Well what a day.
This was to be my first Audax event (www.audax.org.au) - and I must profess, I really enjoyed it.
2500 odd riders, all riding different distances and routes, Bright transformed into a French themed Carnivale, bikes and people everywhere, and hills to climb.
As for my ride, not much to say, other than it all went to plan. For the first time in a long time, I went into an event feeling properly prepared. After plenty of climbing over the last couple of months, all stages of the route recce'd and practiced, it was just a matter of stringing them all together and getting the job done.
The one problem I had was trying to find a comfortable group to ride with. I started at the rear of the field (needed to finish my coffee before I left), so spent probably the first half of the ride bridging from group to group. On the climbs I found myself in the unusual position of regularly overtaking people (I climb like a hippopotamous usually, so this was a most strange revelation to me) but I just kept riding to my plan and pace, and kept going.
Tawonga Gap (the Mt Beauty side) was a little challenging, hitting it with 100km in the legs and full sun was somewhat demoralising, but just spin, spin, spin, and keep talking to other people on the way up meant that the time flew, and before I knew it, I was over the top, and on the final run home.
So in the end, 130km in 5hrs 40 - 5hrs 28 of which was riding time, I am a pretty happy camper.
Next challenge - Otway Odyssey - time to get back on the MTB and somehow hang on to the climbing legs I've managed to create!