The plan was simple: IronBull and I were going to complete what we’d failed to do last time. ‘The plan’ went like this. Get up very early, drive out to Warburton. Ride up the Reefton Spur, and down into Marysville. Stop and have a coffee and muffin. Ride up and ascent Lake Mountain, ride back down the Reefton Spur and back to Warburton. Stop for a breather. Ride up Mount Donna Buang to the summit, and then back to Warburton to the car. Drive home.

Simple plan, not so easily completed though I found out. Donna literally spat me out and chewed me up.

It was an absolute cracker of a day, 1 truck passed us in the first 20km then no traffic at all along Reefton Spur to Marysville – what a road! Sooooo nice. Ironbull and I tapped out a good rhythym all the way to the Lake mtn turnoff then bombed down to Marysville. SOoooo different from 3 weeks ago when we were shivering violently and failed to make the Lake Mountain and Mt Donna Buang ascents due to time restrictions and it being bloody cold on any downhill section. We stopped in Marys for a coffee and muffin, this time there was no violent shivering – just enjoyed sitting in the sunshine.

We climbed up to Lake Mountain, which is a lovely ride and a great spin (after the first 4-5km of steeper stuff which averages around 8% gradient).

Riding back along Reefton Spur is just awesome, the road is sooo sweet, although we did have to watch out for oncoming speeding motorbikes, and then we pushed through last 15kms of rolling hills back to Warburton which hurt like a sfvitzer in my A. The IronBull and I did rolling turns trying to keep the ave pace over 30. 140kms ish down, and still Donna to do.

Stopping in Warby for a gatorade and a little renegotiation of hometime eta’s was required, and then we started the ascent up Donna in the heat of the day. I think I knew within a couple of km that I was gonna struggle…and how. Got to about 5kms in and I’d slowed to 10km/hr and the legs were screaming. I gave them a couple of Jens Voights (shut up legs!) but they didn’t listen. I kept telling myself to suck it up etc, but got another km in and had to pull over and stop. If I was on my own I’m pretty sure I woulda turned around and headed home. My inner demons were circling, taunting me with such things as “you poofta”, “you’re soft”, “keep riding poofta”, various other poofta insults, etc etc.

IronBull gave me some encouraging like “lets take a breathe and rest for a sec”, then gave the suggestion of riding on for 20min and seeing how I went. I reluctantly accepted.

I wobbled to a start and got going again. Literally 2 corners later was the dogleg at cement creek with it’s flat section – thankgoodness. Spinning never felt so good, then started up the ‘second half of the climb’. I managed to go the 20min, we stopped again for a breather with about 6kms to go, and by then I knew I could make it. It’d be slow but I’d get there. One final breather with about 2.5-3km to go and we made the final push up to the top. The last 500m of that climb sux no doubt, but you’re so close it doesn’t hurt as much. As I say if the IronBull wasn’t there with his encouragement and wisdom beyond his yrs, I’m pretty sure I would’ve pulled the pins back at 6kms. Thanks mate. I was gonna say I owe you, but after spending an hr 15min in traffic back from your place after dropping you off, now we’re even.

So KOM definitely to the IronBull yesterday, and that ride goes down onto my epic list. Over 8hrs in the saddle, 175kms and over 3500m climbing, done! But not without pain.

Epicly Average.

30 Oct 2012 top of Mt Donna B smashed