Ah, it’s good to be back. Here we are just over 3 weeks into the new year. My friends at Strava tell me I’ve logged 528km for the month. It’s been a good start, and I’ve really enjoyed being back on the bike. Long days and warm weather must have something to do with it, as well as being able to come home to my own place every night. I’ve been doing the commute to and from work, and it works out at a measly 5km each way, with only the little stint up Bridges Rd to get the hr going. I think the best thing to do will be to add in a quick loop though town of an afternoon to make up some distance. The Newy Cogheads have some early starts twice a week, but the intensity looks like it might leave me nothing to run on for the rest of the day at work, so I’ll pass on those at the moment.
Being back in the whole social networking thing has been good. As well as a monumental time-waster, it has allowed me to keep in touch with the local cycling and I’ve been out on a few of the Coghead rides. The most recent for me being the Sawmill track in the Watagans. It started off pretty hard, with a slow slog up Deadmans Gap, but from there turned into a great series of single-trails and some techy fire-road. I’d definitely go back there again. Unfortunately, after a busy week I was not keen to get up at 0500 on Saturday for the McLovin’ 1000, and by all accounts I missed a great ride. Instead, I went on two road rides over the weekend – one routine, and one epic.
Saturday was just a routine lap around town, and this 40km has quickly established itself as my favourite way to knock out a quick training ride. 40km and 400m of climbing and you’re back within 1:30 and the day’s not written off. So given my newfound mojo, I set about planning an early morning Sunday ride. I wanted about 3 hours, and about 1000m of climbing. What I ended up with was 120km, 1500m of climbing and a lesson in biting off more than you can chew.
I set off at 0800 knowing that it was going to be a warm day. I packed two bidons and some cash for a resupply. The plan was to tackle Sugarloaf and Deadmans, and then head home. On paper it looked like two climbs followed by some flat cruising. Unfortunately, it was a bit further than I suspected and the false flats around Freeman’s Waterhole took their toll, as did the rising head wind and increasing temperatures. The two service station stops saved the day, and I came home a little sunburned and with a better understanding about my disparity between my expectations and my ability. Of both the climbs, I found Sugarloaf to be significantly harder, especially the middle section that reduced me to 6km/h. Given that, and the fact that it’s closer to me than Deadmans, I think it’s going to be my go-to hill for suffering for the time being.
I haven’t made any progress on the bike front. My new wheels are sitting in the study, in need of rim tape, valves, tyres, and rotors. They did come with some super chunky DTSwiss RWS skewers, and I’m looking forward to seeing how these go in the singlespeed frame. Reports on the internet are mixed, with people snapping levers like twigs, but time will tell.
In random news, I did pass The Unknown Doppelgänger on the Fernleigh the other day. I say this because I passed a guy hammering away on a rigid steel 29er with an Alfine rear hub. If it were the Unknown Rider, I doubt I would have caught him.
Tomorrow presents itself as a glorious public holiday, and I intend to celebrate my Australian-ness by heading out around the lake. Hope you’re planning something similar.