ride report by peter.
so a week off the bike with the vain hope that it would give me time to recover from my cold. unfortunately it is still lingering and starting to piss me off somewhat as everyone else i know got over it quickly. i am still somewhat snotty but at least i am not having coughing fits that kind of screwed me around on the great perth bike ride (gpbr).
so, with a pleasant day predicted with the sun shining and little wind to speak of, i was expecting a big turnout and was not disappointed. there were between 50 – 60 riders waiting to go this morning by the time i turned up (late again). we were going on a gentle lap of the river but the reverse direction of the gpbr and including cottesloe to break things up a bit. it was a fairly standard route that we used to do quite regularly and one that i often map out when i am not coming as everyone knows the way.
we rolled out and didn’t even make it to the lights at mill point rd when chris was out with a flat. he told us to keep going as with a group this size, we would be taking up a lot of space. also, as the ride had only just begun, we would be on cruise mode for a while and with the help of james and ryan, who stopped with him, he should be able to catch back up.
the rest of us headed out to canning hwy and down towards freo. i didn’t last long on the front and soon joined the tail of the group so that i could get a good draft. i just found that i could not sustain a decent effort for very long and was probably more of a hindrance at the front. we turned off the hwy and onto burke drive which was our first designated fast section. usually the group really goes to town here as the long stretch with no intersections to slow you down makes for a fast pace. for some reason, no-one was in the mood for dancing. i was also content to sit on the back of the train and watch the frustrated car drivers not be able to get around due to all the traffic islands on that stretch of road.
about ¾ of the way along burke drive i see a figure heading up the road. young bec decided to have a crack and went off the front. melvyn thought that he better not be shown up by her and took off in pursuit. however, he was no match for the current state women’s criterium champion and never came close. the rest of the pack soon picked him up on the hill over pt walter.
the group was playing nice today and stopped after the roundabout, but it was not necessary as since the pace had not been on, the pack had not been strung out. we happily continued down towards the left bank.
along this stretch the pace was on and some of the boys were keen to go off the front. i made a half-arsed attempt (as i only have half an arse worth of effort in me) and got caught in to man’s land. i did notice jerry and brendan and a few others off the front, but it was all a bit of a haze for me by then.
a nice cruise past cottesloe with an opportunity to enjoy the view (i love summer or even summer-like weather), and we were headed for home. i got a text and as we are almost at baby-time, i had to check it in case i had missed a call. it was however from chris, and he wrote – “i’d like to publicly apologise to my team mates ryan and james for my use of faulty equipment. i hope they caught back up.” it turns out that chris didn’t have the proper valve extenders for his deep dish rims and could only put half the required amount of air in his tyre. the other guys left him at raffles and chased us down in swanbourne.
the pace home was actually quite civilised and i got to have a chat with a few people that i hadn’t caught up with for a while. mike (tall guy, ice-cream jersey and argon 18 bike) is now working a 4 and 2 roster out of china so most of his riding is confined to a trainer. and lisen who used to be a regular, but has been caught up doing the whole doctor thing and has not had time lately. it was good to see them out again along with a few new faces to the group.
the pace did eventually pick up as the road rolled through dalkeith and jerry made sure that he sat on ryan’s wheel so that he could take him on the line by the war memorial. i was happy to still be with the group by now and had to laugh when lisen asked if i wanted to get out when i was boxed in on the left hand side.
we ended up passing the elite cycles group around the university and this may have caused some confusion leading into the sprint. we had enough spr riders up front to set the pace, but elite were tucked in behind all the way along mounts bay rd. i managed to get to the front early on to test the body out on a extended effort, but was soon overtaken by james and then got boxed in by the other 30 or so riders that came around. in the end i am pretty sure it was ryan on the line, but i was too far away to make out the minor placings.
coffee for all and we managed to fill up the outside area easily as the pace had not been high enough to lose too many riders. ronny had joined us from the elite group and it was good to see him and john up and about after their altercation with a spped sign at the gpbr. i am riding on borrowed time at the moment as the imminent birth of son #2 will be putting a serious cramp on my riding hours. however, regardless of my situation, this is a reminder that our next spr breakfast will be on in a few weeks time on the 20th dec. this will be the christmas breakfast and will be held at jerry’s place palace in city beach. the ride will be very casual and fancy dress will be recommended. stay tuned for more as we get closer.