Tag Archives: f_ckenberg

sunday 4th april – advanced ride – f_ckenberg et al

ride report by peter.

funny thing about riding.  when you are fit and healthy you love it.  when it is calm and sunny you love it.  however, when you are lying in bed and it is still dark outside because of the cloud cover, and the wind is strong enough to make that whistling noise, and you can still hear the rain dripping off the roof from the previous shower….well, that’s when it becomes less appealing.  it showed in the numbers today as we started with only 21 riders.  well down on the 60 – 70 that we have recently had on a sunday ride.  being a looong weekend as well would have dropped out a few, but i think that the first real wet weekend in such a long time may have tested some people resolve.

as such, we only had one rider for the transitional group.  he resigned himself to doing the intermediate group ride so i hope that he made it ok.  the groups would split at brookton hwy with the intermediate group heading straight up while the advanced group would crisscross from mt nasura back to roleystone.

the wind was up but not too bad as we headed down albany hwy.  there was only a light shower, but we probably got wetter from the road spray on the way down.  as we turned onto brookton hwy, sam decided that the hills were not for her today and turned back.  the groups made the split at the hardware store and we were left with only 9 riders to tackle the climbs today.  when i had mentioned at the start that we were doing the f_ckenberg today, there were moans of despair from the group.  however, some people hadn’t done it before so it was going to be a new experience.  i was riding next to daniel when we turned to see the first view of the climb.  “ahh crap” i think was his assessment.  “wait till we turn the next corner” i replied as it only gets better.

this was also going to be a good test of my knee problems.  after the aborted attempt of hill climbing last week, i was ready to see how it held up today.  the f_ckenberg max’s out at about 21% so if anything was going to have cartilage snapping the tendons flying, it would be this.  there were a few niggles, but it turns out that fitness was what i needed the most.  after an early break by dean and daniel, mike b scampered up the hill to take line honors.  i managed to overcome an early deficit to claw back to a solitary point on the climb.

f_ckenberg – mike b, dean, rob, daniel, pete

rob and phil are both looking at lining up for the half ironman in a months time so even though they are not regulars in the hills, they certainly have some km’s in the legs to help them along.  also with us we had mike t, juni and mark h.  the smaller numbers made the regroups quicker so we were soon on our way to the next climb up canns rd.

the pace wasn’t on initially and we rode as a group for a while.  i probably instigated this as i knew that i don’t have the km’s in the legs lately, and was looking for a reprieve.  as the climb got a bit steeper, dean shot off the front with daniel on his wheel.  we all upped the pace a bit but were not really gaining back much of the gap they made.  mike b took off in pursuit and we pretty much had to let him go.  he bridged across easily and set the pace at the front.  this shed daniel off the back and he was dangling in no-man’s land.  the pace had increased enough now to split our group apart and i tried to ride tempo to get as close as possible to the leaders.  i managed to catch daniel about halfway up the climb and thought that he stayed on my wheel.  after a while i looked back to see him probably the same distance back that i was from the leaders.  he came closer a few times, but i managed to hold him off while mike rode away from dean.  daniel was looking back at the end to make sure that a fast finishing rob, didn’t pounce on him before the line.

canns – mike b, dean, pete, daniel, rob

as the road was a little damp out here, i warned the others about the decent down soldiers rd.  i didn’t really want to be scraping anyone off the road at this stage, so most people took it tentatively for the first part.  knowing the route has many advantages, so i wound it up a bit and past everyone before the smooth section of the road.  i wasn’t going crazy, but was taking the corners at a fair pace, just making sure i didn’t lean too much on the wet patches.  at one of the tighter sections, my eye strayed to the side of the road where there was a soaking kangaroo standing in someone’s driveway.  hard on the anchors to wash some speed off just in case he jumped my way and a bit of noise to try to keep him off the road did the trick.  however, the always seem to be in pairs so just around the corner, his mate jumps out in front of me and decides that it would cross the road.  throwing out a few more anchors and a bit of swerving meant that i didn’t find myself wearing a roo skin jacket today.  however, he did try to jump up a pretty steep slope, so i thought that he may play some havoc with the riders behind me.

