ride report by michael
a rather pleasant day greeted us for this sunday ride, a nice change from the previous few very hot sundays. a smallish group of 14 riders had gathered for the journey, without too many of the usual big hitters out today, it augered well for a pleasantly well mannered ride.
starting out along great eastern highway we crusied along at a moderate pace before turning onto queens rd and past rosehill golf course through to bushmead rd and onto helena valley rd. a left turn into scott st followed by a right into marriott rd, wherewe were greeted by short, steepish climb, which really gets the heart pumping and gives the legs a rapid warmup.
as we turned onto coulston rd, stuart and i set a steady pace at the front going up the climb, stringing the group out, with a regroup at darlington rd. doug joined the ride at this point. heading down the short steep descent past darlington school, we quickly reached the short very steep ascent of leithdale rd, with rachael punching her way up the climb in first position before turning onto ryecroft rd.
you could hear the crunching of gears with people searching for the lowest gear they had for the climb, it really hits you suddenly without any time to prepare. ryecroft road starts with a deceptively steep first section before easing to a fairly easy gradient. darren impressed by pushing to the front and maintaining a good tempo to the top of the climb, with a regroup at the intersection of glen forrest drv. an easy downhill followed which gave us all a chance to rest our legs for a spell before starting the next climb up thomas rd.
thomas rd is a long, gentle, undulating climb through some pituresque countryside that takes us all the way to mundaring. the climb started reasonably sedately with melvin and i setting an easy tempo for the group, but that state of afairs wasn’t going to last long, my legs were feeling good at time and i decided to gradually crank up the pace, stuart joined me at front and we maintained that pace all the way to mundaring. i didn’t look back at all during the climb so I don’t know where people dropped back but i know that todd was in there as he pulled up and rode along side me for a while, (he’s been putting in some strong performances lately in the hills), and when we arrived at mundaring jerrard, camille and darren were also there. i think dr marc wasn’t that far behind either.
a nice long descent follows, which takes us all the way down to the mundaring weir, it’s another good opportunity to rest the legs and practice those descending skills. starting the climb easily out of mundaring weir i was quickly joined and then passed by stuart but keeping him at a manageable distance. jerrard caught up with me an we worked together to gradually catch up with stuart towards the very crest of the climb. it’s a tough climb out of the weir, because it starts off gently but then steepens and when you think it’s nearly over you round a corner and it keeps on going, it then levels off but keeps on persisting for a couple of km’s. once over the top of the climb, stuart, jerrard and i worked together to put some time into the rest of the group, until we hit the climb just before the camel farm, where stuart pulled away towards the top. on the descent we managed to reel him in and started the climb up to kalamunda together.
as we got into our rythym on the climb maintaing a steady 24km/h, some guy on a time trial bike came by us, Stuart and i looked at each other with bemused expressions and then hooked in behind him and followed him up the climb, we lost jerrard somewhere along the climb as the pace was on, and then just before the false flat section we lost touch with time trial guy. after the flat section stuart rode to the front and by that time my legs had nothing left and i had to let him go it alone up the final pinch and the kom points in first place.
camille later told us about some hillbilly harassing her as she rode up one of the climbs, this guy in a ute closely followed her for 3-4 mins yelling at her something but she doesn’t know what because she had her ipod on. doug and melvin were a short distance behind but couldn’t catch up enough to stop that idiot red neck.
our usual stop at paris brest cafe followed, and a well deserved rest i must say. stuart kept on going forsome extra km’s. paris brest were 4 staff short today and it seemed like every one was out for brunch, so our stop turned out to be quite long, but the almond and custard escargot was worth the wait.
starting off on the road home with heavy legs, it’s the worst part of the day this uphill section out of kalamunda. the legs gradually return from their stupor, then we hit the descent of lesmudie and welshpool rd’s, it’s always a blast descending down here at break neck speed, all the while watching out for mad drivers. a slight south westerly kept the top speeds down, I could only manage 78km/h on the downhill.
the ride back along welspool rd was fairly uneventful until melvin, on que decided to light the touch paper and put in a blistering sprint, followed closely behind by todd. jerrard then went to chase them down and i couldn’t let them go either, and so followed suite and managed to catch them just as we hit the slight rise before the leach hwy intersection. the pace was on along berwick st, clicking along at around 40km/h. i started the final sprint earlier than normal but couldn’t quite get the jump on jerrard who came by to claim the points at the finish.
apart from one unpleasant encounter with a red neck git and some slow service at paris brest, a very pleasant ride was had by all, with some nice weather for a change as well.
ride report by michael