It is only two weeks to the next BOQ It possible cycle tour in aid of Brisbane Children’s Hospital. It has become a tradition that every year the Bank of Queensland throws its considerable resources behind organising and supporting a three-day cycling tour. In previous years it has alternated between Noosa and the Gold Coast, so this year we are heading back to Noosa on the 8th, 9th and 10th of September to challenge ourselves and our colleagues (and raise a bunch of money for a great cause).
So why am I writing a blog before it even starts? Well this year I wanted to share what “Team Mexia” is doing this year to participate and help raise funds. In years past, Team Mexia consisted of me and a couple of ring-ins who were already keen cyclists, and thus the preparation was really booking the accommodation and pitching up on the day of the ride. While the 3 days were challenging; myself and the other guys were more than capable of meeting the challenge. Both years prior there was a high degree of keenness within Mexia staff to put a team together when the ride was first announced, but in the proceeding weeks the reality of riding over 300k in 3 days hits home and the numbers dwindle, and the ring ins are called up. BUT THIS YEAR IS GOING TO BE DIFFERENT!
Meet The Riders
Before I introduce the team, let me explain why it’s going to be different for me. Unfortunately had a pretty bad crash while riding on Easter Saturday and broke my collarbone – a cycling rite of passage apparently. The injury has meant that I had to stop cycling (and all exercise) for 3 months. Turns out 3 months is about the perfect timeframe to lose all your fitness.
So now I am starting from a pretty low base, but it least I have company, this year I am riding with the real “Team Mexia” which consists of:
Me – “Returning” cyclist
Dean Robertson – “Newbie” cyclist
Tom Vilder – “Commuter” cyclist
Ben Place – “The older I get the better I was” cyclist
Dave Keegan (Microsoft) – “Big diesel” cyclist
Desmond Russell (Microsoft) – “Race” cyclist and mandatory ring in
Dean has dived in head first, buying a French carbon beauty (a bike) and committed a full 12 weeks out from the event. In preparation he has 1,400km under his belt and is riding like a seasoned veteran – albeit a veteran that only averages 50 or 60k in a single ride. Tom has upped the commuting with detours to Mount Coot-tha and longer weekend rides, but to quote him:
“added Mt Coot-tha to the commute this morning and a bit of the river loop. It's now clear that I have a lot of prep to do before the BOQ ride."
Ben dusted off the mighty steed a few weeks ago and knocked over his first ride, but his confidence has been dealt a severe blow with the release of the course (more on that later). In a weaker moment he has confessed that 100km is the furthest he has ridden in the past.
Dave is coming back from a couple of months off the bike but he is known for his big heart and he assures us that if he needs to jump in the car it will only until he gets to the top of the next hill.
Desmond is our ring-in, he is well on the way to clocking 12,000km this year on his bike and is fresh from the Queensland Cycling road race season – he doesn’t know it yet but he may be on pushing duty!
…and me. Well after 3 weeks of riding over 150k a week I don’t feel like vomiting during every ride so I suppose that is progress. I have set of my program and all going well I will have ridden over 1,500km in the 6 weeks prior to “It’s Possible” with the goal of keeping up with the pro peloton (and Desmond).
Let’s have a look at the beast of a course they have come up with this year. The summary is 342km over the 3 days, with the catch being 3,216 meters of vertical accent – that’s riding 3.2km straight up!
I think this should be called the “Four Sisters”, because as you can see below there are 4 distinct climbs in the middle of the 120k course. The first 3km climb at the 30km mark is really going to test the legs and by the top, those who have been slack on the training will have a pretty good idea if they have done enough to get through the 300 plus kilometres still to go. After the 4 climbs it will be an “easy” 50k roll home and a few well deserved beers (for rehydration of course) and a rest.
I’m not sure what day two should be called, but I do know it will be called a lot of things on the day. The second day will take us to Kenilworth through the Sunshine Coast hinterland and some of the best riding in South East Queensland. The profile looks fairly innocuous until you have a close look at the elevation scale – the first three climbs are comparable to those on Day One, but it is the climb at the 85km (or 200km for the weekend) mark that is going to be the problem – 3.5km with three pinches of nearly 20% (i.e. for every 5 metres you go forward you go up 1 metre) that’s about twice as steep as Mt Coot-tha at its steepest…
After the big climb it is pretty much downhill or flat back to Noosa but everyone will be feeling the pinch of 2 days hard riding.
After the first 2 days, day three is really a doddle a 60k flat ride – but if the last 2 years are any indicator the organisers will make it interesting with a bit of racing ensuring that Saturday night celebrations are premature…
So now you have an idea of who’s riding and what we have in front of us, please get behind the “BOQ: It’s Possible Cycle Tour” and help us raise money for the kids! Donate can be easily made here: https://itspossible-cycletour17.everydayhero.com/au/teammexia!