Saturday, 31 March 2012

31/03/2012

Rest:
Instead of riding a bike in the strong northerly I went and watched the Essendon beat North.

Go Bombers!

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 30 March 2012

30/03/2012

Commute:
I should sit down and review last years goals properly.

Last year I decided to do the Warny. Tick.

Beat Andrew Steele's (ex) f200 record at blackburn. FAIL.

And yeah, that's about it.

So how about a meta review? My goals were shit. Next year, better goals!

D: 16.5km
A: 55m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 29 March 2012

29/03/2012

Commute:
I'm torn.

On one hand my reading of Again Faster (specifically this article) has filled me with the fire. I want to be better, faster, stronger, leaner and a damn sight meaner. I especially feel impassioned about the section timed "Months after the race". I want to announce some stupid things then be forced to follow through.

Then I read this Gym Jones piece and I wonder if doing so will hold me back.

Fuck it. I'm angry. No that's not right, it's too general. I'm angry at myself. I coasted mentally through last year. Too many excuses. Too much care about race results and too little about personal improvement.

There will be no "oh I can only do 2 turns on this ride" do 10, then... do some more.

I don't know if it's a case of tuning the brain, rewiring it or just turning it off. What I do know (slash think strongly about) is that it's getting in the way of stronger, faster, leaner, meaner.

Why? Fuck you, that's why!

Anger is a gift.

D: 16.5km
A: 55m

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

28/03/2012

Commute:
It's nice to see Again Faster has some new posts. A few years back when I reached the epiphany of "just do it" and "htfu kid" I found a lot of that attitude reflected there.

I feel this year I will need to rediscover the mental place, where goals give a razor sharp line that makes decision making effortless. Will it make me faster? Yes? Do it!

D: 16.8km
A: 60m

PMPW: 96kg

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

27/03/2012

Commute:
I hoped to catch Sir Chris Hoy training today, to do so required bailing on work at an unreasonably early time.



It wasn't to be, there were no GB sprinters out and about, but once the enduros finished up the French sprinters turned up. It's a tough life when you have to "settle" for Grégory Baugé and Kevin Sireau.

D: 29.1km
A: 110m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 26 March 2012

26/03/2012

Commute:
Remember that time you were a kid, sitting in class, daydreaming about being anywhere but here doing algebra. You were leaning back on your chair when you felt a sense of calm as the you and the chair balanced perfectly on just those two back legs.

Today, that was every mono I tried. It was glorious. I also managed to remember that bunny hopping is about where you land, not where you take off and got some rhythm back into the whole affair.

D: 17.1km
A: 65m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 25 March 2012

25/03/2012

Lazy:
I felt like arsing about all day, so i did.

It was glorious.

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 24 March 2012

24/03/2012

GMBC Crazy 6 Hour Second:
My race was over mere moments after it began, a pity because I think I could have had a lot of fun... though it's also possible that I wouldn't have had any and just suffered for 6 hours. I prefer the former thought.

The race ended for me after a single pedal stroke, a stick I hadn't noticed while standing around waiting to roll out, went straight through my rear spokes and ripped a nipple in half.

I did borrow a bike to get a couple of laps in (thanks GMBC Phil), but it was way too small, and rigid and 29er and SS. So after getting a little bit of fun done I set up shop in the timing tent and heckled everyone I knew.

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 23 March 2012

23/03/2012

Rest:
Today marks the end of my 3rd year spewing words about training and poo onto the internet. As such it's a good moment to give a quick thanks to everyone who's kept me accountable to what I say. It really helps when I'm dealing with a spicy curry from the night before.

CE: 1

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 22 March 2012

22/03/2012

Commute:
Getting to work on my most efficient bike? Pft, where's the fun in that?

2.2" tyres and as few wheels on the ground as possible. That's fun.

D: 16.3km
A: 60m

PMPW: 96kg

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

21/03/2012

Commute:
A chat with a running mate yesterday then waking to some epic wind this morning has given me the course of action I'm going to take.

Between 5:10am this morning when I woke up and the Tuesday after Easter, rides will only be undertaken for giggles, and if no giggles are to be had, then no ride will be had.

I will use this time to try and sort out a couple of niggling issues with my body such as the woeful flexibility in my hamstrings that is preventing good squatting.

