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Lynette Keep’s Blog of C2K 2018

Coinciding with news that NBN Co’s regional rollout is on the home stretch, a group of cyclists recently rolled across the Top End for ‘C2K’, the country’s longest event ride.

It’s the coast-to-coast bike ride that started back in 1996 through the Cairns School of Distance Education P&C Association.



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4 Sleeps to go…. don’t panic!!

Under two weeks to go to the C2K 2018 but don’t panic !!

Haven’t done enough training yet ? Well I can tell you from experience that any training is better than nothing. The more you put into it now, the less tired you will be at the end of the day and you will be able to kick back with new and old friends. The main thing right now is to get in at least one long ride, around 80km. This will give you an indication of how comfortable you will be on the bike for a long period of time. You need a good comfortable seat and good padded gloves. But don’t forget to take regular breaks because on the road ride you will stop every 20kms for drinks, snacks and about 15 minutes to stretch and walk around.

Going up the range from Cairns is a bit of an effort, so you do want to be doing some hills in your training. Over the range is undulating, so we don’t get flat ground until Day 3.

The rest of the days can be long and hot, so doing a big ride now will give you an idea of what you are in for.
You also want to be checking your bike for anything that needs fixing or replacing. Having a service is also a good idea.
For those who can’t be without their social media (like me), you need the Telstra network. If you are not with them grab a Prepaid SIM for a month to use during the ride.
Regarding clothes and shelter, the first two days and nights can be cool and wet. After that it’s shorts, t-shirts and clear skies the rest of the way.

Also don’t forget those donations. They are greatly appreciated and you will meet some of the kids we are helping along the way.
See you there !!


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Chainmail Newsletters

Stay informed and check out the newsletters


{JUNE 14, 2018} – Entertainment & Shenanigans

{MAY 29, 2018} – Smile! You’re on Camera & Where To Stay &  Did Someone Say Coffee?

{MAY 29, 2018} – Are You On The List?

{MAY 27, 2018} – Checkout the New Jersey Design for 2018.

{MAY 19, 2018} – The Countdown is on.

{MAY 8, 2018} – The Excitement is Building.


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Are you on the list?

A R E  Y O U  O N  T H E  L I S T?

If you are one of the top 10 C2K 2018 Bike Ride Fundraisers you will be going on an evening cruise with Passions.

Read the Latest Newsletter here


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Check out the awesome 2018 jersey design

You’ll look awesome in one of these!

All jerseys have been ordered… we do order a few extras for those people that leave registration to the last minute! …and we cross our fingers that we have one your size!!



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C2K2018 The countdown is on

Keep up to date with our newsletters – The Countdown is on


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Introducing our Emmett Team for this year!

Let me introduce you to our amazing team of Emmett Technique therapists for this year’s 2018 C2K Ride.

As with previous rides we’ll be available to provide treatments assisting you throughout the day from breakfast to dinner for a $$ note donation (All proceeds are donated to the C2K.). If you have any pain or discomfort, please shout out to us and we’ll greatly reduce your pain within 5-10 minutes. It’s quick, painless and effective.

Emmett can be given sitting, standing roadside at drink stops, at lunch, dinner even standing at the bar waiting for a drink. Wherever you need us, we’ll be there for you.

Each night we’ll set up a base camp where our massage tables will be popped up and chairs set out ready to ease your aches, ouchy bits and tired muscles. Just look out for our marquees with the big yellow Emmett Flag flying above. Emmett Therapists are a noisy happy bunch so follow the laughter.

The treatments are fast and effective, so we’ll be able to see as many riders and supporters as we can. The waiting room is set out each day, so bring your beverage, take a seat on our comfy camp chairs and yarn to the other riders about your beaut day of cycling while you wait for your treatment.

We’re super excited to tag along on the C2K again for the third year.

Can’t wait to meet you, the riders, supporters & volunteers and to introduce you to our passion, “The Emmett Technique” and take away any pain or discomfort you develop along the way. It’s a huge ride and we are here for your all.

For those of you who haven’t heard of Emmett Technique I’ve popped a link here of our testimonial video we filmed on the 2016 C2K ride.


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Training Tip #6 Final Preparations

With only a few weeks till Cairns to Karumba Bike here are some tips leading into your final preparations.

Training; you want to have your last big ride about 2 weeks prior to the event. After that you will be tapering off. In your taper you’ll still be training but your volume of training is reduced.  If you need to “cram” any more training in then do two more long-ish rides up to 10 days prior to the C2K starting. It’s important that if you do go out for long rides that they are ridden well within your capabilities. Take note that if you go out hard or do an epic ride it will take you two weeks to recover. This means that you actually won’t be fully recovered until after you finish the C2K. The key point I’m making here is that any really hard training you do in the last 10 days prior to the event is actually going to be detrimental to your enjoyment of the C2K Bike Ride.

So now that you aren’t focused on a heap of hard training it’s a good time to turn your attention to other more pressing things leading up to the event.

