Friday, 31 August 2012

31/08/2012

Commute:
It's been a while since I've had to commute in the rain, usually I've been flexible enough to time my short dash to coincide with a hole in the clouds. That just wasn't an option this morning, we had rain, not light drizzle, and not the massive fat drops that soak you in an instant, just regular old rain... and it wasnt going anywhere. Out from the bottom of my box of ancillary bicycle clothing came booties, not the aero kind that occasionally gets a look in at the velodrome, just the old fashioned, please keep my socks from getting soaked booties.

Bike traffic was non existent, while car traffic was as good as stationary. With a fender on the back and my feet snug and dry, it was actually a nice roll, surrounded by frustration and unhappiness, I rolled serenely through.

D: 15.7km
A: 259m

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 30 August 2012

30/08/2012

6am NRR:
There's a tiredness that a hard block of training gives you, before the ride I believed I was experiencing it, after I believed it even more. Ungh, and next week is scheduled to be harder again.

I span the little ring in the bunch on the way south and rolled turns for who knows how long on the way north. Somehow, despite the occasional rest from the working group, I always seemed to have Danny Cohen rolling the turn after mine, leaving me with the distinct (and probably correct) feeling that I was pushing twice as much air as everyone else. I have a super power, it's not a very good one, I always manage to sit on the smallest bloke in the bunch.

Strava link.

D: 44.3km
A: 193m

Commute:
Skinny talking about wanting to get some CX saddle time on the weekend was enough to make me reach for my own tall knobby tyred bike when it came time to roll out. A quick fling* along the few kms of single track between home and the CBD was a nice break to the usual St Kilda Rd journey.

D: 16.8km
A: 230m

PMPW: 92kg

* you fling a CX bike..... right?

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

29/08/2012

NRR Long:
We sat two up down the highway, a ripping northerly ensuring that the solid work done by the guys on the front had our speed up. From Mordi to Frankston it was Gus and I setting the pace, perhaps not as hard as those who did the work until we took over, but no one seemed eager to come over the top.

I eased off the pedals through the town proper, letting a few riders roll through. I wanted a sit on the first couple of climbs. The aim was to keep my arse firmly planted and my legs spinning through swiftly. I wanted all the muscle saved for Canadian Bay and Two Bays Rds, but the tempo was high enough to push me past my threshold on Kars St and Baden Powell Dr.

The pace was still on up the highway, but (and perhaps this is me projecting) everyone's minds were already on Canadian Bay. AJ started the fireworks with a move up the outside. I kicked out of the saddle to ride up to the wheels of the top 4-5 riders, trying my best to avoid the shrapnel (riders popping) being flung out the back and side. I almost didn't make the wheels as we crested and began the false flat to the final kick. Rowan Deever was just a metre or so off the back and I managed to will myself on to his wheel, a quick glance down showed my HR at 190bpm. To say I was thankful when the pace eased slightly and I was afforded a bit of respite would be a gross understatement. Heh, respite, I was down to a mere 184bpm before the final kick, but for some reason I like that last little effort, I can always lift for it, regardless of how hard it's been. Basically, don't look a gift effort in the mouth.

Over the top, first, with enough legs and time to hold onto the top 4 riders on the descent while my HR dropped faster than me. It was the best scenario for me, well the best I'd been in for NRR Long, but that didn't mean it was an easy task. The 4 riders in front of me were AJ, Fergus Sully, Jamie Nightingale and a bloke named Dave who'd been doing all the damage on the previous climbs. 

I was soon in the box again, and not the only one, as Lee, who'd worked his way back to us as we turned into Two Bays and happily slotted himself in the gap I created to Jamie's wheel, was the first casualty of the pace. I saw it coming and quickly covered the gap across to the wheel of Mr Nightingale. "Pedal Smooth" and "Hold the Wheel" became my mantras as I found myself in a small box within the normally small seeming "regular" box. Jamie stood as the gradient rose slightly and I found my slightly forced rhythm disrupted for a few moments. I battled to will my body on, to re-settle and keep digging. For a moment I had the wheel and a tempo, but slowly slowly the wheel slid away from me. We weren't at the left hand corner that signals my body to release everything in a final 400m of agony, so I was thankful to see Dave was coming backwards. It was enough of a rabbit to bite my tongue and keep the pressure on the pedals and get myself to the corner, then the roundabout.

Strava tells me I set new benchmark times on both Canadian Bay and Two Bays, something I attribute not to greater fitness, but simply to going deeper into the box than any previous day.

