Tuesday, November 23, 2010

the great (bloody) bike ride

lemon myrtle is what i will remember from this ride.  it was all you could smell.  i love this event - it was fun, it hurt a bit and while not a race you do compete against yourself and i improved on last year.  it is a brilliant ride around the river with great views, decent hills, a wonderful atmosphere and closed or controlled traffic.    last year i only had my new bike for a few months prior so the 53k was a challenge.  i remember seeing the teams and groups of the 106k riders flash by after their first lap as we were waiting to start.  i was a bit nervous (as usual) and i think there were probably about a dozen girls out of the approx 540 signed up for two laps.  everyone was really friendly and i started in a group at the back of the pack - 25-30k range.  i thought about getting with a group but i spend all my time riding alone that i worry about not knowing the 'rules'.  coming over the freeway the first time i did work with a bunch of lone riders that seem to come together to minimise the wind but other than that i was on my own. 

the first lap was excellent.  it was easy to ride with everyone being more experienced. you didnt have to worry about people doing risky stupid stuff.  when you came around for the second lap - unless you had beaten the start of the 53k folks - you then had to manage alot more riders who were slower and riding in loose packs all over the road. 

everyone talks about the mosman park hill.  i had no fear last year as i had no clue what they were talking about.  when i first came to it and saw the carnage of people hopping off their bikes i wasnt quick enough and had to climb it as i had no idea how to unclip going up hill.  still dont.  my overall goal was to climb it both times and to then finish the ride.  it is not that big.  really.  the first ride up i changed gears, stayed on my seat as long as i could and only when i had to stood up and rode.  sure the heart rate went up and i needed more air but it is quite doable.  i was surprised when the guy riding next to me on the first lap stopped as soon as he came to it, unclipped and pushed his bike up it.  on the second lap my legs felt okay, i had eaten and i stuck with the same approach.  there were people everywhere pushing their bikes up.  one guy said to me - as i am climbing - that there is no shame in walking.  i am sorry but that is bullshit.  to not even give it a try.  to just give up.  it was not impossible.  i wanted to call him a girl but the girl was doing okay.

last year one lap took me 1.53.28.  this year my first lap was 1.45.51 and my second lap 1.51.03.  i was really happy that my second lap was still faster than last year.  you can check out the details at garmin.  and according to garmin not quite the advertised 106k.  my moving time varies to allow for the one minute stop to refill the drink bottle.  the volunteers were amazing.  this year the results do not have any detail other than your lap splits and overall finish.  i was 434 out of 540.  so i beat a few guys home.  but then again it isnt a race but just a great bloody bike ride.

1 comment:

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Sounds like a really cool ride! Congrats on doing better, that's great progress.