Today hurts.  Not a mental pain, but rather a physical one.  As part of the plan to cycle more this year, I went out for a ride with Jarod again.  The dude kicks my ass on his bike (Single speed Salsa) with over 2800km last year completed by him riding. So either way I know I’m will be pushed.  It’s a good thing; I like cycling with someone else and having the two of us we can push each other.  Previously we’ve clocked up 60km rides, but from the outset I knew this ride was to be different.

Jarod suggested the following route:

Okay that doesn’t look too bad was my first thought.  Whilst the above map gives you the route you’d take on a car, we’d have to change it a little bit for safer access on the bike.  So with a bit of knowledge of the bike paths in North Sydney and beyond as well as a quick check of the “Bike-It! Sydney” we had a route planned.

The second thing that went through my head was, this was to be hilly.   Not a little hilly but a lot hilly.  I know what the route from North Sydney to Lane Cove is like and it’s a continues undulation whilst you’re moving slowly upwards.  The good thing is that at somepoint you’re going to have to head back down again.  The first 10 minutes of the ride, the climb from Kirribilli to Crows Nest proved this point.  Even though I was covering a ride I do quite often I was finding it hard going.  Maybe it was the push to start at a faster pace and not being warm enough first (even though we were cycling in 30C+ heat).  Those initial climbs had me thinking, am I fit enough to complete this ride today? Mostly we’ve ridden quite flat routes with maybe one large hill on route.  This ride was now to challenge myself both mentally and physically and if needed push through it.  I don’t know how Jarod felt at this point.  It’s hard to describe the mental fight you go through to not stop after going up one hill only to see another in front of you and more in the distance.  You can feel the burn in your thighs and calves. You’re head pounds, the sweet drips down your face catching your tongue tasting of a mixture of suntan lotion and salt.

By Lane Cove I think we were both feeling it; the good thing here was that we were turning back towards the water and the Gladesville bridge.  That meant some downhill resting. In fact one of best bit about this ride is the Burns Bay Road section.  On a Sunday morning this was a clear double lane decent.  The steepness of the road means that just coasting down you get to 50km speeds.  I was glad for the break and so were my legs.  My thoughts at this point where very much of the Tour De France riders and their descents.  Of course they are traveling at closer to 80km; one day maybe…

Next was the Gladesville bridge and working out how to cross it.  We got a bit lost here, I’m sure there is an easier way to come off Burns Bay Road and get on the bridge.  I need to look into this cause the way we went was well not as practical as it should.  This was the first time I’d cycled over this bridge.  Again it does the deceptive thing that the Sydney Harbour Bridge does. It makes you think it’s easier than it actually is.  After the previous ups and downs this was more effort than maybe it needed.

We then detoured around Iron Cove bay.  The lowlights of this was the single finger salute I received from driver that failed to indicate at a roundabout and couldn’t make up his mind whether he was going straight on or turning left.  As I was waiting and giving way (for the fear of cycling out there he would have gone straight on and hit me) the driver stopped, at the roundabout, then turned left.  Saying “Some indication might be nice” resulted in the finger to me.  Why is that drivers seem to forget all road rules here in Oz when they reach a roundabout?

The downside about cycling around Iron Cove bay is the hill at the start of Lilyfield Road.  From nice cycle path appears this monster.  Jarod assures me it’s ridable and shoots off up it.  Ahead I can see two more cyclists.  One is struggling near the top, the other is getting off their bike and beginning to push.  Thankfully I have lots of gears and get my ass up it.  “See told you” or along those lines remarks an awaiting Jarod at the top of this monster.  I honestly don’t know how he does it with the single speed.

The rest of Lilyfield road is quite pleasant and you get some speed built up.  Then at 40kmph I noticed car doors opening ahead of me.  It’s easy to forget about these.  Sydneysiders seem to just fling car doors open without looking it seems.  On a near empty street it’s easy to forget this while it’s something that I’m all too aware of when cycling to work.  With that in mind it was to the Pyrmont bridge after which Jarod left me and headed back home.

I headed back through the city and over the harbour bridge.     The funny thing this time was the hill climbs through Kirribilli and North Sydney seemed easier this second time around.  I can’t explain it, but it felt like it was.  Maybe the earlier ones helped more than I’d realised.  So the actual route we took looked more like this:

Not a bad route and certainly one I’d ride again. 37.02km at a speed of 19.65km/h average, completed in 1 hour 53 mins 2 seconds and about 600m of total climbing.

The next objective then is to beat this time and average speed.


~ by monkeypushovertree on January 11, 2010.

3 Responses to “pain”

  1. It was easier to climb back up to your place cause you had a sizable tailwind behind you. I know this cause I rode the opposite way and it was difficult 😉

    Oh, and up towards Lane Cove, yeah I was hurting too 😀

  2. So *this* is what you meant by “bike riding with Jarod”.
    I think I felt pain just reading your recap. Hope the gels helped. 🙂

  3. @Jarod – glad it wasn’t just me feeling it then at that point. We should do the ride again. Reiby Road off Burns Bay Road appears to be the route we should have taken. I’ll have a look on google maps to see how it should go.

    @K – yup; see why I got some gels now 😛

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