Sven Maxa (Melbourne, Australia)
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Words by Sven Maxa | Using The BIB Stealth since : May 2018
I was never a cyclist, however I had seen video footage of Peaks Ride on TV a few years ago and the scenery struck a chord with me. It stayed there in my mind for many years, more as a fascination and curiosity of how amazing it would be to ride a bike in the alpine region of Victoria.
So having watched my mates complete endurance running events I was feeling somewhat lazy and overworked, so I told them I was going to do Peaks ride…. Then I put down my beer and watched them all smirk at me as though to say ‘you have no idea what you’re talking about’. They had every reason to doubt me, I didn’t even own a bike.
I had a reasonable level of fitness, however had never done any endurance work at all. That was December 2017, by March 2018 I had a bike and set about learning how to ride, specifically how to fall softly at traffic lights when I couldn’t unclip my cleats, how to change gears without braking and so on…In my training I met a great fella who helped me understand exactly what I was in for, as he had completed Peaks Ride a few times prior… his best tip quite seriously was buying a pair of Red White bib shorts (his second best tip was to run a 32 cassette on the back, which I promptly ignored… and regretted). I was initially a little unsure as no-one else I knew had heard of them, but reading the reviews and doing some further online research gave me the confidence to take the plunge and try them out.
My first test ride with them was a few hours around the Dandenongs and I came home feeling super impressed. I may not have a wealth of experience, but compared to what I’d been wearing previously these things were AMAZING!! They were put in the corner of my drawer for special rides only.. gotta keep these guys fresh for Peaks ride!
So after 235 km’s, 4000 metres of climbing, and 10.5 hours in the saddle there was not a moment I had any saddle discomfort. Sure my legs hurt, my mind played all sorts of games (nearly as much as the weather), and I was quite happy to throw gels at anyone who mentioned them, but my bibs kept me comfy. The last few hours were probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and when the weather closed in and temperature dropped I may have wished for a fleece-lined & full length version of my RedWhites once or twice, but I made it and promptly spent the next 1.5 hours trying to warm up.
All that said, I’m now almost due for a new pair, maybe I’ll treat myself for Peaks 2020. Sub 10 here I come.