ride report by peter.
so, it was jens’ last sunday ride with us so i gave hime the honour of choosing his last route. his last sunday supper, so to speak. he chose the f_ckenberg. why? who knows. maybe it was his way of saying thanks, by making us hurt a lot more. no matter what the reason, we were headed south today.
a decent turn out as it should be with a beautiful day forecast, but the wind left a little to be desired. we rolled out with about 22 people and headed down albany hwy. the turns at the front switched a lot sooner than usual as the wind was coming as a head/cross and was taking the toll on the workhorses.
we were caught by another group just before maddington and it turned out to be some rowing mates of hugh. they were heading down to the bedford hill on albany hwy so hugh stayed with us as he thought that they had never heard of half the climbs we were doing today. we must have been riding along at a far to sedate pace for them as they soon came around and took off down the road.
just after gosnells the call of flat went up and we ground to a halt. stu pulled out a tube that already had three patches on it and guessed that it had seen better days and binned it instead. brendan initially thought that it was michael again, but he has since changed his tyres out to a more reliable pair.
once we turned onto brookton hwy, the wind was directly in our faces and making both riding and hearing hard. whoever was on the front went to turn up the wrong road which would mean that we would miss the nasty climb. we were yelling at them to go straight but with the wind, the first few people still turned up the wrong road. i headed back to the front to make sure that we got the correct turn (big orange building, can’t miss it).
the general call from the group was that jens should lead up the f_ckenberg as he was the one that wanted it. he was at the front at the foot of the climb, but it seemed that mike was on a mission today, maybe to make up for our poor showing yesterday. he danced up the hill with brendan and stu not far behind. jens and i were dropped but i managed to get past him on the lower steeper section. about halfway up ben came past me which was quite disheartening as i hate to lose position on the climbs. we continued to slug it out but i don’t think that anyone made up any ground on each other and we crested pretty much in that order.
mike – 10, brendan – 7, stu – 5, ben – 3, peter – 1.
we were waiting at the top and someone said that one of the guys came off at the bottom. mike b was in a too hard a gear and locked the bike up when the grade got too steep and managed to topple over. a little bark off and the derailleur was a bit bent, but no major damage. even just stopping on that climb makes it difficult to restart, let alone hitting the deck.
the next climb up canns is almost straight away and doesn’t really give you much time to get your breath back. luckily it is not that steep and so wasn’t going to hurt my arms like the f_ckenberg did. the pace was easy at the start and dr carl lead the field up the first part of the climb. we were headed straight into the headwind again and there was surprisingly little protection on this stretch of road. as the road pitched up, jens and ben moved around and upped the pace. i jumped on and looked back to see what the others were doing. the majority of the climbers were playing it cool and just going to grind this one out so we got a bit of a gap. jens and ben took turns but i was content to sit in nicely protected from the wind. i looked around and we were soon joined by brendan, steve and stu. the road rolled along for a bit before it turned the corner and offered a bit more protection from the wind. just before that point, i jumped ahead of the field and grabbed a decent gap. i was waiting for the reaction but it never came. i pushed on but was constantly looking behind myself to see when the counter attack was coming. there was one last pinch before the finish and my legs were starting to fade. i looked back to see the group gaining fast so i stomped on the pedals and extended the gap out again. i had enough of a gap to cruise to the finish ahead of brendan who jumped off the front to take second.
peter – 10, brendan – 7, jens – 5, steve – 3, ben – 1.
a nice fast descent down soldiers rd (i am trying to map a course that goes up soldiers rd) and we were at the base of peet rd. the next lot of points were on offer at the end of urch rd after tackling the base of peet and then onto urch. i set tempo on brendan’s wheel until mike came past. john had tried to get an advantage by heading up the road a tad earlier but we soon pulled him back in. mike tried one attack on the steeper section but brendan and i managed to stay on all the way to the urch turn. we had a substantial gap over the chasers as we headed down the slight reprieve before urch started in earnest. mike still set the pace up the slope but steve had managed to bridge across to us. somewhere along the climb, mike made another attack and it started to split us apart as i couldn’t hang on to brendan’s wheel. steve came around from behind with a great attack that took the other two by surprise and made them push hard to get on. i just had to watch them head up the road, but now kept an eye behind me to make sure stu didn’t gain too much ground. as i crested the climb, i saw that the three of them had slowed down as i am guessing that they assumed that the points were at the crest. unfortunately the points were at the end of the road and i came past and continued along the road. brendan and steve jumped on behind, but mike kept cruising to the finish. i was rolled on the line (as i expected), but the aim was to try to grab as many points as i could and was already lucky on this climb.
