Thursday, December 8, 2011
Not far away now! MGG #5 will roll out in about a week. Riding at night is an awesome experience and even if you know the roads, they'll seem brand new under the cover of darkness. On our final recon ride we saw frogs, wombats, plenty of roos and even had one roo hop along the road just in front of us for a hundred metres or so. Night animals rock!
We've updated the course a little after our final recon ride. We've made it a little less hilly in the second half and also allowed for one or two shorrtcuts if you're over it and just want to get back to Hurstbridge. It's a little easier now so everyone should finish with a smile on their face. This doesn't mean it's easy, it just means it's a little easier then it was. Check out the updated course map here.
We've locked in our special halfway checkpoint at the top of the Bowden Spur climb! There'll be food, water, coffee, toilets and a warm dry place to sit down and relax for a while. This place is really something special and I'm still in disbelief that they'll be opening their doors to us in the middle of the night. This is the goal that will get you up Bowden Spur - just keep pedalling and repeat "When I get to the top I can have a coffee. When I get to the top I can have a coffee."
A bright front light for seeing the road is essential. A helmet-mounted light for navigation will serve you very well too. It's very easy to miss signposts (and even whole sidestreets) if your only light is pointing down at the road. A helmet-mounted light is not essential but it will make navigation a lot easier.
A tail-light is essential too but steer clear of bright flashing blinkies - you'll dazzle the rider behind you. A medium brightness solid colour tail-light is ideal.
Slicks or something with a light tread are fine but the wider you can go the better. Consider going a little wider than usual and a bit lower pressure. This will maximise your contact patch with the road and give you the traction you'll need to get up some of the hills. 23s = doable, 28s = better, 35s = cushy.
There are two water stops and one big water/food/coffee stop at the halfway point. Apart from our special halfway checkpoint, there will be no place to stock up on food. Make sure you bring enough supplies because everything else is going to be shut up for the night.
Watch the weather forecast and be prepared for the worst - it might rain, it might be very cold. Having said that, we completed the last three hours of our final recon ride in driving rain and we were all pretty comfortable. In fact, it was fun as hell! But only because we were prepared.
This is not essential but it'd be great if you could drop us a line (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell us if you're planning to come on the ride, just so we get a rough idea of how many people to expect. This being a night ride we've really got no idea how many will turn up.
Ok, that's it for now. Get your gear sorted and we'll see you at Hurstbridge!
Posted by Andrew at 2:21 PM