Saturday, 3 September 2016

CQ16 Day 1 - Wind, Woodford and Worn out Knicks

Day one of CQ16 is in the bank, as my friend Doug would say.  For a day that was meant to be a nice easy roll looping around the Woodford, Kilcoy, Villeneuve areas, it sure turned out to be a tough day one.

The course took us along the D'Aguilar highway for 12km before taking us through some quieter back roads as we wound our way to Mt Kilcoy State School for our first rest stop of the event.  Traffic is always quite heavy around this area, especially on a weekend when families explore this beautiful local area.  Not too much drama though as most drivers gave us a wide berth and cyclists showed courtesy by staying left and keeping in single file.  

Funniest moment of today's ride was Gill's not so subtle hint to me that perhaps it was time for some new Knicks.  Apparently my old specialised faithfuls were a little worn and left not much room for imagination.  While others might think that was a little rude, I really appreciated the heads up so I could avoid the embarrassment further along the road.  We also got a wolf whistle from a passing car - whether that was as a result of said worn Knicks or because we were four hot chicks who ride bikes, we will never know!

But anyway, back to the ride.  The turn off the highway greeted us with our first good climb of the day, which had the heart rate up for the first time on the ride.  A wise woman on CQ13 taught me how to count my way up the hills as we crossed the range, and I employed those techniques today on some of the longer stretches of up hills.

Ran into many familiar faces along the way as well as at the lunch break (roast beef and salad sandwich, cheese and crackers, lemonade) and have even made some new friends to add to the CQ family.  

The killer on today's ride was the blustery wind for the first 2/3 of the ride.  When it wasn't blowing directly into our faces it was buffeting us from the side, a sometimes scary occurrence when a particularly strong gust can send you sideways into moving traffic or into another rider as they pass.

The wind really does play with your brain - it is a real mental game riding in that kind of weather.  Your legs are working hard, you think you're smashing out a fast 10k and you look down and you're barely crawling.  At the top of a climb, when you should be rewarded with a fast downhill, you're pedalling your ass off to maintain a decent speed and getting no real benefit from a descent.

The best way to combat the wind is to ride in a group, taking turns out front to work against the wind.  Today the four of us worked hard to share the load initially, and it wasn't til after the lunch break that we split out a bit and took the hills at our own pace.

The post-lunch ride after lunch was much more pleasant as the route turned us to take advantage of the same wind we had been working against earlier in the day.  A ride that had almost as much elevation felt somewhat flatter with a tailwind pushing us back to camp.

For those who've read my CQ blogs before, you'll know we have a couple of characters on the ride each year.  Our Comms coordinator wears a different hat/outfit each day and I'll try to see what it is each day and report back.  Today's get up was a leprechaun hat and a green vest while on route, which was replaced by a black wizard's hat for dinner (chicken penne pasta, berry crumble and custard) tonight.

On arrival back at camp it was a quick trip across the oval to the showers (we as using the Showgrounds amenities so we have the luxury of doors on the showers and real flush toilets for day one!) followed by a trip into town on the shuttle to explore.  My wonderful husband met me in town to give me my Garmin charger which I had left at home.  With only 60% charge before today's ride I knew my watch wouldn't last the duration of the ride, so he very kindly drove it up.  I'm glad he did, for more than just the reason that I now have a fully charged Garmin Fenix 3 ready for tomorrow's challenges.

The best part is dragging him around camp, showing him the setups and giving him a full inside view of life on a CQ campsite.  Dropped into Epic Cycles and bought a new pair of Knicks (quick release bibs for easier toilet stops - I will explain this on a future blog!). More than once Bren said he'd like to come along and do the ride, so I know if we can balance the business needs, we may see him out here one year.

The ride tomorrow sees us gaining 634m over 46km to get us into Maleny.  I've decided to bite the bullet and registered for the long option tomorrow as well, so it could be a triumphant Sue writing tomorrow or a broken Sue.  Only time will tell and I gues you'll only find out if you tune in tomorrow night for my next instalment. Until then, may all your rides have tailwinds!