Monday, 4 September 2017

Ol'Dirty 2017 - The Unrideable Ride

So on Saturday 2nd Sept, I can say that I have just done my 2nd and last Ol'Dirty event. I am just not cut out for it. This is my personal reflection on the event and does not reflect the efforts the organisers put towards improving the event from last year not does it portray the remainder of the participants, some had a great day out.

My write up of Ol'Dirty 2016 is here.....and after seeing a few posts from the organisers, promising that this year's course will be more rideable and not as nut-so, I decided to do this event again in 2017 along with some others from the cycling group who had also entered to prove to myself that last year's event was due to the change of course and not because I am a hopeless cyclist.

I had decided to use the CX bike based on the feedback of the organisers as well as the photos and videos of the previous few Ol'Dirty events prior to 2016. I wanted it to be a good day out on the gravel road - I was very mistaken.

On Friday 1st, I had a work awards night so I really didn't have a good night's sleep even when I had prepared most of my kit during the day. The alarm went off at 6am as I had planned on leaving the house around 6:45am to get to Marysville at 8:30am.

The temperature around Melbourne hovered around 15 but went down to 5 when I reached Marysville. I decided against knee warmers and I do heat up very quickly. I started off with knicks, sleeveless base layer, jersey, arm warmers, gilet and gloves, I quickly removed the gloves and unzipped the gilet around 5km into the ride after the first climb. I still had the gilet around as I needed to carry extra food for the ride. There were already some part of the climb which was tough, especially as I was only riding 36-46T, 11-28T.

Due to my lack of skills and confidence and riding my CX, I walked down the majority of the 5 - 10km descent rather than riding. I was in the way of cyclist who were confident so my legs are scratched to bits as I walked to the side of the road into the ferns to stay out of ppl's way. If I had the mountain bike, I would have had a go. I am pretty sure I rode most of the 10 - 18km only stopping to walk through mud puddles and sharp and hectic descents.

From about 18km - 20k was the SRAM Scramble which gradients got to 35% and it was impossible to ride and I actually found it hard to even walk through.

Looking at my Strava file, I can see this is the section where I had to hop off the bike to walk through the clay mud puddles and where I could hop back on the bike for a few pedal strokes. My riding through mud stopped when I reached Acheron Way. I had stopped there to get the mud off the bike and my cleats and I saw a few riders went along the road. A few went South and I followed for about 2km until I realised that I was travelling South towards Warburton. I quickly turned around and rode along until I saw a couple of other rides who had as much trouble riding through the course as I did. I had met them previously on other rides within the last 12 months.

We all rode as group until we hit the climbs on Marysville Road where my power/weight ratio, more because I weighed about twice as much as they did, slowed me straight down to the point where I hopped off the bike and walked about 2km as my legs gave up. It also started to rain when we reached Marysville Road so my bike go a bit of a clean before I finished the event.

I got back to my car before 3pm. I wasn't sorry that I turned off early and missed out on lunch. I never eat half way through a ride due to my sensitive stomach. I survived with gels and a couple of dates for the 5 or so hours. I didn't burn too many calories either as I had walked probable 60% of the route. Luckily I had an empty bike box in the car and I placed it in the back of the car before I placed my muddy bike in. I also had enough towels in the car which I used to cover the muddy tires so I didn't spread mud everywhere.

I guess I didn't "enjoy" this ride like others as I had the expectation that it was a rideable event....maybe if I had my mountain bike with me I would have had a better day but at the end of the day, I made the decision to use the CX and was expecting a gravel ride and not one through crater sized clay mud roads, steep rocky descents and for a person with anxiety and hates falling, my mood was just not positive.

Although I had a chat with a few old friends and met a few new faces, I am just not made for this type of adventure. In terms of training for up and coming events, I felt that I would have had better improvements if I stayed in Melbourne and trained with Lead Out and did the Mount Pleasant loop to improve on my climbing strength, this is just my personal view.

My body ached the next day and I think I have strained my calve due to so much walking on steep angles. I am too afraid to get a massage at this point as I need to continue with my training throughout the week.

Do I recommend this event? Yes of course, if you like eventful routes, mud slides and don't mind not riding along bitumen.

Amy's GF is in 2 weeks and I am yet to sign up for the event. I will make a decision soon as I can...I will also decide if I will do the 120km road ride or the 65km gravel option. I am keen on both however the gravel ride is at Apollo bay and not Lorne.

No comments:

Post a Comment