with my speed all gone and the hill mostly behind us, i cruised along the flattish section with rob, until the call came from the back that dean had gotten a flat tyre.  we turned back around to offer no assistance and just watch him change it.  conversation turned to the tour of flanders tonight and how steep and cobbled some of the climbs were.  strangely enough we had parked right next to someone’s driveway that would have easily have been over 20% and was rough enough to be classed as cobbles.  no-one wanted to attempt to climb up it.

over to the next climb and suddenly we were heading up peet road.  we were not going to the top and would turn onto urch rd to give us a slight reprieve.  i was starting to run short on legs on this one so was sitting a fair way back at 6th wheel.  there were three behind me but a fair way back so i just rode the majority by myself.  didn’t see any of the shenanigans at the front my again mike came up trumps.

urch – mike b, dean, rob, daniel, phil

we transitioned across to canning road and onto pickering brook.  a slight mechanical for phil who dropped his chain on the inside meant we stopped to make sure he was ok.  once we hit pickering brook, the consensus was to skip the observatory climb and just do the final one up weir rd.  my legs were pretty shot by now so it was going to be a slow one for me.  i started near the front and watched as everyone flew past until i was last on the road.  by about halfway i picked up juni, and drafted him to the top. about 10 1/2 minutes for my effort so almost 3 min slower than my best.

weir – mike b, dean, phil, mark h, daniel

everyone stayed for coffee even mike b as he said that it was his birthday today.  i had to check the club membership list to see just how old he was.  it is older than me, but he is not the oldest rider in the club.

all fed and watered we were off home.  the decent was hampered by the wind and it was a low 70’s kind of day.  we were in survival mode all the way home but the group stayed together until the end.  all up a pretty good ride and the minor inconvenience of a light shower early on did not dampen the spirits for the whole ride.

Ride Report for Sunday October 18

Report by Julian

After 37°C the day before, it was pleasant to wake up to cooler weather on Sunday. However, the buzzing power lines all the way to the car park indicated high humidity and another energy sapping day. I’ll happily admit that I was thinking of shortcuts even before we started and was tempted to go with the doctors, who set off for a short trip up Welshpool Rd, even before Peter arrived. Once Peter turned up, the instructions were instructed, the f-ckenberg virgins were identified and we were off.

The group was very chatty down Manning Rd and Albany Highway. This probably had something to do with the howling westerly behind us and we comfortably sat on 36 km/h during this time. We were slowed in Gosnells by Lisa attending to flat tyre. This also gave Mike Bonner the chance to catch the group and even by his impeccable standards for being late, this morning was impressive. Somehow during the change Peter and I found ourselves doing a second stint on the front as we headed on to Brookton Highway and then the aptly named Hill St at the start of the f-ckenberg. Onto the hill proper the brothers Dan and Jules attacked and were followed by Joe, Ryan, Alistair, Oliver and Mike. Still not feeling too flash, I was content to sat back and enjoy the carnage as the front boys hit the 21% section and as some started going backwards I made up a few places and ended up with a point. Ryan won the day, from Mike, Oliver and Alistair. Raphael was the second to last up on his first time and all he could utter at the top was the first syllable of the climb. Still at least he made it and full marks for doing so. We had one casualty about 2/3’s up with one rider turning back. I didn’t catch his name but he rejoined us later on after finding an easier climb up the scarp.

Climb 1 – 1. Ryan, 2. Mike B, 3. Oliver, 4. Medium Alistair,, 5. Julian

We were no sooner off again when the second climb began. On the early section everyone took it a bit easy until a small group got away – containing Ryan, Mike, Joe and Rob (a rider we picked up in Gosnells). My climbing legs were returning so I made an attack on Oliver and Brother Julian in the second group and got onto the last wheel in the front group. The more we climbed the better I felt and heading towards the finish I made a move to the front. Inevitably, Ryan shot past near the line with Mike, Joe and Rob following me in.

Climb 2 – 1. Ryan, 2.Julian, 3. Mike B, 4. Joe, 5. Rob

The regroup here was reasonably short and we were soon heading up Churchman Brook Rd for the descent down Soldiers Rd. Unfortunately for Matthew, a call to nature after the climb and a breakdown in the buddy system meant that he got left behind when we started again. However, he was able to join up with Mike B, who had a flat on Soldiers Rd and the two of them made their way back to Kalamunda together, as Mike had given instruction to the group to keep going. Of course we were all disappointed that Mike was out of the next few climbs but managed to put that behind us as were headed towards Urch Rd. This particular climb seems to get lost in the fear of f-ckenberg whenever we do this ride. In my opinion it is a tough climb and today I asked Pete to keep an eye on the gradient of the hill. Coming out of the valley it hits 16% and further up is another section at 15% and sure enough the downhill heroes who got the head start were soon being reeled in. Chris had a good start to the hill but dropped off about half way up. Ryan and Rob were battling it out on the front and Oliver and I were locked together behind them. Towards the top I finally dropped Oliver but didn’t have the legs to get to the front. Jarrad put in a big effort to pick up the final point and was looking a lot better than two weeks ago at Pinjarra. The smile on his face as he realised he’d bagged a point was a highlight of the ride.

Climb 3 – 1. Ryan, 2.Rob, 3. Julian, 4. Oliver, 5. Jarrad

Rob bade us farewell at the top and headed down the back side of the Kahuna. Chris was having a bit of back wheel trouble but soon had that sorted out and we were off again towards Pickering Brook. I stayed at the back of the group during this stage and helped get Phil through his first Sunday ride for quite a while. We regrouped at the Pickering Brook turnoff on the left had side of the road and it was clear that everyone was thinking about the short cut to coffee. Peter said we’d head the Merchant and I asked if anyone wanted to do the full ride and head up to the Observatory. Heiko volunteered to go with me, then Dan and Jules sensed some cheap points and also volunteered, followed by Oliver and a couple of others and suddenly the whole group was with us. I felt very proud of everyone at this stage – staying together and finishing off what we started – very character building stuff!

There was a Master’s Race on in Pickering Brook and John and Joe made a sprint for the finish line. The marshal there held up a 9 laps to go sign but this was dutifully ignored as were turned into Patterson Rd. The group started to stretch out on the incline and as I passed Lisa I’m sure I heard words to the effect of doubting my parentage being muttered after I said she’d thank me later for making her come this way. Towards the top of the climb a group of 6 were still together. Joe went early and couldn’t hold on leaving Ryan to get away. Jarrad now had the taste of points and collected 3rd after I caught him on the last rise. Brother Jules and Oliver rounded out the placings.

Climb 4 – 1. Ryan, 2.Julian, 3. Jarrad, 4.Brother Jules, 5. Oliver

There were a few tired bodies at the end of this climb (but wasn’t everyone glad they did it?) and as Peter set instructions for coffee at the Merchant (for the second time!) we were all fairly keen on getting there. Going through Bickley Valley Brother Jules asked if he could sit behind me during the final climb. I was happy to help out but this caused some confusion with Ryan who thought we were ganging up on him during the climb. Joe and Peter set the early pace on the hill as I kept Brothers Jules and Dan on my back wheel. Coming up to the flat bit the others had dropped off leaving Ryan and the Julians in front. Ryan was unaware of my pacing and made a move just before the last climb. Honour-bound to Brother Jules I stayed back and pushed him through the last stretch and came through in about 8.35. Not sure if it was a PB for him, but certainly a respectable time after a 5 climbs in the conditions. Oliver and Peter followed and soon the group descended on the Merchant.

Climb 5 – 1. Ryan, 2.Julian, 3. Brother Jules, 4. Oliver, 5. Peter

We managed to jag the outside couch and took up most of the area. My hot chocolate and croissant arrived, barely 30 seconds after sitting down. Lisa took to the couch and would probably have been happy to stay there all day. Conversation was very lively with a real sense of achievement amongst the group. However, come 10.30am we were off for the final fling as we dragged ourselves away and headed towards Lesmurdie and Welshpool Roads.

It was an average descent today with top speeds in the mid 70s. The sprint to Tonkin Highway was fairly low key with everyone keen to avoid the head wind. John’s bike had developed a chain/gearing problem but he managed to hold on until he turned off in East Vic Park. A few others took shortcuts home and the rest of us rode back to the car park via the bike path. It was nice not to get abused by any car drivers and also not to be laden with layers of clothing, except for Lisa, whose arm warmers became obsolete after the first couple of kms and ended up as handle bar fashion accessories.

sunday 8th mar – f_ckenberg plus others

ride report by peter.


i managed what i thought was the impossible this morning and snuck out of the house without waking anyone up.  this is especially lucky as the microwave (for breakfast) is loud and usually precedes number 1 son’s equally loud start to the day.  i was out the door and into the dark before my luck ran out.

we had around twenty at the start today and a new face (to sunday) as matt whom i have raced against before thought he would give our group a go.  the rest were fairly regular sunday riders with the exception of rachael who decided give the hills a crack today.  we headed out and picked up bonner and nev along the way to bolster our numbers a bit.

the course today is one of the most brutal that we have in our repertoire not for the distance but mainly for the steepness of the climbs involved.  there were 5 categorised climbs today but we would start with the f_ckenberg which runs up the back of mt nasura.  not as brutal as the chookenberg, but certainly there to test the legs.  it is steep enough to make it almost impossible to start again if you stop on the way up.

a fairly uneventful run along albany hwy with the only fun being to watch stu and brendan on two separate occasions have to time trial it back to the group after a nature break.  once we hit brookton hwy a split formed with a few of the dr’s and a couple of others opting for a run up the brookton hill rather than the fun of the f_ckenberg.  the wind had picked up as the day progressed and was in our faces as we approached the base of the climb. as it looms ahead of you, the bulk of the climb is hidden by the fact that the road turns left to skirt the hill and is hidden by the surrounding trees.  quite a few in the group had not the pleasure of acquainting themselves with this climb and so we were talking it up as much as possible.

i, myself, am not a big fan as the steep climbs do not bode well with me.  the f_ckenberg doesn’t give you much of a chance of finding a rhythm unless you have a compact cracnk and a granny gear.  as the road turned left some of the boys started to flex their climbing muscles and took off up the hill.  i was content to let them go, but was concerned when milram dan shot past me as well.  his fitness has been getting steadily better, but i was unsure about his climbing.  i set my own pace as best i could and managed to eventually haul him back in as the hill was a little too long for the effort he put in.  i didn’t make any more ground on the leaders and came to the top about seventh or so, but happy that i could actually see the front bunch this time.

mike – 10, brendan – 7, matt – 5, judd – 3, lindsay – 1.


a regroup at the top and a chance to get the breathing patterns back to normal and we were on our way again.  this next climb up canns was nowhere near as steep but went for a couple of k’s and had a few pinches involved.  brendan and i led the way and the rest of the group formed up behind.  no-one was keen to make a move so we set a more relaxed pace as we were working into the wind.  brendan was still recovering from some oral surgery from earlier in the week and was not feeling 100% because of the antibiotics.  he said that whenever he got his heart rate too high, he felt crook.  bad for him, good for me. 

