With 5 weeks remaining before attempting the 3 Peaks course I really needed a big ride under my belt to have a hope in hell of getting in shape in time. I had been sick 10 weeks now. Physically I dropped 6kg during this period which has left me really weak. I love my gravel & jumped at the chance to ride in Audax Australia’s in Search for Bunyip ride. A 100 km loop through the heart of Cardinia & in search of the Bunyip.
Our wave set off & I was leading the group straight into a solid headwind of 40+kmph winds. The going was hard & I wasn’t feeling all that great. Cycling can be a game of poker, & the rider next to you may be hurting even more. It’s all about hiding it. I pushed through and kept on trying to pace myself through and survive. I felt I could get through the day but knew it was going to be a struggle with those winds that were battering us fiercely.
20 km in I was descending towards Pakenham Road when I heard a large bang.
My chain locked up & jumped off and I couldn’t get it into gear. I looked down at my Garmin & was sitting on about 60 km/h, and had to really settle the bike. Not good. At first I thought it was the derailer. When I pulled over was able to get the chain back on and could change the gears easily enough. Jumped back on and bang the chain jumped straight off. I had to descend with the chain sitting on a really funny angle & was really worried that I could do some serious damage to the bike.
At the base of the climb we found out that my rear wheel had totally crapped itself. I could no longer free wheel which caused some major slack in the chain. If I was pedalling it was ok.
As long as I didn’t stop pedalling………
I made it up the next hill ok, and then the descent just the same thing. We were descending this incredibly steep and technical gravel descent. I couldn’t turn the wheel or else risked snapping the chain or the derailer. Given my legs were locked in place I couldn’t use my knees to corner and I felt pretty unsafe. It was game over. I could ride on the flats & the hills ok, just couldn’t safely descend. Given the fact we were in the middle of nowhere & had a tonne of descents in front of me I didn’t want to risk crashing. Game over & I opted to turn around at the Princess Highway which is completely flat and head back.
I’m due to get a new bike soon and that particular wheel I’ve gotten over 30,000km out of so I guess I can’t complain. Without a doubt I was gutted that I couldn’t finish the course. It was such a great event & there were 100 riders show up which was an amazing turnout and a testimony to how popular gravel grinding has become.
I really needed this to get into shape for 3 Peaks. I needed a perfect run to have a hope to get in shape to be able to ride 235 km & 4,300 vert. This has really dented those chances . I’ve conceded that I may simply not have enough time to do this now.
Time will tell……
If you want to have a laugh and slag some sh#t on me by all meand check out my Strava Activity and drop me a comment….