But first, I’m famous now. I’ll have to employ some minders pretty soon. Here I am in the latest Nikon ad. It won’t let me go straight to the bit I’m in so either use this link or just go to 1m24 into the video below.
I rode up down that hill 12 times that day to look like someone who doesn’t know which gear to use to get up a hill. On the plus side, as a result of shooting that ad, I now have the Strava record for that little stretch of hill. The story is that a bloke walked into the bike shop one day wanting cyclists to appear in an ad he was doing for Nikon. Me and Cam said we’d do it, and took the day off work to spend the day hanging around and then wearing ourselves out riding up the hill. Cam’s the one in the black helment. Somehow he’s on the far left in the first shot but in the middle of the bunch, winning the sprint in the next one. It was a fun day and I got a free sandwich at the end.
Anyway, to get to the hill that we shot the ad on, I had to drive up Hadrill and Weir Roads. On the way up, I thought this would be a pretty good challenge to ride up. It felt pretty steep, even in the car. Last Sunday, Chong and I rode out to take on this road. It’s 25km out there, which is a nice little warm-up and then we started on the climb. It was far too tough to be taking photographs on but I’ve taken the liberty of stealing some from Google streetview. Here’s the early bit of the climb:
Looks quite nice, doesn’t it? The view as I looked to the right was very pleasant. I got ahead of Chong here because I was full of enthusiasm whereas he had done it a week or two ago and knew what lay ahead.
Before I knew it, I was coming to some fairly long sections on 15% or more and Chong was leaving me for dead. He could still hear my pathetic heavy breathing, though and thought I was much closer than I really was.
Does that look steep to you? It’s been a long time since I thought I might have to step off the bike and walk for a bit. The road continued to either go around like corner with no sign of the gradient letting up as above or, as in the picture below:
You can see it levels out and then kicks back up just as much as the bit you are currently on. And that the flat bit is definitely not long enough for any sort of recovery. Boo hoo.
Chong was looking quite fresh after waiting for me to catch up with him at the top. He doesn’t do Strava so we have no record of what his time up the climb was but I took a bit over nine minutes. Here’s the segment.
However, the point of this story is that by the time I got over the hill from the Nikon ad, I realised my frame was buggered. It had had a crack near the bottom bracket for a while but I’d been hoping it was just in the brittle gel coat. Alas, the continued steepness of Weir road seems to have pushed the frame past the point of no return and it came over all wobbly. I had to descend very cautiously as I was worried about it falling apart at speed. In the end I managed to get home well enough but alas, the Mono-q’s days are over. It’s my second Mono-q frame because the one I originally bought also broke at the bottom bracket. I had that one replaced under warranty but I don’t think I’ll have any luck this time as the bike was bought in Japan. Looks like I’ll be getting a Sempre frame and building it up with my existing components. Still – a new frame’s always something to look forward to, isn’t it?
Once that new bike is built up, I’ll be back for more Haddrill-Weir punishment. It’s my new favourite climb.