Tag Archives: benara

saturday 17th april – main 2 (benara rd)

ride report by peter.

with a race on sunday, i decided that i needed an easier day so as to not wear out the legs too much.  with the recently formed main 2 group, i decided that i would take a ride with them to see how the group was going.  the fast group was down on numbers this morning as there were a few that where racing on sunday so had moved down to the main 1 group.  some of the main 1 group were also racing so had moved down to the main 2 group.  the split was not really even between these three groups this week as we had probably over 30 riders in main 1 and only 13 in main 2.  we had this problem, way back when we used to leave from the bike shop as no-one wanted to be told that they were not good enough to go in the faster group.  yes, you should push yourself, but sometimes if you get dropped too often you get discouraged and will just not ride anymore.  if you feel that you are constantly struggling in the main group, then join the main 2 group.  it does the same distance, just not as fast.  realistically this group was set up to be that stepping stone between the transitional group and the main group as the gap was pretty wide.

anyway, we had about 13 riders heading out and we set a nice and easy pace along great eastern.  we started a bit of a roll through and the wind played havoc a bit as gaps formed quite frequently.  as we turned off to head past rosehill golf course, we stopped rolling through as the slight rises makes it hard to keep a constant pace.  once on bushmead road, we rolled through again as we were heading straight into the wind.  this wasn’t a hard pace roll through, but rather an easy way of sharing the load.  some guys were struggling a bit, but we managed to keep it together to get to midland.  it would be pretty much a tailwind from now on, so i thought we should be right.

we started to roll through again as we headed to guilford and the tailwind made this a bit easier.  along the way, we picked up some of the main 1.  chrissy had been convinced by meg to join main 1 and she had been dropped along the way.  it was a big step as she had only ever ridden the transitional group before this plus had ridden down from lesmurdie that morning.  darryl and brother dan were helping her along the road so she wasn’t left on her own.

we made the turn onto benara road and i moved to the front to give some instructions.  i said that they can go harder for the length of benara as long as they waited at the end.  nigel and i formed a draft for chrissy while dan hung back to keep jess moving.  we set a good pace along benara and almost caught the back of the group once or twice as they were stuck at the lights.  at one stage chrissy even wanted to sprint to catch them at the lights, but i was a bit wary of how much energy she had to get home.  we just kept plugging away to the end of the road.

the group had waited around the corner and soon we were all together again and heading through to the back of galleria.

there are a bunch of rolling hills between here and the city so it was a constant battle to keep the group together.  a few of us acted as sweepers and we all managed to get onto whatley crescent together.  as we crossed guilford road we past the fast group waiting at the lights.  they did about 5 or 6 k’s more and started just before us so i think we managed to set a good pace.  the last run into town was a bit disjointed but there was a nice clear road along riverside drive for the guys to stretch their legs at the end.

once inside the café, i managed to have a quick chat with the owner.  i mentioned that some places don’t want us turning up every saturday but he said that he was happy for us to come along each week.  it must be a disruption for him to have so many descend upon him, but i think he appreciates that we are quick business and consistent.

saturday 23rd – transitional group

ride report by peter.

third time on the bike since before christmas and gee my butt is sore.  to be more specific, my sit bones are sore.  it is amazing how much resistance you can build up to that sort of abuse if you just persist with it.  i was having trouble backing up rides and had to ride the first few kms standing up.  i guess i am just lucky that the rest of the muscle groups seem to be firing ok.  cardio is a different story.

i turned up relatively early (well for me anyway) as my kids are still not quite over running on melbourne time.  the first morning we got back and they were up at 3:30am ready for action.  at least now they are closer to 6:00am but still not quite there yet.  anyway, i turned up to a sea of unfamiliar faces and this both excited and worried me.  excited as it was great to see that the group is steadily growing, but worried me because i like to know everyone’s name.  i am going to have to work on the names thing so don’t get to upset if i apologise for not remembering we have met.

as per the blog, we proceeded to split into 4 groups.  i sent the advanced group on their way as they had the longest to travel.  then i split the novice group out and left them in the hands of mark and carol.  the intermediate group was next with the transitional group to follow the same path.

dr ronny has volunteered to look after the transitional group and i came along today to make sure everything went well.  we took off and i sat on the front with mandy as we set an easy pace along mill point to great eastern.  the idea was to just leave a couple of people on the front and then have them peel off when they got tired.  nice easy pace and no roll through or anything. 

we made it to ascot with me playing sheepdog and constantly moving from front to back to give directions and make sure we hadn’t lost anyone.  there was the occasional person falling off the back and we had to slow the group down a bit to keep everyone together.  we were heading out guilford rd into a decent headwind and it is important to know where to sit to keep out of the wind.  these are skills that you pick up along the way and it is generally trial and error that will see you through.

a bit of confusion at the turn at guilford saw half the group going straight instead of turning to get onto west swan rd.  by the time we got together, we were already on benara rd.  once the group formed up we tried to roll through, but it didn’t go too well and we dropped a couple of riders.  also there were people that hadn’t rolled through before and didn’t know what to do.  my fault really, as i thought that everyone had been through this sort of thing with the previous novice group.  it is something that we will work on but it will not be the focus of the transitional group.

i dropped back a few times for riders that were struggling and once for a dropped chain, but we were back together for the route through the northern suburbs.  the roads were tighter and the traffic heavier so we were down to single file for quite a while, but eventually got formed back up.  the rolling hills heading into bayswater took their toll on a few and the group split a bit with me off the back lending a hand.  on the last small hill, lynda stopped as she dropped her chain.  or so we thought.  turns out she snapped it totally.  too much power i expect.  she was within rolling distance of the train station so she headed for a ticket machine.  with the remaining three riders, we made our way home along whatley crescent and to the belltower.

the rest of the group were waiting there and the other groups had already taken over the majority of the coffee shop.  we stood around and had a quick chat about the ride and how we thought it went.  there are some changes that i think that we will make to it, but basically there are a few things that we need to work on.

  • two leaders are needed.  one to control the group and one to help those that are struggling.
  • know the ride route.  not just the leaders, everyone that is riding.
  • know where to position your bike to get a good draft.
  • know how to safely move off the front.
  • the ride route needs to be shorter.  some people were struggling towards the end.
  • how to roll through.  we will discuss this before the ride starts next week.
  • correct gear selection at traffic lights and climbs.

all up though, i thought it was a good ride today for the new group and definitely something we will continue to do.

saturday 17th oct – benara rd

ride report by peter.


the sun shines bright on spr
the sun shines bright on spr

just as predicted the sun was shining brightly at 7am this morning.  also as predicted there was a crowd waiting for me as i turned up late…again.  however, it was a pleasure not to have to put on three or four layers of clothing before leaving the house.  i quickly did a ride briefing and we headed out as i had already put us back a couple of minutes.  there would have been close to 70 riders as we stretched out for the length of the block before we turned onto mill point rd.  due to the expected big numbers i planned a course that would take us onto double lane roads until we split quite early.  this would hopefully calm any traffic issues.  unfortunately we had our first two on mill point road.  a guy coming the other way screamed abuse at us to get off the road.  a bit further up the road we saw the bikeforce crew on the edge of the road so maybe he got held up by them and wanted to vent at us.  then just before we turned onto canning a car tried to squeeze past us and got to within about three riders from the front before having second thoughts and slowing down.  the traffic islands were approaching fast so i motioned (in not a friendly manner) for them to get past.  i ended up on the footpath just to make sure they had enough room.

so we were finally away on great eastern hwy and had not trouble all the way to ascot.  there the group split and the main group headed towards guilford road while the fast group continued up the hwy.  at the entrance to tonkin hwy we had our next brain fade of a driver.  overtaking the group and then realising that they weren’t going to get around before they needed to turn left to get to the tonkin onramp.  we had to slow for the lights but they ended up pushing in and cutting the group in half to make their turn.  the rest of the trip up great eastern was pretty low key.

we turned towards guilford before spurring off to the right to cut past the golf course and onto helana valley road.  the group was still all together at this point but with the wind directly in our faces, it had started to string out a bit.  ryan was doing a good job of setting the pace with some other guys rolling through as well and it was starting to splinter a bit.  we then turned to run parallel with roe hwy and back through midland.  back on great eastern hwy meant that we had a nice breeze on our backs and were ticking along at 50km/hr.  a number of traffic lights slowed us a bit but the pace was so nice in between that everyone felt good.

a quick turn onto a guilford back road and we started to cut across to west swan road.  this is were we encountered the rudest old wanker that should never have been given a licence. 