not doing this climb too often, it is hard to remember exactly where it ended and therefore exactly where to attack.  as a right hand kink in the road approach, i thought that it was not too far away now so was up out of the saddle and broke away from the group.  i think everyone was waiting for brendan to chase me down and it allowed me to make a decent gap.  i was constantly looking over my shoulder and saw mike swing off and around the group in response.  i held out as long as i could, but mike was making ground and towing a substantial group behind him.  i eased off so that i had some reserves for when they past me, but didn’t quite have enough to go with mike and judd.  i managed to jump on with stu and matt, but they also eventually dropped me.  as the finish line approached, i thought that i could bridge the gap and stood up to accelerate.  unfortunately for me, they also stood up at the same time so there was no chance i would gain anything.  i looked back and decided that the others wouldn’t catch me so rolled up to the line.

judd – 10, mike – 7, stu – 5, matt – 3, peter – 1.


the decent down soliders rd is always fun once you get past the tight sections and today threw up a further obstacle.  as we approached the decent, i commented to bec that they must have resurfaced the road as there was a lot of loose gravel on the top and the evidence that they had widen the road had been covered up.  this caused a few concerns to some riders, including myself as the surface did not inspire much confidence and i had to swing wide on a few corners just to make sure.  the nice and smooth road returned soon afterwards and i managed to clock about 73km/h as the road twisted it’s way down the hillside.  everyone managed to make it down ok and we regrouped before hitting peet rd.

once again the pace was not on.  i was expecting a few surges from mike at the very least but they never came.  it was tempo up the first steep section of peet rd before a left hander onto urch.  at the turn we still had a decent size group to contest the prize.  the slight downhill gave a reprieve to the legs but also allowed a few people to sneak ahead and mark flew past in the tug position.  i wasn’t too worried about him (sorry mark) as i thought that i could catch him on the uphill, but then matt took off after him.  i was a bit worried about him and had to get a bit closer to his wheel.
once the hill started again, matt put in a big effort and jumped in front of mark and up the hill.  i jumped across to his wheel as he was still putting in the big effort and sat behind him for a while.  when he finally sat down, i attacked him to see if he had anything left.  not enough to sustain and i managed to put some distance in him.  the grinding climbing technique of mike and stu slowly dragged me back as there was a substantial amount of hill remaining and i couldn’t hold position behind them for very long.  once we crested the hill, there is a section of flatish rd before it intersects canning mills rd which is the finish point for the climb.  a bit of confusion last time we did this route found mike pulling up too early and a few of us overtook him before the line.  this time he was making sure and he kept the pace on to stay well ahead of stu.  i looked back a few times to see matt gaining once the hill eased up, so i clicked up a few gears to stay ahead.  lindsay was climbing well and managed to secure fifth place.

mike – 10, stu – 7, peter – 5, matt – 3, lindsay – 1.


judd decided to call it a day and took the decent down the kahuna for an early home time.  the rest of the group ambled along the back roads to pickering brook and continued to the base the easy side of the observatory.  no-one had made the early turn to the coffee shop which was good to see and the group is certainly climbing well.  i was hoping for an easy start to the hill and that the attacks would start till later.  unfortunately, brendan was in the mood to shake things up a bit and went off the front from the first turn.  mike and stu chased and left me no choice but to try to get across.  we soon caught brendan who was still suffering from that earlier complaint, but could do little surges to make people think that he was going. 

mike and stu left me behind a they increased their pace and i looked back to see matt and lindsay on my tail.  thinking that i would be better off in no-man’s land, i put in a effort when we were halfway to the top and managed to shake them off.  i just needed the maintain now to make sure i kept my points.  as the road flattened, i looked back to see matt stuck to the wheel of dr mark and they were making ground.  i accelerated as best i could to stay ahead and thought that i was actually making ground on stu up ahead.  in reality i was getting closer because he had started the hill while i was still on the flat.  as soon as the hill started for me, i did feel that close.  matt was now powering up the hill to the finish and i had to continually look behind to make sure he didn’t make up too much ground.

mike – 10, stu – 7, peter – 5, matt – 3, dr mark – 1.


