Monday, 30 April 2012


I'm going to blame too much sugar for one of the shittier nights sleep I've had in a while. Dry mouth that no amount of water would wet, a stomach bloated from the water that was meant for the mouth and just general restlessness.

Oh well, maybe this will be the episode that finally gives me the will power to not eat cookie dough. History suggests it wont.

Strava link.

D: 16.4km
A: 179m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 29 April 2012


I spent the day walking around house inspections. It's something that I've had to do way too often in the last couple of years, and it certainly effects baseline stress and the time available to train.

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 28 April 2012


Prahran - Mt Dandenon - Coldstream - Prahran:
Today's ride has helped my view of where my fitness is at a lot. A lot. For the Mt Dandenong portion of the trip we were a 5 man, Justin, BJ and Christian had all done the Wombat 100km last weekend are were a little off the pace. I spent my time battling with Jim, spending most of each ascent with my heart rate bouncing around 8 beats over threshold.

When Jim and Justin peeled off early, the rest of us rolled home via the back roads in Coldstream.



I might have been a bit of a bully on the hills, using most rises as an opportunity to put space between myself and the others, thus propping up my ego. Sure it was also good training, but my main aim was totally all ego driven.

Strava link.

D: 165.7km
A: 2,880m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 27 April 2012


Does anyone know the conversion rate between chickens and satays?

Strava link.

D: 15.2km
A: 134m

Satay skewers: 33

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 26 April 2012


It struck me last night that I've had three fairly solid weeks on the bike and that this was shaping to be another.

The numbers I put together to guide myself each month don't allow for a slightly easy week to get back ahead of the recovery curve. As such I'm going to take the last week of each month a little easier, a little diligence should mean I'll still make my monthly totals.

Strava link.

D: 18.1km
A: 166m

 PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


1 x 15 min E1
2 x 10s MAX:2
2 x 10s HCLR:2
1 x 5min E1
5 x 1min ITT:2 (RR)
1 x 6 min E1
1 x 10min E3
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min E3 (R/U)
1 x 10min E1

Steve came around.

The plan to ride NRR long was abandoned due to softness, and a session written by Carl was done on the ergo instead. Steve, who was prepared to man up in the rain joined me, for some special bonding sweating time.

From Steve's instagram (@pinstripes).

I went out waaaaaay too hard on the first ITT, and found myself blown by 25seconds. With Steve less than 2 foot away I had no choice but to try and keep the legs going and minimise my whimpering. I failed on the latter front and learnt a valuable lesson. I'm not in Sprintsas anymore.

The rest was a solid sweat fest spent relearning the mental joys of getting no where despite how hard you go, but continuing to go hard anyway.

Strava link.

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 24 April 2012


6am NRR:

Today feels like Friday, tomorrow is off, thus this is the end of the week. Yep, totally feels like Friday. Well it felt like it right up until a truck rolled past us at some lights and the boys up front kicked for it. The result was a bunch strung out doing 63km/h down the highway. I'd rolled a few turns before then, but that was just about the end of me. Not for the last time in the day, I had one of those moments, where you're desperately trying to squeeze every Watt out of your legs... so you hold your diaphragm and breath for a last ditch effort.

Coming back north I worked up to Mentone, then again from Black Rock. None of it was "fun", but I was there to hurt, and hurt I did. Following wheels despite my body screaming for rest. Coming past the whole bunch up the "climb" out of Black Rock instead of just taking refuge behind a wheel halfway up.

It would be a lie to say I'm happy about the hurt this stage of training brings, but there is a sense of achievement that you get after suffering that I that makes me smile.

Strava link.

D: 45.1km


Strava link.


PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 23 April 2012


I set some guides for distance and altitude each month. Numbers to point me in the direction I want to head with a nod to the amount of time I have available and the effort I can sustain.

In true form I've started off with a bit of a bang, I'm a mere 200km away from my monthly distance and have already doubled the vertical gain I set. Heh, oh well I'm ok with that.

The other metric I've taken more note of is weight, I hit 100kg, and hovered around 97kg over the summer, I firmly believe this to be detrimental to the road racing I intend to do this winter. As such I've cut the extra foods, two pizzas is not necessary, one can suffice. I'm pleased the trend has been downwards so far.

Strava link.

D: 15.5km
A: 85m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 22 April 2012


Prahran - Kinglake - Prahran:
Another Sunday out in the hills by myself, thoughts forming and dissipating in the mind like clouds in the sky above. Some of those clouds above had dropped some water on the road, but the ride itself was free from suck potentially pesky precipitation.


Princess St, Bonds Rd, Mt Pleasant Rd, Stony Creek Rd, Pigeon Bank lane, Alma Rd, Kinglake, Church Rd, Flat Rock Rd, Eltham Rd, Mt Pleasant Rd, Bolton St, Old Eltham Rd, Banyule Rd and Burgundy St. Climb after climb, in the saddle, out of it, jersey zipped, then unzipped, the only detour from the plan was a flat tyre that disapproved of my patching attempt.

So am I the only one to notice the signs on Flat Rock Rd become more lichen'ed the more you climb?




Strava link.

D: 146.0km
A: 2,631m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 21 April 2012


Hell Ride:
I needed to get a ride done early, it seems I'm a sucker for punishment, I'd agreed to go watch the Bombers' winning streak meet its inevitable demise at the hands of Carlton. Anyway, the riding, it needed to be done early... tadaaa the Hell Ride makes for a lazy 100km, especially lazy if you do it like I did and sit in the bunch the whole trip.

Strava link.

D: 97.2km
A: 393m

Errands need to be run in the sun, so why not bike instead of hike?

Oh and the Bombers got up!

Strava link1 link2.

D: 20.2
A: 104m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 20 April 2012


No effort on the pedals, and no chickens.... but a lot of dumplings.

Strava link.

D: 19.1km
A: 233m

CE: 0

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 19 April 2012


Prahran - Mt Pleasant - Melbourne:
A pre-work look of Mt Pleasant with Jim, Tim, Lee and Lee resulted in a day where one coffee was just never enough.

The pace started off steady and as each pinch approached Jim and I (with a cameo from Tim) became quicker. Ah, a good old fashioned, unspoken race. Jim took the win, I went with a Pepe le Pew approach for the last section, he with a hard kick and try to hold on. Both of us finished drilled, he riding around mute, me standing over my bike, head and arms resting on my handlebars, sweat dripping past my motionless front wheel.

Strava link.

D: 67.2km
A: 893m


The ride home was done at a pace that required the least amount of effort. No rabbits were chased, no strava segments were challenged. There was barely any musing over the days activities.

Strava link.

D: 7.7km
A: 17m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Another day, another 50km and another coffee, all before work.

Much like yesterday the plan was to sit in the bunch, moving the legs and ticking over the kms, then just for a giggle, to have a lasting impact on the sprint.

Sitting on the wheel of the De Rosa rider I've lead out a few times I took Lee from 48 to 60km/h. It was nice to see it was only Lee and Sam who'd managed to hang on to fight out the last 300m. Me? I was already dreaming about a flat white.

D: 56.1km
A: 362m


Strava link (has both rides in one).

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


6am NRR:
I rolled NRR for the kms, nothing too exciting really, just a case of getting some kms done.

As my season plan ramps up, and in an effort to avoid becoming a lazy, work shirking, wheel sucker, I'll start getting back on the front from next week.

For now though, I'm content to roll up at the end, throw out an effort to set the sprint up and grab a coffee.

Strava link.

D: 45.1km
A: 154m


Strava link.

D: 16.3km
A: 217m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 16 April 2012


There was a healthy* used glow in my legs today. It lasted well past the normal 10:30am coffee, past the unusual 3:00pm coffee and through to the roll home in the late afternoon glow.

Strava link.

D: 15.6
A: 204m

* I am willing to admit I have no idea if it is healthy or not, but I'm hoping it is, because odds on it's going to re-occur a lot in the next 6 months.

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 15 April 2012


Prahran - St Andrews - Prahran:
I'm am both pleased (that I got out and backed up yesterday's ride) and disappointed (that I didn't push hard) with today's ride.

Mt Pleasant, Stony Creek, Pigeon Bank, Alma, Chuch, Flat Rock roads. Even with low amounts of mental fortitude there was enough lumpy stuff to keep me honest out there by myself.




Enough typing, I'm going for a nap.

Strava link.

D: 112.4km
A: 1,811m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 14 April 2012


Healesville - Black Spur - Lake Mountain - Reefton Spur - Healesville:
Today confirmed I've got a bit of training to go to get my climbing back on track. All day Ash would be up the road, followed by BJ and Jimmy and finally Christian and I would be bringing up the rear.


That's not to say that Christian climbs slowly, no just that I have aspirations of climbing like BJ and Jim again.




The ride was great, gorgeous scenery and with over 2,000m vertical, mostly in the first half of the ride, it was a solid day.

Strava link.

