2016 Domestique Baw Baw ride

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Last week my Achilles went on me again.  We all take for granted the fact that this small tendon keeps us standing & helps us to walk.  If you take it away you simply can’t stand, and it’s not a pleasant injury to do.  I was forced to rest up.  Heavily limping until Wednesday this week.  With only had three days to do rehab and get strength back into my legs.

Army of the Hells 500

A climb like Baw Baw is extreme to the max.   I should have given up the hope of climbing a climb like this overcoming such a serious injury as an Achilles.  Then again I am a stubborn son of a bitch!


Domestique series

I’ve been coming to the Domestique rides since 2012.  Nothing was going to stop me from missing this series.  I had doubts about injuring myself further.  Then I noticed that Andy Van Bergen posted a note on Facebook. “If anyone happens to be coming, but not riding and fancies being our photographers driver just drop me a note! THANKS!”

It was funny as early on in the week when I was limping heavily.  I was going to ask if I could tag along in the photographers car as an option.  I woke up at 5:00 am and arrived early so that I could get some riding in.  Planning on doing the Tanjil East & West climbs.  Maybe even a little Baw Baw.  Being me I sussed out possible PB’s around the area.  Which was stupid as I was recovering from a serious injury.

Tanjil Bren climb

I kept saying to myself to take it easy, as didn’t feel 100% on the day.  When I hit the climb to Tanjil Bren instinct took over & I gave it some gas. Tanjil West is 1.3 km in length with an average gradient of 6.8%.  Quite deceiving as most of the climb is around 8 – 10%. I was going to see how the legs were going & they were pure gold. The KOM on Tanjil West is 22 km/h & if I was on form I knew I could take it easy.

I was smashing up the climb in the big dog & I was sitting on 30 km/h on the first steep section. When I hit the 10% bit and was halfway there I was able to keep it in the big dog and only slowed down to 27 km/h. This was going to be an easy KOM. I thought it was too good to be true.  A car came up from behind.  I had to move tight into the left side of the road which threw my rhythm.


I tried to keep the power going but my chi was gone & I ran out of power. I dropped it down into the small ring & the lights went out. My legs were screaming and I tried to keep it at a high tempo as you never know.  I could have salvaged this climb but as the story of the past fortnight went, I was cooked. The first half I averaged close to 30 km/h. Overall I averaged 17 km/h. You can probably work out the math. Recovering from injury sucks.

The Gantry

2016 Domestique Baw Baw ride

So instead of climbing Mount Baw Baw.  I climbed into the photographers 4WD & chauffeured him up the mountain. This allowed me to jump out with my SLR & get a tonne of photos along the way.  As a bonus I got to give shit every now & again when I recognised someone. I would have much preferred to climb.  But this was second best & I still enjoyed myself & was able to catch up with a number of mates.

The carnage was amazing to watch from the car.  You could really see the hurt everyone was feeling.  I never shy away from anything hard and I felt strong on the day.  I felt I may have had the strength to climb Baw Baw.  Maybe I would have just hurt myself more.  Its a what-if situation, and with a three month old son I can’t afford to be injured.

I woke up the next morning a bit sore just from my 25 km ride so it was probably the best move not to climb Baw Baw.

There will be next year……

2016 Domestique Baw Baw ride
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