one last climb today and we are starting a new leaderboard.  this one is not to see who can afford to buy the lightest bike but is more a list of personal best times and will show how well people are improving.  our last climb on a sunday ride is generally up mundaring weir rd to kalamunda.  from the bottom there is a road called aldersyde which is where the time starts.  you then climb up to the top where there is a 50 km/hr sign just before the roundabout and stop the clock.  i will start a new page which will show the start and finish points as well as a list of peoples best times.  hopefully we can use it as gauge of fitness and it allows people to see where they stand.

anyway, the climb started and matt shot up the road after some early breakaways.  i commented to stu about it and he thought that we should be able to make up the ground.  i had started my clock and was determined to put in a good time so i set myself a nice tempo and took off after matt.  he had sat up once he caught the breakaway so i picked him up quickly and sped past.  a couple of turns into the climb and i noticed the train of mike, stu and brendan baring down upon me.  brendan offered me the wheel as they came past and i jumped onboard.  about halfway up the first section, and well into the steeper bit that i hate, mike made a big move off the front.  i chased onto mikes wheel and held on for as long as i could.  i thought that i was going ok and may have had a chance at sticking to his wheel when all of a sudden brendan shot past with a “yee-hah”.  mike accelerated just enough to dislodge me but not enough to stick with brendan.  unfortunately, this was just one of the surges that brendan was capable of, but couldn’t sustain and was soon overtaken.

i jumped back on stu’s wheel and we soon picked up brendan.  mike was a fair way ahead but i thought we could make up some ground once the road flattened out.  brendan came around and offered to take us up to mike and we jumped on board and caught him before the road turned the corner.  brendan went straight to the front and kept the pace up until he felt crook again and had to back it off.  the three of us approached the final pinch and suddenly mike and stu were sprinting for the line.  my legs were just happy to be there and had no sprint left in them but i managed to keep ahead of brendan.  my time was 8:03, so if you managed to get a split, send them to me via email and i will post them.  when the page is up it will explain the rules etc.

mike – 10, stu – 7, peter – 5, brendan – 3, lindsay – 1.


the "long coffee stop" group
the "long coffee stop" group

the coffee shop was busy, but we managed to all squeeze around a couple of tables (with a few parked on the stairs).  the early off shoot that left us on brookton hwy was still sitting at the coffee shop by the time we arrived.  service was very slow and they were still waiting.  we eventually received our orders and were late to leave as it was well after 11 o’clock.  the most eventful part of the return journey was right at the top of kalamunda where a guy (with family) in a big range rover, deliberately swerved to our side of the road (oncoming) for no apparent reason.  when i stuck my hand up (yes all the fingers) to say wtf are you doing, he did the same back to me as if i was doing something wrong.  see mr dickhead can drive anything.  i actually think that he was on his way home from church as there is one on that road.  so i hope a drop bear lands on his bonnet.

sunday 16th november – f_kenberg & urch & observatory

ride report by peter.


so, it was jens’ last sunday ride with us so i gave hime the honour of choosing his last route.  his last sunday supper, so to speak.  he chose the f_ckenberg.  why?  who knows.  maybe it was his way of saying thanks, by making us hurt a lot more.  no matter what the reason, we were headed south today.


a decent turn out as it should be with a beautiful day forecast, but the wind left a little to be desired.  we rolled out with about 22 people and headed down albany hwy.  the turns at the front switched a lot sooner than usual as the wind was coming as a head/cross and was taking the toll on the workhorses. 


we were caught by another group just before maddington and it turned out to be some rowing mates of hugh.  they were heading down to the bedford hill on albany hwy so hugh stayed with us as he thought that they had never heard of half the climbs we were doing today.  we must have been riding along at a far to sedate pace for them as they soon came around and took off down the road.


just after gosnells the call of flat went up and we ground to a halt.  stu pulled out a tube that already had three patches on it and guessed that it had seen better days and binned it instead.  brendan initially thought that it was michael again, but he has since changed his tyres out to a more reliable pair. 


