Wednesday, 23 November 2011

And the winner is....

Drumroll Please.........


The winners of our auction are.....



1st Prize: 3 month Platinum Membership to Fitness First
Rob and Sarah Petherbridge

2nd Prize: Ella Bache Signature Facial
Craig Badings

3rd Prize: 90 minute Pro Dive Experience at Coogee or Manly
Angelo Donati

4th Prize: Soja Candles Pack
Megan Moon

5th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Anneliese McGown

6th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Mick

7th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Cameron

8th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Pip Coomes

9th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Rach Wells

10th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Isabel Menton

11th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Rebecca Wade

12th Prize: Peter Wynn's Score Drink Bottle
Josh

Prize draw was conducted by Danielle Kitchener, and witnessed by Emily Petherbridge and Marina Marretta. A limit of one prize per person where there was multiple entries were allowed. All prize winners will be notified via email / phone / facebook.


We would like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who donated, bid on or purchased auction items, or simply followed our journey over the last 4 months. This ride was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

We managed to raise a whopping $7053.08 for Redkite!

It costs Redkite $2500 to support one child through cancer for one year, and with your help we have allowed Redkite to support 2 (and a half) children for a year.

If you didn't manage to get your donation in, but would still like to help, the donation pages will be open for another month. (Maybe, we might be able to help the other half of that child!)






Stay tuned, final ride reports and photos to come this week!




Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Offer Extended!

TIME IS RUNNING OUT..


To get your entry into our prize draw to win some fabulous prizes!

But, lucky for you, we have EXTENDED THE OFFER!

So don't miss out on your chance to help Redkite support children with cancer, and go into the draw to win some amazing prizes, with some incredible odds of winning!

Anyone who makes a donation $5 and over between 1 August 2011 and 16 November Midnight EDST November 22 2011 will go into the draw to win some fabulous prizes including:



3 Month Platinum Membership to Fitness First

Ella Bache Signature Facial
Pro Dive 90min Snorkelling Tour off Manly or Coogee with snorkel and mask to keep.
Soja Candles Bundle
or one of 8 Peter Wynn's Prizes



Prizes will be drawn on the 21/11/11 23/11/11 and the winners will be notified by email, with winners also announced on the blog.






Donations can be made to Emily and Laura at:




 




 
It only takes a minute to donate, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible. Every little bit counts so please help us achieve our fundraising target of $2,500 each.


If you happen to be the lucky winner of one of the prizes, the items are available for pickup from Mosman, Parramatta, Sydney CBD, or Westleigh, or alternatively can be posted with the winner to pay the postage costs.

Thursday, 3 November 2011

Fitz's Challenge Update



Loz and I have been busily training for the Sea 2 Summit. As part of our training we decided to do Fitz's Challenge as a practice run, to get our food, tapering and on day nutrition right.

I am glad we had this experience as apparently, I am not very good at it!

Carb Loading.

I had never tried this and I did not realise how hard this was. It was some kind of morbid torture, having to stuff my face with carbs I didn't feel like eating nor want. The carbs would make me feel full, and then I would have to eat more when I wasn't hungry at all. I really started to feel for those poor geese who have their bellies stuffed.
I have been gluten free for 2 years now, and have pretty much cut most starchy carbs out of my diet, except for the odd emergency meal. Two spoons of pasta and I was full. There was no way I could eat a whole bowl. And then another one for lunch the next day, and another one for dinner. Ergh...

Carb loading - FAIL.



Tapering.

I was meant to taper from Wednesday as the ride was on Sunday. I was desperate to fit a ride in on Monday or Tuesday, but due to a mammoth load of appointments and work commitments, I didn't manage to get out there. By Friday, I was twitching. I needed to go for a ride or do SOMETHING! I was starting to lose the plot. So I went to the gym, and sat in the sauna and spa. Resisting jumping on one of the bikes or swimming "just one lap" was a major challenge.



I managed to resist and thought I had done pretty well. When I went to meet Loz on Saturday for the drive to Canberra I realised just how much I failed.
Loz: "Did you just run up the stairs?"
Em: "Yes, I always run up your stairs!"
Loz: "No exercise means no exercise"
Em: " :( "

I also got into trouble when I would be walking and then just start jumping and leaping around as I tend to do from time to time. Apparently that isn't allowed. Neither is dancing around like an idiot.

Tapering: FAIL

But overall everything else seemed to run pretty smoothly.

Loz and I had a great drive down, reminiscing about the drive on our family ski trips to Jindabyne. We even pulled out Pet Shop Boys - Please, just for some giggles. Apparently car dancing is also not allowed, but we made some exceptions for "Opportunities" - Em at the top of her lungs "I've got the brains, you've got the looks, lets make lots of money!" 

(If you have no idea what I am talking about - heres the song below - not entirely sure whats going on with that video clip tho!)


Which brings me back to fundraising. Our auction items are still on ebay and going at bargain prices! Help us raise money for Redkite, and reach our target of $2500 each so we can ride! It would be a shame to come this far and then not be able to enter due to not reaching our fundraising requirements.

Head to Ebay, via this link (click here now) to see the items for sale. ITEMS END TODAY! Also, don't forget that every donation received goes in the draw to win some phenomenal prizes! Visit our blog page for more information (click here)



Ok... now.. back to the roadtrip report.

We arrived at the hotel just in time for dinner... (more carbs) and dessert. Then it was time to pack our jerseys full of GU, Shot Blocks, Hammer Bars, bananas, spare tubes, raincoats, tissues, kitchen sinks, baby elephants.. etc. You get the idea. 3 tiny pockets and sooo much stuff.. my jersey was so heavy it ended somewhere in the vicinity of my knees. 

Sunday - Ride Day

At 5 am, the alarms go off at about 10 trillion decibels! Up we got, and trundled to the car. All organised we got the car packed and bikes on the roof.. only to realise, that to make it out of the car park we needed the bikes OFF the roof. In a fit of giggles, we quickly removed the bikes, and then made it out of the carpark, with both our handlebars and seats still intact!

We arrived at Stromlo Forrest Park, which was abuzz! Bikes on roofs, bikes on the paths, cyclists everywhere - warming up, packing gear, pumping tyres, last minute mechanical tweaks. The vibe in the air was amazing.

We headed to registration, got our helmets checked and were ready to go.

Loz was off first, she was doing the 165km event and I was off an hour later on the 105km event.

This was my first bike event in my short 3 months of being a cyclist! I was soooo excited! But I couldn't jump up and down like I usually would, as per the tapering rules so I just stood with a big smile beaming across my face instead.

The ride was fabulous. There were so many people. Most went out hard at first. I am more of a tortoise. I like to start out at a happy pace, keep a happy pace, and finish at the same happy pace. There were some experienced riders, and some weekend warriors which would burn out soon enough. Burning out for me wasn't an option - I had 248kms looming in the back of my mind. So I kept plodding along.

When we got to the top of the first really nasty hill a large number of the "hares" were recovering at the top, gasping for air, while I happily pedalled past.

I refuse to stop on a hill. I will only let myself stop once I'm ontop of the hill - at which point stopping is usually useless, as it's then flat, or downhill and you can ride it out.

Despite my tapering and carb loading attempts, my legs were feeling pretty useless for the first 20kms. They didn't seem to have the energy or freshness I had assumed would be there. I trundled on and then they started to feel much happier.


Along the way I met a lovely lady wearing pink (I am terrible with names!) and we rode together for the next 20kms. Drafting off each other would have been the smart idea, as this saves a large amount of energy, however we rode side by side and got to have a great chat while we pedalled.

The last 5kms into Tharwa was so much fun. Lots of rolling hills with more downs than ups which allowed me to get some awesome speeds going. If there was a downhill road racing event, I would be in it in an instant! I managed to set a new high speed of 72km/hr on one of these descents!

