Tales and tall stories…

Posts tagged “headwind

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

SPR Saturday ride & Tour de Perth – Stage 1



Today they forecast an early shower but that failed to deliver, they forecast a top of 23C but it was warmer but there was a decent breeze (headwind at some points). I did the usual struggle out of bed and get myself sorted, didn’t want to be late today as was meeting CasualCyclist to take him for his first SPR ride and he was meeting me at my place. Durx was to join us but wussed out after an apparent late night, so he would meet us at the usual start point.

CasualCyclist arrived and after topping up the air in his tyres we headed off. The ride was fairly routine, but did notice a lot more people out than usual at that time of day. Maybe the warmer weather is bringing them out of hybernation. Also there was a fair amount of activity about with the Burswood open air Cinema in construction and the Camping & 4wd show on the foreshore.

We arrived before time and found Durx already there chatting to Lorraine. Madrapper was late as usual but with a 20km warmup u can’t blame him. He got in just in time for the pre-ride briefing. The route was explained and Global_Bean got a ribbing for his Movember efforts 🙂 The turnout was pretty good with 50-60 riders along for the trip.

The pace was steady on the head out and I kept 2nd wheel for most of the way to the split. After the split the pace picked up a bit on I was hanging off the back a bit on the long gentle uphill to Midland Rd. Along this stretch CasualCyclist got dropped, more used to the slower pace of an AUDAX ride he struggled with the pace the front runners were setting. A few more rides with the SPR crew and he’ll be up to speed.

After the turn onto Midland road Kim(thanks for the leadout) dropped back to help get me back in touch with the group, along the way we picked up a few other stragglers including Madrapper who was yo-yoing off the back also. We caught up just as the group hit some road works, so there was a chance to recover from the extra effort. From here I kept the wheel and avoided being caught snoozing til Guildford Rd. I continued to hold on for the 1st half of Guildford Rd but was bouncing of the back a bit, just staying in touch thanks to a few red lights. Once the rolling hills hit though I was off the back for good and just couldn’t seem to bridge the gap. I kept the group in site til just before East Parade where I caught a red and lost them.


Post ride coffee

With not far left to go I continued on at a steady pace picking up another rider who also got dropped. We continued on to post ride coffee and arrived only a few minutes after the rest of the group. I thanked Kim for the assistance and a few of the lads commented on my improvment since starting with SPR. I may soon keep with the group for the whole trip.

Route & Stats

Post coffee a few of us headed up to Kings Park to watch Stage 1 of the Tour de Perth, where a few of the SPR crew where taking part. It was good to have a club presence and get the club colours out for show. We stationed ourselves on the climb just before the finish line, where we hoped most of the action would take place. The Womens race was pretty much in the bag about half way thru with Queensland’s Ruth Corsett dominating the race, and the group finish was a sprint for the remaining places. The mens on the otherhand came down to the line. Graeme Brown was in front coming up the climb but it hink went too early on the sprint as he couldn’t hang on and ended up 4th, getting pipped by Richard Lang. Perth’s own Travis Meyer held on for 2nd place which was enough to secure him the Green leaders jersey at the end of the day.

Video of one of the mens hill sprints


Bloody Weather Forecasters….

Well what a start to the day! What was supposed to be a fairly easy sat morning ride with SPR as a warm up for tomorrow’s XC State Championships, ended up being a battle of endurance and the fight to stay upright.

The weather forecast had been for a nice day, high 20’s and a few clouds blowing in during the afternoon. From the outset it was never going to be that. As I left the house I copped a quick sprinkle so doubled back for a 2nd layer in case it got really wet and windy. Heading down to the start point showed no signs of improvement, the wind was howling & picking up, plus a few more drops of rain were blowing in.

I reached the start point at South Perth just on 0700, so just enough time for a quick chat with Lorraine about the previous night’s saga of replacing a tyre at the last minute (I hate road tyres). I spotted Durx and Madrapper, we got the brief and were off. As usual I attempted to stay near the front so as not to get dropped to soon. Heading off i had a quick chat to the lads but a few kms in we lost Durx to a flat, not a good start to the day and he headed for home.

On the way out we would have the headwind, and coming a long Great Eastern it wasn’t too bad, manageable. The split near Ascot was fun as a few mad snap decisions of the group to join. I stayed with the main group and kept with them til we hit the Great Eastern by-pass, here I started to fall of the back, nothing new really, still not up to the pace of everyone else. From here the fight with the wind was a lone one. The start of Kalamunda Rd was ok, but the wind was picking up, but i just kept a consistent pace and trudged on. This was all fine until just near Abernathy Rd where it opened up and the wind was really at play, heading over the railway overpass was a mission in itself, gale force winds whipping up sand and ripping into the skin. This combined with the gusting of the wind made it an interesting task to stay upright and see where you were going. Needless to say I battled on and HTFU. I continued the battle with the wind along the rest of Kalamunda road and onto Hale road where finally there was a reprieve every now and again. Did have a small encounter on Kalamunda with someones Rotti that was lose on the road, causing havoc to traffic.