steve – 10, brendan – 7, peter – 5, mike – 3, stu – 1.
the long hard slog to pickering brook was made interesting by the wind but not too bad overall. we lost judd at the top of the kahuna and darren at pickering brook, but the group was generally intact as we approached the observatory climb. mike and i led it out and i was content to let the pace maintain a tempo up the first part of the climb. mike was out for revenge over the last climb and he hit this one hard. we all kind of looked around to see who would react and by then it was all over. he was gone. i thought i would see what i could do and stomped it to try to bridge across. i managed to get halfway there, but trying to catch mike on a hill was like trying to get ryan to lead out in a sprint. i was running out of juice when brendan, stu and steve came past. i jumped on for a while but the effort of chasing mike took it’s toll and i couldn’t maintain for very long. ben eventually picked my up and we continued up the hill.
steve was dropped by the other two in their effort to catch mike by the top and he jumped on behind ben and i. we began pacing it up for the run at the last pinch and chucked it in the big ring. ben slipped back a bit but soon past steve as he dropped his chain trying to jump up from the little ring. i hung on to the end, and stu managed to outsprint brendan at the top, but neither caught the elusive teacher.
mike – 10, stu – 7, brendan – 5, peter – 3, ben – 1.
one more climb and next stop was coffee. jens had announced that as this was his last sunday ride, he was paying for coffee as a thank you for the great company during the rides. i think he was hoping that we would help/allow him to get to the top first so that he could pay for them, but he was still going to have to fight for the points.
after the descent of the observatory and the undulations of bickley valley i finally managed to catch up steve and brendan so that they would not have an advantage heading into the final climb. john was trying to replicate his final climb from last week and took off to gain some time advantage. it looked like he over cooked it as he turned onto mundaring weir rd and may have dropped his chain as he was looking down and slowing up. we started to set the pace up the hill and stu was the workhorse for all his effort. he paced us up the main part of the first pitch until mike came flying past, i tired to jump on and made a big effort to, but i didn’t last long and soon was caught in no-mans land all on my own.
the train of steve, brendan and stu picked me up and once we hit the flat section, we rolled through to try to catch mike. it didn’t seem to work. he was powering along. by the time we hit the last pitch, brendan and stu were within striking distance of mike but he saw them coming and put in one last effort to make sure of the points. i was just barely hanging on but stayed away from ben for the finish.
mike – 10, brendan – 7, stu – 5, steve – 3, peter – 1.
as coffee was on jens, i splurged and ordered a “trio de chocolat” which is a decadant interpretation of the chocolate indulgence. basically it was a triple layered chocolate mousse/slice thing which was ace. it went down a treat, and contrary to public opinion, did not come back up on the way home. mmmmm calories.
the owner of the le paris brest café came out to tell us about this dvd that is being filmed on thursday to try to promote cycling in the hills area. basically if you are not working on thursday, or are looking for a break for a couple of hours, if you head to the café between 11 and 12 you can get a free coffee and pastry for you efforts. it is trying to promote cycling so if you are free i recommend that you head up there. contact the café for more info and to acknowledge your participation – 9293 2752. oh, and you should wear your south perth kit as a bit of shameless self promotion never goes astray.
coffee points – steve, ben, stu, stan, michael, dan, hugh, jens, mike b, john, anna, brett 2, carl, simon, peter, brendan, todd.
a nice fast ride home and the tailwind down welshpool allowed me to break my previous speed record of 82 point something. i managed to crack 91 this time and was upset that i couldn’t reach my hardest gear due to my lock ring problems. in reality, 90 does not really seem any faster than 70 but i am sure that it would remove a bigger patch of skin if you came a cropper. best not to think about that when you are coming down at speed. it may make you reach for the brakes.
a nice armchair ride home with jens doing the bulk of the work on the front just like his namesake on stage 10 of this years tour. he even had energy left to sprint for the welshpool maccas. the final sprint was interesting as dan jumped clear at the second last lights and managed to stay away until that last little hill when steve caught him after he jumped at the next lights. i came home hard and picked up dan but brendan sprinted off me and up the road.
so a good day and some hard climbs. i had made a decision to try to stick with mike at the expense of mountain points as i think that going harder for longer and then blowing up will be better for me than riding tempo to maintain my position. we will see anyway. great perth bike ride for me next sunday, so my position on the leaderboard will be well under threat.