The roll home was not a fun affair, 60km/h head winds and a couple of blokes that rolled their turns a little hot wore on my tired legs and mind. I was happy when we finally reached the banked up traffic in Elwood and the bunch finally split into solitary riders making their way to separate destinations.

Time at work 9:05am

Strava link.

D: 101.1km
A: 573m

Commute:

D: 8.1km
A: 78m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

28/08/2012

6am NRR:
This week is to be like last week, but just a bit more. Solid work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, before a rest on Friday and finally a return to the box on the weekend. So rolling south with hammies still toight like a toiger, I felt a little bit of trepidation about what I'd be able to achieve today.

I had to pull a turn or two on the way down the highway to ensure I stayed ahead of any potential splits. You know what? They weren't too bad. Out of the turn at Mordi I turned my brain off and slotted myself into the working group, "just work to Mentone, then enjoy the ride" was the plan. I nailed the first part, but there were too few guys being left to do all the work out front, so past Black Rock I was in the rotation again.

Credit has to go to Skinny for coming out of the working group, backing the entire bunch off their wheels, staring at the next dude in line (behind him) in the eyes, and when there was no sign he was going to come forward and help out, kicking to cover his own gap. It was 2001 TDF, L'Alpe D'Huez'esque, you know the one, the one where Lance looks back into Her Jan's eyes, see's the suffering, relishes it for a moment and then attacks. I giggled at the audacity of it as I rode across to play.

The sprint was struuuuung ouuuuuut, more of a series of ITT efforts off the front, with the game being to see who could hold onto the gaps they created the longest. Andy Naylor rolling past me at the Elwood canal spelled the death of my legs and what turned out to be a solid morning session. It didn't take much convincing to double up on coffees at the cafe.

Strava link.

D: 44.5km
A: 209m

Commute:

D: 18.4km
A:169m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 27 August 2012

27/08/2012

Commute:
A few years ago I got right into the Giro, then last year the Tour held my attention, this year.....? The Vuelta is ticking all the boxes. If you haven't seen the end of stage 8, you should go find it on the web.

The top guys attacking and counter attacking each other. It's magnificent! For a few brief moments I imagined Rodriquez, Contador and Froome sitting in a cafe post stage, giggling like Jimmy, BJ and I do after a day of trying to break each other.

"Hahahah, and then you cracked... the second I saw your shoulders bob.... I kicked up the outside. Oh man... your face was priceless!"

Last week's suffer score: 456

D: 15.5km
A: 180m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 26 August 2012

26/08/2012

Commute:
With rego at 10:30am but racing not starting for Elite until 3:30pm, I decided to get a few extras by rolling across town twice and use the time in the middle to drink a couple of coffees and eat a decent lunch.

D: 60.0km
A: 433m

DDCX:
I can categorically state I didn't finish in the top 5, other than that... well I can only say with certainty that I emptied myself on a really good CX course.



There were no man made sand or slop pits, just the heavy infield of the velodrome, a few barriers and a kicker of a climb with a turn in it. I didn't even have to clean my bike when I got home, just flick off a couple of mud clumps, grab a couple of blades of grass and give the chain a quick lube. Golden!

Even with out the final results I'm fairly happy with how things went. I beat a few guys that normally have my measure (H and Spiro) but was beaten by Mal who I had covered at the last DDCX round. I dont think I could have done much more to beat Mal though, as a quick review of my HR data suggests that it took 45 seconds for my heart rate to surpass my threshold level, and from there on it averaged 180bpm for 45 minutes. That's 4-5 beats over threshold for all bar the jump from the start. Ouch!!

Strava link.

D: 16.1km
A: 115m

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 25 August 2012

25/08/2012

Hell Ride:
There were a couple of moments today where Joel Pearson showed why his name is written twice on the Warny honour role. One on the flat on the way down he and 2 others went clear from the front. I was a bit far back to respond immediately, but when I rolled forward to lend a hand, my good intentions were rendered unnecessary by lights catching the leading trio.

The next time gives me both great feelings about my abilities and post traumatic stress. Rolling into Olivers Hill / Hopes Rise I was chatting to Leigh De Luca.

"haha isnt this fun, i love hills."
"hahaha me too.

Ahead were a few too many blokes, but I felt confident I could slide past most of them and get a nice sit across the top and a rest before the next couple of rollers. Instead what happened is Joel Pearson. I looked up to see his bright orange clad arse go clear with neigh on 30 riders between me and him, worse yet, no one seemed to be responding.

