Sunday, 31 May 2009


Yarra trails:
With the Powerful Owl ITT a couple of weeks away, and a nice clear afternoon on offer, I felt it would be good to go do some laps of Dickey's paddock.

I did 6 laps including one at walking speed to take photos of the various issues, several laps at mild pace but no brakes and a couple of fast laps. The last lap I was joined by Rosco for a quick whip around and a good chat.

Due to the sheer enjoyment of the way the trail flows clockwise I didn't manage a single lap in the anti-clockwise direction. That'll have to come after the first ITT.




R: 3:11
A: 355m

After feeling really hammered after racing the rocky course last week I promised myself I'd get a few more Sunday sessions in at Jeff's to help condition my whole body.

It was another week of the whiteboard matrix. Do as much as you can in 40 minutes, to the best of my memory here's the order I went in.

1 x ~500m Run
50 (25es) x Step Ups @ 24kg
1 x ~500m Run
50 (25ex) x KB Snatch @ 20kg
50 x Waterbag Hang Jump Cleans
1 x ~500m Run
25 x Push Ups on Roman Rings
50 x Wall Ball @ 4kg
5 x Chin Ups
50 (25ex) x KB Clean @ 20kg
50 (25ex) x KB Swing @ 20kg
50 (25ex) x KB Jerk @ 20kg
100 (50es) x Voodoo Abs
50 (25es) x KB Rack Lunge @ 20kg
40 x Jump Chin Ups

Elapsed time: 39 minutes 32 Seconds

I'm still crap at chin ups and push ups, though it was my best push up efforts to date @ Jeff's.

I kind of felt like I wasn't pushing through some of the sets, but the amount of sweat coming off of me tells me I was working pretty hard. I used the 20kg KB for all the main KB exercises, last time we did this I opted for some lighter weights. I was fairly happy to finish everything off with in the time limit.

In other news the weekend saw some of my training partners get up for a win. Jeff won Solo 40+ at Chase the Sun, while Jimmy won Open pairs at the same race. Ian got up for a win in IRTT (C-Grade) held at the Wangaratta. Nice!

PMPW: 91kg

Saturday, 30 May 2009


Melbourne-King Lake-Healesville-Yarraglen-Kangaroo Grounds-Melbourne:
Out the door at 6:30 to meet with Jimmy and BJ in Rosanna at 7:30. From there the soup de jour was to roll some kms in the hills.

It took ages for the temperature to rise, because even though the sun was rising, we were getting deeper into the hills. For quite some time it hovered around 3-4 degrees C.

BJ hit the Kinglake climb with some intensity while Jimmy and I cruised up at a more moderate tempo. It was good to see that a lot of the trees were really starting to sprout new growth.


We rolled over Kinglake and descended down towards Healesville via Chum Creek Rd.


We never actually went to Healesville, but rather swung straight off to Yarraglen for some coffee and apple scrolls.


Jimmy kept his legs in check after Yarraglen, but I played with BJ on a few hills, and even managed to drop him going up the Kangaroo Ground Climb.

Jim and BJ split to go home via Warrandyte, while I headed back through Eltham and Rosanna.



All in all it was a decent amount of time in the saddle. I was happy that despite the smashing at Jeff's on Thursday I was able to hold a good tempo.

D: 165.8km
A: 2420m

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 29 May 2009


Another long day at work, just enough time to shovel in some food, do some stretching and hit the sack.

Chickens eaten: 1/2

PMPW: 90kg.


Cold commute this morning, full winter gloves and booties were definately required.



D: 25.1km
a: 324m

Jim and I started the session by playing around on the balance board, Jim had proposed Slam Ball during the day, so we gave it a shot. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.

2 x 10 Deck Squats
1 x 5es @ 24kg Pistols
1 x 5es @ 12kg Pistols
2 x 30 @ 32kg Box Jumps
1 x 100 @ 53kg BB Jump Squats
1 x 200 @ 53kg BB Jump Squats
1 x 300 @ 53kg BB Jump Squats
3 x 10 Sandbag Snatches
2 x 5es Russian Sit ups
2 x 5es @ 24kg Row/Row/Pushup

The box jumps were evil, no single rep hurt but by about rep 10 the whole concept seemed very difficult.

The snatches were hurting, it felt like I couldn't get my HR down.

Russian Sit ups, I don't really understand why they are hard for me, but I certainly wasn't pulling through them as easily as the other guys.

