Last weekend, I did a BIG ride to the hills – from my house in WANTIRNA SOUTH, up to The Dandenongs.
The classic song by IRON MAIDEN is actually “RUN TO THE HILLS”.
I think it should’ve been “RIDE” to the hills… “RIDE” for your liiiiiiffe…
A good buddy of mine (@Bender6amer) had previously taken me out for a ride, via a suburb called THE BASIN – and then up a popular hill climb called ‘the 1-in-20’.
This was a fairly decent climb (climbs 1m in 20m), winding up the side of MT DANDENONG – with some great views, and tree-ferns, and thick, rich, cold air – lovely.
At the top, we ended in a town called SASSAFRAS – where we’d stopped into cafe for coffee & muffin (really good blueberry muffin – straight from the oven).
We’d come screaming back down – I took it a little easy – had a sore neck that day, and hard to get down on ‘the drops’ – and look up.
Here’s the map of the route – about 40km in total.
Anyway – that was about a month ago – and I’ve been keen to repeat that same ride – and maybe a little more. I need to get some KM’s up, with the AROUND-THE-BAY-IN-A-DAY ride in less than a month.
So – last Sunday, I took off on my own – and rode the ‘1-in-20’ myself.
But – I had done some research via Google Maps – and worked out the trail to the “Sky High” restaurant – which is the lookout+cafe on the top of MT DANDENONG.
I set myself the ambitious goal of riding there – and THEN grabbing a coffee.
From SASSAFRAS, I rode on to OLINDA – and then up the winding ‘Mount Dandenong Tourist Road’ – and then turned LEFT at the signpost to Sky High.
This climb was even tougher – but I persevered – and then all-of-a-sudden, I was at the top…!
Here’s me with my SPECIALIZED SECTEUR – you can see the tall buildings of Melbourne’s CBD – on the horizon – incredible !
I could also see Port Philip Bay – just off-screen to the left.
Being an amazing sunny day – the view was spectacular – a great spot for a coffee.
After a relaxing cup o’ joe, and a water bottle re-fill – I took off again – this time heading DOWN the Sky High tourist road.
I saw a few guys riding up – and I remember thinking “jeez, did I ride this !??” – as I whizzed downhill.
I then swung through OLINDA – and turned LEFT – instead of back the way I’d come – and headed for MONBULK.
This was a super quick blast down hill – wow – for about 8 minutes. I hit 69 km/h – accordingly to my nava-computer (iPhone) – without even trying.
My road bike (SPECIALIZED) rolls along soooo nicely – I actually had to hold it back when going downhill – just felt like it was accelerating on it’s own.
I swear this bike could do the kessel run in ELEVEN parsecs….
Once I wiped the grin off my face, after arriving in MONBULK, I turned RIGHT, and followed the signs to BELGRAVE.
Then, on through KALLISTA – and to BELGRAVE. I took a breather, and rang the wife to say “yes, I’m still alive” – before rolling on.
Fairly straight forward from there – through TECOMA, and UPWEY – and down the hill to FERNTREE GULLY – and then all ‘flat’ for the ride home.
All-in-all – I rode 58.8 km – that’s the furthest distance I’ve ridden in one outing – and it was nearly 1,100m of climbing too.
I felt pretty damn good (!) – just some soreness in legs (calf muscles).
Here’s the route that I took last weekend :
I reckon I still need a few more rides – and then I’ll be ready for 100km – Sorrento to Melbourne.
And – some summer weather will be nice for more “hill rides” – daylight savings starts THIS weekend – w00t !
Hope you’ve enjoyed a few outings recently – road, MTB, or maybe even running ?