The BYL Juniors long weekend ride heads out from the University of Western Australia, which is about 20km from my house. When I ride out with the Juniors my usual habit is to ride out to UWA and ride home again. It adds 40km or so to the ride, but usually that is alright, it simply brings the ride up to around 110km or so, which is about what I am usually after.
Not today though.
Today, due to there being a cycling race up in the hills on our usual course our ride needed to head somewhere else. That somewhere else meant that the ride was a bit longer than it usually is and a whole bunch hillier. As a result, what was a 120km ride last week became a 150km ride this week. 150km and about 1400m of elevation gain. Solid for me at any time, but particularly solid for me at the moment when I am not that riding fit.
Last week the main effort that the Juniors did was a 15km seeded time trail, where the faster juniors tried to chase down some of the less fast juniors. It was a solid effort all around.
This week the 15km circuit was where the cycling race was and so the seeded time trial needed to be done elsewhere. That elsewhere ended up being 18km on a particularly hilly road between a spot called Mundaring Weir and a town called Kalamunda. Very Hilly.
Just like last week the Juniors headed off least fast to most fast with the idea being to see who could reach Kalamunda first. I headed off with the fastest guys and whilst I had no illusions of holding onto them I was hopeful that I would be able to catch up with some of the other juniors before they reached Kalamunda. That was the plan anyway. I didn't exactly pan out that way.
In the end I got nowhere near the other Juniors, by the time I rolled into Kalamunda they were all there waiting. It was both humbling and impressive at the same time. Not only was the performance impressive because it speaks to how fit these young folk are, but it was also impressive because of the amount of effort they had put in. Every member of the squad and genuinely turned themselves inside out in an effort to reach Kalamunda first. The time trial was hardly the first bit of work they had done in the session too, after all they had to ride 50km just to get to the start of the time trial. Putting in that sort of effort most of the way into a long ride was a serious bit of effort.
Whilst the session was a bit of a whumping for me it was also great to get out and survive a ride like this. As I said at the start of this blog I haven't done a ride like this for quite some time. It may have been a lot slower than it used to be, but it was nice to still be able to get out and do it.