A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:27 pm

Well first things first, i slept in and missed the vintage jersey. DAMN.

Monday night i dropped off my lady at work then hopped on the bike for a spin round Noosa. After a bit of a warmup (which surprisingly came to 20k) i headed for Gyndier Drive at tinbeerwah and went absolutely nuts for strava's benefit. I didn't know where the segment started and finished so did the whole length to make sure. Turns out the segment is between the bollards so i could have gone harder but still pleased with 6:43 given my best is 6:31 (and it put me ahead of 2 local pros and my arch nemesis!). Then headed for Duke Rd to have another crack at clearing it, and managed this time (just). Overall, fairly reasonable but the average speed was a little disappointing (some blame can go to my lights, a bit on the weak side for the downhills).

(and another pretty elevation profile)
http://app.strava.com/rides/22364611 .

Tuesday i was considering a repeat of the 170k ride i did a while ago but the weather didn't look to good and i felt like a rest. Also i spent the whole god damn day trying to get the Bryton website to work :x .

This morning was a quick hitout on the Dawes, Kin Kin to Pomona and back, then back to the top of the range. Felt fantastic (the more i ride this bike the more i love it) and put in a good time. Uploaded to strava and i've ended up with a 5th, 7th and 9th on the segments i covered, again beating several pros and that nemesis :D . I could go a lot better on all of them, especially now i know where they are. Not least for the fact i'm on a 13kg single speed!

Tomorrow is the first long commute i've done in ages, and i'm taking the Dawes as i don't have to worry about gears and i think the legs can deal with it.
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by BNA » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:12 pm

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:12 pm

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/MxkpU9jpRU4?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


Oh yes, this was a good day.
I set off on my Dawes bright and early, feeling a little bit meh, and a little bit alright.
Initially i was taking it relatively easy, especially as going over the range the legs didn't feel that strong, not that i'm ever a 'dancer'. (except perhaps for this kind of dancing).

<iframe width="640" height="360" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/DY_DF2Af3LM?feature=player_detailpage" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

An uncanny resemblance actually...

Well once i was on the other side of the range i was humming along pretty well and feeling quite good, through Pomona pushing hard past my former workplace to make them jealous :) and then up the hill out of town. It was at this point i was overtaken by a grader and i noticed for the first time that graders look quite like buses. In spite of my best efforts i couldn't quite get onto his wheel, but as the gap opened up i realised i was feeling really good, and went through to cooroy MUCH quicker than usual. By Tinbeerwah i realised i was on a blinder, and i ended up rolling into work afer 1:11:23.

A MINUTE faster than my previous best, and TEN minutes faster than i had ever done on the singlespeed!
Average speed of around 35kmh (strava says a bit less, my wired speedo reckoned 35.7), and that was with holding to about 70 down tinbeerwah, could have gone 80-85 but i haven't ridden that hill for a while and didn't feel too comfortable.

I floated around on a cloud all day and then set off for home, took it very easy but still went very well and in spite of detouring to the bike shop, the total for morning and afternoon was about 12 minutes faster than my pb :D .

Absolutely over the moon, since the GC100 my riding seems to have really started to go where i want it to, now it's just a matter of keeping it going. I've been eating well too and have dropped from 85kg to 83 over the last fortnight.

Probably rest tomorrow, maybe a little spin Saturday and then Sunday is looking like a big group ride, up the feared Obi Obi (something like 25-30%, the one time i went up there i couldn't ride it with a 28-32 MTB granny, and set fire to my brake pads on the way down).
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:18 pm

Great day on the bike today, up at 4am to ride from Coolum to Noosa for the sunday group ride. The plan had been to head for the Obi Obi, a climb of mythical and malevolent powers, the like of which the world has never seen the like of which. Predictably the majority decided to chicken out so it left myself and only 2 others to take on this ferocious eleventy headed hydra (especially as i'd spent 2 days replacing the BB, cranks, rear wheel, cassette, rear derailleur and gear cables to suit).

We started with a reasonably relaxed run to Cooroy, down the highway to Eumundi then over to Kenilworth, in soft morning light and pea soup fog. Then the turn off appeared from the mist, and we headed towards a metaphorical fate worse than death with an overwhelming sense of dread and foreboding (that may have just been me though).

Now at this point i would LOVE to put up a link to my GPS track of the ride, and the Strava proof of my heroic exploits, but i can't find the usb cable for the bryton.....

