sunday hills ride.
it seems that we have all been a bit slack on the blogging front lately, so i thought i better pull my finger out and add my sunday experience to the mix. after missing the saturday group ride due to kid duties, i was pretty fired up to go out hard on sunday. i had planned a long route to get the most out of the course but it was not as though my legs had a total rest on saturday. on the mtb with dan on the front and towing ben behind meant that i was carrying and extra 40+ kgs with me. i tell you, any small inclination in the road and you can certainly feel it.
so we set out from the carpark on sunday with 32 people in tow. a couple more joined us along the way but it was a pleasant jaunt out to welshpool road. i noticed gez in the group as he stands out with his “cafe racer” jersey and massive video camera on his head, and tried to stay out of camera shot least i do something stupid.
bonner and i were at the back once the climb started so i got a ride on his tailcoat to the front as the gradient started to slow the field. the selection was made early an soon i was in a pretty exclusive pack. bonner, mike t, john gilbertson (now referred to as gilbert as in phillipe gilbert), ashley and sato. unfortunately, it was clear to me that the group was a little too exclusive and i watched them start to attack each other which quickly unhitched me. actually it was good to see ashley attack then mike t counter attack before they settled down into a rhythm.
i continued up setting my own tempo not realising the i had actually recovered too much. with my garmin out of service, i had no take on my heart rate and i became too complacent and let it go too low. next thing i know there is a group of about 5 or so riders coming past. damn, i just got caught on camera being passed by gez. and even worse, i was getting chicked by dianne who is climbing pretty well lately. i sat in for a while before getting on the front to up the pace. matt came around soon and next thing we know, we are the only two left. a couple of more turns and we are passed lesmurdie rd and onto the next section.
it was hard to know who to chase as there were lots of riders on the hill that day. i was pretty sure that we wouldn’t be catching any of the front guys though. matt went quite hard on the next section, but i decided to set tempo and hope to pull him back as the road flattened a bit. i managed to grab back enough space to be with him once the road hit the next climb and with only two pinches to go i attacked to try to get away. i was sure that i was out of the points, but this now became a pride thing. as we raced up the climb, we were picking up riders from the other group (stadium club i think) but we came across a struggling ashley who had burnt his matches early trying to smash the front boys. hmm, i think that there are points up for grabs now. one more small uphill and matt and i basically sprinted for the line, with me managing to hang on to both the position and my breakfast. although, both were a close call.
welshpool rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.
a regroup with all the short course riders took a bit longer than expected as we were missing julian. apparently he broke a spoke at the bottom of the hill and was out for the day. judd tried to help him but left him to taxi home as the bike was unrideable. as luck would have it, josh was just driving down welshpool rd with the bike rack on the car so gave him lift home.
we headed through bickley valley and under the finishline for the junior state champs that was on that day. pretty hardcore course for the kids as they had to do multiple laps up over the observatory and then had a steep climb to the finish. ndcc nick who often come out on the sunday rides managed to get on the podium with a bronze in his age group, so well done to him.
we split the group at the bottom of mundaring weir road with the short course heading left straight to kalamunda while we headed towards mundaring. there were about 11 or so that were going long and it didn’t take long before the pace was on. as this climb isn’t as steep, i managed to hold on for a lot longer but was soon spat out the back once the attacks came on. i set a tempo again, but again let my mind wander and was picked up by a few more riders. as i sat in i looked up and saw that ashley and gilbert had been dropped off the back. i wondered how much i had in my legs as to whether i could catch them before the top. why not, so i attacked the group that had graciously given me a wheel to follow, and set off up the road. ashley was definitely putting too much in too early and after a bit of time off the bike, didn’t have the endurance to keep it up (these young guys are all the same, no staying power 🙂 ). i picked him up and started closing the gap on gilbert, but he spotted me too early and was up out of the saddle to keep me away. we caught wally and nev who were doing the same course as us, but different, so this wasn’t to be the last time we saw them. unfortunately for me, gilbert used his spring classics legs to dart up to the top of the berg to claim the minor points.
asher rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.
we headed towards the weir at a nice pace and had rugged up with the impending brain freeze that is always invoked at this time of year. as the descent started, it was clear that this was not to be our usual ride with a thick fog soon engulfing the approaching road. right, i thought, this is where i am going to get away. i hit the fog hard and took first wheel. my plan was to try to get ahead as those behind would slow with the worry of not being able to see the wheel in front properly. i just had to hope that there were no slow moving vehicles or stray animals to dodge. however, attacking downhill is never really the best, and after a fast and slightly hair-raising descent, we were basically together at the bottom.
keeping the pace as long as i could, i managed to hold on to about halfway to the roundabout, but then watched them scamper up the road. ashley and i worked together for the remainder of the climb, and besides coming across wally and nev (again) we never saw anyone else. ashley gifted my the points, but according to gilbert, he was lucky that the fog kept him hidden as we may have ridden harder had we seen that he was also dropped.
mundaring township – mike b, mike t, sato, gilbert, peter.
the normally sedate township of mundaring was abuzz with activity. well as much abuzz as the truffle festival can evoke. the centre of the park was surrounded by a 8 foot high fence which was meant that everything was completely blocked from view. i guess they didn’t want us to see how much fun that they were having with fungus.
we took the nice decent through darlington, complete with bonus climbs, to reach kalamunda road. there a couple of riders headed straight home while the rest of us took in the last climb to coffee. i really wasn’t feeling it at the start of the climb and considered taking the sweeper role, but managed to find a good rhythm by about halfway. again, i picked up ashley and had gilbert in my sights, but he was constantly looking behind his back to make sure i didn’t catch up. at the front, however, mike t started to fade after racing the previous day and bonner and sato claimed his scalp on the final climb.
kalamunda rd – mike b, sato, mike t, gilbert, peter.
