ride report by peter.
a quick dash from the barrack st jetty this morning as i needed to bring some documents along to the coffeeshop for our meeting after the ride. i felt like i needed lights and was glad to see that the latest polls had perth pretty much rejecting daylight savings. lets move on.
we were going to split today no matter what. i think we have given the fast group enough of a taste of what to expect that they tend to want to go hard every ride. it caused problems last week when the group’s overall pace increased. and this was with most of the fast guys away racing.
with an easterly wind predicted, a course was set for benara rd. the main group would do the usual route, and the fast group would head out a bit further and do an extra 8km before heading to benara rd. i doubted that the main group would be caught, but it always gives some extra incentive when chasing a rabbit.
i would say about 50 or so riders were out this morning and we headed off together along great eastern at a leisurely pace. chris had already “volunteered” to head the main group and once we hit the turn to ascot, the group split with about 30 in the main and 20 in the fast group.
we started rolling through when i got tired on the front, but we managed to get all the lights until we were well past the airport. this made the roll through a bit difficult, but it was more about staying out of the wind than smashing a hard pace. my aim for the day was to stay with the group until we got through some of the back roads and onto great eastern again. i was sure that people didn’t know which way to go, as this was a new route, and some would get lost.
as we left the traffic lights behind, the pace quickened with a more consistent roll through. by the time we hit guilford, some people were only just hanging onto the back and not rolling through at all. the crosswind meant that the guy in front offered little protection and it was sorting out the boys from the men (lorraine and lisa had stepped up today though). the group slowed to get onto west rd and past the golf course, but when the pace picked up we really started to shed some people. by the time we reached helena valley road, there was no chance some would be getting back on and i hoped that they had looked at the map (there was a shortcut at this point).
i was beginning to sit on the back as i just needed to conserve as much as i could to act as navigator for the group. we turned just before roe hwy and detoured through midland to get back onto great eastern, but now heading the other way. the tailwind made this a bit more pleasant but also upped the pace. no turns for me. we finally got onto west swan rd and headed towards benara rd.
however, this is where the crosswind really sunk the dagger into a number of riders. with heavier traffic (single file) and no where to hide from the wind, the group quickly broke up into a number of little echelons. i managed to leap-frog across a couple of them and tried to bring the others up the road with me, but some people were really struggling by now. we turned onto benara with ryan and the others about 100m ahead.
with a group of about 6 on my wheel, i started to time-trial across the gap and was pushing a nice pace. we could see the we were gaining, but my heart was also doing about 189bpm and was pretty much at it’s limit. i looked back to find that only lorraine had managed to hold the wheel. we got within about 20m but couldn’t hold the pace any longer. lorriane managed to get a springboard off my draft and bridged up to kimbo who had drifted off the back of the front pack. i sat up a bit trying to suck some oxygen in and was soon caught by a couple more riders. the next set of lights determined the make up of our group that would stick together for the rest of the journey. kimbo, lorraine, steve, lindsay, dr mark, john and myself all did what we could to keep the pace on but we knew that we weren’t going to catch the front guys. i must say that today’s ride was the longest time on benara rd. it felt like such a struggle and even though we had a tailwind, it seemed to go on forever.
the rest of the trip was uneventful as it was mainly trying to keep out of the wind. we met up with brett and dan who were coming the opposite way onto whatley cres after they managed to miss a turn and ended up at the base of ridgehill rd. myself and couple of others were caught at some lights in east perth so managed to come in after our group, but made it nevertheless.
i gathered my documents and we had out inaugural meeting of the south perth cycle club. all the points on the agenda were ratified and carried and so we are now formally a club. it hasn’t even been a full year since the start of spr and we have made so many big steps in such a short time. i get emails all the time from riders i have never met but have been reading the blog and are interested in coming out with us. i think if we continue on our current path, we should be in for a successful year.