Spikes Peaks Challenge Falls Creek Ride Report


Hi David and Others,

I managed to see David at the end and he shoved a camera in my face and I debriefed, quickly, but was obviously totally fatigued, was focused on going sub 11 and ended 10:53, but interviewed saying I did 11hrs and a large number of minutes, my brain was at the bottom of falls obviously!

Overall Summary

I was well short of my normal training level prior to the ride and was not fit enough to go for the time I’d set myself late last year, I’ve done 4 peaks events now and followed Davids plan reasonably well three times and finished sub 10 three times, this time I had life in the way and finished sub 11, that tells me all I need to know about David’s programmes, they helped me acheive the goal!

So what went wrong for me besides the lack of training?

  • Weather (I), I was overdressed, I was sweating on the falls descent, weird, I stripped off at Mt beauty, base layer and wind vest ditched!
  • Ego (I), my ego refused to accept that I hadn’t trained for sub 9 and wanted to give it a lash anyway, so I worked too hard up Tawonga, I made sub 9 time to the peak, (okay okay I was 1:18 vs 1:17 for the ride guide) but I was deep in the pain cave.
  • Ego (II), I was happy that I was on track at the peak, I had suffered but I wanted to keep going, I ended up leading a large group from Germantown to Harrietville, I worked too much pulling the group, I had a very wheel sucking group, I did my turn and pulled to the middle of the road only to have them pull to the middle with me, I may have uttered a few choice phrases, but still arrived at Harrietville more or less on target, 2:10 for me vs 2:11 on the ride guide, but a lot of the few matches I had spent
  • Lack of training, Hotham, this is where the wheels started to come off! suffered up hotham particualry from the Meg to the end of the false flat, i just wasnt able to push hard up the hills, my stomach was compalining and I was not feeling great mentally, but I did manage the climb reasonably well in the end and did have some points where I was feeling good. Finished the climb just ahead of 10hr time guide.
  • Ego (III) Dinner plains to Omeo, once again found myself pulling a group who were a little reluctant to help out, again too much work drained the tank a bit, but was still on track for sub 10, Omeo at 6:03 hrs, vs 6:11 on the ride guide.
  • Shoes, I’m a superstitious guy, I’ve used the same pair of socks for all my peaks events, and all my big rides, but they have grown thin and worn, from Dinner plains to anglers rest my foot was on fire, varying levels of pain from mildly annoying to utter misery, never felt anything like that, Managed to fix mildly at anglers rest by removing shoes swapping socks across feet and re tighthening shoes, I’m getting new socks.
  • Weather (II), By Omeo I was done, mentaly cooked and physically drained, I was ready to pull the pin, I wanted out, I decided to just go to anglers rest and retire gracefully, then the “small” climb out of omeo, into a head wind, that killed me, I had nothing in the legs, nothing, I climbed like a snail, SLOW, I had nothing in the legs, the head wind made that slight climb more than slight, my legs where cooked and could’nt produce the power I wanted.
  • Rest, I stopped at anglers rest for a long time, took stock of myself, I was behind sub 10 time and not feeling great, the whole way down to anglers rest I was praying for the next corner to be anglers rest, I was having trouble pushing that little bit on descents, I rolled rather than pushing a little bit, but a longer rest stop, some food and sitting down revitalised me.
  • Back of Falls, its all been said.
  • Fatigue, its a bloody big ride, and lack of serious rides in teh lead up made it more so, I was cooked, the last bit from trapyard gap to the finish was mixed emotionally, i was going to finish but much slower than i have done previously, I was happy with how I had doen given the lack of prep.

The Good and Fun Stuff

I love the ride its a great course, their are some great roads to ride on, great people to ride with, and its an acehivable challange. I’ll be back next year I have a sub 9 to acehive, if I can do sub 9 targets to Harrietville under trained, what would I do with some proper training?

Funny, the rider breifing mentioned making sure youre electronic gears where charged, after the last peak before the run to falls creek around the dam, I passed a rider who called out desperatly, where was my di2 battery internal or external? I slowed casue that was a weird question, spoke to the guy and his battery had gone flat up the back of falls, he was stuck in his lowest gear, he wanted a battery to connect to his system so he could change gear….. mine’s internal, I rode on, only to hear him yell out as another rider passed, with an external battery, I explained the drama to him, he kept on going, he uttered some thing about people who did’nt listen to the breifing.

The less fun

Saw a huge number of people on the side of the road, or middle of the road obviously with accidents, a few on the first descent, and I witnessed two on my descent, and went past one going down to Omeo on a relatively straight section of road, reminder that it’s a tough ride and you need to be carefully

Well done to all who tried the ride, and to those who finished and achieved well congratulations, I was happy to finish but now have unresolved issues with a sub 9 hr time.