D: 125.5km
A: 2,168m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 13 April 2012


Ah rest day, I do enjoy the mental space you provide. Free of worry about achieving anything on the bike you leave time to worry about why my monos sucked today!

Strava link.

A: 212m

CE: 1

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 12 April 2012


Prahran - Elthan - Prahran:
Out with Lee for a roll. Way fucking early, but the 4am wake up was rewarded. Watching the rust stain of dawn slowly creep up from the horizon to fill the sky with light was pretty... well... pretty.

The loop we took was mostly roads I knew, but linked in a way I hadn't ridden before. The aim of the route seemed to be lumpy bits of terrain, mine was simply more kms in the legs, and some variety in company and location.

Its not to say it was a soft ride, we hit a few hills at full tilt, ok so I attacked and did my best to hold off Lee. I felt ok too, some would call them "good sensations" but I think that sounds stupid, so I wont.

Strava link.

D: 52.0km
A: 745m


Strava link.

D: 10.3km
A:  254m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


It took a lot of fight to get my over dressed arse to the start of the ride today. I wasnt the only one to react to the cold conditions of yesterday by throwing on too many clothes today.

Clothes Neil? Really? That's what you talk about?

Yep, I was out to just roll some kms before work, a lazy 50 in the legs before a couple of coffees and 8 hours of sitting at a desk.

I sat on and enjoyed the tow, towards the end I felt frisky and decided to play with the sprint, but 2 consecutive lights took that idea and sat on it like a sweaty overdressed man. A pity, but not the end of the world.

Strava link.

D: 44.8km
A: 166m

While sitting watching Paris Roubaix (and exclaiming loudly that Boonen's attack was suicide and he'd shortly be brought back), I talked with Darren about how I was considering visiting Steve Hogg. He'd been himself a year or so back and a simple comment made my decision "I think he's the best" and a further question alleviated any concern about cost "Really? How much have you spent on wheels?".

So I'm off to Sydney in a month to get things in order. More power, more aero, more comfort or more efficient? I hope most of them, but efficiency and power are top of my list.

Strava link.


PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


So the first official day of training... and I take it easy due to legs tender from my "just fun" rides. I would call this ironic, but I don't want to step on Alanis Morissette's toes.

So anyway, here are the things I want to do this year.

Race the Warny.
Revisit the Kilo (Metro and Vic Masters champs) and race a few more Keirins (Vic Opens).

For the Warny, I want to "do better" than last year. It's hard to define it better than that, but I'm going to try. Last year I was disappointed with the attack that cracked me and the company I finished with. I want to be with the "race" until Camperdown, to finish with guys like Bensley and Guirguis.

For the Kilo I want to shave an extra second or two off. A high 1:06 to mid 1:07.

For Keirins I'd like to gain more experience, and gain confidence in dropping a wheel and attacking back through and around riders. If I can gain the fitness I want for the Warny, then flip over to track speed work, I feel I should have the speed to trouble other by the time xmas carnivals roll around.

Strava link.

D: 15.0km
A: 262m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 9 April 2012


When plans to ride today evaporated, I was kind of glad. Not setting an alarm was a nice feeling, rugged up at home as the weather flip flopped between sunny and shitty rain.

Tomorrow plans and actions begin for the next 6 months. I'm a excited about the potential.

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 8 April 2012


Prahran - Two Bays - Prahran:
I rolled south to do a loop of Two Bays, a ride I'll do a bit in the future, but for now, just a nice roll.

Along the way I met a man named Sam, and after he tried for some time to drop me, I struck up a conversation and after the tiniest amount of cajoling I had company for the ride.


The hills weren't done too hard, a few little spurts to ensure things were ticking over, then home into the increasing headwind. Sam I am bid adieu along the way when after despite his eating is cheating ways, he bonked.

Anyway, the thing that I take away from today was not the triathlete on a roadbike I shared a few hours with, it was the man I met after going to the Track World Cup with Caddy. Standing around outside Hisense Arena we talked for ages, mostly it was stuff you could have talked with any cyclist about. So what stood out?

He looked at me early in the piece and said "Riding has never done me any wrong."

At 81 years old, and still racing, I can only assume he's right. So with that in mind I'd like to address future Neil. When you get to 81 find some punk arse kid and tell him riding bikes is awesome.

Strava link.

D: 104km
A: 577m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 7 April 2012


Hell Ride: (sort of)
I was keen to roll a ton before 2nd breakfast (or is that tonne? which ever is the metric one, no way am i riding 160km before breakfast) and the Hell Ride is top of the list for ways to achieve such a task on a Saturday. This story doenst really go much further, a thumb tack through my front tyre put paid to my plan. Stupid stationary!

