Cogal Report: Sydney Convict Cogal-2012

Cogal Report: Sydney Convict Cogal-2012

by / / 48 posts

@Harminator dreamed up the Sydney Cogal months ago and the report has just floated in. Bad weather, good attitudes, plenty of riding and malted recovery beverage, that’s how it is done. Chapeau.

VLVV, Gianni

Jellybean’s Take-

So I woke up Sunday morning after a Saturday of fixing my #1 bike, bottle of red, and a going away party for a friend. It was easy to wake up because I was so excited for the ride. Being from ‘the other side of the bridge’ I don’t make it up north very often, and most of the ride was new to me. Running around the apartment I looked for all the stuff I might need for the ride, wool jersey, thermal (nope couldn’t find it) shoe covers (nope just the toe warmers), rain jacket? Don’t own one… arm warmers! Win! Tube, tools, gloves, food, and these tiny pocket instant heat packs. Feeling under dressed, I left the apartment and went to the train station. I was surprised the weather didn’t suck too much; It was a mild pleasant drizzle.

I arrived at Brewhaha just before 8am, no one was there. Checked the Velominati site, the ride seemed to be still on, no e-mails. I ordered a coffee, sat outside and slowly my table of 1 became a table of V. It was a good number, a nice start to the ride of Rules #5 and #9. Over a coffee we decided on doing the 4 and maybe 5 gorges and we set off.

The first hill was the Galston gorge. I’ve heard a lot of talk about this from friends, saying how hard it was. I was a little jittery, nervous about getting dropped. So going up, I put on a solid pace, way too solid, my legs were still cold, and looking back on the bunch, I was missing out on the delightful casually deliberate conversation that TenB, Alex, Harminator, and Il Ciclista Medio were having. But since I went I had to commit. When I got to the top, or the place I thought was the top, Il Ciclista Medio and Harminator went by and saying “Lets keep going till the top.”  I had a little cry for my legs and kept going.

The next 3 hills were better. Keeping to the crusey casually deliberate pace, Sydney really put on a show; Fast descents, sweeping long climbs, fog, birds, frogs, and excellent company.

We were at 4 gorges down 1 to go. I was soggy, cold and sore. This was it decision time. The rain was getting harder, Alex was struggling, Harminator was starting to cramp, me as a track rider had done way more than my maximum of 10km, and we still had gorge #V in our sights. I cracked a heat pack, said it was heaven and we went along the highway back towards Hornsby. At the Bobbin head turn off we went for it. I love this area. So my excitement grew. I smashed it on the way down, and made the bunch do the long way to loop it back up. It felt good, hard but oh so good. We had done the 5 gorges and only saw 2 other cyclists on the day. We were bad asses. Period.

With about 2km to go, on the quiet streets of suburbia, there was a group puncture. Both TenB and Il Cilclista Medio decided they needed to change tubes in the rain. I watched’ laughed, and took photos! This made the first beer at the pub taste all that much better. Thanks Harminator for organizing the ride and a huge thanks to all for being such good company.

Il Ciclista Medio’s Take-

After months of waiting for the inaugural Sydney Cogal to come to fruition into something real, rather than e-mails between Harminator and I, it came to pass. Not quite as long as first planned due to the weather, we still did a robust 107k’s, through 5 gorges and climbs.

We met up at a cafe for pre-ride macchiatos, soy lattes and flat whites. I was definitely in Sydney. Though the weather did its best to deter us, 5 fool hardy souls departed the port of Hornsby for a five hour tour, a five hour tour of Northern Sydney and surrounds. The weather started getting rough, the tiny bunch was lost; if not for the courage of the fearless Harminator, the bunch would be lost (the bunch would be lost). Oops, wrong show but the Gilligan’s theme sprung to mind as I was recalling the weather.

Did I mention the weather? Non-stop rain but with a light wind thankfully! Rule #9 in all its glory was undertaken by our bunch. It dumped 27.2mm by 0900 with as much again at least by the time we had finished. None of us had met before in person but all had two things in common; we love riding our bikes and we were all Velominati. It was a nice mix of steeds as well, a couple of lovely steel ones (a Clamont and a ??) with the ubiquitous carbon (a Look, a Merida and a BMC) completing the mix. All lovingly cared for and all unwittingly being led into 5hrs of dismal weather.

