Ride report by Dave Thompson
Link to the Perth-Albany-Perth route: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/28524000
Organized by Audax Australian Cycling Club.
Capsule summary: Well organized and supported, friendly people !!, moderate difficulty, nice scenery but nothing breathtaking, recognizable culture but different enough to add to the interest level, polite drivers, good road surfaces, quiet roads for the most part but a few busy sections, different flora and fauna – (you won’t see kangaroos anywhere else !) — bottom line, well worth doing but then again I say that about most, if not all, of these rides.
From a weather perspective, three of the days were tough – 1,2,&4 – due to headwinds. Day 3 featured tailwinds but became difficult for some riders since late starters that day encountered more rain and cold and produced a number of DNF’s. Speaking of which, the finish rate was around 50%, which is low. Much of that was due to cold at night, e.g. 8C, which isn’t extreme but you have to be prepared for it. I only experienced a couple of hours of rain late on Day 3. Others weren’t so lucky.
The kilometer breakdown was fairly typical – (in round numbers) – 375, 325, 300, 200. The 5am start on the first day meant a later finish that day, but at least it was “only” 375k.
Climbing ? – the first 275 kms of Day 1 to Nanup was almost flat, which of course made the headwinds that much more noticeable. 2500 meters of climbing that day was heavily weighted to the last 100k. On the other hand, 3600 meters on Day 2 to Albany, over a shorter distance, made that the highest climbing day. About 2300 meters on Day 3 and 1200 on Day 4 brought the total to a fairly typical 10-11,000 meters. Grades were mostly moderate, 8% being pretty much the max.
Accommodation featured mats on days 1 & 3 and individual dorm rooms on day 2 in Albany. Food was provided at the overnights and a couple of other Controls. A choice of good comfort food for dinner plus eggs for breakfast made for pure luxury.
The ride was well staffed by volunteers, some 2 dozen. Wayne Hickman, the ride organizer, lamented that he didn’t have as many as the last edition which meant that he couldn’t staff all the Controls but for a newbie rider on this event, the combination of overnight staffing, great food and open Controls was as much as I could have asked for.