Winter Warmer report 2010
The Winter Warmer is done and dusted for another year and it didnâ€™t disappoint.
The day started early with excited participants arriving at Lifecycle from 5:30am with the mercury sitting around the 8 degree mark.. The support cars were jam packed with bags, bike spares and a huge selection of food to provide energy for the long ride to Maleny. The slower paced group of approx. 30 riders including our Lifecycle â€˜Womblesâ€™ left on time at 6:15am with a plan of getting to the summit of Mt Mee first for some extra recovery time.
The 20 strong chase group left a bit late at 6:55am with a few other stragglers including Jeremy Moore having to chase hard to catch us before we reached Samford. Â The chase group led by Jonny Stockwell and Paul Bowden arrived in Dayboro with no dramas and set off casually up the 6km climb to Mt Meeâ€™s summit. A lead group formed with the around 6 contenders for KOM pulling away from the main bunch. Canberra visitor, Angus Wheeler, looked ominous and sprinted clear and by the top it was on for young and old. Angus miscalculated both the length of the climb and also his own form and leftÂ Richard Hallahan to take the honours over Dr Bill Vicenzino. Blair was right on the pace and somehow still able to take happy snaps and provide comic relief style commentary despite others gasping for breath on the steep slopes.
The back doors of the Vito opened and it was time for the â€œbake offâ€. A popular winner was the slice baked by newcomer Karin Thompson! After copious amounts of lollies, cake, slice and softdrinks we were on our way again across the top of Mt Mee.
We regrouped again just prior to the Woodford descent for a quick safety briefing from Blair. The â€˜Womblesâ€™ group set off first down the steep, fast and winding roads with around 5 minutes head start. The chase group took off and were approximately a quarter of the way down when they rounded a sharp corner to the last thing any bike rider wants to seeâ€¦ Brett Todd was lying by the side of the road after an unfortunate accident. Fortunately we had a number of qualified medical professionals in our midst who stayed back and waited for the ambulance to arrive. Thanks to Karin Thompson, Dr Bill and our erstwhile support crew for taking such great care of Brett at the scene. The bunch continued on, somewhat more cautiously, to Woodford for lunch. Later that night we received word that Brett was going to be OK. We wish him a speedy recovery!
As usual Woodford is a popular mid morning stop at CJâ€™s bakery. The food is great and is hard to resist but most were strong and all the talk was about the 900m section on Stanley River Road soon to come!
We set off, all together again in a long single file train and headed for the hillsâ€¦ actually more like mountains! It wasnâ€™t long before we turned into Stanley River road we took on the Legendary 900m 20% wall that takes us up onto the ridge. This was the point in the day where Ian May and Phil Ciniglio who had snuck out of town early decided to continue on foot for the steepest section. Even young Angus Wheeler felt the need to stop a few times finding the incline almost overwhelming. Hamish Dalglish proved his climbing prowess by passing many of the front runners except for an elite bunch including Blair and Jay Stockwell, Peter Goding, Richard Hallahan and Bill Vincenzino.
Believing that the bulk of the climbs were done for the day we picked up the pace for some fun rolling hills only to come around a bend to a sign saying warning 12% incline ahead. 12% that shouldnâ€™t be too bad we thought!! Well we soon found out that our Garmin computers disagreed with the signage. 16% was more like the truth and due to fatigue if felt like 25%. Thankfully that was the last steep climb and the fun rollers continued with AMAZING views of the glasshouse Mountains to our right. The front runners finally reached our destination at Tranquil Park Resort at around 1:15pm. Once again Richard took the honours after Bill â€œAndy Schleckâ€ Vicenzino dropped his chain with 1km to go!Â All the remaining riders came in over the next 45 minutes or so with Karen Bucholz taking an extended detour to Maleny after missing the last turnoff to the resort.
After a gloriously refreshing shower we were treated to some gourmet wraps, assorted muffins and fresh fruit whilst we sat taking in the world-class mountain views. A few people also indulged a few coldies including some pints of Guinness. We then headed back to our rooms for a little R & R before the 5:30pm kick off on the big screen of the Bledisloe Cup. As we had a mixed bag of Aussies and Kiwis there was some fierce rivalry among the crowd. Unfortunately for some, the Aussies got a hiding so the focus was quickly moved to the fine buffet dinner on offer. Simply saidâ€¦ we stuffed ourselves on a huge selection of savories and sweets while singing along with the clichÃ©d yet popular hits played by the resident muso. The drinks flowed and the conversations rolled on until the call of sleep got the better of us.
We awoke around 6:30am for showers and another big buffet brekky at 7am. We managed to get our weary legs going after packing the support vehicles and only leaving 15 minutes late after our hopeful departure time of 8am.
The Wombles group again set off a little early and after some discussion about which turn to take most of the group took the wrong option despite the pleas from Marshall and ended down in Landsborough. This resulted in several riders adding another 3km steep decent and subsequent 3km steep climb to their already long day ahead on the bike. The main group had no such problems and enjoyed the breathtaking panorama overlooking the Glasshouse Mountains and whilst the air was fresh it was nowhere near as cold as we had expected.
The bunch regrouped near the fruit shops at Peachester where Liam McCarthy had joined us Â having ridden all the way out from Brissy on his own to lead us home. Once again we were treated to some awesome roads accompanied by perfect weather. The pace was kept down in order to maintain the two ride bunches. We made it to Wamuran for the traditional bakery goodies at CJs. This was another point where various riders had friends or family meet them to get a comfortable lift home in the car whilst the rest of us continued on with around 60 kms to Lifecycle. Tim and Holly Class-Auliff met us at this point to accompany us on the trip home.
After Wamuran we hit some great old roads which saw the bunch string out over some tough little rollers along with some cattle grids. There were no takers for the worldâ€™s steepest driveway so it was on to Oakey Flat road and the last few kilometers back to the city. Â Many sets of legs were feeling the fatigue set in and therefore had to dig deep to make once last push to get home.
Arriving back at Lifecycle around 2:15pm we had one last feed on the remaining supplies from the support cars and took some last photos of the weary riders. A big thanks must go to Simon and Dudley for volunteering their driving skills to the support vehicles. They had a tough job to do to make the ride safe and we could not have done it without them. A big pat on the back to the first timers especially Reuben who battled away early but came on strong on day two and also the girls who impressed with style and toughness.
Already, the riders are talking about next years Winter Warmer but first we have to take on the Spring Challenge in November to Oâ€™Reillys. We hope to see you there! Stay tuned for more infoâ€¦