Monday, November 05, 2012

Mountain River Meander 2012

A rider prepares for the start.
The Audax club in Tasmania is a small one, with about eight regular members. In recent years we've been going through a bit of a quiet time, with the departure of a stalwart long time club president and ride organiser. Last year we didn't run a single ride, partly because we missed the deadline for the club calendar.

This year is a rebuilding year for Audax in Tasmania. The rough plan is to hold enough rides to boost rider participation and to increase that number over each of the coming years. That's the theory anyway, here's hoping it works out.

The Mountain River Meander 100km was our first ride for this year, coming on the first weekend of the season. With four pre-ride entries and excellent weather, it wasn't a bad start at all, considering there are rides in the more populous states that only attract one or two riders. Four riders is half the club!

After the newbie ride organiser (me) sorted out entries and brevet cards and maps and cue sheets,  Andrew and Frank new Audax rider John and I set off at 9am down the Huon Highway and out through Judbury for the first leg of the course. We stuck together, which made a pleasant change for me because I'm used to riding alone. By Tasmanian standards it's a pretty flat and fast course with only 750-odd metres of climbing and oly one major hill of 150m. We stopped in Huonville for a quick break before heading out along the Cygnet Coast Road, one of my favourite parts of the ride. We hit the lovely burger cafe at Cygnet before tacking the dreaded Balf's Hill - which since I always hit it with a full stomach and cool legs is never fun. Once over we zoomed back to Huonville, spreading out only along the final grind up the highway to Mountain River, where I flagged a little in the headwind and dropped back a little. We covered the course in about five hours 30 minutes, including about an hour of breaks.

All in all it was a delightful ride in very pleasant company. I hope to run it again next year, having fixed a couple of minor issues with the cue sheet and maybe added a slight diversion or to to make sure it's over the magic 100km mark - my computer registered 99.3km - another 700m should not be hard to find.

3455km so far this year.

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