I had a winter from hell. A death in the family, injury, sickness amongst other things. During the week I had a crash and had ripped a hole in my elbow the size of a tennis ball. Plus a fair bit of my hip as well, and was pretty sore. Doing a 100 km ride with Chris Cox, & Sam Poole was probably not the smartest option at this stage. Guess I’m a sucker for punishment. I met Chris at Gisborne, where the wives dropped us off. We planned to meet them in Daylesford. It was an overcast day, with some showers forecast. It was pretty cold, and not ideal conditions for someone who was injured. We headed north, & met Sambo on the way up to Mount Macedon.
This was my first visit to Mount Macedon on the bike. It was certainly on my bucket list although I wish I were visiting it under better circumstances. Chris was in good form. I don’t know whether he was just showing off or trying to torture us, but he hit the climb hard and we were dragged along. It was a struggle to breath and spent the whole time in the hurt locker. The south climb up to the summit of Mount Macedon is 9.9 km’s @ 5%, with long sections averaging over 10%.
Eventually I cracked and had to pace myself up the remainder of the climb to the Memorial Cross.
The Memorial Cross which commemorates those who gave their lives in the 1914 – 1918 war. The cross is 21 metres in height and 1001 metres above sea level. The original structure was unveiled in 1935, but due to storm and fire damage, it was replaced in 1995.
It had started to rain, and we were riding through thick fog, and couldn’t see much of the cross. We descended down past Hanging Rock, and rode into town. Chris was smashing it, and I started to feel immense pain. Any little bump we’d hit my elbow would erupt in pain and had started to bleed again. We hit the climb from the North side, which was 7 km’s @ 5%. I didn’t even bother to try and keep up. I was cooked, & in pain and trying hard not to embarrass myself. The boys were waiting about a minute and a half at the top for me to catch up.
Just to finish me off, Chris took me down to Straws Lane. I knew that they would easily fly past me, and was a little ahead of them so pushed up the climb. The boys mistook what I was doing as a challenge. Their blood rose and decided to race each other. Well I saw them in my sights for a fraction of a second as the Sambo vs Chris pissing contest erupted.
I just said f#%k you’s and crawled up. There’s only so many ways I can describe the word pain. This climb was 4.4 km’s @ 7%.
Sambo left us at this stage, and Chris and I headed into Woodend for a bite to eat. It started to rain pretty hard and started to get really cold, and I wasn’t feeling too crash hot. There was a 2 km climb up the Tyden Woodend Road leaving town. I was begging for this ride to be over with. I didn’t want to hold Chris up too much, but had to find that balance of what I could comfortably push without killing myself too much. As we entered Tyden I wasn’t surprised at the day I was having that I got attacked by one aggressive Magpie.
He hit me 5 times whacking into the back of my helmet every time.
Chris suggested a shortcut through Springhill Road. The road surface was quite bad, and we were constantly dodging potholes. Wondering what we were doing going down this crappy road, until we found the climb! It’s rare to find a climb that just clicks, and has charisma. Great scenery certainly helps, lots of corners, consistent gradient. This one was hard, but it appealed to us. Chris knew I was stuffed and said “see you” and was down the road in a flash. I crawled up it, but with a smile on my face.
1.5 km’s @ 8% and I needed a big break at the top. And admitted to Chris that I couldn’t keep going without needing rests which he was kool with. The scenery past here was amazing, and I started to enjoy the ride. Knowing that we were only 30 km’s from the end really helped. As we were approaching the turn-off for Daylesford-Malmsbury Road we came upon a hill. Chris instantly flew off. I stood up to get some power, and then BANG.
My derailer snapped off.
I was staring at it in disbelief. We had no reception, and were 20 km’s from Daylesford. If I was on my own I would be right royally screwed!
The whole ride it only averaged 9 degrees, and we copped more than our fair share of showers. Mumma always said that there would be days like these. Chris said that he would try & get to Daylesford as quickly as he could.
Me, I started walking.
It was a beautiful road, and I enjoyed the scenery, but so many thoughts were going through my head. I had experienced nothing but pain today, and given it dropped down to 3 degrees at one point. Then poured rain on us, I should not have done this given how I was feeling. I was mega lucky, as Chris must have hit some reception as his wife Sharyn came flying down the highway about 40 minutes later. Shortly after getting the bike put on the roof, the skies opened up. I was fortunate that she found me when she did.
We spent the remainder of the day at Daylesford. I now had a broken bike, and was pretty sore from my crash during the week. Foolishly planning on doing a 300 km ride the following week at the Around the Bay in a Day. I know I have performed miracles in the past, but this was going to be one of those weeks. Honestly I didn’t know if I could do it. I hadn’t told my wife about the crash. Trying hard to hide the pain. This was hard as every step sent shockwaves throughout my body. Then I had to clean the blood off my clothes after this ride. As I mentioned mumma always said that there would be days like these.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: