Leading up to the Wilson HTM Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge (Sunday 9th October) I had some reservations about us making the distance. I say this because Malcolm and I hadn't done a century ride this year. In fact, our largest ride was 70km back in April, which was followed by two 65km rides-one in May and one in June. Needless to say I wasn't sure if we were sufficiently physically prepared for a 107km ride. I was especially worried about not having sufficient muscle glycogen to last the distance. So, I decided to prepare us for the event by extending my food and nutrition knowledge pertaining to cycling. I achieved this by studying The Cyclist's Food Guide by Nancy Clarke and Jenny Hegmann. In particular, I payed special attention to the section on preparing for the event, which served us well because we didn't "bonk".
Ride Start: South Bank
Decked out in our souvenir jerseys, Malcolm and I rocked up to the South Bank Cultural Forecourt at 6:15am on Trusty, who was sporting new GEAX tyres for this auspicious occasion. Standing in the Forecourt amidst the buzz of thousands of riders, Malcolm and I found ourselves conversing with one of Malcolm's work colleagues while we waited to be given the signal for the bunch start. After what seemed like an eternity but in reality only 15mins had passed, we were given the signal to commence the ride. Thousands of riders set off for the entrance to the South-East Busway, which was closed to buses for one hour only. You know it was rather exciting for us cyclists to haven taken charge of the Busway without having to worry about negotiating with our motorised vehicle counterparts for road space. Malcolm wanted me to take some digital photos from within the Busway but I was too wound up to get the camera out of Malcolm's back pocket net alone hold it without dropping it…pity. For this first part of the ride, where everyone's sorting themself out, we just cruised on Trusty…didn't want to bust our buns that early in the ride.
Pit Stop 1: Tudor Park, Loganholme
Even with us travelling at a steady pace, we still managed to get to Tudor Park, the first pit stop, in a reasonable time. Unfortunately we lost heaps of time here owing to the large queues at the female toilets. After about a 30-45min break, where we had, fuelled up on a yummy chocolate-flavoured Powerbar, hydrated on some of our Gatorade, refilled our biddons with our personal supply of powdered Gatorade, deposited our quota of bananas into Trusty's pack, and emptied our bladders (well I did anyway), Malcolm and I finally set off for Jacobs Well.
Pit Stop 2: Jacobs Well
The ride into Jacobs Well was rather scenic and devoid of heavy traffic. I particularly enjoyed riding through the cane fields, which brought back childhood memories of visiting my relatives in Home Hill and Ayr. Once at the Jacobs Well pit stop we took the opportunity to reapply our 30+ sunscreen while we replenished our glycogen stores. While we were issued with a fruit bun, a slice of fruitcake, and a banana each at this pit stop, I ate our supply of fruit buns while Malcolm ate the fruitcake and bananas. Then it was the same scenario as the previous pit stop where I found myself queuing for the female toilets once again while Malcolm refilled our biddons. However, this time the queue wasn't as long as the one I was faced with at Tudor Park. And I was thankful for this because us girls were confronted with a pungent odour that emanated from the ladies toilet…not good for digestion.
The ride out of Jacobs Well wasn't so pleasant as the ride into it…nothing to do with the scenery but more to do with the climatic conditions. It was blowing a bloody gail from Jacobs Well; giving us a strong headwind to ride into…great. Well that was 20+km of tempo riding, lucky we carbo'd up at Jacobs Well on my favourite food…love that breads and cereals food group. We tried to conserve some of the energy we just deposited into our bodies by draughting behind some roadies but unfortunately one of them dropped off and as we were behind him, we got dropped. Pushing Trusty's massive form through that strong headwind trying to bridge the gap proved too much for us to contend with, so we settled back to our own pace.
Pit Stop 3: Coomera
We were relieved to reach Coomera in under an hour because Malcolm's Gluteus Maximus was straining after having ridden 80+km on his new saddle. You see Malcolm decided to treat himself to a new saddle but was unable to find the model he prefers. So, he settled for a low-end Selle Italia mens saddle for Trusty for the ride because the mens Bontrager saddle that had been fixed in the Captain's position on Trusty was uncomfortable. Unfortunately for Malcolm, riding with a low-end Selle Italia saddle proved to be an experience more painful than riding with a Bontrager saddle.
At this pit stop we were issued with more of those lovely fruit buns and cake. What is more, we were given the added sweet treat of a Starburst two-headed Anaconda, as well as a refreshing juice from Emma and Tom. We deposited the Anacondas into Trusty's pack along with one of Emma and Tom's juices as we intended to consume them at the end. After fuelling up on our buns, cake, and fruit juice, I headed for the ladies toilet (surprise, surprise) while Malcolm filled up our biddons. The Club facilities at Coomera were really good; clean, spacious, and devoid of the "queuing for the female toilets ritual".
