Stemming from Wednesday night's Fatties ride today I embarked on another eventful hell ride experience. Jim and Neil told me they were doing it so I headed out aswell (Jimmy and Neil didn't show). The alarmed buzzed nice and early at 5.15am after 5 hours sleep following a few overtime games at basketball last night. I very nearly rolled over but as I'd convinced Damage to come the night before and had to ride out with him I figured I'd better go. Afterall, he'd taken some convincing, his original reply to my message asking him had been, 'maybe, it's just so f***** early', and he's right. I wouldn't have heard the end of it if I had've softed out. Note to self: pay Jimmy and Neil out big time for not showing, extremely soft. While we're on the subject of Neil I will take this chance to mention that he's managed to better his effort of running into a sign on the fatties ride - last weekend at Mount Hotham he hit a cow!! Yep, your read right, a cow! Don't ask...now back to today's ride.
Rolled out the door at 5 to 6, arrived at Damage's at 25 past in what was already a sweltering heat and we rolled onto Black Rock. A decent bunch was out including one Ash Thomas of Felt Racing Fame fresh of the plane from NZ at 8 the night before. And so the epic began.
Fast but still cruising in a bunch that size all the way along Beach Road, onto Nepean Highway, halfway to Frankston and the fun began, a red light and the bunch is split, and of course it's at a time when I'm in the back half. Green and it's on, Ash winds it up, I roll through, a couple of other guys roll through, another red light. Red must be the Autumn fashion because it continued like that, saying we got 70% red would be generous, and that's for the whole day, seriously, it wasn't funny. Anyway, the roadie's quickly lost interest in the chase, content for Ash and I to bury ourselves chasing, we got to within metres of the first bunch only to get red at the last lights out of Frankston and it was all over, no chance.
The police decided that we weren't going to ride up Oliver's anymore now diverting us up Hope's rise, a passing comment from someone in the bunch went something along the lines of, 'a great way to spend tax-payer money', to which we received the reply of 'up your arse' from the police officer, quite humerous I thought - talk about professionalism. For some reason the bunch decided they wanted to do some work now that there was no chance of catching the main group, go figure. Anyway, Ash and I decided to make a day of it and left them, continuing to Mornington where the highlight of the day occurred - riding through the main street we passed a parked car only to receive a blast of the horn - with a glance behind it went from 'what the hell' to simply 'what the ...', the horn happy musician was a dog left in the car. Genius.
With the chuckling driving us the turn around point was not to be and we continued to Mount Martha. A few close calls with wayward Tri-athletes using tri bars as jousting sticks while trying to ride in a straight line, seriously, it's not that hard, and we arrived where randomly I discovered a girl from uni works at the cafe. The wind was swinging so after a brief chat it was definitely time to head home and with my bottom bracket loud enough to disturb the wildlife it was probably better not to continue into the middle of no where. A few more wayward tri-athletes avoided, a flooded toilet negotiated and we found our way back into Mornington, onto Nepean Highway and into familiar territory. We continued the standard hell ride route with no more real highlights, got plenty more red lights - why a road running parallel to a railway line has a red light when the boom gates are down I'll never know, there aint gonna be any cars going the other way, but we got them, two of which stayed red the longest I've ever experienced a red light stay (three minutes would be generous), we even had a motorist crack the sads and run the red to the applause of all around.
Hit up the Mordialloc Bakery - who would have thought I couldn't get a ham & pineapple roll and a can of coke for under $5!! Suffered into the wind to North Road, managed to keep the legs turning up North Road, Ash was home at Carnegie and I was jealous, managed to get some rain just after this and so I decided some low-level cyclocross time was called for. Partly because it was wet therefore fun, partly because doing the offroad thing means avoiding the extremely annoying rolling bergs from Chadstone to home.
No accurate data from today though - leaving home with the hours still reading five in the am you're brain just isn't functioning, and I forgot to start the Polar. Only noticed at the turn around in Mount Martha so only have half the ride on the clock, the slow half. All I know is that I had somewhere between five and five and a half hours and the legs are nice and heavy again, damn, six days to the next hydrotherapy prac.
Oh, no pictures 'cause quite frankly I couldn't be stuffed, some good scenery between Mornington and Mount Martha so if you want to see it go for a ride. Biggest Stones/Stupidity/Smartass award for the day goes to Jonny Clarke who through a major hook at a police car and won getting out in front of it to go around the bunch.