Tag Archives: mundaring

Kep Track Sunday 1st August 2010

With the Dwellingup 100km off-road enduro coming up in September I found myself presented with a problem.  I’d ridden my mountain bike exactly once (a 4hr enduro) since the last 100km effort (2010 Karri Cup[1]).  I remember telling myself after the Karri Cup that I’d need to put in some more saddle time on the (near ten year old!) Giant dually before doing something like that again.  The time for action was nigh.

I’d wanted to tick the Kep Track off my list of ‘Rides To Do’ for some time now.  I’d read about Andrew’s expedition and thought I’d like to give it a go.  It’s basically a dirt track that follows the Golden Pipeline from Mundaring Weir to Northam, 75km away.  It’s not technical at all but does provide ample riding distance on dirt which would suit our purpose nicely.  I’m not really into touring and staying in Northam didn’t turn me on so it was put forward that we ride it out and back.  It’s not even hilly but my thinking was that what it lacked in elevation would be made up for in distance.  The Dwellingup100 involves quite a lot of up and down but is only a mere 100km – so surely this would be a good training ride!  A few emails to some interested parties, a short debate on a free weekend and a date settled on.  It’d be good to knock this one over in a day.

By the time Sunday morning rolled around our band of riders had been whittled down to four.   Scott, Lee, Craig and myself rocked up to Mundaring Weir Hotel carpark at 0600 [2] where it was deserted and dark.  Scott and me on dually’s, Lee on his cool Focus hardtail and Craig on his Surly Long Haul Trucker.  After some Mindless Banter™ [3]– mostly about how chilly it was, and jibes about me and Scott not having lights we set off shortly before 0630.

Three of us heading up the road and then we wondered where Scott got to.  He had done this ride before and knew the way.  He did the first half klick on the track whilst we plodded up the road and then joined the track.  Jumpers and jackets were discarded shortly afterwards.  The 7km or so to Mundaring township is mostly wide-ish sniggletrack [4], crosses the road a couple of times and very pleasant to ride, even uphill.  It was dark, with just enough moonlight, and a bit of mist.  A favourite part of any ride, I was just waiting for the Tauntauns to appear out of the white haze…

Negotiated the unsigned dogs-leg at Mt Helena with no hassles thanks to Scott’s prior knowledge.  Most of the track is easy to follow but this intersection could be a trap for first timers.

Past the BMX jump track at  Chidlow The rest of us resisted Craig’s call to ride the jumps.  I’m useless in the air.  Once my bike wheels leave the ground I may as well be a triathlete [5] for all the skill I have.

Section of flat path that was dry but quite bumpy.  In the not too distant past it seems a horse or two had been through here when it was wet and left many hoof marks which had now dried hard.  Kind of like corrugations but different. Certainly not the most pleasant surface to ride on.

Went past Baker’s Hill and it’s over-rated pie shop (IMNSHO) It was somewhere about here that I first started to feel it.  Yes it wasn’t that far into the ride but lack of mtb saddle time and yesterday afternoons racing was reminding me that the effects were still present.

Nearing Clackline there was a fun downhill run ending in a gully across a stream. Video

Six or seven kilometres of deserted road provided Craig with a chance to stretch his Surly’s legs necessitating him to wait for the rest of us at a lovely paddock edge.  Reminded our two ex-pats of Wales apparently.  It is quite scenic in parts and all the sheep were out with their lambs following them about. We continued past the West Northam water tanks followed by a nice run of sniggletrack just before Northam.  A cool, rough downhill, complete with dodgy pipe crossover before a short pathway blat into Northam town centre where the Garmin told me we had done 75km on the dot.

Not much doing in Northam on this lovely sunny Sunday.  I was looking forward to the mountain bikers lunch of choice [6] but was sadly disappointed with what was on offer.  A bakery, a cafe or Chicken Treat.  We settled on the bakery which was empty when we arrived but within a minute of entering it was filled with more than a dozen locals.  Purchases were made and we adjourned to the local park by the river to scoff down our sausage rolls, pies, buns, pastries, milk & Cokes.

After refilling CamelBaks and bottles we headed back out of town and climbed the steepest part of the ride.  The rough track next to the pipeline wasn’t as hard going up as I thought it might be when I was barrelling down it earlier on.

A regroup at the Wales-esque paddock took place before the short roll down the road to Clackline.  We waited there too as it seems Lee had a puncture.  Craig went back to help him out with me and Scott heading off up the track.  It wasn’t too long before Craig and Lee caught, then passed us and we were off the back again.  This might have been the last time I saw Craig until I finished the ride!  Lee I could see in the distance for some time and almost caught him at a road crossing but then he disappeared into the yonder again.  I was really hitting the wall at this point and it was somewhere around the 135km mark that I stopped and waited for Scott.  I was knackered and inhaled my emergency gel.  Scott turned up after a few minutes and we had some more lollies.  A lady rider heading the other way said she hadn’t seen anyone else on the track.  I figured Lee and Craig must’ve finished.  We re-mounted , determined to finish off the day.  I spent most of the remaining kilometres back to Mundaring township yo-yoing off the back of Scott’s wheel.  I perked up once we reached the downhill sniggletrack back to the Hotel and we bombed down it, legs forgetting that we’d already asked 144km of them.  I finished the last of my water somewhere around here.  Rolled into the carpark, band was playing in the pub across the road, with 150km on Mr Garmin.

