Mt Suff - riding 1000+km

My Mt Sufferlandria is fast approaching. In just over 3 weeks i’ll be cycling from Sydney to Melbourne (Australia) over a week. I set this goal about 9 months ago when I first started on Sufferfest, and went all in with yoga, MTP, and back-to-back training plans. It’s a goal that feels achievable, but is definitely out of my comfort zone.

I’m travelling light by staying in the cheapest hotels. I’ll take quiet, sealed roads on my regular road bike, and my essentials will be in a 17-litre saddle bag, or in my jersey pockets. I’ll have one pair of bibs, one jersey… and wash them each night in the sink. You’re not going to want to hug me at the end.

The route averages 160km/2000m’s per day, for 7 consecutive days. Some days are 185km, and one has almost 4000m’s of climbing. I’m not some lifetime athlete; I’m just about to turn 40, have a regular job and and a very understanding family :slight_smile: I haven’t done anything like this before. I’ll be picking up supplies at supermarkets, and eating at cafe’s/petrol stations along the way. There’s only a few stretches where it’s 70km without services.

I’m posting this because this community is awesome maybe it’ll inspire someone elses Mt Suff. But also to see if anyone has done a similar endurance ride - do you have any advice, tips or considerations? ?

My rider profile is very accurate; an Attacker. I struggle with sustained efforts, so will need to stay in zone 2, refuel regularly and take recovery very seriously. But i feel strong, confident and excited, if a little nervous. I really hope it doesn’t rain too much.

Oh, and if anyone wants to keep track of the progress, I can update this with my instagram link closer to my April 1st leaving date.

Edit: https://www.instagram.com/itspeterfranc/
And video: Cycling Sydney to Melbourne | Soomom– SOOMOM | Cycling Apparel

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@Imminent -Congratulations on your big adventure! This is fantastic. These opportunities don’t come along too often. My advice…look up, take in all you can and have a blast! Wishing you the very best on your trip.

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Wow, what an adventure that will be! Enjoy your trip and do, please, post your Instagram link.

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Good luck. Would be good to follow you on strava as well if you have a profile.

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Hello, good luck, look forward to seeing your adventures, and follow on Insta.

YOU GO AUSSIE!

tenor

:wink:

Would love to check in on your progress via social media.

OMG, this is awesome!
Your post emits so much energy!!
It looks like you have everything planned.
I am sure you are going to crush this :wink:

This sounds like an excellent trip! I’d love to do that some time.

What route are you taking? Coast/mountains/inland? Looking forward to being able to follow along through the pictures you post.

What a great challenge.
I’ve ridden a few 150km days, but not with that amount of climbing, and not more than one day at a time
My only thought would be, don’t forget to stop and smell the roses, often there’s too much concentration on getting it done rather than enjoying the ride.
Good luck and keep us all updated here as well

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Thanks for the lovely messages everyone!

For those interested in the specifics of the route (or might be bored at work and looking for distractions…)

I chose to avoid the coast route as it’s mainly highways… and they just get a little hectic after a while. Inland has lots of great options, and the magic really happens when you get off-road. So I’m somewhere in-between:

Sydney > Woolongong > Bundanoon > Canberra > Jindabyne > Khancoban > Beechworth > Mansfield > Melbourne > Bathtub

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Damn, I’m jealous. But here’s my thoughts, as this is very similar to my Audax routine (usually doing 150-200 miles per day, but no more than 5 days in a row!)

  1. Plan your stops - sounds like you have this sorted, but if you’re not carrying much food, missing a stop because the small town you passed through only has one store, and it’s closed for lunch can be a real bummer. Check opening times!

  2. Massage your legs each night. I do this lying down on the floor, with legs up on the bed - and rub down from feet to hips. Makes a HUGE difference to how the legs feel the next day.

  3. Get a routine with the food, and stick with it. I’ve found that a protein shake, a sandwich, and a flapjack (probably needs translating to Aussie) provide enough sustenance, and take just the right amount of time to eat. I do always carry a few extra bars to munch on in cases of longer gaps between stops. I inevitably end the ride with one or two of these uneaten, though!

