Tag Archives: darlington

sunday 1st nov – darlington and mundaring

ride report by peter.


kids change everything.  and they don’t even have to be your own ones.  today i was sure that brendan, mike and ryan were not going to be at the sunday ride.  when i arrived, i found that steve and julian were also absent.  great, i thought, i should be able to get some points today.  however, lurking in the group were a couple of young bucks in matching cyclemania kit.  recently promoted to under 19 (which means that they are probably 17) sam and adrian had been out with us quite a few time before.  actually it was quite a few months ago and what a difference those months have made.  but i am jumping ahead again.

the weather report said a  minimum of 10, but with a strengthening easterly wind blowing, the apparent temperature was more like 6.  it was going to be a brisk start, but the expected top was 24 so i was sure that it would warm up soon.  i made it to the start probably a fraction over the allotted time and found the group standing in a line all facing the sun.  o.k.  at least i wasn’t the only one that was cold.

a quick briefing and we were off with lisa and myself leading the way.  the idea was to do a turn early on before we reached helena valley road where we knew that it would be all exposed and would be smashing the group.  just after burswood, there was a call for a mechanical as christophe’s crank had decided to make moves to depart from the rest of the bike.  simon was on hand and with some tools from brett, we were soon on our way.  however, during the stop, lisa made note that brother julian was sporting some nice newly de-haired legs.  lisa does seem to notice these things, and i have seen her “checking out the talent” so to speak.  as we got going, i asked julian about it and he said that he got his sister to wax them for him.  he said that it was so painful and she stuffed up a couple of areas making it hurt even more.  the things we do to look beautiful.

we made our way out to bushmead road which becomes helena valley rd with only a slight detour when the group failed to negotiate a roundabout properly.  the wind certainly was stronger the closer we got to the hills and jarrad did a fine job pushing into it for the majority.  at the turn towards darlington, the trio of simon, christophe and melvyn continued on towards ridgehill rd and bade us farewell.

the first climb up coulston is not particularly steep but does start and finish with a pinch.  the first bit hits you at around 13% before evening out to a more settled 3 or 4%.  once through the steep section i looked back to see who was in the group and found the majority still attached.  i made a little attack to see who was playing and most bridged across and then alistar counter-attacked.  i jumped on the back and the group seemed content for now.  sitting at the back on the wheel of sam and adrian, i noticed that they were getting a bit frisky so i thought i better be attentive.  sure enough, sam jumps up and attacks and adrian is straight on his wheel.  i jump on the back and we gap the rest of the field straight away.  unfortunately for me, maintaining an attack like this is still just out of reach for me and i soon hit redline and blew up quite spectacularly.  by the time we reached the final pinch, and i could see the sign for the approaching intersection, the rest of the group were all over me.  bloody kids.  so much for easy points today.

1st – sam, 2nd – jerry, 3rd – adrian, 4th – chris, 5th – brother julian.

brother julian said that he just flew up that last bit due to his new aerodynamic legs.


a short regroup and we were on our way again.  there was a short but quick decent along glen rd before it kicks up again at a max of 17%.  we then turn left into ryecroft and follow it to the end.  it steps up a few times, but not really steep.  just enough to make it really hurt after a while.

sam and adrian took off on the decent and i didn’t want to give them too much leeway.  i was kind of caught in no-man’s land until the uphill hit and heiko smashed past in the big ring.  a few crunchy gear changes and he was back to spinning the granny gear.  the sharp pinch had also slowed the kids and i managed to leap frog heiko and bridge across to them.  adrian then attacked leaving me with sam on my wheel.  i just plugged on the best i could and about halfway along the climb, alistar managed to catch up with us.  sam grabbed his wheel and i slotted in behind.  we sat this way for a short time and i looked back to see a number of other riders closing in as the gradient diminished.  sam took this as a cue and attacked leaving alistar and myself behind.  alistar tried to up his pace but just managed to drop me as i was hitting my limit chasing the kids.  we were nearing the top and i just had to watch as the groups picked me up and spat me out the back as i was not able to even hold a wheel now.  i was really at the point of feeling like i wanted to spew.  that is two days in a row and i don’t think i have pushed myself that hard for a while.

