saturday 12th jan – freo & cott

it’s just not the sound you want to hear as you are riding along. the scrap of metal on the road and the thud of bodies hitting the deck. just not pretty.

well it all started nicely. i gave a bit of a spiel before the ride saying that we really need to hold it together for longer before we smash the group to pieces. this meant that we should all ride at a reasonable pace (30km/h) for three quarters of the ride, then the last 10 km can be a smash fest. no complaints and it also allows the ride to be more social, which is what it is supposed to be.

anyway, the course today was going to take us down the canning hwy to freo, but we would turn into attadale to get off the main road and meander gently along the river side. once we got to freo we would go up the coast to cottesloe and back to the coffee shop via dalkeith. it is a pretty standard ride and most people would know the way. well it didn’t quite go to plan.

the first part of canning hwy is always a pain. lots of lights, and with the group consisting of over 40 riders again, we were sure to catch the lights. bit of stop start, but generally we were going along fine. once we hit the backside of applecross there is a bit of a section of no lights that we can get into a bit of a rhythm. along here we group swerved due to a shoe sitting in the middle of the road. i was riding about 4th wheel so had plenty of time to move around it. next thing i hear is a yell and the crunch noise associated with a bike and rider hitting the deck. a quick look over my shoulder and i still see bikes and people getting airborne.

not exactly sure what happened as i have heard a number of different stories. whether it was people trying to avoid the shoe, or a drain on the side of the road or whatever, there was a touch of wheels and dr ian (or wally as he is known) went down hard. hard enough to totally crack the rear of his helmet. it seems that brett was riding behind him and when straight into wally’s bike and over the handle bars. darren then hit brett’s leg and took a face plant as well. three down and rest took evasive action to prevent any further damage. luckily it is a two lane road and there were no cars behind us.

well i scream out for the group to stop and turn around to check the situation. as i approach the smell of burning rubber was quite strong. some people really locked it up to avoid the stack. wally was being helped off the road and seemed quite out of it. maybe a slight concussion, which would be no surprise considering the state of his helmet. some of the riders were slowing the traffic down and others were collecting bike accessories that were strewn across the road. dr greg and dr paul were having a look at brett who was lying flat on his back on the nature strip. suspected broken collar bone and a few bumps and bruises. darren was being helped onto the medium strip but just seemed a little shaken.

anyway, we debated calling an ambulance but instead called brett’s wife to come and pick him up. wally was not too bad after a bit of a rest and russell rode him home to make sure he got back ok. darren opted for continuing with the ride, as he only had a bit of bark off (see picture). dr greg and paul stayed back with brett to make sure he was ok and the rest of us rolled on with the ride. probably the last thing brett needed was 40 other people standing around looking at him. i called him at about 11 and he was still in the hospital. x-rays had confirmed that he did break his collar-bone so he will be off the bike for a while and will only join us for the coffee portion of the ride. great way to start the new year.

well, as i said the rest of us rolled away, and headed towards freo along side the river. not surprisingly, the mood was a bit subdued and people were taking it pretty easy. a hard hit out over the back of the pt walter golf course hill soon shook things up, but we rolled down the other side to allow a regroup. we cut a bit of the course out as we were a bit behind time and crossed the stirling bridge instead.

along port beach road, some of the boys decided to have a crack. even though is said we would keep it together until dalkeith, some guys have too much testosterone. anyway, i wasn’t going to yell at them and tried to keep the group together as best i could. it was amazing how many people then took off around the bunch to try to chase these guys down. the pace was higher than expected along past cottesloe but the group came back together after we turned off marine parade.

once we crossed back over stirling hwy and into dalkeith, it was definitely on. now i don’t mind this as everyone know the way home, it is long enough to test your legs, and there are short cuts for the weaker riders. it got strung out pretty early, but there are a couple of intersections that always allow for a bit of catch up. coming down past steve’s pub, i noticed sharon in the group. wow, hard pace and she held on near the front. not quite, as she knows the main short cut through waratah ave.

as we pushed on towards the uni, there were less than ten of us making up the final selection. i have a tendency to go early. way too early. so early that most people know that i will be caught before the end. not today. even though i was at the very back, i saw that gerry was on ryan’s wheel only two riders ahead of me. same as last sunday, i thought. just get on gerry’s wheel and come around him when he takes ryan. i watched ryan look around a few time so i came around the two guys in front of me to make sure i didn’t miss the jump.

he jumped. gerry wasn’t ready and missed by about half a metre. this is way too much with ryan as he is so explosive off the mark. i still jumped on gerry’s wheel as we came around the rest of the pack. i was hoping ryan would fade and gerry would drag me up, but the opposire happened. gerry faded and ryan kicked again. i came around gerry but couldn’t catch ryan by then and he beat me to the line (60km sign by the swan brewery) by a good 20+ metres.

a roll to the coffee shop, where mickey’s novice group had already taken up residence, and a well deserved brew awaited. no broken coffee machine this week, so a better finish than last week. lots of “i was just behind him when” type recaps of the accident, which is why i am getting different stories. probably the most important thing is not to cross wheels with the guy in front and have a few doctors on your ride.

anyway, stay safe. stay upright.

Sth Perth Saturday Ride 01 (Freo &amp Cott)
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