ride routes 8th & 9th mar

saturday 8th mar
canning vale (reverse)
Sth Perth Saturday Ride 04 (Canning Vale)
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sunday 9th mar
gooseberry & kalamunda & bickley
(i will be doing the brw triathlon in town for work, so will not be leading. i’m sure someone can step up. also if anyone wants to turn their hand at writing it up, feel free to send it to me and i will post it for you.)
Sth Perth Sunday Ride 08 (Gooseberry & Kalamunda & Bickley)
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jersey design – part 01

ok, i need some help.
i am starting to look at a jersey design for the group but i need some ideas of what we will be called.
it is primarily a south perth ride so i would like to call it the –
south perth (insert name here)

i.e. south perth riders (for those with a lack of imagination)
south perth coffee crankers (has been suggested before)

add your comments to the bottom of this post, but be sure to leave your name so we can give you credit if we run with it.

sunday 2nd mar – greenmount & parkerville & mundaring weir

i will try to be more positive today. nothing to rant about, and no soap box to yell from. we had our usual quota of dickheads yelling at us as they drove past, but nothing significant. one guy was actually quite funny and told us to “put your back into it”.

around twenty starters this morning, with mostly the usual suspects but some new faces as well. one guy, neill, who stumbled upon our group a few weeks back, had invited a friend, dave, along as well. a little more daylight this morning as there was no low cloud cover to disperse the day break. for a change, there was a very light southerly wind blowing, which meant that we didn’t have to push into the wind the whole way out.

the course today would take in some nice climbs as well as some nice descents. a bit of a suburban tour to get out to the first climb at greenmount would be followed by a very scenic tour through john forrest national park to our next climb on oxley rd. jumping back over to the south-side of great eastern highway, we would continue on mundaring weir road which would give us another two climbs to get to the coffee shop. along the way there would be a couple of “bonus” climbs thrown in for good measure.

the southerly wind allowed us to get an arm chair ride all the way out to guilford. even on the front was not too much trouble as we clipped along at a fine pace. once we hit bushmead rd we picked up russell and lorraine who live out that way. that got the final numbers up to around 24 riders.

previously when we have ridden this route we have used the bike path to get onto great eastern highway. last time i blogged about this, i said that i would find a better way since the size of the group now makes negotiating a bike path difficult. well i did have a look, but i forgot to have a look just before we went out and so forgot the names of the roads that we needed to take. i kind of knew where we had to go so took a punt on a few of the roads. after a brief excursion past some nice rusting car bodies on the nature strip, we ended up in a court and had to ride back out. a couple more turns and we found great eastern highway again. looking at google maps now, the road that i remembered didn’t actually exist in the real world. we it did, but it didn’t go all the way through and link up with the court that we took. anyway, we found our way out with no harm done.

the climb up greenmount starts steady before ramping up to give a fairly consistent grade climb. the bottom section isn’t really enough to shake the group up much unless a big attack is launched. the hill is way too long for that, and most people realize that. the pace therefore was strong, and i thought we would have lost a few by the time we reached the steeper section, but the majority of the pack was still together. we were still riding two abreast at this point too. it is probably an indication of the groups current form and the consistent hills rides that have meant that the everyone is improving.

as the grade increased, neill, who was next to me at the front went forward saying that he was going to get out of everyone’s way. what it really did was force everyone to chase and therefore started to split the pack up. ryan and stu came past and neill and i jumped on the back. a few others weren’t far behind and were managing to hold it together fairly well.

ryan set a fair pace at the front and we would occasionally swap off until about halfway up. not sure if the pace increased of neill’s legs had had enough, but he dropped off the pace leaving the three of us to surge ahead. a few more turns and we managed to put in quite a gap to the chase guys. almost at the top and ryan surged again forcing me to come around stu to stay on his wheel. it didn’t last long and i had to let him go, but luckily by then we were in the turning lane for the regroup point.

instead of the usual spread of riders that we used to get, they were now sticking together in groups of three of four. the waiting time has also come down significantly as people may be working together to tackle the hills. i did notice as we waited, that we had picked up a couple more riders along the way. as always, welcome. as long as you wait at the designated points we are happy to have you along. we lost dave at this point as he had to return to town early, but made sure he got the first climb under his belt first.

we jumped the gate leading into the national park as it is to keep the car hoons out after dark, and continued on our way. this section is quite rough, with just the right amount of undulation to break the group up. however, i had warned everyone of the gate at the other end that may surprise the first few if they are going too fast. i think that no-one was really sure where the gate was, so the pace was rather sedate and everyone stuck together.

jumped the next gate and we then had a nice descent to oxley road where the next climb would begin. we needed to regroup before this point as it involves a left turn that was not at the end of a road, and therefore created a risk that people would miss it. sometimes people ask me where the ride routes come from. a lot came from simon as he used to run these groups, but a bit of thought does go into them. i found that it is easier to tell people to ride till the road stops rather than try to find a particular landmark or side road. unfortunately this route contains a couple of “tricky” turns.

