Everest No#4

David Hill Road Everest No 4

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David Hill Road Everest No 4David Hill Road Everest No 4I arrive at David Hill Road shortly before 6:00pm, and Stryders there waiting for me.  The weathers great, and I’m feeling good.  I anticipated a bit of peak hour traffic, but this didn’t seem to happen.  My first lap I was absolutely cruising.   This was gold!  We had a slight tail wind which was a bit chilly, but was pushing us in the right direction. 

David Hill Road runs off Monbulk, and the section of the climb that we chose is 1.5km’s @ 5%.  It’s off the main road Emerald-Monbulk Road.  But as we were about to discover the next day, is used quite frequently as a short cut.  Stryder & I just chatted our way through the night, and with a number of riders riding with us between 8:00 pm – 10:30 pm.

We had fun as the road lit up. 

It was getting cold but both of us are used to ride in harsh conditions.  I did find it hard to get the right balance of clothing.  As a result didn’t feel warm enough on the descents, but didn’t want to bring extra clothes and sweat on the climbs.  I just had to suck it up.

David Hill Road Everest No 4

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After about 2,000 vertical my bike started to play up on me. 

 was struggling to change it from the small to big chian ring.  This lasted half a dozen laps before it crapped itself completely and almost snapped off.  If I tried to change from the big to the small chain ring the chain would completely jump off.  Without tools my only option was to keep it in the small chain ring.  I use the big chain ring most of the time, and really don’t use the small chain ring often.  I found it difficult at the top part of the climb to pedal as I had to use a very high cadence which wasted energy. 

On top of that I was not able to pedal downhill which really sucked.  I had no control and if a car came up behind me which happened a lot over the day I was powerless to speed up.  Geez I felt uncomfortable holding up traffic.  I averaged over 41 km/h on most descents, so it didn’t slow us down a great deal.  But it sure made me feel useless at times.  To have this happen so early into an Everest was devastating.  At the end of the day it was a joint Everest and my day just had a spanner thrown into it.  

I couldn’t screw up Stryder’s chi so sucked it up and kept my troubles to myself for the most part.

David Hill Road Everest No 4
It’s always a concern how you’ll find the descent on the overnight section, but we loved it.  Most of it was pitch black, but most of the corners you can take at full speed except for one tight technical corner.  Which thankfully was flood lit.  The only night life we saw was one little frog the size of a 20 cent piece.

We were quite efficient with our laps overnight, yet on lap 27 I bonked.  It was around 2:00 am and it felt like my body wanted to go to sleep.  Things started to become a bit of a blur.  I rode through it, and it lasted about 4 laps until we took a break and I took some No Doz, & food.  This seemed to help to wake me up.  I didn’t feel great after that, and was concerned with the 3:00 am – 5:00 am section.  This gave me a lot of grief on Colby Drive.  Thankfully it wasn’t as bad but it was certainly a challenge.  I hate the night section of an Everest, but for a long distance Everest I much prefer to start the day before and finish in the daylight.  It’s hell after such a long ride to have to ride late into the night.

And hell to stay awake a whole night but it’s always a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.

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David Hill Road Everest No 4David Hill Road Everest No 4Of all my Everests I’ve never had any luck on the overnight section.  4 of them had sub 6 degree temperatures, and the other rained 5 straight hours. This was the best of a bad bunch.  The wind had a real bite to it, and I had to use a lot of energy to stay warm, and it was a challenge.  Our first guest Clint rocked up at 5:30 am and the party started.  We had guys rock up on & off throughout the day.  With familiar faces as well as a couple of guys that we had never met before.  Geert who’s been along to 5 of my Everest attempts took Annual Leave for the day and rolled a mammoth 150 km’s with us & 3,523 vertical.

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David Hill Road Everest No 4

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At 5:45 am the cars started to show-up, and there were quite a few tradies in their Utes hammering down David Hill Road. 

The road is quite narrow and there was a lot more traffic than I anticipated.  We thought it would be heavy from 8:00 am, but after 7:00 am we’d see dozens of cars each lap as well as buses & trucks.  It wasn’t comfortable but we ploughed on.  We copped a couple of early morning showers which lasted about 40 minutes.  The rain didn’t bother us, but the roads became slick and we had huge concerns that someone would come off on the technical corner.   We had to go really slow which slowed down more cars.

David Hill Road Everest No 4

                      Nathan Pasco leading out the Stryder & one very tired rider

The k’s were racing along, and we were looking really good.  We had a festive mood around us, and were on track for success.  I don’t know when things went pear shape for me.  I started to develop pressure sores as the day wore on.  Both wrists hurt, and I had to try & ride without my hands on the bars whenever I could to alleviate the pressure.  More concerning was saddle soreness which I never get.  It got very uncomfortable, and eventually to the point when I had trouble sitting.  4,000, 5,000, 6,000 ticked over and we had it in the bag. 

