2002 Urban Polaris - Canberra 17 Nov

Martin, Julie and Paul in front of NPH
Someone offered to take a photo of all 4 of us so I got in also.
Martin and Julie atop Mt Pleasant?
Julie crusing down from some high point.
Julie walking up to the top of Mt Ainslie
Julie enjoying the view from Mt Ainslie
Martin doing the same. (hate to say it Martin but you look scary here)
Martin and Julie at a checkpoint with (I think) Ian and Jez (second place overall)
Julie at the telstra tower lookout.
Julie and Martin, probably happy to have finished (though Martin is perfecting his scary look again)
Heidi and her Sister returning to their bikes at the Ferry Terminal checkpoint.
James and the guy he lined up to ride with on the morning of the event at the Ferry Terminal.
Tyno and Jaymz at the checkpoint at Dave and Julies house.
One of the groups of unicyclists at Dave and Julies
The unicyclists pedaling away.
And again. These guys were able to get around town on busses pretty often. I suppose it is pretty easy to get a unicycle onto a bus compared to a normal mtb.
Andrew and Ian visit Dave and Julies house.
A mixed pairs team working their way up to the blackies trail checkpoint
The same pair about to leave the checkpoint.
The woodpecker pair, the woodpeckers on their helmets moved while they were riding, pretty cool.
Two guys fixing a flat with the event photographer looking on. Paul and I came along a few minutes later to this point and met up with the photographer for the photos mentioned in the report, we must have just missed Dave, these guys had their photos taken also.
Sean's house, a couple of cyclists chatting with Shaun.
Mary Grigson's bike, up for auction for 4w4s charity on ebay. This is a sweet looking bike, shame it is so small.
Horses and Bikes, proving multi users can get along. At the horse crossing checkpoint on the river. Paul and I rode down into this checkpoint just as those riders rode out of the crossing area, must have just missed Dave again.
Michelle and Peter about to leave the corck plantation checkpoint, Paul and I saw them out on the trails a few times over the day too.
For full sized (1600x1200) versions of some of the images look here. (these may be large at ~700 KB each)
Photos 0 to 9 from Martin's Camera, the rest from Dave Baldwin.
So Paul Mason and myself rolled up to do the urban polaris yesterday along with 200 odd other teams (400 or so people).

First off, damn was that a fun event, thanks to Huw, Dave, Julie, Roy, $REST_OF_DARKSIDE

When Dave gets some photos to me I will probably put this content online with the photos. Until then a run down on where we went etc.

Paul rolled past my house at 6:30am or so and we headed into the ANU (after I messed around for a time), Registered and started marking control points on the map at 7am. We were given a 9:10am start time (leisurely :)

Looking at the map we decided we should head south (though maybe we should have done Black Mountain early, instead of skipping it, oh well).

Started, got to the give out, I grabbed it and we kept riding while I looked at the points values around the place. Rode on to the ferry terminal. The $TERRY (mtb-oz joke dont worry if you dont understand) at the terminal had not opened when he said he would so Dave still had not been able to get the bouy into the water, saved time here (clip the control on the wharf) and headed off to Mal's.

Mal was actually there, said hi, stopped to mark the points values on the map. Left for the carillion. At the carillion we saw the three unicyclists. Damn keen if you ask me (though as Dave pointed out they used the busses to get around the city a lot, I can see a unicycle is a lot easier to get on a bus with than a normal bike)

Headed up to Mt Pleasant via russel offices and the road behind that, worked out alright. From that copntrol we dropped down the road then down through Duntroon (near the obstacle course) and out to the wetlands. Saw Jim and Cath at the wetlands (seeing them at control points became a recurring event for the next few hours) (wusses that we are Paul and I decided not to do Mt Ainslie although we were so close to it, again oh well).

The best route to the top of red hill we decided would be up the road, and conveniently we could go via Parliament house on the way and then ride up melbourne avenue right to the base of the road up red hill. Got to Parliament house and found Martin and Julie there, took photos of them at the land mark, got in photo with them, in the excitement I didnt even notice Nicky was the marshall at the control (sorry). Suggested a route to Martin (the reverse of what we had just done, maybe they could try to score the time pedals at the carillion) and headed off to Red Hill.

I found the climb up red hill my hottest/sweatiest of the day, no idea why. Paul and I had been doing a very comfortable pace all day and intended to keep doing so. Got to the top, had a quick snack (once an hour we were eating a museli bar or power bar type thing, though we should probably have eaten while we were riding rather than stopping to eat all the time), saw Jim and Cath again on Red Hill.

