Well I kept my date with Donna this time. Stealth & I parked at Launching Place (after being passed along Canterbury Rd by Blaze, Heather & j9) so we had a 13-ish km relatively flat warmup before hitting the hill. Sun was out & the breeze wasn't too bad at that stage. Knowing I had 17km of hill ahead of me, I slipped into the 23t first gear pretty early & just went with the aim of ticking the legs over in a good rhythm & trying not to burn out too early. I knew from reading other posts here that there is a bit of a pinch just before the turnoff at Cement Creek, so when I felt the burn a bit & the speed dropped to 11km/h I knew I was getting close to the halfway point. Checked the time as I apexed the hairpin; 31:50. I figured that was quite reasonable, given that I had no real target time. The almost-flat saw me briefly hit 30 km/h in 5th gear before the upness resumed. Back to 1st gear, ticking over at about 15km/h, going steadily still. Gradually the clouds rolled in, until just as I hit the final grind it started to drizzle. Great. The final few hundred metres hurt; the speed was down to 10 km/h at times. Finally I made it. As I dismounted at the foot of the lookout, I hoisted my bike over my head in a salute. 1 hour, 13 minutes and one second, non-stop. Not bad for a first-timer. Faffed about for a few minutes, and as I was just heading over towards the shelter I got to talking to a couple of walkers who asked about the climb & if I was by myself. Explained that I had a buddy "down there somewhere", when Ian rolled in. They asked, "is that your mate?" "No.... but hang on, I know him!" And so over the next while Heather's Birthday Party rolled up.
We hung around for a bit, admiring the non-existant view, had a group photo taken (cue squeeza or Blaze to post
) then set about the descent. Maybe a little thoughtlessly, I left the long jersey in the car, but did have the wind vest on, much to the horror of the others! Took it easily, as the top section was a bit damp, but the curves flow well so nothing too scary. It was cool, but I've ridden in worse. About a third of the way down to Cement Ck it dried out, so some good pace was made down the hill, but as we got closer to the hairpin it got wet again. The lower part was not just a bit damp, it was seriously bloody wet, so definitely no speed records were being set; caution all the way; 22 mins down for me. We regouped in Warby & had a much-needed coffee, before Stealth & I hit the road again for the final leg back to Launching Place, dry again but pounding into a quite substantial headwind. Not a bad way to spend a morning (but it would be nicer if it stayed dry!)
And a couple of new milestones for me: Highest altitude on the bike at 1250 metres, surpassing my previous highest of 720-ish (Mt Lofty in SA) and longest single climb at 17km in, as previously noted 1:13:01, beating the 9-odd km up the old freeway into the Adelaide hills from Glen Osmond to Crafers. (28.5 mins, or thereabouts).