I’ve had several V-Line adventures in the works, but I basically need a full day to do them. With the right weather conditions. 7 days after my first triple century, an opportunity arose. I worked out a route going to Ballarat and guestimated it to be around 260 km’s. Figuring I could pop in to say hi to my Auntie & Uncle in Mount Helen along the way. As long as I got up at 2:00 am I should have the time to do it.
It was a beautiful morning, and I had the roads to myself. I planned on going via Beach Road. The direct route would be to take the Dandenong Creek path up to Carrum. I looked at the map, and really wanted to do Beach Road from Frankston. Which would add what I guestimated to be an extra 15 km’s. As a bonus I could snare a few PB’s on the way.
Surprise, surprise I guestimated the distance wrong 🙁
|View from Port Melbourne|
By the time the sun had come up I had almost nailed a century, and was feeling strong. I pushed myself for several PB’s, but wondered whether I was foolishly killing energy. After leaving Frankston I came upon two riders that were travelling slightly faster than I was. Preferring to hitch a lift so pushed & caught up to them. Our group just grew, & grew, & grew as we kept going. Getting faster & faster. We were averaging 32 km/h to start with. Towards the end of my time with this group we were pushing close to 50 km/h near Black Rock.
I could hold on, but was giving it a 100% in doing so, and I knew I was nailing PB’s left right & centre. A voice inside was screaming “slow the fuck down! You’ve still got over 150 km’s left to ride!”. The group thankfully splintered at Black Rock, and I was left to ride alone, and hurting. I had hoped to join a group to give me an easy trip up Beach Road.
Not do a smash fest on an Audux type ride.
I managed to get to Port Melbourne and was hurting, and knew I’d have to be careful with my pacing. Taking the foot off the accelerator a little.
I was able to take bike paths all the way out to Werribee. But unfortunately knew that I had really bad times on them, so was pushing myself as hard as I comfortably could without really hurting myself. I was conscious of the fact that I had a heck of a lot of riding ahead of me. And could bonk badly if I did this wrong. From Werribee I started to struggle. I headed up Ballan Road. This is the longest straightest road I’ve ever travelled up, at about 25 km’s.
The road was narrow, there was a fair bit of traffic. My legs were hurting and it was as boring as all bat shit. I had to go into my happy place to get through this road.
I realised that I miscalculated the distance, and my original prediction of 260 km’s was now going to be closer to 300 km’s.
|Heading towards the Brisbane Ranges|
I paced myself up the climb, and given the lack of climbing throughout the day really enjoyed this one. A little down the road was Merredith – Durdidwarra Road which I was keen to revisit. Last time I rode down here I crawled at a snails pace. Foolishly I wanted a decent PB in this section and absolutely hammered it. Getting a really decent time, but cooked myself. It was really hot, and I stopped in Merredith to top up my drinks, and get a much needed icy-pole.
Several riders at the General store said I looked a bit wrecked & asked me where I’d ridden from. The look on their face was priceless when I told them.
One of them said “I thought we’d done a big ride today with 130 km’s”.
To get to my Aunties house I needed to go straight up the Midland highway. Given I thought that the trip from Werribee was onerous. This one was close to 45 km’s of straight road. With a light head wind to make it all the harder. I was in the hurt locker and I grinded my way up to Buningyong.
Time went slow, and it was after 3:00 pm in the afternoon when I left Merredith. I was conscious of the setting sun. Given how tired I was I was able to push out a decent tempo. But was going a couple of k’s slower than I was earlier in the day. As I neared Mount Buningyong the road started to rise. I had never been through this area before. I grinded up this hill that seemed to go forever.
This ended up being 3 km’s @ 3.2% which nearly killed me.
When I got to the top I recognised the top of the Nationals course and knew where I was, & knew it was all downhill to my Aunt’s. I had 275 km’s in my legs, and still had a bit of riding ahead of me. I took the back way around the Nationals course to get there. Arriving at around 5:00 pm. Boy did I enjoy being able to sit down in a comfortable chair after riding for almost 14 hours. I had a great chat, and respite for about an hour and a half before heading off to the train station. This thankfully was all downhill. It was such an amazing sight descending into Ballarat as the sun was setting.
When I got to the train station I had an annoying 295 km’s on the Garmin. Sad to say that I had to ride around & around in circles for awhile to notch up my second triple century in just over a week.
I was spent, and enjoyed the rest on the train on the way back.
Unfortunately there was a lengthy delay at Southern Cross Station. I didn’t get back to Dandenong Station till after 10:30 pm. There was 11 km’s to ride from Dandenong Station to home. Taking the bike trails and rode ever so slowly. I left home at 3:00 am and didn’t get home till after 11:00 pm, and was truly an epic adventure. There were only 4 medium sized climbs on the ride with just over 2,000 vertical climbed. I’m usually not big on flat rides, but thoroughly enjoyed this one.
I averaged just under 27 km/h which was stoked at, as I was still new to long distance rides. Blown away that I could do a ride like this. Just over two weeks ago I had wondered whether I’d be able to ride a triple century. Now I’ve done two in consecutive weeks.
Here is a link to my Strava Activity here: