Saturday, 30 October 2010


Woke at 6:30 to the pitter patter sound of rain falling outside, the BOM radar confirmed it and suggested it was only going to get worse, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.

B: 18

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 29 October 2010


The weather was looking like it would hold up for the day, so I grabbed the roadie, getting a few extra KM on the way home.


In a fit of nice weather enthusiasm I signed up for the first round of the MTB nationals (You Yangs). Due to my advancing years I could only race Vets or Elite for XCO (I chose Vets) and I also entered XCC in the sport category. While I was on a roll of entering silly things, I threw down my money for the 100km 2011 Otway Odyssey. Despite saying the same last year, this year will be the year I'm happy with my result!

D: 12.3
A: 125

CE: 1/2

B: 17

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 28 October 2010



D: 44.1km
A: 350m

2 x 20 Deck Squats
6 x 3 @ 43kg 3 pause squats (in the eccentric cycle pause for 3 seconds at 3/4, 1/2 and the bottom)
6 x 5es explosive step ups to squat
10 x 30m tyre drag
1 x 5ES Twisted jacknives
1 x 10ES Twisted jacknives

The weekends weather forecast isn't terribly awesome, and my legs felt okish, so I decided to go see how much form I've lost by travelling for the last month or so.

I was slightly concerned when four O2 guys, two TKM and one Lauchie Norris turned up. Thankfully the pace was a little slower than I expected them to meter out. It still hurt me, and the answer to my question of form is "a fair bit" but it was good to stick with the bunch until we got to Burgundy st. On Burgundy I popped and I popped hard.

Well that's a starting point, now we can judge progress.

D: 29.5km
A: 425m


B: 16

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 27 October 2010


The ride started easy enough, many of the low lying trails around Ivanhoe were underwater, so we just cruised through to Burke Rd, Alex and I on single speeds.

Erin Baxter was back for the first time in.... I dunno a year or so... he hit the front at the off camber trail and held the bores wide open until Bellbird Park. The intensity was too much for me and I popped leading up to the little pinch climb before the carpark. I went through my motivational tool chest "this is my pain" "hurt to excel" blah blah blah, but it was no use.

As things rolled along I started being able to close the gaps, especially as we got closer to Studley Park boat house. I don't think I was like Lazarus coming back from the dead... probably just Erin pulling an Andrew Choma (out hard then fade).

The pump track bellow the Studley Park golf course was open for business again, so we rocked some laps. I think for the first time it's flowing well enough to go without pedalling, a shorter bike and a bit more practice would probably make it even better.

Finally we had some cadence efforts in the sprint down the Boulevard home. The two guys on geared bikes had us on top speed, but not on endurance. All we could do was rock 180ish rpm then tuck, then repeat.... and repeat... and repeat.

D: 34.2km
A: 235m

B: 15

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 26 October 2010


Back in the car, back on a plane, back in Australia.

B: 14

Monday, 25 October 2010


Today was the last day we had with the convict built trails (seriously, they use minimum security prison labour) so we figured it was best to head out the back of the park again and hit a few trails we didn't get to the other day.

The long drag up Hill Road was a little better as I wasn't trying to chase down Brett (it was back to just Gav, Cam, Trent and I). It was also a bit easier as we branched off to Tawa Rd and headed to the start of Billy T.

Rooty and slightly rutted, my bike was never far from (and often beyond) the edge of control. I think some uncharacteristic anger (never mind why) was the perfect attitude. A great reminder that really aggressive riding is not only faster, but sometimes safer.

A climb back up Tawa Rd got us to Huckleberry Hound, a trail filled with kicky doubles and a heap of elevation loss. The two combined to send me airborne far more often than i would ever dream myself comfortable with, but the great run outs to every one meant there was never much real danger of severe impairment or death. Not a single one of the guys complained when at the bottom I suggested we stop for a second so I could grab a few photos. Incredibly, but taxing.




The next trail was one we were here specifically to do. Corners. It's name almost tells you everything you need to know, though I think it should be called "Bermed Corners" as layed out for your riding pleasure is something like 36 of the sweetest bits of dirt you could imagine.

A return to both Dragons Tail and Exit Trail turned out to be a great decision. Our bodies were in better knick to attack them and appreciate how wickedly fun they were. Down Exit Trail I had Trent up my clacker at the start, so I made it my job in life to drop him and his 4" dually. The almost cramping pain in my calves as we ripped down the last hundred or so metres in elevation to the visitor centre was worth it to see that I had in fact opened up a gap.