Dropped down to the tunnels, we both walked through the tunnel to the right thinking the control would be at one end or the other, got through and found a bunch of guys asking if the control was at the other end. Looked down the other tunnel, saw the control half way down it, ran down to get it and back out.

Went to the embassy next (saw Jim and Cath again), then up to the top of isaacs. We rode up the bitumen/firetrail route, good decision I think as it was in the shade all the way up and not steep (comfortable middle ring climb). Got to the top, stopped for a bit of a bite to eat again. Jim and Cath rolled up, spiked their card and left down a hairy ST descent, I had hauled myself and my bike up that ST the previous weekend (due to the sadistic Triple Tri course designers, I mean the climb up that end of the ridge is rideable, then at the top you could keep riding up the firetrail, but they make you walk up this goat track). I was surprised to see Cath heading down this track, decided I didnt want to and relised we should ride and eat at the same time rather than standing around. We headed down the fireroad, passed Jim and Cath and down the steep bit of fireroad, greeted the people struggling up it (yeah I am moderately evil I suppose).

Got to the saddle behind mt taylor a few minutes before Jim and Cath, left down the hill we had just climbed up (the only time we needed the granny gear all day up that), The next control was the only one we didnt know the exact location of (good to be a Canberran :), Jim and Cath pulled up next to us at some lights, Rode up the hill together and then Jim went left, Paul and I went into a track we thought would get us where we were going. Jim and Cath got the the control a few KM later about 100 metres in front of us so he made the right decision it seems. Next we had a pretty cruisyride over to Shaun's house, heard some hollering in front of us, a minute or two later realised that it was Jim making all the noise as we found Mikey and Steph climbing up a trail.

I use a roadie pump (zefal hpx) mounted on my frame, I also have an unfortunate habit of unclipping inward when I am coming to a stop to get off the bike. This means it gets knocked out by my foot from time to time, usually I notice it go, I didnt. As we went waround the back of Mt Taylor I noticed it missing. Thought I would be up for a new pump today, fortunately some kind soul found it near Mt Taylor and carried it for the rest of the day back to ANU and handed it to Huw.

Got to Shaun and Steph's street and went the wrong way (the map coords said it was that way) a few other teams also went thr wrong way, we all noticed pretty quickly the house numbers were going wrong, so reversed, got to Shaun's house, Waved to Shaun, left (while Jim and Cath were inside still). Had a pretty pleasant climb up stromlo (spinning the 4 largest sprocket). Saw Joe and Liam (I had leant a bike to Joe for the day) on their way down the hill, saw the Women in shiny pink dresses with their plates trying to departh their helmets.

At the top we decided to stop for a while as I thought I should have some insulin and food. Jim and Cath rolled up, grabbed the check and left, this was the last we saw of them. Told someone we thought was a marshall our number, he asked where we were going next and I said the tricky dick single track. Turns out he was the event photographer and wanted to get photos of people in single track (as he had not been able to before this point) we agreed to meet up with him at the ST to do so (media sluts that we are).

Had a bit of food and cruised down to tricky dick via the road and deeks. Hung around with the photographer and did the photo thing for 10 minutes (he gave us 10 minutes credit on our cards) and then cruised off through the single track. Grabbed the control on backtrack and headed for the buried pipe. Next we rode over to the horse crossing on the river. Greeted Jamymz and Tyno there and headed off to weston park. Back from weston park around to the cork plantation (saw Jaymz and Tyno on the bike track again). We had been thinking of doing black mountain at this point, however we didnt like the idea of having to go up the lift (holding us up once we got to the top of the climb) so decided to head up to Dave and Julie's place and then bruce ridge for 10 and 20 points respectively.

Our card said we should be back at 4:10pm, it was just before 4pm at bruce ridge. We had sort of decided to head back to ANU from here so were sitting around discussing the fun of the day at the bruce ridge control, Paul suggested we might do dickson tradies for another 10 points. I was very tempted, however we were unsure if we could really use the 10 minutes the phtographer gave us (and return at 4:20) so we called it a day and rode down to ANU and finished. Lots of fun was had, we probably could have gone harder and faster but hey, who wants to hurt them selves (us probably as I am doing all the bike legs in the triple tri next weekend, and Paul is doing all the run legs for another team....)

410 points, 21st over all, 105 KM (approx) ridden. 5h15m saddle time, 20.2 average speed or something.

Steven Hanley <sjh@svana.org>
Last modified: Mon Nov 25 11:29:07 EST 2002