Then a gift, the right side of the road opened up and with Leigh firmly glued to my wheel I went around all bar 3 blokes, Joel, Dan Braunsteins and my Evolution Cycles buddy (I really need to learn his name) from previous editions of the Helly and NRR Long. I got on to Evo boy as we hit the false flat top and gasped for air, before pulling through to help with the chase. Dan got on to the back of out little train and Pearso was coming back in a way that despite the pain, inspired confidence. Sweet, so I was moments away from being in a solid 5 man break on the Hell Ride, then the lights at Humphries Rd changed to red and every man and his bike rolled up. This is where things turn from great feelings to PTSD inducing, for in that bunch were legs that had had a sit and were far fresher than mine. The final rise up From Baden Powel Drv to Canadian Bay Rd took me to 184bpm and my legs to the point of cracking. Everyone in front seemed to be in the same boat, so when the wheels I was on cracked, I decided* to sit up with them.

So to whoever it was that tore the bunch apart on that last hill.... Johnny Walker? Alex Smyth?.... you're a jerk!

Strava link.

D:  87.7km^
A: 439m

PMPW: 92kg

* heh "decided", because  my brain totally works when my heart is at 184bpm.
^ I must remember to start the timer before Sandy next time.

Friday, 24 August 2012

24/08/2012

Commute:
All the dirt between home and work, both directions, on the CX bike with dead legs. I suppose I am thankful it's a rest day, and hope that come Sunday and DDCX I'll have some poke.

D: 15.7km
A: 109m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 23 August 2012

23/08/2012

6am NRR:
My aim this week was to work on three NRRs, I didnt work at all today, so failed my aim, but I feel better about it all than I did yesterday.

I sat on today, pulled up the outside from midway down the bunch to crest Rickets Point first, then back into the loving embrace of the draft until the sprint which turned out to be a standing 600m effort, that took serious tongue biting to push through.

I think that tongue biting technique might have some merit for 1km ITTs, give the brain something other than the legs to thing about.

Strava link.

D: 45.4km
A: 189m

Commute:


D: 18.6km
A: 115m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

22/08/2012

NRR:

I plain old had zero legs today. I don't exactly know where they went to after yesterday, but it wasn't Beach Rd.

I pulled a few turns out of Mordi, stopped short of where I got to yesterday and then just sat in the pack wondering where it went wrong.

Tthe data says i averaged 171bpm from the turn at Mordi until I shut down at the turn to Ormond Esplanade. In a way that's nice to hear, because that's what it felt like, threshold work... while sitting on wheels.

I was so dejected by how my legs felt I let the bunch go and then made the turn at Glen Huntly to go up Barkly rather than roll along the foreshore and have the BP sign bear witness to my shame.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 196m

Commute:
Rolling home in the warm afternoon air I had my arms and legs exposed... it felt obscene. I kept expecting mothers to hurriedly pull their children aside and shield their eyes as I passed.

"Hush Timmy, he's almost gone. Stop crying, I'll protect you from his hideous white flesh."

D: 17.4km
A: 159m

PMPW: 90kg

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

21/08/2012

6am NRR:
This week the plan is NRR Tues, Wed, Thurs, working turns for as long as I can on the return leg.

I kept myself towards the front of the bunch on the southward leg, to ensure I was with the faster guys in the case of any splits caused by lights, then straight after the roundabout I slotted myself into the front and rolled turns.

It sounds simple enough, but when the likes of Leaper, Kelly and Forbes are keeping you company in the working group, it's a lesson in suffering. I made it to the left hand sweep of Mentone before my screaming legs called a stop to proceedings. They only partially got their wish, I had a km or two where I was dangling an metre or two behind the wheels of the working group, pushing more air than my legs told me I had any right (or ability) to push.

It wasn't until the roll through Brighton proper that I returned to fore and pulled another turn, and there was no chance of playing in the sprint, I was toast!

I was able to feel a little happy about the outing, Dave Kelly's top tube was covered in sweat as we rolled past Luna Park, a sign he hadn't found it easy either.... though I should point out he worked the entire ride, rather than the measly few kms I managed.

Strava link.

D: 44.4km
A:179m

Commute:

D: 23.3km
A: 223m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 20 August 2012

20/08/2012

Commute:
I got a bonus double commute today by including a trip home to let a sparky in. I could get used to the concept of riding midweek at midday. It was luxurious!

I ran into Eddie Wilson and Dave Kelly on the way home (2nd time), Dave's assurance he'd be on NRR tomorrow makes my intention to work suddenly seem more painful.
Suffer score for last week: 322

D: 31.8km
A: 356m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 19 August 2012

19/08/2012

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant Rd - Stony Creek Rd - Pigeon Bank Lane - Dawsons Rd - Clintons Rd - Flat Rock Rd - St Kilda East:
An sms piqued my interest last night, enough for me to agree to a ride today that might test my bruised and bloodied body.

