Tuesday, 31 August 2010

31/08/2010

5:45am NRR:
With my legs feeling so good yesterday that it would have been a crime not to do NRR this morning. I did a longish turn on the front down the hwy with Giurg and Will, the conversation with Mark amused me.

N: This tailwind is going to hurt on the way home
M: Is it a tailwind
N: We're doing 46km/h and chatting......
M: Oh.... yeah

My words proved to be very true, I started off working back along the beach, but a combination of choppy wheels and the realisation I had an ITT tonight meant I slunk back into the bunch by Black Rock.

Through Elwood the wind was destroying everyone silly enough to be on the front, eventually I found myself on what I thought was the right wheel for the sprint. A hard kick after a red light at Glen Huntly rd left me scrabbling. The guys in 2nd and 3rd wheel kicked early and I had to go around Tim McColl who wasn't looking up for the chase. Eventually one popped and the second must have figured that was the game won and stopped sprinting leaving me free to roll past in the last 10m.

Ian said it well, "The 1/4 to bunch doesn't have any true sprinters", but that doesn't mean I don't like playing with them. In fact, I prefer not to have any true sprinters, because that way I have a chance to win.

D: 47.0km
A: 160m

Commute:
The ride in in the morning was lovely, the ride home was a little soggy.

I kind of felt sorry for the little dude with a mop and bucket following me around Coles Prahran. He wasn't seeing the dirty puddles I was leaving as being anywhere near as funny as I was.

P8310004

D: 35.1km
A: 240m

Powerful Owl ITT:
This round was back towards the Burke Rd footbridge at the crit course, a few reccy laps showed the track was gripping well with only a couple of soggy spots causing any issue.

As we waited to start a steady drizzle changed all that. By the time I set off there was barely a grippy bit of earth remaining anywhere. I was all over the shop, unclipping feet, taking terrible lines, over-braking, under-braking, I just felt like I was bleeding time everywhere.

It seems everyone else bar Rohin had the same experience. Ro got through in 2:35 and I was next quickest at 2:45, sadly not enough to close the gap in the series to James Dickey, and after a top ride by Gavin it wasn't enough to wipe out the lead I gave him in the first round.

D: 0.9km
A: 5m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 30 August 2010

30/08/2010

Commute:
I tried to convince everyone at work that I was sick and should head "home" early. Once again my wistful staring out the window gave away my true intent, to skive off and go ride in the hills.

P8300002

On the way home my legs felt invincible. Every hill I was out of the saddle smacking it and grinning. My lungs burnt, my legs burnt but it was awesome. These are the days that make the shit ones worth while.

D: 28.7km
A: 200m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 29 August 2010

29/08/2010

Rest:
Spent a bit more time working on the trail we started last time.

A tree had fallen across some of the bench cut we'd put in. Thankfully 3 of us, with our massive cross country rider arms, were up to the task of moving it of to the side (it took using another smaller tree as a lever).

P8290006

Mostly though it was all about armouring a section of trail that ran through a gully. We'd go fill a backpack full of rocks then hike back, dump it out and head back out for more. Jeff would have approved of it as a workout.

P8290007

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 28 August 2010

28/08/2010

Melboure - Arthurs Seat - Mt Eliza - Melbourne:
Ian missed the entry for his road race but needed to be out of the house for a while, so a plan was hatched to go visit Portsea and get 200k in the legs.

With a bit of water on the road and all day to ride we decided against sucking on the road grime spewing off the back of the Hell Ride, and instead just rode two up.

By the time we rolled past Mornington the idea of a 200km out and back seemed less exciting, so we subbed in a trip up Arthurs seat and a visit to my parents to scoff down some home made baked treats.

P8280001

The going up Arthurs was a grind, Ian only had on a 21, so to ensure it was fair I left the chain halfway down my cassette (17t-ish). Up through the cloud to a cold misty top, then a quick u-turn and a fucking tentative trip back down.

D: 166.3km
A: 1,245m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 27 August 2010

27/08/2010

Lazy:
Fat Cyclist wrote something the other day (link) that sums up one of the things I love about mountain bike riding and racing. No, not the bit about the lady, the bit about how everyone else behaves.

Meanwhile I did nothing but get a bit tight and sore around 3pm, good old DOMS, we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 26 August 2010

26/08/2010

Commute:

D: 45.8km
A: 385m

Jeff's:
2 x 20 Deck squats
4 x 30 Box jumps
1 x 5 @ 48kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 56kg Rack squats (KBs)
2 x 5 @ 64kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 3 @ 64kg Rack squats (KBs)
2 x 5 @ 80kg One leg deadlifts (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 96kg One leg deadlifts (KBs + Flynn)
2 x 5 @ 64kg Renegade rows (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 72kg Renegade rows (KBs + Flynn)

J: "Hey Neil, are you racing this weekend?"
N: "No, but I'd still like to be able to walk"
J: "Hahaha, why?"
N: "......because.... I like being able to walk...?"
J: "Hahaha, here have these 40s"
N: :(

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

25/08/2010

Fatties:
That was a great ride. I almost missed it when I realised late I didn't have my light battery with me and had to dash back to work. I almost turned around after I went full speed into a downed tree. I almost pulled the pin when it became obvious that racing Chase the Sun a few weeks ago had destroyed my brake pads and it was only baking plates on disk rotors that was (barely) slowing me down.

I'm glad I didn't. This week, joining Gavin and I were AJ and Alex fresh from racing in Europe and a new dude Jacob/Jakob. While I can never follow AJs lines, I love following Alex. Struggling to regain composure after my close encounter with the tree it was chasing his wheel that got me back into the groove. Nice to see you back dudes.

The inner trails were almost dry, I can only presume because of all that wind we've been having. Maybe next week I'll get the geared bike out for a spin. She's been missing the Yarra trails, Hans' loop would be a good welcome back after a long winter of limited use.

D: 30.9km
A: 290m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

24/08/2010

Rest:
If I was to say that I was disappointed the Flat Hill ITT was called off due to shitty weather... I'd be lying.

I want to race that one hard and fast, and I just wasn't feeling that I be able to do so today.

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 23 August 2010

23/08/2010

Commute:
My legs felt pretty darn shagged today, so I opted for a nice slow roll to/from work.

I got my wish, a flat tyre and a shitty glueless patch meant the 1:30 round trip took closer to 2:30.

D: 23.7km
A: 235m

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 22 August 2010

22/08/2010

Castlemaine 6 hour:
Despite my car telling Steve and I that it was -2° c as we drove up the Calder it was a pretty fucking nice day to race bikes.

I should point out I generally don't throw around terms like love lightly, so bear that in mind when I state: "I love the Castlemaine enduro course!"

It's about 10km in length, it has about 220m of climbing a lap, there are rocks everywhere, but it's fun, ridiculously so. The faster you go, the better it is, and that dear friends is exactly what we were there to do, try and go fast.

P8220007

A last minute nervous piss meant I lined up a few rows off the front, then poor focus meant I got swamped after the gun. I took some "creative" lines to get myself back inside the top 30 before slotting into the conga line snaking it's way through the single track. There were few fire roads on the first part of the course (we looped around close to transition before hitting a second loop), but on each and every one I attacked, taking back a few places. I found and passed Lee Floyd just before we hit the second loop. Round a few corners it felt like my rear tyre was getting squishy, so I had to back off a touch, furious that I wasn't able to go as hard as I wanted.

The next few hours were lap on lap off with Steve, I put in a quicker one on my third and set him out with a laughing comment of "You better hurry up, you're giving me too much rest, I'm getting faster!" Steve came in from that lap looking and sounding somewhat shell shocked and said "I'm stuffed".

I headed out for my 4th lap thinking about whether I was being a bastard to Steve. I had said I'd do a double if it was needed, and it sounded like it was needed... but would he take that as an insult? I decided to do it anyway, there was no point Steve smashing his head against the wall I feared he'd already hit.

I rolled through transition after my lap, held up two fingers and shouted "You get a double rest."

The second lap was killer, I went from barely touching a bottle during a lap, to almost sculling the one I had with me. Halfway around the Male Solo leaders (Phil Orr and Robbie Hucker) rode through me. They were on double the number of laps as me and I couldn't hold their wheels.

I spent the next 40 odd minutes while Steve went out for his last lap worried that I'd cooked it. The second lap of the double was 2 minutes slower than the first (4 slower than my opening lap). For the first time in months I grabbed a gel, in fact I grabbed several. A double caffeine one was scoffed moments before Steve arrived and a few more were shoved into my back pocket, just in case.

