Monday, 4 June 2012


This weekend I completed in my last long ride before Nice - the Whittlesea challenge - one of the challenge series events run by Cycling Victoria.  
Thankfully we had really good weather - if it was one day later we would have been looking at this:

Instead we had a foggy morning clearing to a cool but lovely sunny day, perfect cycling weather so long as you have enough layers on (5 for me) to keep out the wind. I wasn't planning on doing this ride initially, being so close to IM, but Michael pulled out, deciding probably wisely to rest his shoulder more after his accident in the last ride.  So Nadia and I headed to Whitlesea shortly after 6:30 Sunday morning.
This time we actually made the start and left in a bunch somewhere towards the back.

The first hill wasn't long coming, within 5k we were climbing towards Kinglake West for several uninterrupted ks of gradual to steep ascending. Near the top I pulled over to wait for Nadia and take in the countryside and watch the other cyclists labouring up the hill - interesting to see the mix of smiles and grimaces that long climbs  bring out.

After the first rest stop where we filled up on bananas and yummy cake, we decided to split on the next long climb. This one was tougher and included a fair bit of double digit gradients, but felt good nonetheless. It was really pretty countryside to cycle in, especially around Flowerdale, and I decided I'd definitely come back to ride this section again. Towards the end, the clouds came in and I decided to push hard for home in case the expected rain arrived (it never did).  I probably pushed a bit too hard, cause when I got to the finish my back was pretty badly locked up and I took advantage of the free apres-ride massage offered, as well as gobbling down some gumbo while waiting fro Nadia to arrive - she made it without walking any of the hills, which is more than a lot of folk.

Today I saw the Physio about the back and some hamstring issues I had been having - turns out they are related and I need to tilt down my saddle a bit as well as try to adopt a more "butt out" stance to stop straining the back (and hamstrings). Thankfully the back feels likes its getting back to normal, as with three weeks to Nice I can't really afford any injuries at this stage.

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