Jellybean, Alex, TenB, Harminator and Il ciclista medio were all taking turns on the front for the most part until we reached Mt. White where Alex took a breather and waited for our return. Several months off the bike will do that to you. On our return we all hooked up again and met another couple of blokes (didn’t catch their names but one may have been “Brian”?) sitting on the side of the road who then jumped on the back for the climb back up from the Hawksbury River. Then one jumped off the front and disappeared up the hill. Until I saw him returning back down the other way, hook up with his mate and rode back up again. Fuckers had been doing intervals hadn’t they! In the rain, up and down again and again….by this time we had done 4 climbs in almost non-stop rain. All of us were drenched but nobody’s spirit had been dampened. All were enthusiastically riding back towards our starting point.

Until someone, it may have been Jellybean, asked about Bobbin Head.  5 cyclists, 5 gorges, the numbers have to match don’t they? So we ascended again, cold and wet, to ride the 4k climb  back up the other side and on to the return trip home where beer and pub food awaited. Until TenB and I punctured at the same time, about 3k’s from home. Ain’t it always the way?

So the skipper, first mate, the professor, Thurston and Maryanne or was it Ginger returned from their fateful voyage. Cold, hungry, tired and happy to have been a part of a great day. Vowing to do it again, perhaps part of a greater Oz Velominati contingent, somewhere central to Sydney and Melbourne and Adelaide, what do you reckon fella’s and girls; Bendigo, Mildura, Alice Springs?

TenB’s Take-

For one of us, the Convict Cogal journey provided the catalyst to make the transition from hairy-legged bike rider to novice Velominatus. Still, on my arrival at Brewhaha, I still felt like something of an imposter. But as soon as I saw the carbon forks on Jellybean’s steel frame, I became a bit less concerned for the minutae of The Rules. For a couple of minutes. Cue the arrival of V-kit-clad, carbon-riding, Rule-perfect Harminator and il ciclista. Despite reminding myself of the Casually Deliberate nature of the day, I saw some pain ahead. Alex’s arrival helped matters not at all. The man had the appearance and bearing of someone who had ridden more vertical kilometres than I had horizontal. Had I remembered reading that he was recovering from an extended time off of the bike I might have felt more confident… Probably not.

As we set off into the weather, the four up ahead chatted, and I stayed on the back, out of the way with a grin from ear to ear. I reveled in the uniqueness of what the Velominati had facilitated – five complete strangers in Australia, on a cold and rainy Sunday morning that kept most people in their warm beds, joining to share six hours of cycling and suffering.

As the day went on, I knew I had chosen wisely when I decided to ride the Cogal. The guns didn’t get me to the top of any climbs first, but they never threatened to abandon me. I just knew I wanted more – more riding, more climbing, more hanging with people who loved to do the same. Even the simultaneous punctures suffered by il Ciclista and me 3 km from the end just seemed to add to the experience. Harminator bailed me out with his CO2 pump when mine let me down. And we all shared the pain of getting back on the bikes after the unscheduled break.

The post-ride refreshments and conversation were a great end to a great day. The only thing that could have made it better would have been more rain.

Harminator’s Take-

It was pretty wet. The kind of day I would normally abandon any hope of a long ride. The sky was grey all over and left no gap for even the brightest optimist. But a Velominati cogal is no place to shrink or waver in the face of impending suffering. So here we were – assembled, equipped and caffeinated. There was nothing left but to ride. A little push, five clicks and we were away.

The landscape north of Sydney is cut up by a corpus of ridges and river valleys. Its a grimpeur’s paradise. The abridged parcours included five of the best – Galston Gorge, Berowra Ferry, Mount White, Brooklyn and Bobbin Head.  Five capital V’s on the elevation profile.

So we rode and talked and exchanged tall stories and bike bullshit. We kept going just to keep from freezing and some stuff  happened worth noting:

TenB and Jellybean turned out to be Canadian, which didn’t matter, really, but it made the Cogal a little less convict celebration and a bit more hung parliament. When they started probing their origins I was secretly hoping they’d discover they were siblings. They weren’t – TenB was from sector G and Jellybean was from sector F. I had no idea that Canada was divided into sectors. I imagine they’re like suburbs but better organised.