1st – adrian, 2nd – sam, 3rd – alistar, 4th – chris, 5th – brother julian.



we headed towards mundaring township and since it wasn’t a “categorised” climb, i was not in the mood to push it.  i had burnt a lot of matches early on the first two climbs trying to play with the kids and those that took the “slow and steady” approach had reeled me in each time.  there were a number of people that stretched out the group but i was content to just hold a wheel and tap out a rhythm.  we regrouped at mundaring to make sure everyone knew where we were stopping next.  for us the climb ends at asher rd as this is the highest point before it drops down into the final climb to kalamunda.  adrian asked if the finish point was at the top of the hill and basically it was so i said yes.  this would cause a little confusion, but the rest of us knew where to go.  i stressed a number of times that the fiish was at asher rd.

we started our decent and the kids shot off the front but no-one was in the mood to chase.  i was a bit worried about giving them too much room leading into the climbs, but they didn’t look like they were actually making a move, more like just dicking around.  we caught them as the road hit the last little bit of climb and the group swamped around.  mark started pushing the pace and soon there was a little group of four off the front.  i was caught up in the next group but now wasn’t sure how well my legs were coping.  through the roundabout and sweeping corners we dropped down into the bottom of the weir before the gradient slowed our progress.  the front bunch hadn’t capitalised on their escape and so they were only 50 metres up the road once we started to climb. 

i came around our group and started to bridge across the to the front.  my legs started to feel it as the road steepened up and my pace dropped off.  chris came past and i jumped on his wheel and forced myself to stay there.  after a few more minutes of climbing i was starting to lose the deadening effects of decent and my climbing felt smoother.  we had picked up mark and damir and there was just sam and adrian in front of us now.  i came around chris and started to slowly make ground on the kids.  chris has dropped off by now and so i was on my own but seriously wanting to catch them.  towards the top of the climb i managed to finally bridge across to the wheel of sam.  i wasn’t going anywhere so sat on for the rest of the climb.  as we crested the top, adrian threw both arms in the air to signify a win.  unfortunately i had to tell him that there was a long way to go.  and there was no asher rd where we were.

looking back there were a few riders catching up so sam suggested that we roll through.  after about three or four times when i was just finishing a turn sam attacked and sped up the road.  adrian sat on my wheel for a moment to see what i was going to do before joining his teammate and leaving me behind.  bloody kids.  i had been setup and spat out.  they basically had me played from the start.  i kept a nice tempo and tried not to lose too much time to them but knew that i would not be catching them before the end.

after a while i looked back to see a group moving up behind me.  i eased up the pace to allow them to catch me so i could at least catch a draft.  jarrad was leading jerry and brother julian so i sat neatly behind to recoup for as long as possible.  after the main climb out of the weir there are two more main steps in the hill before we reach the finish.  between each one is either a flat or minor downhill section.  as we made our way up the first step, jerry attacked and dragged julian with him.  i dug deep to stay on the wheel, but after so long at the front, jarrad was left behind.  it turns out that jerry, like adrian, was also sprinting for the line that didn’t exist and once we reached a carpark full of mountain bikers, he sat up and realised his mistake.

we came to the last climb and the road swings left just after the hill starts so you can’t actually see the finish line.  it also flattens towards the top to effectively the finish is over the horizon as you are climbing it.  i told the guys that the finish was just at the top of the climb and so jerry attacked as soon as the road started to push upwards.  i couldn’t hold that wheel at that pace so didn’t try, but knew that the hill was a lot longer than that.  julian went with him, but soon both of them were sitting up and sucking in air.  i kept a strong pace and dragged myself back to them before the halfway point of the hill.  instead of just sitting in i just kept going past at that pace hoping like hell that they had spent all their energy on the attack.  i was a little worried about julian as he had just gone with the attacks rather than instigating them, so may have had energy in reserve.  up ahead i could see a couple of riders and saw that the kids had split up.  i kept my pace on but was starting to fade towards the top.  i knew that i wouldn’t catch second place, but was more concentrating on keeping the wolves at bay.  finishing the climb in no-man’s land at least got me some points as a redemption for the earlier ones where i blew.

1st – sam, 2nd – adrian, 3rd – peter, 4th – jerry, 5th – brother julian.


the thing that stood out to me before we started out again was when i finished the climb and looked back down the road.  usually there are a number of smaller groups spread out over vast distances.  this time, however, the majority of the field were all on the final climb by the time i finished.  this was a great sign on the level of climbing fitness the group has developed, especially after three climbs over 6 kms.

with one more decent and climb before coffee, i reiterated the timed portion of the final hill climb.  we hadn’t really done much on this for a while, but i was feeling fitter than i had for a long time, so thought i better give it a crack. 

