RIDE REPORT: Well really a non-ride report … Am I getting to old and soft?

Time for reflection. Bailed again Sunday on a ride due to the “weather.” This is the second time this year/winter that I have walked away from a ride. The first being my ride of the Munda Biddi and now today I bailed out of the 200 km Audax ride, Mr Marston’s Meander which was a loop out of Toodyay and looked like a pretty good ride.With Sunday’s ride it was bucketing down when I climbed out of bed at 5:00 AM and the weather forecast wasn’t nice but with some hope …

Showers, heavy at times in the morning, easing to a shower or two by evening. The risk of a squally thunderstorm during the morning. Fresh and gusty NW winds shifting W/SW by late morning.

I decided to go even though I wasn’t as prepared as I should have been (no wet weather pants, no winter gloves and no arm warmers with me). I was leaving from Fremantle so didn’t have the time to go home to get the extra gear. This is my other problem of late … don’t seem to get my act together properly.

Anyway I decided that it wasn’t going to be that bad, there was a chance of it clearing later in the morning and the ride was on the other side of the ranges out of Toodyay so it shouldn’t be so bad so off I go out into the rain.

Of course the bike was on the roof and the Brooks saddle was getting wet … another thing forgotten: A plastic bag for the saddle.

It rained and rained on the drive out to Toodyay so it was not looking good. Not much sign of a break in the weather and then 10 minutes out of Toodyay (I was way to early for the ride start) came the text from the ride organiser. Three had cancelled due to a severe weather warning.

What severe weather warning? Missed that one! Quick check of the phone shows a brief note that a severe weather warning had been issued. Phone call to the rider organiser and it seems that three had cancelled for sure, leaving me and himself as the riders. 100 km winds predicted and it did not sound like the ride organiser was that keen either so I agreed to bail.

The warning it turned out was …

For people in inland parts of WA in, near or between Kellerberrin to Paynes Find to Sandstone to Leonora to Israelite Bay to Hopetoun to Kellerberrin. This includes people in, near or between Southern Cross, Kalgoorlie, and Esperance.

Issued at 3:35 am on Sunday 18 September 2011

A strong cold front expected near Lancelin to Albany about 8am Sunday, Mount Magnet to Esperance early Sunday afternoon, and Leinster to Israelite Bay late afternoon. Showers and thunderstorms with the passage of the cold front are very
likely to produce WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS to 100 kilometres per hour that could cause DAMAGE TO HOMES AND PROPERTY. Damaging winds are likely to start from late Sunday morning.

That was for the eastern south-west and we are in the western part of the south-west … maybe not such an issue?

Of course by 8:30 AM (the ride was due to start at 8:00 AM) there where breaks in the weather. Okay it wouldn’t have been a super nice day for riding with a strong cold front passing through, but not to severe for the ride.

Not that long ago I would have just done the ride; now I found myself back in Perth sans 200 km. I really should have done the ride, okay it might have been a bit wet and windy but going by the forecast the winds would have been favourable for a fair bit of the ride as they swung around.

I do wonder if I am getting old and soft, okay I am getting old, but really I need to toughen up I think. I need to make sure I am properly prepared (I know real riders wouldn’t wear rain pants but hey I am in my second half century :)) because then I could have done the ride on my own with out a lot of dramas. I didn’t have a brevet card or the route sheet but I did have it on the GPS and it is not a complicated ride so that is not an excuse.

If I want to ride from Darwin to Perth (planning this one for 2012 or 2013) I really need to get it together. So no more soft stuff; time to harden up and get out there starting tomorrow of course 🙂

3 Responses to RIDE REPORT: Well really a non-ride report … Am I getting to old and soft?

  1. jet 19 September 2011 at 8:19 AM #

    sounds like you let them talk you out of it! 😉 Darwin to Perth sounds interesting!

  2. Greg 19 September 2011 at 9:44 PM #

    Sounds like a lack of preparation. I am finding that I have to be organised in advance because I can’t seem to get my act together on the day. I really haven’t been motivated to ride over winter either with all the rain. On a nice spring day though it is much easier to be motivated to ride. We have had some spectacular weather so far this spring but also some dreadful weather!

  3. Stuart 9 October 2011 at 12:27 PM #

    Hey Andrew

    I was riding that day on tour! Of course I had no idea about the weather warning due to staying in a bush camp, and a severe weather warning woudn’t have really stopped me riding thanks to limited water. There was a dam where we stayed but would need treatment etc. Day started out with N winds gradually shifting to NW and getting stronger. At times it was crosswind and was a struggle at times with the bike. When I got to my rest point and found it was closed and nowhere to get water I sat down and recovered for the next 15 minutes as I felt like I was on the verge of bonking thanks to the winds. 10 minutes after I left the wind changed direction to a SW and the temperature dropped about 5 degrees. I didn’t bother to stop and get changed and kept riding and my speed picked up. I get into Coolgardie in a dust storm.

    If I wasn’t touring, I wouldn’t have been riding, so no your not going too soft. I just had no option thanks to limited water and being inland so didn’t get the weather until later in the day. Mind you I did stay in accomodation that night as opposed to a tent 🙂

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