D: 27.6km
A: 855m

B: 13

Sunday, 24 October 2010


A day of rest from bikes. Aching legs demanded it, luckily they were still good enough to stand on a boat and catch trout (but not THE big one... it got away).

B: 12

Saturday, 23 October 2010


The organisers did a pretty decent job of the start. I'm sure working out how to get nine hundred odd people out and racing on a mostly single track course without complete carnage was a challenge. Sadly when the gate was opened on our circular pen (we were riding around like tuna in a tuna farm) I was almost right up the back.

The ensuing traffic in front of me meant that I was forced to walk the first couple of climbs but thankfully we started to get a bit of flow the further into the lap we got. By the time the first beer tent shortcut option presented itself I was starting to feel good, maybe not great because the two guys near me who I'd pegged as targets had got a gap, but good enough. The tiny 330mL can was no match for my mighty thirst, the month of overseas "training" was paying off, though I should have done more burp intervals as the ensuing gas sat atop my stomach for the next 4km of trail.

The second beer tent was a trap, a trap that I didn't work out until it was too late. Sculling a beer on the start line seemed like a great idea, it seemed like a great idea right up until the first climb 1km later when the massive gas bubble in my guts made it's displeasure at my exertion very clear to me. If I hadn't started to chase down all my mates my motivation might have flagged, but seeing Gav ahead of me was enough to ensure the pedals kept going around.

Into one of the more fun trails of the day 'A-Line' I rode with Brude Dickey in what can only be described as an extravaganza of Aussie (Bruce now claims to be Aussie, despite the Kiwi passport) good natured abuse. Any rider unfortunate enough to find themselves in front of us was heckled relentlessly. "Get off the brakes" "You call that a line?", a few couldn't take it any more and let our giggling selves past.

I probably backed off too much about 1/2 - 2/3 of the way through, but I was in general happy with the way I pushed the climbs, worked the descents and flogged myself on the flat stuff. Despite being clear to me from from the start of the race that I had no chance of playing with the leaders, I cared. How do I know I cared? Well within 4km of the end I accidentally (seriously) took a b-line that lost me 6ish places. I was ropeable.

I've done under 3km vertical in 3 days but my legs are completely trashed. I swear it has nothing to do with the beer!

I didn't take any photos today, but if you've got a facebook account check out all the ones on the world's page (click here).

D: 41.0km
A: 940m

B: 11

Friday, 22 October 2010


A chat over a few beers last night helped us organise a ride with the Flat Hill boys (Bruce, James, Cam (Wells), Chris, Brett) to some of the higher trails up the back of the park.

The climb up the aptly named "Hill Rd" was fairly brutal, Brett set a cracking pace and like the idiot I am I had to chase. Sadly the turn into Moerangi Rd didn't make life any easier, somewhere on the ascent it tipped the protractor at 29%.

The painful grind of SS climbing aside, the descent (Split Endz) was well worth it. It didn't take too long before my legs, arms and lower back started to scream from the (ab)use. Holding the body up, absorbing bumps, pushing into corners and pumping the terrain was as hard if not harder on the body than going up.

We dropped down through a few new trails to get back to the main carpark, 'Dragons Tail' was fun but despite the limited kms covered, I was a shattered man and unable to fully appreciate it's radness.

I'm not so sure that destroying myself the day before a world champs is a stroke of genius, only time will tell though.

D: 42.3km
A: 705m

B: 19 (2 days worth. Note to self; don't forget again)

Thursday, 21 October 2010


Gav, Cam, Trent and I drove our slightly nervous selves to one of the trail heads and went for a roll.

At the top of the first fireroad climb we found some race markings and decided that it would be best to pre-ride the course.


We managed to miss a few markings and thus some bits of the track but generally got the gist of it.

There was a brief break while we stuffed our faces, then back out past for another loop of trail. We hadn't done massive kms when the heavens decided it was rain time. A rapid flyer of 'it'd be rude not to' (trust me, it would be rude not to) then down and out a wet and loose 'exit trail'.

D: 39.9km
A: 765m

Wednesday, 20 October 2010


A late night frantically packing.
A flight across the Tasman.
A poor cleaning job and a bad joke ending in scrubbing a bike in an airport.
A drive to Rotorua.
A couple of naps.
A wrinkled nose from the sulphur.

B: 8

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 19 October 2010


I hate not getting a chance to do anything exercise related today, but organising everything for NZ has taken precedent.

