Tag Archives: crash

SPR Saturday Main 2 ride report (sort of)

This is only a part report because I only got around half way before retiring. The ride started well with the group heading out from Coode St and down mill point road. I was sitting along side Shaw down great eastern hwy and over Garret road. Group was rolling along nicely and on Grand Prom Shaw and I lead the group for most of the length of the road. Things chopped and changed a little along past the tv stations.

Along Ravenswood drive a roll through started. This seemed to go well until I had a coming together with the riders wheel in front.

I don’t want to repeat what i have already written so please find details for the rest of today events on my own blog.

http://www.lionslair.net.au/2010/08/07/my-first-real-crash-on-the-bike/

Then

http://www.lionslair.net.au/2010/08/07/update-on-my-bike-crash/

A Rouleur Goes Down

A gruesome report – by Toby

Track night last night and we had another great turnout.  The rouleurs lining up for another session on the boards included Jason, Ainsy, Zac, Daryl, Mike, Daniel, David, Mark H, Nick (Paddy) and myself.

In the space of one week two of the boys have already bought their own bikes.  Ainsy has gone and got himself a Giant Omnium and Dan B has joined the ultra-retro cool bridgade and got a nice fixie.

To start the night off I helped Ainsy put a new sproket on his machine.  It was supplied with a 46 x 17, which is a tiny 71″ gear.  Is that a junoir rig? We quickly had him up on a 80.7″ which is still small but definately better.  I was excited to see the Omnium do its first lap, but unfortunately as Ainsy and I rolled up the ramp there was a big noise coming out of the drive chain.  Shit – something wasn’t right.  Luckily after a quick examination we found the problem.  Whoever put the chain on at the bike shop had put the quick link on the inside, and this was hitting the spoke.  A quick change and we had the link on the outside and everything ran smoothly.  The Ominium was off and running.

From here everything was going well.  About half of the Rouleurs opted to stay in the novice group for the first session and did the normal drills around the bottom of the track.  I was happy (and a little nervous) to see a number of the boy joining in with the motorpace session with me.  For those who don’t know the motorpace is usually a long line of riders rolling behind a motorbike for about 80-100 laps.  The pace is increased gradually until the last couple of laps when only a couple of the strong guys will be able to hold the pace.  I was impressed to see Ainsy make it to about 10 laps to go which was a huge effort for his first time.  I made it to 7 laps to go a PB for me also.  To give you some idea at 10 laps to go we are going well over 50kph.

After this we did a couple of graded scratch races.  Nick held onto for 4th in the C-grade race.  B-grade and A-grade were combined for a scratch.  I’ve just started riding B-grade, so wasnt too excited to see A-grade joining us.  Anyway off we rolled.  With about 10 laps to go we were all together and the pace was up.  Twice I had a guy in front of me pull out after finding the pace too high – so I had to bridge back to the group both times.  I was just bridging up again for the second time when disaster struck.  I made it back to the group and let one of the Abritrage guys drop in front of me – I wanted hi wheel for the sprint – then in the back corner with 3 laps to go it happened.  I was about 4th wheel when one guy pulled up to take his turn.  Unfortunately the next rider went up straight away causing the guy in front of my to get caught up – he had to quickly gas-off and move up to prevent touching wheels but the whiplash effect meant that I couldnt get out of the way.  There was mm in it.  My front tyre touch Arbitrages tyre.  I remember actually bouncing off it about 3 times before I lost the wheel out from under me.  Down I went.  So I’m sliding along the deck thinking ‘ah fuck i’m down. Fuck.’  I ended up on the infield about 40m down the back straight.

Here is the process of what to do after a crash on the track. 1) Do a quick inventory of body parts. 2) Once all limbs are accounted for make sure everything still works 3) Stand up and move bike off the track 4) Put bike down again 5) Remove helmet and throw it on the ground to make sure everyone knows you’re pissed off.  Step 5 is definately the most important.

After this you have the chat with the track guys who are all very good at making sure you and you’re bike are ok.  At this point – if you are reading this – I’d like to thank Bobby, Brian and Murray.  They guys are brilliant and know just what to do when someone goes sliding.

So the damage report.  Skin and splinters.  I have a good deal of skin off on the lower left leg and hip.  I pulled about 40 splinters out of my arse (leg) with the help of my poor Alana, for whom this was her first rodeo.  The most gruesome part of the ordeal was have Jason help me remove a huge splinter from my should with Daryl’s long nose pliers.  That was like toolshed surgery at it best! Oh and my skinsuit is a write-off.

Not a bad crash really.  Few wood burns and splinters but nothing too bad.  It never hurts at the time – the most painful part is always the shower when you get home.

