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Sunday, October 02, 2011

Pedal Til You Puke

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About 15 of us got together yesterday to ride some steep hills at Clear Mountain. The idea was to have fun, see who could ride up (and down) the most hills without getting off the bike, and to raise money for a friend of ours.

Graeme Ardern is fighting Hodgkin’s Disease. He needs some money in the next few weeks for neurosurgery that isn’t covered by his health fund or Medicare, so thought we’d all chip in a bit of cash to help out, and have a whale of at time in the process.

Here’s a link to their fundraising site if you’d like to help.

Thanks to Chantelle, Steve and Graeme for some great photos.

The course started out along some narrow trails winding thorugh the forest, across some steep creek crossings, then up onto the main fire trails. I’ve done this loop dozens of times before – I ride it at least once per week, but these guys rode it really quickly, and after 5 minutes I really started to feel puffed out.

We agreed to stop at the top of each hill to let everyone catch up. Towards the end, I was the one crawling to the top puffing and panting.

I was impressed with the skill of some of these riders. I was riding behind Mat (from For the Riders) and was amazed at how high he got into the air over some of the jumps, and how quickly some of these riders could get up the hills.

The last couple of hills were stupidly steep. Some of the guys put in a huge effort to make it part way up the hill. It was nearly impossible to even walk up the slope…

…so I just watched in awe as Graham “Wingadelic” Menizes smashed the last hill – riding straight up it, while singing at the same time. It was a sight to behold.

If you’re interested, Leanne has done a video of the event, including the last huge climb at the end:

I rode with a few friends afterwards to “warm” down, so the total distance for us was 20km (the course was 11km) with total vertical ascent of about 700m, and 1,400kcal. Considering most of that effort was in the first 11km, I’m giving this one 10 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. I didn’t puke, but I came pretty close.

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