Zett and I have been out on the bikes a fair bit of late, all that hard work culminated in us completing the “around the bay in a day” event on the weekend.
We did the full 210k loop via Queensclifff, originally we were supposed to be joining a group of 8 or so from Nick’s old work, but a series of appointments and mishaps whittled the group down to just 3.
Nick had crashed his mountain bike some weeks ago and his knee was playing up in training so he was doubtful to finish from the start.
So with 4.5 people in our team we headed out at 6am with several thousand other riders.
The first section was a bit slow and patchy with all the traffic lights in South Melbourne, we’re not use to having to stop when riding around here you just go till you’re tired. But once we go out over the West Gate Bridge and out into the burbs things freed up and we started getting some k’s behind us.
About 30 or 40 k’s out we were pumping along behind a nice large pack when Nick’s busted arse cable tie pump holder gave way sliding the pump perilously close to going through his wheel and rear derailer!
You should have seen the bunch behind him split when they heard the pump tapping on his spokes waiting to take him and everyone else down, he was instantly like a leper, damaged goods, cast out of the pack.
After removing the offending item and some of our other team members stopping for a pee we ended up quite a way back from the nice quick pack we had been in, so we got organised and started doing some rolling turns to catch them.
The rolling turns turned out to be the best riding we did all day, we were pumping along the highway at around 40kmph, we even got some help from a couple of other riders, in less than an hour we were back up on the bunch we originally left.
We sat back behind the big bunch then and cruised the rest of the way to the ferry, which we timed to perfection rolling straight onto the 10am. We left Nick in Geelong to catch the train home, his knee had started playing up and that was the last point he could easily return home from.
Then after a surprisingly good lunch and the ferry ride (thankfully we swooped in and grabbed some seats early) we were back on the bikes ready to complete the last 100ks feeling pretty fresh too.
Took a few k’s to warm the legs back up but they were back in action by the time we hit some hills at Mt Martha, no killers but pretty long steady climbs, definitely sorted a few riders out. The unfortunate side effect of everyone starting to tire was that the bunches had broken down into a single file stream of riders, no one was helping anyone else out, I decided to take a go at the front and try to get everyone to bunch up… things didn’t quite work out that way and I ended up blowing myself out at the front while everyone else got a tow.
Not long after that we hit the stop start traffic lights through Frankston, by this time things had heated up quite a bit (it got to around 30 that day), standing around in car fumes and heat wasn’t so pleasant.
Things got moving a little better when we got to Beach Road, people around us were starting to show some serious signs of fatigue, our group were doing pretty well, definitely tiring but still cruising along pretty well.
At about 10ks to go my legs started to cramp up pretty bad, I’d diluted my power juice a little too much I think and with the heat pumping the water through me I was left salt-less on the inside, thankfully Chris had some power juice powder and that fixed me up a treat and we cruised in to the finish in 9hours 15 minutes with Zett wearing the South African flag celebrating the Spring Bok’s win in the Rugby World Cup….. not that anyone in Melbourne knew that
It was a good experience, next time I do it I’m going to make sure we’re in a bigger group so you can get better organised and dictate the speed and organisation of the bunches more.