Craig was waiting for us – and had been for 25 minutes!  Strangely, Lee turned up a few minutes later than us.  Turns out he stopped to fix another flat and then got lost, probably missed the dogs leg mentioned previously at Mt Helena on the way back.

I was completely spent.  I’d drunk 1.5 litres of water on the way out,  3 litres on the way back, a small Coke, sausage roll, small mocha milk, two bananas, two fruit & muesli bars, two Coconut Rough’s and my emergency gel.  It was a bit before 1645, slightly closer to my self-imposed limit of 1700 than I’d planned.

The ride was certainly harder, or perhaps it’d just taken more out of me, than I’d anticipated.  The mission was accomplished (which was to get some time on the dually) but if I was doing this ride again I’d definitely take my commuter (the Salsa ‘crosser of Orangeness).  It’s much better suited for this ride.  Hopefully I’ll get in a couple more sensible rides on the Giant before Dwellingup.

Scott will be along shortly with his version of events and possibly some cool video footage of the final piece of singletrack into Mundaring 🙂

Cheers,
Dave

[1] Karri Cup Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4

[2] “It’s 0600. What’s the O stand for? Oh my God, it’s early!” – Adrian Cronauer, Good Morning Vietnam

[3] Meaningless MTB-OZ reference

[4] Sniggletrack = singletrack

[5] Let the flaming begin… (but if you’d rather read something funny try this)

[6] burger with the workx & caramel milkshake

sunday 1st aug long course hills ride.

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 :).

sunday 1st nov – darlington and mundaring

ride report by peter.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

some other times were –

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

 

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

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

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

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

sunday 27th sept – greenmount, parkerville, mundaring weir

ride report by peter.

 

it has been a long time since i have had to write up a sunday hills ride report.  massive credit to julian who has taken this job upon himself which takes an extra burden off me.  however, an early morning text told me that he would not be making it today, so i thought that i better take note of what went on during the ride.

i would say that we had in excess of 20 riders at the start this morning.  a few had other plans and the doctors went off to do their thing early.  we headed out great eastern and made it as far as the mcdonalds near the airport before josh (i think) had a flat.  a quick change in the carpark also meant that there was a chance for a toilet and drink stop.  i was hankering for an angus burger, but it was before 10:30.  we took a nice convoluted path through midvale/bellevue area to end up back on great eastern hwy and at the base of the climb.  unsure of how i would be climbing today, i was happy to follow any leads and see how the day progressed.

this climb starts off fairly lightly before hitting a more consistent grade which then continues pretty much to where we turn off at the entrance to john forrest national park (jfnp).  there was a decent group that set the pace and i held on for as long as i could.  there were no surges or anything, but i just didn’t really have the legs to go with them.  with about 10 riders in front of me there was no point in trying to catch up as i would blow all my reserves to bridge, then get spat out again.  i noticed a couple of riders had gone off the front of the group and this may have broken things up a bit. 

looking back i found myself pretty much halfway between the two main groups.  i decided to just to set my own pace and try to stay away from any chasers.  i didn’t make up much ground on the guys in front and bruce was starting to gain on me from behind.  i upped the effort slightly over the last couple of hundred metres to make sure he didn’t catch me.

the riders that broke away from the front group were mike b and matty u with mike taking off towards the end to drop matt.

the top five places for greenmount went to –

mike b, matt u, steve h, jerry g, anna k.

we waited for all the riders to make their way up before jerry and mel took off with brodie’s dad who came out with us today.  they needed a quicker day so were heading up gooseberry instead.  we continued on through the rough roads of jfnp towards our next climb.  this road is really crap and i can remember riding the old full aluminium cannondale along it and getting the crap shaken out of me.  davina went off the front to stretch her legs but came back into the fold after a few minutes.  john managed to set the pace well and full credit to him for just plugging away for the majority of that section of road.  we eventually made it to the foot of the oxley climb and started the next climb.

this is a fairly short climb, especially compared to greenmount but it has a section of close to 13% just to make sure that you are concentrating.  we had just passed that section and heading around the corner when i looked around to see who was there.  i realised that i was in the front group and suddenly felt good about climbing again.  it was hurting but sustainable so i though that i may be able to hang in for a while.  that is just the moment that mr bonner attacked with such ferocity that it forced an expletive from my lips.  i had nothing and just watched matty and steve jump on mikes wheel and disappear up the road.  medium alistar and jules were still in front of me and stepped up the pace a bit, but not enough to catch the front three.  credit to jules as he is climbing quite well.  maybe an indication that he should pack that footy thing in and concentrate on riding.

that was pretty much the way it finished too.

oxley – mike b, matty u, big-ring hedley, jules j and medium alistar.

a quick regroup and we headed to parkerville shop for a quick break.  at first there were only a couple of riders heading in but soon half the group followed and grabbed some refreshments.  the road to stoneville is really nice. smooth road and very little traffic.  so much better than how we used to negotiate part of great eastern hwy again.  however the bit from stoneville to mundaring is a bit tighter and with a bit more traffic.  we needed to go single file and even then the traffic was reluctant to come past.  we came out of it unscathed and had a quick regroup in mundaring to endure the group was all together.

