Saturday, 31 July 2010


Northside ride:
I wanted to do the Hellride, but a late night Friday put kybosh to that. Only Brett was up for the shop ride, so we made pair and headed south chatting. As we rolled we both agreed that we had a head/cross wind, even reasoning using logic agreed with us. Knowing that I was doing so into a headwind I was pretty happy with my lead out effort for Brett. We'd been passed by a small bunch a few km out of Mordi and they made perfect rabbits. I told Brett to hang on and that I'd do all the work. Low on the bars I found a gear that felt right and hammered out 43-44km/h and kicked it up to 50 at the end. A perfect lead out except for one fact, Brett wasn't on my wheel. for a couple of km.

As we turned around and headed for home, we realise (as I'm sure you've guessed by now) that we were wrong about the direction of the wind. The drizzle that started to fall was definitely coming towards our faces and no longer was a 40+km/h TT an option.

We spotted Carson, who swung around and joined us while we waited for the hellride to come through. As we kicked to latch on I wasn't to know I'd soon discover the secret to my success in competitive events. Gaps opened up as we hit Rickett's point and I had them easily covered. Guys attacked over the top and I chased them down without too much hassle. I don't know why I hadn't worked this out years ago, but it seems the secret to me winning is for me not to do the whole ride so I have (comparatively) super fresh legs for the finish.

D: 47.3km
A: 170m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 30 July 2010


My bum in sore and as no one else has keys to my place it's not what half of you filthy minded perverts are thinking. I am DOMS' bitch.

In other news Cam Wells has put up some photos from the Powerful Own ITT. I do like the one of me, the body language is awesome..... and then you see my line.

The shot of Dickey's tyres, should go partway to explaining why I was so wide, probably not all the way to it though.

I have misappropriated both photos from Cam's flickr. Click them to link through to his shots. Cam if you'd prefer I didn't, then you should have been the little old Italian man I asked when I found I didn't have your number but needed sign off on the concept.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 29 July 2010


1 x 40 Deck Squats
1 x 2 @ 35kg Walking lunges
1 x 3 @ 40kg Walking lunges
1 x 1 @ 40kg Duck walks
1 x 1 @ 10kg Duck walks
3 x 1 @ 40kg Broad jumps
3 x 15ES @ 20kg Swings
3 x 30 @ 20kg Clean to back rack
3 x 15ES @ 20kg Roundy roundy things
3 x 50ES @ 20kg High knee sprints
1 x 1 @ 20kg Prone floor cleany things

Duck walks fucking destroyed me, I went from normal breathing and mild perspiration to a heaving chest and drenched in sweat in the space of about 15 meters. I have decided I dislike them, I say this knowing that I'm showing them weakness and they will likely plan sneak attacks for the future. Duck walks are very crafty like that.

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 28 July 2010


I've started making a habit of not checking the weather, instead just getting on the bike and dealing with whatever comes up. So it was a bit of a surprise to me when I left work that it was wet. It was beautiful, though a bit chilly, in the morning, so my brain assumed those rain like noises I was hearing during the day were traffic or something. Turns out the sound was rain.

D: 35.8km
A: 310m

It seems most people do check the weather, as it was just Gav and I out for a roll in the "a group". It was good to see Meg is back on the bike, sporting a brand new, dirty great big scar on her knee.

In an act that can only be described as "one of the stupidest things I've done on a bike", we decided to ride up a massive drain.... while it was raining. It kinda freaked me out, in fact, lets remove the word kinda. It freaked me out. 3-4km of being underground is just not right.

D: 22.7km
A: 90m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 27 July 2010


Trains were stopped in their tracks this morning, cars were banked up in long queues and I was revelling in schadenfreude.

D: 38.8km
A: 295m

Powerful Owl ITT:
I haven't done well at these in the past and "but I prefer having a rabbit to chase" is not a good enough reason for it.

A couple of practice laps revealed the course to have a few deep puddles and to be pretty sloppy around the back. The best thing I could do as preparation was psych myself up for getting wet and muddy. The fastest line was often going to be straight through some nasty bog, and any deviation would cost precious seconds.


