Cycling in Melbourne Australia
Anyone from this forum doing the 3 Peaks this year?
I am starting to get a bit nervously excited didnt help that I have just been sick and off the bike for 5 days. Got on today for first time and felt a little weak.
Hopefully I should be OK though, I have been clocking up a few training Ks so far in the lead up.
Yeah good observation, three of us entered the 110km ride last year and were put off by the price hike this year.
Trying to upgrade to full event in 2011 is a stretch!
IMHO the 'Cage isn't Rattled; enough for riders prior to seeking to do the 3 Peaks. Check out the AUDAX ACE 250 Forum especially posts like.
or on the BV Forum
From a report on this years ACE 250 which has qualifiers BTW and was conducted in idea conditions.
Some interesting statistics are:
Of the 334 starters, only 19 did not complete the event. Of those, 10 had completed the 2010 event, 3 had completed the 2010 - 200km Alpine Classic in under 10 hours and 3 others were from Asia where comparable rides are hard to come by for qualifying. A broken chain stay and a broken chain caused another 2 not to finish and crash off Tawonga another.
The main reason for not completing seems to be due to the interruption of training prior to the event and going into the event with niggling injuries. As one has said:
"The ACE 250 Takes No Prisoners"
As a matter of interest, more than half of the riders would not have completed the event within the hours of daylight if it was to have been held on the Labour Day Weekend.
Conserve all your energy for the Dark Side (Back-o-Falls). It is not about the climbing (there is no hill you can't walk up) but descending safely. especially when the start is off the top of a mountain with a very diverse bunch of riders and skills, at dawn when dew comes down and likely to be low cloud/fog and having riders on the brakes to try to stay under 50kph (hot rims/tyres rolling off). Beware of the descent off Tawonga. That is where serious accidents happen - deceptive bends, adverse chambers and a rock face to greet you. The Tour of Bright no longer ride down it.
"The Alpine cycling club would like to advise riders of a change to Stage 1 of the Tour. For those who have raced the tour before you would know the final descent down from Tawonga Gap to finish line. You would also be aware that each year we have a number of riders who fail to negotiate this descent in a safe manner. Unfortunately due to the high speed and unforgiving nature of the road this as resulted in some serious injuries. In consultation with CSV and other authorities it has been decided that this portion of the stage will be removed from the race. For those that know me, you know I like descending more than anything else. I believe it is skill that is part of bike racing, which has made this decision hard. We have tried to keep the descent in the race over the years by adding warning signs and marshals waving flags Unfortunately the crashes continued. So the descent will be removed from the tour before an even more serious accident occurs. The new finish line is located at Tawonga Gap."
Have a great ride.
WOW what a ride I loved it and the challenge of it. The back of Falls lived up to its reputation that is for sure I never thought it was going to end :) Each time I got to the top of a rise I was thinking yeah it was hard, then when I got around the corner it was still going. There was around 40% of riders in my vicinity that were at some stages walking up, which even though I never would, I did understand where they were at, as I am sure anyone that has done this ride would I guess.
Weather played it's part and made all the descents like ice, really struggled with braking maybe my pads were too hard. Hotham I found to be OK while the last ten KMs were hard I rested on the false flat before hand and was ready and raring to go when I got to the last ten. Plus, I think it helped that I could not see outside of my bubble of fog, at some stages around 5 metres in diameter, this meant that I had no idea where each summit was.
In general I found that I was passing most of the time on the flats and hills but seemed to be more cautious on the descents than others, this helped with my confidence throughout. Overall my cardio and match fitness was without concern but I did make one dire error at the lunch time break of changing my shoe inserts to dry ones, which meant that my foot was moving around too much in the shoe and affecting my bike position/setup. This meant that the last 40 Kms I was in agony with my knees, knew I should have tested the other inserts knowing that they were a lot thinner, but you live and learn.
I really loved the winding section before hitting that back of falls cruising along at 30-40 along this flat winding Alpine road had a real majestic feel to it due to the hills on either side.
Your advise on going with the 12-27 was a solid one and it did come in handy up the back of falls. I did not mind like yourself that people had attempted the ride and not succeeded though I think that added to the ride for me. Most people seem to descend within themselves maybe due to all the descents being wet this possibly made it safer rather than the more dangerous faster dry descents covered by Alan above. Boy do I wish they were dry though, I would have then been able to shave some decent time of my bike time of 9.75 hours.
Yes I did briefly read on the BV forum that some people were complaining about that.
Anyone that did a bit of investigation into this ride should know that you need to be at a certain level to finish, as opposed to the AAC where they let you go well into the night if need be.
With that in mind I think anyone that did not finish this year should suck it up and tap themselves on the back for getting as far as they did. Then, either come back next year knowing what is required and be ready, or try other rides less critical of time, knowing that they gave this one their best. It seems tipical in some ways of modern society where people always try to blame something else for their failures. Maybe I am being harsh but I dont see the problem with not finishing this ride, and for the people that did it increases the satisfaction knowing that it is hard, so hard in fact that several hundred do not get to the end.
I need to correct you about "well into the night". Audax that runs the AAC has strict lighting regulations (dual lighting systems for redundancy and a safety vest) and the ACE 250 which rides over the same loop as 3 Peaks, but starts in Bright hence a little longer and safer flat rather descent start, has a 4am start requiring lights with a finish at 8.40pm based on the internationally recognised average speed of 15kph (unlike BVs use of 20kph). No rider on the event is on the road after 8.40pm - sunset is 8.29pm and civil twilight 8.58pm
IMHO in the Alps riders really need lights whenever they ride - low clouds, fog, rain/mist or glaring eye-level sun, riding in out of dark shadows on winding roads makes cyclists hard to see by other road users.
Yes I see what you are saying Alan but I seem to remember last year people still coming in past 9.00 PM. I was at the event and was going to complete but fell sick the day before and morning of the ride so had to issue a DNS. I did go into town later that night though and thought I saw people still coming in to finish after 9.00 which is what I meant by well into the night, if it was not after 9.00 then it certainly was dark and had been for what seemed a long time to me.
I agree again whole heartedly about the safety provisions where lights are concerned (especially in the Alps), but my point was not that they should not be able to come in later on other rides just that they needed to be aware that this ride has a cut off and for some people this may mean that they are not able to finish.
I have no problem even with this, I say come one come all, and have a go. But to these people that don’t make it then don’t play the blame game and try to make points that things should be changed to suite. If you do not make it to the end and are picked up by the sag wagon so be it.