C/E: 1/2

B: 7

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 18 October 2010


Well, not quite rest, I got a good hour on the trainer, with a few hard efforts, but nothing that I can recall right now. As per my rules for this joint, if I can't remember it, it didn't happen.

B: 6

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Melbourne - Blackburn - Melbourne:
One thing I love about the south side of the city, is you can more often than not, find someone out and about to ride with. Which (not surprisingly) is what happened today, I rolled down to the wall, found Nick and Jarrad almost ready to go for a roll. Down to Mordi was out due to Round the bay in a Day, so we headed East.

Nick had done the Warny the day before, Jarrad was going back after some injury related time off, meaning the pace was gentle, pretty much all I had the energy for.



D: 38.0km
A: 390m

CE: 1/2

B: 5

PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 16 October 2010


When the SMS came at 6:24am to call off the planned MTB ride at the You Yangs, I was happy. I rolled over and was lulled straight back to sleep by the sound of the rain falling outside.

A lot of respect for those who did the Warny, it sounded like a hellish day on the bike. Cold, wet and a head/cross wind that caused over half the field to DNF.

Me on the other hand... well despite the weather holding up ok a bit later in the day, the mental switch had been thrown to "no riding today" and none was done.

B: 4

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 15 October 2010


No riding today, the heavens had decided it was time for rain, and well, I'm not strong enough to fuck with Thor.

It's time to start thinking about what I want to achieve next. I have a desire to do the Otway Odyssey again, but I'd also like to go back and race some XCO. It's been a couple of years since I've done a single XCO race, let alone most of a series.

So, the VIC XCO series, though the calendar isn't out yet, but I do have a few ideas about what I wish to achieve.

I know I want to race Expert and I know I'd like to see if I can get towards the pointy end. That last bit is a touch hard to define, simply because it all depends on who turns up and how hard they've trained, but I kinda just don't want to be pack fodder, I want to be able to influence the race. It's been so long that I'm not sure if I'm close to that or a long ways off. It'll be interesting to see.

CE: 1

B: 3

PMPW: 93kg


2 x 20 Deck Squats
1 x 50 Box Jumps
1 x 10ES @ 48kg Step ups
1 x 30 @ 20kg MB slams
1 x 40 Box jumps
1 x 15ES @ 48kg Step ups
1 x 30 @ 20kg MB slams
1 x 30 Box jumps
1 x 20ES @ 48kg Step ups
1 x 30 @ 20kg MB slams
1 x 20 Box jumps
1 x 25ES @ 48kg Step ups
1 x 30 @ 20kg MB slams
1 x 10 Box Jumps
1 x 30ES @ 48kg Step ups


The slams were destroying my arms, despite my best efforts to power them solely from the legs. The box jumps would roost my HR and the step ups were a trial to keep the legs moving and somehow keep holding the weight.

With no Justin to play with, Burgandy st just isn't the same. Still it was a gorgeous night to be on the bike (provided the wind was behind you), so I did Burgandy St, the cutting and the boulevard on my way home. Any tiny voice that popped up in my head, any self doubt or any complaints about being tired were quickly snuffed out with "do you want to get faster or not?!".


D: 48.3km
A: 530m

B: 2

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 13 October 2010



D: 28.3km
A: 195m

It was just Gav and I tonight, and though the trails weren't exactly dry, it certainly wasn't the level of wet from before I left.

Mostly it was chatting about random crap, looking at specific trail features and enjoying being the only ones out.

D: 22.8km
A: 265m

A group of friends have decided to do a 100 burpee challenge. 1 burpee on day 1, incremented by 1 each following day, until 100 is reached on day 100. So a new stat shall be tracked for a couple of months.

B: 1

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 12 October 2010


The Flat Hill Mullem ride was called off due to inclement weather, a pretty sensible decision, but it still left me sitting at work with a bike, a lot of ugly on the radar and no one to ride with.

I decided to pull the pin on riding trails solo and just head home. Miraculously I didn't get wet, despite the sky hanging large and black over my head the entire time.

D: 22.6km
A: 200m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 11 October 2010


Had a lazy commute on the fixed gear, a few extras were thrown in to run some errands. Just a gorgeous day to be on the bike, sure there was a scootch of wind about, but as I was taking it easy on the pedals it didn't really bother me.

D: 45.8km
A: 345m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 10 October 2010


I don't know what I expected to achieve today, I couldn't in good faith presume I'd be as fast as I was at the end of last summer. One thing that should be non-negotiable is attitude, you know, a willingness to suffer until blood comes out of my nose.

