Thursday, 30 September 2010


Grouse Grind:
Today I played with the Grouse Grind. Some of you may remember I boasted I'd do it 6 times. In reply to that boast I now say "oh shit no".

I only did it once, and that was enough for the day. It took me 47 minutes 28 seconds, but a mate tells me he did it in 45, I am already considering going back tomorrow.

So what is it? Basically it's the side of a mountain, with steps made from rocks, roots and planks of wood. The sign saying I was 1/4 of the way there was devastating, I could have sworn I was at least 2/3 of the way up... then it got steeper.


I averaged a heart rate of 175bpm for my ascent.

D: 2.9km
A: 765m

Wednesday, 29 September 2010


Missing a plane and having to wait 9 hours in the airport for the next one puts a huge dent in usable time. Having got off the same plane a mere hour before just adds insult to injury.


I borrowed a mates bike last night for some drunk riding (please don't try this at home... do it outside instead). Sadly it wasn't far (junk miles beers?) so I stole the bike again today for a cruise around town.

The seat was around 6" too low, but i got those fat tyres rolling along dirt, and for those brief km's it didn't matter.


D: 23.7km
A: 75m

Monday, 27 September 2010


First day in Boston, and my theory is the best way to see a city is to walk through it, so I did. A fair chunk of the day I was thinking about how long it's been since I exercised, I chastised myself and swore that "tomorrow I'll do something decent".

Sitting here now, having worked out how far I went, I realise why my right quad flared up slightly in the last 10k. It's a bugger, as I'd almost forgotten it had any issue, which in my books means it was well on the way to getting ship shape.

I did find one old road (alley) that put the NYC cobbles to shame. I think it's not very roadie friendly, but who's asking them?


D: 27.7km
A: 105m

Sunday, 26 September 2010


Nothing to see here, moving along occurred via plane, and that's all she wrote.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Another day of checking out NYC on foot, it seems I'm not a standard tourist, I don't take photos of "the sights", just roads and trails that I think about riding. There wasn't any of those today.

D: 9.0km
A: 0m


My calves are still sore from running up in the lakes district, but plane induced cankles wont disappear by themselves. So in an effort to check out a new city and get some exercise in I hoofed it around Manhatten.

Nice place, the traffic is a bit hectic, but I'd like to ride some of the old streets, off the main roads you can still see cobbled surfaces.


D: 12.8km
A: 0m

Thursday, 23 September 2010


I'm a bit concerned about my form for the SS Worlds. I had a few pints last night, and have felt like arse ever since, sitting on a trans atlantic plane didn't help either.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010


Got up and ran this morning... well more of a jog as my legs are still a bit DOMSy. I aimed to get a set of 3x10 30m sprints in, but after only 3 reps my right quad was telling me something was wrong, so I listened to it and went back to just covering some distance.

Not really sure what's the go with the quad, I'll have a chat to it over the next couple of days. My current feeling is it's something to do with the squats the other day.

D: 4.4km
A: 10m

Tuesday, 21 September 2010


Went rock climbing then creek scrambling with some mates in the Lakes District. I forgot to record the ascent, but it was a good 4 hours of moving my body.

As always happens with a group of mates competition happened. Fastest time up one of the climbs was taken by my mate Steve (not Caddy) at 37 seconds, sadly I only managed 38.

In the creek scramble the game we played was "stupidest route". I don't think I've laughed so much for so long for some time. The guides weren't overly impressed, and some of the shit we did was pretty stupid..... but that's why it was funny.





Monday, 20 September 2010


Facing a 4th day without any endorphins I was getting angsty. There's just too much going on, and way too much time wasted getting from one place to another.

Thankfully things had calmed down a little this morning and a couple of the folks here were going to try and slip down to a local gym. I tagged along to see if I could remind my body what pain is like.

1 x 5 @ 20kg Back squats
1 x 5 @ 50kg Back squats
1 x 5 @ 60kg Back squats
1 x 5 @ 70kg Back squats
1 x 5 @ 80kg Back squats
1 x 5 @ 90kg Back squats
3 x 3 @ 100kg Back squats
1 x 20ES @ 24kg Cleans
1 x 10ES @ 24kg Snatch
1 x 10ES @ 24kg Jerk
1 x 100 @ 50kg GS jump squats

Sunday, 19 September 2010


Nothing to see here, move along.

Saturday, 18 September 2010


Got in some good SS champs training today, I did arm raises intervals for hours.... and hours.... and hours.

Friday, 17 September 2010


It was with some sadness that I gave back the 12kg road bike that I hired for the last few days. Sure it was a pig to ride, but I'll ride a pig in the Alps almost any day of the week,

So what was the go today? Travel, 6 hours in a car, 3 in a plane and then another 1 in a car. Despite having sat on my arse all day, I'm shagged.

Here are some paths I wish I had the chance to explore the last few days.



Thursday, 16 September 2010


Les Deux Alpes:
I copped some sun yesterday so thought it would be best to get up and out early so that I don't turn up to my mates wedding (Saturday) looking like a Pom that's sat outside on a 15 degree day. Probably best if it was a relatively short one as well.

I decided to try and wash away the fatigue of yesterday with the pain of today. I picked a shortish route with a bit of bite. The super secret route I planned turned out to be too super secret for me, so I ended up going up the slightly easier main route. To make up for the lack of gradient, I set about pushing a TT pace, trying to invite the pain of effort


As I crest the top, I lifted my head up out of my hole and was greeted with a beautiful view, definitely not in Windsor any more.


On the way back down, I found the road I had been looking to ascend, it was the stuff of BJ's dreams. Poorly signed, narrow, next to no traffic, heads in the general direction you're going and most importantly, it's steep as all fuck.


Just compare this switchback to the one up the top... notice the difference in gradient?

D: 47.2km
A: 1,015m

Wednesday, 15 September 2010


La boucle des cols:
I'm a little sad at how short yesterday's ride was, so I sat down last night and studied some options, finally deciding on a route that covered both the Col du Glandon (Rochetaillée side) and the Col de la Croix de Fer (Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne side). There was the option of going up the Croix de Fer via the Col du Mollard, but by time I had to make a choice I was starting to feel baked, so straight lined it.

Baked you say? Was there some product from the Netherlands going about? No, but it turns out water, a banana and a small flying bug provided insufficient nutrients or energy for the undertaking. I'm not overly surprised at this revelation, but that obviously wasn't enough to get anything more than a coke into me most of the way up the Croix de Fer.

For the record, the helpful little sign posts that cheerily inform you how far you have to go and the average gradient of the road ahead. I don't love them.



I believe this one says "Risk [of] disembowelment" which roughly translated means "prepare to shit yourself from exertion".


Below is a partial photo dump, everything is up on flickr.






I also stuffed up my comparison of L'Alpe d'Huez and Donna Buang yesterday, there were a few km of flat ground to get to the start, which means it averaged a slightly higher percentage than Donna. It's fine for an ascent, or maybe a repeat, but bugger me it would be killer at the end of 180+ kilometres.

D: 142.7km
A: 3,325m


L'Alpe d'Huez:
So, I had planned as far as getting here to Bourg d'Oisans and a bike to ride while I'm here, but not much beyond that. So when I awoke this morning, I had no idea where to go. Over breakfast I perused a folder of local rides and continually exclaimed "ooh, that one looks good, nah this one is too easy... but THIS one is good". Eventually I reached sensory overload and chose to just go do L'Alpe d'Huez.

I knew this bad boy was close to town, but I wasn't prepared for how close. I'd barely clipped in when *WHAM* (that's the noise of the mountain hitting me in the face) I was hit in the face by the mountain. Kind of like Hotham from the Bright side but this doesn't even have the decency to send you along a false flat first.


In hindsight, it stacks up (numerically) a lot like Donna Buang 15km and 1km per ascent. I suppose it rode a lot like Donna as well, a steady gradient from start to end, but something about the fact that it's a integral part of almost every TdF and Armstrong, Schleck (Andy) and Sastre are the names of the last 3 blokes to conquer the stage up it made it different. Even if you forget, each corner has a little sign with the name of one of the winners. Nah, not intimidating at all.

Oh yeah, and then switchbacks, god there were heaps of them.


I wasn't sure which section Lance looked back at Jan in the 2001 Tour and I definitely climb more like Jan than Lance.... but in a fit of bike nerd, I re-enacted it. Please don't judge me.

I hoped to descend over the back and hit it from the other side... I could have sworn I read somewhere that there was a road up the back, but I couldn't find it, so had to content myself with flying down the face, grinning at everyone that was sweating and grinding their way up.

D: 30.8km
A: 1,055m

Monday, 13 September 2010


Another day wasted in transit, this time it was a flight from London to Nice, then a long drive through some pretty spectacular mountains to Bourg d'Oisans.

Someone had right of way, it didn't appear to be me.

The ascent up and down the Col de la Bonette is spectacular, sadly it's a bit far for me to get to and ride.... this trip. The little road markers that happily tell you you're only doing 12% are evil.... I would like to test myself against their will power sapping abilities.



Sunday, 12 September 2010


Dear diary,

Today I have done sweet fuck all, unless you count feel a bit sorry for myself, but I know you don't so I wont mention it.

For some reason, "one more" seemed to be the answer to any question asked last night. Mostly those questions were about beer intake. Combine the ensuing hangover with the running induced DOMS and well, you get a good case of cant be fuckeds.

I am a little ashamed of the lack of activity, but I'll make it all right in a couple of days when I hit the French Alps with a bike for some good old fashioned pro cyclist stalking.

Oh well, I should be off now, I have a flight to catch early tomorrow, then a long drive through a foreign country with only a GPS that speaks French as company.

CE: 1/2

Saturday, 11 September 2010


Hyde Park:
I'm not going to lie and say I loved it, but i was surprised to find I didn't hate running this morning.

Ian and I headed out for an early morning jog around and through Hyde park. We did about 50 minutes, following horse trails, pounding single track, dodging big fat geese who barely give way.

I fear my calves wont love me tomorrow, but that's their problem, not mine.

Friday, 10 September 2010


Spent the morning hoofing it around London town, the most exciting thing I found was not one.... but two Nandos!

D: 13.2km

CE: 1/2

Thursday, 9 September 2010


I totally wasted today by sitting on a plane, even with the timezone changes that meant it lasted for 32 hours, I still did fuck all.

To make up for me doing nothing I give you someone else talking about doing something. Click here.

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 8 September 2010


Monos practised through intersections, traffic islands gapped, witches hats flicked with tyres and speed bumps jumped.

D: 30.2km
A: 245m

I wiggled out of work early which meant I hit the inner trails while it was still light. The odd puddle interspersed the flowing tracks, serving more as a marker of distance than any real obstacle.


Even when we (Justin and I) finally met up with the fatties ride proper, the intent to hurt was never fully there. It was just a good night to be out with a bunch of mates on fat knobby tyres.

D: 32.8km
A: 330m

CE: 1 (The guys at work didn't believe I could do it. Suckers!)

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


A nice day for a ride, a great day for chickens. Sadly only one of these things occurred.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 6 September 2010


Blood Donation:
Sadly there was no one to race this morning, so it was my least favourite type of donation, the IBTT (Individual Blood Time Trial). The nurse had even positioned the cart so I couldn't see the time or my rate of output. I began to doubt myself about a 1/3 of the way through, and had to really focus on gripping and releasing that squishy toy.

Perhaps not my best result to date, but every experience makes me stronger.


D: 32.5km
A: 205m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 5 September 2010


You Yangs:
Some days organising rides with mates is easy. Steve wanted to ride in the morning at the You Yangs. Ryan wanted to go riding in the morning.... at the You Yangs. I wanted to ride in the morning, preferably on the mountain bike. Downie just wanted to ride. It should be no surprise that after a few hours of SMS, facebook and phone calls, a ride was organised for the You Yangs in the morning. :D

The recent wind and rain had brought a few trees down. Thankfully, there were trail fairies floating around who had magiced them by the time we returned to the same location.



We rode what is now a pretty standard ride, start at the Stockyards, link over to Kurrajong, loop around that, then head back to the Stockies via the Link Track.





The addition of a small pump track near the Kurrajong toilets was a welcome surprise, though after several laps we did concede XC bikes were not the ideal tool.

D: 33.8km
A: 580m

We were treated to a good old fashioned circuit tonight, my partner? Justin "I'm going to destroy you with my pushup ability" Matthews.

? x 10 @ 16kg Clean and press (Waterbag)
? x 10 @ 40kg Clean (KB)
? x 10 @ 48kg One legged dead lift (KB)
? x 10 @ 20kg Slams (Medicine ball)
? x 10 Prisoner step up to lunge (20" box)
? x 10 Pushups
? x 20 Jumping chin ups
? x 10 @ 56kg Rack box squats (20" box)
? x 10 @ 16kg Clean and press (Waterbag)
? x 10 @ 40kg Clean (KB)
? x 10 @ 48kg One legged dead lift (KB)
? x 10 @ 20kg Slams (Medicine ball)

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 4 September 2010


Alarm Clock: "Hey dude it's 6am, get up and ride"
Neil: "Oh man... ok let me just have a chat to BOM radar and I'll be right with you."
BOM Radar: "It's raining! :D"
Neil: "Oh, will it continue to do so?"
BOM Radar: "Yes! :D"
Neil: "Should I go back to sleep?"
BOM Radar: "Only if you're soft! :D"
Neil: "I'm soft."

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 3 September 2010


A lovely day, too lovely not to ride a bike. I just couldn't be arsed, so I left the bike at home and drove to nandos for chickens.

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 2 September 2010


2 x 20 Deck squats
4 x 40 @ 20" Box jumps
1 x 10 @ 32kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 40kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 48kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 46kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 64kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 2 @ 64kg Rack squats (KBs)
1 x 5 @ 64kg One leg deadlifts (KBs)
3 x 5 @ 80kg One leg deadlifts (KBs)
2 x 200 @ 42kg GS Jump Squats

I just couldn't hold the 32kg bells in rack today, the legs could have done more of the squats with 64kg but the 32's just wanted to slip forward.

I was still feeling a bit flat this morning, it's been a few days of not great sleep (quantity) so I'm hoping all it will take is a couple of good nights to get back to Monday's awesomeness.

Surprisingly, I felt better on the way home (yup, after Jeff's), I wasn't setting land speed records, but at least I could push against the pedals.

D: 41.9km
A: 400m

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


The euphoric bike high of Monday had well and truly gone by the time we got rolling. There was just zero push in my legs.

We took the bike paths out to Westerfolds and rode Hans' loop. I spent the 9km trying to close a 20 second gap I'd "let" Gavin open up. I think it got down to about 7-8 seconds, but I just couldn't close the rest.

Still the night wasn't without merit, Gavin and I much merriment from watching Alex and Steve Cusworth barrel down a trail only to find it was currently occupied by the Yarra river and no where to go that wasn't going to end in a dunking.

There were no humans apart from us out and about, but there were a few animals. An echidna tried to eat Gavin's front wheel, while a wombat showed complete disregard for Alex's and barrelled past with mere millimetres to spare.

D: 39.8km
A: 225m

PMPW: 90kg