Good course Great cause and no rain made for a great hit out on the Mountain. With just over two hundred participants it was a reasonable sized field with a large contingent of Bastardi Grassi in the pack. Steve B, Gavin, Bills-e, Homburg, Warwick, Virgo, Lyons, Frank and a guest appearance from “the Animal” himself - Rob Rau.
With the threat of rain the pack was lead away by the, five-oh (police) and a lazy pace was set up Glen Osmond road - an indication the field knew all too well, the task they were to under take.
Mount Lofty from the old Freeway is always a good test and one of Adelaide true climbs with a mix of gradient testing riders to the top. Add the small accent from the city up Glen Osmond and we had a task ahead of us.
Rob Rau was the only man (animal) who broke into stride along Glen Osmond which was being treated as though it was a neutral section by the following pack. With the pack stopped by lights the animal unleashed and pushed on his advantage. He would pay for this early pace after being the first man (animal) to reach the freeway he would be swept up by the field, which had now come to life and begun its assault on the mountain.
A hard and fast pace was set from the start and a two men broke away as the pack strung out but at no point had a huge advantage, this group later became three as they approached the bollards and the trio would ride on to see the top together.
The Old Freeway is a hard climb in the sense that it will break your rhythm, with undulating grade that tests you all the way to the top, and were even flatter sections need to be attacked to push on any advantage of the lesser grade and pose as opportunities to lift the pace as apposed to rest. The steep section are not kind neither and getting out of the saddle and grinding is required, especially around “cement corner”. If you don’t know the reference to this corner ride the old freeway and you will soon relate.
The climb can be broken down into three distinct thirds, the bike track, Devil’s elbow to Eagle on the hill and Eagle’s to the bollards.
The Bike Track is possibly the hardest mentally as it steeper then appears and the gradients slowly increase as you climb and never seems to any easier every time you do it. Magpies also love this area and to add to difficulties one must maintain a good line so as not to stray into on coming riders booming down the bike track.
Devil’s elbow to Eagle's mentally feels easier then the bike track yet posses the steepest section as you round cement corner. With a quick down hill section leading you into the corner maintaining momentum is the key and the struggle. Go to hard here and you might bow up. This section is more open with a dedicated lane separated form vehicle traffic all need worry about is making it to the top. This section snakes around as well helping to break the climb up.
Eagles to the Bollards straightens up and becomes more even in it’s gradient, and it becomes time to develop a good rhythm and set a steady pace. With a more constant grade and some climbing already in your legs it becomes a matter of how much you are willing to push your self. After one last slow rise in gradient the push for the bollards begins with the course unrelenting to the end with a false flat 50m from the bollards teasing you with the thought of a finish before you push up the final short slope to the bollards.
The Bollards typically represent the finish of the climb and a timing point for those wishing to measure their effort and progress. For those heading to the summit of Mt Lofty, there is no stopping only relief in the gradient as you whisk along a flat section of abandoned old freeway, towards your final goal.
This relief is short lived as one begins the final steep accent to the Summit. The most testing the final climb over the summit, appears after a short decent which only tease those who think the worst is over, before being slapped in the face by the last sort steep climb to the top of summit road.
Be satisfied in your effort and feel the accomplishment forget the pain and rejoice in the splendour of some of Adelaide’s finest roads. The undulating Summit Road and Woods Hill Road are two of the best rides in the lofty ranges and offer up a mix of pace and cornering for you to enjoy and exploit the finer handling points of you bike and test your abilities with out putting you out of your comfort zone. Low on traffic and high on pace, you sweep along maintaining speed as you move towards Norton Summit.
Norton’s is Adelaide’s typical climb and most popular climb and offers the descenders an opportunity to spin the big ring, tuck up and lean her over. With corners that reward commitment and fast straights to open it up, this is one of Adelaide’s favourites and offers the novice a place to develop there skills with low vehicle traffic, and generally not to challenging riding.
The Finish was from here a short dash through the eastern suburbs, dodge a couple of w**nkers in octane propelled objects, to the city for a finish before which three would become five before finishing. Homburg and I would be two of the five and soon were joined by Gavin then Virgo followed by Lyons and the animal with Steve, Warwick and Bills-e finishing together showing the most Bastardi spirit in waiting for each other, riding with each other and finishing with one another. Mustering at the finish tales were shared, a signed copy of Lances book “Its not about the bike” was won (by Steve B) and the pain was relived with a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction, the ride was over.
Happy Fathers Day to all Dads and congratulations to all participants with a total of $1400 raised to help in the fight against cancer and awareness in men’s health.
For our Father’s our Brother’s, our Sons and those to be, I thank you.