I arrived into Tharwa, handed in my checkpoint ticket, grabbed some banana and then broke the golden rule of "don't try anything new on race day" and had some orange. Luckily the orange agreed with me, and tasted amazing. It was just what I needed. A quick water bottle refill and bladder empty and I was off again. None of this sitting around having a coffee at the cafe, or standing around chatting like many others were doing. I was a woman on a mission.

My goal was 5.5hrs - 6hrs with a 20km/hr average and I was going to do my darndest to stick to it!

Back on the bike and I was feeling good.

Some famous guy once said "what goes up must go down". That was the problem with all those awesome downhills - you have to climb your butt back out again!

With some grizzles and groans we kept climbing out. I had quick chats with those that passed me, and those I passed.

I happened to jump on the back of a "peleton" for about 2 minutes. I don't think the front guy had any idea there were about 7 people cruising behind him as he did all the hard work! I ended up going to the front and offered to give "Red Jersey Guy" (as he will now be called) a break. Unfortunately on the next downhill bit I accidently left them for dead. Oh well, at least I tried to help.

Slowly but surely, I kept trudging along.

There had been 2 people behind me for a while. "Blue Jersey Guy" and "Santa". Eventually they caught up and we had a good laugh. But then there was another downhill section, and I accidently zoomed ahead, only to start slowly putting up the hill again. Blue Jersey Guy and Santa were much better at the hills than me, so they went past me again, in a flood of more jokes and laughs. This continued for a good 20kms. Back and forth, laughing and cursing. Despite the pain from the hills, this made the ride quite enjoyable.

When I hit 75kms I bonked (bike term for being energy zapped). I had gotten slack on my refuelling and I paid for it. The boys went up a hill and I just couldn't keep up.

I muched on a caffeine GU (aka glue) and kept trundling along to the second checkpoint at 80kms.
Same deal as before - hand in ticket, banana, orange, and water and I was off.

Now a well researched person would have known that there were no toilets at checkpoint 2. I did not, and my bladder did not seem too concerned with the practicalities. I tried to keep pedalling but could ignore it no more. The diuretic effect from the caffeine was hitting with a vengeance. I had to lose all refinement and find some friendly looking bushes. This was the best decision ever, as now I could concentrate on riding and not on my screaming bladder.

I then hit a flat section and was feeling fabulous! Scooting along at 47km/hr I was having a blast! I then hit the Urairra Crossing and hit the "3 Sisters" which I like to call the never ending hill. It went on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on.... Just as you turned a corner and thought it would finish, it would go up and up again.


The only good thing about this hill was the road graffiti. Some of it was lame, but I completely lost it when someone had painted a scene from the space invaders game on the road. It was awesome. My day was made.

I kept on pedalling and met up with "Green Jersey Guy" who had flown over from Perth for this event. We had a great chat for the last 10kms and helped each other up the hills. We were then joined by "Red Jersey Guy". We were all hurting, but with some light convo and a few more laughs we made it to the top of the hill. At that point I went all out and zoomed into Stromlo Forrest Park and the finish line just behind "Red Jersey Guy". I did laugh that he beat me, but reminded him: "Don't forget who carried you the whole way" ;)


I had aimed for 20km/hr average and to finish in 5 1/2 to 6 hours, and that was exactly what I did. (5:40).


A quick warm down and then a bit of a chillout session on the grass with the other riders. I got the giggles once again. Cyclists are a funny lot! All I could hear was moaning, and complaining but all said with excitement and a sense of achievement. Everyone was so stoked to have finished.

I then spotted "Santa" and "Blue Jersey Guy" and had a great chat with them, with some more whingeing and complaining.

What was everyone complaining about? ...

The Headwind from Hell Iteslf

Cycling is fun. Hills, while hellish at times, are still fun-ish. Headwinds. So.. NOT...FUN!

We had a headwind / sidewind from Stromlo to Tharwa. Then, halfway back from Tharwa it seemed to turn around and become the headwind from hell. Going down one of the hills, which was long, and you could potentially fly down doing at least 50/60km/hr, I was pedalling my life out and felt I was going nowhere. I looked down, and to my disbelief I was doing a mere 20km/hr. I go faster than that on flats! Despite headwinds making everything much harder, I found it messed with my head more than anything. I found it so disheartening. I thought I was completely devoid of energy and had nothing left. Which had happened half an hour earlier, but with the headwind, I felt so much worse.