Even 2 minutes from the start of TdB I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it. It took some evaluation of what I've said this year and my training stands for (HTFU Kid) to rock up. An early bunch was leaving just as I rolled up, so I slotted myself in and said hello.

Someone in the bunch said something that got my goat going up through Bulleen so I got on the front and drove up the pace. I stayed at the front for Doncaster Rd, keeping the chain in the big ring I concentrated on holding big power. Just after the first level off I shifted to the smaller ring and someone attacked. I chased with another guy and managed 3rd for the hill..... not a bad start.

Going into Foote St I was near the front, lights meant the pace was lower than I'd hoped, and I was going to have to work for it. Having done well on Doncaster Rd I decided to keep going hard, and managed another 3rd.

Up High St, going past the school everything was good until the wheel I was on accelerated 2-3km/h, in the space of 15 seconds I went from "getting my HR down slightly" to *pop*.

I had a chain derailment halfway up the cutting, just as I was about to attack the front, still it was a good opportunity for forced work, I chased the leaders back down through Ivanhoe, sprang after Rohin Adams who attacked up towards Heidelberg/Heidelberg junction and came through for the win.

I had 3rd wheel for the Red Rooster sprint, but got nervous about the big boys just off my wheel, I went early and pulled hard, in the end all I managed was to lead out everyone else.

It was good to know that regardless of any blood loss I still had strength and could hammer myself and to a lesser extent others.

D: 49.0km
A: 610m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Another long day/night at work meaning I missed the fatties.

PMPW: 90kg


Left arm is a little sore, and I've been spaced out mentally all day.

D: 31km
A: 220m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 25 May 2009


Gave (whole) blood this morning. I'm happy to say that I'm not a fainter, but I was pretty concerned I would be. The highlight was the free grub after, party pies and a milkshake! Om nom nom nom!




I also got a 90 minute massage, concerned about how much the last one hurt and how hard I'd gone over the weekend I took some codeine (Neurofen Plus) before hand. Even still it was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I literally had to ask for a bin just in case the pain induced nausea turned to actual vomiting.

The session ran to about 100 minutes, but was only just enough to do my quads, hamstrings and glutes/hips.

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 24 May 2009


Bendigo 6hr:
After doing my best to recover from yesterday's efforts I woke after a fitful sleep and found myself nervous.... like 3 pre-race poos nervous.


Alex started off first and came back in what I thought was good position, ~15th overall. I then took it as my job to give him as little rest as possible for the next 6 hours.

The first lap I went around with Andrew Bell, Jimmy almost caught me towards the end, forcing me to dig deep to stay in front, I think the effort he put in hurt him more though.

The second lap I rolled through with Evan Franzke and Paul Randell. A few laps later it was Troy Bailey.... It seems that lapping with solo guys would be the soup de jour, but after Troy we were finally in front of all of the hard men, and up into 3rd overall!

By the end of each lap my legs were hammered and my arms were begging to let go of the bars. The breaks between laps seemed to fly by, barely had I scoffed down a small bite to eat and some liquid when it was time to go again.

I ran a 38:20 (1.9) gear ratio, it turned out to be reasonable for the course. A complete, but manageable, grind on the steeper climbs and spun out on the flats.


I was happy with the consistency of my lap times. Even though my body was hammered by the last few laps, I was able to pick better lines and keep my times close. The difference between my fastest/first lap (28:21) and my slowest/last lap (29:18) was under a minute. Alex was faster than me all day, punching out 26 minute laps early on. He certainly did the bulk of the work to chase down riders in front of us.


I found all the riders on course were friendly, I gave a couple a helping hand along some open climbs and generally threw up the rock horns as thanks for letting me pass. I wouldn't say the day was a gigglefest, but it's hard not to think fondly of a race where you podium (2nd in Men's Pairs, 3rd Overall). I had plenty of grins on the dusty rocky course, I suppose it's the nature of racing that it hurts.


D: ~54km
A: 1140m

Post Race Evil Nasty Sausages Eaten: 4

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 23 May 2009


Preston Mountain Classic:

The profile of the race is available here.
Course overview: 115km handicap with 2 significant gradient climbs.

To say I was nervous is an understatement, compounding this was I couldn't find my wallet so turned up to race with out any breakfast.

Numbered and ready to go.