D: 17.0km
A: 65m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

20/03/2012

6am NRR:
I found the bunch odd today, myself and it felt like many others were cautious of coming through the front for a turn. Why? Tom Leaper was on his TT rig. Rolling turns with a dude on extensions just makes me uneasy.

D: 46.3
A: 155m

Commute:
It was too nice a day not to do monos, so fat tyres were recruited for the jaunt in and out of the CBD.

D: 14.7km
A: 75m

Prahran - Blackrock - Prahran:
I got a message a pair of bibs I'd dropped off for repair were ready and given how freaking lovely a night it was the bike seemed like the only logical form of transport. The northerly helped whip me down quick smart, catching onto the back of the Tuesday night old Fitzroy bunch for a free tow. On the return leg I just tootled, knowing that if the bunch re-appeared I could just hitch another ride with them.

Anyway back to how lovely a night it was, I had on my nanna sunnies, the ones with rose tinted lenses, and I dead set near teared up at the sight of the sunset.

I really need to get some rose lenses for my jawbones.

"Dear Oakley, I am writing to you to propose a sponsorship arrangement. In exchange for a pair of pink lenses I am willing to get overly emotional about how beautiful the world is. -Neil"

D: 35.2km
A: 120m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 19 March 2012

19/03/2012

Commute:
I'm still wrestling with the idea of taking a break and getting on with some serious training.

Currently I'm locked in for a solo 6 hour this weekend, and probably a 6 hour in a pair the following one. Neither will be awfully restive, but I am willing to set some fun based goals and try to avoid the mental hardships.

So what's the pros and cons of each?

Resting now will give me some time to generate additional motivation / hunger for the season ahead. It will give my body time to recover from last seasons efforts and should ensure I can carry through to the end of the year at full steam. I will get slower by taking time off.

Getting on with training will ensure I spring off my current base and potentially reach a higher peak than last season. More faster is more better. This said, my hunger to ride isn't at it's peak and there is fear that if I don't take the time off now, I'll burn out and lose even more ground later in the season.

Some serious sit down time with a calendar is required.

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

PMPW: 96kg

Sunday, 18 March 2012

18/03/2012

Lazy:
I'm feeling yesterday's efforts today. My legs are a little bit tired from racing, but mostly I'm wrecked (especially my voice) from staying up to watch Milan - San Remo.

I went out for a bit of a roll with Ian on the Kew Boulevard. Some nice bike importers had their offerings on offer to try, so we cut lap after lap of the closed loop to test their wares.

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 17 March 2012

17/03/2012

Austral Wheel Race:
I've been somewhat lazy in jotting down my thoughts about the racing, so anything I say should be understood to come from a reflective place.

So there were 3 races on the cards for me, I didn't get the nod for the sprint events, and was graded as B for the two scratch races.

First up was was a "heart starter" 8km scratch race. I rolled around avoiding the front like it had cooties. With only 4 laps to go I found myself boxed on the inside, so started looking around for a way out. There I stayed until a lap and a half to go, 3 guys were attacking hard and I pushed myself out and gave chase, overhauling everyone... bar those first 3 riders. Yep, I nailed myself it for 4th. (100")

Next was the heats for the Austral, I had a 150m mark and there were no riders that made me wee my pants slash skinsuit. I took off after the riders 20m in front, getting up to them after a lap and a half... just in time for them to swing high up the track (too far to be be coming straight back onto my wheel and of possible use later). I reset my pain gauge and went after the next riders... who swung up. FUCK! Only the outmarkers remained, so I went after them, arriving with legs feeling somewhat used. There was a split second where I had the choice, go around or sit on. I chose to sit on and I now regret that and think it was the wrong choice. It's easy to write that now, I don't have the searing pain past me did, my muscles are fully oxygenated, but it's the facts. As the 4 guys rolled through the pace lessened and lessened, until it was so slow I thought my mind might melt from agitation. Finally I had open air in front of me and had put in what I recall to be no more than 4 hard pedal strokes, to lift the pace and hold off the outmarkers... when 6 guys rolled through too fast for me to latch onto. That was my race done. 5 guys go through, and I had no chance, so I rolled off the track and yelled encouragement to those still racing. (100")



The next race features another regret, I changed gears to 96" and suffered. Granted it was a tough race featuring a lot of attacks, a style of racing that doesn't suit me terribly well, but I think I would have faired better on a 98" or better yet the 100" I'd ridden all night. (96")

After all that, I feel like I should have gone riding in the morning anyway.

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 16 March 2012

16/03/2012

Commute:
I'm starting to toy with the idea of not taking a break and just piling myself straight into the next round of riding and racing.

Tomorrow is the Austral, next week is the GMBC Crazy 6 hour and in just under 7 months the Warny rolls round again.

The question is, will I be faster on October 13 if I take 2-6 weeks off now, or if I start my prep now?

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

CE: 1

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 15 March 2012

15/03/2012

6am NRR:
23 degrees (according to the Nylex sign) at 6am. That's some shit sleeping weather, but thankfully it's amazing for riding, even if it is a bit humid.

The pace was surge-y on the way down the highway, guys rolling through hot, or not at all*.

Out of Mordi a small group of riders including Bing, Kelly and Forbes were let off the front. All it took was a couple of riders sitting abreast happy to not chase and I witnessed my first successful early NRR breakaway occur.

I worked in turns in the second group, happy with the pain of hanging out in the wind until Mentone where Dan from Monza rolled through hot and left me straining on my pedals. I soon hit my limits and found myself sliding backwards through the bunch, my thoughts of working all the way to Brighton cast into stark relief. That's something I'd like to get back to soon as we head back towards road season.

Around Ormond parade, still a few Km out from the sprint Skinny was off the front solo, so like the party pooper I am, I put on the angry face and set about chasing him down. My motives weren't all spiteful, I wanted a long balls out effort before the Austral on Saturday arvo, dragging Lee and Peter at 54km/h into the headwind certainly did that.

D: 45.4km
A: 150m

Commute:

D: 17.3km
A: 60m

PMPW: 95kg

* I was a not, when Skinny pulled away hard from some red lights and then flicked his elbow at me. Thankfully he took my "NUP!" with good grace and giggled. In my defence, he deserved to be left on the front due to the hard kick, how dare he make me work hard?!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

14/03/2012

6am NRR:
The prospect of sitting at the back of the massive bunch and facing chases like last week, did not fill me with joy. So rolled up the side and invoked my old "if you're going to the front... go to the very front" rule.

I pulled the bunch up to speed out of Mordi, rolled one turn over a storming Dave Kelly, then sat there at the front wondering where the next rider was. A quick glance to the right showed he'd blown and pulled right. My legs started to scream the pace slowed, and inevitably when the next rider came, he came hard with a train of blokes. I didn't fight it, I was happy to slip into the bunch, and the shelter of a draft that offered respite, despite what my legs told me.

I took a dozen or so places up Rickets Point and a few more out of Black Rock. It hurt, but unlike last week I was ok with the hurt. I controlled the pain, rather than it controlling me.

I wanted to play in the sprint, but as it started to wind up my worry about being too far back became realised when every man and his dog started dropping wheels. I covered gap after gap through to Glen Huntly Rd, only to see the sprint head off up the road without me. Sprint or not, it was still a solid effort to finish off a ride that's left me happier and more confident.

D: 45.3km
A: 135m

Commute:

D: 17.6km
A: 65m
PMPW: 96kg

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

13/03/2012

Commute:
I need a weekend to get over my weekend. My legs are still toast and not even the potent duo of coffee and 85% chocolate were helping me get through the work day.

D: 20.9km
A: 100m

PMPW: 96kg

Monday, 12 March 2012

12/03/2012

Prahran - Mordialloc - Prahran:
The plan for today was a single loop of Mt Pleasant Rd with Ian, the weather was perfect and while I was excited about the prospect of riding with my oldest mate and the gorgeous pink/gold Autumn early morning light... the idea of hills was not making my legs happy.

So it was with a mixed emotions I checked my phone at 7am and noted Ian was stuck in a never ending poo cycle and unable to join me.



Instead I swung past Wall 280 for a coffee, then rolled on to Mordi. I did my best to spin a little gear on the way down, then used a few of the hills to open up the systems on the way back. I noted despite an all out effort up Rickets my HR was sluggish, indicative that I wasn't recovered. Yeah, no shit.