I decided to stop battling, made it to the bottom of the hill and luckily I snapped out of it. The GU's kicked in, I'd turned a corner onto the flats and the headwind became a sidewind. I felt I was on the final stretch and started flying towards the finish (and the epic hills that were still to come).

Wildlife Watching

During the ride I saw a little hump on the road. As I got closer, I realised it was a turtle! Cuuute. (Except for the fact that it took on a car, and the car won). But then there was another one, and he was alive! Go son! Run! Get across the road! (It was here I also got the giggles thinking.. "why did the turtle cross the road?").

Later on, I also got to see an emu in the wild which was also pretty cool, as I don't see them often.

The other wildlife which decided to make its presence known was the swarm of bugs we had to ride through. These little guys kept pelting at my face, convinced I needed a rapid intake of protein. Gross. Bugs are not tasty at all. I do not recommend them as a meal replacement.

Wear Sunscreen

It was quite cool in the morning, so I started off with leggings on. However, it started to warm up, so at the last minute I took the leggings off. Rookie mistake. I forgot to put sunscreen on my legs. My arms and face were fine as I'd covered them, but my legs are now a shade of deep red / purple.  I highly recommend wearing sun protection while cycling in summer!


All in all, it was a fabulous day, and great preparation for the Sea 2 Summit which creeps closer everyday!




Don't forget to get your bids in TODAY for our ebay items! Click here.
And don't forget that every donation goes into the draw to win some amazing prizes!
Click here for more information.



Monday, 24 October 2011

Going once, Going twice..

Going Once, Going Twice, SOLD to the highest bidder!

.
Are you a fan of the Wests Tigers, Brett Lee, the Socceroos or Bondi Rescue?
Would you like the chance to take home a personally signed jersey?


As part of our fundraising efforts we have several items up for auction, including a jersey and football signed by the entire 2011 Wests Tigers football team, a NSW cricket jersey from Brett Lee and more.

Bids for the items can be placed via ebay and all money raised from the sale of these items will be donated directly to Redkite.

You can access the items for sale here: (click on the picture or link)

 Signed 2011 Wests Tigers Jersey


Lucas Neill Signed Socceroos Jersey



Brett Lee's Signed NSW Cricket Speedblitz Blues Shirt

Dominic Thornely's Signed NSW Cricket Speedblitz Blues Shirt


2011 Bondi Rescue Crew Signed Lifeguard Shirt

Fully Signed 2011 Wests Tigers Football





Bidding will be open from Monday 24 October to Thursday 3 November 2011.

Please note that the jerseys come unframed. We were going to frame them, however some people have stated that they would prefer to use their own framing companies. We are happy to organise framing if the winner wishes to have the item framed. (Framing costs an extra $190 from Legends Under Glass).

__________________________________________________________________________________




In addition, anyone who makes a donation $5 and over between 1 August 2011 and 16 November 2011 will go into the draw to win some fabulous prizes including:

3 Month Platinum Membership to Fitness First
Ella Bache Signature Facial
Pro Dive 90min Snorkelling Tour off Manly or Coogee with snorkel and mask to keep.
Soja Candles Bundle
or one of 8 Peter Wynn's Prizes



Prizes will be drawn on the 21/11/11 and the winners will be notified by email, with winners also announced on the blog.


Donations can be made to Emily and Laura at:



It only takes a minute to donate, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible. Every little bit counts so please help us achieve our fundraising target of $2,500 each.


If you happen to be the lucky winner of the auction items or prizes, the items are available for pickup from Mosman, Parramatta, Sydney CBD, or Westleigh, or alternatively can be posted with the winner to pay the postage costs.

Happy bidding!



Friday, 7 October 2011

Time to grow up ...

Time to grow up and take off those training wheels...



