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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Sunday's ride and 10 times around the bay

Leigh completed his 10th "Around the bay" last sunday and I asked if he would mind putting up a post, Check it out.
There's a ride from Lancefield planned for 9am tomorrow morning, let me know if you're coming.(sorry about the layout, site has gone a bit dicky)

Leigh's Around the bay

I did the 210km distance Melb-Frankston-Sorrento-Ferry-Geelong-Melb with
Ewan and a friend of his from Point Lonsdale named Lindsay who is 71 and
doing his first ATB. Ewan and I were doing our 10th (5 each way including the 250 each way) having both done our first in 2002, although not together. I had just been riding for a short time at that stage and
did my first 3 on a hybrid.
Ewan stayed at my place on Saturday night and we left at about 5.00am
Sunday to get to the 6.00am start in the Alexandra Gardens. Normally
Ewan and I would not go to the official start as it is chaos, but as
this was Lindsay's first he wanted to experience the whole thing.
We parked in North Melbourne and rode to the start which was at the Swan
St bridge in Alexandra Ave., arriving at 5.45am where we met Lindsay and
took our place in the 25-29 av. speed group. When we looked up the road
there were hundreds of cyclists in front of us in the 30-34 and 35-39
groups. It then became very frustrating as we had to wait for all of
these riders to go off in waves of about 100 in 4 minute intervals and
this meant we didn't actually cross the electronic start line (this was
a timed event with tags on our bikes) until 6.45am which is about 90
minutes later than usual for us. The only positive for this type of
start is that we were able to ride at an acceptable pace down City Rd to
Beach Rd whereas the last time I started from there it was almost
walking pace for the first few kilometres.
Once we reached Beach Rd we were able to up the pace and cruise along
in the low 30s. The wind hadn't really got up at this stage and the
going was pretty easy all the way down to Frankston. We had stopped at
the first rest stop in Mordialloc for a refuel and again at Frankston.
We had averaged over 28 kph to this stage and the wind was starting to
get up. We climbed Olivers Hill comfortably with me leading the way as I
had a lot more k's in my legs than the other two. We rolled through the
undulations from Mt Eliza to Mt Martha and tackled the only real climb
of the route up Jacksons Hill just before crossing over the Mornington
Peninsula Freeway. It was at this stage we got a couple of brief showers
as we turned into the wind and headed into Dromana and another rest stop. We refueled and proceeded to tackle the last 20ks into the wind along the foreshore though Rosebud, Rye and Blairgowrie. It was here that Ewan, cunning old bugger, tagged us onto the back of a tandem and we managed to cover the next 15ks in the high 20s. Unfortunately they pulled off and we rode the last 5ks under our own steam. We arrived at Sorrento at 11.05am having dropped our average to just over 26. There
seemed to be a stuff up with the ferries as there were none coming or
going. We got our lunch of a chicken sandwich, an apple and a piece of
cake together with a bottle of Powerade. As there was going to be a long
wait for the ferry most of the riders laid or stacked there bikes
against each other in the queue and went and ate their lunch on the
foreshore. The first ferry was at noon which was the big one and we just
missed. We managed to get on the smaller ferry at 12.30pm which had me a
little worried as it was an open deck and the rain clouds looked like
they were moving in. Fortunately they didn't come our way.
The crossing of the Heads to Queenscliff was pretty uneventful and we
arrived at 1.10pm. We then rode to Ewan's place in Point Lonsdale (the
route went past his back gate) where his wife Donna had made us some
savouries, fruit cake and a drink. We left there at about 2.00pm and
then started the hardest leg of the day as we headed up Shell Rd toward
Ocean Grove into a very strong SW wind and our speed dropped down to
about 20kph or less. As we turned north into Grubb Rd for a bit of
welcome relief we were met by Lindsay's son and family. After a brief
chat we headed off again and turned back into the wind along the
Bellarine Hwy where our speed dropped below 20. It was not long after
that I got the biggest fright of my life as my rear tyre literally blew
up. I thought that my day had come to an abrupt end, however I was able
to do some temporary repairs with a sleeve and a patch from my repair
kit and only pumped up the tyre, which had a large gash, to 50psi. This
got me as far as the rest stop in Geelong, but I was doubtful it would
get me the last 80ks. Fortunately the Trek van was there and I was able
to get their last 700x23 tyre for $40 which was all I had on me.
We headed off up the Geelong Rd and eventually onto the freeway. I put
the spinnaker up and cranked the speed up to 45-50kph. I had been
waiting all day for this massive tailwind and when it arrived it was
absolute bliss. We sat on this speed until the next rest stop at Little
River where again we refreshed ourselves before heading back into the
slipstream up to Werribee where we turned off the freeway before
stopping at the final rest stop. Back on the freeway once again as we
sped along to the Laverton exit and turned off through Altona and up to
Brooklyn along Grieve Pde where I expected to get back on the freeway.
However, as it was now about 6.30pm we had missed the cut off for the
Westgate Bridge and were diverted along Geelong Rd. The signs then
pointed to Francis St which I know has no bike lanes. This is part of
the route for our regular mid week ride so we stayed on Geelong Rd and
and turned down Somerville Rd which does have bike lanes . We caught up
with the ATB route once again and headed into the city along Footscray
Rd and through Docklands. However this is where the signage disappeared
so we found our way back to Alexandra Gardens along Southbank and eventually onto Alexandra Ave via City Rd where we crossed the finish
line at 7.15pm.
This was one of my latest finishes of all my circumnavigations of the Bay, but due to lots of stops, long wait for the ferry and the late start. However, I did manage an average speed of 26.5 and a ride time of 8.08 and an elapsed time of 12.30. The actual distance was 214kms. I felt pretty good at the end and I think this was probably my best ATB in terms of food intake. I haven't used gels on the ATB before, but using these together with some muesli bars, endurance tablets and electrolyte tablets in my water bottle I finished quite strong. Although there were a few problems and frustrations I still enjoyed the ride, particularly as Ewan, Lindsay and I stuck together and kept each other company and supported one another the whole way through. Would I do it again? Probably. Would I go from the official start? Definitely not.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post on ATB and congrats.
    10 is a great achievement.
    1st ATB @ 71 is awesome.