Andrew at the Alpine Classic
Once again our cycling group took on this one day gruelling annual event for cyclists, riding up and down the mountains around Bright.
This year was another fantastic day, held over Australia Day weekend. Great weather, no mechanicals, neither bike nor body related, and completing my chosen distance of 200k’s in a sub 10 hrs, I was stoked.
The most difficult part was having to get up at 3 am to start the ride at 4 am. Not exactly my idea of fun, but hey, when would you choose to do this normally? So go for it I reckon.
Actually, I did this 2 years ago, must have forgotten !!
What was different this year though, was that this time we started at the back of the 4 am bunch.
Last time we started near the front, and although riding 2 hrs up Mt Buffalo in absolute darkness was an experience to behold, the downside was being engulfed by a mass of flashing lights, in front, behind and to the side. At times quite disturbing and disorientating. Being at the rear this time was great.
We could pace ourselves, knowing that the long line of flashing lights ahead of us, winding its way to the base of the mountain, was our focus, and looking behind us was absolutely awe inspiring.
Trying best not to fall off whilst doing so, I looked back either at the incredible night sky, so many stars and so bright, hard to comprehend; or in the forests I looked directly back into absolutely nothing. It was so dark I wondered if my eyes were actually even open.
By the time we got to the start of the ascent up Mt Buffalo (about 10ks from Bright) the field of about 200+ cyclists had spread out a bit. This made moving up the field less arduous, and we were able to get to the top by sunrise. Always great to see sunrise from the top of a mountain, a wonder and reminder of the magnificence of this planet.
Mt Buffalo descent is always fast, made safer knowing only cyclists are on the road, and then it was off to conquer the next 3 climbs of the day.
It was time to settle in, take it relatively easy, it’s not a race after all, and enjoy the open space, the distances both horizontal and vertical (we did over 4000m of climbing) and the freedom that comes with doing these types of events.
In total, probably about 2500 riders turned Bright into a cycling extravaganza, along with families, dogs and aunties, all having a relaxed, warm and enjoyable weekend.
Post-ride celebrations, good food, great company, cold beers, a sleep-in, and much gratitude for being fortunate to be able to do this!!