Did the ATB for the fourth time yesterday, having previously completed the 50km, 100km (Sorrento to Melbourne), and 210 km (Mel-Sorrento-Queenscliff-Mel), this year I was very lazy and signed up for the easiest triple digit kilometre ride, Melbourne to Frankston loop. I was planning on arriving in the Melbourne CBD at 7.30am to start riding by about 7.45am but as usual I was running late, and only got to the starting point at about 8.10am at which point I heard the announcer say if there are any more 100km riders, please come to the start line as we want to send off the 50km riders at 8.15am.
So I set off by myself (starting my strava app) in search of a nice group of people that would drag me 50km to Frankston. As is always the case the ride out of the city was slow and awkward with congestion and traffic lights slowing the cyclists down, but once we got past Port Melbourne the speed picked up, and I was able to put the hammer down and go at my own pace a bit. My legs were a little weary having not cycled much for the past month or two (probably only about 100km in that time), but I knew it wasn’t going to be too bad. There was a solid tailwind (I’m pretty sure) pushing us south towards Frankston which was pretty great as it helped me maintain an average moving speed of between 30 and 35 kph. I was aiming to arrive at Frankston at about 9.30am but due to the late start that was never going to happen, and I eventually rolled up at about 9.50am, so I managed to make quite good time.
I didn’t feel like I had a big tailwind when I was heading down but once I turned around and headed back for Melbourne (after about 15 minutes resting) I definitely noticed that the air resistance was a bit stiffer making the going a bit tougher. I persisted though trying to jump on to the back of any groups that I could hoping to get dragged forward at a similar speed to what I managed going south, but there was a definite slow down. What I find is that when you look up and see a bunch of cyclists and think, “great, I’ll try to latch on to the back of that group”, when you catch up to them they’re actually a bunch of individuals that are all just fading back at their own pace. So you catch up and you sit there for a bit, then decide that you need to go on your own to go at a speed that you’ll be happy with, then a group goes past fast and you think I should try to latch on to them, but that usually ends in failure and you (at least I do) inevitably end up going it alone. Any way, after making my way back (I didn’t stop any where except Frankston) to Alexandra Gardens and crossing the finish line (where I saw Em) I hurriedly headed over to her (she missed the money shot! :p) to discuss the morning (it was just after noon) before heading home (without getting my paid-for lunch!). Any way, a good day was had by all (I think) and we’ll do it again next year (probably), although next time I might continue on from Frankston to Mornington before turning around to get in a few extra kilometres, I don’t care about the ATB times as they count your stopping time, the strava time is where it’s at. Sheesh, shoulda used sunscreen, think I got burnt pretty bad. doesn’t hurt or anything, but I reckon a fair amount of skin is going to be peeling off in the next day or two, I look like I have my shoulders all strapped up.