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“Ride to the Hills”

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…  

Smile

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.

image

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.

image

Being an amazing sunny day – the view was spectacular – a great spot for a coffee.  

image

Click here to see the panoramic photo I took – using PhotoSynth (iPhone).

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….

Smile

Once I wiped the grin off my face, after arriving in MONBULK, I turned RIGHT, and followed the signs to BELGRAVE.

This winds through SHERBROOKE (past Grants Picnic Ground), and past a wedding venue called Lyrebird Falls – which is where I got married !

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 :

image

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 ?

Smile

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One Response

  1. Great stuff buddy! It probably wasn’t apparent to you, but road you decended down into Monbulk is one of the other famous climbs in the Dandenongs, it’s called The Wall – a bit tougher than the 1/20 due to it’s varying and steeper gradients. It’s definitely worth the challenge! Now I just need to show you Devil’s Elbow, The Crescent and Perrins Ck Rd. I’ll leave it a year or so before I show the The Slaughterhouse, Mast Gully Rd and Terrys Ave #CreatedAMonster

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