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2011 Highland Fling

Brian's picture

By Brian - Posted on 09 September 2011

Sunday, 13 November, 2011 (All day)
Come Rain or Shine: 
I'll be there, no matter what the weather.
Ride Database Entry: 
Penrose State Forest
Ride Database Entry: 
Wingello State Forest
Meeting Point: 

Quarry and Ferndale Road, Bundanoon, New South Wales

quarry and Ferndale Road, Bundanoon, New South Wales

2011 is the year of the Itch, the 7th running of The Briars Highland Fling, Australia's MTB Marathon Championship. The Fling is a mountain bike marathon for all. It offers a scenic and challenging route through forests and farmland in the Southern Highlands of NSW, hammering singletrack, forest tracks, dirt road and less than 2km of blacktop.

Do the Full Fling (approx 110km), the Half Fling (approx 55km), the relay Flinging Threesome or take on the even bigger challenge of the 100Mile Fling

There is also the Casual Fling, a 14km Participation (untimed) Ride for those not feeling up to taking on the races above. An opportunity for those new to mountain biking or those less fit than they’d like to be, to get on a bike at the Fling.

The main racing is on Sunday 13th November but there’s plenty happening on Saturday 12th too including the Bundanoon Dash, (including The Battle of The Businesses) a fundraising 6km ‘sprint’ race (it’s not compulsory!) along with entertainment, food & drink, gear displays, demos, Kids MTB Skills Course.

Who's in?
Heckler, Lach, GAZZA, jp, scottm8, Steve 01, Greg P, garyinoz, Brian, LadyToast, Blades_Utd, GiantNut, Griffo, obmal, Dicko, Pedalgogy, Medigger, arghvee, pat.o,, Fatboy, tate, evil4hire, twotommos, daveh, Ed, skibum72, ben.archer, ps, lambur9er, armo, Mike_H, Tommy, Black Flash, muzg, stefan43, jasonf, Talldude (38 riders)
Heckler Lach GAZZA jp scottm8 Steve 01 Greg P garyinoz Brian LadyToast Blades_Utd GiantNut Griffo obmal Dicko Pedalgogy Medigger arghvee pat.o Fatboy tate evil4hire twotommos daveh Ed skibum72 ben.archer ps lambur9er armo Mike_H Tommy Black Flash muzg stefan43 jasonf Talldude
What Happened?

Blog entries about this meeting (as this is a race standings and times are shown, click on the title for more and to comment)...

Who Title Status Time Pos.Gen. Category Pos.Cat.
obmal An interesting ride at the back of the field Finished Full/Male/Masters
fatchance Unreal banana peel!!!! Finished 02:53:54 123 Half/Male/Masters 31
garyinoz Great day out. Finished 03:04:06 197 Half/Male/Veterans 76
LadyToast Infant robs man of training Finished 03:08:28 219 Half/Male/Veterans 70
twotommos At last no cramping...very happy Finished 03:12:15 252 Half/Male/Masters 87
GiantNut Highland Fling 2011 - My First race Finished 03:13:37 260 Half/Male/Masters 91 A good ride Finished 03:18:55 318 Half/Male/Masters 106
Lach A bit of a disappointing effort... Finished 03:47:30 510 Half/Male/Super Masters 52
Mike_H An eventful event Finished 04:30:42 764 Half/Male/Masters 258
Steve 01 Awesome Finished 04:54:06 41 Full/Male/Super Masters 1
Dicko Best Fling Ever Finished 05:25:15 117 Full/Male/Masters 27
doc A Great Day for a Fling Finished 05:33:20 137 Full/Male/Masters 35
ps 2011 Fling - nobmobbers everywhere Finished 05:40:41 175 Full/Male/Masters 42
daveh A Good Fling Finished 05:44:59 190 Full/Male/Veterans 66
Brian Sub 6 Fling :-) Finished 05:45:53 194 Full/Male/Veterans 67
Matt_B Highland Fling 2011 Finished 05:53:39 213 Full/Singlespeed 12
Fatboy Fling 2011 Finished 06:25:00
armo Happy Finished 09:23:25 Full/Male/Super Masters

Were you there and have a story to tell?

Ride Gallery
Brian's picture

What the hell, just got an entry for the full fling Smiling

obmal's picture

nearly killed me last year..... I'm in!

Lach's picture

Half Fling for me.... Mind you, 4 weeks OS from next week is not going to see me in peak condition (and my peak condition isn't great to start with). Hope we get some fine weather when I get back so I can re-acquaint myself with the Niner before hitting up the Fling.

daveh's picture

That heat towards the middle of the day smashed me last year in what it was my first 100km race. I can't let that be the last that I see of the Fling so am *kind of* looking forward to getitng back there and finding out if it really is that hard!

