Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Port To Port Cycling Race

Last weekend I competed in the Port to Port Cycling Race from the Mildura Wharf to Echuca with an overnight stop at Swan Hill.

You ride as a team and I was in the mountain bike team named the Dirty Dozen and we were using the ride as a training exercise for the RACV Great Victoria Bike Ride at the end of November.

Teams come from all over Victoria to compete and there were some serious riders amongst the 300 plus riders.

All teams were on the road from the Mildura Wharf and then you could decide how far you would ride before you got in your support vehicle. Our team was riding for 20kms, then in the support vehicle for 20 - 30kms and then back on the bike. Most of the other teams rode longer distances than us, and some teams rode all the way.

There were two compulsory stops to Swan Hill. One at Wemen, the other at Boundary Bend.

Our first stop was RedCliffs, where we all managed to get there easily. We then bussed to Hattah and then rode again. The going was tough as it was a strong head wind and I was mighty glad to complete the 20kms and climb in the bus. We continued like this to Boundary Bend for lunch.

The going continued to be tough with the wind and the temperature, which was about 27Cel. We arrived at Swan Hill after riding 90kms out of the 250kms. We all were very tired and a bit sore and I was wondering how I was going to get back on the bike the next day.

Our overnight accommodation was in the dormitories at the Pioneer Village. Our catered dinner of pasta arrived at 7 pm and by 9pm most of us were in bed exhausted.

Up at 5am,(I must be crazy) and was surprised to be not sore or achy at all. All of those spin classes must be paying off. We had breakfast and were on the road by 7am.

The ride to Echuca is only 153km's and there were two compulsory stops at Cohuna and a service station 30kms out of Echuca.

The riding appeared easier today. Not sure if we were accustomed to it but we all rode strongly. The conditions were a bit easier but there were times when we were confronted with strong head winds.

We arrived at the oval in Echuca at 1.30pm tired, hot but elated that we rode so well. We completed 70kms today, and that took us to 160 for the weekend. Many teams commented to us that we done it tough as it is extra hard on mountain bikes versus a road bike.

We climbed in the bus for the 4hour ride home tired but very happy and proud that we completed the ride fairly easly with no injuries, sore spots or bike worries.

The weekend gave me the confidence to know that I can tackle the big ride in a few weeks.

It was a wonderfully organized weekend with Police, ambulance and lots of volunteer marshals all working together. Peter Mills from Body Business Mildura was the tour director and a great job was done by him. Thank-you to all for a great happy and safe ride.

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