  4. Don’t rush. Stop for photos, sit on benches in towns, enjoy the experience. I’ve done one of these before and had nothing to show for it at the end, and felt I’d wasted the effort.

  5. I fully understand the drive to travel light. I do have an extra cycling outfit though, and something different (lightweight shorts / tech t-shirt) to change into at night. My bag usually weighs around 3.5kgs at the start, down to 2kgs once the food is eaten. If you’re going for one pair of shorts, make sure you wash it really well: salt buildup can have a sandpaper-like impact on your undercarriage.

My Mt Suf this year is a 1200km Audax: Blackpool to Inverness & back over 4 days. Provided Covid restrictions lift, of course. Please post back when you’re done (in either sense of the word:) - would love to hear how it went (not on Instagram). I’m also an attacker - I can take it easy on the flats, and push a bit on the hills, and recover before the next hill. Almost the ideal profile for this sort of thing.

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do you have an extra power battery pack to bring along?

Brilliant tips, appreciate it. I’ll definitely update this post with how it all went, post-ride.

Made more difficult with stops is the Easter public holiday schedule, so i’ve added petrol stations as potential stops, which should be open.

I didn’t think to weight my bag, but will definitely do that before I leave. i’ll have a change of clothes for the evening, but the salt buildup is a nasty one. I’m thinking a big scrub with shampoo in the shower each night, then hope it dries by the morning.

300km/day, consecutive - that’s meaty! Presuming you’ll be aiming for the sunniest/warmest days for that one?

Indeed - first week of July. About the only time of year it’s vaguely warm in Scotland. And the long days mean it’s pretty much light enough to ride 24 hours if necessary. Not warm enough to dry a chamois overnight, though. Guess you don’t have that problem in the Aussie summer:)

Excellent Mt Suff! Eager to follow along.

My personal medium term Mt Suff is to ride Paris-Brest-Paris in 2023, and longer term to ride across the continental united states, so love to see stuff like this. :slight_smile:

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Definitely on my bucket list. I was all systems go for LEL this year, but that’ll have to wait…

The coast is nice heading out of Sydney. I can show you down to Bulli from Sydney cbd if you like - that’s a really pretty ride.national park is slower but more scenic. Pm me and I can share some gpx for that section or if the stars align I’m happy to actually ride the first leg.

I haven’t ridden Beechworth but it’s a really pretty town. Sounds like an awesome challenge. Make sure you get some stretching in. Your pace should be slower than a one day effort. If you’re an attacker you’ll need to ride further below ftp than a TT would, for example.

I’m curious if your profile will change after the ride, that will be quite a lot of stimulus.

Enjoy! (In a suffering kind of way) :wink:

My 2020 goal just got shelved ; letape Australia 2020 was supposed to be on today (postponed from last year - covid) but has been cancelled last minute. Floods huge winds. 200mm rain forecast today. We were driving around the course yesterday and a tree fell in front of the car with a couple of small boulders rolling just in front us and blocking the road.

I had a bunch of goals for the race so pretty miffed that it’s been cancelled. Haven’t worked out what I’ll target next. I’ll miss bobbin head (travelling for work). Will just get back into the training groove and work out what next in a little while

Hey all - so, two days until I depart! I’m equal parts nervous and excited.

Glad that there’s no rain forecast for 3 days before or after at any of my stops - meaning it’ll not only be safer, but I can also shed a few items.

I reached out to a local cycling clothing label and they’ll be following me along taking photos and videos. If you sign up to their newsletter, you can see daily updates. I’ll be wearing their kit for the ride.

There’s also a video with some background on why i’m doing it (personal challenge and setting a good example for the family). Naturally the Sufferfest features in a lot of the training parts :slight_smile:

And lastly my Instagram link, for a mixture of daily life stuff which is going to be totally overtaken by cycling over the next week :slight_smile:

https://www.instagram.com/itspeterfranc/

Woohoo!

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Thanks for the offer to ride - i’ll be keeping this one solo, but find me on Strava and we can get a ride happening in the future. That sucks to hear you were all set for L’etape, but on the bright side you can train harder for the November one :wink: Sounds like Bobbin had perfect weather.