well oxley is the type of climb where you pretty much need to be in the easiest gear from the start. it kicks sharply, turns the corner, kicks again, flattens, turns and kicks again. it is a really hard climb to sustain an attack as it keeps fighting back. just as we started the climb, a new guy introduced himself as he has happened upon our group whilst out riding by himself. damian his name was and he could climb quite well. ryan was unsure of how long the hill was and so didn’t really attack till the second grade increase. by then i was pretty much at my limit, so had to let him go. he was unsure where we were stopping, so slowed up at the flat section allowing damian and myself to catch up. i showed him the top of the next climb would be the regroup so he sped off again. not sure where stu was on that climb as we were expecting him to come past at any moment.

a quick regroup and we were off again. this section involved quite a few short sections with regroups in between as it is a bit of a maze of roads that make navigation difficult. we cruised down to parkerville and stopped at sam druckers general store in case anyone needed any provisions. at this point, neill said that he needed to get home as he had to be back early. john also said that he needed to get home, but for a different reason. he had suddenly remembered that it was his wedding anniversary. dangerous, dangerous territory to be in. personally, i think he was already screwed, so he should have just enjoyed the rest of the ride. not sure what excuse he was going to use, but someone suggested that he claim that he snuck out on the bike to by flowers.

we then had a bonus climb out of parkerville to get back to the great eastern highway. this climb is fairly steep in sections, but now has been resurfaced with a nice hot-mix. ryan took it at a fair pace with damian and myself holding his wheel. as it steps up again, damian decided to see what ryan had in his tank an
d gave a surge. ryan accelerated and immediately gapped him by quite a few bike lengths. when i caught up to damian i told him not to make ryan angry, or he would just hurt us more. michael had a good climb too and managed to overtake me before we reached great eastern.

a final regroup to make sure all parties were accounted for and we were on mundaring weir road. the first section leaving mundaring township is basically down hill and the group stayed together well. there is a final pinch before the road winds down into the base of the weir which someone will always have a dig to try to get a break. last time we did this route, i’m sure it was me. not this time.

someone did have a crack, and the group responded immediately. as we had just been cruising gently down the hill, the pack was not in any pecking order of who would go well on the climb. therefore, when people attacked, there are often stray riders left out in the middle of the road while other fight to get around. unfortunately, as riders were coming around and others were trying to get back to the left hand side, there was a bit of contact and both dr marc and simon were on the deck. well dr marc was definitely on the deck while simon ended up going bush for a bit. the end result was a very bit hole in dr marcs knee and a very dirty jersey where he ended up in the gravel edge of the road. simon was ok. a lot of discussion about which way he should go as there was still two big climbs ahead, whilst a return to mundaring would get him home quicker. two things became obvious; 1. he was going to continue as it “was only a graze” 2. there was no way he was going to call his wife to tell her that he fell off. the “graze” didn’t look too good as it was down into that white fatty layer. unfortunately he wouldn’t let me take a photo then, but had to wait till we were back at the coffee shop where it had congealed a bit. nice.

anyway, we had all stopped to make sure he was ok, but dr melvyn said that he would ride with him to make sure he didn’t die on the way. we saddled up and continued over the slight rise and onto the nice descent into the weir.

michael and i tried to get a bit of a break leading into the climb, but everyone was happily speeding down the hill after us. by the time we hit the slopes, we had a group of around about ten with us. again, the increase in the groups climbing ability meant that majority of those riders were still together as we past the dams observation point. the road kicks up as it turn the corner and i would say that most of the initial group were still holding wheel. ryan and michael were setting the pace at the front, but i wanted to shake a few of the boys up so sped around to take the lead. ryan instantly was on my wheel along with stu, while a quick look back showed that we had gapped the others. working together, we kept the gap increasing before we approached the top of the main climb. at about this point ryan put in a burst of speed that left stu and i behind. i just kept pace making and ryan eventually got bored and sat up.

i wanted to stay ahead of the rest as that is the beauty of this particular road. it is long, with two major climbs plus many undulations and bonus climbs. it creates a really good race and chase situation as you need to be able to maintain a good pace because if you crack, everyone will pass you.

the three of us worked together up and over the undulating hills past all the national park picnic spots that are usually filled with mountain bikers. on the last climb before the descent, we spotted another rider up the road. this bonus climb can be quite brutal if you need to do it at speed. i looked back when we were on a straight section of road and saw that the chase group was not that far behind. they had obviously been working together to try to get back on. the rider up ahead turned out to be damian who hadn’t stopped when dr marc crashed. normally an offence on this ride, but as he was new and as his wife is due to have a baby on friday, he really needed to get home.

damian jumped on the back as we went past and we tried to keep the pace on over the final climb. once we were at the top i looked back to find that the chase group was only 200 metres behind. ryan suggested that we start to roll through to keep them at bay. all through the descent we managed to roll through and may have actually increased the gap some what.

we hit the final climb up to kalamunda and ryan set the pace early. i was starting to wonder how long my legs would hold out as they were starting to feel very, very heavy. memories of last week also didn’t help as i had tanked it on the final two climbs. ryans pace was only just manageable for all of us as no-one came around for the entire bottom section. i was already close to redline so had nothing left to give. sorry.

