Bass Coast Challenge (20/11/2011)

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After 6 months of riding I had became hooked in doing recreational events.  I was never interested in racing, but found an appeal to the events.  Back when I did this one I still hadn’t bought any wet weather kit.  I knew it was going to be wet and my solution back then was to bring a spare pair of arm warmers, socks & gloves with me.

 

Bass Coast Challenge
Inverloch
Bass
Right from the get go it was pouring, & there was a Peleton of about 20 riders out the front that I joined.  I was soaked to the skin pretty quick.  Up ahead about two dozen cattle crossed the road & we had to come to a stop until they passed.  The road was flooded where they crossed.  As soon as we tried to cross the puddles of water I had water kicked into my face, and the water tasted like cow shit……
Bass
I knew cycling wasn’t meant to be easy, but never knew it was going to be shitty.
Bass
Bass Coast Challenge
I’m on the left hand side. Usually photos don’t do justice to show how wet it is….
Bass

Mount Misery

Up ahead was the main climb of the day.  A climb which is known as Mount Misery.  I didn’t know what I was in for.  I had climbed a couple of climbs at that stage and arrogantly thought that it couldn’t be that hard…….
The Peleton cracked right from the start, and whilst I wasn’t the quickest I wasn’t the slowest.  One thing was for sure that I was in the hurt locker.  It was still raining and we were getting buffeted with strong icy cold winds.  I was desperately gasping for breath trying to ignore the screaming in my legs.  Thankfully I must have blanked out as I can’t remember much of the climb.  Just the pure relief of getting to the top.
There was a cheer squad standing at the top to cheer all the riders.  They were suffering more than we were & their cheer really helped to lift my spirits.  I pushed on and caught some riders ahead of me.  The realization hit me that I was amongst the fastest riders doing the event.  I was hurting, but I was also hiding in riders wheels getting dragged along.
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Bass Coast Challenge
 Bass
I eventually dropped the group I was in & went solo for awhile.  The rain stopped but after riding for 2 & a half hours in the rain I had expended a tonne of energy.

And very much soaked to the skin.

A powerful rider slowly caught up to me.  I jumped on his wheel for about 5 km to the rest stop when the elastic snapped.  I changed my clothes & having fresh clothes on felt like gold.  Rookie error, and found it was pointless changing socks as my shoes were still wet.  I was still really cold.
Bass
From here it was solo all the way to the end.  Only a couple of riders passed me at the break stop and I was still amongst the quickest of the day.  I started to come across the back markers of the shorter distance and they spurred me on.  I started to chase down riders and came upon a second wind.

With 10 km to go I had it in the bag.

Bass
Soon I looked over my shoulder and about 1 km back was a group of 6 riders trying to power up to me.  Game on.  I lifted my pace and my sole purpose was to finish ahead of that group.  The section from Wonthaggi to Inverloch I’d driven through.  Its a shame you couldn’t see any coastal views although it was twisty & windy like a race course.
Bass
I was gutted when the guy who powered past me & helped me for a short while had punctured.  It was his second of the event.  You’re glad when it doesn’t happen to you, but you wish it didn’t happen.  Those riders behind me weren’t as strong & I was able to hold them off.  I had a sprint at the finish line & got screamed at to slow down.  They put the finish line on a downhill run which is pretty foolish if they didn’t want riders going fast.  They could have detoured the other way & it would be the same distance to the finish line with an uphill finish.  I was a bit annoyed with the poor organisation.  Why have a finish line that you have to walk through.
Bass Coast Challenge
At the time this was one of the hardest rides I’d ever done.  Distance wise, and condition wise.  I used this as a benchmark to get stronger.  Not all bad experiences are bad.
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