Tales and tall stories…

Posts tagged “Cycling

PMBC XC Series – Boddington

Yes I know its been a while as a few of you have mentioned to me, but bills need paying and bikes need to be ridden, plus the occasional sleep helps achieve all this.

Today was round 5 of the PMBC XC series, held at Boddington south east of Perth. Besides the few locals, Boddington is basically a mining (gold) town with a very small population, but until they decide to dig a bit further the mine has allowed us to keep using some of the land as an MTB course. This is currently on a year to year basis so if you get the chance to ride the trail down there, do it! cos it just might not be there for that much longer.

Anyway due to an injury earlier in the week I wasn’t going to be racing, but with the lil lady looking after those of you who struggle to stay upright I was heading down to help anyway. This provided a great opportunity to see a bit more of what goes on in the field when I’m normally racing, or as some of us like to call it, “we’re doing a timed ride”. Really who calls Sport a race, besides the few sandbaggers at the front, the rest of us just do it for fun and to beat our mates to the first beer.

The weather forecast had been a bit mixed and the trip down was not really giving any indication of what to expect. In the end we got a bit of drizzle here and there but generally ended up being a great day for riding. The rain in the buildup to the weekend had made the course nice and fast, firming down the usually loose gravel we have learnt to love here in WA.

Racing kicked of in the usual fashion with the juniors smashing out the short laps with good competition in the under 13s. Special mention to young Riley whom I think had to be pried off his bike at the end of the day. I’m pretty sure the only time he got off all day was to grab a quick hotdog. This was followed by the first wave of the “big kids” races. It was a bit of a slow start with our trainee commas-airs going through the procedures (these guys will be a valuable asset to MTB racing in WA in the coming years) but we riders were soon out on the trail and lapping it up.

It wasn’t too long into the day when we had our 1st and only casualty of the day. Lewis, one of the younger riders misjudged a trail feature and decided to get closer to nature (or maybe he was trying to find some of that Gold buried in the dirt). Thankfully our trained 1st Aid staff were on hand to help him back and get him cleaned up. He may be feeling it a bit this week, but hopefully Lewis will be back for Marinnup. For his efforts Lewis took home a $50 voucher to a long time sponsor, Bootleg Brewery.

Besides that bit of excitement the rest of the race went smoothly for most with the usual suspects placing. We must congratulate the new riders to novice, for some of them this was only there 1st or 2nd race. It’s good to see some new blood coming in and we hope they enjoy themselves. Marrinup is easier so no excuses.

Next on the agenda was the big boys of the local racing scene, with only 5 riders in the elite field today everyone, who finished, was getting a place. The 1st 2 laps were like a freight train with the field just sitting in. Lap 3 was where things changed with breaks forming and stretching riders out a bit. This was where the race was won for the top dogs & eventually taken by Robbie Rhodes.

Expert was also hotly contested, well except for the machine that is Reece Tucknott, coming of the back of a TT the day before he was on a mission to catch the elite riders. With such a huge lead it was left to the remaining riders to fight it out for secondary placings. JC was keen to make his presence felt, with fresh legs but recurring mechanicals saw his steed launched into the scrub in frustration. Not to be out done, PMBC club president, Greg Murison, who has been battling multiple flats in almost every race this year, except today, was pushed back thru the field with cable issues, but did manage to baby his ride across the line to make a finish. Another rider pleased with his efforts was Ash Genefaas, starting the day with top 8 aspirations (in a field of 8) he was happy to claim 5th.

We can’t forget the women’s field, with the new combined expert/elite field this year there is a great mix of talent here to be seen. Especially with the likes of Cat Norris mixing it at this level within her 1st year of racing. Look forward to seeing more from these ladies.

Full Results

All in all a decent day out, as always thanks to the volunteers who help make these events happen, and also the sponsors who support them and the prizes they provide.

See you all at the next race, Marrinup August 28th.


PMBC XC race 2 – Pemberton

Last weekend saw race 2 of the PMBC XC series contested down at Pemberton in WA’s beautiful South West. This was set to be a big weekend with 2 XC races on the Saturday with 20% extra points up for grabs followed by a Super D on the Sunday.

With a bit of prepacking on Thursday night it was a dash home from work on Friday to load it all into the car before heading south. The trip down was pretty boring except for the spectacular meteor that flashed across the sky half way down. A quick stop for food in Bunbury and I was soon in Pemby where I met up with Doozy and we headed to our humble accommodation for the weekend, the Pemberton Forest Stay. 1st on the list was to get the fire going so there was some warmth when we hit the hay, really should have been going and waiting for us but we won’t hold that against the rest of the crew 🙂

Saturday morning after some sort of sleep it was up and at em. The crew was ready to roll with 6 of us mounting up for the day including our new recruit Gemma, this was to be her first XC race (did she really know what she was in for??) Most of us were hoping to get in a practice lap before rego and the race, as per usual this didn’t happen. I managed to take Gemma for a quick lap of the skills loop to give her a taste for the terrain and bit of a leg warmup.

A bit of a quick opening presentation and the juniors were soon off and racing, some of these young riders are well on their way to being future champions. Soon after it was time for the 1st wave of riders to line up and head off. Mike was first off with the old fellas soon to be followed by myself in Sport Men & Gemma in Sport Women for race 1. Mounted up with 2 cameras this race I was hoping for some great footage and the spanking new seat post mounted GoPro did not disappoint. The start was not too frantic with many riders choosing to take it easy early on as part of their 2 race strategy.

We headed around the skills loop and back through the transition area before heading up the hill via a number of switchbacks and the firetrail before heading back into the singletrack. A few kms of this and we were soon at the top of the Relentless Blue Downhill course. This is a nice flowing downhill run with a number of small North Shore obstacles to liven things up. This included the much loved wooden berms were I got some good footage of the rider behind be eating dirt on the exit straight (he has informed me that although a little sore he is stoked someone got it on camera). Lap 2 was much the same but with less fuel in the legs and the inherent need to keep some reserves for race 2, and the fact I did an extra lap of the skills course at the end didn’t help.

The GoPro at work

After finishing it was time for a rest and to see how the others had fared. I caught up with Ness (the better half of my team mate at the 12hr) to see how her race had gone and in the process found poor Gemma in the ambo being attended to. I though great this is what she needs in her 1st race, an accident to spook her. Well there was a bit of blood and a nice ‘trophy’ of the incident but Gemma HTFU and was keen for race 2.

By now Cat, Ash & Doozy had headed off for their races so while we rested and waited for our 2nd race we cheered them and the other riders on. There was some tight competitions happening between the different categories which definitely kept things alive from lap to lap.

Soon enough it was time for race 2 and too much chatting and catching up on how the others went almost saw us miss the start, but we made it just in time. Race 2 incorporated some common parts of the race 1 lap but threw in the Hell Mile. As the name suggests, its not the easiest piece of trail to ride, especially for your 2nd race and with the ‘lovely’ conditions. This section would make or break some riders. I took a nice swig of HTFU and just kept on going, the only thing stopping me was a few mislocated tree roots that proved a little slippery for everyone. We soon came out of Hell Mile and hit a bit of familiar trail that would lead us to the top of Cool Runnings. Now this is a lot more enjoyable, a nice downhill run consisting of a number of dirt berms and jumps to negotiate. I swear this is the only reason we are stupid enough to ride up hills.

The first lap was spent mostly trying to find the right pace and get through to the end. Lap to was just a matter of getting to the end and not giving in. Most of this lap I spent with 2 other riders who were around my pace and we helped push each other through and have a laugh along the way. As we were nearing the end of lap 2 I passed the ambo out on course, never a good thing. They already had the rider so I didn’t know who it was. I finished of the lap and was soon to find out that it was Ness. She had come off and bashed her knee on a rock. After a quick pep talk and reassurance we would grab her bike (the most important thing) Ness was off to the hospital for a checkup. (don’t worry she was fine and made it to the presentations that night)

Race 1 Start

Mike, Gemma & myself stuck around for a few laps of the 2nd race for Cat, Ash & Doozy before heading back to camp to get in a quick shower before presentations. Soon after the rest of the gang rocked back to the house, got cleaned up and we headed in for a feed and presentations.

Presentations went alright for the crew, with Mike getting 2nd for his category, Gemma picking up a bottle of wine for competing in her 1st race and Ash claiming the Grand Prize in the raffle. All in all a great day was had. Thanks to everyone who made this event possible, I don’t need to be individual Tony has done that, but I will thank him for making this race happen. With out him and the support he gets from everyone these events wouldn’t happen for us.

Note – I didn’t see much of the Super D as I had to head back to Perth, but it sounded like it went well and the bit I saw will make it worth staying for next year.

Most photos thanks to Jose from Apogee Photography – the race gallery on the Apogee site is progressively being updated this week so check back regularily to find a photo of yourself.


PMBC XC Series – Race 1

Today kicked off the XC season here in WA with race 1 of the PMBC XC series down at Langford Park, Jarrahdale.

It was not going to be a good day for me. It started with me finding a flat front tyre before I even left the house. Needless to say the rest fo the day followed suit.

I was feeling good and pumped for today’s race. We lined up at the start line and were soon off and racing, with me sitting in nicely near the front 10 or so riders. The trail was flowing nicely and was looking good and I felt set for a PB. These plans were shattered about 2.86km in when I went OTB (over the bars). Still not sure what caused it or how it happened, even after watchign the helmetcam. But 1 minute i’m going along nicely and the next I’m Superman. Offs don’t really bother me its a part of racing, but when you get up and find the front wheel looking a bit odd, now thats annoying. My race was now over and it had barely begun. The slow walk/roll back to the start was not the greatest either, especially when i was almost at the furtherest point out. Anyway the rest of the day was quite good. the race went nicely, the pea gravel claimed many victims and I started putting together some video for a promo (keep an eye out). Dismal start to the season and now the bike is out of action tile repairs are completed.

Check out the video of the short part of the race I did til the crash. If you have any ideas on WTF happened let me know, cos i’m stumped.

http://contour.com/stories/pmbc-xc-rnd-1-2011/embed?map=true


Kep Track Epic

With the Dwellingup100 off-road enduro coming up in September and having just done the Kep track with PIHC I was in need for some more distance mountain biking.  I’d only ridden the usual XC rounds and a few small enduros since the last 100km effort (2010 Karri Cup[1]).  I remember telling myself after the Karri Cup that I’d need to put in some more saddle time before doing the 100km again.  The time for action was nigh.

I was keen to give the Kep Track a decent effort after the small introduction a few months ago.  It’s basically a dirt track that follows the Golden Pipeline from Mundaring Weir to Northam, 75km away.  It’s not technical at all but does provide ample riding distance on dirt which would suit our purpose nicely.  I’m not really into touring and staying in Northam didn’t interest us, so it was put forward that we ride it out and back.  It’s not even hilly but my thinking was that what it lacked in elevation would be made up for in distance.  The Dwellingup100 involves quite a lot of up and down but is only a mere 100km – so surely this would be a good training ride!  A few emails to some interested parties, a short debate on a free weekend and a date settled on.  It’d be good to knock this one over in a day.

By the time Sunday morning rolled around our band of riders had been whittled down to four.   Lee, Craig, Dave and myself, rocked up to Mundaring Weir Hotel carpark at 0600 [2] where it was deserted and dark.  Dave and myself on dually’s, Lee on his cool Focus hardtail and Craig on his Surly Long Haul Trucker.  After some Mindless Banter™ [3]– mostly about how chilly it was, and jibes about Dave and myself not having lights we set off shortly before 0630.

The other three headed up the road and then wondered where I had got to.  Having done this ride before I knew the way.  I did the first half klick on the track whilst the others plodded up the road and then joined the track.  Jumpers and jackets were discarded shortly afterwards.  The 7km or so to Mundaring township is mostly wide-ish sniggletrack [4], crosses the road a couple of times and very pleasant to ride, even uphill.  It was dark, with just enough moonlight, and a bit of mist.  A favourite part of any ride, we were just waiting for the Tauntauns to appear out of the white haze…

We negotiated the unsigned dogs-leg at Mt Helena with no hassles thanks to my prior knowledge.  Most of the track is easy to follow but this intersection could be a trap for first timers.

Past the BMX jump track near Chidlow, the rest of us resisted Craig’s call to ride the jumps.  I was keen not to break anything too early in the day.

The next section of flat path was dry but quite bumpy.  In the not too distant past it seems a horse or two had been through here when it was wet and left many hoof marks which had now dried hard.  Kind of like corrugations but different. Certainly not the most pleasant surface to ride on.

Went past Baker’s Hill and it’s pie shop. Plodding along at a steady pace, Dave starting to feel the effects of his limited saddle time of late and the previous day’s crit race.

Nearing Clackline there was a fun downhill run ending in a gully across a stream. Video

Six or seven kilometres of deserted road provided Craig with a chance to stretch his Surly’s legs necessitating him to wait for the rest of us at a lovely paddock edge.  Reminded our two ex-pats of Wales apparently.  It is quite scenic in parts and all the sheep were out with their lambs following them about. We continued on past the West Northam water tanks followed by a nice run of downhill sniggletrack just before Northam where I got the chance to open it up and show Craig he can’t beat me at everything on a bike.  A cool, rough downhill, complete with dodgy pipe crossover (almost came unstuck here) before a short pathway blat into Northam town centre where the Garmin told me we had done 75km on the dot.

Not much doing in Northam on this lovely sunny Sunday.  I was looking forward to the mountain bikers lunch of choice [5] but was sadly disappointed with what was on offer.  A bakery, a cafe or Chicken Treat.  We settled on the bakery which was empty when we arrived but within a minute of entering it was filled with more than a dozen locals.  Purchases were made and we adjourned to the local park by the river to scoff down our sausage rolls, pies, buns, pastries, milk & Cokes.

After refilling CamelBaks and bottles we headed back out of town and climbed the steepest part of the ride.  The rough track next to the pipeline wasn’t as hard going up as I thought it might be when I was barrelling down it earlier on, but was still a task after the recent belly filling.

A regroup at the Wales-esque paddock took place as the others waited for me, before the short roll down the road to Clackline.  We waited there too as it seems Lee had a puncture.  Craig went back to help him out with Dave and me heading off up the track.  It wasn’t too long before Craig and Lee caught, then passed us and we were off the back again.  This was the last time I saw Craig until I finished the ride!  Lee I could see in the distance for a bit then he disappeared into the yonder again.  I was struggling at this point but a short break and a few lollies gave me an energy burst and helped me catch up to where Dave had stopped and waited for me.  He was knackered and inhaled his emergency gel and we had some more lollies to see us thru.  A lady rider heading the other way said she hadn’t seen anyone else on the track.  We figured Lee and Craig must’ve finished.  We re-mounted , determined to finish off the day.  Dave spent most of the remaining kilometres back to Mundaring township yo-yoing off the back of my wheel.  I perked up once we reached the downhill sniggletrack back to the Hotel, this was the prize at the end of the day and we bombed down it, legs forgetting that we’d already asked 143km of them. We rolled into the carpark, and the band was playing in the pub across the road, with 150km on Mr Garmin.

Craig was waiting for us – and had been for 25 minutes!  Strangely, Lee turned up a few minutes later than us.  Turns out he stopped to fix another flat and then got lost, missing the dog leg mentioned previously at Mt Helena on the way back and started heading to John Forrest.

The ride was certainly harder on the dually than if I had taken the hardtail as previous, but the whole exercise was time in the saddle on the same bike I would do the Dwellingup100 on.

* A big thanks to Dave since he wrote most of this and I edited in my bits.

[1] Karri Cup Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 3, Stage 4

[2] “It’s 0600. What’s the O stand for? Oh my God, it’s early!” – Adrian Cronauer, Good Morning Vietnam

[3] Meaningless MTB-OZ reference

[4] Sniggletrack = singletrack

[5] burger with the workx & chocolate milkshake


KarriCup 2010

Well it was going to  be a big weekend for the 2010 KarriCup from the start, with a few weeks of organising and getting prepared, most of us managed to make it. Unfortunately a few of the crew dropped out due to work commitments (next time guys). The caravan was picked up on Friday afternoon and bikes readied that evening. Saturday morning was almost a no go when someone’s alarm didn’t go off. Luckily the missus woke up and we got the show on the road with not too much time out. The car was packed and we hit the road for the trip south.

Normally a trip south is a couple of hours and not too bad but towing an ‘anchor’ in big winds can double that and the fuel usage. Eventually we made Pemberton were the fellow SPR guys were to race the Pemberton Classic. A quick stop here to drop off a jersey(thanks Kimbo) for Dave then onto Northcliffe to set up camp and have a quick rest.

Our accommodation for the weekend was Round Tu It Caravan Park in Northcliffe. A lovely bush setting to park the caravan and take it easy when not on the bike or checking out the local tourist attractions. We parked up the van and set about getting it habitable, with annex and bedding etc. Once all was done and a quick rest out of the way, I set off back to Pemberton with the ol man to catch the action at the Pemberton Classic Crits series. Meanwhile we left the wife and my brother to guard camp and have dinner ready for our return 🙂

We made Pemberton in quick time and arrived to the SPR crew warming up and getting ready for their Crits races. The lads were looking sharp with a good showing of force in the SPR Team kit. The guys put in some big efforts to make a few key placings, despite the unbalanced grading. (full report here) While in town I caught up with a few of the locals from when I grew up and caught up on the goss about the new MTB course being built.

After the completion of the Crits races we bad the guys farewell and wished them luck on the road race the next day. From here we headed back to Northcliffe with Dave in close pursuit for our pasta dinner and a good sleep before the race ahead.

The campsite was packed with fellow riders and I ran into a few of the regulars who get to these events and had a quick chat about plans for the next day. After a good carb load dinner and final bike and kit prep we were off to bed.

No sooner had I fallen asleep (had a pretty average nite trying to sleep properly) and it was time to rise. The park was springing to life with bikes and riders everywhere. We had a quick breakfast and kitted up for the short ride to the start at the Northcliffe recreation oval. Everyone hustled around the start to hear the pre race briefing, catch up with friends and chat to other riders. Before we knew it though the start was underway. We said farewell to our support crew, my wife & father(thanks guys, was much appreciated by the 3 of us), and got under way. The start was slightly staggered but maybe not quite enough to avoid the congestion on the Round Tu It single track. It was a quick start for most until that point when it became a stop or walk situation for a little bit, but eventually things sorted themselves out and there was free roads ahead.

After the Round Tu It single track there was some open road and fire trails to get riders warmed up. Just before this ended and we hit the paddocks, riders had to negotiated a nice sand patch before the Borara Rd crossing. This proved entertaining to watch as inexperienced riders came unstuck or got caught out. It was then thru some paddocks, over a dam wall, past some cows and back into the bush. Fast flowing sections of firetrails and single track ensued broken up with a couple of river crossings which proved a bit too much for some riders who didn’t exercise caution and had some OTB moments. Thankfully the few incidents I saw were not too bad. It wasn’t long and we were into the Borara State course, which brought back a bit of technicality to the ride and kept you on your toes. Soon after and we were at the end of the 1st stage, were Dave was already waiting.