It took a little bit for the caffeine to hit my system, but as it dripped into my blood stream I remembered why I used to swear by racing with it. I was able to push my tired body, dig deep into muscles that a lap earlier had threatened to cramp, that had claimed they were empty. I chased down anything that moved, made a few dodgy passing moves (apologising for being a cunt afterwards), left it in the big ring for the fire road pinches in the second loop. I had one goal, leave it all on the track.

P8220012

P8220013
Shagged.

The results show us finishing in 8th out of 46 Male Pairs.

Now, to those goals I set myself:
I came 12th on the first lap. I needed to be more aggressive off the start, I gave up good time and good positions to being a nice bloke who didn't want to push in.

I did do the double, it sucked, but that's racing.

I beat Lee Floyd by over a minute on the first lap, then despite doing a double (and an extra lap) averaged faster times that both him and Leigh Barratt. None of the other listed guys were racing.

Overall I'm happy that I was able to lift again for the last lap and with how I rode. Focusing on being a driver (in control) rather than a passanger (just hanging on for the ride) helped me maintain speed through some rough stuff.

I found this photo of me that Steve Rowe took, I like it.
*edit 24/08/2010 to update link*

D: 62.8km
A: 1,370m

PMPW: 91kg

Saturday, 21 August 2010

21/08/2010

Northside Ride:
I met up with a few of the guys to do the Northside Wheelers Ride, I wanted to get a little bit of a pain into my legs, but nothing too long.

I sat on the front with Pommy John and chatted when the effort wasn't to great, thankful that there was a tailwind helping our speed. I started a solo ITT lead out from just past Mentone, holding a nice 48kph, ramped up to 52kph to finish off. I figured after all that work I'd be safe from turns into the headwind. I was wrong.

We rolled long turns two up into the wind, once again I lead out the sprint with an ITT effort. The strong headwind had me right on the tip of my saddle, hunting for more power and less resistance.

D: 50.5km
A: 170m

You Yangs:
A quick bike swap and it was off to the You Yangs with my brother.

P8210004

We did a lap of the Kurrajong loop, the pace wasn't terribly fast, so I had a bit of extra energy to hit some lines/jumps I normally wouldn't.

P8210002
No this isn't a line I normally wouldn't hit.

D: 17.0km
A: 165m

PMPW: 90kg

Friday, 20 August 2010

20/08/2010

Rest:
The other day I said I wanted goals for each race, before each race. So here goes, for this weekend's 6 hour I want to do the first lap, I want to finish said first lap in the top 10. I'd like to then hold a pace similar to guys like Tim McGrath, Andrew Choma and Lee Floyd.

I've joked about wanting to lap fast to put Steve into difficulty (I.e. lessen his recovery time), but we're a team; we thrive together or die together. I'm prepared to rock a double lap at some point to ensure we each get our fair share of racing time.

The early mornings and shitty sleep have meant the cold that's been threatening for the last week or two has finally managed to take a hold in my trachea. I'll try to get a heap of sleep tonight.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 19 August 2010

19/08/2010

6am NRR:
After the shoeless debacle of yesterday, I was committed to some hard riding this morning. Same plan as Tuesday, though this time I trusted my memory enough that I didn't write it on my hand.

The northerly was pushing us down the highway at over 50km/h, it's an odd feeling going that fast on the flat without really hitting the redline.

The lights at Warrigal Rd split the bunch in twain, Downie tells me he tried to get the front bunch to slow, but they were having none of it. A few of us chased hard, but a second set of lights sealed our fate. Even a sneaky early turn at the church wasn't enough as the front group was already streaming up the road.

Despite my disappointment and feeling of failure (I always feel that way after getting split from the bunch I'm in, even if I'm not alone), it was perfect as it meant I had to work into that headwind.

The BOM tells me the NNW wind was blowing at around 20 - 25km/h, I can tell you that it hurt.

There was a TKM dude who rode like he wanted to do all the work, all the way home. I couldn't have him hogging all the training so pulled turns with him and a few others. Andy Naylor was with us but had to sit on from Mentone. He says he's been pretty much off the bike since Melbourne to Ballarat and sick for the last few weeks, but I'll take any day I'm stronger than Andy as a good day.

Despite being short on time I stopped for a coffee and a chat, after that kind of effort caffeine is no longer a nicety it's a necessity.

P8190002

D: 43.1km
A: 115m

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

18/08/2010

Fatties:
Forgive me Akela it's been 15 years since my last confession.

Last night I committed the sin of not being prepared, I turned up to the fatties without mtb shoes.... and I own 3 pairs!

I suppose there is an upside, at least my bathtub doesn't look like I've murdered a mud monster and cut up it's body.

Also I've been coveting my neighbours track bikes.

Pennance? I have to do NRR tomorrow? Ok!

dib dib dib, dob dob dob.

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

17/08/2010

6am NRR:
I wanted a hard effort early in the week to test the legs and give them a bit of a shove before Sunday's 6 hour at Castlemaine.

The plan, written in blue pen on the back of my hand but covered by my thick winter gloves, was to work turns from Mordi back to St Kilda.

That plan got a little muddled as there wasn't a clean working group, but rather a series of surges and periods of only 1-2 dudes working. I was there, being one of those 1-2 through until Black Rock. I sat in the wind for all of Rickets point only to have a few guys attack at the top, then pretty spanked I sat in up the next hill and got back to working after that.

Sadly the sprint was a wash due to commuters and traffic lights.

All up, I didn't feel like I had a heap of go in my legs, but I was still able to coax a grip of work out of them. Not bad considering it's a couple of days after a 7 hour SS effort.

D: 46.2km
A: 155m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 16 August 2010

16/08/2010

Rest:
The legs felt pretty well used today, and though an easy roll would have been nice, I wasn't prepared to get drenched two days in a row.

I think I will have to start setting and stating goals before each race. Yesterday it was too easy to fall into the mindset that it didn't matter.

Sometime in the next few days I'll set out what I want from 6 hour in Castlemaine this weekend. I expect it will be something to do with hurting Steve. Sorry Steve. :D

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 15 August 2010

15/08/2010

Chase the Sun: 7 hour

I was a little cheeky at the start, arriving late and slotting myself in the very front row of the race. By the time we were on to the course proper I'd settled somewhere into the top 30 or so riders. The course was essentially a reversal of the last round's loop, so once again featured a heap of long flat fire road. Thankfully I found myself near Mikkeli Godfree (editor of enduro mag) who judging from his tempered speed was also a solo rider. I felt the pace was maybe a scootch high given how long the race was, but I dismissed the thought as I knew things would settle down once the first few laps were done.

P8150007

About 3/4 of the way around the first lap my rear tyre started to feel squishy, very squishy. I stopped and performed one of the slowest tube changes in history. Needless to say, I was no longer in the top 30 by the time I was finished and back under way.

Like always, I found it hard to be motivated after losing a bunch of time to something silly, but a line from a TV ad seemed to ring true. "Character is what happens when no one else is watching", so I set about riding a sensible tempo and seeing who I could chase down.

P8150004
Who's a good boy?

The rain came through several times, each lap the course would be quite different, old lines would now be bog holes of death, new roots would have emerged, a rut that didn't exist before, now crossed the apex of a turn. All the recent fatties rides served me well and I worked on ensuring I was a driver and not a passenger through the sketchy parts. A photo taken by Tim Arch shows that I didn't always succeed in staying calm and in control. :D

P8150003
The reason why I only consumed 3 bottles the entire race.

One area of the course was faring badly with the rain. A piece of straight, false flat, fire road was getting chopped up and very wide. It was here around lap 4 that Simon Moody chased me down, and threatened to drop me as quickly as he did at the last CTS. I kept him in sight on the fire roads and closed the gap on a short punchy climb. The "lead" changed a few times in the next 5-10km, until I took the shorter line over a big pile of logs on an uphill, giving myself a few metres of breathing space. From there I used a bunch of tickets to ensure I crossed the line in ahead of him, but I loved every second of it. :D

P8150009

They changed the course around the 5 hour mark, it cut out the sloppy fire road and a nasty climb I only managed to clean on my first lap. Instead of that terrible pair we had one long arse, mind numbing, grind up a fire road, it was tough but it was rideable.

P8150006
The nasty climb.

On my 6th lap, I caught Mikkeli, I honestly thought I'd never see him again during the race, so it gave me a fair boost of confidence to get around him and ride out of sight.

The last lap was a bit off the pace, many people had pulled the pin due to the weather, so there were few rabbits to chase, which meant that my tired aching legs weren't able to be convinced to push hard.

