As a teenager *damn i am not one anymore huh?* i used to always go for nightly fangs in my hotted up sports car through royal national park. As a teenager i was pretty damn reckless in a sports car. I have no excuses for it and i am not proud of it. Needless to say every corner was taken at more than double the sign posted speed limit and on the straights, if there was ever any coppers holding a radar, i think i would still be in jail right now.
All of this has held me back from riding the royal natio as i have the thought that it is very dangerous. Today though, i decided to go for a scout run, and to much surprise i felt it was safer than riding on busy roads. Oh, i am sure there are still teenagers flying through royal natio doing their best to imitate Takumi but i am also sure they would not be doing that at 730am. They would most likely be recovering from partying at space at that time.
So, having said that how was the ride? It was decent. It was decently painful enough to know that it is doing good to my riding. I didnt go through the whole of royal natio but i have a fair idea of the whole road now. My loop started off from loftus oval and went all the way through until Mckell ave. From there i climbed back out to princess hwy before riding back to loftus oval. A relatively simple loop that can be completed in a short amount of time with a decent amount of climbing. 600mish according to my garmin.
Royal natio roads are a bit of a blur to me. They tend to be when you are going through them at 140km/h at night with high beams. So, whilst i have a rough idea of what the road is like, i had no idea what it was like to ride. If driving through it is like speed dating then riding through it is like an intimate date with 10 course meals and an aroma therapy massage to finish it off. You quickly learn the elevations and road conditions quickly. Dropping down into audley was fun. A 125m descent is always going to be fun. Coming out of it not so much. Like i said, i greatly miscalculated the difference between how a 4wd turbo charged evo climbs a hill and how a road bike climbs a hill. The short of it is i went too much too fast only to realise the hill climbs a lotttttttttttttttttt longer. Got to the top, lesson learnt. You just cannot start a ride like that. Within 10 minutes of the ride i have already reached my lactate trashold. Hell i think i reached my HR max. The rest of the ride saw me riding much more smart and cautiously and utilising the smaller front ring to pace and reel in the hills. I figured if i wasnt spinning at around 80-90 i would feel more and more fatigue. As long as i was keeping it around 80-90 i can climb any hill relatively safely without blowing up around 160bpm.
There were many hills afterwards but i would say that they were more annoyances than true tests. The descents are awesome though and it is truly awesome fun. I knew that there would be one other big hill coming up and that is the road that leads out to waterfall. On the gong ride and also a few other rides i did with bmu members i have taken this road down and i knew it was long and fast in that direction. That could only mean i was in for a decent climb. I paced myself and with a mixture of standing up and sitting down i managed to climb out of it. It didn’t feel as bad as i thought it would so that was some consolation but my 80/90 cadence spin plan went to crap though because at certain points it was too steep to keep it spinning that fast with my power levels.
On the way back i knew princess hwy is mostly a downhill affair so i started by going slow but the plan soon changed as a few riders past me. I decided to keep my distance but also not let them get away and this saw me averaging around 40km/h on the way back. I didn’t really plan in an effort like that but welcomed it.
The only part of royal national that i missed was the part after the climb out to waterfall. That part of the road i have a fair idea of as that is the only troublesome area on the syd-gong ride. If you were to chuck that climb in which is another 125m ish you could make an out and back loop to be around 1000m climbing. With a few variations you could easily get it to 1500m.
Overall, a good ride. Potential to do this loop with more people would make it a lot more fun too! My aim is to learn to climb efficiently. Specialise in climbing i guess. I reckon this plays on the strength of my physique and i would be damn stupid not to take advantage of this.