Well, I've managed to knock away all 3 rides that I wanted to do this weekend. Perhaps not as many km's as hoped (all 3 were slightly shortened due to circumstances, conditions or thirst) but 3 good rides nonetheless, and valuable hours spent in the saddle.
Ride #3 was the beginning of the Long Gully / Spring Gully loop. It ended up being only 26km instead of the full 45km loop, but it included all of the a##ehole climbs. The first climb "Tea House Hill" top to bottom has been measured at 18%, so taking out the flat at the bottom and a couple of stepped sections, the steepest would be well over 20%. Well down into granny gear (22-34) AND zigzagging side-to-side at times. Made it with 1 stop, which I was stoked with as I usually climb like a hippo. From there the road turns gravel and undulating, in an upwards sort of direction, so we kept spinning up until we hit the start of the descent down into Indigo Valley.
Coming back? Extremely quick. Down Tea House Hill, my speedo zero'd out but I would comfortably put us above 80km/h.
So finally the km's start heading in the right direction, 130 odd for the weekend, and starting to feel a bit more comfortable (or less shit-scared) about the Odyssey.
Speaking of which, course profile now released:
Blimey! Looks intimidating, but I've done a bit of work and broken it down into easy, bite-size chunks:
3.5km mark - 350m climb over 5km 7% grade
8.5km mark - 200m descent over 4.5km 5% grade
13km mark - 350m climb over 4km 9% grade - HARDEST CLIMB OF THE DAY
17km mark - 75m descent over 2km 4% grade
19km mark - 190m climb over 9.5km 2% grade
28.5km mark - 350m descent over 6.5km 5% grade
35km mark - 160m climb over 1.5km 11% grade - BLOODY STEEP
36.5km mark - 70m descent over 2.5km 3% grade
39km mark - 125m climb over 1km 13% grade - EXTREMELY BLOODY STEEP
40km mark 290m descent over 10km 3% grade
I'm a little more comfortable in knowing what is coming up. I had a huge psycological battle at Mogo last year, not quite knowing what was coming up. Breaking point was the last 10km when I heard someone say "it's all downhill back to town now" when it clearly wasn't. At least being armed with what's coming, I can mentally prepare, fuel up and keep a bit in the tank for the climbing.