Saturday, January 30, 2010

The 4 Dams Ride

My Map of the route slightly shorter mileage

Serpentine Dam

I finished my weeks training off with the spur of the moment decision to ride the 5 Dams ride which was on Map My Tri and is a route that Cyclo sporif ( a cycling group) plan to run in March.

The rest of the week was pretty tame in comparison . I was too sore after Tuesdays ride so I skipped training on Wednesday...just too tired and my legs were very tender after the combination Jacob's ladder run on Monday and the Tuesday ride where I clocked 62km with 25 at 35.5kph. On Thursday i rode to work again and did a couple of laps of kings Park a 6-8km loop with a steady gradual climb for 1-2km.

It was a hot day but I enjoy riding to work and it is so much quicker. Friday was the only day I swam and did a nice easy 2km swim .

Well on Friday night I decided I would ride the dams ride slowly to see how long it would take. It turn out to be my longest ride ever and the first time my wife was so concerned she was about to ring friends to see where I was.She even drove to Kalamunda to get me at 4.30 in the afternoon .I had been riding for 10.5 hours .
In the end the grind of climbing hills, the heat (it was 31C but in the hills I suspect it was a lot warmer) and no food or money left ,meant I could not finish the last dam. I suspect I did between 210 and 220 km as my computer even stopped for 4 hours. Most of it was a slow lonely ride.I now know that all the dams surrounding Perth sit at the top of HILLS. The climbing elevation for the ride was 1900m although I believe I did not do that, I came close.

I got up early enough and stuffed around watching the NBC good morning show and having breakfast before leaving the house just after 6am .It was straight into the city approximately 12-14 km and then down the Kwinana Freeway to Mundijong Road , approximately 40km south on the Freeway cyclepath.I then rode along Mundijong road and several road till I got to the base of Kingsbury Drive which was a long winding and huge climb to Serpentime Dam .Dam Number 1 took 4 hours of riding , one drinks break and map reading along the way to reach.I had only done 100km .Help....

At the turn off from the Freeway to Mundijong Road

I then followed kingsbury drive to jarradale road and then onto Albany Hwy before turning down Canning Dam Road to Dam 2 .it was hot and there were no cyclist around.
I had another drink stop and a break at which point my computer stopped working till four and a half hours later it suddenly started recording the speed and distance.

On the way to Serpentine Dam

I was rapidly running out of Bars and food and it was difficult eating in the heat.I had a couple of bottles of coke , a bottle of mocha coffee. lots of water .I estimate I drank about 8 litres. I was getting really tired. I managed to get to Dam 3 Wungong dam without too much difficulty but had to retrace my steps as I could not find the route suggested .I then rode down Albany Hwy ( Albany is a town south of Perth and approximately 350km from perth and Albany Hwy is the main thoroughfare) I rode down till I turned off toward Churchman Dam which was Dam 4. Again there was another hill to climb .It was then downhill till I got to Brookton Hwy where I had a 45 min climb to the turn off to the road to Kalamunda and where I would get my wife to pick me up .I had eventually managed to call her as there was very bad reception for mobile phones in the Hills.

Canning Dam

In the course of the ride I had a chat with a financial planner riding down the freeway for 20 mins as he was doing a short ride, got yelled at by 2 groups of Bogans but at 100kph I couldn't tell what they were yelling about...maybe they were wishing me well. I was really struggling up the hills in under 10kph but the legs were holding up well.I had no cramping issues which was good.

I got to Kalamunda a small town in the hills and about 10km from Mundaring weir Dam the last Dam I had ridden that leg many times and decided with no money or food left it would be too difficult to ride the last Dam and get home. I settled for waiting for my wife at the merchant tea rooms .Much more civilised. I had a glass of lemon lime bitters with ice and just read the travel section till she arrived with my son .

Lessons learnt . Who said there were no hills in Perth and 200 plus kms can take an awfully long time on a hot day.