With Karen out of action, Helen was the only female on Shane’s Barrabool Hills ride. The others were George, Dave S (in training for the Cadel Evans Ocean Road People’s Ride), Robert T, John M, Doug M and Shane (in training for next weekend’s gruelling Alpine Classic*). With such strong riders, Helen’s strategy was to stay in touch to the coffee stop at Moriac, and then to shorten her ride – keeping the hills, but reducing the length of the ride by around 10 km.
It was a hare and tortoise ride to Moriac – the lead pack of five powered up the hills, then waited for the tortoise to catch up at the top (thanks, gents). Such good time was made, even using this method, that the cyclists arrived at Moriac before either the General Store or Raven’s Creek Farm were open. Deciding on Raven’s Creek Farm was an excellent choice – the wait was negligible, coffee great, outlook beautiful and the homemade fresh-picked berry ice-cream amazing. (Robert and Helen chose this – and it’s highly recommended if you’re stopping for a break in the Moriac area).
From Moriac, the tortoise took a shorter route, straight up Hendy Main Road to Mount Moriac Hotel and Barrabool Road, while the hares enjoyed the longer route via Paraparap.
From then it was more like a hare (tortoise)and hounds chase – with the 10+ kilometre advantage ensuring that the tortoise was never caught. There were more splendid downhills – especially along Pollocksford Road and Cochranes Road and the old highway down to Waurn Ponds from Lara. There were a number of leg-stretching climbs.
The Classic “hare” group clocking up 74km Balyang to Balyang, returning to the start at around 12:15pm.
Well done to all riders. Thanks to Shane for once again sharing this wonderful hilly adventure and leading the ride. Best wishes to Shane for next weekend’s Alpine Classic (200km with 3600m of climbing) and to Dave and any others riding the Cadel rides on January 30st (Dave will ride the 111km circuit). (We look forward to sharing their stories with you as they come to hand.)
*The Alpine Classic is the blue ribbon event in the annual Audax Australia calendar – with five options ranging from 60km to 320km. Shane is riding the Original Classic route of 200km.