This ride was run in conjunction with the 35th Anniversary Toodyay 200km loop.
About 10 riders completed the 200km Toodyay loop while Doug, a newbee to Audax riding, and I did the 100km loop through Middle Swan, Brigadoon, Mt Helena.
This ride ticked all the boxes for me. Roads not previously ridden, challenging for me (hills), scenic, easy riding company, and the weather god was kind.
Bayswater Train Station was a convenient start point – free parking and public toilets nearby. At 7am the 200km riders took off in one direction while Doug and I headed towards the Midland PSP. I am glad we didn’t start any later as there was a bit of traffic around on Saturday morning.
First checkpoint was in Middle Swan and it was good to turn off Great Northern Highway onto quieter roads. Into the hills we went, the usual slow uphill speed for me but I really enjoyed the challenge. A few of hills in this area have mean reputations so it was good to finally see what I had heard about. The next 60kms was great riding with great views, kangaroos, farm animals and a lot of birds.
The Lancewood Ave roller coasters, 33km into the ride, were an unexpected first including the OMG 27% displayed on the Garmin at one stage. A highlight of the ride for me. 1st roller coaster was ticked off and curious about how steep it was I swiped to the incline display on my Garmin before zooming down on the approach to the 2nd roller coaster.
My bike’s forward momentum abruptly came to an almost stop when I came up on the 27+% incline part of the 2nd hill. Seeing on the Garmin display how steep it was I was mentally thrown, stuffed up my gear change and annoyingly had to clip out. Walked about 15 steps before getting back on with it. Doug meanwhile pushed past me up the hill putting me to shame.
The next 40km to the 2nd checkpoint (drink fountain, toilets, shop if needed) at Mt Helena was pleasant riding through the hills.
After Mt Helena we still had some minor hills but several long great downhill runs. Really pleasant riding. After Mundaring the traffic got heavier. A fair few cyclists were on the railway trail that runs adjacent to this section of the route. Made me wonder if a week day or Sunday would be quieter for riding this back route down out of the hills. The last 10kms along the quiet PSP from Midland went quickly as Doug and I chatted. Garmin showing 100.3km on reaching Bayswater Train Station. Doug completing his first Audax ride with style. I thought this was a great 100km route and hope it stays on the ride calendar or made a permanent.