I hit the lap hard, managing to overcook a couple of corners, clip out once or twice and forget to turn my light on before starting. Still it was a solid effort, I pushed hard the whole time. Fighting through my bodies protests at the end to sprint up the final rise.

I was 8 or 9 seconds slower than James Dickey, but managed to get around faster than Carson, Dyon and Gav, who'd all pounded me at the last one. 2nd will have to do, as we all had tales of "I could have done XYZ better".

D: 1.5km
A: 0m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 26 July 2010


GAH, another day of training lost to life. I'm going to start a tally and demand life recompenses me with more awesome. Here you go life, how about this as a trade, you get 2 of my training sessions per week, and in return you magically make me un-fearful of getting mad air.

While I'm in the midst of mock rage I think it is appropriate to allocate all blame to a scape goat, or to be more accurate, a scape dog, specifically this one.

I found him while I had a sneaky mid morning coffee, he was just hanging in the sun checking out ladies. Damn you Billie, give me the awesome I deserve!

It's ok though, tomorrow I'm going to race my bicycle, and it's going to be sweet.

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 25 July 2010


You Yangs:
After a week of basically not touching the bike I really felt the need for a mental and physical release, no I'm not talking about porn (this time).

Dirty Deeds CX #2 was scheduled for the arvo, but I wasn't in the mood to race, and I really want to do that on a proper CX bike. I did have another option, mid week I got an SMS from Bruce Dickey saying there'd be a longish ride starting from the stock yards at the You Yangs. Perfect!

James and Bruce Dickey.

Not a bad little bunch of racers and ex racers.

I was pretty happy I'd be able to deal with the pace of the bunch, I had my geared bike with me.... then Paul van der Ploeg turned up. Having the national u23 champion turn up to a ride, fresh from a stint racing World Cups in Europe is shattering to confidence. "He's going to rape me, and not in the good way!" Thankfully Pauly wasn't in the mood to tear legs off. He spent the day either balanced on his rear wheel or airborn.

Ok so he is neither on his rear wheel nor airborn here, so you'll just have to take my word for it. :D

I can't say that I rode fantastically, maybe it was a scootch too much air in my tyres for the loose conditions, maybe it was that I don't ride my geared bike enough. Still there were many times when the world melted away leaving only the trail winding it's way in front of me. Nothing but finding apexes mattered, and man were there a lot of them to be found.


D: 33.6km
A: 605m

1 x 17ish @ 20kg Shoulder press
1 x 17ish @ 20kg Push ups
1 x 30ES @ 20kg One arm swings
1 x 30 @ 20kg High pulls
1 x 50ES @ 20kg High knee sprints
1 x 10 Tyre sprints
1 x 12ish Rope shenanigans
1 x 1 @ 20kg Walking lunges
1 x 1 @ 20kg Duck walk
1 x 1 @ 20kg Broad jumps
1 x 1 @ 20kg Duck walk
1 x 1 @ 20kg Broad jumps
1 x 1 @ 20kg Walking lunges

After 2 and a bit weeks away from Jeff's I never expected it would be easy, it wasn't and I'm sure I'll be sore for a good chink of the coming week.

I wasn't mentally there for the first few exercises, but the sprints were a good chance to bury myself, especially with a rabbit to chase.

The rope shenanigans were cruel, not for me, but for the lacross boys who we were tag teaming into submission. 2 groups of 3 of us rotated on one end, while it was just two of them on the other. It was Pat's first week, I'm sure he'll remember this week for a while.

PMPW: 91kg

Saturday, 24 July 2010


Hopefully the last day my training will be effected by moving house. It's taken way more of my time and added way more stress that I could have imagined, I'll be glad to put it well behind me.

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 23 July 2010


I can tell you now that the repeated realisation that you've hoarded a heap of items in your life that you now have to move is not very relaxing.

