Rowan and Charlene decided to do our first 200 kilometre Audax cycling event, since the one we did in Canada in June 2017, on mainland Australia in Victoria.
As some of you know, our cycling club is Audax Australia, and Audax cycling or Randonneuring is timed ultradistance cycling. Some of our events are a bit shorter 50 km or 100 km … those are often warm-up events early in the season, or winter events later in the season. But then the bigger events start with the 200 km distance, and go up from there. This particular event is called a 200K but that’s a minimum designation. They can be a bit longer than that, and this one was 215 kilometres. But whatever the distance, it still has to be completed in 13 hours and 30 minutes.
We’ve cycled some of the roads included on this event before, so we had some idea what to expect, but we’ve done it under cooler conditions. This ended up being a very hot ride!! Our on-bike thermometers were recording over 40C out there on the road in the sun and the recorded high (always recorded in the shade) was 33C. Fortunately, the clouds did gather toward the end of the day, and the last 50 kilometres were somewhat cooler … with a threatening storm and a decent tailwind! Splice (pineapple, lime and vanilla ice cream) and mango ice cream bars really hit the spot, as did lots of cold coke.
There were so many birds … living in Tasmania, I miss the melodic magpies of the mainland. And there was one large kangaroo who hopped out into the middle of the road, looked at us, and then hopped back into the bush.
One little event stands out … one of those, “you just have to laugh” moments … 1.5 km from the end of the ride, we were stopped by a flag man for road construction. We could almost see the finish! We wanted to finish!! But there we had to wait until it was our turn to go. The flag man was nice about it, and let us go a bit earlier than the cars who were also waiting to give us a head start.
Distance: 215.47 km
Elevation: 1,484 m
Moving Time: 10:55:56
Elapsed Time: 12:34:18
Speed: Avg: 19.7 km/h | Max: 49.7 km/h
We were on our Touring Bicycles rather than our usual distance bicycles because we were planning a rail trail tour in the week following this event. Our Touring Bicycles tend to be slightly slower because of their geometry and weight so I am pleased we made it with nearly an hour to spare. Because we were planning to do both a randonnee and a tour on a gravel rail trail, we brought two sets of tyres … 700×28 slicks and 700×32 tyres with tread. Rowan spent a lot of time changing tyres in just a few days!!
Charlene needs need new shoes!! My feet are killing me. I got this pair of cycling shoes before my arthritis got as bad as it is, and as a result of the arthritis, my feet are wider. But the shoes are very narrow. In addition, my feet swell when riding long distances and in the heat. I did loosen the worst shoe off part way through the ride, but the damage had been done by then. BTW – in case you wondered – I put a lot of weight on my feet when I ride.
If you’ve done a randonnee, and would like to post a note about it … please contact us! It’s nice to see each other’s stories.