We had a quick rest & resupply, water was much needed as the day was warming up and then it was on the way again. Stage 2 was the shortest of the 4  and also the fastest. It was mostly flat lantana and dry swamp flats with a few minor undulations. Dave pulled away and Devan and I continued on at our own pace. There wasn’t much to say about this section as it was over pretty quick, just dusty and fast, but fun.

End of stage 2 was the half way point and lunch. The organisers provided a good selection of food including fruit and sandwiches to help riders refuel. Also the local CFA had a truck setup for getting a hose down and bit of a wash to freshen up, this proved pretty popular. As I pulled in the 50km riders were just heading off.

After a good rest, feed and knicks change it was back on the bike. Stage 3 started with a nice section of technical single track just to remind you this was not going to be easy. I found this by far the hardest stage of the day, not because of the actual course but more probably by the fact i had just had lunch and fatigue was setting in. This section was a good mix of terrain and even a tree across the trail (that had fallen overnight) for riders to negotiate their way thru, once some figured out that yes they were going the right way. I think I spent a fair bit of time pushing my bike on this stage as my back was giving me grief and cramping was hitting me. Mainly I think due to poor nutrition, I was finding it hard to eat even though I knew I had to, my stomach just felt nauseous. At least I was able to pump the fluids in but food was probably more needed.

I eventually made the end of stage 3 where Dave & Devan were already waiting for me. I managed to get a bit of food in here which pepped me up for the final run home, even though I did have serious thoughts of throwing it in. But I had come this far and wasn’t going to give up too easily. We set off on stage 4, basically the reverse of stage 1, for home. Dave was off from the start and I hung with Devan for a bit but he soon took off as well. Back thru the other half of  the Borara State course was quite pleasant and I had a little chuckle at the downhill corner, jump with a tree in the middle of it, knowing good and well that many a rider had been caught out by it earlier (the bonus of knowing a trail). Out the back of Borara and it was into a good section of flowing downhill trails, which brought some welcome relief for the legs. These continued down til the creek crossing and then it was back up again, yuk, I hate hills.

Eventually it was out of the trees and back to the paddocks and I knew the end was not too far way. It was here I caught up with Devan again and we tackled the paddocks together, before he took off again. Coming thru the last paddock, the farm owner was kicking back in his camp chair (minus a beer) cheering the remaining riders on. Back thru the sand pit and along the final fire trail and I forgot about the 50m section of calf burning hill I had to negotiate. I finally made it back to the short bitumen section and rolled almost to town, the temptation to pull into the caravan park on the way and finish there was strong but with only a few kms to go I struggled on and eventually made the finish.

I collapsed into a chair and stretched the legs a bit, while getting more fluids in as it had been a hot day. We watched the final few riders come thru and had a bit of a chat with a few of the organisers while waiting for the presentations. They kept getting pushed back so we ended up going back to camp for a well deserved wash and feed, before making it an early night.

All in all it was a good day. Having done a few 100km races/rides before I thought this would have been a bit easier. I think my nutrition was what let me down the most, as I was fitter than when I had done the previous events. But next time(if there is) I hope to be even better prepared and have more training under the belt. It had been almost 6 months since Dave & myself had been on the MTB bikes, too much scumming had made us soft we think.

A few improvments for next year –

  • a few extra signs on some of the confusing intersections
  • make distance markers harder for delinquents to remove (this 1 is not always easy)
  • more staggered start or change the singletrack location
  • bit less of the paddocks, while generally ok, a few grass hidden holes seemed to catch some out.
  • better organisation of presentations time as it got pushed back twice (1hr 1/2 in total)

Other than that a big thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who helped make the day what it was. It is a well run event and really well supported by the locals, whether they were lands owners opening their land for use or helping thruout the day, Thank you.

Route & Stats —  Official Timings

Photos


Week 1 for 2010

Well it’s been a busy week for me on the bike and I’ve started 2010 with all guns blazing, managing to get out for 3 rides this week. My goal for the year is to keep this up and I’m aiming for 5000+km on the bike, both road & MTB. Hopefully this will increase my cycling capacity and make me more competitive at races as well as being good for my health and dropping a few kilos (that will in turn help me on the hills).

