The roundabout at Porpunkah with Mt Bufffalo in the back ground
Yesterday afternoon I decided to drive up to Porpunkah and ride my bike up Mt Buffalo. I had done a mornings work on the house and was keen to see how quickly I could ride the main climb from the Gatehouse to the top of the Gap.
After changing into my cycling gear at the lovely swimming hole just below the Bridge near the above roundabout I was disappointed to see that the local council had seen fit to board up the change rooms/ showers that are part of the public toilets.
So onto the bike and a nice leisurely ride out to the mountain to warm the legs up for the main event. Going past the Gatehouse I pressed the log function on my Sigma ROX-9 cycling computer to record the details so I could later check all the nasty details on my computer in the comfort of home. During the first couple of kilometres once you are on the climb it's actually pretty tough and my heart rate was soon hovering around the 174bpm mark. Seeing this initially I thought "shit that is too bloody high already" , but then I had the thought I wonder just how hard I can go for how long.
Eurobin Falls on a calmer day (no bike)
Passing Eurobin Falls things sort of settle down a little as you start to get into the rythm of the climb proper. A slight head wind but nothing sinister to contend with and at around 23 degrees celcius you really could not ask for a more lovely day to punish yourself on. Keeping the heart rate above 170 bpm became my objective and I was feeling pretty good. About half way up there is a section where the gradient drops to around 2-4% and here I was keen not to slacken off and pushed to keep my heart rate up.
Roughly 2 km later and it's back to 6% and it's starting to hurt a little. I am still achieving my goal and my heart rate is around 171 bpm. Passing where they have the water stop during the Audax and I reckon it's around 5 km to the top of the Gap. I come to some road works facing a red light but this is not the time for stopping when your on a full on mission and the end is in sight. I did have to sneak past a couple of cars here and they probably thought I was a little naughty but one car had bike racks on top so I hope they understood.
It was starting to become harder to keep my heart rate above 170 bpm now and every time I looked down and saw 168-169 I made an extra effort to speed up. With the Devil's Elbow rounded it was time for one last effort to the top. 176 bpm and I reckon it's around 500 metres to go so lets go a little harder if possible 179 bpm and that is hurting seriously now. All of a sudden I am at the top and remembering in the back of my mind to press the log function of the computer.
Rolled straight back down (after heart rate had dropped back to 130)which is always fun and when back to Porpunkah stood in the freezing river for 15 mins which was wonderful.
Data of the Climb.
Distance. 18.54 km
Av. Speed 14.64 km
Av. Incline 6%
Av heart rate 171 bpm or 91% max
Time 1 hour 15 min 58 sec.
41 seconds better than my previous best time.
View from The Horn. The highest point on Mt Buffalo at 1723 metres. Photo taken previously whilst sight seeing.
We have finished putting the new verandah across the front of my house. It gives us the first glimpse as to what the place will look like. I have to say I'm really pleased and Fox has done a wonderful job. There doesn't seem to be a problem he cant solve. If you look at the picture you may just spot him feeling pretty good that we've got something pretty cool to show for our labour. I was hoping we would get this done before christmas as I was worried Santa would have trouble landing on the old verandah but now I reckon he'll be pretty happy too.
Yesterday the new bike/frame was finally christened with a nice 50 km roll from Rutherglen via Sprinhurst,Chiltern and returning to Rutherglen. My feeling is this new frame is stiffer than the last one and it's whisper quiet to ride. The other bike always had little creaks and noises when out of the saddle but this one does not, the only sounds that could be heard was the odd locust being decapitated by the finely tuned spokes of my dura-ace wheels.
The ride was not without incident after riding over a rough patch of bitumen where some flood water had damaged the road I was getting a little thirsty and emptied my first bidon and when I reached for the second one it was nowhere to be found. A quick u-turn and back to that rough bit of road hoping that the couple of cars that had passed had not flattened my camelbak podium bidon that I was pretty sure would be lying on the road.
My fears where soon given over to relief as I found my water bottle safely lying in the middle of the road. When I bent down to pick it up my shimano glasses fell off and broke in two. Now I would have to ride the last 20 km looking at the bitumen as the locusts were thick and I was worried about being smacked in the eye by one of the over friendly critters.
Apparently they're pretty high in protein so if I needed more fuel on the ride there would be no shortage. Luckily I had a decent lunch and would not need a top up during the return leg.
The small climb out of Chiltern was no effort on the new machine and I still had some fitness left after the lay off although still managed to get my heart rate over 165 bpm. The run back to Rutherglen is always into a head wind
and I reckon I have never done it with a tailwind. So it's great to be back on the road before christmas and I am looking forward to burning off all the christmas festivities on the bike.
There has been a plethora of locusts arriving in my area recently. Whether they have arrived for a drop of Rutherglen red or just to get away from it all I really can't say. They have been getting intimately acquainted with the front of my Hilux and I may have to resort to a bit of shade cloth over the radiator to curb their unruly behaviour. I don't know how many of you have been coasting along around the "dollar mark"(thats truckies talk for 100kmh) to have one of these critters come flying in the window, sometimes reflecting off the side mirror, to whack you firmly in the face. Not such a pleasant experience I'll give you the mail.
With this renovation thing its weird how to do one thing you have to do about 5 other steps to get it done. I'm not sure if there is some mathematical equation for this conundrum. We wanted to strengthen the verandah frame as originally it had no support underneath the tin,see right hand side of bottom pic. We will have to be able to walk on the verandah to work on the upper part of the roof. So before we can put the new tin on the verandah we have to fix the fascia on the upper roof and then put some new eaves above the verandah whilst there is no tin in the way as well as paint the whole verandah structure. Then we can put the new windows in the front wall followed by the new colourbond wall cladding if you see what I am getting at. All this in between thunderstorms.
Went out for a couple of hours on the mountain bike today. After all the storms and rain I spent most of my time riding through water which was quite fun. I parked my trusty steed on the bridge over the Black Dog creek which is on Sheridan's Bridge road which leads me to believe I may well have been parked on Sheridan's Bridge itself.
Anyway my journey south was well and truly bought to a halt at this point as looking ahead all I could see was water and riding through that much water seemed a little dodgy to me.