Today, I failed at that. Sure I've never had blood come out of my nose from an effort, but that was a hyperbole to help explain the concept, this here is a frank assessment (sorry Frank) of my failure to dig into that world of pain.

My flying 200 was 1-2 tenths off what I can do, which isn't too bad, it was my performances in the races that kills me.

Not once did I feel like life was a horrible place.... and then push harder. Not once did I choke back a spew.... and then attack again. Not once did I feel like I couldn't pedal any more.... and then pedal more anyway.

I had opportunities against both Stew Lucy and Dino, situations where that competitive spirit should have kicked in and made pain irrelevant.

I think the best thing I can do in the next little while is to relearn how to hurt. That said, I'm pretty sure what Jeff has planned for me will tick that box. I'm going to suffer like a bastard.

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 9 October 2010


Yarra Trails:
I was meant to head to Kinglake with the boys, but failed in the simple task of setting an alarm to wake me. Still, when I eventually woke at 8am I had a bike ready to rock and clothes ready to change into, so I headed out to re-acquaint myself with the Yarra trails.

My lines were a little hap hazard, my legs lacked a bit of oompf but my smile was in peak form. It's awesome how much the single track has changed since I left. A couple of puddles remained, but basically it was hardpack heaven, the only time I slid was due to sand.

I spent most of the day riding with Malachai. He had strapped a number to his bike, so obviously wanted to race, but I felt like I had him in my back pocket the whole time.


I managed to clear a couple of sets of stairs that have stalled me for months on end.

The first one was on the trail opposite the Abbotsford Convent, the solution was to approach it a bit slower and get a good line around the tree and the root. I did it twice just to ensure it was right.


The second was on the trail that ends near the old CFA.


I'm looking forward to seeing more of the trails on Tuesday (Flat Hill) and Wednesday (Fatties)

D: 41.5km
A: 445m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 8 October 2010


I got my commuter out for a short roll this arvo. Nothing strenuous, but fuck me was it good to ride again.

If a heavy hunk of steel feels that awesome, I'm excited about riding my roadie and track bikes.

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 7 October 2010


Due to the magic of flying over the international date line, this day didn't exist.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010


I wanted to know what sort of roads LA had to offer for training. My previous strolls had suggested there was some really short sharp bastards, but how short and sharp were they?

I predominately walked around the hills near Silver Lake/Echo Park/Los Feliz, and found a few that if joined into a loop would be absolutely devastating.

In reverse order of what I consider to be easiest to hardest:

Sunset St - 100m @ 18%

Effie Pl - 85m @ 19%

Baxter St - 200m @ 18%

Earl St - 180m long @ 23%


Effie St - 100m @ 27%

And just for giggles, there was the set of stairs I found and ran:

Landa St Stairs - 150m @ 46%

D: 13.4km


A bit more hoofing it around town. I'm pretty happy that even after two days of walking my right quad hasn't said boo. The real test will be sunday at the ABOC SSS.

This city has some killer hills, they don't fuck around getting from the valley floors up to the top of hills.


D: 17.7km


Got my tourist on around LA. It rained pretty much non stop, but that just meant I didn't have to stop and cool down.

And now for something completely different.

D: 19.5km


More airports, more time sitting on my arse in a plane. Still I'm almost on the home straight with just one more flight to go.

God I miss my bike(s).

Sunday, 3 October 2010


I hate being right about DOMS, but I was right. I had to use the handicap bathroom at a restaurant so I could make use of the handrails.

Friday, 1 October 2010


4 x 10 @ 25" Box jumps
4 x 20 @ 25kg* Sloshball cleans
4 x 10ES @ 25kg* Sloshball forward/backward lunges


The nice folk at Thursday Jeff's presented me with a red sloshball to take travelling, it's been sitting in by bag untouched for three-ish weeks. To be honest the only thing that got it inflated today was the knowledge I'd feel fuck off guilty about going home with it unused and facing everyone. To admit to them that just the idea of it had gotten the better of me.

I fucking hate sloshballs.

Well anyway, today I took it out and spent what felt like forever half filling it in my hotel shower. To my great joy it turns out that it's only the size of Jeff's small (blue) sloshball. It always amused me how quickly my mood changes during such situations. I go from "This is going to destroy me" to "Fuck yeah! I can smash that thing!"

The lunges gave me burning quads and neigh on panic breathing, I bet they are going to come back to haunt me over the next few days.

*honestly this is just a random guess based on what Jeff's blue sloshball weighs and a few fill, heft, repeat cycles.