Author Archives: Dora

About Dora

Crystal a'cranking Hills of Death sigh and whisper... "Egg and tomato"

Dora’s 3Ps Report

My alarm goes off, it’s the morning of 3 Peaky
I’m nervous, jumpy, my voice is a little squeaky

If I’m  a website, then I’m ‘
My prep has been scratchy, infrequent, training sessions far too few

I’m feeling a little light headed, out of touch
A quick scan of my roomies reveals much:

Admin is chatty but saying nuthin
DtB is focused, prepared and on the button

Philby is packed and ready with the dispensary
Jenna is calm, centred, relaxed – her mind clear and free

“Oh, God” methinks “if you do exist – help me please”
“You see, I’m having a little trouble with these dodgy knees”

Hmmm, better rely on what I control …
I pack my kit with two Voltaren and two Panadol

Toast, tea, one last nervous poo then down to the start line
The sky looks clear, the day promising to be fine

With hundreds now arriving the adrenaline really starts to pump
The crowd builds, self-sorts into various waves, ready for the jump

The first descent is looooong – lost lights of red & white litter the roadway
I focus on Drastic’s descending tips, look through the line and lean in – don’t sway

It’s cool, I’m shivering, and the 5.2’s new brake pads are not yet properly seated
I finally hit the bottom, shivering violently, all reserves of body heat totally depleted

On the flat, pedalling evenly, it’s time to warm up and decide on the game plan
It’s simple, one milestone at a time, take it very easy and ride as far as I can

So I settle into a careful rhythm, comfortably within my limits I’m Harrietville bound
Along comes a speedy train to which I attach my wagon, my heart starts to pound

Blue is in the same pack but prudently peels off for a comfort stop
At Harrietville I stop for water, Hydralite refill and a Voltaren drop

Now’s it back in the saddle with a singular new objective, make it to Dinner Plains
All good for now, feeling fairly fresh, with minimal knee aches or pains

Tawonga. That’s a hill. Then Mt Hotham. What a climb – a gift that keeps on giving
By the time I get to DP I’m hurting.  I feel more like dying, less like living

Its hot now, and I’ve been in the saddle for 5 hours plus
But I daren’t stop too long, quick feed, wee, bag drop, water, another Voltaren, no fuss

Back in the saddle I feel good again enjoying the undulations and changing scenery
I’ve got a good pattern going, spotting other riders, not chasing but maintaining the distance between them and me

The pain is manageable, speed is poor but maintainable, I’m feeling OK as Omeo approaches.
I bypass the water stop and push on through finding camaraderie with other slow coaches

The long weaving run into Anglers Rest is a blast
Slightly descending with turn upon turn, very fast

I arrive at Anglers and think to myself “Sh#t, I might be able to do this”
I reach for my medicine kit, faceslap “OMG, you’re taking the piss”

I’m out of Voltaren and the others have all worn off now
Grimly I opt for the Panadol determined to plough on somehow

I set off and ride out for the back of Falls thinking ”How bad can this hill be really be, to be fair?”
Turning WTF corner I look up, the hill is the winner, stragglers walking or stopped everywhere

The Panadol is doing nothing, the hill is 9% and my knees are screaming
I’m panicking, decide to a walk a bit, of the finish line I’m no longer dreaming

I’m limping badly, and fella stops “You all right mate”
“Knees buggered” I say, but I swear this guy was sent by Fate

“Have this” he says and passes a tiny bottle titled ‘Medi Rub’ on the outside
“Slap it on all over your knees and you’ll be able to ride”

Well call it a placebo or whatever it was enough to do the trick and pass the test
Just enough that I could get back on, grit my teeth and grind for Angler’s Rest

I struggled in to the checkpoint and stopped, almost fell off my bike – man it hurts
I toddle up the medic station and put my best case forward to the nurse

“What can you give me for pain” I says fluttering my eyelids, full of hope
“Hmm not much” she says “No, nothing, nope”

“I’m half an hour ahead of the Rouge, I reckon I can finish” I say
“Anything will do, just to take the edge off, don’t let it end this way”

“All right, that’s the spirit” she says “I’ll see what I can do”
Rifling through her handbag she finds one Panadol, now two

Elated I scoff them and jump back on my bike determined to get Falls Creek
By now its 10 plus hours on the bike but feeling more like a week

Slowly the forest diminishes as and the trees give way to snowline scrub, the hill flattens out
A small passing shower, the sun reappears making a rainbow “It’s a sign” I hear my inner voice shout

I’m cranking along slowly, not sure if I’m inside time as I pedal round the lakeside home
Another guy passes and answers my inquiry “It’s 7.45 pm” he says checking the screen of his phone

Down into Falls and I see a steward “Almost there” she says, now I can hear the crowd
Round the corner the finish line appears and damned if I’m not proud

12 hours 50 mins on the clock as the sun sets over the hill for the night
There is Stealthy and SatNav, grinning back at me, I must have been a sight

The last one home of thirty ERs time now for a hot shower, a few laughs and a cold beer
For this day I was the winner having conquered three hills, some pain and a little fear

Flight of the MAMIL

Padda. Padda padda padda. The possums tap out their pre-dawn marsupial rhythm, moving lithely across the terracotta tiles.