once we turned onto brookton hwy, the wind was directly in our faces and making both riding and hearing hard.  whoever was on the front went to turn up the wrong road which would mean that we would miss the nasty climb.  we were yelling at them to go straight but with the wind, the first few people still turned up the wrong road.  i headed back to the front to make sure that we got the correct turn (big orange building, can’t miss it).


the general call from the group was that jens should lead up the f_ckenberg as he was the one that wanted it.  he was at the front at the foot of the climb, but it seemed that mike was on a mission today, maybe to make up for our poor showing yesterday.  he danced up the hill with brendan and stu not far behind.  jens and i were dropped but i managed to get past him on the lower steeper section.  about halfway up ben came past me which was quite disheartening as i hate to lose position on the climbs.  we continued to slug it out but i don’t think that anyone made up any ground on each other and we crested pretty much in that order.

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


we were waiting at the top and someone said that one of the guys came off at the bottom.  mike b was in a too hard a gear and locked the bike up when the grade got too steep and managed to topple over.  a little bark off and the derailleur was a bit bent, but no major damage.  even just stopping on that climb makes it difficult to restart, let alone hitting the deck.


the next climb up canns is almost straight away and doesn’t really give you much time to get your breath back.  luckily it is not that steep and so wasn’t going to hurt my arms like the f_ckenberg did.  the pace was easy at the start and dr carl lead the field up the first part of the climb.  we were headed straight into the headwind again and there was surprisingly little protection on this stretch of road.  as the road pitched up, jens and ben moved around and upped the pace.  i jumped on and looked back to see what the others were doing.  the majority of the climbers were playing it cool and just going to grind this one out so we got a bit of a gap.  jens and ben took turns but i was content to sit in nicely protected from the wind.  i looked around and we were soon joined by brendan, steve and stu.  the road rolled along for a bit before it turned the corner and offered a bit more protection from the wind.  just before that point, i jumped ahead of the field and grabbed a decent gap.  i was waiting for the reaction but it never came.  i pushed on but was constantly looking behind myself to see when the counter attack was coming.  there was one last pinch before the finish and my legs were starting to fade.  i looked back to see the group gaining fast so i stomped on the pedals and extended the gap out again.  i had enough of a gap to cruise to the finish ahead of brendan who jumped off the front to take second.

peter – 10, brendan – 7, jens – 5, steve – 3, ben – 1.


a nice fast descent down soldiers rd (i am trying to map a course that goes up soldiers rd) and we were at the base of peet rd.  the next lot of points were on offer at the end of urch rd after tackling the base of peet and then onto urch.  i set tempo on brendan’s wheel until mike came past.  john had tried to get an advantage by heading up the road a tad earlier but we soon pulled him back in.  mike tried one attack on the steeper section but brendan and i managed to stay on all the way to the urch turn.  we had a substantial gap over the chasers as we headed down the slight reprieve before urch started in earnest.  mike still set the pace up the slope but steve had managed to bridge across to us.  somewhere along the climb, mike made another attack and it started to split us apart as i couldn’t hang on to brendan’s wheel. steve came around from behind with a great attack that took the other two by surprise and made them push hard to get on.  i just had to watch them head up the road, but now kept an eye behind me to make sure stu didn’t gain too much ground.  as i crested the climb, i saw that the three of them had slowed down as i am guessing that they assumed that the points were at the crest.  unfortunately the points were at the end of the road and i came past and continued along the road.  brendan and steve jumped on behind, but mike kept cruising to the finish.  i was rolled on the line (as i expected), but the aim was to try to grab as many points as i could and was already lucky on this climb.

steve – 10, brendan – 7, peter – 5, mike – 3, stu – 1.