the group sped down the hill and a couple of splits appeared.  nothing major, but the kids had enough of a break at the bottom to make it hard for me before we actually started.  mark and i started our clocks at the same time and then put in a big effort to bridge up to the leaders.  damir, oliver and jarrad pushed on with the kids and i managed to bridge across before we were too far into the climb.  unfortunately this effort killed my legs and i didn’t last long and slipped off the front group.  i continued to tap out a rhythm trying not to lose too much ground but was caught before the flat section by a little train being towed by brother dan.  up the road, the kids and damir had dropped oliver and jarrad but they were still working well to keep ahead. 

brother dan put in a big effort along the flat section and soon we had jarrad and oliver in sight.  it looked like damir had also been dropped by the kids and was clawing his way up the last bit of the climb.  i sensed an opportunity and chucked it up a couple of gears and came around the brothers and mark.  no-one reacted so i just kept the pace on to try to pick up the next position.  my legs were not feeling too bad so i powered along and came past oliver and jarrad just as the road hit that last pinch.  mindful of just how steep that bit is, i dropped it back to the small ring and sped past a dying damir who had put in such a great effort keeping with the kids for so long.  i looked back to make sure that oliver didn’t take me out with a late surge, but i managed to keep third place all the way to the line.  my time was not a pb for me, but 8:08 i was pretty happy with as it is only 16 sec slower than my best.

1st – sam, 2nd – adrian, 3rd – peter, 4th – oliver, 5th – jarrad.


some other times were –

sam 7:30, adrian 7:45, mark 8:14, dan 8:20, heiko 8:50, chris 8:29, paul 9:10.


the merchant didn’t really have room for us, but we managed to get some seats and make enough noise that people made more room for us.  it is the downside to the place, but better quick service than all sitting together.  had a good quick break and managed to have a chat with sharon (from livingston specsavers on the back of your jersey) who used to be such a regular on our rides.  the big baby bump in front of her now would make riding almost impossible unless on one of those cool upright chopper style bikes.  the kids left us with damir to find more hills and we made our way back into town.

the easterly wind was going to make the decent down welshpool road a fast one and jarrad managed to crack the 90 km/hr mark so he was happy.  some of the guys had to actually pass a car as they were going so fast.  apparently it surprised the crap out of the driver as they flashed past.  i managed a good lead out for paul as we hit the end of welshpool road, but the group was quite subdued as everyone was content to sit in the tailwind.

the highlight would be the final sprint along berwick towards the maccas.  jarrad and brother julian were off the front a good 30 metres on me when i saw jules suddenly lurch to the left and almost collect both the kerb and the large tree in the nature strip.  i could then smell the burning rubber so i knew that there had been a touch of wheels.  i decided to sit up then as did jules for some reason.  better wash those knicks out tonight as i am sure that it was a brown trousers moment for him.  probably just a good time to remind everyone that this is the reason we don’t have an official register of sprint points.  it just gets a bit too dangerous when just the slightest lapse in concentration at the end of a long ride can almost bring you unstuck.

apart from that it was a pretty good ride and i enjoyed the fact that sam and adrian made it very hard for me as it is good to be pushed.  with the golden spokes next week, most of the racing guys and girls will be away, but there is bound to be someone that wants to crank out a hills ride.

Sunday 3rd May – Darlington – Hell – Mundaring Weir – and back

(Warning, the cycling content that you read about is only about ME. If you want to read about someone else you may need to convince someone who can keep up with the group to write a blog entry)

Sunday started like my weekdays actually. I didn’t want to wake up. What really gets me up is my obligations to others that I don’t want to let down. What keeps me up is another matter – today the riding was going to be good.

I didn’t want to let Jerard (who was giving me a lift) down, so I got into my bike uniform and packed my bike lunch on my way to bike work (you see just like a weekday except more bike=fun).

I’d programmed the ride into the Garmin and actually checked it was the right route to avoid any fiasco like yesterday, as I knew that many of our usuals were absent and we actually had a high chance of getting lost in the hills. A month or so back we had done the same ride and I got superdropped (embarrasingly on a flat transport stage through Darlington on the way to Mundaring). I didn’t want to get lost today (I’d read that the 000 people still cannot track your mobile phone, so you have to try better than “under a Commodore ute” when giving directions to the ambulance).


Jerard was keen for a ride, having missed it yesterday while avoiding a mjor foreign affairs incident. Having got to Coode St in the comfort of the CRV, we unloaded the bikes to find a core of (quite) hardened individuals, the superstars having racing duties (or sleep duties). The route we left on was familiar as we had done it yesterday for practice. We found the missed turn off past the golf course and were happy that the usual howling headwind had taken a lie in. It was only when we approached Ridgehill Rd that I started to feel less confident, as the leaders were not sure which way to go. You can always depend on someone to know on sight which route to take and I think it was Mark D. this time. After some backstreet manouevring we arrived at the bottom of the first climb. I wished everyone well as I engaged the lowest gear for the climb (Shimano are so clever to design reverse on my bike).

