Tag Archives: peet

sunday 15th mar – kahuna & peet & observatory

ride report by peter.


the predicted top of 38 degrees seemed a long, long way off when i reached the carpark this morning.  a dark overcast day blocked what little light we see before 7am but the temperature did not seem too bad.  a decent field of about 20 odd people with nothing better to do turned up to endure some pain.  with a couple of new faces, some old returning ones and also some prettier ones as we had four girls at the start line.  some regulars like davina and lisa as well as bella and sam.  bella used to ride with the group on saturday years ago.  it was always funny to see a 15 yr old girl beating half the guys in the final sprint along mounts bay road.

the course today was a pretty basic one with a couple of climbs up to rollystone and then the observatory and the final push up to kalamunda.  there were 4 climbs with points today and we would continue the timed climb up mundaring weir road to see how everyone was going.

as we left the carpark, ryan was still getting his bike out of the car.  i told him where we were headed so he could catch up later.  the ride out to albany hwy was easy enough and soon we came across a rider waiting on the side of the road.  it was ryan.  he had taken the “old school” way along berwick rd and out near diesel motors to make it onto albany hwy.  he was quick enough to have to wait for us as we turned off manning rd.  as we progressed along towards maddington, i noticed that mike was not in the group.  i was sure i saw him there at the start, but i was on the front as we rolled out and never saw him again.  i talked to ryan and we were worried that he had slowed down to help ryan, but was left waiting as ryan took a different route.  he is a big boy so we were sure he would have worked it out for himself.

the trip to the base of the kahuna was pretty uneventful until we went to cross the tonkin hwy.  as usual for the mornings, the wind was pouring off the escarpment and straight into our faces.  i was sure it was going to push us backward as the group seemed to be at a standstill.  we eventually got everyone across the road and started the climb.

i was pretty happy to just sit in and see what happens, but some other wanted to assert themselves today.  one of our new guys, ian, took off but i was reluctant to chase as i didn’t know how well he climbed.  jerry took off soon afterwards with a case of “new bike syndrome” and he steered his prince to the front.  i knew i couldn’t let him get too far so jumped across to his wheel.  we set a tempo pace and quite a few riders fell into line behind us.  ryan eventually took off but no-one had the legs to go with so he scampered up the road.  i went around jerry to set my own pace and sat their for a while before julian came around me.  i was a bit taken aback.  he has been improving lately but he is now climbing quite nicely and pretty soon i couldn’t hold his wheel.

in the midsection of the hill there was a bit of yo-yoing with alistar and lindsay before i put in a bit more of an effort to shake them.  as the hill progressed, i made my way back onto julian’s wheel at about the koala park entrance.  julian rode beside me and asked how far to go from here,  quite a bit more i told him.  it was probably close to about a kilometre, but it did flatten out a bit.  i rode tempo for a while to recover and to see whether julian was hurting at all.  we had lost sight of ryan by now as the small twists and turns around the top hide the finish line.  i knew just how far to go so put in a few surges to drop julian for good.  a bit of riding scared kept me away from him until the line.  alistar and lindsay filled the remaining places, while davina out sprinted jerry for sixth place.

ryan – 10, peter – 7, julian – 5, alistar – 3, lindsay – 1.


there was a rebellion at the regroup point and a small bunch took off for an early coffee.  amongst the group was jerry, who must have been upset that davina beat him and his mega-dollar pinarello princess.  the rest of us continued towards rollystone.

a nice descent to start had the girls showing how to take a hill as bella and sam flew past me in pursuit of davina.  i was more worried about the climb and waited until ryan came past on the uphill out of the dip before i made an effort.  a bunch of us rode the first stretch up to peet rd together and to where the hill starts to really hurt.  not far into it, ryan surged and found a easy gap.  no-one had the legs to go with him, but the change in pace pretty much split the field apart.  i ended up riding with lindsay for the majority of the hill, but still tried to shake him with a few changes of pace.  realising that i couldn’t shake him, we continued to the top but saw that ryan was probably too far ahead to catch now.  i looked back and saw julian and davina cresting the hill behind us and making ground fast.  by the time we reached the final straight, there were four of us all vying for the remaining points.  i was on the front and no-one was willing to come around.  i knew how this worked, but i also knew the finish and just what was needed.  however, davina has won a couple of races on this circuit, so i knew that i had to watch if she made a move as well.  i stayed on the front, but didn’t do any real hard effort to push the pace.  ryan was too far ahead to chase down and there was no-one behind that would catch us.  i had my point on the road that i knew that i could sprint from, but it would all come down to whether the others made a move.  i finally went and went hard enough that the others didn’t follow and were content to fight it our for third.  it came down to a sprint between davina and lindsay, with the latter getting it by less than half a wheel.

ryan – 10, peter – 7, lindsay – 5, davina – 3, julian – 1.


we regrouped and chugged along to karragullen for some refreshments before continuing to pickering brook.  a change in the standard route had us entering the observatory climb via repatriation rd. it really just added some variety to the ride and a small hill to negotiate as well. 

the group bunched up well at the start of the climb with john and myself on the front.  the tempo wasn’t too high and people were able to sit in for quite a while.  we made sure that ryan was boxed in behind john on the kerb side so that he couldn’t attack too early.  it was all fun and games until john started to fade and the group split apart a bit.  this allowed ryan a bit of free space, so i thought that i would initiate the move and chucked it up a couple of gears.  a big attack allowed me to get a big gap, but i was running out of steam and ryan was bridging across.  i had to drop back to a tempo ride before i totally popped and everyone past me so eased off a bit.  ryan came up to me and sat on my wheel content to leave it to the end.  i looked back to see who was coming and a small group with julian, lindsay and davina were going to catch us.  i just kept plugging away waiting till the next attack came.  there were the five of us altogether on the false flat before the final pinch when ryan took off.  i sprinted after him only to find myself in serious oxygen debt and fading fast.  julian and lindsay came past to fight it out for second while davina also dropped me to claim fourth.  in my case it was too much with too little in reserve.

ryan – 10, julian – 7, lindsay – 5, davina – 3, peter – 1.


the final climb of the day approached and i explained about the timed hill climb.  where the start and finish were as well as what the current record was.  as the time depended on when you crossed the start line, the mountain points placing were not a good indication of the timing.  especially when half the group had to give way to a 4wd as we went to turn onto mundaring weir rd.  ryan and i started the climb together and i was determined to get a better time than last week.  i set a tempo that i thought i could hold for the entire climb and started to pick up those that managed to get in front of the car.  ryan decided that even though it was a nice tempo, he could do a faster one and took off up the road.  when i came past a small group, davina, alistar and julian jumped on behind me to get a tow for a while.

i continued at my pace and kept looking back to see if there was still a wheel behind me.  for the majority of the bottom part of the climb the three of them sat in but pretty soon only davina was holding on.  after that brick wall that signifies not too far to the flat section, i looked down to see no wheel at all behind me.  i continued along but was cognisant of the fact that i was starting to run out of reserves.  i hit the flattish section in the big ring, but by then alistar and davina had battled their way back to be with me.  alistar set the pace but i soon took over as i still wanted a good time.  we hit the last pinch and i tried to keep the pace high, but was soon forced into the small ring.  knowing that i would be jumped before the line, i ploughed on ahead until they both sprinted for the speed sign and finish line.  it was close, but davina managed to take alistar on the line by about half a wheel.  i struggled on watching my time tick further past my pb until i crossed the line.  julian brought it in for fifth.

ryan – 10, davina – 7, alistar – 5, peter – 3, julian – 1.


we turned up to coffee just as jerry and the  “princess” group was leaving so we secured their table.  i was feeling like crap after such a sustained effort but managed to down most of my chocolate croissant.  it was good to see the girls riding so well with davina fighting for the points and lisa climbing so well lately.  they both have the same coach, so he must be doing something right.

the ride home was quite uneventful with some fast descents on welshpool adding to the fun.  a couple of breakaways on the sprint to the first maccas saw ryan and alistar take off with lisa having enough energy to try to chase them down as well. 

the expected high temperature did not affect the ride as it didn’t peak till almost 5pm making our part of the day quite pleasant.  with the freeway bikehike next weekend i expect that the sunday ride will be just as popular with those that have endured the chaos that is a few thousand weekend riders that all think they are a top pro sprinter.

