Saturday, 17 November 2012


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Stony Creek - Pigeon Bank - Dawson - Clintons - Cottles Bridge - Flat Rock - Christmas Hills - Mt Pleasant - St Kilda East:
I was kind of nervous about this one. I planned on the same loop as last week, but this time accompanied by Will Geor. I raced with Will in cross over winter... well we wore the same kit, I'm not sure how much else you can race together in Cross. He trounced me in one race early on, coming in ahead of DeLuca who continued to smash me all season. I got a couple of wins over Will in later races but there was usually a mechanical issue to take away any joy I could get from it. Anyway, back to the nerves, simply put, I was worried young Will would put me squarely in the box. He sort of did.

I can laugh about the start of this ride now, but at the time it was doing my head, legs and lungs in. As we rolled through Ivanhoe and Banyule Flats, things were fast. I constantly felt like I was holding Will up, his wheel permanently a bunch of inches in front of mine. It was one of those things were you're not going above what you can do, it's just that you're just going well above what you expected to do at that point.

Finally we reached some of the hills I expected to hurt on, Dawsons, Clintons, Flat Rock. There was no hiding, the hills as always sucked, but this time there was a witness to any slacking off. I worked on my pedalling technique, trying to eke out those extra few Watts while maintaining some level of composure. I worked on listening to Will's breathing, rather than my own. I worked on holding enough back so that I could finish every effort over in a smaller, darker, more painful box.

On these longer efforts I was able to get my wheel in front, to break Will off my wheel and to set some stonking times. Take for instance Clintons Rd, in the haze of pain flooding my body, I forgot where the Strava segment finished and turned off the legs with ~120m to the end, yet still managed to take 12 seconds off my previous best effort. To the top of the 3rd ramp on on Flat Rock I was 35 seconds ahead of my record.

So in hindsight, I'm bloody happy with the progress this ride showed, but bugger me it was tough.

Strava link.

D: 143.3km
A: 2,715m

PMPW: 92kg

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