What better way to train than with ocean views, resealed roads, redirected traffic, catering, arranged accommodation and brilliant company? This is what I was lucky enough to experience in the first week of December when cycling with my family on Bicycle Victoria's 2009 Great Victorian Bike Ride. The ride began in Portland and ended in Geelong and was set out as 550km of pure bliss along the Great Ocean Road. Being a glutton for punishment and perhaps a little nervous about January's 1400km ride a few extra kilometers may have been clocked along the way.
My family have adopted this annual ride as a regular get-together event which seems to satisfy the key requirement of 'family time' as well as each family members individual requirements:
- Me: training, training, training
- Mandi: Sleep-ins, late nights, gigs & not having to cycle (Mandi Volunteers as she hates exercise in all of it's forms)
- Mum & Dad: Almost romantic get away, without the guilt of leaving their darling daughters to fend for themselves
One slight issue I did come across was the lack of fresh vegetables provided as part of the catering, given this seems to be my staple at home it did take some getting use to. I may have been caught out on the odd occasion turning towns upside-down in search of what ever roughage I could find, one such time produced half an iceberg lettuces and a tin of beans! As unexciting as it may sound to you now given this was all I could find in the town for 2 days it was a very big highlight.
Other such highlights of the trip included my sister and my desire to ensure a smile was on all 5000 riders and 500 volunteers faces of the evening. Our methods were not far off the usual behaviors of the McDonald Girls however we decided to make a particularly special effort for the Country Night, with Mandi dressing up as Dorothy and Myself as Heidi. Lucky for us as Mandi was on the Events team we got a heads up a few weeks before to prepare for such random antics.
All in all I could not have asked for a better way to train and we are all already booked in for the 2010 ride!