Everything is good for you….even Mt Pleasant

I’ll blog about this weekend shortly, but had to blog about last weekend too because it was one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time! I’ll start with our 3hr road ride.

Saturday I went for my usual road ride with the Vigor crew. We’d planned to do a long ride out towards Panton Hill and back through Warrandyte, but because the weather looked dubious we later opted for the Mt Pleasant loop (3hrs) instead. It was Rach and I + four guys and the pace was on from the get go. I think we were on Heidelberg Rd (barely 1km from where we left) when I said to Rach that there was no way I could keep up for four hours.

Rach, ever the optimist decided that it would be ‘good for us’ if we tried to keep up. So we didn’t get dropped entirely and at some points the boys even kept the pace to just ‘mildly uncomfortable’.

But after pushing myself for that time, by the time we reached Mt Pleasant I knew I was in trouble. I tucked in behind Ben who was tucked in behind Matt J who was behind Rach..who was not happy about it. She advised Matt and Ben they could overtake her, but they told her it was ‘good for her’. I had Mike behind me and begged him to go around because I was finding the pace difficult and knew I’d fall off the back soon.

But I hung on for most of Mt Pleasant and noticed Mike had dropped well off the back of me. Eventually he caught up when I red lined but I was pretty happy about my effort. Should probably get a Garmin at some point at see how hard I’m really working!

We headed back along Research-Warrandyte Rd as a group and then along Eltham-Yarra Glen rd back into Eltham. After a short steep climb onto Old Eltham Rd we came across a van that had its back wheels stuck in a culvert.

We rode slowly past, and then we all stopped to help. See cyclists ARE good people! We gently placed the bikes on the nature strip and clipped clopped across the road in our cleats to help push the van out. The driver was so grateful and although I doubted we’d be able to push the van out we actually managed it.

We hopped back on the bikes and continued on. Every time we do the Eltham Loop ‘the cutting’ (up Lower Heidelberg Rd) is in the back of my mind. In reality it is not that bad, especially if you are on someone’s wheel, but ever since I went riding with one of the man’s friends who sat on my wheel and shouted insults at me while I rode up it I’ve made a point of trying to push myself.

Today the two nutcases (Cam and Ben) hit it hard and left us eating their dust. Matt J took it easy as he had a big run the next day which left Mike, Rach and myself (at the back). Rach overtook Mike and I followed her. After a few metres I decided I’d give overtaking Rach a go and burn myself out.

I did it! Legs were dead by the top but I was pleased I’d pushed myself!

As we rode back along Heidelberg Rd I was dead tired, but luckily still riding defensively. A car overtook five of the six riders but decided it didn’t want to wait for me and turned left down a street – right in front of me. Using my cycling ‘spidey sense’ I’d had a feeling this might happen as the driver looked pretty dodgy. I still had to slam on the brakes but had enough control to save myself but still give them a hell of a fright. Hopefully they will think twice about doing that to a cyclist again.

Anyway! A great ride, and well deserved brekkie at the bell jar afterwards!

– Jen

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