Sunday, 14 March 2010

The Hospi Bike Ride 2010

The Hospi is a charitable bike ride that raises funds for the Wellington Children’s Hospital. The route starts from Kenepuru Hospital near Porirua, and travels via Ohariu Valley, Tarakau Gorge, Makara, Brooklyn and Island Bay en-route to Wellington Hospital. While I am very familiar with most of this course from my regular training rides I almost always done these routes in reverse.

Ride Data:
Distance: 47.39km 2,481 Calories
Time: 1:43:34 27.6km/h
Elevation: Ascent: 729m Descent: 735m
Ride Data: Garmin Connect Player
Location: Wellington, NZ 14 March 2010
The pre-ride briefing emphasised that this was a “fun-ride” and not a “race”. Of course, we all had electronic timing chips attached to our bicycles lol. On at least one occasion during the safety briefing there was a Freudian slip in referring to a “race” instead of a “fun ride”.

The ride began with a 4.74km controlled section from Kenepuru Hospital through Tawa until turning right into Willowbank Road. Then it was on with the gas with smooth road seal with the ramping up from the 25-27km/h controlled start to around 38-40km/h. I felt well placed a little behind the lead bunch on the way up the hill from Churton Park to Johnsonville when an awful sound came from my rear derailleur. After stopping briefly, and pulling out a broken spoke which had fallen into the jockey wheels. I was unsure of whether to continue or not. I decided to push on and re-gained several places on the way up Ironside Road. This steep section was not far from home, so I decided that if the brakes were not rubbing at the top of the hill I would keep going. Without brakes rubbing on the rear wheel I was on my merry way down through Takarau Gorge regaining a few placings including a few familiar jerseys from before the brief stop for the spoke. No sign of the main bunch however.

HospiBikeRide - Elevation and Speed Profile

Given my recent, okay past two years of climbing form it was pleasing from my perspective to pass a more riders on the way up the Makara Hill than were able to pass me. Recent efforts on improving my hill climbing must be paying off? The descent from Makara Hill is always fun and quick, no matter which side you travel from and today was no exception.

Now riding through the suburbia of Karori and a couple of small bumps before descending Raroa Road. Having climbed this road many times and never ridden down it I have to say it is much more pleasant in the downhill direction :D.

Approaching Te Aro it was a sharp right hand turn into Ohiro Road, and a deceptively steep little 80m climb up to Brooklyn. Unlike Raroa Rd behind me, and Happy Valley in front of me, I had ridden down this road many times but never up it! It seems a handy candidate for hill repeats in off-season training. Once again non-hill climbing me was in the unusual position of gaining places as I went over the crest of the hill with a clear run over the intersection with Brooklyn Road thanks to the Police supervising the intersection :).

It was surreal riding down through Happy Valley at 50-60km/h when I was so used to grinding my way up the hill at 17-20km/h. Unfortunately after turning left at the bottom of the hill at Owhiro Bay it was wall of wind in front of me. Thankfully the guy in the Telecom shirt that I had passed up the previous hill caught up to me and we shared the effort of leading into the wind.

With two sets of traffic lights in the last 2km, which I was able to time well enough to slow down but not stop and unclip my cleats I was able to catch-up to and pass a couple of riders that passed me up Makara Hill. I sure didn’t think I would be seeing them again! A little sprint to the line and I was at Wellington Hospital in 1h43m34s (10th male 26-40yo). While this event only covers a short distance there is a relatively high proportion of climbing on the route. Had a great ride and hopefully great preparation for next weekends hilly Kapiti Cycle Challenge.

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