The highlight of my day was on the first lap a dude mono'd straight through some upright wooden barriers. It was so fluid and natural it took my brain a minute to realise what he'd just done. Despite wishing not to slow down and do an unco bar wiggle to get through, I knew I'd cream a knee if I tried.

15th out of 56 open solo men. Not fantastic, but not too horrible. Mostly I was happy to get a good long race in, it's the longest solo one I've done so far. Full results are here, I'm at the bottom of page 5.

Tim Arch had a couple other photos that I like. I'd like to think this was my attitude/demeanour all day. This was just after I finished the race, having done the last km with a flat back tyre.

D: 99.2km (kilomuds?)
A: 2,135m

PMPW: 95kg

14/08/2010

Lazy:
It turns out that drinking until 2am is not conducive to getting up at 5:30am to go riding (I know, shock horror).

When I finally awoke I was a little sad, there was a ball tearing north north westerly that would have destroyed bunches and despite wanting fresh legs, everyone* loves being involved in the destruction of bunches.

PMPW: 90kg

* If you don't then there's something wrong with you.

Friday, 13 August 2010

13/08/2010

Rest:
Life got in the way a bit today, still I did my best to ensure I'd be right for Sunday, chickens were eaten and booze was drunk..... wait.... what?

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 12 August 2010

12/08/2010

Commute:
I must have knocked my knee when I went down last night, it felt fine on the bike, but overnight it turned a flexible joint into a rigid plank complete with a dull ache. I'm not overly enthusiastic about this development, but it seems to ease off after a bit of riding, so here's hoping it's ok for Sunday's 7 hour.

I had a detour on my way home to visit Jeff's, I found watching people do silly things with weights much easier than doing said silly things myself.

D: 48.3km
A: 420m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

11/08/2010

Fatties:
The plan was to roll the bike path out to Westerfolds and take a spin around Hans' loop. It seems to hold up well in shitty conditions, probably due to receiving less traffic than the main trails.

P8110001

The plan went out the window, in it's place was a brakeless ride around Bourke Rd featuring laps of Dickies paddock loop. Anyone who touched their brakes had to announce loudly their sexual preference for men*.

At the start we were all very much enamoured of the male genitalia*, VERY enamoured*, but after our second lap of Dickies loop we were starting to manage to do the whole thing without touching the levers.

When we reversed directions for lap 4 and headed right (anticlockwise) rather than left the air was mostly punctuated with Gav and Justin's woops and my squeals. A few laps later and I was unable to make it down the hill.

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I wish we'd timed some of the last few laps, because we were honking through the trail, and I'd warrant that our brakeless times would rival our ITT times, despite the trails being far far muddier.

P8110005
Classy

D: nfi
A: nfi

PMPW: 90kg

* not that there is anything wrong with that.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

10/08/2010

Rest:
I made one critical mistake today, I checked the weather forecast/radar. The dirty great big cloud that was coming over taunted me and called me names as I drove instead of rode.

For the record, despite what Mr. C. Nimbus said, my underpants are not "girlie panties".

PMPW: 90kg

9/08/2010

Commute:
My legs, to my surprise, were feeling awesome today, so much so that I chased down an ex road world champion on my commute home. Why Alessandro Ballan was in Australia I don't know, nor why he was in his old Lampre kit, nor why he was on a Cyfac,. Still, it's a testament to the recuperative power of chickens that I was able to chase him down after a weekend of racing.

Sadly I didn't get a chance to say hello as he attacked through a red-light zone (very unsportsmanlike) and I never saw his white kit again. Next time Bontempino, next time!

Carl sent me through the time splits from yesterday's kilo effort. As you can see things started off ok, then went pear shaped about half way through.

disttimespeedcadencetotal
62.58.5126.4588.51
62.54.7647.310313.27
1258.6651.911321.93
1258.7051.711330.63
1258.6552.011339.28
1258.8850.711048.16
1259.3248.310557.48
1259.7546.210067.23
12510.1044.69777.33


D: 27.6km
A: 210m

PMPW: 91kg

Sunday, 8 August 2010

8/08/2010

ABOC Sprint Training @ DISC:
1 x 20 min warm up
4 x 1/4 lap power jump (92")
1 x K1 1/4 (96")
1 x K1 (96")
2 x K1 1/2 (88")
1 x Flying 50 (82" J & S)

I was basically there for one thing, a single timed Kilo (K1) effort. The work before it was pretty different to what I normally do, and I did the first power jumps from too high a starting speed.