Still riding through the back streets of South Melbourne at 2:30am almost made up for missing chickens. Not because the suburb was interesting, but because to my sleep deprived brain, riding on my race wheels at that time of the morning was absurdly hilarious... I guess you had to be there.

Remind me to put clinchers back on after the time fairy visits.

CE: 0 :(

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 22 July 2010


Not that moving house is that restful.

4 x 1 Fridge lift
6 x 1 Couch lift
2 x 1 Washing machine lift
2 x 1 Queen size bed lift
1 x 1 Tumble drier lift

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 21 July 2010


Discovering the pair of gloves you have is not a left and a right, but rather two rights is never a great moment. Faced with just that situation I had to think fast; No gloves, both with one work inside out or just wear one right one? As Gav said, "just wear the one, you never know, you might crash on that side".

We headed in, and I was glad I hadn't pulled out the gearie, the trails were wet, often greasy. Rohin must have run out of other friends, because he was back to get some time in before Tour de Timor. We rode in fits and spurts, Ro Ro, Gavin, Chop Cop and I taking turns to go hard at the front, before regrouping and cruising. Justin had a cross bike out again, for some (now not so) secret training before the weekend.

Oh and those words of Gav's? Fucking prophetic. I tried to turn too tight on the Kew golf course pump track, ending up wrist deep in soft loam with my right hand.

D: 28.8km
A: 355m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 20 July 2010


I almost feel human again today. Getting up from the couch doesn't take 5 minutes of mental coercing.

I might have to skip Dirty Deeds CX #2 this weekend, but hopefully I can get everything I need done so I can ride on Sunday.

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 19 July 2010


I've got a heap on this week that's going to savage my training time, given how I feel after the weekend (fairly shattered) it's probably come at a good time.

It was pretty cool to see some World and Aussie champs racing yesterday, and on the rare occasion where such a rider came through me right before a downhill section of singletrack I chased. Gravity meant that my lack of legs wasn't an issue, and it was encouraging to see I could hold them until things flattened out and my lack of legs became an issue again.

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 18 July 2010


Chase the Sun: 6 hour
In keeping with that idea that if you're going to do something stupid, make sure it's really stupid, I took my SS out to Lysterfield Park to race a 6 hour enduro.

It came as a surprise to me that during my warm up I had no poke in my legs. Honestly, I know I raced hard for 3 hours the day before, but surely a chicken parma, a large bowl of pasta, a small pizza and a large pizza should have restored me to peek physical condition?

I started pretty easy, needless to say, the giant bag full of excuses I was carrying slowed me down a bit. Still it's kind of nice not playing the elbows out game up the front. The course seemed to be an even mix of fun single track, climbing and flat fire roads. One of those things was great fun on the SS, the other two... not so much.

That aside, I threw out the old idea of "solo is all about finding the most efficient way to ride the course", and instead subscribed to "solo is all about finding the most fun way to ride the course". There were several sections that elicited outcries of joy. "Whee", no wait that looks a little odd, "Weee"? Hrm still not right "Wiii"?. Ok, how about I let you hear what I mean, and you decide on your own spelling.

So, just like that, but with more of a 4 year old on a swing characteristic. To be fair after 5 hours of pedalling it sounded like the child was just trying to keep it's parent(s) happy, but they happened every time I was airborn or sideways.

Around lap 3 I decided to ride with Mel of Ben and Mel fame. I decided that her pace was much more fun. Ok, so that's not entirely the truth. The truth is, she rode past me as if I was standing still, and laughed as she did so. Somehow the joy in her voice triggered both my Pride and Spite glands to increase the secretion of pain tolerance hormones to my legs.

By halfway through the race I still had no idea where Steve was. Steele Von Hoff (have I mentioned I love that name?) came through and mentioned he'd said hello to the wrong dude in Baum kit earlier. It took my brain a few moments to realise that meant he'd seen Steve, those few moments meant Steele had a fair gap already, but I needed to know if Steve was in front or behind, so I chased him down. Steve was behind. :D


The fire roads were the biggest killer on the SS. Mostly I was able to draft a geared rider. Spinning my ring off then coasting for the kilometre long sections. As the rain started to fall in the last couple of laps I went from copping a few bits of earth to copping a face full of dirt, water and dirty water.

