My first Tour de Eltham in three weeks and it was nice to be back! Paul christened his new stead, an Oppy C6 with the new hidden cable Ultegra (oooooohhh!!! But I can change up three gears in a single sweep...can you? Can ya? Can ya? ). Dave was test riding an Oppy C7 Dura-Ace to convince himself the C6 is near as good...good luck! With a good sized group assembled we awaited Seanâ€™s grand entrance...and waited...and waited. With the absence of a blinky visible back up the Burgundy St hill we thought â€œstuff himâ€ and set off.
Along the way though Rosanna and Viewbank we picked up a couple more stragglers and the pace was on but to the pelotonâ€™s credit, we pretty much stayed together the whole journey. The Bonds Rd climb was dispensed with at a rapid rate with David just pipping Paul for KoM honours. Paul is claiming his gears werenâ€™t quite behaving as the bike is still being run in but maybe the fact heâ€™s â€œgraduatedâ€ to a 39/53 crank has more to do with it? (Note â€“ comments insinuating that the author is still in preschool given his commuter bike runs a 36/46 will be strictly ignored! )
It was only a very short wait before we were all ready to head off again and this pattern repeated itself up through the back of Monsolvat. Along Mt Pleasant Rd a lone Kangaroo was awaiting its conjugal visit with Sean...sorry to disappoint you Skippy (it was a big bas##rd too Sean so lucky you took the morning off!) KoM honours were again a battle between Paul and David and those misbehaving gears surely had something to do with David taking the chocolates again. The minor placings were a consistent scrap between myself, Elias, Adrian and Phil. It must be said though that Dave, Evan and Leo were amongst it too with nobody too far off the pace at the top of Mt Pleasant. At this point weâ€™d averaged 24.4 kph....thatâ€™s summer riding times.
The blast down Research â€“ Warrandyte Rd and Main Rd is probably my favourite but this week I hurt big time! Paul, David, Elias and Dave set off at a really quick pace and by the time I turned left at the roundabout I was at least 200m behind. So it was head down, bum up, big gear and shut up legs to bridge the gap. With a slight tail wind and some assistance from the traffic light gods we absolutely flew back to Lower Plenty. In controversial fashion David did a Nicko and let Paul do almost all the work until just before the bridge, where he pulled out and sprinted ahead. Nice......
The final sprint past the Viewbank horse paddocks was hotly contested with at least half a dozen riders positioning themselves as contenders as we rounded the bend. Taking advantage of his whippet-like stature it was David who attacked on the slight rise to make us all look like pretenders. Paul and I responded as best we could, with Phil also giving it a crack but it wasnâ€™t enough to close down the gap before the roundabout. Next week itâ€™s Davidâ€™s turn to lead the peloton from Research back to Lower Plenty...OK? My average here was 27.4kph...once again times we normally due in Summer...great riding fellas and great to be back!
A chilly start to the morning with the Viewbank weather station registering 1.3 with an apparent temperature at -0.3! This failed to deter the hardened Peak Peloton with an impressive showing of a dozen riders. Demonstrating his ever-softening credentials was Sean, who was once again notable by his absence after confirmation of his intended presence at the train station last night. Youâ€™re soft as your beloved Bombers were last night!
We also had a couple of new guys front this week and at least one regular from our Monday ride decide to give the St Andrews loop a crack, so the shop rides philosophy seems to be working.
Big Johnny had some intermittent shifter trouble on the way up the Greensborough Hwy climb but thankfully, with Troy on hand, the shifter started behaving again and Troy paced John back to the group at a rapid rate. For his efforts John was shat on by a cockatoo just out of Diamond Creek!
The bunch rolled through the remainder of the journey out to St Andrews at a good clip but also managed to stay together, which was a nice sight on the road. Some mad motorists overtaking us on a crest over double white lines with oncoming traffic made for a couple of hairy moments just outside St Andrews. Troy used this to his advantage however, with a couple of calls of â€œcar backâ€ softening the pace as we rolled past the St Andrews footy ground and towards our sprint. Being at the front and mindful of not attacking the rest of the group whilst traffic was an issue, I decided to keep a consistent pace, only to see Troy zoom past! Grrrrr. It was a victory faux passÃ© in my books, so with John and I crossing the finish line together behind Troy I think it deserving of John to be awarded the win just for the cockatoo crap on his left shoulder.
The highlight of the return leg to Heidelberg has to be Paul riding everyone off his wheel in an impressive display of strength and fitness on his new C6. We rolled through at a good pace from Panton Hill all the way to Eltham College, but from this point on it was Paul at the front and setting a solid pace. From my vantage point at fifth wheel I could see the pain being inflicted and it was just near the downhill run to the Shell servo that Paul dispensed of his last wheel sucker. My legs were feeling my first serious week back on the bike but I used the downhill to my advantage to bridge the gap and congratulate Paul on his fine riding! I also decided to take the front to give him a break however, unlike David on Wednesday, I did not sprint off ahead.
The final sprint past the Viewbank horse paddocks as a case of survival of the fittest. Initially Big Johnny took up the challenge and attacked off the front. By this stage the cockatoo poo must have worn off and he quickly faltered. Paul, myself and Leo rounded the bend together but then Leo popped too. Sensing I was about to go for it, Paul ramped up the pace and I did my best to respond however, Paul took the chocolates by quite a few bike lengths in the end.
As a footnote to the ride I presented Sean with some new training supplements to help him HTFU.
Good to see the weather goods being kinder to us as we fronted for our St Andrews loop this morning. Melbourne has that faint sniff of spring around it at present, strong winds, slightly balmier mornings, reasonable daylight and Collingwood on top of the ladder nearing finals.
Big Johnny and I set the pace at the front into the blustery north easterly winds that kept us honest. By Grimshaw Street it was time to roll off and let another pair experience the fun, though Darren was kicking and screaming at the back about having to move up a position in the peloton...suck it up Dazza!