So, the Kilo effort. I had set myself a benchmark of 1 minute 14 (Ian's best time). I completed mine in 1 minute 17 and I'm pretty shitty.

It's not that I failed to reach my marker, it's how things happened between go and woah that has my goat (please give back my goat, I miss it). Carl gave me some advice; "Go hard for half a lap, ease off a bit for the next lap, bury it for the next 2 and a half."

P8080010

I got a reasonable start, my 50m split says I was faster than the 1/4 lap (50m) effort prior to it. From there I thought I was setting a pace I could hold. I've hurt myself in so many ways in the last few years that I figured I knew my body inside and out (there are some ugly bits). It turns out I'm very wrong, and I should have paid more attention to what Carl said. In hindsight his advice seems to hold a heap of weight, fuck, it's his job to coach this kind of thing, but I thought I knew better and paid the price.

The idea that I'd need someone counting laps out when I only had 4 to do seemed laughable before I started. After a lap and a half when my legs had lost any push in them and had begun to resemble the arms of the Lost in Space robot (Danger, Danger Neil Robinson!) it was invaluable.



I had hoped for not only a time quicker than 00:01.14, but a feeling that I didn't need to pursue this activity. Failure it seems, has the complete opposite effect. I'll contemplate the need to prove I'm better than that in a few weeks time as I review this "season" and think about the next one or two.

As an aside, I knew straight after the Kilo was done that I should have listened to Carl more, yet as I lay on the ground, trying to fight the need to be sick I refused to listen to his advice on a better place to lay. I have to learn things the hard way.

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 7 August 2010

7/08/2010

SKCC Trophy Race:
When I rocked up to the rego desk and found my name not on the A-grade start list but instead the B-grade start list I had a 180° in attitude. My sms to Ann-Michel probably sums it up best.

"Nerves completely gone, they put me in B-grade instead of A. I'm going to tear some legs off."

I said to Ian that my tactic was to go with or start the 5th attack of the day. A plan simple enough for me to remember it and just stupid enough to be both entertaining and effective. The first guys to "attack" just rolled off the front, nothing terribly threatening, but Ian mentioned that they were strong enough to potentially build a gap. I tried to saunter over to them with Ian, as we got close it became obvious that the pack had decided it was too many people, and had come along for the ride. Fair enough, back to the 5th move concept.

The race kept trundling along, the wind wasn't yet hurting but no one seemed overly eager to do much work. Around 5km into the course proper, I realised that I'd ridden off the front of the bunch. It wasn't an attack, and even if it counted as one it certainly wasn't the 5th, but if the bunch was going to give me a gap, I was going to see how big a gap I could make it, so I put my head down and started to TT.

At the Tylden-Woodend Rd turn I took my first look back, the bunch seemed to be coming, but I still had a gap. A few km down the road I checked again and the bunch was in bits, a small group of 3-4 riders was coming across to me, so I sat up and gave my legs a short rest until they got to my wheel. I recognised the guy from the first "attack" that Ian had said was strong, and decided that this was the winning move.

P8070001

We worked as a 4, pulling 20-30 second turns at the front of a single line, then rolling off. By the time we hit the headwind beside the freeway there was no one within sight. I was now positive that this was the winning move.

From there it was just two more laps of turns, at some stage we lost our 4th rider, but the 3 of us kept motoring along, managing to put 5 minutes into the chasers. The kid in the white Melbourne Uni kit was suffering, so I knew it was down to me and the dude from Becoz (Michael? I'll presume it is).

P8070004

Round into the headwind beside the freeway for the last time we were all a bit trashed. I proposed we keep working until the final kicker, and then let the best man win. The kid agreed, though expressed he'd be fucked so when Michael agreed it was settled.

The kid was left on the front for the last 30-40 seconds before the hill began, I took over at the front just as we hit the hill, but the pace was slow enough that no one was getting any advantage off of my draught. I got into a gear I thought would work and watched the shadows under my arm. It looked like Michael was leaving himself a gap to run into, so for the second time, despite being a long way to the line, I decided to make people pay for giving me some space.

