They are races in which I have little chance of finishing with the top riders but I am going to enter them for the experience and the fun. By saying that, I don't mean sitting there and taking easy, just hoping to finish.
The first event is on the 12th 0f September, a 226 km race from Grafton to Inverell (NSW). It is the longest one-day race in Australia (I think!) and one of the toughest. There is a hard 17 km climb after 65 kms and an undulating terrain once you are on top of the Great Dividing Range -altitude 1000+ m. Then, it is kind of down hill all the way to Inverell as the graph shows...
For this race, I've put together a nine-week training program based primarily on information found in Joe Friel's book. The fact that I have never ridden that distance and only had done 120+ rides a few times will make it interesting, and difficult. I know someone in the club that has raced it more than a dozen times so I will be trying to find out more about the race in the next few weeks.
Then, eight weeks later, I am hoping to race in the World Masters Games in Sydney... and why not? It is going to be a huge event and I don't get a chance to race for the rainbow stripes often. I haven't decided if I will do the crits and the ITT but I aiming for the road race which will be at the Eastern Creek Raceway. That in itself will be something new and exciting.
For the third event, I am planning to return to the Victorian alpine region this year to race my third Tour of Bright. I missed out the last two because of a holiday overseas and my incident with a van last year and didn't get to try the somehow vicious climb to Mt Hotham. But I heard (and read) a bit about it and have enough madness in me to have a go.
In between those three, there are lots of club races, open events and the QLD Championships to keep me busy and the legs turning.
The first week of the training was mostly for recovery from the last few races, including the Scenic Rim the weekend before. I did add a couple of high intensity rides to a total of six sessions (including a session on the rollers).
Time: 10h 50min
Dist: 266.6 km
The training week ended on Sunday with an easy ride with Sandra. She needed to do a couple of hours as well and had asked if we could ride over the Samford Range and the back roads of Highvale . Perfect, but we left home a little late in the afternoon and been a Sunday, the speeding traffic put me off going up the range. We took the dirt track that runs parallel to the old train line and did most of the riding in this beautiful countryside, located just a few kilometers from Brisbane.
A steep road revisited...
This week things will get a little harder and the rides a little longer. I am planning to race another club handicap at Elimbah, 50 kms north of Brisbane. I am just hoping to get a bit of rest in the next three weeks as well, Le Tour is on and staying away from the TV till the early hours is not an easy thing to do.
We will see.