Surprise Ride

I decided to make the shelter shed at Kirra Point my turnaround point. It was Tuesday and my training program for the Great Vic  required a 25 kilometre ride. No-one was at the shelter shed when I arrived so I wheeled my bike inside. With a strong northerly wind making whitecaps on the sea, it wasn’t a great day for photographing the water. So I positioned my bike against the timber railings of the heritage shelter shed for some photos. (There’s a link to one of those photos at the end of this story.)

After a couple of photos, I looked around and saw a cyclist on the footpath, slowing down to negotiate the pedestrians swilling in different directions along the paved path. It was Hugh the GP who I went commuting with last year. I called out. He stopped. We chatted. And then I shared his homeward commute. However, it went a little different to what I’d expected.

“Have you ridden up Woodgee before?” Hugh asked.

“Not for awhile… maybe a year ago, I did.”

“Do you want to ride over it today?”

Let me tell you about Woodgee. It’s a street that runs up and over Currumbin Hill. Walkers, runners and cyclists know Woodgee as a good climb for getting the heart going. I was hesitant. I didn’t want to over-train. But I’ve been waiting for a chance to ride Woodgee again… so maybe I will.

*

We’re climbing up Woodgee in our lowest gears. My click-in shoes are working a treat. My heart’s pumping strong. The road levels off and we talk a little. Then the climb starts again. Hugh says “turn left up here”.

“How steep is it?”

“You’ll find out,” he replies.

I glance ahead and quickly click out of my shoes for what looks like a hairpin corner. But I forget to change my gears down to their lowest. I have to dismount and walk a few metres. Hugh pauses with me and then points ahead, “ride up as far as the Crest sign”.

I pick my lowest gear and spin up the hill slowly, hoping no cars appear on the narrow road. We reach the Crest sign and the view is new to me. I’ve never been up here. Through the gum trees, over the house roofs, I see Point Danger sweeping east and the airport runway drawing a straight line south.

I thought that was my hill climbing over for the day, but not so. There were more to explore.

We descended past the Crest sign into a cul-de-sac, turned around and then climbed out. This was steep. The gradient range was 10% to 19%. As I’m spinning my way up the hill under the canopy of gum trees shimmering overhead and the late afternoon sun beaming on my back, my lungs are drawing deep loud breaths and my inner thoughts jokingly add: Thank goodness I’m with a doctor.

I made it to the top with hearty congratulations from Hugh and an invitation to climb hill number three! I decline but knowing the third hill is not as steep and liking the idea of a three hill combo, I change my mind and turn the corner.

So that’s my hill training done for the week. Thanks to a surprise ride with Hugh!


Here’s a link to the Shelter Shed photo I took.

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Hill #3… not so steep so I had room for a selfie.

21 Comments on “Surprise Ride

  1. Hi Gail

    The impromptu training would be a good thing for me – no time to think, just do it! It seems like you have already gained a good level of fitness to be able to manage those hills.

    Jen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jen, that’s so true what you say about the spontaneity. I hadn’t thought about the benefit of that. In the spur of the moment, there was less time to think about it and my response was more instinctive. Good strategy to remember 🙂

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  2. Pant, pant, gasp, gaaasp, puff, pufffff, pant, pant! Well done! I hope by the time the Great Victorian Ride commences, The Great Ocean Road will be clear of the land slides caused by recent flooding rains. Are you receiving updates on the state of the proposed course?

    Liked by 1 person

    • 😀 thanks Margaret.
      About the Great Ocean Road… I didn’t know it’d been closed. Thanks for the update. I searched for the latest news after reading your comment and apparently the road has only just reopened. So that’s good news!
      Best wishes Gail.

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  3. Hi Gail

    All the best with The Great Ocean road. Such a beautiful part of our stunning country.
    Congratulations on climbing Woodgee. I know it well, but not from the saddle of a bike!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Jo, thanks for your well wishes. I’m excited about being able to ride there. I’ve visited The Great Ocean road in a car a couple of times but being on a bike will be very different. As is Woodgee from the saddle of a bike! 🙂 Gosh, it’s such a good climb to practice. And I love being under the canopy of the gum trees. Particularly on windy days like we’ve had this week. Thanks for writing. Best wishes Gail.

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  4. I’m very impressed, Gail. Well done! I was feeling exhausted just reading it! I’m not a big fan of hills, apart from the going down part, although even that can be challenging when it’s steep and scary. I remember one incident when a magpie attacked me and got a claw caught in my hair braid. Having a doctor with certainly sounds like a great advantage. Given my current lack of cycling, I’d be in need of resuscitation. Keep up the awesome training, Gail. You’re an inspiration. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh nooo, a magpie attack on a hill climb would be terrible! I have to admit, that thought has run through my mind a couple of times recently while out riding. Luckily the maggies have been very friendly this season. I’m a bit cautious too when I’m going downhill and it’s steep. My brakes get a very good workout 😀 Thanks Jane for visiting and for your encouraging words 🙂 always welcome.

      Liked by 1 person

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