once we hit the flatter section, i threw it into the big ring and came to the front to lend a hand. in my opinion, you should do a climb at the same level of exertion regardless of the grade. in that regard, keeping the heart rate up and the legs pumping for as long as possible meant that we were averaging over 40 km/hr in the middle section. ryan, jumped around just before the hill started in earnest again, and managed to gap us all. stu came around and went to catch him, while i just tried to get up the final climb. stu had ryan just before the end, but ryan kicked again and was clearly in front by the time they hit the roundabout. damian managed to come around me at the end as i was pretty much spent by then.

coffees, lots of cokes, bread rolls, tarts, croissants and lots and lots of water were all on the table today. the latest seemed to be a few people buying a baguette and sharing it around so that we all break bread together in true sunday style. discussions turned to the crash as dr marc managed to get a couple of sticky plasters to stem the flow. we suddenly realized that simon was missing. the back markers had arrived, but no-one had seen simon. bad feelings started rising as thoughts turned to the number of descents that we had before the climbs. if the back markers hadn’t seen him, then potentially he may have gone off the edge. a lot of what if’s were tabled, before someone remembered that big chris had got a flat and simon, the good samaritan, had stopped to help him. they rolled in a few minute later.

fuelled up and on our way again. a fairly uneventful descent down welshpool rd and overall my legs were really starting to feel the previous efforts. once on the flat of welshpool rd, dr melvyn hit out again, as is his usual style. the pace increased and everyone took off. horror, upon horror, my legs did not want to respond and i was dropped. simon took it even worse as his leg cramped up and had to unclip to stretch it. luckily we both caught up at the lights. the pace increased again as we headed into vic park and again i had nothing to go with the pack. damn this lack of form.

the final sprint along berwick and we were down to about ten riders in total. we got caught at the last set of lights but as they changed, dr melvyn took off hard and managed to get a gap leading into the final little pinch before the downhill. i used up my last reserves sprinting to catch him but kept on going and even began cramping as i crested the top. i had a gap but knew i couldn’t maintain it as ryan, jerry and michael came flying by. jerry held ryans wheel to the end and managed to just get him at the imaginary line.

a final check of dr marcs injuries and simon’s offer to drive him home was rejected. so a bit of a dampener to an otherwise good ride. i usually like all the riders to bring home all their skin, but sometimes these things happen. i thin
k it is the increase in overall numbers contributing to the accidents (at home or outdoors)  we have been having lately. as with most statistics, you increase the overall population, the incident rate will also increase. hopefully we can keep them fairly minor as i don’t like it when we break bones.

so, stay safe, stay upright.

saturday 1st mar – scarborough beach rd

daylight savings. i’m sick of it. cars had their lights on as i rode to the start today. street lights were on. i had to change the lens in my glasses before i left or i wouldn’t have been able to see. so glad the politicians know what’s best for us and decided to just give us a three year trial. by the time it finishes at the end of march the sun won’t rise till 7:30. and of course the sun rises on the east coast first so it has to travel over all those mountains and stuff, then it probably takes it’s time crossing adelaide as it would get bored half way through. by the time it gets here, like this morning, it didn’t really seem to be bothered as it wasn’t a stunning day break and hardly managed to get through the low cloud. anyway, on with the ride, but don’t expect this to be my last rant for this blog.
about 40 or so turned up this morning, which was good for quite a few reasons. firstly it was dark so i thought that may have kept some people in bed. secondly it is a long weekend so i thought that a few may have been away. thirdly, well no real third reason, so probably should have typed “a couple of reason” rather than “a few reasons”.

a group of this size could be trouble with the number of traffic lights that we had on today’s route, so we would have to see. it was a very basic route today which would see us cruise along mounts bay road and around the back of king’s park. continue through leederville before hitting scarborough beach rd and back along west coast highway. this ride would also bring some changes as we would have three sections where we would allow the boys to smash-it before regrouping.

a nice organized pace saw us catch every single traffic light to osborne park which became a bit frustrating in the end. we picked up another couple of riders just before leederville but all in all a very uneventful first half. once we got past the majority of the osborne park shops, the road starts to undulate quite a bit and this represented the first section where the boys would be allowed to stretch their legs.

no-one seemed keen to start the ball rolling so i set off on the first hill to force the issue. the boys responded immediately and i was soon swamped by riders. still in search of some form, my high speed endurance certainly needs some work and i was doing all i could, to hold on. this section of road has a bunch of stepped hills before rushing down (and one more up) to scarborough. it is the type of road where if you are going to start something, then you need quite a bit of endurance to keep it going. i watched on as people like ryan, cade, a couple of steves, and many others all sped past me and tackled the next small climb. i managed to hold a couple of wheels and was dragged slowly to within spitting distance by the time we hit the regroup point.

after a short wait, we continued at a nice pace south along west coast highway. i had previously said that we would keep it together until oceanic drive, at which time the road starts undulating again, and the pace was allowed to step up. keen as usual, they started a bit early as the road climbs slightly just before oceanic drive. luckily the traffic lights sorted the group out. scott and i were riding together on the last climb and didn’t step the pace up so ended up at the very back. not the most ideal place to be just before the pace was about to increase so we had to fight our way back to the front. i changed lanes and got a draft from a car to help me along before slotting into a gap about 5th wheel while scott came off my wheel and went straight to the front.

