Well I said yesterday this would be a challenge and I am happy to report I finished it.
I wanted to leave home this morning without the winter jacket but my man boobs just would not let me do it. Rugged up I rolled out and down the street in the dark.
Felling better than yesterday and pockets full of power bars and red bull I felt I had more than enough to get me through today’s big ride. Arriving at Coode Street were already a number of others getting there act together. Was not the first for a change.
7am came and Peter gave the recount of what climbs we would be doing today. At this point I was still keen. I took off the winter jacket then thought about how it would be chilli in Guildford and so put it back on. Presidents address delivered we rolled out towards the hills. Ride out to the hills was trouble free. Paired up each took their turn on the front of the group before turning off. My turn came just before Midland which was good means I could get out of the way just before Greenmount.
Turning onto Greenmount the group went past me as always. Did not take long to take back Ivan and Steven. Sat on Ivans wheel for a little bit but realised I had more in the tank. Next up the road was Darryl. He has been kicking my butt lately but I know he hates the hills. However that was the last ducky I would catch. One rider ahead was my target and I slowly was catching them but without another few kms I had no chance. I thought about digging deep but was no point I had a long way to go today.
Arriving at the entry to John Forrest National Park I skulled the Red Bull from my back pocket and half a power bar. Climb one down. The riders doing the short course headed back down the hill as the rest of us headed into the National Park. It is a nice ride through the park but very rough. If you sit on the seat you get punched in the balls. Your bike feels like it is going to break in half. Well except for Peters because his frame is titanium. Probably why we go through here. Exiting the park we arrived at the base of the days second climb.
Again I fell to the back and looking at the road ahead I thought I am a fool. Dropped back through the gears and out of the saddle. climb up this second hill. Seemed to have a little bit of a rest halfway before rising again. I was now following Jeff and I we would ride alongside for most of the day from here on. Climb two tick.
From here we had a bit of a ride to Mundaring. We had a short stop at a deli so people could buy any supplies they needed before the next two climbs. From here I lead out with Mike B all the way to Mundaring. Crossing Great Eastern Hwy Peter told us where the next regroup point was. By my guess it was a long 15kms or so away. Jeff and I both got dropped on the way down to the dam. Was ok not fussed. You could clearly feel the change in temperature on the way down to the valley in front of the dam. The ride down to the base of the dam was short lift as the other side came up very quickly. it seemed to take no time at all to go past the car park on the other side of the the dam. Ice Cream van was not here yet but I did see him on his way further up the road. Jeff and I stuck together the entire way until the regroup. The hills peaked at 10% for a short period. That is according to Garmin. On the approch to the regroup point we saw Mike B and Gus came back looking for us but need not bother we were so close now. After a short rest and getting ride of another half of a power bar it was a nice decent down to the start of the last climb for the day.
Mundaring Weir Road. By now I really did not need my jacket but had not place to stash it. pockets were full. Sitting behind Jeff the cars queued up as we climbed Mundaring Weir. The car directly behind us was acting as an escort and not crossing the double white lines was good to see. The cars following was not so patient. Bugger them I say follow the road rules. Around halfway Jeff told me to go ahead. I seemed to have a bit still in the tank so I pushed past and must have pulled a 500m gap a least by the top of Mundaring but couldn’t see Jeff. The others had already gone to coffee so I headed there too.
On arrival some were staying some were going. Peter asked if I was staying and I said. “You think I’m silly. Did not ride all this way for nothing. I want my chocolate muffin” Short answer yes. Was so happy to have made this ride. Four climbs through the hills. Was very happy to have completed it. After coffee I found myself on the front of the group again and lead the way to Lesmurdie road. With help from my parachute jacket I had a horrible descent both down Lesmurdie and down Welshpool Rd. Someone mind as well been para-sailing off me because no matter how much I tried to be invisible the fastest I could descend was 54km/h.
One the flat the rest of the group was miles ahead. Approaching the lights at Tokin Hwy I could see the group already pulled over waiting at Wattle Grove primary. After getting a laugh for my description of my descent (excuse for being buggered) I lead out again with Peter sitting comfortably on around 30km/h. Started to struggle on the way to Vic Park so once I reached Vic Park I parted from the group and short cutted through east Perth to home. This meant one more bonus climb up past the police station.
Great ride this morning and would have to be up there as one of my best.