In celebration of Women's Health Week, we'd like to share a short story from Susan about her experiencing tackling the enormous challenge that is Peaks Challenge Falls Creek.
So there we were, on the morning of 8 March 2020, my husband my sister and I, at the start line of Peaks Challenge Falls Creek, in wave three. Little were we to know what lay ahead for us that day. It was lucky that the ride actually went ahead with road closures still in place two weeks before the event due to
bushfires and then mass gatherings banned two weeks after due to COVID-19.
Anyway, off we went descending in the morning mist to Mt Beauty.
This journey started for my sister and I at the start of the 2019 ride, the first for my husband. We waved him off, watched the live tracking, did a walk, and then cheered him home. My sister was keen, and while they had to convince me... it didn’t really take much.
You know, if not next year then when? And it’s was the best day on the bike ever, according to my husband in 2019, and unless you give it a try you’ll never know. That kinda stuff. So started a year of riding and climbing and following a training plan, and looking at nutrition and then riding some more.
Beautiful start to the day, mist cleared, over Tawonga Gap in good time, led by hubby into Harrietville in our own little train. And then came Mt Hotham. Lovely climb, done this a few times, and then we were met by 0 degrees in the rain and wind and visibility of about 500 metres and then add dirt roadworks. Not your average Mt Hotham day. Not the clear beautiful day I had envisaged!
We pulled our wet cold bodies out of Dinner Plain with five minutes to spare leaving the trucks and SAG wagons behind and just rode on. Eventually the rain cleared and the fingers warmed up as we descended and we made it to WTF corner with 30 minutes to spare. I had met the Lanterne Rouge at Anglers Rest and offered to set up an account for him if he wanted a beer (a sneaky delay tactic!).
And then we rode up and up the back of falls into the cold and the rain again, with a quick stop at Trapyard for the obligatory can of coke, until we were actually right next to the lake and it was at that time that I went, ‘Hell yeah, I’m gonna make it!!’ Good times, great day, sense of achievement off the scale!
Hopefully see you at the start line, wave three, in 2021!
Susan Maloney, 55 mother of 3; wife of Brett who stuck with me the entire ride; sister of Naomi who also finished; Peaks Challenge 2020 finisher, at 12hr45.
Thanks for sharing Susan! Peaks Challenge has traditionally been our event with the lowest female participation, but thanks to the dedicated efforts of our Women's Community and stories like Susan's we're seeing this rise and rise each year.