As Hale road got close to Welshpool a few of the fast, fast group caught me. They hung around for a bit trying to decide whether to wait for the rest or just go, eventually shooting off into the distance. By now I was heading home along Welshpool Rd, and now had a bit of a tailwind which made life a hell of a lot easier. I spent the rest of the trip wondering when the rest of the fast group would catch me but some how I held them off til the finish, which in turn earned me a Hot choc from Lorraine who said any of us Twitter lads who beat her, it was her shout. Thanks Lorraine, I got lucky today 🙂

The final part of the trip was pretty routine except for all the Tri (hards:) out training for tomorrow’s ITU Long Distance Triathalon World Champs. Some of those guys & gals are machines, better them than me. I enjoyed my Hot choc and chat with the crew before heading home to get started on the weekend and rest up before the State Xc Champs at the Goatfarm tomorrow.

Route & Stats

Last Minute Arvo Ride

Well not sure if this was the smartest idea but decided to head out for a Friday arvo spin. Part fueled on by the fact I hadn’t ridden all week and also needed to test my new feet strapping for orthotics. I organised with a few of the Twitter lads to meet up with them on their commute home. This would give me some company (motivation) and also a chance to meet a few of the guys I hadn’t as yet.

The day was a bit of a stinker in Perth, after many nice days in the mid 20’s it all of a sudden decided we should have a 32C+ day in the middle of spring. I hoped the ‘ol Freo Doctor would blow in and drop that a bit. Needless to say this didn’t totally go to plan, the wind was changing direction more than a woman changing her mind.

I headed out along the South Perth foreshore, the temp had dropped from earlier int he day but still a bit warm for my liking. The wind was light but noticable. It was fairly routine to the Narrows where I met Aushiker and Velopilot. After topping up water we headed south as this was the usual route for Velopilot. The wind was coming and going but we made pretty good pace to Canning Bridge, with only a small runin with another cyclist who didn’t look behind him and tried to overtake  a slow rider as the 3 of us were overtaking both of them. He had a bit of a sook but we sorted it out and he joined us for a few kms.

We took turns on the front and kept an even pace, but as we neared the Shelley Bridge my feet started to give me grief. The new trial strapping was not the most comfortable and the left foot was going numb. Just after the bridge we stopped so I could adjust my shoes and get some reprieve, also was a good chance for a breather, the heat was still not in my comfort zone.

After the short break we continued on, this was all new territory for me as I had not been this far south on the Freeway cycle path, so I sort of took a back seat and took in the new route I could use in the future.  At Farrington St I called it quits due to time restraints. We had a quick yarn and discussed the morons riding motorised bikes around the area and others without helmets etc, then i headed back home. Aushiker decided to stay with Velopilot a bit longer so i was heading home on my own. This was good as I could maintain my own pace according to how my feet felt. Most of the trip I just took it easy and enjoyed ‘the scenery’, which was pretty decent due to the warm weather, but the fashion police would still have been kept busy.

Return was fairly routine, saw a few fellow SPR riders along the way and also stopped for a quick feet rest at the Narrows. By the time I got back to South Perth foreshore the wind had changed again and I had a decent headwind the remainder of the trip home.

All in all a nice friday arvo ride, felt a bit average due to the heat and my feet, but was a good chance to meet some fellow cyclists and do a few kms. I’m sure we’ll be out again next week with some slightly cooler weather.

Ride Details

SPR Saturday Morning Ride 12th Sep – Headwinds

Well i headed out on this morning’s SPR ride with some trepidation. The weather in Perth the last few days has not been the best, gale force winds, torrential winds, you get the picture. Thankfully the wind was the only one that came to play today and that was enough.

I had prepped the bike the night before and covered all the essentials, wet weather gear and clothing to keep me warm. Come the morning though i removed some of the wet weather stuff as it was not looking to bad outside, but kept the jacket just incase.

The warmup ride to the start point was a good indication of what was to come for the morning. Thru the burbs was fine but once i hit the foreshore it was almost like going backwards, soul building they say, more like leg building. Arrival at the start point was a bit of a confidence boost, there was a decent crew out today.

After the usual route brief – today was to be Scarborough Beach Rd to West Coast Highway and back to the Bell Tower -we headed out. The trek thru the city was pretty ok between the traffic lights, but trouble hit me when we got to the end of St Georges Tce, i hate hills and this one is short but steep. Needless to say i got dropped pretty quick. Thankfully i made up time and was back on by Thomas Rd/Loftus St. From here i stuck with the group till Scarborough Beach Rd, from then on i was on my own, this was going to be a long ride.

The rest of the ride consisted of me battling the wind on my own, just keeping the group in sight. Eventually they lost me on West Coast Highway, I must have bene going backwards with the wind. Next thing i know the fast group (who did an extra loop) have caught me, this was a lil pep to try to stay with them, but i knew that wouldn’t last long. I battled on til Dalkeith where we head back. This was a nicer section due to less wind and seeing how the other half live, especially down Jutland Parade (used to be one of the most expensive strips in real estate).

I cruised on back to the Bell Tower Cafe and enjoyed a coffee (hot choc for me) with the rest of the crew before a gentle ride home to get into the rest of the day. Today really brought out some of the areas i need to focus my training on, mainly hills. This will be where i’ll have to get some work into over the warmer months i think.

All in all a good day, and i finished which is the main thing. Tomorrow off to Langford Park, Jarrahdale for some real riding (MTB) with the lads.

My stat & course for today -> here.