We were keen to follow up our PREPD competition winner Patrick Schwerdt, who won an entry pass to Peaks Challenge 2020. We’ve asked him a few questions about his experience riding this event.
It was just a great opportunity for me to test myself alongside some good mates who are really strong riders.
It was also the hardest and most satisfying ride I’ve ever done. It was a 230km day in the saddle with 80+ km’s of uphill riding, over 5000+ metres of climbing in cold and wet conditions.
A bunch of cycling mates, 9 of them in fact decided to have a crack at Peaks Challenge in preparation for a cycling tour through Italy later in the year. I had done a reasonable amount of training and had the opportunity to tag along with them, they had a spare bed and a spot in their car, driving over and back from Adelaide to Falls Creek.
I was regularly getting dropped and cramping especially over longer / harder sessions in the heat. I could climb ok, but I would fatigue before the other riders and cramp toward the end of long rides.
I found PREPD significantly helped especially with the cramping. I found I had solid power throughout my longer rides and was hanging on to the stronger riders better. Quite a few of the lads noticed and commented on this change as well. This improvement gave me some confidence to have a crack at Peaks Challenge, that’s why I entered the competition.
I guess you can call me a PREPD convert, it’s now a regular part of my long ride routine. I must admit I have somewhat of a sensitive gut and did have wind and bloating symptoms on first use. I was told this can happen with the introduction of a large dose of fibre in PREPD but would typically subside with regular use. I kept on using PREPD and after the 2 nd or 3 rd use, I’ve absolutely noticed no wind/bloating issues.
After a long car trip, we arrived on the Friday afternoon with bike trailer holding 10 bikes. We had a big feed with lots banter and couple of relaxing beers.
The day before the race we checked out the event village, chatted with the PREPD guys and our group loaded up with PREPD products, some were first time users.
In preparation for Sunday’s event, we stretched the legs with an easy ride and attended the race briefing. Carbo loading with a pasta meal, followed by a bike & gear check plus a PREPD Prime just before bed. We were up at 4.45am and heading down to start line for 5.30am for the race briefing, before rolling out through mist, rain and colder than expected weather conditions.
We rode as group for the whole day, everyone helping each other out. We strung out a bit between food stops but regrouped and started each segment together. With the hills, we stuck with people of similar riding ability, and mostly regrouped at the top or the next stop and rode on together. It was such a tough day and the weather contributed to this.
To be honest I found it to be an extremely hard day, I was often last into the rest areas and rushed out, as the stronger riders of our group had been there for 10 minutes plus and wanted to keep riding to stay warm. At times I was drenched and found it hard to warm up, through to times when really exerting I had to peel off layers. The last big climb WTF hill was challenging but I was surprisingly strong and happy that I finished well.
We weren’t the quickest bunch going around taking a bit over 12 hours to complete the race, but there was a genuine sense of camaraderie finishing together as a group which was very satisfying.
I never cramped throughout the day, I did stuff a lot of food / energy into my mouth at any opportunity, the gels really helped with that. I was really confident with my hydration; I drank water and electrolyte regularly and had a few toilet stops. I think using PREPD gave me confidence and I didn’t have to worry much about my hydration and just focus on getting enough energy into my body. I pulled up really well that night and the following day, so I was really happy overall.
I would like to thank all those at PREPD for contributing to what was a really memorable experience for me – And for making such a great product!