Mick was with us again this week and was lamenting his efforts on the turbo trainer last night. The legs were less than pleased from what he tells me. Leo was feeling a lot healthier than last week, Vic was feeling a little worse, Kieren was in denial as this was his first outing for some time and Kevin just rolled with the punches, always near the front of the pack. Meanwhile yours truly managed to dodge the flu that was rampant at home and I must admit to feeling the best in weeks, so much so that I got back on the front at Diamond Creek and didnâ€™t let up until Hurstbridge. By that time weâ€™d dropped half the bunch though...opps!
Regrouped (and in Mickâ€™s case relieved of his bursting bladder) we again set a reasonable tempo towards St Andrews. Leo and Mick took a turn up the front before I jumped on the front again around Cottles Bridge. It was touch and go (Iâ€™m sure Jens would be proud) but I managed to keep just enough in reserve to launch into the sprint after the footy oval and claim line honours.
Mickâ€™s deflating rear tube delayed us for a few minutes so my intentions to be home by 8:45am were looking shaky. Mrs G would not be pleased if I was late; basketball was on at 9:20am! Best we crack the whip and off we went. Aided by a nice tail wind now the pace was on, with myself and Kieren pulling the peloton along at a mid 40â€™s pace. This continued to Kangaroo Ground before I decided I needed a break but I was still quite conscious of the time. As we rolled into our normal regroup point at Eltham College I let the others know I was continuing on and nicely drafted a L-plater down the descent into Research. Braking heavily on the choppy section of road just before the roundabout, my handlebars slipped forward markedly and I just about Showtime myself. I did manage to stay upright and pulled into the bus stop to realign them and tighten the stem faceplate bolts. My hopes of being home in time were dashed by now and I sheepishly had to call home to break the bad news to Mrs G.
By this stage the rest of the peloton had rolled through and were a couple of minutes up the road. Good excuse for an ITT and off I went in pursuit. This section of the ride seemed to fly by and I caught the bunch at the top of Bolton St, though the legs were getting heavy by now. The bunch stayed together as we traversed Lower Plenty and onto our final sprint point at the Viewbank horse paddocks. Kevin was rolling in front and off I set after him up towards the roundabout. As I passed I urged him to sprint...given it was only his second ride with us he hadnâ€™t realised this was the sprint point so I eased up to let him get going and he sure did, easily accounting for me!
We rolled into Burgundy Street at about 8:50am and the Garmin showed an impressive 2:01 riding time and 29.5 kph average, easily our best time by a couple of minutes!
An even dozen riders fronted for this morningâ€™s Peak Bike Hub St Andrews loop, including new riders Darren on a spank looking Masi; and Nicko on an uber cool Look. Oh, hang on, didnâ€™t we have regular rider named Nicko riding with us also on a Look? Well we did but given his prolonged absence the â€œnewâ€ Nicko who fronted this morning surely wasnâ€™t the â€œoldâ€ Nicko....well we were soon to find out!
The temperature gauges read 7 degrees however the cold northerly headwinds that have been a feature of recent weather patterns continued, dropping the wind chill to 2 degrees. The Rosanna Road climb soon had us nice and toasty; and with Xavier on the front the pace was quickish but not too quick.
The l-o-n-g descent before Diamond Creek was all Troy needed to power off the front and of course I had to respond, with some slipstreaming to catch up. Xavier was also amongst it and the three of us tackled the climb before the shops in the big ring. Gladly I can report that yours truly managed to edge past Xavier to take the chocolates, but I was pretty much spent after that point!
I wasnâ€™t the only one spent after that. At our usual regroup point at the servo weâ€™d heard that the â€œnewâ€ Nicko had pulled the plug prior to Diamond Creek and turned around. Apparently the pace was too hot to handle. Suck it up big guy.....itâ€™ll get easier each week.
Onward towards St Andrews and it was Troy doing all the work up front. He rode this section like a machine and clearly his masochistic indoor trainer sessions have paid off. The sprint was going to be hotly contested by at least a dozen riders until an ill-timed â€œcar backâ€ call meanâ€™t single file and a handy 10m lead to Xavier. Kieren and I hit the gas to bridge the gap and this took its toll on Kieren, who dropped back a few bike lengths. I managed to come alongside Xavier however he was in la-la land and just coasting. Momentarily I paused to urge him to sprint and thatâ€™s all Troy and John needed to come around me and hit the line in a near dead heat. John scored the win in our books!
Half the peloton decided to go up Kinglake and with basketball a late 11am start I was able to join in the fun for a change. Leo decided this was time to notch his first KL ascent also. The head wind made for a harder ascent than I last remember. Once into a rythm I was OK despite my legs grumbling from the Diamond Creek and St Andrews efforts. I managed to pull back Leo who perhaps started a little too quick and was close to pegging back Troy also before a stitch hit me with about one kilometre to go. Todayâ€™s time was just over 24 minutes and about a minute slower than my best time. I think it was Xavier who took the KoM crown. At this point Kevin caught us. He was about 15 minutes late starting off and had given chase from Heidelberg...well done big guy!
The descent was heaps of fun, with a clear road only punctuated by the odd errant 4WD. What we hoped would be a tailwind was more like a cross breeze and this made for some tough going. Just prior to Panton Hill the driver of a white Magna (rego QOS 158 officer) blared its horn as it approached us from behind and just about side swiped the entire peloton...not happy!
Thankfully the rest of the journey home was trouble free and Kevin took out the sprint at the Viewbank horse paddocks. By this stage Xavier and I had done a big chunk of work at the front from St Andrews and our legs had had enough. Next week fellas, no niceties from me in the sprint I reckon.
Last edited by anth73 on Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Chilly morning for a ride today but it was nice to be able to get back to the Monday Molehill ride after quite a few weeks of having to give it a miss. The low temperatures seemed to have scared off a few of the usual suspects, and Nicko was once again conspicuous by his absence.
We welcomed first timer Chris (I hope I got the name right) on his neat looking Team Rabobank Giant. Hope to see you again (was going to write â€œmore of youâ€ but that seemed so wrong on way too many fronts! ). Chris rode really well - especially so on the Rosehill Road climbs - leaving me, Troy and Elias grinding our way up the 12% sectionâ€¦so much for â€œmolehillsâ€ hey? More surprising was that he did so coming off some masters racing yesterday!
Troy and I had a bit of fun down the Williamsons Road descent and pinch climb, with Troy giving me some stick over my pancake consumption yesterday. Iâ€™d prefer to say I was keeping my powder dry for Wednesdayâ€¦last one up to 525 is a rotten egg!
Given the small group and friendly traffic we made good time, arriving back at Burgundy Street by 7:10am. At this stage the temperature had dropped another degree to be down to 2â€¦.hot coffee was very well received at Rocket!
A brilliant full moon and a clear sky greeted us for todayâ€™s Tour de Eltham, a stark contrast to the hail and thunder of last night but a welcome one nonetheless. It was nice to have Nicko and Sean riding with us again...welcome back fellas! We also had Kevin from Eltham and another guy on an Independent with schmick looking Edge wheels from Blackburn come to join the fun.
Paul set a formidable pace up the front on the Beverly Road climb. We should ban any out-of-the-saddle riding within the first five minutes. By the time we hit Banyule Road, Paul's effort had the peloton of 12 riders had split into two groups. The full moon provided a lovely vista as we rounded the Viewbank horse paddocks, it looked like a setting sun...very pretty.
The Bonds Road KOM was taken out by Paul, with Elias closely behind if I remember correctly. Meanwhile down back Sean and Nicko were feeling their recent layoff but hats off to them for their determination. Newbie Kevin was riding really well and consistently up the pointy end, as was Mr Independent although the racket made by his Edge wheels was truly alarming on any out-of-saddle efforts.
The main climb after the hairpin on Mt Pleasant Road was where Sean threw caution to the wind (or almost threw up!) as he dug deep and gave Paul some competition. I was content sitting in fifth or sixth wheel as the legs were a little grumpy after three hard weeks of riding...well thatâ€™s my excuse anyway! Me, Elias, Mr Independent, Big Johnny and Jeremy all diced mid pack up the climb to 525 and down the descent again. Our pace was thwarted by a garbage truck however and we stopped to a crawl behind it on the ascent after the twisty bits. Paul again took the chocolates and I asked if Sean had remembered to fill the seat tube of Paulâ€™s new Oppy with lead, unfortunately not.
The drag back to the Fitzsimmons Lane roundabout was a hoot! With a tail wind helping us and some svelte manoeuvring around more garbage trucks, I jumped on the front and set a high 40â€™s pace...yeehaaaa! Even the roundabout was clear and we sailed through unimpeded, the traffic Gods were obviously squaring the ledger against the garbage trucks.
Newbie Kevin provided a big scare as he flew through the T-intersection at the bottom of Bonds Road. Only problem was the Commodore Ute on his right with right-of-way, the driver was not impressed! This split the peloton and I found myself a few hundred metres behind the leading bunch as the Viewbank sprint approached. Amazingly nobody in the front pack kicked off the sprint from what I could see.
Sean rolled into Rocket Cafe a little behind everyone else and I think he was pretty much spent after his Mt Pleasant effort. Well done mate, and to Nicko, for getting back into the ride.
I had an interesting postscript to the ride on my commute into work. Riding up Studley Road outside the Austin hospital and Heidelberg train station, a twat in a black Mazda 3 rego WIZ-253 was double parked near the pedestrian crossing dropping off someone, blocking the bike lane and most of the traffic lane. Several cars and myself go around the said twat and off I continue towards Banksia Street.
As I'm going past the parking bays on the other side of the pedestrian crossing, the twat in the Mazda deliberately steers his car into me. I'm banging on the side and trying not to fall off the bike as I'm pushed into the gutter. All this time he's just looking at me and smiling.
I reported it to Heidelberg police straight away and was pretty shaken by it. The police officer took all the details down and then gave me the "there's not much we can do" line. Crap! You have his rego, pay him a visit or at least ring him to remind him road rage is not tolerated.
Sean...I think I need a new pair of knicks in a size small please!
I have enjoyed reading your posts on the Tour de Eltham since I happened upon them a few months ago. They convey a great sense of the enjoyment and camaraderie of the rides. Not only have I enjoyed them, but they have also prompted me to explore the roads you have described, and then others further afield. At first the steepness of the climbs was daunting, but as I have gained cycle fitness they are now to be enjoyed, not feared!
I regret that I have not read them for a little while (possibly because they seem to have changed location within the forums?), but last night coming home on the train I was back onto them.
As a result I got a rush of blood to the head last night and decided that for my Wednesday morning pre-breakfast ride I would do the Tour de Eltham instead of the standard Kooyong Trail to Mitcham and back. Not wanting to just roll up unannounced ("Who are you, dude?"), I thought I would ride the circuit by myself and, if I was lucky, I would be overtaken by the Tour de Eltham peleton. That would allow me a frisson of reflected glory for the nanosecond that it would take you all to sweep past me.
Didn't work out that way. My exuberance got carried away and I arrived at the Bottom of Beverly (a little under 10k ride from home) at 5.45- clearly far too early, and meant that I never got taken by the peleton, as my time for the Tour was 1 hour 32 minutes, which seems to be pretty much the time the official peleton takes.
But weren't the conditions magnificent! That large moon, still air, and dense cold. A ghostly climb up Antionette and Rodda, and even the dogs along Lavender Park were silent. I have only ridden this route in daylight before. Clearly it is meant to be ridden in the winter dark- with only the intense beam of the headlight (and the slight clatter of the not-quite-correctly adjusted rear derailleur) breaching the stillness. Oh, and the tortured breathing of the cyclist, but let's not go there...
I met your garbage truck as I turned the left-hand corner and started the steep climb immediately after the valley hairpin in Mt Pleasant Road- only at that time it was going in the opposite direction. Nice to see him veer to give me room- or perhaps the sight of me up on the cranks frightened the driver!
Including riding there and home, the ride was about 55 km distance and 845 metres vertical ascent- and thoroughly enjoyable.
Thanks again for your inspiration to get me riding out that way.
Maybe next time I should humbly ask permission to join the official tour.
Nice post David! We welcome anyone provided their fitness is up to it as its a tough ride. You sound like you'd easily do it so come along!
The only thing better than Mt Pleasant road in the dark is when its enveloped in a thick blanket of fog with only the light from my twin ayups piercing it like light sabres!
