I was short of time and wanted to be home by 6:30am before my wife, Lynn, left for work. I decided to do a solid 22km ride to Darlington and back which I have done twice before in under an hour if I don’t have to many delays and I make a reasonable effort at climbing out of Darlington up the veloway. As the climb from Darlington is the slowest part and affects the overall time the most I intended to try for a PR.
5:28am 12C Cloudy: 21.8km, 54m47s, 2:31/km, 24kph, 3,841KJ’s, 135/159 avg/max HR
So, I hit the road at 5:28am, not very much daylight but I was on a timeline. Today I had set my mind into gear for a solid ride so I was not to cruise anywhere and I was not to work to hard in any single segments. I had to change down and almost stop for the lights at Panalatinga/Reynell roads but was able to push on through as they changed. The same can be said for the lights at Kenehans/Panalatinga roads, as I entered the veloway. Standing up to push up the hill from the Coast to Vines bike track intersection I nearly ran over a couple of rabbits that seem mesmerized by my flashing LED headlight. Fortunately they did move at the last minute and away from me as well. I can see the story now “Fell of my bike when I slipped on mesmerized rabbit”, who would believe that!
I tried to keep a reasonable pace all the way to Majors Rd and pushed solidly across the top before my decent. I went down on the drop bars as I started my decent and assisted my momentum with gentle peddling on the straight sections. Not wanting to try to hard knowing that at the bottom I was going to turn around and ride straight back up again.
Getting close to the bottom I passed two riders that were just getting off their bikes to walk it would seem. These were the only riders I had seen, well had been riding, until I reached the bollards. After turning around and heading straight back up I saw several riders coming down the hill. Two of them were the two that had given up on the way up, such a shame.
I stayed in tall gears on the small chain ring while standing until we first swung away from the road. I then sat down, dropping a couple of cogs until I reached the next steeper section leading up by the power/pump station(not sure what the building is) where I stood up once again until reaching the next less steep section. Not that it lasted for long but it did give a little bit of rest. Then I stood once again for the hardest part of all, the bit that always hurts me, a steeper section that swings out around some trees before moving back to along side the road. By now I sat back down and clicked down a couple of cogs and just pushed while breathing like a puffing billy for the remainder of the climb. Clicking back up a few gears before getting to the TAFE exit and standing up to gain some momentum. From there on, as I could I move up through the gears and pushed across the top. On approaching Majors road I stood up to power over the last kick up incline before dropping below Majors rd.
I continuied to peddle all the way to the tunnel under the Expressway to access the exit ramp to Panalatinga Rd. Lost a little time waiting for these lights, as I normally have to, I was then able to push on home.
I arrived home before 6:30am as planned but had failed to improve my climb up the veloway. For 8 measured segments on Strava I claimed my second best including to segments for the climb. I managed 2 PR’s though, one for the entire ride, the 17th time I have taken this route beating my previous best by 1m16s the second, hardly worth mentioning, a segment between Seacombe Rd and Panalatinga Rd which I improved by 1 second
My heart rate was well split with 46% of the time spent in my “Recovery/LSR”(Zone 2) and 8% in my “Aerobic”(Zone 3) zones. The rest was to low to be of much use.
In summary, a solid ride with good exercise qualities and all done in the time available to me.
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