GAZZA's picture

Well you have to try these things just once i suppose!

Logan's picture

2 months to train now.

Fatboy's picture

Good on ya Gazza! Cyclocross isn't such a bad option for the Fling as there is bugger all technical compared to open fire road or smooth sniggle. It's definitely a race for fast rolling tyres. When Gordo had his last win there a couple of years ago he told me he had 50psi in his small block 8's. Speed over traction was his thing.

Brian's picture

Do they have a cyclocross category

Logan's picture

Have done for the last couple of years.

homerj's picture

First time flinger this year and want to find out about the Your Choice hill climb. What is the difference? Is the shorter hill like the big climb at Manly Dam? or are they similar to the long climb at Three Ring?

philberesford's picture

It's a shortish pinchy climb. A fare bit longer than the Dam but not that steep it's more that after 100+km's you'll be in The Hurt Box. So if you want the easy option go to the right. If you want to get to the end quicker go left up the climb. By this point you really will want it to be over so I recommend the latter. It's really not that bad.

Brian's picture

Is this mentioned on their site (at a quick glance I can't see them mentioning this) or is it something you find out on the day?

Logan's picture

The Your Choice thing was a bit of a false truth, apparently the left run was meant to be quicker but I remember a few people saying the ground was pretty boggy or there had been an obstacle in the way that slowed you down. I went right last year.

philberesford's picture

But it will be there again this year for sure.

@Logan, there was a tree down last year.

All this talk has prompted me to read my report from last year My legs are hurting just reading it again.

Logan's picture

But I am actually really looking forward to this race at the moment, 2 months to train for this.

daveh's picture

I went left last year thinking shorter=better but after being thoroughly in the box by that stage I just could not ride up things that normally would have been very easy. A mate who was an hour behind me and even further in the box went right, rode the whole way and did not find it that bad. I think it comes down to whether you have any legs left as to which direction you choose to go.

Strangely (stupidly?), also looking forward to this. I think I just want to see that it can't be as bad as it was last year (...can it?!).

philberesford's picture

If Huw keeps the course the same (which I've heard he is) then the reverse single track and paddock climb will be just as challenging as last year IMHO.

Lach's picture

I didn't do the Fling last year, but I've gone up the short way every other year. I've driven the long way in a 4WD and it's appreciably further. The short way has a steep bit and I have always walked part of it, but even so it seems to bring me out ahead of people that were ahead of me through the Sandy Desert. I imagine it would be even quicker if you were able to ride it all. If I was younger and fitter, I'd make that a goal..... Smiling

BTW, I see from the website that the Half Fling is 59km this year!

Brian's picture
Logan's picture
Fatboy's picture

Some solid riders entered.

Ben for the 50 but the 100 is harder to pick. Jason, Dan, Dylan?

GAZZA's picture

And the little known but soon to be famous LOGAN!!!! Eye-wink

daveh's picture

This Logan character sounds interesting, I'll be baracking (albeit from near the back somewhere) for him! Go hard son.

Fatboy's picture

And...Gazza to smoke them in cyclo!

Logan's picture

Lol, no chance of winning it, aiming for a top 20 though and training has been going well so we will see.

GAZZA's picture

The only thing that'll be smoking that day will be my Balls from the friction of 110km on 35mm tyres with no suspension!

Fankles's picture

You'll be right Yogi (Gazza) you can just hop off and have a nap under a tree like the year before Eye-wink
Have you made provision on the bike for your Thermarest?

Luv fankles...

Gary's picture

Just keep applying the chamois cream, Gaz.

GAZZA's picture

That hurt Brad!
I'd rather crawl over that finish line in the dark this year than have an embarrassing DNF like last year!
I blame that one on the bike I was riding!
And Gary, I recon a full tub of cream down me Knicks this year wouldn't go a miss!

Brian's picture

It's all very quiet about the Fling on Sunday. I trust everyone sussed out the forecast for tyre choice and fluid consumption and got their race plan sorted Smiling

daveh's picture

It is quiet because everyone remembers the pain of last year!

Sunday: Possible shower, 13° to 21° - as long as it's not too wet, I would welcome that.

Last year's was my first mtb marathon and I was enjoying the event so much that I drank and ate nothing in the first stage and paid for it dearly between 40 and 50 kms when the heat set in. My plan this year is to take it (relatively) easy to half way, get plenty of water in and plenty to eat and then see how I feel for picking things up a notch or two in the second half. Of course, that's the plan but it may go out the window in favour of simply surviving.

