Posted: 25/07/2014 at 08:56
Ooh, lovely smooth roads. But remind myself that I’m not iron fit and energy management is the order of the day. Settled into a comfortable pace as the first of about 600 hundred crap swimmers started passing me, some on bikes which sound like they’re about to fall apart or haven’t been lubed for months.
Some undulations but nothing too worrying and I remember that Happychap is prone to exaggeration. Onto the western loop waiting for the first feature hill which came and went and wasn’t too bad and was followed by a nice bit of down and a nasty little stretch of upflat. Joined for a while by Farm Boy who apparently had taken 30 miles to realise his rear brake was rubbing before stopping to sort it out. We had a bit of a chat before he realised how slowly I was going and off he went.
Started to wonder how long before Toucs would pass me up. More fairly gentle ups and nice sweeping downs, onto the eastern loop and eventually spotted the little sign which warns that you are about to meet Evil Rupert. Through a couple of nasty little uphill bends, look up and see a ribbon of road disappearing up into the trees some way ahead. Keep spinning and up we go. Reach the top, phew. Through the trees and OMG another steeper looking section ahead fortunately preceded by a short slightly downhill bit to catch your breath. Start climbing again and realise that the mobile disco towards the top of the climb is blasting out one of the favourites from the spin shed; great. Couldn’t get onto the beat though. Finally reach the top and it’s pretty much downhill from there. Except for the little climb through a feed station; who thought that was a good idea?
Still no Toucs; hope he’s made it out of the swim. Finally see the turnaround ahead. Hooray! Half way and feeling okay. 200m down the road my brain registered the music which was playing at the turnaround. ‘Let’s go round again ….’ Good grief!.
Brief stop at special needs station to top up nutrition and off I went for lap 2. Target was to ride as far as the Evil Rupert and then take a walk if necessary. Crossed paths with Pugsley on the out and back bit between the loops and exchanged ‘Arrrghs’ which seemed to amuse the spectators. Still no Toucs which likely meant he’d either not made it out of the swim or had a major mechanical. Short rain shower was quite refreshing but the wind seemed to have picked up a bit. Not that it was very strong and mostly from the side. Keep pedalling. Happychap should catch me soon though, as long as her back, which has been in major spasm for the past few days, isn’t giving her too much gip. Keep pedalling. Finally reached Rupert and surprisingly still feeling ok so set myself little targets. Pedal the first section and walk the worst of the second. Passed a few people walking, dug in and kept spinning. Little breather on the flatter bit and onto stage two. Pedal to that bend. Good, keep pedalling. Wonder if can actually make it to the top. Ooh, yes, it seems I can. Maybe all those sessions in the spin shed were actually worth the pain.
By this time I had expected Happychap to have caught me cos, even though she’s a crap swimmer, she is a bit of a demon on the bike. Mentally cross fingers that she’s not had to withdraw as well. Started to feel a bit weary over the last few miles through the outskirts of Klaggenfurt but finally reach the end and mange to dismount without falling over.
7:47:18 – crap cyclist