the road was narrow here and the is practically no shoulder as the “traffic calming” islands cut in and out so frequently that you wouldn’t get a free run.  so anyway we are riding along and i am close to the front when i here this constant honking of a horn.  i look back and see this van right up the arse of the group and this old fart shouting abuse and honking his horn.  i slow down to drift to the back of the group and gesticulate a basic “where do you want us to ride”.  he starts shouting abuse saying the we should be riding single file.  i yell back that we are allowed to ride two abreast, he keeps yelling so i keep yelling all the way to west swan road where he is also turning right.  he revs the van hard to try to intimidate us as we are turning but the road here also has no decent shoulder, double lines, oncoming traffic and a bridge to stop him getting past.  the road finally widens out and he speeds past but makes sure he keeps honking abuse as he goes.  the funny think was he threatened that he has called the cops to let them know that we are not riding single file.  good luck with that since the traffic code says we can ride two abreast.  for the sake of the few minutes that we held him up i really hope he develops a very painful ulcer.  i really need to put my camera back on the bike.

so we head up west swan road the the group starts to split a bit as the cross wind makes it hard for some people.  we turn onto benara road before long so i don’t think we lost many. 

the pace was on straight away and the group soon split.  i put in a big effort to close a gap and managed to get on the wheel of the back of the front group, but the previous week of ignoring a cold has meant that i was really struggling.  i maxed out at 188bpm and suddenly couldn’t hold a wheel.  i watched as the group rolled away from me.

i was picked up by the next group back and sat on the back as best i could.  up ahead the group splintered again and at the lights the front boys got through while we caught the back of the split.  a slightly bigger group now meant that we could keep the pace high, but we pretty much got every traffic light and the heat was also taking it’s toll.  at almost the last traffic light the group was split by a red and as the first guys came to a stop brother dan went around them and through the red.  now this got a lot of discussion the other week as a number of riders did it.  i don’t particularly want to be scraping someone off the road or have to tell there partner/family that they were stupid.  so do we as a group enforce a penalty on riders that blatantly break the rules.  maybe a week suspension from riding with us.  i don’t know but add your feedback via the comments.  dan, add your feedback via half a page of the consequences of running a red light.

the trip back was pretty uneventful.  we tried to stick together through the suburbs and along whatley crescent.  at the end we were just happy to be finished.  i couldn’t stick around as we had some family stuff to do so i missed the coffee shop banter.

no idea what happened to the front end of the group or the main group so hopefully someone can fill us in there.

saturday 1st aug – benara rd

ride report by peter.


a cold, cold start to the day but that didn’t stop close to 70 riders turning up this morning.  quite a few new faces and a couple of recent acquisitions returning so we must be doing something right.  i blame the tour de france.  everyone is trying to make up for cadel’s lacklustre performance this year.

the route today was to be an old favourite.  this used to be one of our regulars back in the old bikeforce days when simon used to lead the rides.  the main group would take the tried and true path through ascot, guilford and back via benara rd, while the fast group would take a extended trip past guilford to return via midland before heading back to the original route along benara rd.  well that was the plan anyway.

we all started out well but i had to move to the front to get james and ben to ease back a bit as i was having trouble holding a conversation with brendan.  they said that they were only trying to keep warm.  the group managed to keep together well and despite the size did not get split at any of the lights that we past through.  it didn’t take too long and we were at the split point for the main group to head through ascot.

the group made their decision and i would say ¾ went the main route today.  with the pinjarra race and atta time trial tomorrow, some of the usual fast group were hoping to save their legs a bit. 

the pace didn’t pick up that much and the group continued to just ride two abreast with the front guys peeling off once they had enough.  heading towards guilford, the pace increased slightly but nothing too strenuous as it think that people were a bit unsure of the exact course.  the last time this one was planned, there was not much following the map happening. 

extra confusion as we went to turn right onto west road as another group coming the other way also turned and managed to split our bunch.  the front half then decided to slow down to regroup while the back half wanted to speed up and pass to regroup.  meanwhile part of the other group also sped up and some managed to get past our front half.  we eventually upped the pace and started dragging everyone along.

the roll through had started and the pace quickened such that it began to string out in places.  as we approached the rail crossing the group slowed and spread out to avoid the tracks.  we were riding almost directly into the sun and while we were warning everyone of the tracks, no-one saw the two massive potholes just before them.  last minute warnings and some evasive action still didn’t stop a number of guys going straight into them.  as expected the result was a couple of flat tyres.  james and jerry were the lucky recipients but i am guessing the it is better than actually coming off after hitting the hole.

