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Final Days of Kickbiking the Great Vic Ride 2009

November 17, 2010 2 Comments

Hi, Deb again with the finishing report on the Great Vic Ride of 2009

Day 6 – Rest Day

Woke this morning at 5.30 with a swollen face again.

It must be a combination of dehydration, wind burn and preservatives in the food.

And boy! Am I burned! The worst is on the back of my knees – ouch!

No cramping during the night like the night after the 100km due to dehydration (which explains why I felt like crap during the ride).

Leisurely stroll down to the breakfast area this morning – my first real breakfast since being on the ride. Previously I’ve drunk an apple juice and eaten a banana… well, didn’t I make up for that today! Porridge, a jam sandwich on wholemeal bread, apple juice, 2 strawberry danish pastries and a cup of Milo with soy milk!

May have to roll back to the tent!

Linda and I chatted about the things we had learned for the next ride:

  • Purchase a lower tent if they are predicting windy conditions
  • Have plenty of tent pegs (you lose some along the way)
  • Put Christmas decorations on your luggage so it will stand out amongst the other 400 bags in the pile
  • Don’t listen to other people’s supposed knowledge of how far yet to ride (I learned that one the hard way!)
  • Take a phone with good battery life and charge it every chance you get
  • Take plenty of bandaids
  • Visit the Shower truck around 7.30pm to 8pm (less people)
  • Camp near a landmark (eg. toilet truck or shower truck)
  • Double check the amount of water you think you have before by-passing a water stop. Top up with water every chance you have.
  • Grab a cold electrolyte drink when you can (to avoid cramping)
  • Take an umbrella (in main luggage)
  • Collapsible buckets are brilliant for washing your clothes
  • Take a portable clothes horse to hang in tent (saves the stress of wondering if your freshly washed panties will end up adorning a nearby tree like some christmas decoration from the wind!)
  • Double check the toilet is empty before entering (I walked in on a girl on the toot because she’d forgotten to lock the door)

During breaky the wind picked up even more – worse than Portland. All I can say is that if it’s still around tomorrow, it’d better be behind us! Despite the wind it is very hot today.

Spent the day taking Linda’s bike to the mechanics (again!), getting phone re-charged, washing and hanging our clothes, and then walking into town to score the best vegie-burger I have ever tasted!

Back at camp the front pole on our tent snapped in the wind and within a few moments another did too. A number of other tents went down as well. We dropped our tent to avoid the winds and further damage and walked back into town to get some special tape.

After taping the poles up we decided to leave the tent down and re-pitch later.

Come late afternoon when the wind had died a bit a few men came over and insisted on re-pitching our tent. We did the traditional female thing and gave them full-reign… but…

One of the men decided to walk over our tent rather than around it to get to the other side.

What the????

As he stepped into the middle of the tent we heard a massive crunch.

I turned to Linda and said “If that was my Mavic Helium Wheel I’m going to slash my wrists.”

Fortunately, he had managed to avoid my kickbike (which I had stored in the tent), and stepped on a plastic bottle (explaining the crunch).

Around 9.30pm we discovered that my Mavic wheel had indeed suffered – not from ‘tent stepping man’, but from the heat – I had a flat. I changed the tube and we headed off to the mechanics and asked them to pump it up.

All’s well.

Day 7 – 78km

Woke at 5.20am to find Linda awake… in actual fact, she never slept! Her airbed went down during the night and with no fat on her to cushion the ground she was extremely uncomfortable.  🙁

Fortunately, that bad omen didn’t stop us from having a beaut day. Leaving at 7.10am it was the best ride. There were lots of small hills with nice descents… and it’s possible we had a tail-wind and averaged around 21km/hr. Even hitting the front of my ankle again (in the same spot!) didn’t elicit the f-bomb for a change.

Love those shoesA question I have been asked often on this ride is how many pairs of shoes I have gone through. Upon answering they were the same pair I am asked if they are specially made for ‘scooting’. Nope. I wear New Balance – and bought a few pairs at the one time (storing them in my cupboard) because the sports shoe specialists tend to upgrade shoe models regularly and it can be a real pain in the bottom trying to get the same shoes you’ve been successful with. I loooooove my NB’s.

Lunch was nice and we met a friendly American couple who are here on holidays, coinciding their visit with the ride. They took photos of the kickbike.

Lots of nice comments today from “You’re amazing!” through to “Scooter Queen!” and one man who shouts “Hot legs!”  every time he sees me.  LOL

Only once nasty comment that I was a ‘nut’ from one guy. Oh well! I probably am!

We rocked into town, got a good tent site, set up and laid down.

Linda asked me to read my daily diary of the ride to her… and it must have been riveting prose because she fell asleep a minute into it… hmmm!

I was listening to a group of guys in the tent behind us having a casual beer and chatting away, and my ears pricked up when I became the topic of conversation:

“What about the girl on the scooter?”
“Yeah!” (chorus)
“She’s doing really good on it.”
“Yeah!” (chorus)
“She’s faster than half the riders here!”
“Yeah!” (chorus)
“It’s not actually a scooter – I was talking with her yesterday… it’s called a… ummmm… a pushbike.”
“Yeah!” (chorus)

I nearly laughed out loud – at least he got the word ‘bike’ in there.

