Monday, December 6, 2010

Great Victorian Bike Ride

I'm back from the Great Vic. 9 days of cycling from Yarrawonga to Marysville. I'd done it 8 years ago, now doing it again.

Yes, it is great. It's epic. 3800 other cyclists. Not a crowd, it's an army of cyclists. All you can see around you, all the time, is other cyclists.

Intense emotions. Tough challenges. 75km into a 100km day and we get a ferocious thunderstorm. I'm determined to keep going, but realise that I'm actually going to get physically blown off the bike. Have to stop and wait for it to pass.

Riding with my daughter. 8 years ago I was a fast rider, Rita drafted me almost the whole way. Now she's fitter than me and I was drafting her. Up the hills I'd watch her rising faster than me. Yes, time does pass. But this time is truly magic.

The rest day. Playing croquet with the Nagambie croquet club. Average age of member: 90 years old. They were so kind to us.

The schoolkids. Gotta love em. Struggling up a hill and the group from Clifton Hill Primary go past. Pushing. Tough. Fit. Ten to twelve years old. The Deniliquin group from the high school. So strong, so polite, so amazing.

Then it's up and up with a 600 meter climb until you see Eildon stretching out behind you. All of a sudden you realise that it is almost over.

Yes, the Great Vic truly is great. It is huge and intense, and in your face. From the overpowering stench of the toilets to the rush of the downhill as you scream towards the next rest stop.

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