coffee break was good, but we couldn’t really explain how nev and wally managed to beat us there as we passed them on mundaring weir rd. another tear in the space time continuum. i think we were all a bit bugger as we may have stayed a bit longer than normal and is was close to 11 by the time we departed. a bit faster of a descent today, but still no speedo to really let me know what we were doing. i had an interesting talk to rupert who was climbing really well today. it turns out that a slight change in his diet has meant that he now has more power and has lost a bit more weight. it is amazing the small changes that can be made that make a big difference to your riding.
another is getting a proper bike fitting. unfortunately, this can be a bit more expensive as nathan just found out. not the actual fitting as that was though the member benefits at glen parker south, but rather the fact that he had originally been sold a bike that was a size too big. he is not the first person to have this happen, and especially new riders are susceptible to getting the wrong advice. there is a lot of experience in the group so don’t be afraid to ask. we are not always right, but it is always good to see the light hearted verbal abuse being thrown around when someone asks “which is better, shimano or campag”. it is shimano of course :).
checking the radar this morning and i could see that it was going to be a wet one. it didn’t look consistent, but there would be no way that we would be able to totally avoid any showers. i was a bit late and turned up with bec to make a total of 11 at the start. people don’t seem to mind the cold, just not too happy about the wet. it is all km’s to me though, so i need to be riding lots now as august has a pretty full race schedule. bec and i had been discussing being overdressed on the way to the start and it did feel a bit warm before we set off. out along great eastern and across kalamunda rd made navigation easy but an early shower set the standard for what we had to come.
soon we were facing the bottom of kalamunda rd and young jamie set the pace early on. the ride last week was the first time that jamie had ridden kalamunda rd and then didn’t know what to expect. today we had the added bonus of wet roads to deal with as well. jamie, ndcc nick and i made it up to the first plateau but i was struggling at the steep point and was sure that nick was going to smash me when he looked back to see how i was going. no, he waited till the road flattened off and then attacked once the road started upwards again. jamie and i basically just watched him ride away. we continued to tap out the pace as stu bridged across and just kept on going. i sat on jamies wheel for a while before he started to fade a bit and i came past. i wasn’t really expecting to catch nick and stu, but just wanted to make sure i had enough space ahead of jamie to make sure i held 3rd position. the rest of the climb was just survival in the wet.
kalamunda rd – ndcc nick, stu, pete, jamie, claire.
a regroup undercover just near chicken treat, and we were down by one as ndcc nick rode on ahead to meet up with some others. the state junior road race this year is to be held at pickering brook and takes in the observatory. a group of juniors were headed out that way to try out the circuit.
we were headed along to lesmurdie rd with the intent of using that descent as part of the precursor to the next climb. unfortunately, as we approached, the fog got thicker and thicker to the point where we could see that far in front of us. nick c came up to the front to suggest that we neutralise the lesmurdie descent as if we couldn’t see the cars then they won’t be able to see us as they pull out of side roads and driveways. we cruised down to the welshpool rd intersection and turned left to take on the top section of the hill only. we lost two more as nick c and di turned right and headed off home.
jamie took off like a shot and attacked the first climb instantly getting a gap on the rest of us. we set a tempo on the climb and slowly pulled him back. stu eventually dispatched me and went on ahead. i caught jamie and left him to continue alone as each of us seemed to be doing today. usually with the bigger groups, there is someone else that is around your climbing capabilities so you tend to form into little echelons. today, it was more of a solo thing. as we got closer to the top the rain started coming down harder. i didn’t pull back any time on stu but kept away from jamie to hold my position.
welshpool – stu, pete, jamie, mark e, claire.
we lost ivan here as well as he was heading straight to coffee. by now i was discovering the limits that a wind proof jacket had in a downpour. it was shower proof but not water proof and now i could feel the water slowly seeping down my arms. the previous discussion with bec about being overdressed was revisited and we decided that we could do with more.
past pickering brook and we started the observatory climb. stu moved ahead and i told jamie that he better get on his wheel. i followed him and sat on their wheels for a while until my legs just decided that they had enough. i sat up and just tapped out a tempo until claire and bec caught up with me. i sucked wheel up the rest of the climb until we hit the plateau before the final kick. up ahead, is saw that stu had dropped jamie and was powering on alone. as the pace went up on the plateau i came around to offer some support. unfortunately i was going a bit hard and so gapped the girls quickly. i looked back and decided to just keep going to see if i could reign in jamie. as the road kicked up for the finale, i came past him and continued on to the top. stu was finished and had turned around already by the time i got there.
observatory – stu, pete, jamie, bec, claire.
at the top i noticed that claire had the electronic dura-ace on her bike. it had been raining fairly consistently but she was doing fine. claire competes in the disabled athletes category as she doesn’t have full use of her left arm. she said that the electronic was awesome as she didn’t need to try to push the front derailleur like on the manual system, just push a button. i said that even i had trouble changing to the big ring some times. maybe i need to go di2.
with the rain, low numbers and increasing discomfort, we changed the route to head straight up lawnbrook so we could head straight home. the descent from the observatory was pretty straight forward for everyone except for nathan who got the speed wobbles. he had to slow the thing right down so he didn’t come off. meanwhile mark e had hit the climb hard using his momentum from the descent and started the hill in front. i chased him down and set the pace at the front. that was until stu came past and never looked back. just before the end of the hardest section, my phone rang. with the big gloves on i didn’t get to the hand free kit in time so it was going to have to wait. it had pretty much cleared up weatherwise and the climb was not too bad. unfortunately that didn’t last long and the heavens opened up with a vengeance. i never saw stu again until i reached the end where i found a tree to hide under. i checked my phone to find that it was my wife checking up to see if we were ok as it was absolutely bucking down at home. it was certainly getting wetter.
lawnbook – stu, pete, mark e, jamie, claire.
it was hammering down by now so we made a break for the servo to wait out the worst of it. the consensus was to head straight home. we had already changed the route to change the climb to kalamunda and skip the goose altogether so skipping coffee wouldn’t really matter. sorry ivan if you were waiting for us to turn up. the descent was wet so we pretty much took it easy the whole way home.
so even with the wet weather, the lack of cold wind made it pleasant enough. it was wet though and the bike now really needs some love to get all the sand out. but i suppose we can’t really complain as it is winter after all.
