ride report by peter.
early start for me as i decided to do some “secret” training and slip in a lap of the river before the saturday ride. the benefit is that at least i was pretty warmed up by the time we were underway as it usually takes me a good ¾ hour to get the legs firing. i bumped into judd as i was about to cross the narrows and rode towards south perth with him. however, he was yet to have his early morning coffee so shot off for a quick take-away before the ride. he really needs a cup holder on his bike.
about 35 riders at the start today and an old familiar face with matt who years ago worked at the bike shop in south perth. we were delayed slightly when the sound of a tyre being pumped to explosion rang out like a gunshot from a book depository. brett had borrowed a pump to put some extra air in his tyre and may have over done it. by 10 past we were off and racing.
the standard light changing interference along canning hwy didn’t dampen the spirits and soon we were at attadale and ready to split the group. the main group were heading straight down canning and back up leach while the fast group were taking a detour along burke before using stock road to access south and home via albany hwy. the split was a successful 70/30 division and we were on our way.
the pace along burke was not too extreme, and the roll through only really got going after about halfway. next thing you knew we were at stock rd hill and were the fun really starts. a couple of the boys hit it quite hard and sprinted up the first section. i tried to sustain a bit longer and got into a tempo. eventually the hill wore the boys down and their early antics cost them as they dropped back. at the top i saw james turn back and wasn’t sure what was going on. i debated stopping the group, but we were spread too thin by then and also wasn’t sure if he was coming back. we managed to slip through the lights on canning and so it was the last we saw of him.
not much rolling through on stock road but the pace picked up a bit after recovering from the hill. once on south st, the roll through started, but the small hills put an end to any consistency. for the majority of it there were maybe 5 or 6 riders continually on the front swapping out turns while everyone else just seemed to be hanging on for grim death. ryan, mike, michael and jerry were consistently at the front and managed to get off the front a few times. once it flattened out, the rest of the group would start rolling through, but every time there was a hill, the group spread out again.
pretty soon, south st became ranford rd and we were on our way to the left hander into nicholson. one last small undulation before the shopping centre and i stood to keep the pace up. unfortunately, that didn’t feel right and i looked down to see my front tyre bulging out more than it should. luckily i was on the inside and a turning lane was there for me to use so i drifted off to the side. i told everyone to keep going, but dr carl, lisa, john and brett swung around to make sure i was ok. the rest of the group disappeared over the hill.
a quick change of the tube and we were on our way again. we tried to set a consistently high pace, not in the hope that we would catch up, but more that we were not going to be too late to coffee. everyone did turns at the front and we were clipping along at plus 40 kmh for most of the ride. it was quite uneventful but very hard as long efforts at the front were beginning to take their toll. as lisa pointed out once we cleared the hills around vic park, it was so good to finally see the city.
no sprint to speak of, but there was a final rush for the line at the end. probably more likely to be first in line for coffee. it turns out that we were not that far behind as some of the group were still ordering their brew as we turned up. the place was a bit busier with the anzac day holiday but they still had a table ready for us and service was not too bad.
at the end of the day i was just happy to have arrived and grateful for not having to be siting a bike seat. i didn’t find out whether the main group was caught today as they were when we last did this route. i’m sure that someone can let us know what happened…
also, someone left an spr drink bottle at the coffee shop. i have picked it up as they are very rare (none left as spares), so if it is yours, let me know.