Riders: Wayne Hickman, Bruno Lanciano, Nick Mandoki, Perry Raison
The ride started at 05:06 (sunrise) with a Dawn til’ Dusk finish deadline of 19:21 at sunset. Technically, according to John Eden’s rules it would be OK to reach the 280km mark at 19:06 at an overall average speed of 20kmh to meet the DTD qualification standard. Winter DTD is 200km over 10hrs with Spring & Autumn 250km total (240km in 12hrs for qualification)
The hot day (36 degrees max. in York, see GPS temp. profile below) and the hills made for a Dawn til’ Dusk challenge that was too great, with long recovery stops required at Toodyay, Spencers Brook, York and Wundowie. All riders finished well outside the DTD finish limit. The BRM Homologation brevet a just reward for each rider who was brave/silly enough to attempt this ride!
The first leg up the Tonkin Freeway PSP was pretty cruisy with a cool start and a moderate cross wind which I knew would increase to a strong gusty headwind near Muchea at the base of the Darling Scarp. My Garmin decided to stop recording twice on the way up giving me 2 fragment recordings whilst 16+ km went missing. Hopefully a software update will fix this.
At Muchea 24hr roadouse we had a chance meeting with Siobhan McCloskey with whom Wayne and myself chatted whilst Nick and Bruno took off into the gusty fresh easterlies that would test us enroute to Toodyay. On Julimar Rd about 15km from Toodyay I had a sudden sharp pain that seemed to be related to my lower back/right hip/right ITB, I wasn’t really sure but had an immediate instinctive feeling that my ride might be over. ‘OK stay calm, I just have to make it to Toodyay’ I told myself. I changed down to reduce pedalling resistance and concentrated on faster spinning with good rythm. I made it to town, spotting Bruno at Coca-Cola Cafe then met Nick parked in the shade of a gum tree near the public tap next to the Toilet Block on Charcoal Lane.
Nourished by a ham, promite and hot english mustard sandwich and physically reinstated by a stretching session, I proceeded to lose weight by bodily evacuation, offsetting this by refilling my 3L hydration bag. Bruno appeared and we briefly waited for Wayne though he had already left town. On the series of steep climbs up Folewood Rd it became obvious that the heat of the day was setting in. At the top of the biggest climb on Sandplain Rd I could see that Wayne had briefly stopped whilst I ground up the steep slope in my lowest gear and the highest temperature of 39 degrees. I rode past Wayne on the next hill and was joined by Bruno further down Spencers Brook Rd. We proceeded to ride together almost all the way to York whilst Wayne had a siesta in a bus stop shed near Spencers Brook settlement. At York (176km) it was clear to me that all of us were heat stressed and a long break was a necessity. I rang Helen who informed me that India had been bowled out for their lowest Test score of 36. I informed her that I might not arrive home until about 10PM.
So it was that Nick, Bruno and myself proceeded up the constant ascent of Talbot Rd in the blazing mid afternoon sun. Occasional descents and increasing shade from roadside trees slowly mitigated the heat until we turned onto the lovely West Talbot Rd where the cooler microclimate of the Wandoo woodlands made for a very pleasant saunter up low gradients on a very good sealed surface. Near the western end of W. Talbot Rd. we left the National Park behind and entered an area of farmland where the wind and temperature predictably increased leading to a another steeper climb up Yarra Rd to Great Southern Highway. Here each rider was punished by the old surface of Inkpen Rd. I joked to Bruno that it was the only road where I had a full bidon shaken from its holder. This may have been a slight overstatement as I think the bidon may have had some liquid in it! A traffic counter on this section filled me with some hope that the surface may be improved in the near future.
For hours I had been dreaming of an cold coffee, a choc milk and maybe even an icrecream from the IGA at Wundowie. It was not to be as the shop had closed at 1700 I was 55 minutes late! I had to make do with the remainder of my aqualyte hydration supplement and the food that I still carried. At least the public loo across from the shops was still open. Bruno and Nick arrived shortly after and left before me, though I passed them up the Burma Rd climb just out of town. Next I briefly debated a detour off course to the Wooroloo Shop for a cold choc milk, but in the true Audax spirit I steeled myself and forged ahead on the designated route, not being tempted by nearby shops at Chidlow and Mount Helena as the cool of the evening made riding very enjoyable as I proceeded through the perth hills. In Glen Forrest I stopped at a bus stop on Ryecroft Rd for a bite to eat. Shortly Bruno arrived and we rode together more or less to the finish at Bassendean Station at 21:23 just over 2 hours after sunset. Nick arrived a few minutes later, hoping to catch a train into town enroute to home. Bruno departed for his waiting car and I rode home taking a 6km detour up the Tonkin PSP to Morley Drive to ensure my double imperial century for the day. This the result of a competition on ‘Bikejournal’ a fairly antiquated US website which has lost most of its followers to Strava. Later that evening Wayne texted me informing that he had finished at 22:50
My recovery the following day was better than that of similar rides in the past which I put down to taking long breaks when required, an improved hydration supplement, stretching regimes and better food choices. The course ridden was the quietest possible 300km route from Perth to the western wheatbelt and return.
Bruno and Mate on a summit of Sandplain Rd (Temp. 39 C)