Monday, March 31, 2008

Weekend: Brisbane River and Sunday Zupps rides

Well, there was no Saturday time trial for me. Although I was awake at 6 am, the body was telling me to stay in bed and get more rest. Next time I checked the time, it was after 9 am. When was the last time I slept that much? Can't remember but I really enjoyed my 10 hours in bed...

Still had to do an easy ride so Sandra and I managed to get out of the house by noon. Some might think it is not a good idea, midday sun and Saturday traffic... but it was a really great ride. The weather was a little cool for that time of the day and the traffic was almost non existent... I can't work out why.

As we were really taking easy, we got to town in about 25 min and went straight to the Bicentenial bikeway which runs along the Brisbane River. We rode to St Lucia and the back of the University of Queensland, along the Indooroopilly golf course and back to the city. Back on the bike path along the river, into the Botanical Garden and home on the fast route, which is along Lutwyche Road.

Click here for info on riding in Brisbane.

With the unusual small amount of the cars on the road, we had the easy ride we wanted and got back home at around 2:30 pm after stopping at Velo Cycles to see our friends.

Total: 46 km; Average Speed: 22 km/h; HR Max: 130 bpm and HR av: 89 bpm.

On Sunday, things were a little different. I got up at 5:45 am and got ready for the Zupps Ride. The usual double-shot coffee, a quick wipe of the excess oil on the chain and on the road at 6:17.
Off the driveway and down the hill when I almost froze... I couldn't believe how cold it was. Summer is gone and I wish I had armwarmers on. Later someone told me that it was around 12 degrees.

It was good to see so many familiar faces at the start and have time for a little chat. Adam, Shane, Donna, David, Mark, Suart, Murray (great to see him back doing the bunch rides), Tony, Mick, and a few more from the club were there. Great to see as I was told by Terry Bourne that this ride got started many years ago by HPRW members.

The ride started a little different this time with a group deciding to head out a couple of minutes earlier. The rest of us just watched for a while before working out that the group had a few "big hitters" and that we could have a hard time pulling them back...

It took a while for our group of 25 or 30 to get organised and the initial speed was down a couple of notches. Nevertheless, I took advantage of that to get a good warm up before we had to put the foot down. I was riding next to Adam Harrison for most of the ride which is not just entertaining but, as we often race together, a good way to see how we are in terms of fitness.

As the bunch turned into Narangba road, Adam and I got to the front and instinctively started to bring the speed up. We were doing 40 km/h where the bunch usually travels at 35 km/h. I believe there was some whinging at the back...

We finished our turn after crossing the old railway bridge and taking the bunch into Burpengary Road. Time to sit back and rest before the "race" really started. We caught the front bunch and as soon as we turned into Anzac ave. I attacked and got a gap. It is a fast stretch of road with false flats and slight down hill sessions. Normally, the teams reach speeds up to 65 km/h on that part of the ride. My max was 63.4 km/h this Sunday.

Altough we didn't have the Brisbane Elite riders in the bunch this Sunday, there was a lot of attacks and fast riding all the way along Scarborough, Redcliff and Woody Point. The last couple of kms to the finish (Hornibrook Bridge at Clontarf) is flat, head winded and covered by the front bunch in fast speeds. There is an unofficial sprint before we slow down to get on the bridge. This time I was lucky as I was in a group of four (with a couple of Masters A riders) who got a gap on the bunch and took advantage of a traffic light (yellow as we went past!!!) to stay away and drop the sprinters. I rode the last km in third wheel, watching the guy in front fade and overtaking the other rider with 300 m to the finish.

Unofficial but a great feeling nevertheless!!!

The ride: 65 km; Average speed: 37+ km/h; Max speed: 63.4 km/h and Max HR: 165 bpm.

The bunch slows down to cross the bridge and starts to split at the waterfront in Sandgate. I met up with the club bunch for a coffee and a chat at a beach front cafe, then an easy and pleasant ride home through the Bondall wetlands. Best way to finish a hard ride, I reckon!

Total: 104 km; Average Speed: 31 km/h; HR Max: 165 bpm and HR av: 124 bpm.

The rest of the day was filled with eating, resting and time with Sandra. We finally went to see Andy Warhol's exhibition and managed to have dinner in one of our favourite restaurants - Taj Mahal at the Valley.

Great weekend, will post some photos another time as I am having a few issues with my PC.


Chris said...

That Zupps ride sounds like great training. We have a few of those around Austin, Texas that I can get out and do from time to time.

AMRcyclist said...

Yes, it is a great bunch ride. On a good day, we can have up to 100 riders. When the Brisbane Elite guys/girls show up the pace can get a little hard but there is always traffic light to help the older ones...
Have a good trip!!!

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