Saturday, 26 October 2013


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Morilla - Pidgeon Bank - Old Mt Slide - Mittons Bridge - Mine - Hearns - St Kilda East:
I thought this was going to be a loop out through Yarrambat, up Kinglake, then home. That's what the last few rides with Smax and DK have been, but that's not what we did today.

We started off like it was my loop of punchy climbs, Mt Pleasant, Stony Creek, Kreuss and Pidgeon Bank roads, but when we hit Henley Rd and went right instead of left, an adventure on new roads began.

At Bend of Islands we turned onto Skyline road and the bitumen gave way to dirt. The rolling hills continued, but now there was no option to stand up to give your muscles a break on the steep slopes. The reduced traction meant you had to keep your arse firmly planted on the saddle. DK was monstering everything, leaving Smax and myself behind as we powered on towards the top of the Yarra Glen climb.

The feeling of familiar roads ended quickly as we ripped down towards the valley, then took a left onto Steels Creek Rd, a gorgeous alternative to the Melba Hwy along the valley floor, but even the familiar feeling of the valley soon passed as we turned left up the Old Yarra Glen road and back onto the dirt for a long climb with nothing but the soundtrack of heavy breathing and counter attacks to fill the ears.

I spent a good ticket or two on that road, the boys pushed hard early and my legs weren't quite ready to respond, so I set my own tempo. Slowly slowly my body and mind responded and I increased my pace, eventually catching the duo having a little chat and going straight past. Now I was the rabbit. I continued to try and keep the legs coming through clean and to ignore the threat of the two sets of big legs behind me. DK caught me and soon disappeared up the road, but the job didn't change. Concentrate on my legs, and ignore any one else's.

I paid for spending those tickets for the rest of the ride, my state of mind swinging in tandem with the sugar and caffeine levels in my system. We swung out through Arthurs Creek and Yarrambat, pretty much a reverse of the loop I expected before I rolled up for a coffee 7 hours after the one that had started the ride.

Strava link.

A: 3,204m

PMPW: 96kg

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