Sunday 25th January – Kahuna, Peet, Canning Mills, up,up up…

ride report by mark

pete asked me to write the blog up, as he is up to his ears in new family and new cycling club stuff. fair request i thought. As for me, no real excuse for being late with the write up.

i arrived early  on sunday for a change, and was pleased to see about 18 – 20 including a good compliment of medical specialists as usual, and pete! we headed out with peter and brendan leading till well into albany hwy, and thereafter steady rotations in front at around 28 -31km/h. there was a moderate to strong headwind all the way to the first hill; kahuna.

it’s a good steady climb – i started out near the front and watched them come past; peter, stu, brendan, warren, dan, etc. then jon b and i rode together for a while – which is becoming a pattern. near the top i thought he was on my tail, and tried to get away, but it was actually shao (sp?) and he passed me easily as he chased the leaders. points at the top were: brendan – 10, stu – 7, warren – 5, bill – 3, peter – 1.

i think i was 7th at the top of the hill, mainly due to the absence of ryan (racing), michael b (heart surgery – fair excuse) and dr jerry (chasing lance at tour down under). we had to whistle really loudly to stop dr carl from going straight over the top – he looked like he was on a mission in search for coffee; in the drops, head down and in the zone. the group was down to about twelve riders by that stage, with the short riders taking on of the earlier hills straight up to the coffee shop.

then the dog-leg via chevin, and the great downhill of urch, before the horror uphill of peet.  luckily i had a head start from the downhill, but as usual it was not enough. for a while i actually thought i may be in the points there. i hung in with the front bunch till past the top of the steep bit, but then it just got too hard (read “i didn’t want it badly enough”) and i fell back. that was ok; i was still in 5th position and in the running for my first point of 2009. then warren came past, and i thought i might latch onto him, and chase the group for some serious points; but he made it clear that he was on a chase, not a rescue mission. i watched him and my one point disappear up the hill to rolystone high school.

brendan – 10, peter – 7, dan – 5, warren – 3, stu – 1


we regrouped, and then headed down the hill to the t-junction at brookton hwy; and turned right. the first time i’d ever done that before, and the first time for many by the sound of it. going all the way down brookton was a strange experience, and it seems like a completely different road to the one we’re used to climbing. but it was hell-fun for a downhill junkie like myself, and it seemed to go on forever. then up the back of the hill for a steep steady climb to the chevin rd turnoff again.

i think that is one of the best climbing hills in perth for a cyclist; it feels like a shorter version of an alpine ascent to me, and one seldom sees a car on the road. great steady winding road, lots of shade, and a steady 7-10% climb. i settled into my own rhythm, and tried to keep it there till pete passed me. being a boy on a push bike, tried to follow, but didn’t have the legs to stay. then along came some big fella dressed in white, on an all white bike with no labels. i don’t know who he was, but he ended up joining us at the coffee shop. i followed him for a while till we caught and passed pete. then he left pete and i to battle it out as he went ahead. i was in a mood to play, so i passed pete and chased the white knight, only to run out of steam, and watch pete roar by me a few hundred meters from the top.  i coasted up in about 6th or 7th again; whilst the order up front was: brendan – 10, bill – 7, warren – 5, stu & dan – 2 (deadheat)

we regrouped, and carried on straight over the undulations that took us back towards canning road. i remembered the road well from a cyclo-sportif event we did there a year and some ago.  we were all together as we went through bickley valley, and took the usual old route to the bottom of mundaring weir road. brendan and i took the corner first, and i sat on his wheel for a few hundred meters until the others caught us. surprisingly i hung on almost until the hill flattens out before the long false flat. i really thought i may be in the points, until i looked down at my heart rate which was 192.  i felt the imaginary elastic band connecting me to the group snap, and made a loud “ping” sound as i exited off the back. so no race up the last bit of the climb for me, but i was happy that i’d felt fine on all the climbs on the day. for those in front; the points at the top were: brendan – 10, stu – 7, warren – 5, bill – 3, dan – 1

i don’t know how many meters we ascended, but i’d guess it was around 1500; a good ride by any standard. the coffee was great as usual, but the croissant was overdone for the second week running; one more and we will have to register a complaint in writing! at least the service was good this week.

the ride back home was pleasant and uneventful; just a little too warm at around 35 degrees.  the sprint to the first set of lights at the bottom of welshpool road is becoming increasingly competitive, with john b being the current favourite.

we chased and caught a fit looking rider on a cervelo t3 bike on the way to leach hwy, and kept a brisk pace all the way to albany hwy. then i left to make my way home via manning, only to find that the freeway bike path between canning and mt henry was closed, so i had to do an extra few km via mt pleasant. not a bad detour, but i felt hot and thirsty, and didn’t need the extra km at that stage. it was at the rowing club in that i passed dr ronnie, wearing leggings and long sleeves – i don’t get it.

another great ride with the bunch. also the end of my slack cycling phase, which has lasted since i got back from vietnam in october. next week i officially start training harder; the goal is to contest at least one hill each sunday by march. they say if you make your goals public, you have a better chance of achieving them. this is as public as i get!

see you next week

sunday 4th jan – carradine & peet & observatory

ride report by peter.


hark the herald angels sing i got permission to go on a sunday ride.  with number 2 not even 3 weeks old, i was on the bike with mum at home with the boys.  to paraphrase off some old poem – ‘ask not the reason why’.  just get on the bike and go go go.

so off to the start and there was already a group of familiar and non-familiar faces ready to go.  a lot of surprised looks when i turned up, especially after riding yesterday too, but i think mark was glad that he didn’t have to blog this week.  we were off to mt nasura and roleystone today with the return trip via the observatory.  being the first weekend of january, the slate was clean as far as mountain points was concerned and with five climbs scheduled today, there were maximum points available.

between 20 – 25 riders were out with us today and the gentle breeze made it interesting, but not unpleasant as we made our way down albany hwy.  we picked up a couple more along the way with mike and nev joining in enroute.  as we crossed brookton hwy, however, nev peeled off to do his own thing, while the rest of us climbed up towards carawatha. 

ronny was off the front early trying to get a break, but ryan was having none of it and must have been looking to recover the polka dot jersey that he has neglected for a couple of months.  i chased hard to get his wheel as i thought that i may be able to hold on if i get far enough ahead on the shallower part of the climb.  once the road really kicked up, ryan showed a clean pair of heels and i was left to see how much fitness i have lost.  ronny came past me and was pushing hard on the very heavy borrowed bike to stay ahead of the pack.  pretty soon ben, gregor and stu also picked me up and maybe even a couple of others.  by then it didn’t matter as we were all out of the points.

ryan – 10, ronny – 7, ben – 5, gregor – 3, stu – 1.


a quick regroup and we headed down the hill and onto the next climb of carradine.  nowhere near as steep but much longer and with a road surface that could only be described as crap, this is one of my favourite climbs.  i think that it is because the gradient allows most people a chance to stay on, so you have to do a bunch of attacks to get away or to break some people off.  a new rider (to me anyway) andrew, who is a friend of gregor, headed out to set the pace early.  the rest of the group lined up behind as we tackled the early slopes of the climb.  john came to the front as well and paced it with andrew, but no real attacks as yet.  once the road turned rough, it was more a matter of finding the right line, and people hunted for that elusive smooth patch.  i looked back and saw that the majority of the group was still together so i thought i should shake things up a bit.  a bit of an attack with ryan in tow and we had a gap on the field.  i stayed on the front for a while but ryan eventually came around as my resolve was beginning to fade. 

ben and stu bridged across and i had to let them go but attempted to keep them in sight for as long as possible.  dan then jumped across and sprinted to catch the other three.  i just marked time, pedaling a tempo that i knew that i could maintain till the end.  andrew and, i think, john caught up with me and i sat on the back for a while as the road flattened then pitched up again.  knowing the roads has an advantage and i could judge my final effort to the end.  on the second last kick, i came around the guys and put myself in no-mans land in fifth place which i managed to hold on to the end.

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


a regroup at the top and chance to drip sweat all over the road as the weather was certainly heating up.  as mentioned in previous posts, the waiting time has reduced significantly as the group has improved so much in the hills.  however, while we were stuffing around, lisa, lorraine and ronny decided to take off to get a head start on the rest of the group.  we slowly pulled out and were quite spread along the road as we headed along canns road.  now the trick to getting a headstart is to actually know where you are going.  by the time i reached the turn to soldiers rd, half the group had gone straight.  some of them were sitting up as they realised that they maybe should have turned.  i turned as did the others behind me and we laughed at the rest with poor navigational skills.  as the group got back together, i slowed down to see if we had missed anyone.  lisa, lorraine and ronny were notably absent and i wondered whether they had planned to go a different route and had taken off early because of it.  oh well, not going to head back to chase them down now, so we pressed on.  the descent along soldiers rd was as usual a pleasure and again, knowing the roads meant that i could take some of the corners a bit faster and over take half the field.  at the regroup it seems that judd had lost a bottle from his arse-cage behind the seat on one of the rougher corners.  another spr collectors bottle loose in the wide world.  while we were stopped, the phone rang and it was lorriane.  it seems that they realised that they had gone the wrong way when they almost ended up back at the base of the last climb.  giving a few directions, we said that we would meet them later at the coffee shop if not before.

the climb up peet rd was going to be a new experience for a couple of our latest additions so i tried to explain how easy it was going to be.  i don’t think they believed me.  judd and another dan took the early mark and headed down brookton hwy and off home, while the rest of us jumped across to peet rd.  a bit of traffic split the group and this gave ryan a bit of an advantage as the hill starts almost instantaneously.  in my current condition, i knew that there was no way i would be able to catch him on the climb let alone stay with him, so i set tempo and did the hill at my pace.  i just ground my way up the steeper sections and just tried to make sure i didn’t lose much ground to mike and dan who were up ahead.

as the road finally eased off a bit i kept the effort the same and managed to catch those two just before the downhill.  not wanting to lose my momentum, i went straight around and kept the effort going down towards the corner.  once the road pitched up again slightly, dan attacked and i had nothing to go with him.  mike came around and jumped on his wheel but i just had to watch them go.  up ahead, i could see ryan had a clear gap over ben and stu, but it looked like it would come down to a sprint for second.  i counted back to see that i was outside the points and realised that i had no legs to make up the ground that i had lost so resigned myself to just finishing.  a couple of guys came past on the final pinch up to roleystone highschool, but by then i didn’t care.  it seems that ben and mike got the better of their respective climbing buddies to take out the minor places.

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


we cruised along to the karagullen servo for a refill and to see if lorraine et al would be turning up.  after waiting a while and allowing time for refill, refuel and re re re, well taking a leak, we headed off to the observatory.  a nice pace was set and it allowed a reprieve as there were two climbs remaining.  we used to smash it along this stretch of road, but since there are no points set on the small climbs, everyone pretty much takes it easy.  i was suffering big time once we hit the rolling hills and dropped right back so that i was actually last to arrive. 

at the regroup simon turned off and headed straight for coffee.  the rest of us headed into pickering brook and to the base of the observatory climb.  i moved to the mid pack to make sure i didn’t get dropped straight away, but the effort of even doing that clean my legs of any real challenge.  the pace wasn’t even on and i couldn’t keep up.  i started to set tempo but had a look around and saw todd one of the new guys so i dropped back to have a chat with him.  it seems todd is a friend of tim (pronounced “tum”) who is a friend of alistar the ex-sandshoe riding young fella.  it’s good to see the “invite a friend” system works and whatever is being said about our group means that people are wanting to come and ride with us.  anyway, up ahead ryan had his own way again.

ryan – 10, stu – 7, ben – 5, andrew – 3, dan – 1.


final regroup and everyone was keen to hit the coffeeshop.  a quick descent allowed me to discover that my new chain and old cluster were not meshing too well at the high end of town.  a problem i will have to rectify before my next ride…whenever that will be.  straight up lawnbrook and straight away my legs didn’t want to play.  the big boys took off and i was left to ponder my own mortality.  not pondering for too long as the cramps in my left quad kind of took my mind to other matters.  i was already in the easiest gear and was seated, and was spinning as fast as i could (up that hill is pretty slow spinning).  next plan was to start using my right leg to pull up (use the hamstring instead) and then compensate by pulling up with my left on the other side of the spin.  this is kind of like the “pat your head and rub your stomach” thing.  it can be done, but you really need to concentrate.  anyway, it got me up the climb and onto the flatish section for the final run.  not last this time but not far off. 

ryan – 10, ben – 7, stu – 5, dan – 3, andrew – 1.


off to the coffee shop for a well deserved rest only to discover how late we were meant how busy it was.  by the time i got it all together, the line was out the door so i followed ronny’s example and went next door for an ice-cream.  simon was still there and the group had seen lorraine’s group go past as they were waiting at the end of the last climb.  tum’s group had peeled off after the last climb and mike had headed home.  a previous winner of the prestigious spr mountain jersey, mike was suffering from a bit of a heart condition today and had it “flutter” a few times at up to 236bpm.  he generally has to take it easy for a bit to calm it down.  however, it didn’t stop him from kicking my arse on peet road. 

coffee eventually came along with many a jug of water to account for the hot and getting hotter day.  service was slow as they were so busy so we were late leaving kalamunda.  this combined with a plus 100km ride with 5 climbs meant that i was going to be pretty close to the end of my leave pass by the time i got home.  the descent down lesmurdie rd was punctuated by that little climb about half way down that found me off the back of the group.  my legs had not ridden this far in over a month and i was really, really suffering.  it would be damage control all the way home.

i managed to catch up some of them at the welshpool rd intersection and then got into a nice enough tuck to overtake a few more bombing down the hill at plus 80kph.  however, the usual time trial along the flat was absent from my quiver and i just hung on as best i could.

a nice pace was set towards home and only ryan went for the sprint to the maccas at the end of welshpool, so i guess he is a winner then.  my leave pass expired with a phone call along berwick st and i peeled off to get home asap so missed the final sprint action.  my money was still on ryan though.

so the first hills ride for 2009 and ryan picked up all the major points.  lorraine’s crew managed to find judd’s drink bottle and retrieved it for him so it didn’t end up like john’s, ronny’s and bill’s squashed on the road somewhere.  i was glad to get out, but so disappointed in how much form i had lost.  i guess that is the sacrifice we make, but i hope to get out again soon.

sunday 27th july – carridine & peet & observatory

well the forecast said bad and radar confirmed it’s badness, but i didn’t care as it was not raining as i left the house. the road was a bit wet and it was still dark, but at least it was not cold…yet. the forecast was for strong winds and a 90% chance of 20 – 40 mm of rain. basically all the ingredients for an absolutely crappy bike ride. i was wearing my vest, but was also carrying my rain jacket as it folded up into bum bag and fitted snuggly under the vest.

i was running a bit late and hurried to make it to the start. i was afraid of what i would find. the things that run through your mind in this situation are very insightful. if no-one else was there, would i go home, would i still do the hills, would i just cut a lap of the river instead. i didn’t need to worry myself as there were two lonely riders waiting in the dark as i arrived. ben and declan were looking lonely and very soon, stu also turned up. we waited around for a bit longer to see if any stragglers would brave the weather but soon realised that we would be the only ones.

so were we the hardcore ones??? were we the stupid ones??? or were all the others just a bunch of pussies that made some excuse about having to wash their big girls blouses???

so the four of us rolled out into the spitting rain. it wasn’t coming down hard and was hardly a concern at all. however, it still took quite a bit of will power, not to turn off as we came within a few hundred metres of home. declan was not going all the way with us today as he usually doesn’t do the hills ride, but was just looking for some extra km’s. the plan was for him to ride with us to the base of the hills then he would find his own way back to perth. taking the new standard route out to albany hwy, i pulled over as we hit manning rd to put my rain jacket on. it wasn’t coming down any harder, but i figured that i would try to stay as dry as possible.

a very sedate ride down to mt nasura and as we turned off to tackle carrawatha, declan kept going to return via armidale rd and the freeway. so we were down to three, which meant that we would probably just tackle the climbs at our own pace rather than trying to smash each other. ben led the climb and as it kicked up for the second steeper half of the hill, i started falling back. stu was on his old tommasini rather than his cervelo and was having some issues with gear selection. he still came around me as though as i struggled up the 13% section of the hill.

very little waiting needed today and the guys just had to ease off a bit before starting their descent. we then turned up carradine rd and started plugging our way up the rough roads. we basically stuck together to the top with myself just falling off the back on the last little bit of the climb. at the top, a call of nature struck us all and we all found a cubicle in the bush toilet. i gave my vest to ben who only had his jersey to protect himself from wind chill. my rain jacket wasn’t going anywhere for now as it was keeping me dry and warm. a change of plans from the original route and we decided to forego the canning dam route in favour of the climb up peet rd. the threat of crappy weather, and the fact that the ride past the dam gives us no chance of any options, forced us to skip it all together. instead we would have a wet and potentially slippery ride down soldiers rd then a nice an gentle 10% ascent of peet rd.

the descent wasn’t that bad as we took it easy and there was no traffic. surprisingly enough, no-one else thought it was a good day to go outside either. we started on peet rd and set a fairly nice pace. i dropped off on the second steeper section but managed to claw my way back as it flattened out a bit. down the other side and up past roleystone high school to head out brookton hwy.

we past the site of the accident a few weeks ago and it is lucky that no-one had to place any little white crosses on the side of the road. it made me worry when i heard cars coming up the hill behind us.