It’s been a while since I done one of these so lets see how it goes. Alarm went off at 5:45 and as opposed to yesterday it wasn’t raining cats and dog. So this meant was time to roll. By the time I got to the end of the street their was enough water on the road to make my brakes slip. Thankfully I still stopped. Bit of a head wind this morning and I was being blown around like a rag doll. Headwind was easier to deal with than the fences put up for the HBF run for a reason. “Cycle Path closed 8:30 – 10:30am 23/5/2010”. According to my time it wasn’t even close to 7am. More of a rant about this later. Was the first to arrive at Coode St and as it got closer to 7am I was starting to think I might be the only one here to ride today. Thankfully as is the SPR way everyone waits until 6:58am to start showing there faces and by about 7:05am I think we must have had close to 20 riders. Noticeably missing all the #spr twitter gossip bunch. I’m sure they would be tweeting there excuses later.
Peter announced the routes and added my suggestion for the main group of also doing Gooseberry Hill Rd. Its a Sunday ride one climb up Kalamunda was not going to be enough. After a show of hands I thought there would be a decent main group today. More on this later. We rolled out with Peter and Stuart I believe heading towards Burswood. Sitting on a comfortable 27 – 32km/h and a nice tailwind was looking like an easy start to the day. Stuart who had already had three flats in the Saturday ride (That’s what happens when you ride in crazy weather) felt his rear was going down and after taking a glance it looked like he could do with some more air. The group pulled over just near TBE Belmont for a quick tyre change but as things seemed to take longer than expected we were told to ride on. Taking the opportunity of the tail wind I rolled off and found myself on the front and not being gobbled up by the faster riders. At one point we took off from the lights and starting pushing over 40km/h (love tailwind) when we were told to back off. Bugger tailwind abuse it :). After the turn off Great Eastern Highway time to pull off and let these stronger riders do the work into the headwind for the ride down to Helena Valley. Just as we crossed the train line Darryl dropped his water bottle and thought he might have just blown a tyre. The group pulled over again and waited to see what was wrong. No flat it seems and we were soon rolling again. Another rider who sorry didn’t get your name was telling me he would come do Gooseberry Hill with me as he also thought today’s route was a bit short. Road was still wet and plenty of sand being picked up. It’s great to add weight to a heavy bike when you know your soon going to be climbing up hill.
Right at the round about and into the warm-up climb Ridge Hill Rd. Picked my gear and pounded away. Gotta get me a Garmin so I know how well I’m doing on these hills. Then again I will probably just be disappointed. Reached the top and wasn’t the last. Regroup was at the bottom of zig zags. Peter announced the whole group would detour slightly from the planned route so he could wave of those that were going to do the climb with me. Of we rolled and the whole group sitting on around 50km/h for the down hill and a nice spray coming off the road. On the approach to Gooseberry Hill Rd only saw one other rider turn left at the round about. With a quick good luck from Peter it was a flick of the finger and get the hell out of my big gear. Quickly realised it was only myself and Peter (another Peter) doing the climb. He was quickly around 50m in front of me and seemed to be doing well. I was jumping between gears trying to find my rhythm. I think I left it down the bottom. As we arrived at the crest before the second half of the climb I had caught back or Peter had backed off and I told him that was the easy part its the kicker at the end that kills you.
Rounding the corner and taking a quick look at the view it was down to the 3rd gear and up off the saddle for the next few hundred meters. Glace at the speed a few times it was between 12 – 15km/h which is little less than some of the other climbs but this was steeper. The rain from the past 24hrs had left enough branches and sticks to avoid but was no running water so that was good. Past the point I had to stop on my last attempt and thought I’m doing well. About 200m from the round about I thought for a second ok tallest gear. Ah wait sucker you already picked it keep going. Felt robbed I thought I had one more left but this was it. Was questioning why I chose to do this so this was it last 200m go for it. I got to the roundabout closed my eyes and prayed no car was going to make me stop because I was coming through. Into the round about no cars 30m and left turn then stop. I got to the top made the turn and stopped about 5m from the corner, head collapse over the handle bars. Happy I had finally ticked this one of the list and was thinking never have I felt so spent like I do right now. Just after me Peter pulled in front happy to have also reached the top. I think it was at least 2 minutes before either had enough air to say a word.
However after just a few minutes rest we started rolling down the road towards the Zig Zags. The easy roll helped to get the air back and quickly felt good again. Was a bit of a cross wind on the Zig Zag today and didn’t pick up the speed thought we would. I allowed plenty of time to slow down for the corners as the roads were wet and so were our brakes. Bottom of Zig Zags and back to where we were with the rest of the group not long before. Easy ride through to Kalamunda Rd. Soon it was the climb up Kalamunda. Second time for me and I was unsure. Legs felt ok but its the start of this climb that has the sting. Peter lead the entire length of Kalamunda Rd. Was a comfortable pace and nothing to gain by pushing each other. Greeted by three walkers managed to say good morning as we crossed paths. I think they thought cyclists on this road was a strange site. They should go for a walk more often on a Sunday morning.
Arrived at the Cafe expecting to see a few bikes lined up but there wasn’t. Only person I noticed was Darryl. All the rest had gone to suffer Peters route. Was a little surprised but thought oh well. Meant there was no line to get my chocolate muffin for a change. Like last week they had a new girl on the till and I must have said chocolate muffin 4 times and she kept entering Hot Chocolate, Mocha blah blah. Eventually the boss lady pressed the right button.
Having explained our climb to Darryl and finishing muffins, coffees etc back on the road. Because of the wet decided to take Canning Rd to Pommeroy Rd and Welshpool down the hill. Darryl and I were swapping turns on the front. Short turns each seemed to be working well. On the decent down Welshpool Rd was sitting right behind Darryl and I think I rolled past him However I don’t have the weight to carry me down and the headwind capped the top speed at 66.8 km/h Again Darryl was doing the work on the front and I kindly sat on his wheel. Didn’t have the legs yet. We got a rhythm going and shared the workload again until just after Roe Hwy when Peters rear tyre got sliced and he decided to call it a day. A phone call to his misses would see him finish his ride here. Least it was at a bus stop. Darryl and I continued on sitting above 30km/h. I took my care crossing the train line at Welshpool not wanting to repeat a previous blowout here. For a change we stuck to Albany Hwy and cruised through the Cafe strip. Haven’t been through this area myself for quite a while. Having arrived at the Causeway bid Darryl fairwell and decided I would take a route through East Perth home because of the HBF Run for a reason event being on. Last week had my avg speed destroyed by dogs on the million paws walk. This week I was stuck in traffic because of the chaos caused by this event. From what I could tell they owed the causeway which had an african band playing on henderson island. Runners on both sides of the road and cars not knowing where to go. Noticing that the runners seemed to be heading the same way I was I ditched the traffic and jumped into their lane. Best move because they couldn’t keep up :).
However caught at the lights for at least five minutes waiting for a green arrow. (This would be the pattern for all the other lights.) green light clip in go. Stop. Green Go. Climb the hill in East Perth Stop. Go, over the hill down the other side Red Light stop. GRRR was like this until I eventually got through and onto the East Perth cycle path and had a nice tailwind helping me sit on 36 – 37km/h all the way home. Distance of 86.5 kms and was only 10:30am. Good ride and look forward to Tuesday morning.
By Nathan Rzepecki
Now that we have had some recovery its time for the write-up. Sunday was a beautiful day for the fat tyre flyers to be out and about, while the hills riders were out early suffering a bit of a ‘light breeze’, we were out on the golf course soaking up the sun. But this golf course was short on greens.
A number of the Roulers like to delve into this off road excitement as well as the road, along for the day sporting our colours were Dave S, Nigel, Mike B (his 1st time), Stewie (along with his team mate Duncan) and myself. Peter G also decided to join us after his morning triathlon (glutton for punishment) and Nigel’s mate Chris.
Nigel got there early and grabbed the flattest spot he could find for the team tent, while the rest of us trickled in. Registration was a quick & painless task and then we settled in and discussed tactics (which went out the window). As the time ticked down we headed to the start which was to be interesting, 150 riders into a space that could fit maybe 4, but everyone seemed to get thru without incident. The 1st lap was a bit slow going as the field spread themselves out, but by the 2nd there was more room to breathe.
The course was classified as a beginners, but had a few nice technical areas to test those who wanted a bit more. The main sections that caught most were a bridge crossing on a tight corner, where many opted to get off and walk, this was followed closely by a short, sharp, nasty downhill that caused many a pinch flat. Every lap i did (bar 1) there was at least 2 riders repairing flats. It took in much of the old Jorgensen Park golf course and a few of the surrounding fire trails. Beginning slippery and quite rocky the course did cleanup a bit with use but did become very dusty. John Carney did a good job with this course and we look forward to the future Enduros.
As for how we all did, I managed to drag myself thru 6 laps of fun, including a nice stack on the 3rd and was aiming for 7 til i flatted. Stewie and Duncan manged 12laps in the team duo category securing a placing and scoring some gloves for their prize. Mike B smashed out a decent number of laps, 7 i think before he decided he had had enough for his 1st time. Not sure how many Peter G got but his efforts plus the Tri beforehand and being the good samaritan on course scored him a set of Nitelights. I’m not sure of the laps for the other lads but they all did more than me.
During the course of the event SPR got a mention for such a strong showing, so hopefully we can build on this at future events. It was good to see the team kit out and I know all had an enjoyable day. Also thanks to Michelle B and Nigel’s son for being support crew & photographers.
By Nathan Rzepecki
Must have been Natalia Cooper lying about rain because numbers were down to just five again for the transitional ride this morning. All three groups headed of as one out of the car park this morning and down Mill Point Road towards Great Eastern Highway.
Peter noticed that the group wasn’t falling off the back as maybe he thought we would. He made a suggestion that we all stick together and then split at Helena Valley Road. At the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Stoneham Street no-one turned left so the decision was to stick with the main group until Helena Valley Road. Keeping in line down the back along side of one of the more advanced riders the group was working well with no one getting dropped off the back and the pace keeping at around 30 – 35km/s. I will take a pot shot but it was slightly entertaining. We got held up by a train on West Pde. I have not seen 15 or so guys run up a hill to take a comfort stop apart from on a pub crawl making room for the next pint. We only left South Perth 15 minutes or so before. How much water are these guys drinking. 🙂
So after the train had finally past everyone was back on and off we rolled. At the T junction of Military Road and Helena Valley Road the Advanced and Intermediate group turned left and we headed for the hills. After the split there were only five of us. We had one other rider but they did a U-turn and headed back for the main group. Leading my fellow riders down Helena Valley Road towards the round about introductions were made for the new riders. (Sorry I suck with names and can’t remember, Remind me in the comments.). Before turning right into Ridge Hill road I made the comment don’t sprint this first hill because for some there may be worse to come so just take your time. By the time I looked up the road a couple of riders were already half way up the first hill. But as I dropped back the gears to the tallest lot ready to make my own assault I was already passing those that shot forward. Having done this stretch a month ago and wanting to die I noticed this time it was not so bad. Once I travelled what seems three individual small climbs I waited at the base of the Zig Zags for the remaining four riders to roll in.
