The Otway Shorty …

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After a 4.45am wake up call in Colac, and a drive to Forrest in the dark, I joined the queue to pick up my race-number in the pre-dawn dark at Forrest (why does a race have to start at 7am?).

As I shuffled to the front of the line, I heard the official ask the person in front of me whether they had their mandatory first aid kit … mandatory first aid kit … w.t.f.??? Yes, this was the point in time when I realised that I hadn’t actually bothered to read the event program, assuming that I could just follow everyone else around the course, have a laugh, and then go lie on a beach somewhere afterwards.

I shuffled forward, and heaved a quiet sigh of relief when the official didn’t ask me the first aid kit question.  In my mind that made me technically ignorant, not in breach, of the rules.

At the starting line (or urinal if you’re the guy on the right in green)

The upside of this complete and utter ignorance of the event was that when, just 200 metres into a 50km event, the entire second wave of riders (me included) took the wrong turn and proceeded to cycle the first half of the race on the completely wrong track (that is we followed the 100km course), unlike many others around me, I was completely ignorant of this fact and just loving where I was.

Well, except the uphill bits, they weren’t exactly fun, they were just well … steep and numerous.

Blue line is the route, red line my GPS track (rough overlay) … basically you can see the big detour we
did  in the lower right hand side, and how we didn’t do the bottom blue section.

But except for that one little 25km hiccup, three of four other minor crashes and falls and one side swipe into a tree at speed (note to self: not recommended and I have the bruise to prove it).  I rocked the Otway Shorty …  By which I mean I got to the end without dying and am fairly confident that I didn’t come last … mainly because I passed one guy with a snapped chain, one with a broken pedal and one with a broken collar-bone… I figured none of them were getting past me again.

My nemesis … girl in Australia Jersey who kept overtaking me all day. 
She beat me, by a lot if you have to know.

Unfortunately, I have no photos to actually prove this as (a) my good camera is currently still getting repaired and (b) I was racing people, not taking photos.   You can view my Garmin GPS log though and after just typing that I have now found this photo from the offical photographer which definitely proves I was there:

Look … me … and there’s at least two people behind me. Yay. Not last.

I had hoped to get around the course in under 4 hours … and am 100% confident that I would have if they’d sent us on the correct course (a statement which nobody can disprove) but I ended up clocking up a 4 hour 15 minute ride instead.

Happy me.
Happier me (behind the camera with steak sandwhich and soft drink in hand).
What I didn’t know was how close I was to joining Mr broken chain, Mr broken pedal and Mr broken collar-bone in not finishing the race … after 4 hours and 15 minutes on the bike, I went to get changed and threw my bike in the back of the hire car, then when I came back  45 minutes later I found this …
Completely destroyed rear tyre.
My rear tyre had just exploded.  I think that’s a lesson in luck and not borrowing someone else’s foot pump at 5.30am in the morning to inflate your tyre, in the dark, ‘by feel’.
Funny thing was, we’d done the race and it was just gone noon so we still had the whole weekend ahead of us.  We quickly clocked over into tourist mode, headed over to the Great Ocean Road and visited all of the sites on Saturday afternoon, finishing the day with fish and chips overlooking the beach at Port Campbell, before staying at the 12 Apostles Hotel that night.
The Arch

London Bridge (what remains)

The 12 Apostles (what remains)
As for Sunday … well Sunday was spent breakfasting late, lying on the beach dreaming of new adventures and swimming …

Me, lying on the beach.

Not me (but it is my sunscreen and iced coffee drink)

Oh, yes and also the less interesting things such as packing the bikes back up, cleaning the hire car and rushing through the airport …

Oh, and in case you’ve ever wondered … yes you can comfortably fit two bikes in the back of a Hyundai i30, we had no problem getting the bike box and bike bag in, or both bikes in with the front wheels taken off.

Two bikes in the hire car (Hyundai i30) … no worries

Two bikes in the i30, unpacked.

One comment

  1. Thanks. I "was" wondering whether you can fit a bike in the back of an i30. You pickies solved that issue for me. Cheers, Malco

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