At about 7,200 vertical I bonked really badly.  I’m a professional bonker.  I do it so well that I can tell what the cause was and work my way through it.  This was one of the rare cases where I couldn’t recover.  One lap of bonking passed and I was still delirious, 2 then I started to worry.  3 and I knew I was screwed.  I scraped my way to the break and threw a heap of food and drink into me which would normally fix the problem but it didn’t. 

There was too much pain from the pressure sores.

David Hill Road Everest No 4David Hill Road Everest No 4I grabbed a second pair of gloves to help protect my wrists that were starting to swell up, but forgot to put on a second pair of shorts for the other pressure sore.  We pushed on and I was gone.  My legs could keep turning, but I was just screwed.  I couldn’t work it out on the day, but as I had to change my pedal technique to adapt to just using the small chain ring.  I changed my seating position slightly which over the course of the day started to cause my saddle soreness.  Because I couldn’t pedal downhill I lost some control.  Possibly overcompensated by gripping the bars more than usual which caused the pressure sores in my wrists.  On top of that it was cold throughout the ride and my body probably used up a lot of energy to stay warm. 

David Hill Road Everest No 4 At the start of the ride we had it in the bag, and now I was fighting to finish. 

Stryder was killing it, and had 10,000 in his sights.  I was desperate just to get over the line.  With 5 laps to go I was spent and could barely move.  I had to pull something special out, and psyched myself up to throw it all on the line.  I went into TT mode and smashed myself.  The legs felt great and I could push at a decent tempo and pushed the pace up a bit.  I was possessed, and this lasted about 2 laps until I burnt myself out.  The light that shines twice as bright shines half as long.  I had done it though.  I was able to crawl to the end, and played Tribute by Tenacious D on our victory lap.

I’ve never had an easy Everest, and all have had their own challenges. 

Perrins I started it exhausted and carried a niggly knee injury. Colby I got sick on the morning of the Everest, and spent a fair bit of the ride fighting off a cold. Olivebank I got rained on & off for 8 hours.  To have a mechanical like I did so early on really early did screw me up big time.  But it was also testament to my strength that I was able to continue on and finish.  I went into the ride wanting 10,000 vertical and failed this.  Instead came out thankful just to get to the 8,848 metres. 

After we finished Stryder was on fire and went on to smash out the 10,000 vertical and his 5th Everest.  I’ve been there for 4 of them, I can attest that he doesn’t choose easy ones.  This is our second together, and I was over the moon to have been able to do another with him.  He’s had to carry me on both which I’ve been eternally grateful for. 

David Hill Road Everest No 4

Today didn’t quite go to plan, but when that happens, it always motivates me to do better the next time……

David Hill Road Everest No 4

To be continued……

Here is a Link to Stryder’s ride. He carried me yet again to another Everest and deserves a tonne of Kudos:

Here’s a link to my Strava Activity:

 

Preparing for an Everest on David Hill Road

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This will be the 6th time I’ve attempted to go for an Everest.  They’re always hard.  It can be hard to train well for one, as subconsciously your body knows that you are really going to hurt it really badly.  It can be hard to get motivated to train.  More often than not I just bum around on the week before hand.

For this Everest, I coordinated with Stryder to team up for our second Everest.  Many suggestions were thrown around, and was difficult to decide on a climb.  Neither of us are in super shape so it was decided to look for nothing over 6%.  Eventually David Hill Road got put out there by Stryder.  This was on my short list for my original Everest, but at that time it was far too long for me to consider.  Consequently I ended up shelving the idea.  We are Everesting the first steep bit which is 1.5 km’s @ 5%.  Several pinches hit 9%, but there’s nothing on this climb that will give me grief.

How I came to do this Everest……..

Preparing for an Everest on David Hill Road

A couple of months ago I was getting burnt out @ work, and decided to take a week off to ride.  The earliest time I could justify taking time off work was in February.  I had several epic rides I was considering doing, but of course doing an Everest came to mind.  Colby Drive & Olivebank Avenue really hurt me after.  I figured with a couple of rest days on either side, I could use this as a launching pad to get back in shape.  As a bonus, I heard that there would be a group Everest on Mount Donna Buang on the Saturday.

With a Domestique ride planned around it.  I worked out that if we knocked out a 10,000 vertical Everest on the Wednesday.  Then recovered well enough to do a lot of laps on Donna on the Saturday.  I could be in for some serious vertical for the week.

Targeting my record of 12,500 vertical in a week.

I went and rolled 19 laps of David Hill with Geert before work on 24/01/2015, and it felt right.  Each lap blended itself, and the laps seemed to end just as I was getting to enjoy myself.  The descent is a real beaut as well.  You can take most of the corners at full speed, except for one technical corner which took me awhile to work out the right line into it.

Traffic will be a concern, as its a narrow road without a shoulder, and there is a school at the top of climb.  I have reservations over what doing an Everest will be like around school drop-offs & pick-ups.  We plan on having a forced break between 8:30am – 9:00am & 3:00pm – 3:30pm to accommodate for this.  Possibly considering to shorten the climb, by about 200 metres around the school period to avoid traffic.  And possibly plan on riding single file from 7:00am until the traffic dies down.  The plan is to start at 6:00 pm on Tuesday 3rd February.  Then finish before it gets dark on the Wednesday.

