Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lowering the bar of laziness

A new approach to training

Well it's been a fair while since we've updated the blog, and believe it or not, it's because we've actually been out riding.  Nothing too spectacular or hardcore, but it turns out actually riding is a bold new approach to training for cycling that I, personally, think may just catch on.

A couple more regular riders also joined the group, our long time riding companion Rudi, and my mate Nate, who I've been meaning to ride with for ages but only just got around to it in February.  The rides have varied from flat out road blasts, to a very entertaining all roads day ride involving dirt, pavement, landslides, closed roads, panniers, camp stoves, coffee and of course a lot of excellent swearing.  Not one person took a camera on that epic ride, so to blog that wouldn't have made a lot of sense, so Jer and I headed out with the camera the following weekend to try and replicate that epic ride and get some photos and write a blog to demonstrate how awesome and adventure-esque we are.

Showing off always ends well

So there we were, up early on the north-west side of Brisbane, about to head over the Samford Range, and off into the high hills about 70km away.  We had the bikes loaded with food, stove, coffee, cups.  There was a slight chill of autumn in the air, so I was sporting my arm warmers for the first time in months, it was looking like a good morning for a ride.  Heading off down Samford Rd we gradually got warmed up, and by the time we were near the range we had caught a number of other riders, them on carbon fibre race bikes wearing all matching knicks and jerseys, us on loaded steel tourers looking like we we were on our way to the tip to throw out panniers full of rubbish.

We sat politely behind the other riders as we approached the range - these guys looked the part and I was pretty keen on getting a tow across the mountain.  But the moment the climb started, I couldn't help myself, and my primal urge to be an egotistical idiotic show off took over.  I instantly dumped a few gears, and with a calm demeanour I quickly shot by them and up the range.  About ten metres in front of them I heard a bike coming up from the right, thinking the counter attack was on.  Out of the corner of my eye, I saw it was Jer giving it the absolute balls over the range on a loaded touring bike.  I tucked in on his wheel as he barrelled up the range.  We passed another rider, then another, by now Jer was standing up in the saddle turning himself inside out, riding up the range at about 30km/h.  Right near the top of this range there is a slight increase in incline, where we reached another two riders.  We stopped in briefly behind them for a rest, when Jer said "bike back".  Me being an idiot I instinctively dumped another couple of gears and gassed around the slower riders, getting to the top of the range first on the touring machine, in view of a bunch of riders who for some reason were waiting around at the top of the climb.  Right at the top I sat up and eased up for a breather, when a rider hitherto unknown zapped around me and started the descent.  I chucked it back into big ring and shot off down the hill after him, sitting in his draft until the very bottom of the hill where I knew there was a small sharp rise, and I would pop out of his draft as he lost momentum up the hill, and claim the idiotic boy racer title for the morning.  As I hit the bottom of the hill I looked over my shoulder, nobody was behind me, and I made my attack...

Pride comes before a derp

... but I completely botched it.  The sharp rise after the long descent was actually about 300m away across a flat from where I jumped out and attacked.  So there I was, spinning in big ring at 67km/h, trying to show off, trying to make a move stick, then I had to get up another hill.  Things were grim.  I kept spinning my heart out, got to the hill, stood up to try and smash it, and was so far in the red zone I instantly felt dizzy and had no balance, it felt like I was riding parallel with the ground or something, I lost all my hearing and I started to lose sight.  And of course I lost a lot of face and looked like a prize moron, eventually blowing up completely at the top of the rise, as I looked behind me and hit the brakes as though I was slowing to wait for Jer, while the challenger breezed past me to glory.  Of course I wasn't fooling anyone, I bit off more than I could chew and blew up to the limit, 14km into a 140km ride!

Coffee break time

Jer and I rolled through the deserted Sunday morning main street of Samford, and pulled in at the little park to fill bidons.  I sat down for a second on the park bench to get my breath, then stood up again, and nearly passed out.  I had really blown myself apart for no reason getting up and then down the range.  I feebly mumbled something about needing a coffee to Jer, and it turns out he was just as munted as I, so we hopped on the bikes and rolled the 50m to the coffee shop.  Shop was closed.  Back on the bikes, rolled 50m back to the park.  We both nodded at each other in mutual agreement of our weakness, and decided to bust out all the coffee gear and have our extreme remote area bush adventure right there, in a park in the middle of a town 14km from my  house.  Extreme.

Tired show off makes coffee in suburbs

The opposite of a hard earned coffee - a soft earned coffee perhaps?

Bike and rider in very harsh and remote environment

Weakness prevails - situation normal

It doesn't take much for the Velo Cetera boys to abandon a ride, we aren't made of very tough stuff.  We've got a 200km audax coming up in less than a week, but after sitting there doing literally nothing in a park in Samford for over an hour, it was agreed the ride was over and we'd ride home, back over the range. We set off back towards Brisbane, back up Samford Range.  Towards the top we made an impromptu decision to ride back in via Mailman Track, a little used small road running off the top of the main road.  The road has been described to me by Rudi as "fun" and "fast".  what he had conveniently failed to mention was the 750m of 15% climb that took us directly over the highest point of the range.

Halfway up the switchbacks - that's Jer down there

And yet more climbing to come

Bike photo stop to conceal the fact I was actually exhausted

You'd be smiling too if you had a 34 tooth cassette!

Photo of someone taking a photo - mind blowing...

Getting the mail

To put it politely, the Mailman track was indeed "invigorating" to get to the top of.  From there a blistering descent put us neatly back into town at my place, the ride over.  In 3 hours we had completed a completely disgraceful 32km.  But on the plus side, we had discovered an excellent new route for a short coffee ride, and had learned a valuable lesson for the 200km audax next week about the value of not smashing it up the first hill we see, although in reality it's a lesson I'll probably never learn.

Now to commence preparations for the 200km "Travelling South" audax this weekend - if this ride is anything to go by, it could be a bit challenging to say the least, so we're going to be taking cameras to document the shenanigans and cramping.  Should be a blast.


  1. nice... 3 hours... that's like almost 10km/hour... Your next post should be about a big walk (with all your coffee making gear) :P

  2. hahah, you guys are ghey, all that lycra and stuff...haha gay...
    are you gay?