Immediately after leaving Coomera we stopped to adjust Trusty's derailleur. It was here that we encountered several young males relaxing in their front yard. They wanted to know how far we were riding and I yelled back at them, 107km.
I tell you, we knew when we were closing in on the Gold Coast because we traversed cannel, after flamin' cannel. At one stage, when we were following the coastline, the wind was so strong it blew Trusty off course. Now this was no mean feat because Trusty is substantially weighted down not only by his own bulky form but also, by the combined body mass of Malcolm and myself. I would've hated to be on a carbon-framed road bike at that point. Complaints aside, I guess the fresh breeze was welcomed somewhat as it helped to dry us off and keep us cool for the last leg of the ride.
Ride Finish: Broadwater Events Parkland, Surfers Paradise
We rolled over the finish line at 12:05pm. We managed to average 25km/hr, which isn't too bad for two unfit ol' farts. After taking a few minutes to re-hydrate, we wondered over to the BQ stand in order to collect our complementary rider's bag. Then it was time to grab a well-deserved sausage sizzle that we washed down with the remaining juice from Emma and Tom. We stuck around long enough to hear the draw of the minor and major prizewinners before queuing for the BQ bus back to South Bank. Unfortunately we were unable to board the first bus back to South Bank because there wasn't enough room on the accompanying truck to fit Trusty but we were first in line for the second bus.
Malcolm, being the nice guy that his is, volunteered his services to help the truck driver pack the bikes. Malcolm's very particular about packing other people's bikes…doesn't like to mark them in any way. While Malcolm was doing this, I boarded the bus so as to ensure the "worker" would get a seat. I chatted to Mrs President (BQ), Anne Loveday, while the bikes were being packed. As Malcolm boarded the bus the passengers warmly applauded him for his efforts in taking care to pack their bikes into the truck. It was a pleasant, comfortable journey back to South Bank in the bus, which we appreciated greatly. When we reached South Bank, Malcolm voluntarily unloaded the bikes while I sat on a park bench waiting for him with our gear.
We had a great day, and enjoyed the Wilson HTM Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge immensely. Of course we'll meet the challenge again in 2006. You know this was our first social ride where we were unencumbered by friends, both fast and slow riders. This proved beneficial to us because we didn't have to worry about anyone else for a change; just did our own thing.
In short, the moral for a century ride is to maximise muscle glycogen and stay hydrated (with water and sports drinks) and sufficiently fuelled during (with low-medium GI food) and immediately after the event (with high GI food).
Comments on this article:
I would have to say that was the most interesting story! I've always wanted to know exactly what happens on those marathon rides, and I think it boils down to two things. Eating, and drinking. But what I'm really concerned about, is:
did Malcome EVER go to the toilet?
Kel (amyo's sister)
I'm pleased to hear that you found my tale of our Century ride interesting. Now to address that infamous question:
Q: Did Malcolm go to the toilet?
A: Yes, Malcolm did go to the toilet but not as frequently as I did for he went at the end of the ride. You see, men are fortunate enough to have bigger bladders than us women. So they don't have to urinate as regularly as we do. I hope that's put your mind at rest. :-)
I don't have to go everytime I see a toilet. That really helps a lot. :-D
Well I just went camping over the weekend, meaning I have to become friendly with the surrounding trees. I'm lucky in that I don't have to go so frequently, but a friend of mine does. She refused to go visit the trees, so I had to drive her to the toilets at least 3 times a day, starting to get a little frustrating towards the end. It was a huge property we were on with only 3 sets of toilet blocks so each time we had a fair bit to drive as we were camped far away from the main areas. But I can understand her reluctance to join harmoniously with nature. [lol]
I can understand your frustration of having to drive your friend to the toilets that often. Using the "bush" toilet isn't so bad. I can remember having to use the "bush" toilet when I attended an Aratula Bike Rally back when I was a wild youth. :o
If there's another camping trip on the horizon with this friend may I suggest that you introduce her the P-Mate beforehand. The P-Mate is a disposable paper funnel that is designed specifically for women so that we can use the "bush" toilet just like our male counterparts. If I had had a supply of these on the Brissie-Coast ride I was willing to use one out of desperation at the first pit stop.
I'm not so sure that I would be comfortable using those!! Would definately be an experience in itself - perhaps one blogging about? :)
I think the stereotyped "typical" males of society would make the assumption that we were women with more than one "organ" or such, but maybe my saying so is an assumption in itself. I'm confused now.
Yes, it certainly would be an experience to use a P-Mate. I reckon it'd require some indoor experimentation in order to master a technique for outdoor useage. :D
I suppose some males may feel so inclined to comment on us women having another appendage while using the P-Mate. I guess it's a topical device that could make the sterotypical male's tongue wag. :-)