Racing this Friday night – bring it!

tuesday transitional ride 30th mar

sorry for the late posting, but for those that were on this ride last week you may remember the guy that joined in half way and then left early after hitting the bituman in east freo.  i had a few people ask me if we had heard how he went, so here is his email.

peter.

After waiting 5 -10 mins my wife turned up and took me home to be cleaned up. Then off to SKG to have the pretty pics taken which revealed a shattered clavicle (well broken anyway with a couple of loose pieces of bone floating around). My wife then used her influence and arranged for me to see Peter Hales the next morning with an empty stomach (that was hard). He gave me one real option which was to hang around til the end of his list and have a plate screwed in to stabilise the clavicle.

                So, the nice people at Bethesda gave me a private room with a multimillion dollar view to hang around and wait for him to do his days work in order to get to me. Glad I had the view!!! Very late afternoon, they wheeled me down to the theatre  and made me sleep. Woke up 3 and a half hours later feeling really really hungry having not eaten since 2000hrs the previous day. They finally gave into my nagging and gave me food at 2230 hrs and although I can’t remember what I had, I can say it was the nicest meal I’ve had in a while!! Ok, I’ll stop with the theatrics now.

                Mr Hales spent over 2 hours putting my clavicle back together and send me out of theatre. The result was that I could move the arm the next morning subject to pain limitation from the operation wound and the pain was gone, apart from the cut he made. Here I am on Monday able to move the arm fully with very little discomfort despite having zero painkillers since Sat night. I’m feeling ready to get back on the bike again although I may leave that for another week or so just to be sure. So, good outcome!

                The downside is that I am in big trouble with “the Boss”, coz our planned Easter trip had to be cancelled and many phone calls made to reverse the bookings and arrangements made. Everyone was sympathetic and we ended up with 100% refunds even from the sites that stipulate there is a no refund policy!!! Just have to make time later on….or at least she will, coz I’m retired and every day is a holiday.

                May I say a big thanks to your riders for the care and help they gave me at the time of the incident. I can’t remember exactly what happened but as Forrest Gump says “S#@* H^$$%@*”. I’m also up for a new helmet! Just who are these idiots who say we don’t need them????

                I’m sorry about stuffing the ride up, but guess I gave you all something different to talk about at the coffee shop afterwards. Once again, thanks for your care and assistance and will see you gain on the track sometime…..perhaps from a distance!!!

                Regards

                Ralph Treasure

footnote:

Unfortunately, I don’t remember all that much of the incident. I think my adrenaline had kicked in to deal with the pain. Did appreciate the help at the time though and one thing I do remember is a girl telling me to have it pinned if it was broken as it would speed recovery. You can tell her she was spot on!! Six days and full movement and no painkillers!

Hopefully will be back on the track in a week or so, when the wound of the operation has healed.

saturday 10th oct – risely and cott

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).

what not to do…

a reminder by peter.

distractions. 

there are many things that distract you while you are driving.  phones, gps, cd changing and kids just to name a few.  with ben in the back of the car demanding chips, we both forgot that my pride and joy was still attached to the roof when we drove into the garage.  the noise and the sight of my bike bouncing off the back window of the wagon will not be one i forget in a hurry.

yas has had a look tonight and he is sure that the frame is all ok.  his recommendation is to replace the bars, stem and seatpost (as well as the forks obviously) just to make sure.  my recommendation is to not have your bike on the roof of the car.

saturday 13th september – cresswell & herdsman

ride report by peter

UPDATE – apparently chris has an oblique fracture of his collar-bone from the fall.

only the hardcore were out this morning. the wind and storms overnight had scared the rest of the riders off and we were well down from the 60 starters from last week. a core group of around 20 made up of mostly old-timers were the only ones to brave the spring storms. however, once the clock struck seven, there were blue skies on three sides with the hint of a rain shower saved up for later.

our route today would take us to cresswell hill next to the yokine golf course, an old favourite from back when simon used to run the show. we would then make our way to a lap of herdsman “lake” before heading across to claremont for the run home through dalkeith and mounts bay road.

the run out was pretty uneventful. chris made the smart decision to get on the front early as we were heading out with a tailwind. we knew this would change as soon as our route turned further north, so he took advantage of it. ryan was still unpacking his car as we left, so we made him play catch-up.

as we turned off the woodrow ave and onto cresswell, the hill looms in front of you as the road is dead straight and you can see to the top. some of the guys had not done this road before as it has been quite a while since we have tackled it. with a race on tomorrow, i was not going to stress my legs out too much and let some of the other guys smash themselves to get tot eh top first.

