Triple Donna in the middle of Winter

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The Donna Done Dirty was fast approaching.  Hells 500 offered a group ride on their Facebook page up at Donna doing repeats.  I’ve had some very bad experiences on Donna, and have suffered hypothermia in the middle of summer.  So the thought of doing repeats mid-winter, in shocking weather had me questioning my sanity.  Especially as I still had a bit of a flu at the time.  It was also forecast to rain, so would need some good wet weather kit.

I got Chris Cox on board, and came up with a strategy to avoid copping hypothermia on the way down.  Going up is never an issue, as you warm-up so easily.  I figured that we could park the cars at the base of Donna, and leave a tonne of clothes inside.  We knew that our clothes would get soaked on every ascent so we’d literally need to bring three changes of kit.  I told Chris to not think like your soft and bring everything. 

Two pairs of gloves, a scarf, a beanie, as much tops as you could stuff into your kit for each descent.

I struggled throughout the ride, and had to go pretty slow.  We both looked like Eskimos on the descents with how many clothes we were wearing.  We were actually pretty warm on our descents and I enjoyed the comfort.  Not regretting that we looked like dicks.  We could never tell whether the funny looks that we got from guys we were passing were from guys laughing at us, or jealous that we were rugged up well enough to avoid the cold or both.  It was horrible conditions and most of the riders who showed up gave up after the first lap.  With the braver ones doing two or more laps.  

Chris unfortunately had a double puncture on lap 3, and he was cruising at the time.  He had to pull the pin and was a bit gutted as he really wanted that triple.  It really poured after he left.  The horrid conditions really did a number on me.  I was pretty wasted when I got to the top, and quickly rugged up like an Eskimo.  It was only a couple of degrees up top.  Joel Nicholson cruised up on his fourth lap.  He was only wearing shorts & t-shirt in freezing & wet conditions.  He knocked out 5 laps as easy as you like in the one kit in horrid conditions that day.  Soaked to the skin.  It made me feel a bit soft only doing 3, the way we did it in our Eskimo outfits. 

It probably only averaged around 4 -5 degrees that ride, and we copped a lot of rain.  I was sick, and special thanks to Chris for keeping me company and pacing me up Donna. 

That climb has given me a lot of nightmares.

Triple Donna in the middle of Winter
Given I had the Flu, knocking out over 100 km’s and 3,252 vertical on Donna in mid-winter in atrocious conditions was really character building.  I got pretty sick after this ride, and had to question was it worth it………

Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:

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0 thoughts on “Triple Donna in the middle of Winter

    Karl Billeter said:
    February 23, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Nice report. I remember that day well – character building indeed

    Brendan Edwards said:
    February 25, 2015 at 2:11 am

    How many laps did you knock out that day Karl? Definitely one of the more crazy rides I've ever done

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