Wednesday, 29 August 2012


NRR Long:
We sat two up down the highway, a ripping northerly ensuring that the solid work done by the guys on the front had our speed up. From Mordi to Frankston it was Gus and I setting the pace, perhaps not as hard as those who did the work until we took over, but no one seemed eager to come over the top.

I eased off the pedals through the town proper, letting a few riders roll through. I wanted a sit on the first couple of climbs. The aim was to keep my arse firmly planted and my legs spinning through swiftly. I wanted all the muscle saved for Canadian Bay and Two Bays Rds, but the tempo was high enough to push me past my threshold on Kars St and Baden Powell Dr.

The pace was still on up the highway, but (and perhaps this is me projecting) everyone's minds were already on Canadian Bay. AJ started the fireworks with a move up the outside. I kicked out of the saddle to ride up to the wheels of the top 4-5 riders, trying my best to avoid the shrapnel (riders popping) being flung out the back and side. I almost didn't make the wheels as we crested and began the false flat to the final kick. Rowan Deever was just a metre or so off the back and I managed to will myself on to his wheel, a quick glance down showed my HR at 190bpm. To say I was thankful when the pace eased slightly and I was afforded a bit of respite would be a gross understatement. Heh, respite, I was down to a mere 184bpm before the final kick, but for some reason I like that last little effort, I can always lift for it, regardless of how hard it's been. Basically, don't look a gift effort in the mouth.

Over the top, first, with enough legs and time to hold onto the top 4 riders on the descent while my HR dropped faster than me. It was the best scenario for me, well the best I'd been in for NRR Long, but that didn't mean it was an easy task. The 4 riders in front of me were AJ, Fergus Sully, Jamie Nightingale and a bloke named Dave who'd been doing all the damage on the previous climbs. 

I was soon in the box again, and not the only one, as Lee, who'd worked his way back to us as we turned into Two Bays and happily slotted himself in the gap I created to Jamie's wheel, was the first casualty of the pace. I saw it coming and quickly covered the gap across to the wheel of Mr Nightingale. "Pedal Smooth" and "Hold the Wheel" became my mantras as I found myself in a small box within the normally small seeming "regular" box. Jamie stood as the gradient rose slightly and I found my slightly forced rhythm disrupted for a few moments. I battled to will my body on, to re-settle and keep digging. For a moment I had the wheel and a tempo, but slowly slowly the wheel slid away from me. We weren't at the left hand corner that signals my body to release everything in a final 400m of agony, so I was thankful to see Dave was coming backwards. It was enough of a rabbit to bite my tongue and keep the pressure on the pedals and get myself to the corner, then the roundabout.

Strava tells me I set new benchmark times on both Canadian Bay and Two Bays, something I attribute not to greater fitness, but simply to going deeper into the box than any previous day.

The roll home was not a fun affair, 60km/h head winds and a couple of blokes that rolled their turns a little hot wore on my tired legs and mind. I was happy when we finally reached the banked up traffic in Elwood and the bunch finally split into solitary riders making their way to separate destinations.

Time at work 9:05am

Strava link.

D: 101.1km
A: 573m


D: 8.1km
A: 78m

PMPW: 91kg

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