they both had a couple of helpers so the rest of us formed up a bit further up the road to discuss the important things that cyclists talk about.  bikes, bike parts, bike clothes, you know, the usual.  once we got going we decided to cut the route short to make up for the lost time.  a left onto bushmead rd instead of a right, and we headed back towards guilford.  although melvyn did suggest we just stay on that road, we still managed to turn up west swan road to head to benara rd. 

the group started rolling through again and we had a real good flow happening.  benara rd came up fast and we chucked a left to start the run towards home.  this route is usually planned when there is a massive easterly blowing, so it was an interesting experience to ride it with almost still conditions.  it was so much harder.

the roll through tended to degenerate quite rapidly and the fast boys came to the front to pull turns.  james, julian and ben did the majority of the work with kimbo and myself slotting in for the occasional turn.  we had a relatively good run with the lights but had to slow enough that the majority of the group were together by the end.  we did lose 3 or 4 at one set of lights so we hope they made it home ok.

the run south is punctuated by a number of short sharp power climbs and these often brake the group apart.  today was no exception.  the splintered group managed to reform a couple of times but i was off the back fighting my way back on for much of the remainder of the ride.  we caught up at a extra long light change on whatley crescent but then slipped back on the next hill.  fought back to the group on east parade but then got split at the lights coming down towards riverside drive.  at the end i never saw the sprint so was not sure who claimed coffeeshop glory.

an early appointment for the family meant that i was not stopping for coffee so didn’t even get a chance to find out how the other group went.  i am sure that there is someone in that group that can let us know the story.

saturday 7th mar – benara rd

ride report by peter.


07032009002a 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.

saturday 14th june – benara rd

ride report by peter

as saturday rolled around, the predicted ne winds did not appear and we had calm conditions instead. usually this would be better, but i was banking on a nice tailwind on benara rd to give us a push. with the predicted clear 23 degrees meaning very little overnight cloud cover, the temp had dropped to about 6 deg by the time i rolled out from home.

the usual suspects were there this morning minus ryan who we expected had slept in again, but would probably join us as we rolled by his house. we headed out great eastern hwy and crossed the river at ascot, turning onto guilford rd. the group took it really easy this morning and it made a good change from the last time we did this route. there were some hot-heads which split the group up early when they got a draft from behind a truck. this made for a very splintered and dangerous trip through guilford. no truck this time so everyone was together by the time we hit benara. everyone except dr paul and dr greg who turned off early for a shortcut.

i was sitting at the back of the pack with ryan when the pace came on. not ideal positioning, but the road is long and i was sure that there would be wheels to catch to propel me forward. after the second round-about, i had made my way to the front and launched a nice attack where i managed to gap the field significantly. i had a really good group ride on thursday and thought that my form was up and ready to play. unfortunately, this was saturday and i found i had no legs. i pushed on trying to will some more power out of my body, but i was going slower and slower. the bunch lead by nick reeled me back in and back was the direction i was going. everyone who was in that group managed to get past me as i was struggling to hold the pace.

i managed a bit of recovery before finding my way to about mid-pack again. at the two main sets of lights that stopped us, it was strange to hear that not a word was spoken. maybe i wasn’t the only one feeling it today. as we came through the last roundabout and started the final stretch, i attacked again. this time i didn’t get as far before ryan came screaming around me like i was standing still. i tried to hold out as long as possible but soon the rest of the pack engulfed me. i managed to hold on and limp to the end of benara rd.

we slowed it right down for the next section to allow any stragglers to catch back up and also allow us a bit of a breather. as we headed towards whatley crescent, the pace picked up a bit as the guys saw dr paul and dr greg up the road a bit. this forced the group to “line-out” and i was stuck at the back talking to shao as we approached the intersection. bad positioning again, and i was sure that we would miss the lights altogether, but managed to scrape through on the amber.

a handful of boys had attacked straight away and managed to get a bit of a break. i sprinted around the main group and headed into no-mans land. wary of my previous two efforts i tried not to max out, and aimed for a steady pace to try to reel them back in. i past dr paul just as the lights changed which stopped the rest of the pack. i was seriously screwed now. the guys were up the road in front of me, and the ones behind were now stuck at the lights. i decided to keep plugging away, and hoped that i could make up the ground.