nice pace setting along to pickering brook and we decided to throw in the observatory climb as well. a slight detour along repatriation rd made a change but still turned us out at the base of the climb. i stayed with both of them until the second half of the climb when i struggled to keep the pace. we regrouped at the top and came down the other side to only go straight back up lawnbrook. again the climb left me wanting and i fell back. at one point ben had to double back to pick up his glasses or something and this allowed me to catch up with him. we rode together the rest of the way and met back up with stu at the end of the road.

no coffee shop for us today and we headed straight down lesmurdie rd and onto welshpool. the combination of the wind and wet roads made it not the most comfortable descent and stu said his bike got the speed wobbles towards the end. with no antagonists in the “group” the remaining ride was quite sedate.

at the end of the end of the day, there was not a lo of rain to be encountered. the official perth weather station only recorded 1.6 mm during the time that we were out. the main down pour came at lunchtime but we were home well and truly before that. overall the 6.8 mm was nowhere near the predicted rainfall.

so, just under 100 kms and just over 1300m of climbing to round out the morning. a bit disappointing with the turn out, but not surprising really due to the forecast. it is winter after all but you can still ride when it is raining. i guess it just shows who is committed or more likely, who needs to be committed due to a poor mental state. it was a good ride though as we ground out the kms and did the climbs. a little bit of rain builds character.

sunday 20th july – kahuna & peet & canning mills

ride report by peter
video to follow.

with the mercury under 2 degrees at 7 this morning, i was expecting a poor showing. with the course i had mapped out for this ride, i was also expecting a poor showing. i was pleasantly surprised to see close to 20 toe the line ready for a big day. the course today was a bit of a monster and took in a number of the hard climbs around roleystone. first we would tackle the kahuna before taking on peet rd up to the high school. a descent down brookton hwy would bring us out at the bottom of canning mills rd which would take us back to the top of the kahuna. a trek along the top before dropping through bickley valley and back up mundaring weir rd to kalamunda. four major climbs would make this a decent effort for the morning.

we were about to head off sans ryan again, when young jordan from a couple of weeks ago turns up in a ute. he gets out all kitted up and his “driver” takes the bike out of the tray and he is ready to roll. we all wish we had a support crew like that. as we turned onto mill point rd, ryan turns up just in time…again. as we make our way through the suburbs, i notice that rachael was no longer with us. i’m guessing she heard today’s route and opted for an easier day. i could be wrong and maybe she thought it was too easy and went to find some harder hills.

we eventually hit albany hwy and worked our way down towards gosnells. we had briefly lost john to a call of nature and i was thinking much the same thing. just after the road bridged over roe hwy, i ducked off behind a bus shelter and into the bushes. what seemed like a good kilo lighter, i chased for a bit to get back on the group just as they were coming through maddington. a good stop for me as i lessened the weight i was going to carry up the hill and the chase put some warmth back into my fingers and a bit in my toes.

we turned up mills rd west and picked up doug along the way. the kahuna loomed above us and i let the fast boys know where we were going to regroup. jordan left it in the big ring and started grinding his way up. i managed to hold his wheel for a while before a gap appeared and the guys behind moved around to fill it. i couldn’t maintain and had to let them go. i watched jordan tow matt, robbie, ryan and rob towards the top. i was stuck in no-mans land with no riders to be seen i managed to keep ahead of the one behind, but could not make ground on the guys up the road. stu started at the back of the pack and was working his way through. he easily dispatched me and worked his way to the front group. from what i could see, he didn’t quite make it but caught rob who had dropped off the pace. apparently jordan could not hold the big ring for the whole climb and had to drop it back a notch. ryan claims that he took him at the top, but i am not sure of the context. i am assuming he was talking about the race to the top… on the bike… who knows.

we regrouped at the turn and bid farewell to jordan who was only using our ride as a gap filler before his shop one started at nine. we traveled down urch and started our next climb after a short sharp descent. i left it in the big ring and tried to power up the other side. unfortunately, the other side is quite long and i started to run out of puff. ryan came past and i jumped on his wheel. as the climb progressed, we shook off mel and bella who relished the descent, but mat and robbie were not far behind.

we turned up peet rd and ryan set a decent tempo. to hard for me, he gapped me and i had to let him go. robbie, with his bouncy style, hopped up the road and onto ryans wheel. i was again caught in the middle but managed to stay away from any of the chasers. on the descent, i eased off enough for mel and rob to catch up. as peet rd became raeburn and the road starts to climb again, rob came to the front and stepped up the pace. it was enough to shake mel but i just sat neatly on his wheel. as we approached the state champs finish line at roleystone highschool, we were caught by another couple of riders and my memory is vague, but i think it was stu and mat. taking off from the same spot as the state champs masters race, i came around rob, who was spent from too much time on the front, and took line honors in our group. as the group came in, melvyn started to make excuses about spending the last couple of weeks in spain not riding. he was going to take a short-cut, but through the power of peer pressure, we convinced him to keep going.

up this high, the fog had rolled in and we could not see very far at all. we were going to take a right turn across brookton hwy not very far from where the accident happened last week. mat and phil were riding with that group last week, but as most of them were off the bike, they were out with us instead. we stopped at the intersection and allowed people to put their flashing lights on, just to be safe. you could hear the cars coming, but not see them properly at all. we listened for a break in traffic and headed off for our descent. we kept a single file all the way down and the road was not really conducive to high speeds as it continually flattens out. we past a couple of groups heading up the hill and it surprised me how many were out in the cold weather.

speaking of cold, it was so cold that i got an ice-cream headache on the way down. the fog turned out to be more like low cloud as it wasn’t to be seen after we were halfway down the hill. doug and i swapped off turns to keep the pace high and we led the train to the bottom. we turned right just before we hit albany hwy and regrouped before heading to the base of canning mills rd. this climb has been used as the perth hill climb championships as it is a fairly consistent gradient to the top. it basically heads up for around 2 ½ kms at just under 9 % before flattening to 2.5 % for a further 2 kms.

i was on the front as we started the climb as people did not know where to go and managed to gap the field a bit. after the previous efforts i was not sure how i would go, but i preferred to be chased rather than chasing. i held off the boys for quite a while but was caught by ryan, robbie and mat. i still managed to hold wheel for a bit as ryan was still grinding big gears today so was not out to sprint off on everyone. stu caught up with us and came around. robbie chased him down and took off up the road. stu held a gap to us, but mat, ryan and i all kind of stayed together for the majority of the climb.

once the road flattened out, ryan and i stepped on the pace to catch up with stu. matt was spat out the back and had to fend for himself, while robbie was long gone. the climb really sorted the field out as it took quite a while for all the riders to filter back in for the regroup.

we headed across to canning rd through the windy track that is the extension of canning mills rd. mr dickhead was driving a old crappy sedan today as he sped up to pass us only to turn right into a driveway just after. he couldn’t have waited that extra 5 sec. as we waited to regroup on canning rd, the “mid-life crisis harley Davidson club” came past with about 50 or so riders. apart from that, it was a fairly uneventful trip with just the usual attacks on t
he rolling hills heading towards pickering brook.

on our final regroup, a number of riders opted for the straight to the coffee shop route or straight down welshpool rd and home. the rest of us were going to head back up mundaring weir rd. as we went to turn onto glenisla rd, we were held up by the “mid-life crisis huge 4wd club” as about 50 of the damn things were coming the other way. this gave stu and doug a headstart as they managed to get through the turn beforehand.

we didn’t really chase and they held their advantage as we came down the glenisla hill at 70 kmph. mel the daredevil flew past me as i must have been holding her up.

when the climb started up mundaring weir rd, ryan took off like a scalded cat in a bid to try to catch stu. a paced myself up with robbie and rob and we caught ryan who had eased off once he caught stu. no lead change for the majority of the climb as we all sat in a line behind stu. as we came towards the top of the steeper section, ryan started dicking around with his gears. he was trying to get it into the big ring, but it wouldn’t go in. in the meantime, stu was continuing to grind away up the hill and had started to gap us again. i yelled some abuse at ryan, and told robbie, who was on his wheel, to go around him as he was slowing us down. rob, who was behind me, thought that i was talking to him so he came around all of us to chase down stu.

once we hit the flattish section i came to the front to lead out the group into the final climb. when we were just about there, ryan shot past like a bout of gastro (very fluid, but not much substance). the rest of the guys came around me to try to chase him down, while i was left to complete the climb on my own.

a nice pleasant coffee stop today as it was not that cold sitting outside. there were lots of groups of riders also replenishing their carbo and caffeine supplies at kalamunda and a few familiar faces were seen. we set off for the run home and i had a good descent on welshpool rd. i had to come around ryan towards the bottom and topped out at 79km/h. bella beat everyone hitting about 81 km/h.

