Festive 500, Nationals, and the heat wave

9:17 pm Unknown 0 Comments

A little bit of off road
Over Christmas I have often struggled to find focus on the bike and usually go on a training camp up in the hills or just lie around in air conditioning eating all the left over food! However, since it's inception in 2012, the Rapha Festive 500 cycling challenge on Strava has been helping all cyclists around the world.

This year I didn't make it to the hilly training camp, but through catching up with family we managed our own "Tour de Wimmera", I clocked up 660 kms in Ballarat and Horsham, coming in 44th female in the world.

We started in Ballarat with a ride and finished up with some long flat kms in Horsham. My most memorable rides:
  • 88 dead flat kms from Horsham to Jeparit with a headwind all the way
  • 2 beautiful days in the Grampians riding all the lookouts and meeting the Horsham riders
  • The climb up Boroka Lookout

Topically, the roads I covered through the Grampians have all been burnt this last week, which is really disappointing as the quality of the surface was awesome. I hope that it all recovers ok.

The 1 turn in the ride to Jeparit

What else to do on long flat boring days? Test out a new Evade helmet!

Visiting local towns every day!

When I had a bit of time last month, I made it across town to Carnegie Caulfied Cycling Club's Summer crits at Calder Park Raceway after work.  They had scheduled a women's criterium and had a good field of B-grade racers and only a handful for a separate A-grade, so they combined the two groups.

I just managed to make it on time by taking the train out and rode around the front on the main road. After 2 reconnoissance laps around the course, I tested the speed through the corners and probably needed a little more warmup.

It was a good steady race at the start and in the end a few attacks blew the race apart and Karen Hill won the evening! I had pre-arranged Shane to come pick me up and was glad because it was tough to get home afterwards.

Ladies on circuit

The National Road Championships is an event I look forward to in my home town of Ballarat each year. This was my last week before going back to work and I was super excited to watch the showdown with pro riders and a few local racers. In each race that I went to see there was something that inspired me, left me entertained or in just plain awe of what these riders have achieved.

The start/finish for the Time Trial

Steele Von Hoff winning the elite men's criterium

While up in town we thought we might run a casual Kosdown Performance Cycling ride out around the back hills where only the locals know the roads. As it was a non-racing day, we had more time and set a 90km course out to Snake Valley, Devil's Kitchen and back in through Sebastopol to the Lake for a well earned lunch/hydration spot at Racers (owned by a local cyclist!).

We had a really good turnout that we managed with no problems with traffic on the back roads. Some riders came for the first part of the ride and others continued on for the full route. Feedback we received was great. Next time we will have both short and long rides on different days to mix it up for all riders, but a good experiment and great to meet some riders that have been following us online.

Some of the back roads near Sebastopol

Tailwind out near Burrumbeet

The Heatwave in Melbourne has cancelled all racing this week (sensibly) but in the mean time if you get out early you can beat the high temps and make it back in time for work.

This week I'm up in Adelaide watching the Tour Down Under and hanging out with Thule Team Australia. My top picks for activities:

  • Watching every stage LIVE on course or back in comfort at the Tour Village,
  • Cheering on the Pro Women at the Santos Women's Cup,
  • Rapha Women's ride Friday (and Willunga Hill on the Sat for the boys too),
  • Norwood Cycling Club - check out their page for local racing,
  • Specialized & Lululemon ride and yoga Sunday,
  • Glenelg Beach in the evenings to cool down on the hot nights.
I'll try post up a few pics on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned for the next update with the next part of the adventure :)

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