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  1. #2501
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    It feels real nice to set a goal and achieve it...

    What a day! Despite having eaten too much for brekky (stupidly I changed my plan) and a lower back which hadn't recovered fully and gave me grief for about 85/100kms, I managed to reach my goal of sub 7.5 hrs with a time of 7:23 or thereabouts (I didn't look at the timer when I crossed).

    I can't tell you how good that felt. I doubt whether it was in the top half of the field though but I don't care.

    Race Summary...


    0-4kms: Being on a single speed, and heading into a (at times) vicious headwind I lost a few places off the start.
    4-9kms: The hill climb starts very gently, and I managed to claw back a few spots, until it gets steeper, then I start passing more frequently. Traffic is heavy on the first climb, and you can see the huge snake of riders well in front and behind. The back starts to ache about half way up the sealed road section. The gradient doesn't let off when it turns to a gravel road and I completely lost traction and had to get off and walk for a little.
    9-13kms: The gravel road continues downhill along a ridge, and if the wind was strong at the start, it was gale force here. A number of times I nearly had the wheels swept from underneath me, and was blown a couple of feet across the road trying to stay upright. Many riders noted this after the race. The pace picked up and I passed a couple of riders on the downhill gravel road section, until I got to a sharp corner and had to implement my mad Tokyo Drift skilz to keep the gravel out of my skin (fun for those behind to watch). We turn onto what can only be described as an unused 4wd track down a steeper route to a creek at the bottom. The dust was unpleasant to say the least and the creek was walked through by all, so wet shoes for the big climb.
    13-28kms A tough climb up the same type of unused 4wd track, with 2 options near the top (one of which was harder but maybe quicker). Most riders took the easier option and I'm glad I did too. Carver96er (also on a SS) who might have been five mins in front of me by then, took the other option and lost his lead over me (but not for long). Heaps of hike a bike up this hill for eveyone too.
    28-42kms: At the end of the big climb, near the road section, my bike developed a creak from the bottom bracket, which steadily got worse over the next few kms. I stopped at the major road intersection to assess the situation, and the crank bolts all seemed tight enough, but on closer inspection I found that I was missing two of my four chainring bolts. I tightened the remaining two as much as I could and pressed on. Once we left the road, there was some real nice fast flowing single track, ear to ear grin stuff, followed by a multitude of (sometimes) rideable climbs. It was before the last couple of climbs in this section that, without creaking or any other warning, I was down to one chainring bolt. Somewhat dejected, and a little concerned that I might not even make it to the 67km mark (Forrest), I started to walk all the hills. Eventually, I decided to give it a crack and with a hell of a creak on every uphill pedal stroke, I rode on. Time would tell if the chainring would give up and fold in half.


    42-67kms: The best part of the 100kms, without a doubt. Red Carpet was a timed decent and an absolute blast, bucking and flowing fast albeit with white knuckles at times. I left the track here once at speed, and only just managed to grab a tree trunk (nearly pulled my right arm out of it's socket doing so) to stop me ending up in the blackberries. We then crossed the road for some more rolling single track (some of the best in the area IMO) before reaching the Forrest footy ground where the festival was being held.
    67-87kms: As I went through the footy ground, I missed the (poorly marked) water station, so had to conserve what I had for the next 20kms. Damn, it was starting to get hot too. Back into the sweet Forrest single track which included Marriners Run, an awesome section of high banked and fast berms, switching back and forth across a gully decent.
    87-100kms: What a b!tch. A long, long fireroad ascent. You'd make it to the top of one hill, only to see that there's another one just ahead...repeat that about a dozen times, and you can see how soul destroying it can become. In the sun too. I hated it with a passion. Most others did too. Off this road eventually, and some fast white knuckle decents for a little while, on a loose dusty surface. The chain started to make some noise like it was getting loose, so I pulled over and checked the last chainring bolt which had worked it's way loose. Fixed that, then carried on towards what is known as the Sledgehammer. Great. More hike a bike. A little bit more single track then cruised back down the fireroad to the finish.

    After resting for some time, catching up with the other fellas, I jumped on the bus back to Apollo Bay, and rode straight down to the ocean beach for a well earned dip. Very soothing for the body and soul.

    Drove home after deciding that it was too hot to stay there (still 34 degrees at 7pm).

    Edit to add: I placed 272 out of over 695 men overall. Woo-Hoo! My choice of gearing on the single speed was spot on too.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  2. #2502
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    Forgot to add...

    Congratulations to all who entered and finished. Well done fellas, on a tough day.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  3. #2503
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    Congrats Steve, well done! I can't believe you could do that last fire-road without walking.

    Must have been disconcerting with missing bolts...

    I got in at 8:41, after going ok then blowing up in that last section, that fire-road was soul-destroying, then on the downhill my back was cramping, I even had to stop a couple of times to stretch it out going down the last big hill.Took me over an hour and a half for the last 13 ks . I reckon that's the toughest day I've ever had doing anything, let alone riding, it leaves the Alpine Audax in it's dust for difficulty. All in all a very difficult but very satisfying day, now to book that massage for tomorrow...