The climb was as i remembered, vicious. It starts out reasonable enough, i was able to tick along at say 16-18kmh, and then it splits (the uphill side is bitumen, the downhill gravel as presumably the powers that be consider losing traction on the way up to be far worse than on the way down) and rears up, like a tarmac covered brick wall with armco. But to my delight it was no match for my rectangular 28 tooth Biopace granny ring Excalibur, although unfortunately i got cocky halfway up and changed into the 44t middle ring, and even teamed with a 30t on the rear, getting that combo over the pinch i was on very nearly reduced me to that most primitive and detestable of human behaviours, walking.

After wiping the blood (wax lube in reality, but let's not allow reality to intrude) from my blade (cranks), it was just a straightforward run down the range to Nambour, then over to Yandina to meet my waiting damsel and bid adieu to my companions. 120k in all, and to my utter amazement i have had no cramping or discomfort of any kind. If i keep this up i might even be able to call myself a Cyclist one day :D .

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby zakka101 » Sun Sep 23, 2012 9:46 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Prepare yourselves, i'm discovering the world of strava!

http://app.strava.com/activities/22131062 (i'm not sure if my account allows people to view stuff, still finding my way round).

Good ride this evening, felt pretty reasonable for the most part though i was up against it a bit on the climb to buderim. 15th from 49 for that segment though so not a bad start. Tomorrow will be just stretching before work (i have to get up early to try and win a vintage Dawes jersey on ebay uk :) ), then riding round noosa in the evening while my lovely is at work.

EDIT: looks like the link does work, and doesn't that elevation profile look pretty :) . If i'm able to get out for a long ride on tuesday i should have a really cool one.


following! welcome!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Sep 24, 2012 10:22 pm

Good news and bad news.

The good news is, i got the ride up on strava, and it looks good :D .
http://app.strava.com/rides/22994542

Obi Obi climb was 2.9k at 9.5% average, maximum is supposedly 42.6%!

The bad news is, for absolutely no reason my back decided to seize up today at work, and steadily worsened. I went in to the chiro (who didn't appear to do much really) and then applied a cold pack and slept but no improvement yet, i'm flat out walking :( . Very angry with my body, especially as things have been going so well, my legs have no pain at all from yesterday's ride and i'm up to 5228k for the year. The last week was 308k, my best for this year. I guess i'll just have to wait and see, but i'm definitely not doing any riding tomorrow :( .
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Sep 25, 2012 7:55 pm

A whole day of resting, application of ice pack, resting etc and very little improvement. Saw the chiro again this arvo (the bloke i usually see, not the lady who was on yesterday) and feel significantly better, but still nowhere near fixed. He was surprised that it had happened as he was happy with the progress i had been making, and could only suggest more rest and icing. So frustrating.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Sep 30, 2012 7:26 am

After looking over my mileage tally on wednesday i realised that with a little bit of effort i could get to 1000k for September, my previous best for a month being only 833. So thursday and friday mornings were 50k runs on the single speed, taking it pretty easy to avoid doing any damage to my back (which only gave a little niggle on thursday). Last night i was going to head out for at least 120k to tick over the 1000, but after doing some jobs around the house and helping the lady get ready for work, i realised i had left my shoes at the farm :( .

So naturally i grabbed the flat pedals off her hybrid and put on some runners. It was horrible. Within 10k my feet hurt, my legs hurt and i was going nowhere fast. I couldn't spin and getting out of the saddle had my feet twisting and rolling all over the place. I pushed on anyway and managed 80 very slow k.
Hopefully tonight i will be able to get the remaining 38k up (once i've got the shoes!), and then tomorrow is Monday.

Monday is going to be a Big Day. I don't care what my legs feel, what the weather does, what fails on my bike, if it takes me all day and half the night i am doing it.
At least 100 miles, and 4 major climbs, 3 of which reach well over 20%.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:20 pm

Ouch. Ouchy ouchy ouch.

I did taunt fate by saying i didn't care what the weather did for my Big Day but like i said, i did it anyway.

