On Sunday September 26, 2010 I completed my fifth Audax ride for 2010, the Peel around Peel ride which took riders south from Deep Water Point to Mandurah then east to Pinjarra before swinging north back to Deep Water Point. This brings to my official Audax ride distance for 2010 to a total of 700 km. Not sure I am fit to be called an endurance rider or randonneur that is for sure 🙂
I had planned this ride to be a 211 km (the actual nominated distance) Audax ride with an average speed of 25 km/h instead it became a became a 226 km Audax ride (plus getting to and from the start at Deep Water Point) with an average speed of 23.76 km/h.
The first leg of the ride from Deep Water Point to Mandurah took us south along the southern Principal Shared Path (PSP) aka the Freeway until around Merritt Road where we turned off to work our way into Mandurah itself. This section was into a south-easterly headwind which really didnâ€™t bother me that much until I hit the first of the sound barrier walls, the Wailing Wall on the Perth Bunbury Highway. This section is very exposed and I felt the wind much more here. Overall I had ridden okay on this section, just off my goal pace of 25 km/h and knowing I had a return leg with the wind I wasnâ€™t too concerned.
I stopped very briefly, just getting my card signed, at the Mandurah control with the idea of keeping up the momentum. Well that went pear shaped pretty quickly as I tried to navigate my way south and out of Mandurah. Basically the route took us south of Mandurah along the coast through Falcon until we crossed the estuary where the route then picked up the Southern Estuary Road. I managed two small geographically challenged "events" and one bigger one before I got back into the swing of things. Those events cost me a fair bit in both speed, distance and momentum and while I did endeavour to make up lost time once we swung east and subsequently north clear of the Mandurah estuaries I was not able to make all the lost ground.
I learnt a very big lesson along this section: Read the route notes carefully â€¦. and note carefully the distance shown on the route sheet and match it against the bike computer. It is important for finding that path off to the left! It also helps in working out that Janis Road appears twice and taking the first turn is not 4.0 kilometres up the road!
To make up for all this, the ride along the Southern Estuary Road was very beautiful and the brief north bound section of the Perth Bunbury Highway was snappy indeed â€¦ having a southerly wind helped a little 🙂
Once I had crossed the Perth Bunbury Highway the riding through to Pinjarra was pretty uneventful. In Pinjarra I got in about five minutes to late for the famous Pinjarra Bakery which had closed so I headed to the nominated control point, the Heritage Tea Rooms. No one was in sight and at this point Stuart and Carolyn where still behind me so I took a look inside the Tea Rooms decided this was not the best choice for a quick late lunch and road up to the Dome instead where I found Wayne waiting for Carolyn. So after a quick chat and a bite to eat (lunch at 3:00 PM) and another wrong turn I got on to Pinjarra Road for the short ride back to the Southern PSP for the long haul back to Deep Water Point. Having the path to ride along is great but it sure isn’t the most exciting ride. The only other bonus was the wind was now from the south-west so at least something of a tailwind.
I did manage to make up some of my lost average speed but I did fall short of my planned 25 km/h. Still there is next time.
In summary I rode 226 km at an average speed of 23.76 lm/h, climbed 804 metres and spent 09:31:18 hours in the saddle.
Oh, I also had a problem with the rear-derailleur cable which I didn’t diagnose until after the ride and which denied me the option of selecting the 24T and 28T rear clusters and to top it all off I rode with a cracked front fork which again I didn’t find out about until Thursday. That will cost me $500 🙁