A few posts ago I wrote about the crappy jerseys you get when doing a charity/fun ride. Well, I'm happy to report that I just got another, and it's just as crappy as the others! Last Saturday I did the 145km 2XU Great Ocean and Otway Classic. A great ride, through some of Victoria's most spectacular scenery, and I did actually have high hopes for the jersey, it was made by 2XU afterall.
You know 2XU, they make the tights that overpaid footy players are all too often photographed in, despite this, and the fact that their clothes are mostly unaffordable, they do make some quality stuff. But sadly they took the budget option on the compulsory event jerseys and now I'm stuck with another poor quality top - that is kind of ugly. Alright, I'm over it, just had to get that out.
So, the ride. It was great actually. I felt terrible for the first 60 to 70 km's, as we headed toward the Otways National Park and the 'Dean's Marsh' climb. Despite feeling pretty average, I stuck with a lead group and then as we hit the climb my legs woke up and I was off. The climb through the National Park was beautiful, well I think it was anyway, I only stole a few quick glances to the left and right as most of the time my eyes were firmly fixed on my wheel and the road ahead of me.
Half way up we encountered two actors dressed as the iconic El Diablo, a character made famous by the German Didi Senft who, since 1993, has been wearing his red devil costume at the Tour de France and other such classics. This guy is a bit of a legend, according to Wikipedia (is there any better source of factual and trustworthy information - I think not!) he is also an inventor who has created over 100 bicycles. I know cycling can really inspire passion, but this guy takes it to a whole new level!
Descending into Lorne was a real thrill, living in Melbourne I don't get to ride too many hills, or mountains for that matter, so I relish in the opportunity to garner speeds of 75kph for longer than 30secs. Although fun, I realised I pretty much suck at descending - something to work on for sure.
And what can I say about the ride along the Great Ocean Road back to Torquay? Well, not much really. I'm sure the scenery was pretty good but I had entered some sort of 'zone' where I was oblivious to everything except my wheel and the km's dropping away. And then all of a sudden, I was rolling across the finish line and it was over. I clocked up a time of 4:14, which I was pretty happy with! I thought anything around 5hrs would be decent, so this was a surprise.
Definitely gave a confidence boost and stoked my fires to try my luck at some club races during the winter road season.