a group of five or so should have been able to keep away from me on my own, but there weren’t really sharing the work load. it took a few km’s but i finally managed to grab a wheel. it turned out to be dr greg who had latched on as the train went past. rob had been doing the majority of the work with a turn from christophe, but then rob was soon back in front again. he was frustrated and so kept going through the lights at guilford rd when the rest of us stopped. not a yellow card, or a red card, but a serious black card as the lights were very red.

i got on the front as the lights changed and time trialed my way along east parade with the other five in tow. it turns out that the other group then got every single red light on whatley cres and was never in sight of catching us. we caught and past rob and kept the pace on over the police station hill as usual. with only a handful available for the final sprint, i decided to lead it out as i felt i had no top end speed. with james on my wheel i wound it up along riverside drive until about halfway. gasping for air, i signaled for james to make his move, but he said he had nothing. ryan and jerry came flying past and that was the end of the sprint for me. ryan managed to dodge the sloooow car that i was catching and held on to the end.

the rest of the crew rolled in a few minutes later, all grumbling about the lights on whatley cres. by then the day had seriously fined up and so we really shouldn’t have had anything to complain about. coffee and a big breakfast for some offered a nice end to the ride. the shorter distance on this one also meant that we had longer to chat at the coffee shop too.

i have been playing with some new routes for both the saturday and sunday rides that i hope to unleash on the group soon. variety helps keep it interesting.

saturday 26th april – benara rd

saturday morning rolled around once again and about thirty or so riders were keen to play. the course was picked to take advantage of the easterly wind, which didn’t seem to be blowing too hard at south perth. a nice easy pace out to guilford before a hard session on benara rd, a further cruise and regroup down to whatley crescent where we would go hard all the way into town. that was the plan anyway.

up great eastern hwy and out to ascot was a pleasant pace allowing us to hold a conversation and generally catch-up with the group. once we hit guilford rd the easterly wind was a lot more evident. after we past under the tonkin hwy i tried to get the group to roll through to make it easier for everyone. however, it actually had the opposite effect, as some of the more experienced guys thought that we were doing it to try to up the pace and started pushing harder. the group started to splinter and some guys couldn’t pull through for a turn. luckily we hit the lights at bassendean station and had a chance to regroup. unfortunately for john b, the stop meant that he almost ended up on the ground as he touched wheels with the guy in front and ended up riding his bike like a bucking bull trying to stay upright.

so we moved along, and gave up on the roll through and just let a couple of the stronger boys do the work. just before the bridge that separates bassendean from guilford, a couple of big slow moving trucks past us. the road was going from double to single lanes and the trucks were trying to get past before the bridge. unfortunately, chris decided to jump on the back of one and get a draft, but didn’t see the next one coming. he didn’t get run over, but the next thing we know, half the pack is now chasing to try to catch a draft. this basically spread the group along a couple of hundred metres making it difficult for traffic to get around.

it continued this way up west swan road and the nice and easy pace soon became a hard slog as riders battled the cross winds. i was stuck towards the back and was cursing the front guys for splitting the group up. i couldn’t get around to get to the front as there was a stream of traffic tryig to get around the little pockets of riders. i managed to jump up a driveway and get onto the bike path that ran alongside. it was pretty wide and in good condition so i managed to clip along at a fair pace. reaching the front pack i jumped off the curb and raced to the head of the field just as they were turning onto benara rd. our designated go hard point. as most of the group had already gone hard, i gave the guys my best gordon ramsey impersonation and a number of expletives about spltting the group up. i then made them all go easy pace to allow the rest of the pack time to catch up before we turned the pace up again.

after we past the first roundabout, i let them have their head of steam and the attacks happened soon after. nick, chris and ryan all sped off the front at some stage along benara rd and soon the pack was stretched out again. i was practicing my domestique duties and just chased down everything but didn’t attack my self. we came across dr paul and dr ian who had managed a very good short cut and were easily halfway down benara by the time we caught them. we did manage to catch most of the lights, but still thinned the group out by the time we reached the end. it is a nice long stretch but can be ruined if we don’t get a good run on the lights.

a easy pace down through morely and onto bayswater for the final run home along whatley crescent. this road contains a number of rolling hills and only a few traffic lights so you can get a good run in if you are lucky. i had discussed team tactics with chris earlier on in the week and we had decided that we would attack and wait for the others to chase. when the attack was caught, we would send another rider off the front to force them to chase again. hopefully, chris had talked to ryan, so he wouldn’t chase me down.

