Monday, September 14, 2009

Degani Kinglake Ride 2009

Sorry no pictures were taken as it was too wet.

Ascend being sponsors of the Degani Kinglake Ride, Ash and myself got an invite to join in as Ascends' riding ambassadors, whereby we get amongst it out on the road with the other participants, and hand out some of the sensational Recovery bars during the ride. John, Nat, Matt and Rohin also attended.

We all set out to complete the 120km leg, but for some, this was not the final outcome. The morning started off with record high overnight temperatures for this time of year. So most, including me didn’t pack the appropriate kit for the weather we were about to ride into.

Just as it was time to get to the start line the rain hit us. John arrived in the nick of time and once he sorted out his wardrobe malfunction (broken wind vest zip), stuck in the middle while being worn, we were off. To justify John's situation his wife Kate cooks great scones!

Heading out of Whittlesea the rain smashed us from all sides and this set the mood for the next 2hrs. John’s ride with the lead group ended about 15 minutes in, he suffered a PSI issue and was forced to change his tube. He also managed to get another 3 flats and had to cut his ride back to the 70km loop as he ran out of Ascend bars to swap for tubes.

Then it was Ash’s turn. 40 minutes in he also had a flat…, tube that is. He was just as unlucky as JC and suffered 4 flats in total but was happy to complete the 120km loop with 3000 of his friends.

As for the rest of us, we were very lucky and had no flats throughout the day. The “Will Walker timed climb”, up the Kinglake road to Kinglake turned out to be a solid hit out. Rohin, myself and one other rider rolled turns until we hit the roundabout at the top averaging around 24.5kms per hr.

For the next 80kms we smashed ourselves silly in the pelting rain. At one point all I could do was laugh. The rain was so heavy I couldn’t see 10 metres if front of me. We were sitting on 60km per hr and no one was backing off. The bunch may have been wet and cold but everyone loved it.

Nat made the mistake of taking a short mental brake at Castella and found himself 300m off the back and was unable to make it back into the group. He had a very long ride by himself until he was able to mingle with the 70km riders.

Matt turned himself inside out all day long and was always keen to roll a turn. He had had a fantastic day and I do think he rolled across the line as the fourth rider to finish the 120k loop.

At around the 90k mark the group had splintered down to 7 riders and we had one more climb to go. With one of the boys having itchy feet, he felt the need to attack and put 200m into us. As we reached the top I was dropped and Rohin bridged the gap.

The boys sat between 2-300m up the road for the next 10kms. I chased like a mad man with the hope of bridging the gap on the descent and flat section before the finish. As we hit the bottom of the hill, the gap had closed and itchy new I was coming back. Rohin as a true ‘mate’, didn’t look back once and kept the power on.

400m from the finish I bridged the gap and Rohin still didn’t know I was there.

100m out I rolled past Rohin and his surprised yell of, “JASE”.

We turned left and rolled across the line in 3hrs17min.

Big thanks to Ascend, Supersprint and Degani for putting on a great day for all to enjoy.