Tag Archives: sunday

PMBC & Rock ‘n’ Roll Mountain Biking Presents Giant Bicycles XC Club Race 1

mtbWell it’s that time of year again. MTB season is upon us and the 1st race of the season is a PMBC Club race next weekend 17th March at Langford Mountain Bike Park, Jarrahdale.
Show on Google maps: Meeting point.

As we progress towards being an MTBA affiliated club lets get a few members down there in the kit for the 1st race of the year.

This series is proudly being organized and supported by Rock ‘n’ Roll Mountain Biking and the series is proudly being sponsored and supported by Giant Bicycles Australia.

Is now open at: https://www.registernow.com.au/mtba/ERegister.aspx?E=1392

The race entries are $15.00 for all grades. A current MTBA membership is required to race. A day license can be purchased if you don’t have a MTBA membership. Entries close at 11 pm Thursday 14/3/2013. There is a $20 late fee for entering on the day (NO Exceptions).

Race Classes
The club races will be run as mixed classes. The idea is to hopefully have some exciting, fun and close racing. It will give you the chance to race against riders not normally in your class and to grade yourself for the upcoming state rounds. Below is a guide to help you determine which class would best suit you.
A Grade = Elite Men, Expert Men, Top 3-5 Masters, Top 5 Vets (30 to 50 riders)
B Grade = Elite women, 5 – 10 masters, 6 – Vets Men, Top 3 Sport Men (40 to 50 riders)
C Grade = Expert Women, Super masters, Sport Etc (40 to 50 riders)
D Grade = Sport women, Juniors etc (40 to 50 riders)
Please note: we will change your class if we feel you are clearly in the wrong grade.

Race Distances
The courses will be shorter and faster tracks. We will be trying to keep the racing close and fun, so the tracks will reflect this, with fast flowing single-track and limited climbing.
A and B Grades= Approx 1.30hrs
C and D Grades= Approx 1.00hrs
We will set the number of laps for each grade once the course has been selected.

Race Day Schedule
Registration = 8am to 9am (collect race numbers)
C and D Grades= 9:15am (first wave)
A and B Grades= 10.45am (second wave)
Presentations = 12.30 pm (or a bit earlier if possible)

Giant Bikes Test Bikes
As part of their sponsorship Giant will be at both races with a range of test bikes. Feel free to test one of their great bikes; just remember to bring your pedals, drivers licence and credit card for a ride.

Fundraising: Gold Coin Donation.

Once again BBQ and Drinks will be provided by Rock and Roll Mountain Biking. We ask you to bring a gold coin donation; all money raised will be used for junior development and trail maintenance with PMBC.

DEC will be removing rubbish bins from some DEC managed properties, including Langford Park. Please take your rubbish home with you PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE. If you don’t, one of the PMBC volunteers has to. Rubbish cannot stay on site after we have left. That goes for gels and bars, it’s not the world championships, please don’t discard your wraps on the race track.

sunday 6th march – earlybird and long hills ride

after getting sick (again) and having a few days off the bike, this week was a recovery week for me.  that meant less stressful rides during the week with the hope of getting back to full steam by the weekend.  i had a crack at the double on saturday (earlybird & main 1) and felt pretty good by the end of it.  mind you the pace wasn’t that high as we saw main 2 creeping up behind us towards the end of the ride.  with that confidence booster, i set the alarm for damn early to catch the pre-ride lap.

there were only five of us and so the pace wasn’t on as three of us were doing the hills ride as well.  andrew and daniel were just fitting a ride in, while gilbert (john), jamie and myself were going long.  we ended up having to take the final shortcut along kintail to make sure that we made it to the start on time.  well on time means that i had time to get to the bakery before the ride started.

we headed out to albany highway with about 40 riders in total.  there was a fairly even split today with about 20 heading up the kahuna for the short course and 20 going long.  the first climb for us was carrawatha which is a good heart starter as it pitches up at about 17%.  if you haven’t done it before, it comes as a bit of a shock as the climbs starts at about 8% and you don’t see the steep bit till you turn the corner.  i was just tapping it out at the back and didn’t see the mountain goats claim victory.

carrawatha – ashley, bonner, brother jules, gilbert, jose

the next climb up carradine starts pretty much straight away and is of a much gentler gradient.  the rough roads have been somewhat tempered with a resurface, but i am hoping that they still have the top coat to go as it is not that good a surface for riding.  however, the hill combined with the rough roads mean that you need to be fairly strong to maintain a effort on this hill.  something i didn’t have today.  i did manage to jump between a few groups without over doing it, but then at about the second last pinch, the pace went on and i didn’t.

carradine – bonner, gilbert, brother jules, jose, simon

the next climb up albany hwy is longer, but with even shallower grade.  the group stayed together for most of it today except for a few of us back markers.  bonner decided to start showing his dominance as he must have still been warming up on the first climb.

albany – bonner, jason, chris a, jose, gilbert

a nice meander through the national park and soon we were at the descent past canning dam.  i clocked about 83km/hr on the final part of the descent and noticed schnieder-man stopped on the side of the road with michael slowing down to help him.  jamie and i kept going and decided to wait for them at the regroup point at the narrow bridge.  after waiting a while and an unanswered phone call to each of them, it was decided to continue up the next climb and onto the servo.

gardiner – bonner, chris a, jason, simon, gilbert

a regroup at the servo allowed for a refuel before heading towards pickering brook.  the ironic thing about the karragullen servo, was that they had locked the toilets to say that because of water restrictions, the toilets were only for customers of the servo.  however, the outside tap was still available for us to fill up our drink bottles.  i decided to help the struggling farmers and irrigated their crops instead.

through bickley valley and along to the final climb up to kalamunda.  i could see the light at the end of the tunnel by now and was looking forward to a sit down.  however, about 100m from the top of the hill, we came across rupert who had tangled his chain up.  now this was not a standard, drop the chain, reach down and put it back on the ring.  no, this was so tangled up we spent 5 min trying to work out which way it actually had to go.  no idea how it got to this point, but the decision was made to split the chain and put it back on the bike again.

now this requires a chain breaker and a new link pin if you are going to do it properly.  luckily, he had one on him.  i managed to talk him through the operation without getting too greasy and we were off again.  jamie and i stopped into the servo for a coke and mars bar before meeting the rest at the coffee shop.  however, that is where we got booted out for bringing outside food into his shop.  i didn’t say anything to him, and he even had a crack saying that he even sells coke.  it is his establishment, so i don’t care.  it is the $4.50 can of coke that i don’t like.  i don’t drink coffee so i don’t care where we go, but i did notice that the bakery was open again, so i hope that stays open for sundays.  oh, the points were as follows.

weir rd – bonner, jason, ashley, chris a, gilbert

nice ride home, but legs were starting to feel it a bit.  door to door it was 146km for me so i was happy, but couldn’t believe that gilbert had the energy to still contest the climbs (and get points in each) after the earlybird ride too.  something i will have to work on.

sunday hills ride – boxing day

hot.  hot and windy.  hot, windy and hills.  the three things that make cycling so much fun.  i was lying in bed last night listening to the wind thinking that it was going to be a hard ride today.  a few others may have thought the same and bloused it as there were only seven starters this morning.  actually i think there was 10, but a couple left to do a river ride instead when they saw that there was no peloton to hide in today.

so we set out towards orong road and into the blustery easterly.  it wasn’t the constant wind that you can deal with, but a very gusty, turbulent wind that meant it was hard to keep a straight wheel.  once we hit orong road and welshpool, it got worse.  as the building started to thin out a bit, the wind picked up.  not only that, it turned many of the areas into a free sandblasting service.  i wasn’t worried about the paint stripping of my bike, but more worried about the flesh being stripped from my bones. 

even breathing was a problem.  you keep your mouth shut to stop the dirt, bugs, small marsupials from being blown into your mouth, but it is coming past your head so fast, it is hard to breath through your nose.  the compromise is to rinse your mouth out every now and then before a sandpit builds up in there.

the closer we got to the hill, the worse it got.  at one stage i looked at the bike computer and we were doing 20km/hr and i was pushing 400 watts to be able to maintain that. 

the hill started and mike, stu, jamie and john took off.  jason and nick were somewhere off the back of them and nathan and i were bringing up the rear.  not my normal position for a sunday morning, but realistically, my normal position has been not on the bike.  i can’t actually remember the last hills ride i was on.  this was going to hurt.

there were no surges and no attacks from me today, as i was just trying to get to the end.  nathan and i caught jason and nick and formed a little quartet to tackle the rest of the climb up lesmurdie road.  the other 4 had clearly gone ahead and were out of sight before we turned.  however, a couple of twists later, i saw mike just up ahead.  i thought that they may have waited for us to make sure we went the right way, but actually they stopped to extract a stick that had become embedded in john’s shin.  there was lots of debris on the road this morning and the edges were pretty much full of all kinds of tree products, from little twigs to branches.  there also seemed to be lots of different roadkill, rats, possums, foxes and blue tongues.

we kept on riding and had the top 4 in sight until the end.  not sure on the finishing order as no-one was really keeping track today.  jason decided to leave us there and the rest of us took the descent down lawnbrook.  along the way greg jumped on board to join us for the remainder of the ride.  again there was lots of debris on the road and mike said he almost had a “snuggles” moment when he hit a gumnut.

up the other side and you quickly go from 60km/hr to 10km/hr as the hill pitches up at 15%.  tempos were set and everyone fell into the same routine as the last climb.  nathan and i bringing up the rear until about halfway up the climb when we caught nick and greg.  the same top four as last time were well and truly up the road and out of sight.  well actually, by the time we could see the finishline up ahead, stu and mike had turned around to ride back up again with us.  i remember when i used to be able to do that.  sniff, sigh.

a decision was made and nick, nathan and i would forgo the camelberg and just go straight to coffee.  when we hit mundaring weir road, those that wanted and extra climb went right, while the rest headed left.  with a tailwind for a change, it could have been the opportunity for a pb on this climb, but that generally assumes that you have some form leading into it.  not in my camp.  it was just another climb for me today, but like the others, i was trying to stick to a set power output and adjust my riding to suit.  this generally meant that you are on the gears a lot more as you need to make sure you don’t go too hard or too easy.  the easiest place to “lose” it was when the road flattened a bit and you suddenly found it too easy.  you really need to get the bike moving in order to keep the power up.

so i made it to the top and found that all the coffee shops were closed.  nathan headed to his parents place in the hills and nick and i grabbed a drink at the servo and then waited for the others to arrive.  with the wind the way it was, it was decided that welshpool may be a bit hairy for a descent today and we opted for the zig-zag instead.  from there, greg and jamie headed back towards welshpool via hale rd while the rest of us used the tailwind to get home fast via guilford road.

twas a good ride, though quite painful for me after such a long time away from the hills.  public holiday ride tomorrow (i won’t be there so organise yourself) but i am trying to do the 2 laps on tuesday morning.  see you there.

thanks for my christmas present

sunday 31st oct – long hills ride

It has been a number of weeks, stretching into a number of months, since i have done a hills ride, so i was not expecting too much from myself this fine spring morning. To start with I was having a wardrobe malfunction with my new-ish jersey in the carpark. As i zipped it up the zip would open from the bottom up giving me a somewhat creepy ‘exposed’ look that may or may not have been breaking the terms of my parol. Anyway,  i managed to get myself half decent, skirting the attention of the sex offenders registers board, and off we went after realising that el president was not going to be there to shepherd us. Nice, steady, and strong out of town we were, with light hearts and dreams of spring, until the first hill… “Kahuna”. Nice and long with a few steeper sections…you know? So I made a push to get (i might interrupt, gentle reader, to let you know that i will be writing this from a phenomenological perspective with myself as the obvious centre of the narrative structure… all right, on with the story), so, seeing the start of the hill i pushed to the front where the regular mountain goats were flocking. This was a good thing as i could use Heiko’s (frankly impressive) physique to sit behind and help me pace myself to the top. This helped to stop me from succumbing to my usual youthful enthusiasm and hitting out to hard too early. Heiko and i were close toward the top, like Contador and Schleck we were, till i tried outsprinting him and the inevitable happened.

      the scores at the top: 1: North Side Nick, 2: Stewie, 3: Blaire Maugham, 4: Heiko, 5: Morrison

This is where the guys doing a shorter route split off, and on we rolled. the next climb was Roleystone which has two sections with a flat/downhill section in the middle. there were a few likely characters ahead so i was counting on the last section to attempt to drop Davina and Jamie who were rolling with me. well, i got on the front to try and push it at the base of the climb but couldn’t shake them. Half ways up Davina attacked with a wicked and impressive sprint…i followed but couldn’t counter it  and she stayed ahead to get 5th. (p.s i hate getting beaten by girls. You would think i was used to it by now but no, not so much. Anyway, after seeing Davina compete with the A grade men at last weekends Golden Spoke race where she finished in the breakaway group ( in A grade for gods sake!)

      the wickets at the top: 1: Nick, 2: Stewie, 3: Mark E, 4: Heiko, 5: Davina

Well its been bracing so far so lets do more we all said. on the transition to the next climb a nameless voice was heard to say “ease up, I didn’t realise it was a sprint to the next climb!” actually that was Gus, and i seconded his complaint and covert proposal as we were rocketing along with my legs singing an aria of pain. We did get to the next climb of the Observatory – Patterson road, where once again Nick and Stewie showed why EPO should be allowed for people such as myself, who’s talent does not match their competitive desires (if only it wasn’t morally reprehensible, and so expensive) with another strong showing.

      Quoffles, Bludgers and Golden Snitch points at the top: 1: Nick, 2: Stewie, 3: Jarad, 4: Jamie, 5: Morrison

And on to the last climb for the ultimate prize of bragging rites and times on the board. The Mundaring Weir road while usually just painful, was also highly amusing today as Nick and Jarad went stomping up it in the 53×13! I just shook my head at their optimistic shenanigans and kept on spinning with the statesman like dignity and aplomb more fitting for one of my advancing years. I figured they would probably still be able to beat me anyway so i had better just keep my head down and just enjoy my own suffering. To give you an idea of how I went on this climb, i was still a fair ways off the top when Stewie came back down the hill to stretch his legs!

      Goals: 1: Stewie, 2: Mark, 3: Nick, 4: Blair, 5: Heiko

The usual coffee shop was chocker block with MAMIL’s and MAWIL’s so we kept on our way, and took Stewie’s long way home. Geoff (Jeff?) got a flat from the same wicked grate on welshpool road, just down from the Albany highway lights that i have seen others suffer on, and Stewie and him manfully changed his tyre. A few guys stayed to pace them home, me being one of these. This meant that i had to sit tight and hang on while Heiko, Stewie, Jarad and Geoff powered on the front all the way back to the carpark. Now, that was a hard ride! I didn’t have any computer or such fancy city-fied gadget on my bike so i didn’t get any stats, but my finely honed intuition tells me we went about 95 kilometres at great speed. Good day. Morrison

crossing the finish line

Golden Spokes (personal TT)

I had planned on getting to this event by train however once getting to the train it turns out that the line was closed so from Cannington I had the rest to ride to Champion Lakes. Luckily I left earlier than expected so I had extra time to cover the distance.

On arrival I found the SPR tent and again the drooling over the new bike continued 🙂

After storing it safely with SPR people I went to fetch my numbers and timing unit. Headed down to the unmarked, unsigned start line around 9:15am.

The start was delayed around 15 minutes waiting for one of the races to come through. Our start was un-organized. No real procedure seemed to be in place. I found myself at the front next to a team and when the guy randomly started counting down and got to zero I went. Having made the first turn and looking back saw they were releasing people at intervals after just saying you all seem to know what your doing so you can go together. Wasn’t going to go back doesn’t matter wasn’t a race anyway. The first team started rolling through and went off into the distance.