Ok so I got myself sorted and rolled to Frankston to meet the bunch for the return. Unloaded my legs on Rickets Point to string out the bunch, then rolled home to find some warm clothes.

D: 83.3km
A: 274m

Strava link.

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 6 April 2012


Prahran - St Andrews - Prahran:
Out with Mark, Lee and Will of the StayTrue team, for a journey through the punchy climbs of the Mount Pleasant and Patton hills area. We were joined by a heap of other guys who went a different route half way through.

Things were going well for me until that halfway point, Will and Mark had been playing up the road, but that's to be expected. Then, after coming back over Pidgeon Bank Rd, dragging a 44t chainring up the 24% section, I found the bottom of my energy reserves.

Rolling backup up Research-Warrandyte Road to the end of Mt Pleasant Rd I sucked back my emergency gel as the first not so subtle twinges of quad cramps arrived. For Mt Pleasant Rd itself my legs were reporting zero power and cramps threatened any time I tried to test that statement.

Welcome back to endurance riding Neil, have a bonk.

Strava link.

D: 121km
A: 2,031m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Ahhh, free beer and a roll home in the sun to begin a 4 day weekend. I could get used to this.

D: 16.7km
A: 65m

PMPW: 96kg

Wednesday, 4 April 2012


6am NRR:
I was starting to really hanker for the well deserved feeling one gets from a post ride coffee. So much so, that I set my alarm for an uncharitable hour and upon waking to it, went to play on the North Road Ride.

I got myself to the front for the way down, then rounding the turn started to roll through with a couple of other blokes. I only got to around Mentone before the work of a skinny dude in Giant kit put me back in the bunch. Coming into Rickets I was feeling strong again and hit it hard from just before the flat. I felt sorry for the guy on the front, I was coming through too fast to give him a chance to get on, so I held it open until just before the top when at 192bpm the lights went out in my legs. Still, I managed to roll over the crest with a few mm of my tyre in front of the next bloke.

For the sprint I once again came through hard and early, doing my best to rip the bunch to shreds before Glen Huntly and deliver Skinny an easy win. I have no idea if I was succeeding, but it felt like the sort of effort and speed that would be doing exactly what I wanted. I never did get to see if I was right, as the lights changed and brought the fun to a halt. To give some guys a bit of sprint training I wound it up on the green and let them go with a few hundred metres to go.

Coffee deserved.

D: 46.3
A: 155m

Rolling through Abbotsford I met a mountain biker, face still splattered with mud from his early morning dirt session.

I asked him how the trails were and had a really odd feeling come over me. It was as if I'd asked a mutual friend about an ex girlfriend I hadn't spoken to in years.

Maybe I should give her a call, set up a date. Something early... you know, so she doesn't think it means anything. But later on, after a couple of drinks, she and I will both know that I'll be dropping the outside crank and rocking her turns.

D: 22.7km
A: 75m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


I'm getting angsty to ride again.

Partly because I fear there isn't enough time to get ready for the Warny, partly because I have a pretty full on endorphins addiction, but mostly because I'm no longer getting to see a lot of my mates.

D: 17.4km
A: 65m

PMPW: 97kg

Monday, 2 April 2012


The time off training continues with stretching and a whole lot of CBF.

Currently on the stretching agenda is hamstrings, hips and anything near the ulnar nerve in my left arm.

I've also continued trying new saddles and am a little conflicted that I've found the most recent couple pretty decent. For a start they're made by a company I have no love for, and secondly they're curved (less pretty). I think before I lay down the cash for a new road bike this year I will drop the cash on visiting Steve Hogg.

D: 9.4km
A: 65m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 1 April 2012


Prahran - Eltham - Prahran: With De Ronde van Vlaanderen (The Tour of Flanders) tonight, it seemed apt to strap on some 32 spoke box section rimmed wheels go play on some undulations a little outside of town.


I planned to roll Mt Pleasant and see how I felt about a few extras (Alma Rd, Church Rd, Flat Rock Rd) but the idea of using Mt Pleasant as a benchmark throughout the upcoming season changed into setting a benchmark for the upcoming season... and then... well... I didn't feel like extras any more.


The time set was 17 minutes and 27 seconds, for a route that included Antoinette Boulevard and Lavendar Park roads. To be a good benchmark for what's shaping up to be another run at the Warny, I feel repeats of it are going to be needed.

D: 67.1km
A: 955m

PMPW: 96kg