"My husband's phone has died but he would like to know if you're interested in a ride tomorrow. Not fussy about where but hills are always good. Also, anger is a gift."

Seriously, who can say no to RATM quotes? Not me, that's for sure!

So I organised to meet Steve for a coffee and a roll around the punchy climbs between Eltham and St Andrews.



After the first kicker in Ivanhoe, where I ensured I had Steve's measure, I took the climbs at a moderate pace, enough to sweat, but not enough to suffer, it is a rest week after all.

Strava link.

D: 127.1km
A: 2,055m

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 18 August 2012

18/08/2012

Rest:
My face didn't love the small bumps of my commute last night, I'd let everyone who'd suggested rides for today know that I wasn't riding, so all that was left to do was go out for breakfast before the cafe's filled with those bloody lycra clad wankers.



PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 17 August 2012

17/08/2012

Commute:
The short version of today's adventures is "Face meets road, road wins.".



The long version is that I was riding to work along St Kilda Rd. As an SMS from Danny Cohen describes "You looked so CBF", I wasn't terribly excited about it, but that's fairly normal.

So as I passed Victoria Barracks coming up to Southbank Boulevard, I merged over to between the straight ahead lane of cars and the rightmost left turning lane. Still, standard stuff going on, in fact it felt better than some days as all lanes of traffic were stopped.

Ahead was a van in the right and a car in the left, with a slightly smaller gap than the other combinations I was sailing through, "no stress", well a little stress when I was along side the van and realised he had an extra wide wing mirror. I ducked and swerved a little to ensure I didn't collect it, then promptly landed on my face.

I think I put my front wheel under the the front wheel of the car to the left, they might have been rolling forward at the time, I really don't know, but my front wheel stopped dead (and crumpled), and without touching either vehicles body work, I went OTB, with my chin doing all the work to stop my momentum.

6 stitches, 1 tetanus shot and a prescription for antibiotics later, I was at my desk eating cupcakes for charity.

D:15.2km
A: 48m

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 16 August 2012

16/08/2012

6am NRR:
3 days in a row with good weather in the morning? Shit yeah, I'll bloody well take advantage of that!

I sat in, spinning the little ring for most of the trip south, though a stiff Nor-Westerly (that's the 2nd time I've got to use "Nor" recently. I like it!) occasionally pushed the speeds past what my legs were willing to spin to in the 39.

The trip back was far nicer, a steady headwind keeping the energetic in check, leaving me to simply sit on wheels and take spots where necessary.

Coming through Ormond Esplanade I had two boys ready to drill it for me, Skinny up front and Lachy in behind him. My only concern was making sure I did their efforts proud. Lights at Glen Huntly bunched the riders in front up and the clear path we had up the right became a shambles of dudes clipping in. We lost track of Skinny, but I was still glued to Lachy's wheel, getting increasingly concerned about how far out front the lead riders were getting. A big truck slowly accelerating past the bunch in the right lane was my ticket and I kicked with everything in my legs to take advantage of the huge hole it was dragging behind it. I never got the full sit but it was enough that when I reach Lee and Sam Watson I was several clicks faster. Enough to sit up and coast through the line with a couple of bikes grace.

Strava link.

D: 45.3km
A: 187m

Commute:

D: 14.2km
A: 101m

PMPW: 91kg

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

15/09/2012

NRR:
Ahhhh, the short version of NRR Wednesday... it feels so.... sedate.... and lovely. So much so that I rolled turns from Mordi until Blackrock where I promptly got a flat tyre and had to wave the bunch goodbye.

Goodbye bunch! *wave*

This may have been a blessing as I'm told there was a decent pileup not long after. Due to me being on the side of the bike path to the side of the road many kms away, I had no idea about.

D: 45.1km
A: 203m

Commute:

D: 11.8km
A: 62m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

14/09/2012

6am NRR:
Well.... that wasn't very restful at all. A split in the bunch by some lights on the way down the highway saw me drilling myself at threshold as part of the futile effort to bring everything back together. Futile? Yeah, we copped every possible set of lights meaning it was hard on the gas then hard on the anchors for 10km.

I stopped working for the return leg and sat on waiting for coffee. My legs still telling me about the weekend's moving in / stair repeats.

Strava link.

D: 43.6km
A: 213m

Massage:
Tried out a new massage dude today, Mark Fabbi, a recommendation by Mikkeli Godfree due to his skill and closeness to my work.

In fact he's right above the coffee shop I frequent every day, a fact that caused me to apologise for the screaming to my favourite barista.

