400 Km Day

This trip was a four hundred kilometre challenge. Could I do it in 24 hours? The date was set for 7 October 2010, chosen for the warmer weather after winter but before the summer heat.  The day was a Thursday, which was chosen, as was the route, to minimise traffice exposure. I left Elizabeth at midnight.

It is fair to say the trip was a large learning experience! It was also a great experience. The unplanned section started when the bitumen road to Mallala turned into a dirt road, with a sign post to Mallala point in a direction I was certain was 90 degrees out. The flat country between Gawler and Mallala is no place to be lost at night. I lost enough time here to fail to reach the 400km in 24 hour goal.

400 km Day - Click for detailed map

I began to feel the cold between Mallala and Balaklava. I had made up some windproof arm protectors, for the top of my arms, but eventually had to go to a full wind jacket. No matter what they say about Goretex, this eventually means getting steamed inside the jacket. I eventually stripped this off around 10 am and spent the rest of the day warm.

Water, food and fatigue were all very manageable until I left Gladstone around 12.45 pm and began the slow climb across to Jamestown into head winds. The bitumen was also rough in places. The speed dropped here, and I actually felt tired.

I began to realise how much time one can spend waiting for a simple steak sandwhich. The next time I try one of these trips I will carry some light meals in a town pannier. I reckon the time saved will be well worth the weight.  A minute's break is 3 kilometers lost, at least.

I arrived at the Trengove house in early evening and took book advice to take 90 minutes sleep. That is something very hard to wake up from!

Clare to Elizabeth was an extraordinary hard slog. The main problem on this stretch was windchill combined with sugar levels and fatigue.  If I stopped riding I was warm and then hot in very little time. The wind generated in riding was the problem.  Eat a Mars Bar and my temperature would immediately improve. This did not last more than 15 minutes.  Next trip will involve a drip feed of a sugar source.

I was wearing a full face balaclava, but still needed to add a bandana to lessen the cold against my face. I reckon another layer of wicking material would also have helped.

My next attempt at this distance will involve carrying some meals, multiple small sugar feeds, another layer of clothes for the second night, and warmer footwear. I will "sock up" under the booties, and see if I can find a heavier pair of tights. Temperature seemed to be the main issue. I was not unduly tired or sore over this distance!

Statistics

Trip = 421km in 29.75 hours.
Real Average Speed = 14.39kph.
Average Riding Speed = 20.18 kph for 20 hours 52 minutes.

Total Km

Place

Distance

Time

Road Ave.

Riding Time

Notes

9121

Elizabeth

0

00:00

-

-

 

9135

Gawler

14

00:40

 

0:40

 

9163

Mallala

42.92

2:51

   

Got Lost

9199

Balaklava

78

4:40

22.9

3:24

Cold

9239

Blyth

118.1

6:47

22.4

5:15

 

9257

Brinkworth

136

7:23

22.5

 

Breakfast

9284

Red Hill

163.9

9:23

22.5

   

9305

Crystal Brook

185

10:22

22.5

8:11

 

9318

Hilltop

197.2

11:22

22.1

8:55

Place where I grew up. Hughes Gap takes the speed down

9327

Gladstone

206.9

11:55

22

9:21

Lunch 52 minutes

9343

Caltowie

13:29

       

9356

Jamestown

14:13

       

9390

Spalding

269

16:22

19.2

   

9421

Stanley Flat

300 Km

18:39

20.6

14:29

Darkish

9432

Clare – Trengove’s

311

19:30

20.46

15.12

Tea/Sleep, leave 10.30pm

9452

24 Hours

331 KM

     

Reisling Trail

9460

Auburn

339

24:25

20.2

16:45

Reisling Trail, getting v. cold

9490

Tarlee

369

26:08

19.8

18:11

 

9521

Near Roseworthy

400KM

27:88

20:48km/h

19:43 Hours

Frozen

9542

Home

421

29:44

20:18

20:52

5:14am next day

 

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