Verita Stewart

Writer, blogger, social media | Racer of bikes with Specialized Women's Racing Team|

Ra Ra Ra Rapha (#Festive500)

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Rapha #Festive500
So I made the decision that Napoleon and I would sign up to do the Rapha #Festive500. The goal was simple, ride 500 kms between Christmas eve and New Years Eve…or was it!?
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He He He Headwind
The challenge begins on Christmas Day. Darn, already lost a day. But Napoleon survived his maiden voyage to Beechworth. The brutal headwind and heat tried us both and I nearly drowned in sweat…but we made there, and back. Upon journeys return, we celebrated in true nautical style. Rather than smashing a bottle of champagne on his hull, my first mates and I smashed the bottle of champagne ourselves. Merry Freaking Christmas! http://app.strava.com/activities/33878903
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Ro Ro Ro Roadkill
Napoleon and I ventured out this afternoon for a few country kilometres. We soon realised that for many Australian animals, today was a particularly tragic day on the roads. I did play a small part to the carnage, consuming one christmas beetle along the way. The soaring heat was curing the roadkill into native jerky and I started to think that I could collect it to sell to an organic farmers market somewhere! Brown snake jerky has some appeal right? It would taste better than christmas beetle, that’s for sure. http://app.strava.com/activities/33986567
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Yo Yo Yo You’ve (been chicked)
The idea of getting up at 5am was not appealing at all. But Napoleon dragged me out of bed and we joined some mad members of the Mansfield/Mount Buller Cycling Club to conquer Mount Buller. The air was tainted by a serious stench of testosterone… it became apparent very quickly that I was the only woman on that mountain today. It felt freaking awesome as I peddled Napoleon up that freaking hill, picking off those blokes, one by one. I did not record a Simon Gerrans time, but the climb felt freaking awesome. Napoleon and I “MAY” have found our forte! http://app.strava.com/activities/34150483
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Mo Mo Mo Moscato
After riding up Buller yesterday, a lunch date with my Wang crew at Sam Miranda Winery was excuse enough needed to get me back on the bike this morning. Overnight I had decided that Napoleon and I were going to embark on our own “Three Peaks” tour over the next couple of days…Buller yesterday, Buffalo Saturday… but what peak could I cram in to our recovery ride today? The legs were not feeling it and the 30km/hr gusts of cross wind, then head wind meant only one thing…the Eldorado-Wangaratta Road overpass was going to be the peak of choice. At a grade of about 3% (for 100m) and at a height 172m, the overpass challenge was the toughest part of today’s ride. Nonetheless we made it to Sam Miranda’s, hung out with some fabulous people and enjoyed one to many Moscato’s. Napoleon and I admitted defeat to the wind, and got escorted home in a BMW. Good thing Napoleon is so tiny. http://app.strava.com/activities/34316547

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He He He (Hells 500)
Today Napoleon and I braved the heat and joined about 60 other cyclists (15-20 women!) to climb Mount Buffalo. I knew what Buffalo had to offer, having driven up a hundred times. The memories of the windey and steep accent made me very nervous. But once we started riding, I realised everything was going to be okay…Particularly when Napoleon and I started picking of the blokes. Ha! The climb was consistent to say the least, with a relentless gradient and a false flat in the middle, which brought some welcome variety. At the mid way mark I was distracted by a serious toe/sock wedgie that was taking all my concentration and the sticky melted asphalt was driving me nuts – that was like riding through plasticine and I was going no where. Despite this I swear that I blinked, and it was over… I was the first women to the top! Then it was back to Bright Velo for some hydration! http://app.strava.com/activities/34525897
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So So So Close
Napoleon and I were barely in the city when we found ourselves out on Beach Road…This time rolling with Nadia and pushing into a serious 30km/hr headwind. The wind made the ride to Black Rock a struggle, but we strung our sails on the roll home (to the Grace Darling), and it was a breeze! Beer put away, I needed to get a few more kms under my belt for the #festive500 goal, so to knotch up a few more Napoleon and I went solo and rolled here there and everywhere. 75kms to go. Phew. http://app.strava.com/activities/34711989
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Fi Fi Fi Finito

Well that was fun. Not. I dragged myself out of bed and rode to Mordy and back…The final 75kms to complete the #festive500 challenge were the hardest. Harder than Buller for sure. The steed got me through. http://app.strava.com/activities/34860797

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The end…500kms in 6 days. Napoleon was a trooper. My legs are tired, Napoleons front break is stuffed. We’re off for some serious hydrating tonight. Happy New Year! Now – just have to keep up the kms…

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Follow me on Instagram if you’re a) not a creep, b) not a creep, and c) not a creep: http://instagram.com/lowercasev/ – same goes for all other Social Media. I will judge your creepyness on you’re posts. So be aware.

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Author: Verita Stewart

Cyclist for Specialized, Instagramer, blogger, desk sitter, coffee lover, recycler

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