It’s still dark. I know this without opening my eyes. Other senses engage and come online. Sense of breath. Sense of self. My quads twitch and feel strong. I’m riding today.

Arising quietly I move with purpose. The sequence is known, a well-worn groove. Toast, tea, toilet, teeth, knicks, baselayer, shirt, socks, cap, water bottle, backpack, helmet, gloves – finally, shoes.

I close the door quietly behind and step out. Meg is there. Waiting, patient, ready. I know she doesn’t need it but I’ve got time and the ceremony is comforting. A wipe and twenty five drops of fresh lube. 110 PSI back and front. Rear light on, flashing.

A small part of my consciousness autocalculates the relative position of the red and yellow snake and then the optimal point of interception.

Meg’s bottom bracket creaks gently as I slowly pedal along Shepherd. I guide her around in a smooth arc into Tindale. I’m up out of the saddle and over the top of the 46 x 17 gearing. Maybe I’m ready to drop to 16. Maybe not. Sleeveless, it’s cool and I shiver slightly.

I reach the top of the hill as the first of my Egg and Tomato brothers arrive. Soon we have a quorum, then a throng, now a mob. Critical mass is reached, wry smiles and witticisms exchanged. The most appropriate point of attachment to the peleton selected.

And then we’re off, under a rising sun, a crisp Spring breeze at our backs. My core temperature rises and the endorphins start to flow. Spikes of adrenalin as obstacles are avoided, intersections negotiated, polite distances maintained.

Meg shies a little as we hit an unseen ridge. I overcompensate and grip too tightly before the resultant fatigue reminds me that I should trust her. Relax into to it. Go with the bumps and curves. Let her have her head a little. I’m rewarded with increasing smoothness and an eventual oneness of being.

On this impossible machine, weightless, I’m flying.

Ode to the Muggle

They sniffle, whine, whinge and complain
Shuffle and sigh as they file aboard the train

Weary and defeated, unfulfilled and depleted
They stare aimlessly at nothing, bored, inane

These poor impoverished souls
Trekking home to hovels and holes

They know not the joy of the impossible machine
That cranks, turns, brakes, climbs and rolls

Artarmon station, finally my escape is made
The Barry, for my steed, I would gladly trade

‘Tis true, The Muggles’ plight is bleak and desperate
A sedentary state from which they will not be swayed

RR Ride Report – a confluence of MAMILs

It started as a drip, a trickle and eventually become a flood.

4.55 I woke just in time to shoosh my 5am alarm so as not to disturb Lady Dora.

A bite of toast, a cup of team, ablutions, into the E&T and out the door to pedal the crisp, chill dark of pre-dawn Willoughby.

Shotgun quickly located at corner of Penshurst & Victoria. Soon joined by our favourite Freudian, Horatio, for the steady pedal northwards, following the legendary Way of the Dragon.

The Blessed Virgin caught us up and then Daffodil sprouted on the horizon. Thus we were five and soon bound for LCNP, with fingers freezing, keeping a keen and misty eye out for Hobbits.

On cue one appeared, Dopey (by name only) – blasting out of Browns waterhole like a halfling possessed. Only to be followed by another, Stealth.

Foolishly we passed them, swimming against the tide we headed north, down into the hole and then up for a perfectly timed rendezvous with the northern horde who charged towards and then past us. We turned and chased, mad for the hunt – in and out of Browns once more.

Cresting the hill on the other side found Shotgun unloading both barrels into the gutter. Good one son. Better out than in. Fair play for smashing the SS through Browns two times with gusto.

And then we were many, streaming through the back streets. Finchy, Chippo, Bam, B1 & Norman showing how it’s done MTB style. VD leading then peeling off to follow the Parra Path. Admin on the drops and menacing the Kona.

Rhodes – a sneaky slash, Concord – local constabulary out in force with all pursuit vehicles in attendance – not ready to mess with these easy riders, Five Dock, Canada Bay, Rozelle, then Anzac to arrive in a full torrent and wash up on the shore of the Google Cafe.

47kms on the clock and grin on the dial.

Good job team – a cracking ride and a great way to start the weekend.