Was this Insane – 39C(102F) !
OK, yes, it reached 39C(102F) today and yes, it was already 28C(82F) at 5am but it was a nice morning for a ride just not so nice as the day dragged on. A balance of preparation and common sense is all that is needed to ride safely in these conditions. Unfortunately some don’t do either. I have a strong sense of self preservation so I am, what I believe to be, cautious even though many have called me mad, crazy or insane for doing this ride.
How it began – the plan.
I have been unhappy with my seat position since I had to replace it when I broke the original crashing out on a tram line. I had made a couple of changes and wanted a decent ride to see what the impact was. I had raised it by about 1cm, knee still bent at BDC and had moved it about 1/2CM forward. These changes were made because I had been getting a little sore on the top of my knees from longer rides. Now the full truth, for various reasons I had trouble sleeping and after being awake from 3am I decided to get up at 4:30am to get ready for a ride. I had planned to go for a ride but not how far I was going. I filled 2 bidons with Staminade, drank a protein shake with 400mls of skim milk and stuck a large banana, a muesli bar, sun sleeves and sun screen into my pockets before heading off at 4:51am. I had checked the B.O.M. Weather Observations and the forecasts. It was going to be hot! I was expecting 20-30 kph North to NE winds early morning so had expected a headwind whilst heading to Outer Harbour and was hoping for some assistance on the return South where I might go as far as Aldinga and then crawl home along the Coast to Vines track from Willunga.
Not everything goes to plan.
So, as you know, I left home at 4:51am. I had decided to head over to Kenihans Rd Happy Valley, onto Chandlers Hill Rd and up to Happy Valley Drive to head up to Blacks Rd. Taking Blacks Rd to South Rd, across onto Majors Rd and down the Veloway to Darlington. Riding under lights I kept my speed low to descend the veloway because animals and objects seem common although easy to avoid in the light of day. I exit onto Seacombe rd, Diagonal Rd to head down to Glenelg. The slight breeze seemed to be changing direction quite a bit but not very strong. I was surprised just how much traffic there had been on Happy Valley Drive, Blacks Rd and Majors Rd at this time of the morning, who knew! The seating position seemed comfortable allowing for a more comfortable spin and slightly easier to push uphill while staying seated. So up to now the changes seemed a success. I should know better but I was also wearing new gloves, jersey and bib nicks all bought from the Internet so it would be interesting to see how these worked out.
I wanted to get to the most northern part of my ride as early as possible to avoid as much of the forecast Northerly winds as possible so I decided to head the most direct route hoping for light traffic at such an early hour. I headed along Brighton Road, Tapleys Hill Rd. I felt a wind shift as I passed Adelaide Airport which dropped my speed down a little. The traffic was starting to build but appeared in waves so was not to bad. The wind dropped a little once I passed the Airport. Still very dark and the traffic building. The temperature was around 27C, not much different to the 26C when I left home. I had now decided that I would go all the way into Port Adelaide and then down to Outer Harbour. At this stage of the ride I felt I had held a good average pace and cadence and still felt comfortable in my new riding position. My new gloves felt a little tight but I am sure they will loosen up a little with only a little more use.
Strava Sprint segment on Birkenhead Bridge *huh*
Passing through Port Adelaide and over the Berkenhead bridge saw me record my second Strava segment “Birkenhead Bridge Sprint ”, my second since leaving home, the first being the veloway descent. Definitely not one I was competing for and a good job to because I think I am last! Now it was about 6:10am. It has taken me 1h20m to travel 38km to get here. The traffic was building and had become quite thick. Another 16 minutes and I reached the Outer Harbour roundabout and stopped around the corner for a photo, a drink and a banana. I had just passed 2 more Strava segments, “Victoria Road (North)” and “Victoria Rd ” which I had no idea existed. I am now the slowest Muddie on both of these
Completed 46km in 1h46m. I was about to start some more Strava segments but was not interested in attempting any special results except for maybe one later.
Time to Head South
It is calm, not the expected northerly assist but I can’t complain, calm is far better than the usual headwind. Intending to keep a reasonable, but not PR making, solid pace I covered the next 8.1km in 15 mins averaging 32.1 kph as shown by the segment “Largs Esplanade – heading south ” turning out to be my second best time. I suggest this is because of the lack of wind and the better seating position. It had been along this section that I thought I recognised a rider heading the opposite direction, it would have been about 6:55am which placed Petrina Hall at about the same place. I have never met Patrina but someone looking like her Strava profile picture was definitely heading north along here. Turning left into Bower Road it looked like it wouldn’t be long before the sun would pop over the Adelaide Hills. Turning right onto Military Rd sees the start of the next Strava segment “Bower to Grange “, a 6.4km stretch passing Westlakes. Its a nice cruise along here as long as you don’t have a headwind. Today it was calm and once again I had my second best result while maintaining an average speed for this segment of 31.6 kph. I was thinking how happy I was that I was able to maintain a comfortable 30+ kph for most of the time making me think my seat position was an improvement. I continued along Tapleys Hill road and found a new segment I have not been on “G Road to HBR “. Averaging this segment at 30.3 kph was still within the speed I wanted to maintain even if it was only for 2.2km. I had kept heading South along this road rather than heading back up to Seaview road at Grange road as I normally would only to find I had no choice when I reached the Torrens river. As usual I took West Beach Road to Military once again where we hit the next Strava segments, “Mt Patawalonga Sprint “. This segment I was interested in trying to achieve a PR. I had only noticed this one recently when on a “Sunday Style ‘L’ Ride” with the Muddies. I know I had already registered a good time as one day I was following a better rider and had pushed myself quite hard to keep up but I wanted to see what I could do if I was trying. I wanted to use the spinning and new seat position to see just how they worked together. I was determined to keep a steady pace and looking at my performance chart on this segment I did ok and averaged 36.9 kph for the 0.9km section, improving by 4 seconds over my previous best.
Still no tailwind!
Well, maybe a slight tailwind but not the 15kph NNE they were experiencing around the airport. Riding onto the shared bike/walk way by the Buffalo at Glenelg dropped my speed down a lot but it was not long before I passed SAFM broadcasting from near the Jetty and out onto the esplanade at Glenelg South. It felt calm along the coast but at least not a headwind. There are a lot of runners and other people exercising on this beautiful morning. Reaching Seacliff I paused for a few moments. It was getting a little warmer now with the temperature hovering around 28C I decided, with the gentle climb of the Coast to Vines bike path to come, it seemed timely to check my phone, have a drink and eat my muesli bar. Somehow I missed getting my bike into the picture, oh well. It was now around 8am and Lynn had left me a message that she would be going to work soon and if I wasn’t home then have a good ride. I had clocked up over 77km at this stage and had just started my second bidon of Staminade. I contemplated my route from her. Aldinga next, climb the Coast to Vines, exit onto Lonsdale Highway and take it all the way to Dyson Rd and into Port Noarlunga, take Commercial road/Old Coach road all the way into Aldinga. I climbed Wheatland street, without the usual conviction and then tried for a solid seated effort on the newly found “Kauri Parade Hill ” which started earlier than I had realised the last time I attempted it. Staying seated for all but the last part of the hill it felt robust, not startling and definitely able to do much better and claimed my second fastest time so I am happy with that. Climbing both the last stretch of the Coast to Vines to Lonsdale Highway and out of the two long dips on Lonsdale Highway I felt like I was getting slightly better speed than on previous attempts. I think I am getting slightly better power out of this seat position.
The Sun – time to do something about it!
