Did anyone else do the Gran Fondo on the weekend?

One of the hardest rides I've ever done (5th hardest by suffer score on strava and all the others were over 200km)

Beautiful scenery and a fantastic ride but very hard. I've never seen so many people walking their bikes up hills.

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Not me, too busy taking family up to Mt Tambourine.

Did see some KOM markings on the road on a 12%, 13% and 15% climbing sections...

I did it last year and absolutely loved it.  So much so I booked my ticket for this years ride in June.  

Unfortunately I had a prang last Thursday so was unable to ride.  :(

I got sucked into doing it by a "friend". 

My biggest cluster has only 23 teeth which is OK for 5% Springbrook & Tomewin. I've used 39x23 for several 200 km Audax & long distance rides but I caught a fast train from the 1st feed station to Canungra and didn't keep enough energy in reserve for Beechmont. Pushing a cadence of only about 30-40 rpm at 8 kmh for 36 minutes of reasonably steady 10% up the back of Beechmont was not fun or very good for my body.

12% Tamborine-Oxenford Rd was hard at 8 kmh but OK since it was only the first "hill". The 50-60+ kmh ride down the back of North Tamborine was fantastic. I love those smooth sweeping corners and since I had my magic hat on I went faster around the corners than I usually would. (Risk compensation at it's best :-)

I'll admit I was one of those who stopped for a brief walk up Beechmont to give the legs a break & suck down a gel & honey drop. Do I get points back since I didn't stop at the next feed stops after the top to compensate?

About time for another Wiggle order & admit I need a 25 tooth cluster for 10% grades! My theory is that if you have too low a gear it only encourages you to go uphill slower & suffer for longer. Best to get over as quick as possible to avoid fighting gravity longer than you have to. (Yes, I know doesn't work on a hard long ride & got to keep the cadence higher.)

On the suffering scale. Definitely hard if you try to do it quick. I'd like to do it again with some friends but stop at a few cafes next time & take time to enjoy the scenery. I'd say that a 360 km in 24 hours Audax "Oppy" & sleeping for 2-3 hours in only lycra & wind jacket on a pub veranda in winter,  is harder.

 

I got to where you said 23 and I could hear myself say "Oh Oh!" in my mind! For what it's worth I run a 12-27 (11 speed) and a standard crank at the front.  I love the gearing.  I rarely use the 27 but I've got it there.  Generally on Cootha I use the 25 or the 23.  On a recent trip to Malaney though I was using the 27, weaving back and forth, and cussing for a compact on the front.  :o 

It's a Fondo... so you've got to love hills and there is a couple of doozies in there.

I would have loved a 27 on the back of Beechmont on Sunday. Thanks CamDS - several times I found myself clicking gear levers hoping I had it wrong and still had another gear - but didn't.

When they said it was a Gran Fondo I thought they meant there'd be a big pot of melted cheese to dip bread in or maybe meat cooked in hot oil at the end :-)

(Fondue. Just kidding.)

If you guys liked that ride then you'll love "6 bumps & a hill". It's a 200 km Audax ride held once a year from Currumbin Creek over the hills around Murwillumbah & the Tweed Coast finishing by coming back over Tomewin to Currumbin. https://www.facebook.com/AudaxQueensland The main photo on this Facebook page was taken on it last August. It's not a race but has a time limit of 10 hours. It is supported with feed stops & most of the guys stick together in groups of similar ability. The Frank Pappa Memorial is a similar ride with a choice of 100 km or 200 km across the same region. There's some good hills in them but most not so steep for so long.

Another ride I'd love to do soon is around the volcano shield. Gold Coast - Beaudesert - Running Creek Rd / Lions Rd to Kyogle - Byron Bay - Gold Coast. About 400 km with an overnight stay in a Kyogle pub sounds like a challenge but not as much of a killer as an "Oppy" 360 km in 24 hrs.

I rode it with only an 25 cluster and there were a few times I was wishing that the gear lever clicked just that once more... Outstanding work with a 23!

It definitely ranks amongst the top of the toughest rides I've done. As you said, only the 200km+ rides beats it. Riding on a recumbent, I get plenty of encouragement and other positive comments from the other cyclists, which was quite nice. I did however stayed on my seat the whole time, fighting hard to resist the temptation of resting under the shade with some munchies midway climbing. Overall I really enjoyed the ride. Beautiful weather (minus the crazy wind towards the end), great support, and awesome scenery to neutralise the pain :)

I think we passed you a couple of times, we were commenting on how much harder it must have been on the 'bent bike than an upright! you did an amazing job! 

I agree though a fantastic ride that I definitely think I'd do again

One thing to remember on the hills - careful of the corners. Unfortunately on Monday morning at Tallebudgera, a bloke overshot a corner coming down a hill on the Gold Coast and died at the scene. There doesn't appear to be any other vehicle involved.

He was only about 25 years old. His female cycling companion was a bit behind and didn't see him go over. She went back up and found him.

I did the Piccolo Fondo. Does that count for anything? (I'm not a climber)

Sure!  what was it like?   Did you enjoy?  Course good?  Any hills?

It was the first time I've done 50 km with out stopping for coffee at about the 35 km point.  There was a lot more climbing that I expected. A few nasty little hills and a gradual climb up towards the hinterland which was a nice constant burn. The worse climb was Alexandria Drive. I cramped and had to walk the last 1/4 of the climb.

Totally unrealistically, I decided I would set myself a goal of 2 hrs to complete. I finished in 1h 56m. http://www.strava.com/activities/85612910

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