All made it to this point without too much trouble. Having been a local resident in Kalamunda up until just a few years ago I thought it best warn them that the Zig Zags is actually a one way road and that the direction was down. So keep left and listen out for any calls of cars coming. Also on the hairpins can be covered in a bit of gravel from boy racers. Especially on a Saturday night. So off we headed up the bendy road. We maintained a pace of around 15 ~ 20km/h I think and reached the top in about 15 minutes. Peter was right this route was by far the easiest way up. From here you can easily see South Perth from where he had just come. Seems so much further than it felt riding it.
Onwards to Kalamunda. This section is still up-hill but its not that bad. Kept checking behind making sure hadn’t dropped anyone. Once I reached the Library I looked back and saw one rider in a white shirt which I hadn’t noticed had fallen behind. Now we were all together rolled into Hays street and into the Cafe for a break and coffee. Popular spot this cafe because there were around 20 -30 other bikes resting against walls and poles around the place.
After sharing stories over coffee it was time to get back on the road and head down the hill. Turning right onto Canning road and then left at the round about it was simple, for the next 2 or three kms. Head down and pedal. Leading the group down Kalamunda road I was taking the brunt of the wind. As much as I tried I couldn’t reach the speed limit of 70kms. The highest I was able to reach was 68km/h. From this point on it was Virtually Flat and un-eventful back to South Perth, We stayed doubled up down Madia Vale Road and Dundas Road. The new road and bridge that is not on the map yet Shaw had a blow-out. Not surprised. The side of the road was covered in so much rubbish I was waiting for the same thing but you couldn’t have missed it his wheel just went bang. We moved off the road and onto the cycle path which we probably should have done back at the junction. Will remember for the next time we pass through there. After Shaw replaced his tube and exhausted himself inflating the new tube I pointed out I had an Air canister. My bad I forgot I had it because I have never used it. But its ok Shaw in two weeks when you have another flat I will remember and hand it to you. 🙂
Turning onto Abernathy Road we followed this all the way through Belmont. Past the Sunday markets at Belmont Forum to Great Eastern Highway. Single file on Great Eastern Highway but the drivers today seemed to want to kill some of us and a couple came very close. Just before reaching the lights at the Graham Farmer Fwy called for us to double up. Make the two lane changes we needed to do a little safer. I was thinking of getting across the lane and onto the path at Burswood but didn’t have enough time to cross three lanes. We were squeezed at the merge over the causeway again by drivers that just couldn’t wait a couple extra seconds. Back onto Mill Point Road and home too Coode St carpark. Another good Sunday ride and a different route than we have done before. Average speed of just over 26km/h so not bad considering the climbs in there. Didn’t slow our overall speed too much. See you all on Tuesday and next weekend. For the two new riders please let me know your names in the comments so I remember for next time.
ride report by peter.
welcome to the last daylight savings sunday hills ride. on my way to the carpark i missed a call from ryan. it seems that he and jerry were both having trouble getting to the start today because the freeway was closed for some damn bike ride. those inconsiderate bastards, taking up our roads. as we sat around for a while waiting for them to arrive, stu realised how cold it was and took off home to grab his vest. i knew that we had a couple of people waiting for us on the way and didn’t want to delay the start too much. jerry and ryan fronted up so we took off sans stu. he had the bike setup as a time trial bike, so i was sure that he could catch up.
we headed towards orong rd, which is not a usual route for us, as it would take us straight to the welshpool rd climb. there were about 20 riders all up with a couple of new faces. a young guy named sam was looking for a sunday ride so bella and sam (girl) had invited him along. he had a talent identification jersey on so it would be interesting to see how he went today.
we lucked out as we turned onto orong rd as a group of 4 guys managed to turn in front of us. they all had local team jerseys on and looked like they could be “a” graders so we caught up to them and let them draft us all the way along to the climb. on the way we picked up mark and sharon who were waiting on the flats before the climb started. stu had rang up to see where we were but had still not caught up to us yet. it looked like he would miss out on the fun.
the hill started and our 4 escorts were not in a fighting mood, so we had to go around. i am always wary of passing a rider who you don’t know as they could come and smash you later on the hill. these guys didn’t seem too worried though. as the memory fades from a long week at work, i cannot remember exactly who did what, but i got to the front at one stage to set the pace. i wanted to see how the young bloke went and the answer is – very well.
it all became too much for me and i fell off the pace allowing ryan, sam, mike and a couple of others to head up the road. i think that mat was in the group too, but eventually fell back from the pace. by the time we reached the lesmurdie rd intersection the three front guys had a decent gap on mat, lindsay and myself, who were chasing hard.
chasing mountain goats in mountain country is never going to work and i was sure that we weren’t going to catch them. i started to concentrate on the other 2 as we were still in the points and i wanted to maximise mine. another attack a bit later on was too much for mat and this left lindsay and i to fight it out for 4th and 5th. local knowledge goes a long way and i managed to jump at the right time to stay ahead of lindsay for the points.
ryan was too much for sam and mike and they finished in that order.
ryan – 10, sam – 7, mike -5, peter – 3, lindsay – 1.
i got to the top and found that i had a text message from sharon. she said not to wait for her as she would find her own way to coffee. not a chance. if she had enough energy to write a text, she was not trying hard enough. we waited to make sure she did the next hill.
i am running a week behind, so i will fast track the rest of this blog.
observatory climb i got blown out and sat up to make sure everyone got the turn right.
ryan – 10, sam – 7, stu – 5, mike – 3, lindsay – 1.
rolled back around and did the mundaring weir rd climb to kalamunda. it wasn’t the last climbs so i was looking for some pb’s on the hill climb times. it didn’t disappoint.