It was along Lonsdale Highway I decided to stop and put on my Sunsleaves and sunscreen. The sun was getting higher in the sky and was presenting a little more direct heating. The air temperature had been a little cooler than on the Adelaide Plains but it had now reached a similar level and would only go up from 28C from now on. I had a reasonable ride towards Aldinga although feeling a little less energised I chose to spin in bottom gear up the hills between Moana and Aldinga. I was starting to get very hot now, I think my new Torpedo 7 jersey is a little warmer than my better quality ones, this was to be expected from a $20 jersey over a more expensive or normal price one. The different material does not allow for as much cooling which will be fine for those more temperate rides. I headed down Port Road to pass the Star of Greece on the esplanade. Reaching Snapper Point I took refuge from the sun under a shelter. My left foot had gone numb and my hands were a little crampy. I took of my helmet, shoes and gloves and enjoyed drinking my final drops of Staminade. A couple of tourists pulled up and asked where they could find a sandy beach to go on! They just had to pull up on the only pebbly part of the esplanade between Silver Sands and Port Willunga! I had been looking for drink fountains to refill my bidons as I rode into Aldinga but had not seen any. I thought this was a prime opportunity to ask a local where the best place to fill up was. Rob Dobson suggested the Aldinga Bay Cafe. Getting dressed again I headed South to the Cafe. The temperature had now reached somewhere between 30 & 35C. They were nice and filled up my bidons with cold water for me. The smell of ground coffee overwhelmed me so I couldn’t resist a large skinny latt’e! I managed to get the bike into this photo I only had a ride up to Willunga and then home via the Coast to Vines left to do. After a nice relaxing 15 to 20 min coffee break(no food) I set off North along the Esplanade to look for the road that almost connects to the Wilunga road. In my mind I seemed to remember some signs that pointed to camping and eating when I last came down that road but could not see them. After I felt I had gone to far for them I turned around and headed South again. I caught up with a guy riding a red Cannondale and asked him for directions. He suggested I need to go further North than I had but that it would be as easy to head to Silver Sands and to go up Norman road to South Road. He was going that way anyway so I rode with him while chatting. He is a mechanical engineer and either does or used to work at Walkers Lonsdale. He used to ride to work from Aldinga and home afterwards but has not done of late. He and his wife ride together although they have been looking for an appropriate group ride that is not to difficult to have a more social ride experience and to build a more social outlook through riding. I told him about http://www.adelaidecyclists.com/ and the Muddies L ride from Port Noarlunga. If he can remember the website he should be able to find us I slowed my pace a little while riding with him and enjoyed the conversation. This is why I so love riding, it is a huge social experience, I love it! Once we hit South Road and headed North I felt the headwinds I was expecting. Not a problem for the pace my new acquaintance was doing. I farewell-ed him as I slow to turn onto Biscay/Aldinga Road to head up to Willunga.
Beep, Beep, wave – who the hell is that?
The heat was tough now and the wind added extra to the struggle. I had a single stop up here to hydrate and on reaching Willunga I went in search of some Powerade or Gatorade to boost my energy levels a little. As I dismounted in the main street to look for a shop stocking one of these drinks a Commodore drove past and beeped at me, a figure behind tinted windows was waving at me so I waved back not knowing who the hell it was. Before I had walked far he had turned around and had pulled up next to me. It was RD6 and Liam. The last person I expected to see. Anyway, in some nice shade I stood there chatting to Rob about the changes I had made to my seat position and how it seemed to help, how hot the weather was, how I had been out on the bike since 5am and on how I should already be getting of the road! Liam was quietly sitting on a bench next to us probably think how crazy this person was. Anyway, Rob left and I continued my search. Found a deli and leaned my bike against a pole to go in and grab a drink. Powerade, it never tasted so good! I intended to fill up my bidons at McLaren Vale so it didn’t have to last long.
Opps, the Garmin – didn’t register about 12 km.
Getting back on my bike I noticed the Garmin was a little crooked so I straightened it up, no problem. Cruising down towards the Coast to Vines the speed was showing around 30kph, I am not peddling much right now. About half way between Willunga and McLaren Vale the Garmin switches itself off. Hmmm, very strange, why did it do that? I stopped, turned it back on, all the data seemed to be there so I kept riding paying attention to my speed. I definitely had a headwind now and was only managing around 22 kph. I stopped at the Park on the West side of McLaren Vale and filled both my bidons and headed on my way again. After going under Victor Harbor road I realised my time and distance was not changing. Bugger, I had not realised I need to press start again when I turned it back on, oh, that’s it! I must have lent the bike against the post where the start/stop button accidently got pressed in Willunga, that’s why it turned of on the trail. After looking at the data when I got home it reveals no data logged between Willunga and McLaren Vale!
