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.