with such a small group, the regroup point was a bus-stop where we could wait off the side of the road. a little jaunt along royal and main st brought us out onto powis and under the freeway so we could start our next sprint section around the so called lake.

the pace was not initially high and no-one was really keen to step on it, especially with the wind coming across the open expanse of the marsh lands. once someone finally did hit out, the group started to split and i had to bridge across with stu to join back up with the front runners. to his credit (and i will take a repayment later in this blog) ryan seemed to be on the front for most of the time as we took our three quarter lap of the lake.

towards the end, ryan and judd made a move and no-one reacted so they got a gap. i jumped out from the back of the pack and tried to catch up but only really made it about halfway there. we started approaching the turn so i backed off and the chasing group started to make some ground on me.

as i followed ryan and judd through the right hand turn of the round-about, i head a crunch behind me and looked around in time to see chris and james doing a synchronized slide along the road. although it was not raining as we were riding, the previous showers had made the round-about quite slick and they both hit the deck. james bounced straight back up but chris sat on the road for a bit longer, before we had to move him to let the traffic through. both had some scrapes down one side and chris had hit his head hard enough to crack the helmet. well that is what it is for. better that cracking your skull. so the two guys that are both about to become first time daddy’s and both who shouldn’t be allowed out with due dates so close (james tomorrow) were the guys that hit the deck. since i am still on chris’ old bike, i didn’t have the video camera going and missed the perfect shot of these guys coming down. bugger.

after a bit of a rest and check that both man and machine were functioning properly, we headed off again. as we headed south down selby, the rain started up and gave us all a bit of a drenching. nothing too bad though and we soldiered on.

the final run through dalkieth was, as always, a bit disjointed with no-one sure who was going to work and guys getting left on the front then guys smashing off the front. so pretty much the usual. i was content to sit at the back and leap forward to fill any gaps that opened up. as we came towards the final rolling hills i saw jens come flashing past. i thought he was making his decisive move, but in reality he was watching ryan and saw that he was going now. judd was next to me and being new to the group was asking about the etiquette on our run through dalkeith. i told him that if you are really lucky you can get through all the lights and make it to the end unscathed. he didn’t think that anyone could be that lucky. basically the majority of the group were back together once we hit mounts bay road.

so, ryan was on the front at the lights and we were giving him crap about clipping in properly so he can’t just drift to the back and get a good lead-out. it did no good and to his debit (pay back from earlier) he stuffed around and slow timed to make sure he was not doing any work on the front.

jens had taken advantage of the situation and had scampered up the road for a solo bid at victory. 3 kms is a long way by yourself, even with a tailwind, so we just let him go for a while. he did pretty good and it took a while to pull him back. the group lined out quickly and barista boy dave was pushing hise massive frame along to give us all such a good draft behind. as he began to fade, i yelled at the guys in front to roll through. by the time i reached the front, three riders later, no-one else was coming through.

well if i was going to do the work, it was not going to be for someone else. i ticked it up a few gears and sprinted off, way, way too early. i picked up jens and powered past trying to cancellara it to the end. a quick look back and i had a good gap, but the finish line was still around the next corner and i was fading fast. a flash past and ryan had time trialed off the front and was now gapping me with ease. i sat up and slowly the other riders were trying to individually chase ryan down but to no avail. he was gone.

no coffee stop for me as i was looking forward to a day of building a play bench (like a work bench but for a two year old) in ben’s room for all his imaginative play toys. it took all day but finally got it finished. with two south perth rouleurs teams in tomorrows cyclo-sportif event, it should be a good outing.

saturday 5th april – hale rd

ride report by chris

the morning rain was always going to limit the numbers and both bunches totaled about 11. hey, i ran out of fingers alright and i wasn’t taking my shoes off ‘cause it was raining.
nick thought he was saved due to the small numbers for his bunch but there was 1 or two so he was committed. anyway, they elected to tag along with us guys.


given the shear volume of rain things were always going to be relatively controlled and the amount of water on the roads ensured this was the case. we set a steady pace out to hale rd and explained to nick and his group the planned route, where we would wind the pace up and the various regroup points.

normally on this ride things heat up pretty quickly as soon as we hit hale rd, so i took it upon myself to ensure this remained the case. sadly for me after a tough few rides this week and a day off crook my legs really weren’t up to much. all i succeeded in doing was firing up cade and sending bruce, ben and christophe down the road with him. with bigger numbers i wouldn’t have been too worried but given my crap legs i just got myself into a tempo and figured i’d catch them at the regroup.

unfortunately cade had a mechanical problem with what was apparently a slipping chain as he attempted to change gears and went down at speed. luckily he didn’t bring anybody else down and with the wet roads slid and didn’t lose too much bark. still no fun for anyone and a reminder that it pays to be sensible when it’s raining. once we gathered up the various bits and sorted cades bike out we were back on the road. ben headed off with cade back the way we had come whilst the remainder of us followed the planned route.

