Brilliant Bright riding – Alpine Classic and Gravity 12 hr

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Team Cyclepath – Rich, Brendon, Shannon

I know I don’t fit the criteria for a local – but I am so very proud to be part of the Bright community.  A better bunch of people would be hard to find, if you could even be bothered looking.  Thanks all my Bright friends for accepting me as a friend and cycling companion.  I love youse all… sob, sob…

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As I sit again on my Porepunkah veranda, I’m contemplating the sad fact that this will probably be my last day in the north east for this summer. I’ve done a pretty good job of dragging it out but the end, for now, is nigh.

photo (1)Yesterday was the Bright Gravity 12 hour mountain bike race.  After my second year as a member of Team Cyclepath I’m convinced this is my favourite endurance mountain bike race.  It’s got everything, and the social media following the race attests to the fact that most participants are of the same view.

    • Challenging trail
    • Fast trail
    • Brilliant weather
    • Best transition area known to man
    • Not too much climbing (nice for a big bloke!)
    • …… ROGER’s!!!  (and I thought about him every lap)
    • Everything
    • Grouse

The thing about the community feel of this race though comes out of the individual stories everyone has to tell about their own challenge.  Sure, there were some fantastic results on paper

photo (1)Brendon and I came second in the male pairs (results here), Waz and Deb first in the mixed pairs, Mr and Mrs J (Craig and Jo Junor) smashed out 12 laps for third in the mixed pairs, Chris Meyland third male solo, Brett Kellet’s triple came second overall and first in male triples.  Jack’s under 14 team missed out on third junior team by 8 seconds!… bugger (and Jack reckons he stopped for a break in his last lap for, “about 8 seconds dad!”).  Fiona Reddaway and Anne Heeeeeeeeeeeeooooooooooooperman’s team of four (that’s how Jack says it) stood on top of the podium and Carol’s team of Three Dirty Girls came third in the triples.  Brilliant.

– but it’s some of the other rides which really impress me.  Gus Gollings trying to race after fasting… go figure.  Dave Parmo riding solo for the full 12 hours with bugger-all training.  Nick Vlahandreus and Gordon Sutherland both pushed out 12 laps (I think)… on their own – slogging it out all day long.  Clearly their average lap times were therefore about an hour a piece which on this course is an absolutely awesome effort (Gordo could have smashed out one more but went a bit soft on completion of his 12th lap at 7.55 p.m.).  My mate Mick Ritchie would have won the over 50 solo category if there was one!… but the really impressive thing about his ride was that he did it with his wrist strapped up having broken it (in a MTB crash) a few weeks ago.

And there were many others who competed and rode in adult and kids teams who challenged themselves on all sorts of levels all day.  Not to mention our trusty team mechanic – Shannon Dean – who kept Brendon and I going constantly despite broken bikes, ripped tyres and tonnes and tonnes of DUST!  (Yes… I’ve broken another Anthem).

Heroics is overstating it I know… but the individual efforts of everyone were just amazing.

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Alpine Classic Group at Tawonga South – fog and cold to come atop Falls Creek

So it’s been two fantastic weekends of cycling in Bright with the Alpine Classic last Sunday, where 20 of us headed out on the traditional 200km route over to Falls, then this weekend with a brilliant Gravity 12 hr.

It simply doesn’t get any better than this.

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