everest climbers read this. Goddamn, for the cosseted Parnell office worker this is Everest. We may not be fast, be the stories we'll tell. The glory at the end.

Anonymous said...

Tech advisor here: Just posting a few email comments. Hoping interested parties will pen their thoughts here.

Mike said: I'm in. Seriously. I will start training immediately. No bullshit there either.

I said: Glad you like the sound of it. March-April timing will at least give us a summer of cycling. So we should be fit enough. I think it will be deeply rewarding. Details to sort - route (we'll keep off SH1 as much as possible), finish and very basic safety measures. I've already got butterflies thinking about it. Contemplating unknowns. I guess that's what adventures are all about.

Mike said: I'm wondering how to exchange the beans in my tin for tacks without evidence.
And the bicycle? The clothes? Wellington trips will now include haystack spotting. My Dad actually did it that way (ChC to Dn) I really think the challenge should ban helmets. In my school years I was actually caned for not wearing my school cap whilst cycling.

Doug said: Yeah, you lost me right about the bit about not carrying water…… Rest of it sounded brilliant!

Mike said: If the weather is right, you may be able to eat snow - until out of the desert anyway.

I said: Yeah, might revise that one. The original thought was about introducing a survival element - the opportunity to use guile, foraging technique or the $3.49 to acquire a drinking container. I was hoping to pick up a used H2Go bottle discarded by lazy ski bunny. Or maybe killing a wild pig and harvesting its bladder, which I understand holds a fair amount of water (joking). However, we don't want small rules undermining the big idea. And, hell, if the man versus wild guy gets to carry water, then we should, too. We're still mulling the whole thing, so all feedback and ideas welcome. We want a good ride, and a touch of daring.

Geoff said: I take it the sum of $3.49 was chosen to be insufficient to buy a latte?

I said: Actually, $3.49 is the cost of joining the Glendowie Bicycle Club. Maybe we can waive the membership fee for participants? But, you're right, not quite stretching to coffee. But hopefully enough for a packet of life-giving biscuits.

Chris said: Richard, a great idea. Doubt if $3.49 will secure a room at the Chateau. I investigated my body and sole this morning along the water front and found it wanting...

I said: No limit on expenditure till the grand depart. Until then, port, cigars, roasted pheasant and poached trout

Pete said: Needless to say, I'm well up for this. My thoughts on strategy (as previously shared with Rich) that if you were really staunch, you could do it in one shot. At an average speed of 25kmh (ie, nice and slow) would take about 14 hours. Enough time (assuming early start) to get to La Vie En Rose before closing. Key issue is sustenance. After a quick rummage of our pantry, it appears that McVitties digestives are the most calorie dense biccies. If everyone's allowed a massive pre-ride brekky, $3.49 may just about provide enough calories to get you back to Akl. $2 would buy you a packet of diggies, which will provide about 1100 calories. The balance could be spent on (say) a packet of cheapo ginger nuts. Maybe a spot of busking half way home (I've made good money out of this in Greece in a past life) to buy a bit more food if needed. So that's the race plan. See you all on the start line. By the way, hope you all enjoyed your ride this morning. After a crappy night's sleep, I got up at the usual 5.20am to head out, got half way ready and thought 'Sod it, I'm knackered' and went back to bed. First time I've ever done that on a dry Mon/Wed/Fri, and it was strangely liberating. Hardly in the spirit of Lance, I know. I'll see you all on Friday! And top work to Bret and Marty for their Cycle for Life performances

Glendowie Bicycle Club said...

Email from Halpy: "Can I suggest we bike to the mountain and drink ourselves home on the
train? Having said that, either way I'm keen..."

Glendowie Bicycle Club said...

Coachies questions:

Very impressed, it's funny cause we've been thinking about planning another touring ride.  A few initial questions though:

If you start from the ski-field you get a bigger downhill?

When were you thinking - what season/month?

Do you mean in one day?

Are lights permitted?  - the 205km ride to Whiti in January (in a fairly fit state) took 7.5hrs.

Glendowie Bicycle Club said...

On the question of one day vs two it may be that it ends up being a bit like the coast to coast. A one dayer for the speed demons, a two dayer for those wanting to make more of an adventure out of it and sleep rough somewhere...

Or would you prefer it to be a mandatory two day event?

Glendowie Bicycle Club said...

Technical advisor, here.

Those interested in epic rides (and finishing in style rather than winning) might know about the MELBOURNE TO WARRNAMBOOL CLASSIC, a 165 mile (270km) one-day race, first held in 1895 and that year won by Andrew Calder, who received 2 hours’ start on the scratchmen, taking 11 hours, 44 minutes, 30 seconds.

It was reported that he got through on “eggs, milk, and beef extract.” (Scratchman Jim Carpenter did the fastest overall time (10 hours 52 minutes) on a fixed gear!).

The race was conceived when a bloke called Don Charlston rode his boneshaker from Melbourne to Warrnambool, intending to catch the ship home. However, rough seas prevented passage, so he rode back to Melbourne. The Warrnambool Postmaster Mr Green dispatched Charlston at 6am and 12 hours later he arrived in Melbourne.

Olympic representative Dean Woods holds the race record in a time of 5 hours and 12 minutes. Cyclists from around the world place the ‘Warrny’ on their ‘must do’ events list. Not to win but to finish.

An early scribe observed: It calls for not only speed, but endurance; not cunning, but judgment. And it is more than likely that this last discretionary quality, if possessed by a rider with only a fair proportion of pace and stamina, would prove the greatest factor towards success.’

The “I'm just going out for a ride. I may be some time” classic might not sound quite as catchy as “The Warny” but there’s no doubt it will one day hover near the top of cycling’s ‘to do’ list.

Glendowie Bicycle Club said...

Richard T emailed from the UK and puts a case for butter and the possibility of a fixie category.

Sounds great to me.

I've been doing some intensive training here in the UK, building up energy reserves (fat) to enable me to make the distance within the allowance given for sustinence. With this in mind I turned my thoughts to spending the very generous $3.49 allowance. I am not one for shopping and so I have no idea what things cost but if you want to maximise the calorific value of $3.49 I would have thought a packet of butter would be the way to go. Tasty too.

Other thoughts - if we are looking to strip this down to a pure test of resolve and determination shouldn't we be doing this on a single speed/fixed gear bike?