Another 350 done and dusted!
The standard schedule for this event is first or second weekend of January, but due to a combination of Strava challenges and a chance of cooler weather, I decided to run an extra 350 event last Saturday 17th November.
For 2013 it is scheduled to run on Saturday 12th January… so keep that date free!
We had a combination of full distance riders, Seb Dunne, Aaron Coles, Chris Thompson, Steve Hanley and Bleeksie, then some that started with us and rode until lunch, Milly Brent and Beth Thompson and then a few that joined us part way around, Martin Worthy, Ron Brent, Simon Niemeyer.
A 4:30am start got us to Yass at 7:40am for a nice bacon & egg roll, with some of the best views and a brief stop for a puncture along the way, the views are well worth a Yass loop at some stage if you’re not up for the full 350km loop.
We worked our way around to Gunning, where Martin met us at the cafe (having slept through his alarm for the earlier start he rode directly to Gunning getting there a little before us), we had the first drinkable coffee of the day and some more food. Milly was feeling the pace and decided to ride directly to Goulburn instead of the long way around and up through Crookwell. Martin was a gentleman and kept Milly company to the lunch stop in Goulburn.
By the time we got to Crookwell, the highest point in the ride and half way around but two thirds of the climbing done, we had another deserved but short drink & food stop, Beth was now starting to feel the power in her legs slipping away and chose to ride her own pace to the lunch stop in Goulburn and her end-of-ride lift home. Somewhere towards Goulburn and after her second puncture was the time when Beth called ahead for help, only 20km to go but was happy getting a lift in Ron’s car.
At lunch we also saw Bruce who had ridden directly to Goulburn to then ride with us along the last section, but as we were 30 minutes behind our already later than usual schedule he decided to ride straight back along the Highway again, nice to see you at lunch 🙂
So from Goulburn on we had a couple of fresh legs in Ron and Simon and some legs with a few less km’s in them from Martin.
This was good and drove our pace up on the way home during the last 130km, or should I say 95km as all three of them cut the last bit off short….. softies.
A strong tail wind and much less ascending was giving or average speed a good boost, and we were in Bungendore in record time, making up most of the time we had lost earlier in the day and being pretty well back on schedule. I struggled a little along the way but improved again after Bungendore. I had been eating and drinking so much during the day that a fair amount of time after lunch I could re-enjoy the strawberry smoothie…. the body just could not process enough food (I’ll be making up for it for a few days to come).
Smith’s Gap was slow, although still a PB for me as we had a slight tail wind and I only ride there during the 350km events. Then the freshest legs abandoned us cutting into Max Reef while we still had to go Shingle Hill and Sutton to make the full 350km distance.
Now only the full distance riders left, plus still a little tail wind, we took the full Shingle Hill Strava segment as a clean 1st,2nd,3rd (plus a couple who aren’t on Strava 🙂
We kept doing such good average during the last section that we were home in a faster time then either times before.
We rode about 357km and averaged just under 31km/h.
Full distance riders: Chris Thompson (3x), Bleeksie (3x), Steve Hanley (2x), Aaron Coles (1x), Seb Dunne (1x)
Previous full distance riders: Greg Burghardt (2x), Steve Crispin (1x), Geln English (1x)
And more importantly this time we topped the all important Strava challenge “do 79 miles in a single ride” 1st,2nd,3rd 🙂 (at least for now)
Only winning from 10000+ total participants and 5000+ of those who have completed their 79+ miles.