As the Mazda ad says, "More is More". So instead of just doing one little climb i decided to do a couple. For starters, Kiel Mountain, 1.2km, average of 7.9%, max 23.5% (it's actually longer than that but that's the strava segment). That one wasn't as hard as i thought, i actually found the even steeper descent much harder (wet road all potholed and broken up).
So now that i was warmed up, it was time to visit an old friend, Razorback Road. Evil mongrel of a thing, the main climb is 1.5km averaging 13.3% maximum supposedly 47.7%? Perhaps not, but it is ludicrously steep. I would be pretty confident with a max of at least 30%. That one was a fair bit tougher, but for the first time there was no walking involved.

After scaring myself a bit going down from Mapleton to Nambour, getting blown about by a strong headwind at 75kmh :shock: , the rolly polly descent from Dulong lookout was a corker though (a dry road helped a lot).

Now the plan was that i would have an easy spin on mostly flat roads from Nambour to Landsborough. Well that plan didn't quite work, there was a horribly steep thing that suddenly reared up in my way called 'The Pinch'. Dammit i didn't order ANOTHER 20% climb!

Image


At least it was short, and had a nice run down the other side, which got me to Landsborough, for some sustenance in the form of a steak, cheese and bacon pie, coke and a chicken alfredo. Only the highest quality here!

Then it was Bald Knob, 4.9k at 7.1%, topping at 24.5%. Challenging, but not too crazy.
The lady at the servo warned me that several drivers had reported thick fog up the mountain. Well that turned out to be nonsense. It wasn't fog. It was cloud.

Image

This was about 3/4s up Bald Knob, from the top until Maleny, it was MUCH thicker, and when visibility was down to 50 metres i was starting to get a little concerned. Luckily i had my brightest tail light but that could only do so much. Very Very weird feeling to ride through that, luckily it thinned out as i headed towards Witta.
Now the last time i went that way the descent was no fun at all, maybe that was because it was raining, and i was so cold i was shaking but this time round it was a lot of fun (and i probably looked so pro).

After going through Conondale (which takes all of 20 seconds, it isn't the biggest place) it was a mostly flat run through the very pretty valley to Kenilworth, and to my great surprise i was comfortably sitting on the mid to high 30s. Aside from the lunatic motorbiker who decided it would be a good idea to pass me on the LEFT at well over 120kmh, there were no issues, and it is a particularly pretty place to be. The highlight by a long long way was the descent to Bellbird Creek, it's like a bitumen rollercoaster.

Image

At Kenilworth it was time for another stop, this time for a Cherry Ripe (the closest thing they had to a muesli bar), another coke and a can of WD40 to silence the flock of rabid sparrows that were living in my chain. It did a great job of that but the downside was having to carry a can of bloody WD40 for the remaining 50k!
After refreshing myself and my steed, it started raining again just as i got back in the saddle (of course).

I was revved up to push hard up the Obi Obi, but while the spirit was willing, the flesh had done 160k by the bottom and i wasn't able to improve on my previous effort. I did at least clear it without walking though. After a gel in Mapleton i shot down the range again (a little less wind being offset by cold rain) and then just an uneventful but astonishingly quick run back to the coast. I mean after 190k i was cruising along at 32-34kmh, who's body is this!?

So after more than 7 and a half hours riding, and nearly 9 hours in total i had managed to cover 200.6km, and do 3,086m of climbing :shock: . The estimated 6,668 calories used will help to account for the pie and alfredo too :D .
Pretty damn stoked to have done more in one ride than i average in a week.
Conveniently enough i have a remedial massage and chiro visit tomorrow, and i will definitely need it.

Image
Last edited by ldrcycles on Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby zakka101 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 9:38 pm

as i said in my strava comment, mate i am damn impressed. good work. set a goal. do it. i love it.
hope you recover well and smash out the rest of october, what a great start to the month!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:00 am

Thanks again man :D . I can still remember a time not long after i first started riding i couldn't believe i had managed to do 15k in one ride :lol: .
VERY glad i have a massage and chiro visit booked for today, though the legs are feeling pretty reasonable.

And forgot to put up a link to the strava page http://app.strava.com/rides/23672029 .