After some huffing and puffing I knew I was near the top. For those who don’t come on a Sunday, you know you are near the top when you see other riders circling around looking bored and doing the last 100m of the climb again and again so they don’t cool down too much while you struggle over the crest. It’s a bit disheartening but it reminds me of a story book I read as a child.


Having conquered the climb, and seen a lot of the road surface on the way up, it was time to move on. I gobbled down a weight watchers bar (less fat) and enjoyed the scenery. Those were pretty much the only things I enjoyed for the next 30 minutes or so. We had to take a detour around the roadworks which ended up being significantly more challenging as it headed up more steeply and for longer than the conventional route. No doubt it will soon become the conventional route when Punishing Pete finds out about this. Furthermore, after the regroup (more of the fast riders buzzing round), we (meaning they) set a cracking pace to Mundaring. I was however quite satisfied with myself to actually hang with the group until Mundaring and the descent part.

There was a bit of traffic around as there was a market on in Kalamunda that morning. As we were whizzing down the initial part of Mundaring Weir Rd one had wanted to overtake. By then we had strung out a bit but a nameless rider had made a move onto the opposite (oncoming) lane to overtake on the descent. The car had overtaken the back half of the group and narrowly (seemed to me) missed the rider. We don’t need more doctors on the ride it seems but insurance salesmen may be helpful. I took the descent quite easily as I knew that there was a bit of a climb out of the weir. Russel had joined us by this stage and I was following to check out his swerving. He seems to do OK for someone with sich a high centre of gravity. It felt like I was drafting his rear derailleur.

On the climb up, it was bye bye again to everyone else. I stuck behind Russel because I couldn’t ride faster, and his back wheel gave me something to look at besides the road surface. I learned that his hub was made by Tune, and that he has a long cage derailleur that still doesn’t have enough chain capacity if he is on the smallest chainring and on about the 15 cog. He also has quite a clean chain, but I couldn’t pick if it had 114 or 112 links.  Luckily I also had my power meter to distract me from the work at hand – pegging my output to a sustainable 230W. Mundaring Weir Rd is actually a spectacular climb as it goes up round curves, popular to motorbike owning organ donors. Not too soon the bit that goes up turned into quite a flat bit that goes up occassionally. It allways amazes me that this stretch always has some road kill on it. Today eyes came before nose in identifying it.

Russel really did a good job pacing us back to the unofficial regroup point. I say unofficial, because there wern’t the usual guys on bikes riding around. They were having a rest. We rolled past, and I knew what was happening – the preparation for the final timed attack of Mundaring Weir Rd. It was interesting to see the lengths that people took to gain advantage, like emptying their drinks before the climb on the descent. May not be very safe to have a puddle of cytomax on a bend however. All good things must come to an end however, and it was again time to fly up the road  (or flap about in futility). I was going to time it, so I chose a relatively sustainable 240-260W to sit on and actually was not being dropped the way I usually do. There is comfort in the familiarity of the turns of the homeward stretch so close to coffee and it seems easier than other climbs (also probably because it is). With a bit of a puff, I got on to the quite flat bit and continued the pressure. There obviously must be a bit of psychology involved because sustaining higher wattage on the flat seems mentally more difficult than when going up which seems absurd. The time speaks for itself – 10:28 (room for improvement), but in reality I don’t think there is much more without losing significant weight, or improving the power.

The shop was packed out as every cyclist in Perth had taken advantage of the weather and chosen to visit the market. After an all too brief break, we made for home.

(The story will now be retold in point form to cut down on employee slacking, reading the blog during work – and I have to get to sleep).

1) Ride back notable for an (Whinging English) pensioner in a Magna with a screechy wife who need to read the road rules regarding riding two abreast on dual carriageway. We appologise for making you 47 microseconds late to your pressing engagement. However you probably made up that time when the wheelspin form your tyres settled down.

2) Nev and myself inadvertantly leading the paceline down Welshpool Rd East. I don’t know which one of us was hurting who, but I’ll call it a tie until….

3)Timetrialin’ Mark had enough of going at 35 and made us go at 45 down the rest of Welshpool Rd until Leach Hwy – does make you tired following him round.

4)Always time for a sprint at the end (when everyone else has turned off home) – watch the traffic though.