I started (as per my handicap) with the 12 minute group, there were 2 groups already on the road and 3 set to follow. From the start all 22 riders rolled turns, I found myself in pretty deep a few times but continued to work until about 60km when we caught the 18 minute bunch. Even with a bottle of sugar and a gu I started to struggle to hold a wheel smoothly. Around 70km I began reciting "please sir, can I have some more" like a mantra, it worked for about 5 minutes, then *ping* off the back I went.

I was disappointed, I hadn't achieved my goal, I hadn't made it to the first major climb. A km or two down the road I hit the climb, I pedalled away waiting for the gradient to to crank up.... then I crested the top. Turns out I had been on the climb and been too busy chewing my stem to realise it.

Shortly after I got swept up by the now massive scratch + extras bunch. 60ish riders going like a freight train, 70km/h down hill and 50km/h along the flat. I hooked on the back and stayed there until Flowerdale when the gradient shifted upwards and so did the pace. *ping*

The last 20 km of the race I chased a few rabbits, with some moderate success. So that's my first road handicap raced, no idea where I finished.

Putting my bike in the car I noticed my rear wheel was close to the brake. I span the wheel and it stopped almost immediately. I wondered how long it had been like that. Maybe next time I'll check that my brake isn't rubbing BEFORE the race, it might be enough that I'll stay on the whole way. :)

The free feed after the race was fantastic, I would have taken a photo of my plate piled high and overflowing, but I was too busy shoving everything into my pie hole.

D: 114.6km
A: 1295m

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 22 May 2009


Woke to a message from a mate saying I wasn't on the start list for the Preson Mountain Classic, I swore a bit and even considered just doing the MTB 6 hour. I called up CycleSport Victoria outlined my plight to a nice man and was told Ian Maher the Racing Manager would call me back, but my chances were nix, none and bugger all. Anyway to get this story on the road (literally) he let me have a late entry, and even shoved me into a fast B-grade bunch at my request.

Weekend of pain locked and loaded.

The rest of my day consisted of sitting at my desk at work. 13 hours in total, eating poorly and getting to bed late. Not the best lead up to a big race weekend.

PMPW: 91kg


2 x 10 Deck Squats
3 x 20 Balance Board Squats
1 x 1es Balance Board Lunge (attempts)
3 x 15es @ 16kg Balance Board Swings
2 x 15es @ 16kg Balance board Cleans

John Claxton turned up for a chat, which was nice. He's talking about training on Thursdays once his (reconstructed) knee progresses. I'm hoping I don't get overcome by my admiration for him and begin to over think the sessions.... I don't want it to be like last nights efforts.

Tried out the new road shoes, I'm not 100% convinced yet but I'll give them some time and see how they feel after a few hundred km. I'm also going to investigate lower arch support, as the stock ones feel quite high.


D: 34.3km
A: 325m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 21 May 2009


I'm not sure what was going on in my brain tonight, quite possibly I was over whelmed by the quantity of world and national champions, but I felt like I couldn't ride to save myself. It's also possible that it was the short/crappy sleep.

On top of my non-existent flow, the inner trails are getting quite sketchy and the lack of rain meant dust was kicked up in volume, destroying depth perception and confidence.

I'm not happy with how I rode, but other than lessening the verbal diarrhoea, I can't see anything I could do to improve it in the future. Just one of those nights I suppose.

R: 2:13
A: 360m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Ok despite laying out all my clothes, despite having my bike prep'ed and despite my heartfelt plan to do NRR this morning.... when the alarm went off I took the easy option and got some more sleep.

This was sadly my one chance to get a ride in today.

On a positive I have some new road shoes to try out. A set of Bontrager RXL Road (size 48). They cost a bum load, hopefully they are comfy to use. First test will be Thursday.

PMPW: 91kg


Legs felt a bit tired in the morning, I didn't push them at all. On the way home they felt really light and it seemed like I was flying along, once again though I decided not to push them at all.

D: 28.5km
A: 155m

PMPW: 91kg

Sunday, 17 May 2009


Melbourne - Mordialloc - Melbourne:
Had a fairly CBF day, but eventually rode down to Mordi and back up to Sandringham around 4pm. There was barely a trace of yesterdays winds, the late afternoon sun was casting a warm glow and long shadows.... but my legs felt heavy. I think I'll ease into this week and see how we go, next weekend is going to be brutal. :D


D: 34.3km
A: 125m

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 16 May 2009


Hell Ride:
This morning's Hell Ride was a good old fashioned work fest. The bunch started off with 30 or so riders, I soon got bored of sitting in the water spraying of other peoples wheels, so moved up to the front and picked the pace up a few clicks. A guy in TFM kit then came around and dragged us single file through to Mordi.

