Ride Start Date: 2021-06-05
Author: Wayne Hickman
The Blackwood 600/400/200 had five riders for the 600 & two for the 400km routes.
The start was at Megan & Steve Kidds’ beach house in Falcon. Thank you guys for letting us use this great location.
It was a 6am start and you could feel nervousness in the air as most riders had driven down from Perth. First question asked was “can I use your toilet”. I wanted to say NO, just to see the reaction but that would not have been nice would it!! One rider had big problems as his cycling helmet was left 75kms away in Perth, “Oh Poo” I think he said. Alison came to the rescue with a helmet called “Nutcase”. What’s that old saying about if the shoe fits, in this case it was the helmet.
The 400km riders (Perry & Adrian) finished in 22 hours. The 600km riders were all back within 37 hours except one who withdrew at Kirup and another who did not get out of bed for the start.
Alison and I provided support for the 600km riders at Boyup Brook. Hot soup and Alison’s secret endurance hill climbing cake washed down with coffee. Some had seconds.
The weather was ok if you were a duck. It rained soft, it rained hard, sometimes it did not rain at all. We have run this ride a few times and in terms of ‘worst conditions’, this would ride was in the top three.
First rider was at Boyup Brook by 7.40pm and the last one had left by 10pm. At 10.15pm the heavens opened up big time. Alison and I had to put the heater on in the camper van, oh luxury.
We checked on each rider as they passed and all were good apart from Stan who had just fixed his 4th or was that 5th puncture. No spare tubes left and being the good support people we are, Alison & I had forgotten to pack spare tubes … oops.
Riders had to source their own sleeping arrangements and as it was a long weekend most required a two-night minimum which was not feasible for this ride. Riders made use of verandas in Nannup and one had an 8 mins sleep in a toilet at Balingup. Is that classed as sleeping on the job?
Alison & I slept in the van just before Nannup. This was a great sleeping spot, but not good for support as no phone reception.
In the morning when we arrived at Nannup about 9.30am we got a message from Michael that he had pulled out at Kirup. We drove to pick him up, but when we got there we got a message that he had been picked up already and was on his way back to Perth. So we drove on to Lowden and saw Joshua at the cafe. He said he has not seen any other riders. We left Joshua to the hills into Gnomesville and retraced the route back to Balingup to find the other riders.
No luck. We were then wondering where were Arron and Stan? An hour and a half later, just before Brunswick Junction we found Stan. We gave him a puncture repair kit that we had picked up in Nannup although Stan had already got one along the way. Five kms out of Brunswick Junction we find Arron just tapping out the pedals and not feeling too bad.
All riders now accounted for. We can relax and head back to the finish at Falcon.
Audax supergods in John and Alieen Martin, came to the finish to say ‘chapeau’ to the riders but unfortunately had to leave before they made the finish. For me personally, what a great couple of hours catching up with these great (old umm) friends.
Stan, Arron, and Joshua all finished within the time limit with time to spare. Some may say that is wasted sleep time, but that’s another story!
Well done to the 600 riders as was the first for two riders and only the second for the other two. Also congrats to Adrian ‘The Nutcase’ for completing his first 400.