There is local history to this event that many don’t get to know about until you go there and do this event. The Orange Challenge is really the “Ronde de Knob” which is a local ride going back some years and the locals were out in force as the pace riders for the various hour categories. There is plenty of up – but not as much as had been suggested in the hype. The event not easy – but also not so hard that you cannot do it – it isn’t 3P Falls Creek and there is no beast that is “the back of Falls”.
The road surfaces are not good and in my view are more the “challenge” than any of the climbing sections. Yes – I did flat (twice) and that was from bad luck first time and bad judgment second time. Have extra spares, gas and know how to change a tube and all will be fine.
Like everything – practice, training and riding up the steepest hills around where you live is key.
That is where the training programme from David fitted in. I will be frank – I did not follow it to the letter because of family and work commitments – but treat it as a blue print. I did ride the suggested distances each week. I did not do the video ergs supplied – I used FulGaz instead for those and matched up rides with the suggested sessions when I had to do a machine session. I did not really do the activation exercises or suggested strength training or the stretching.
Basically, I rode my bike – I rode up hills – I did the distances David set and boooooom. Orange done. I did 6 hours 46 mins. Not a record. I lost 40 mins to the flats and 20 in the check points. So – on the perfect day – it would have been under 6 hours. But that is cycling on back country roads.
I will also keep it all in perspective – I am 50, 178cm and 89 Kgs (think Rugby League player capable of speech and thought patterns). My sports background is rowing (still and surfboat), football (league and union) and about 10 years pretending to be an Ocean Ski paddler.
David’s plan gives you something to work to.
Would I have gone faster on the day if I had executed the plan perfectly? Who knows. The things I have realised are that I need to do more of my hills, drop 10 Kgs, find a group to ride in (I do most of my riding on my own) and lock onto another event. I am ready to go the next step and David’s plan has helped me get there.
I think Fitz’s 165 or 205 Km on 29 October 2017 will be the next one and I will contact David for a personal plan for that one in due course.
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