I finished up with 6 laps. I'd predicted I could just squeeze in 7 and the winners got in 8. Still I happy as I managed to clock up 100km, and that's a a decent effort on any day.

Result: 24th out of 69 solo males. Not quite the top 1/4 that I'd hoped for, but I know there's a bit of room for improvement both mentally and physically.

D: 100.5km
A: 1,725m

CE: 1

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 17 July 2010


Melbourne to Ballarat:
We arrived at the starting place early to allow plenty of time to register and warm up. Sadly it was a different place to last year and didn't have the access to back roads. With out rollers that left me a heap of time, and not a heap to do. Result? I found a new companion to go riding with me.


I figured I'd be one of the stronger blokes in the bunch, and I was confident that Ian would be with me at the end, so we joked about taking the win and splitting the four and a half grand cash prize. It'd hurt, but those sort of amounts provide a heap of motivation.

We had 20 or so blokes in our bunch, with everyone rolling turns until just before we reached the hills at Bacchus Marsh. Up the Pentland Hills Rd climb only a few blokes were doing all the work, and Ian was noticeably absent. "It's cool" I thought, he'll just be sitting on up the back, so I kept doing what I could to drag us along.

Up the kicker at Pykes Reservoir a few guys kicked hard, stringing out the bunch and creating a gap that almost killed me to cover. I'm sure it shook a few of the riders we had picked up off the back, as for the others, it ensured they were hurting.

At times it hurt, guys would roll through hard and stretch my limits a little, sure it hurt, but we were going forwards. The worse scenario was when the working group would break down and the pace would drop right off. It was these times that thoughts of a hard chasing scratch bunch would loom to the fore. Suppressing them and just concentrating on how far in front the leaders were helped. Random people on the side of the road yelling out split times helped a lot. "10 minutes", "5 minutes", "3 minutes".

Finally we crested the climb, the leaders weren't too far away, and we had a strong bunch. Turns were pulled at 50-60km/h, we were a freight train of awesome, hauling arse into the headwind. Those leaders were ours!

Then the 9 minute bunch (the one who started behind us) came through like the TGV. I kicked hard as the first riders came past and managed to get up to speed and slot myself 2/3 of the way down their bunch. We flew past riders, and soon had a lead car in front of us. Wait, a lead car? Does that mean we're winning?!

Finally we reached our turn off to Ballarat (the 5th freeway exit), and got some bad news, there was still at least 1 bunch up the road. That didn't seem to deter anyone as attacks started to come and the pace was driven even higher. The bunch was getting strung out, and so were my legs. Round Lake Wendouree I had one of those unclosable 1m gaps to the riders in front. I lost count of how many times I gritted my teeth and tried to get to the relative comfort of their draft, but eventually (2-3km to go) my legs had nothing left and I watched 15 or so riders fly into the distance.

Results aren't up yet, but from what I can gather the 15 minute bunch (the ones who started right in front of us) got up for the win, finishing only a minute or so in front of the 9/12 minute bunch combo I was with.

I'm pretty happy that I was able to survive both the hills and the headwinds to get to Ballarat near the front of the race. I'm a little disappointed that I wasn't able to hold on on the flat. That should be my forte, well my 3rd forte, you know after telling bad jokes and farting.

D: 100.2km
A: 900m

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 16 July 2010


Oh dear god I'm nervous about tomorrow and it seems I'm not the only one who thinks my handicap is good.

"How the fuck are you off 12minutes??"
SMS from Mark G @ 4:20

"Bastard. Keep in the back of ur mind the thought that benzo, naylor and myself are chasing you down like a pack of hungry dogs..."
SMS from Mark G @ 4:22

Talking of hungry dogs, I really really like Friday chickens, I'm going to miss it when I'm over seas.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 15 July 2010


I wasn't able to get any training in today, I was doing a Car shuffle with Ian so we can get home from Ballarat on Saturday.