From Mordi things got painful, a small group started to roll turns, so I did my bit. After a few minutes of 45km/h+ I decided to sit back in the bunch for a minute, I signed that I wouldn't roll the next turn, hopped off the back of the working guys, discovered the whole bunch was gone and now had a gap to close all by my self.

Thankfully some lights got me back in touch and I got back to working turns in the Cross/Head wind through to Frankston. Beyond Frankston we slowed up a bit, the cross wind was evil, but the pace was (comparatively low).

On the way back up the beach it didn't take long before we were rolling turns again. We started with a good group of 8 guys going around in a well oiled double echelon... then it was 7 guys, 6 guys, 5 guys, 4 guys, 3... guys..... guys?!

It always hurts when you're waiting for the next guy to roll past you so you can move across..... but they never come, now you've got a gap to close. Well today I tried to keep the Oliver Twist mantra in mind. Every time it hurt I uttered "please sir, can I have some more". This kept me slightly amused, and seemed to help just a little. Sadly just before Black Rock it stopped working, I did manage to get back on, and then launched a sprint from out wide. I was ignored as I went up the road, and then ignored as I went backwards shortly after the finish line. Legs were dead, time to crawl home by myself.

All in all I think it was a good training ride. I can't expect race days to treat me nicely, there will be cross winds and probably rain, so it was good to get some fast paced experience in the same conditions. The group consisted of 3-4 big A-grade roadies including Tom Leaper, I must admit I am pretty happy to have worked with Tom, he's certainly a rider I respect a lot.

D: 88.6km
A: 370m

This is my pain box.
There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
My pain box is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.
My pain box without me is useless. Without my pain box, I am useless.
My pain box and myself know that what counts is the attacks we launch.
My pain box is human, even as I, because it is my pain box.
Thus, I will learn it as a brother.
I will keep my pain box clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready.
We will become part of each other.

Defeet HiTop Wooleator socks, oh shit yeah!

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 15 May 2009


D: 18.5km
A: 110m

Feel ok today, not fresh, but so far no DOMS, lets see how the legs hold up tomorrow on Hell Ride.

I also realised that I'm registered to race twice next weekend.

The Preston Mountain Classic on Saturday, and the Bendigo 6hr which I've agreed to race SS pairs.

I think I'm going to be a drooling mess Sunday night

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 14 May 2009


5:45am NRR:
I had a really poop sleep, I'm not sure if I kept waking up, or kept dreaming that I was waking up.... either way I got 5 hours of poor quality rest.

The plan for the NRR was to roll down to Mordi, get on the front and bury myself in a nice deep hole, then see how well I could recover and go again.

The plan was all good until on the way down the bunch got split by lights. I decided it was time to move the plan forward and got on the front to drive the bunch back to the front group. 55km/h with a slight tailwind, I had all bores open for what seemed like 2 minutes. I got about a minutes rest on the back..... when we got caught by lights again! *repeat effort*

I rolled around the Mordi roundabout in the middle of the 80 or so rider bunch, waited until I had room then rolled up the side to do some work. There was a strong head-cross wind and plenty of big legs, so the plan was updated to "work turns for as long as possible".

So roll turns I did, I got through to about the hill after Black Rock before the working group got to about 3 riders and my the messages from my legs got to 10 on the dial.

The bunch slowed down considerably and I took that chance to sit in, I'm a little disappointed in myself that I sat in, I should have stayed up there and made the hole deeper. A fresh group of legs emerged around Sandringham, so I rode up to play with them.

Coming around the turn at Elwood I knew the rider in front of me was struggling. I laid of his wheel just as he was getting set to roll across..... then I attacked. 2.5km from the BP sprint/finish and I put it all on the line. I made it around 1.5km before the legs shut off.

I jumped onto the 10-15 guys who were strung out after chasing me, then the 1km to go lights went red and we bunched up. I went for the sprint from about 5th wheel back, but the BP/Sprint lights turned red and everyone shut it down.... I rolled my wheel over the line first.... and even though it was at 15km/h with no one else competing... I'm calling it a win.