this little accident put paid to any further shenanigans and christophe and i set a steady pace down kalamunda rd. the remainder of the trip was relatively uneventful, but christophe did comment that there was no abuse since people had to keep their windows wound up in the rain. we didn’t even get one honking horn today which makes for a change, shame it had to be bucketing with rain for this rare non-event.

bruce did the right thing and headed off home once we got back to bayswater whilst the rest of us headed for the café at a much more casual pace than usual. once over the plain street hill from my perspective it’s always a mad panic to hold onto someone like pete or the pool boys wheel in the vain hope of having something left for the sprint. today however i wasn’t up for any of that and suggested to the guys that i would be the lead out man. so off i went hoping to just be able to hold it together to the finish.

i can’t have been doing too badly as will was the only one who managed to hold my wheel and didn’t have enough or couldn’t be bothered to come around at the end. so that was it, with only half a dozen of us stopping for coffee and a feed, prompt service was assured and delivered. poached eggs on toast for me, very nice.

sunday 2nd mar – greenmount & parkerville & mundaring weir

i will try to be more positive today. nothing to rant about, and no soap box to yell from. we had our usual quota of dickheads yelling at us as they drove past, but nothing significant. one guy was actually quite funny and told us to “put your back into it”.

around twenty starters this morning, with mostly the usual suspects but some new faces as well. one guy, neill, who stumbled upon our group a few weeks back, had invited a friend, dave, along as well. a little more daylight this morning as there was no low cloud cover to disperse the day break. for a change, there was a very light southerly wind blowing, which meant that we didn’t have to push into the wind the whole way out.

the course today would take in some nice climbs as well as some nice descents. a bit of a suburban tour to get out to the first climb at greenmount would be followed by a very scenic tour through john forrest national park to our next climb on oxley rd. jumping back over to the south-side of great eastern highway, we would continue on mundaring weir road which would give us another two climbs to get to the coffee shop. along the way there would be a couple of “bonus” climbs thrown in for good measure.

the southerly wind allowed us to get an arm chair ride all the way out to guilford. even on the front was not too much trouble as we clipped along at a fine pace. once we hit bushmead rd we picked up russell and lorraine who live out that way. that got the final numbers up to around 24 riders.

previously when we have ridden this route we have used the bike path to get onto great eastern highway. last time i blogged about this, i said that i would find a better way since the size of the group now makes negotiating a bike path difficult. well i did have a look, but i forgot to have a look just before we went out and so forgot the names of the roads that we needed to take. i kind of knew where we had to go so took a punt on a few of the roads. after a brief excursion past some nice rusting car bodies on the nature strip, we ended up in a court and had to ride back out. a couple more turns and we found great eastern highway again. looking at google maps now, the road that i remembered didn’t actually exist in the real world. we it did, but it didn’t go all the way through and link up with the court that we took. anyway, we found our way out with no harm done.

the climb up greenmount starts steady before ramping up to give a fairly consistent grade climb. the bottom section isn’t really enough to shake the group up much unless a big attack is launched. the hill is way too long for that, and most people realize that. the pace therefore was strong, and i thought we would have lost a few by the time we reached the steeper section, but the majority of the pack was still together. we were still riding two abreast at this point too. it is probably an indication of the groups current form and the consistent hills rides that have meant that the everyone is improving.

as the grade increased, neill, who was next to me at the front went forward saying that he was going to get out of everyone’s way. what it really did was force everyone to chase and therefore started to split the pack up. ryan and stu came past and neill and i jumped on the back. a few others weren’t far behind and were managing to hold it together fairly well.

ryan set a fair pace at the front and we would occasionally swap off until about halfway up. not sure if the pace increased of neill’s legs had had enough, but he dropped off the pace leaving the three of us to surge ahead. a few more turns and we managed to put in quite a gap to the chase guys. almost at the top and ryan surged again forcing me to come around stu to stay on his wheel. it didn’t last long and i had to let him go, but luckily by then we were in the turning lane for the regroup point.

instead of the usual spread of riders that we used to get, they were now sticking together in groups of three of four. the waiting time has also come down significantly as people may be working together to tackle the hills. i did notice as we waited, that we had picked up a couple more riders along the way. as always, welcome. as long as you wait at the designated points we are happy to have you along. we lost dave at this point as he had to return to town early, but made sure he got the first climb under his belt first.

