Three Peaks – was Smashed !!
You can do all the training that you want for any event but you can’t control the weather!
This years Three Peaks ride really tested me because the weather was so hot. There was no respite from it, no cover and no cold water to help cool the body temperature!
The ride started well enough, the decent from Falls creek went well, who wouldn’t have enjoyed 30km of downhill, especially since you didn’t have to work for it by first climbing the mountain 🙂
The arm warmers quickly came off at the start of the climb to Tawonga gap and even though its about 650m of climbing it was soon over (27 minutes) and I was enjoying a great downhill run again. Its a great start to a long ride when the first 50km or so is mostly downhill !!
The guys that I was riding with Brad and Kelwyn met me at the bottom as they were a bit faster on the climb part of the hill. They were only waiting a couple of minutes before I arrived and we were off again with the next challenge in our sites.
Mt Buffalo was the next hill to challenge. It wasnt steep but it was 30 km of constant 5% gradient and by the end of it I was happy to see it over. It is a long way to be climbing!
I knew that it was nearly over when I started to see the good riders coming down the hill as unlike the other mountains this was an up and down route.
Again the thrill was in the downhill. Imagine cruising down 30km with not much peddling at all, but the fun was over too soon and the work had just begun.
At the bottom it was only a short run to the lunch stop where we stopped and refueled ready for the next section.
As we left the lunch stop we got together with a group of people and started to form a rolling peloton. For those that dont know what that means it is a constant rotation of the back riders coming to the front and then rotating to the back again. The benefit of that is that you never spend too much time at the front pushing the wind but rotate out pretty quickly. The problem is that it normally means that you can get along at a good pace and this pack was no exception. Suddenly I found myself getting along at about 40km an hour wondering when it would end.
I remember thinking to myself that I needed to hydrate but found myself resisting as the pace was so frenetic that I felt that I couldnt safely do so ………. BIG MISTAKE
The next stop came by pretty quickly and all was good as the pace slowed a bit but I found myself dropping off the back of the pack on the next section. This section was called Happy Valley but has been renamed “Death Valley” by a lot of the riders that finished and did not finish.
The temperature was getting up to 35 deg and I was having trouble keeping up. By the next stop at the 170km mark I was feeling like I was getting a few cramps coming on so I sat under a tree for a while and contemplated my predicament.
I pushed on to the base of the last hill with a few stops in between. I was really smashed and sat at the last stop for a while contemplating how I was going to get up the last climb.
Finally I said to myself, if you dont start you cant finish and with that I got on my bike and endured the last 30km up the hill that was so much fun coming down. I think I stopped around 5 times on the way up, for a breather and to regroup. When I finally saw the top a sense of re-leaf came over me, I had done what I came to do and I was proud of my efforts.
The conditions were so much tougher than I had remembered the last few years, although the hills were smaller they seemed every bit as hard!!
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