Tuesday SPR ride

I dragged myself out of bed nice and early for this, was a struggle but slowly getting used to it. The weather was cool, rather nice after all the hot days of late. On arrival it was good to see Andrew join us for the morning along with the usual regulars.

We headed west along Mounts Bay Rd with a nice cool breeze at our side, it was going to be a nice ride today. Heading thru the back of Dalkeith I got dropped on the usual hill but caught back up after the top with the help of Matt and 1 of the other guys drafting me back. Andrew was bouncing off the back of the group with me as well, the pace was a little quicker than usual thru here.

Next was that lovley lil hill thru Mosman, 1 day i’ll make it without dropping to the lowest gear I have, especially when the ‘Flying Finn’ does it on the big ring of his TT bike (bastard :p). The rest of the group were waiting at the top for me at the regroup point, we headed off soon after, once 1 of the group had ducked back to pick up a dropped tool bag. Its quite a scenic ride thru the back of Peppermint Grove & Mosman especially with a cool clear morning. One day i’ll stop and take a few photos.

The group continued on thru  East Freo and back towards the river again. Again I got dropped off the back here with Andrew, but we continued on at a steady pace and caught glimpses of the group now and again, but never quite able to get back on.

Heading back up the Freeway PSP for coffee I lost Andrew somewhere, but it was good to see so many out commuting to work and reaping the benefits of cycling. On arrival at Atomic, Dave had already ordered my hot choc so was able to sit down and catch my breathe a bit. Dave said they had only just gotten in so I wasn’t too far off the back. Michael also dropped in to say hi after attempting to make the novice ride but just missing them.

Route & Stats

Thursday Ride

Thursday morning required extra motivation to get out of bed, but I managed. Headed off and it was feeling pretty cool with a light breeze until Riverside drive where a very humid breeze swept in off the river. On the way a fellow SPR rider zipped past hoping to get to the start of the fast group ride on time.

On arrival at the Bell Tower I found the rest of the Sweeper ride group there which included Lee and Dave. Maybe Lee was feeling guilty after all his running of late and us hassling him about it (remember Lee friends don’t let friends run 🙂 ). We started off soon after at a nice steady pace, but could already feel the effects of the humidity creeping up. I fell behind on the usual hill, nothing new there, but slowly improving. I hoped to get back on at the top but someone in the group put the gas down and they were gone.

Continuing on I found Toby waiting for me at Stirling Hwy, he was recovering from a Jacob’s Ladder workout the night before and wasn’t keen on the fast pace either, so we set off at our own speed. The roads are nice and quiet at this time of morning so it was good to just enjoy the ride instead of worrying about cars.

The rest of the ride was pretty standard other than a short stop to find an annoying clicking noise coming from my bike, which was very intermittent and hard to track down. Toby ended up finding the problem after watching my wheel spin down and noticing the speed magnet on my back wheel just clipping the sensor. That sorted it was back to a peaceful ride back to the coffee shop, via the back streets of Como & South Perth.

Dave & Lee had already arrived with Lee heading off for work and Dave preordering our post ride refreshments. We had the usual chat about the ride before heading our respective ways for the daily grind (well except me who was still on holidays).

Route & Stats

Saturday SPR Ride

To round out the week I did the usual Saturday SPR ride. This morning was a bit discombobulated, got halfway up the road and realised I’d forgotten my water bottles, not good on a day that will be hot. I quickly ducked back to grab them to save the pain later. En route to the start point I ran into Matt and we had a quick chat along the way. On arrival Michael was already there and getting along well with the rest of the novice crew. I dropped around and said hi to a few others before Toby finally arrived.