The weather will be so-so, and there’s a 30% chance of rain. I’ve thrown in a lot of wet weather kit (after my experience on Olivebank).  I’m looking forward to the overnight section, which has a warm 13 degrees forecast.

I’ve never had any luck on any of my overnight runs, and very much overdue for some luck.

Honestly I’m not feeling confident, but I know once I get riding and into a rhythm I’ll be right.  As long as I’ve got someone riding alongside me I’ll keep going.  Stryder emphasized the importance of pacing ourselves as we are aiming at 10,000vm.  Making sure that we are eating throughout the day.  It will great starting so early overnight.  We will be likely to have over 200 km’s knocked off by the time it gets light on the Wednesday.  We’ll be nice & tired when our support shows up, but that’s what an Everest is all about.

To be continued……….

Pre Everesting

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I had the Tuesday off to rest before our Everest.  We planned to start at 6:00pm and hoped to get a sleep during the afternoon.  I couldn’t find one of my rear lights, and didn’t have the time to waste looking for it, so planned on going to a bike store during the morning to buy another one.  I knew it would be a waste of an hour, but had limited options.

I managed 8 hours sleep, but at 6:45am I woke up to realise that I had left my Garmin 510 charging at work.  What a fuck-up!  If I picked it up on my way to the Everest would cost me an extra hour of driving beforehand, which would cost me valuable energy.  I needed a sleep-in, but I needed my Garmin more.  I got straight out of beed and drove to work which cost me about 45 minutes & a nice sleep-in.

Bad start to my Everest, and then I drove out to buy a new rear light.  It was 10:30am when I got back & as soon as I went upstarits & pulled out my bike bag I found the missing light in the side pocket.  Sometimes you know life fucks with you….

I packed my car, then jumped into the bath for an hour which helped ease my aching muscles and tire me enough to get straight to sleep after.  I managed an hour & a half sleep, and felt good and for the first time felt confident that I could do this.  The car was packed, everything was ready and I headed off into a sea of cars.  Heatherton Road was a traffic jam, and it took me over half an hour to drive 3km’s just to leave Endeavour Hills.

The best laid plans of mice & men….

I took today off to do nothing except to relax, and regardless of what went right & wrong it had now begun……..

The day after……

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I spent far too much time on social media after getting home from the David Hill Everest & didn’t get to sleep till well after 11:00pm.  I was exhausted & woke up after 11:30am the next morning.  When I took the week off, I planned on doing the Everest early in the week, but obviously would have to wait to see how I recover to plan what I’d do.  When I heard that there was a group Everest at Mount Donna Buang, I thought “how bad ass would it be to do an Everest & then roll 5 – 6 laps of Mount Donna Buang three days later?”.  I had two full days to recover, but would it be enough to do it?  If I did it, I would have to start right at the start (midnight).

I was going to be hurting myself, I knew that, and I don’t have a magic recipy for how I do it, I just do.  I had to get out on the bike to see where I was at, and as soon as I sat on the seat I realised how much pain my butt was in.  I thought I had been soft on the Everets not to ignore the pain, but boy it must have been something yesterday.  Ok so I had a really sore tailbone, and I was thinking of doing 5 – 6 repeats of Donna in less than two days.  I started ice treatment, & using the butt cream to get right for Saturday.  I didn’t ride far, and the legs were a lot better than I expected.  My main problem was the tailbone:

I had several people commenting that I should be resting, but didn’t want to tell them what I had in mind, as I know most people would say that I’m crazy!  I had a tonne of chores to run after 2:00pm, and most importantly I had to drop my Trek off to get the derailer fixed.  They couldn’t promise anything but there was a chance they could have it ready in time for my Donna party, and with a freshly serviced bike would make the world of difference.  It was a long afternoon and I didn’t end up getting home until near 11:00pm.

I woke up still with a sore butt on the Friday, and this was a do or die day.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to start the Donna epic, let alone do so many repeats but as soon as I got on the bike I was riding ok:

I was only able to coast, and was far from fresh but could get up all the steep stuff which is all that mattered.  I only had a couple of hours to ride, and went for the numbers.  I did enough vertical to tick over a nice and even 10,000 vertical for the week.  I thought that this would make it easier for me to work out what I’ve done for the week as I was trying to beat my weekly record of 12,500 vertical, and give me more motivation to get to that magical 6 laps on Donna.  After my ride I committed to the ride, but knew I wouldn’t be 100% and would struggle.

View of Endeavour Hills from Frogs Hollow
My hope was to get 3 – 4 hours of sleep in the afternoon, but unfortunately only managed an hour, and felt pretty flat.  I didn’t know how many laps I would roll, but packed for any possibility.  It was forecast to be sunny, but I’ve been screwed around by the weatherman too many times.  I even put in some wet weather kit (I needed it).  I headed off a little before 10:30pm and got there with plenty of time to spare…..