Episode 5: back to the Dandenongs

Route: Thornbury to Sky High via 1 in 20, return
Distance: 105km
Duration: 4 hours 2 minutes

Nice day for a spot of climbing

Late last week, a nice chap by the name of Marcus Nyeholt invited me for a spin out to the Dandenongs on Saturday. I’d spoken with Marcus a few times on Twitter before and with my regular training partners (Brendan and the Donvale Demon) both unavailable on Saturday afternoon, I was more than happy for the company.

We met at the intersection of Chandler Highway and the Koonung Trail and headed east toward the ‘Nongs, much as I’d done the previous weekend. We chatted as we rode, and I took the opportunity to ask Marcus about his racing and whether I should give it a crack at some point.

To my great frustration, the clicking noise that had started during last weekend’s ride was back with a vengeance. This was despite spending a good part of that morning at the LBS trying to fix the issue.

Cimbing the 1 in 20

After tightening the rear hub and making a few other adjustments, the mechanic removed my (0ld and tired) pedals and put some flats on to see if that was the problem. He rode the bike very briefly and came back saying: ‘That’s definitely it. Replace your pedals and you’ll be fine.’

I did so, heading to a different LBS (the first one didn’t have road pedals) and buying a replacement set of pedals for $100. To my great frustration, the clicking continued after the new pedals and cleats were installed and so I was stuck with the noise throughout my ride with Marcus.

We followed the bike track to Canterbury Road before turning off and climbing through Heathmont and out toward Bayswater and The Basin. It was noticeably warmer this weekend than it was the last weekend and we were both getting through water at a swift pace.

At the start of the 1 in 20 we took a quick break before climbing toward Sassafras. I had no real desire to challenge my PB set the previous weekend and with Marcus still recovering from a tough ergo session the previous day, it made sense to take it easy on the climb.

More from the 1 in 20

We regrouped at Sassafras before climbing to Olinda and then, slowly, up to Sky High. I always forget about the couple of nasty pinches between Olinda and Sky High and by the time we got to the summit, we were both ready for a break.

As mentioned, my bike’s annoying click was audible throughout the ride, but this was no more apparent than on the quiet climbs of the Dandenongs. With every pedal revolution I’d be greeted by a familiar “click click” — a sound that really detracted from the enjoyment at times.

At Sky High we smashed down a couple of bottles of Powerade each, making sure we stayed hydrated on what was becoming a fairly warm day. At one point, my Garmin 500 read 37 degrees but I suspect the real temperature was closer to 30. Nonetheless, it was hot enough to have us sweating up a storm and developing some killer tan lines.

After refueling we descended along the Mt. Dandenong Tourist Road and down through Montrose. Climbing hills is, in itself, a rewarding experience, but when you get to bomb down a mountain as a reward as well, the hard work is more than worthwhile.

More views from Sky High

We rejoined the bike track at Canterbury Road, climbed our way through Ringwood, back up to Springvale Road and back toward the city before parting ways at Chandler Highway. I rode the ~5km home, feeling satisfied with another 100km+ hit-out (four weekends in row) but frustrated that my bike was still playing up. It was great to get out for a spin with someone different too, so thanks to Marcus for the invitation!

The next morning I headed back down to the LBS and explained the situation: it wasn’t the pedals causing the problem. The mechanic said he’d need to check the bike in for a more senior mechanic to look at during the week.

I picked the bike up after work last night and I’m assured that it’s all (finally) been fixed. It was apparently a case of the bottom bracket bearings not being lubricated well enough when the bike was assembled. That’s been done now — at a cost of $80 no less — and hopefully that’s the last I’ll hear of the annoying clicking noise.

As things start to wind down for Christmas, I’m looking forward to a couple weeks off work and some good opportunities to get some solid training kays in. I’m heading up to the high country with Brendan and the Demon early in the New Year and hopefully I won’t be carrying too many Christmas kilos when that happens.

Yours truly at Sky High

Remember you can come and say “hi” over at Twitter, Facebook and/or Strava and you’re more than welcome to leave a comment below or send me an email with feedback about the blog or site more generally.

Until next time, have a splendid Christmas and New Year and please stay safe on the roads!

80 days to go …

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10 Replies to “Episode 5: back to the Dandenongs”

  1. Hi Matt

    I did this ride this morning and really enjoyed the challenge and view up top, do you have any elevation data on the climb from Sassafras to sky high? Unfortunately my computer decided it would die just when I felt I was on track for a PB on 1 in 20!

    Great site, will use your high country blog as a guide for my training weekend in February.


  2. Hi Matt, I’m enjoying your updates and although I won’t be riding in any of the official Alpine rides this season I’m planning a weekend in Bright early in the new year. Your updates are giving me the motivation to get out and keep getting the k’s in, good luck with 3 peaks!

    1. Thanks for your comment Matt. πŸ™‚ Myself and a couple of others will be up in the high country from January 3 to January 6. You’re more than welcome to join us for some climbing action if you like. πŸ™‚

  3. Matt,

    I had EXACTLY the same problem with my Cannondale SuperSix. Took into LBS (Goldcross Chirnside are excellent) and they said exactly the same thing. Furthermore, my mate also has a SuperSix and had the same problem. Even worse for him, his cranks completely fell apart! I get the feeling that Cannondale, though excellent parts, are put together rather shoddily…not good enough when spending so much on a bike….

    I got mine fully serviced and it was running beautifully…about 4-500km later, more horrible noises! Beginning to think the FSA SL-K cranks are no good (is that what your CAAD is on?)

  4. Am loving the info on your site Matt. Am a Canberra cyclist, training through the year for Fitz’s Challenge, and then down to the Alpine Classic in January.

    Am heading down to Melbourne over the Christmas break, so looking forward to tackling some of the hills down there, in particular the 1 in 20 and Arthur’s Seat.


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