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1  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2019 AZTR Race Discussion on: May 20, 2019, 04:51:51 PM
That was really tough, it hurt a lot, and had I not had encouragement from many different and surprising quarters I’m not sure I’d have finished.

I think the AZTR is out of my system now for the moment but AZ has so much more to look at and ride.
Well done young fella ... have a beer or three! Now you've toughened up a bit you might be able to have a crack at Terra Australis ... travel safe back to Brissie NZ
2  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Ultra Racing Calendar (sticky thread) on: May 02, 2019, 07:08:17 PM

6,250k down the Australian east coast from the tip up on Cape York to Wilsons Promontory the southern most point of Australia's mainland.

Grand depart 31 August 2019, couple of weeks earlier this year to cheat the heat...
3  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: October 18, 2018, 02:49:37 PM

Congratulations to Steve Halligan, first rider to finish the inaugural Terra Australis Bike Epic from the tip of Cape York in Queensland to Australia’s southern most mainland point Wilsons Promontory in Victoria.
31d:9h:14m. A superb effort over a hugely diverse challenging course and distance. Probably close to 6,200k in total including route changes. From +40ºC temps in Cape York in Queensland down to below 0ºC overnight crossing the Australian Alps. This was a massive daily challenge of human endeavour that has been almost faultless in execution of navigation and endurance as the daily rhythm of riding into the late evening and away before dawn unfolded down through eastern Australia.
Steve Halligan we salute you![/img]
4  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: October 04, 2018, 10:37:00 PM
Hey Scott, nice to see a bit of discussion on this.

I found it very difficult to get my head around where riders were at using my phone and the limited map data [found cycle was best]. Now I'm home and have the big screen it's still been difficult ...... but the new option 'World Imagery' is as good as... also has some town and road name data. See what Dave n Dave think....

I can live without street view though it's handy when route planning.

Cheers Steve
5  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 11, 2018, 09:24:01 PM
Watching with interest some of these names I'm not familiar with. I have been looking at their personal sites and FB pages. There some extremely accomplished riders/races putting in some long and blazing fast days. Dom, the NB'er has an interesting history of cycling and some significant records.

Bit of background on the Southern boys an girls here ... from my Monaro Cloudride 1000 Facebook page


Without doubt the strongest Antipodean representation since Jesse Carlsson and Liam Crowley mixed it with the frontrunners in 2013 following Kiwi Ollie Whalley’s 2012 winning ride.
The known form riders are Seb Dunne out of Canberra and Melbourne’s Lewis Ciddor. Seb, back for a third attempt after suffering a broken fork when running fourth in 2015, lost three days and finished. In 2016 Seb became ill and withdrew on day three. Lewis Ciddor is a TD rookie but put in a very strong ride in the 2016 Hunt 1000 winning ‘it’s not a race’ in a little over four days of challenging riding that you don’t get back to back on the Tour Divide. Also out of Melbourne, Gareth Pellas SS and a top ten TD finish in 2016, Ben Hirons who rode well in last years IndiPac. John Wright has an overnight GDT [Vic Goldfields Trail] win and a weather deviated 2016 Race to the Rock finish in his saddlebag. Father and son duo Nic & Sam Wardenaar also hail from Melbourne but with an eta around the 30 day mark would appear to have settled for a touring ride.
Dane Roberts also out of Canberra has a very decent 13 day Tour Aotearoa finish to his credit in 2016. Wendy Stevenson long time XC and 24h Solo racer from Sydney. Wendy’s been sighted out on the trails in Kosciuszko National Park perfecting her bikepacking skills and will be a very solid competitor in the womens classification.

The Kiwi’s, as always, have a very strong lineup with Rob Davidson heading out for the fourth time, already with a 5th, 7th, 11th place finish to his credit. Jacob Roberts achieved infamy in the inaugural Tour Aotearoa in 2016 when he smoked down the course in 8 and a bit days and was subsequently the sole disqualified rider for finishing inside the mandated minimum 10 days [it’s not a race]. If Jacob can re-produce that form and hold it together for a couple of weeks he’ll do some serious damage amongst the front runners this year.
Other Kiwi’s are Russell Shanks [DNF17] Stephen Hull, Craig Moss, Chantal Hindrup, Mckayla Holloway, Kane Pottinger and Russ Lory. I’m not abreast of the recent years NZ Brevets so can’t expand on their form/experience.

Of the American and European riders, Richard Dunnett GB and Bailey Newbrey USA [a 19 day finisher in TD16] have declared themselves with and eta of 15 days. Dunnett has some serious ultra distance form with a 2nd and 3d behind Kristof Allegaert in the early Trans Continentals and 2nd to Mike Hall in the 2012 Round-the-World race.
6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Divide Withdrawals or DA "divide Anonymous " on: June 06, 2018, 11:34:26 PM
hahaha!...... sentimental young men, enough to make a grown man cry.