5)My goodness – back in South Perth by 1130! Room for another cafe stop! (Must stop complaining about pace of ride)


sunday 29th mar – the tour of the damned

ride summary by peter.

a very quick summary this week as i am running behind schedule again.  we lined up to do a number of climbs and take a number of roads less traveled.  unfortunately this may have meant that there was a lot more crap on said roads than we usually have.  we went out via belmont and abenathy rd where we got our first flat.  john went to change his and found that his tube had a hole so stu gave him his spare.

we then got stuck at a railway crossing waiting for a train that was moving freight between yards.  there was sea containers stacked up on top of each other so it was moving soooo sloooow.  probably wasted 10 min of my life that i will never get back.  russell joined us on the other side of the tracks but we didn’t get that far before gregor had a flat.  by now lorraine thought she had missed us as she was coming down from darlington to meet us.

due to the delays, nev and the doctors took off with a couple of triathlon ladies that had joined us today for a shorter route up the zig-zag.  we also deceided to shorten our route and would skip the parkerville section.

up coulston the first five were –

ryan – 10, ben – 7, mike – 5, peter – 3, stu – 1.


we detoured up mills rd which was another berg that tests the legs.  we haven’t named this one yet, but anyone that tackled it is welcome to throw up suggestions.

along to mundaring weir rd and after a fun, fast descent it was on to the climb.  i didn’t have the legs to stay with the big boys today so thought i would save them for the time trial on the last climb.

at asher rd, ryan – 10, ben – 7, mike – 5, stu – 3, andrew – 1.


final climb, ryan – 10, stu – 7, mike – 5, andrew – 3, ben – 1.


a number of riders timed themselves and i will update the hill climb time later.

ryan 7:21, stu 7:36, peter 7:55, andrew 7:58, lorraine 8:48, mark 9:00, lisa 9:19, ronny 12:20.


on the climb, mike b got a flat to be number three for the trip.  on the decent stu got a flat to be number four.  he also had given his spare to john, so he called me up and i had to ride back to the base of welshpool hill to give him a spare.  a few guys had gone ahead as they had time restrictions.  we passed mike t on berwick road in a bus shelter…changing a flat.  number five.

i will try to put a bit more effort into my write up next time.

sunday 13th july – darlington and mundaring

ride report by peter

a smaller than expected group turned up this morning. the overnight temperature was quite a bit above the expected low of 4 deg as it was closer to 8 or so. this made the decision to wear a jacket or vest a hard one to make as you know that there will be cold spots in the hills, but at the same time, we are climbing a lot which makes it hot. i went with the jacket, and covered up my new kit, as the coffee shop is notoriously cold.

i received a text from ryan before we left, stating that his broken cranks, the cold weather and his lack of sleep all conspired to keep him in bed this morning. bit of a pussy really. without ryan or mike, the main contender on the climbs would be stu. but we would see what transpired.

the route today was a new addition to the suite of sunday climbs in our current arsenal. there would be a few new roads as well as a number of more familiar ones cobbled together to form the new route. it was planned to be a little over 100kms and climb over 1000m vertical. it would be a bit deceptive though, as there would only be three main climbs, but lots of little bonus climbs.

we would head out great eastern hwy but turn to head through belmont and across to maida vale to access ridge hill road. this cuts the corner somewhat and goes to the south of the airport rather than around the northern side. from ridge hill rd we would snake our way through a new route to darlington and back up to great eastern hwy. jump the hwy and into john forrest national park before jumping back to travel to mundaring township. down past mundaring weir and onto coffee in kalamunda. a wild convoluted route, but we need to go exploring some times.

as i said, not a big group and we probably only had 12 roll out with us. we cruised out to belmont and found our way across to kalamunda rd. they were good quiet roads and made it easy to get out to the hills. it gives us another option for both our saturday and sunday rides. along the way we picked up doug and russell to boost our numbers.

our first “bonus” climb was ridge hill road. we normally come up the other side, which is definitely harder, but today we were really just using it as a way to get to darlington. the pace started to increase and it was obvious who would be leading the climbs today. stu, brendan, rob and sam all rode to the front and left the rest of us behind. my tour de france coverage induced lack of riding is starting to catch up with me and i am just not able to hold the pace that i used to. i let the four of them scamper up the hill and over the top. we lost dr paul and wally at this point as they set their own route up the zig-zag instead.

we regrouped and headed through to darlington via clayton rd. this contained mainly rolling hills which were not tough enough to hurt the group until the last one near the end. the road did a sharp left hand turn and started a quite nice climb. the boys headed up the road again, but came to a intersection and milled around awaiting further instructions. i was confused as i had only ever come along this road from the other direction. russell lives close to the area and he provided direction. we turned down glen rd and continued to climb up to darlington proper. another regroup point, as this route has a lot of intersections to negotiate, and we lined up for the final climb up darlington rd. there was a bit of a shout and it turned out to be our marketing director, lorraine, going for a jog as she also lives close by. she is still not on the bike after taking a tumble and breaking her wrist. she likes to pretend that it happened during a final sprint along mounts bay rd where she was giving ryan a run for his money. we will just pretend that it is true.

