Saturday, 31 January 2015


St Kilda East - Iron Bark - Mine - Church - Flat Rock - Nichols - St Kilda East
I had a few route options planned out, but when we met at 6:15 in Rosanna, it was decided we'd do a pony/seahorse loop so as not to take Craig straight back past his house.

The first climb we hit hard, and thus the one where I got to find out my form verses Craig, Downie, and Jason was Iron Bark Rd just behind Diamond Creek. I told Downie I had to stop talking for a while, then worked on pedalling a lot. Strava tells me a I cracked a solid PB, but despite that, and the fact I beat the others to the top, I wanted to keep hitting the climbs hard, and I knew that Craig would keep coming at me.

True to form, when we turned into Mine Rd, Craig stood up and drove the pace. I was reminded of our battles up Dawson and Clintons Rds in 2012, I knew I had to stay seated, and just wait for him to tire. It wasn't that simple though, he kept at it and I had to coach myself several times before surging out of the saddle at the top to put my own tyre in front.

Church Rd from Cottles Bridge up to Patton Hill was next, and it was yet another road with flat sections that required concentration to keep the power up and the pace going. Jim couldn't make it today, but the way he has come at me in the past kept me honest all the way to the Gosfield junction.

Though not longer the last climb of my loops (Nichols Lane hold that honour), I still think of Flat Rock as the end to the pain, a place to empty legs, and today was no exception. I giggled and attacked from the bottom, confident I could hold off the others, and curious how much pain I could put myself through. The giggle quickly transitioned to a worried look, my legs were feeling dull, and it was obvious I was riding on fumes. I managed to crest the first ramp in front, I even managed to put a caffeinated gel in my face, but then Craig was on me and I had to hope my body would release any emergency stores of energy. My pride wasn't going to let the little mountain biker get a win in.

Strava link.

D: 113.3km
A: 1,874m

PMPW: 87kg

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