Cogal Report: Fleurieu Peninsula

The V flag in OZ.
The V flag in OZ.

Fleurieu Peninsula – Velominati Cogal 8th Feb 2014.

Notable quotes to sum up the ride that nearly wasn’t.

“You’re in pretty good shape for the shape you are in.”

Dr. Seuss -“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.”

Albert Einstein -“When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”

Albert Einstein -“I’ve never known a man worth his salt who, in the long run, deep down in his heart, didn’t appreciate the grind, the discipline. ”

Vince Lombardi –” Fuck it’s hot ! ”


Dwayne “@Barracuda” Cox

The above quotes pretty much sum up some of the feelings of the recently run and won Fleurieu Peninsula Cogal.

My own personal timeline goes something like this

  • Email to Gianni in September 2013 to float the idea of the cogal, next thing I know it’s on the website, things get real, really quickly.
  • Now that its in print I’ve actually to step up and organize this thing
  • Email back to Gianni to see if the flag pictured over the cobbles of Roubaix is real and if it’s real can I get a hold of it to fly proudly at the Tour Down Under, then on our Cogal.
  • Flag arrives from Haiku on the island of Maui.  The thing smells of France and Belgium and cobbles, it’s real alright. (actually, smells more like Gianni’s closet-ed.)
  • Following months of excitement and worrying ensue.
  • Day gets closer and I finalise pre-ride espresso venue with the generous Simon of Nino’s of Victor Harbor.
  • Route is all set and all appears to be well planned, then ……
  • The day of – weather forecast to be in the mid to high 40 degree Celsius range, of which I say to myself that the forecasters never get south coast weather right and all will be good.
  • Well, to shit me to tears, they got it right, and right from the gun the 20 starters  pushed into the heat, which as others have said, claimed its first victim.
  • Poor old Dan from Willunga coughed up a lung and half of the previous nights tea on a sharp little prick of a climb we call Nettle Hill.
  • We pushed on as a group with a couple of flats and a blown tyre through to a water refill point at Myponga.
  • At this stage with temps already soaring in the 40’s we decided on the mercy clause and cut 25kms off the ride which would of seen us go down and then back up Willunga Hill ( TDU fame ).
  • It was the right call but still disappointed me as I wanted all to have such a great day and this climb formed part of my planning from the beginning.
  • It was at about this time, some 50kms deep and some 45 degree Celsius that my personal battles of brain versus body started.
  • Massive cramp in left leg had taken hold, I’m assuming due to the previous nights lack of prep and the ensuing panic that I wanted all to have a good time. Could also be due to the fucking heat.
  • We all got to Mount Compass unscathed, some faster than others and refuelled. To my amazement – we are 60kms deep at this stage and the heat was stifling – Justin decides it’s a good idea to drop back a hot meat pie.  Now that’s dedication to the cause.
  • I was cooked and mentally the leg had beaten me, others had pulled the pin long before but I was determined not to let my fellow riders down.
  • A plan was hatched whereby I would skip 20 kms and go straight to Goolwa via team car and rejoin for the final 20km push back to Victor.
  • Unbeknownst to me, that 20kms that I missed was the easiest of the day.
  • We all regrouped (10 of us by this stage) in Goolwa near the mouth of the mighty Murray River and made the turn towards Victor Harbor.
  • That last 20kms is the hardest conditions Ive ever ridden in. Heat and howling northerly wind had us crawling back to base.
  • Needless to say the Coronas and Stellas tasted superb and the pizza’s didn’t even touch the sides.

Points to note regarding the Rules :-

  1. everyone of the 20 starters could be forgiven for the rule infractions sighted given extreme conditions.
  2. Rule #5 was well and truly displayed by all.
  3. Rule #9 was well and truly displayed by all.

Special mentions

@Mikael Liddy – being dedicated to the cause enough to ride the 100kms+ the night before in the dark to front up on the Saturday morning – Chapeau

Hugh Moore – taking some great photos along the way – refer his Flikr  link


Justin (pie man) V

Thanks to Mikael who invited members of Adelaide Cyclists to join in on a cogal put on by Dwayne and Velominati. I had a most enjoyable day, as I was met by cooler conditions when I arrived at Victor. Whilst waiting prior to the ride it was great to see a fellow Lynskey rider as we both told our tales of love for the bike.

I hadn’t ridden much of the route prior, so just played follow the leader for the entire route as the temperature soon soared as we headed inland to our only real hill for the day, which took its first casualty. After a pucture and a blowout the group settled into a nice rhythm, and we ended up for what I thought was lunch at Mt Compass. It was there that I enjoyed my pie with sauce, which was to power me to the end of the ride.

Although we had stopped a couple times on route and filled our water bottles, the heat had really kicked in by the time we road along the coast from Goolwa to Victor in a very angry cross wind which had the temperature rising well into the 40’s. The water in the bottles was almost boiling, but I figured I still had to drink it to keep some fluid running through my body.

