ride the Hospi

14 03 2010

The Hospi is a charitable bike ride in aid of the Wellington Children’s Hospital. 2010 was the second year the event was run, drawing 251 participants in 2009 and 255 this year. It was great! The 50km course starts at Kenepuru Hospital and finishes at Wellington Hospital via Johnsonville, Makara, Brooklyn, Owhiro Bay and Island Bay. There are three challenging hills, namely Ironside Rd, Makara Hill and Ohiro Rd (there were people walking their bikes and many a grimace on each hill).

The course:

View Interactive Map on MapMyRide.com

The ride started at 8am, it was a lovely morning in New Zealand’s capital, a few clouds in the sky and the usual Northerly but nothing to write home about. I started at the back of the pack, chatting away to a Maori guy about how its great that there are so many cycle events around Wellington and how it brings everyone together and all those sorts of things that give you warm fuzzies. He also commented on the lack of these sorts of events in Auckland – I don’t know if that’s true or not as I try to avoid Auckland at all costs!

The Start Line

The ride took a relatively slow pace through Tawa and up into Johnsonville, and an even slower pace as we began the ascent up Ironside Rd. Several people were walking their bikes up which is fine, but I decided I wanted to make it up all of the hills so ingested some of my Peak Fuel Energy Gel and went for it. I got to the top to find that I was on my lonesome which was something I was kind of hoping for as I like a bit of room to move on the windy downhill parts. The next chapter of the journey took us through the Takarau Gorge and Makara, pretty scenic stuff, and I had the reassuring sound of the big diesel engine of the Ambulance rumbling along behind me. Before I knew it i was upon the next obstacle on this funride – the dreaded Makara Hill.

I was feeling confident going up though, so again I ingested some Peak Fuel Energy Gel and went for it. I was going great, overtaking quite a few people, commiserating with others who were struggling, and also cursing alongside others when about two-thirds of the way up I started to feel sick. I’ve never felt like that before when cycling except on my very first ride up this very same hill and that ended up with me sprawled upon the tarmac unable to make another revolution of the pedals… But this time I was determined. I got to the top but had to stop. Refueled. Cursed again. Then set off once more on my merry way. And then I got cramp in my right calf. I didn’t want to stop so I tried stretching it as I free-wheeled along, I tried massaging it, then I just decided to pedal through it in the hope it would just go away. And it did! The third and final hill, Ohiro Rd, was the one I was most worried about. Short and steep and looking oh so painful. I decided to take a different approach up this hill by climbing out of the saddle, and it worked. I guess you use a different set of muscles when you’re out of the saddle compared to sitting. I killed that hill, overtaking several more people. The ascent from Brooklyn to Owhiro Bay was long and exhilarating, 50kph stuff all the way. The final part of the ride was a left hand turn at Island Bay and the final straight to the hospital, into the Northerly wind which had gotten up a bit by then. And there I was – at the finish line! High five!!

At The Finish Line With My Hospi

And the stats:
Distance: 47.33km
Time: 2h5m55s
Average Speed: 22.6km/h
Max Speed: 50.5km/h

Rank: 135 out of 228

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One response

10 01 2011
the Ride « the drug pedaler

[…] my fastest ride up Makara Hill was 12 minutes 32 seconds. That was way back in March, 2010 at the Hospi Charity Bike Ride. Riding the road between Reporoa and Taupo at the 100k Flyer FunrideThe bike leg of the Taupo Half […]

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