Jun 13, 2011

Queens Birthday Kinglake and Yarra Glen Sufferfest

Let me start off by saying that as I sit here on the couch writing this I am shattered. Today's ride really hit me hard. I am sure tomorrow I will look back on this ride with much fondness and will talk it up at the next coffee catch up... but right now I am a broken shell of my former self.

We started talking about this ride a couple of week's ago. The Wolfpack thought it would be a good idea to celebrate the combined Ethan's / Queen's Birthday long weekend by heading out for a longer trundle through the hills to Yarra Glen.

Meeting early, our group of ten headed out from Macleod whilst still dark, very chilly and under the cover of thick fog. Jake (or is that Jacques?) took control from the get-go and led us out through Greensborough, Diamond Creek and Hurstbridge on our way to Kinglake.

Not far into the ride we had our first and only (thankfully) casualty of the day. Somewhere along the way Anthony picked up a glass hitchhiker who repayed him with a punctured rear tyre.

Back on the road and before long we reached the base of the climb to Kinglake. Despite the cold the pace picked up some heat and it was every man for himself to the top. Once in Kinglake we were greeted with more cold and fog, I decided to munch on an energy bar while we waited for the last of the group to arrive.

All together again and off we went to Yarra Glen via Heallesville-Kinglake and Heallesville- Yarra Glen Roads. The ride from Kinglake to Yarra Glen through the hills is awesome. Despite the wet roads it was still a very spirited ride as everybody pushed themselves through the winding descents.

One thing I noticed through this section was how cold it was getting, I had frost on my arm and leg  warmers and my fingers were beyond burning. I asked Taka at some stage about the temperature, I couldn't make out exactly what he said.... all I heard through his mumbling was something about 3 degrees.

We reached Yarra Glen and after a quick coffee stop and nature break Jake had us back on the bikes for the return leg home. Hitting the hill on Eltham Road out of Yarra Glen it was time for me to get into the hurst locker. This hill is mental and it sorted out the group again as we all did whatever we could to make it to the top alive. I might have been dreaming the next part, but I am pretty sure that Jake was saying something about doing repeats up this hill because it was good training... this hill was disgusting!!  

We regrouped for the last time (oh yeah there was one more) at the top of the hill before the final assault through Christmas Hills and back to Eltham.

I was pleased as punch when the fog finally lifted and the sun come started shine about 5 minutes before we hit Taffy's for a well earned coffee and breakfast.

A big thanks to Jake for leading the group all morning, controlling the tempo and making sure that nobody got left behind.

When it was all said and done I had downed one bidon, one gel, two energy bars and had we put 121 hard hard kilometres in the bank.

Looking forward to the next Wolfpack Sufferfest.

~ VL