|Post Ride posing! (from Rosie Price Collection)|
" My little human alarm clock had me up an extra hour earlier than I needed at 4am so I was glad to have prepped the night before; cranking the coffee machine to "Super Awake Mode" required an extra effort "
The lads at Sommerville Australia had planned an epic journey to Geelong for anyone brave enough to make the trip. 80km that took in some of the World Champs Course hill climbs along with some fantastic open and quiet roads perfect for a big group ride.
My little human alarm clock had me up an extra hour earlier than I needed at 4am so I was glad to have prepped the night before; slipping into my kit and cranking the coffee machine to "Super Awake Mode" required an extra effort. The lack of drinking the night the before certainly made sleeping easier and waking that little less disruptive.
A quick roll into Ivanhoe to catch-up with Sommerville Australia Ivan on the donut collection from the well equipped Benjamin's Cafe; this guy is the business! he'd been up that morning while I was soothing a baby and had baked donuts! Crazy Guy, Good Chef! Benny poured us a nice little coffee (nothing like a double caffeine intake before 6am)
|Not sure if I'm sharing these Donuts or Eating them myself!!! (Salvo Riders Sommerville Kit)|
Train to Melbourne City was a definitely fuller than I expected at that time of the morning; and I was going towards the city not home from it. Southern Cross change over onto a very full regional line train; main space was taken up by the solid crew of cyclists who had heard of this epic event and wanted in.
With a group of at least 20 on board; and some having made the trip up from the other side of the bay (Mornington Cycling Club you get a shout out for the effort) Melb-Geelong leg of the journey was a great a chance to talk shop with other cyclists, knock back more coffee (That's 3 Cups before 8am, just saying) and of course donuts - them donuts! The attempt to lose some weight for the hills is not going as planned.
The elements weren't in our favour, and they aren't expected to be when you ride near the coast in July. But a light drizzle didn't stop us getting started. I floated up the front to chat to Curtis who as leading the ride, a new Geelong native having moved from Melbourne - I had ridden with him once before a slight of frame fella who can be a scary customer on the climbs generating some great nudge with those legs.
" You feel that metallic taste in the back of your throat which reminds you, you're at capacity but not quite at fail point "
I always think a big social group ride is best planned to be hard early and easy later, essentially as the ride grows longer the route gets flatter; it means when we're fresh we attack the hills and as we get further down the road we can saddle up in pairs and have a good chat.
Sommerville had this mix just right! Challambra Crest is a wicked suburban climb, used in the World Champs Course, back in vogue for the Cadel Evans Road Race it has a nice steady rolling build up and then just ramps hard, pinching at the top - it's the sort of medium length climb where you go looking for gears and know you've maxed out - you feel that metallic taste in the back of your throat which reminds you, you're at capacity but not quite at fail point. The quads turn and the legs burn and then its OVER! PHEW!
A re-group at the top had everyone blowing; a few may of had too much donut, or maybe even not enough, but at less than 5km in that really woke us up!! - from there it was on out the back towards Torquay, taking in Cape Otway & Hendy Main Roads; just great silent patches of rolling countryside with only the spinning wheels of a big group to worry about.
Re-grouping at Growlers in Torquay, caffeine up and some rice cakes from my back pocket meant I had plenty in the tank for the relative short 25km return to Geelong - facing a potential headwinds up Horseshoe Bend Rd, a tight group of 6-8 of us got up front and worked well rotating the front markers to put on what I thought was a good pace back to Geelong.
The knee started to feel the final 3 km's and the head started to think about the warm train carriage so not clocking up a three figure KM wasn't an issue, as I think 80km in those conditions was certainly just the right amount.
" The cold was getting to my feet but certainly not my spirit - with good company you can't be worried about a little chill air "
Regional Trains have a habit of not running as often as their city counter parts; and missing the train by 10mins made me grump a little; but talking with the group meant the time passed pretty well - only real shame was the messing around and not everyone able to get on the first train that turned up, sucked leaving some of the group behind after a great days riding - but these little negatives never outweigh the super positives of the day.
It was home on the iron horse, and then a quick (due to a dead Garmin not recorded) quite possibly the fastest ride home from Clifton Hill to finally see the Super Wife and Z-Girl. With Super Wife off to a party I had the couch to myself and my over ridden legs along with Z-Girl. Nothing beats extra carbs, herbal tea and the Tour de France on the Telly box to finish off **
** But I do feel a cold coming on ..... dammit!
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