Some mornings in Tasmania are just perfect. Clear blue skies, a cool breeze and short sleeve temperatures right from the gun. We’ve had a LOT of very windy days recently so it was a relief to see only light winds predicted. When the Tassie weather turns it on, you really do have to make the most of it!
I rolled out early for a solo 40km with the aim of meeting the SunDaze bunch at Tunnel Hill. I’ve been trying to join this bunch most Sundays now, it’s a great “multi-bunch” ride that rolls out of Hobart, caters for a range of abilities regrouping where necessary and of course stopping for a coffee! Usually I get to this meet point with around five minutes to spare, but today as soon as I unclipped I heard a chorus of deep section wheels ripping towards me! I spied a couple of very speedy looking riders cresting the climb and instantly knew I was in for a fast one!
Andrew said I must have had a premonition of a fast ride, switching to the Canyon at the last minute, maybe he was right! I am definitely glad I did. Even though I can generally (just about) keep up on the Trek with a little more determination, it’s certainly a lot easier on the aero speed machine!
From the meet point in Cambridge, around the back of Seven Mile Beach, up and over the Cat 4 climb then into Richmond it was a complete hammer fest, averaging around 35kph to the base of the climb. It doesn’t have to be of course, two or three groups form at varying speeds, but when I see wheels in front I just HAVE to try and hang with them, so it’s my own fault. I love trying to try and kick it with stronger riders, it’s by far the best way to improve both your speed and roadcraft.
Hitting the base of the 3.3km Brinktop Hill climb, I locked in a “tough but sustainable” power and tried to open up a gap on the rest (this is fair game on longer climbs). Very early on, two riders came past me with ease, leaving me like I was sitting at a bus stop. Before the top a handful of others also rolled past me. I didn’t have any “punch” left to follow their wheels and it really showed me that I need to work on my short term climbing power. Sure, I was still around 6th rider to the top out of 24 riders, but there’s room for improvement!
Ripping it down the other side towards Richmond and the cafe stop I hit an all-time high top speed of 73.9kph (45.9mph) trying to follow Mitchell’s descending skills. I didn’t even use the now UCI-banned supertuck, hahaha! I must have really been hankering for that coffee…
I love a good cafe stop, but I also don’t like to hang around too long, so after a quick double espresso, carrot cake and chat, I parted ways with the guys. I clipped back in and put my head down to cruise the final stretch back to my car in Sorell, stopping the Garmin with a slither under 101km on the clock, legs pretty much toasted, more than enough for me! An absolutely cracking ride that had be grinning ear to ear for days.
Distance: 100.8 km / 62.7 miles
Total elevation gain: 732 m / 2400 feet
Average speed: 30.6 kph / 19.0 mph