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Welsh Widget's and Scribe's rap-up of 150kms Fitz's Challenge - The Bestest endurance ride in NSW/ACT


Last Sunday under idyllic Spring weather, 11 "Contented Cavaliers" - Simmo, Frigidaire on Two Wheels, The Flash, Helmet Hun, Welsh Widget, ToothFairy, Rabbit Warren, Globetrotting Andrew and The Bloody Cheat conquered the dreaded Fitzís. Bruce B and Elfi opted to complete the 90kms Tharwa Challenge. This was Muggs 5th visit to Fitz's in as many years.

The diehards [Sig/Phil, Brenda/Ann] roughed it at The Lodge. However, some Muggs bucked the tough tradition - turning soft, and opting for the more comfortable digs next door, with Vicki S/Jean-Clause's contingent going further up-mkt. Nicky and Simmo did the horse riding bit on Sat morn. Brenda and PJ gave the Eco Café, Mittagong a healthy workout either side of Canberra and it has been added to our ever burgeoning list of popular Slop Shops for the Pit Stops.

We all dined Italian pre-ride. For a few, withdrawal symptoms from an alcohol free restaurant meal were hard to handle.

Without Fladgate present, the corridors weren't creaking from 4:30am. Approaching 6:20am on ride morn, Simmo and Ian could see that Brenda was uncomfortable departing The Lodge in her familiar Volvo, with PJ as her navigator. At one point, about 5 mins into our journey when we had successfully negotiated Adelaide Ave, The Scribe muttered, "Brenda, all we have to do is stay on this 'till it comes into Cotter Rd, then its eight clicks on to Eucumbene Drive. Not even we could get lost from here!" Sure enough, five minutes later we were in Woden, not Weston, and stopping cars for directions.

At 7:03am the whistle blew and that was the last anyone saw of Andrew Argent. He should deflate his tyres if he wants any company! The sky was blue, unfortunately so were our fingers and toes - it was a tad on the nippy side. Head wind hindered ride times, but otherwise there was spectacular scenery for us to feast our peepers on. Not going to comment further on the ride route, except that the mountainous terrain and grand landscapes are the bestest in NSW/ACT.

BB had a 45 min wait for a mechanic a few Ks from the turn-around after her chain lost a rivet but she spent the time well (pushing tired cyclists up the incline).

Alas, whilst first back, Andrew A's return-time of 2:15pm was five mins longer than Jon Fladgate's of 2.10pm the previous year? Ian arrived back shortly thereafter.

Some time later, The Bloody Cheat, who'd carded a DNF at Bright last Jan, arrived back and vigorously protested [to the course marshalls] his guilt at not stopping to get his card stamped at Tharwa on the way out. The marshalls looked at him distraught and delirious, cogitated that the "guns" had come in hours ago and took pity on the poor sod, figuring that it would be less trouble to give him back his card (minus one stamp), than to withhold it and disqualify him.

One enthusiastic cyclist drove down from Sydney that a.m. - arriving only twenty mins before the ride start. He completed the course then jumped in his motor and headed back to the Big Smoke.

Simmo returned about 20 mins later, but to PJ's dismay had averaged over a Km an hour faster than him, as had Sig who also eclipsed 80kms down Fitz's.

Sig arrived back shortly after, with Ann and Brenda in pursuit. Notwithstanding a dearth of training, the FatMan surprised none returning in indomitable style for the umpteenth time.

A handful of us dined at The Fisho Café early that night, whereupon most returned to Sydney.

Just who was Phantom graffiti artist responsible for painting the tarmac on Fitz's Hill with www.Muggaccinos.com? Perhaps he wants to maintain his anonymity in case the RTA goes after him. Or is it a her? Where will it pop up next? And will he/her use the right paint next time? No-one would own up but we have our suspicions nevertheless and it was a terrific surprise. 

Alas, my tale is a tad tiny today, as I'm all written out. If any Mugg would like to write an account of this week Sunday's ride, BB be happy to hear from them and receive their 'first-cut' by Monday evening.

The Widget 'n The Scribe  -  2 Nov 2000