CLC2018 Ride 6: Mornings on the mountain

Love em or hate em, hills are a part of cycling. They call your name, taunt you, entice you. I like climbing, but there was a time in the not-so-distant past where I would avoid any big climbs in favour of posting higher average speeds and more miles on the clock. These days I’m learning to love it when the roads head skywards. Like they say, the best way to get better at climbing is to climb!

This morning I set out on one of my favourite pre-work routes. It’s only 32km (~20 miles) but it is quite literally straight up the side of Mount Wellington, then straight back down!

Take two Cat 3 rated climbs, stack them on top of each other and you get this neat little ride. The vertical journey starts just around the corner from my office as I pass the Cascade Brewery and from here on in it’s climb, climb, climb! You soon leave the city behind and wind through rain forest, roadside waterfalls and into the mountainside forests that flank Pinnacle Road.

Always time for a quick photo on the side of Mount Wellington!

I don’t have enough time before work to ride up the entire HC rated mountain so I try to get as far as I can by 8:15am. That’s roughly 55 minutes of solid non-stop climbing, taking me just past the Springs to over 800 metres above sea level. This turning point gives me enough time to blast it back to the office. One day I’ll make it to the very top!

Winter is coming. Down to a chilly 3 deg C this morning.

Speaking of turning around, once you do it’s simply a matter of bombing it downhill into Hobart. You have two options here: Left back down the way you came (Strickland Ave) like Tony did earlier or straight ahead, descending the Huon Highway like a demon – one of my favourite descents! Forget about your brakes, this is a smooth sweeping road where you can easily maintain 50+kph on sections.

The views are great too, but only take your eyes off the road for a millisecond to enjoy them – watch out for wallabies and possums racing across the road around dawn and dusk!

A simple ride, simply up then down!

Coffee and cake after today’s ride was provided by Kombi Cafe. This funky independent cafe and smoothie bar used to operate out of a classic VW Kombi before taking up permanent residence in Battery Point. They serve up some of the most delicious home made treats you will ever find. Everything is gluten free and much of the produce seasonal and locally sourced.

Hobart – spoilt for choice with great climbs and great cafes.

Distance: 32 km (20 miles)
Elevation Gain: 830 m (2720 ft)
Av Speed: 22 kph (13.7 mph)

The sound of a perfectly lubed chain whirring through a fresh drivetrain, slick summer tyres humming across the blacktop as you spin, otherwise silently over country roads early in the morning.

5 response to "CLC2018 Ride 6: Mornings on the mountain"

  1. By: The Navigator Posted: April 20, 2018

    Three degrees is enough to pull tears from your eyes on that downhill. What a great way to start the day – can’t wait to hear when you reach the top at 8.14am. 🙂

    • By: tempocyclist Posted: April 21, 2018

      Yes the descent was numb toe inducing! Won’t be long now until there’s snow capping the mountain.

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: April 20, 2018

    Just what I needed on this the tail end of my “not doing anything “ because if a chest cold!! Got me up and going….next week I hope to be back on the road!

  3. By: Bill Stone Posted: April 24, 2018

    I think it was Levi Leipheimer — our local boy and former (PED-disgraced) pro rider and Armstrong lieutenant in the TdF — who said of training on mountains, “It never gets any easier, you just get a little faster.”

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