Ride Start Date: 2020-01-28
Author: Brett Fyfield
Audax Bedrock 200km Brevet Permanent
The ride organiser called this Audax brevet permanent an honest ride, and that it was. My intention from the start was to minimise stoppages and complete the ride within 9 hours. I studied the route making sure that the only stops I needed to make were at the controls, and that if I needed to I could go without other stops for water by carrying a hydration pack on my back. The hydration pack contained one 1.5 litre bladder, frozen overnight, and 9 frozen gels. I anticipated not having to reach for the bladder until the flatter sections towards Kippa-ring.
I set out and as the road rose before me I knew that the smoke haze and humidity would soon give way to scorching heat on the valley roads. Approaching the first descent of Mt Glorious into Samford, I stopped to adjust my GoPro and allow some vehicles to pass so I could have a clear run at it. Towards the bottom I caught one driver in Landcruiser who kindly let me pass, and I set off towards Samford.
I made the choice not to stop for anything but the control at Samford and to fill my water bottle, and keep rolling to maintain a target average of 22.5 km/h. The approach to Clear Mountain would be the next challenge. I wasn’t surprised by the steepness of the ramps heading up, but I was surprised at how they built on each other, 20%, 12%, 17% with only a brief respite before 19%, downhill and then 16%. I stopped to catch my breath and admire the view in front of Clear Mountain Lodge.
Coming down off Clear Mountain, I passed groups of MTB offloading their bikes from their shuttle buddies, and taking full advantage of gravity. I hit a maximum of 85km/h at one point, slowed for the t-intersection at Winn Road and shortly there after front-wheel flatted at speed. I came a little closer to my mortality in that instant. I have faith in the quality of my equipment and my preparation, but these things sometimes happen. I found some shade by the side of the road and set about replacing the tube. Worn rim-tape was the culprit this time, the adhesive had become weak and allowed the tube to escape into the spoke holes. I reseated the tape and gave it as much pressure as the canister would allow. It would have to hold for another 140km.
I set off for the next control Kippa-ring, and it steadily became hotter and hotter. I was reaching for the hydration pack more frequently and decided to pace myself and take a longer break to refuel ad reorganise at the control. I was quite appreciative of the air-conditioning. I always go for the doubles, the water 2x 1.5l and 2x Coke energy drink. I re-filled the hydration pack, and my water bottle, pulled some gels out the bag and into my rear pockets, and ate an energy bar. About 15minutes later I was back out the road. I could feel the sea breeze coming up along the Old Bay Road, cooling against my skin but also a block headwind. Once I turned at Redcliffe though I had the wind at my back and was determined to press on for Lawnton without stopping.
The traffic lights along Telegraph Road were not with me, and each time I built up some momentum I would have to stop again and lose the advantage I was starting to build. Worse that that, I was losing the cooling effect of the breeze, on what could have been a very steady ride towards Lawnton and Petrie. Bu the time I got to Lawton, the sun was directly above at starting bounce off the Garmin into my eyes. Once I got my card signed I jammed a sunglasses bag over the head unit and decided to go by feel until Ferny Grove. From there it only got hotter.
I had to make a stop at Dayboro for shade and water, and when I stopped at the antique store I was politely advised that cold water was available for free at the cafe adjacent. Sensing the not so gentle nudge along, I filled my bottle with tap water and kept moving, happy for the few moments of shade afforded under the shop awning.
I’m very familiar with the stretch of road between Dayboro and Ferny Grove, so there was only one stop to adjust my backpack before home. It was a nervous fidget mostly, and mental preparation for the Settlement Road climb from Keppera into The Gap. I had managed to keep the cramps at bay by SIS gels with energy + electrolyte, the salty lime and mint was just what I needed. I got home before 9 hours elapsed, for roughly 204km.
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