A trip to the Payne Cave (20/12/2014)

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Payne Road is one of the most popular local iconic climbs around Beaconsfield. As the name suggests, it is a pretty challenging climb.  Which had been on my wish list to Everest. I had planned a group Everest late in October 2014, but this fell through when I fell sick for an extended period of time. I gave some thought to coming back & Everesting it at another stage.  Deciding not to Everest it, and changed my mind as the climb is quite tough for its average gradient.  I wasn’t sure if I was bad ass enough to do it.

Here is a link to the Strava segment here:


Payne Road Everest
Nathan Pasco with a smile on his face early in the ride

When I heard that a chap by the name of Nathan Pasco was planning on Everesting it. I was lucky that I had the day free.  It was the second best chance of Everesting it by coming along & Sherpering instead. I wasn’t 100% and had been sick the 3 weeks leading up to the day.  It sucked that I wasn’t able to commit to riding until the day before.  Unaware of how many laps I would be able to achieve.

I just put a crazy figure of doing a 200 km recovery ride in my head.
Payne Road Everest
The World famous Cardinia Pub in the background

Payne Road Everest


The weather was perfect, if not a little bit too warm. Nathan had started in the wee hours of the morning at 3:45 am.  It was lucky that he got quite a few laps in before the sun came up.  The climb offers no shade and its easy to cook on it on a hot day.  There was a southerly on the day, but thankfully the hill shaded us from the winds. The pace was high, and the start of the ride was fast & furious.

I’m a climber, not a descender and this is one climb that I never felt comfortable on the descents.  It is quite twisty and windy and has some very high speed technical corners that I needed to brake heavily into.  As the laps flowed into one another I became more comfortable around the corners.  Starting pushing harder and harder and gave it full gas on lap 18 averaging close to 57 km/h on the descent.






Given I was sick I rode well until about 4,000 vert in where the lights started to go out.  Nathan was well and truly into the hurt locker at this stage.

It was good to share his payne and we just kept punching out lap after lap.

I could only ride until 6:00 pm and left after having knocking out 50 laps of Payne Road.  Totalling 184 km’s & 5,000 vertical (not quite the 200 km recovery ride). I was shell shocked at this stage.  Part of the reason why I had changed my mind about Everesting this one was the gradient changes. Every 20 – 30 metres there would be a subtle change in the gradient of half to a degree variants.  This may not sound like much, but you can go from cruising to hurting really quickly if you don’t ride this one smart.  You have to know exactly when to push, and when to conserve energy. I was glad that today, we glided and reckon we found the right pace in the end.

 Nathan was at about 6,500 vertical when I left him. I was confident that he would finish it when I left around 6:00 pm. I was blown away to hear that he finished at 3:30 am the next morning.  Thankful that he had great support overnight with Rob Walker & Mark Auhl showing up to ride in the wee hours of the morning. Here is a link to Nathan’s ride here, and deserves many, many Kudos:

Payne Road Everest

Nathan finished in just under 24 hours, and that wouldn’t have tickled.  He certainly has earned the reputation of being the master of “Payne”. I was really happy to have knocked out so many laps whilst sick. I rode well until around the 4,000 vertical metre mark.  Then things went a bit blurry towards the end.  Honestly don’t know whether I was there helping Nathan or vice versa. This was the 8th time I’ve been a tourist on an Everest ride.
I’m staggered that all 8 have finished.
(The Serpentine, Falls Road, Invermay, The Wall, Payne Road, Mount View Road, Melbourne Hill Road & William Road). I still had a while till I got back to full strength.  But this ride really helped to give me some confidence to get my health back in check.

Here is a link to my Strava Activity here:



Nathan put this message on Strava the next day:

I can’t thank all of you enough for getting me over the line. Feeling a combination of euphoric and drained today, as well as sore in places I didn’t think I would be. (Triceps, fingers, shoulder…) I wouldn’t have finished without everyone’s support, so thankyou all. Especially Brendan who stuck with me for 5000m. And Rob who was there at 5.30am, as well as two other stints. And Mark and Rob, who came back at midnight, to get me through the last few hours, cannot thankyou enough

thanks again everyone for the Kudos, Comments and support, I’m starting to feel normal again now… Looking forward to getting into the hills again this weekend with the Domestique rides. Hope you all have a Merry Christmas, and it involvels lots of riding, and “cycleish” gifts

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One thought on “A trip to the Payne Cave (20/12/2014)

    Sherpa « The Dandenong Ranges said:
    October 1, 2015 at 8:46 am

    […] Payne Road                                                         Nathan Pasco […]

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