sunday hills ride.
it seems that we have all been a bit slack on the blogging front lately, so i thought i better pull my finger out and add my sunday experience to the mix. after missing the saturday group ride due to kid duties, i was pretty fired up to go out hard on sunday. i had planned a long route to get the most out of the course but it was not as though my legs had a total rest on saturday. on the mtb with dan on the front and towing ben behind meant that i was carrying and extra 40+ kgs with me. i tell you, any small inclination in the road and you can certainly feel it.
so we set out from the carpark on sunday with 32 people in tow. a couple more joined us along the way but it was a pleasant jaunt out to welshpool road. i noticed gez in the group as he stands out with his “cafe racer” jersey and massive video camera on his head, and tried to stay out of camera shot least i do something stupid.
bonner and i were at the back once the climb started so i got a ride on his tailcoat to the front as the gradient started to slow the field. the selection was made early an soon i was in a pretty exclusive pack. bonner, mike t, john gilbertson (now referred to as gilbert as in phillipe gilbert), ashley and sato. unfortunately, it was clear to me that the group was a little too exclusive and i watched them start to attack each other which quickly unhitched me. actually it was good to see ashley attack then mike t counter attack before they settled down into a rhythm.
i continued up setting my own tempo not realising the i had actually recovered too much. with my garmin out of service, i had no take on my heart rate and i became too complacent and let it go too low. next thing i know there is a group of about 5 or so riders coming past. damn, i just got caught on camera being passed by gez. and even worse, i was getting chicked by dianne who is climbing pretty well lately. i sat in for a while before getting on the front to up the pace. matt came around soon and next thing we know, we are the only two left. a couple of more turns and we are passed lesmurdie rd and onto the next section.
it was hard to know who to chase as there were lots of riders on the hill that day. i was pretty sure that we wouldn’t be catching any of the front guys though. matt went quite hard on the next section, but i decided to set tempo and hope to pull him back as the road flattened a bit. i managed to grab back enough space to be with him once the road hit the next climb and with only two pinches to go i attacked to try to get away. i was sure that i was out of the points, but this now became a pride thing. as we raced up the climb, we were picking up riders from the other group (stadium club i think) but we came across a struggling ashley who had burnt his matches early trying to smash the front boys. hmm, i think that there are points up for grabs now. one more small uphill and matt and i basically sprinted for the line, with me managing to hang on to both the position and my breakfast. although, both were a close call.
welshpool rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.
a regroup with all the short course riders took a bit longer than expected as we were missing julian. apparently he broke a spoke at the bottom of the hill and was out for the day. judd tried to help him but left him to taxi home as the bike was unrideable. as luck would have it, josh was just driving down welshpool rd with the bike rack on the car so gave him lift home.
we headed through bickley valley and under the finishline for the junior state champs that was on that day. pretty hardcore course for the kids as they had to do multiple laps up over the observatory and then had a steep climb to the finish. ndcc nick who often come out on the sunday rides managed to get on the podium with a bronze in his age group, so well done to him.
we split the group at the bottom of mundaring weir road with the short course heading left straight to kalamunda while we headed towards mundaring. there were about 11 or so that were going long and it didn’t take long before the pace was on. as this climb isn’t as steep, i managed to hold on for a lot longer but was soon spat out the back once the attacks came on. i set a tempo again, but again let my mind wander and was picked up by a few more riders. as i sat in i looked up and saw that ashley and gilbert had been dropped off the back. i wondered how much i had in my legs as to whether i could catch them before the top. why not, so i attacked the group that had graciously given me a wheel to follow, and set off up the road. ashley was definitely putting too much in too early and after a bit of time off the bike, didn’t have the endurance to keep it up (these young guys are all the same, no staying power 🙂 ). i picked him up and started closing the gap on gilbert, but he spotted me too early and was up out of the saddle to keep me away. we caught wally and nev who were doing the same course as us, but different, so this wasn’t to be the last time we saw them. unfortunately for me, gilbert used his spring classics legs to dart up to the top of the berg to claim the minor points.
asher rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.
we headed towards the weir at a nice pace and had rugged up with the impending brain freeze that is always invoked at this time of year. as the descent started, it was clear that this was not to be our usual ride with a thick fog soon engulfing the approaching road. right, i thought, this is where i am going to get away. i hit the fog hard and took first wheel. my plan was to try to get ahead as those behind would slow with the worry of not being able to see the wheel in front properly. i just had to hope that there were no slow moving vehicles or stray animals to dodge. however, attacking downhill is never really the best, and after a fast and slightly hair-raising descent, we were basically together at the bottom.
keeping the pace as long as i could, i managed to hold on to about halfway to the roundabout, but then watched them scamper up the road. ashley and i worked together for the remainder of the climb, and besides coming across wally and nev (again) we never saw anyone else. ashley gifted my the points, but according to gilbert, he was lucky that the fog kept him hidden as we may have ridden harder had we seen that he was also dropped.
mundaring township – mike b, mike t, sato, gilbert, peter.
the normally sedate township of mundaring was abuzz with activity. well as much abuzz as the truffle festival can evoke. the centre of the park was surrounded by a 8 foot high fence which was meant that everything was completely blocked from view. i guess they didn’t want us to see how much fun that they were having with fungus.
we took the nice decent through darlington, complete with bonus climbs, to reach kalamunda road. there a couple of riders headed straight home while the rest of us took in the last climb to coffee. i really wasn’t feeling it at the start of the climb and considered taking the sweeper role, but managed to find a good rhythm by about halfway. again, i picked up ashley and had gilbert in my sights, but he was constantly looking behind his back to make sure i didn’t catch up. at the front, however, mike t started to fade after racing the previous day and bonner and sato claimed his scalp on the final climb.
kalamunda rd – mike b, sato, mike t, gilbert, peter.
coffee break was good, but we couldn’t really explain how nev and wally managed to beat us there as we passed them on mundaring weir rd. another tear in the space time continuum. i think we were all a bit bugger as we may have stayed a bit longer than normal and is was close to 11 by the time we departed. a bit faster of a descent today, but still no speedo to really let me know what we were doing. i had an interesting talk to rupert who was climbing really well today. it turns out that a slight change in his diet has meant that he now has more power and has lost a bit more weight. it is amazing the small changes that can be made that make a big difference to your riding.
another is getting a proper bike fitting. unfortunately, this can be a bit more expensive as nathan just found out. not the actual fitting as that was though the member benefits at glen parker south, but rather the fact that he had originally been sold a bike that was a size too big. he is not the first person to have this happen, and especially new riders are susceptible to getting the wrong advice. there is a lot of experience in the group so don’t be afraid to ask. we are not always right, but it is always good to see the light hearted verbal abuse being thrown around when someone asks “which is better, shimano or campag”. it is shimano of course :).