Tour de Femme: Karen’s Killer Ride to Steiglitz and Anakie – Sunday, 17th July 2016

Only two people rode on Cycling Geelong’s ride this morning – Karen (ride leader) and Helen.  Where were you?  Are you scared to ride north, or did the title “Karen’s Killer Ride” put you off?

The morning was magnificent – if you don’t mind riding through frost.  However, the coldness was a friend to cyclists as the first climb up Anakie Road was attempted.  From there it was off to Steiglitz on quiet country roads.  This is a magnificent ride, in lovely country, with enough undulations to keep cyclists interested.  The motor bikes obviously agreed as there were a number of groups also enjoying the beautiful winter sunshine.

160717 Karen's Killer - Stieglitz & Anakie Maude compACR edit

Maude Reserve Rest Stop

A pause at Maude allowed for some stripping off of cold weather gear before the wonderful downhill back to Sutherlands Creek and the 4.7km climb up to Steiglitz.  (There are three crossings of Sutherlands Creek on this ride.  Despite recent rain, the creek is dry.)  From Sutherlands Creek to Anakie, the ride was in the beautiful bushland of the Brisbane Ranges through bright sunshine and still conditions.

De Motts Road is the real killer section.  The road descends through the bush to the last Sutherlands Creek crossing, then climbs very steeply for several kilometers to the ridge top above Anakie.   There is little evidence of the fires that ravaged the area only a few years ago.  (Tail end Charlie might as well have walked – in places her speed dropped below 5kph!  However, both riders made it to the top without foot touching bitumen.)  The downhill is what Phil Liggett might call a “technical descent”.  There are a couple of bends on the steep descent, so there were no record speeds clocked on this Tour.

Coffee at Anakie was welcome – shared with a stoic local cyclist from Steiglitz who’d done a hilly circuit through the Brisbane Ranges and was returning via the steep descent up De Motts Road.  Karen and Helen agreed in hindsight that the climb in De Motts Road is really enjoyable (legs has stopped protesting by then).

The return was flat and moderately fast with a gentle tail wind.  There was a quiet remembrance of Gordon Ibbs, killed by a rogue motorist on this road last year as Karen and Helen passed the memorial near Carrs Road.  The traffic along Ballan Road is fast and, as there is no sealed shoulder, it’s not the most pleasant riding.  There are also quite a few potholes and rough patches.  It was good to turn off into Anakie Road.  160717 KKR - Steiglitz Anakie

The average speed over the entire ride was around 20kph – so, if you thought the ride would be too fast for you, don’t be deterred for coming along next time Karen runs her ‘Killer’.

Thanks Karen, for once again leading this ride which surely is one of the best on Cycling Geelong’s calendar.  Misquoting Phil Liggett… “Thanks to her ride leader and thanks to her legs.”

For comparison, on 14th July, the Tour de France climbed Mont Ventoux…  The average speed of the winner was just under 40kph, despite a rather worse gradient than on KK.

After all, the TDF cyclists are the best in the world!

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