Road cycling in Canberra

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sandman
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Road cycling in Canberra

Postby sandman » Tue May 27, 2008 3:04 pm

Hi ALL

I'm in Canberra for a few days, expect to be staying in Dickson and my work office is down Northborne Ave. As I'm taking my bike (condition of making myself available) I've just got a question or two. I think I'll be riding maybe from 6:30am to 7:45 or 8:00am, yes I will be taking a few thermals with me, is Northborne Ave a cyclist friendly road ? Its quite wide, just wondering if cars tend to squeeze you into the gutter ?

As I'm up near Dickson, would I just be best off heading back up the Federal Highway to NSW for a shortish ride to get away from the cars ? I'm not after any type of ride in particular, I just want to keep the legs turning

Thanks in Advance ! Pete
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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Tue May 27, 2008 3:39 pm

Hi Pete,

I ride along Northbourne Ave just about every week day and have never had any problems with motorists. Watch out for the buses though. Some tend to stop in the bike lane with little regard for cyclists. I've learnt to be wary and patient with the buses and when they stop, I stop. No biggie.

And yes, north up the Federal Highway is a good ride. The shoulder is wide and the road surface is good. I usually join a couple of others on a Thursday morning at about 6am and we head up the Fed Hwy for about 15km or so. It's nice to watch the sun rise and the views over Canberra on the way back are awesome.

Don't forget the warm gloves and booties to go along with the thermals. It's been 3-5 degrees in the mornings for the last couple of weeks but I believe the temps are about to dip.

Cheers,
David

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sandman
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Postby sandman » Tue May 27, 2008 9:34 pm

Dave

I don't have booties yet, bugger but I have nice gloves. hey any chance of a hookup on Thursday ? I'm up in Dickson with my sister-in-law, about 5 mins ride from the shops. Whats the pace like of the group ride ? Yes I'll be packing the thermals for sure, taking more than I need just in case !

Cheers, be good to hear and catchup with you if possible

Pete

p.s I'll be in Canberra all of next week, if you don't mind me tagging along that would be cool ( no pun intended !) I've got this "Col Burns guy" on BJ I'm trying to shake so I need the KMs :-)
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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Tue May 27, 2008 10:01 pm

Hi Pete

The Thursday morning ride is usually a group of 4-5 riders (although last week there was only two of us :roll: ) and we roll along at an average of about 27km/h, so it's a pretty easy pace. It's more of a social ride than a training ride.

If you'd like to join us next Thursday that would be great. I'm assuming you have lights? During winter we don't ride if it's raining (we got caught in the rain once last year and near froze to death).

We meet at the intersection of the Barton and Federal Highways at 6am (on the northern side of the intersection) which is just around the corner from the Dickson shops. I hope you can make it.

Cheers
David

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Tue May 27, 2008 10:04 pm

Just took a look at BJ. Looks like toolonglegs and Boognoss are about to eject me from the top 10 :cry:

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sandman
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Postby sandman » Tue May 27, 2008 10:14 pm

Dave, dang I don't have lights on the front...I'm such a freakin n00b :-) This is my first winter season and every day I'm finding I need to get some more stuff ! Leximack pointed me toward the Ayups, I just haven't got around to getting them. Would it be safe enough to ride out to the meeting point with just the rear light, suspect you start to see reasonable light around 6:30am ? I agree, if the road is wet, I'm not riding...

Just checked google maps, the meeting point is about 3 mins ride from where I'm staying :-)

Cheers..Pete

P.S pace will be nice as its going to take 100km to warm up in that temp :-)
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Postby DavidH » Tue May 27, 2008 10:49 pm

Pete

From Dickson to the meeting point the roads are pretty well lit, so I wouldn't worry too much. That said...be careful!

I bought some AyUps a few months back. They're awesome.

Some bits warm up, others just go numb. I had the water in my water bottle freeze solid twice last year...but it's nowhere near that cold yet.

Cheers
David

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Postby sandman » Tue May 27, 2008 11:27 pm

Dave, waterbottle freezing up solid, thats serious cold. As per the PM, cya on Thursday if not before..

Cheers..Pete
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Postby LuckyPierre » Wed May 28, 2008 10:08 am

I'll try to be there too! David, would we be back at Dickson (or even better, Civic) before 7:30am?
I was going to ride to work anyway, so I can catch up with you guys instead.
I'll bring a spare light and some overshoes for you with me. I'll be the one with the backpack. :wink:
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Postby sandman » Wed May 28, 2008 12:13 pm

LuckyPierre

Thankyou so much for bringing some spares. I thin kits the booties that will come in handy. Driving down this morning it looked real cold. I've brought a few different thermals with me incase :-)

I'll be the guy shivering and wearing the HP gear :-)

6:00am it is....

CHeers..Pete
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Postby DavidH » Wed May 28, 2008 3:24 pm

Hi Peter,

I'm usually walking into the office in Civic at about 7.10am, so plenty of time. We go up as far as Macs Reef Road and then turn back.

Are we on for tomorrow? I had originally thought Pete wasn't coming down until next week, but I know he's in Canberra already. I'll give him a call this afternoon.

Cheers,
David

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Postby DavidH » Wed May 28, 2008 9:32 pm

We are definitely on for tomorrow morning at 6am.

As I mentioned earlier there was only two of us last week...I spoke with the other rider (Milton Valentine from the ACT Vets) and he can't make it tomorrow so there is a very good chance it will be an exclusive bicycles.net.au forum ride.

