Sunday, 7 August 2011

Polo crosse, coffee, rain, hills and more hills

Training ride 3

7 August 2011

Left home just after 5am fully planning on cycling Brooklyn to Yarramalong via Bumble Hill but it was starting to rain on the way out so we turned around and headed to Bowral.

Radar had little rain showing for the southern highlands so we went in search of hills.

The ride I had in mind was 120km from Bowral out to Robertson, Jamberoo and Albion Park, via Macquarie Pass and return. Its a ride I've been wanting to do for a long time and with 1200m vertical and a blue sky day, it made for perfect sea2summit training.

The first 30km were nice and undulating and made for a good warm up. There was a Polo crosse event on which made for interesting viewing as we cycled past. Horses everywhere. Some startled easy and took off as we went past.

We hit the looped section of the ride just past Robertson pie shop. Tempting to stop for snacks but with the bulk of the ride still to go we pushed on.

About here I popped the first caffeine gu. The effects of this morning's coffee had worn off and I needed another hit.

A bit further on we hit Jamberoo mountain road and the descent into Albion Park. Whoa that is one full on descent! Having not ridden this before, I'm not sure I would have if I had seen it in advance. Narrow, bumpy road, blind corners and lots of cars combined with sections at least as steep as Awaba (12-16% grade at a guess) it was all I could do to hang on. I was sure I'd burn through my brakes but we made it to the bottom, flying near out of control the whole way. Highlights included the Subaru Wrx and Porsche clubs that were racing and pacing up the hill. Man I was glad they were not on our tail on the way down.

This is what we just came down...doesn't look anywhere near as steep as it is!

Up and down a few more hills, a quick re-fuel at Albion Park and all too soon we were facing the 11km climb up Macquarie Pass. More caffeine gels needed!

The climb that awaited us....

The first 6 or 7km are reasonably steep and pretty twisty, with a couple of tight hair pins. This was hard work and I was celebrating each km as it passed. They seemed to click over on the garmin way too slowly. Finally got to the top of the steepest part where Andrew was looking nice and chilled. Apparently he'd had time to do the hill twice... Hmmmm...

Once past the pass, it was an easier 30km or so back along the road to Bowral. I reckon we averaged about 30km/hr, it was great to get the legs turning in the big gears flying down the hills to power up the other side.

Great to get back to the car, just in time to beat the rain clouds rolling in. Happily found a bakery back in town and stocked up on snacks for the trip home.

Great day out.
Total distance: 110 (123km for my other half Andrew who managed a few out and backs while waiting for me!)
Time in the saddle: 6hrs
No of coffees? 5 if you count the two before I started, 2 gels during and 1 coffee after. No such thing as too much coffee I say :)

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