Archive for September 2015
We struck out early with the aim of getting a few trails in before a brew and a chat. I still wasn’t sure of my form post sickness, as a commute during the week had been all heavy legs and no snap. It was warm enough for short fingered gloves (just) at 5:45, but down by the river it was fog and single digits on the mercury.
It’s a strange feeling riding towards the city on Heidelberg Rd to meet Neil, having spent 10+ years heading in the opposite direction. The light was already gorgeous when we met, but throughout the morning it got better and better. Everything was bathed in an optimistic glow. Blossom and buds were out everywhere and the grass was the greenest it’s been in a long, long time.
We noodled around Alphington and Ivanhoe, connecting some of the pretties suburbia you’ll ever see with sneaky alleyways and river-side trails. We squiggled without much direction or pace, but had plenty of giggles regardless.
As the legs warmed up we headed out along the main Yarra trail and then, on a whim, decided to kick it on out to Westerfolds on trails we hadn’t turned a pedal on since mountain bikes had 80mm of travel and tyres with tubes in them.
We fanged a different kind of bike through the single track, doubling back in along the river, railing everything and being as smooth as we could while shouting back and forth memories of bike evolution — Pythons as the first tyres I ran below 50psi, CrossMarks, Rocket Rons, and through those evolution the various people we rode and raced with.
It was the best morning of the season; one of the best in a long, long time.
63.9km 2:58h 763m
I’ve been recovering from a nasty chest infection for a week or so now, but a few little jaunts to work and back have been enough to tell me that I’m not ‘back’. Not wanting to bury myself, I figured I’d roll with the bunch to Apollo Bay, grab a coffee and then roll home solo. Plans changed however, when I got swept through the corner at the bottom of Skene’s Creek with the bunch. That was enough of an excuse to ‘just ride to the top of the climb’. I took it super easy. At the top, I figured it was just a matter of finding a decent group to hide in and I was as good as home.
With a couple of AGFs under the belt now, I learned the lesson of the plateau and stayed with a good sized bunch. With the help of a few switched-on riders in Ray White kit, we managed to get good rolling turns rolling almost all the way to the final climb. All the way up that sucker I thought I was going to pay for the effort the next day, I felt that under the weather. I just sat and spun granny gear all the way up, but those who passed me were panting hard, by and large. Many were stopped on the side of the road, one guy with less than 100m to go.
Along the G.O.R., I’d worked to stay on the tail of bunches that could offer some protection, but I didn’t feel like I was going hard by any measure, and certainly nowhere near as hard as previous years. Still, Strava reckons I got to the bottom of Skene’s Creek a solid 2:00 faster than my previous best. Go figure.
121km 3,271m(?) 4:25h
I’ve been off work for four days (it’s Friday today) with a hacking chesty cough and all the hallmarks of the flu bar the sweats. Everything else — the shakes, fever, the aches and pains — is there.