Best of luck to everyone riding.

Brian's picture

The weather depends on where you look Eye-wink

Antsonline's picture

Anyone gonna Dash on Sat evening? I am keen.

Just racing the 1/2 myself, but no matter which race you do - its always hard.
Good news this year is that the Elite are being sent off a little later than previous years (10mins) so there is less chance of it all getting clogged up with backmarkers at the first ST in the rolling fields and at the water crossing.

In advance, I apologise if I pass anyone too close or dont say thanks, or just grunt - I have a feeling its gonna be fast this year.

Oh - and just so you are all getting as much advatnage as possible, if you are riding in a bunch for the full fling, make sure you enter the transition zones on the front of the group, and leave them at the back of the group. The few seconds that it will buy you may be all that is needed....

garyinoz's picture

I may only be doing the half but survival will be the key and trying not to kill myself in the first section.
Still deciding between sticking with the Ikon on the front or going for the ignitor, I don't think there would be a lot between them and the Ikon is just slightly wider.

The forecast is actually looking pretty warm so I'll try and remember to drink plenty.

I'll be starting in the 3-4hr section with the hope of passing people as opposed to be passed....with some exceptions!
Good luck all.

Brian's picture

Gary, I think your misses will be expecting a super fast time from you, I mean, isn't that the excuse you gave to get a new bike Sticking out tongue

philberesford's picture

I heard you promised a podium finish Eye-wink

daveh's picture

Gary, be wary of putting yourself into a group that's slower than you as it's really frustrating. My first few races I seeded myself into a group where I would definitely finish but since then I have seeded myself into a group where I think I could finish. I just found that I was spending the first 15 kms trying to get around people who were slow or perhaps lacked the experience to ride, for example, tight singletrack. This is especially the case in the Fling where there are a lot of pure roadies who compete and that first singletrack that is usually great to ride, can just be a drag with people holding onto the brakes.

Something to think about.....

Brian's picture

So not having done the fling before. From the start how long before the single track starts.

philberesford's picture

Since Huw reversed the course it now comes in at about the 85km mark, oh and it's all uphill Smiling

Antsonline's picture

The big 'stoppers' are the water crossings. doesnt matter if you are a pure roadie or not - you have to dismount and wade through. Steep banks on either side make it slow going and queues form quickly.

Personally, I would go pretty hard to get through those water crossings (first 30-40mins) and then take the next hour (into Wingello prior to the big climb) pretty steady on other peoples wheels, in a bunch swapping turns.

garyinoz's picture

No pressure then guy's. My words of reasoning as to why I needed to purchase a 29er may come back and bite me at the weekend. My excuses are already lined up - I'd trained for 50Km not 59km!

@Daveh - I think 3hrs is a realistic time so hopefully the start time will be ok? Experience has told me that people tend to over estimate their abilities so no doubt there will be people in the 2-3hr group who should really be in the 3-4. If I go in the 2-3hr start time I'll push too hard at the start.

How far in is the water crossing? I don't want to get my new outfit wet Eye-wink

philberesford's picture

It's not called Early Bath for nothing Eye-wink Maybe around the 20ish mark?

Not sure about the Half Fling course but there's more crossings for the Full Flingers too

garyinoz's picture

By then I'll be keen for a bath to cool down!

philberesford's picture

Go hard early to clear as much traffic as you can before the water crossing. The queues there can be horrendous and you will lose a lot of time (10mins+).

GiantNut's picture

My first fling and my training has consisted mostly of apathy so I took the soft option and selected the 50 uhm 59kms - had planned to fast cruise it. Hold something back and just finnish.
But sounds like tactics play a bigger part - What's the advice for halfers? Still go hard and avoid the water crossings thing?
Also when you finnish the first section of 27km assume you can easily re-stock water? I chewed thru just under 2 liters in 40 kms on Sunday.

Brian's picture

I can't afford to lose ten minutes at the water crossing so it looks like I'm going out hard.

tate's picture

i cant see why they delay the half flinging elites by ten minutes behind the regulars....

asking for trouble isnt it??

Antsonline's picture

Not quite - they put the half flingers off with the Elite Flingers. The start time is 10mins later this year than it was last year - giving sandbaggers like you more chance to get clear!
I think its a 30min gap between you guys and then the Elite and Half-Fling start. It used to only be 20mins (again, just speaking off the top of my head).

Dicko's picture

Full flingers 7:20 start Full flinging elites, half lingers 8:05 start

Brian's picture

This will be the only time I see them as they normally are off first and by the time I get back I'm sure some would be just pulling into their driveways Eye-wink

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