the long hard slog to pickering brook was made interesting by the wind but not too bad overall.  we lost judd at the top of the kahuna and darren at pickering brook, but the group was generally intact as we approached the observatory climb.  mike and i led it out and i was content to let the pace maintain a tempo up the first part of the climb.  mike was out for revenge over the last climb and he hit this one hard.  we all kind of looked around to see who would react and by then it was all over.  he was gone.  i thought i would see what i could do and stomped it to try to bridge across.  i managed to get halfway there, but trying to catch mike on a hill was like trying to get ryan to lead out in a sprint.  i was running out of juice when brendan, stu and steve came past.  i jumped on for a while but the effort of chasing mike took it’s toll and i couldn’t maintain for very long.  ben eventually picked my up and we continued up the hill.


steve was dropped by the other two in their effort to catch mike by the top and he jumped on behind ben and i.  we began pacing it up for the run at the last pinch and chucked it in the big ring.  ben slipped back a bit but soon past steve as he dropped his chain trying to jump up from the little ring.  i hung on to the end, and stu managed to outsprint brendan at the top, but neither caught the elusive teacher.

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


one more climb and next stop was coffee.  jens had announced that as this was his last sunday ride, he was paying for coffee as a thank you for the great company during the rides.  i think he was hoping that we would help/allow him to get to the top first so that he could pay for them, but he was still going to have to fight for the points.


after the descent of the observatory and the undulations of bickley valley i finally managed to catch up steve and brendan so that they would not have an advantage heading into the final climb.  john was trying to replicate his final climb from last week and took off to gain some time advantage.  it looked like he over cooked it as he turned onto mundaring weir rd and may have dropped his chain as he was looking down and slowing up.  we started to set the pace up the hill and stu was the workhorse for all his effort.  he paced us up the main part of the first pitch until mike came flying past,  i tired to jump on and made a big effort to, but i didn’t last long and soon was caught in no-mans land all on my own. 


the train of steve, brendan and stu picked me up and once we hit the flat section, we rolled through to try to catch mike.  it didn’t seem to work.  he was powering along.  by the time we hit the last pitch, brendan and stu were within striking distance of mike but he saw them coming and put in one last effort to make sure of the points.  i was just barely hanging on but stayed away from ben for the finish.

mike – 10, brendan – 7, stu – 5, steve – 3, peter – 1.


as coffee was on jens, i splurged and ordered a “trio de chocolat”  which is a decadant interpretation of the chocolate indulgence.  basically it was a triple layered chocolate mousse/slice thing which was ace.  it went down a treat, and contrary to public opinion, did not come back up on the way home.  mmmmm calories.


the owner of the le paris brest café came out to tell us about this dvd that is being filmed on thursday to try to promote cycling in the hills area.  basically if you are not working on thursday, or are looking for a break for a couple of hours, if you head to the café between 11 and 12 you can get a free coffee and pastry for you efforts.  it is trying to promote cycling so if you are free i recommend that you head up there.  contact the café for more info and to acknowledge your participation – 9293 2752.  oh, and you should wear your south perth kit as a bit of shameless self promotion never goes astray. 

coffee points – steve, ben, stu, stan, michael, dan, hugh, jens, mike b, john, anna, brett 2, carl, simon, peter, brendan, todd.


a nice fast ride home and the tailwind down welshpool allowed me to break my previous speed record of 82 point something.  i managed to crack 91 this time and was upset that i couldn’t reach my hardest gear due to my lock ring problems. in reality, 90 does not really seem any faster than 70 but i am sure that it would remove a bigger patch of skin if you came a cropper.  best not to think about that when you are coming down at speed.  it may make you reach for the brakes.


a nice armchair ride home with jens doing the bulk of the work on the front just like his namesake on stage 10 of this years tour.  he even had energy left to sprint for the welshpool maccas.  the final sprint was interesting as dan jumped clear at the second last lights and managed to stay away until that last little hill when steve caught him after he jumped at the next lights.  i came home hard and picked up dan but brendan sprinted off me and up the road. 


so a good day and some hard climbs.  i had made a decision to try to stick with mike at the expense of mountain points as i think that going harder for longer and then blowing up will be better for me than riding tempo to maintain my position.  we will see anyway.  great perth bike ride for me next sunday, so my position on the leaderboard will be well under threat.