Last night it was back to Metal Man racing, this time over a new 30km hilly TT course. Hilly, as in no flat bits. Well, the flat bits that do exist are blink length ie blink and you’ve missed it. To give you an idea of the flavour of this course, when you are at the start line, you are eyeballing face to face the road which walls up in front of you. Yeeha bring it on baby. I was a little concerned about this course. The profile looked savage, and I’d not ridden since Sunday. This turned out to be a good thing, as I was at least somewhat fresh, even if not fully recovered. It’s probably the freshest I’ll be for racing Metal Man, so I’ll be framing the WKO file on this one.
So Coach dialled in the pace for MM, hit the go button and within three pedal strokes a bunch of expletives launched themselves out of my mouth. Nice way to start a ride, the hill that is. Coach was very merry, and had a good time chuckling at my invective and dagger looks. But from those first three pedal strokes, I was in front of Mr Shiney and managed to stay that way for the rest of the ride. At the 5km mark, I was feeling it, and looking nervously at the 15km mark, where a 12% incline loomed. All I wanted to do was make it up that section, and then if I died (and I was thinking about calling an ambulance to be on stand by even then) it didn’t matter, I’d made the nasty bit. The next 10km were horrible, the road so lumpy that you couldn’t get a nice rhythm going, with constant gear changes to match the terrain. The rear derailleur got a good work out!
Then suddenly, we’re on, pushing down the big downhill into the bottom of the big uphill. And I am up over the nasty bit, settling into the length of the climb. Sweet. My legs are dying, my body beginning to ache from all the climbing, but suddenly I have only 10km to go. I know I’ll make the next 5 km, and I do. Another 5km to go, and even the 3% climbs feel like 10%. I’m about to run out of water with 2 bidons downed, and send Coach off for more. I’m feeling the heat, and the fan is only just helping me out. I push into the final kilometres, and then have 2km to go – a final pursuit. I get through the first kilo of the pursuit, then start counting down the final 4 x 250m laps. Yep, I was that desperate. I’d wanted to bail at the 25km mark, but being in front of Mr Shiney, and with so few km left after the slog I’d just been through, I wasn’t about to let it go. I beat Mr Shiney by 2.5 min.
The effort took its toll, although the WKO file doesn’t show it. My legs were hot and achey for the rest of the night, and reminded me every 2hrs during the night once I finally managed to get to sleep. My digestive system, which had only just recovered from Sunday, packed it in again with the effort, and eating my pasta when I got home was akin to force feeding a goose for Christmas dinner. If this is the kind of work I need to do to make it to the Baw Baw start line, then I’d better make sure I actually do front up on the day, otherwise I’ll have endured a lot of pain just to build my character and not much else!