Today I started for my first roadbike organised ride. Strange how things develop . There was a time when I wouldn't even give a roadbike a second look. But now, a victim of circumstances, my fear of going out mountainbiking and gettign bitten by horseflies is bigger than the joy I have in the actual mountainbiking. So as my avid readers know by now, the months of June to September are spent on a roadbike. And I actually quite like it as well, riding a roadbike.
So today I rode towards the start of the Bank of the Post - Decathlon Classic in Heverlee. There were different distances, 39, 83, 108 and 144K. Having had a look at the 144 I decided this might be too much for me at this point. Especially since the toughest bit is in the extra loop the 144 has over the 108. The Moskesberg and the Smeysberg are sure to hit hard after 120K, especially since the menu of the 108 is already well-filled with short steep climbs. So I decided to go for the 108.
The ride starts out easy towards Bierbeek and Lovenjoel, then crossing the N3 for the first climb towards Pellenberg, which ended with a steep bit on cobbles. There were a couple of photographers there. I wasn't officially inscribed so I didn't take the refreshment offered, I would provide my own food and drink. The ride then went towards Lubbeek where another steep hill was awaiting me. The Vortex went on its smallest gear and I made my way up, sitting down, letting the power in my legs do the talking. I felt quite good, keeping it on the small ring in front , just relaxing on the easy parts because I was weary of what was still lying in front of me, hill-wise.
Arriving at the furthest point, near Molenbeek-Wersbeek, we encountered the next patch of cobblestones. And a little bit further a cobblestone hill, the Kerkstraat in Molenbeek-Wersbeek. It was showing that this organisation also does the Ronde van Vlaanderen. The hill wasn't that steep but with a maximum grade of 13.5% every cobble hit home. I stopped for a first picture.
Some more hills followed and a bit further I arrived at the Alsberg in Tielt-Winge. Stopping for another picture to show the care the organisors had taken to provide us with the percentages we were about to suffer. Or enjoy, since I did never mind riding uphill. Up to 15-16 percent the 36/25 gearing on the Vortex is sufficient. If the hill is steeper I get into trouble because I cannot remain seated and climb . I have to stand up from time to time to keep thing rolling.
After the Alsberg the Houwaartberg was next on the agenda. Then followed a 12K intersection that took me to the feet of the Chartreuze in Holsbeek. A hill I have done many times on my MTB so it went quite easy on the Vortex. There was another photographer taking pictures here. He was standing in the middle of the road and I had to pass him whilst overtaking other bikers.
The Martellekensweg was next, but this was an easy one with only 7 or 8% . Then we tracked back to the N2 which we crossed and there waited a steeper beast, the Heideberg. I noticed my PRO counter marked 0 speed whilst climbing. I'm guessing the battery must be nearly gone. Good thing I also have my Polar and my Garmin 705 GPS recording my ride. When I arrived home the difference between the PRO and the GPS was nearly 3.5Km. Once I went faster that 12-13kph the PRO would show the speed, but below it did not. On steep hills it showed 0 .
Back in Pellenberg and on smaller backtracks through Drogenbos, crossing the N3 in Boutersem and onwards to Vertrijk and Neervelp. In Bierbeek in the Dreefstraat was the 108/144 split. Without remorse I took the 108. I was starting to feel the efforts in my legs.
On very familiar terrain now, and the organisors added another stretch of cobbles in the Dalemstraat in Haasrode. A bit superfluous but I just shrugged and took the beating. From Haasrode to Blanden and onwards to Vaalbeek and the Zoete Waters. My home stretch so to speak. In Oud-Heverlee the Korbeekdamstraat was making my legs ache whilst pedaling upwards. Yet another stretch of cobbles in Heverlee , down the Leopold III straat and I was back where I had started, exactly 108K ago.
Not bad this ride, mostly on quiet roads, lacing some very nice hills together, not overdoing it but still putting enough stress on the legs to feel the effort after the ride. Tomorrow is the 19th Meerdael Classic. I will not ride it, for reasons known. It saddens me because I really like this ride. I might pass at the inscription to pick up my t-shirt (I pre-inscribed months ago) though.
Ride Stats : 118K and 860/900 heightmeters (Polar/Garmin) in 4h38mins
02-07-2011, 19:58 geschreven door Big Bad Wolf