You could say that Peloton Sports has a bit of a Jeckyll and Hyde personality, but before you jump to conclusions let me explain. For the majority of riders, the culture is very civilised, riders are cared for and accommodated into a bunch that most appeals to their desired pace, thereby demonstrating the very kind Dr Jeckyll. But step up to the plate and take on the A bunch and things take a decidedly different turn; the evil Hyde rears his head and the ride takes the complexion of a life and death struggle. It is a full on battle where many a rider is put to the sword and only a select few survive and today was no exception.
In the end there were only 3 survivors today (huge props to Camo, Nathan and Rowdy), and this type of competition may not be for everyone, but it is in the heat of the battle when every fibre of your being is pushed to it’s limits that you find out what you are made of. Of course not everyone can finish with the leaders and there is nothing quite so gratifying as falling into a small group of comrades and continuing to ride as hard as you can to limit the losses and stay away from the next chasing group.
The ride started out friendly enough with 30 or more riders fostering hopes of glory. At times the pace dropped to almost pedestrian and Rowdy was certainly on a mission today, so when Nathan dropped the hammer at Cowan he had plenty of followers keen to test the legs and a bunch of 12 or so tacked on the rear after a scintillating descent of Brooklyn. There’d be no regroups today, so it was a steady gruppetto up Mt White and roll on. Mill Billy put in a solid turn up the rise past Road Warriors and before we knew it we were again hurtling down a negative incline to the Mooney Mooney creek. Again the group coalesced; only Camo and Rowdy tried their luck up the climb, meanwhile Julian pulled the turn of the day and towed a few others up the climb to realise a few PR’s. Camo got a well earned rest at the top, only so he could plot his next attack. We didn’t have to wait long. With still about 12 in tow, we turned left onto Wiseman’s Ferry Rd. Camo turned up the blow torch and it was pain and suffering all the way to Somersby Heights. Every pinch, the attack came and it wasn’t long before the legs said enough and I settled in for an ITT as I watched Camo, Mark, Nathan, Garry, Julian and Tim ride away. There was a slight reprieve when Julian fell victim Mill Billy’s CX riding style, but the result remained unchanged and soon there was a trail of gooey riders strung out all doing their best impression of Jens Voight in a solo break.
|Getting gooey on the road to Somersby|
This is where the camaraderie began and Josh, Tim, Graeme, Jeremy, Mike and “Specialised Track man” pooled resources to set a cracking pace across the Peats Ridge TT. Four riders were sharing the load with 2 just content to be there and that’s the way it went all the way to Brooklyn until the last two cracked and the Fab Four were left to finish the job. Arriving back at the after party, we’d averaged 34kph over 140km with 2000m of climbing (TSS 350).
So it seems the evil Mr Hyde isn’t really that evil after all. The feeling of accomplishment and pride and mateship that comes from completing a ride, having given it your all is unbeatable. We are indeed lucky to have a number of talented riders that are happy to measure the pace for the most part and then to turn up the volume and provide a platform to train harder and faster than you ever dared to imagine. I’m not saying that just to to piss in their pockets, but to ride with these guys is a real privilege and it means pretty much any level of non-professional rider can turn up on any given Sunday and have a red hot go.
Strava tells me the last time I rode up Mooney Mooney was almost 3 years ago and today I beat that time by almost 4 minutes. That’s what PS has done for me, I’m fitter and healthier (and happier!) than I ever before in my life. Peloton Sports continues to set the pace when it comes to recreational riding that is designed to reflect as close as possible the feeling of elite road cycling, and that holds true for everyone from the genetically gifted young gentlemen who would give the NRS a real shake, to the complete newbie who starts riding because he or she is looking for some new friends, to get fit or a variety of other equally valid reasons. I hope everyone enjoyed the ride today as much as I did and judging from the conversation back at Bar Stelvio in between mouthfuls of lamington and a well deserved Australia Day holiday beer I'd say that’s a given.