On Saturday, May 9 2009, I was one 15 riders who left Deep Water Point in Mt Pleasant at 8:15 am for the ‘UAF Perth’ 100km ride. The route took us around the rivers as a group utilising mainly bike paths.
Congratulations to the ride organiser for selecting a truly spectacular route. It was scenic for almost the entire ride with spectacular views of the Canning and Swan rivers from Rossmoyne, Mt Pleasant, Belmont, Maylands and Dalkeith to name a few. I was expecting a good ride but I was really blown away by the views of the rivers.
I was able to spend some time talking to some members of the Bicycles Network Australia Forums on the ride. I found that chatting to fellow riders and checking out the views made the kilometres just slip by. I was really impressed with the bike paths which were consistently high quality and a pleasure to ride on with only a couple of sections a bit rough.
At first the pace seemed a bit slow for me but when we stopped in East Perth for a compulsory coffee break we were ahead of time. I was riding well until we hit the hills leading up to and heading out of Freo. For the run back to Canning Bridge along the foreshore I had run out of legs but a fellow rider kindly offered me his wheel and sucked me along for a number of kms, sheltering me from the headwind. It really helped and I sat just behind the group for the rest of the way. I really had to work hard to keep up but it was really motivating to have the group just in front of me.
Personally, I would have liked to pick up the pace a bit when the going was easy and slow it down a bit in the harder sections, but that is probably because I was still not very fit. To give you some idea there was a 69 year old rider who finished closer to the front of the group then me and I am 30 years younger! One of the awesome things about Audax, is meeting amazing people.
This was first time in Western Australia that a 100km ride has been ridden as a group along Union des Audax Francais guidelines and I think it was a great success. I would definitely recommend it and encourage Audax to run UAF rides again next year (three have been planned for this year).