Dinner wasn’t on the camp site (a massive oval) so we walked the supposed 1km to the dinner site (a major undercalculation, I believe!).

Yummy fart food was on the menu tonight – rice, beans, corn chips and salad. I laughed evilly at my sister-in-law as I warned her about being cooped up in a tent with me after such culinary fare!

Getting back to camp we had showers and my ankle blew up again. So a trip to the medical area produced some excellent dry ice which I applied for the next hour or so, bringing the swelling down.

Day 8 – 64km

Slept in this morning – needed it as the person in the tent next to us snored all bloody night! (was amused next morning to discover it was a woman!)

Upon rising we also discovered that kangaroos had visited the campsite during the night as there was plenty of roo poo around the tents. Sneaky little Ninja poopers! Although it’s possible we hadn’t heard them over Miss Thunder Snore next door!

Left at 8am – our latest departure yet and averaged around 20km today.

Had a nice experience from the elite cyclist who usually laughs at me everytime he passes me…

I had just passed a group of cyclists on an uphill climb and I heard one guy say, “Oh that’s great! We got passed by the scooter!”

A rider overtaking me on my right said, “She passes a lot of people.”

I looked up and saw it was Mr Elite Rider. He looked back at me and nodded.

Coooooooooooool!!! It’s nice to get supportive comments and so on from the other riders… but it’s near orgasmic to get a bit of respect from a ‘real one’ who isn’t just saying it to be nice.

We hit a few very steep hills and passed alot of cyclists who had dismounted and were walking. The challenge is that they often don’t pull to the left when dismounting. They stay in the middle of the lane and stop suddenly and then walk and push their bike up the hill while remaining on the road. It’s times like these I love the kickbike – you can deviate quickly, trackstand for a moment when you need to, and then do an explosive kick off to avoid crashing.

On a down hill just before a right hand turn a cyclist stopped suddenly in the middle of the road (the 2nd time it’s happened on the ride… maybe the same guy?) and we had to undertake to avoid a collision.

A Police officer on a motorbike drove alongside me a short time later to chat.

PO “How are you going?”

Me “Good”

PO “How are the legs?”

Me “Tired but I’ll survive”

PO “You’re doing it hard, you know. You’re at a mechanical disadvantage to the bikes.”

Me “On some terrain. On the flat they just spin – no effort – you hear them all click down to an easy gear as they feel like it. I have to keep tapping.”

PO “I know – I’ve been watching. Keep going – you’re doing well.”

Me “Thank you”

Then as we came into Queenscliff another Policeman yelled out “Jeeze! You’re one tough girl!”

Queenscliff is pretty. We set up camp and hobbled into town to check out the shops. My ankle is throbbing and I’m in need of ice again.

We visited a small cafe and enjoyed olive bread with tomato slices, pesto and avocado. Linda finished up with a coffee and I splurged out with a Lindt Hot Chocolate. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Retired early with an ice pack on my ankle.

Mixed feelings about this being the last night as I’ve enjoyed being out on the ride each day, and the other riders have been great to talk with. I’ve enjoyed putting up the tent, the meals… I even scoffed down an egg and lettuce roll which I would never usually enjoy! And I loved spending time with Linda.


I want my bed, my shower, my toilet… and I want my hubby!

Day 9 – 41km

Last day and my swollen face has become a daily occurrence.

Had a few small hills today, but mostly flat. The bike lane was beautiful this morning coming into Geelong – so smooth and wide. I wish we had something similar to this in Queensland. Fortunately, as more and more resources are put into alternative methods of transport, better cycling lanes (and facilities) are hopefully part of the near future.

There was a headwind, but Linda and I rode side by side most of the way. My ankle throbbed every time I tapped the ground – and I prayed to the gods of kickbiking that I wouldn’t hit it again today.

It was fun to watch the different groups of riders don their fancy dress for the finish line. There was a line consisting of Santa and his reindeer, then a bunch of guys had donned tutus, while another group wore fishnets and skirts. LOL

Linda’s family and friends greeted us at the finish line – it felt like forever since we’d seen them! After lots of hugs and kisses my mother-in-law queried why one ankle and lower shin was bigger than the other – that gives you an idea on how bad the swelling was. Fortunately, it was numb by this time.

We shook hands with some of the other riders – including a lovely gent who tandem biked the ride with his grandson. We were all relieved though a little melancholy that it has ended.

After surviving the biggest challenge of the day: finding our baggage, we stopped at some markets and I enjoyed a refreshing Lime Spider and Raisin Toast. Then it was off home for a HUGE shower and clean clothes!

The next morning I didn’t have a swollen face, which means that there must have been some preservative in the food that I’ve had a reaction to.

Oh well! It was all worth it! And looking forward to next year… maybe???

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Comments (2)

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  1. David Mckinnon says:

    Congratulations. That was a good read

  2. Karen Toll says:

    Deb, I am so glad that you finished the story. Fun reading it! LoL Can’t wait to here about this years ride.

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