Just some miscellaneous updates about the happenings throughout the week... of course the MAIN event was the Great Bike Ride on Sunday.
Li-Ann, her brother and myself went to watch Rent The Musical, starring Anthony Callea, Australian Idol 2004 runner up.
I found it a bit difficult to follow, as the cast were singing all the way, hence the plot was sort of disguised in their singing. The venue, Regal Theatre Subiaco was a bit dodgy. There were no announcements on when to enter the hall or how long the intermission was. In fact, as I was already so lost, I wasn't even sure whether IT ACTUALLY WAS an intermission!
But I suppose some credit should be given to the cast at a performance level. They sang quite well. I also noticed a lot of gay couples among the audience... hmmm...
Dinner in the KPMG board room with our partners for those who have completed the CA program. The food was good. Pretty but in small portions. We each had our names imprinted on the menu. I chose the steak over the salmon (as always... =P).
I arrived pretty late as I was held up at home with the tech support to setup my new broadband service with Dodo. Shouldn't have made the switch. The tech support people are all foreigners, probably outsourced. I couldn't understand their thick accent. Hope I won't have many problems, so I don't have to call them up often.
Here's our congratulatory gift... an Oroton wallet.
Great Bike Ride... 53km (one loop) around the Swan River. There was a 106km one (two loops) but I'm still too wuss to try that. I even drove to the race venue (about 7km away from my house) and parked in my office!
My friend, Brendan was supposed to come with me. Too bad he broke his wrist. Get well soon, mate!
But when I arrived at the office car park at 7am, I met some of colleagues who were doing it as well. Fernsy... Heggie... Ciaran, who smoked me at last year's Skilled Corporate Teams Triathlon and Craig who did the Matilda Bay triathlon and this year's Skilled Corporate Teams Triathlon. They all had clip pedals and nicer looking bikes. Hmm... I guess I'm still the greenhorn when it comes to cycling.
The 53km start was at 7.40am, in staggered waves. There were about 5,100 cyclists this year in total. My wave was meant to start at 7 minutes after the 1st wave. But as in last year, we just jumped in whenever. I did my stretches first, had my last pre-race leak after finishing a full 600ml of Powerade and Powerbar Cookies N' Cream.
The weather was good. Mainly cloudy, so it wasn't too hot. There were some strong winds but as there were so many people riding around me, and there were no drafting rules, the winds were easily blocked.
I noticed I was one of the very few ones with aerobars. Started pretty well... was looking at my watch timer and comparing to the distance on my bike monitor. Averaging way above my target of 30kph. But I knew the route was pretty challenging as there were some hills later on.
True enough, there was a HUGE hill at Mosman Park somewhere around the 15km mark, which just spoiled my momentum. There were several cyclists who dismounted and started pushing their bikes. I actually was going on high gears right before the foothill, so I had a bit of trouble switching to low gears as I was climbing up. Struggled to find my balance, I had to stop on a few occassions and push a bit till I found the right built-up.
Status check after the hill... I was behind my target pace by about 1 minute. Have to work hard! I stayed on aero position for the flats and the moderate downward slopes. I find this really relieving for the legs after the climbs.
The route was pretty scenic, as it was along the river. And we don't get the chance to ride like this on normal days as these roads would be open to traffic.
Somewhere around the 20km mark, after going through some down slopes, I was back into breaking the 30kph target. I knew I could pick up the pace once we hit the freeway. BUT I WAS WRONG... there were GUSTY headwinds at the freeway. But I was still keeping slightly above 30kph.
I looked at my watch... it just past 1.5 hours... and there were about 5kms to go. If I can maintain the pace, I might just be able to make it under 1:40!
Getting onto the causeway and turning into Riverside Drive... only a couple of kms more. There was a bit of headwind too. My watch showed 1:36 and counting... this is going to be close!
Reached the finish line at 1:39.54... about 9 minutes faster than last year!
Stats were 51.81km, average 31.0 kph, max 53.6 kph.
There was a complimentary massage service. I asked for my quads and neck to be massaged. Yeah, neck must be sore from all the aero. The masseur was quite rough. I tried hard not to scream as the bony elbows were rubbed against my thighs.
I met Fernsy but the others were must have finished much earlier. Fernsy clocked slightly under 2 hours. Yeah, the hills must have shocked him like they did to me last year.
And I met Chow Hoong too! He was one the volunteers. Was surprised to see him as I thought he would have gone back to Malaysia. He had an extension with Accenture here until March next year. Thanks for the picture! I had my camera left in the car, didn't want to risk losing it in the ride.
That's all for now. Now I have to remove those stickers from my bike. Can't seem to get them off. So ANNOYING!