On Saturday 2 Jan 2010 a bunch of us set out from Deepwater Point at 3PM in 35 degree heat for either a 100km or 200km ride. We set out down the Kwinana Freeway PSP into a strong, hot, headwind at a fairly quick pace (for me). I caught up with Chaderotti to find out how he pulled up from last weeks ride (his first 100). Soon we turned off at Bateman for a quick jaunt down Murdoch Drive to visit our first ‘prison’ of the day, Rangeview remand centre. After a quick photo we set off again heading east. At this stage we were still managing to stick together as a group and most of us made it to Hakea Prison together for our next photo. Standing in the stinking hot sun waiting for someone to figure out how to work the camera evoked some choice comments from the other riders. Pretty soon we gave up and headed off for ‘Banksia Hill’. Only some of us made it in time for another snap but I felt it was cooling down a little by then. As we backtracked along Warton Road, we saw the last of the stragglers arriving.
This is the point where I started to struggle. It was hot, we were riding into a headwind and my legs were starting to feel it from the 60km I had ridden earlier in the day. I dropped off the last group but bridged the gap again with a bit of effort. I dropped them again when I ate an energy bar and it too longer to chase them down. Just as I caught Andrew (Aushiker) and Rod, the stragglers we had left behind at Banksia Hill caught us. They must have been working pretty hard to catch up. I ended up riding with Andrew and Chad to the Thomas Road petrol station where we stopped for food and drink. I quickly downed a small tin of creamed rice and a 600ml mocha. I refilled my 2L hydration pack (which was already empty) and all too soon Andrew and I set off well behind the rest of the group.
A wrong turn on the route sheet saw us head the wrong way down Orton Road but we soon realised the route sheet was wrong and headed in the right direction. It was easier riding east and not into the headwind as we reached Casuarina Prison. A quick tour and we were off again, quickly catching Chad, who was looking for us. We turned south into the headwind again but this time it felt a bit cooler. Cooler was good for me because I was wearing full leg warmers to protect my legs which were still sunburnt from the UAF 100 last week. I quite liked the next section of the route which took us through bush and rural land. It is nice to get out of the city and enjoy riding in the country where the roads are quiet and there are not a lot of people around.
I needed a short break by the time we reached Russel Road where we switched on light and I removed my leg warmers as the sun was disappearing and it was noticeably cooler. I struggled to hang on to Andrew and Chad as we made our way to Cockburn Road but I caught them and with a tailwind found it easier to keep up. It was good to have some company and interesting conversations as we made our way up the coast to our Final Prison in Fremantle. Just before we got there we had another quick stop at a servo for energy drinks to give us a boost for the final leg home. I was suprised to see Roland arrive as we were drinking our drinks. He had accidentally followed the 200km route sheet but turned back as he was only doing the 100. By this time it was getting dark so we donned our reflective vests and switched on all our lights.
The final leg from Freo to DWP along the river was very nice. It was cool and fairly still. Excellent riding conditions. Roland got a cramp halfway back and we left him to limp home. We managed a reasonably fast pace back knowing we were almost to the finish. As we discussed the ride and the day at the end, Roland arrived. I chatted with Andrew for a couple of minutes after Chad and Roland left, when Andrew noticed that Rod had arrived back. He had been on the 200, but he had also really suffered from the heat and wind and pulled out early.
Overall, it felt good to ride 180km of my 200km challenge for the day. However, the heat and wind hit me harder than I thought, so I couldn’t manage the extra 20km.