Image courtesy of jonnyhunter
So far things have been pretty cruisey. Each week my target kilometers have gone up, and I have happily been hitting them. I had been feeling pretty happy after each ride and hadn't hurt at all after them. (Which I was pretty impressed with considering I started from no bicycle fitness to speak of!) That was up until the 60km ride. I felt it after that one!


The end of the ride was quite typical, got back to the car and had that crazy feeling of "I guess I could do another lap of West Head" (another 25kms). By the time I'd driven home, I was pumped for another quick ride around the neighbourhood. The sun was out and I actually had some free time in my day. It was a great idea until I went to get out of the car. At that moment my legs kindly reminded me that I had totally destroyed them and they were less than impressed about it. Hmmn, maybe that ride would wait!


Due to some work commitments I then hit a blip in my training schedule. I had to go to Cairns for a week. The hotel was supposed to have a gym but I couldn't think of anything worse than exercising in a hotel gym with some dodgy equipment. The concept of not riding for a week terrified me, as you can lose bike fitness very quickly, and everyday I remind myself that every bit I do now, will help me on Nov 19.

With this dilemma, what's a girl to do?

The answer was quite simple really, dismantle the bike and take it on the plane! And that is exactly what I did.

Cycling in Port Douglas was excellent. It was so warm, which was a great change from the Sydney weather, and luckily for me, it was sunny compared to the downpour Sydney had that week! The roads were pretty flat the but scenery made up for it, and some kilometers were better than none!


On the Thursday we had the afternoon off, so another chiropractor (who had also brought her bike) and I cycled to Mossman Gorge. The scenery was beautiful and the ride was really nice. I hadn't had the chance to actually do long flat distances yet, as I'd been riding mostly hills, and was surprised how hard and different it was. On the flats you don't get up as often. All I can say is numb bum!









Lessons learnt this week included: when you don't intend to clip in, make sure that it hasn't accidently stealthy clicked in before putting your foot (and consequently the whole bike and you) on the ground, and that suncream is essential for cycling in warmer weather. Glove and tshirt tan lines are not attractive unless you are going for the "I just fake tanned badly" look.


Soon the week was over, so the bike was dismantled again and packed on a plane for the journey home. Due to lack of time, I didn't manage to do my target kilometers for that week. That meant a 20km jump to the next target.


The next big ride was 80km. West Head is 25km, and Akuna Bay is about 15. To make up 80kms doing these loops screamed boredom.


It was time. I had to grow up, throw out the L plates and take of the training wheels. I had to start riding with the big kids. You know, those rides that the crazy people do. Instead of driving to Akuna Bay, I was going to have to ride there, and then do it. Just like the people you see riding on the road. Those cyclists. Real cyclists. I still felt like an imposter. Not a REAL cyclist.


So I took a teaspoon of concrete and commited to 2 laps of the Royal National Park. Each lap was 40kms. There was no "easy out" and I had to grow up in a lot of ways. First of all, everytime I mentioned it to someone, they asked if I was mad. Having never seen it, I was a little concerned. Secondly I had to ride on the road. Not a pretty quiet road like I had been doing previously, but a main road and not a main road at 5am before there are cars on it. A main road at 7-11am in the morning. Thirdly and something that scared me more than the rest, was riding up a windy national park road that was narrow for 2 cars, let alone with a cyclist. This meant the the cars would be stuck behind me without being able to go past. And that meant I couldn't go slow!


It turns out that the Natio Park loop isn't so bad. The only evil bit is the winding narrow section at the very end. Although on the second lap, that last little winding bit transforms from an evil beast to the devil in the firey pits of hell.


After just over 4 hours we made it to the top and had completed the 80km target. Back in the carpark we got the giggles as we were in a world of hurt. (Or maybe that was just me!)

Time has seemed to fly! Cairns was late August and I have been steadily riding weekdays and weekends since. Mainly hilly sections as that will be what we will be riding on the day. I have been looping Akuna Bay and West Head, now riding from St Ives like the big kids and also lapping the National Park and my local streets. Rain, hail or shine, much to the amazement of many of the cars going past! Most people like to spend their Friday nights relaxing or going out, but here I am, lapping the local streets at 9:30pm in the dark and rain. 