this stretch of road has two slight hills which are usually enough to hurt everyone if the pace is high. again, no-one seemed keen to go so i made a move to up the pace. i have been thinking about this, and maybe everyone is afraid now as people are unsure when they are allowed to go. i try to make it clear, but not everyone know the street names. maybe i have been too much of a ride dictator and my iron fist rule has everyone scared of getting blogged if they attack to early. anyway, the ride is evolving.

my attack didn’t last long and again i was swamped by the fast boys. i managed to hold on as best i could in the single lane section past the army base, while the cars still tried to get round with traffic coming the other way. sorry to hold you up, you might be late for your botox injections.

as the road dropped down into swanbourne, the smaller groups managed to come together at the lights on north street before we turned onto claremont crescent. about now a feel another rant coming on.

it is two f_cking lanes along this stretch. lots of room for wankers to drive their cars. there was nothing in the other lane, but mr black lexus f_ckin dickhead decides to stay in our lane and miss me by less than a ruler length at speed. he must have been an exceptional driver, cause you know how hard it is to judge distances on the other side of your car. f_ck me it was close. i gave him the finger, but then noticed that he was turning the corner with us and was probably going to the swanborne shops. right, i will have him, so i got up out of the saddle with the intention of chasing him down. he had to slow a bit coming around some of our other riders. so i kept chasing. he must have saw me cause he turned right to cross the rail bridge while we were going straight. as i crested the top of the hill near the shops i saw a black lexus in the car-park over the tracks, with the driver still in it. i would say that he was going to the shops and decided to hide instead. now i’m not sure exactly what i was going to do if i did catch up with him, but a couple of dents in his car would cost a bit to fix up. also, not sure if f_ckhead drivers realize it, but even though we may look silly in lycra, i’m sure 30 fit blokes could put a lexus onto it’s roof quite easily. anyway, just another dickhead to look out for. you would think after what happened to those cyclist that the p plater backed over had been all over the news, that people may give us a bit more space. but no. sorry if i have offended anyone with my liberal use of the _ key, but this is my life that mr dickhead was putting at risk so i was a bit pissed off.

so, we slowed the group down a bit and cruised along the crescent. again an inconsiderate driver that just could not wait blindly passes us so that the car coming the other way had to stop to avoid hitting him. we just shake our heads in amazement some times. i would say most of the group was together by the time we crossed stirling highway at the grammer school, and it would be a good reason to thin the pack through dalkeith. this is not really being mean, it just makes the final sprint a bit safer if we take out the not so strong riders early.

as we hit the small climbs on birdwood parade, the pace was increasing. ryan went off the front and but was brought back as we past the old hospital. i decided to put in a big effort on the next climb and managed to get to the front, for a short amount of time at least. ryan kicked again but then we were all over taken by the “pure sprinters” like bruce and steve r as they waited till the last minute to hit the top of the climb hard. we cruised down past steve’s hotel and along hackett drive. you see something different every day and today there was a guy rollerblading along the road/bike path that had to pull over to let us past. each to their own. i used to rollerblade to uni back in the day.

we headed along mounts bay road and you could see people were trying to work out strategy. ryan was neatly boxed in on the left hand side and i requested that they leave him
there, but he was released before the end. paul was looking for “blog time” and took off as soon as we hit mounts bay and had a handy gap on the field. it lined out quite early and gaps were forming as people tried their best to keep up. i jumped around (hitched a draft in the right hand lane) to get behind steve r who was still about 7 wheels from the front. we both knew that the main sprinters were behind us, so steve was constantly checking to get a hint of the break. eventually steve b came flying past and steve r shouted for those in front to chase. not sure what happened next but he said that there was a touch of brakes in front of him that took his momentum away.

steve managed to get out and starts the chase. next thing i know, ryan smashes past with jerry, scott and bruce in tow. i had to wait till the road cleared but managed to get on bruces wheel before they disappeared down the road. steve b was caught and ryan kicked hard and early. he managed to get a considerable gap, but the recently married man had quite a few weeks off the bike in Thailand, so didn’t get the usual long run. he faded a bit as he neared the line and scott managed to pip him by about ½ a metre as his momentum carried him through. i fell off the back of that group but was still happy to finish with the main group this week.

it was a slightly longer ride this week so the coffee shop was a bit full by the time we got their. luckily mickey’s group was departing as we were ordering, so space became available. i was still pretty pissed off at mr dickhead and as you can probably tell, still not happy now. lucky i can vent through the blog.

check out the poll on the right hand side and let me know if you are interested in developing a jersey for this group.

also, this pic of tom boonen is for lorraine, who said the posting of girly pics was a bit sexist. maybe, but a half naked cyclist being “worked” on by another guy seems a bit funny too. till next time.

 

 

 

sunday 24th feb – canning mills & peet & observatory

well sunday arrived and as i said yesterday, if my form is as crap as saturday then it will be a really short blog. luckily it was semi-ok for the first two climbs then crap for the second two, so don’t expect a good read once we get to the observatory.

the course would take us down to roleystone and up canning mills rd, down urch and back up peet to roleystone high school. past karragullen and head over the observatory and back up lawnbrook to the coffee shop.

