~ 24hr Escape 300 ~
Training with Ridewiser’s Rob Crowe – hard but worth it!!
Monday morning 10 am, an email from Ridewiser trainer Rob Crowe says “Need2Escape? Back-pack, riding mates, tank full of gas, hit it”. Well – I’m in straight away, see I’m an addict of Ridewiser programs – rides, ergos & training plans! I’m still on a high from last week’s ‘Flinders Flight 187km’ with Rob & 40 others.
The 24hr Escape is a ride to Inverloch on Friday arvo 130km, dinner at local Inlet Hotel, sleep til 7, then head back via the coast & Strzelecki Range for an added 170km. So by Friday 2pm we’re on the bikes – Rob, David, Mark & me (Bug) – riding to de-stress legs, body & mind after a work week, re-building the mid-range strength base for the summer ahead – perfect.
Rob & Dave Loakes soon set a solid pace on the big stretches out back of Cranbourne – always the secret back ways we go! Our 4-man echelon along Manks Rd now saves us in the cross-winds. Via Casey, Koo-Wee-Rup, Lang-Lang, Nyora…it’s not long before Crowie’s SBL’s (Stupidly Big Legs) have us cruising at 47kph!
Through Loch town Crowie grabs me, grinning, “the real ride starts now!” he explains. The next 3 climbs before Strzelecki pass are each 1km ‘softeners’ to prep the legs for tackling the big stuff. Uneasy, I ride the new tempo; hill’s & I are like oil & water – we just don’t mix. But I did commit to this being ‘the year of the hills’ and put an end to climbing like an anchor on a skateboard… “this is what makes you strong, Bug” he adds.
Then we turn the corner out of Loch and ~*!!BANG!?^* it’s on for 10km of sustained climbing. The spectacular views off Krowera summit road show off the ride’s best attributes – then wicked descending into Kongwak on the dirt !?! When it’s finally all done & dusted, Crowie points to the horizon, “there it is – beautiful Inverloch”. By 6pm sharp we’re rolling into the coastal town with long shadows & aching legs, the magnificent valleys of Gippsland & 130km: sorted!
The next day, we would conquer the ultimate road ride, 6hrs solid pedaling after a giant parmigiana & full night’s sleep. Buffered by strong winds over the range, rains across the plateau, & dirt road diversions – we all felt mighty chuffed (& buggered) from some of the best cycling roads in Victoria. I can’t wait for the next one… it truly was a great escape from the normal rides & hustle-bustle of the city.
The 300km Escape over 24hrs was such a great preparation for my criterium season ahead. If you’re not sure what YOU need to get ready for this summer’s racing then maybe Mr. Rob Crowe at Ridewiser can help you too (SKCC Club PRO).
Thanks again Rob, Dave, Mark & Loretta for driving support (and my son Sam for joining in to Poowong!)