we have never taken a group up this part of darlington rd before, as it terminates on great eastern hwy and doesn’t leave us with many choices. today however, we would use it as an alternative to riding greenmount as it will also get us to the enterence to john forrest national park. i had only ridien this hill twice before and really didn’t remember how long or how steep it was. the other guys also didn’t know this climb, so everyone was playing it conservatively. about five or six of us climbed it together as we dropped the rest of the field earlier on. anna stayed with us for a while but the constant tempo on the steeper sections eventually unhitched her. the same four from the previous hill finally dropped darren and i on the last pinch up towards the hwy where we regrouped again.

our detour through the national park did not contain any real climbs and was really just an excuse not to ride on great eastern hwy. the rough and windy roads made for an interesting ride as it forces you to ride quite hard in order to maintain a decent pace. michael and brendan di most of the pace making and soon we were back at great eastern hwy again. a nice easy cruise back up to mundaring taking thomas rd which parallels the hwy. we regrouped and set off for the final stretch to kalamunda.

the plan was to do the whole road without stopping as everyone pretty much knew the way to the coffee shop from here. the group held together well down to the weir which contained a great fast decent. once we hit the other side it was a different story.

the previous four and michael started the climb out of the weir and i scrambled to get on the back of that group. michael pulled off at the carpark to wait for emma while the rest of us continued at a decent pace. i was suffering again and the temp had dropped dramatically as we came down into the valley. my left quad started having the same tight feeling as last week so i am deducing that it is the cold that is affecting it. i need to get some knee warmers, i think.

halfway up the climb, brendan, stu and sam stepped up the pace a bit and rob began to fall away. i accelerated to come around him and tried to latch back onto the wheel in front. the effort took it’s toll and i also began to fall back. rob came past me again and set himself a tempo to try o catch back up. i recovered slightly and tried to just ride myself back into a tempo that would allow me to catch back up once the road flattened. it didn’t happen.
i just didn’t have the power in my legs and it depressed me greatly. i used to be the guy that would push the pace all the way back to kalamunda and would shed off the weaker riders with a tempo on the hills. now i was the weaker rider. my heart rate was not high so i didn’t feel i was working hard, but my legs felt leaden and did not want to push hard.

on the final climb before the decent into piesse brook, i thought i saw a rider a bit behind me. from that distance all i could see was they were wearing black. michael was wearing black, but i thought that i couldn’t be himas he was riding back with emma. i soldiered on hoping the decent would allow my legs a bit of respite.

once i hit the final climb up to kalamunda, i had decided to well and truly punish my legs for not being available today. i left it in the big ring and selected a cog from the middle of the cluster. strength endurance work it would be.

it turned out that it was michael behind me as he caught me on the lower slope of the climb and kept on going past me. i just sat down and pushed out the big gear, only standing if i needed to get on top of it during a change in gradient. the coffee shop finally appeared before me.

at the coffee shop we got the news about the accident in roleystone. see the previous post for more info.

we headed off on our descent and had a good run down lesmurdie rd. at the intersection with welshpool, there was a jag waiting to turn right. we rolled up behind it as there was some traffic approaching. as it cleared, we clipped in and started moving. however, the jag didn’t move. we had to skirt around it and by t
hen there was another car coming. it cleared and we looked at the jag and it still didn’t look like it was going to move, so we went. there is an added lane once you cross the traffic coming up the hill, so you don’t really have to wait for the opposite traffic to get across the road. we have no idea what the jag driver was doing, and didn’t care as we were now heading down the hill.

the wind, or lack of meant that the descent was not breaking any records. michael took off just before us and managed a good gap by the time we reached the bottom. we were all pedaling on the descent to try to make up ground, and then time trialed it along the flat, but still didn’t catch him. a long wait at the lights meant that the group was all together and didn’t need to wait at the usual spot.

with no ryan or melvyn present, there were no riders willing to sprint it out at the two mcdonalds sprint points. it actually made for a very pleasant return to perth.

so a nice ride with little to no rain besides a few drops on the return to perth. the new route is nice but quite convoluted coming through darlington so may not feature as regularly as others. but we will see. again, our thoughts go to the riders that got cleaned up today in roleystone and i hope that they recover well.

