As I write this, I’ve just returned from my final major training ride out to Brooklyn (north of Sydney) and back in preparation for the 2013 Zoo2Zoo charity event which starts at 5:30am next Friday at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo and, all going well, finishes 450km west in Dubbo, two-and-a-half days later.
I’ve done a lot of riding (has it been too much racing?). I feel pretty good (will my knees hold up?). And my taper has now started (will it make any difference?). So it’s a good time to reflect on what is about to happen, and what I can expect.
Given the fact that two of the last three year’s rides have seen snow, it’s hard not to keep one eye on the weather outlook. Whilst always subject to change, at this stage the long-range forecast looks okay. Brisk mornings, and warm days. Hopefully it stays that way. For whilst I love snow, it’s only when I have my skis with me, not the Colnago.
The other thing occupying my thoughts is distance. To date, the furthest I’ve ever ridden in one day is 170km. And as I recall, that did hurt. Quite a lot. Baring something unforeseen, however, that’s going to change on Day 2 when we ride 181km from Mt Victoria out to Molong, north-west of Orange (throw in a warm up and it will probably be closer to 200km). This in itself is no huge cause for concern. But what does concern me a tad (and a few of the other riders I’ve been speaking with) is the fact we will have ridden a pretty tough 150km the previous day, including around 2,700m of climbing out to Windsor, up past Yarramundi and a veritable roller coaster ride across the Blue Mountains. It’s going to be very interesting to see how well we part-timers can recover. Masseurs and protein replacements at the ready, please!
Assuming the body holds up from both the ride and the Saturday evening dinner (which I’m told is always a cracker), the final day is a positively pedestrian 115km that should see us roll into Dubbo’s Western Plains Zoo by early afternoon. Some people are jumping straight on a bus and heading back to Sydney, presumably to get back to work on Monday am. Me? F$#@ that. I’ve decided to stay in town for the night as I fully intend to enjoy a few (hopefully) celebratory brews on arrival, before immersing myself into a long, hot bath. Should my hotel room not have a bath, well, you may just hear me complaining all the way from Sydney…
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All funds raised go directly to a truly awesome organisation, the Black Dog Institute, helping Australians and families affected by mental health issues like depression and anxiety.