Come up and play with the crocodiles and snakes in your own back yard...
7  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2018 Race Discussion Thread on: June 06, 2018, 11:27:56 PM
Yeah .... get some lamb chops and prawns on the BBQ Mr Kipp for the Aussies and Kiwi's coming through on the first wave...
8  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: May 30, 2018, 03:24:47 PM
A further two rider entries in this month. Welcome to the fun for Steven MacLeod from Auckland NZ. Steven has a background in Adventure racing and has traveled to Australia to compete in the past. Carlos Maroney from Melbourne makes it eleven on the start line. Carlos has a deep background on the bike, road and in the past decade on the mountain bike being age competitive on the XC race circuit and the National 24H solo champs.
Ben Cadby 34, Trafalgar Vic
Simon Faber 53, Eagleby Qld
Matt Hart 50, Murdunna Tas
Rod Gemmell 69, Surrey GB
Steve Watson 71, Canberra ACT
Paul Vandeleur 59, Woombye Qld
Steve Halligan 41, Hanmer Springs NZ
Mark Gibbens 55, Athelstone SA
Brendan Corbin 30, Gladstone Qld
Steven MacLeod 53 Auckland NZ
Carlos Maroney 50 Melbourne Vic
9  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: February 24, 2018, 07:02:23 PM
Steve Halligan, 4th in last years Tour Divide has just smoked it down the 3,000k Tour Aotearoa route in New Zealand in 10d:12h:08m. .... fasted time [it's not a race Wink] so far by a couple of days.

Steve is an early entry in the inaugural Terra Australis Bike Epic starting 15 September.

Entries to date;

Ben Cadby 34, Trafalgar Vic
Simon Faber 53, Eagleby Qld
Matt Hart 50, Murdunna Tas
Rod Gemmell 69, Surrey GB
Steve Watson 71, Canberra ACT
Paul Vandeleur 59, Woombye Qld
Steve Halligan 41, Hanmer Springs NZ
Mark Gibbens 55, Athelstone SA
Brendan Corbin Gladstone Qld
10  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: December 29, 2017, 03:44:15 PM
OK boys and girls ... entries open January 1. You still have time to get fit for this...

Starting 15 September 2018. From the tip of Australia at Cape York finishing at the bottom, Wilson's Promontory in Victoria. Just you and your bike, no support, the clock runs non-stop... off road. You'll end up a bit grubby on the outside but you will cleanse the mind and cleanse the soul .... do something that's possible that you thought was impossible.

A draft route will be available to riders upon registering...

No need to worry about Bears ..

There will be some suitable 'best practice' advice to negotiate crocodiles, snakes, sharks, wombats, kangaroos  etc on your journey south. A large portion of resident Australians have survived a lifetime of these perils ... you'll be dead unlucky if you don't survive.

Everything you need to know is on the website ...
11  Forums / Ultra Racing / Terra Australis Bike Epic 6,500k on: September 25, 2017, 11:17:35 PM
In August the Terra Australis Bike Epic of 6,500 kilometres was launched to start 15 September 2018. Running from the tip of Australia’s north at Cape York down to it’s southern most point generally down the east coast and Great Dividing Range of Australia.

Over the past week we’ve had a rider out doing a ‘canary’ test ride of the north Queensland section from Cairns to Longreach a distance of 1315 k’s 

Our 'Canary' test rider was non other than the 'no fixed address, hobo' from Brisbane ex Kiwi, Dave Wicks.  Yes the same man who in his youth won the 1998 NZ Weetbix Eating Contest [unsupported] Total: 47 with choc milk.

Dave, as many of you on this forum will know has been a repeat offender on the US bikepacking circuit with several TD’s and an AZTR to his name.

He seemed to have the perquisite experience to be let loose in this remote part of Australia and so it came to pass …. he finished in nine days on Sunday with a 252k leg, riding from 5:30am and finishing in Longreach at 10:00pm … a big day’s riding in mostly 40ºC temperatures…. that's 100ºF+ for you peeps.

Dave’s ride and pictorial highlights have been posted on the race website ‘Blog’.... link above. I've posted a few 'teasers' below...

For those interested in heading down under for some reverse cultural exchange  … 'subscribe' on the website Home Page and get the race and route planning updates.

Cheers, Steve Watson

12  Forums / Ultra Racing / Terra Australias Bike Epic 6,500k on: August 26, 2017, 12:05:19 AM

6,500k down the Australian east coast from the tip up on Cape York to Wilsons Promontory the southern most point of Australia's mainland.

Grand depart 15 September 2018, and annually thereafter.
13  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Ultra Racing Calendar (sticky thread) on: August 20, 2017, 12:14:10 AM

6,500k down the Australian east coast from the tip up on Cape York to Wilsons Promontory the southern most point of Australia's mainland.

