It was a good feeling to actually do something that I have planned for this week. I took advantage of the fantastic weather and day off work to drive to the Sunshine Coast. And what a nice drive it was...
I parked the "old" car near the Palmwoods High School where the race to Montville will start on the 8th of June. As the temperature was a little low because of the wind, I packed my pockets with a vest, arm warmers and spares thinking of the trip down the hill later.
From there, I went back to the township and on for a few kms to get the legs warmed up for the climb. I also wanted to take some photos for this post. Unfortunately, the "fresh" battery in the camera went flat on me. I think I managed three or four shots before that.
Just the ride on the road from the township towards the highway was worth the drive there.The road was a little busier than I thought it would be but the smooth road surface and scenery made up for that.
Back to the school, I started the Polar for the ride to Montville, not flat out but in good speed for the 1.5 km of road that takes us to the base of the climb. As the road starts to point skywards, the first thing I noticed was a traffic sign with a bike on it, brilliant. The second thing was another sign that showed: 10% gradient for next 6 km. Ugh...
I used the rides to check my gearing, the road and to compare my HR with last year's effort. I am aware of all the variables (I've been researching power-meters also...) like wind, the weight I was carrying, shortage of adrenaline, etc, and won't elaborate too much on my performance but I found interesting to experiment with the gears and the line I was taking and control my effort a little with the HR monitor.
A few numbers:
- Distance: 7.8 km
- Time: 19'54"
- Average Speed: 23.7 km/h
- Max Speed: 53 km/h
- Average HR: 154 bpm
- Max HR: 166 bpm
- Climbing: 6.0 km
- Altitude Gained: 344 m
My times were way down from last year's race but I think on race day, I will be able to push harder and use the other riders efforts to maximise mine. I will return for a final training ride before the race and perhaps do an all out effort up the hill to see how my form really is.
One thing I almost forgot to mention: it did hurt but I really enjoyed the climbing today and I am really excited about the race in two weeks.
The 2008 Giro d'Italia
Another Italian shines. The amazing thing is, Alessandro Bertolini won his first stage ever in the Giro, after 16 years as a professional rider. How extraordinary, and how sweet it must feel!