Our wettest winter since 1996 continued this morning in earnest. Nicko sent me a SMS at 5:30am to get my esteemed opinion on if it was too wet to ride. HTFU I thought but I decided to check the 64km radar anyway and there was not a drop of rain. All should be good and I left the wet weather bike at home....what a mistake!
Sean also called just before 6:30am as heâ€™d punctured on Studley Road. It was only about a five minute wait for him before the peloton set off at a more comfortable pace than usual up the Rosanna Road and Greensborough Highway climbs. Ah the spoils of Xavier of Big Johnny being absent! Unfortunately we unhitched one of the new riders who joined us and despite a very slow pace by me all the way to Grimshaw Street I couldnâ€™t see a blinky behind me, whilst the rest of the peloton was a good kilometre up the road. Sorry buddy...hopefully weâ€™ll see you again soon!
Seanâ€™s less than ideal start to the morning continued with him dropping his chain as we approached Viewbank. Best you get your bike looked at by a bike shop Sean. Nicko was riding well too, no doubt helped by his uber lightweight tubulars being back on his stead. Good to see you back and not piking on us!
As sometimes happens, a whole different weather pattern enveloped us on the other side of Diamond Creek. The â€œisolated showersâ€ were more like constant drizzle , thanks BoM, and the wet roads made following anyone a chore. It was about now I wished I was on my Fuji complete with fenders. It may be 3kgs heavier than the Scott but at least my butt would be dry!
At Hurstbridge we figured we were already wet so best we continue onto St Andrews instead of cutting across to Panton Hill. The pace edged up a fraction but the Peak peloton pretty much stayed together with a few of the regulars swapping turns at the front. This was the place to be mind you, no spray from anyones rear wheel. There was some early jockeying for position as we neared the St Andrews sprint and as we passed the footy oval the pace all of a sudden dropped back a few notches...perfect! From about 8th wheel I took off and absolutely buried myself in an out-of-saddle sprint. Visibility was hard through my rain soaked glasses however I did catch of glimpse of Victor coming up next to me, so it was another case of digging deep to fend him off, which I managed to do by half a wheel...that was tough!
The two of us then laboured up the climb towards St Andrews and thankfully the peloton stopped at Panton Hill to regroup. We also joined up with a group of Ivanhoe riders, who were as wet as we, and had a nicely paced cruise with them through to Research before our next regroup at Eltham College. It was a nice sight, with about 20 riders bunched together and all behaving themselves around the traffic. Wet brakes and rims made the tight right hander at Kangaroo Ground interesting!
Approaching the roundabouts at Research we were split by traffic and that left the leading bunch a good 400m up the road. Sean was lamenting the work to be done to catch up but I encouraged him to summon his (and mine) inner Jens and off we went in pursuit. This was fun! With some good team work we caught them before the Eltham North shops and had a fast paced cruise along Main Road to Fitzsimmons Lane. The quick pace and varying mix of riders left the peloton somewhat spread out and we were unsure who was where as we went up Old Eltham Road. By this stage everyone was soaked so we agreed to push on home, but the drizzle eased off and a glimpse of sun could be seen.
Iâ€™m unsure who took the chocolates at the Viewbank sprint as I hung back with Nicko and Sean. My legs had given their all for over 200km since Monday, so they deserve a well earned rest this coming week. Thanks for the ride fellas!
A larger than usual turnout for todayâ€™s Monday Molehill ride, with several new faces and a couple of recent newbieâ€™s to our Wednesday ride in Nigel and Ben also giving it a go. Sean and Nicko were back in action too so itâ€™s a sure sign that Spring is around the corner. Nice to ride with Garry again, havenâ€™t had the pleasure since my early road cycling days with the Ivanhoe mob a couple of years back. I tried to talk Gary into riding Wednesdayâ€™s Tour de Eltham with us but he reckons itâ€™s too hard. They breed â€˜em soft at Ivanhoe by the look of it!
We also had 15 year old Lachlan ride with us for the first time. Poor kid was suffering from yesterdayâ€™s ride to Yea and was on a borrowed 54cm bike with the seat way too low for his lanky 6â€™2â€ frame. The hills hurt but he got through OK...bravo!
Despite big Johnny trying to push the pace the peloton mostly stayed together and enjoyed a relaxed recovery ride, just the ticket my tired legs needed. We got split up at the Foote St / Williamsons Rd lights and from what I saw John managed to crack the whip towards the Fitzsimmons Lane roundabout and dice with the traffic. That was the last weâ€™d see of the leading bunch until the roundabout after the Viewbank horse paddocks....itâ€™s a group ride bananas!
A tradie van decided to liven things up a little as we wrapped up the last leg of the ride. Going over the Salt Creek bridge after the Heidelberg footy ovals I usually claim the lane and indicate an impending right turn with my arm. To-date thereâ€™s never been an issue but this morning an impatient tradie decided to toot me and overtake, only to then dive into the left lane at the intersection with Jika / Dora St barely 20m up the road. As he wound down his window to give me a spray about being in the middle of the road, I thanked him by inviting him to run me over next time. Where else am I meant to turn right from?
The highlight of the morning has to be Nickoâ€™s excited and animated state at Rocket Cafe, a new waitress always has this reaction! It wasnâ€™t long before conversation plumbed new depths and way too much detail was made known on Nickoâ€™s behalf. Coffee was great though as always.
An abbreviated ride report today from Paul whilst I complete my flu recovery.....
Big turnout this morning. There were .... ummm....about.... a LOT of riders.
Forecast was for 3 degrees, it was more like 9, leading to several riders shedding layers along the way.
Kieran took Bonds Rd KOM, DavidC took the others - withstanding a strong challenge by Sean.
Phil took the green jersey points comfortably. Sean requested that next time you blow by him before the line, could you please keep the speed differential to less than 10 km/h. It's demoralising. Thanks.
Nicko was there, riding strongly and keeping the group together. I think the King is back.
15 riders from what I hear...wow that's a big group for this time of year!
Anyone scan Phil's bike for embedded supplementary power generation devices? No humming or whirling as he went past? No suspicious looking taps of the brifters prior to launching into his assault?
Actually, anyone noticed if he bunny hopped his way over the line ala Cav?