So after that i'm thinking i might have a half decent sort of base happening, and perhaps it's now time to get into some really hard intervals. The next few weeks should be interesting :) . Oh and in my first post i was 87kgs, this morning i am down to 81.8.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 02, 2012 10:50 pm

A cruisy day today, a very painful massage (and hearing "my god your legs are so much bigger than the last time you were here" did wonders for the ego) followed by a bit of tweaking at the chiro and then took my lady off to work. I had noticed that duds2u had beaten my time on a local segment, so i decided to work that into a bit of a recovery ride while stef was at work, and it went exceptionally well, got into 2nd place, only 11 seconds off the KOM. I'll definitely be keeping that one in the crosshairs. No riding tomorrow though, my legs are definitely in need of a very good rest.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Oct 04, 2012 8:57 pm

Long commute today, hopped on the Dawes because, well because it's awesome, and set off. Felt alright but not brilliant, ticking along at an ok pace until i caught my brother (who also happened to be commuting on the bike) near Pomona. Naturally i had no choice but to let him suck wheel and my god it was painful. At one stage i was sitting on 30kmh where i would normally be doing 34-36, looked round just to check he was still there and i had left him behind! I don't know how people are able to provide a wheel for sucking without a rearview mirror or intercom or something, i found it ridiculously difficult.

On the way home i had no such hindrance though, and i felt about the same as in the morning, reasonable but not on fire. That was until i got to Gyndier Drive, and about a quarter of the way up, pushing a bit to stay on top of the gear, realised "hang on a sec i'm ticking along ok here".
Kept at it and KABOOM, i've taken a massive 14 seconds off my previous best, and i know i had more! Absolutely over the moon with that, and if nothing else it just reaffirms how much i LOVE my Dawes.
The rest of the ride home was uneventful, with the exception of seeing a decent sized taipan on the side of the road :shock: .
Tomorrow night i'm looking at doing hill repeats, and maybe trying for a KOM out at Doonan, while my lady is at work.

http://app.strava.com/rides/23959150 (also got to 2nd place for a downhill segment in pomona, but that's really just for giggles).

I'm also now only 711k off my goal for the year of 4000 miles (6437k), i can almost guarantee that will happen by the end of this month (barring injury or illness, touch wood).
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The power of the mind....

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:02 pm

I have a bit of a sore throat. It is not a cold, and not related in any way to the cold my fiancee has had for the past week. It is not going to have any effect on my training whatsoever.

In order to reinforce this positive frame of mind, i am going to spend the evening eating chicken parma, searching ebay for 'road bikes, used, under $200' and watching videos of kittens on youtube.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Oct 08, 2012 7:10 pm

I am fighting the good fight, but the power is strong with this one. I woke up feeling very ordinary this morning, but was absolutely determined that i WAS going for a ride, so i hopped on my $98 Preset and headed for Maroochy. While my lungs were about as useful as a pair of plastic shopping bags that had been blown through a barbed wire fence, my legs were as good as they ever are, and in spite of a strong headwind i was able to tick along comfortably enough (though not quickly by any stretch of the imagination).
Once i decided i had ridden far enough and turned back though i had a tailwind to help me along and spun along happily. At some point the speed crept up a bit and before i knew it i was really pushing, and held on 51kmh for about half a k, which is about 180rpm with that gear. Incidentally last week i reched my highest pedalling speed on the Dawes, 60kmh at 220rpm!

When i got back i was coughing a lot and felt like rubbish, but after a shower and rest i felt better than i had when i woke up. I managed to blunder through a day of work and now just have a sore throat. Fingers crossed there might be a bit more riding tomorrow.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Oct 10, 2012 6:49 am

Yesterday morning i didn't feel much chop so instead of hopping on the bike at 5am for 100+miles i slept pretty much all day. As my lady had work in the evening and i felt alright, i took the opportunity to head for the strava segment i'm targeting. Unfortunately while the legs were alright the whole breathing in and out thing was AWOL so i was a looong way off my best. I did manage a PB for a downhill segment though, and another hour of exercise can't hurt.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:58 pm

No more riding today but a package arrived from the UK.

A Dawes branded bottle cage and water bottle for my beloved Shadow!! Popped it on with the bolt on cage clamps i got a week ago and all good to go.



(Yes i know it's a little bit sad that i'm so excited about a bottle cage and water bottle but they're DAWES BRANDED!! :D ).
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:48 pm

A good commute today on the Dawes, even though my lungs are still a bit off normal function i managed to get in only 30 seconds off my pb for Kin Kin to Noosa (and 3rd for a segment along the way). A bit of rain on the way home but rode fairly well, and managed to match my pb for Gyndier Drive on the way.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:20 pm

A quick spin on the Repco Preset last night, i was intending to just take it very easy but found myself pushing a bit harder than that. Ticked along pretty well, so i was looking forward to today, when i was planning to do about 270k. Planning.

