I was up at 4:30am this morning, freshly motivated from yesterday’s race. I don’t have any races until February so have decided to spend the summer building a solid base for my busy autumn racing schedule. This means I’m going to be doing a lot of kilometres, mainly on the bike and run because they are my weaknesses.
As part of my base training schedule, I’ve decided to devote time to training in scenic locations; starting with West Mount Cotton Road. I am lucky to have this fabulous semi-rural road near my home. It does actually climb over Mount Cotton, the mountain.
I was on the road by 5am. I decided to wear my iPod so that I could sing during my ride. I chose The Waif’s Sun Dirt Water album after a conversation with my running friends last week. And so it was that I was singing How Many Miles as I rode past the Siromet Winery and Get Me Some as I climbed the hill out of the winery’s valley.
That hill! It’s always a struggle no matter how many times I ride it. It’s a sneaky one – even for cars with small engines. I just sat back and made myself relax as I climbed it. Besides, the next two months are about long slow kilometres so it’s probably good to get my legs used to a bit of spinning.
I left busy Mount Cotton Road behind as I turned left onto West Mount Cotton Road. I found myself flying along at over 30kph until I hit the hill that leads to the quarry. There were semi-trailers on the road yet – something to be grateful about.
The quarry is at the top of The Wall, a seemingly-vertical section of road. Fortunately, I was riding down The Wall and up the other side to the lookout. One day I will have the courage to let my brakes go as I descend The Wall but as yet I don’t have confidence in the 19mm of rubber that holds me upright, especially given those 19mm are on tyres that are about 5 years old (I found them in my mum’s garage when I collected my old bike – but that’s a story for another day). So I descended on the brakes only edging up to about 40kph.
I wish I had the courage to go faster because the hill on the other side of the gully is steep! I have a granny gear on my bike and still had to stand up. But the views from the top were worth it. This morning I could see all the way to Brisbane city some 40km away by road.
From the lookout I followed West Mount Cotton Road through the farmland and bushland all the way back to the main road. After a hairy right-turn onto busy Mount Cotton Road I did a short loop through the Carbrook before returning home. I rode 30km at 28kph. Not a bad start to my summer schedule.