we jumped the gate leading into the national park as it is to keep the car hoons out after dark, and continued on our way. this section is quite rough, with just the right amount of undulation to break the group up. however, i had warned everyone of the gate at the other end that may surprise the first few if they are going too fast. i think that no-one was really sure where the gate was, so the pace was rather sedate and everyone stuck together.

jumped the next gate and we then had a nice descent to oxley road where the next climb would begin. we needed to regroup before this point as it involves a left turn that was not at the end of a road, and therefore created a risk that people would miss it. sometimes people ask me where the ride routes come from. a lot came from simon as he used to run these groups, but a bit of thought does go into them. i found that it is easier to tell people to ride till the road stops rather than try to find a particular landmark or side road. unfortunately this route contains a couple of “tricky” turns.

well oxley is the type of climb where you pretty much need to be in the easiest gear from the start. it kicks sharply, turns the corner, kicks again, flattens, turns and kicks again. it is a really hard climb to sustain an attack as it keeps fighting back. just as we started the climb, a new guy introduced himself as he has happened upon our group whilst out riding by himself. damian his name was and he could climb quite well. ryan was unsure of how long the hill was and so didn’t really attack till the second grade increase. by then i was pretty much at my limit, so had to let him go. he was unsure where we were stopping, so slowed up at the flat section allowing damian and myself to catch up. i showed him the top of the next climb would be the regroup so he sped off again. not sure where stu was on that climb as we were expecting him to come past at any moment.

a quick regroup and we were off again. this section involved quite a few short sections with regroups in between as it is a bit of a maze of roads that make navigation difficult. we cruised down to parkerville and stopped at sam druckers general store in case anyone needed any provisions. at this point, neill said that he needed to get home as he had to be back early. john also said that he needed to get home, but for a different reason. he had suddenly remembered that it was his wedding anniversary. dangerous, dangerous territory to be in. personally, i think he was already screwed, so he should have just enjoyed the rest of the ride. not sure what excuse he was going to use, but someone suggested that he claim that he snuck out on the bike to by flowers.

we then had a bonus climb out of parkerville to get back to the great eastern highway. this climb is fairly steep in sections, but now has been resurfaced with a nice hot-mix. ryan took it at a fair pace with damian and myself holding his wheel. as it steps up again, damian decided to see what ryan had in his tank an
d gave a surge. ryan accelerated and immediately gapped him by quite a few bike lengths. when i caught up to damian i told him not to make ryan angry, or he would just hurt us more. michael had a good climb too and managed to overtake me before we reached great eastern.

a final regroup to make sure all parties were accounted for and we were on mundaring weir road. the first section leaving mundaring township is basically down hill and the group stayed together well. there is a final pinch before the road winds down into the base of the weir which someone will always have a dig to try to get a break. last time we did this route, i’m sure it was me. not this time.

someone did have a crack, and the group responded immediately. as we had just been cruising gently down the hill, the pack was not in any pecking order of who would go well on the climb. therefore, when people attacked, there are often stray riders left out in the middle of the road while other fight to get around. unfortunately, as riders were coming around and others were trying to get back to the left hand side, there was a bit of contact and both dr marc and simon were on the deck. well dr marc was definitely on the deck while simon ended up going bush for a bit. the end result was a very bit hole in dr marcs knee and a very dirty jersey where he ended up in the gravel edge of the road. simon was ok. a lot of discussion about which way he should go as there was still two big climbs ahead, whilst a return to mundaring would get him home quicker. two things became obvious; 1. he was going to continue as it “was only a graze” 2. there was no way he was going to call his wife to tell her that he fell off. the “graze” didn’t look too good as it was down into that white fatty layer. unfortunately he wouldn’t let me take a photo then, but had to wait till we were back at the coffee shop where it had congealed a bit. nice.

anyway, we had all stopped to make sure he was ok, but dr melvyn said that he would ride with him to make sure he didn’t die on the way. we saddled up and continued over the slight rise and onto the nice descent into the weir.

michael and i tried to get a bit of a break leading into the climb, but everyone was happily speeding down the hill after us. by the time we hit the slopes, we had a group of around about ten with us. again, the increase in the groups climbing ability meant that majority of those riders were still together as we past the dams observation point. the road kicks up as it turn the corner and i would say that most of the initial group were still holding wheel. ryan and michael were setting the pace at the front, but i wanted to shake a few of the boys up so sped around to take the lead. ryan instantly was on my wheel along with stu, while a quick look back showed that we had gapped the others. working together, we kept the gap increasing before we approached the top of the main climb. at about this point ryan put in a burst of speed that left stu and i behind. i just kept pace making and ryan eventually got bored and sat up.

i wanted to stay ahead of the rest as that is the beauty of this particular road. it is long, with two major climbs plus many undulations and bonus climbs. it creates a really good race and chase situation as you need to be able to maintain a good pace because if you crack, everyone will pass you.