I imagine I'm going to be pretty fucking shelled by the end of the weekend, a 100km road race on Saturday and a 6 hour MTB race on Sunday. Still I have some goals for both races, and I think making them public before will ensure they don't change when faced with the pain of racing.

Melbourne to Ballarat:
I'm in the 12 minute bunch, which is about midfield, this compares with last year when I was off 6 minutes but probably a bit fitter/faster. Driving up the Western I was struck by how freaking long the Pentland Hills Rd Hill is, I think even with a slower bunch I'm going to hurt like a bastard. That said, I think it's doable and if we can get to Kryal Castle before Scratch catches us, then it's game on because the terrain flattens out and I'm going to haul whoever is left to the line.

Chase the Sun #2 (6 hour):
This one is easy, I want to beat Steve. He's far less trained that I am, but he wont have raced on Saturday and he'll be on a geared bike. Ok so it's not just about Caddy, I'd like to do consistent laps, with a strong finish. I want to be in the top 1/4 of the solo field, and still be able to speak English once the racing is done.

A slightly different goal has been brewing of late, Trail Advocacy and Trail Fairyism. A comment in the following video. "Trailbuilding is a democracy, you vote with your shovels." I think it's time I voted.

The Highbridge Project from yoni arava

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


I blame Gavin. There is not a single shred of doubt in my mind that it's all his fault.

When Gav sms'd me at 5:35 to say "it's snowing at my place" he left me no choice but to question his manliness and commitment. Then, instead of accepting that I would swiftly change my mind when the freezing rain game raging through, he decided to ride his bike to the fatties meeting point, thus forcing me to also ride. See... totally all his fault.

With my electronic car keys double ziplock baggied we did what any normal person would do. Went to find the wettest, greasiest trails we knew of and got to riding, figuring that if you're going to be stupid, you might as well be really stupid.

Occasionally we'd spy a commuter looking completely miserable about life in general. I can only imagine they thought we were crazy, as Gav, Steve, Adam and I all had dirty great big grins (pun intended) plastered from ear to ear.

I never had much control over the front end of my bike, and quickly gave up any hope of controlling the tail. The fairly bald tyre on the rear barely had grip in a straight line, so when the trail got twisty, it did it's own thing while I laughed uncontrollably.

D: 16.3km
A: 175m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


6am NRR:
I didn't feel to strong this morning, I'm not sure if it was a poor sleep, carry over from previous rides (and crashes) or if the pace was just high. I did a couple of turns and then contributed to the lead out train for the sprint.

I don't normally listen to my body, as it's prone to sooking, but perhaps it might be wise to race the gearie on Sunday, but that may depend on the weather.

D: 43.2km
A: 140m

Jeff speculated that the missing chainring bolt that caused my crash may have just fallen out rather than being torn asunder by my mighty sprint.... I prefer my story.

D: 29.1km
A: 190m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 12 July 2010


Thankfully I wasn't as stiff as I'd worried I would be. The tweaked (right) wrist may be an issue for Sunday's 6 hour, and we'll see how the bruised (left) quad holds up for both races.

Here's the gory bits from the crash.

D: 32.1km
A: 210m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 11 July 2010


Mullem Mullem:
What a bloody gorgeous day for a ride with mates. It certainly didn't feel like the middle of winter. As Steve said "this is probably what non racers enjoy most about cycling", just riding with mates. No ego (ok a little but far less than normal) and good trails.


I left the 1.9:1 on my SS, knowing that the trails offer many short sharp rises. Even still there was a fair bit of pig rooting going on to make it up a couple, the fact that a couple of the guys on geared bikes didn't make them made it all worth while.


Up the final rise to Jim's house Ash and he kicked into a final sprint. I figured I was a chance so stood and gave it everything. Then everything went pear shaped and I found myself getting overly fond with the bitumen.