I got my rhythm and settled in. The first lap seemed to fly by and wasn’t long until I passed my first person. Must have been from an earlier race. Average for the first lap was 33.5 kph

The first three laps went by and I still had my average around 33kph. On the fourth lap the wind started to pick up on the far side of the river. I was already out of water so sent an SMS to Peter Mah begging for another to be delivered. Working through my Gatorade mixed bottle I got to the start line saw no water bottle and thought this is going to be a long 30kms without water. However on the next time through Peter was on the side of the road waiting with water. After a short pitstop I was back on my way for the last 20kms.

One rider I’ve seen around a few times before had been dropped by his team and he tried to suck my wheel but when I stepped up the pace again he exploded. By now my pace average had dropped to 32.5kph. Destroying some more bunnies down the back straight and with help from a slight tailwind and some dancing on the pedals I cruised in the high 30s and low 40s. Last lap and with the end in sigh off to the left it was time to push for the final 7kms. After getting out of the rowing complex and back onto the road I sucked down a gel I had been saving.

Rounding the hairpin at the far end of the course it was now the run home. At this point the pace car went past me. I noticed the people I should have been seeing and passing were not around. Was a little puzzled by this. However I was on the home run and the gel had kicked in. Back up to the high 30s and low 40s approaching the left turn to the finish I couldn’t wait. I was spent. Over the bridge and right onto the final straight. Out of the saddle and dancing on the pedals for a sprint to the inflatable finish banner. My first chance to get down into the lower gears of the new bike. Just before crossing the line I glanced at the speed 45kph. Loving the new bike apart from the issues in my last post. Crossing the finish line the remaining SPR guys were screaming and cheering screaming as I crossed the line.

I was spent and after handing my number back sat down for five minutes before having to ride home again. Great event can’t wait for next year.

Crossing the line at the golden spokes 2010

sunday 10th oct – longish hills ride

30 degrees saturday and quite a big turnout.  fast forward 24 hrs,  add in a couple of rain showers and the numbers certainly diminish.  in fact, when i turned up to the start, i couldn’t see anyone.  mainly because they were all hiding from the rain that had just pelted down.  i was caught in it so i was pretty much saturated by the time i arrived, but luckily it wasn’t cold.  there were only four of us at the start.

so we gathered together and decided that we would forgo the planned route and just stay close to kalamunda.  this way if the rain didn’t clear, we could make an early exit.  luckily we had decided to head out douglas ave, which was the same was as planned, as we picked up mark waiting under a shop awning. 

so there we were, the furious five.  jamie, mark dc, ndcc nick, danny boi and myself (i’ll let the boys all decide which character they are).  it didn’t really rain again, just sprinkled a bit, so it wasn’t too unpleasant.  we had decided to do welshpool first then maybe a few of the other closer hills.  on the way out i pointed out that we would all be getting points today as there were only five of us out. 

as usual, the climb started innocently enough but it was soon clear that nick and danny were going to be climbing better.  jamie held on with them for quite a while and basically stayed in contact for most of the climb.  mark and myself were off the back but were keeping the others in sight.  mark managed to claw back on to my wheel a few times, but lack of riding recently took its toll by the time we past the servo.  as we passed lesmurdie road and the hill kicks up again, i saw up ahead that nick had kicked and dropped danny.  jamie was still trailing not far behind and i seemed to be getting my second wind.  i knew that there were two more pinches to this hill so tried to measure my effort to be able to drag them back in.  the road heads downward momentarily before kicking back up for the final crest.  i put it in the big ring and, using the momentum from the downhill, sprinted up the last climb.  i managed to pass jamie, but danny saw me at the last moment and put in two or three hard pedal strokes to stay 2 bikes ahead of me by the time we crossed the line.

welshpool – ndcc nick, danny boi, peter, jamie, mark dc

a quick regroup and we headed towards pickering brook.  we were going to do the easy side of the observatory along patterson.  the climb started well enough, with no attacks coming in the first section.  the pace stepped up a bit towards the top and jamie and mark were discarded from the rest of us.  just before the last pinch to the top, nick attacked and got away.  it was funny as i was just thinking that if i was fit, this would be where i would go.  danny took off after him, but didn’t really put a dent in nicks advantage, just managed to keep away from me.  that is how it finished on the line.

observatory – ndcc nick, danny boi, peter, mark dc, jamie

our next climb was to be the camel farm, but since no-one in the group had done it before, we decided to just ride it rather than race it.  this made the pace a lot nicer, even though it didn’t stop us hitting the early slopes at a decent pace.  it was the turn into fern road and the subsequent roads that people were confused about, so we regrouped and took it easy through there till we came out at the camel farm. 

we then headed back down mundaring weir road towards kalamunda.  the pace on the final climb was not that fast, but i was just running out of legs by that stage.  we formed into a couple of little groups; danny and nick, mark and myself and jamie off the back.  it seemed that jamie had burnt all his matches early trying to stay with the front boys on welshpool.  a teacher at my high school (not that is going back over 20 yrs) had a sign in his office.  it said “old age and treachery will overcome youth and skill.”  i have been riding for longer that jamie has been alive, so my old legs just seem to remember what to do. 

nick pulled away from danny before the false flat and mark and i worked together to try to gain ground.  once on the flat, i went to the front and started to time trial along, just like the good old days when i used to bring the tt bike into the hills.  the aim was to slingshot mark into the last part of the climb so that he could catch danny.  unfortunately it didn’t go to plan, as mark ran out of legs just before the last hill.  i had burnt mine out by then so just worked my way to the top.  mark was far enough in front by then to stay ahead till the end.

wier rd – ndcc nick, danny boi, mark dc, peter, jamie

so, it was actually a really nice ride.  yes, it had rained, but it wasn’t cold at all.  service at the coffee shop was good as the rain had kept many away, so all up a good ride for all of us.  remember, don’t check the weather report to see if you are riding, check the weather report to see what you will be wearing while riding.

sunday hills ride – 22 aug. long course.

after a disastrous ride yesterday where my heart rate was maxing out with even the smallest effort, i was not expecting any miracles in the hills today.   there were 17 starters that greeted the morning and as usual, i was running late.  a smaller than usual contingent were taking the shorter route today, and i assume that the weather (or prediction)  may have thinned their numbers.  the roads were damp but not really wet as you could avoid the main puddles to stay dry.  as we rode down albany hwy, i was watching from the back as each rider from the front hit a small puddle.  there was this small spray launching off their back wheel for half a second and as it worked its way down the line, i was reminded of an automated fountain.  it was beautiful as the drops sparkled in the morning light (better ease off on the medication).

the damp conditions also meant that the road was pretty clear of traffic to so we made fairly good time down to kelmscott.  along the way we managed to pick up about three more riders to bring us up to 20.

we turned up brookton hwy and everyone started the hill.  the long course was to climb about half way up before turning left onto peet road, while the short course was to continue all the way to karragullen.  the long course hill seemed shorter, but it was no way easier as everyone was about to find out.

the first half of brookton hwy is not that steep so the group was not spread that far by the time we hit peet rd.  i was totally unsure as to how i would cope in the hills and so just went with the front boys for as long as i could.  i think i surprised myself a bit and managed to hold on all the way to peet rd.  from there it was a different story.  the first half of peet rd is basically 10% which is probably doubly as steep as the bit of brookton we just did.  it then jumps to about 12-13% before the intersection with urch.  i was well off the pace by then and so content to tap out the pace as best i could. 

just before urch, i noticed a guy standing on the side of the road just watching everyone ride by.  as i got closer i noticed he had a coffee in his hand too.  even closer and i saw that it was andrew and he was waiting for lisa and davina who he coaches.  i am sure that he was going to give them words of encouragement as they rode by.

after the urch intersection, the road sits at around 12% again for quite a way.  i managed to pick up a couple of places here, but wasn’t that concerned when they caught me on the downhill.  we had a few guys that had never ridden this course before so they hadn’t seen the end of the climb.  it is the state champs next weekend so this was to be a practice run for a few people.  i just let the boys go when they made a move for the line.  we were far enough back from the points to not let it worry me.

roleystone 01 – dan, ashley, sato, bonner, jerry.

after a regroup we headed off to do it all again.  this time we were doing the old state champs course.  this meant out brookton, left into chevin, all the way along to coventry, onto urch and back up peet.  in the good old days, the open men did this about 18 times.  this would be our second ascent of peet and it was pretty much enough.

we travelled well along chevin, but it broke up a bit before we got to coventry.  i was hoping to keep it together before the descent to give all the climbers a even chance, but a couple got away early.  we weren’t that far off them after the very quick decent down urch, so it wasn’t that bad.  i wasn’t making a play for points so it didn’t really matter to me.

i set a tempo up the hill and eased up a bit before the top.  tom and matt caught up to me and we hit the descent of peet together.  one last climb to the finish and i wasn’t chasing anything.  the front guys were already cooling done by the time i got there.

roleystone 02 – dan, jerry, sato, ashley, bonner.

an easy ride to pickering brook where we bade farewell to davina and headed up the observatory.  again a few went off the front early and started the climb before the rest arrived.  not really the spr way as we generally take it easy between climbs and then go hard once everyone is together.  jerry was at the back talking to me as we hit the climb.  he managed to bridge across to the front guys quite quickly and they all took off up the road.  i did an SE effort for a while, but then realised that it hurt too much so just took it fairly easy for the rest of the climb.

observatory – ashley, jerry, bonner, dan, markO.

a fast descent down from the observatory and soon we were on the final climb.  as soon as the 15% grade sapped all my speed, i just tapped my way up the climb.  a gruppeto of myself, lisa, john and matt formed at about halfway up the climbs so we stuck together till the end.  some weary legs were evident by this stage.

lawnbrook – dan, ashley, sato, jerry, bonner.

a few opted for an early out as the rest of us hit the coffee shop.  there was no room for us as the ndcc juniors were sprawled around the place taking shelter under the snugly blanket that the coffee shop now provides.  fortunately they were heading out once we had ordered, so we did a hot seat change over and took up residence.

an easy return trip which was kept uneventful and i had survived a hills ride after missing a couple.  looks like i may be missing the next few as well, but more on that later.

sunday 1st aug long course hills ride.

sunday hills ride.