ryan – 10, stu – 7, sam – 5, lindsay – 3, peter – 1.
stu 7:29, ryan 7:31, sam 7:36, lindsay 7:51, peter 7:52, mike 7:58, jerry 8:12, mark 8:31, julian 8:34, dan 9:03, paul o 9:22.
down the zig zag and back up kalamunda rd. a few went straight to coffee and the girls went down kalamunda and back up again.
ryan – 10, sam – 7, stu – 5, mike – 3, peter – 1.
it’s been a busy week so sorry for the delay. not really used to this whole work thing after so long on holidays.
ride report by peter.
the combination of hills and hot, hot weather seemed to be a deterrent today as the turn out was poor compared to recent times. the normal core group was there, but none of the new additions of late had fronted and looking at the weather forecast, who could blame them. a predicted top of 38 had been downgraded overnight to a top of 37, which i am sure would make all the difference. especially when tackling the three main climbs around kalamunda.
the course would see us all warm up on ridge hill rd before heading up gooseberry hill. a cruise down the zig-zag and back up kalamunda rd before passing through kalamunda and back via bickley valley and mundaring weir rd. as i said previously, that hardest part will be not pulling the pin early and stopping for coffee.
we rolled out into a fairly gusty easterly breeze that meant the front guys had a bit of work today. the load was shared fairly well and we picked up melvyn along helena valley rd to get the numbers up to about 16. the first climb of the day was a “bonus” climb and did not contain any points. we were generally taking it easy but ridge hill rd was one where people will still try to race up no matter what. i wanted to save my legs and opted for a quite chat at the back of the pack. the regroup point at the base of the zig-zag marked the first opportunity for an easy day and only one rider decided to head up the zig-zag instead. the rest of us sped down the newly laid hot-mix and onto the main climb.
gooseberry hill sucks. there is no other way to describe it. it sucks, but i am starting to learn it. not enjoy it, but learn how the road pitches up and where it flattens and where it tries to deceive you. basically, to know how to measure your effort when climbing and when to chase an attack. however, the attacks went early today and dan took off like a rocket from the base of the climb. jerry and i dodged traffic to get on his wheel and i was wondering how long he could hold that pace for. i looked back and no-one else had made the junction but i could feel my legs starting to protest and knew there was quite a lot of even harder hill to go. i fell back from the wheel and set my own tempo. mike and stu came past in their typical “slowly but surely grind you down” pace. if the hill is long, they will eventually beat you. i counted up the road and i was still in the points…for now. i looked back and saw the familiar colours of milram and dan j was climbing well today. mark was with him and soon they both overtook me. knowing the road certainly has it’s advantages and i was sure that dan hadn’t played on gooseberry much before. as he is built like a footballer, not a climber, i thought that i will be able to make up ground once we turned the corner. mark accelerated through the “flat” section of the climb but i didn’t want to go with him as i needed to conserve as much as possible today.
the climb has three main kinks in it to catch you out. the first right hander is after the first part of the climb. it flattens out quite a bit and you think that you are over the worst of the hill. it even rolls down for a bit before heading up to the next corner. this left hander starts the climb off again and it is on this stretch that i got back ahead of dan j and still had mark in sight. there are some pitches on this stretch that really test the legs and you are hoping that it is over soon. the road turns to the left one more time and you look up and realise that you cannot see the top because the road is so steep. i set myself a tempo and managed to latch back onto marks wheel for the steepest section. i remember my back wheel slipping a bit on the twigs and crap on the road as i was standing up with so much weight over the front wheel. i finally saw my saviour in the shape of a road sign signifying that there was a round-about ahead. i know there is only one round-about and it is at the top. i mentioned before about learning the climb and knowing when to attack. i could now see the top and measured my effort to shake off mark and “sprinted” off up the hill, securing that final spot. dan who attacked at the start of the climb didn’t know the hill and paid for it at the top when mike, stu and jerry managed to chase him down.
mike – 10, stu – 7, jerry – 5, dan – 3, peter – 1.
dr mark was climbing well today and managed to get to the top at the front of the pack. as i mentioned before, dan j was climbing very well for a footy player and someone fairly new to the whole “bike vs hill” thing.
at the top we traded one dr melvyn for a russell as mel went for an early coffee and russ had made his way up from darlington. we started the always fun descent down the zig-zag. it isn’t very steep and certainly gives a different perspective as opposed to the white knuckle ride down welshpool. suddenly we were back where we started at the top of ridge hill rd.
kalamunda rd was a full on head wind as we approached along the flats. russell was on the front as we started the climb and everyone tucked in behind trying to shelter as much as possible. as the pace slowed too much for some of the whippets, stu lead the charge around to the front with myself and about five others on his wheel. sorry to have done it, but we left him out front for most of the climb as he set a nice tempo into the wind and up the steepest parts of the climb. about halfway up i saw a bike coming down the hill at speed. the guy was on a mountain bike and was probably doing 50 if not 60kph. in front of him, attached to the cross bar, was a wee-ride kids seat and a kid no older than two strapped in. now i have one of these and ben loves it when we go fast, but this kid looked like he was crapping himself. i’m sure his wife would have killed him too if she found out.
stu continued to grind out the k’s with the train following behind when mike made the first move and it was a good one. some expletives escaped my mouth as he went past fast and was suddenly up the road. i had a decision to make, and i made it way too late, and went to follow mike. no-one else came with me and i found myself in no-mans land and back to finding a tempo i could maintain. dan and jerry had left stu by now and were making ground on me. i realised that i was not going to catch mike so set a pace that left at least one more attack in the tank. i was soon caught so i jumped on board and allowed them to set the pace to the top.