as we turned onto welshpool proper, ryan informed us we had a few passengers. the glenn parker group that jordan had left us to meet up with had caught us after the coffee and was now attached to our group. we started rolling through to share the load and made our way back to albany hwy. the glenn parker boys turned off there and we made our way along berwick.

ryan led the pack from kent rd lights along berwick where we were heading towards our final sprint. i said to him that he should lead out and then sprint to make sure he had to work hard. we got caught at george st lights and he started dicking around with his gears again. his usual tactic to force someone else to lead out. screw this i thought and took off from the lights hard. i managed a gap quickly and pushed hard over the small hill. maxing out the heart rate at 188 bpm i eased off a bit as i crested and coasted down the hill a bit for recovery. i put the power down again and kept looking back to see if i would be caught. the only riders i could see were a fair way back so i guessed that i was safe. sitting up and cruising in i was past just at the end by a 4wd. sucking along behind at 60 km/h was ryan who claimed line honours. unfortunately he received too much outside assistance and has been relegated to last place. shame, ryan, shame. it’s almost as bad as doping.

so a good ride but definitely a tough morning in the saddle. just over 100 kms by the time i got home and over 1300m of climbing. my form seems to be coming back slowly but surely, however, the late night tour de france coverage is still playing havoc.

sunday 6th july – patterson & peet & observatory

ride report by peter.

well a freezing start to the morning and i was fully expecting that i would be the only idiot to toe the line. i was really surprised to find close to 20 riders all rugged up and ready to roll by the time i turned up there. the official temp for perth city was 0.9 deg at 7:30 which would have to be the coldest start we have had for a long time. i was wondering what the temp would be somewhere like antarctica and should we really be complaining. the davis base on the frozen continent reached -15.7 at 9:00am. it sounds cold and we should probably not complain, but i was sure i could have easily snapped my fingers off if i hit them against the handlebars. either that or my bars would break.

anyway, we had a good group with a couple of newbies and special guests so i knew it would be an interesting ride. josie (team flexpoint) was back on break from racing in europe and had brought her boyfriend, cj (slipstream-chipotle) along for the ride. we also had jordan who is a young “a” grade rider from perth and a couple of the top younger female cyclists in perth in mel and bella. to round it out, we had a bunch of our usual cast to balance the entire group’s ability back to average.

the course today would be a brutal one in any weather, but the freezing temps made it even more difficult. we would travel down towards armadale before turning up brookton hwy for a short spell to lead us to the foot of our first climb. patterson rd is a short-ish climb that would make for a good finish in a one-day classic in belgium. i have renamed this hill and i will explain why later. after that heart starter, we then travel up canns rd before taking a quick decent down soldiers rd which takes us back to brookton hwy. across the road to peet but we don’t climb right to the top instead turn up urch and meet up at the top of the kahuna climb. travel the usual way back to pickering brook, before heading up around the observatory and then up mundaring weir rd to kalamunda. so with five main climbs plus some bonus’ it will be a loooong but productive day.

so we were about to roll out and carlo had to duck off for a quick pee but we eventually set off to try to get warm. it was interesting, as we past through suburbia, how the temperature changed as we ran through dips and hollows. i had opted out of leg warmers but had double gloves and booty covers on as well as a wind proof jacket. my legs were not too bad but by the time we got down to kelmscott, i couldn’t feel my fingers or toes properly. it actually made it hard to change gears as i couldn’t feel which lever i was touching.

just before kelmscott we had to slow the pace right down. carlo needed another pee. instead of stopping to watch him, we just dropped the pace right down to allow him time to chase back on.

we did a short stint on brookton hwy before turning off behind the big orange shed to encounter the hell that is patterson rd, mt nasura. usually we head up over carawatha, but this gives a slight variation and a much harder climb. the whole climb is probably just over 500 metres, but kicks up so sharply that if you stall the bike, you will have trouble getting started again. rob and jordan were at the front as the road turned and some people got their first glimpse of the hill. it is instantly into the easiest gear you have and just grind it out till you hit the top. i was struggling from the start and the one hour ride to get to this point had not really warmed me up much. it may have had something to do with the cold morning…

anyway, i was past by a number of riders but was grateful that when cj past by he commented on the steepness of the hill. it was good to know that even a pro can find our climbs hard. well probably not hard, but challenging. it was hard for me and i watched jordan, cj and ryan fight it out for line honors as they crested the hill and rode out of sight. my arms were hurting from pulling up on the bars so much but i managed to grind it out and reach the top. after finding a patch of sunlight to try to thaw, we regrouped and headed to the next bit of fun. as for the name, this hill will now be known as the f_ckinberg.

canns rd was our next climb and we all started it together in a nice pack. from the front, rob and myself began to up the pace until we split the pack in two. jordan eventually came around and began to step up the pace further. i’m not sure what it was but i started to feel a tightness in my left quad when i need to apply more power. whether it was the cold, a cramp or whether i had damaged it on that first climb when my muscles were not entirely warm, was hard to tell. it hurt so i had to back off. a number of riders came past me as we continued up the hill, but i wasn’t too concerned as i was more worried about my leg. by the time i reached to top at a easier pace, the pain had subsided and i put it down to a cold cramp.

regroup. headed off down churchman brook rd which becomes the wonderful decent of soldiers rd. the road was nice and the decent was fast but not without its issues. the main one was what could only be described as an ice-cream headache. the wind-chill across the skull combined with the fact that the sun had not quite reached that part of the valley, meant a very cold decent.

a quick regroup to make sure everyone made it back to brookton hwy and we were off up peet rd. rob and ben made a quick start and headed up the road in front of everyone else. we started to step it up and i came around jordan to chase down the other two. as we came past, jordan stepped it up again and pulled a gap. i had nothing to go with him but rob came around with cj to chase him down. ben and i rode tempo to finish off the peet rd section before turning onto urch. ryan was not feeling 100% today and was hanging a bit behind us on the climb. as the road stepped up again on urch, my left quad problem came back to visit. i had to back off and this allowed ben to come past, followed by carlo and ryan not long after. meanwhile, rob was giving jordan a run for his money and it was good to see rob climbing so well.

i managed to hold it together till the end and was grateful for the rest while regrouping. mel turned up on a soft rear tire so we spent a bit longer watching her change it… with a bit of help from cj.

the rolling hills between here and pickering brook posed no real problems and no-one was really on the attack as we had two main climbs to go. as we hit the base of the other patterson rd and began the climb to the observatory, carlo shot off the front and took a large gap over the rest of us. no-one chased and we held together and took a nice tempo which broke it down into a select group of about eight. eventually cj and jordan held the front and paced us along the hill. as it wore on, you could see carlo start to look behind himself and was obviously slowing down. on the last pinch of the climb, the pace stepped up again and i had to unhitch. i left the boys reel in carlo and fight it out for line honors which went to ryan.

another fast decent and we were on our final climb of the day. michael and emma had turned off after the observatory as emma was on shift and they needed to get home. the pace was on and it was way too much for me and i very quickly fell off the back. a group of about 5 or 6 headed off up the road and i was caught by ben who also set a pace higher than i could manage. setting myself a tempo, i ground out the rest of the climb to make the final regroup for coffee. according to ryan, he managed to take them on
the final pinch for line honors.

an extended coffee stop and luckily the day had started to warm up so it wasn’t too bad sitting outside. cj asked if i was drunk when i came up with this route as even he thought it was particularly brutal. i said that i set it when i was a lot fitter than i am now. anyway, we left jordan, cj and josie as they were going to do extra km’s and it was beginning to get late. it was good to catch up with them as they are not in the country as much anymore and it is always good to have some of our boys pushed a bit harder by better riders.

so we had a good decent on welshpool rd as the practically windless day caused no problems. bella pushed hard to chase down some of the guys but no landspeed records were broken. the return to town was relatively uneventful with the required sprint up to macdonalds in vic park being to main event. ryan again, i believe. heading towards the final sprint to macdonalds in south perth i jumped on the front to set the pace along berwick rd. as we crested the final hill, bec and sam pushed around me but had ryan tucked neatly in behind so he had an easy final push for the line.

so, around 105km by the time i got home and over 1300m of climbing. a good day but i am a bit disappointed in my current level of fitness and will have to do a lot more work to get back in form.

a bit of video from going up peet rd. jordan is the rider in shot for most of it and cj is the orange and blue rider a bit further back. i would like to say that i kicked both their arses going up the hill, but the video does not go long enough to see me fall off the back and ride the rest of the hill on my own.