anyway, i went early and hard. bruce wasn’t far off my wheel so managed to jump across with me. he did one turn then turned off on garrett rd to head home early. i was on my own again as the road climbed up the next hill. a quick look over my shoulder and i saw that the group was closing fast. however, as i powered down the other side i managed to widen the gap again giving myself a nice buffer. not long after, i hit a set of red traffic lights and was brought to a standstill. my gap meant that i at least had a little time to grab a drink and get my breath back before the group descended on me.

as the lights changed, chris sped off with ryan close behind. i set off with the others but it seemed that no-one was really keen to chase. only a few had set off after them but no-one was really making much ground. i had recovered sufficiently and thought that i could give it another go and try to bridge across to them. if the rest of the pack came with me, then i would ease off, but no-one else jumped. jerry was off the front and i came around him too fast for him to get on so left him in noman’s land. by the time i hit east parade i had caught chris and ryan so tucked in behind to get a rest. a few turns between us and we still had a good gap by the time we cross the graham farmer freeway.

unfortunately the next set of lights put a stop to our shenanigans as the group caught us. dr melvyn sped past as the lights changed and charged through east perth to the hill next to the police station. the group splintered on the hill as normal but we managed to reel dr melvyn in or should i say that the hill forced him to slow down. we caught every single light between there and riverside drive which meant that the group was pretty much together for the final sprint. i had chris on my wheel and i was hoping that ryan and jerry would line up as well. we needed practice at the leadout train and this is a nice long stretch of double lane road.

nick jumped first at the light change and started to speed down the road. it was a long stretch, so i wasn’t too worried as even if i didn’t catch him, the next guy may do it. i didn’t accelerate hard as i wanted to make sure the chris stayed on my wheel. we pushed the pace and caught nick easily. james dropped in behind chris’ wheel with jerry just behind. ryan had to fight for position and come around a few bikes but was behind chris by the time i dropped them off. chris didn’t have much left after a few days off the bike due to a cold, but ryan still sped off dragging jerry along. the rest of the field was quite a way behind by then and everyone was pretty buggered after so chasing so many time today.

christophe commented on jerry being in his usual position of behind ryan’s wheel. he renamed him poulidor a french rider who always seemed to come second to the greats in the 60’s and 70’s.

so a good ride, and I felt strong which was good after a very poor showing on our thursday training ride where the guys had to wait for me a couple of times. hopefully a good sign for tomorrow’s hills ride.

saturday 9th feb – benara rd

a forecast for strong easterly winds usually means a good ride along benara rd. this road runs directly east-west from caversham to noranda and goes for about 8kms. it may be a bit of a slog to get out to it, but coming home is always going to be fun.

bit of a weird week, weather-wise, as we finally got a reprieve from the oppressively hot days only to have the entire february rainfall in one day. even though the rain has cleared up, the cloud cover was still thick when i got up this morning. this kept both the morning temperature down and the actual daylight also low. damn daylight savings.

the route would be fairly simple today. out great eastern hwy, onto guilford rd, up west swan rd, hard along benara, down to whatley crescent and home. guilford rd would be hard into the head-wind and it was going to be a bit of a test to see if the group stayed together.

michael and i rolled out at the front of the pack and set a nice uneventful pace up great eastern and over the bridge from ascot. no dickhead drivers either, which made a pleasant surprise. along guilford rd the wind began to pick up and the leading riders were having to work a lot harder to keep the pace. occasionally some of our stronger boys would come to the front to lend a hand, but luckily not to increase the pace too much.

turning into west swan rd and we were all still together and it seemed that the boys were itching to go once we hit benara rd. i had previously stated that we could go all out on benara as long as we kept it together before, and regrouped after. surprisingly, it didn’t happen as soon as we turned the corner. everyone was kind of waiting to see who would make the first move first. it finally picked up and next thing we know we are doing 50km/h and are strung out. i wasn’t in ideal position, so had to drag myself up to the front in order to stay with the lead group.