  • Ensure that you have practiced your nutrition plan during your training – refer to our previous article. Parts of the C2K are hilly – particularly the first two days. So ensure that you are hydrating and eating regularly starting within 45min of riding on the first day.
  • Ensure that you have all your logistics covered i.e. booked for unsupported rider if required, accommodation in Cairns for the first night and accommodation in Karumba the day you arrive there unless camping out again.
  • Your bike; if you need to change anything do it NOW. You’ll want to be riding on any adjustments now so that you can make any final tweaks during your training and not the night before or morning of the first day’s ride.
  • If you normally train on your own then practice riding in the bunch –as recommended in the first article. It will make the flatter sections more enjoyable if you can get in a small bunch and be able to sit on a wheel.


Jodie Batchelor

Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach under the Australian National Coach Accreditation Scheme (NCAS)


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Training Tip #5 Bunch or Pack Riding Do’s and Dont’s

In our first article we mentioned the importance of training with a bunch. Hopefully you have been practicing this skill as it will certainly help you with the C2K Bike Ride.

You will probably have been in some very good bunches and some not so good. The following are some tips in the art to riding in a bunch.

Riding in a bunch is very social and a great way to catch up and meet people, but you need to ensure that you are still paying attention to the road, the riders around you and your environment – like traffic lights, hazards, cars etc.

The key to a good bunch is that they are smooth in the speed when changing from 1 lead rider to another. The riders on the front work harder and shield the riders behind. If there is a head wind or you are riding at a fast pace then you would change front riders quickly so they don’t fatigue. The riders from the front move to the back of the bunch smoothly and recover until their next turn.

If you don’t feel strong enough compared to the rest of the bunch then you can either roll through and then roll off the front straight away or sit on the back and not roll through.

A bunch that rider together regularly normally have a set of rules that they follow, such as all stopping for a mechanical, designated re-grouping points etc. It is good to know these ‘rules’ when joining a new bunch that you will regularly ride with.


Starting out: Before joining a bunch ride make sure you are comfortable riding close beside another rider without wobbling, are able to ride a very straight line even when having a drink from your bottle, can ride with one hand or sitting up to observe traffic coming from behind. It is very important to be comfortable in close proximity to other riders.

Be predictable with all actions

Avoid sudden braking and changes of direction. Try to maintain a steady straight line. Remember that there are riders following closely behind. To slow down, gradually move out into the wind and slot back into position in the bunch. By putting your hands on the hoods on your brakes you can “sit up” and put more of your body in the wind to slow down slightly without using your brakes.

Brake carefully

Ride safely and try to stay off the brakes. If you are inexperienced and too nervous to ride close to the wheel in front of you, stay alone at the back and practice. When the pace eases, don’t brake suddenly, instead ride to the side of the wheel in front and ease the pedalling off, then drop back on the wheel. Practice on the back and soon you will be able to move up the line with a partner.

Rolling through – swapping off – taking a turn

The most common way to take a turn on the front of the group is for each pair to stay together until they get to the front. After having a turn on the front (generally about the same amount of time as everyone else is taking), the pair separates by one rider either rolling forward or both riders moving to each side, allowing the riders behind to come through to the front. To get to the back, stop pedalling for a while to slow down, keep an eye out for the end of the bunch and fall back into line there. It is safer for everyone if you get to the back as quickly as possible as the group is effectively riding four-abreast until you and your partner slot in at the back of the bunch.

Be smooth with turns at the front of the group

Avoid surges unless you are trying to break away from the group. Surges cause gaps further back in the bunch, which in turn creates a “rubber band” effect as riders at the back have to continually chase to stay with the bunch. This is particularly evident in larger bunches when cornering or taking off from standing starts at traffic lights where the front of the bunch can be almost at full speed before the back of the bunch is moving.

No half wheeling

When you finally make it to the front, don’t ‘half wheel’. This means keeping half a wheel in front of your partner. This automatically makes your partner speed up slightly to pull back along side you. Often half wheelers will also speed up, so the pace of the bunch invariably speeds up as the riders behind try to catch up. This is the very annoying symptom usually of somebody who is a bit nervous and excited. Not wanting the rest of the group to end up being next to each other in their pairs, (or not wanting the other guy to think that he’s better than you), you speed up to match his pace. But, he still needs to be that little bit in front so he speeds up – again, until everyone in the bunch has gone up two or three gears and 10km/hr and no one is particularly happy. REMEDY – when you are second wheel, make sure you know the general speed of the bunch, when you go to the front, keep your speed around the same, and keep your wheels and handlebars in line with the person next to you.

Choosing when to come off the front

You and your partner need to do some planning when you get on the front so that when you roll through you come off at a place where the road is wide enough for the group to be four-wide for a short time if rolling that way. With some planning, it is often possible to come off the front a few hundred metres earlier or later to avoid a dangerous situation and avoid unnecessarily upsetting motorists.

Always retire to the back of the bunch

If riders push in somewhere in the middle of the bunch rather than retiring to the back after taking a turn, cyclists at the back will not be able to move forward and take a turn of their own. This will make them very cranky and colourful language may ensue. No one wants to be stuck down the back of the bunch for the entire ride and subjected to the “rubber band” effect. Remember that riding in a bunch is about all riders sharing the workload.