we finally saw the roundabout near the servo and i thought that this would be a nice place to attack as i was sure i knew how far to the finish. off i went and again managed to get halfway across to mike. however, with the heart-rate managing to push into the 190’s i was pretty much on my limit. i looked back to see dan and jerry slowly making ground. i was at the top and circumnavigating the perimeter of stirk park, but they were gaining too quickly and came past with only a couple of hundred metres to go. mike had sat up but had enough of a buffer to hang on for the win.
mike – 10, jerry – 7, dan – 5, peter – 3, stu – 1.
this would have to be the first time that we actually had a regroup point in kalamunda that didn’t involve the coffee shop. we stopped at stirk park and worked out who was wearing the blouses and who was wearing the pants. about half fluffed their puffy sleeved blouses and headed off to the coffee shop while the remaining eight hardcore cyclists took off along canning to the sanitarium factory. we stayed together well all the way through bickley valley and to the base of mundaring weir road. i was down the back a bit with mike while dan and stu were setting the pace at the front with john. the hill started in earnest and mike decided to set his pace on the climb and i just held on as best i could. we picked up stu and dan but left john behind and powered up the climb. i didn’t last that much longer and soon had to drop the wheel as my legs were gone. john soon picked me up and just as quickly dropped me again. i was in severe damage control mode and even though i knew that i would suffer on the hills, i needed to put in the kms as i had been given permission to ride. shao soon passed me but tried to encourage me along and offered his wheel. too late as the legs had already departed for an extended holiday. i was left to suffer my way up the hill with only the voices in my head for company.
mike – 10, stu – 7, dan – 5, john – 3, shao – 1.
the other blouses, i mean boys, were still at the coffee shop once we arrived and hung around while we ordered. there was a slight delay on the coffee, but the shorter ride gave us an early mark and we were soon back on the road and heading home. the nice tailwind was a payback from the earlier headwind and the homeward journey was a much more pleasant trip. no sprints at the end of welshpool but we certainly noticed the temperature heating up and pointing towards that 37 top.
dan j got away after the kent st lights and almost stayed away till the end, but was halted at the george st set. the rest of the group was not delayed for so long and i tried to get the jump as we were still rolling when it changed. not possessing the endurance of old, i only made it to the top of the hill before my heart tried to break through my ribcage. i looked back to see that jerry was not far behind and gaining fast. i sat up for the downhill and let things be. dan tried to chase him down but didn’t quite have enough at the end. however, it was close enough that jerry didn’t have time for his trademark victory salute. juan antonio fletcha has this salute where he mimics an archer pulling a arrow from his quiver and drawing his bow. this is a play on his name which means archer in spanish. jerry, however, has a salute that is based more around his profession and involves a single finger and usually a latex glove.
ride report by mark
Roses are red, violets are blue
Some ride reports rhyme, but this one doesn’t
(Great report for Saturday Pete!)
OK, so it’s the first ride since Christmas, and I’ve just been away with the family for a week. We stayed in a wonderful guest house on a farm near Peaceful Bay; about 15 min from Walpole. We relaxed plenty, ate well, and exercised little. I even caught some fish, but none that rivalled the one I pulled up on the rig off Vietnam. There were no bicycles; capice?
We got back on Saturday, and I was determined to ride on Sunday, so brushed off the cobwebs and prepared the bike Saturday night.
No problem waking up at 6am, as I’d gone fishing with the kids most mornings, so my body was in early start mode. The weather looked good and I cruised alongside the canning and Swan rivers to the start looking forward to the ride. I checked the blog map before leaving, and was a little concerned about the distance, but what the hell, I was well rested. (Never underestimate the power of rest, I say)
I was amazed at the turnout – around 30 people as we left, with a couple more joining on the way. Lots of new faces which was great to see, and a good turnout from the ladies too.
As Pete was on family duty I did the quick summary of the upcoming journey.
Michael W and I led the group out, and stayed there till Tonkin Hwy; I was determined to do some work after winning the wheel sucker award last Saturday at the SPR breakfast.
Once we got to Welshpool the trouble started. I knew I would not be chasing points, even without Ryan, Pete or Jerry in the group, but got a sharp reality reminder as I struggled to make the top ten on most of the hills.
I think the truth is that whilst I may be off form from too much travelling and not enough training, the group has got a lot stronger. I’m always amazed at how much longer the bunch stays together on the climbs, and the regroup rests at the top are becoming disturbingly short sometimes.
I dropped back and rode at my own pace, and caught a couple on the way. Michael W had gone with the front group, but then dropped back, and pulled me along the bumps from the servo to the end of Welshpool Rd.
I believe the order in front was:
Nico, Carlo, Blake, Michael B, Steve
Riding conditions were still perfect at this stage – a gentle breeze to cool you when we stopped, and crisp clear fresh air to flush out the lungs. I think a few went left and straight to the coffee shop.
We regrouped and did the left-right dogleg over the hill to Glenisla Rd, and then coasted through Bickley Valley to the next dog-leg which carries us to the foot of my favourite climb – Mundaring Weir Road.
I had to wrestle the coffee demons and force my bike to turn right and not left. That hill still haunts me from the Tour de Perth support ride that Jerry and I did on our own, after the group started early without us. I took it fairly easy and even the front guys seemed to start at a reasonable pace. Michael B came flying past me and I sensed some anger management in his cadence. That was the last I saw of him for a while
John B and I rode together most of the way up there, till we found the hard cores draped over their handlebars waiting for us. They panted out names with some lack of certainty when I asked for the finishing order.
I wrote down the following:
Blake, Nico, Steve, Carlo, Michael B
The next section of flattish road was done with more haste that necessary I thought, but then I was still in holiday mode. The bunch split up, and a couple of the girls were left in the chase group.