it seems that we have all been a bit slack on the blogging front lately, so i thought i better pull my finger out and add my sunday experience to the mix.  after missing the saturday group ride due to kid duties, i was pretty fired up to go out hard on sunday.  i had planned a long route to get the most out of the course but it was not as though my legs had a total rest on saturday.  on the mtb with dan on the front and towing ben behind meant that i was carrying and extra 40+ kgs with me.  i tell you, any small inclination in the road and you can certainly feel it.

so we set out from the carpark on sunday with 32 people in tow.  a couple more joined us along the way but it was a pleasant jaunt out to welshpool road.  i noticed gez in the group as he stands out with his “cafe racer” jersey and massive video camera on his head, and tried to stay out of camera shot least i do something stupid.

bonner and i were at the back once the climb started so i got a ride on his tailcoat to the front as the gradient started to slow the field.  the selection was made early an soon i was in a pretty exclusive pack.  bonner, mike t, john gilbertson (now referred to as gilbert as in phillipe gilbert), ashley and sato.  unfortunately, it was clear to me that the group was a little too exclusive and i watched them start to attack each other  which quickly unhitched me.  actually it was good to see ashley attack then mike t counter attack before they settled down into a rhythm.

i continued up setting my own tempo not realising the i had actually recovered too much.  with my garmin out of service, i had no take on my heart rate and i became too complacent and let it go too low.  next thing i know there is a group of about 5 or so riders coming past.  damn, i just got caught on camera being passed by gez.  and even worse, i was getting chicked by dianne who is climbing pretty well lately.  i sat in for a while before getting on the front to up the pace.  matt came around soon and next thing we know, we are the only two left.  a couple of more turns and we are passed lesmurdie rd and onto the next section.

it was hard to know who to chase as there were lots of riders on the hill that day.  i was pretty sure that we wouldn’t be catching any of the front guys though.  matt went quite hard on the next section, but i decided to set tempo and hope to pull him back as the road flattened a bit.  i managed to grab back enough space to be with him once the road hit the next climb and with only two pinches to go i attacked to try to get away.  i was sure that i was out of the points, but this now became a pride thing.  as we raced up the climb, we were picking up riders from the other group (stadium club i think) but we came across a struggling ashley who had burnt his matches early trying to smash the front boys.  hmm, i think that there are points up for grabs now.  one more small uphill and matt and i basically sprinted for the line, with me managing to hang on to both the position and my breakfast.  although, both were a close call.

welshpool rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.

a regroup with all the short course riders took a bit longer than expected as we were missing julian.  apparently he broke a spoke at the bottom of the hill and was out for the day.  judd tried to help him but left him to taxi home as the bike was unrideable.  as luck would have it, josh was just driving down welshpool rd with the bike rack on the car so gave him lift home.

we headed through bickley valley and under the finishline for the junior state champs that was on that day.  pretty hardcore course for the kids as they had to do multiple laps up over the observatory and then had a steep climb to the finish.  ndcc nick who often come out on the sunday rides managed to get on the podium with a bronze in his age group, so well done to him.

we split the group at the bottom of mundaring weir road with the short course heading left straight to kalamunda  while we headed towards mundaring.  there were about 11 or so that were going long and it didn’t take long before the pace was on.  as this climb isn’t as steep, i managed to hold on for a lot longer but was soon spat out the back once the attacks came on.  i set a tempo again, but again let my mind wander and was picked up by a few more riders.  as i sat in i looked up and saw that ashley and gilbert had been dropped off the back.  i wondered how much i had in my legs as to whether i could catch them before the top.  why not, so i attacked the group that had graciously given me a wheel to follow, and set off up the road.  ashley was definitely putting too much in too early and after a bit of time off the bike, didn’t have the endurance to keep it up (these young guys are all the same, no staying power 🙂 ).   i picked him up and started closing the gap on gilbert, but he spotted me too early and was up out of the saddle to keep me away.  we caught wally and nev who were doing the same course as us, but different, so this wasn’t to be the last time we saw them.  unfortunately for me, gilbert used his spring classics legs to dart up to the top of the berg to claim the minor points.

asher rd – mike t, mike b, sato, gilbert, peter.

we headed towards the weir at a nice pace and had rugged up with the impending brain freeze that is always invoked at this time of year.  as the descent started, it was clear that this was not to be our usual ride with a thick fog soon engulfing the approaching road.  right, i thought, this is where i am going to get away.  i hit the fog hard and took first wheel.  my plan was to try to get ahead as those behind would slow with the worry of not being able to see the wheel in front properly.  i just had to hope that there were no slow moving vehicles or stray animals to dodge.  however, attacking downhill is never really the best, and after a fast and slightly hair-raising descent, we were basically together at the bottom.

keeping the pace as long as i could, i managed to hold on to about halfway to the roundabout, but then watched them scamper up the road.  ashley and i worked together for the remainder of the climb, and besides coming across wally and nev (again) we never saw anyone else.  ashley gifted my the points, but according to gilbert, he was lucky that the fog kept him hidden as we may have ridden harder had we seen that he was also dropped.

mundaring township  – mike b, mike t, sato, gilbert, peter.

the normally sedate township of mundaring was abuzz with activity.  well as much abuzz as the truffle festival can evoke.  the centre of the park was surrounded by a 8 foot high fence which was meant that everything was completely blocked from view.  i guess they didn’t want us to see how much fun that they were having with fungus.