So that gets you ALMOST up to date.. but you will have to wait untill next time for the rest!

We have a number of auction items which will be posted this week, as well as a raffle with some awesome prizes. All donations (past and future) will receive a raffle ticket(s) to go into the draw.


Stay tuned for further details to be updated next week.


Please help me reach my goal of $2500 to help Redkite help children with cancer and their families and provide much needed support for real, essential everyday items such as bills, transportation, counselling and tutoring while they miss school. Every dollar counts, and all donations over $2 are tax deductable.




Thursday, 29 September 2011

Special Screening of Crazy Stupid Love Cancelled

Unfortunately we have had to cancel the Sea 2 Summit Movie Night special screening of ‘Crazy Stupid Love’ we had planned for Wednesday October 5 at Event Cinemas Macquarie, due to insufficient numbers.

For those that have bought tickets, we will be in touch with you shortly regarding arranging a refund. Thanks to all those who supported the event.
If you were unable to make the event but would still like to support Redkite, donations can be made via our everyday hero webpages: http://www.everydayhero.com.au/laura_vize or http://www.everydayhero.com.au/emily_petherbridge

Everyone who makes a donation will go into the draw to win one of several raffle prizes, more details to follow soon……

Laura & Emily

Friday, 16 September 2011



A couple of weeks ago, Andrew and I headed up to Terrigal for the weekend. He had a long training run planned and we had also organised to catch up with a few of our friends who live up that way, so it was a good excuse to cycle somewhere different.


A good mate of ours kindly plotted out a nice ride around the beaches and Lake Macquarie, via Warners Bay and other scenic spots so we headed off a little after 7am. The traffic was pretty good with cars giving us plenty of space on some of the narrower roads and the scenery was spectacular. The route pretty much hugs the coast most of the way, and although it was fresh when we started, it warmed up quickly and turned out to be one of those perfect days on the bike.


About 70kms in, we decided to take a break at Warners Bay. We stopped off at a local bakery and grabbed a couple of chocolate milks to keep us going. It was lovely chilling out in the sun by the water.


It’s always hard to get going again once you have stopped, but eventually we decided to get moving and made our way progressively around the lake. We thought we had the directions right at one point, and headed down a steep incline off the main road.





Well we got it wrong, and ended up having to back track up the hill – which ended up being reasonably long. This wasn’t such a bad thing, as the ride itself was pretty fast and flat, so the odd hill or two wouldn’t go astray.


Passing through the Entrance, Toukley and Long Jetty brought back childhood memories as my grandparents had a holiday house at Kilarney Vale for years when I was growing up. Strange to visit places I hadn’t been to for some years.


120km later and we made it back to Terrigal. Time to put the bikes on the roof and head home. Glad to get another long ride under the belt ahead of Sea 2 Summit – but might need more hills next time.






Don't forget to get your tickets to our fundraising movie event!

Come see "Crazy, Stupid, Love". Starring Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone.

Wednesday 5th October.
6:00pm
Event Cinemas Macquarie (in Macquarie Centre)
Cnr Herring and Waterloo Rds
Macquarie Park
Tickets are $45 each
Drinks, canapes and lucky door prize included!



 
Tickets available through www.iwannaticket.com.au

 
Don't forget to 'Like' our Facebook Page and RSVP on our Facebook Event Page!

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

A night to remember..

We may be a little bit crazy, and a little bit stupid.


So as part of our fundraising efforts we will be holding a private screening of "Crazy, Stupid, Love."  

Tickets include the movie as well as drinks and canapes. There will be a lucky door prize, a raffle and an auction held on the night. All money raised will go towards Redkite, who support children and their families through cancer.

We have been training like crazy, and need your help to raise the $5000 needed for us to take part in the event.

So put it in your diary now.

Wednesday 5th October.
6:00pm
Event Cinemas Macquarie (in Macquarie Centre)
Cnr Herring and Waterloo Rds
Macquarie Park
Tickets are $46 each.




