Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Big Lap - Around the Bay in a Day

Here in Melbourne it is probably the ultimate citizen cycling event. Not the hardest; but certainly the one most people ask if you have done. It is the Around the Bay in a Day ride organised by Bicycle Victoria and run each October since 1993. I think this is the seventh (?) time I have taken part.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Genovese Kinglake Swim (oops, I mean "Ride")

I guess the title of this post tells you that Sunday 11 September was anything but a lovely day's riding in the beautiful countryside. Which is a shame as this ride should be exactly that! A few thousand people enter this event, billed as a "Spring Classic" expecting to be treated to a great day out. Unfortunately, this year, the "Spring Classic" proved true to its European origins and Belgian-style weather prevailed and only the Flahutes survived.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

City to Surf - the ultimate "fun" run

People - well, non-runners - often ask why they call these events a "fun run." After all, as they see it, running just ain't fun! Those people should come to Sydney on the second Sunday in August and check out the City to Surf. This is 14km of pure, unadulterated fun! (Apparently there's a serious race on as well, but I don't really see much of that!)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Melburn Roobaix - Welcome to Hell

The annual Melburn Roobaix ride is one of my favourites. And if the sellout crowd of 1000 is any indication, it is a fave with lots of others too. It is not a race; and is much less a cycling event than a social gathering on bikes. And for a city with a rapidly growing bike culture it is an ride that fits the bill perfectly. It is loosely modelled on the famous Spring Classic, the "Paris-Roubaix," which has road sections interspersed with 'sectors' of 'pave' or cobblestones before finishing with a lap of a velodrome. Unlike Paris-Roubaix, the 'Roobaix' follows a different course each year and apart from the finish at Brunswick Velodrome, the course is a secret until the day. Heck, even the start location isn't published till the week before!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Great Train Race - Puffing Billy (or should that be Puffing PB?)

For an event with "only" 3000 or so competitors in an out of the way location in the hills, the annual Puffing Billy Great Train Race always draws in the television coverage. Which is perhaps reflective of its same draw on athletes. For 30 years now runners have come to Belgrave to test their legs against the restored - and in great shape - Puffing Billy steam train. The 13km course with 250m of climbing, a similar amount of descents, and four train crossings is a true test. Everyone leaves with a story to tell; though few leave with a victory over the train!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Doing it for the Kiddies"

I cannot do the Run for the Kids without thinking of that very funny Aussie comedy duo Roy and HG and their wonderful invocation to "do it for the kiddies." Cause that is what this race is all about. There are no other races I do where you see so many reminders of little children with lives at best interrupted or, at worst, taken away too soon. It is very moving and a stark reminder that we are blessed to be able to go for a run in the sunshine.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Run for the Kids Nike Training Runs

Early days by the Yarra when the sun still shone
One of the great runs on the Victorian calendar is the Run for the Kids, a fifth year event to raise funds for our Royal Children's Hospital. This year, for the first time, I decided to take part in their organised training runs, sponsored by Nike. I've certainly found that committing to these organised sessions is a good way to make sure I don't pike out if the weather looks iffy or I feel tired!

The venue for the runs was Federation Square and they went for 8 weeks from 23 February. The top photo shows the first day, bathed in beautiful sunshine at the tail end of summer. (Seems so long ago now.) On that day I did a hard and fast 4k before graduating in subsequent weeks to the steady paced longer runs of around 10-12k.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Great Ocean & Otway Classic Ride 2011

Riding the Great Ocean Road
There are few more iconic places to ride a bike in Victoria than along the Great Ocean Road and each of the last five years has seen SuperSprint Events run one of the most popular events on the calendar, attracting 3500 people to the famed course. This was my third time around, having done the first two rides in 2007 and 2008, and I would line up with my mate Dave (pictured above) as we tackled the 145km course.

It was an early rise on Saturday morning as we made our way down the Geelong Road in time for the 7.30am start in Torquay. By the time we reached the venue traffic was fairly busy and getting a good park would be difficult so we parked up the top of a nearby hill and rolled down to the line after a quick (compulsory) pit-stop for me.

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