    Congrats also to everyone else that finished, a big day!

    Just checked the Polar, steepest incline 25% or 14 deg, steepest decline 31% or 18deg.
    Last edited by casnell; 02-20-2010 at 09:01 PM.

  4. #2504
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob

    Edit to add: I placed 272 out of over 695 men overall. Woo-Hoo! My choice of gearing on the single speed was spot on too.
    Nice work And what luck the crank did not fold on you......

  5. #2505
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    Thanks fellas. Casnell, I didn't manage to ride all that fire road. I probably walked 4 or so of the inclines.

    Special big congrats to Carver96er, finishing on his single speed in under 7 hours!
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  6. #2506
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilostmypassword
    Nice work And what luck the crank did not fold on you......
    Thanks Paul. I'm absolutley mystified myself, especially when you look at it and realise if you had to put one bolt there to hold it all together, it wouldn't be that one. It's furthest from the point of highest torque on the drive side downstroke. Lucky the chainline is pretty good.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  7. #2507
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    Well done to those who Otway'd. Today I did a re-run of the Woodend BMC Classic from 2009 - good fun except for the singletrack that the moto's have trashed. Dare I say it, the 50k wasn't as hard as it could have been, despite the heat.

  8. #2508
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    Made it through my first Otway, First 100k race

    Was really happy with the first 67k to the football ground, got a great start and was placed 92nd in open mens at that point. But then the heat started to bite, even with drinking staminade (which usually works for me) I started to cramp badly on the single track climb out of mariners. First the quads, right leg for a few mins then left and it would last for 5 mins of pedalling pain, then the hamstrings started to go at the same time. Nothing I could do but get off and stretch! Luckily for the brass band who kept me preoccupied to some extent of what that noise was.

    Manged to get myself onto J2 and stretched them out with a nice descent, but they came back again on the Ayup 13k loop, which was bad enough as it was. At this point I was learning about the mental aspect of MTB racing the hard way, and it just kept going forever!

    Finally I got onto the moto track descent, and it was all downhill for a good run home, with only that sandy hill up past the fence, but I knew at the top was a smooth fire road all the way back to the oval. Finished in 6:27:59, very happy for my first 100k, but wondering how I could have done without the cramps

    Congrats to all who participated, and particularly those that finished. It was the toughest day I have ever spent on the bike, everyone was really friendly throughout the race and the race was run brilliantly

  9. #2509
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    6:27? That's very impressive, well done!

  10. #2510
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    Bloody well done to all of you who did the Odyssey!

    MrH finished in 7:59:09 (I'd given him til 8 flat then we were going back to the jumping castle!! )

    Stevob, I saw you finish! Nice to meet Carver96er too Casnell, I missed you, sorry! Sounds as though it was a fantastic event all round. I think I'll convince Andrew to do it again next year, just not right now..

    (There was a long queue for the men's showers back at the caravan park and most of the guys were lying flat on the grass!!)

  11. #2511
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    Quote Originally Posted by casnell
    6:27? That's very impressive, well done!
    Yeah 6hr 27mins, orig target was to finish under 7hrs so definatly happy! And 13mins 47 down red carpet with plenty of traffic! That was one of the highlights of the day! That and finishing!

  12. #2512
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsH
    Stevob, I saw you finish!
    So you witnessed my rather poor attempt at a wheelie as I crossed the line?
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  13. #2513
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    Awesome effort Benizmo! The bloke I camped next to did it in 6:45.

    I'll be back next year for sure.

    I was very impressed and humbled by the support given by other riders for me on my rigid 29er SS. I'll have fond memories of a yo-yo battle with another rigid 29er SS through the Yaugher 20km Super Loop. I passed him up every hill, and he passed me down every hill.

    Well done to Shannon too, who was the rider directly in front of me.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  14. #2514
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    What a fantastic experience!

    To all those that said it would be tough on a single speed I say I don't know what the fuss was all about. I rode 99% of the tracks the geared riders rode (within the group I was in) and walked the rest, but my walking was as fast if not faster than those attempting to ride the steeper sections. Must say I would love to see the way the elite guys and girls attack those climbs, there times just blow me away!
    The people are what make a good event great and the vibe on the trails, from the other riders to the officials, was just like one big happy family, Thanx all!
    Its amazing how you can feel completely spent after a tough section but as soon as you enter the 'sweeter' single track, you find energy that no gel could ever give you. And that final climb as we left Forrest just about did me in. Having not done the OO before I thought that climb was 'Sledgehammer'. Thats the section that will still in my mind as the cruelest!
    Also great to see so many faces on the trail that I have riden with these past 12 months. I'm a shocker at remembering names, so please forgive me! About 5 minutes after I finished my body said 'enough'! All i wanted to do was lay down. So to those I sort of spoke to after the race my appoligise for my lack of communcation, I was 'done in'!
    So while the pain is already forgotten the fun factor will live on forever, so I think this is me putting my hand up for next year.

    P.S. Ineresting to note that most of the 'Cog' regulars finished within a 'bulls roar' of each other. The training worked well.
    And Stevob, I'm glad your mechanical issues didn't prematurely end your race, that would have been cruel. Also great review!