the three of us worked together up and over the undulating hills past all the national park picnic spots that are usually filled with mountain bikers. on the last climb before the descent, we spotted another rider up the road. this bonus climb can be quite brutal if you need to do it at speed. i looked back when we were on a straight section of road and saw that the chase group was not that far behind. they had obviously been working together to try to get back on. the rider up ahead turned out to be damian who hadn’t stopped when dr marc crashed. normally an offence on this ride, but as he was new and as his wife is due to have a baby on friday, he really needed to get home.

damian jumped on the back as we went past and we tried to keep the pace on over the final climb. once we were at the top i looked back to find that the chase group was only 200 metres behind. ryan suggested that we start to roll through to keep them at bay. all through the descent we managed to roll through and may have actually increased the gap some what.

we hit the final climb up to kalamunda and ryan set the pace early. i was starting to wonder how long my legs would hold out as they were starting to feel very, very heavy. memories of last week also didn’t help as i had tanked it on the final two climbs. ryans pace was only just manageable for all of us as no-one came around for the entire bottom section. i was already close to redline so had nothing left to give. sorry.

once we hit the flatter section, i threw it into the big ring and came to the front to lend a hand. in my opinion, you should do a climb at the same level of exertion regardless of the grade. in that regard, keeping the heart rate up and the legs pumping for as long as possible meant that we were averaging over 40 km/hr in the middle section. ryan, jumped around just before the hill started in earnest again, and managed to gap us all. stu came around and went to catch him, while i just tried to get up the final climb. stu had ryan just before the end, but ryan kicked again and was clearly in front by the time they hit the roundabout. damian managed to come around me at the end as i was pretty much spent by then.

coffees, lots of cokes, bread rolls, tarts, croissants and lots and lots of water were all on the table today. the latest seemed to be a few people buying a baguette and sharing it around so that we all break bread together in true sunday style. discussions turned to the crash as dr marc managed to get a couple of sticky plasters to stem the flow. we suddenly realized that simon was missing. the back markers had arrived, but no-one had seen simon. bad feelings started rising as thoughts turned to the number of descents that we had before the climbs. if the back markers hadn’t seen him, then potentially he may have gone off the edge. a lot of what if’s were tabled, before someone remembered that big chris had got a flat and simon, the good samaritan, had stopped to help him. they rolled in a few minute later.

fuelled up and on our way again. a fairly uneventful descent down welshpool rd and overall my legs were really starting to feel the previous efforts. once on the flat of welshpool rd, dr melvyn hit out again, as is his usual style. the pace increased and everyone took off. horror, upon horror, my legs did not want to respond and i was dropped. simon took it even worse as his leg cramped up and had to unclip to stretch it. luckily we both caught up at the lights. the pace increased again as we headed into vic park and again i had nothing to go with the pack. damn this lack of form.

the final sprint along berwick and we were down to about ten riders in total. we got caught at the last set of lights but as they changed, dr melvyn took off hard and managed to get a gap leading into the final little pinch before the downhill. i used up my last reserves sprinting to catch him but kept on going and even began cramping as i crested the top. i had a gap but knew i couldn’t maintain it as ryan, jerry and michael came flying by. jerry held ryans wheel to the end and managed to just get him at the imaginary line.

a final check of dr marcs injuries and simon’s offer to drive him home was rejected. so a bit of a dampener to an otherwise good ride. i usually like all the riders to bring home all their skin, but sometimes these things happen. i thin
k it is the increase in overall numbers contributing to the accidents we have been having lately. as with most statistics, you increase the overall population, the incident rate will also increase. hopefully we can keep them fairly minor as i don’t like it when we break bones.

so, stay safe, stay upright.

sunday 10th feb – carradine & peet & observatory

around twenty three or so riders rolled up to the start today ready for another hot morning in the hills. mostly the usual suspects, but a couple of new faces as well. it was forecast to be 32 degrees today with strong easterly winds, so no matter where we went it was going to be hard. as i am going over east for a couple of weeks and will miss next weeks rides, i decided that we would do a long one no matter what the weather. this usually means heading down towards armadale.

cade, mike and stu were part of the group this morning, so if it was not one it would be the other, or even all of them that would be setting the pace. the course gave a lot of opportunities to deal some pain on the hills as we had four main climbs plus a couple of bonus climbs as well. the course went down albany hwy and then up carrawatha, carradine, down soldiers rd, up peet, across brookton hwy, over to pickering brook, up the observatory, then up lawnbrook to kalamunda. quite a long ride all up, but with a couple of very nice descents in between some of the climbs.

