The ride started at AA this morning with three of us, but quickly grew so that by Whitehorse Road we were ten. The trouble was that with so few at the start, on a muggy morning this mug found himself as one of the leaders. Back in the good ‘ole days that would have been fine, but at the moment when I am restarting my MRR career, that fine-tuned innate sense of MRR pace is missing- as a result I kept worrying that I was going too fast…no, too slow…no,…
Luckily Mikeya and another rider (Nick?) took control at the turn into Middleborough Road and I was able to relax behind Mikeya and be towed around for the rest of the ride. And a fantastic pace it was too! Both of them kept us going along at a good speed, but one which allowed the group to keep together, so that no regroup was required at Westfield, and only a small one the top of Belmore.
Wheelpower found the pace so wonderful that she found herself needing to let the leaders know that along Doncaster Road. Amusingly the speed was such that her voice didn’t carry all the way to the front and so the leaders just heard something like “…the pace…pace…” and slowed down immediately, albeit with a bit of a groan which conveyed beautifully the unstated question of why someone would be questioning our speed. Quickly we all shouted out “she is saying the pace is perfect!” and with that the beauty of the kinetics resumed.
And so the overwhelming impression of the ride this morning is of a seemingly effortless roll over hill and through valley, a great run of green lights along Doncaster Road allowing us to keep a consistent momentum, the other traffic behaving itself, and the bus lane refreshingly free of the vehicles for which it is intended.
I found myself at the front at the turn into Belmore but soon the natural hegemony reasserted itself with the speedsters (ie, just about everyone else on the ride) quickly overtaking me, although I was pleased that I didn’t simply give up like I usually do on this hill, and kept plugging away. Perhaps a good sign for the future?
My favourite uphill (the stretch from the Belmore KOV to Balwyn Road soon appeared, and another lovely high speed high gear ascent, for once rewarded by a green light at the top.
Another first for me: I managed to climb Fintona without being overtaken by another rider, and then was able to jam the bike back onto the big ring and accelerate to get the forthcoming green light. That meant I was able to arrive at Canty at a time the lights were green. Trouble is, big bank of cars. Thinking too quickly, I decided to go onto the footpath. Immediately decided that was a bad decision- not a good look- and so when I got to Canty I decided to wait for all the cars turning left- which meant that when I finally ventured back on to the road, there was Mikeya again. I could have simply waited, which is what I normally do. Last time I make a decision like that…
Arrived at the cafe to find quite a few there already, and so immediately found myself enveloped in the flowing conversations, which was a great end to a great ride.
Thanks again to BobM, who pointed out at the turn into Whitehorse Road after Deadmans that my rear light wasn’t working (guess who forgot to charge it…) and immediately offered me his spare- much appreciated.