Grand depart 15 September 2018, and annually thereafter.
14  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: American Trail Race 5000 on: August 03, 2017, 04:45:48 AM
Congratulations Hal on finishing this epic journey!

Dylan Taylor, Indiana Schulz, Michael Kinney, David and Loreto Garcia, Aaron Weinsheimer, Lindsay Shepard, Mark Snidero and Hal Russell, I salute you all. What an epic achievement and journey.

The highest rider completion rate in contemporary ultra endurance racing history.

Cut a notch in the bedhead, get the scrap album out this has been a moment to savour for you all. I am humbled but immeasurably inspired.
15  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2017 - race discussion thread on: July 04, 2017, 09:35:12 PM
Sadly Forums generally have become old school and this one is in decline as a focal point for TD race and pre-race information.

The emergence of communication mediums Instagram/Twitter/What’s App have fragmented the audience. Many simply now follow their friends and favourites. Facebook event pages are a dog’s breakfast. Some of the stuff getting posted up by ‘spot’ chasers was mind boggling …. on the TransAm, ‘I found him asleep behind some bushes’ and the self appointed ‘trail angels’ are another emerging problem.

I could happily live without Facebook however it is an essential information outlet for business and race marketing for me [Monaro Cloudride]. I also run an email list for the occasional spam as there are many riders who don’t have a Facebook account. Unfortunately there is no one info dissemination source that fits all. Like it or not [Facebook] we’re stuck with it.

I don’t have a volume problem with riders at the moment however I am conscious of keeping it simple into the future. I will roll with the punches when the time comes.

Just to add to Dave’s stats.
2015 TD race thread  was 94 pages with 478,000 hits
2017 TD race thread is at 36 pages with 61,000 hits … that’s a hit between the eyes.

2018 Tour Aotearoa [3,000k] start list is currently at 648.

2017 Indian Pacific Wheel Race race tracker had 1,360,500 views

I too add my appreciation for Mathew, Scott and Joe for their consuming passion, interest and tireless work in pulling the threads together each year. Looking ahead and the glass half full, maybe TD has arrived at a critical mass that is injecting a substantial tourist dollar into the many communities along the way of the race and there is a substantial ‘insurance investment’ of good will and $$$$$ that will stand the race in good stead if the storm clouds gather.

Cheers Steve
16  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2017 - race discussion thread on: June 24, 2017, 03:47:58 AM

More photos and words in my blog on the whole TD route.

On another note. Lee Craigie has gone off route big-time and hasn't corrected, being currently at the base of the Indianna Pass climb. I wonder if she messed up the fire reroute or has maybe run out of time and is nailing it toward the finish?
Edit: it looks like she went off route waay back at Como. Anyone know what is going on?

Pay attention young fella, she bailed at Savery/Brush Mtn with [outside support?] mechanical and health issues but decided to head south and do some sightseeing.

Off topic .... why have you got one aero bar orange and one black? Were you not sure on which side of the single track you should ride on?
17  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: TD 2016 scratch club on: July 16, 2016, 09:05:02 PM

As the elder member of this years Tour Divide, at age 69, I feel some duty to contribute to the discussion on ‘how to’ prepare and ‘race’ the Tour Divide. This year was my second start [previous in 2014] and I again failed to complete the distance. So for me it’s TD 2 Me 0. This bothers me not.

In the context of this discussion, ‘helpful and useless ideas on how to complete the Tour Divide’, I can give you some insight into the process of preparing and racing as a senior racer. You will all get there one day [age 69] if you hang in long enough but my secret tip is …. don’t wait till then, do it now, the older you get the harder it will get!! First up i’ll disabuse you of the notion that you get smarter as you get older so a few more years of maturity will be good value for you… I’ve had remarkable success at making dumb arse mistakes well into my 60’s and continued right through to TD16.

Prime requirement as a senior racer is to be delusional as to your capacity to achieve the distance to Antelope Wells. I’m a champion couch surfer and with a lifetime history of delusional ideas/behaviour so adding my name to the TD start list spreadsheet was the least demanding task of the entire ride.

The fundamentals of getting to AW fast, are to ride fast… I came to this irrefutable conclusion in 2014 after riding very slow for almost 3000k. This is not rocket science but, with little wriggle room at age 69, things had to change! If I ditched some gear, weight, got fitter/faster ….  then AW was an achievable goal.

