Fronted up for the Wollongong Audax christmas ride to Picton yesterday and suffered terribly.
Recent time away from the bike had impacted on my fitness so I felt kinda weak, which is not such a good thing when your on a route that takes in 1110m of climbing. But I'm glad to say I made it, but not without some misadventure.
Firstly, I found that I was overheating a lot, particularly on the climbs even early in the ride when it wasn't all that hot. This could be a result of my now quite old helmet which is heavy and probably not as well ventilated as it could be. The second thing was hydration particularly on the return ride when I rapidly drank through my 2 bidons and was really suffering in 30 degree heat. I'm thinking that a hydration pack might be good insurance and also give me a little bit more gear room. Henry and Richard use camelbacks and keep their bidons for supplements on longer rides. I'm thinking abut the Spinal Tap from Ground Effect which seems about the right size and is way less expensive than the camelbacks. Irrespective of these issues which I can solve, the Picton Road a pretty miserable place to ride even when your going downhill. Its got the lot - poor surface, zero shoulder, fast traffic, lots of trucks and almost nothing to look at.
The other thing was getting hit by a drink can thrown at me from a moving car.
Man, it hurt and I was really lucky that it wasn't my head or I probably wouldn't be typing this now. It also gave me a burst of adrenaline that got me up the rest of the long climb. The car was a white Hyundai Excel, and the can was a "V". I couldn't get their license plate but I'm pretty sure the karmic hammer will even things out sooner or later.
It's not the first time I've had stuff thrown at me, but its certainly the first time I've been hit. I hope it's the last.
Anyway the descent down Mt Keira was great and the remainder of the ride uneventful. My next challenge will be the 200km ride to Tallong in January and I hope to get in at least 1000km between now and then.