Commute:
So looking at that "suffer score" and how it's trended for the last few weeks, I cant help but finally admit my ad hoc style might not be the ideal path I've been taught over the years. Instead of building to a peak over 3 weeks then taking it easier for one, then building to a higher peak. What I do looks more like the power profile for a flying 200m. Big spike at the start, then a slow decay from there until everything shuts down.

I might chat to Carl and possibly Craig Peacock (when he get's back from Leadville, btw he got 2nd in age category.... 3rd if you count Tinker Juarez who raced open) and see if I can understand what I might be missing out on.

D: 16.3km
A: 75m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 13 August 2012

13/08/2012

Commute:
So I was thinking about the group of women who I rode "with" on the way home yesterday, all on different bikes, all with different helmets.... yet all wearing at least 2 items of Rapha.

It brought back to me conversations I've had with Steve and a few others about sports advertising to women. He cares because he's a dad to two fresh faced girls, while I care... well I like understanding how things work and seeing those that choose a righteous path succeed.

A while back I got annoyed at this ad from Under Armour. I felt that pretty much all the women in the were just vapid models who extend the stereotype the ad purports to be different to. Not everyone agrees with me, but on the other hand no one's arguments swayed my opinion on it either.



Then there are these couple by Rapha, and here are some words by a woman consulting to Rapha about this exact thing... advertising to women. You really should read it, I know it's probably going to get lost between the pretty moving pictures of the videos, but I do think it's worth your time.





It's obviously not all like the Under Armour ad, there are plenty of people who believe strength is beauty, and have even learnt that women respond better to a different style of advertising to men (shock horror!).

An article on Again Faster. Though I think it still misses the mark. It continues to talk about beauty as if this is a woman's crowning achievement.

I don't even know what this image is from or for, I think of it as an Addidas ad, but it has a Nike flavour about it that I just can't shake.

So what was my point? It was interesting to see 6 strong, independent women who showed a lot of signs of individuality in style... who all supported a single brand... possibly because of how that brand presents itself to women.

On another note, my legs are sore, too many repetitions of the stairs up to my new place carrying heavy stuff. Talking of which, did I mention I'm keen for a new flatmate, I should mention it, it's true.

D: 19.5m
A: 89m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 12 August 2012

12/08/2012

St Kilda East - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
"I am unwell. Sorry Mate. :((("
"I am out."

Just like that, my riding companions evaporated and I was on a solo mission to Mt Dandenong, surprisingly the first time I'd been out there by myself. The plan that formed as I rolled out Canterbury Rd was simple, a couple of sides, then home to the joy of more house moving activities.

Turning up the first climb of the day, Inverness Rd, I quickly found that I was anything but quick. My heart rate struggled to rise over E1 (75%), and holding a cadence of 95 seemed neigh on impossible.

The second climb of the day turned out to be shorter and easier than I remembered, but by the time I crested the top and realised it's short comings, it was too late to do anything about. I'd gone down Perrins Creek and back up Sassafrass Creek, I thought it would be a nice way to get an extra ascent without doubling up any road, all while continuing my vague North to South route. Sadly it was not that much of an ascent.

The ride home was lazy, I was caught but a group of 6 chicks and just sat at the back letting them dictate the pace all the way back down High St (Road).

That makes two days of not overly exuberant riding, which is a little disappointing, but there's enough other stuff going on that I'm dead set wrecked.

Strava link.

D: 95.4km
A: 1,217m

Week's Suffer Score: 379

PMPW: 92kg

Saturday, 11 August 2012

11/08/2012

Hell Ride: (sort of)
It's hard to leave the house when it's already raining, it's even harder to keep riding when it's cold, dark and you're alone (on top of the wet), this is pretty much a description of what I faced to get some training in this morning.

I had to be back early because I'm moving house (again! also if anyone is or knows someone who's after a room to rent, get in contact with me, I have a room to rent), so opted for the Hell Ride. I barely made it past Brighton, the only thing that kept me heading south to the meet point was someone was riding past when I went to throw a u-bolt. I didn't have the energy to kill them and having a living witness to my shame was not an option.

The meet up was populated with strong, hard legs. Big NRS guys who don't mind a bit of smacking it in a crossy all day. I started in the bunch assessing if I was capable of rolling with them, then when I was confident moved up and started to pull through. That is, right up until my back tyre went soggy around Chelsea. The resulting time it took to swap in a new tube and pump it up meant I did Olivers Hill solo and turned straight after to catch the return of the bunch.

I'm sad about that, I really wanted the extra few km to make it 100km today, but most of all I wanted to play on the hills against these sorts of riders. They're the fitter equivalent of me, and it's nice to know just where I stand.

