The Wall looms ahead of me. Not the physiological wall athletes hit when their bodies run out of fuel but a really steep short hill that locals call The Wall. I’ve been riding for about 15km, climbing the long slopes to the top of Mount Cotton and I’ve just dropped down into the gully before The Wall. I try to pedal up but decide to unclip my foot before the point of no return. Perhaps I’m chicken but now that I’m walking, I’m committed to my choice because there’s no way to get cranking again.
The Wall is just one of many climbs I completed in this morning’s 61km circuit. It was a tough but beautiful ride along some of the quieter and hillier roads in the Redlands and Logan. While The Wall was by far the toughest single climb, I completed some less dramatic efforts.
The climb up Mount Cotton is 2km long. There’s no ‘run up’; the road starts out flat and just starts climbing. Every time you think you can see the top, all you are really seeing is a staging point for the next section of the climb. There’s no views to reward you at the top but the bushland setting is pretty.
The climbs on Ford Road are cheeky. You fly down the preceding hills in the hope of getting a run up only to discover that the climbs in the direction I was traveling are steeper and longer than the downhills. Riding east, Ford Road is a nice ride. Riding west, it’s a gut-busting challenge. But the scenery and lack of traffic make it worth the effort.
There’s a few nasty suburban hills heading home. The short sharp steep climb up to Daisy Hill is like a mini version of The Wall. It’s a similar length climb but marginally less steep. And then Lyndale Street rolls along with evenly matched downhills for each uphill.
The killer of my ride is at 48km. I climb up to the top of Kimberly Heights for a full kilometre. I’ve never ridden more than 45km on a pre-work training ride so I’m in new territory before I hit the climb. I could have avoided it but something made me take on the challenge. And I won. The climb is steep but for the first time in the ride, there are views to be enjoyed before the long downhill reward.
The ride was a good confidence boost for Saturday night’s 200km Audax ride.
Total: 61.0km road ride at 24.7kph average speed.