Friday - We arrived in Bright around 11am after getting out of Melbourne early. No check-in until 2pm, so Jono and I kitted up and waited for Paulie to arrive. Quick lunch as we waited and it was off to Mt Hotham. It was a nice tempo climb up Hotham. Windy as all hell at the very top before the drop down into Hotham village.
Back down the hill Paulie had a bit of a lay down on the second last corner... leaving some nice rubber and skin on the road. The only major damage was his helmet and a small ding in his bike. I'll have to give him lessons in busting bones when crashing.
Saturday - Morning coffee with Tim and Jess in town. We met up with Ben Juzwin and his Mrs there as well. Ben decided to tag along to Mt Buffalo with us for the morning. Paulie, Jono, Ben Juzwin and I set of up up Buffalo. Paulie hung on for a good 15-20 mins, I sat on and went the distance, getting popped at about 1km to go when I had to chase back after I got a stick caught in my wheel - at which point Jono put the hammer down to drop me! Little bastard! :) Paulie and I didn't know how well Ben could ride... Until we found out he was off to Johan Brunel's young guns squad in Belgium in a few weeks! Little bastard! :) Dave 'Mephisto' joined us at the top and we had food and drinks at Dingo Dell since the chalet is STILL closed (I wish they'd sort that out. Its a great ride, drive, views, etc, to the top.. and now you're met with a mesh fence saying "CLOSED"). The descent was a little hairy - its not the best surface and there were sticks and tree bits all over the road from a recent storm making blind corners interesting.
Sunday - The Audax Alpine Classic was on... so we slept in until 9am and headed out to Tawonga Gap to watch the masses of people on their return leg from Falls Creek. We rolled down the Mt Beauty side and met up with Paulie and Mephisto at the base of the climb. Mephisto had blown a knee and was limping home (he's one massive 93kg steam engine, so its no wonder his knee gave out in the hills). Jono and I took off up the climb using the AAC riders as motivation to keep the power to the pedals. Over the other side Jono turned back to tow Paulie and Mephisto back into town, I continued onto Bright towing a few people along the way to get some TT work in.
Monday - Back up Hotham, we'll, the fist 20kms of it. An 'easy' ride out there became race-pace as we had a few bunches up the road to chase. Jono got on the front for 15kms for a good TT interval. Paulie and I were happy just to sit on and wait for Hotham to unleash our energy. Time trial mode for the first 20mins, then into tempo mode for the rest. Just as I hit the false flat a big 4WD came past with a caravan in tow - I jumped behind it and was pulled along at 40km/h+ for a few kms.. and the best part? Greenday's 'Hichin a ride' started blasting out on my iPod as I was ripping along behind it! I bombed the descent after getting some downhill mojo back (post stack, different frame, etc) and we met up with Les Tokoyli for an easy-ish pootle back into Bright. Very warm back in Bright, so it was showers and into the car with the air-con blasting all the way home!
Lots of kms, lots of hours on the bike.. but over too fast. We'll be back in Bright two more times before winter kicks in, lets hope the weather is as good as it was this weekend!