Strava link.

D: 90.9km
A: 171m

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 10 August 2012

10/08/2012

Rollers:
I wanted to get a few extras today, but the weather seemed a bit bleak to do so, instead I scrounged my rollers from where they'd lived since last I was at DISC (the boot of my car) and set about putting 17 hours into them.

When I finally stopped, satisfied with the extended time I'd done, i was surprised to note it had been a mere 22 minutes. I might need better distractions for next time.

Commute:

D: 22.6km
A: 112m

CE:1

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 9 August 2012

9/08/2012

Commute:
I bailed on NRR due to fear of rain, when I got up a couple of hours later it looked like it hadn't rained.

I am Neil's sense of regret.

I was still up early enough, and the weather was clear enough, that I threw in some extras on my commute.





Then after a day of completely shitty weather that made leaving the office for coffee unpleasant, the ride home was clear enough to throw in some extras then too.

D: 41.0km
A: 364m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

8/08/2012

NRR Long:
An epic North / Nor'Westerly wind had the bunch size dramatically reduced this morning, a mere dozen or so made the journey past Frankston into the hills.

We rolled two up southward, Guirguis and I on the front chatting about training or something equally fascinating, no one else seemed to mind the pace, or if they did showed no sign of wanting to roll through. So on we pedalled, to Frankston and the waiting pain.

In the bunch were riders I knew to be strong, Guirgs, Lee and Alan Iacuone, I vowed to keep my arse firmly in my seat until the last kick of Canadian Bay Rd, a move I hoped would save some strength to play with them up Two Bays Rd.

Up Kars St the bunch slowed at the front so I kept the power on, behind I heard Lee shout out in protest. It felt like a sign of weakness.... I went harder. Over the top I sat up and found Guirg and myself clear, we took a moment and decided to drive the pace and see if we could stay away. The indecision meant a few others got on as we rolled into the rise of Baden Powell Dr, Guirgs on the front, smacking hard tempo wasnt enough to shake them loose at the top, so we let a few roll through and work for us to the highway and up to the Canadian Bay turn. I asked Mark how his Two Bays was, and he said it wasn't ace and he'd work for me.

Alan came through then, initially hesitant then setting a hard pace for the long first pinch, I told Guirgs to chase cover it, a matter of a few solid pedals, then we were camped out on the wheel. The false flat middle section took forever to come, but it must have been an eternity for Alan, alone on the front. He reached it and couldn't hold the pace, a prime time for us to move. Without a comment Mark did the right thing and pushed past, holding the hard pace, I was sure Alan would never recover to catch my wheel, but I ensured he had a gap to chase by getting out of the saddle and coming around Guirgs up the final kick to the top. My heart smashing against my ribs, my lungs heaving my diaphragm out the way like football players through a banner. Alan had made the move, and I was fair in the box. So much so I couldn't hold the two riders down the descent. The small rises requiring more than my screaming legs had to give, I tried to stay patient, to wait for the open section where my mass would come to the fore, to try and conserve as much energy as possible.

Coming round the last tight corner another rider bridged to me and I let them through, glad of the free sit to the leading pair. As a 4 with daylight to anyone else we made the left onto Two Bays and I knew that I was going to have to dig deeper into the deep hole I was already in. Last in line I was just starting to assess the body language of the 3 in front when I heard my pump fall out my back pocket. My brain took a moment to fire up the logic circuits and weigh up the $40 value of the pump and the priceless value of a KOM. I turned back for the pump then set about chasing down the couple of riders who'd whipped through while I awkwardly returned for my equipment.

Thankfully for my keyboard the return leg of the ride was uneventful, another two up affair into a strong and gusty headwind. At times our pace was slowed to 20km/h, a far cry from the 50+ the ride often achieves.

An analysis of the ride data on strava tells me that the trip up Canadian Bay was the quickest I've done (since April), a full 10 seconds quicker than the PB last week. I like when things like that happen.

Time at work: 9:22am

Strava link.

D: 100.5km
A: 705m

Commute:

D: 9.0km
A: 110m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

7/08/2012

6am NRR:
I feared today would find my legs lacking, instead I found myself sitting in E1 for most of the ride, despite the average speed end to end being up. I'm fairly chuffed about that idea, though it's possible it indicates I am pushing myself too hard (HR failing to rise), but given I hit what I think are normal HR numbers later in the ride, I'm thinking it's a sign I'm in ok form.

Granted I was sitting in the bunch, not fighting for position which meant somewhere towards the back, just trying to get a sneaky 50km in before work.

