ride report by peter.
4:25am. alarm goes off. not the one if have set on the alarm clock but the one attached to the vocal chords of the 10 month old who is coming down with a cold. even though he is at the other end of the house, it still manages to wake me just as well as the real alarm clock. a bottle and a cuddle and he is back to the land of nod, while i am now wide awake and listening to the rain on the roof.
hang on, it wasn’t supposed to rain till later on in the day. i am sure that is what the weather girl had said. late showers, it said. that should mean a nice dry morning ride. so me worrying about riding in the rain meant that i didn’t actually get back to sleep this morning, but the early rise did not equate to getting to the start on time.
so i turn up at the allotted time and see that the group is not as big as previous weeks due to the slight shower. however, we have 4 for the novice ride, which is usually the first to drop in numbers when it rains. maybe they are stepping up and becoming more hardcore. so to those that sat this one out today, the novice ladies are more euro hardcore than you.
the route would take us down canning hwy to risely the split with the main group heading along leach while the fast group took south st. very few issues for the first section with only a slight split caused by the lights, but the relatively smaller group meant that we stuck together fairly well. i dropped back to make sure some of our new riders were going ok and to let them know what was about to happen with the split.
at the end of risely i would say that it was a 2/3 vs 1/3 split with the majority going to the fast group. the main group turned right and headed towards freo while the rest of us took a left and then onto murdoch. the group generally does this section at quite an easy pace. i am guessing the even though we have split and have the green light to go hard, the impending rolling hills of south street put everyone on edge and all seem to be waiting to see what happens when we hit them. also, as there is a light change we have to wait for at the end of murdoch drive, any attack now could be for nought.
so we turn onto south street and the pace immediately steps up. probably under coaches orders, lisa attacks off the front and hold a gap for a while. even from the back i could see all the head turning as riders looked at each other to see who was going to chase. it is always a dilemma. do you expend the energy now and risk getting dropped before the hills really start or do you chase down that attack. then there is also the added drama of being shown up by a girl. that usually spurs the guys into action and they start to do harder turns at the front to drag her back to the group.
after that the road headed downwards into the first of the undulations. i was sitting at the back not intending to do any work but thought i better move up a bit just in case some gaps appeared when the climb did. by the end of the first hill, there was a couple of splits appearing and groups started to huddle together for comfort. i was pretty happy to be at the pointy end of proceedings but was generally just hanging onto the coattails of the faster riders.
i was dropped slightly on the end of a couple of the climbs but managed to get back on with the help of a couple of other riders. luckily i was still with the pack when we got to freo and headed past the jail. the pace dropped significantly and julian and chris sat on the front all the way to port beach road. a couple of the groups managed to get back on through freo so we had a decent size once we headed towards cottesloe.
i knew that i should have kept my big mouth shut, but i told the guys to start rolling through once we hit port beach rd. a couple of turns through and i was off the back. way off the back and watching the train disappear off into the distance. looking up i could see joe on the front pushing hard and with the slight cross wind, i knew that i would not get back on. i debated heading straight and skipping cott altogether but i thought that i could maybe pick up a few stragglers and we could work together.
onto marine parade and big john caught up to me so we worked together a bit. we caught daniel and a couple of others and kept it going pas the beachfront. just before the round-about we got onto the back of julian, brother julian and lorraine. the road was a little damp here but nothing that i thought was too bad that would cause us to slow too dramatically. there may have been a bit of oil on the inside of the roundabout because next thing we know julian is on the deck and we are all taking evasive action to avoid the bitumen. after a string of bad luck this year, lorraine did well to hop over the edge of the sprawling bike to make sure she was not on the deck too.
julian picked himself off the road and we made sure that he was ok. a bit of claret coming from his knee, a rip in his knicks and a graze on his elbow was all the visible damage. the bike didn’t do too bad. the levers were moved and the chain was off. the rear derailleur had some scratches but looked straight and seemed to change gear ok. everything (bike and rider) seemed to be in working order so the five of us slowly made our way home.
it was pretty uneventful after that and i needed to head straight home due to some early morning appointments so missed the coffee shop banter. anyone who wants to fill us in on the rest of their ride (including the main group) can add their side of the story to the comments. hope everything is ok with julian (but i may finally get some points tomorrow).