Some days, all you need is a good bike ride. While it’s certainly not summer weather here in Tasmania just yet, the mornings are much brighter and once the sun burns off the initial chill, the days are warm enough to ditch a few layers mid ride. Full fingered gloves still required from the start though!
The plan on this beautiful Sunday morning was to get in a solid solo 35km before meeting the guys for the regular SunDaze roll. I didn’t plan on having to do most of it into a strong headwind, but some days you’ve just got to suck it up! It’s all good training! Glad to have got that early morning grind out of the way, I joined the SunDaze bunch at Rumney and we split into two groups. The “B” group would take a shorter, more direct route, while our “A” group would take the long way, aiming to make the catch before the café in Richmond.
We were quickly up to speed and flying through Cambridge at over 40kph. Our group were not hanging about this morning! Unfortunately as we approached the first round-a-bout, the bunch rolled through, but I was last wheel at that point and had to stop to give way to a couple of cars. By the time I got going again, they’d opened up a considerable gap…
In an example of perfect timing, a late-to-the-party Scotty flew by me at speed! I decided (about a second too late) to try and stay with him. I jumped HARD with a match-burning 600+ watt surge followed by an above-threshold effort, but I managed to get into his draft. I still had to lay on quite a bit of power just to stay on his wheel as he held near enough 50kph to close in on the lead riders. Eventually we made contact and I could catch a breath.
From there our group of six made good time, swapping turns (mostly just holding Scotty’s wheel) and forming echelons on our way through Seven Mile, Midway and Shark Point. At one point we were spread 3-4 riders deep diagonally across the lane as the wind battered us from the side. Turning left and straight into the stiff headwind, we finally caught and passed the “B” group on the approach to Brinktop Hill.
About half way (okay, a quarter of the way) up Brinktop, I couldn’t stick with the front and was dropped by the first three riders. I could call on a number of excuses. More km’s in the legs, too much time in the headwind, 20 year old bike, but the simple fact was I just didn’t have the legs. I slogged uphill and alone into the headwind, before rolling down the other side and into Richmond for a well deserved double espresso.
After a quick debrief over coffee, I said my goodbyes and hit the road again. The return journey was about 8km into a headwind to start, before turning at Campania for a fast 20km ride home, wind mostly at my back. Putting my best “solo breakaway” face on, I time trialled my way to the car, stopping the Garmin with 106km and change on the display.
A very good outing for the Trek 5200, which incidentally rolled over it’s first 4000km earlier in the week. It may not be the fastest or lightest or snappiest bike I own, but I sure do love riding it! Happy days!
Distance: 106.3 km / 66.0 miles
Total elevation gain: 900 m / 2955 feet
Average speed: 28.9 kph / 18.0 mph