Monday, October 09, 2006

Defeating the Mountain

Another weekend, another great century ride. Climb the Tower out of Maldon was a cracker of a ride in great weather. And I finally conquered Mt Tarrengower on the road bike: all the way up the steep 3km climb without stopping or putting a foot down. Last time grinding a 36 inch gear (34x25) up nearly killed me and I had to make several stops. Actually, this time it nearly killed me as well, but at least I made it with some dignity and only as much zig-zagging as was strictly necessary. Several other riders walked long sections. The descent was a beauty too, touching 70km/h.

On the flat, where big men on heavy bikes go a lot better, it was even more fun. About 40km in, I could hear a chattering group four approaching as I laboured up a small hill. I picked up my speed a little so I could jump on the back as they passed and found I'd put a little bit of a gap into them. Hearing the voice of Phil Liggett in my ears: "He's gone, he's got the gap. He's pushing a huge gear and he's split the peleton clean in two" or similar nonsense, I turned on the pace and kept them at bay until the checkpoint at Carisbrook, where I stopped for an ice cream.

I rode back along the Pyrenees Highway on my own, entertaining further Tour de France daydreams and fending off the odd persistent magpie. I finished exactly five hours after I started and was home in time for tea. A most excellent day out.

5,011km so far this year.

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