we took the nice decent through darlington, complete with bonus climbs, to reach kalamunda road.  there a couple of riders headed straight home while the rest of us took in the last climb to coffee.  i really wasn’t feeling it at the start of the climb and considered taking the sweeper role, but managed to find a good rhythm by about halfway.  again, i picked up ashley and had gilbert in my sights, but he was constantly looking behind his back to make sure i didn’t catch up.  at the front, however, mike t started to fade after racing the previous day and bonner and sato claimed his scalp on the final climb.

kalamunda rd – mike b, sato, mike t, gilbert, peter.

coffee break was good, but we couldn’t really explain how nev and wally managed to beat us there as we passed them on mundaring weir rd.  another tear in the space time continuum.  i think we were all a bit bugger as we may have stayed a bit longer than normal and is was close to 11 by the time we departed.  a bit faster of a descent today, but still no speedo to really let me know what we were doing.  i had an interesting talk to rupert who was climbing really well today.  it turns out that a slight change in his diet has meant that he now has more power and has lost a bit more weight.  it is amazing the small changes that can be made that make a big difference to your riding. 

another is getting a proper bike fitting.  unfortunately, this can be a bit more expensive as nathan just found out.  not the actual fitting as that was though the member benefits at glen parker south, but rather the fact that he had originally been sold a bike that was a size too big.  he is not the first person to have this happen, and especially new riders are susceptible to getting the wrong advice.  there is a lot of experience in the group so don’t be afraid to ask.  we are not always right, but it is always good to see the light hearted  verbal abuse being thrown around when someone asks “which is better, shimano or campag”.  it is shimano of course :).

sunday 11th july – hills ride

checking the radar this morning and i could see that it was going to be a wet one.  it didn’t look consistent, but there would be no way that we would be able to totally avoid any showers.  i was a bit late and turned up with bec to make a total of 11 at the start.  people don’t seem to mind the cold, just not too happy about the wet.  it is all km’s to me though, so i need to be riding lots now as august has a pretty full race schedule.  bec and i had been discussing being overdressed on the way to the start and it did feel a bit warm before we set off.  out along great eastern and across kalamunda rd made navigation easy but an early shower set the standard for what we had to come.

 soon we were facing the bottom of kalamunda rd and young jamie set the pace early on.  the ride last week was the first time that jamie had ridden kalamunda rd and then didn’t know what to expect.  today we had the added bonus of wet roads to deal with as well.  jamie, ndcc nick and i made it up to the first plateau but i was struggling at the steep point and was sure that nick was going to smash me when he looked back to see how i was going.  no, he waited till the road flattened off and then attacked once the road started upwards again.  jamie and i basically just watched him ride away.  we continued to tap out the pace as stu bridged across and just kept on going.  i sat on jamies wheel for a while before he started to fade a bit and i came past.  i wasn’t really expecting to catch nick and stu, but just wanted to make sure i had enough space ahead of jamie to make sure i held 3rd position.  the rest of the climb was just survival in the wet.

kalamunda rd – ndcc nick, stu, pete, jamie, claire.

a regroup undercover just near chicken treat, and we were down by one as ndcc nick rode on ahead to meet up with some others.  the state junior road race this year is to be held at pickering brook and takes in the observatory.  a group of juniors were headed out that way to try out the circuit.

we were headed along to lesmurdie rd with the intent of using that descent as part of the precursor  to the next climb.  unfortunately, as we approached, the fog got thicker and thicker to the point where we could see that far in front of us.  nick c came up to the front to suggest that we neutralise the lesmurdie descent as if we couldn’t see the cars then they won’t be able to see us as they pull out of side roads and driveways.  we cruised down to the welshpool rd intersection and turned left to take on the top section of the hill only.  we lost two more as nick c and di turned right and headed off home.

jamie took off like a shot and attacked the first climb instantly getting a gap on the rest of us.  we set a tempo on the climb and slowly pulled him back.  stu eventually dispatched me and went on ahead.  i caught jamie and left him to continue alone as each of us seemed to be doing today.  usually with the bigger groups, there is someone else that is around your climbing capabilities so you tend to form into little echelons.  today, it was more of a solo thing.  as we got closer to the top the rain started coming down harder.  i didn’t pull back any time on stu but kept away from jamie to hold my position.

welshpool – stu, pete, jamie, mark e, claire.

we lost ivan here as well as he was heading straight to coffee.  by now i was discovering the limits that a wind proof jacket had in a downpour.  it was shower proof but not water proof and now i could feel the water slowly seeping down my arms.  the previous discussion with bec about being overdressed was revisited and we decided that we could do with more.

past pickering brook and we started the observatory climb.  stu moved ahead and i told jamie that he better get on his wheel.  i followed him and sat on their wheels for a while until my legs just decided that they had enough.  i sat up and just tapped out a tempo until claire and bec caught up with me.  i sucked wheel up the rest of the climb until we hit the plateau before the final kick.  up ahead, is saw that stu had dropped jamie and was powering on alone.  as the pace went up on the plateau i came around to offer some support.  unfortunately i was going a bit hard and so gapped the girls quickly.  i looked back and decided to just keep going to see if i could reign in jamie.  as the road kicked up for the finale, i came past him and continued on to the top.  stu was finished and had turned around already by the time i got there.

observatory – stu, pete, jamie, bec, claire.

