I'm writing my weekend report on my eeePC in the car on the Hume Highway - NICE! We arrived a little late up at Hotham as when we hit the hill at Harrietville the car fuel dial said "you wont make it". A quick dash back to Bright and everything was shut - so a quick dash to Myrtleford and we had fuel again. Nothing like an extra 100kms travel on a 370km trip!
Carl was up for three hard 'town sign sprints' on our Saturday ride into Bright (Smoko, Freebrough, Bright). Since I'm packing an extra 2kgs of "sprint" I was up for making these sprints as hard as possible. We both had Powertaps on so we could compare our max output after each effort. The plan worked, I knew where the signs were located and knew who's wheel to be on at 'the jump'. I took three from three, so had one prize in the bag for the weekend. After each effort I dropped back to Carl yelling my numbers and my analysis of the sprint itself, to the amusement of the riders who don't have power meters - bike riding IT geeks with Powertaps sums it up :)
I had my mind set on at least a 2x20 effort up Hotham on the return trip, but that didn't eventuate. It turned into a 1x1:28 in E3 :). Ess93 had taken off on his maiden Hotham ascent a few mins prior to Stuart Payne and myself. Stuart's plan was to go hard all the way, and he sat about 30m behind me up to the Meg, I was waiting for him to pounce at any moment. I could see Ess completing the Meg as I was midway up. I passed Ess a few kms up the road from the Meg, before the false flat. My first 20min interval ended after the Meg, the false flat (nice for TTing) was only a few kms off, so I kept the power on. By the time I hit the toll booth (around 53mins) it was only another 30mins of pain until the top. No sign of Ess or Stuart behind me so I raced the watts on my Powertap to the top. It was warm, so water was low and the roads were super sticky, a few times I thought I had static in my headphones only to realise it was the road bubbling under my tyres. 200m of gravel still at the top meant a small chunk of time was lost on the final 1km sprint to the bridge. I was happy with the 1:28 given I've not done any long TT/threshold work for a while, it seems those extra 'sprinting kgs' don't hurt my hill climbing all that much. Sprint king backed up with KOM prize, woot! I'm yet to pick over my Power file in CyclingPeaks to review the efforts, but it should prove interesting.
Sunday was a quick drop over the Omeo side to the bottom of 'the hill' which is about 1km short of Cobungra. It was Ess, Con, and me doing this section as most of the others turned back at the airport. I climbed back to Hotham playing the Powertap numbers game - which ended up with some nice TT efforts from Ess that I sat on for a tow (thanks Ess!), then a 400W+ hilly chase down of another rider up the road.
Perfect weather for the entire weekend. We didn't even need arm warmers at the start of the day for the descents, just how I like it. Big thanks to Carl and the ever busy and ever helpful Bev for yet another successful weekend for everyone. Be sure to contact him if you're keen on joining us next time. Riders of all abilities and lots of ride options up there on virtually empty roads, just watch for the cows!
Apologies for the graphic nature of the blog picture, but it was such a great opportunity to capture the feeling of reaching the Mt Hotham summit.