I bid thank you to Mikael for the invitation and to Dwayne for organising the ride (and post ride pizza slices). Hope to ride with you guys again soon.


@Mikael Liddy

“Be prepared” say the scouts, well I can only assume that the scouts know fuck all about getting ready for a cogal, for all the good my preparations served. Here’s a quick timeline of the ups & downs of trying to arrange my attendance on Feb 8th.

Sept 2013 – Article posted, VMH approval for a weekend away with the cycling crew & partners granted, and family friend approached about borrowing their holiday house for accommodations. All is good.

Oct 2013 – Family friends fall through as apparently their son & his 30th birthday trump our needs for the house…no biggie, we’ll share the costs of hiring a place between everyone.

Dec 2013 – Body attempts to put all weight on left foot getting out of bed after a severe bout of charismatic poisoning before left foot has actually found the ground, hit the deck quicker than Sir Twiggo on a wet Italian descent & tweak left knee quite significantly. Pre TDU & cogal riding is reduced dramatically, but hopes are still high.

Jan 2014 – Knee is behaving(ish), finally riding again & suffering god awful Rule #65 infringement from seat post/saddle area. Bike goes in for service & source of the rule breach is identified as the carbon layup delaminating at the seat post insertion…bike is fucked 2 days before biggest week of riding of the year & unlikely to be repaired/replaced by the cogal (yes I know this is why the minimum value for N should be 3). Attendance looking shaky at best.

Jan/Feb 2014 – Based on the assumption I wouldn’t have a bike, the VMH accepts tickets to a music festival the day before the cogal (the day that would have been spent driving down, wine tasting, etc.). I’m now on parenting duties until a babysitter can relieve me (6.30pm), and as such the last 2 from our initial group of 10 bail on the weekend. This will require some creativity to work out well.

Feb 5th – Demo bike sourced from Giant store (hello TCR Avanced 0 with 11 speed Ultegra Di2), babysitter & additional lights secured for a Friday night ride, cabin booked in the local tourist park and VMH convinced to drive down Saturday afternoon basically for the purpose of driving home on the Sunday. It’s on like Donkey Kong!!!

Feb 7th – It’s going to be how hot? 45 degrees with a stinking hot northerly gale blowing all day? Fuck it, I’ve come this far, I’m riding the bloody thing!

After the trials & tribulations involved in actually getting to the cogal, the day itself (despite the conditions) was reasonably uneventful. We started with a solid group of 20 made up of a few locals, some guys from a bike shop about half way back to Adelaide & a couple of other city boys I’d convinced to ignore the forecast cos “it’s always cooler down at Victor.” That statement rang true for the first 20 minutes until we turned inland & decided to ride in a furnace for the next 4 hours.

High Points

– The ride down the on perfectly still mid 20’s evening through the SA countryside & watching night fall with only the thoughts running through my head for company. Was just blissful.

– Finally meeting @Barracuda in the flesh after many a month of online commentary

– The V-Flag in all its glory flying proudly at the start & finish of the ride (it really does smell of Flanders)

– @Fiasco Steve and his seemingly endless reserve of energy…maybe those vegans are on to something?

– Riding completely new roads with all but a few complete strangers & feeling at home immediately, somehow Cogals just work.

– Pizza & beer after 100kms in stupid hot conditions, I’m convinced I will never taste a better beer in my life.

Low Points

– The weather. In all honesty we were fucking stupid for doing what we did, I was still feeling dehydrated 4 days later.

– Related to low point 1, seeing @Barracuda get destroyed by the conditions & have to skip a portion of the route sucked given the effort he’d put in & how pumped he’d been in the lead up. The fact that he got back on the bike for the hardest part of the ride (50 degree temps & a brutal cross/headwind) was a testament to Rule #5 and we waited til after the ride to tell him that the part he missed was the only tailwind all day!

All in all it was a great event with good riding, great people and awesome food & drink put on before and after by the crew at Nino’s.

p.s. We discovered later that night that baby Panadol is like EPO for babies, one minute you’ve got a vomiting, feverish baby and then the next he’s ready to take on the world(that’s a story for a whole other time)!


@fiasco steve

Ah, the Cogal through the tranquil Fleurieu.

This was my first experience with all things Velominati, the anxiety that this presented was apparent. What shall I wear? Does my kit match? Are my biddons of correct volume?

All these were of no concern as we embarked on a ride into 30km head winds with the air temp at 40 degrees at 8.30am. It was a war of attrition as slowly the gallant troops pushed through to keep the wheels turning. The route was excellent, perhaps the highlight very early into the ride was Nettle Hill, this cheeky little lump with was enough to see one rider decide that leaning his breakfast on the hill was a good idea. We are still unsure if this was a mark of respect for the hill by leaving some DNA behind, or he felt that this would lighten his load for the rest of the battle.

A great day, it was hot, but this was just part of the fun. The watermelon in Goolwa was excellent.

Highlight was Morgan and his Dad from Murray Bridge doing the ride together.