D: 40.9km
A: 120m

Jeff claims I'd said in this very blog, that I wanted to be smashed this week. At the time I couldn't remember saying it, and upon review it seems I didn't, never the less this was one of the toughest sessions to date.

2 x 10 Deck Squats
2 x 100 @ 20kg Box Jumps
3 x 10 Powerband Sprints
1 x 50 @ 15kg MB Slams
1 x 20 (10es) 48kg Ring Lunges
1 x 20 (10es) 64kg Ring Lunges
1 x 50 (25es) @ 24kg Box Step up to Lunges
1 x 25 @ 20kg MB Slams
1 x 100 Waterbag Jump Squat Hang Cleans

I'm actually really proud of how I went this week. The only exercise I paused in was the final one (Jump Squat Hang Cleans), once at 54 reps for 10 measured breaths and once at 85 for another 10 measured breaths.

The box jumps were ripping my arms off from holding the weights, but like the old big rep sets of Jump Squats I just turned the brain off and counted. Jeff was faster on both sets by ~10 reps.

The sprints as always jacked my heart rate through the roof, the final set made my legs all wobbly and I was seriously concerned they were finished for the night. I'm happy that even after 200 box jumps i pushed out ever single run with no pause and made good distance each time.

The ring lunges were the biggest killer of the night, weights were brought up significantly and I really felt the reps through my glutes. Reps 7-10 of each leg were body straining, teeth grinding, face grimacing fun. :)

Jeff has given me some mobility work to do, I haven't had a chance to look at it, but at this stage I'm eager to try out what ever he feels will benefit me.

Maybe next week after all the mobility exercises I can try this bad boy out....... ok maybe not. :)

D: 34.3km
A: 325m

PMPW: 91kg


I had a few detours today, before work I dropped into the city to see Ross @ iRide. After work I went to the ABOC dinner out in the burbs to stuff my face full of Indian and listen to a short talk by a bike dude.



When I got to work there was a magic box of goodness from the internets. Oh yeah, new socks!


D: 63.9km
A: 475m

The dinner was cool, the guest speaker Jono had raced in Europe as a junior and later as a pro. He's also the local rep for Trek, not a bad dude to know..... oh yeah, and he's into endurance MTB riding/racing. I told him he should come out with the fatties, we'll see if he takes me up on that.

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 12 May 2009


Rode the SS to work so I could race it afterwards.

Flat Hill Dirt Crits:
Rocked up early to the crit and rode a few laps. The first bit of single track was tight but with practice i was feeling ok about it.

I started poorly, and while i got around 5th, 4th and 3rd place Rohin and Jimmy put a gap into me. About 10 minutes in I caught them both, Jimmy cramped just as I got to him, a lap later as i was starting to put pressure onto Rohin I crashed and banged my knee hard. Rohin put a gap into me.

I gave myself half a dozen easy pedal strokes then told myself it wasn't an excuse to slow down and got back on the gas. I worked hard and caught up to him again at around 20 minutes in. Then I got dizzy and was hyperventilating and had to back off. Rohin put a gap into me.

I eventually got it back together and started to work hard..... but I never really got close again.

I was happy about how I was railing the single track, especially the first section of trees.

For coming 2nd I scored a couple of tubes... they even have French valves! :)

After the race Rohin and I hit some trails with Eddie Wilson who'd been riding past.

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 11 May 2009



D: 20.7km
A: 105m

I've lent my car to a mate this week, it's invigorating. I don't have anything to do that I can't get to by bike or public transport. Most of the activities I have to do will benefit from an extended warm up, with that in mind I'm going to race Dirt Crits on Tuesday night, go all out at Jeff's on Thursday and then smash it on the road bike Saturday.

Recently I've begun toying with the idea of racing 24hr races solo. It's not something for this year, but I think it's something to work towards in the next few years maybe even try and get myself to a competitive level at the nationals or worlds.

Reading today I found the idea of "giving yourself permission to fail" as written about on Again Faster (link) struck a chord. It's too easy to say that we can't, it hurts, we haven't slept enough. I do believe that "The ability to look at these things objectively, to laugh at our foibles" is a powerful one.

PMPW: 91kg

Sunday, 10 May 2009


Ben Randall Invitational:
Headed out with some tired legs for some old fashioned mountain bike riding.

