CX-style skylarking.. by Michael Moore

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Michael Moore
Churchill Drive, Dandenong Ranges

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iPhone 5
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CX-style skylarking..

By Michael Moore on April 7, 2013

Hells 500 all started with a bunch of guys who liked riding in the hills, probably a little too much. We liked the fact that as hill riders we were on the fringe, so rather than race - we would set ourselves goals that no one else was doing. The pre-requisite for any challenge that we set was that it had to be tough. To qualify, it needed to be too difficult to just go out and ride it on any given day. We would spend months training up for each new epic - usually timed with the onset of spring. This meant that the crux of our training every year was undertaken in the cold, dark, and wet winters when everyone else would stay under the doona. It was this approach that would eventually lead to the mark of the cloud emblazoned on every Hells 500 riders arm. It is a symbol that reminds others that while they are taking it easy over winter, that's when we ride the most. Each challenge completed lead to another more difficult, as these things tend to do. Soon we were clipping in on a hellish 2-day 500km epic through the High Country, including 10,000m of climbing. It was all kinds of tough, and word travelled. We started to get introduced as "those Hells 500 guys". It stuck. When it came time for this year’s epic, we decided to keep it local. The Crucifix is a Melbourne hill-climbing icon. Only 30mins from the city it is brutally efficient - kicking out just under 2,000m vert in 70km (half of which is downhill). We hadn't heard of anyone knocking out two in a row - so the idea of completing a triple seemed so stupid that this ride sat on the shelf for the last 4 years. This picture shows some of the skylarking that was going on.. although the epics are tough, they are also a bunch of fun.
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