[dmalbum path=”/ Galleries/[email protected]/Fleurieu Peninsula/”/]



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22 Replies to “Cogal Report: Fleurieu Peninsula”

  1. Quotes are a bit out of whack with who said them !    Technical glitch eh @Gianni.

    Vince Lombardi didnt say ” Fuck its Hot”   –  I definitely said it though!

  2. There is something seriously messed up with the weather down that end of the continent! I live in North QLD, and I see temps over 40 rarely, but we do race in winter in 30deg+ temps often enough. Admittedly, we have 90% humidity as a permanent fixture but still.

  3. @Puffy, yep, very messed up that day.

    Normally when the forecasters predict hot weather down here they are often wrong by a good 5 to 10 degrees as cool change comes early.

    The one day they get an extreme weather forecast right had to be the Cogal Day.   Was extreme

  4. That sort of heat really does take it out of you. Once you get to the point where your body is not cooling down it becomes a real slog, so well done to all who finished.

    I had a long hot ride on Friday finishing near 40C and I was still feeling dehydrated yesterday.

  5. @Barracuda

    Quotes are a bit out of whack with who said them ! Technical glitch eh @Gianni.

    Vince Lombardi didnt say ” Fuck its Hot” – I definitely said it though!

    No, I’m pretty sure Vince Lombardi said that.

  6. @ChrisO the thing that really got to me was that every time I took a swig out of the bidon, instead of providing some refreshment, it felt like I was drinking from a boiled kettle.

    It was a shame because from about 1/4 of the way through the ride things started to string out & break up a little, and it became a real balancing act between trying to keep the pace down to ensure everyone stayed reasonably close together & trying to get the ride done so we could get out of the heat as soon as possible.

  7. Nice work all, I know how much it sucks riding in that sort of heat. Great photos Hugh, some tough buggers there. Amazing to see the sacred V flag in Aussie, my home country, that I’ve only seen in Belgium myself.

  8. Chapeau to all, but srsly, South Australia in high summer, WTF did you expect ?

  9. Those sort of temps can cook your brain.

    Of course, to ride in such condition, one must be a little cooked anyway. 40 F, is way better.

  10. I love riding in the heat. That said, 38-40C is my cutoff for enjoying it. Surprised you didn’t melt the tyres off the rims. If it was in the mid-40’s, I’m guessing the heat off the tarmac was a good 5-10C higher? Way to get it done boys!

    @Barracuda and the minions:

  11. Chapeau to all involved.  I am sure that we have all rideen in some miserable weather, but that kind of heat is the worst.  Great pics, Hugh.  Now maybe all of you were truly at climbing weight at the end of the ride – well, at least until the beer happened.

  12. @scaler911 yup, at one point on the home stretch there were reports of 49.1 & 51.2 coming up on the garmins.

    @HMBSteve funny you mention that. We ended up having to take the little one to the local hospital later that night, to weigh him they got me to stand on the scales holding him & then by myself.  The 74 kilos that came up is a good 5-6kg less than I’ve ever recorded.

  13. Great work chaps, there were a few rules broken in those photos but not V and 9!

  14. Great pics and massive kudos for heading out in 40C temps.   I do have to wonder what kind of hard drugs people were on to wear long sleeves of any kind (are those white arm warmers on Mr.Rabobank?), and another dude was wearing a black undershirt?  wtf.  40C, people!

  15. Full credit to those who did this. I rode in Adelaide that morning and it was 42 by 9:30 am.

    I hope no one minds, but here’s a temperature trace from someone who rode the Cogal.

    Yes, that’s 50 degrees, 90 km into the ride.

  16. @The Grande Fondue

    Full credit to those who did this. I rode in Adelaide that morning and it was 42 by 9:30 am.

    I hope no one minds, but here’s a temperature trace from someone who rode the Cogal.

    Yes, that’s 50 degrees, 90 km into the ride.

    Yep, was hot, and not the kind of hot that you can get any relief from either.

    Was suprised that the road held up so well and tyres didnt start popping all over the shop.

    As @Mikael Liddy said, we all felt the after effects of the day several days later.  Very character building and enjoyable at the same time.

    Sadly though the flag has left my possession and now headed back to @Gianni. 

    Still pretty stoked that it was here.  I hope to have it again next year when we do it all over again.

    @Mikael Liddy – we may need to start planning now!

  17. @LIIIXI pretty sure the white sleeves were more along the lines of sun protection than arm warmers. They looked like they were just thin lycra & he kept dousing them in water too to get some evaporation happening. Not sure about the black base layer tho…

    @The Grande Fondue that would’ve been just as we left Goolwa & turned straight in to a Northerly on a road that had been baking in the sun for the previous 6 hours…didn’t take long for us to opt for the beach front bike path that at least offered ‘some’ respite.

  18. @unversio

    Yep, that pretty much sums it up, except for the bits where Chevy is drinking cool water and using soothing lip balm.

    Nothing cooling or soothing about our Cogal.

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