our next regroup point was going to be a long way away and there was a nice decent plus a number of steps in the climb before we actually finished.

the group took off quite fast and revelled in the smooth downhill section.  there is a small kick up before the remainder of the decent towards the weir and i attacked as the group slowed to start the climb.  i almost made it to the top, but just ran out of puff before the crest.  this allowed medium alistar to come up alongside and we worked together for a bit.  the gap wasn’t enough and and soon we were joined by the majority of the group all bombing down the hill.  as we weaved our way around the roundabout and twisty roads to the base of the weir, matty and steve moved to the front to try to get a jump on bonner before the climb started.  it is a long climb with a number of smaller climbs after the main drag out of the weir.  in between there are a few flat or slightly downhill sections to give you a break, but also can allow the leaders to get further away. 

the first section is pretty steep and really takes a lot out of you.  there were a number of riders up the road in front of me and new that i couldn’t catch them on the climb.  i set my own pace and picked up a few riders on the way.  by the time i reached the top, i had kind of resigned myself to not catching those up the road.  there was a group coming up behind me and i jumped on behind davina, lisa and a couple of others.  they seemed willing to chase so i joined in to help out.  we managed to pick up a few others on the way and soon we had a decent size group.  i asked some of the others how many more riders were up the road and was surprised when i heard that it was only 2.  bonner and matty.  looking around there was still quite a few points up for grabs and i wondered how well i could go when it came down to the last climb.  as we approached it, shao said that he would give me a leadout for the final climb.  before it started, i noticed that the group was not actually working too well and they were leaving one guy on the front for a long time.  this usually meant that everyone was getting tired and didn’t want to work anymore.

shao took off just after the hill started and i jumped on his wheel.  he put in a great effort and we managed gap the rest of them quite quickly.  i looked back a couple of times, but we had committed now so had to give it my all.  shao eventually slowed so i came around and continued to keep the pressure on.  i left it in the big ring and tried to push for as long as i could to keep away.  i was constantly looking over my shoulder but it seemed that no-one wanted to chase.  my heart rate was close to 190bpm for the rest of the climb but i could see matty in the distance so tried to keep the effort up.  looked back enough to know that i would not be caught so backed off enough so the i would not blow up.  the next two positions were not contested as the group just crossed the line in dribs and drabs.

asher rd – mike b, matty u, pete m, track brett, steve h.

the final climb of the day was almost upon us and there was just a nice decent to negotiate first.  i was leading the group out when davina and young ben came flying past.  i stepped up to join them but ben sat up after a while.  d and i worked together to take up most of the decent, but i ran out of legs about halfway and had to sit up as well.  the group came down in little packs and a few riders got in front of me before the start of the final climb. 

not thinking that i had the legs for a surge and attack, i decided to do one big se effort and left it in the 53×14 for a seated climb.  it was a slow climb but the main group didn’t actually get that far away from me.  in hindsight i probably could have picked up some points, but when i saw mike and matty take off from the start, i thought that i how the climb would go.

mundaring – mike b, matty u, anna k, track brett, ben w.

coffee was a bit slow, but the merchant had no room for us today.  the nice weather has it’s downside as more people want to come out and do brunch.  there was only a few that stayed for coffee and even less that ordered it.  even so, it certainly delayed things for us and the guys had to scull so we could get away in time.

the ride home was interesting.  the decent down welshpool was held up by the wind making for a slow top speed.  davina and john bombed to the bottom and were miles ahead by the time the rest of us reached the traffic lights.  we had not seen the jacobs brothers at the top so pulled into the school to make sure that they got down alright.  it took about three light changes at the hwy before they finally rolled up.  each had a different excuse. one said that the other had seen his gay boyfriend in kalmunda while the other said that the first had trouble on the decent and had to hold his hand as they came down at 40km/h.  ah brothers. 

along welshpool rd it became obvious who still had some legs and a bunch of us just couldn’t go with the group as the pace increased slightly.  we caught up again at the lights of maccas, but only because they waited.  as we turned onto berwick st, davina and lisa took off with john and josh.  john turned off home bu the rest of us really had no legs to chase them down.  we caught them a the next set of lights, but lost them straight away.  it seemed that the girls were making a serious effort to put the rest of us well and truly in the hurt box.  it was working.  the rest of us made it into the carpark after quite a few minutes of rest time at the traffic lights.

so, a great ride today and even though only a handful made it to the end, it was a good solid hit out.  next week will see a few of us heading back to pinjarra for the next cyclo-sportif but there still should be a hills ride on regardless.

sunday 29th mar – the tour of the damned

ride summary by peter.

