Training for something big

In less than 4 weeks I have planned something big. Another Adventure.

It is one of those overnight bike rides to some random location — as far away from Brisbane as possible, in a direction that leads to a semblance of civilisation, where we can get food and lodgings and — crucially — many, many beers.

Once upon a time it was Byron, then it was Uki, then it was Woodenbong, then Toowoomba, another time it was Noosa and now it is a place called Killarney.

It is roughly 162km from Toowong through rolling country roads and up and over the Main Range. Maybe there will even be a look at the Queen Mary Falls. We shall see.


So I have been doing all that training stuff. Me and Ryan have been quite diligent. We started a training plan about 5 weeks ago and we have stuck to that and done some more.

This is the pub where we are staying in Killarney: (photo from


On Saturday I rode 101kms on my Kinfolk — fixed at 75 inches. I was the only one running that nonsense and we were hitting the Ford Road circuit near Rochedale — something Tom had hooked us into. Last time I did it I was aver gears and it was tough, but I had no idea how much tougher it would be.

Here is a list of things I found tough about that ride:

1) Grinding up the Mt Petrie Road climb (which is an incline that is just uncivilised for a fixed gear). We hit this hill just as a huge group of geriatrics were working their way up in the granny gears. Meanwhile I had to smash up as much momentum as I could and then snake a route around (and overtaking) these Freds as they zig-zagged up and eventually I ran out of pace and was just crunching at walking pace for the last few metres in absolute agony and with the definite probability that I would be forced to stop the bike and walk and suffer that indignity. (But I made it!)

2) Smashing down the subsequent hill stretched my spinning to the limit. I hit about 60km/hr which meant my legs were spinning so furiously I thought they might break off. I had to brake just in case. I only got overtaken by one of those freds but I overtook him only a few seconds later. (why do they bother?)

3) At that point I could feel the right side of my chest was so sore. I had injured myself at work on Tuesday trying to lift something that was too heavy. Then I tried to lift it again. But it was ok. The pain was almost unnoticeable until I went for a Thursday Night riverloop and when I got home I was in agony. This made Saturday’s ride really, really awkward. On the way to the 6am meet-up I felt the pain and stopped at a servo to get some over-priced panadol — but it made no difference.

4) Being at the back of the pack on a fixed gear is not where you want to be. There was a few more times over the Ford Road hills that I found myself boxed in at the back of our crew. Thus I lost all momentum and had to grind and grind rather than smash.

5) Spinning and more spinning. It must look so stupid all that spinning you do when travelling above a natural cadence. i felt a bit embarrassed.

In saying all that I think I compacted a whole bunch of effort into that ride — much more effort than if I had had gears. So maybe it was all worth it.


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