I'm normally one to bounce straight back up and declare that "it's all good" after a crash, but I thought it best to lay still after this one. As a lay on my back with my bike tangled at my feet I took notice of what hurt and what it could mean. I'd had the breath well and truly knocked out of my lungs, annoying but not critical. My head was ringing, but nothing seemed to be leaking out. My left shoulder hurt, but not enough for it to be a collarbone. My knee, elbow and hip were all telling me stories, but they were only stories of serrated nerve endings.

It looks like I snapped a chainring bolt, which allowed the chainring to flex and the chain to drop.


Sleeping is going to suck, but I should be ok for next weekend.

D: 25.3km
A: 640m

PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 10 July 2010


Melbourne - Frankston - Melbourne:
I intended to do the Hell Ride this morning, a hard session working into the wind, great mental preparation for next week's Melbourne to Ballarat. Unfortunately not everything went to plan, a second morning poo meant I was running 10 minutes late, and not even an ITT effort aided by a ripping northerly was enough to make back the time.

I rolled to Frankston with another bunch I found on the road, the pace wasn't earth shattering, but I ensured I earned my place by pulling some long turns.

I swung around just before Hopes Rise as I saw a few guys that I knew would be with the bunch. When the rest of the bunch finally caught up I slotted myself up the front and started working.

A couple of guys were dropping wheels (which makes it hard), and a couple others were pulling through really strongly (which makes it hard) all combined with a hot northerly trying to push us back to Portsea meant it wasn't easy going. Mostly I wanted nothing more than to drop back into the bunch and sit on, each time I'd tell myself "just one more turn" or "just follow that wheel", and go around again.

D: 90.9km
A: 205m

The videos from last night.

Round 1: I race at 5:34 and went the LONG way around.

Round 2: I race at 2:51 and I let Marcel dictate the speed and had no legs to finish with.

Round 3: I race at 4:03 and I let Stuart dictate the speed and had no legs to finish with.

Finals: I piss fart around at 2:45 and race at 2:48.I dictated the speed, but Chris just had a touch more speed out of the final corner. I would very much like to beat Chris in a sprint one day.

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 9 July 2010


ABOC Sprint Invitational:
Well that was fun, but I need moar powa* and some more track time to get my strategies right some strategies other than "ride fast".

PB'd my flying 200 with a 12.56, not terribly surprising given DISC has massive banks and that I'd borrowed Ian's Zipp 900 rear and 404 front. Still it was a competitive time, and enough for a-grade, on what most agreed was a slow night.

First up I raced Rob Tidey, basically a continual wind up for 3 laps with me going the long way the whole time, but somewhere along the line i got my wheel in front and hung on for a win.

The next two didn't go so well. Marcell, who qualified fastest, set a good pace, but was sneaky enough to slow down when I went for his draft, thus negating my ability to sling past him. My race with Stuart Vaughn wasn't as fast, he ducked under me to take the lead and then employed the same slow down move when I went for his wheel.

Still a single win and a good qualifying was enough to race for 3rd/4th in the finals against Chris Ray.

I felt it was hard to go around on this track so took the lead and gradually wound up the pace. I knew Chris would be on my wheel, but hoped by keeping the pace up I could negate his hard kick. Through the last corner we were sholder to sholder and I thought it might still be on, but I begun to fade as we hit the straight and he ended up winning by about a bike. In hindsight I needed to keep a better eye on where he was, as he dropped off of my wheel and got a good sling past. If I'd employed the same move I'd been shown twice in the previous races, it might have been enough to interrupt his run and give me a touch more in the legs for a final drive to the line.

I'll pop up some of the videos when they get put online.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 92kg

* Yes I know how to spell, no I'm not going to change that, it seems appropriate that way.

Thursday, 8 July 2010


The only important thing of note is that I didn't do anything of important note.

The ABOC Sprint Invitational is on tomorrow and I'll be honest and say I'm pretty nervous. I don't think I have the same speed I had during summer, but my desired level of performance is just as high if not higher. With that in mind I thought it best to skip Jeff's, because I know I'm a sucker for doing more than I should.