we picked up another couple as we rolled out through vic park but disaster stuck for dr nic before we even turned off berwick rd. as we approached the lights at hill view crescent, they changed so someone grabbed a handful of brakes. darren braked and swerved to avoid, but this meant that dr nic clipped his wheel. trying to keep upright she swerved left and then fell but not before pinning shao and his bike to the curb. a little blood on the knee and some damaged pride more than anything. she was ok but was probably angry more than anything and the adrenaline helped her do a big turn at the front.

cross winds played havoc on the way down to the first climb, but even before then we had lost a couple. dr greg had to be home by 9 so didn’t make it very far before turning back. dr paul turned up brookton hwy to have an easier climb and we never saw him again.

the first climb is carawatha which is a very short bonus climb. it starts off moderate for about 300m, then flattens slightly for 300m, then there is a kink so you can’t see the last 300m until you start it. the last section is about 15% and is quite brutal. being a bonus climb, and being way too steep for me, i tend to try to get into a rhythm and just get to the top without blowing up. cade, stu, ben, darren and a new guy bill all broke away on the bottom section and had gapped the rest by 20 or so metres. when the top section of the climbs started, darren dropped off and mike came flying past me and easily bridged to the remaining four. i was in my easiest gear which is a 23 tooth and was still reaching for something else. mike managed to come past the remaining boys and gap them before the top by about 10 or so metres. not sure exactly as i was still on the climb.

a regroup at the top (well some of us did) and we had a quick descent to the foot of the first main climb. carradine isn’t that steep but is about 3 kms long and has some really rough roads. combined with the head wind, this made for a testing climb. my legs were feeling quite tired today as i ended up riding on friday which is usually my rest day. the 24 hr torrential rain we had on thursday forced me to change my usual routine. this meant that i would be riding three hard days straight as friday was a hard time trial around the river before work. so, that was my excuse.

the climbs started well and i was content to sit in and see who would make a move. it wasn’t long before cade came around the pack and straight to the front to up the pace. i managed to jump on his wheel and let him break the wind for me. the increase in pace dropped the rest of the pack except mike who jumped across to my wheel. the three of us swapped turns with me doing the least work as i was having trouble even holding the wheel. my quads seemed like they were full of lead and my left calf was tight. these issues seemed to over-ride my cardio as i found that i wasn’t pushing maximum bpm as the legs started to fail first. probably just over training.

we continued to the top and with no-one forcing a break, we all finished together. the rest of the pack came through in ones and twos, but we had managed to create quite a gap. after a regroup we moved onto the first fun descent of the day. soldiers rd starts off rough, but has a nice smooth, wide, twisty, protected section at the bottom. there used to be a few sections where they had done road works and not fixed it too well, but these were now re-fixed. after negotiating the rougher section with its tight corner that claimed a fair bit of scott’s skin a year ago, i managed to accelerate around a few guys and get on michael’s wheel with a bit of clear road around me. hitting 78 km/h in the middle of the ride is great after going up the hills so much slower, but i was pushing my limits a bit on some of the corners.

the road has a small rise where i told michael i would wait for the others to make sure that they all got down ok. some of the others were already waiting there so they all headed to brookton hwy where we usually regroup before the climb up into roleystone. lindy and todd brought up the rear and i rode the rest of the way with them. when we hit brookton hwy, there was only michael waiting. everyone else had gone on ahead. i wasn’t particularly happy as this ride is based on the fact that we wait and regroup to make sure everyone makes it in one piece.

so michael and i started the climb with todd and lindy in tow. we didn’t set a blistering pace as i really couldn’t be bothered as i was still pissed off that there wasn’t a regroup. we managed to pass quite a number of the other riders who were well and truly strung out by the hills 10% average grade. once we got to roleystone high school i stopped and waited as the guys that had gone ahead were circling around not sure where to go next. everyone who passed by i just told to regroup at the karragullen, while michael and i waited for the back of the pack.

at the gull servo everyone had a refuel or toilet stop due to the excessive fluid consumption. lindy was surprised when she went to the toilets to find simon coming out of the women’s. it doesn’t surprise us much. on top of using the facilities, he committed the worst crime seemingly possible and left the toilet seat up. come on simon, if you are going to live like a women, at least know the rules. i hope the trans-gender surgery goes well…..just joking.

we headed along canning rd to the next regroup at pickering brook. this stretch is undulating but starts off quite nicely before the last couple of bonus climbs. we stayed together well until we hit the base of the climb and it started to bunch up. i wasn’t really meaning to start anything, but kept it in the big gear and powered up the climb until i had to change down. i was happy to cruise then but cade came past so i jumped on his wheel. mike bridged across and we worked together up towards the intersection. i dropped off just before the end and was quickly picked up by the chasing pack.

