The big day has come and gone and I am pleased to say the execution part of the bike ride was a success!
Close to 4000 people supported the Amy Gillet Foundation for the 2013 Gran Fondo, a 110 km timed event with the extra 10 km decent into Lorne being un-timed for safety reasons (it’s a steep and fast decent).
So how did the execution go?
I was riding with two friends, one trained to a similar level to me and hasn’t ridden this distance before and the other was fitter than both of us, and is training for the Melbourne marathon so his focus was on running and hasn’t ridden much at all. We had visions if him falling in a heap early ( and secretly hoped) but as we crossed the start line he was off and flying. We set a fast pace (for us) and got to Apollo Bay averaging about 30kmh. Luki, our marathon man wasn’t even waiting for us at the start of the hill at Skenes Creek, he had kept going.
Our execution was so far good, but we were a bit worried about going too hard too early, or in business terms, trying to do too much all at once without thinking of the long term goals! We did still have about 80km to go!
Next came the 10km incline up the mountain and this is where our preparation and planning would be tested. Having done the ride last year I had nightmares about this part. The average speed quickly started to drop but the hill was being beaten bit by bit until the summit was reached. I was tired but not exhausted. I am sure a few more Black Mountain rides might have helped in the preparation.
The next 40-50 km saw the road go up and down and through the beautiful Ottways with the legs getting heavier and heavier. It was in this section we finally caught up with marathon man, and then disaster struck! We heard a bike go over behind us and turned to see Luki laying on the road, then calling for help as his leg had cramped with the mother of all cramps! He was in a world of trouble and Jeremy and I secretly went ‘ha ha’ as we knew his poor planning for bike riding would come to bite him- planning and preparation needs to be relevant to the activity.
We got him back on the bike and did the right thing and encouraged and supported him through the ups and downs and walks and cramps that followed. As this was a timed event, there were strict cut off times so it was touch and go to keep him, and us in the race. Luckily we were showing our coaching and supporting skills by keeping him going, and to his credit we had made it to the last stop at the 100km mark at Deans Marsh
The legs were tired, and after another gel and bar intake, along with copious amounts of Hydralyte and water being consumed and stocked up on, It was time to go. It was at this point that the Marshall told all riders we had 5 minutes to leave or we would be out of the event so ‘saddle up’.
I had visions of this last hill from last year as the pain was high and it was full of some good inclines. Luki was fading, and we decided to do what good friends do and ride on and leave him to get this thing over and done with.
My recall of the hills weren’t as daunting as I had remembered and very soon I was passing through the 1 km to go sign. As I turned to the last upward ride towards the line relief and satisfaction with a touch of elation came over me.. As I crossed the line there was a sexy Red Devil lady to greet us and the announcer called out ‘and now crossing is Tony Ozanne from Amaroo- well done’. A nice touch and one that business owners need to maintain- reward the doers!
We sped back to Lorne and expected to see Luki arrive by bus or ambulance, as there was no expectation of him getting up that last hill, but about 15-20 minutes later he appeared and had conquered it.
The execution had succeeded, but not to any world qualifying times, but that was never the goal. Our goal was to finish and that was achieved. Just like you business goals, ensure that you set realistic expectations and work towards those goals.
If my personal rating was lower in the preparation and planning areas, I would have to rate the execution higher as the goal was achieved. The key now is do we all learn from the gaps in the process and apply to a better and more structured preparation for the 2014 ride.
Amy’s Gran Fondo ride 0
Tony Ozanne conquests 2
Bring on 2014!