Here's how I imagine it would have gone down:

Neil: Hey Jeff, I'm racing tomorrow night and really think it'd be best if I just hang around and heckle people.

Jeff: Ok man, that sounds really sensible and I admire you in every way, especially your really manly legs.

Neil: Oooo look, some pretty weights, I think I will lift them until failure.

Jeff: You're so handsome and manly.

D: 27.0km
A: 205m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 7 July 2010


Ah "the flow" it's only with your return that I realise how much I've missed you!

I'm not sure if you returned because the trails were (mostly) dry and grippy, or if it's because I was on a small gear (1.9:1) and so had to maintain as much speed as possible. Whatever the reason I welcome you back with open arms, and hope this outpouring of emotion doesn't smother you and chase you away again.

In other news we had a Taswegian join us tonight (Daniel from Hobart), on holiday with the family he phoned around to find out if there were any rides, Sholto at MBC sent him over to us. He spent the night grinning, well when we let him catch his breath. :D

D: 28.8km
A: 355m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 6 July 2010


6am NRR:
It was a touch chilly this morning, "how chilly?" you ask (I'm not waiting for you this time), well instead of telling you it was 3°c, I'll just say that one of the guys had frost on the seat stays of his Ridley.

I span the little ring the whole way down, and by spin I mean my hips flayed around everywhere as I tried to sustain ~160rpm in 44x15.

The return leg hurt, I mostly stayed towards the front and worked on the hills, but I did my best not to shirk turns when they happened.

As we rode through Mentone a dude in a car decided it was an appropriate time to pass, despite there being only 1 lane (no bike lane). Not only could I read what radio station they were listening to, but I could tell what aftershave the radio hosts used (MMM - Luke Darcy was wearing Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male, while Eddie McGuire should tone done on the Versace Blue Jeans).

I followed the wheel of Craig from O2 when he attacked through Elwood, he rode us clear of the bunch and just as I was beginning to wonder if I'd be able to sprint past him at the end he swung off leaving me 1.5km to go solo. Sadly I just wasn't up for it, especially when a solo rider caught and passed me. Afterwards Craig gave me a friendly "Oi, you were meant to TT to the win" when he rolled up. I'm sorry Craig.... next time?

A flat white helped soothe the pain from the cold and effort.


D: 42.3km
A: 125m

Went a bit better than I thought. My hips were pretty messy, but I'd expected them to be even worse.

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 5 July 2010


It almost felt like my legs had some punch today, though that might have just been the cold screwing with my bodies electrics.

D: 29.4km
A: 290m

I haven't really reviewed my "off season" results against the goals I set, I think in the spirit of getting better it's important to do.

Monos - While not perfect there has been progress. I no longer wonder if there is a pill or nasal spray that could help me keep it up longer.

Airborn - I am still quite shit scared of being off the ground while riding.

Spin - Continued SS MTB riding has forced me to spin along the flat, but it's also forced grinding on the hills. On the road bike it's been a little better, but probably just because I'm not as strong as this time last year.

KBs - We haven't done much KB work at Jeff's of late, so I haven't spent much time working on my technique, I am bloody happy with the 2 x 24kg KB session I did a while back.

Beer - It has been drunk.

So a fail, a few still in progress and a couple of successes, not too bad.

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Rocky Riders XCO - Interwinter round 3:
It's been around half a decade since I raced at Castlemaine's Pineys course and all I remember was it destroyed both my hands and my lower back. I can safely report that neither of those things have changed.

I signed in for A-grade, it's a club race after all and at the very least ensured I'd do an extra lap. My vow to ride and race my SS throughout winter decided which bike to ride, while a reccy of 3/4 of the course decided my gear (1.9:1).

I wasn't able to hold the front bunch up the starting fire road climb, my gear was just a fraction too small for it and my legs were still telling me about Thursday. The irony that I was still feeling Thursday after declaring on the day that I felt awesome, is not lost on me. The lap was going ok, I was around Chop chop who I'd mentally marked as my goal to beat. Roughly halfway through the lap my rear brake started to make some evil noises and I stopped using it as a precaution.