D: 53.8km
A: 165

PMPW: 99kg

Sunday, 11 March 2012

11/03/2012

Bendigo - Maldon - Ballarat:
Oh man, what a gorgeous morning to be on the bike. Perhaps half a bakery's worth of hotcross buns stuffed with slabs of butter wasn't ideal as they sat heavy most of the morning, but it's hard to be upset with the glorious fruit and spice laden burps each hill brought forth.

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P3100036

A short stop off in Maldon to top up from the ye olde lolly shop and we were back on the road only slightly behind schedule. No problem, a bit of TTT work on the dead roads put our arrival time on track for lunch, the time we'd promised Steve's wife we'd get there.

Then things got tedious.

P3110085

P3110087

The headwind, the dead roads, the climb up and over the divide and then even more headwind all worked to suck our speed down. Gone was yesterday's lack of hurry, we had somewhere to be, and a time we should get there. We were both tired, both sore and sadly, we both wanted our adventure to end. Don't get me wrong, riding through country Victoria in glorious Autumn weather is by no means a hard burden to carry. It's freaking awesome... but we had commitments to meet that gave pressure to our progress, and that becomes tiring.

The rise in mood brought by familiar sights was matched well by the waning of our last vestiges of energy. We were both rightly pooped.

P3110095

D: 129.6km
A: 940m

Saturday, 10 March 2012

10/03/2012

Melbourne - Gisborne - Bendigo:
Steve graciously put the hard yards in with google maps and streetview to plan our route. The idea simply being to ride back roads through to Bendigo.

P3100006

At some stage during the planning he decided that 180 odd km wasn't enough for the day, so routed us over Mt Macedon. I'd never ridden it, and surely (like always) the profile graph wasn't as bad as it seemed. Steve's gps disagreed and tried to give us every turn off leading into it, "GO LEFT!" it beeped, "ok... take THIS LEFT!" and finally "Fine, there's no more lefts... U-TURN!!!".

Melbourne - Bendigo

We stayed the course and were met with a climb neither of us were expecting... and I still had TT chainrings on.

Melbourne - Bendigo

I'd like to tell you the descent rewarded the sweat the climb extracted from us, that gravity gave back as good as it got, that we grinned from the joy of carving turns in the glorious blacktop. Sadly I can't, really what happened was we fell down the back of the hill with the grace of stranded whales.

P3100013

Now over the hump of the ride (my dad would be so proud of that pun), all that was left was to ride through the physical and emotional ups and downs of the route.

P3100026

P3100033

By the time we reached the edges of Bendigo, both of us were feeling strained, we needed something to get us the final few pedal strokes. A mars bar? A snickers? A paddle pop!





D: 195.1km
A: 1,865m

PMPW: 96kg

Friday, 9 March 2012

9/03/2012

Commute:
Its confirmed, Steve and I get 2 days to ride this weekend, so it's Melbourne to Bendigo tomorrow and Bendigo to Ballarat on Sunday. We're hoping our planned routes are quiet and scenic.

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

CE: 1

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 8 March 2012

8/03/2012

6am NRR:
I got thoroughly worked over this morning, and it's left me feeling less than enthused. Have I had too much rest? Not enough rest? Lost too much weight? Haven't lifted enough weight? Just a lack of motivation to hurt? A lack of chickens? Were they just quick rides?

My HRM tells me that I spent 45 minutes of the hour 23 minutes it took to get from home to the post ride coffee in or above E3. During that hour 23 I only did 2 lots of work. Firstly to get to the ride in time when I realised I was running late, and secondly to get myself and others back to the bunch when we were split by lights on the way down. At all other times, including the chase to try (but ultimately fail) to get back to the bunch after another split on the way back, I sat on and wondered why everything hurt so much.

Several times I gave serious consideration to dropping the wheel and rolling home easy.

I am still going to do the Austral, but mostly as I'm too lazy to get my money back and don't want to waste my entry fee with a no show.

D: 45.2km
A: 125m

Commute:

D: 23.3km
A: 110m

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

7/03/2012

6am NRR:
I didn't feel the like I had legs or motivation today. The easy pace down was lovely. Chatting to Andy about how heavy the winter training wheels we've made are.