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

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

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

up coulston the first five were –

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

 

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

sunday 18th jan – greenmount & mundaring weir

ride report by peter

 

a pleasant change from last sunday with the temperature only predicted to be in the low thirties with a fair bit of cloud cover.  i thought that this may bring out some more punters, but the crits and some of the guys “tapering” for the tour down under, meant that numbers were around the 15 mark.  some of the doctors had already organised their own breakaway group and were just going to ride out to helena valley rd with us and continue on to ridgehill rd.  we planned to turn off an tackle greenmount and john forrest national park, before heading to coffee via mundaring weir rd.

the trip out was at a nice cruisy pace and was quite uneventful.  we picked up mike along the way, and with stu and dan already on board, i knew that there wouldn’t be any easy points for me today.  five turned off with the doctors and this left us with just 11 riders as we made out way through the suburban housing estates at the base of greenmount.

once the hill started, we neatly fell into single file but stayed together as a group.  no-one was applying the pressure yet, and i wasn’t going to be the one today.  mike finally got his rubber-band wound up and came to the front with ease.  obviously no heart problems today and he quickly gapped the front of the bunch.  i sprinted to catch his wheel and soon there was a string of the main contenders hanging off his wheel.  a frind of shao’s named bill soon came to the front to show us that he had a bit of climbing ability.  he set the pace in front of mike and was going quite well for quite a while. i soon had to drop the wheel and set my own tempo which was so much less than what the front guys were doing.  i watched as the group overtook bill and fully expected him to drop right off after the effort, but no he held on to the group.  as the road wound up greenmount i saw dan and then judd fall off the back of the group leaving just mike, stu and bill to fight it out.  i kept looking back and saw a small group of paul, mark and john (i think) coming up towards me.  i could also hear a large truck slowly making it’s way up the hill and with us in the left lane, he was blocking traffic in the right lane.  as he came by i saw that it was a double trailer semi carrying a load of stinky arse pigs.  he changed lanes as he overtook me and i got a draft for a few metres.  unfortunately i couldn’t hold on for too long as the smell was unbearable, especially when you are gasping for breath.  i backed off searching for clean air and just grateful that none of the passengers had decided to give me a squirt as they went past.

the small chasing bunch soon overtook me and i sat on their wheel for a while.  paul decided to make a break for it and launched off the front with a few hundred to go.  the other weren’t moving so i sprinted off after him and flew past.  it didn’t last long and he picked me up just as we were turning into the national park.  luckily there were not points at stake for us by then.

mike – 10, stu – 7, bill – 5, judd – 3, dan – 1.

 

a very quick regroup as the smaller group was generally full of experienced riders, and we where off on the rough roads through john forrest national park.  the gates were already open by the time we arrived, so i was hoping the one at the far end was also as we did get a surprise one time.  a small respite from climbing with a quick descent before regrouping at oxley rd to make sure everyone was ready for the next climb.  i went to the front to set the early tempo mainly to make sure that mike or stu didn’t leave me for dead before we got into a rhythm.  as the group approached the base of the climb i heard judd swear as he had not done this climb before and it looks really steep from the start.  stu came up beside me as the hill got steeper and mike and judd were not too far back.  i could still hear judd and mike having a conversation about the climb and i asked stu how they could still be talking as i was gasping for air.  stu said he couldn’t answer as he needed to breath instead.  the climb has two pinches in it and by the time we hit the second one, stu, dan and myself were still holding a gap over mike and judd.  or it may be more realistic to say that mike had not decided to chase us down yet.  the road flattened out and stu, knowing where the finish was, took off.  i couldn’t chase, but dan took off after him.  he ran out of puff just shy of the finish and i managed to take him on the line.

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

 

a nice quiet descent and pleasant ride from parkerville through to stonyville found us crossing the highway at mundaring.  the change in course from what we used to do meant that we now no longer need to ride on the highway at all after we finish greenmount.  it was decided not to regroup after the next mountain points but call “advantage paid” and continue on to the coffee shop.  stu mentioned that he hated the descent into the weir so we tried to play that one to our advantage and hit him hard al the way down.  at the end of the day, we didn’t gain that much advantage and we were all close together by the climb. 

judd had a slight advantage and lead the way up the hill with mark and john close behind.  as the road got steeper, judd got away and stu and myself came around the others i tried to hold stu’s wheel but found that i just couldn’t on the steeper slopes.  mike suddenly flew past and quickly hunted down both stu and judd.  as i watched them head up the hill, i noticed another rider coming up behind me.  it was paul whose climbing has improved a lot lately and pretty soon we were riding the hill together.  dan apparently dropped his chain at the start of the climb and was languishing back with mark a bit further down the hill, but both were holding the gap steady.  as we reached the top of the initial climb, paul and i worked together to limit our losses to the riders ahead, while still trying to keep away from mark and dan.  up ahead we could see that mike had a clear lead over stu and judd who were now working together.

there are a number of small climbs and rolling hills that follow the main drag out of the weir and the official points aren’t until you get right to the top and start the descent into hacketts gully.  it meant a lot of chasing and a lot of being chased.  unfortunately up ahead, mike didn’t know where the top of the climb was so slowed down to wait for stu, who then took him on the line.  as we hit the last small climb, i said to paul to make sure he kept looking behind and just stay away from the others as we were still in the points.  i knew that i had to put in a bit of an effort to make sure i would secure fourth spot and left him behind for the climb.  i kept looking back though and right towards the end, he also made a big effort to keep away from mark and almost caught me at the crest.  however, he held on to get his first mountain points.