At the end of the lap I could still see Chop chop, after a quick technical stop to sort out the brake he had put some time into me and as I was soon to find, so had many others.

The next 3 laps hurt, each lap the hills got harder, but I got smarter about my lines and timing my efforts. Slowly I chased down rabbit after rabbit. Catching and passing Steve Clausen and Dave Rusden for a second time in a single race, was almost worth being so far behind where I wanted to be.

The results show I finished in 16th, a minute back on the other dude racing SS and 7 minutes behind Chop Chop and Ash Hayat. Not awesome, but not horrible given my choices. I'm happy my laps were consistent all race (~2 minutes of the 2nd lap were for the Tech stop), but there is room for improvement. I'd suggest I could have cut around a minute a lap with some fresh legs and by racing a geared bike. The geary would have been good to have, simply to let me sit more, which would leave my legs in better shape and my heart rate lower for the technical and downhill sections.

By the end the pine tree roots around the course were getting well polished by the passing tyres, leading to plenty of arse out moments. All bar one of these resulted in a grin, the one that didn't was because I kneed my left thumb, like the classy fellow I am, I let fly with an f-bomb, only to look up and see a dude and his 6 year old kid, yeah really classy!

I didn't take any photos, but Stephen Rowe's shots are here, with my ugly mug featuring on page 16.

D: 29.0km
A: 795m

D: 6.6km
A: 160m

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 3 July 2010


Melbourne - St Andrews - Melbourne:
Met up with Alex Denham for a ride out into the hills beyond Eltham. The sneaky bastard managed to detour us via Pigeon Bank Rd which meant we did an almost identical ride to the one I did with Jeff and Gav a while back (linky).


Every hill he'd ride me off his wheel, either by putting in a short surge or by just holding a tempo that sent my HR sky rocketing, so I spent a lot of time watching his back get smaller. Alex is holding some good form at the moment, and my legs still felt flat from Thursday, so I'm not overly stressed about the difference in our climbing speeds.

Still it was a great mornings riding, lots of chit chat, lots of quiet roads and all of it done before lunch time.

D: 121.9km
A: 1,840m

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 2 July 2010


It's the season for people to tear themselves apart. I originally thought it was just people I liked who got hurt, but the latest person should well know I really really don't like them. So that theory is now out the window.

Sean Hurley had an off at a recent Madison. I'm not sure the extent of the damage, but he's off the bike for a while.

Meg (of Meg and Steve fame) did herself a mischief racing at Albury last weekend. Rumour has it she made a right mess of her knee, but finished the lap before heading to hospital.

Jeff as mentioned yesterday, is a white man who can't jump.


Sorry about the shoddy image quality, it seemed he was more interested in the blood gushing from his leg than the fact he was standing in shadow.

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 1 July 2010


I discovered an easy way to get a a few extra kms each ride, head out and around 8km in, realise you've forgotten your helmet. Skulking through back streets to get home again is sure to add an additional 9 to 10km, plus the 8 it takes to get back to where you were when you realised.

D: 59.2km
A: 530m

2 x 20 Deck squats
3 x 20ES Lateral step ups (25" box)
2 x 20 Box Jumps (26" box)
3 x 10 Box jumps (31" box)
3 x 10 Knee jump into box jump (20" box)

Jeff failed the primary tenant of box jumping (Put your feet on top of the box) and suffered some good damage. With two nurses in attendance all that was left for me to do was laugh and take photos, the photos will be up tomorrow.

I said I'd do TdB tonight, and my legs still felt perky, so I figured I had no excuse.

Turns out I was wrong about the perky, the Jeff's had stripped me of all my top end and left me blown before the top of every hill. A couple of times I vowed "I will stick to this wheel, even if it makes me spew", but failed long before that. The pain in my legs rose sharply with the terrain, while my heart rate and lunch stayed low(ish).

D: 45.7km
A: 505m

PMPW: 91kg