Fitz’s Tharwa Challenge

here’s another crazy challenge that we set ourselves: We decided to ride the 105 km Fitz’s Tharwa Challenge. It’s not a race, it’s on-road and it goes a little bit up and down (1300 m of climbing). As an incentive we decided to raise money for the OCF, who work towards finding cures for childhood cancer. Thank you so much to everyone who donated!

For experienced road cyclists this ride probably isn’t too much of an issue, but it’s more than we have ever done. On the failed ride to the coast we did around 80 km in one day in about five hours, but it wasn’t as steep. A few weekends ago we rode out to Wallaroo Road, which is almost 60 km and includes a big climb. Last weekend we attempted to ride out to Googong Dam, but were thwarted by a police road block for some unknown reason. We rode up Red Hill instead, which was another big climb, but was not very long. But good practice anyway.

At least my bike thought so, as it developed a crack in the rear chain stay. I panicked just a little bit and started looking where I could borrow a cross country bike (I have never ridden a proper roadie before and wasn’t going to make the Challenge my first time). Luckily, Steve at work was able to TIG weld the offending crack (and some other bits) on Wednesday, so I was able to use my bike today.

After enjoying Stonefest (it was great. Operator Please, Xavier Rudd, Boy & Bear, PENDULUM were excellent – Stupid drunk racist guys were not.) in the rain last night we had a short but good night’s sleep and got out there in the morning. The rain, as you can see in the photos, stopped just as we started the ride this morning, which was lucky in a way, because we didn’t get completely soaked. We didn’t get wet at all. It was also bad, because it meant that I should have put on some sun screen…

It was a really hard ride. We got to Tharwa without too many problems but the way home, especially after the last checkpoint was painful. Caroline is a great climber, but I’m not really. But we made it! And now we’re sore.

I’m glad we did it, and we’ll do some more rides of this length.

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