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 …
- Prologue: back on the bike
- Episode 1: the Great Ocean Road ride
- Episode 2: new wheels, old climbs and offensive black discs
- Episode 3: an Arthurs Seat century
- Episode 4: flying solo (up the 1 in 20)
- Episode 5: back to the Dandenongs
- Episode 6: the Mt. Macedon double
- Episode 7: the Rapha Festive 500
- Episode 8: a warm welcome to the Alps
- Episode 9: backing up with the Back of Falls
- Episode 10: Mt. Hotham doesn’t get easier, you just go faster
- Episode 11: climbs galore (and then up some more)
- Episode 12: Mt. Baw Baw revisited
- Episode 13: climbing the Crucifix (and suffering in the sun)
- Episode 14: a bittersweet hundred-miler
- Episode 15: pushing through pain for a Buller PB
- Episode 16: the magical Reefton Spur
- Episode 17: Beach Road vs. Mt. Dandenong