I moved up the bunch as we rounded Brighton beach (the time my HR jumped over threshold, as mentioned before), and through the golden mile Lochy let me know he was on me wheel and keen to sprint. Sadly the lights at the canal spoilt our fun, staying very much red despite my 54km/h urging for them to change.

D: 44.9km
A: 179m

Commute:

D: 20.3km
A: 252m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 6 August 2012

6/08/2012

Commute:
I'm not unfamiliar with the concept of training stresses, today especially with the state of my legs its a concept I've considered several times.

So today, especially with the state of my legs, might be a good time to start paying attention to them. So here's a little review of the last three weeks of Strava "Suffer Scores". It's basically a number based on HR that says how much you've pinned in that ride. It's not a bad starting point when talking about how much damage you've done to yourself.

Last week: 465
Week before: 470
The one before that: 251

Alright... um... yeah... no idea what do do with that right now, so i'll just leave it there for the time being and check this week's number once Sunday is in the bag.

Oh and just in case I didn't mention it earlier "especially with the state of my legs"... and no, I'm not going to qualify what that state actually is!

D: 18.6km
A: 208m

PMPW: 92kg

Sunday, 5 August 2012

5/08/2012

Specialized Cross Melbourne:
No one was excited about racing today, called to the start line from the marquee's we'd be huddled under against the rain there were plenty of calls to have the race be 45 minutes instead of an hour. Not me though... I was suggesting an elimination or win and out.

I started on the back row of the grid and didnt contest the bustle of the opening straight. By the time I started to move up positions the leaders were well clear, I'd only see the front 3 again when they lapped me around the 45 minute mark.



The one advantage of starting the way I did was I always had someone to chase, a rabbit 20-30 seconds ahead who served to simultaneously pace and motivate me. The results have me finishing in 12th, 16 seconds behind Spiro, a minute shy of H and 1 minute 22 seconds in arrears of Nick Mitchell.

I'm reasonably happy with it all, I certainly didn't turn up with the best legs I could and did little to keep near these kinds of riders at the start. It gives me confidence that should I decide a race matters enough, I could compete with, and conceivably beat such riders.

Strava link.

D: 19.9km
A: 328m

Commute:
A few extras to get the legs moving, including riding out to the race with Spiro. The plan was to ride home too... but we both piked and scabbed lifts.

D: 54.6km
A: 454m

PMPW: 91kg

Saturday, 4 August 2012

4/08/2012

Prahran - Mt Pleasant - Stony Creek - Pidgeon Bank - Dawsons - Clintons - Cottles Bridge - Mine - Flat Rock - Prahran:
There was not a lot of motivation to get this ride done. An ITT hurts, and doing it the day before racing CX... well it'd make that hurt (more) too. Eventually, after every possible thing I could do had been done, I rolled out the door and it immediately started to rain.

So I rode to a cafe and drank flat whites until I couldn't feel my face from all the caffeine. 



Two hours, three coffees and a nod of respect from the barista later I was rolling north along Chapel St towards my date with pain.

I turned off main road, and tried to remember what Shane, Dave and Craig had said about riding TTs. Tempo. Steady Effort. Unroll it like a big coiled up carpet. In short, I tried to pace myself, and not blow myself apart on the hills and false flats.

I wasnt happy with how it went, I had to wait for cars to turn from Hillcrest into Mt Pleasant. The wet roads meant I had to slow more than usual for each turn. My mind wandered turning the last uphill corner into the final straight and kick.

I felt like I'd missed a golden opportunity to set a time and once I got my breath back the anger at myself propelled me up the climb up Dawson and Clinton roads, it even extended to the bottom of Flat Rock road... but I bonked halfway up the first kick, leaving me to cut my pace in half and shove food into my gaping maw.

P8040014

Dropping back through Eltham I ran into Jesse Carlson and rode chatting with him for the return to the City.

So here I am, back at home, data uploaded to Strava and I'm a little surprised. I PB'd the TT (25 seconds) as well as Clintons Rd (26 seconds). Turns out I actually rode well today, despite the lack of anyone else to pace off of. Stoked.

Benchmark time:16:58

Strava link.

D: 132.9km
A: 2,138m

PMPW: 92kg

Friday, 3 August 2012

3/08/2012

Commute:
Looks like tomorrow is going to be a solo mission, everyone else has opted to go ride in the nongs. I must admit I'm tempted, but ITT week is ITT week!

I'm not against riding by myself, more time to think and no where to hide. After all.. "character is who you are when no one is watching".

Talking of which, I snuck in a couple of extras on the commuter. A single gear spun out on long sections of straight road. It's almost enough to make me consider racing track on something smaller than 96". Naaaaah!