Rounding Mordi I set myself 1 task, that of hauling the bunch up Rickets and keeping the pace on even if I was passed. That went by the wayside when I was drawn to the front a km or two early, so settled the effort to get to the bottom, then the joy of trying to hang on.

Coming around the turn into Ormond Esplanade I thought I was well positioned to come through and lead Lee out for the last km of the sprint. Turns out he was on the front and attacking from 2km out. Someone a few in front dropped the wheel and by the time I reacted Lee, Skinny and Golly were clear and steaming away. I launched after their wheel, it was too far out so if I could get across and work with them after a moments rest the win would be a 1 in 4 shot and I was confident only Lee could out kick me.

500m later, just as I reached the wheel of Golly, the last in the queue, Lee pulls off and Skinny hits the after burners. Again I'm faced with a gap to close, but this time at least I have some speed built up already. So after Luke I go, no clue if anyone is on my wheel, but surely someone will be benefiting from the mass of air I'm shoving out the way.

The effort hurts. It hurts like fuck. Just as I click that fatal last gear up and face oblivion. You know the gear... the one that does your legs no favours, but you go to anyway because the choice is oblivion or oblivion. Anyway just as I click that gear and realise I'm an idiot, and that I've probably blown my chance of overhauling the little shit in pink kit... he slows. Not a lot, but he starts coming back just that fraction more. My legs scream at me that oblivion is a horrible place (worse even than Eltham), but the primal part of my brain senses the rabbit is tiring so decides to accept the pain.

When I finally roll over Skinny, and allow my senses to expand beyond the the small stretch of tarmac in front of me, I sense someone is on my wheel and I flick my elbow and pull the chute.

194bpm flashes at me from my handle bars and stays there while every rider rolls past me like I'd selected reverse.

D: 45.1km
A: 140m

Commute:



D: 17.1km
A: 55m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

6/03/2012

Commute:
The problem with the Queen Victorian Market is not the cheap meat prices. No, it's how difficult it is to carry 4kg of scotch fillet in your bag.

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

PMPW: 96kg

Monday, 5 March 2012

5/03/2012

Commute:
Round 5 of the SSS has been cancelled due to scheduling issues, which leaves me with only 1 race left on the calendar, the Austral. In recent days I've considered how much it means to me (not much) and whether I should give in to the CBFs I've had recent and take time off starting now.

I have come to the conclusion that I'll try to keep a modicum of speed for the Austral, but start to extricate my head from the training space. A midweek ride with Jimmy and an adventure planned with Steve for the long weekend should be a great start.

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

PMPW: 96kg

Sunday, 4 March 2012

4/02/2012

Prahran - Port Melbourne - Prahran:
In a fit of what I'm going to label "toughness" I rolled myself (and my bike) down to the SKCC crit and entered myself into C-grade marshalling duties.

Yes you're right, it was more like a fit of softness.

The morning's ride was punctuated by a couple of flat tyres (thanks to the Giant guys who provided neutral spares) and efforts to get over the gaps spent riders left.

I was pleased at how well the ankle that had taken codeine to calm on Friday night was able to survive under hard accelerations up the side of the bunch and that legs, covered in bruises were still producing enough power for those hard accelerations.

D: 50.9km
A: 25m

PMPW: 96kg

Saturday, 3 March 2012

3/03/2012

Lazy:
Ok so yesterday might not have been training, but I fucking ache all over because of it.

From the moment I woke up I had one through. "Oh man, I'm getting too old for this". I went as far as scheduling some time to consider that... after a nap.

PMPW: 97kg

Friday, 2 March 2012

2/03/2012

Rest:
Heh. "Rest". I don't drinking from 9:30am and jumping around in various mosh pits all day is restive... but it wasn't any of the traditional stuff I'd consider training.

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 1 March 2012

1/03/2012

Commute:
I went through a full 12 cycles of "ok, get up and ride you weak prick" and "nah, screw it, that rain sounds too heavy" before finally the latter won out and I rolled over in the warm comfort of bed. So much for NRR.

D: 17.3km
A: 55m

PMPW: 95kg