Something magical happens when daylight savings finally rolls around. It’s like the weight of the long, cold winter is finally lifted and summer feels like it’s just around the corner. Sure enough, it’s slowly starting to warm up here in Melbourne and it’s hard not to be excited about the opportunities for great riding in the months ahead.
One of the rides I’m most looking forward to is the Domestique 7 Peaks Ride at Lake Mountain on Sunday November 13. It’s hard to believe that this is the fifth year that my good friend Andy and I have run these rides, but here we are!
For those that aren’t familiar with Domestique, it’s a collaboration between this site and the cycling collective that Andy heads up: Hells 500. Andy and I had been fans of the 7 Peaks Alpine Ascent Challenge (as it was called then – now 7 Peaks Ride) from the start and in 2012 we decided to organise some rides to coincide with the Challenge. Our goal: introduce people to the satisfaction of riding in the hills and help them to conquer the great mountains that our state of Victoria has to offer. It didn’t matter whether you’d never climbed a mountain before or if you were a competitive local racer — the ride was open to all, and free.
Four years on, those ideals haven’t changed. Sure, the rides might look a little different than they once did — doing 12 rides throughout the summer simply isn’t feasible any more — but the Domestique 7 Peaks rides are still free, they’re still inclusive, and they’re still a great day out, whether you’re climbing Lake Mountain for the first time, trying to get yourself into some form ahead of the summer, or deep into your training for the upcoming Tour of Bright.
So get a bunch of mates together, or come by yourself. It really doesn’t matter. With so many cyclists there you’ll always find someone to ride with, and you’ll always have a “carrot” up the road, spurring you on! One thing we can guarantee is that there’ll be a friendly, welcoming atmosphere on the day and that you’ll almost certainly have a great time. Even when it’s been cold and wet up there in the past we’ve had fun! (Of course we’ll be pulling as many strings as we can to ensure great weather this year …)
So what are you doing on Sunday November 13? We do hope you’ll join us. The event starts at Gallipoli Park in Marysville at 9am with a quick rider briefing, after which we’ll be sending you off in waves. Then it’s just about settling in to a rhythm and climbing your way to the Lake Mountain resort at your own pace.
And finally, if you’re keen to see what the ride will be like, click the links below for reports and photos from the past four years:
- 2012/13: October 2012 and January 2013
- 2013/14: November 2013
- 2014/15: November 2014
- 2015/16: November 2015
Thanks for reading. We hope to see you in Marysville on Sunday November 13 as we kick-start 7 Peaks Ride season, and a great summer of cycling!