21 starters this morning and one extra picked up along berwick st. the morning was cool but not too bad as the predicted 33 degrees meant that as soon as the sun was up the temperature would follow. a fairly strong, cool easterly made things interesting as we headed out along albany hwy.

a very uneventful ride out to the hills as no-one no dropped glasses or chains like yesterday. dr paul and dr greg turned off early and decided to tackle the kahuna instead. we continued on to canning mills rd which would take us to the same point anyway. this climb has been used a number of times as the state hill climb championships. it is a very constant grade of close to 9% for just over 2.5 kms before it flattens off to a 2% for about a km.

as the road pointed up michael rocketed off the front to try to get as much advantage as possible. mike upped the pace to follow him and young robbie went too. michael put a bit much into his early attack and mike overtook him with robbie in tow. i put in as much effort as i thought i could without blowing up, which goes against everything i have written previously. after yesterday, though, i was a bit wary of my form in the hills.

i managed to pick up michael but was not having much luck keeping mike and robbie in sight. stu set his tempo and came past me too but i managed to keep within 30 or so metres of him. looking back down the road there was a nice pack forming with michael, jerry and brendon from yesterday, who was discovering hills after a few years at kalgoorlie. my recovery was certainly better than yesterday and i managed to keep my heart within the 180 bpm’s without getting into oxygen debt. as the road flattened stu put the power down a bit and managed to extend over me, but didn’t really get any closer to mike and robbie. i was happy just to keep going to the top where we regrouped at the turn to chevin rd.

i asked robbie whether he let the old man win as mike must be closer to 50 than 40 and robbie has just turned 16. he said that he didn’t know where we were stopping so just stayed with him to the end. not good for us as it meant that he must have had quite a bit more in reserve. anyway, it wasn’t going to be a concern to me today as i was happy just to be close to the front on the climbs. the remainder of the pack scrambled their way up the climb before we headed onto part of the state road championship course.

a quick, very quick descent on urch rd before climbing up onto peet rd lay ahead. michael and i decided to push the descent to try to get a big break on mike and robbie before the climb started. it is steep, fast descent and i hit 82 km/hr at the bottom. mark was even faster and came past both michael and myself to start the climb first. mark used to be the one that would hurt us on the climbs but a number of overseas work trips have played havoc with his training and is also struggle to find form. michael and i started pushing to get a gap, but by the time we turned onto peet rd, the others were only 20 metres behind.

i pushed as hard as i dared and managed to drop michael but robbie came up to me quite easily. he wanted to know where the next regroup point was so he could see if he could give it to mike on the climb. he left me behind and mike came past as well to join him. i set a tempo and managed to get stuck in no-mans land between them and a group with michael, jerry and stu.

as we approached the final pinch up to roleystone high school, i was caught by the chase group and jumped on stu’s wheel. he put in a nice effort up to the “finish-line” of the state road championships and i was not anywhere near holding his wheel. robbie had out gunned mike on the line too. we regrouped as everyone made their way up and headed to karragullen for a refuel or pit-stop. simon managed to use the right toilet this time.

from karragullen to pickering brook is undulating with one short “bonus” climb towards the end. we tend to set a nice pace as most of it is downhill but someone always goes on the climb to see what will happen. it is usually me and i usually get past quickly. this time i thought i would wait to see and mike decided to take off. i jumped on his wheel and managed to keep up as it is not that steep. however, the previous efforts were taking their toll and i couldn’t hold his wheel. i signaled for the others to come around and let about five of them head off into the distance while i picked up the pieces.

at the pickering brook intersection, we regrouped and lorraine decided to take a short-cut straight to the coffee shop. it was her first time out to the hills with us and she did well as we tackled some very steep climbs. stu and i led the pack as we headed to the start of the climb on the easy side of the observatory. the wind was strong enough to make it difficult and i noticed that my thighs were starting to cramp. bugger. another side-effect of being on holidays. as i was not in a routine i was a bit hit and miss with my supplements and so missed quite a bit of magnesium. i had this problem earlier and the supplements certainly helped the situation, but now it was starting again.

as the hill started i pulled over to the edge to let everyone else past and managed to stick with a small group to get to the top. i thought that maybe i could conserve enough energy to get a good run at the last climb which was coming up soon. i’m pretty sure i saw robbie and mike take off from the others towards the end of the climb though. another regroup and we headed into the nice fast descent down the steep side of the observatory. i noticed robbie really struggling to keep up on the descent and was still in his small chanring. being 16 he is still gear restricted so is not allowed to push big gears yet. it makes it hard when you need that extra bit of speed.

as soon as we hit the other side, mike took off hard and michael and i tried to match him. not today. i quickly went into damage control mode and just tried to set a rhythm that i could handle. robbie took off after mike and stu came past me too. well actually almost everyone came past me. about half way up i was caught by a small group and i managed to sit on for a while. camille put a big effort in and i tried to stay on her wheel. when i got up out of the saddle my thighs began to cramp so i just had to sit back down and let her go. simon chased her down but it was the last i saw of them. as the gradient leveled out a bit todd flashed past me happy to inflict some payback pain in me. i managed to jump on dr marc’s wheel and received a nice draft to the regroup point.

