|2012 – 7 Peaks in 7 Days.
Friday 30 November, 2012.
A group of riders from Mansfield (or at least, members or past-members of the Mansfield Mt Buller Cycling Club) get together each November to ride all of the Alpine Ascent Challenge in a week - 7 Peaks in 7 Days. After each day's riding, a report was usually posted to the SHCCC Facebook page. For those of you not into the 'BookFace' thing, here's a compilation of the reports Bruce wrote.
7 Peaks in 7 Days – Introduction
If you want a bit of a chuckle over the next week, check back here for reports on 7 Peaks in 7 Days (7P7D). Tim and Bruce will be attempting all 1003km of the 7 Peaks; John will join us for four of them with Gez, Rod, Tony, TimS and maybe others joining us along the way. This link will show you the whole course. Feel free to join us for a ride, drop us a line or have a laugh at our expense. I reckon after the first couple of days, the joke will have worn off and I'll need someone to cheer me up!
7P7D - Day 1 - Tanjil Bren to McMahon's Creek
Tim and I left Barry (Tim's Dad) and set off from Tanjil Bren at just after 9am. After a few easy kilometres we stopped at The Gantry to take a photo of the sign; and the rain started.
Raincoats on. One minute later the hail started!
Baw Baw was its usual obstinate self - I couldn't find any rhythm at all until after half way and there was no let up until the last km or so. By then, the road was so covered in hail that I couldn't stand on the pedals; the rear tyre would just slip on the ice. Sit and grind.
By the time I got to the Visitor Centre, The Diesel (Tim) had already been there a while. Baw Baw had moved on from hail and onto snow. But at least the climb had kept us warm; Barry was colder than Tim or I! Inside to get that stamp and a coffee.
Descent was cold! Thankfully, the hail/snow had melted but it was still very wet and felt a bit slippery; and did I mention it was cold!?
Barry was waiting for us at Tanjil Bren and as it had cleared a little, we decided to lose a few layers - raincoats off. Then, just a kilometre or so down the road - BANG!
Not sure what happened. Maybe we'd relaxed a little because the steep, dangerous part was complete. It certainly wasn't cold enough for ice. And we definitely weren't going quickly! But down I went like a bag of spuds, onto my right thigh, knee and elbow. Ouch! The word 'innocuous' comes to mind. Mind you, I think my ego was more bruised than my leg. Swore a bit.
Straightened the hoods, checked the brakes, a few deep breaths and into it again. Didn't feel so bad once going again. Onto Noojee with what looked, and felt, like a bent rear derailleur or hanger.
Many thanks to the Red Parrot for letting me clean my wounds in their bathroom; they even gave me some antiseptic. Great toasted sandwiches too!
Straightened the derailleur hanger with a big shifter (a bit agricultural but it seemed to work) and onwards to Powelltown, Yarra Junction and McMahons Creek. Leg had stiffened up a little but it'd warm up!
10km or so in and something wasn't right. Standing was becoming more difficult and the pain and numbness was spreading. I like to think I can handle a little masochism but just before the top of the pass, the sadist in me relented.
Gutted. Could hardly drag myself off the bike. Swore a bit more… and jumped into the car with Barry. After a painful hot shower (swore quite a lot more) a huge dinner and lots of ice on my leg, I can hardly move. I hope a good night's rest helps. I hope it's just 'corked'. I hope my 7P7D isn't over on the first day!
7P7D - Day 2 - McMahons Creek to Jamieson.
Tim left the pub just after 8, alone. I decided to join Barry in the car instead. Yes, soft.
John met up with Tim near Cumberland Junction and they climbed Lake Mountain together, then descended to Marysville for a coffee and the stamp.
With all the power out in town, it was impossible for a coffee but thankfully the stamp doesn't rely on electricity.
Tim rode through to Eildon with John, then turned off for Jamieson... and just kept going, all the way through to Mansfield. Hard as nails that bloke. That's over 200km in distance today and a lot of it climbing.