Gear changes following TD14 included eliminating my sleeping bag, matt, thud-buster seat post [for a carbon post] 3 litre bladder and lightweight race backpack, dynamo hub, K Lite1000, Sinewave USB hub, top-cap switch and stand-light. The dynamo setup was all but useless for my leg power other than descents or road surfaces that allowed 15kph+ speeds. How much night riding are you going to do? How fast can you ride at night over slow cobbled/washboard road conditions that pin you back to 6-8kph or climb 3-6+% at a similar pace for 2-3-4 hours? Spending $6-700 on this gear and lacing up a front wheel hub is a complete waste of money unless you plan on riding endless night hours and believe you have the leg watts to push this gear to generate enough power to light up a christmas tree.

The other major change to my riding setup was the adoption of a very mid-sole cleat position. For the past 12 months i’ve re-drilled my cleats 1.5cm further back than the max rear position on the standard cleat slide and dropped my seat post probably a good 3cm. All of this is in the interests of activating my glutes in particular but also getting the hams and quads to work more efficiently for ultra endurance riding and climbing in particular. I believe this has played a significant part in my capacity to ride comfortably for 20-30 hours and achieve significant fatigue reduction and post ride recovery. For more information, Google bike-fitter Steve Hogg and watch some of his discussions on YouTube. He has a very generous amount of free information available and in my view it makes a lot of sense for the style of multi-day endurance riding we do. I’ve not had a single joint, tendon, muscle issue over thousands of kilometres of riding and attribute this to the logic that Steve Hogg articulates.

You may have not realised yet but your major challenge to speed on bike as you age becomes, your lactate threshold …. fast as you may want to pedal, the limits of your speed are going to be determined by your capacity to push oxygen through your heart. With a heart rate
around 150-160bpm your lactate threshold is going to be down in the 130’s…… try riding for 14-16-18 hours just under this level and see how your aerobic systems work. We’re all different, you may be super efficient and do this like a 40 year old.  Figure this out before you start. Don’t delude yourself with 3-6 hour rides.

After six months of long slow multi day base riding I did a two month high intensity [HI] rep and tempo training program [Today’s Plan] leading into the 3000k Tour Aotearoa [TA] in NZ in February. I was off alcohol for three months. I was fit [for a 60yo] but concluded post race that in spite of my hugely impressive [well I was impressed] training program, absence of alcohol and lightweight rig that the ageing process was accelerating in direct opposite proportion to the gains I was making in health and fitness i.e.; I was still dead slow on a bike!  I announced I would not attempt the TD again.

A few weeks passed and with the resumption of alcohol and an equally helpful dose of ‘bikepacking amnesia’ [attributed to Neil Beltchenko] I concluded that I needed some serious longer tempo hours in the saddle and success in the TD was possible. Load the bike up and go for 14-16-18 hours … and do it again the next day. Put away 200k with 2-3,000Vm, throw in a bit of shit weather some 60kph head winds and suck it up. I did all this and was happy.

The offset to lugging around wads of sleeping kit was to hit a bed each night. Warmth, shower, sleep, light/power … better recovery, easy! My total dry bike weight was 13.7kg, I just had to crank it each day [light & fast] to carve out 200-250k and the result would fall into place……. sure there were some longer legs, particularly down south and I had my SOL Emergency Bivvy to catch a few hours of sleep on those longer legs to get me through when a bed didn’t fit the ride agenda……. never imagined I’d have it out at 3:00am on day two under a tree in the rain, but there you go, make plans and mix with custard.

Switching from dreamtime to realtime in Banff was quite painless. And so at 8:00am on Friday 10 June we were all off on our way, each with a common purpose but different strategy and eta. I can report that my cavalier plan was more miss than hit! Well before Del Norte my final retirement stop, I had arrived at my previous irrefutable conclusion that ’speed’ was of the essence and it was in desperate short supply for me!  Add to that, inconsiderate motel owners who won’t get out of bed at 3:00am, summer holiday tourists booking the only cabins on route, my phone having a terminal fail after two hours [with months of prep notes, food, accommodation options] and life on a slow bike becomes seriously compromised.

Oh well back to the couch …… I’ll drink to that!

Steve Watson

18  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2016 - race discussion thread on: June 05, 2016, 12:17:49 AM

Go like the fuckers and if no one passes you then you'll have done a pretty slick time.

Good Luck!

PS: If I catch you, you'll be in deep shit nono
19  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2016 AZTR300/750 Race Discussion Thread on: April 19, 2016, 02:55:07 PM
Wondering the same.  Seems like he might have determined the 300 to be 'enough.'

I see Calvin is now 'scratched' any update on what went wrong?
20  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Monaro Cloudride & Cumulus 1000k - Australia on: January 29, 2016, 02:27:15 PM
Some great US$1200 air fares LA-Sydney-LA on Air New Zealand at the moment if you fancy chancing your legs on the Monaro Cloudride starting g 26 March.

FREE 23kg baggage allowance gets you and your bike to Sydney for a 300k scenic cruise down to Canberra for the start. The US$ currently buying Au$1.41 ... !!! How many meat pies can you eat?!

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