December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas (now bring on the Victorian Alps)

It’s that time of year again. A time when a visit to the shopping centre can inspire violence in even the most relaxed of individuals. A time when you realise the year has passed even faster than you would have thought possible. And, of course, a time for sitting back and enjoying some great food, drink and company.

With all the pre-Christmas excitement I haven’t been able to get out for a long ride this weekend, but I have managed two shorter outings.

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Image: M.Sauter/Flickr

The first was a cruisy ~50km ride along various bike tracks with my brother Ash, who’s over from Perth for Christmas. Avid readers might remember that Ash and I travelled to the US together earlier this year, where we did a fantastic 73km bike ride in and around San Francisco.

The second ride was a ~55km spin this afternoon down to Yarra Boulevard via Brunswick Velodrome and home via Preston Velodrome. My main goal was to ride Yarra Boulevard from Chandler Highway to Walmer Street and back again in under 25 minutes — my previous PB.

I managed 22 minutes 30 seconds including a swag of other PBs along the way which I was really stoked about. It was particularly satisfying to get a PB on a Strava segment that’s not a climb!

If you’re like me you’ll probably get to the end of your Christmas celebrations and realise you’ve come into possession of a few extra unwanted kilograms. I, for one, and banking on three full days of cycling between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to take care of any excess baggage.

As part of the 7 Peaks Domestique Series the Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist collective is heading to the Victorian Alps for a series of four rides over three days, and it’s shaping up to be a terrific little trip away:

If you’ve got some time off in this period and you’re looking to ride on some of the best roads in the state, please do think about coming along. I’d like to think we’ve created a nice, friendly atmosphere in our rides so far and and if you commit to completing a climb with us, we’ll make sure you aren’t left behind. That is, a representative from the Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist crew will be riding at the very back of the field, no matter how slow the last rider might be.

These high country rides come at a great time for the Strava addicts among us as they coincide with the Rapha Festive 500. The concept is simple: ride 500km in the week between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. I did it last year and it was a great way to repent for some over zealous consumption at Christmas, while also coming into the new year feeling fit and strong.

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Image: fixedgear/Flickr

And speaking of the end of the year, I haven’t got long to wrap up the challenges I set myself for 2012 – to ride 10,000km and climb 120,000 vertical metres. It’s meant averaging roughly 220km and 2,500m a week, but I think it’s safe to say I’ll get there. With a week left in the year I’ve ridden 9,725km and climbed 119,193m.

So, in the final week, all I need to manage is 275km with a little over 800m of climbing. Given I’ll be climbing four mountains in three days and attempting to ride 500km as part of the Festive 500, I think I should be alright.

So what are my plans for 2013? Well, that’s the subject of another post but for now I’m just looking forward to Christmas and to three days of awesome cycling with the Hells 500/The Climbing Cyclist contingent. Again, if you’ve got nothing else on, please do think about joining us — it will be an awesome few days.

And in case you missed it, we’re running a little competition over on Facebook. To be honest, it’s less of a competition and more of a give-away. Quite simply, we’re giving a full set of cycling kit (valued at $500) to one lucky rider in real need of a new kit. If you’ve got a mate that always rocks up to group rides in tatty or stained kit, just add their name to the comments section of this photo and they’ll be in the draw for some new threads. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from tagging yourself …

On that note, have a fantastic, safe and very merry Christmas with friends and family. And if you don’t happen to celebrate Christmas, I hope you still have some time off work and other commitments to enjoy the company of your loved ones.

Until next time, please stay safe on the roads!

3 Comments

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  1. Andrew / Jan 3 2013

    Hey you forgot to add the Hodgson St and Yarra St climbs :)

    I notice you are riding a Forza. How long have you had that for and what are you thoughts on it ? Considering one myself but have heard mixed things.

    • Matt / Jan 3 2013

      Haven’t forgotten – they’re just too short! As for the Forza, I’m going to be writing a review – stay posted.

  2. Ian / Dec 24 2012

    “Sorry, we couldn’t save your tag because this photo has already been tagged with the maximum number of users allowed. Please see the FAQ page for details: http://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=16974.”

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