This year I was sick with a chest infection. I was starting to get better, but was really struggling to breath. I originally wanted to do a 300 km ride on the day. But during the week was looking like I wasn’t able to ride at all. As usual there were heavy winds forecasted. I decided on the morning that I would go into the city, and just do a short loop. Consisting of just climbing the West Gate Bridge.
I showed up really late, and was amongst some of the last riders heading off on the ATB. Everyone was slow, and I was gliding past riders with hardly pedalling. The first 10 km’s was slow going. I was a tourist, and didn’t want to ruin others days, so sat in the packs. Waiting till there were safe areas to overtake. Two police officers pulled alongside me at the traffic lights on Mountain Bikes.
I took great pleasure in flying off on them.
When I hit the Westgate bridge. There was a strong cross/head wind, and I was climbing through back markers. None who were climbers. I flew up the climb, wheezing a bit, but was able to pump out a good amount of watts. Holding but somehow was 6th fastest on the day. I don’t know how many I overtook. But wondered what they were thinking when they were struggling up that climb, to have someone fly past like they weren’t moving.
I was going to continue up the freeway afterwards and do a short loop. At the last second decided to go left, and follow the field. This committed me to doing the 50 km distance. It was very windy, and I was either battling a strong head wind, or flying with a massive tailwind. After turning off to Altona, I averaged close to 50 km/h on a flat section over the next 1.5 km’s. Expecting to get a top ten finish, and somehow managed only 17th. Guess there must be some mighty winds through there.
I had a rest before tackling the other side of the West Gate bridge.
I wanted a PB, but didn’t know how the winds would be. I went out hard from the start, but just felt like I was lacking the pace. I started to wheeze about 2/3rds of the way up the climb, but could keep a steady tempo. I averaged just under 30 km/h up the climb. This was fastest on the day and 9th overall on the leader board. There was a very strong cross wind that I had to fight to keep the bike straight so was happy with my time.
I had a ferocious head wind coming back, and just paced myself over the line. Given how sick I was during the week I was very happy to have been able to ride so strong for the day. I love climbing the West Gate Bridge, and you can only ride on it twice a year, so am happy to do it just to climb that beast. It is not an easy climb by all means.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: