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.