Tickets available through www.iwannaticket.com.au

Don't forget to 'Like' our Facebook Page and RSVP on our Facebook Event Page!

Bittersweet, emotionally uplifting and distinctly hilarious, 16 July 20118/10Author: DonFishies from Canada
Crazy, Stupid, Love. is one of, if not the best, American romantic comedies of the past decade. This may come as a shock to some (as it surely took me aback) but there is no other way to describe it. Going into an advanced screening of the film earlier this week, I had my doubts that it would be anything outside of generic. But instead of tripe, I got one of the most unexpected surprises I have seen all year.

A big thank you to:

Fitness First
Ella Bache
Peter Wynn's Sports
Bondi Rescue
The Socceroos
Wests Tigers
and more..

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bane of my daily cycling existence....

Ok that might be stretching it a bit, but I reckon everyone has a hill. You know, the one you dread cycling up. I am lucky enough that my usual commute to work is mostly downhill, with only a small rise just before I reach the Sydney Harbour Bridge. On the way home however it is a different story.

Get past the cycle ways through the city, up and over the bridge, down through Milsons Point and you hit Ben Boyd road. Now this is not a terribly steep or difficult hill – it’s about 1km long and has some steeper sections at the start, but it weaves around a bit and has this annoying habit of seeming like it goes on forever. It flattens out in sections so it is definitely rideable, but when I am sitting at my desk, its dark outside and I know I have to ride home, it’s the thing I dread the most. I often have the thought....what if I just take the ferry home....(bikes fit great on ferries as opposed to buses and trains do not go to my house).

The thing is, once I’m past that hill, the rest of the ride is quite enjoyable. That is after I get over the leg burn and re-learn how to breathe. Still, riding this hill five days a week can only be a good thing, since I have 5,500m of vertical waiting for me on a single day in November.

So I look at Ben Boyd as my daily challenge. I’ll continue to try and climb it faster and more efficiently, and one of these days I may beat my riding buddy to the top. If the hardest thing I have to do in my day is ride up Ben Boyd then I really have nothing to complain about, and I’ve never returned home feeling worse than when I started after heading out for a ride.

Friday, 19 August 2011

Northern beaches adventures and a week in review



After a sleepy Saturday, Sunday was the day to get the next long ride in for sea2summit training. There’s nothing like knowing you have to train for 5,500m of vertical gain to be covered in one day to get you out of bed!

Bright and early, Andrew and I rolled out from Mosman to head out to Akuna Bay via frenchs forest and Terry Hills. The weather was looking a little dodgy so we figured staying close to home was probably the best bet. Radar images were showing rain to be as widespread as the southern highlands so my usual trick of heading south in bad weather wasn’t going to work today.




A loop around Akuna bay and out to west head, then down McCarrs Creek road to Church point and the kms were slowly adding up. So far the rain had stayed away, so it was turning out to be a good day in the saddle.

Heading back from West head we ran into Emily who was out on her own training ride. It was nice to ride together on the way back and I was really enjoying seeing how fast we could go on the downhill stretches. West head is great for pushing pace, as there are limited cars and a great road surface with the surety of no potholes to catch tyres. To still be feeling relatively fresh at 50km was a good sign and with the last set of hills out of the way, we headed towards Mona Vale and home.



Pittwater road is always fun to ride, if a little busy. With three lanes for traffic , we were able to ride side by side with cars mostly giving us a wide berth. It was great to get into the big gears with a fast, solid pace onto Wakehurst parkway. A coffee gel just before the hill did the trick as we headed up towards Seaforth.

We almost made it home without any rain, but it caught up with us in the last 15kms. Glad to make it home with 100kms done. We headed to a café in Mosman for great food and well-earned coffee indulgence post ride.

The week that followed….

Not a lot of riding to be had mid-week, except for 80kms to and from work due to a mostly rainy week. I managed to fit in 3 runs which was a bonus and good cross training. The goal for next week is to increase the kms during the week. October is fast approaching with Fitz’s Challenge and November isn’t much further beyond that!