at this regroup point, there is always the option for an early exit as you can easily go straight to the coffee shop from here. it may be a reflection of the increase in the groups ability, but everyone was still keen to continue as planned, even though there was two more climbs to go.

we cruised to the bottom of the observatory and hit it as a group. as usual the pack spread as people found their pace and began to climb. cade and mike were at the front and had began to pull away from the main pack. i
was boxed in and had to wait till the group thinned out a bit before accelerating around and catching up. once i hit the front, the four of us, as stu had also jumped ahead, began to put some distance on the others. cade and mike set the pace well with mike still in the big ring for the majority of the climb. my legs were starting to feel a bit better as the preceding climbs must have “warmed” them up a bit. i knew that the climb levels out a bit after the main stretch and thought that if i can get ahead, i may have a chance of keeping away till the top.

i put it in a higher gear and accelerated hard around the others. i kept it up for as long as my legs would allow before finding a more manageable pace. i sneaked a glance back hoping like hell that there wasn’t anyone on my wheel and saw that no-one had chased me down. i tried to keep the pace on to stay away, but further checks saw that someone was gaining on me fast. i wasn’t sure who it was but right at the end, about 100 m from the end of the climb i was past by bill the mate of shao’s that had come along for the first time. bugger, i thought i had it.

the remaining bunch made their way up for another regroup before the second nice downhill of the day. climbing up the easy side of the observatory meant that we would get to descent the steep side. a few slight cross winds made it a bit more exciting, but we all made it down safely before heading straight into the final climb up lawnbrook rd.

mike had a 25 m gap as soon as the climb started and then he took off like a rocket. i tried to bridge across to him, but didn’t come close and had to find my own rhythm. as the climb progressed, he managed to put even more distance into me and a quick look back saw stu quickly catching me. he managed to catch and pass me but i stayed on his wheel. on the next pitch i managed to drop him but he caught back up near the top. neither of us got any closer to mike. once it leveled out we swapped off turns to try to reel mike back in but he still had about 150m once we hit the intersection of canning rd.

at this point it was a easy cruise to the coffee shop rather than it being the final climb. mike, stu, cade, shao and bill continued on and left us to some french style decadence. we were a bit late to coffee today, as a trip to armadale usually adds quite a bit of time to the ride, but service was quite good. they have even cottoned on to the fact that we now want to take the food with us to the table rather than wait for it to be brought out later.

it was a fairly uneventful descent, but a pleasurable one with favorable winds not causing too much disturbance. once we hit the bottom we had a visit from mr dickhead in a hotted up blue ford wank-mobile, who decided that even though he could easily change lanes as there were no other cars around, he wanted to come within a ruler length of the riders at speed. it’s time like these that i wish my bike mounted camera was working. i gave him the finger and he did likewise, but not much else i could do. i hope he wraps it around a tree some time.

jerry and i set the pace all the way back along welshpool rd, but were waiting for someone to make a move as the winds were very favorable. it wasn’t till the last bit that carl came around so i immediately jumped on his wheel and sat on to see how long he would last. as he started to fade, mark jumped and sprinted away in the distance. i didn’t really have the legs for it by this stage.

the final sprint and i ended up on second wheel behind russell. he is a big lanky guy, so i had a good position out of the wind. however, he ended up doing too much work and faded after the slight hill but is still didn’t want to go yet. jerry kicked out and took michael with him. i tried to go but couldn’t find enough to get past both of them, so michael easily came off jerry’s wheel for the finish.

a quick weight check once i got home found me under 70 kg for the first time in a while. not in the good way, however, as it meant that i had sweated out two litres of fluids that had to be replaced.

as i am away next week, i have requested that someone else write up the rides afterwards. i will still post the routes on thursday, but someone else will be running the group.

so stay safe, and watch out for mr dickhead.

update for saturday 12th jan

i have talked to the three involved in the crash on saturday and all are doing ok.

wally has a few grazes and was a bit sore on saturday and sunday but generally ok.
he is very glad that he had a helmet on as it pretty much smashed in half.

darren went to see a doctor as a precaution and has a bit of tendon damage in his left hand and a bruised bone in his right wrist, which is why he said holding the bars was difficult.
apart from that, just a bit of skin off and some bruising.

brett said he felt like he has been hit by a truck. not surprisingly.
definitely a broken collarbone and may need to go see a specialist to have it pinned and plated.
also missing some skin from a few places, but back at work now but probably only typing one handed.

i think we were lucky there was no traffic and we were at a slow speed, otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

again, just to reiterate not to cross wheels, hold a straight line and call out any obstacles.

stay safe.