With the second edition of Melbourne Man coming soon, it was time to fly out early acclimatise following another
christmas-swim_002_2excellent Saturday swim session with Brian. It was cool on my first ride, how dare it, and I needed arm warmers.The ride is always along local Beach Road, with the beautiful Bay and sea views, fab houses land side, traffic and loads of traffic lights. A gentle ride out for 30k and then on the way back I got in a bunch of 20+ which rode at a steady 40kph, but then the bunch split as the first part got across the traffics lights and we had to stop, then it was hard ride the rest of the way in to the wind. Still, it gave me an opportunity to reconnaissance the coffee stop zone in Melbourne man the next week. This year the rules have been amended so that time on the coffee and cake stop is discounted so as not to endanger competitors getting indigestion in a rush to move on. This was on Saturday morning when the road is declared a clear way with no parking 6-10am as thousands go out and this time I saw a couple of bunches 60 strong. In past years I have seen bunches of 100+ in past years, sometimes overtaking at 45kph. One morning each week there is the ‘hell ride’ starting at 5.30am for about 60k of mad fast riding/racing scheduled to average over 45kph, and apparently quite a lot of crashes, not for me. There are some nice, and some hard rides out in to the hills but you need to ride for 45 minutes or more thro traffic laden suburbs, with tram tracks to negotiate and drivers opening doors of parked cars without looking, a local speciality in Melbourne, so not something I choose to try.
img_1235Anyway,race day was upon me, and the swim attracted controversy due to some contested lap counting, was it a fast or a slow 1600m, we will never know. The bike was on
the 60k out and back, largely flat but windy ride along Beach Road. As it was draft legal I managed to get in a bunch averaging about xxx kph to the turn, but then I was on my own in to the wind, not so much fun. It was cool so the compulsory cake stop was shortened, then it was a short ride before the run. The event was completed with a lap of the ‘Tan’, a 3.824k hilly circuit round the botanic gardens. Craig Mottram, when world champion holds the record of 10.24 so my time of zzzz wasn’t too terrible. No records set this year, but a good event with a full and satisfied field.

Next steps a series of sprint races in Jan and Feb. with wet suited sea swims, the water is ok, but not that warm, but warm enough for the elites to normally be banned from wet suits. Race 2 will be an Endura race format of 250/10/5 done twice, the second swim is likely to feel cold after the run, as there will be not time to put a wet suit on, but two lots of transitions should help me, we will see. More news in the new year. Meanwhile happy Xmas and new year.
Richard