Monday, March 12, 2012

3 Peaks Challenge - Thank you and good night

3 Peaks 2010
3 Peaks 2012
Two years on and the third 3 Peaks..and what have we learned?  Not much it seems.

Finally the weather was good. In fact the third edition of the 3 Peaks offered up just about perfect conditions after the horror show that was the first two events.

Bicycle Network Victoria have really got their act together with excellent logistics, support and clearly defined time limits over the whole course. If riders reached the final checkpoint within the allocated time they were fully supported to the finishline. This meant that nobody was being pulled off the course within a couple of kms of the finish. Excellent work from BV. I'm sure Jim's detailed letters of complaint to the organisers had something to do with this change of policy.

Happily the five starters Stuart, Alan, Bob, Lew and Steve all made it through to the finish around the 12 hour mark, well within the 13 hour cut off time. This probably translates to about 11 hours ride time for most of us and a few rest/mechanical stops making up the rest. Thanks must go to the injured Jim for coming up with us and offering much needed encouragement and logistical support. Thanks also to Bob arranging for the excellent accommodation at the Falls Creek Country Club and Saturday night dinner at the Gateway. Absolutely perfect.

Stuart and Bob incurred the only punctures of the day, which was a was a welcome relief after the couple of years (where Jim and Steve have both ended up walking the last few kms to the finish line when the final puncture was just one too many). Stuart also managed to make a couple of off road excursions as only Stuart could...but thankfully didn't sustain any injuries.

So given everything in terms of  weather and logistics was as good as could be, what was it like?

As hard and tough as I can recall from previous years. Most people I spoke to on the ride were doing it for the first time. This is not backed by any scientific analysis but I suspect that since the numbers are not growing greatly (if at all) for most people once is enough. By any standards it's a gruelling day for a weekend warrior...which I assume is a large part of the target market.

With adequate training it's obviously achievable for riders of our standard, but it's certainly at the extreme end of what an amateur rider can reasonably accomplish in one day with any sense of enjoyment. Completing it does  bring a considerable sense of achievement.  Having achieved it, the desire to suffer that much to do it again is much harder to muster.

So....a great ride. Successfully completed.

But never again.

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