Full report available at the Baum Blog

Despite my poor form I did my best to be Oliver Twist. "Please sir, can I have some more". I'm not sure if trying to work out which members of the ride would be which characters of Gilligan's Island is a good or a bad thing, but it did amuse me for a while.

For the record I was Gilligan. Tall and goofy.

D: 35km
A: 1175m

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 9 May 2009


Spoke(n) Ride:
Legs are still hammered today, I had the morning free so I decided to give them a gentle spin on the Spoke(n) shop ride.

The roads wet and it was a small bunch, I was happy to sit on the front and chat with pommy John through to Mordialloc. We discussed how neither of us felt like chasing down the inevitable attack coming out of Mentone, little did he know that I was planning one of my own.

Ok, granted it was one of the slowest attacks in history, but I had a giggle trying to lead him into a stupid conversation for the sole purpose of attacking half way through it.

On the way back home no one seemed eager to hurt themselves, so we rode paired up chatting. Eventually bored of sitting in the spray off another riders wheel I moved to the front and rode with Carson Tully. He's decided that he wants to go for the World Solo 24hr championship in a couple of years, and will see what he can do for the Kona this year. I must admit I've always been fond of his attitude and I hope he goes well on this endeavour.

D: 47.6km
A: 150m

It's possible I'm more nervous about tomorrow's Ben Randall Invitational than I normally am about races. If half of the invited riders turn up it'll be a who's who of local, fast, XC boys out to ride trails not perfectly suited to a hard-tail. Oh well, here's hoping I don't cry too much. :)

PMPW: 90kg

Friday, 8 May 2009



Quads, glutes, hip flexors, lower back and deltoids.... all hammered. Thank you Jeff.

D: 31km
A: 220m

Thursday, 7 May 2009



2 x 10 Deck Squats
1 x 100 @ 20kg Box Jumps
1 x 50 @ 20kg Box Jumps
3 x 10 Powerband Sprints
1 x 50 @ 15kg MB Slams
1 x 50 (25es) @ 24kg Box Step up to Lunges
1 x 100 Waterbag Jump Hang Squat Cleans
1 x 20 (10es) 32kg Ring Lunges
1 x 20 (10es) 40kg Ring Lunges
2 x 10 ...... I have no idea what they were, they involved my abs and contortionist positions. I was complete balls at them.

I found the Deck Squats a little hard, I really needed to concentrate on rolling right up to my toes.

Box jump weights were up 4kg, I did them side by side with Jeff. I tried to keep up but the heavier weights swing slower and he'd get an extra rep every 7-8. Even though the sets took longer, they really weren't dramatically harder.

Something that was dramatically harder was the Step Up to Lunges. Weights remained the same but the final 5 reps per side were evil. Will power was the only thing keeping the legs moving because all power seemed to have evaporated.

There may be video evidence of me saying "I can't" during the final exercise. It's likely to surface on Jeff's blog soon. I blame physics/levers/fat legs. In reality I'm once again a little ashamed of the attitude.

PMPW: 90kg

*edit* I've since been told that the last exercise are "Dragon Leg Lifts".

Wednesday, 6 May 2009


I'm continuing with the SS as my training bike. I honestly believe training on a heavier, shorter suspension travel, 1 geared bike forces me to be a better rider and thus faster when I get back to my Baum.

I had a surreal moment along Bruce's off-camber trail along the Eastern Freeway. I'd slotted myself into the rider queue 3rd wheel, it seemed like the spot I should be, then I took stock of who was around me. Up front was an Australian U23 XC representative (Paulie VDP) and World MTBO champion (AJ), behind me was an Australian 24hr Champ (Bellie), an Australian marathon representative (Rohin) and the rider who's style I admire the most (Benny). Shortly after that revelation i overcooked an off camber corner, lost a foot and had Belly right up my date.

Still it was a bit of a giggle, while I wasn't catching AJ's wheel he wasn't getting further away.

I managed to clean the final section of Stacy (opposite the children's farm), this is the first time i've managed it on my SS. In front AJ had dabbed and from the sounds behind me I could tell that Rohin had failed as well. It was a proud moment.

I attacked the bunch at the bottom of the swoopy trail (opposite the Yarra Bend golf course) and held them off the whole way up. Bellie did note that "that's Neil done for the night", which at the time my body whole heartedly agreed with... but I recovered by the next set of trees and forced Paulie out of his position in the queue to ensure I went into the trail where I wanted to be. :)

I tried to contest the final sprint back into the carpark but was blown away by Bellie and Paulie. Bellie jumped with Paulie close behind, and for the first few metres I felt like I might get back across to them. By half way up the road my legs were going at 160rpm, my lungs were on fire, they were never coming back.