Sunday 8th June 2008 – Part 1, Canning Mills, Peet and Lawnbrook.

ride report by darren.

part 1, – only because i scrambled home after the last climb. I encourage anyone who was
1. close to the front.. or
2. made it to the cafe
to fill in the rest.

sunday morning could be described as cold – but not too bad. the wind was coming from somewhere but didnt really play a factor in the days activities.

todays route had us going up canning mills rd, or did it, most of us were confused, was this cohuna? so i stepped in… “definitely canning mills road”, that made me the leader for the first part. this would be the only correct piece of info i would dish our for the day. i guess i was still distracted by the amazing mr dickhead, must have been the same guy from the saturday ride, who swung straight into the car parking spot i had been waiting 5 minutes for at the shops on saturday afternoon, who refused to move or apologise no matter how loud my protests.

a fairly ugly looking bunch today, luckily bella joined us for her second day in a row in the hills despite a physics exam tomorrow. as the minutes ticked past 7am and after a bit of banter in the carpark Mark reached deep into his lycra and produced a measuring device….a portable bike scale, to become the official (enough) bike weight measurer for the group. nice work, but still some calibration required as mine came out heavier than anticipated – back to the drawing board.

about 16 brave souls headed down the new route to albany hwy, via manning road. stuart and mike b led the way for a fair chunk at a decent pace. mark and i found ourselves at the front after cannington and worked up a sweat as we pace the group down albany hwy to gosnells.

at the tonkin hwy lights i told ryan the regoup point thinking that is all the instructions required . we held a moderate pace down connell ave to the end, ryan kept asking, “is this the climb yet”, not yet ryan. I found myself at the back of the pack as we swung left into luchich to start the ascent, if only we were heading in the right direction, a quick u-turn and off to canning mills we went.

back on track, we snaked our way up canning mills which can be described as nasty. I initially stayed at the back while ryan, mark, stuart and jerry led the way. mike b was back in the pack taking it easy, well for about 10 seconds, he held a consistent strong pace, picking off riders one by one and caught the lead guys somewhere near the top. as i took the initial climb easy i had a little in reserve (despite holding 180bpm for the climb) and soon found myself holding jerrys wheel with mark a few meters ahead (no chance of passing either). stuart, ryan and mike b were the first to the top, with evidence that stuart held on for the kom points (if only i told ryan the correct regroup point). so telling everyone to regroup at urch was a mistake, as stu and mike headed off to the correct regroup point (wasnt fast enough to reach them) with ryan waiting with us. no one seemed to mind too much and ryan sped off to round up the pace setters (sorry guys and gals). Bella complained that her rear derailleur was playing up and she was locked out of some easier gears (this didnt seem to slow her down on the climbs).

the steep descent down urch is always fun and a little scary especially as you hit a bend just after the last really steep section. the climb out of urch onto peet and then to the school hurts a lot. with ryan, stu, mike, mark and gerry setting the pace i found myself behind dr marc and bella with shao on my tail. shao pushed me on the steep parts so i decided to dish out a bit of pain on the flats and just as he would get back on my wheel again i would accelerate again (now i am starting to understand this theory of inflicting damage). dont know who was first to roleystone but marc beat me to the top in our own little mini comp.

After a short break we all headed off down brookton hwy to the servo. The pace was definitely on as we descended the hill with mark, melvyn and ryan pushing for the karragullen sprint points (where-ever they are measured?). At the servo, no one seemed to want a coke or a gatorade so we headed off but found ourselves amongst another group of CRT riders (chain reaction training). the CRT group seemed to have many more x chromosomes that y (a point not lost on some of the group). so whilst mark, marc and i took it in turns to smash out a decent average at the front of the pack (later joined by stu, jerry and ryan), dr carl, todd and melvyn enjoyed the view from the back. dr jerry’s excuse was retinal hypoxia – or something.

as we headed down toward the observatory turn off we were passed in the opposite direction by the ultimate bogan mobile (a black SS clubman ute with spoilers, flares, 20 inch mags, lowered at the front and raised at the back- the mining boom has a lot to answer for), todd and i had a chuckle. The climb to the observatory was uneventful with Stu leading the usual suspects at break neck speed and those not fit enough to hang on falling behind. As ryan stole the KOM points in the last metres from stu, i found myself a few hundred metres back battling with dr marc again with the heart rate well and truly in the red zone.

at this point we debated where to go to next, others wanted to do mundaring weir road but my vote was for lawnbrook since we had not done that for a while and since it was the designiated route, convinced them that we should. the run down walnut was fun and i decided to take it it easy up lawnbrook. at the top I heard that dr gerry hurt mark and I think ryan hurt himself as he said that he was feeling like crap.

I will leave it to someone else to finish the day off as I headed for home with a few other at this point… thanks everyone for a great ride.

Sunday 1st June – Carradine & Peet

ride report by rob

another warm morning – still in for the arms and long fingered gloves though. with the weather being the way it was yesterday (thunder, lightening, flash floods, etc) it was pretty wet on the road – but alt least it wasn’t raining anymore. looked like it’d hold off too, so it was going to be a nice trip up in to the hills.

our number was 10 this morning – a lively looking bunch with some of the stronger riders in the pack. thankfully emma was with us providing some welcome relief from the hairy, gnarled faces of the rest of the crew. it was about 5 past 7 when mark rolls in. he pulls up to a halt, with some ominous bubbles coming out of his tire (or at least the air coming out of it onto the puddles on the road!) – yep, nice piece of glass in that one mate! “will you wait for me?'” he pleads…

once mark gets that sorted out, and gerry finishes his story about some dodgy shipment he’s trying to get flown into the country (from cuba???), we finally make our way out of coode st car park and on to mill point road.right at douglas and half way up the hill the call goes out to michael and me on the front, “mark’s lost his glasses!” mmmm, starting to see a pattern forming here – this is not a designated recovery ride! after a quick re-group we continue on to hayman and then round on to manning. and we nearly made it to albany highway without further event when another call from the back goes out “mark’s dropped his chain!” – the ‘other’ mark that is. stu turned round to go and collect him while the rest of us waited at the side of the road. re-group.

rounding on to albany highway i was thinking surely that has to be it, don’t these things come in 3’s? traveling along the highway was really quite spesh. beautiful sunday morning, not too many cars, nice flat road to warm the legs up before the climbs, everything’s feeling pretty good…”get off the f*%@king road, you wa*$%ers!!” is what i think the bloke said as he flew past in his camper van…at least i’ve got a house mate – back to the trailer park with you fella!

ryan, stu, michael and me did most of the front work along the highway – good to stretch the legs and get the heart going. i hadn’t ridden this route before so wasn’t too sure what to expect. knowing the routes pete plans though, i expected it’d probably start to hurt pretty soon. we rounded on to carawatha ave just before armadale, and my suspicions were confirmed. holy crap son, what is that??! looming large in front of us is what can only be described as something most people take their crampons and ice picks to get up…lovely. stu and mark move to the front and start working their way up. i drop down to what feels like a comfortable gear and try and hold mark’s wheel. ryan scoots past with gerry on his wheel. stu picks up the pace and leaves me and mark grinding our way up. about 2/3rds of the way up i looked at my heart rate – 97% of max and climbing – the breathing is so laboured that i’m sure i’m about to hyperventilate. finally reaching the top and started to spin my legs trying to get some oxygen back into my lungs and get my heart rate back down to something that resembled normalish. the re-group allowed for the needed rest – michael and emma arriving a short while after – respect to emma getting up it at all! and the re-groups are always a bit of a furphy – the stronger guys get to the top and get a nice long rest, and when the last person rolls in, it’s like “right, all on? lets go”. suggest new rules – lead pack turns round and heads back down to the last person (which is what stu started to do anyway) and push back up the hill again! then all re-group at the top and have equal rest….or is it just me??

anywho…on we head, michael flies off down the hill to the next turn and we head on to canns road. more climbing lies ahead, but nothing like that nasty, nasty cliff we’d just worked up. we make our way up through the bush to churchman brook road – quite a stunning piece of the world up there. great views and the scents of the wet bushland are something you only get to experience when you’re riding. pretty uneventful along this stretch with a few of us engaging in a conversation – others just enjoying being out in the open. a fairly fast descent down to the righthander at butcher road which takes u back up to brookton highway. ryan decides to test the pack up the hill and stu holds his wheel. mark, me, michael and gerry follow, but not with enough to keep on the tail of these guys – stu is really testing the fynn today it seems..good to see.

