Giant R4

17 05 2010

Rotorua. Rotoiti. Rotoehu. Rotoma. Four stunning lakes in a stunning part of New Zealand that make up part of the road cycle race known as the Giant R4. The course of the race took us from Rotorua past these lakes and through to Whakatane. It was a largely flat 90km ride, the biggest adversity was the looming weather. With strong rain, hail and winds forecast we donned on our wet weather gear and sauntered down to the start line. The weather gods were smiling on us for the first 80km, with a few drizzles here and there but nothing to write home about.

I was determined to learn my lessons from the 100k Flyer. I was determined to pace myself from the start and to eat and drink regularly even if I wasn’t feeling hungry or thirsty. This plan lasted about 15 minutes. I was feeling so good in the legs that I found myself slowly creeping up from bunch to bunch. I forced myself to eat one small Cannon Bar but that was it for the whole ride. They’re a great tasting bar and seemed to give me an instant boost of energy.

The first part of the race had a few hilly bits. I took it really cautious on the big winding descent because of the wet roads, but once we hit the plains on our way to Whakatane the race opened right up. This is where I experienced my first time riding in a pace line. There was a considerable head/side wind coming through. I found myself in a bunch of about six or seven other riders heading along in single file all taking turns on the front, it was great! It is really amazing how much energy you can conserve when riding in a bunch. At one stage I was one rider from the front of the paceline and found myself freewheeling behind the rider in front of me. I decided I wanted to go a bit faster than we were going so promptly charged on the front to speed it up a bit. Then the wind hit! I didn’t realise how much work the guy in front of me was doing! So I had a quick stint at the front then headed to the back of the line again. Another lesson learnt.

I had two goals for this race. First of all to ride the 90km in under 3 and a half hours, which would be an average of about 25kph. Second of all I wanted to finish closer to my cousin Aaron. I ended up reaching both of these goals and felt great after the race!

And the stats:
Distance: 90km
Time: 3h01m44s
Average Speed: 30km/h
Max Speed: 60km/h

Rank: 208 out of 393

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