Playing domestique to a group of men is a little nerving, especially when you hear the words, "Your gonna make someone a really good wife one day." That hadn't been the aim...
We rode out of Bright with 6:20am group, the sun was barely up and we had taken our bikes back to the end of the peloton. Hannos was excited; his shiny red BMC-something-something gleamed in the early morning light. Picture below is of Hannos with his BMC-something-something that needed a new crankset... the night before. Who knows SRAM Red?
|Fitting a SRAM Red Crankset... minor-last-minute-mechanical-detail|
|Cpical... I know, I know, its blurry.|
Cpical, as always was calm, it was just a ride, it would be fine... pace yourself and you will be okay.
Another of my favorite sayings from Cpical, "no, it will be fine."
"It is okay." or "Yes, it was hard."
Magdan (below) was looking forward to the ride, sure, his daughters think he was riding in the tour down under, I don't think we'll tell them that it was with a bunch of hacks, professional hacks are even worse.
Madgan was under strict instructions, "no jokes whilst riding uphill..."
Russell (bellow) had been positive from the get-go and new the time he had to qualify in for some-really-really-long-arsed-Audax-ride-in-Pars-that-would-probably-give-you-saddle-sores thing. As we rolled out to climb Tawonga Gap there was mentions of this mystical metal called steel that almost no longer exists and is only found in places like Brunswick, Fitzroy and St Kilda... its NOT real.
I decided on the way up Tawonga Gap that my day would end at the hotel in Mt Beauty, my mind couldn't see the finish line, I couldn't imagine it and I wasn't ready to push myself through that much pain. I decided that rest was on the cards and I would also be able to organise things for dinner and not be rushed. A much nicer experience for everyone this time around.
I met Steve (below) as I was going up Tawonga Gap, I was in the big ring... um, I didn't look and I couldn't figure out why it hurt so much, my bad. Steve had started his 10th Alpine Classics that day, he's done pretty much every Audax ride you can imagine. Today wasn't going to be the 10th for him, he wasn't well so I went up with him to the top of Tawonga and suggested that he come back to Mt Beauty with me and I would make some toast and tea.
|Steve... the ring in and newest member!|
Meanwhile the boys (men) had probably been working their arses of up Falls Creek, their enthusiasm has been outstanding, their personalities had been eye opening and a pleasure to experience.
EVENTUALLY... okay, it wasn't that long, they all arrived back at the hotel.
Madgan's rule had been not to sit down or else he wouldn't get up again, Cpical finally found his competition (if he was in to competition.. which he isn't), in the way of Hannos and that BMC-something-something, Russell's consistency is something that I haven't been able to master yet, perhaps its my youth which holds me back?
I went about refuelling water bottles and making sure everyone was okay, Russell was first out the door knowing all well and good about the time limits that faced him and if he cooled down before the climb over Tawonga Gap he'd suffer even more up Mt Buffallo, I sent Steve off with Russell in the hopes that he would have some company going up the hill.
I was told stories about the impressive wobble in that BMC-something-something as it descended from the top of Falls Creek; only to hear later that Hannos hadn't taken his wind vest with him for the descent thinking he'd be fine. He froze most of the way down and only heated up about 5km from the bottom of Falls Creek.
I considered climbing Falls Creek once the boys left but decided that I deserved the break, I filled the bath and spent an hour looking at the mountain before enjoy an hours sleep.
Cpical updated me on their progress once they had reached Mt Buffalo, its the last climb of the day and its the hottest time of the day. I was happy to receive the text messages telling me that each of the boys had made it to the top. They had all done such a good job and it was only a matter of time before they where home.
Hannos was the first in, followed by Cpical and Madgan, and last but not least Russell... who'd stopped for coke.
Special thanks to Steve for taking the photo of all the current members who could make it, obviously you can see the core team who did the 200km. POMA is also featured in the picture, he completed the raid this time, having proven himself capable the year before.
|Russell, Hannos, Cpical, Missy, POMA, and Madgan|
Drinks where had, stories where told of seeing those magical steel demons, 404's battled sticks and survived, whilst the fly that followed Hannos up Mt Buffalo meet its demise as we departed from a little place called Dreamers.