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

 

we had seen judd up the road as we were doing the final climbs so i knew that we were not that far behind.  paul and i kept swapping turns to try to catch up and we were flying down the hill.  i had to apologise to paul later as he thought it had started to rain, but it was just the sweat dripping off me and hitting him as we flew down the hill.  i looked back to see mark gaining fast which i knew he would.  i said to paul that they were coming and next moment there was this blur as mark sped past and down the road.  years of riding and racing under his belt has meant that mark can descent at quite a pace.  fitness may determine your climbing abilities, but skill and a big set of kahunas allow you to go fast. 

i had trouble keeping up as we sped around the corners as the road dropped into the valley.  the four of us were basically together as we started the final climb with mark just slightly up the road.  dan accelerated to catch up and i jumped on his wheel.  paul was totally spend from the previous effort to gain points and had to let us go.  the three of us made our way up the hill and i soon found my way to the front as mark eased off the pace a bit.  after a few minutes, i thought that i would test the waters and surged a bit without getting up out of the saddle.  mark put in an effort to get on but it just pissed dan off and he was up and attacking hard.  i jumped on his wheel and he attacked again but i managed to hold on.  i looked back to see mark falling off the pace and just stayed on dan’s wheel.  up ahead we could see the unmistakable figure of judd fighting the climb on his own.  i mentioned it to dan and he said that i was welcome to chase him down, but i was struggling to hold wheel.  as the road flattened out i came to the front and put in a big effort to try to bring judd back.  with dan tucked neatly in my slipstream, we sped up the false flat and onto the last pinch.  judd was just ahead and i was finding my final reserves to hold a decent pace.  right at the end, dan came off my wheel to take fourth place, but judd only got to the top by about 5 – 10 sec.  it seems that mike was not happy about stu taking him on the last climb so absolutely smashed it on the final one so that there was no doubt.

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

 

with only eight of us staying for coffee, it was a nice and quiet affair and service was relatively brisk.  the cooler weather made the stop even nicer and there was even a very slight drip or two of a sun shower on the awning roof.  nothing to dampen the spirits and we were soon off.

a nice bomb of a descent down welshpool had me clocking about 82 as the wind was not totally favourable, and then the time trial along the flat to the highway.  we all did turns at the front but i had nothing left when mark and john went up the road for the finish.  another rider, who we will call longhair (cause he had long hair) turned onto welshpool at hale rd in front of us.  we didn’t chase him down but eventaull caught him coming through queens park.  he sat on us until the lights at leach hwy, but then took off around us once we got going again.  this did not bode well with some of our guys and they just had to chase him down.  this lead to a very long sprint along welshpool rd that my legs were not in the mood to try.  longhair jumped ahead of us at the lights onto albany hwy but we soon turned off on hill view so the chase was over.  the final sprint along berwick was initiated by judd but was foiled by the lights so that it all came together.  most of us came over the rise as a group so it came down to a final burst to maccas which dan convincingly won as no-one else had the legs to chase.

 

so we have a busy week for cycling this week.  tour down under is on tv every night at 6pm on sbs.  perth criterium series will be held this weekend so look forward to some of the girls we ride with competing as well as ryan will be suiting up for the WAR team in the open division.  his first crack at the big time (or a big world of hurt).  also, more importantly, we will be holding our pseudo-agm on saturday to vote in our office bearers for the new club.

sunday 11th jan – gooseberry & kalamunda & mundaring weir

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.

sunday 28th december – mundaring & kalamunda

ride report by mark

Roses are red, violets are blue

Some ride reports rhyme, but this one doesn’t

(Great report for Saturday Pete!)

 

john - new bike syndrome
john - new bike syndrome

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.

the fearless leader - fearlessly leading
the fearless leader - fearlessly leading

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 boys take on a truck
the boys take on a truck

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.

sunday 2nd nov – greenmount and mundaring weir

ride report by peter.

 

an early morning text from chris claiming chain troubles had me heading to the startline a bit earlier that usual.  a pin was had not been put back in properly and was only hanging on by one side of the chain.  not the best thing for a hill climbing day that would place a lot of strain on the chain.  we popped the link out and put on a sram powerlink that i had spare.  it was spare cause i asked for a removable link and they sold me one that once it is on, it doesn’t come off.  not really that removable.  i need the wipperman one next time.

 

with an ideal cycling day predicted, the number of cyclist was sure to exceed expectations and did not disappoint.   we had around thirty turn up ready to go by 7am.  we had a few new faces with ronny trying to get extra points by bringing a friend, jill and the ceo of cycling wa, chris turning up to see how the group runs.  most of the regulars were their but noticeable by his absence was ryan who we think had been scared off after we talked up chris’ climbing ability during the week.  mike was also a no show, so stu and i would have to be carrying the torch for the spr team.  just as we were about to roll out, dr melvyn turned up and told us that darren was just down the bottom of coode st with a flat tyre.  i gave everyone directions and sent them off while steve and myself went to find darren.  dr mark was also down there helping with tyre, but he had it fixed promptly and we were soon on our way. 

 

while the rest of the group headed along angelo st and out onto canning, we passed the roadblock and headed out along mill point rd hoping to connect with them before too long.  as we worked into the wind along great eastern, i was not confident that we would even catch up as we could not see the main group even when the road straightened out.  as we got closer to the airport, we saw them at the top of the rise and managed to catch up just after tonkin hwy.  that was my first effort for the day, and it hurt.

