The inaugural ‘3FIDI350’ was held on 8th January 2011.

Participants at the 4am start: Chris, Greg, Bleeksie, Glen and Big Jeff.

It was dark and 17 degrees when we rolled out into the unknown (the abyss came to mind).

It took half way to Yass before we got any light, including some and the only drizzle rain. In Yass we stopped and had drinks and breakfast (bacon & egg rolls for Chris and Bleeksie). After Yass we headed towards Gunning by which time we had already climbed passed 1/3 of the total ascending. A quick coffee & fresh fruit stop in Gunning.

Now we were ready for the biggest climbing section of the ride, between Gunning and Crookwell, with Crookwell being the top of the ride at 1009m. Up to Gunning (132km) it had been pretty much Bleeksie and Chris on the front so it was the turn of somebody else, Glen swapped with Bleeksie and together with Chris kept a comfortable pace up to Crookwell (187km). Arriving in Crookwell was a significant milestone! being the exact middle of the ride and the highest part of the ride.

In Crookwell we stopped and enjoyed drinks and ice-creams from the local supermarket. Wow, Crookwell is a hub of activity!

Temperatures had been fine with a nice cloud cover and although tiring we all felt in good condition, perfectly just above bleeksie’s projected average of 25km/h (actual 27.5km/hr) although we were now behind time schedule due to extra stops that Bleeksie hadn’t factored in while planning the ride. We were about 30 minutes behind time schedule but luckily the road turn downwards all the way to Goulburn and our speed picked up considerably managing to real back about 15 minutes on our schedule.

Although we did some swapping of riders at the front, it wasn’t a surprise to always find Chris there as well, what was surprising was that Big Jeff was noticeably absent from the front at all time, especially surprising seeing he was about to finish his ride in Goulburn (slacker 🙂 ). During the run into Goulburn the cloud cover had slightly dissipated and the temperature of our bodies had risen dramatically by the time we arrived at the Green Grocer after 220km at 1:15pm.
We had a great welcoming party waiting for us, Celia Thompson and Ness Howell both with their families, they had managed reserved tables, so we walked in and sat down. We order pasta’s and smoothies and replenished our drink bottles. Big Jeff had done his 220km ride and got a lift back to Canberra with Ness, Bleeksie offloaded his back pack with Celia, and then Greg, Glen, Chris and Bleeksie left Goulburn 15minutes later than Bleeksie’s scheduled departure time, but we were comfortable knowing that there was still slight NorthWesterly wind blowing that would help us roll to Bungendore.

Greg went through a bad patch on the way to Bungendore, but recovered fairly well after some extra drink and nourishment, Bleeksie was hurting and from Bungendore all the way to Canberra only just kept his stomach contents internal. We had a slight head wind on the last little loop through Sutton, but we were really happy once we were on familiar bitumen of the Federal Highway from Sutton Road back into town. The distance pretty well matched the Google Map drawn route and as we all rode a couple of km’s to the start line, we all pretty well crossed the 350km just after Epic running into town and a bit extra once we all arrived at our respective homes around 7:30pm which is about 30 minutes ahead of the original schedule.

Respect to the riders: Chris, Greg, Glen, Bleeksie

Below is the ride data, taken from Greg’s garmin:

photos by: Glen English