The route brief was given and ended up being the reverse to what was posted, but no biggy and we headed off. The group kept a nice steady pace, somewhat slower than usual I think, but that was probably due to the large turnout and trying to get everyone thru the lights. We headed down Canning Hwy with no problems and then up the hill near Alfred Cove, long and slow. I dropped off the back here on the way up. We turned into Stock road and I made good time to try and get back with the pack, but due to 2 consecutive red lights I didn’t quite get there and ended up not catching them again.

By now I was into a nice rhythm and kept that up for the rest of the trip only being bothered by a territorial Wattle Bird that i thought was trying to hitch a ride but instead was dive bombing me, lil bastard. On the home stretch near the Causeway the fast group ended up catching up with me and I tailed them along Riverside Drive until I caught another red and a stalled truck. I dropped into the coffee shop and caught up with everyone and how their rides went. Most notable was Brendan having a mini stack after perving instead of looking where he was going…lol!!

I then headed home throwing in and extra loop around Burswood to rack up some extra km and to enjoy the ‘scenery’ since it was such a nice day.

Route & Stats

All in all a good week just short of 200km, hope to have many more like it. Safe and happy cycling.


Christmas Calorie Burner

After the usual Christmas food & drink overkill I thought I should get in a few kms and burn some of it off. Being in Busselton visiting the family it was a good chance to see some different scenery. I was lucky to have the bike back on track this weekend after the minor damage I did to it on the Tuesday SPR ride. Thanks to Eddy Holland who managed to fit in a last minute repair and service for me on Christmas Eve.

Knowing the parent’s neighbour was partial to the odd pedal I invited him to join me on the morning ride. We made plans & readied bikes the night before. This was mainly to stop us from piking out overnight.

Early Sunday morning the alarm went off and with much resistance I dragged myself out of bed and into my gear. Mark (the neighbour) was waiting at the end of the driveway as I came out, showing he was more keen than he felt. Both of us having had 2 solid days of food & drink – the usual Christmas fare – it was going to be a gentle ride. No overdoing it with full bellies.

We headed out of town past the sports grounds and towards Nannup. Mark was going to take me on an old route he used to ride. Originally I had thought of going to Dunsborough, but due to average road and too many tourist cars about, the other side of town was a better option. The ride out was a gentle gradient increase til the cemetary where we hit the 1st little rise of the day (Busselton is very flat being on a large coastal plateau). I powered on fairly easily while Mark was starting to feel the ‘Christmas effect’ already. Continueing out past the airport it was more of the gentle rise we had seen previously.

After not long we came to the Sues road junction and turned to head back towards the coast. It was a slightly more downhill gradient from here with the only real rise being an overpass. The pace was nice and gentle, sitting just below 30km/h. Very comfortable for 2 heavy laden cyclists. This time of morning was great for a ride out in the country, the fresh smells of the bush and surrounding farms, beats sucking in petrol fumes any day. The roads out this way were in pretty good condition (better than many suburban streets) and provided a nice smooth riding surface. Me on Tuart Drive

From the end of Sues road we turned towards Bunbury and headed north for a few kms before turning in towards Tuart Drive. Tuart Drive forms a large part of the cycle leg for the local Ironman competitions. This was a nice section to ride with the morning sun coming through the tops of the Tuart trees and a cool breeze keeping the sweat away. As we were returning down this stretch of road we started to see a few other cyclists heading out for their morning rides, many looked to be Tri guys getting in some course time and Christmas training.Trffic was also starting to pick up a bit too as tourist flood to the area, a popular place to be at this time of year with many places fully booked. Tuart Drive

At the roundabout we turned right and headed through Wonnerup and the estuary. We started to get a bit of a light headwind along here as we got closer to the beach. I got into a nice rhythm along here and Mark jumped on my wheel to have a bit of a rest. We headed on back to town skipping around Geographe Bay marina and along the foreshore to the Jetty.

By the time we got there The Goose was open and ready for us to relax and enjoy a coffee overlooking the bay and Jetty(which is currently under repairs). It was a nice way to wind down after the morning ride before heading home to relax and enjoy some holidays.Coffee overlooking Jetty

Route & stats