It was compulsory to attend a safety briefing and in conjunction with this we collected our rider kits. The briefing was not to long and the highlight for me was when the police officer in charge of road safety for the event had his mobile phone go off during his presentation. He didn't miss a beat said it was his boss calling and sent the call to voice mail. Once the briefing was over we collected our rider kits as we left.
The first 1.5 km was neutralised to allow the bunches of 200 riders to get settled down and organised before the pace hotted up. And hot up it did. I had a few people say to me they didn't think the event would be competitive enough for them and all I can say to that is when my heart rate hit around 180 bpm on the first little climb, the competition was well and truly alive.
We blasted down the Great Ocean Road and when I wasn't completely on the rivet I had to remind myself to soak up the magnificent views and enjoy this opportunity to be on this road with no traffic.
The decent was great, a little wet but not too dangerous and then the course was a series of rolling hills that could pretty much be ridden over in the big ring. I got in with a few others and we pushed pretty hard to keep the pace up. After one of the small towns that had a comfort stop (I was determined to ride the event without stopping) we were joined by a group of maybe 40-50 riders that kept a good pace all the way to Deans Marsh. Rounding the right hander here it was not long until we going up hill again. The legs were starting to hurt and the "suitcase of courage" was calling for a withdrawal to be forthcoming for the last 10 km which was to be mainly uphill. Plenty of people were really doing it tough now and all I could do was keep pushing as hard as possible knowing the end was almost in sight. Climbing out of the saddle for the last couple of hundred metres and crossing the line spent but feeling content that I had done a good time.After catching my breath it was nice to have a chat with a few people I had rode with during the day. Everyone I spoke to had a great time and were already talking about next years event. I can only imagine how fast it will fill next year.
The local people who were sitting out in front of their houses clapping and cheering as we went past. Especially as they would have been quite inconvenienced by the road closures.
The beautiful scenery.
Time spent away with friends.
The elder statesman (The Silver Streak) arriving back at the car
announcing "let's go around again".
For the record my time was 3h 28min 17sec at an average speed of 31.6kmh
average heart rate 161bpm and cadence of 79 rpm
All results from Amy's Gran Fondo are available here and you also have the option to print out a certificate that gives your ride time,overall placing,age category placing and KOM time.