coffee awaited us although we lost stu, mike and camille as they headed home early. we hit the coffee shop to find the table all ready for us with water and all. lorraine had managed to set it all up while she waited for us to arrive. it certainly made for a pleasant surprise and i thank her for that. i think that the coffee
shop might finally understand that if they get us served quickly we will leave quickly. service was quite good overall.

the trip home was fairly uneventful although the boys tried to light it up a few times on welshpool rd. my legs were too shattered to chase so i hung on to the back markers with muscle memory the only thing keeping my legs turning. we managed to drop riders off along the way as people found their own way home. the final sprint was approaching and the pack was down to about ten riders. the boys were a bit hesitant as no-one wanted to lead out. my legs were gone so i decided to lead out as there was no way i could sprint. coming into the final stretch, michael and jerry both came around and it looked like a dead heat but michael conceded that jerry just got him on the imaginary line. we don’t actually know where the line is, but we just sprint till people give in.
well i have to send a search party out to find my form, but hopefully i can get it together sooner rather than later.

saturday 23rd feb – hale rd

so i’ve been away for a couple of weeks and how the weather has changed in that time. bloody cold wind has apparently been blowing all week, so even though the temperatures have been pleasant, the wind chill makes for a cold start. i’m not sure whether this kept the punters away, but we only had about 30 starters this morning.

the course today was to try to take advantage of the wind and get a tailwind home. most of the rides are picked based on this, but i am thinking of changing it next week, so that the final 10 kms is into a head wind. that way, if anyone wants to try to break-away, they really have to work for it.

anyway, today would take us out shep rd and onto welshpool, up hale rd and back along kalamunda rd and finally guilford rd. nice straightforward box. it should have meant, headwind, cross-head, tail & cross-tail to get home.

nice even pace out along shep rd and onto welshpool rd. everyone was being nice and the wind did not even seem to be that strong yet. i was talking to paul as he is in a similar industry to me and having a pleasant time. damn daylight savings now means that you basically need lights to get to the start of the ride and sunnies are not initially needed. paul reached back to get his sunnies and dropped them on the road. we were about third wheel so i don’t know how there weren’t run over. he stopped to collect and i waited for him to help draft back to the pack. mike also eased off to lend a hand, but we luckily caught them at the lights.
as we got further along welshpool lorraine dropped her chain and had to stop to put it back on. about four of us slowed down to help her get back on. we chased for quite a while, but kept getting stuck at the lights. the pack eventually had to stop on hale rd so that we could get back on. good job to whoever initiated that.

hale rd was again a easy cruise and i got chatting to a new guy on our rides. brendon has just moved from kalgoorlie and was on his second ride with us. as he is on a fifo roster he said he can’t make it every week, but thought it was a good group to ride with.

along kalamunda rd the pace picked up a bit as we started to feel the effects of the tail-wind. nick and scott were on the front and picked it up to over 40 km/h. more like 45 most of the time. i looked back and saw that gaps had started to form in the pack. i still wanted to keep it together as there is a section between when we cross abernathy rd and the great eastern hwy that is narrow and difficult for cars to pass us. if we are together as a group then we don’t piss off as many motorists and there are more of us to fight back.

not that it matters that much as dr nic was telling me about a guy that was upset at some cyclists so he reversed his car into them when they were stopped at the lights. ahh, perth. the home of mr dickhead.

so, the boys backed off a bit at the front as they were actually just trying to half-wheel each other and ended up racing instead. about this time steve decided that it was “unsafe” in the pack with the constant pace change you get after about fifth wheel, and took off the front. i yelled out not to chase and went to the front with nick to keep a constant pace. steve got through the lights at abernathy and disappeared into the distance.

look, i don’t think that it anymore unsafe at the lower speeds as opposed to when guys have their ring hanging out all ride and make mistakes because they are tired. accidents happen in both situations, but it is the outside influences like motorists that i am trying to control. i think we may need more “smash-it” sections with a regroup in between. this would allow the boys to stretch their legs a bit more, but still keep the group together for the crucial bits. it’s something i will work on. hence the “trying to keep everyone happy” tag at the top of the blog.

so, steve got away and we kept it together nicely to guilford but raised the average speed to take advantage of the tailwind. once over the bridge and into bassendean, chris jumped on behind a small car at the lights and got a bit of a draft to gap the pack. mike and i were on the front and started to chase a bit to try to bring him back. i suggested that we roll through and instantly we picked up the pace. it wasn’t smooth but a quick peek at my speedo and saw that we had jumped from 35 to 50 km/hr. we started to string out and i found myself on the back by the time we were stopped at the tonkin hwy lights.

the pack found it’s own pace for a bit as everyone was waiting for the rolling hills to start. on the first hill, i changed lanes and got a bit of a draft from a 4wd to help me to the front and past the leading few. mike soon joined me and instantly came past me giving me his wheel. we pushed on for a bit more and i was aware that a couple of others had also attached. however, this is where it all came undone for me. two weeks off the bike, lots of car & plane travel, macca’s at least five times while we were traveling and generally no replacement exercise all started to take their toll. i had the legs to go and the cardio to push, but my recovery was shot to pieces. where previously i could have kept pushing and recovered while drafting, now i was fighting for air and trying to get my heart-rate down.

