Sun, 21 Jan 2007

Last hill training before the Alpine Classic // at 23:59

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  Today: 82.1km
  Avg: 20.5km/hr
  Riding: 4hr 00’

The last weekend before Australia day, and our last chance to go for a ride and try to get a few more hills into the legs before the Audax Alpine Classic next Saturday! Woeful preparation, at least we're only in for the 130km option.

Under grey threatening clouds and through grey threatening suburbs full of grey threatening 4WDs we made our way out to Ferntree Gully then up Dorset road to The Basin, I'm only used to riding home that way so I missed one turn and we had a lot more of a major road than we really wanted. Thankfully we could finally turn off and up into the forest, only three car-loads of idiots screamed abuse, the rest seemed to just stare wide-eyed, a look we've become accustomed to on the tandem.

A pleasant hour of climbing up through the wet forest, then out in Sunday afternoon "drive in the country" traffic along the main tourist road at Sassafras, incredibly different to the old Mountain highway. Another two kilometres up to Olinda then a large slab of cake and coffees, perfectly timed as we sat inside and watched the rain pelt down, then back out onto dry roads for the ride back down the hill and home!

A mysterious rhythmic thumping appeared as soon as we started coasting down the near-perfect road surface, it appears that the back tyre is starting to wear out on the sidewall and bulge ominously. We hadn't noticed on the rougher roads, or while climbing earlier in the day. A very timely discovery, far better to find out now than half-way down Tawonga gap next weekend! The Continental Tourer 2000 tyres that we're on the bike when we bought it have finally turned up their toes after three years of fairly intermittent use.

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