High country hi-jinx

Last weekend I went to the Scody High Country Challenge, a set of recreational rides and a few races, plus a food/wine festival, up in Mansfield.

I went to Mansfield because I wanted to know whether it was as everyone in Bright described - two-headed locals, terrible weather and tacks and diesel all over the road. And terrible wine. And only one big mountain.

At least they were right about the mountain.

The weekend was awesome - next year I'm going to get a crew together so that when I crash spectacularly at the crit again, I'll at least have some photographic evidence.

There were 3 or 4 different recreation ride options on Saturday, ranging from 185km to 40km, and a few more on Sunday. There was also graded crit racing on Sat evening, a series of music gigs and an mtb ‘Bike Buller’ festival on the top of Mt Buller with 3 or 4 mtb races. Plus a heap of cool little stalls set up in a market format in Mansfield’s high street, pedalling among other things 15min massages at genuine 1972 prices, the best $10 I spent all weekend.

There was a generous prize up for the KOM and QOM (fastest time up Mt Buller), with the catch being that you had to enter one of the recreational rides as well. So I lined up and got amongst it. I met some nice blokes on the ride out to Buller and lost count of the number of times I was asked whether I had ridden Around The Bay In A Day. The climb was pretty cool - it's not everyday you meet Rasmussen's Australian doppelganger on a hill (thanks for the ride Rosco)

I found out on the top that I had won the QOM (and later found out that I’d come 3rd in the men’s), but the presentations weren’t till 8pm so I hung around in Mansfield and got a late entry for the crit. It was a small field and Helen Kelly and I broke away pretty early on. Actually, to be fair, Helen attacked and I got on her wheel. We were fanging it trying to make sure the break stuck, and almost immediately my wheel lost traction on one of the corners and I had an awesome crash. I say awesome judging from the 'oohs' from the crowd at the pub. Perhaps they were being kind. I got a lap out, both me and bike were ok and I got to rejoin the break the next lap. We held the break for the rest of the crit, through 2 intermediate sprints (both had to go to video – Helen won the first and I got the second), then Helen got me in the final sprint. Clare Dallat came 3rd. Then straight to St John’s.

The weather was just terrible

Next... Lisa's Mum talks wound management (Special request from Angelo)