Newsletter: 21st March, 2017

Flèche Opperman 2017: What a blast!

Ride News:

Smashing Mee – Saturday March 11th 2017

A scenic hilly 200 that will give you plenty of excuses to get off your bike to take a photo or two. Dayboro and Mt Mee with a few dirt roads and 4500 of vertical gain. What else could you ask for? The only way is up! – That was in the brochure.
Roger Hawley, Cam Taylor and Paul Witzerman answered the call. For those that have not been following this ride, it used to be called the SM5000 until it was found out that there was only a mere 4500 m in the 200 km ride.

Jackson Rd is not one you will forget:

(Thanks to Cam Taylor for stolen pics)

Flèche Opperman: Saturday March 18th 2017

This is the one day of the year when there are no “opening times” at checkpoints. There is only one closing time at the end and that is 24 hours. While most Audax rides are constrained to be “non-competitive”, “it’s not a race”, “personal challenge”, etc., the Flèche Opperman is the one Audax ride which is unashamedly in the spirit of Opperman: go as fast and as far as you can (as a team). Thanks to FNQ, Queensland had a great Oppy turn-out this year.

Flat Out Oppytunists – 528 km

Anthony Richardson (captain), Nick Burnett, Nic Booth, Mark Riley, Rod Staines.
Ant was involved in a previous Qld Oppy record (“A Pair of Nicks with Two Dicks“) and he was keen to go again. He sent out the emails and everything fell into place. Simon Faber volunteered his services supporting the ride and immediately started sending out gourmet menus for the checkpoints. On the day I think he must have also organised the weather and had the roads swept.

Number of punctures: 0
Number of mechanicals: 0
Number of rainy parts: 0
Number of times it was too hot: 0
Number of times it was too cold: 0
Number of times it was too windy: 0
Number of times a driver abused us: 0
Number of kilometers of gravel: 0
Number of time we left a checkpoint hungry: 0

It was almost too good to be true. Nic Booth had us ticking over at a frantic pace and time was banked. Of course, there are some photo oppytunities that you just have to stop for.

We were mindful of looking after ourselves, taking time-out for personal hygiene:

Towards the end of the day Ant started to “lose his food” and when even Simon’s gourmet egg & bacon rolls could not tempt him to eat, the sun was setting and his day was done.

There was only 1400 m climbing, and most of this was towards the end. At the 400 km point we had climbed less than 500 m. And yes, our thoughts turned to you Andrew Bragg: “<125m/100km" this is what ride numbers should look like. When we did have to do some climbing, I was finding my legs fragile. The ride to the top of the range took its toll:

But that was a very comfortable patch of bitumen and it was all smiles at the end.

Flèche Opperman: The Extremes – 360 km

The Extremes – It sounds like a ’70s Punk band: Gayle Sticher (captain), Ian Church, Paula Castle, Snowy Evans and Marina Harcout.

What an awesome ride! I remember my first Oppy had team members that were old hands and knew what to do from experience. Here is a team who were all doing their first Oppy, with a couple of riders doing their first 200k. Four females and a (token) male. They wisely started from the highest road in Queensland, but a descent cannot last 360 km. Read another great ride report from Gayle below.

The Extremes at the Finish:

Petit Flèche Opperman:

6 (Six!) teams from FNQ!
Small N Dainty – Kim Christie, Nola Kerswell, Mark Kerswell, Toby Kerswell, Jordan Seymour-Jones.

Hawaii Four-O – Deborah Gillespie, Peter Kyriakides, Brian Kittler, Lloyd Stonadge

Cassowary Coast Cyclones – Jeff Coward, Steve Bryan, Matthew Wensley

Team Tailwind – Michael Lee, Mary Ann Allen, Helvis Visser, Heather Cochrane

Cairns Strava Crew Red – Chad Elliot, Troy Furner, Christopher Clair

Cairns Strava Crew Blue – Ben Smith, Nick Masasso, Campbell Smythe, Warren Elliot

That’s 33 Queensland Oppy riders this year! Thanks FNQ. Chapeau tout le monde!

Ride Reports:

FNQ Oppys – (18/03/17) – Gayle Sticher
(original blog post here)


The Indian Pacific Wheel Race (IPWR)

When too much endurance cycling is barely enough, have a look at the IPWR.

Tracker here:
This is a great race: you have to ride self-sufficently from Perth to Sydney. It started on the same day as the Oppy so there are still racing now. It has most of the world’s top bike-packing racers entered; but with lots of “normal” people also riding. I counted 13 Audax members among the total of 70 riders, and I expect the % Audax will be much higher in the numbers finishing.
The ride will continue over the next 2-3 weeks with the winner expected to complete within 8 days. Mike Hall and Kristof Allegaert are currently battling it out, but anything I say here will be out of date by the time you read it. Saturation media coverage if you go looking:

The Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAM’R)

Where do you draw the line when you are already off the scale? From riding for 24hrs, to riding for a week, to riding for a whole year.