Pha, Pha, Pha, Pha…..
I was feeling very tired now and cruised up “Pedler Rd Rail trail rise ” and around the corner to where Wonder women, Lynn, flew over the handlebars only 2 weeks ago then, pha, pha, pha, pha…. dam, a puncture, the second one in two weeks. Hot, tired and not so happy I walked the bike over to some benches near by. There was a little shade so I removed my helmet, gloves and shoes, read and posted some Twitter, Facebook and email messages and took a long drink of water. Removed both my bidons, my pump and my saddle bags from the bike and turned the bike upside down on one of the benches. Had to be the back tyre again! I emptied my saddle bag onto the bench in front of me. 2 Tubes, 4 tyre leavers, repair kit, CO2 canister and valve, a multi-tool, two rubber gloves and chain rag with a rubber band around it. First things first, put a rubber glove on my left hand, use the chain rag to wipe down the side of the rim and remove the wheel from the bike. Turn the wheel around checking for foreign objects embedded in the tyre. Ah, a big sharp chard of glass, fancy that! I felt a little lucky that it was big. It was easy to remove without leaving the tip in because of its size and shape. Break the seal on the presta valve so that its easy to get out. Lever one side of the tyre off and remove the old tube. Check the inside and outside of the tyre, first with gloved hand (rubber gloves catch on things easier than skin) then with naked hand as you can feel for any lumps or change in texture without a glove. All clear. Unraveled a new tube. Made sure the presta valve is not stuck and place it into the tyre/rim. Added a little air to the tube to reduce the chance of a pinch puncture. Pushed all but 6 inches of the tyre onto the rim by hand and used the plastic tyre levers to push the rest of the tyre on. Checked around the tyre to make sure there was no signs of tube protruding and that the beading seemed even. Added some more air with the pump and checked the beading seemed to be even once again. Pumped it up by hand to what felt like hard enough. Replaced the wheel back onto the bike. Wrapped the old tube and chain rag up tightly and peeled my glove off over the old tube and rag finally wrapping the rubber band around it all. Put everything back into the saddle bag. Stood the bike up and put the saddle bags, pump and bidons back onto the bike.
Sure it took longer to change the tyre that it might have but I was tired and didn’t mind having a little bit of a rest while taking a little longer to change a tube in the shade. I must have take 15 to 20 mins to do this including drinking extra water and Tweeting. I had already wasted so much time to this point that the heat had risen to 35C. In reality I should have already been home but that just wasn’t so so the best I could do now was to to take care of myself. Taking it very easy from here I decided I would stop at a shelter for another drink just before crossing Main South Road. I then decided to stop next at the Morphett Vale shelter, by the old Workmen’s Club on Esptein Drive as there was a drink fountain there.
Oh oh, Lynn calling!
I had just had a drink at the Morphett Vale shelter when the phone rang, it was Lynn, she had arrived home from a short shift and was highly concerned that I had not yet returned home since 5am. I decided there was no point in riding much further as it was just to hot. Lynn headed down to meet me at Wheatsheaf road, just 500 m further on from where I was. The Garmin showed 149km complete and I was wondering if I needed to ride a little up Wheatsheaf rd to click it over to 150, no, it clicked over just as I reached the road. Park the bike under a tree, remove my excess gear to cool off and drink my remaining water from my bidon.
I did not suffer any symptoms of dehydration in the hours following the ride, I was just tired! The following day I have no leg soreness, hand soreness, neck soreness or arse soreness. In fact I feel very good considering what I did yesterday and it was all topped of with a great nights sleep.
- Start Time: 4:51 am
- Ride Distance: 150 km (Approximately 162 km as ~12km not logged)
- Av Pace: 2m20s / km
- Av Speed: 25.7 kph
- Av/Max HR: 133/164 bpm
- Av Cadence: 72.1 rpm
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