Monday, September 06, 2010

Oonce! Oonce! Oonce!

Pre-ride briefing in the Cafe Lembas
How many times do you get to do a cool ride with your buddies and have a tail wind for 154 kilometres?
Not many, if any!

Oonce! Oonce! Oonce!
It was Matt who convinced us it was a good idea to enter in the "Road to Erewhon" event, not that he had ridden his bike at all in the last month, but he is a very determined person, and he never gives up, no matter how crap he feels. He has also done more 160km plus solo rides than anyone I know, so I figure he has to have a bit of the "memory muscle". So with that in mind we set out looking for more likely suckers to join our team. Given that a predicted distance of 170kms was on the cards, Sepp and Ed thought it would be excellent training for the World Single-speed champs in October. Yeeeeeeeeeeesss.
Thats snow on the mountains in the background

The rules were few, 4-man teams, leaving at 5 minute intervals. The start and end points of this event were a well kept secret, and were only divulged at 6pm the friday night before, at about the same time that it was snowing on the Rimutukas. At precisely that time we learned that we were to start at Raumati, and end at Alfredton (inland of Eketahuna). We could go over the Pahiatua track, or the Akatarawas and the Rimutakas. The one of us who had a PHD did his sums and he reckoned the hilly route was the fastest. The clever people with the local knowledge thought otherwise.... Fortunately for us we had a massive tail wind pretty much the whole way. We also had a secret weapon..... a high peformance sound system aero-dynamically mounted to the front of my aero-bars. This enabled us to listen to motivational music at appropriate times in order to get us through the tough bits.
Ed, keen to try his new
position courtesy of Silas

Ed Matt and myself all elected to ride our TT bikes, while Sepp rode his roadie. Everything pretty much went to plan except Sepp had a rear spoke breakage as we came into Carterton. Ed did the mechanicing with my Kathmandu multi-tool while the rest of stocked up on Coke and lollie water. We were spanking along at up to 50kmh at different times on this leg of the ride. Navigationally we probably messed up a bit by taking the heavy traffic bypass too early, but we need not have bothered, Sepp is only about 96kgs these days.
Still friends.... OK?

The last hilly segment over Dreyers Rock was a bit tough but we were sticking together as per the rules and rolled up to Alfredton to be the first team there at about 5 hours ride time, with an actual distance of 154. I think there was at least 1 other team who rode faster, but we got to ring the bell first, nah nee nah nah!

Power-haus Ed's top secret numbers.
( Dont tell Radio shack ).
This was a very cool event to do, with the emphasis being on teamwork, having a good time and beers and BBQ's at the end. Even the start of the event was all class with free coffee and muffins at Cafe Lembas at Raumati. There was a real friendly vibe to this event,  and no one took it too seriously, which is a real good thing. We need to thank the awesome Hutt chicks who ferried us to and from the respective starting and finishing points of the race.  Lets hope there are more events like this to come!