Yes...I FINALLY made it back to the Peak Bike Hub peloton after being absent since August 30, though it seemed so much longer!
After having the flu, a resulting chest infection, gastro and straining the ligaments around my left knee cap all in the last month (the knee cap incident was just last week) I decided a softly softly approach was called for and my plan was to ride out with the bunch to Diamond Creek and then turn around home, a total distance of 30km and a few descent climbs to test the knee cap and my aerobic fitness.
I received a warm welcome back from all the regulars and also saw a few new faces. All up we had about 10 riders depart and the pace being set by Paul up the front was â€œnot too fast but not too slowâ€. I will admit to feeling the difference aerobically but I guess this is to be expected after the month I had. Iâ€™ll go with Seanâ€™s â€œfive ridesâ€ rule and see how Iâ€™m feeling in a week to gauge where Iâ€™m at.
The long and gradual climb up the Greensborough Hwy saw Vicâ€™s mate Rolf dropping back so I hung back with him. Thatâ€™s the way Vic, looking after your mates! He too was coming back after a layoff due to injury, so I was in good company! We also had Couta and his mate, who has a Contador-like physique, join us. I decided to throw some caution to the wind up the long and steep climb past the Ring Road and the legs were feeling better as the ride went on, though the fitness was definitely off. Unfortunately I also put a significant gap into Rolf and decided to wait up whilst the rest of the peloton rolled on towards Diamond Creek. â€œNo worries Rolf, we always regroup at Diamond Creekâ€, I told him.
Well....I got to Diamond Creek several hundred metres ahead of Rolf and found the petrol station that serves as our usual regroup point bereft of the Peak Peloton...way to go guys. To be honest I donâ€™t think Rolf was fussed and he happily waved me goodbye as I turned around. The sharp 10% climb out of Diamond Creek was a great test for my knee cap and happily I sailed through it in my 34-25, gotta love the compact crankset! I also managed the l-o-n-g ascent towards Greensborough well but I must say that is not a road to be climbing in heavier traffic. There is no room on the shoulder of the road and a number of near-blind corners to test the nerves cycling on your own.
I heard from rockinâ€™ Rod at about 8:50am that they had arrived back at Rocket Cafe. I also saw Paul and Leo afterwards at about 10:15am at Rocket. They had completed the Kinglake climb and Leo was chowing into a magnificent looking scrambled eggs on toast.
Next test...the Monday molehill ride...yeah baby!
It was great to be able to rejoin the Peak Bike Hub Tour de Eltham after my considerable absence. I awoke with some nervous anticipation of what lay ahead, but at least the roads were dry and the sky relatively clear...and then a shower of rain came to dampen my enthusiasm!
Given the now wet roads I decided to forego my clean and glistening Scott CR1 and opted for my Fuji CX bike complete with mudguards. My ass would be dry but Iâ€™d have an extra 3 or 4 kilos to haul up Bonds Rd and Mt Pleasant Rd. On the positive side, the extra resistance training should help make up for the month off the bike.
A good sized peloton of 15 riders braved the cold morning and freezing wind chill...who turned winter back on and how do we turn it off again? Gary kept his promise from Monday and fronted, well done mate. Up the Mt Pleasant Rd climb he complained when I held onto his jersey pocket for a little bit of a tow, claiming the whole two watts he was putting out at the time (one for each leg) were barely enough to keep him going. I returned the favour with a little push as we neared the top of the climb, though it could have been mistaken as a slap across the back.
Also, a belated welcome to Patricia, who has been cycling with us for the last month and helping reduce the gender imbalance at least a little. With Sean absent today the ledger would have been very much out of whack if not for Patricia.
Nicko and David J christened their new steeds, a new Ridley Damocles frame for Nicko given he broke his barely used Oppy C7 on Saturday, and an Oppy C6 for David who was a real showing on the ride now that his riding a bike several kilos lighter than the commuter he was using.
Unfortunately I have no idea who took out the KoMâ€™s as I was well off the pace on the climbs given my lack of fitness and lightness! I fared better on the shootout down Main Rd, bridging a considerable gap of probably 200m with some help from David C to catch the leading group. It was a big effort though and given my 48/12 gears I ran out of steam at the Eltham shops and got held up at the roundabout. From what David and I could see I think Phil took out the sprint past the Viewbank horse paddocks.
Thankfully my knee cap displayed no irritation after the ride and Iâ€™m now looking forward to ascending Kinglake on Saturday, on the CR1 and with an expected top of 21 degrees. Thatâ€™s more like it!
Geez it was chilly this morning but the lure of clear blue skies was too hard to resist for the hardened Peak Bike Hub peloton. Our Saturday bunch is regularly pulling mid-teens numbers, which is great to see. Thanks everyone for your support!
Must say, the numbers of riders out was a great site and I've definitely noticed more riders heading for the hills compared to this time last year. With the beautiful scenery and little traffic, why would you bother trekking all the way to Beaqch Rd? This was my first full length Saturday ride in over a month and I'm glad to report the fitness is improving. Hauling 11kg of bike up Mt Pleasant Rd does that to you! Who am I to whinge though? Xavier was on his 15kg steel slug as his Oppy C7 is in the shop for repairs. Impressive riding big fella, though you can borrow my Fuji next week if you like.
It was part way between Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge when Phil made his belated entrance. He'd been chasing us since Heidelberg! Nicko and I shared pacing duties up the front, as did Rowdy, Xavier, Darren, Mick and Vic. Poor Vic was suffering from the remnants of the flu and occasionally soft pedalled or coasted whilst up the front. This was met with howls of "keep pedalling" and he soon got the drift.
Timing his effort well, Nicko got the jump on the peloton approaching the sprint into St Andrews and set off like a bat out of hill. Leaping Leo had moved up from the rear to contest the sprint and set off in pursuit but Nicko had too big a gap and just held on. Bravo! I think we'll need to encourage Leo to put his nose into the wind a little to even out pace making duties though.