I don't know if it was because of riding last night, not enough stretching, not enough sleep or who knows what else but the legs just weren't interested in playing the game today, no power whatsoever, most particularly when going up Bald Knob, it is a monster of a climb, and cat2 according to strava but all the same i felt pretty poorly making my way up there. All the more disappointing as for the first time on a long ride i had some decent weather. I called it quits at Kenilworth, well before the halfway mark but 108k with 1500m climbing at an average of 27.8 is alright. It worked in my favour as stef and i ended up having a very enjoyable morning taking in the sights of Kenilworth (both of them, the cheese factory and the trinket shop :) ).

After that it was a good rest, off to the chiro, and then up to Pomona to play squash for the first time in about 2 yrs. To my very great surprise i played really well, and narrowly lost an incredibly tough 5 game match. I am going to be VERY sore tomorrow :) .

Some pics from today, first is looking over the Glass House Mountains from the top of Bald Knob, 2nd is just north of Conondale, i've posted a pic of that spot previously but it looks even better with blue sky :) .

Image


Image
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:14 pm

Well the squash definitely worked, i am in terrible pain :) . VERY sore legs today, so plenty of stretching and protein to make it worthwhile. Very happy to say i've ticked over 6,000k for the year too :) .
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby skull » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:29 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Well the squash definitely worked, i am in terrible pain :) . VERY sore legs today, so plenty of stretching and protein to make it worthwhile. Very happy to say i've ticked over 6,000k for the year too :) .


I play a semi regular squash game with a work colleague. Try to get out weekly but some weeks we miss out. It does smash me, my squash partner has skills but my fitness gets up, so he has me run around the court but I can extract some revenge occasionally.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:46 pm

Yea it's damn good fun, i used to be right into it and was the secretary of the local club for a while but drifted away for a bit (work, women and riding bikes). It deserves to be more popular than it is.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby skull » Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:11 pm

it's hay day was during the 80s.

I think it is time for a revival.
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Re: Being social, and adventures in the south.

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Oct 20, 2012 9:56 pm



Well saturday instead of wednesday, but same difference.


After being up til midnight Thursday putting new chain, BB, shifter cable and cranks on the Scott, and giving the Mercier a check, a very busy and tiring day at work on friday, getting to brisbane at 9:30pm and then waking up at 4:45 this morning, it was time for some riding. :? .

First up it was the Retro Riverloop, and while i haven't got any photos (i completely forgot to take any, all that sleep i didn't have had to result in something being forgotten) it was a beautiful morning. After a bit of chatting and an exchange of bits and pieces we set off, myself grinning like a simpleton the whole way at the joy of riding in the BIG CITY! I mean i can't even count the number of other bikes i saw, and that's even if i use all 11 fingers!

For the most part we spun along at a fairly dignified pace but there were a few spirited chases to warm things up, and it was while on such a chase i had issues. Making my way up a hill and struggling in vain to convince my recalcitrant rear derailleur that it was in fact quite capable of shifting under full load, i was greeted with a most unseemly crunching, banging noise and a halt to all forward movement. Upon inspection, and after some headscratching it turned out the tension spring on the derailleur had snapped clean off, and while it would move across the cluster, the chain was hanging limply on the bottom, and it was quite close to unrideable.

With some help from the group i was able to limp onwards, until we approached a steep hill and wal joked that he might now be able to beat me up it. Well red rag to a bull etc, so i rode until the chain refused to participate ANY MORE (stamps feet like an indignant child), then dismounted and sprinted hell for leather up the hill on foot (still pushing my stricken steed). Luckily for me it was a particularly steep hill and i had the pleasure of passing wal just before the top :D .

Eventually (after a rest to get my breath back, and then another run up another hill) we reached our destination and i earned a hot chocolate for my efforts.

To be continued....
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Re: Being social, and adventures in the south, part duex.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Oct 21, 2012 2:42 pm

After bidding adieu to the Riverloopers, i turned my nose south and proceeded at a fairly leisurely pace to the charming, quaint hellhole of Canungra. (Hellhole is a little strong, but it is very small and not particularly pretty to my eyes).

And so it came to pass that at 5 past elevenses, with the temperature at 34 degrees i rode out of town into a headwind (far from ideal but beggars can't be choosers), this time on what i was hoping would be a more reliable conveyance.