sunday 13th april – darlington & mundaring

ride report by darren.fast forward: le paris brest cafe 9:45am – “so who is going to write the blog”
i guess failing english in yr 12 makes me the most qualified.

rewind carpark: 6:55am i was running just on time as usual – a benefit of living close to the shop.

as i arrived, lindy was pulling her bike out of the car and josie and rob were sitting on the pavement near the stairs. where was everyone else? the day was magnificent with a light easterly wind, but you could sense that the turnout was going to be less than average.

today would see us take on darlington and mundaring weir, if only someone knew the way.

most of us stood around thinking – “is that it” until about 7:05am, rob lifted his sore hungover head for a moment to ask who was going to lead, to which every one replied – “you are!” but alas his gps was left in the last pint he shouldn’t have had the night before.

doug piped up (luckily) “i know the way”.

famous last words. doug led the group of eleven on a mission down great eastern hwy, etc. for 17kms, putting in a strong turn into the morning easterly, chewing through a few partners, until he realised (at bushmead rd) that he could sit at the back and just yell directions, which left me at the front to ride the next 5km’s to marriott rd.

marriott is one of those nasty climbs that comes out of nowhere and bites hard. i got a little excited and gunned it as the usual sunday mountain goats were either racing at gnangara or snoozing. apart from the first section, it is a nice climb with some flat sections for getting your heart rate back under control. i was first to the regroup point on darlington rd, followed by ben (who was gaining rapidly) and dr marc. we didn’t have long to wait for the others.

the short descent down darlington was uneventful, but having ridden this before i knew that the climb into rycroft is nasty, and whilst tempted to stay in the big ring you need to get into your easy gears before you hit the climb. starting at the back of the climb i could see several quickly realise that they wished they were in a lower gear. the crunch of changing gears at 20rpm seemed to be a common sound and eventually (english) mike couldn’t grind anymore and had to step of and find a more appropriate gear.

by this time i passed a few and saw and ben far ahead. another rush of adrenalin to bridge the gap but ben still managed to hit the glen forrest rd regroup first. at this point rob took the opportunity to have a pit-stop and josie, who was on a “recovery ride”, turned for home.

as we ventured onto glen forrest the group noticed a few elderly runners, jogging on the roads around darlington. as we headed up thomas/phillips rd we noticed more people shuffling slowly up the hill. this continued until we hit a road closed sign at mahogany creek, which strangely had a guy holding a stop sign. all was revealed as a guy in grey with a number on his chest, came belting on foot toward us, clearly on a mission followed by a few more greyhounds. we had ridden into the middle of the wamc darlington half-marathon.

we were forced onto the run course and rode carefully in the middle of the double lane road. runners left and right did not stop one turkey in a workmans tray cab trying to pass us at every opportunity. fortunately, this was the only agro we received all day (all the other the rednecks must have been tucked up, warm and cosy in bed).

back onto phillips/mundaring weir rd, i took the opportunity on a slight downhill to overtake the group, only to be passed by ben and todd looking to race to the roundabout. like a red rag to a bull i took off and managed to recapture my pride but destroy my legs.

the run down toward mundaring weir was uneventful, but a little chilly in the shade, with doug, stan and rob showing that they were the most daring. the climb out of mundaring weir is always hard. dr marc, attacked past the weir carpark with stan, ben and myself in tow. i lasted about a kilometre and realised that i hurt myself enough today and it is a long way to kalamunda. by the time i reached the top of the climb the few in front were about 500m ahead. (english) mike joined me through a downhill section, overtook and managed to make up the gap to the lead group (nice work) just before the descent to the hairpin and the final climb to the coffee shop.

sitting down waiting for coffees at the cafe i found out that dr marc took the kom honours in and was first to the cafe. service was very fast, but i couldn’t help noticing that everyone was contemplating caffeine and the hard ride out of mundaring weir. awkward silence for a minute or so led me to exclaim “ahh introverts come out to play”, which broke the silence and got some banter going.

the descent down welshpool rd was always going to be fast with only a slight breeze and very little crosswind. a few cracked 80km/h, with stan taking the honours of being first to the bottom. i managed to find a second wind and paced the group to over 45km/h along welshpool through queens park to the leach hwy lights.

following a brief stop at the rail crossing, ben took off in an attempt to get the bonus sprint points. i chased after him and managed to pass him at the 60k sign. i turned off along berwick but don’t imagine to many made it to the shop.

in summary – an outstanding day for a ride, moderate pace, no rednecks, interesting scenery, fast coffee, easy descents, no real incidents to speak of – where were you !

well done to tom boonen for winning paris-roubaix and keeping me up until well after 1am.