A few of the guys went up to Kinglake whilst the rest of us enjoyed the sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures heading back home. My feet were numb though from the cold! Predictably the peloton stretched out a little through Kangaroo Ground and Eltham, as Nicko felt the effects of his victorious sprint and Mick had a niggle in his knee. Xavier was dreading the Old Eltham Rd climb but I suggested he make the most of his triple chainring. My legs were still feeling OK, though I did see a HR Zone 5.6 (about 188bpm) on the Garmin.
I hung back with Mick through the Viewbank horse paddock but I think I saw Phil take the sprint. By the time we rolled back to Rocket Cafe the sun made our black arm and leg warmers feel nice and toasty. It was bliss just sitting out in the sun and the company was great too!
Warning - blatant plug coming!
If anyone is feeling the need for upgraditis I've decided to take up an offer from Nicko on a new wheelset and hence will put my Fulcrum Racing 1 wheelset up for sale. They're about 18 months old and Sean can verify their history. Claimed weight is 1550g and they're a very stiff and responsive wheelset, and have always stayed true (unlike your Mavics David)! If anyone's keen give me yell.
oh cool. a group of riders who live around where i live! i havent read the whole thread, but am assuming you guys ride weekly based on the posts? Would it be cool if I joined in one time? im relatively new to cycling and have no idea about anything, am keen as to learn and get a bit of k's in the legs. when do you usually ride etc? sorry if its already been asked before!
Welcome aboard! We do three group rides a week and they are detailed on the first page of the thread. Being new to cycling I suggest the Monday ride is your best bet to get a feel for group rides as the pace is easier and the ride shorter. I'd also recommend doing laps of Kew Boulevard to get the fitness up as it's also relatively free of cars.
Our riders were drawn like moths to the flame for this morningâ€™s Tour de Eltham. With daylight savings itâ€™s back to Ayups and Nite Lites for the next three weeks. It was also reasonably chilly but I braved it with only a long sleeve undershirt and Euro-pro longish white socks that had Nicko asking me if I was getting ready to play golf.
Rod, John, Elias and a couple of others must have had early morning appointments, for they set a blistering pace up Beverley and Banyule Roads. Wanting to warm up for a change instead of going flat out from the start, I set a quick but comfortable pace for the rest of the peloton to follow. No idea who took out the Bonds Road KoM as the leading group was almost the length of the climb ahead of the rest of us.
The real action started on Mt Pleasant Road with the usual suspects manoeuvring to the front of the pack. This included Paul looking resplendent in his â€œRide the Worldsâ€ jersey and James on his 20 year old steel roadie with all of seven gears and a creaky bottom bracket. I later found out he commutes to work five days a week on the 12kg beast. Now you must understand that work for James is in Clayton so his weekly total of about 300kms gives him a level of fitness to be reckoned with. Imagine James on an uber-lightweight carbon bike!
Gladly I can report that my fitness is steadily improving and I was able to dice with Leaping Leo and Jumping Jeremy for a bit of fun through the twisting descent after 525. Whilst Paul took the KoM I reckon Sean did exceptionally well on his TT bike, whilst Nicko was feeling yesterdayâ€™s effort on Kew Boulevard and was some way off the pace. His fitness is still improving though after a long layoff, keep it up big guy!
On the shoot down Main Road I was also able to bridge the gap to the leading group and then take position at the head of the field. It was a case of head down, bum up, shut up legs and watch out for all the cars, trucks and buses. Traffic was thick and fast but that didnâ€™t stop Phil drafting behind a bus at an exceptional speed. It was nearly proved his undoing though as a quick swerve left due to the bus in front slowing then revealed another bus stopped to pick up passengers!
Big Johnny was cut-off at the Fitzsimmons Lane merge after the roundabout. John let the offending bathroom renovations tradie know about it in no uncertain terms courtesy of his fist against the driverâ€™s door. I think the driver just didnâ€™t see him due to the way the slip lane mergers but John was lucky to get off without injury as the driver then swerved into the middle lane to make sure he did purposefully cut-off John. Nice!
Iâ€™d given everything I had along Main Road so was some way behind the leading group at the Viewbank horse paddocks. From my vantage point I could see at least half a dozen riders jockeying for position in the spring but it was Paul who took the chocolates courtesy of a nice lead out by Sean. With a large group, early morning darkness and a long wait at the top of Mt Pleasant Road, we were still back by 7:25am....very impressive. Canâ€™t wait for an earlier sunrise and a little more fitness to try crack it for a 7:20am return!
oh very nice! i checked out the course and am pretty keen to try that out. though i am busy with university at the moment, but i guess i'll have to let you know anth when i will have a crack. seems like you have a good bunch of guys to ride with. cheers for the info man
Itâ€™s mornings like the one we were blessed with today that make me feel so happy that I took up cycling as my main sport. Sure it was a tad chilly and I lost all feeling in my fingers after the descent into Diamond Creek but meh, it was a small price to pay for what was a glorious start to the day! At least my feet were warm courtesy of my Dimmeys $2.99 winter socks. BARGAIN!
Nicko, however, was paying the equivalent of a kingâ€™s ransom for his brief interlude with Johnnie Walker last night â€“ the scotch whiskey, not the pro tour cyclist. We waited ages for him and newbie Kevin at the Diamond Creek servo, so much so I rang his mobile a couple of times to make sure all was OK. We also had young Patrick ride with us for the first time and he rode very well.
I stayed back with Nicko to give him a tow to St Andrews as he was very much off the pace. Could it be the switch back to clinchers he wondered? Maybe hayfever? Coating floors yesterday without wearing a mask? Ah...I think it was your mate Johnnie big guy!
One rider most definitely not off the pace at the moment is Troy, AKA our very own Louie Leon Sanchez. Jimminey Crickets is he riding well! Xavier also rode really well on my borrowed Fuji â€˜cross bike. Even up the KL climb he wasnâ€™t too far off the pace and given the bike was perhaps a size smallish and fitted with very un-Xavier like 170mm cranks and compact gearing. He reckons I should give 172.5mm cranks a go...last time I did my knees were most uncooperative but I guess it would help with more leverage?
