March 9, 2012

Episode 18: Let’s roll!

The fact I’ve already completed the 3 Peaks Challenge before doesn’t feel like an advantage at this stage. I feel surprisingly nervous for Sunday and I’m more than a little bit scared of how my ITB is going to hold up.

But, then again, the hard work is all done. I’ve got five months of solid training behind me and, compared to last year, I’m feeling really strong on the bike. I’ve been taking huge chunks off my PBs on the climbs, my average speed has been up and I’m fitter than I’ve ever been. I’ve also put my bike in for a (probably unecessary) service, including a check of brake and gear cables.

And yet it won’t be until I get to, say, Dinner Plain that I’ll be confident of finishing 3 Peaks. Truth be told, I’m just looking forward to rolling across the start line and putting some kays behind me.

Pre-event nerves aside, it’s looking like Sunday will be a rather pleasant day as far as the weather’s concerned. The forecasts for Falls Creek and Mt. Hotham are both looking fine with temperatures somewhere between 10 and 15 degrees. I’ll be happy as long as it doesn’t rain. Then again, it wouldn’t be 3 Peaks without a spot of drizzle (or a torrential downpour) would it?

I had planned to head out for a ride last weekend with Brendan and the Donvale Demon but I was ill for most of the weekend. I had no desire to risk making myself sicker and so it was just Brendan and the Demon who headed out to Kinglake.

Speaking of Brendan and the Demon, it’s been great watching those two improve their fitness markedly in recent weeks. Brendan probably started his training later than he would have liked, but he’s reached 3 Peaks in great condition. The Demon, too, is in great shape. With any luck, he’ll cross the finish line on Sunday evening and prove to his doubters just how motivated he was to complete this challenge.

The three of us will be joined by Matt ‘Fletch’ Fletcher, assuming he can shake a nasty virus that’s kept him off the bike for the past week. Hope you’re on the mend mate!

We’ll also have the pleasure of riding alongside Andy van Bergen of Hells 500 fame … at least for a little while. When you can ride 300km in a day with nearly 6,000 vertical metres — which Andy and his crew did just a few weeks ago — you tend to be a stronger rider than us mere mortals!

For the past few days it’s been all about carbo-loading. I’ve been eating a couple of lunches and a couple of dinners every day and I feel full all the time. It’s a significant departure from the past five months where I felt hungry all day long and no amount of food could seem to fill me up.

Brendan and I are driving up to Falls Creek tomorrow morning in preparation for an early start on Sunday. One of the most memorable parts of last year’s 3 Peaks was the drive up to the start of the ride with Brendan blasting some pump-up tunes from his iPod. I’m hoping there’s a bit of that this year as well, and I’ve included a few songs in this post to get us all in the mood.

And that’s about it. I’ll be on Twitter all weekend and tweeting with the #3peaks hashtag during the ride itself. Feel free to leave me questions or comments and I’ll respond when I can.

Thanks to everyone that’s shown their support over the past five months, especially to those who have come along for training rides. It’s been great to share the ups and downs of training with you guys and I look forward to a bunch of high-fives (digital or in person) at the finish line on Sunday evening!

2 days to go …

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8 Comments

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  1. lefthandside / Mar 13 2012

    Hey Matt I’m sure you’re working on the post-ride roundup but well done on finishing so strongly this year. Your blog has been a great reference to me as I’ve increased the gradient considerably over the last 18 months or so and am really enjoying exploring the high country of Victoria.

    Couldn’t help but notice Mount William in the Grampians isn’t on your site yet – I rode up it last weekend and indeed, the last 2km is horrendous.

    I think it won’t pose such a challenge to you now :)

    well done

    LHS

    • Matt / Mar 13 2012

      Thanks LHS – much appreciated. I’m really keen to head back out to the Grampians and record Mt. William. That climb scared the bejeezus out of me last time and I’m keen to try it again with a compact. But yes, next time I head out there I’ll definitely add it to the site. Cheers!

      • Andy / Mar 13 2012

        Just watch out for wombats (in fact all wildlife) on the descent!

  2. Gareth / Mar 11 2012

    Good luck mate. Been such a great insight and joy to read your blog. Hope the ITB is ok throughout the ride.

  3. Goonie / Mar 9 2012

    Good luck, Matt – and good luck to everyone riding the 3 Peaks.

    Watch out for the roadworks on the descents of Falls and Tawonga. You’ll see them on the way up.

  4. Adam / Mar 9 2012

    Good luck Matt, you’ve put in an impressive amount of preparation, so hopefully the day will be an enjoyable one!

    I also nurse along an niggling ITB problem on most rides, and I find that being conscious of the state of my knee is a bit of a distraction. i find myself overly focussed on how it is holding up, such that the ride itself becomes a bit of a blur. Hopefully you won’t have the same issue!

    Would love to see a write up of your day/night before preparation (everyone loves a good carb loading story). I assume we’ll get a write up of the day too?

    Adam

    • Matt / Mar 9 2012

      Thanks for that Adam! I’ll definitely be blogging about the day, yeah. I’m really hoping my ITB behaves itself on Sunday but I’m fulling expecting to be in a world of pain on Monday!

  5. Dan / Mar 9 2012

    Goodluck mate.
    I have really enjoyed reading your posts.
    And thanks for the enthusiasm.

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