re-group at rolystone – mark mentions that they had breakfast there one ride – “mmm, that sounds good…shall we do that today” i think…ryan then starts to test the water on whether the group wants to pike it on peet road and just follow brookton around canning rd. as i hadn’t ridden this way before, i could only imagine what this next bit must look like. stu says that he’s doing peet road “for fun”, so it looks like the rest of us are too then! wouldn’t be right not too, really…! as we round on to peet road, it’s pretty obvious why there was some resistance…what the hell!!! off goes ryan, which was most unusual for him – normally likes to fly past with a giggle (at least thinking it, if not actually doing it) about 1/2 way up. stu takes off after him with me just off his wheel. i tried as hard as i could to hang on, but to no avail. 1/3rd of the way up the road flattens out and stu kicked. i looked behind me to see gerry about 100 metres back with mark, michael, john and mark just behind him. oh well, may as well give it what i’ve got, so i pushed again. that really began to bite and i could here gerry starting to close in. ryan was already off into the distance and i could see stu still trying the bridge the gap on him. gerry came past me just after the roundabout – is that the BIG ring he’s in!! mate, respect. i grabbed his wheel and held on for a while, and then it looked like he began to crack. grabbing for the smaller cogs at the back and then up out of the saddle….then clunk, off it goes on to the little ring. that’s me i think and go round. with the rest that i’d got in his draft, i was able to find just a little bit more and managed to get to the top in third. heart was certainly working and the head was beginning to ask the question “are you for real??”. stu headed back off down the hill to ride up with the back of the pack. as each one came in to the top there was a definite look of relief on their faces. ryan had the camera out taking pictures as they came in – any good ones mate?

after the re-group, we took off again, down to canning road – stu and me were off the front along brookton highway – i turned around and there wasn’t anyone else there?? i mention this to stu who seems not too concerned – something about ‘coffee shop’ and ‘first orders’ i think he said? quick regroup at the gull servo and we head out to go and find mundaring weir road. quite a nice rolling ride through to get there – the fast stretch along glenisla road had ryan on the front for most of the way doing all the work with the rest of us content to tuck in behind and get ready for what lay ahead. we wind our way down to mundaring weir road and round on to the final climb of the day. michael pulls off to the side to ride up with emma. stu’s on the front, with ryan, mark, gerry and me tagging on. the pace is high and the legs are all spinning. from what i can tell from everyone’s head position, we were very much at the business end of the day. being on the back, it felt like stu was putting in little mini attacks every 200 metres or so. as each of us responded it took just a bit more out of us. i was really struggling to keep in touch with gerry’s wheel…looking ahead there was another rider about 500 metres up the road. it felt like now there was a rabbit to chase down so the pace picked up again…reeling in this loan dude became a matter of principle and the effort stayed high. as we closed in, i could really feel the end of my run coming up…not much m
ore in the legs and the heart racing at 96% of max. we come up to the loan rider, and low and behold it’s darren – one of our usual crew. “slept in” he says as we work our past. darren jumps on to my wheel and i think the words were ‘holy shit!’ as he realized what pace we were going at. i think i only lasted another 100 metres or so before my legs packed it in for good…darren goes past and jumps on gerry’s wheel. so, from a distance, it looked as though stu really did have everyone’s measure today – mighty impressive effort, and as far as i can tell he was numero uno at the top. darren dropped his chain before getting up there and by the time i arrived at the round about, there wasn’t anyone there to greet me – guess i wasn’t getting first orders in after all!

rolling in to the coffee shop, there was lots of chatter from the four at the front about the climb. it was a big effort and the sweat count on gerry was running at what looked to be about 1.5 litres! time for a well earned coffee and food.

the group headed back out 1/2 an hour later and off to find the lesmurdie and welshpool fun parks. nice fast downhills with plenty of space to play. heading down welshpool road, ryan kicks off the front with darren and me in pursuit. as we got up to what felt like about 75 (must get that resh battery back in the computer!!), michael flies past in full aero position – ryan and darren look sideways and start pedaling furiously. a broken down car in the left hand lane made for some interesting times. ryan waves us round, darren moves out and i was forced across to almost the right hand lane. i wasn’t too fussed about a) going into the right hand lane and b) hitting the reflectors in the middle of the road. my indecision about where to steer then resulted in a wobble of the front wheel, an involuntary tightening of the sphincter the result. i managed to hold the thing square and came back in behind darren, deciding that the best lesson to learn is the one that doesn’t, but almost, result in a loss of blood. we get to the bottom and michael has really kicked off the front. darren had got round ryan and i was on ryans wheel. darren then did the lions share of the work to try and reel michael in until he blew up and ryan and me go round. ryan works hard to chase, with us only getting to michael just before the lights. a fine effort on his part. darren rolls into the lights remarking that ryan and i had not been gentlemanly in the way we had let him drop off the back. sorry mate.!

dodgy dude was at the school again today. we’re now thinking it’s boys in lycra, and not the kiddies, that he’s there for. i swear it’s the same guy – grey toyota camry. when a couple of the others roll in to the bus stop, mark has some serious piece of skin missing from his shin. another dropped chain – slipped out of the pedal and ‘whamo’ – ice packs and detol on that one my son. anyway, re-group of sorts – emma and mike b (the “other” mike b) head past and leave the rest of us to chase them down. rounding off orong and back on to welshpool, the pace picks up. michael and me are on the front and my legs are really starting to feel every one of the 80kms so far. i managed about 2 kms before having to come off the front and let someone else take the wind. a nice rest at the back for a while and then i could see a roll through of sorts happening. darren and me ended up back on the front again as we crossed the train tracks, just when gerry flies past for the first sprint. he’s really smoking it and then ryan flies past with michael on his wheel. it’s a long way up to albany highway, and it looked from where i was (read: nowhere near them, not even on a good day..) that ryan managed to get round gerry and hold michael off for the win.

albany highway was a nice cruise back, round on to hillview and then on to berwick. a few of our number got caught up at the lights so we had a relatively easy run along most of berwick. as we waited from them to get back on. after darren pulled off to head home, i was on the front as we came over the final rise. michael kicked for the final sprint with gerry and ryan pushing hard to reel him in. it looked as if he might just have held them off too – not quite sure what the finish line is along there, but he was well and truly in the mix at the end.

anyway, that’s it for now. i’m off to the airport – my wife is flying back over this afternoon…and if all went to plan she’ll have hooked up with the father of those two kids we’ve had at our place for the last few years and he’ll have taken them off our hands…and if not…

…no more sundays…no more coffee shop…!!


sunday 4th may – kahuna & peet & observatory

ride report by mark

ten of us gathered on another perfect riding day. it was fresh, but not cold; still ok for just arm warmers, and short gloves.

still plenty of chatter about pete and the web site, with general support for what pete is doing, and dismay at people trying to stifle a free market economy.

we headed off down berwick & albany hwy at a sensible pace, with everyone taking turns in front, and the traffic light gods smiling on us.

it was my first sunday ride with the group in about 5 weeks, after another bout of travelling, the hills challenge race and fairbridge music festival (a must for any acoustic music fan).
the web site said we’d be doing cohunu, with peet rd, and observatory thrown in for good measure. mmmm …

when we got to the hill, cade put the hammer down from the start. i chased for about a km, during which time mike b came flying past me. i realised soon i was going nowhere, so carried on with the heart rate at a steady 175 – 180. i saw mike pass cade, who seemed to throw in the towel at that stage, but then gave a big burst at the end to stay well ahead of me. we regrouped at the top, and the sensible riders went straight from there to the coffee shop, while the rest of us turned right onto canning mills rd.

the next part through rolystone and down urch rd was fun, till we got to pete rd, and cade decided to make a break again. i stayed with him for longer this time, till mike b came past us both, as if we were looking for parking. cade chased, and the two road together along raeburn rd, staying a consistent 50m ahead of me (very frustrating – if i’d had a mobile number i would have called and asked them to slow down for 10 sec), till the last little hill before brookton highway, where they sprinted it out – i think mike b took it, but i’m not sure.

i led with a bit of a burst of speed after the karragullen servo turnoff, and we took turns, keeping a pretty good pace until we reached the t-junction at pickering brook rd. at that point we were supposed to turn right and do the observatory loop, but we wimped out and went left. mike b being the honourable fellow he is, turned right and went off to start his real training, unhampered by the rest of us.

at the glenisla right turn, dr nic & cade and one more went straight on to the coffee shop claiming they had time constraints. that left only rob, tod and myself to do the climb up mundaring weir rd. i pushed a head a little at the start, and stayed there to the top. it was just what i needed for a come-back ride; had i pushed to hard to chase the likes of ryan, stuart or pete, i would just have regretted it today.

after the mandatory h&c croissant and long black, we cruised back home, with a fast descent down welshpool, during which rob we stuck together at 82km/h. no major sprints along orrong or welshpool; too few & too tired.