so gave a flick of the hand to tell the next person to come by and i sat up. pretty much everyone past me and i was forced to pick my way through the rest of the pack debris to get back to the city. there was probably a good 10 kms to go, and i managed to jump from dropped rider to dropped rider to keep my pace up. along the way i managed to jump on with nick and few others. nick was also suffering due to travel and lack of exercise. however, his three weeks in spain etc, have left him with a few kilos to shed to get back to fighting weight.

it’s been a while since i have been dropped, but i still remember my first ride with this group over three and a half years ago. i was dropped heading out past rebold hill and having only been in perth for two weeks did not know where i was. i spied some one in the distance and rode my arse off trying to catch them so that they could show me the way home. now at least i am organizing the routes so that i know the way home if i get dropped. not looking forward to tomorrow’s ride in the hills. it may be a very boring blog if i keep falling off the back.

so in the wash-up at the end the remainder of the pack caught steve but the sprint was won by wayne. i will try to be near the front next week so that i know what is going on. with nothing to add to the picture collection, i will follow chris’ lead and steal a pic from the pez website. today is the sister of “attempted” blood doping cyclist ivan basso.

ride routes 23rd & 24th feb

i should be back on deck this weekend, however, my little boy has come down with a cold and is not sleeping well, so i may be playing it by ear. i’m sure you can cope with chris again.

strong easterly’s are forecast so i was tempted to schedule in benara rd again, but we did that a couple of weeks ago. hale rd will still give us a nice return to the city.

saturday 23rd feb.
hale rd
Sth Perth Saturday Ride 03 (Hale Rd)
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sunday 24th feb.
canning mills & peet & pattersonSth Perth Sunday Ride 07 (Canning Mills &amp Peet &amp Patterson)
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sunday 17th feb – darlington & mundaring wier

ride report by michael

a rather pleasant day greeted us for this sunday ride, a nice change from the previous few very hot sundays. a smallish group of 14 riders had gathered for the journey, without too many of the usual big hitters out today, it augered well for a pleasantly well mannered ride.

starting out along great eastern highway we crusied along at a moderate pace before turning onto queens rd and past rosehill golf course through to bushmead rd and onto helena valley rd. a left turn into scott st followed by a right into marriott rd, wherewe were greeted by short, steepish climb, which really gets the heart pumping and gives the legs a rapid warmup.
as we turned onto coulston rd, stuart and i set a steady pace at the front going up the climb, stringing the group out, with a regroup at darlington rd. doug joined the ride at this point. heading down the short steep descent past darlington school, we quickly reached the short very steep ascent of leithdale rd, with rachael punching her way up the climb in first position before turning onto ryecroft rd.

you could hear the crunching of gears with people searching for the lowest gear they had for the climb, it really hits you suddenly without any time to prepare. ryecroft road starts with a deceptively steep first section before easing to a fairly easy gradient. darren impressed by pushing to the front and maintaining a good tempo to the top of the climb, with a regroup at the intersection of glen forrest drv. an easy downhill followed which gave us all a chance to rest our legs for a spell before starting the next climb up thomas rd.

thomas rd is a long, gentle, undulating climb through some pituresque countryside that takes us all the way to mundaring. the climb started reasonably sedately with melvin and i setting an easy tempo for the group, but that state of afairs wasn’t going to last long, my legs were feeling good at time and i decided to gradually crank up the pace, stuart joined me at front and we maintained that pace all the way to mundaring. i didn’t look back at all during the climb so I don’t know where people dropped back but i know that todd was in there as he pulled up and rode along side me for a while, (he’s been putting in some strong performances lately in the hills), and when we arrived at mundaring jerrard, camille and darren were also there. i think dr marc wasn’t that far behind either.

a nice long descent follows, which takes us all the way down to the mundaring weir, it’s another good opportunity to rest the legs and practice those descending skills. starting the climb easily out of mundaring weir i was quickly joined and then passed by stuart but keeping him at a manageable distance. jerrard caught up with me an we worked together to gradually catch up with stuart towards the very crest of the climb. it’s a tough climb out of the weir, because it starts off gently but then steepens and when you think it’s nearly over you round a corner and it keeps on going, it then levels off but keeps on persisting for a couple of km’s. once over the top of the climb, stuart, jerrard and i worked together to put some time into the rest of the group, until we hit the climb just before the camel farm, where stuart pulled away towards the top. on the descent we managed to reel him in and started the climb up to kalamunda together.

as we got into our rythym on the climb maintaing a steady 24km/h, some guy on a time trial bike came by us, Stuart and i looked at each other with bemused expressions and then hooked in behind him and followed him up the climb, we lost jerrard somewhere along the climb as the pace was on, and then just before the false flat section we lost touch with time trial guy. after the flat section stuart rode to the front and by that time my legs had nothing left and i had to let him go it alone up the final pinch and the kom points in first place.

camille later told us about some hillbilly harassing her as she rode up one of the climbs, this guy in a ute closely followed her for 3-4 mins yelling at her something but she doesn’t know what because she had her ipod on. doug and melvin were a short distance behind but couldn’t catch up enough to stop that idiot red neck.