  15. #2515
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    Thanks J. I probably only lost about 10-15 mins all up with the chainring bolt debacle. Next year will be better, for sure.

    The Racing Ralphs held up well, I ran them at slightly higher pressure than I'm used to so it was a little loose in some spots. Had no rear brakes by the finish either. I checked them yesterday, and there was still some pad material on them so they might have just been overcooked (not surprising), but I've changed them regardless.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  16. #2516
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    Congrats to all you OO riders. Great effort. Good to hear ya all made it!

  17. #2517
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob
    So you witnessed my rather poor attempt at a wheelie as I crossed the line?
    I saw a few of those

  18. #2518
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    Just got back from AB after an extended weekend.
    Had a great race to start with, powering up the climbs with lots of energy and no hint of cramp. Was well up in the pack for the Red Carpet descent meaning I had the downhill to myself except for a couple of overtakes. The southwest trails were great fun. Into Forrest at the 67km mark in around 4 hrs (11.15), Hoping at this point for a 6:30 time.
    I stopped briefly and sat down for a few minutes, maybe this was a mistake!
    As I headed out into Yaugher my lower back started to cramp up/tighten terribly. I went around Yaugher at half throttle in a world of pain. I couldn't even perform basic log-rollovers! Loads of riders were overtaking me here. Very frustrating as I still had lots of energy and my legs were still pretty good. Carver overtook me in the last few kms and was only in sight for a few seconds!
    I rolled into Forrest at the 87km and collapsed, not knowing if I would be able to finish. I lay down under a tree for about 45 minutes and finally started to feel a little better. I did some stretches and then decided I would go out and try to finish.
    I actually did the last 15km relatively easily. Well, the long undulating climb was not so bad after my rest, but then on the long descent my back started to tighten up again just from the effort of bracing against the downhill. I pushed up sledghammer then made my way painfully down the last singletrack. Aaron overtook me here and then I cruised on into Forrest for a 7:50 time.
    So overall, pretty happy I beat last years time of 8:00 - which was my only real goal.
    However it wouldv'e been nice to clock in at 6:30 or thereabouts.
    I'll have to sort out my back issues before next year.

    Congrats to Carver for showing all the Cog crew how to do it, and to all the others who completed.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  19. #2519
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hud
    I rolled into Forrest at the 87km and collapsed, not knowing if I would be able to finish. I lay down under a tree for about 45 minutes and finally started to feel a little better. I did some stretches and then decided I would go out and try to finish.
    .
    You need a flippin medal

  20. #2520
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    Well done Hud, I have to say my back was my sorest part.

    Kinda really annoying to have to stop on a downhill to stretch it out when you should be flying.

    Anyone know why we all get sore backs?

  21. #2521
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    Not really mountain bike related but i rode the Melbourne Summer Cycle for the MS society. Just a 40K fun-ride which includes going over the westgate and through the city. Did it in a team of 3 (our team name was Team Spider Pig) . We rode to the speed of my wife who isn't really a bike rider, more just recreational riding every now and then and did it in about 2hrs 40mins - quite a leisurely pace (ave heart rate was something like 100bpm lol) but was fun to ride with her and one of our friends.

    We also managed to raise about $350 for MS which is the main goal at the end of the day!
    2011 Kona Dr. Dew
    2010 Giant Trance X2
    2008 Giant Rincon

  22. #2522
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    Stevob, I'd like to know how you felt after 100km on a rigid bike?
    French car fan? Head straight to www.aussiefrogs.com

  23. #2523
    Hud
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    Quote Originally Posted by casnell
    Well done Hud, I have to say my back was my sorest part.

    Kinda really annoying to have to stop on a downhill to stretch it out when you should be flying.

    Anyone know why we all get sore backs?
    Not sure, maybe a lack of core strength.
    I think I may have an underlying pelvis/hip/knee issue that may be contributing. Something is not right here and while it's not normally a big issue I need to get it sorted.
    I've been putting off going to a physio until after the OO because I didn't want to have to have time off the bike.
    The twenty-nine inch wheel.

  24. #2524
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    Probably because you use the back to help support yourself when sitting or standing in a normal riding position. And a racing position will generally have more weight over the front of the bike than your normal riding position and your spine is bent forward, increasing pressure on the discs, which your back tries to alleviate with the supporting muscles. Also, when you get tired, you sit down some more and subject your back to more impacts from the seat.

    That's my non-medically qualified opinion anyway.

    I suggest a group effort to increase core strength for next year and a closer look at riding position.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  25. #2525
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnŠ
    Stevob, I'd like to know how you felt after 100km on a rigid bike?
    Back problems aside, I felt much better than when I finished the 105km @ Bendigo last year on the aluminium GT SS with a front shock. I had no other body problems. Hands, arms, shoulders, neck etc were all fine. I have developed much better upper body strength in the last few months.

    Strange though, because some of those decents were very bumpy. Next year I'll have a carbon fork & bars.

    I had some minor cramping in the legs.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

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