Leaping Leo has also come along in leaps and bounds and set off at the head of the pack up the KL climb with Paul. Turns out heâ€™s been doing the Tour de Eltham three times a week of late...thatâ€™s certainly going to improve your climbing prowess. I tried staying with Paul and Leo for a little while but gradually the gap opened. Rod, Vic and I stayed pretty much together most of the way up and Iâ€™m rapt to report I set a new PB today at 22:56! It was a whole second faster than my previous PB, but I was carrying two water bottles this time and itâ€™s only my second week back after a month off the chariot with illness.
And now to Paul...my goodness! When we were all outside the bakery he told me he set his stopwatch to time the gap and I was about 2.5 minutes behind him. That means Paulâ€™s nudging 20min for the climb which is great! Drop the â€œKarl Hungusâ€ alter ego, I think weâ€™ll call you Diesel from now on.
The return journey was done so in beautiful conditions but I was gradually finding it harder and harder to stay with Paul, Leo and Xavier. I was starving despite two pieces of toast for brekkie... at 5:30am! A hunger flat maybe? Well...um...probably yes, but it was only after devouring poached eggs on toast at Rocket Cafe with Paul and Leo I found out I had a flat of the more usual kind. My front tyre was noticeably soft as I rode up the carpark behind Peak Bike Hub and once home the pump barely measured 30psi. The other 80psi that had gone MIA would have been really welcome!
Lastly, congrats to Sean and Troy for putting on a great shin-dig at the shop on Thursday evening to launch the 2011 Malvern Star Oppy range and the 2011 Ridley range. There was plenty of eye candy on display and Phil Anderson gave us a great insight into the development of the Oppy. More importantly, it was Peak Bike Hubâ€™s second birthday! Something like 50% of new small businesses fail in the first year and of those that do survive, 75% donâ€™t make it to their second...so well done fellas!
BTW, the Nalini bib knicks I picked up on Thursday night that are an absolute bargain at $80...the best $80 Iâ€™ve spent! My "boys" thank you, lovely!
Opps...almost forgot to mention that due to popular demand the Bald Spur Challenge is back! This is the trek up to Kinglake from Hurstbridge on the back roads and is an absolute treat! Never mind the 20%+ gradients...the descent is awesome! You will need a cyclocross bike, mountain bike or hybrid with treaded tyres at least 30mm wide to be safe. Compact gearing of the 34/28 or lower variety is required, or a triple crankset, unless you plan on doing a lot of walking with your bike. Also, check your brake pads...they'll come in for some heavy use.
We're planning to do this ride on Saturday October 30, leaving from our usual regroup point at the carpark in Hurstbridge at 7am.
Last edited by anth73 on Mon Oct 11, 2010 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Okâ€¦hands up who struggled sleeping last night? It must have been the warmer than usual overnight temperature because it had me kicking off the doona as I tossed and turned. I remember seeing every hour up until 1:30am before I think I finally managed to fall asleep, only to wake up freezing at about 4:30am.
Anyhow, despite my sleep deprived state I fronted for todayâ€™s Peak Bike Hub Monday Molehill ride at 5:50am and waited, and waited, and waited! Nobody seemed like they were going to show but a few minutes before 6am several other riders appeared...phew!
Lachlan was showing off his spanking new Oppy A3 sporting a really funky looking blue and white colour scheme. You may remember a few weeks back I wrote that poor Lachlan was doing it tough on a borrowed road bike. I had dimensions akin to a tricycle for his lanky six foot plus height. No troubles this week however and he rode very well.
Amazingly we got through the double set of traffic lights at the Doncaster Rd / Eastern Freeway mergeâ€¦this has never ever happened before. Our run of good fortune continued on Williamsons Road, with the entire peloton able to roll through the roundabout without any issues with traffic. Touch wood it continues for a few weeks as these two intersections usually cause us trouble.
Come to think of it, traffic was really sparse this morning. I think the first â€œcar backâ€ call didnâ€™t come until weâ€™d turned onto Rosehill Road. Ian and I climbed the 12% gradient out of the saddle and with the sun on our backs and our long shadows on the road, it was damn lovely.
Yours truly took out the Shoppingtown KoM, with Leo a close second. I could hear his heart rate monitor beeping all sorts of alerts so I knew he was close! I think John took out the Williamsons Road KoM. The sprint was an unusual one as John initially took off just past Rosanna Golf Course, closely followed by Leo. As they rounded the bend at the horse paddocks Leo took the initiative and powered ahead. I ummed and ahhed but decided to change up a few gears and push out of the saddle to see if I could catch Leo. It was a l-o-n-g wind up but I got thereâ€¦just, although I reckon Leo wasnâ€™t expecting anyone to come up to him and had backed off.
All in all a very pleasant ride, now to catch up on some sleep tonight!
I didn't brave the weather yesterday morning so managed to organise a leave pass with SWMBO and snuck out for a Tour de Eltham with Xavier. The caveats on my leave pass were that I was to be home by 8:30 to make pancakes for breakfast...no problemo!
We were lucky and scored the recently rare trifecta of no traffic, no wind and no rain! Despite it being ATB day there were still quite a few roadies out enjoying themselves.
The highlight of the ride was setting a new PB for the Mt Pleasant Rd climb of 8:05. This is 1:01 faster than the last time I timed this in February and shows the benefits of losing another 1.5kg and commuting on a heavy bike!
Speaking of heavy bikes, Xavier did the ride on his 15kg "lead sled" cyclocross bike. I was still trying to put myself back together at the top of Mt Pleasant when he crested the top. He'd worked damn hard chasing but was probably only 30 to 40 seconds behind I reckon...bravo!
We made it back by 8am and just before the drizzle set in. BTW...the pancakes alla Antonio were yummo!
A coolish morning for the Molehill ride but it was dry..yeah! Studely Road gave Phil and I some excitement early on as we were almost side swipped by a passing delivery truck just before Banksia St...nice! John was a belated starter and gave chase along Studley Road, but we formed an even half dozen in our peloton for the downhill ride through Ivanhoe.
A warm welcome to Patricia who has been a regular on our Wednesday Tour de Eltham ride for a while. Honestly I don't know how she does it cycling from a few suburbs away to get to Heidelberg for a 6am start. Keep it up though as you're riding really well!
