I’ve heard it’s this idea where you don’t get up while it’s still dark and no birdies are chirping in the trees.
My sleep in during this Easter break was on Good Friday where I managed to make it until just before 9am. Surprisingly enough, no one put on a load of laundry at 8am – a normal occurrence on the weekend mornings when I’m actually home. My first though when I woke up was (after going eeeeuuugghhhh) hey, the sun is up.
No sleep in on Saturday as I tootled my way over to Ringwood North to join in on the Easter Bunnies Emerald Bakery Loop Ride. The group I ride with had been talking about tackling the well known Emerald Bakery Loop for awhile so why not do it when everyone was on holidays? Just over 75km of hills, hills and yet more hills. But of course that meant plenty of opportunities for descending 🙂
The Yarra Ranges actually make climbing kinda fun. The area is stunningly beautiful and this time none of us were busting a gut to get to the top of the 1:20. The funnest descent of the day was coming down The Wall. As I was unfamiliar with the descent, I was on the brakes a few times to make sure I didn’t crash by being overly enthusiastic.
The bakery at Emerald was worth the effort of getting there. Been a long time since I’ve seen so many yummy cakes and slices crammed into a glass display unit. I have to say that these stops during rides are one of my favourite parts. It’s great to just sit around and chat. I’ve never been great in social situations and this one of the few times I feel okay. Plus there’s usually nummy treats involved which is fine by me!
What I thought would be the hardest climb of the day came as we left Emerald and headed towards Kallista. It was about 3kms of slogging away up what around 7 – 9% gradient. There was water cascading over the road and I was glad we were climbing (!!!) and not descending but it still made for a hairy climb as the road was rather slippery.
I must admit that I didn’t enjoy the descent down to Montrose as much as I normally do. I was feeling pretty knackered by the time we got there and my body was starting to complain. However, I made it down the whole way without touching the brakes once which is the first time I’ve managed this. I think I descended a little more slowly than normal because it was taking a lot of effort to concentrate. I love to descend as fast as possible but I’m not willing to risk my safety when I know I’m tired. See, not totally stupid!
By the time I got to the bottom I was ready to call it a day but of course that meant getting back to the starting point. And that’s when it happened. For the first time ever, a climb defeated me. I had to get off and walk. Eastfield Rd in Ringwood East. We could see it from the other side of the traffic lights we were stopped at and it didn’t look good. I only got about a third of the way up before starting to struggle and at the halfway point I realised I was going to fall over so I stopped. I looked down at my garmin and it was telling me the gradient was 22%. I was sure this was wrong but this reading has been corroborated by other garmins. I felt so defeated. Everyone else did it but I walked it. I just felt so inadequate. But what can you do? Nothing but get over it and swing the leg back over the bike.
The funny thing is that there’s a bike path marked on the road. The running joke at the moment is that someone needs to go out with a can of spray paint to add a happy cyclist at the bottom and a dead cyclist at the top. It would be appropriate.
After 70kms of hills, I decided I needed a cruisy ride on a flat roads so I took my bike to my parents’ place. I did learn one important thing – if you’re not 100% sure about where you’ll be riding, check your route beforehand. I was out in the orchards, pedaling away and I realised I had no clue where I was going. I had a rough idea of where I was but no idea where the road I was looking for was. In the end, I took a punt and turned down a road I thought I recognised the name of. Turns out I wasn’t that far away from where I wanted to be and if I’d continued on I would’ve found the road I wanted. Typical! I had a laugh when I looked at the elevation after downloading my stats. I went from climbing 1,324 metres to a grand total of 37 metres.
Today’s spin was a MRR loop with some extras tacked on. I like the MRR loop and I’d do it during the week but the logistics are too difficult to overcome. I’d have to be up so early and there’s no guarantee I’d be able to get to work on time. I’ll be sticking with my laps of Yarra Boulevard.
And to finish off…
Tree project, week thirty one