 

we eventually made it out to the base of greenmount and started the hill in earnest.  after a blocking move by our chris, the real pace began to kick in.  it took quite a while and is a testament to the increased climbing skills that the group has developed, but we eventually whittled it down to the final 8 riders.  most had held on for the majority of the hill and it wasn’t until it really steepened up and the pace was on that they began to drop off. 

 

a couple of bends in the road before the finish and i decided to see if i could shake things up a bit and went on the attack.  i got a fair gap before i think steve led the group back to my wheel and i was swamped within sight of the finish.  i explained to everyone where the line was and realising it was that close they all started sprinting for the finish.  i had nothing left and should have timed my attack a bit later.

stu – 10, brendan – 7, chris – 5, jerry – 3, peter – 1.

 

a regroup at the top and we were on our way again.  the winding, rough roads through john forrest always seem to break the group up and i told the guys on the front that we would regroup at oxley road before the next climb.  luckily i did as the call when out that darren had gotten a flat again and was changing it.  i went back to see if he was ok and found him on his own.

 

probably a good time to set the ground rules about what we should do about flat tyres.  if during a climb or descent where it is going to be too hard to pull the group up, then the person closest to the flat tyre should stop to make sure that they have all the right equipment to change it.  anyone else around should continue on and tell the rest of the group that there has been a flat so we can wait at the regroup point.  during a normal transition stage of the ride where we are just cruising along and are easily forming a pack, the call should go out immediately for everyone to stop.  if the person with the flat is on the back of the group then a call forward to stop should be passed down the line and a rider should also come forward to make sure the group knows what is going on. 

 

the reasoning is simple. firstly they may not have all the appropriate tools (which in itself is an offence, but usually punishable by public shame) and secondly they may not know where the hell they are.  we don’t always stick to main roads and some of the newer riders may not have even been on these roads in their cars let alone on a bike.  the worse thing is a triple play of no tools, no mobile coverage and no idea where the hell you are.  it is usually about then that you hear banjo’s playing and billy-joe wanders out of the bush and asks “what y’all doin’ out ‘ere all alone”.

 

so, i checked with darren and since it was his second flat of the day i bludgeoned him to death with his own sub-six kilo bike and left him for the bears.  he was going to find his own way across to mundaring weir road.  i continued down to the regroup point.

 

once there, i explained the hill and where the kom line was for the points.  this was a particularly nasty climb and has some really steep pinches that test the legs.  the move was made early by chris and stu and i tried to go with is for as long as i could, but both put distance into me.  chris danced away from stu and neither of us made up any ground there.  behind me jens was waiting for brendan and steve to make their moves but they never did so he had to attack to make sure that he didn’t have to sprint for the points.  hugh came with him and made up the final points.

chris – 10, stu – 7, peter – 5, heiko – 3, hugh – 1.

 

when we got to the top, julian and nick were already there.  it seems that thay didn’t hear the call to regroup at oxley and thought that they had the points in the bag.  as the group gets bigger, it is important that messages, like regroup points and such, are passed on especially if people move forward to the front of the group.  this message didn’t get through and created a lot of confusion.

 

we soldiered on and took a different route out of parkerville as we headed towards stoneville.  this would allow us to skip the section of great eastern hwy that we usually tackle for about a km.  it was at the turn though parkerville that nick received a puncture and the call went up.  however, he was left to fend for himself which is why the rules of engagement have been set out above.  by the time the message got to the front, there was confusion over who it was, what the problem was and how far back they were.  this unfortunately meant that he was left with no mobile coverage, little tools and a banjo themed soundtrack.

 

the rest of us headed across to mundaring township and onto the weir road.  i needed to stop to explain the next bit as we were not going to regroup until the coffee shop.  there would be two lots of kom points on this next stretch of road and there would not be a regroup after the first.  this meant that any chase group would have to go hard to catch up after the first main climb, and any leaders would have to go hard to stay away.  much like racing really. 

 

a group got together and bombed it down towards the weir.  i was not initially worried as the main climbers were not in attendance, but stu managed to find his way into that group and they had made some ground.  we chased hard and managed to catch him as the climb started.  john had the dubious honour of leading the charge up the hill out of the weir and i was wondering how long that would last for.  before we turned the corner at the carpark brendan had decided to up the pace and soon it was the two of us with stu and chris making up the front runners.  as we hit the corner and the hill hit it’s steepest part, chris attacked and stu didn’t respond.  i sprinted around and got on chris’ wheel but it didn’t last long and i had to watch him disappear up the road. 

 

as the hill flattened out, i sat up and waited for stu as i thought that the two of us had a better chance of catching chris.  we made some ground, but he always pulled away ont eh climbs and by the time we hit the last pinch, there was no way we were going to catch him.  stu put in one last effort and i couldn’t respond so he ended up with the second place on the climb.  i held on for third with a fast finishing brendan taking fourth and heiko rounding out the points.

chris – 10, stu – 7, peter – 5, brendan – 3, heiko – 1.

 

as this was not a regroup spot, i pushed on and headed down the hill.  i was limiting my effort as i was worried about how much i had left in the tank.  brendan scared the utter crap out of me as i flew past on the descent.  no time to react and he was off down the road after stu.  i made sure i kept an eye on the road behind me after that to make sure i didn’t give up any more ground.