TenB nearly broke himself before we started, slipping down wet tiled stairs in cleats at the coffee shop.

When Jellybean, (the first woman cogalist) hooked into the wet swtchbacks of the first descent I thought she was going to bin it. But I was very wrong. She was fast everywhere and handled perfectly. We all got chicked.

Alex had this cool camera without any electrical bits so he could take pics in constant rainy weather. He shot some black and white but so far has not produced them. I hoping that if I out him here he’ll pony up.

Il cilclista medio kept even pace all day, leaving the impression that he might slay us with one effort if he wanted to. He says he’s a chef but I don’t believe him. He’s far too reasonable. Chefs are crotchety bastards like the soup nazi. If il ciclista was in Seinfeld he would happily have given George his bread roll and probably offered him a free soup voucher to boot.

TenB hit the nail on the head when he said the best thing about Velominati was its mimicry of religious inclusiveness. He said anyone can call themselves Velominatus – “First you are one, then you become one.” We then wondered if Merckx washed the feet of his domestiques.

Alex was a perfect exponent of Rule #71. Returning from injury, he didn’t need to push too hard and he resisted all temptation to deviate from his plan. Then he waited at the pub for ages so we could consume foamy cleansers together. Class.

Slideshow:
Fullscreen:

 

// Cogals

  1. Nice one, especially Jellybean… they would have felt guilty if they hadn’t done all five, so you were really helping them.

    What’s the second photo… the world’s thinnest cafe ?

  2. Nice one, looking forward to more pics from the clockwork camera.

  3. “We met up at a cafe for pre-ride macchiatos, soy lattes and flat whites.”

    Soy lattes?!? A clear and undisputed violation of Rule #56. I suggest you repent by immediately ordering a double espresso.

     

  4. Well done, mates! It’s been very cool to see the cogal reports and especially amazing the harmony produced by internet strangers meeting up! Super impressive and a credit to you all and all cogal participants really.

  5. @ChrisO

    Nice one, especially Jellybean… they would have felt guilty if they hadn’t done all five, so you were really helping them.

    What’s the second photo… the world’s thinnest cafe ?

    The second photo is on the Berowra ferry/punt across the river. Either side of the ferry you have a very nice climb.

    Well done all. Nice to read about a ride I know well.

  6. I moved from Gosford to Seattle for the V. Glad to know when I move back there’s plenty of pain to be had :D Congrats on what sounds like a killer ride!

  7. you missed the picture of the flats

  8. Nice! I must admit I love doing these Cogals. Looks like y’all had a great time, as have I one the ones I’ve been on. I was out camping in the Mt. Adams area this weekend, and have cooked up a grand one for PDX Cogal v2.0. Cheers!

  9. NICE!!!  Awesome job guys and gal!  So cool to have the first female on a Cogal!  Long overdue.  And great write ups and great job ridng in the rain all day!  Looking forward to more pics!

  10. A Merckx! “First you are one; then you become one.” Aye, one need not know where the path of the velominatus leads, only that one is on it.

  11. wow didn’t realize i was the first Velominata to do a Cogal.  i feel honored.  if you can ever forgive my carbon forks on a classic steal frame i may be worthy to place an order to wear the sacred kit.

  12. @Jellybean

    wow didn’t realize i was the first Velominata to do a Cogal.  i feel honored.  if you can ever forgive my carbon forks on a classic steal frame i may be worthy to place an order to wear the sacred kit.

    My favorite bike, a steel Ritchey, just like this in a different color;

    I swapped the steel fork for a carbon one. Better feel on the road. Don’t feel guilty at all, except I didn’t keep the original.

  13. actually not like that one. This one’s mine.

  14. this is the offending bike, before the carbon forks.  Rhys gave me the new forks because the original ones had been bent back and damaged in a crash before i bought the bike.  I still have them. and one day i will do a full restore, and re-build

  15. @scaler911 PowerCranks and a very large workplace fridge. Nice

  16. @Buck Rogers

    @Jellybean

    Sorry to break it to you, but we had two Velominatas on Welli-Roubaix in 2011.