the one problem with benara rd, is even though it goes for 8km, there are numerous stop lights and round about to contend with. the first round about comes up not long into it and immediately caused mass confusion. a car was coming from the right so the call was made and everyone chucked on the anchors to let them through. unfortunately, the lady in the car got scared and also stopped. this meant that we were trying to wave her through, she was trying to let us through and both riders and cars were not sure who was going through. in the end some slipped through while others waited and the car ended up somewhere in between. the road rules are that we give way, and we were doing that. unfortunately we didn’t come to a complete stop as we expected her to keep going so then we could automatically keep the pace up. it didn’t end up that way, but luckily no damage, just another driver that probably now hates us.

with a longer stretch to play with, the pace makers hit the front again and did a fine job of smashing the pack. by the time we hit the lights at altone rd, a very select group of five or six made it through as the lights went yellow. mike and cade were on the front and stopped pushing as we usually wait if the group gets trapped by the lights. not in this case, we are trying to push every advantage we can, so i went to the front and set the pace for a while. we continually swapped off the front and had a nice but very hard pace going until we caught the next set of lights at tonkin hwy. it would be a bit of a miracle if we actually got through those lights, so i was expecting a regroup at this point.

most of the group caught up, but we still had a way to go so back to the front to keep the pace high. we managed to string it out again, but everyone was beginning to waver a bit as even with a tailwind, the continuous efforts were taking their toll. it’s times like this that we really appreciate ryans limitless energy and single bloody mindedness that can often keep the pace up.

as we left benara rd, the pace slowed significantly allowing everyone to catch back up. a pleasant cruise through the suburbs of morley and bedford allowed everyone to catch their breath and get some fluids down. i realized that i had not really drunk that much along benara rd as i didn’t really have time, or enough breath to swallow between gasps.

there are a couple of rolling hills before we hit whatley crescent and we usually hit them hard. i had requested that we keep it together and the pack set a nice pace and didn’t try to smash it.

once we dropped under the rail bridge and onto whatley crescent, i was waiting for the pack to start hitting it hard. it was double lane almost all the way back to the coffee shop and there are a few rolling hills to contend with as well. ideal conditions with a tailwind and the blessing of the group meant that someone was bound to go. no-one went. not sure whether people didn’t know that they were on the final stretch into town, or that they didn’t know it was whatley crescent, but none of the usually suspects set out to smash the field.

michael and i were back about mid-pack and waiting for the break to go. i told him that on the hills ahead that we should go if no-one else does. we managed to spring off the front and surprise the head of the pack getting a gap straight away. michael neatly paced me up both the small hills before we started swapping off turns to try to keep the pack at bay. cade had broken away and was starting to bridge across, before we were held up slightly at a set of lights. the delay was not enough for the main pack to catch us, but cade jumped on once we were off again. we continued to swap off turns until around maylands station, i looked back and saw scott leading the group and right on our tail. i told michael we had been caught and we eased off the pace.

a perfect time to counter attack is when a break has been caught, and mike and cade went off the front together. a bad combination for the rest of us as both these guys could put some serious time into us. the pack was unorganized as people had been going hard for a while and the two of then managed to stay away. luckily, or should i say typically, they were held up by the lights at the graham farmer overpass, and we managed to regroup.

heading into the final sprint along riverside drive, michael and cade were on the front and itching to go. the lights had changed to allow a car to turn, so when they changed back, the two of them expected that ours would go green allowing us to go. unfortunately the light changed and allowed the riverside drive traffic to go, not us. cade and michael had anticipated the change and were already out in the middle of the intersection, so had to continue through. just like the paris-roubaix a couple of years ago when a few guys on the discovery channel team went under the rail crossing barrier, these boys were clearly in the wrong and have been duly disqualified.

the sprint opened up with doug and john hitting off the front as soon as we turned onto riverside drive. no-one seemed keen to go as it was still a long way to the end. we upped the pace to get on their wheels but still no-one jumped. i decided that i might be able to make the distance so took off hard to try to keep chris off my wheel. i managed to gap the field and kept the pace on. i had to look back a couple o
f times and rode like i was scared to keep them away. i was eventually caught at the victoria ave lights where i was held up.

when we pulled into the coffee shop, i had a look at my video camera and saw that it was off. damn thing keeps turning off after a couple of minutes of filming. will have to send it back. i’m a bit disappointed after it seemed to work well last sunday.

anyway, nothing else was really news worthy in the photo sense, so i took a couple of snaps of jerry’s new mavic r-sys wheels and dr paul was also really proud of his new pump as it does both valve types, so i got a shot of that too.