My mountain biking friends and I often quip that “Life is too short for road riding“. Purely out of love for mountain biking, I would say I agree 90% of the time. However, life is also too short to not try new things.
It was International Women’s Day last Sunday, so I chose to celebrate the day by doing something different and joining the Festa Della Donna ride organized by the local Rapha Cycle Club.
The all woman ride (our official photographer excluded) took about 40 women or so through the roads of Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, down to scenic La Perouse, back through beautiful coastal roads and finishing 60kms later in Centennial Park. The ride threw in a few brutal hills in the last few kilometers, just when it’s most welcome!
As I learned on the day, the ride reflected the Rapha spirit of road riding. This involved throwing in some unconventional sections such as gravel roads, dirt paths, cycle paths and boardwalk. I thoroughly enjoyed these parts of the ride, I giggled like an idiot as we weaved through boardwalk and tunnels formed by coastal bush. Although, not everyone was as impressed by these detours as I overhead one rider saying “I’m not riding any more &#!%$!$! footpaths“. Can’t please everyone I guess.
Other highlights and observations of the day:
- I saw some beautiful spots that I never knew existed;
- Road riders use their hamstrings and are serious about hill climbing. This chubby mountain biker had no option but to push on. Walking up a steep hill just cause it’s a Sunday is not cool;
- You can ride up stupidly steep hills with a supportive crew riding with you;
- Rapha are serious with their hospitality- with lovely complimentary piccolos and delicious home made post-ride food;
- Road riders have seriously nice socks;
- Road rides always hurt a bit, but you never regret going on them (but your hamstring might).
I am definitely looking forward to more rides in beautiful places with this crew. But maybe only on weekdays. And after I get some more of those fancy socks.
And now for some photos. Please enjoy.