Based around Melbourne are 10 major Reservoirs. These have a storage capacity of 1,810 Billion Litres of water. I recently took a scenic ride around 5 of the closest Dams to Melbourne:
- Greenvale Reservoir (Greenvale)
- Yan Yean Reservoir (Whittlesea)
- Sugarloaf Reservoir (Christmas Hills)
- Silvan Reservoir (Monbulk)
- Cardinia Reservoir
5 Dams ride
This idea for this ride came to me several years ago. I noticed that Western Australia has a premiere ride, which is called the 5 Dams Ride. The event is 250 km with a lot of climbing. It made me wonder if it were possible to do a similar ride around Victoria. I opened up Google Maps and was delighted to discover that to do a 5 Dam ride around Melbourne. Would be a similar ride of over 250km & a heck of a lot of climbing as well.
This ride offered spectacular views. Challenging climbing & a chance to discover more about Melbourne’s heritage.
With the aim to get to the first Reservoir as close to the sun rising I set the alarm for 2:30 am. There’s something quite surreal about riding in the wee hours of the morning. Dam it was cold. The weather didn’t hit double digits until well after 1:30 pm. It was cold and only averaged only 8 degrees for the day. In hindsight I can say it ambitious me trying a ride like this. 5 weeks ago I could barely walk with a strained Achilles. Today I was looking at well in excess of 250 km.
I met up with Mike Boudrie (Mr La Velocita) & Jarod to do a photoshoot. I’ve been provided with this amazing kit from Sommerville Sports to review. I’m still new at doing things like this but have really enjoyed the process. I’ve also challenged myself to try & write better pieces & take better photos along the way. Time will tell how successful this will be.
5 Dams was quite the adventure. There were no big hills along the way the longest being 3.3km @ 3%. I only climbed half a dozen categorized climbs for the day yet somehow amassed 3,670 vertical metres. It was a very lumpy course and I’m not overly fond of undulating rides.
I stopped for brunch in Hurstbridge. My pace had been slowing down at this stage but had hoped that food would pick me up. Unfortunately it didn’t. I entered a very familiar place; “the hurt locker”. With well over 130 km to go & needed to break the ride up into small sections. I could keep turning the pedals but my legs were really sore from all the climbing I was doing. Lack of experience with doing hills over winter due to illness & injury & I hurt.
Questions were raised as to whether I could do this. I kept telling myself that I’ve wanted to do this ride for over 2 years now. Failure was not an option. I was more optimistic after I stopped at the Sugarloaf Reservoir. From here I enjoyed the descent down Skyline Road which is fast & furious. From here I was greeted by some much needed flat roads. The scary thing was the Dandenong’s. Every pedal stroke was one closer to home. Yet one closer to my Dandenong’s, and boy did they look bigger than usual.
I asked myself if I could work out the easiest route across the Dandenong’s. Laughing. There is no easy route to cross the Dandenong’s. There was just the hurt locker.
It was 3:00pm & I had made dreadful time & had to push on. From here it was just a blur. Sam Poole contacted me & arrange to meet me at the final Dam in Cardinia. I was gone by the time he met me. He’s seen me in much worse shape that this & knew that I could still ride. Challenging me to do a number of climbs. I would curse, but would still hit them. He became the super domestique for the rest of the ride.
I don’t have long to go before the birth of my first baby. I’m not likely going to have time to do epics after. It’s special to have done what could be an iconic ride.
My Sommerville Sports kit was fantastic & I’ll be highly recommending them after this. I crashed after getting home & was in bed for 14 hours all up, and woke up feeling very, very flat.
Dam that was hard!
Until my next epic………..