The Dirty Dandy’s (Domestique)

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Earlier in the year I had come up with a crazy ride where me & three mates hit all of the major dirt climbs in the Dandenong’s at the start of winter.  It was an incredible ride & had sent the link to the ride around hoping I could possibly others to try this crazy ride.  When I received an email from the Climbing Cyclists Matt De Neef saying that he wanted to make an event out of my Dirty Dandy’s ride.  I was blown away. He needed to revise the course somewhat.  But the main climbs were to be included, and wanted to know if I’d like to come along.

Hell yeah!

The Climbing Cyclists Dirty Dandy’s ride was special for a number of reasons. I met Paul Pagliaro on the ride who sadly passed away last year.  I was also able to meet the mighty Stryder.  Who showed up after only one hour of sleep and who absolutely blitzed on the day.

Basin Olinda Road was the first climb of the day.  I headed off first, and wanted to socialise, but with no one around figured I’d go for it. There were several sections that were covered in mud.  Although these slowed me down, I still managed to snag a PB. Silvan Road was next on the agenda, and we descended Dougherty’s to get there.  I passed a rider up the back who had punctured. I was so inspired to smash Silvan’s, but I knew from riding out here before that it’s easy to get lost.  By the time that rider got his tire fixed, he would have lost everyone, and gotten lost and his day would be ruined.

I knew the route well so turned around and waited for him to fix his tire, and take him through the rest of the course. It was Paul Pagliaro, and I got to spend a bit of time with him today.  He was such a nice guy and was saddened when he passed away whilst riding late 2014. I thought we would have lost the group, and would be riding the remainder of the ride solo.

It rained on and off on us, but was one of those rides that it just added to the atmosphere.

We descended down Perrins Creek Road, and then climbed Coonara which I really love climbing. We then descended Silvan’s Road which was an absolute nightmare. It was really gravely, and the racing line was minimal & bumpy as hell. We passed several riders who had punctured.  Ending up rounding up a group of about 5 riders who had mechanical mishaps who were now lost as well. I directed them down Olinda Creek Road, and then up Dougherty’s.  As everyone knew which way to go I absolutely smashed myself up Dougherty’s and up Barbers & finished 5th on the leaderboard (at the time).

I was surprised to see that the main group was waiting at the top of the car park, and we waited for the remaining group. We descended the tourist road for the final climb of the day Old Coach Road. We saved the best for last. There is a really steep pinch of paved road for about 300 metres at the start of Old Coach Road. Don’t know why, but thought I would go for it. I absolutely flew off.  You’d think I’d wander what 30 riders behind me were thinking.

Possibly “you’re a dick!”.

I was flying, and huffing and puffing and was surprised that 5 riders had pulled off and followed me. Damn, I realised that I had started a pissing contest. I put the foot down and realised that I had cooked myself and went straight into the hurt locker.

One rider passed me, but I was able to recover shortly after and kept a consistent distance. I was wheezing & gasping, and when we came out at the intersection at five ways I was cheeky and stopped the group. Honestly didn’t have anything for Ridge Road.  Pretending to be considerate & wait for the rest of the group to catch up. Ridge Road was a pleasure to climb after I’d caught my breath, and we headed up to Sky High and had some lunch, and what an incredible day it was.

We descended the tourist road and had one final pissing contest down Sheffhield Road back to the Basin. The ending was a classic. I was riding with three other riders.  I knew this fun segment near the 1:20 that ends on this ridiculous 15% gradient on a Z shaped footpath.  So I said to the guys I was with do you want to try it, and they said why not. I didn’t expect everyone behind us to follow,& almost 25 riders ascended this tiny footpath. Matt & Andy who were running the show were behind us, and wandering where the hell we were going.  One rider Milinda fell over on one of the sharp corners onto soft grass. Twas an amazing ride and one to be remembered.

Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:

Here is a link to Matt de Neefs write-up for the ride:

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