at the top i noticed that claire had the electronic dura-ace on her bike.  it had been raining fairly consistently but she was doing fine.  claire competes in the disabled athletes category as she doesn’t have full use of her left arm. she said that the electronic was awesome as she didn’t need to try to push the front derailleur like on the manual system, just push a button.  i said that even i had trouble changing to the big ring some times.  maybe i need to go di2.

with the rain, low numbers and increasing discomfort, we changed the route to head straight up lawnbrook so we could head straight home.   the descent from the observatory was pretty straight forward for everyone except for nathan who got the speed wobbles.  he had to slow the thing right down so he didn’t come off.  meanwhile mark e had hit the climb hard using his momentum from the descent and started the hill in front.  i chased him down and set the pace at the front.  that was until stu came past and never looked back.  just before the end of the hardest section, my phone rang.  with the big gloves on i didn’t get to the hand free kit in time so it was going to have to wait.  it had pretty much cleared up weatherwise and the climb was not too bad.  unfortunately that didn’t last long and the heavens opened up with a vengeance.  i never saw stu again until i reached the end where i found a tree to hide under.  i checked my phone to find that it was my wife checking up to see if we were ok as it was absolutely bucking down at home.  it was certainly getting wetter.

lawnbook – stu, pete, mark e, jamie, claire.

it was hammering down by now so we made a break for the servo to wait out the worst of it.  the consensus was to head straight home.  we had already changed the route to change the climb to kalamunda and skip the goose altogether so skipping coffee wouldn’t really matter.  sorry ivan if you were waiting for us to turn up.  the descent was wet so we pretty much took it easy the whole way home.

so even with the wet weather, the lack of cold wind made it pleasant enough.  it was wet though and the bike now really needs some love to get all the sand out.  but i suppose we can’t really complain as it is winter after all.

SPR Sunday Main Group Ride 20/6/2010

6:45 Sunday morning and again I find myself at Coode Street car park waiting for the Sunday Hills ride. I wasn’t the first to arrive today there were three or four others. Looking forward to when the days get longer as its still dark at 7am. Around five past 7 Peter rang his bell and gave his normal speech and then it was time to roll out.

Canning Mills Road was the first climb of the day and so we headed out past Curtin Uni towards Albany Hwy. We were broken a couple of times by lights so pulled over in Cannington and and waited for the rest of the group to catch up. Our transition out too Canning Mills Road was uneventful. At the lights crossing Tokin Hwy I was thinking turn off brain and wake me up once I get to the top. Round the round about and a short downhill roll until the road starts heading skyward. I remember thinking enjoy this feeling because its about to get bad. Quickly I took my rightful position at the back of the group. Watching everyone else zooming ahead is a real bummer. Clicking through the gears trying to find my rhythm. Up and on the pedals the climb begins. I managed to keep a speed of around 16 ~ 17kph on the way up. Around half way I managed to get on the wheel and pass Lennie. I think she was saving herself for the climbs to follow. Lots of cars passed us today. One came a little to close to me for comfort but sort of use to that now.

Once at the top I was not as buggered as I thought I would be and this time I didn’t ride past the regroup point. Short drink of water and Peter instructed the main group to head off. Back onto Canning Mills Road and only seven of us today for the main group. Again I quickly found myself as the sweeper (I like this description and will stick with it). Once we reached Canning road a short comfort stop for a few and the suggestion was raised to go though Pickering Brook. I haven’t ridden through there before so was keen to give it a go. I wasn’t prepared for it and that’s the best way. No time to dread it. I was expecting a real bad climb out here but it was only a gradual climb. Nice scenery out here and considering how long I lived in the hills surprised I didn’t know that area. Was some other cycling event being run out there because we saw a number of other riders and event ahead signs. Back to the story. A short regroup and then it was a very good down hill run. 60kph all the was down. Walnut Road was awesome. On the approach you see the bottom but you don’t see the drop. Then you reach it and it is virtually goes straight down. This was awesome. Best descent we have ridden. So good to ride a descent that is not just a straight run like Welshpool Road.

The group navigated our way to Mundaring Weir road. The group quickly spread out on the climb. A mention here through we owned the road up Mundaring Weir. A woman driving a small truck came up behind us and for majority of Mundaring Weir road this driver followed the road rules and didn’t over take us. Holding up a convoy of cars behind her. No rushing to get past. Was like a support car sitting on the rear. Was great.

All of us reached Kalamunda and were keen on the coffee shop stop. One of our group continued on and went home. Merchant had a couple groups already there but not too busy. Everyone got their order in around 10 minutes. I think we hung around for 30 minutes or so before heading back out on the trip back to South Perth. I clocked a speed of 80.9kph down Welshpool Road today. Fastest descent ever. The group sat on around 36 to 40kph for most the trip. We jumped on the back of another group who did their best to drop us but didn’t work. They turned off and it gave a couple of us the chance to catch up to the rest of the group that went with them. I don’t know what speed they were doing because we were doing 40kph. I think a tail wind helped because this was my dead patch just was not feeling it. Was a great return trip mostly sitting above 35kph back to Coode Street. Was a great ride today even though it was more than I was prepared for. Was pleased to see that for my segment between 80 – 90 kms I clocked an average of 39.1 kph. Very happy with that considering this was towards the end of my ride.

Route can be seen here.

(drinking wine @ the folks and I’m tired so sorry if this write up makes no sense)