At the western window, again

Graeme, Lachlan and I climbed Mt Glorious yesterday. One thousand metres of climbing (elevation) and 33 kilometres distance (from Jolly’s Lookout). Only it was not so jolly for me! I had left my battery at home. So I did the climb on my 20 year-old bike, sans assistance!

Lachlan, Graeme and Ian the Western Window

However I could not have done so without my ‘super-domestiques’, Graeme & Lachlan who encouraged me all the way and never lost confidence that I would make it to the top. In road races much of a cyclist’s effort is to push aside the air in front of him. Riding in the slipstream of another rider is easier than taking the lead. The difference increases with speed.

Good mates, indeed!

Just as we approached the last climb (18% gradient) of 1.4 km, Graeme rode past me saying:

‘See you at the top, I have to go at my own pace cos I have difficulty enough getting to the top myself.’ I call Graeme Alberto Contador after the great Spanish climber.*

When we got to the Western Window near the park where we will celebrate my 70th birthday in a months time, I thanked Graeme cheekily:

Graeme at Western Window

So that’s it, I made it without help except for my super-domestique.’

To which Graeme replied in his usual self-effacing manner:

Yeah, your 68-year-old domestique‘. Touché.

In road cycling, a domestique is a rider who works for the benefit of their team, rather than trying to win the race himself.

This was the most enjoyable (and painful) ride I have done up Mt Glorious!

Thanks comrades,

Ian Curr
11 Nov 2020

Most of the photos below are by Lachlan.

*Alberto Contador is one of the best ever professional cyclists. Alberto was known as an attacking rider who excelled as a climber, and on his best days was also an excellent time-trialist. He was also known for being able to turn races around to his favour, most notably during the Fuente Dé stage at the 2012 Vuelta a España.

Al Quds team on the The Big Ride for Palestine, at the Western Window