R: 2:11
A: 340m

PMPW: 89kg


Commuting on the SS MTB is a giggle. The hum of knobbly tyres, the scream of the Hope freewheel and my own amused breathlessness as I try to spin the legs at ever increasing speeds.

D: 38.6km
A: 245m

Dirt Crits: - Flat hill
Oh, so it turns out these weren't on this week. I sat around for ages wondering where everyone else was. Next time I'll check the date/time before leaving work.

Making the most of it, I hit a few trails on my way home. I felt strong going up a few of the hills, nice amounts of sustained power coming from the legs..... but I was bit unco with the crumpler on my back.

PMPW: 90kg

Tuesday, 5 May 2009


Rest Day:
nothing to report

PMPW: 91kg.

Sunday, 3 May 2009


GMBC Winter Series: - Mini marathon

With soreness in my quads, arms and core the aim for today's was just to have fun and put some decent efforts in. Consider both boxes ticked.

I started at the back of the bunch and spent the first minute or two avoiding the riders pinging off the bunch as it headed along the first bit of fire road. Into the first bit of single track the pace was being set up front by Russell Collett, I used the steady speed as a chance to pick off the occasional rider, eventually getting myself up to the top 10.

A little rise shortly before before the link track (#14) saw the ~15 man train splinter as riders were unable to hold wheels. I punched past a few riders but could see that there were gaps opening up in front of riders ahead of me. I worked hard and by the start of the link track I had gained another couple of spots. The link track as always was tough. I have always found it best to back off before a technical section, this lets your HR drop, then going full bore. This seemed to be working for me but sadly I was forced to run a couple of sections due to a combination of my own poor line choice and riders in front unclipping. It's always hard to make snap decisions or pick a new route when the HR is jacked on a technical climb.

By the top of the link track I was in open space, I could just see Scott Chancellor(sp?) a few hundred metres up the track but knew I had at least the same gap the rider behind. Going down Rockwell Run (track #4) I managed to get target fixation on a tiny rut, which then led to a very uncoordinated low-ish speed crash. Feeling like a spaz I picked myself up and got back on the bike only to find the course detoured around one of my favourite sections, boulder descent (track #9).

I worked hard round the rest of the stockyards loop, avoiding DH'ers on the Cressy Climb but never sighting Scott. I knew the fire road from the top car park could be a good chance to gain some ground on Scott. I was bigger and had better road legs to smash out the big ring. Though I hit 74.4km/h, I never did see Scott until I crossed the line ~ 1:18 after I started, 7th.

Post race I got a chance to ride Sean Hurley's Lynskey through some of the trails. It's always odd riding someone else's bike, by eye it looked to share a similar geometry, but I found it tough to bunny hop. Through the twisting trails it certainly held a line, but getting back on my own bike just felt like returning home.

A map of the stockyards area, including track #s can be found here.

D: 31.5km
A: 495m

PMPW: 91kg


Spoke(n) Ride:
Legs and abs/core still pretty tended this morning, but with some free time I decided to do the Spoke(n) shop ride.

St.Kilda -> Mordialloc -> St.Kilda, going via Beach Rd the entire way.

I got rolled onto the front with Ben Randall and seemed to be able to just gain half to a full wheel advantage over him on some of the rollers. This made me bloody happy, making Ben hurt a bit after the smacking he gives me week after week at Fatties was good. :)


The trip back up was involved 4-5 guys (myself included) rolling long turns. We kept the pace on the whole way splintering the bunch up a bit. My legs felt like they were in a lactic bath, but it was good. :)

D: 47.9km
A: 135m

Chickens eaten: 3/4

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 1 May 2009


Quads are feeling the work they did yesterday, especially the right one. I'll try and move or at the very least stretch them tomorrow but I have a feeling walking is going to be an issue. Recovered or not they're still going racing on Sunday.

I took a slight detour, to collect some bits and pieces on my way to work, which bumped up the commute numbers slightly. Trails off to the side of the path tempted me, but I was late for work and on my road bike..... next time gadget!


D: 38.6km
A: 245m

Chickens eaten: 1/2
PMPW: 91kg