i was nervous about this. it is a 53 km circuit around the river with closed roads. i think i was nervous because i like to be prepared and anything new involves the unexpected but mainly because my idea of who 'real' bike riders are would be there and would mock my lame everything. yes this is being very insecure. but i had only be riding my 'real' bike three months and i was still not comfortable with the pedals and shoes etc. i also have to work out the mechanics of parking etc as 4000 people are entered. i get to south perth early and no problem parking. i ride around the river to langley park and while it is chilly the wind is almost nil. it is going to be a beautiful day. people rock up constantly and some of the bikes are just magnificent. the guys/gals/groups doing two circuits or 106km start first and most are on their second lap by the time we start. i had put myself in the 25-30km range but by the look of some bikes not everyone was as honest. our group is called up to start and i get away without falling off. this had happened to other people and believe me i had images of me being sprawled all over the start line. i get going and start to relax. it is going to be fantastic ride and turns out it was. best fun i have had on a bike. there were hills -up and down, great views, fast sections, people to ride with for awhile and the challenge. i loved every moment. lots of folks had been talking about 'the' hill at mosman park. even the commentators at the start. gweeds (friend) talked about how he didnt make it up the whole way and so i was very nervous about this. plus i have no idea how you unclip while climbing but this never occurred to me until i got to 'the' hill. so we are climbing a hill and i ask the guy next to me if this is 'the' hill and he says yes. i am surprised as it is not that bad. then we go around a few corners and i look up and see 'the ' hill. i know this to be true because it is littered with people getting off their bikes and pushing. luckily i get to the right gear quickly and start climbing. it is straight up for 150 metres. it is at this point that i realise i have no idea how to unclip without falling straight over so i know i have only one option - make it to the top. i did - couldnt let my bike get damaged falling over. i was so excited and completely knackered. results 1.53.28 AVG 28 km Overall 991/2167, Gender 82/459, Cat 7/65. good day out.