sunday 17th feb – darlington & mundaring wier

ride report by michael

a rather pleasant day greeted us for this sunday ride, a nice change from the previous few very hot sundays. a smallish group of 14 riders had gathered for the journey, without too many of the usual big hitters out today, it augered well for a pleasantly well mannered ride.

starting out along great eastern highway we crusied along at a moderate pace before turning onto queens rd and past rosehill golf course through to bushmead rd and onto helena valley rd. a left turn into scott st followed by a right into marriott rd, wherewe were greeted by short, steepish climb, which really gets the heart pumping and gives the legs a rapid warmup.
as we turned onto coulston rd, stuart and i set a steady pace at the front going up the climb, stringing the group out, with a regroup at darlington rd. doug joined the ride at this point. heading down the short steep descent past darlington school, we quickly reached the short very steep ascent of leithdale rd, with rachael punching her way up the climb in first position before turning onto ryecroft rd.

you could hear the crunching of gears with people searching for the lowest gear they had for the climb, it really hits you suddenly without any time to prepare. ryecroft road starts with a deceptively steep first section before easing to a fairly easy gradient. darren impressed by pushing to the front and maintaining a good tempo to the top of the climb, with a regroup at the intersection of glen forrest drv. an easy downhill followed which gave us all a chance to rest our legs for a spell before starting the next climb up thomas rd.

thomas rd is a long, gentle, undulating climb through some pituresque countryside that takes us all the way to mundaring. the climb started reasonably sedately with melvin and i setting an easy tempo for the group, but that state of afairs wasn’t going to last long, my legs were feeling good at time and i decided to gradually crank up the pace, stuart joined me at front and we maintained that pace all the way to mundaring. i didn’t look back at all during the climb so I don’t know where people dropped back but i know that todd was in there as he pulled up and rode along side me for a while, (he’s been putting in some strong performances lately in the hills), and when we arrived at mundaring jerrard, camille and darren were also there. i think dr marc wasn’t that far behind either.

a nice long descent follows, which takes us all the way down to the mundaring weir, it’s another good opportunity to rest the legs and practice those descending skills. starting the climb easily out of mundaring weir i was quickly joined and then passed by stuart but keeping him at a manageable distance. jerrard caught up with me an we worked together to gradually catch up with stuart towards the very crest of the climb. it’s a tough climb out of the weir, because it starts off gently but then steepens and when you think it’s nearly over you round a corner and it keeps on going, it then levels off but keeps on persisting for a couple of km’s. once over the top of the climb, stuart, jerrard and i worked together to put some time into the rest of the group, until we hit the climb just before the camel farm, where stuart pulled away towards the top. on the descent we managed to reel him in and started the climb up to kalamunda together.

as we got into our rythym on the climb maintaing a steady 24km/h, some guy on a time trial bike came by us, Stuart and i looked at each other with bemused expressions and then hooked in behind him and followed him up the climb, we lost jerrard somewhere along the climb as the pace was on, and then just before the false flat section we lost touch with time trial guy. after the flat section stuart rode to the front and by that time my legs had nothing left and i had to let him go it alone up the final pinch and the kom points in first place.

camille later told us about some hillbilly harassing her as she rode up one of the climbs, this guy in a ute closely followed her for 3-4 mins yelling at her something but she doesn’t know what because she had her ipod on. doug and melvin were a short distance behind but couldn’t catch up enough to stop that idiot red neck.

our usual stop at paris brest cafe followed, and a well deserved rest i must say. stuart kept on going forsome extra km’s. paris brest were 4 staff short today and it seemed like every one was out for brunch, so our stop turned out to be quite long, but the almond and custard escargot was worth the wait.

starting off on the road home with heavy legs, it’s the worst part of the day this uphill section out of kalamunda. the legs gradually return from their stupor, then we hit the descent of lesmudie and welshpool rd’s, it’s always a blast descending down here at break neck speed, all the while watching out for mad drivers. a slight south westerly kept the top speeds down, I could only manage 78km/h on the downhill.

the ride back along welspool rd was fairly uneventful until melvin, on que decided to light the touch paper and put in a blistering sprint, followed closely behind by todd. jerrard then went to chase them down and i couldn’t let them go either, and so followed suite and managed to catch them just as we hit the slight rise before the leach hwy intersection. the pace was on along berwick st, clicking along at around 40km/h. i started the final sprint earlier than normal but couldn’t quite get the jump on jerrard who came by to claim the points at the finish.

apart from one unpleasant encounter with a red neck git and some slow service at paris brest, a very pleasant ride was had by all, with some nice weather for a change as well.