Another big improver is Lachlan. Up the Rosehill Rd climb....12% gradient mind you....he came passed Phil, Troy and I, out of the saddle in the big ring. Way to go mate, though that chain line looked like something from my High School trigonometry days.
Troy continued his impressive form leading the bunch up the Shoppingtown climb with Phil and I on his wheel most of the way up. I backed off as we approached the red lights at Tram Rd, Troy reckons I popped...meh...I'm still quicker than you up Mt Pleasant Rd! Anyhow, I enacted my revenge up the Williamsons Rd climb by passing Troy in a seated acceleration whilst he was grinding away out of the saddle. Don't tell him but I was huffing and puffing but did my best to hide it! Phil blitzed the peloton here however and didn't even look like he'd worked up a sweat.
Surprise of the morning was the sprint at the Viewbank horse paddocks. Patricia and I had a perfect view from around the bend and could see John, Phil and Troy in formation. My money was on Phil but it was big Johhny who held out and took line honours....well done!
You know youâ€™re in for a tough Tour de Eltham when you wake at 5am and feel every leg muscle protesting the impending battering. Glutes â€“ sore, quads â€“ sore, hamstrings â€“ tighter than the high E string on my guitar, Calfs â€“ donâ€™t even go there girlfriend! It was a case of trying to get the mind to ignore everything that hurts and a dose of HTFU pills to roll the 150m to the Shop and await the others to arrive.
And arrive they did in good numbers. We had 17 set off and Ian chased us down at the top of Bonds Rd to make it 18. Newbies in Alistair and his mate were made very welcome. Gary also finally decided to rejoin the Peak Peloton after a few weeks MIA. About the only regular missing was Sean, perhaps the daunting mix of Mt Pleasant Rd and his TT bike were too much to bare?
The group rolled along at a good pace without the usual frantic sprint up Beverley Rd, except for Kieran who braved the 4C temperature in short knicks. He sped off the front to find a hill to climb in a bid to warm up. I went from up near the front to the rear of the field by the time we crested the roundabout near the Viewbank horse paddocks, legs protesting another day of rolling hills, their fifth straight since Saturday.
There was much interest in the new Mt Pleasant Road KoM leaderboard and where the timing points were. I duly pointed out the tree stump marking the start to David C and Paul, who both decided to give it a crack today. It was a brave call by Paul as he was backing up after the ATB on Sunday, as were Nicko, Ian, Elias, Jeremy and a few others. They all rode well though, well enough for Paul to post a 7:26 time. David C claims KoM bragging rights in setting a blistering 6:59...wow!
Research-Warrandyte Rd and Mt Pleasant Rd provided their usual moments of madness. On Research-Warrandyte Rd a garbage collection truck that had the peloton almost come to a screeching halt halfway along the descent. Later an indecisive bus on Main Rd split the leading group of riders as it attempted to pull away from a bus stop. I decided to stop and wait whilst others went round. Unfortunately I was in a big gear at the time and starting again on the incline with a misbehaving cleat proved quite a challenge!
The peloton waited at the top of the Bolton St pinch climb to make sure Patricia had made it safely through the roundabout. Half the group decided to continue on however, thinking she had turned off to go home as per usual. Hence those of us that waited werenâ€™t able to contest the sprint but thatâ€™s OK, my legs werenâ€™t up to it anyway. Congratulations to Patricia in completing her maiden full-length Tour de Eltham.
With the lovely sun now warming our backs it was a pleasant roll to Rocket Cafe, with about a dozen of us staying for coffee before reluctantly heading off to work. Paul, John, Ian and I decided to go into work via Kew boulevard...great! Just what my legs needed...more rolling hills!
Overnight rain tested the mettle of the brave Peak Bike Hub peloton but as ever, all the regulars (yes, you too Phil!) thumbed our noses up at the rain gods and showed up on mass for this morningâ€™s Tour de Eltham...except big Johnny who wimped out, scared of getting wet were ya?
Sean and I had the good sense to dress for the milder morning and headed the peloton up the Beverley Road climb at a gentile pace sans arm and leg warmers. It was nice to get a proper warm up before launching into the serious riding, as I donâ€™t pedal a stroke to get from my place to the shop.
The gentile pace was also good for my dodgy left calf and thanks to some concentrated treatment by Patricia yesterday, it was far more cooperative and actually contributed to forward motion today. Anyone needing a remedial massage should do themselves a favour and give Patricia a call at the Heidelberg Massage Therapy Centre on Cape Street...lovely! Though donâ€™t mind if she laughs at you whilst youâ€™re in agony, as she did with me, think of the greater good.
Nonetheless, cadence was my friend today and I spun up hill and down dale to take the load off the legs a little. I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ve used my 25 cog so much in any prior Tour de Eltham and consequently I was a respectable mid pack finisher up most of the KoMâ€™s. Not sure who took out Bonds Road, the 525 KoM was taken out by Paul, though newbie in young Peter put up a good challenge most of the way from what I hear. Seriously, the kid looks about 12 but Iâ€™m reliably informed heâ€™s 19. Given the damp conditions, Paulâ€™s time of 7:16 for the Mt Pleasant Rd climb was a super effort.
Happily we failed to rendezvous with the myriad of garbage trucks and buses that have characterised our recent return trips down Main Road, making it a really enjoyable journey today. Great to see Nicko returning to form as he weaved his way up to third wheel before going BANG before the bridge and taking the front position to the roundabout.
Having taken it easier than usual down Main Road I was feeling like I had plenty left in the tank and importantly, Mr dodgy calf was still in the game too. This allowed me to stay near the front as we approached the Viewbank horse paddocks and from about fifth wheel I decided to give the sprint a crack today. Sean fired things up by starting a l-o-n-g run to the line, from the left hand bend! I was waiting for Elias to jump before I went but with Sean now a few metres up the road I decided best to try and follow Sean or else it was going to be too late.
In an epic tussle I did manage to come up alongside Youngy, however he dug deep and responded with another grunting acceleration to edge forward again. Somehow I found a little something and managed to get my stumpy index finger to click the shift leaver one last time...and just edge Sean out by maybe half a wheel. Great racing mate!
The weather forecast for Saturday is for rain, perfect for a mudfest up to Kinglake on the gravel roads! Yeeeha!
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