Mt Coot-tha

Before Alberto and I decided to move away from Cairns four years ago we undertook a few scouting trips to Brisbane to check out the claim of being Australia’s most livable city. On one of those occasions I took my parents to Brisbane and the Gold Coast during their visit in late 2004, early 2005.

Mt Coot-tha was on our sightseeing list as it was highly recommended in my German travel guide book. I remember quite vividly my excited phone call to Alberto that night “Darling, I’m happy to move to Brisbane now. I found us a nice training climb close to the city.” We moved less than a month later.

Dad and I at Mt Coot-tha lookout, January 2005

Mt Coot-tha, derived from the indigenous Place for Honey. Local Aboriginal tribes knew this mountain for its honey (‘ku-ta’) producing stingless bees and they used to come here to collect the honey. I’m sure there is no other Mt Coot-tha, at least not in Europe or America.

After my initial excitement, Mt Coot-tha never made it on my Top Three List of climbs in Brisbane and I only really rode there a handful of times in almost four years. It’s not the climb as such that put me off. It’s rather the unpleasant ride along high traffic roads to get there that prevented me from visiting Mt Coot-tha more often.

And then there was this terrible accident about a year ago where a cyclist collided with a car while descending and didn’t survive. This incident didn’t help putting Coot-tha on my favourites list either.

This is all going to change now. Tuesday morning I met with Shane for some hill repeats. Remember? Build phase = higher intensity. Well, I did the repeats. Shane only kept me company for the first time up the 2.29 km climb that features a steady 6-7% gradient for the first kilometer and then kicks up to 8-9% for a further kilometer. I was amazed how many cyclists were training there on a Tuesday morning. So that’s where they are all getting their strength from! The next six weeks I will be joining them every Tuesday and Thursday in the hope of fulfilling my friend Shane’s prophecy: ” You may see climbing as a weakness, but keep in mind you will need to choose a different “limiter” in a couple of months, as this will be your strength!”

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11 Responses to Mt Coot-tha

  1. BettyBetty says:

    Hill repeats are tough and certainly hard motivation-wise but lucky you to have company. Nothing beats its effectiveness. You are going to tear it up! fyi just purchased Friel – this stuff puts me to sleep but to save some $$ I gotta do it myself.

  2. trio says:

    Hill repeats are great, they hurt but they work!!!! Made such a difference to me at transwales, I used to be at the back at every climb now I pass people! I will be back out doing them in the spring.

  3. Melanie says:

    i like your friend Shane’s prophecy… i’ll try to keep that in mind on my runs and rides 😀 Looks like a beautiful place to ride…

  4. Philippe says:

    Hills are great!You feel so good when your on the top of the hill…Bettybetty: by Friel do you meant “cyclist training bible” ?? this book is great…

  5. CyclistRick says:

    I would love to get back to hill repeats. Maybe next month; today the overpasses are enough!And that is such nice scenery to help forget the pain. You are so lucky!

  6. Judi says:

    you go girlie! i never do hill repeats but we climb hills a lot. our city is full of them. when you do these workouts, how many times do you climb and descent?

  7. Hill repeats work exceptionally well for running, so can on imagine what it would do for your cycling! Go gettem….

  8. Groover says:

    Betty – Yes, agree. It’s not the most exciting read but I got so much out of it and understand so much better now how to train effectively. Train smarter, not harder! It sure is worth the effort.Trio – Thanks for your encouragement. I will remember your words next time it hurts. :-)Melanie – I will like his prophecy when it will come true. 🙂 Thing is I’m not worried about finding other limiters. There are plenty others I can work on. :-)Philippe – You are right. It feels good to conquer!Cyclistrick – You will! Judi – I’m aiming for four repeats but yesterday I only managed three. Where do you live? SF?Laurel – I can imagine that it works similar for both sports. But do they hurt as much, too?

  9. Hill repeats…ick…but they do make you stronger.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Ein wunderschönes Stück Erde !Wir haben Coot-tha vor fünf Jahren besucht und wir fanden den Rundblick über Brisbane malarisch !Ja, Sandra hat uns schöne Teile von Australien gezeigt !Mit dem Fahrrad da hochstiefeln , eine schwere Freude !! Gibt es noch mehr solcher ” Verrückten “!Ganz liebe Grüsse nach Australien und allen Freunden !Gruss Dady

  11. Groover says:

    Lisa – I hate them while I’m doing them but I can see already results and how they make me stronger. Dad – ich glaube das war im Jan 05 ist also nicht ganz vier Jahre her. Wir trainieren auf der Rueckseite von Coot-tha und kommen nicht zum Aussichtspunkt. Die Rueckseite ist ein wenig steiler.

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