well the final day of the so called daylight savings and it was still night when everyone started arriving. we had decided to change the course a bit as the roadworks on the esplanade in mt pleasant were not too bad. this would take us on the same course as mickey’s group, so we decided to combine the two. or should i say, his group tagged on behind ours and i don’t know for how long either.
with the streetlights still on, and cars with headlights blazing, we headed out at the allotted time. the trip down canning hwy was rather uneventful and we managed to get through the multiple stop lights unscathed. once we turned onto the esplanade, the group did manage to stay together well, especially since the roadworks kept everyone on their toes. it was not raw gravel that we were rolling over as it seemed that the road was just waiting for the top coat to be laid.
once we got past that and the road smoothed out a bit, nick headed to the front and began to flex his “i don’t get out enough anymore so i need to hurt you” legs. the pace began to stretch the two groups already, and we weren’t even at the designated tempo section. i’m guessing that we started to lose some of mickey’s group at about this point, but i’m not sure as i was to close to the front trying to keep the boys undercontrol.
once we hit riverton dr strangely enough, everyone hesitated as no-one wanted to lead out the group. it is a long sprint section and well utilised by many groups in perth as there are minimal intersections and only one where we would have to give way. i sat at the front with nick as we began to slowly wind up the pace, waiting to see who would make a move.
being a long way out from the end, it would be a suicide mission to attack so early. so i went. and didn’t get too far. it did however, cause the pace to increase dramatically. ryan and nick both chased me down and before too long the rest of the pack was swamping me. with the ice broken, this meant that more and more people would try to get off the front causing most of the group to revert to survival mode.
a surprising sight was mickey flying around the pack and gapping the field before being chased down and totally swamped. i think the boys were pretty sure that he would not be getting away.
the attacks started to slow and people formed back into a double file with a kind of roll through happening. kind of, because it was more of someone doing work till they were buggered and the rest of the group swamping them afterwards. towards the end of the shelley sprint, some of the big boys went to the front to fight out the finale. not knowing where the line actually is, the boys just went hard early and tried to rip each others legs off. i was out of it by now and watched as ryan and another nick fought it out.
a general slowing of the group allowed people to catch back up as we meandered our way through the suburbs to get across to vahland rd. this would allow us to take in the full length of banister rd which would be our next tempo section. vahland and south st were uneventful, and even once we hit banister we had to take it slow. everyone was trying to get to the markets and cars were backed up for ages.
once we maneuvered past the mobile road blocks, the pace started to increase some what. the group strung out to single file quite quickly as riders looked to hide from the wind. it was a head-cross wind, so even right on the wheel of the guy in front didn’t allow an armchair ride. this would have broken the pack but we were saved by the lights which allowed a general regrouping. after that a very subtle rolling through began to happen, but not excessively hard and it hardly felt like we were working at all.
once i got to the point were i could extract myself from the line i jumped out into fresh air. unfortunately this was almost at the very back of the group and it was a long way to the front. i started to sprint around the pack, not exactly knowing how far it was to the end, but generally just to try to get the group to have to work a lot harder. ryan was close to me in the group when i took off and also managed to get himself free. luckily for both of us, the main threats were also caught up in the left hand line and could not get themselves free of the pack.
well ryan blasted past me once i had a nice gap on the field and i could not get on his wheel in time. jerry also came past and again didn’t want me to play with him either. as they both shot up the road, chris also broke free and was chasing us down. he yelled out a warning to me as he approached allowing me to jump on his wheel and get a slight reprieve. he did a good turn on the front and managed to pull us up to ryan and jerry, who were looking a bit bewildered as neither really knew where the road ended. we managed to get up with them, but then ryan hit his second wind and took off again.
once we turned onto nicholsen road the group slowed enough to get back together. the plan was to cruise up to cannington and along albany hwy at a nice easy pace. once we hit the intersection of welshpool rd it would be all on until we hit the coffee shop. unfortunately some of the boys deceided that they need to show how strong they were and made it a lot more difficult along albany hwy. i maintained the pace that i thought we should be going, and by the time we approached the intersection, i was almost off the back. christophe did comment in his french accented english, that maybe english was not their first language. unfortunately it is, but the testosterone seems to wipe out all other thought from their minds when presented with a stretch of open road.
anyway, i had family matters to take care of and had to be home by….earlier than i got home, so i turned off down berwick st and off home. hopefully someone will fill us in with what transpired on the final run into town.
UPDATED RIDE CONCLUSION
the finale by chris
bruce fired off the front only to take the next exit heading home to nat & bub. this seemed to fire the boys up and the pace was on. i was aiming to look after myself for the final run along riverside dve. the number of traffic lights along shepperton rd means that it’s a bit of a lottery along this stretch. invariably any break is stopped by a red light bringing the bunch back together and potentially allowing a smokey to use their momentum to launch an attack.
today however six or seven of us managed to get through a set of lights and stay away to the café.
once onto the causeway nick decided he’d hit out for home but with the likes of the ryan the pool boy, mike, jerry and a couple of the squadra barista boys on his tail it was doomed from the start. as we all know, this has never stopped nick before.
i took first wheel with the vain hope that some of the other guys might swap off turns. surprisingly they left me there to cook myself. i decided that chasing nick down was bound to end in the boys smashing me once we had him, so i maintained the gap for a while. once we got well along the drive i upped the pace a few km/h in order to roll over nick. sure enough once we were within striking distance the pool boy launched with the others on his tail.
the final set of lights ran the usual spoiler to the finishing sprint but it’s safe to say the pool boy was the winner. it seems we need more people in the finale to box the bugger in.