Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tuesday: it's war out there.

A couple of weeks ago you may have read about the tale of a boy rolling out on the Tuesday Hell Ride in a quest to become a man (

The tale was one of struggle as our GC contender Serge battled the speed, the elements and the lights to stay in touch with the runaway train; in particular on the return leg when the pace was ratcheted up and you had to ride on the rivet to stay on.

Defeated from the last attempt the plucky young lad decided to get back on the horse and have another crack, but this time with a secret weapon – shinny new wheels. Well not exactly new, but improved on what he had. Would the new Fulcrums be just the ticket to ride the train longer? Serge tells his story:

The stage was set for another attempt to do the Tuesday Hell ride. The temperature seemed ok, the early afternoon rain had passed by and most importantly the newly acquired Fulcrum wheels were on and waiting for a spin. As an aside I just love listening to the sound of them as they roll. So much so I am trying to work out a way for them to spin as I nod off to sleep - I digress.

Back to the ride. The legs weren’t feeling fully recovered from the 135 km to Dromana on the weekend despite research suggesting that all you need is 48 hours recovery. Anyway the show goes on so onward I had one goal in mind: stay with the bunch until Mordy and then hang on for your life for as long as I can....oh and don’t fall off the bike..... and.... don’t interfere with the big boys..... and generally just don’t do anything stupid !!

Sitting on my lovely Merida psyching myself up waiting for steam roller to arrive with a single thought .... “where are you pussies, I’m freezing here?” Seems the weather wasn’t too cold until you move, then stop...brrrrr.

It wasn’t too long before the bunch rolled past at exactly 6.41pm rolling at the standard pace of 40 km\h sweeping me up on the way like a war truck picking up the last soldier before heading into the battlefield.

The bunch was reasonable in size with another 40 odd riders looking to terrorise the good Samaritans through the streets of Brighton as they sipped their Sav Blanc’s before creating frustration on the already highly tense Beach Road peak hour traffic.

The cranks turning, wheels sounding spectacular and things were going oh so well on the ride until a set of lights went red. Forgetting who I was with I made the totally wrong presumption that the majority would stop. I slowed to a crawl only to realise that obviously sometimes red traffic light means ride at the speed of light to get through. The thought if feeling a bit lonely and exposed to the elements by myself meant it was either go hard and chase the bunch down or wait for the red light and roll on solo then go home. My ego kicked in and I wasn’t prepared to let go of the bunch just yet. The bulging pistons I call my quads pumped like no tomorrow and I chased .. and chased.. and as much as the big gears hurt, I eventually found myself back home at the rear of the peloton....hello boys, remember me!

I reached the halfway mark (Mordy) intact and in order to ensure the same mistake as last time was not going to happen, I did a U turn without unclipping the pedal and amazingly stayed onto the back of the peloton. The race back home began and the speed was on......

It was relentless, it was high powered, it was all big gear action and it hurt. The bunch were reaching speeds of 54 km\h and it was only a matter of how long I can last because at my fitness level this was as unsustainable as Charlie Sheen's drug habit.

People were spraying out the back of the bunch like bullets, lost for the evening. It was a war of attrition. The stronger riders used this pace to exert more pressure by moving up peloton, but for me, I just wanted to hang on for dear life.

Soon enough I had surpassed my last effort and made it to Black Rock. Mentally I paused in for a moment to pat myself on the back; I have achieved what I came out for .... a little further than last time. Satisfied with the achievement and dealing with the burning and pain from the effort I decided to fall off the back and said goodbye to the Tuesday Hell riders with a thanks for helping me this far.

With a smile on my face and enjoying the sweet sound of my new wheels I rolled back home reassured that I keep improving. I will be back and one day I won’t be dropped by the peloton. They all now know this, be warned.

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