Sunday, July 4, 2010

Death Valley- Long & Lonely Road




The ongoing theme for the week was "COLD". Saturday was no different.I was to meet the Chevron Group who were riding out to Death Valley on Saturday morning .I mixed up my times and obviously did not read the email properly .

All,

This Saturday Weather Permitting we, and I’m hoping you, are going to ride to Death Valley. If you would like to come along and see/feel the elevations please read on...

Meet here at the base of QV1 by the waterfall for a 6.00am departure. From here we’ll head out to Guildford and up the Toodyay Rd. (see map))

This will be a great opportunity to build some strength for the next Cyclo Sportif event in Pinjarra at the end of July.

The ride will be an easy pace and we will wait at the top of each climb to re-group. Tell your loved ones you’ll be back around 11:00am

Round trip will be approximately 120kms so please bring food, gels etc and two bottle of drink. It’ll be a cool start so wear layers so you can shed them as it warms up. Also bring at least one spare tube and make sure your tyres have plenty of wear remaining on them.

Please feel free to invite others who enjoy a challenging ride.

See you there.





Well I rocked up at 6.25 am after cyclying fom home and it was bitterly cold despite the warm weather gear and the gloves.It was not thick enough. Dropped one water bottle so I had one bottle of electrolyte as well.No one around and rang Tony to find out they had left after waiting for 15 minutes. I decided to just ride the route on my own.

The climb up Toodyay Road was a little nerve biting with the trucks zooming along and the sun glare probably blinding the drivers who would not be able to see me on the edge.But I survived.Once I had turned off onto O'Brien's road it was so quiet.There were no cars and absolutely nothing was moving.As I rolled up and down the rolling hills , nothing stirred. I eventually got up to a point called Eagles's Nest and there is a B&B stop which seemed full of cars in the driveway but deadly quiet , and below in the valley was the mist hanging low . By now as I raced down the hill , my hands and feet were so cold they were hurting .My ears were exposed and they were just as painful. The bad news ...whether I liked it , I had to keep going as there was no way out of the ride and it is called death valley for the simple reason it has no mobile coverage.

About 2.5 hours into the ride I managed to catch up with the back of the Chevron group and then stayed with them till we got back to Toodyay Road. We all regrouped several times during the ride and just before the end saw several young kangaroos bounding across the road .One unfortunate joey tried to dart across the road but then saw us and took a tumble before scampering away. All the other animals were probably too cold to be moving about.

The ride down Redhill was fast and a little nerve wrecking but we all made it down OK.We all (there were 6 of us) rode down and the fast group that had gone on to Gidgigannup rode past us as we headed down the hill.We rode back to the city via Guildford and I turned off at Bayswater and headed home .Legs were tired but not sore.Managed 122km at just under 25kph. Not very fast but I managed to keep my heart rate as low as possible.

That night I was asleep by 10pm and did not wake from a very deep sleep till 7am . there is alot to be said about a bike ride in the hills. I did an easy 45 min run late Sunday morning .


At the end of Death Valley turn right to head back down Toodyay Road


After the ride I felt pretty comfortable at where I am at early in the training cycle and where to go from here . Most of all , despite the cold , if anything I felt good and alive for just being able to ride and feel every fibre of myself as I raced down each hill. Riding is a great destresser and I see so much more around me .
You don't have to stop to smell the roses ...just ride past them.