Challenge for Change News

Follow the CFC team and event participants as they tackle physically challenging events to raise funds and awareness for Eagles Wings.

It's all about the bike.....somewhat....

Okay, straight up, I am not a bike nerd. I really enjoy riding, but I know very little about bikes. I am embarrassed to say this. If you ride for long enough you will hear loads of bike jargon that seemingly everyone knows but you! Sometimes I try to bluff my way through while I think, “I have no idea what you are talking about.”  Second to this, most people that ride with me are really disturbed at my bike’s condition. I don’t clean it. At times it gets confiscated and cleaned for me. This is something I need to work on. But I think it is important that you understand this.

So, when it came to the question of the bike that I’ll be using for this record attempt, I had to hand it over to the experts to assist in making this decision, whilst I only conveyed my big picture concerns of the balance between speed and comfort. Originally, I thought I would be able to take three different bikes for different conditions (hills, flats, off-road/road works), until Guinness World Records team stipulated the use of only one commercially available bike, with no modifications for the whole journey. Hence, this was one of the biggest decisions about the journey for me to make. If the bike is fast, but extremely uncomfortable, I will fail. If it is extremely slow and comfortable, I will fail. Either way, it would do my head in.

At the very start of planning for this ride, a friend of mine introduced me to Bobby and Chris from Bike Nirvana, Victoria Point. They have been unbelievably helpful and encouraging. Not only did they replace my 5 year old [non-compliant] helmet on first sight free of charge, but they have talked me through hours and hours of bike, and training (more on that later) options. After sifting through a few options and discussing further with Gary Land from Pro Bike Fit, they [we] have decided on a Specialized Shiv. It is a time trial bike, which gives a little extra speed. My set up or position on the bike is not the extreme aerodynamic position, but a slightly more upright positioning which should allow me to ride all day in some type of semi-comfort. Bobby has given this bike to me for the journey ahead. If I make it, I think he will stick it on their shop wall as “the bike that was used for the new round Aussie record”; If I don’t……Specialized Shiv, anyone??

After being set up on the bike this week, I went out for a test ride. First time on a TT bike and my initial impressions are good. I think the set up positioning is 90% there, with a few minor adjustments to be made especially for the arm support/bars area, where I am not used of resting. It felt like there was a lack of blood flow which meant I was moving around a fair bit. My speed on the first half of the ride was about 3 km/hr faster than my road bike, but on the second half I slowed somewhat. Overall it only came in around 1-1.5km/hr faster, which I hope to increase over time. Comfort wise I was really happy, but will have to take it out for a few longer rides to really test what areas become fatigued and/or sore over 200 or 300km which is more realistic to what I will encounter. Either way, there will be a few tubs of shammy cream being applied for this journey, and I know, but try to ignore the fact that even the best set up will not alleviate the pain that I will incur of the 35 plus days on the road.

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Hobart: Pre-ride.
  • $795,000
  • Raised since 2008
  • 9
  • Countries cycled
  • 479
  • Participants
  • 34,700
  • Kilometres cycled
  • BVRT 2018
  • Waterfall Wander 2019
  • Fraser Island 2021
  • Mt Coot-tha 2021
  • Noosa Hinterland 2022
  • Distance
  • 170
  • 90
  • 75
  • 5-20km
  • 75
  • 410
  • Walkers
  • 11
  • 11
  • 18
  • 35
  • 13
  • 88
  • Walkers*Km
  • 1870
  • 990
  • 1350
  • -
  • 975
  • 5,185
  • $Raised
  • 15,115
  • 15,549
  • 23,304
  • 6,150
  • 20,736
  • 80,854