    Nice one harminator and il cyclista for organizing, and the Rule #9 hardcore who turned up. Next time I’m back over we’ll have to hook up another Cogal for sure.

  17. @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    @Jellybean

    Sorry to break it to you, but we had two Velominatas on Welli-Roubaix in 2011.

    Did you have to shear them afterwards?

  18. @harminator

    @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    @Jellybean

    Sorry to break it to you, but we had two Velominatas on Welli-Roubaix in 2011.

    Did you have to shear them afterwards?

    Good call.

  19. A doctor asked a kiwi farmer how many sexual partners he’d had. Farmer started counting but fell asleep.

  20. @harminator

    @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    @Jellybean

    Sorry to break it to you, but we had two Velominatas on Welli-Roubaix in 2011.

    Did you have to shear them afterwards?

    He likes them sheared first.

  21. @minion

    A doctor asked a kiwi farmer how many sexual partners he’d had. Farmer started counting but fell asleep.

    Well that got a snicker out of me. Well done!

    Good to read about the first Aussie cogal. Hope to get in on one at some point if I’m in town.

  22. @marko

    NZ farmer: “Shear? I never shear them with anyone!”

    (say ut wuth Unzud eksunt)

  23. @brett

    @Buck Rogers

    @Jellybean

    Sorry to break it to you, but we had two Velominatas on Welli-Roubaix in 2011.

    Nice one harminator and il cyclista for organizing, and the Rule #9 hardcore who turned up. Next time I’m back over we’ll have to hook up another Cogal for sure.

    I blame Harminator!  Still an amazing ride and only the THIRD woman to participate in a Cogal (still pretty damn cool!).  Now we need some women to ride a Cogal in North America or Europe, hell even one in Canada would be cool!

  24. @Blah

    @minion

    A doctor asked a kiwi farmer how many sexual partners he’d had. Farmer started counting but fell asleep.

    Well that got a snicker out of me. Well done!

    Good to read about the first Aussie cogal. Hope to get in on one at some point if I’m in town.

    completely off topic but this reminded me of an assignment we had during med school where we were doing general med and we had to do a sexual history in one random patient.  I ended up getting a guy who had played minor league pro baseball here in the States for about ten years and had reached AAA (the step below the Big Leagues).  When asked the approximate number if partners he had had, he said that he had stopped counting when he hit 200.  I laughed and looked up but he was dead serious.  Said the most frightening moment of his life was when Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive.  Said he went out and got tested the next day.  Made my glorious love life seem just a tad weak compared to this guy!

  25. “We then wondered if Merckx washed the feet of his domestiques.”

    Gold.

  26. I’m conflicted.  I don’t know whether I would go to Europe or Down Under if I had the extra cash.  I lean toward OZ because at least I would understand about half of what they were saying.

  27. Nice work all, sounds like one of those days where you always feel better for having toughed out the conditions. Always made much easier by not wanting to look soft in the company of others (let alone strangers).

    How many of the Velominati down under are considering a visit to the TDU? Have been thinking there’s definitely potential for a gathering involving riding, spectating & belgian recovery beverages…

  28. I’m currently lacking funds due to my n+1+1 issue i have right now.  but if there was a velominait meet up i might need to skip a few coffees and start saving my pennies

  29. @Mikael Liddy

    Nice work all, sounds like one of those days where you always feel better for having toughed out the conditions. Always made much easier by not wanting to look soft in the company of others (let alone strangers).

    How many of the Velominati down under are considering a visit to the TDU? Have been thinking there’s definitely potential for a gathering involving riding, spectating & belgian recovery beverages…

    A very timely question @Mikael Liddy ! I was just talking to a few cycling buddies last week about this very thing. Will know more in the next week or two but at this point they were looking at heading down from about the 15th for the week. Talk of being based in Adelaide and riding out to the stages each day as well as joining the staged rides where possible. It would be great to have a Velominati presence on the road.

     

  30. @Mikael Liddy I’d be keen for sure. We could organise something for Sunday 20th and then see the street race that night. I head off for the Alpine Classic Tues 22nd. Something with lots of hills.