our usual stop at paris brest cafe followed, and a well deserved rest i must say. stuart kept on going forsome extra km’s. paris brest were 4 staff short today and it seemed like every one was out for brunch, so our stop turned out to be quite long, but the almond and custard escargot was worth the wait.

starting off on the road home with heavy legs, it’s the worst part of the day this uphill section out of kalamunda. the legs gradually return from their stupor, then we hit the descent of lesmudie and welshpool rd’s, it’s always a blast descending down here at break neck speed, all the while watching out for mad drivers. a slight south westerly kept the top speeds down, I could only manage 78km/h on the downhill.

the ride back along welspool rd was fairly uneventful until melvin, on que decided to light the touch paper and put in a blistering sprint, followed closely behind by todd. jerrard then went to chase them down and i couldn’t let them go either, and so followed suite and managed to catch them just as we hit the slight rise before the leach hwy intersection. the pace was on along berwick st, clicking along at around 40km/h. i started the final sprint earlier than normal but couldn’t quite get the jump on jerrard who came by to claim the points at the finish.

apart from one unpleasant encounter with a red neck git and some slow service at paris brest, a very pleasant ride was had by all, with some nice weather for a change as well.

saturday 16th feb – freo & cott

ride report by chris

well a lovely day for a ride with a light breeze blowing and a decent turnout of at 30 odd riders. pete had already determined the route all that remained was laying down the rules. the committee (michael w and myself) decided that easy to attadale, regroup after the ascent at pt walter and then finish it off a with the usual flurry along through dalkieth and mts bay rd.
i thought i’d have bragging rides on longest warm-up but michael w had already completed a lap of the river with emma who was off to work for the day.
things progressed well with bruce and i controlling the pace from the front to attadale. plenty of time for a chat, and yes rachel your friend (sorry didn’t catch a name) and yourself took full advantage of it didn’t you?

a little encouragement from bruce meant i fired off the front along the river in order to heat things up a little. i assume things strung out a little and then the call went up to start pulling turns. so those who wanted to did which helped keep things nice and quick to the foot of the hill at pt walter.

now i enjoy the swapping off turns thing and encourage everyone to get involved, you’re only on the front for a short while if it’s done right. you then get time to recover out of the wind before your turn comes up again. it’s often easier to get in the loop than try to hold on at the back.

so back to the ride. it seems we lost a few people at this point, for which as substitute patron i apologise. once over the hill the pace eased up a little but the usual suspects just couldn’t control themselves, even with a little yelling from yours truly. by the way, kom points to me. although without pete, cade, the newly married mr fynn or mike b around ’twas a hollow victory. was that you hiding down the back mr bonner? did the week back in the classroom take it out of you? 😉

once we had regrouped (sort off) it was a steady roll down to freo. thankfully the traffic that got backed up behind us didn’t get too cranky or try any crazy manouvres to get around us.
pete probably wasn’t aware that the rotto channel swim was on but we knew this would make things interesting along passed cottesloe. prior to getting to cott however some of the big kids just couldn’t control themselves. sitting 2nd wheel i was constantly pulling on the leash of nick and big chris (good to see you out again, looking to be strong too) but eventually they just had to kick when jerrard decided things were a little too staid. joined by bruce they quickly pulled a few lengths on the rest of us and were soon joined by several others. naughty children, your names have been entered in the black book. it seems we need to institute some sort of fine system to discourage this behaviour.

normally i like going along by cott as you can cruise along and admire the scenery but with the volume of traffic and pedestrians today was always going to mean we’d better pay attention. we got through with no surprises and headed along to the final drag race for coffee.

stevie b managed to sneak off and get across the lights at the grammar which meant the rest of us had some work to do to catch him. having spent a fair stretch of time at or near the front i was hoping for a tow to uwa. sooner rather than later however my ego decided the pace wasn’t high enough so i moved to the front to kick things off. this had the desired effect of motivating others and meant i could get a rest amongst the bunch. i rolled through and attacked again onto jutland parade which kicked things up a notch.

at this point michael and someone else went off the front chasing down our bunny steve. i had bruce’s wheel and gave him the call to kick to which he politely responded. we caught michael and his colleague and had steve firmly in our sites. i managed to pass him prior to the top of the little pinch. now normally ryan would have blasted by us all prior to this and sailed off into the distance whilst we cursed his name.

all that remained was the usual lunacy of the mts bay rd finish, with steve and i left on the front (thanks everyone!) i knew the bunch was going to nail us. steve had other ideas and made a suicide run of the front, my legs were shot but i tried to hang on anyway. sure enough the bunch came flying by so i have no idea who took out the all important sprint finish. finishers please claim your place with the commissaire.

things wouldn’t be normal without the usual cafe report. it seems new faces every week is the norm these days and again this was the case. coffees came and were consumed, the news of ryans nuptuals spread along with that of the impending delivery of yet another bunch baby. cristophe, i trust all went well and that mother and child are happy and healthy. we expect to see you out sooner rather than later in the true bunch tradition.

as a final farewell, it would seem you now need to be riding a cervelo to be part of the in crowd, nice to see an r3 sl out and about. i think that brings the number in the group to 5 or 6, seems we need to rename the ride the Cervelo Owners Club Riding Group or COCRinG.

The website for the South Perth Cycle Club