i got home with 105km on the clock, and a warm fuzzy feeling in my legs that i’d missed for the last month. thanks for a good ride guys.

sunday 27th april – carradine & peet

a sunday without a race for us made a change. well there was a race on but i wasn’t keen to drive down to albany for it and neither were the other guys. we had a team meeting yesterday to work out which races we were going to target over the coming weeks so will be traveling to collie next sunday for a few laps.

anyway, there was only a very small turn out when i arrived this morning. i had checked the rain radar before i left and it didn’t look pretty especially down in bunbury. only minimal showers expected where we were riding, but i guess it was enough to keep the fans away. i was surprised, however, to see lennie and a few of mickey’s saturday morning group waiting in the carpark. i was a bit confused and enquired as to whether i had the right day or was it actually saturday. long weekends confuse me. about five of them were heading down to mandurah with the intent of coming home via the train. good to see a few more people backing up with a sunday ride as well.

as i was chatting to them, the rest of the guys turned up. it was definitely “the guys” too as no girls were keen to play. about twenty headed out today into the dull grey morning, luckily it wasn’t that cold…. yet.

the route would take us down to mt nasura near armidale and up our favorite couple of climbs at carawatha and carridine. it was then intended that we jump across to albany hwy and up to canning dam before joining up with brookton hwy near karagulen and the usual way back to coffee in kalamunda.

we picked up todd and doug along the way as they intercepted our group thanks directions from the blog map (got to remember not to make changes on the fly). the trip down albany hwy was fairly uneventful with a bit of rain to freshen things up a bit and a flat for doug after a non-call on a pothole. we sheltered under a shop awning in kelmscott while doug and simon changed the tube.

as we past brooketon hwy, shao turned off, opting for an easy ride. he has just come back from doing the port mac ironman, so he has nothing to prove. sub twelve hour too is a pretty solid effort. anyway, we continued up the incline to the start of our main climb, but the group started to fragment a bit with cade and robbie speeding on ahead. unfortunately for them, without someone to yell at them to turn left, they continued down the road for a bit before realising we had turned off.

ryan went to the front straight away and i jumped on his wheel. he didn’t hit it hard, but enough to give us a fair gap to the rest of the pack. as we turned onto the steeper section, he went again, but this time i just wanted to find my rhythm as this climb is way too steep for me. ryan’s “attack” didn’t last too long either and he settled into the climb. about halfway to the top stu came past me but ryan had already reached the peak. as the road started to settle down, i looked back and saw cade and robbie closing fast, so i added a bit of effort to make sure they also didn’t come past.

a short regroup to make sure the climb hadn’t killed anyone and we were off again. doug hadn’t stopped and was already on the climb by the time we turned up carradine. cade and robbie began to chase so i sprinted around to make sure that i didn’t miss the break. doug was hauled in and overtaken quickly and the three of us started working together to keep away. the easterly winds affect the early part of this climb and cade was initially taking the full brunt of them. i looked back to see if ryan was going to come across, but he seemed content to not contest this one.

i made a bit of a move to see if we could shake cade after his turn and robbie jumped on my wheel. it was a nasty move, but i’m sure it has been done to me before. commendably, he fought back and managed to get back on our wheels. we kept the pace on towards the top and cade made a move when the road steepened up a bit. robbie dropped back a bit and we took advantage to try to get away. swapping off turns we made it to the end where i thought that i would sprint for line honors. i started a bit early and was sure that cade would just come over the top, but he was just as buggered and had dropped back a bit.

once everyone else had arrived and regrouped, we decided that we would change the course after seeing the dark clouds moving in from the south. the trip around canning dam doesn’t really leave many options and if we got caught in a downpour, or the predicted thunderstorms, we would get… well… wet. anyway, we were going to head down soldiers rd and climb peet rd into roleystone. the roads were better and the climbs harder. it would just drop about eight kms off our total for the day.

the decent was not too bad as the roads were not wet, just damp. ryan complained that he could not get past me as i was moving all over the road. damn right. it is a nice fast road in the dry. with a bit of moisture around, i was keen to use as much grip and road as necessary. we regrouped again to make sure it was a safe decent and headed up peet rd.

a little bit of traffic, well a lot for 9:15 sunday morning in roleystone meant that we started the climb in staggered formation. however, i made sure i was close enough to ryan and cade so is didn’t have to chase too much from the start. the climb started with traffic trying to get past as we picked up slower riders meaning we had to do little sprints to get around without getting run over. normally this is fine, but this climb has some nice 10% sections that make it very testing. once we found some clean air, a group containing ryan, cade, myself and the two young lads matt and robbie found a rhythm and began to stretch it out from the rest. stu was caught behind, and was still fighting his way up the hill to try to join up. probably a form of karma from the other week when he had a fifty metre headstart on the same climb.

i’m not sure who it was, but either cade or ryan upped the pace and young matt was off the back with robbie. however, with his high cadence, bouncy style, robbie managed to spring his way back to join us by the time we reached the urch rd intersection.

as we made our way up the next section, stu put in a big effort and bridged across to get right on my wheel. unfortunately, that was the exact time that ryan launched again and cade and i had to fight hard to stay on his wheel. stu must have been spent from the previous effort and dropped back with robbie while we surged on ahead.

the three of us took turns to keep the pace up as we approached the roleystone highschool final climb. this is where the tour de perth stage one and two finished and will be the finish line in a few weeks when we contest the state road championships. i came to the front for the final stretch to make sure that ryan got a good lead out for the line. cade was on my wheel and came around as soon as the climb started but had nothing for ryan who powered past. stu had been working with robbie and managed to gain a bit of ground back and sprinted up the hill to pass me about halfway up. i made sure robbie didn’t do the same.

a regroup at the high school before a quick dash to the karagulen servo for any toilet stops/refreshments. we headed towards pickering brook and doug got on the front to power it along once the road headed down. i was on the front with him but decided to save my legs for later and headed down the back. the small climb up towards the gun club is always an attack point, but i was content to sit at the back and watch the proceedings. when the move went, and it was predictably ryan, i noticed the excellent road conditions. it has been a few weeks since i had ridden this particular stretch of road and it was now a very sweet hot mix surface. there was no way i could let that past without a bit of speed, so set off to chase down as many as i could. by the time we hit the pickering brook intersection, ryan was still well in front, but i had managed to claw my way back to the main chase group.

at the regroup, cade, doug, robbie and darren decided to head home when we turned down towards bickley valley. this still left a good core group of riders “keen” for one last climb up to coffee. as we wound out way along the undulating road, i wasn’t concentrating on where ryan and stu were in relation to me. by the time we hit the start of the mundaring weir rd climb, they had a considerable advantage.

i was so far off the back that there was only one rider behind me when the road headed upwards. i decided that i would try to catch them on the hill. knowing ryan and stu’s abilities, this was a close to impossible task, but i thought that it would be good training for me. i powered up the first part of the climb and quickly past the main pack. about this time reality set in and my legs started to rebel. i eased off a bit but still kept forging ahead. there were a couple of others on the road that weren’t from our group that acted as rabbits for me to chase to maintain my momentum. however, it wasn’t till just before the road flattened and straightened out that i finally saw stu up ahead. he must have been chasing as by the time i hit the false flat section he had streaked ahead, but there was still no sign of ryan. i just kept the power on as long as i could and made it too the top.

as the guys filtered in to the coffee shop we had lost one more. stu is never content with the climbs we do and so headed out for another time up mundaring weir rd. i was happy to have a break. even better was the fact that they now have brought back the chocolate muffins that they stopped making about six months ago. it went down a treat with the hot chocolate. also got a few more guys to sign up for the cycle kit which we will get ordered next week. hopefully in a few weeks time there will be around fifty or so riders getting around in their new south perth cycle kit.

the wind was favorable on the way home and the decent wasn’t as scary as it has been as there were minimal cross winds. i even felt “comfortable” crusing down the main section at close to 80km/hr. i did manage to grab stu’s slipstream which gave me an extra few km/hr to crack 84.

the mandatory sprint along welshpool rd was not instigated by dr melvyn as we had him working at the front instead. i took off after we started to get the group rolling through and ryan chased me down and spat me out the back… again. the final sprint into south perth and we had to stop at the lights. more team tactics as i told ryan that i would practice leading him out and went to the front. when the lights changed, simon and rob both jumped to try to get an advantage, but i chased them down and was past both before the road swept down towards maccas. i still had some energy so i kept the lead out going for another block or so before giving ryan the signal to go. stu had already started to come around, but ryan had the more explosive sprint and took it to the line.

so, even though there was a little rain early on, it turned into an exceptional day. not too hot, not too cold. just right for riding.