LuckyPierre - I hope you will be joining Pete and I :)

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Postby sandman » Thu May 29, 2008 10:25 am

Dave

Thanks very much for the ride, never ridden at 2c and its given me some insights as to what additional gear I need to buy :-) I spent 30 mins when I got back in cleaning the bike thanks to the moisture from the thick fog :-) I'll definately take you up on the climb up Black Mountain next week.


LuckyPierre, Dave and I stopped down past Dickson but we were concerned something happened. I rode back up to the round-a-bout up the federal highway but didnt see you. I hope all was ok and I didnt see you pass me on the other side. Thanks so much for bringing the spare gear, its really nice of you, I hope to be able to return the favor.

CHeers..Pete
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Postby LuckyPierre » Thu May 29, 2008 10:30 am

It was an bicycles.net.au event - and even a bit eventful! :D

We met up as planned - at least the temperature was above zero - and set off into the foggy dark along Northbourne Avenue to the Federal Highway. The slope up to EagleHawk was very different - I usually do it in daylight - and it was a bit eerie riding along with nothing much visible outside the beam of our lights (even David's Ayups didn't make a big impression).

Things has started to clear a little bit by the time we turned at the Sutton Road overpass and we were rolling along pretty well as we headed back past EagleHawk and hit the fun bit - the downhill ride back into Canberra. David and Pete were a few bike lengths ahead of me (not many, I promise) when I hit something - I didn't see what - and had a pretty dramatic flat. By the time I'd slowed, they were had well and truly disappeared into the remaining murk - and there was no way that my nervous shout of "Flat" would have reached them at the speed we were going. Full on flats at 60+ km/hr are fun!

I got my front tyre fixed and back on, only to realize that the rear was flat as well. B@gger! There was no way I could get a patch to stick, as the fog meant that the tube was damp as soon as I got it out. I called for help and got home the easy way.

My apologies to David and Pete, who got to ride back looking for me - I think that I saw Pete from the comfort of the car, but I didn't see David. We'll have to remember to exchange phone numbers next time.

For all that, I enjoyed the ride. We'll have to try again and, given that Pete likes hills, we might have to tackle something a bit less flat (pardon the pun). :wink:

ps. the jolt as I hit whatever I hit caused the zip ties holding my lights' batter pack mount on to snap. Fortunately, I wound some surplus cable around my headstem, so the battery didn't hit the road. Unfortunately, it added to the fun of stopping, as it was dangling down under the stem and bouncing off my front wheel as I stopped. :)

pps. I see that Pete got his post in while I was putting this up.
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sandman
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Postby sandman » Thu May 29, 2008 12:50 pm

LuckyPierre

I'm very sorry we didnt find you, bugger. We suspected something had happened and I did ride back to see what had happened but obviously not far enough, I really do apologise :oops: I agree we should swap numbers, sometimes its the only thing that is going to get peoples attention. Suspect I'll head out tomorrow morning for a ride and see if I can catch a glimpse of Mr Rudd at Parliament house :-) however I plan to leave at 7:00am instead. Had a look at the Ayup website, the rodie pack is out of stock until the 1st of June so I'll hammer away on the website after the stroke of midnight to make sure I get a set :? David has offered to show me the "world of hurt" with a ride up Black Mountain next week. I think this time we'll do it in the middle fo the day when the water isnt dripping off us due to fog :shock:


Anyway Pete, what can I say....we owe you one, thanks for taking the time to come out and bring those spares. I am equally involved in another Hobby ( Amateur Radio) and have found the goodwill there to be fantastic, appears its also here in Cycling :wink:

Cheers
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LuckyPierre
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Postby LuckyPierre » Thu May 29, 2008 2:32 pm

As I've already said to David - don't sweat it!

I suspected that Murphy's law would strike and you'd turn up two minutes after I'd left - and it must have been close. :?

You need to ride on a nice fresh morning as well, just to really experience the joy of Canberra. :wink: How good is it outside now? :D A trip up Black Mountain is also a 'must do', but it would be hairy descent in a fog like this morning's. If there's a ride on next week, I'll try to be there - all the way this time.
Litespeed Classic - 3Al/2.5V titanium tube set, Record 9-speed groupset, Open Corsa Evo CX
Alchemy Diablo - Columbus Zonal tubing, Ultegra 9-speed groupset, UltraGatorskins
Gitane Rocks T1 - U6 tubing, Deore/XT groupset, CrossMarks

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DavidH
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Postby DavidH » Thu May 29, 2008 10:29 pm

I put new batteries in both of my rear lights and I swear they doubled in brightness. Peter, thanks for letting me know I was near invisible from behind!

I also think I will stop hanging the rear light off the bag under the seat. On the bag on my race bike it sits perfectly, but on the bike I was riding this morning it's too angled into the ground. I'll have to find the proper mounting brackets.

Pete - here are some stats on the Black Mountain ride. The start of the climb is only 10-15 min from Civic which makes it a great lunchtime ride. It's only 2.7km, but it climbs 240m which is an average gradient of 8.9%. It's starts out steep but there are few easier gradients on the way up where you can catch your breath (or up the pace if your going for a PB).

My best time for Black Mountain, which I set last month, is 13:34, and trust me, that's nothing special. There are plenty of riders in Canberra that can do this climb in under 10 minutes. Judging by your form this morning, and the fact that you enjoy climbing, I'd be guessing that you would be aiming for under 12 minutes on the first attempt. My personal goal for the year is to break 13 minutes, which is definitely doable. All I need to do is try and stick on your wheel!

Now, Mt Ainslie, that is a different story all together. Almost the same distance and elevation, but it starts easy then gets steeper with little to no breaks. Sound tempting?

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