  31. @Cyclops

    I’m conflicted.  I don’t know whether I would go to Europe or Down Under if I had the extra cash.  I lean toward OZ because at least I would understand about half of what they were saying.

    Once you collect the life insurance funds referenced elsewhere you’ll be interested in the antipodean sheep.  Let @Marcus know if you like them unsheared.  If you like sheared, @minion will take care of your needs.

  32. @Nate

    A Kiwi and an Aussie come across a sheep stuck in a fence. The Aussie says “back home we’d take the sheep and shear it”. the Kiwi replies “eh bro I’m ok with shearing but I get to go first”

  33. @Daccordi Rider

    @Nate

    A Kiwi and an Aussie come across a sheep stuck in a fence. The Aussie says “back home we’d take the sheep and shear it”. the Kiwi replies “eh bro I’m ok with shearing but I get to go first”

    Goddamit, did I get the shearing proclivities backwards?

  34. @Nate It’s complicated. Did you know the main reason Kiwi’s move to Australia is they think the Canning Stock Route is an annual event?

  35. @Daccordi Rider

    Is this @minion?

  36. @Daccordi Rider

    @Mikael Liddy I’d be keen for sure. We could organise something for Sunday 20th and then see the street race that night. I head off for the Alpine Classic Tues 22nd. Something with lots of hills.

    Actually that’s not a silly idea, that’s the day of Ride Like Crazy so as long as we avoid their route we could find some very quiet roads for riding.

  37. Ok, so city, up Windy Point, Clarendon, Kangarilla, McLaren Flat, Willunga, coffee, Willunga Hill, Meadows, Mylor, Aldgate Valley Rd, Stirling, Mt Lofty, down Greenhill and beer time. About 5hrs at Casually Deliberate pace. Can make it longer and go to Strathalbyn as well. I’ll help you with organization.

  38. @Buck Rogers

    Eeeerrrrggghh (Shudders).

    At school, we had a space cadet arts teacher who drew the short straw by having to run through the sex ed curriculum with a class of 16 year old males. He proceeded to draw a pyramid diagram with himself as the apex, who slept with person x, person y, person z, who in turn slept with person a, person b, person c, who in turn… you get the picture, until he lost track of his sexual partners (or perhaps got lost in the memories). Thing is, this is in a small town of about 30,000 folks and where everybody knows everybody, this guy without a doubt had been shagging some of his student’s parents, siblings, pets etc. and then come to class and drawn a diagram of it. Awk-ward.

  39. @minion

    Did the teacher tell you how often he needed to replace his velcro gloves?

  40. @Daccordi Rider

    Ok, so city, up Windy Point, Clarendon, Kangarilla, McLaren Flat, Willunga, coffee, Willunga Hill, Meadows, Mylor, Aldgate Valley Rd, Stirling, Mt Lofty, down Greenhill and beer time. About 5hrs at Casually Deliberate pace. Can make it longer and go to Strathalbyn as well. I’ll help you with organization.

    Sneaking suspicion we’re reading right off the same page. Now we just need numbers.

  41. @Marcus Seriously. If you need velcro gloves there’s something wrong with you.

  42. As always it’s great to read about us and see some photos.

  43. @Mikael Liddy Excellent, so how do we kick this thing off. You’ve been round here for a while so we need to post up the info and get cracking. I went and did Mt Osmond and Mt Lofty last night to kick off the training, bring on daylight saving.

  44. @Daccordi Rider

    @Mikael Liddy Excellent, so how do we kick this thing off. You’ve been round here for a while so we need to post up the info and get cracking. I went and did Mt Osmond and Mt Lofty last night to kick off the training, bring on daylight saving.

    So how does this look?

    http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/124977021

    Find more Bike Ride in Glenside, Australia

    Find more Bike Ride in Glenside, Australia

  45. @Daccordi Rider I’ll email the esteemed gents running this show & see what we need to do to set it all up.

  46. Looks good to me although the iPhone isn’t real happy with map my ride. Let’s see what the keepers suggest and when it stops raining we can go ride the route.

  47. @Daccordi Rider yeah I’m not sure Rule #9 applies to biblical downpours…

  48. @Mikael Liddy

    I think it is like swimming – if the lightning isn’t hitting, you shouldn’t be quitting.

Leave a Reply