 

the final hill was a lonely affair for me but we managed to pass dr paul, dr greg and darren who had found their own way along the course.  there was no way that i was going to catch brendan and stu, so it was just a matter of continually looking back to make sure jens and jerry didn’t catch up.  jens came close on the final pinch, but i made sure i had enough to stay in front.

chris – 10, stu – 7, brendan – 5, peter – 3, heiko – 1.

 

coffee at paris-brest
coffee at paris-brest

the beautiful day meant that the coffee shop was already busy but we managed to make enough people uncomfortable that they moved.   we took over the bottom section of the outdoor area and made a pretty pattern with the tables and chairs.  coffee points went to the following 1 – heiko, jill, dr ronny, lorraine, dr jerry, john, stu, dan, brendan, chris, jules, dr mark, dr carl, dr greg, dr paul, dr melvyn, mike, john, phil, steve, hugh, todd, peter, nick, darren, christophe, paul.

 

during the trip home we kept seeing this couple in a 4wd standing on the side of the road watching us go past.  the first time was weird, the second time was freaky, and on the third time where they were waiting for us at the maccas south perth, jules explained that it was his and dan’s parents.  not really sure why, but i guess it is like going to watch your kids at footy training.  the sprint to the welshpool rd maccas was won by heiko who teamed up with john for a 1-2 punch where john gave a long lead out to make sure the german left everyone behind.  the final sprint to south perth found christophe taking off early but brendan managed to overtake everyone and take the win.

 

so a glorious day weather-wise and a pretty good ride despite the issues with tyres and instructions.  it does however allow us to reiterate the groups guidelines on flat tyres and why we should stop.  remember, we have to look out for each other out there.

sunday 5th oct – welshpool & mundaring & kalamunda

ride report by peter.

 

after a wet day on the bike yesterday we were all looking forward to a nice dry ride and to forecast said it would be so.  however, the lack of cloud cover meant that the temperature bottomed out at around 4 degrees over night even thought we were aiming for a top of 20.  This always causes a dilemma for me as i know that it will be cold for the first part of the ride but hot at the end and i hate to overheat.  we had a smaller than usual group at the start this morning and some of our regulars are away which kept the numbers down to about 15 or so.  a couple of new riders came out and we found out later that this was to be jules’ longest ride he had ever done.  the winner of this years menzies-kalgoorlie race, paul was also coming along with us today.

 

the course took us out welshpool road before heading around mundaring weir and through darlington before heading to coffee via kalamunda road.  all up we were looking at over 100kms and over 1300m of climbing.

 

we rolled out and headed to welshpool via orong road for a change.  the trip was pretty much uneventful though i did discuss the idea of mountain points for each of the main climbs with a few of the guys.  basically to make the climb more “fun” a set number of points are available for the first 5 riders to crest the climb.  on today’s ride there were four “categorised” climbs that would yield points.  welshpool rd, two on the way round mundaring and finally kalamunda rd.  each climb would give 10, 7, 5, 3, 1 points for those places.  at the end of the ride, the points will be accumulated and at the end of the month, the climber of the month will be “awarded”.  this “competition” will continue regardless of whatever races are on.  for example, next week i intend to race the northam classic but since the hills ride will still be on, whomever turns up will still accumulate points.

 

so we hit the bottom of welshpool as a group and proceeded to find our own position in the group.  we strung out fairly quickly and tackled the first section at a reasonable pace.  after the first kink in the road ronny and alistar attacked and managed to gap the group a bit.  with still quite a bit of the hill to go, i wasn’t chasing and followed my plan of sticking to mike’s wheel as he ground his way up.  we eventually picked them up about halfway to the servo and spat ronny out the back.  alistar jumped back on the train and the five of us continued to follow mike’s wheel.  just after the servo ryan attacked and brendan and alistar went with him.  i was still on mike and he wasn’t chasing anyone.  i didn’t feel i had the legs to go anyway and thought i would stick to the tried and true mike method.

 

he continued to grind his way up the false flat section and onto the next pinch.  it didn’t seem to slow him much and he continued up at the same pace leaving me fighting for air by myself.  pretty soon he had caught the front three and they continued on.  by about the third pitch in this part of the climb, brendan had been unhitched from the group and i was making ground on him.  i managed to catch him on the second last bit of hill and saw that ryan had also been dropped by mikes relentless pace.  i gauged the distance and realised that i couldn’t make up that much ground before the end so resigned myself to fourth place. 

 

alistar – 10, mike – 7, ryan – 5, peter – 3, brendan – 1.

 

a regroup at the top and slowly the riders all filtered through.  we were waiting a while for declan and ronny had to go looking for him as we were unsure if he had turned off or not, but he finally made it to the regroup point.  we headed off through the picturesque bickley valley and onto mundaring weir road.  lisa, declan and ronny turned off and up to kalamunda as the rest of us headed towards mundaring weir and onto mundaring township for the next regroup.  this stretch contained two climbs that would yield points and i explained to everyone what was going on with the competition.  it definitely revved a few guys up as there were attacks coming almost straight away as alistar and then paul went hard up the first part of the hill and i jumped on.  we hit a good tempo but were reeled in by the first corner by a sizable group.  it seemed that people were going to push that bit harder for some points.

