By Nathan Rzepecki
Must have been Natalia Cooper lying about rain because numbers were down to just five again for the transitional ride this morning. All three groups headed of as one out of the car park this morning and down Mill Point Road towards Great Eastern Highway.
Peter noticed that the group wasn’t falling off the back as maybe he thought we would. He made a suggestion that we all stick together and then split at Helena Valley Road. At the intersection of Great Eastern Highway and Stoneham Street no-one turned left so the decision was to stick with the main group until Helena Valley Road. Keeping in line down the back along side of one of the more advanced riders the group was working well with no one getting dropped off the back and the pace keeping at around 30 – 35km/s. I will take a pot shot but it was slightly entertaining. We got held up by a train on West Pde. I have not seen 15 or so guys run up a hill to take a comfort stop apart from on a pub crawl making room for the next pint. We only left South Perth 15 minutes or so before. How much water are these guys drinking. 🙂
So after the train had finally past everyone was back on and off we rolled. At the T junction of Military Road and Helena Valley Road the Advanced and Intermediate group turned left and we headed for the hills. After the split there were only five of us. We had one other rider but they did a U-turn and headed back for the main group. Leading my fellow riders down Helena Valley Road towards the round about introductions were made for the new riders. (Sorry I suck with names and can’t remember, Remind me in the comments.). Before turning right into Ridge Hill road I made the comment don’t sprint this first hill because for some there may be worse to come so just take your time. By the time I looked up the road a couple of riders were already half way up the first hill. But as I dropped back the gears to the tallest lot ready to make my own assault I was already passing those that shot forward. Having done this stretch a month ago and wanting to die I noticed this time it was not so bad. Once I travelled what seems three individual small climbs I waited at the base of the Zig Zags for the remaining four riders to roll in.
All made it to this point without too much trouble. Having been a local resident in Kalamunda up until just a few years ago I thought it best warn them that the Zig Zags is actually a one way road and that the direction was down. So keep left and listen out for any calls of cars coming. Also on the hairpins can be covered in a bit of gravel from boy racers. Especially on a Saturday night. So off we headed up the bendy road. We maintained a pace of around 15 ~ 20km/h I think and reached the top in about 15 minutes. Peter was right this route was by far the easiest way up. From here you can easily see South Perth from where he had just come. Seems so much further than it felt riding it.
Onwards to Kalamunda. This section is still up-hill but its not that bad. Kept checking behind making sure hadn’t dropped anyone. Once I reached the Library I looked back and saw one rider in a white shirt which I hadn’t noticed had fallen behind. Now we were all together rolled into Hays street and into the Cafe for a break and coffee. Popular spot this cafe because there were around 20 -30 other bikes resting against walls and poles around the place.
After sharing stories over coffee it was time to get back on the road and head down the hill. Turning right onto Canning road and then left at the round about it was simple, for the next 2 or three kms. Head down and pedal. Leading the group down Kalamunda road I was taking the brunt of the wind. As much as I tried I couldn’t reach the speed limit of 70kms. The highest I was able to reach was 68km/h. From this point on it was Virtually Flat and un-eventful back to South Perth, We stayed doubled up down Madia Vale Road and Dundas Road. The new road and bridge that is not on the map yet Shaw had a blow-out. Not surprised. The side of the road was covered in so much rubbish I was waiting for the same thing but you couldn’t have missed it his wheel just went bang. We moved off the road and onto the cycle path which we probably should have done back at the junction. Will remember for the next time we pass through there. After Shaw replaced his tube and exhausted himself inflating the new tube I pointed out I had an Air canister. My bad I forgot I had it because I have never used it. But its ok Shaw in two weeks when you have another flat I will remember and hand it to you. 🙂
Turning onto Abernathy Road we followed this all the way through Belmont. Past the Sunday markets at Belmont Forum to Great Eastern Highway. Single file on Great Eastern Highway but the drivers today seemed to want to kill some of us and a couple came very close. Just before reaching the lights at the Graham Farmer Fwy called for us to double up. Make the two lane changes we needed to do a little safer. I was thinking of getting across the lane and onto the path at Burswood but didn’t have enough time to cross three lanes. We were squeezed at the merge over the causeway again by drivers that just couldn’t wait a couple extra seconds. Back onto Mill Point Road and home too Coode St carpark. Another good Sunday ride and a different route than we have done before. Average speed of just over 26km/h so not bad considering the climbs in there. Didn’t slow our overall speed too much. See you all on Tuesday and next weekend. For the two new riders please let me know your names in the comments so I remember for next time.