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My hopes and dreams of reliability were short lived, only 2kms from the get go i had to pull over and give the rear derailleur a stern talking to, and educate it as to how important it was that it stay in the selected gear, and the dire consequences if it did not behave. Suitably humbled, it did not give any further trouble.

Now several people have mentioned O'Reilly's Vineyard

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as the start point for the climb to the guesthouse, but given there is no climbing of any sort between the vineyard and Sarabah Bridge, i will make a daring solo breakaway by calling that the latter the start. In any case it was about this point


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that things really start to kick off (note that you will need to keep an eye out for the locals, being country types their road sense is not so good eh?).
Just round that corner is this view


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and roughly thataway is where things head.
(Although unfortunately there are a few of these in the way


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and although they had planks across them at one stage they have long since rotted away, and even crossing them on foot is a bit dicey. Really breaks up the rythm :evil: ).
But the next few kilometres is very solid and enjoyable climbing up a whole bunch of winding switchbacks through dry open gum forest


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I kept on winding my way up and up the side of this ridge, the top of which never seemed to get any closer, though there was a lovely view to keep any negative thoughts at bay.

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The road itself was a fairly crook surface, nothing crazy but it was relatively rough and made of very coarse chip, however it was particularly narrow, especially at this section :shock:


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After rounding this corner


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i was treated to this spectacular view


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(the photo does it no favours at all)
and to my disbelief, the road KEPT going up. I just couldn't get my head around the fact i had been climbing up one side of the ridge for many kilometres, and was now STILL climbing on the other side. It was a very strange experience, riding along constantly climbing but with the top of the ridge above me never seeming to get any closer. Almost all of this riding was in the 53-28 gear at 17-22kmh, occasionally clicking it up one or 2 to get out of the saddle and use some different muscles.
I kept pushing on through more switchbacks

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and then all of a sudden after rounding a corner which looked like so many others, i was confronted by what looked like a green brick wall, with the road forming a dark acrchway through it.


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and from that point on it was bye bye open gum forest and hello cool shady green rainforest (the shade was particularly welcome).


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After some time i reached one of the landmarks of the climb, the alpaca farm.


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This is still a long way from the top, but not long afterwards is when things start to get really serious, the tough thing about this ride is that until the last few k it's actually not very steep, and then after 20odd k of climbing you are presented with this 12% slope

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and at this point the road surface also turns to hell thanks to all those trees, it is horribly lumpy, and while the cars going up were, without exception, very friendly and courteous, a lot of the oncoming cars didn't slow down anywhere near as much as i would have liked (the road is VERY narrow), this held true for the descent as well.
But after all the hard work i was finally rewarded when i reached the top.

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After a meat pie and 1.2L of coke (it was really hot ok?) i set off back down the hill at a very relaxed pace, taking all the photos along the way. I hadn't been going long when i stopped to take a photo of the last steep climb, and as a car passed i stepped back off the road, pressing into something with sharp thorns. I quickly turned around to see a shrub with no thorns or sharp protuberances of any kind, yet my back and arm still hurt. To my utter horror i realised it was a Gympie gympie tree, aka 'one of the world's most venomous plants' :shock: . I had heard about these but never encountered one and my only thought was to continue into Canungra and hope for the best. It must have been a different species from the one normally referred to though, as the pain didn't get beyond multiple bee or ant stings, and it had pretty much subsided by the time i got back to Canungra. There is a little tingling today but nothing much, all the same, beware of the plants up there!

Only 1.5k from Canungra i had my first flat in a very long time


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(what's wrong with this picture?)

Normally flats inspire a special kind of rage in me but it turned out the Maxxis Re-Fuse was still intact (as is my faith in it) and the tube had actually split right at the base of the valve stem for whatever reason. I sat down on the side of the road in some shade and got things sorted out, enjoyed the view, and watched a magpie swooping a large snake in a nearby paddock.

Then i continued into Canungra and collected my trophy.

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I think i earned it.


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When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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ldrcycles
 
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:54 am

Just a quick spin this morning to chase a segment round the corner from my lady's place. There was a very strong headwind but i was feeling pretty good. Got the file uploaded to Strava aaaand.......... ONE SECOND SHORT!!!!!!! AAARRGGHH so frustrating, i want a KOM! The second this wind dies down i'll be back out giving it everything i've got.

http://app.strava.com/rides/25800785#461550593
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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