Saturday, September 22, 2007

100 km!

Yesterday I rode the furtherst yet in a single ride clocking up just over 100km in a round trip from home to Jambaroo roughly following the Illawarra Cycle Clubs training ride from bikely.

The 100 km took just over 5 hours inlcuding stops here and there for refreshments. I averaged 19.8 km/hr for the ride.

It almost didn't didn't happen. In the first kilometer I both broke my chain (hadn't refitted the conex link properly) and got clobbered by a Magpie at the corner of Crown street and Mt Keira road. Didn't know what had hit me.

Coasting into to Spearman cycles with blood dripping from my ear, I didn't have to explain anything. The bloody bird has been getting everyone who rides by!

The rest of the ride was less dramatic though pretty challenging at times. I took a wrong turning at Bong Bong road in West Dapto and ended up riding a few kilometers up a very steep hill before realising my mistake. Coming down the hill I topped out at 72 km/hr though which made the detour worthwhile.

Another Magpie wanted a piece of me at Marshall Mount but I managed to escape, squirting the bird with my water bottle seemed effective.

The climb up through Jambaroo was challenging. I really think I need to arrange lower gearing but that's another story. The descent was good and I stopped for coffee and cake at a Cafe in the village.

From there I rode back toward Shellharbour through scenic rural landscapes and a stong headwind before regaining the coastal cycle path that zips along the coast. Stopped again for a late lunch at Diggies on Northbeach and then home.

Recovering today I realised that I needed more regular food during the ride and should pack some snacks in future. Also, the saddle is getting better all of the time but I'm quite sore today. Gear changing was a bit fraught at times, lots of ghost shifts and rattles and while everything held together, I'm growing to think that the Apollogy may not be the right ride for the longer distances. At least not in its current form.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Harder than it looks

I lined up for my first 100km populaire "Cafe Ride" yesterday with the good folk in the Illawarra Audax group. The ride was from Dapto to Fitzroy Falls and return taking in the imposing Macquarie pass - a climb of about 800 meters in 8kms.

Short story is I didn't make it and turned around about 1 km up the pass. A 42 x 28 low gear not low enough for a heavily laden and unfit (buggered right knee) rider.

Longer version is I was hanging off the back of the small group from Dapto down the Princes Hwy and Illawarra Hwy into a headwind, slowly losing ground. The other guys were averaging about 27kph on mostly carbon bikes with light loads. I carried a pannier full of tools, clothes and food.

After turning back I had glorious ride back to Dapto and as often happens regretted turning around. The knee pain told me I had made the right decision though and need to take things easier for a while at least.

Later on Saturday Henry rang to check that I was OK and to suggest a few things - lighter load, training rides and don't give up. The next brevet is "on the flat" mostly so my road gearing might be OK. Alternatively a triple ring could be arranged (and a new transmission perhaps?)

Final outcome is, I've learned a lot from the ride and brought the mileage on the Apollogy to 200km.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sydney to Gong Ride 2007

I have registered for the Sydney to the Gong ride on Sunday 4th November 2007. My fund raising page is if you would like to sponsor me on the 90km ride.

Should be a great ride this year!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Stanwell Park and return

Took the Apollogy for a spin up to Stanwell Park and back on Saturday 1.9.07. What with the after effects of a lousy flu and the new Brooks saddle it was a difficult ride with a fair degree of pain experienced. Its mostly uphill after leaving the cycle way at Thirroul and I ran out of puff (and gears) on the last big climb up through Coal Cliff. The road section of the ride is quite nervewracking as the shoulders are non-existent the route is pretty popular for drives on the weekends and not every car of tourists appreciates the narrow spaces.

On the ride back I succumbed to hunger and feasted on a Burger and coke at Ruby's cafe on Bulli beach. Just on 70 km for the ride in about 4 hours with stops - averaging about 23kms/hour which for me is flying - but I was feeling it afterwards.

As a bonus for Father's day I received three new bidon holders and a Cateye Velo8 bicycle computer. They are now installed and waiting for my posterior to recover enough to want to go out again and commence recording boring statistics. For the record, in the last week the Apollogy has clocked up about 160kms.

I really hope that the pain I'm going through now will pay off in coming months.