Over the top of the kicker and onto the long uphill drag I was pig rooting the gear. I had no idea if I was dragging Michael along or if I had 15 bike lengths. With about 30m to go I felt him along my right, I tried to kick, but there was no extra speed in my legs and that was the end of my motivation to hurt. I rolled over the line a few metres off his wheel in 2nd, the kid was somewhere behind and took a well deserved 3rd. In hindsight a trophy could have been cool, but I don't think I would have ridden any different if I had my time again.

The only thing left to do was eat, and with some extra money from the race organisers in my pocket it was off to the bakery with Ian.

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D: 92.7km
A: 580m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 6 August 2010

6/08/2010

Rest:
Carl has been suggesting an option for next year. The Kilo. Basically an ITT for 1km on the velodrome. It's got some appeal but I'll wait until this season is done and dusted before I make a decision.

Still it's something I've never done, so I've agreed to train with Carl on Sunday at DISC, including doing a timed kilo effort. If I beat Ian's best time (1 minute, 14 seconds), I'll be happy.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 5 August 2010

5/08/2010

Commute:
The racing on Saturday scares me, I want to go in fresh, so I decided early that there would be no Jeff's.

I just can't trust myself to turn up and take it easy. I goad too quickly, I pick up things I shouldn't, I try and compete with people with different goals. This is probably going to be the way for the next few weeks with races booked all the way through to the end of the month.

It's a shame because I enjoy picking up things I shouldn't, I enjoy competing against people with different goals, but what I want to be is a racer and thus that has to be my focus.

D: 24.2km
A: 205m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

4/08/2010

Fatties:
It's definitely still winter, the paths we loop around were almost completely devoid of commuters, the one bloke Justin and I saw looked far from happy to be riding in the rain.

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Talking of rain there is more water about than I've seen in 5-6 years. I note that it's possible that I didn't ride through all of those winters and thus missed seeing the river swollen and threatening to encroach on a few sections of trail.

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It goes without saying (yet watch as I say it anyway), the trails were sloppy. I'm sure a semi slick would have been akin to suicide, but the knobby tyres I had on never left me feeling confident about traction. Unlike the dryer months fitness wasn't the limiter for speed, skill and confidence were. I was kind of happy it was that way, I've been feeling pretty flat, I'm probably just behind the 8 ball on sleep. I'll try and address that by the weekend, maybe even skipping Jeff's tomorrow, but we'll see how I feel in the morning.

D: 30.9km
A: 290m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

3/08/2010

6am NRR:
on of those mornings where the alarm is not your friend, or to be more accurate, it wasn't my friend. I'm sure it thought it was doing me a favour, after all I had explicitly asked it to wake me at 5, but what it didn't realise was that sometime during my sleep I changed my mind. riding in the cold, dark and wet no longer sounded fun. Sadly the weather radar was conspiring with my alarm, it almost mocked me as it demolished my excuse criteria. It wasn't showing massive storm clouds as I hoped it would, so when in doubt, HTFU kid!

A smallish bunch of around 30 rolled south and either my legs were still flat or the lack of sleep/motivation was preventing me from digging in, either way I sat on. In fact I sat on for most of the return journey up Beach Rd as well. By Rickets Point guilt overwhelmed my lethargy and pulled a couple of long turns.

Physically it wasn't an overly productive ride, but mentally I'm glad I went. Practising overcoming small issues like "I don't want to" make overcoming bigger issues like "my socks don't match my gloves" later on.

D: 46.9km
A: 160m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 2 August 2010

2/08/2010

Commute:
Just a nice easy roll about on the fixie today. My legs are slowly getting over the case of DOMS they've been suffering from, hopefully they'll have some snap by the weekend because I accidentally entered the Northern Combine SKCC Trophy.

Ian mentioned it in casual conversation, the words "it's flat" had me signed up quicker than I could say "Oh shit yeah, a flat race, that totally suits fat boys, I should totally strap on the big wheels and go play with some a-graders." It should be noted, that I managed the feat, not because I speak slowly or type quickly, but because I'm incapable of doing two things at once.

D: 23.7km
A: 195m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 1 August 2010

1/08/2010

Rest:
Spent the morning losing myself in the act of trail building. There's something Zen like about repetitive manual labour.

Trying to envision (before it's even built) how the trail will ride and how different things would effect how it rides is an interesting challenge, but one I could get used to.

PMPW: 94kg.