Good ride Sunday adn good to expose the BG to some new territory + I copped less abuse at the top of saddle hill rd then I expected in fact non at all from the group on Sunday. I think the shear beauty of the park and the brilliant ride across the bottom and top balance out the steepness of the climb. If this climb was through pastral land or suburbia, it would be sh!t. But in its setting, it’s a gem, no cars, brilliant scenery, good surface, and a hell of a climb. Turns out Beaumont road and Gum flat road are f##cking brilliant rides also! Having never ridden them in whole they add up to be a brilliant ride. Your exposed to enough of my thoughts, so I asked the boys to put some words together. FS
“I made my first appearance since (well before) Easter and was greeted with a lazy 91 kms and nearly 1500 vertical meters of climbing. It was fantastic with a couple of long climbs through Belair national park and much later into Ashton and onto Marble Hill. The weather was fantastic and the scenery was fantastic particularly just outside of Verdun. There were also quite a few short sharp climbs some of which were quite steep often around 8 or 9%. The Route is definitely one to add to the “regular” list. - Craig L
"FS's 'Mothers Day Classic' route is probably one of the best new routes that we have had over the years. It was challenging, interesting and very scenic. Although Mothers Day demands required me to take the short cut at Carey Gully back down Greenhill Road and home, the ride up to then had been excellent with some great new climbs and ridge top riding. I am sure that the balance of the full ride, including the last sprint down Montacute Road, would have left the remaining riders satisfied with their serious 90km hills hit-out. One to remember and schedule again." - Brian V
When I saw the planned ride from FS, and that people had asked for tougher routes I was concerned. FS, "should I pull out the Pinarello for this ride?" thinking of switching back to compact? "HTFU" was the customary and expected response that I received. It was then a surprise, that as we rolled off - no FS. He'd had his Dad's 60th the night before and so I figured he'd had one too many drinks. However, as we hit Pirie Street, there he was. When Brian asked to see his eyes, and two pale slits turned back, all I could think of, was the pain we were about to experience.
Only 8 lads came out, with Alf and Michael turning @ Belair due to Mother's Day. I really like climbing Belair Road, its gradient never gets too steep, but, you always have to keep working the entire way. Then Saddle Hill Road climb in Belair National Park. At this stage everything was jovial as we were reminded that Homburg had given his seal of approval for the climb and therefore it couldn't be that bad. Getting Dave's seal of approval for a climb left me fairly worried. Needless to say the fear began to set in, thoughts in my head began turning to things like the walk of shame (checker hill), and why hadn't I grabbed the compact gears.
We rolled through most of the park, before a quick right turn over a bridge highlighted a taste of what was to come. It's hard to describe the climb it was relentless, not as steep as checkers, it kept going, the end felt like it was never going to come, my heart rate hit the 170 mark, and yet I enjoyed every single bit of it. It was a bloody hard slog, made harder by the fact I was still in 2nd gear till 3/4's of the way up when I reached out to the shifter in sheer hope. Oh, and then we still had to climb the top end of Sheoak.
I think the fact that Sam's wheel slipped in the wet twice early on the last steep section of the climb, tells everything about the climb up Sheoak. Yep, even more grinding, side to side, in the saddle, out the saddle, nothing but hard work, stupidly done with a silly grin on my face. I'm beginning to think I may have an illness. Sadly, Mothers Day cut my ride short here, and I descended down the old freeway leaving the others to take on another of FS’s climbs, Beaumont Road \ Gum flat. - Andrew W