Over the past couple of years several riders have been “racing” each other while on different continents in the Highest Annual Mileage Record (HAMR). Steve Abraham (Audax UK) started by challenging a 75 year old record of 75,065 miles (120,805 km) ridden in one year that was set by Tommy Godwin in 1939 – a record that was long thought to be unbreakable.
A traffic accident prevented Steve finishing his first attempt. However, it sparked a number of other attempts including one from Audax Victoria’s Miles Smith. Eventually American Kurt Searvogel exceeded Tommy’s record and set a new mark of 76,076 m (122,432 k). This record is now about to be broken by Amanda Coker who has essentially blown the field away. She has seemingly optimised everything possible and has been extremely consistent, banging out 380+k day after day like a metronome.

In fact she is getting faster and is already at a pace (400+k/day) that would break the world month record. She will make a month world record attempt concurrent with her yearly attempt starting on 25th March. Check out her Strava account here.

Barring any incident she is on target to break the current record by ~12,000 km. And I don’t think that record is going to be broken any time soon.

Mitsuaki “Micky” Inagaki

Sadly, less than a week ago Mitsuaki Inagaki was killed after two Audax riders were hit by a truck during the Tiwi 1200 in New Zealand.

There is a beautiful story about Micky here.


The Secret Pro:

The last newsletter Secret Pro was of course: Hubert Ferdinand Opperman.

In order of receiving correct answers: David Booth, Keith Heinrich, Leonie Lucas, Peter Jenkins. Four correct answers: 3rd entry wins: Leonie Lucas.

However I did not get any comments about the “100 miles in a 100 minutes cyclist”. According to my rough estimate this is 60 miles in 60 minutes, which is approximately 60 mph. Hyperbole from the poster?
Given that 60 mph is 96.6 kph and Sir Bwad’s hour record is only 54.5 km it would appear to be so. Or maybe not, when you consider what they used to get up to on the velodrome:
And that is a great set of handlebars.

The current IOU beer/coffee list: David Booth 1; Brian Hornby 1; Leonie Lucas 1; Dave Minter 5; Dino Morgante 1; Kym Raffelt 2; Peter Robertson 1; Wayne Williams 1; Melvyn Yap 2. (I paid off one last week, but the coffees-owed continue to mount.) You have to ride to collect.

Today’s Secret Pro is:

Email answers to: The winner is drawn randomly “calculated” from all correct answers sent in before the next newsletter.

Upcoming Rides News:

Forms: Ride Entry Form, Lighting Rules, Reflective Vest Rules

Yeronga Medley 2 – Saturday Apr 1st 2017

Reasonably flat courses with distances of 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 km. A great way to introduce yourself to Audax at the level you want.

Upcoming Rides:

Round The Mountains 400 – Saturday Mar 25th 2017

Scenic ride from Ferny Hills, through Caboolture, Kilcoy, Esk etc. around the mountains west of Brisbane back to Ferny Hills.

Start: Ferny Hills 6AM
Costs (member/nonmember): $6/16
Distance/Map: 400k BRM
Supported/Lighting Rules: No/Yes
Contact: Brian Hornby (0418 711 417 /

Yeronga Medley 2 – Saturday Apr 1st 2017

Reasonably flat course with distances of 100, 200, 300, 400 and 600 km. We start with part of the river loop, and then head west, taking in the Scenic Rim and the Brisbane & Lockyer Valleys. Please contact me if you need any sleeping arrangements.

Start: Yeronga 6AM
Costs (member/nonmember): $6/16
On-line rego: here
Distances/Map: 110k, 200k, 300k, 400k, 600k
Supported/Lighting Rules: No/Yes (except for 110k)
Contact: Anthony Richardson (0467 771 869 /

River Loop April- Tuesday April 4th 2017

A social ride followed by a coffee somewhere interesting on Montague Rd.

Start: Regatta, Toowong; 5:30 am
Costs: $6 members / $16 non members
On-line rego: here
Distances/Maps: 50, 100
Supported/Lighting Rules: No/Yes
Contact: Brian Hornby (0418 711 417 /

Freedom Ride 300 – Saturday April 8th 2017

A scenic ride around the mountains North West of Brisbane.

Start: Ferny Hills 6AM
Costs (member/nonmember): $6/16
On-line rego: here
Distance/Map: 300k BRM
Supported/Lighting Rules: No/Yes
Contact: Brian Hornby (0418 711 417 /

Eight Tablelands Towns in a Day – Sunday April 9th 2017

Ride from Atherton past canefields, coffee farms and cattle paddocks to the northern Tablelands areas of Dimbulah, Mareeba and Walkamin. Return via the tourist icons of Yungaburra, the Curtain Fig Tree, the Afghanistan Avenue of Honour and Lake Eacham.

Start: Atherton; 6:30 am
Costs: $6 members / $16 non members
On-line rego: here
Distance/maps: 100k, 200k
Supported/Lighting Rules: No/Yes, for 200k
Contact: Gayle Sticher (0428 440 411 /
This entry was posted in Audax, Audax Queensland, AudaxQld, Randonneurring. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Newsletter: 21st March, 2017

  1. Dino says:

    Hi Mark, another enjoyable newsletter. Keep it going.

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