October 15th (11 Days out!)
Saturday & Sunday double up group ride (130K hills & 100k flat "recovery")Well Well Well...............A Double up he said, with a recovery day he said!
Steve has very quickly transitioned, like a finely tuned Triathlete from Sleepy Steve to Steve the Enforcer..Punisher..Executioner! A day in the hills to some, would have you picturing some rolling green hills, sunshine radiating from the picture perfect blue backdrop and children running amongst the bovine, flying colourful kites in the breeze.
Spring in Adelaide had a very different idea from this vision, and throw Steve into the mix and a little bit of torture was on the cards.
Saturday saw a large portion of the SA R4SK riders congragate at the Adelaide Entertainment centre (which was quite fitting, given the days entertainment) for the first time to meet and greet our fellow riders. Having driven 230km's in the early morning to arrive and subsequently wake up the entire Stirna family (sorry Di'sy), for a quick kip and up early to don on the kit and head out to endure the day, it was clearly evident that the car was an easier ride than the bike!
What began as a leisurely stroll to the foot of the gorge, soon became a KOM challenge and the pace was on. Only at the top of the first climb for a quick regroup was it discovered that there was a hybrid bike among us. Jason 'Jaws' Stephens (so called as there is more teeth on his bike than any living animal) had slipped on a 28,30,32+ cassette, that had the amazing capability of growing more teeth at the base of each subsequent climb. Last count may have seen him smashing out a 200+ cadence on a 40! Good Luck on the descents Jaws!
After a not so pleasant climb up into Lobethal, watching Jaws pedal past like he was going downhill, a nice little stop at the bakery for those that read the sign and stopped. Jami 'twinkle toes' had decided that the downhill section of road that the bakery was on, was an opportunity too good to pass up, and added in a few more k's before deciding better of it, and a stop and group ride was more to his liking.
Morning coffee..............ahh now this is cycling, chatting about the early mechanical failures of Craig 'I prefer to unclip lying down' Stirna, and musing over the fact that he had just climbed into Lobethal stuck on his front large ring, and that it wasnt one of us! After a refreshing cuppa and thawing out, we headed out into the 'still no sun' Adelaide hills for the coldest little spell of the morning, that made cuddling up to Steve or any other rider look somewhat plausible (sorry Sam, that momentary delusional thought, discipated rather quickly). We were soon heading back Westerly, on some flats towards the nice little towns of Bridgewater and Stirling. These picturesque towns must have been picked for their strategic positioning and defendablility against weekend lycra clad footmen converging on them, as they are perched high on the top of more hills making me work to push & pull my 23 up them. To make matters worse Jason Jaws' mates on mountain bikes were going past us!
Finally making it to the top of the ride, with a very nice short climb up to Stirling, only 3 k's away from the Lofty summit we will make on the actual ride, we veered off to the left to enjoy a well deserved descent down the western side of Mt Lofty. And after a hard slog through the hills Jami pounced to the front of the pack and showed off his descending skills, all but devils elbow taken like a nimble feline. In the pursuit of the agile twinkle toes, I was left standing by the cannonball Rod that had joined us for a casual ride with mate Jack 'the quiet achiever' Button, and was descending more like he was on a motorbike. Move over for Rocket Rod.
I hadnt seen this road for 10 years, now i've been up and down it on both sides in the last week, and I cant say im looking forward to it a third time come November 1st, but at least I can say goodbye to it then.
An uneventful trip down to the bay with Peter (who carries a diesel engine with him) Wolters, hightailing it back home along with Jack, Jami and Rod. So another Latte & Pannini later at the cycling friendly Europa cafe on Jetty road, the last four of us made our way homeward, to lament the hills of the day and look forward to backing up for a "recovery" ride on Sunday. Although Craig had decided that at the very quiet intersection of Greenhill Rd & Anzac Highway, that it was a good opportunity for one more quick lie down for our amusement, thanks Craig.
A quick tea out with friends and an early night was in order before another early start.
Sunday 14th 100k "recovery"Most had surfaced and returned for another roll as a group, with some discussion over the aches & pains, and tender backsides for some.
a leisurly trip to Outer Harbour, down to the bay and then home, with all enjoying rolling the legs over for the first 30k's and then with a little tail/crosswind and the diesel engine up the front with yours truly, the legs were given a nice 40kph test for some unatural reason? During this period and the previous day it had been duly noted the extraordinary low cadence punched out by the now aptly named Thorpie, (previously diesel engine), Jaws would be spinning madly with the ............36 was it?
A pleasant ride back to the city, with a gentle headwind providing some resistance, to our final coffee stop in Rundle street. Steve had partially informed me of an interim sprint, that finished at the Pultney Grammar bridge! Having seen the "pro tour like" rider, Mason, that had joined us for the day, I had strategicly decided to attack early (about 1k out, as soon as the bridge was in view, and a little white line fever), with the distinct possibility of using the multiple traffic lights to my advantage in the fear of an early bonking.
Having reached the bridge with some technical avoidance of parking vehicles, that had obviously not seen me due to the tremendous pace set, I triumphantly cruised under the bridge with the knowledge that all were in my wake for what could be the only time. Little did I know, that in my exuberance I had missed a small but vital piece of information on exactly where the sprint finished, which for the uninitiated was another 200 metres down the road, or so i was told as Steve 'the smiling assasin' Sturm told me through his grin as Mason, himself and Jaws glided pass me! Well played boys.
After a long wait for some long blacks and lattes, and some friendly banter of the previous two days, we parted ways with the knowledge that we would all enjoy each others company over the next 1000kms when we catch up in Lincoln.
Meanwhile, back in lonely VIC, Bade was in his own contest. His mission to destroy his new toy, the power meter (probably because they are so cheap!) Power meter record : Bade S, 1000 watts
A record im happy for you to keep Bade.
All back at our respective work stations now, with last week hit outs and bike preps, and a quick cassette change for most of us to match up with Jaws gnashers.
Thanks guys for the hit out and Steve for organising. It was great to finally meet some of you and I am now very much looking forward to the actual ride, and it will give me great pleasure being involved with this group to help raise funds for the House.
Thank you also to the families that allowed us go out for most of the weekend and torture ourselves, we cant do this without your support.
Keep training and we will meet soon.
Hill count : Too many!