D: 29.0km
A: 137m

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 2 August 2012

2/08/2012

Commute:

It must have been last night I decided that CX racing on Sunday isn't terribly important and I'd just do my ITT on Saturday. It must have happened because when I woke at 6:30 I was only sad that I'd missed NRR and not hills. It turns out it helps to set an alarm.

D: 23.7km
A: 244m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

1/08/2012

NRR Long:
Where to start? Well judging by the number of SMS I received while still in the cop shop , there's something many of you want to know about, so let's start with that story.

The most important things first, I'm uninjured, I believe there weren't any serious injuries in the bunch, but there may have been a crash at some point, and finally my bike is injured.

We were rolling down the highway, two abreast, chatting. It was a Wednesday so all that is bang on par for the course. Ahead I heard someone exclaim and then saw a few riders swerve to go around an obstacle, I figured it was maybe something from a pocket. Then I saw Skinny launch off the side of the bunch, across lanes of slowing traffic and start abusing a 4WD full of teenagers. It took a moment to realise what I'd swerved around hadn't come from a rider's jersey, but rather from a passing motorist.

Life got back to normal after the lights went green and the car drove off, two up, rolling down the highway chatting, though now the general conversation was skewed towards wankers in cars. Behind I heard something smash and looked up to see the same 4WD driving past. A few took off from the bunch in pursuit, but to no avail.

Further down the road, just before Oak Av they came past again, the same people who'd been abusing and hurting my friends. I took off in the left lane, drawing level with the rear bumper I paused, changed my chain over into the big ring, then started up the passenger side of the car. The front passenger was leaning out the window jeering, I glanced down and noticed something squarish and white or grey in his hands, I figured it was a milk carton or something, then as got up beside he pushed it out at me and I felt a solid *THUNK* on my front wheel, then my rear wheel popped up over it. It wasnt a carton of milk, it felt and sounded like half a cinder block. Seeing red I gave chase to the accelerating car. Ahead I saw them pull into the service road and I followed. Those fucking cowards were likely hiding down a side street to watch us go past again, I swore I'd seen them do it earlier, this time I was convinced and knew it to be a chance to physically engage them.With the fire of righteous hate still burning strong I was called off by Skinny and a small bunch rolling past. It took him a few calls of my name, but eventually I jumped some gutters and popped back out onto the freeway. Looking down I could see a gouge filled with stone dust on my forks.

Over Lower Dandenong Road, they once again came past and nothing could stop me from going after them again. "Come back here" I signalled to them, "I can't hear you" I motioned with a face as calm as I could make while trying to give off "I just want to chat" vibes. I was doing everthing to get them back within range of my fury. To my joy they slowed and with a bit of lateral space I drew up beside them, the front passenger again leaning out the window, this time brandishing a thin Phillips head screwdriver. Gone was all my thoughts that these were just kids in mum's car having fun. Gone were all feelings that this could be resolved in any way. I told them repeatedly that the cops had been called and stayed the fuck away from the swinging point of the screw driver.

That's it, I rode on to Two Bays, discovering the second gouge in my down tube and the damage to my wheels at the top of Two Bays Rd. I rolled home to pick up some ID then into the Prahran cop shop to give a statement. A call later on tells me the car was stolen (duh) and the people inside were wanted for a string of robberies that morning. It seems Skinny and I were the two people who'd been close enough to see them and thus help identify them. So maybe.... maybe they might be apprehended, rather than as I feared after my statement, have the report filed and never looked at.

Now, NRR Long. I'm a beast on the hills. Strava tells me I set my best time on Canadian Bay Rd, at the time it felt "easy", heh "easy". I topped it with a decent heart rate, but the middle section that normally has my legs on fire rolled nicely leaving me plenty of strength to kick past all bar the front 3 riders up the last pinch. I sadly couldn't get on to AJ, Joel (see last week) and my Evolution Cycles mate from the Helly (see last Saturday). A train of TKM riders caught me going up Two Bays, but I managed to kick and get on them, coming past most as the road took the last turn and levelled slightly, narrowly missing the PB I set last week.

Again the flat ride home stretched me to my limits, a train of TKM blokes pushing my hamstrings to exhaustion. To be honest I was almost relieved when my front tyre went flat coming through Brighton, I could stop trying to hold wheels with no shame of failure.



Strava link.

Time at work: 10:56am

D: 94.9km
A: 522m

Commute:
I was amused to see a full moon as I rolled home. Perhaps it's confirmation bias, but I'm starting to truly believe that people are crazier when the full surface of earth's satellite reflects the sun back at us.

D: 14.6km
A: 267m

PMPW: 92kg