 

the top of the climb was to be at the intersection of asher rd which was just after the crest of the hill.  to get there, the road would step up a number of times and could be quite draining on the legs.  our pace was nicely high and we slowly dropped riders until it was only the same five as the welshpool climb.  just before the camel farm, ryan attacked and no-one reacted.  i jumped around the group and told him that we had a gap.  he wanted to know if that means we should go faster, but i said that if he keeps us away, i wouldn’t contest the points.  we stayed away.

 

ryan – 10, peter – 7, mike – 5, brendan – 3, alistar – 1.

 

steve soon bridged across to us as we continued downhill towards the weir.  we were riding like it was a race and people were taking turns and occasionally rolling through to keep the pace high.  we picked up another group out training in the hills and they hung onto us for a short time before our pace was too high.  we smashed it down into the weir and up the other side.  staying together well on the climb, it wasn’t until the final pitch up to the round-about that ryan attack and brendan and alistar went with him.  ryan was first to the top and did a victory lap of the round-about while mike turned left and continued onto mundaring township.  i mentioned to them that it was first to the roundabout in mundaring town, not mundaring weir, but they never really listen to instructions anyway. 

 

mike now had a sizable gap on us and the chase was on to bring him back.  unfortunately, getting him back on a hill usually takes a big effort that none of us were willing to make.  we took turns setting the pace and still had him in sight as we crested the last climb.  i was on the front and had just looked at my hr monitor to see it peak at 188 bpm when alistar attacked and tried to get away.  ryan and brendan jumped across and this seemed to take some impetus out of his attack and he slowed enough for me to catch back up.  as we got closer to the final roundabout we had made up some ground on mike but it still looked like he would nail it.  i attacked and made an attempt to bridge across.  brendan and ryan jumped on but alistar swore loundly as we screamed past him.  a moments hesitation from me as we caught mike entering the traffic islands around the round-about and brendan and ryan slipped past me before i managed to also get around mike.

 

brendan – 10, ryan – 7, peter – 5, mike – 3, alistar – 1.

 

the rest of the group all filtered in and i made a point to make the sprint line a bit further up the road as racing into an round-about was not ideal.  we continued onto darlington and most of this was generously downhill and even the uphill sections were taken at a moderate pace.  we came up over ridgehill rd past the base of the zig-zag which was celebrating some type of zig-zag family day.  it meant that we had a couple of impatient motorists behind us that wanted to show how tough they were by passing us very close.  nice.

 

we had to wait for jules once we got back to kalamunda road and this should have been a warning sign to us.  new rider, struggling, says he is alright.  we should have asked about food and drink, but we will get to that afterwards as it was discussed in depth at the coffee shop.  we took off and paul and clare turned for home as did doug.  the rest of us were headed into the final climb. 

 

mike was on the front early and pushed his relentless pace to the point were i fell clear of his wheel.  i dropped back a bit and alistar set the pace for a while to try to minimize the losses to mike.  on the first “plateau” ryan sprinted across to mike and i tried to join him.  alistar was left swearing to himself again but soon caught me as i only made it halfway across.  at the next pinch, he dropped me as i had nothing left to chase with.  i went into damage control mode for the rest of the hill, but kept an eye behind me to make sure brendan or steve didn’t zoom past for the points.  no need to worry as brendan said he bonked on the hill and went into hunger flat.  it was soon rectified at the coffee shop.

 

mike – 10, ryan – 7, alistar – 5, peter – 3, brendan – 1.

 

as we refueled the starving bodies, dr melvyn came in quite late with the new guy, jules.  jules looked like death warmed up and we quickly realised that he had totally hit the wall.  we threw food and drink at him and he then went to order dome stuff inside.  it turns out that it was his first hills ride and also the longest one he has ever done.  he went out with the bike force guys on saturday and they mentioned this ride but said it was pretty hard.  he thought he would have a crack anyway.  with no breakfast, no food and just one bottle of water, he hit the wall on ridgehill road and totally died on kalamunda rd.  we had a big discussion on pre-ride nutrition and what to bring on the ride.  i will have to make an effort to ask any new riders about this before we head out again.  after devouring a coke, hot choc, bread roll, a couple of croissants he was right to go.

 

lisa was still at the coffee shop once we got there but after turning off early she did two repeats of kalamunda road before meeting us for coffee.  so at the end of the day she also managed four pretty big climbs.

 

the return trip was pretty uneventful.  i was talking to jules with brendan and steve in front of us.  we got separated at the lights and never made it back onto the group until vic park.  i lead the group home along berwick and brendan and i kept and eye on ryan to watch him do the “i can’t clip in” thing at the second last set of lights.  we were held up at the final set but when they changed, he shot up the right lane and over the hill.  jens and i chased him but i ran out of puff by the time we came down the hill and watched brendan and steve fly past.  ryan managed to hold everyone off till the end.

 

so, 108kms on my speedo by the time i got home and over 1400m of climbing.  no wonder i am tired.  hopefully this puts me in good stead for the northam classic next week which covers 125kms with five times up the hill leading out of northam. 

 

the final wash up of mountain points were as follows –

 

ryan – 29

mike – 25

peter – 18

alistar – 17

brendan – 15