Pedal downhill

Pedal downhill when at the front of the bunch. Cyclists dislike having to ride under brakes.

Point out obstacles

Point out obstacles such as loose gravel, broken glass, holes, rocks or debris on the road, calling out “hole” etc as well as pointing is helpful in case someone is not looking at your hand when you point. It is just as important to pass the message on, not just letting those close to the front know. Another obstacle is a parked car, call out “car” and sweep your hand around your back to let people behind know. Point out runners or walkers on bike tracks and slower bikes if you are passing someone on the road. When traffic is approaching the lead bunch the call is “car back” and when a car is approaching the front of the bunch the call is “car up”. Theses calls are usually voiced when the road narrows and it’s important to advise the people further up/down the bunch that a car or truck is approaching.

Hold your wheel

An appropriate gap between your front wheel and the person in front is around 50cm. Keep your hands close to the brakes in case of sudden slowing. Sometimes people who are not used to riding in a bunch will feel too nervous at this close range – riding on the right side is generally less nerve-racking for such people as they feel less hemmed in. Watching “through” the wheel in front of you to one or two riders ahead will help you hold a smooth, straight line.

Don’t leave gaps when following wheels

Maximise your energy savings by staying close to the rider in front. Cyclists save about 30 per cent of their energy at high speed by following a wheel. Each time you leave a gap you are forcing yourself to ride alone to bridge it. Also, riders behind you will become annoyed and ride around you. If you are in the bunch and there is no one beside the person in front of you, you should move into that gap (otherwise you will be getting less windbreak than everyone else will). Conversely, if you are that person and no-one moves into that gap beside you, you should move to the back of the bunch, the next pair to roll off will come back and one of those riders will fall in beside you.

Don’t overlap wheels

A slight direction change or gust of wind could easily cause you to touch wheels with the rider in front which may result in a fall.

Do not panic if you brush shoulders, hands or bars with another rider

Try to stay relaxed in your upper body to absorb any bumps. This is a part of riding in close bunches and is quite safe provided riders do not panic, brake or change direction.

Don’t prop

Many riders, even the experienced ones, freewheel momentarily when they first get out of the saddle to go over a rise or a hill. When doing this, the bike is forced backwards. This can cause chaos in a tightly bunched group of riders. The sensation of the rider in front coming back at you is unpleasant and can cause crashes. Try to keep forward pressure on the pedals when you get out of the saddle to avoid this situation.

When cycling hills, avoid following a wheel too closely

Many riders often lose their momentum when rising out of the saddle on a hill

which can cause a sudden deceleration. This can often catch a rider who is following too closely, resulting in a fall from a wheel touch.

Look ahead

Do not become obsessed with the rear wheel directly in front of you. Try to focus four or five riders up the line so that any ‘problem’ will not suddenly affect you. Scan the road ahead for potential problems, red lights etc, and be ready.

Obey the road rules

Especially at traffic lights – if you are on the front, and the lights turn orange, they will definitely be red by the time the back of the bunch goes through the intersection. You will endanger the lives of others if you run it.

Lead in front

Remember when you are on the front, you are not only responsible for yourself but everyone in the group. When you are leading the bunch, try to monitor potential problems and give plenty of warning of impending stops or changes of pace. Make sure you know where you are going.

Stay together

When riding with a partner in a line of two’s, stay close. Don’t ride too far away from your partner because the wheel in front of you intimidates you. The gap you’ve left between you and your partner is a waste of space and to a motorist behind, it appears that you are three wide. This is a good way to antagonise motorists.

Use the entire lane

If you are travelling on a multi-lane road, it is permitted and often best practice to actually take the left lane. This effectively means that traffic does not squeeze past, but actually changes lanes to pass; giving everyone plenty of room.

Don’t use your aero bars in a bunch ride

Never use your aero bars in a bunch ride – not even if you are at the front. Using aero bars means that your hands are away from the brakes. Aero bars are for time trial or non-draft triathlon use only.

Experienced riders should share their knowledge

Experienced riders should point out any mistakes made by less experienced riders. This must be done diplomatically of course, but it is important to make people aware of unsafe riding and help them learn the right behaviour. Riding in a bunch is about everyone’s safety.

Summary of the main points:

  • obey the law,
  • check out what is happening around and ahead of yourself, don’t look at the wheel in front – only the back of the rider & beyond,
  • if you are leading the group, act responsibly for the sake of all the riders behind you, not just yourself,
  • keep your braking, changing direction and other movements progressive,
  • signal hazards to the other riders of your group,
  • place yourself to maintain a safety run-out directly in front,
  • welcome new members to the bunch,
  • look after everyone in it by stopping to assist with mechanicals and incidents, and
  • when in front, remember you have the responsibility of guiding the whole group who are following along behind you.

We hope practice these tips in your bunch riding in the lead up to the Cairns to Karumba Bike Ride.

Till next time,

Jodie Batchelor

Accredited Cycling Australia Cycling Coach under the Australian National Coach Accreditation Scheme (NCAS)

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