Tuesday, 5 November 2013


6am NRR - Devils Elbow - St Kilda East:
I had several plans for today, all of which revolved around the central concept of riding with mates. When the extravagant plans fell through, I took myself to North Road for the 6am bunch, then had a loose plan to have a coffee and do some hills (possibly repeats) somewhere.

I spent the trip down and part of the trip back having a chat to Lach. Eventually I found myself in a position where it was impossibly not to pull a turn, which soon lead to Lach and I trying to destroy the bunch up the Blackrock/Sandi hill. Lach got me to halfway, I rolled off his wheel and turned the legs from stun to kill. Up my outside, out of the saddle, Jez Hunt slowly progressed. I was exceedingly pleased with myself that I was able to catch his wheel, already grinning at the idea that I was going to get a quick break before pipping him for the top. Then I realised he had backed into me, taking the pace out of my move. I had been too stuck in my winning fantasy to realise, and when I finally did, it was too late.

The other thing that happened was I found myself a hilly post NRR ride. Lach was heading to Mt Dandenong with a few of the Artisan boys, and I asked to tag along.

We took North Rd to get ourselves east. It was a pleasant change from High st as it's far far flatter. As we rolled it was decided we'd begin with Devils Elbow, then some of us would head for home while the rest continued elsewhere to enjoy the gorgeous weather that Melbourne was putting on for Pony Day.

Even without DK, I had the same nervousness as we rolled towards the turn off of Burwood Hwy. Lach hit it from the entrance to the 1,000 steps car park. The pace being set by the others seemed a bit slow to minimise the damage, so I rolled off the wheel in front of me and started to set my own tempo. I caught his wheel on the ramp to the elbow, only to have the other boys who'd hitched a ride on my wheel rolled over the pair of us, leaving me last wheel.

Around the elbow Dan Pickering attacked, and the bunch started to splinter. I lost a little bit of ground as everyone scrambled to respond, I was now behind a gap behind a few riders I'd expected to beat. I checked all my numbers (Cadence, HR, Power) and realised that it was unlikely I could do more, so I just tried to hold the best cadence I could, and keep pedalling smooth.

I slowly pegged back riders, chasing down all bar Dan, Noffy and Ritchy. It took a final surge to dislodge Lach, and that surge left no doubt that I'd done all I could. As we descended the 1 in 20 and rode back along North Rd, I began to wonder how fast I'd ridden in. There'd been no wind to slow us down, and I'd slowly lifted my intensity all the way to the top. Finding out I'd slashed almost a minute off my previous PB and set some new peak power numbers for 14:30 - 17:30 had to wait until after coffee and 2nd breakfast.

Strava link.

D: 131.8km
A: 1,100m

PMPW: 95kg

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