I chased to catch up on the fast descent into Mundaring Weir, and just caught the front guys at the river crossing. Alas it was not enough to keep me in front by the time we got to the roundabout at the top of the first climb out. I signalled for the guys in front to carry on, while I did a few circles to make sure all were still there, and knew where to go. Unfortunately the last few decided to do a U-turn and head back, and that left yours truly to then go and chase the group on his own. Mmm… not quite what I had planned for my reunion with the bike. And what’s worse I’d just taken off the tri-bars that I bought from Pete – so I couldn’t even “assume the position”. I started picking them up after a few km, and by the time we hit the flat before the next section there were enough of us to take turns and save some energy for the last hill of the day.
The finishing order at the top was:
Michael B, Brendan, Steve, Blake, Stuart G
We regrouped at the next roundabout, and I counted 24 riders. Excellent for that stage of the ride I thought. Some of us filled up bottles at an outside tap of a nearby house, and others were late to wish they’d done the same. The temperature was creeping up by this stage; but still pleasant riding conditions. The next section was the bit I can never remember street names for, but it always looks vaguely familiar. We did the very steep descent with the sharp right hander halfway down.
The ride to Kalamunda road was not the normal one that I’m used to; but we got there and the guys in front seemed to know where they were going. A couple of the new guys asked if it was flat from there to the coffee shop, and I had to break the news that there was a small incline to negotiate before the luxury of a latté could be savoured.
The hill was just what I was expecting – one too many. I started off tired, but with a rhythm that I thought may carry me to the top. I was wrong. I cracked ¾ of the way up, and limped to the top, fuelled only by the prospect of my much-missed long black coffee, and ham & cheese croissant.
Up front the order was
Michael B, Brendan, Steve, Blake, Stuart G
Paris Brest café seemed to struggle with the 18 of us arriving en masse; there were already a couple of other cycling groups there. The queue was long progressed slowly, but they did their best, and the coffee was great. Peter and Ben popped in as we were leaving; Pete’s eyes told a story of a young baby who had not had a good night. Hang in there Peter; they all sleep eventually.
After a healthy rest, we ambled back towards Welshpool road, only to be interrupted by the sound of Dr Mark’s wheel deflating way too quickly.
The change took longer than it should (where is Simon when you need him) but it gave us time to discuss the merits of bombs vs pumps, and the new technology in integrated tyre liners.
We flew down Welshpool Rd, and I only just caught John B in front at the bottom, who sat on my wheel, and then flew past to take the flag at the first set of lights.
We kept a respectable pace back along Orrong Road, with a few of us sharing the workload.
I said my usual farewell as the group turned right onto Berwick, so I can’t relate details of the final sprint to MacDonald’s. I’m sure someone will fill us in on that.
I finished up with about 120km, and the encouraging thing was that I felt fine for the rest of the day.
It was my last SPR group ride for 2008, and a fitting finale. Thanks to everyone who made 2008 a great cycling year for us, especially Peter.
ride report by Darren.
all I can say is that I am glad I wasnt doing a team time-trial into that wind.
5 lucky punters turned up by 7ish, so I was guaranteed to get some k.o.m points.
young alistair led us down great eastern toward ridge hill and goosberry. stan, bronywn, and a new guy called gregor, complete with thick scottish accent despite living the last 5 years in texas, who found out about spr’s sunday rides through mutual mountain bike friends, completed the mini-peleton.
A thick headwind became the flavour of the day as we swapped turns, battling single file towards ridge hill. rolling onto ridge hill we already felt as if we had earnt our coffees. Alistair and his new crisp shoes headed off for the zig-zag regroup with stan in tow. Gregor came around me and quickly caught the young lads up front. Bronwyn was saving her energy for goosberry hill and came in just behind me. Pete can overule, but young Al gets 1 point for being first to the top of the bonus climb followed by gregor, stan, myself and bronwyn.
At the top we were greeted with some of the smoothest, freshest and blackest hot mix I have ever seen, seems the local council had totally re-surfaced the ridge-hill descent to the roundabout – NICE.
onto gooseberry, and at this point I would like to thank pete for arranging a course which not only takes us away from the coffee shop, twice, but today would see us take on goosberry hill with (what felt like) a 30 knot gusty headwind. young alistair and gregor too off, and half way up (on the nasty bit) my saddle decided to come loose, at which point I stepped of to adjust and re-tighten. KOM points Alistair (10), Gregor(7), Stan(5), Darren(10),… just joking (3) and Bronwyn (1).
uneventful desecent down zig zag, and soon we found ourselves back on the new hotmix for a fast (wind assisted) descent down ridge-hill toward kalamunda.
onto kalamunda, Alistair and Gragor took off on the initial steep section and Stan, Brownyn and I held a pact to keep it together as the headwind had taken its toll and we were riding into it… again.
on the way up, I found out that stan was back on the bike after 3 or so months off after the birth of his 3rd (a little girl called phoebe) in july, congratulations stan, and despite a blood nose and lack of hills training, still beat me to the top. Seems SPR is having a mini babyboom. at the top I also learnt from bronwyn, that dr nik had a nasty tumble during the week – hope you have a speedy recovery. alistair was severely tested by gregor to take the k.o.m points (again). Alistair (10), Gregor(7), Stan(5), Darren(3), Bronwyn(1).
At the regoup in kalamunda we decided that a loop of bickley would be too much so we headed down mundaring weir road (after repairing a puncture on alistairs rear) and across to lawnbrook. Alistair and Gregor took off again but turned around at the “false” top of the hill. We all regrouped on the final part of the climb and had a slow motion sprint for the final KOM points, Alistair (10), Stan(7), Darren(5), Bronwyn(3) and Gregor(1).
uncharasterictically, we declined to make-good on the coffees that we had earnt and decided to head for home early. welshpool rd was very fast, with the larger (stan and myself) riders using our girth to good effect on the descent, despite some tricky cross winds. Alistair decided to turn off and do crystal brook road just for fun. the rest of us decided to “recover” on the ride home with a nice tailwind to boot.
thanks for the ride and I can deffinitely recommend the new hot mix on ridgehill to all.