Saturday, 15 March 2014


St Kilda East - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
I suspected we were going to the Dandies today, but I didn't know for sure, until after I met up with DK and he told me we were off to meet some TKM boys.

It was a lovely two up roll out to Montrose, the pace occasionally stopping conversation on the rolling bergs, but not enough to trouble anyone too greatly. Then we hit the climb up to Mt Evelyn and it was all I could do to barely cling to the wheel in front. I've got to admit, I was pretty pleased when we reached the top, and I looked back to discover I was not the only one who'd felt the pain. 5 or 6 of us finished together, while the other 5 or so dudes had been gapped.

That was to be my last moment of happiness for a while. As we looped over to Silvan the pace was being driven hard on the front. I was on a wheel, which meant I was doing it easier than if it'd been me on the front, but my brain wasn't convinced. I worked hard to be smooth on the pedals, but I was slowly going cross eyed and the wheel in front was drifting away from me. DK slipped off my wheel and along side me. "Excellent!" I thought "he'll slot into the gap I've created, and I'll get a better sit". I was wrong, he was on his way to the front to drive the pace even harder. I cracked and let the wheel go completely. I drifted back through a couple of guys chasing, and after a while tapped the legs over while waiting for the last rider(s) to come through. For a while I was in no mans land, unable to see either those in front or behind, and no idea what route I was meant to take.

Thankfully we regrouped before the next hill exploded our bunch and my confidence. I regret this one the most, I should have been able to hold on to the initial pace up the Kallista-Emerald rd, and thus gotten a sit along the flat area. Instead I instantly let the bunch go, and lost even more time in the winds of the brief flat open area.

After another regroup, and yet more bottle refills (I was drinking water like a fish), we headed back around through Belgrave towards the Devils Elbow. Knowing it was the last climb helped me reassert some mental control. The bunch quickly splintered as we made the sweeping right past the 1,000 steps carpark, and instead of looking like uncatchable climbers, the guys in front started to look like rabbits, so I gave chase.

If we were to think of today as a race, then it's obvious that I lost both literally, and figuratively. As training though, I think there was a lot of upside for me, as I spent a lot of time well past my comfort levels, fighting the mental and physical battles that entails.

Strava link.

D: 133.7km
A: 2,095m

PMPW: 93kg

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