The Bay2Bay Classic offered a distance of 120 km around the Mornington Peninsula. With the climb of Arthurs Seat shortly into the ride to shake the ride apart. This was the second year that I had done this event, and last year found it really tough. I was determined to do better this year. I had sent a suggestion to the organisers about offering a longer route. Going and doing Arthurs Seat twice. I received an email back from the director John Trevorow who’s a three time Australian National Champion. His reply was priceless:
You are bloody demented. But luv your enthusiasm Brendan.
Thanks for being a part of it.
Yeah that pretty much sums me up.
It was forecast to be windy. My plan was to conserve energy whenever I could by sticking in groups, and sitting back in the groups to get an easy ride. The start was pretty easy as we had a nice tail wind, and we were flying. I spent my time chatting with others whenever I could. When we hit Arthurs Seat I went into TT mode and smashed out a PB with 11:12 for the 2.8 km climb.
We had a full road closure, and was great to be able to use all of the road.
Unfortunately as I did so well up the climb, I literally dropped everyone I was riding with. Then found myself riding solo for awhile. I was finding some uncomfortable winds that I had to fight. It was lucky that I could join in a group heading out to Cape Schank. I hoped to stick with them, but the hilly section after Cape Schank cracked everyone. Sadly I was too fast and ended up coasting off on them. I was feeling pretty good, and looked like finishing almost an hour quicker than last year.
That was until I turned left into Mornington Flinders Road. There had to be a solid 50 km/h headwind, with fierce gusts up to 80 km/h that killed me.
I went from flying to dying and it wasn’t pretty.
To add to my misery it was bloody hot. I was starting to feel dehydrated, and had to conserve my water. I had to push hard to get to the next rest stop and gladly stopped to get some water. Munching on some bananas. I waited till someone came along, and jumped on this old guy’s wheel. He had to be in his mid-60’s, and boy did he save my bacon.
It was a fight really hard to keep his wheel, but he sheltered me from the wind. I was able to get a nice wind block for 20 km’s before he dropped me. I was so relieve that he had gotten me through the hard section, and I only had about 15 km’s left to get to the end. The remaining section I did solo, and was pure torture.
I could not begin to tell you the relief of finishing this one.
I finished 8th overall on the day. It made me feel better to see all the other guys ahead of me looking shell shocked as well. It was one of those days where you either finished it quick, or else you were totally screwed! There were only dribs & drabs of other riders who trickled through after I finished. Everyone had their own horror story. I found the old dude who carried me, and went up and shook his hand and offered to buy him a drink.
Somehow I seem to sign myself up for events that end up having extreme weather conditions. Guess I learned to train in crap. You never know what the weather will bring on the big ones. Because I don’t ride Beach Road, and spend most of my time in the hills, I don’t get much experience with riding in the wind. Today was a real eye opener for me.
I used to avoid riding to work on days with hefty winds. As a result I started to go out of my way to ride into the winds for the experience. Given the conditions on the day, I was really happy with the time I finished in. I only averaged 27 km/h, but given how slow I was able to ride in the second half of that ride, that was good on a day like today.