Saturday, 30 October 2010

K2 2010

The K2 is one of the hillier single day rides that one can find, yet even as incredibly slow hill climber I find it to be one of my favourite events over a wonderfully scenic, 185km coastal course.

Ride Data:
Distance: 184.8km 9292 Calories
Time: 8h08m 22.68 km/h (87.26km/h MAX)
Cadence: Avg: 78 rpm Max: 144 rpm
Ride Data: Summary data only. GPS data borked on this ride sigh
Location: Coromandel, NZ 30 October 2010
Being a hilly course I haven’t really performed on the course in the past so I entered in the last and slowest group (9). With a three minute gap between each starting group. Approaching the start of the group 9 start a quick calculation in my head made me realise that I was going to have take a whole hour from my previous two rides in this event to be finished before the prize giving began! Today, I was delighted after taking a full an hour and half from my previous two rides in this event.
On the first hill (Manaia) I passed a rider who had the unfortunate mishap of having already broken their chain (and derailleur hangar?).  On the way up the second hill of Kerata, Brent whom I had met the previous week on the GWALoop  caught up with me. It was not a surprise for me to see him ride straight past me as we travelled uphill. However I saw him stopped as I flew down the other side of the hill with my chin on the handlebar stem. I never saw him again until the final climb over Whangapoua where I learned he had punctured coming over the top of Kerata.
I then spent most of the ride along the coast to Thames in a large group, but to be honest the rotations were not particularly smooth and at times even scary. I reached Thames about 50 minutes quicker than I did in 2008 making it my fastest ride over this leg. With the rotation of the starting towns, this first leg this year so fresh legs no doubt helped me gain the my personal best time for the leg.
Once through Thames, it was the climb up the Kopu-Hikuai Hill (425m) for the highest point on the ride. This is a gradual, rather than steep ascent and I unusually found myself near the front of the group that gradually disintegrated on the way up to the summit. I was mostly riding on my own, or in small clusters of riders for the rest of the ride from here. I reached Tairua 2h11m after leaving Thames, now 2 from 2 for personal bests for each leg. I was now on target to be about an hour ahead of my previous best time for the whole ride. Finishing before prize-giving began was now obviously not going to be an issue :).
Estimated section differences 2008 / 9 & 10 2008 2009 2010
Coromandel Town to Thames: 2:44:48 2:51:41 1:54:22
Thames to Tairua: 2:30:00 2:36:30 2:11:36
Tairua to Whitianga: 2:02:02 2:17:01 1:41:35
Whitianga to Coromandel Town: 2:21:01 1:52:19 2:21:12
9:37:51 9:37:31 8:08:45
Improved form followed me over Pumpkin Hill and down to Whitianga, placing me another 20 minutes ahead of my previous best for this leg. 3/3 for leg personal bests. Undoubtedly, a PB for the whole ride coming right up.
With the revolving start beginning at Coromandel this year, it left the hilliest section to last. The Whangapoua Hill was far more challenging having already ridden 170km! For some reason my GPS data was corrupted on this ride and unreadable afterwards. All evidence of my use of the ‘two-foot’ gear is thereby erased forever! Finishing with the climbs of Kuotuna; Myundermans; Gentle Annie and then Whangapoua really hit the legs and this was the only sector that I did not ride a personal-best sector in.
All up, I took about 90 minutes off my previous times in this event, and had my best time for 3 of the 4 individual legs that make up the event.. 8h8m was good for me on a hilly course. The moderate climbing efforts have improved greatly, the steep climbs need some work yet. Once it reaches a certain level of steepness I am grinding it out far too slowly. This may require more strength training.
Can I find a sub-7h30m in 2011?