Wednesday, 25 July 2012

25/07/2012

NRR Long:
I said it yesterday, but it bears repeating, I was nervous about doing NRR long today. It's been a couple of months since last time, and the last one left me stupid enough to climb into a cardboard box and take a photo. So yeah, hard rides make me nervous, this was no exception.

Things turned out to be uneventful on the way down, a leisurely 2 up pace was set down the highway to Mordi, I did my share early, but when others rolled up I was happy to take a sit. Post Mordi, when it was the small bunch who were committed to getting a solid ride in before work the pace picked up slightly. I worked turns with 3-6 others until Frankston, a nice tempo and a great opportunity to practice a rolling paceline. As we rounded into Frankston I went to the front and took all the pace out of the ride, I wanted a chance to freshen up my legs so that when those who'd been sitting on inevitably attacked, I would have something left.

So there I was, a few blokes back and each pedal stroke my legs felt better. It got to the point where I started reciting a little mantra. "Sit in! Sit in! Don't initiate the attack! Sit in! SIT IN!"

That got me through to the bottom of Canadian Bay Rd, through the bottom dip.

*WHAM!*

Adrian Jackson went hard up the outside of the bunch, creating a gap several bike lengths long before anyone could react. I did a quick glance down at my chainring, just to ensure I was in the little ring. I wasn't. Shit! I quickly shifted and got out of the saddle. The first hard crank on my pedals let me know that I'd dropped my chain. Shit! Hold the shifter over to get the chain back on, ok now the chain is in the big ring. Shit!

"Big ring it is!!"

I felt good as I chased, I even had enough time to tell Lochy to get on my wheel as I tried to bridge across the the lead two riders. Through the false flat middle section life sucked, I dont know what it is about this stretch of road, but it doesn't like me, and I don't like it. Pete came through me like a freight train and only my hard kick up the final pinch kept me within cooee of him going into the descent.

I did everything I could to make up ground to Pete, AJ and Joel on the descent while doing everything I could to recover before the Two Bays climb. Fairly conflicting goals, but I felt like I was riding a good balance between those and also through the fast corners. The guys slowed to take the left onto Two Bays Rd, checking for traffic, it gave me a chance to use their eyes to ensure my safety and thus hold speed and close the final gap. I was on! With AJ on the front my aim was to sit, find a rhythm and go deep into the dark place. I can now say I ticked all those things off, and to my surprise a few moments after I popped off the back, AJ popped off the front. I was feeling good about my climbing even before that, and the PBs Strava tells me I achieved on the two major climbs just go further to reinforce it.

The return leg to St Kilda started nicely, we swapped off turns until about Patterson Lakes, when the turns broke down and a couple of guys (Joel and some guy in Giant kit) took it upon themselves to drill it. I went from "I'm feeling good about my riding" to "Oh dear sweet lord, I'm not sure I can even hold a wheel at this pace" in a matter of a km.

Time at work 8:52

Strava link.

D: 101.3km
A: 599m

Commute:

D: 14.1km
A: 149m

PMPW: 92kg

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