smaller turn out today as i expect that some people were taking advantage of the three day weekend and had gone away. probably about 30 or so which is definitely more manageable with getting through the traffic lights.
today’s route was basically a combination of the christmas ride and other routes close to the city. we took out the confusing city bits and would head down mounts bay rd instead. up winthrop past kings park, along hay st till we cut through perry lakes and up over rebold hill. back down west coast hwy then loop around past cottesloe and home via dalkeith and mounts bay rd.
we headed out canning hwy after saying that i would like to keep it together as long as possible and hoped like hell that they would. i had talked to a few of the better guys about not chasing down people that took off early so hopefully it would all be good.
a nice easy pace along riverside dr and mounts bay rd meant the the group kept together well. once we turned up winthrop the steady climb, i suspected, would convince some people to go hard cause they can. michael and i were second wheel heading up the rise and held a steady pace. steve b at the front decided to push a bit and would get a small gap before looking back and realising that no-one was coming to play. he did this a few times before getting bored and dropping back into the pack. a nice easy run down hay street in subi was nice as it is one way and the latte crowd hadn’t woken up yet. even the speed humps are quite low and don’t cause much grief.
a couple of undulations as hay st became underwood and we were still all together. passing through perry lakes drive there would have been at least 20 – 30 women on mountain bikes and other cruisey style bikes. must have been some “get to learn cycling” group which is good to see. we need more people on bikes.
over rebold hill, a couple of guys upped the pace a bit but nothing too drastic as everybody got back on (as far as i know – add comments if i am wrong) once we hit west coast hwy. i thought this may have been an area where we would lose people as it was heading into the wind, but a number of light changes meant that the group held well.
i ended up back on the front again and kept the pace steady with ben, down to the marine pde roundabout. a new smooth surface and slight tailwind was just begging for an increase in pace. ryan came to the front and asked if he could use his big chain ring. as long as we regrouped once we headed back towards west coast hwy there was no problem.
it’s not like i am trying to restrict people riding, but i am also trying to increase peoples social time during the ride. have a chat to the guy next to you. find out what they do for a living. see if they have any daughters over the age of consent. it is amazing the cross-section of humanity that cycling brings together.
anyway, the result of letting ryan go was that people like to test themselves and went with him. which is fine, except the guy that past me on the left side without warning me. i have a new toy for my bike. and all in one video camera that you can mount either on your helmet or bike. this was an experiment and i captured way too much sky, which meant that the riders came out a bit dark. anyway, i stuffed up and missed getting footage of the sprint later on, so below is the best i could do. (sorry about the sound, i thought i had turned it off)
anyway, the group spread significantly along past cott, which is a shame as you spend more time chasing than looking at the scenery, but regrouped at the lights as we turned to go past swanbourne shops. i suspect that we lost a few along the way, but time was starting to get away from us and we had to continue on.
that has been a bit of a problem lately. i lengthened some of the rides to make sure we didn’t finish early, but now the slowing of the pack has meant that we are taking longer. i am happy to let the boys smash it from the start, as long as there is someone to control the second group. not that we are all idiots. people just like to be told what to do, none of those stupid decision things.
well we were on our way home so the boys could do what they wanted. as expected the pace started to increase, but it was strange as the usual drivers were not at the front. it was as though the group new that we were going to increase anyway, so guys that don’t always push hard, were at the front forcing the pace anyway.
as victoria ave swings into jutland pde, and the road rises slightly, a group came to the front headed by ryan. this is his usual attack point as he know that he can hold it all across the slight rises, all the way to steves hotel. i got boxed in and had to fight my way around to chase back on. then got boxed again on the next rise. maybe i’m just no good at choosing wheels.
things calmed down a bit as we made our way past the uni as everyone was getting ready for the final push along mounts bay rd. ryan was about second wheel and i was sitting around fifth, so i thought that i may have been a bit too far back to get him when he jumped. however, as the lights changed and we rolled onto mounts bay rd, he slowed down and let some of the others lead him out.
the pace was on, but people weren’t rolling through as they wanted to hold there position, so the guys on the front started to flag a bit. michael decided to push the issue and took off up the road by himself. still no-one chased and the guys at the front didn’t change position. once the swan brewery was just around the corner, i started to chase michael down. i didn’t “explode” off the front, so i knew that i had everyone else on my tail. in typical cyclist thinking, if i wasn’t going to be first, then neither was michael. i managed to catch him before the brewery but was already into the 190’s and rapidly approaching the spew zone. a quick flick of the elbow and pretty much everyone else came past me as i gulped air.
so in the end i don’t know who got to the line first, but i have a fair guess that it was ryan.
being australia day, we got caught up in some bike path closures and had to back track a bit to get to the coffee shop. some of the others turned off and went back across to mends street, but the majority ended up at bells. with the road closures, though, there were not many people at the cafe, so service was prompt.
brett had decided to make the effort to come down and have a coffee with us as his arm is still in a sling from his fall. no pins or plates so it will be probably 5 weeks will he is back with us. his bike, however, will not heal that easily and a frame replacement may be in order. apart from that, he seems ok but it is not a situation that any of us want to go through again…..especially brett.
on a further note. i went down to watch the criteriums on riverside drive in the arvo. when i say that we upped the pace, it is probably not even half of the standard pace the open men’s division was doing into the strong head wind. those boys are in a different league.
correction – apparently wayne took ryan in the sprint at the end.