With the 3 Peaks a little over a month away. I had arranged with a mate Jordan to head out to try what is nicknamed the Demon’s Double. The Demon’s Double starts in Warburton. You climb up the Reefton Spur, which is a 20 km serious of undulating climbs averaging 3%. Then descend down to Marysville. You climb Lake Mountain, and then head back up to Warburton and climb Donna Buang last. 175 km & 3,800 vertical metres to climb. Sound easy?
Here is a link to the segment here:help
After 80 solid km’s of climbing, hitting the descent down into Marysville was a relief and we bombed down into town. All great rides include a Bakery stop & we stopped for lunch at the Marysville Bakery.
I was feeling quite good at this stage.
We chatted with another rider Brendan Cheshire, who was doing the same ride that we were. I enjoyed my meal, but Jordan regretted eating what he did. As soon as we hit the start of the 21 km climb up to Lake Mountain he went mighty pale, and looked like he was going to throw up. Given how far we were from my car, alarm bells were ringing. I slowed down to pace him up the climb. He started to come around close to the top of the 21 km climb. I made sure that we had a decent break up at the Lake Mountain village to help him recover. There was going to be a cloud over whether Jordan could give Donna a go on the way back, but we had to wait to see.
We took the next section casually, and bumped into Brendan Cheshire at the turnoff to the Reefton Spur. We rode together, and he was quite quick on the descent and I was fighting tooth & nail to keep up. It was almost a relief to get to the bottom of the Spur, and it was starting to get bloody hot. We were running low on water, and his wife who was following us in her car had some water that we were able to use.
The section from Reefton to Warburton was a killer.
I was expecting it to be downhill, but it was one of those undulating sections that was relentless. Jordan got on the front, and was solid up the front. I yelled out to see if he wanted a break and he declined. Unfortunate for him I cooked myself keeping up with him, and didn’t have the energy to offer later on. On the way home he cursed that he had to pull the entire way. Thankfully I got to repay the favor at the 3 Peaks a few weeks later.
Brendan Cheshire said that he had no hope of keeping up with us on Donna, and Jordan and I started climbing. I was feeling good, but it was really hot, and I only had ¾ of a bottle of water at that stage. My only experience of climbing Donna was on cold days & hoped that would be enough water. I didn’t know what Donna was like on a hot day. Not surprisingly I got through my bottle pretty quickly, and baked under the hot sun and bonked from dehydration. I had ridden so well up until then, but it doesn’t matter how strong you are, no water, no energy! Jordan who struggled so much in the middle part of the ride was now carrying me, and I was in the hurt locker something chronic.
I had to fight pedal stroke by pedal stroke to get up to the top, and cursed this climb every single step of the way.
It was an immense feeling to get to the top, and this ride is perfect conditioning for the 3 Peaks. Giving me the confidence and experience to get up a climb like the back of Falls. I didn’t trust the tap water at the toilets at the top so opted to descend and without water and feeling wasted I struggled on the descent, and really had to take it easy.