I, on the other hand, spent the afternoon at Mansfield Medical Clinic getting an X-ray which didn't show a break. When we caught up with Tim at Boorolite CFA, on his way back into Mansfield, he kindly suggested the X-ray didn't show a ticker either. I'm in no position to argue. Soft.
TIM - Stamps: 2; Distance: approx 330km.
JOHN - Stamps: 1; Distance: approx 100km.
BRUCE - Stamps: 1; Distance: approx 85km. Ticker: 0.
7P7D - Day 3 - Mansfield to Whitfield.
Tim planned to leave Mansfield at 9 after a bit of a sleep-in. However, a call into All Terrain Cycles to check a slightly out-of-true rear wheel turned into two new tyres. The Diesel sure does wear out those tyres quickly!
The 32km out to Mirimbah were a bit more difficult than expected with a south-easterly feeling like a block head wind.
I reckon Tim could feel yesterday's 207km as he took an extra 30 minutes to get up to the village than usual - took him about an hour and 23 minutes. It took me considerably less, but then, I was in the car. Even so, I only just beat him up there - which is what our conversation in this Viddy is about: http://t.co/L8ESpavl
After a latte at Apres (to make up for the one he missed out on in Marysville yesterday) he headed back downhill to a good, long lunch before heading to Whitfield.
There's not much mobile coverage over in the King Valley and I haven't heard from him. I assume no news is good news.
He's only got 162km ahead of him tomorrow - by comparison to yesterday, it sounds easy!
TIM - Stamps: 3; Distance: 483km.
JOHN - Stamps: 1; Prescriptions: 47 (Back at work today.)
BRUCE - Stamps: 1; Ice packs: 6.
7P7D - Day 4 - Whitfield to Bright.
Tim headed out of Whitfield just before 9am… into a headwind! Once he turned right at Oxley it relented a little but the flukey breeze played around and couldn't really decide which way it wanted to go, despite Tim heading east.
At Myrtleford he met Gezza and after a brief break, headed for Buffalo. (Before the turnoff at Porepunkah they were overtaken by a soft git in his car, offering Torq gels. They declined, surprisingly politely.)
The climb took Gez about an hour 40 or so. After a strong start, the lack of recent km saw Tim gain on him; Tim arrived at The Gap only a minute or two after Gez… as shown in this pic.
In vaguely related news, I got back on my bike this afternoon for a 20km spin and I'll continue 7P7D tomorrow. This despite the fluid build-up under the second-skin on my road rash looking like white tea in a plastic bubble strapped to my thigh! (I'd include a photo if I didn't think it'd make you sick!)
TIM - Stamps: 4; Distance: 660km.
JOHN - Stamps: 1; Prescriptions: 324 (Big day at work).
GEZZA - Stamps: 1; Distance: 82km.
BRUCE - Stamps: 1; Distance: 85km; Panadeine Forte: 5.
7P7D - Day 5 - Bright to Omeo.
There is dissention in the ranks. Apparently, the fact that I rode so well today, even making it to Falls Creek first (yes, you read that right; I made it up a mountain BEFORE the others) was evidence that I'm a complete bastard for at least not trying to ride Buffalo yesterday.
How was I to know I'd be able to ride even though I could hardly walk!
Tim, Gez and John left Bright this morning just after 9 and were in Mt Beauty by 10.30. Gez and Tim could feel the previous day's efforts but John tapped out a good rhythm.
After a caffeine fix, I joined them for the haul to Falls. Did I mention that I beat them all up there? Perhaps I already have.
Kudos to Gez for his dedication to his young family. After a very brief stop to collect THAT stamp, he headed back down to Mt Beauty and took my car back to spend the afternoon with Erin and Arlo. Conscientious but soft.
Tim, John and I settled in for lunch at Alta and were joined not long afterwards by Nicole and Ben. The jury is still out on who is the messier; Tim or his infant son Ben.
The ride around the Rocky Valley Dam and across the High Plains was sensational. (If I can get the video John took with his phone showing the view across the dam to work, I'll post it soon.) I have to admit to being a little cautious on the descent after my little 'horizontal descent' on Sunday.
But the highlight was the ride down the Omeo Highway to… Omeo. Mostly descending with lots of fun curves and great views along the Mitta Mitta River. Of course, there was a pit stop for a beer at Angler's Rest at the Blue Duck Inn too.
Tim's unstoppable quest for 7 stamps and 100km continued. I tried to do the right thing and do most of the work on the front into Omeo, into the headwind, as I'm sure he's really starting to feel it. But his fatigue meant nothing when it came to the sprint up the rotten little hill into Omeo for the 60km/h sign… no, I'm not that generous. I had to take it. You're weak Tim! (Mind you, he took the first sprint of the week into Noojee on Sunday and I've only just remembered.)
A new piece of Tegaderm Film (glorified glad wrap) on my thigh tonight after a little leakage this afternoon. I'll spare you the pus details.
TIM - Stamps: 5; Distance: 790km; Sprints: 1.
JOHN - Stamps: 2; Distance: 252km.
BRUCE - Stamps: 2; Distance: 175km; Sprints: 1.
GEZZA - Stamps: 2; Distance: 172km.
7P7D - Day 6 - Omeo to Bright.
An apology to begin today's report: Tim's quest is for 7 Peaks and ONE THOUSAND kilometres! Not 100 as I claimed yesterday. That was a typo; sorry Tim. (That'll teach me to do this so late at night. Hey, what's the time? Bugger.) I seem to have trouble with zeros. It could explain why I'm not a wealthy self-employed graphic designer; I don't add enough zeros to my invoices!
Today was a gorgeous day! The views along this road are sensational.
After a delicious breakfast at Twinkles (yes, Twinkles. Weird name but great pancakes!) in Omeo, John, Tim and I set off for Dinner Plain at about quarter to ten. Just a few km up the road we saw Rod and Gez descending into Omeo. Rod had driven down from Sydney the night before to join us for the last couple of days. They'd driven up from Bright early this morning, parked at Hotham Heights and rolled down the hill. I say 'down' but there's a fair bit of climbing along with descending to get to Omeo.
After a brief stop to look at the view out to Mt Kosciuoszko, I caught Tim just before Dinner Plain and took bragging rights into coffee at the Mountain Kitchen. (I've uploaded a pic of the bike racks outside the cafe. These are great! I wonder if we can get them in Mansfield?) John rolled in not long after but we waited a while for Gez. And we didn't see Rod at Dinner Plain at all; before we left for lunch at The General on Hot Ham.
For those of you who followed the inaugural 7P7D in 2011, you'll know Rod was easily the strongest. He rode the whole way around, was first up all 7 Peaks and was the only one to ride the whole way. He smashed us!
This year is a bit different. Rod's been posted overseas for work and hasn't ridden for 6 months. He got back from Korea a couple of weeks ago… we all assumed he'd be madly smashing out the km for the last fortnight and that'd be enough for him to still put us all in the hurt locker.
No. It was Rod who went to Stuggletown today.
Lunch at The General was epic! (We even caught up with a couple of Mansfield locals, Robyn and Jon, which was terrific.) I can recommend the Brockoff pizza - prosciutto, rocket, parmesan; brilliant! However, Rod had to dig so deep to get up to Hot Ham he'd lost his appetite. It was a shame as his pizza looked really good too.
One of the highlights of the descent was John taking his bike for a few turns in the snow. (Here's the viddy link: http://www.viddy.com/video/8bce1076-93ad-4396-8e7f-e74c0abd5118 ). I have to admit, we were all sort of hoping his front wheel might fall in a hole and his 'endo' would see us all earn a fortune after 354 besquillion views on YouTube. But it wasn't to be.
One of the conflicts of the descent is the view. It's sensational; in every direction! But I couldn't afford to look for too long because of the speed I was travelling and I needed to concentrate on staying upright for a change.
I'll get plenty of time to enjoy the views tomorrow - I won't be going very fast at all.
John stopped at Harrietville to catch up with some mates while Tim and I took turns for the remaining 25km along the valley to Bright. Yes, in case you were wondering, I rolled him in the sprint. Oh, come on! I even led it out! It's not like I sat-on and jumped him!
2443m of climbing today! 2195m yesterday! (And I didn't even do Tawonga Gap!) No wonder we're all going to bed early...
Uneventful. Leg is improving and no pus to speak of, thankfully.
TIM - Stamps: 6; Distance: 908km; Sprints: 1.
JOHN - Stamps: 3; Distance: 364km.
BRUCE - Stamps: 3 (Although I can't find the passport I used for Baw Baw so until I do I've really only got 2 stamps.); Distance: 302km; Sprints: 3.
GEZZA - Stamps: 3; Distance: 283km.
ROD - Stamps: 1; Distance: 111km.
7P7D - Day 7 - Bright, Mt Hotham, Bright.
I'm glad the views were so good! I was right about going slowly enough to enjoy the views though.
Tim, Gezza, Rod and I were joined by Bright local Nick for the last 7P7D day of 2012. Those of you who followed last year's 7P7D might remember Nick joined us for the last day then too - and promptly spanked us all. Some things don't change: not only did he win the 60 sprint into Harrietville easily, he flew up Hot Ham before the rest of us too. In Rod's words, "Nick danced up The Meg."
It wasn't until well after The Meg that I started to get going; Tim said the same. It was like peddling in sand till then. But once I started to pick up a few others (there seemed to be heaps of cyclists on the road on Saturday) I perked up a bit and the tempo improved.
Highlight of the day for me (apart from catching Tim about 400m from the top of the climb… YES!) was lunch at The General. Not because of the food this time (which was good, so was the coffee) but because the place was full of cyclists! 'We' were everywhere! It was great to see the place relying on lycra for so much business. Good on The General for being open and I hope we spent enough to make it worth their while staying open during the summer months. Some other businesses in the mountains could learn a lesson here!
In amongst this crowd was a few of the Musettes from Alphington (Andy P, where were you?) and a group riding the 'Not the Great Vic' who are regular SHCCC entrants: Lian, Warren, Mark, Michelle, Heather plus Rod C and his crew and lots more.
Nick and Rod flew down to Harrietville while Tim and I took our time. We then took turns for the final 25km back into Bright, sharing the workload until the hill near the Tawonga Gap turnoff, when Nick attacked looking for KOM points. In a unanimous decision by the ride jury, he had points deducted for unnecessary hurt.
Then again, once he turned off to home, the rest of us sprinted for the 60 and I took those points very gladly. No jury decision required for that one!
Muchos kudos to Tim… 1010km and all 7 Peaks stamps in one week. And all of day 3 on his own because I still haven't learnt how to stay upright.
TIM - Stamps: 7; Distance: 1010km; Sprints: 1; KOM: 2.5.
BRUCE - Stamps: 4; Distance: 414km; Sprints: 4; KOM: 2.
GEZZA - Stamps: 4; Distance: 339km; KOM: 1.
JOHN - Stamps: 3; Distance: 364km; KOM 0.5.
ROD - Stamps: 2; Distance: 223km.
NICK - Stamps: 1; Distance: 111km; Sprints: 1; KOM: 1.
John took a few videos with his phone;
these are now on the SHCCC Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Scody-High-Country-Cycle-Challenge-SHCCC/217682678291768?ref=hl
Many, many thanks to Barry, Nicole and Erin for their 7P7D support!
Finally, many thanks to North East Victoria Tourism for organising the Alpine Ascent Challenge. We love the mountains and this program helps promote how sensational our alps are in summer. (Thanks Jeff P for coming up with a great concept.) And don't forget to bring your 7 Peaks passport if you're riding up Mt Buller as part of the SHCCC in March!