Tuesday, 1 May 2007

Cyclo Sportif Chidlow Ride

As a keen amateur cyclist who rides with a group of friends every weekend, after prompting from Steve Yates, I finally decided to have a go at "team cycling". Cyclo Sportif organises team rides in Perth and the first event for 2007 was a ride starting at Chidlow (route map above). The team (Sei Coglioni) consisted of Steve Yates (Captain), myself, Stuart Steele, Simon Davies, Brett Rodgers (Paddles), and John Brookes.

Here is Steve's (edited) wrap-up of the event: We were all surprised by the turnout, evident when we arrived at the car-filled gravel opposite the Chidlow Tavern. We were soon all marked up as the "P" team with a start time of 9:49. Coffees, a warm-up ride, the inevitable footy talk and numerous toilet breaks filled the time void following the 8.30 briefing. Finally we rolled into the start queue. The MC seemed to have a good rap for each team as they headed off, with plenty of background knowledge. What he would make of the Sei Coglioni? In the end it was a roll-call and words of encouragement.

The first turn was after only 100m, and we were a mess already (I often cramp up if I sit on the bike for too long, and it took me a minute or two to work through my cramp at the start. I also cramped for about 2 minutes after a big descent without pedalling on the first lap.) It wasn't long before we had some shape and settled into the first descent. This was a tough course to judge effort on with long descents suiting the big boys and climbs suiting the little guys. We were only passed once, and we passed nine other teams.

With the first lap complete we decided we could make some time by trying harder on the descents. The HRM data shows we were faster going downhill the second time around. No such ride is complete without a mechanical problem, and Stuart obliged by dropping his chain on the last climb. He then showed that he'd been holding something back by flying to the front as we came into town to drag us past one last team that had lurked tantalisingly ahead of
us for the last few kilometres.

The official time for the gits was 1:51:48, putting us third of 23 starters in the B-distance (58km). If we had maintained that pace for a third lap we would have rolled in a more sobering 14th of 34 A-distance starters. A good lunch and a beer or two completed an excellent morning.