You are hereBlogs / Lach's blog / It doesn't get any easier...

It doesn't get any easier...

Lach's picture

By Lach - Posted on 16 March 2014

Re: This ride meeting: 
Capital Punishment 2014
Position (Overall): 
Race Category: 
Position (Category): 

Category was actually "super" masters, but it's not on the drop down list.

I had upped my training a bit in the lead up to this event and had set twin objectives of knocking 10 minutes off last year's time and finishing in the top 20 of the increasingly competitive over 50's category.

However, this year's visit to Canberra was a bit of a "hit and run" effort due to other commitments. Got down there late Friday and after shovelling some food and kicking back for an hour or so, it was almost midnight. Not much zzz time before a 5.00 am alarm.

It was still dark when we got to the start, but the arboretum and the surrounding hills were lovely in the early morning light as the minutes ticked by to the start. In a change to last year, the start took place near the arboretum entrance and had us slogging up the tar road over Dairy Farmers Hill. Even though I'd done a bit more warming up than usual, I still struggled on this hill and it put some huge gaps between me and most of the rest of the 4th wave start pack.

Once we got onto the fire roads and bike paths, I managed to start pulling a few back but still got overtaken by the first group of the next wave just before getting into Stromlo. Had a bit of a mishap at the base of Stromlo, following another rider on the brief bit of bitumen. He and I and a few others missed the turn off back into the sniggle and we spent a minute or two flaffing about to get back on track. I got passed by a few more riders on the way up Stromlo, but generally felt much better about that climb than the first one. Until I dropped my chain off the little ring on one of the last switchbacks near the top. Took a bit of wrestling to get it back on, although then I found I had the downhill run through skyline and luge all to myself. Had no-one behind me and couldn't make any time on those in front either.

After the feed station there is a bit more sniggle across the side of Stromlo, then the 50 course throws up a fair bit of undulating fire road out the back of Stromlo. Not a highlight of the course, but a chance to relax the arms and shoulders a bit and get the big ring back into the action. Then the last 10 kms or so has some interesting and at times techy switchback climbs and some great downhill runs before hitting the crit track for a final sprint.

Given the track changes, I'm not sure how close a 7 minute improvement was to my first goal. Distance was almost identical, but, to the extent that you can rely on Garmin altitude data, there was about 210m more climbing. Some of the sniggle used had been made a bit more "flowy". Given the two mishaps and the bastard hill climb start, I was pretty happy with the time. 23rd in the over 50's was one place back of last year's result, even with the quicker time. I blame all those young 50 year olds that have just joined the category.....

I really have to do some serious hill training to get much faster in these races. As of last week I have a heart rate monitor, so we'll see how that goes.....

Antsonline's picture

What a nice read. Sounds like a great race.
If its any consellation, I (too) almost missed the turn after the bitumen onto the ST.
It was easily done.

Good ride.

jp's picture

Hey Lach, have you ridden Quarry Road Track? It's just a short (backstreet) ride from OMV and is the ideal place to get in some steep hill training. Tristan and I are there most weekends. If you combine Lane Cove, OMV and QRT you'll get a very solid workout and all other hills become tame by comparison...

Well done on another good ride and a great writeup.

Lach's picture

I haven't been on the QRT for a few years. As far as I can remember, I managed to ride out the Dural side but walked a fair bit of the steeper bits back into Hornsby. I'll have to give it another go, although those sort of really steep pinches can be a bit tough on the cartilage-free-zone that is my right knee....

Tristania's picture

They've now paved several of the steepest sections on the QRT over the past few years...if you have reasonable strength you should be able to make up most of it. It's existence is not merely incidenal to JP and my improved times in competitions!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Best Mountain Bike