On the road to 3 Peaks

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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.

Image courtesy of Melbourne Randonneur

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….

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