Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Perth Adventures... Rides, Wind, West Coast Masters, Uber!

Our Tour de Everywhere continued last week with a few days over in Perth. Unfortunately we missed the Tour of Margaret River by a few days but we still got in a few solid group rides and a race with West Coast Masters CC while catching up with family and friends.

I was lucky to score a window seat on the flight over and got to see my home town of Horsham and most of the Wimmera from the air.

Horsham! Where I grew up watching the plane(s) I was on flying overhead.

Wimmera represent! Little Desert National Park, Jeparit, Lake Hindmarsh.

The first ride in Perth was meant to be an easy spin down along the beach.... except the wind made it anything but easy.

 Cottesloe Beach
Saturday morning was the Papas ride. The ride was nice and fast through some sections, a good heart starter for the racing the next day. The final kms were eventful with a few riders coming down further back in the bunch.

Von and Mel (both happy not to have stacked!)

On Sunday we found a bunch to tag onto out to the West Coast Masters Kewdale Crit. Perth has some excellent bike paths, as long as you know how to get to them.

Kewdale was the first crit of their summer series, a 'SuperCrit' with a few extra dollars up for grabs.

I knew the Perth Masters racing scene was pretty solid, and it was. The result sheet shows a total of 15 teams represented across the grades. Team tents, team cars, riders all decked out in team kit and bikes. It is years ahead of what we have in Victoria. The level and depth of competition was also the best I've come up against too. A lot of the names were familiar from the recent Masters Nationals in Ballarat.

Pre race chat. Blue kit is trending...
Four riders went from the gun and opened up a gap. It was up to the teams not in the move to chase, so I sat in and watched.... and saw two riders roll off the front. By lap 2 the gap to the front group was looking dangerous, so off I went in chase. I got across to the first chase two, then only one rider made it across with me to the front group.

"The early break never sticks" was what I was told before the race. Bullshit! Not on my watch! :) I told the others I was there to work and to make the break stick, and they were all equally committed to the cause. It was only in the final two laps that the games started. I kicked clear before it came down to a group sprint. I managed to take the win, and the others collected a swag of points for their series.

Happy to see the finish line.

Sunday was an easy recovery ride with the Hall Cycle Training women's bunch. I was allowed a start too. :)

6am start... Thankfully we were still on Victorian time.

A dead whale washed up near here later in the afternoon. #perthlyf

We had a tour of this place. Excellent set up!

Perth Taxis - The awesome, the not so awesome.

We were given a $40 Uber credit at a show we saw on Saturday night. It took 4 minutes for the UberBlack car to arrive, we all were given bottles of water (and lollies!), we were driven home in style.... all within the $40 credit. Being across the technology behind the scenes and knowing about the service for a while, it was a great experience to actually use it. I can't recommend it enough. If only we could specify a large vehicle to get to-from the airport, we'd use it for those trips with our bikes too.

Speaking of the 'normal' regulated professional taxi services. We pre booked a Perth London Cab for our trip back to the airport... that never showed.. A call to customer service 15 minutes later told us there were no taxies, and the confirmed booking wasn't going to be filled. As I was saying, use Uber. The normal taxi services don't deserve their licenses with services like that. Uber is the shake up they need. Their use of technology (maps, tracking, PayPal, etc,) is just an added bonus. btw - First users Uber promo code shanem472 for a $10 credit.

Back to Melbourne... Airport security said I wasn't allowed to take this photo.

Next up - More rides, more travels, and more work on the TT rig for the Tour of Bright. I'll also be planning out 2015... and a shot at the 2016 World Masters TT over in Perth. Long term goal setting in the works.

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