Don’t have a Cow Man
On Grand Ridge Road in front of me looms a dozen Cows. They see me and become nervous & turn around to get away from me. Coming from the other direction is a man out walking his dog. With nowhere to go they spring up this incredibly steep embankment.
Just when you think you’ve seen it all…….
I had this great 200 km loop planned. It was pretty advantageous considering I killed my legs riding out to Albert Park yesterday. I set my alarm for 4:30am. There was a tiny bit of rain forecasted but that was ok, I enjoy riding in a bit of rain. I live in Melbourne so I shouldn’t be surprised that it was pissing down when I woke up. I looked up the radar & half of Melbourne was covered in rain clouds. Checked the forecast again. 0 – 0.2 mm of rain forecast.
Crock of shit!
My legs were aching and I went back to bed.
At 6am I realised that my ride was washed out I made the decision to lessen my ride to 100km and drive down to Warrigul & take on the Strzeleki Ranges & a section of Grand Ridge Road which I haven’t done before instead. My legs were really, really sore and my only hope of surviving was soft pedalling the whole way.
The day was really hazy & I almost regretted doing this ride.
Gippsland is a stunning place to ride, and it’s a shame when it was not at its natural beauty.
At the turn-off for Grand Ridge Road I felt excited. There’s nothing better than to explore the unknown. Much of Gippsland offers rolling hills, & on a ride like this you can expect the unexpected. The road will either go uphill or downhill and you just don’t kow what is around the corner. I’m usually good at reading the gradient of the road, but today struggled. All around me were rolling hills, and everythings is on an angle which made it hard. I’d be looking at a road that looked like it was going uphill & I’d be flying. Thinking this felt strange & look down at the Garmin to see that I was on a descent.
There was a 3.5 km climb leading up to Seaview. It just went on forever & every corner I’d come around would lead to another & another. I entered Seaview & like many towns in Gippsland they aren’t towns. All there was a sign. And no Seaview. Just rolling hills, and a road that just kept climbing further and further.
I soon reached the junction of Grand Ridge Road & was excited at the prospect of gravel grinding. There was an element of unknown as I did not know what to expect from this road. Thankfully there wasn’t much climbing but the road was in pretty bad shape. I would take my eyes off the road to take a look as many of the amazing panoramic views. Just to feel my arms being ripped from their sockets.
Much of the road was corrugated, and it was a jarring experience.
It was slow going & I was considerate of the time, and knew I was running late. When I reached the end of the road I was surprised to see that I had come to a “T” intersection and it was paved. I was expecting 30 km of gravel, & pulled out Google Maps. Oops. Took the wrong turn-off. I was a bit disappointed. I was hoping to re-visit Mount Eccles but it was too far for my dead legs to go. Opting on making a left turn to Kooromburra, and had to admit that it is nice riding through here.
My legs were really hurting, and I was pushing into a cross/headwind, and was really struggling. There was a possibility that I wouldn’t have the legs to make it back. I was in shell shock by the time I reached Kooromburra. Hoping that a rest & a big breakfast would do the trick. Wanting 100km & realised that I was going to be shy by about 10 km. I had to ride further and looked up segments around Kooromburra. My legs were in no shape to smash out a segment. Foolishly I found one which would have a tail wind which was held by a NRS rider. He has taken 8 KOM’s off me in the past.
Even though it would hurt me, it was a nice thought to repay the favour with a you suck email of my own.
The segment was only 300 metres with a 6.8% average, and I only needed about 28 km/h. I thought no problems, even with my legs screaming in pain. When I got down to the segment, it was a pinch that started shallow & kept rising sharply till it peaked at 15%. 6.8% may ass! It was a lot harder than expected. The climb had a running start & I hit the base of the climb hard at over 50 km/h. My legs were screaming. I got out of the saddle and was swinging the bike wildly side to side and had a good sprint going. I was gasping for breath.
Really pushing hard and was flying in the big dog & only had to drop it a couple of gears before getting over the top really strong. I was able to increase my speed slightly near the top and was confident that I had it in the bag. There was a grin on my face as I looked down at the speed on my Garmin.
The one that I had paused at the Café………
Ha-ha! I killed my legs for nothing, & the score is still 8 – 0. Oh well you win some you lose some. I now had even tireder legs to push through the 40km of undulating climbing over the Strzeleki Ranges. Its sad to say needed several rest stops along the way. I just went into the zone, and rode as smart as I could back to Warrigul. After a month of injury, to knock out back to back centuries was a major relief. The pain in my legs was about 9/10, and I can only hope that I bounce back from today’s ride to get back into the swing of things.
This was the fourth time that I’ve had the opportunity to ride the Strzelecki Ranges and would highly recommend them.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: