Tuesday, 31 December 2013


St Kilda East - Black Rock - St Kilda East:
A lazy roll with DK, Bing, Boysy and Bones to the Slack Rock roundabouts, then back home via Port Melbourne.

Obviously there were some stupid things done, attacks, up the inside, up the outside, up the footpath, handless, we had it all, and they were all with grins and calls of "let him go, he'll crack!"

My legs weren't going in perfect circles, and my arse complained about how thin my saddle is, but those will both get better with more rides.

Strava link.

D: 45.5km
A: 139m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 30 December 2013


G'day Australia, take me to your beer.

Sunday, 29 December 2013


This day just flat out didn't exist for me, meaning if I ever get interrogated by the police for being too awesome, and they ask me what I did on the 29th of December 2013, odds on, I'm going to get hit with a phone book for saying "It didn't exist".

Saturday, 28 December 2013


So long Canada, it's been emotional!

I want to come back when you've got less snow, possibly with a bike, or maybe just to hike, either way, you're pretty and I'd like to get some endorphins in you.

Friday, 27 December 2013


The Dawns and I headed back over the Rockies to Calgary today. It felt so warm coming back down the Bow valley that I wound down the window to enjoy the balmy +8°c air.


I've got to get on a plane tomorrow to start the day long journey back to Aus. Given I'm still carrying DOMS from the 24th, and that I'll be squished back in cattle class, squatting was off the cards. Then Dawns told me we had access to the section of the gym reserved for staff and pro athletes. The section with cages, platforms, metric bumper plates... and no other people.

8 min ride

2 x 5 @ 20kg Squats
1 x 5 @ 40kg Squats
1 x 5 @ 60kg Squats
1 x 2 @ 80kg Squats
3 x 5 @ 105kg Squats

2 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 62.5kg Bench press

3 x 10 @ 10kg Russian twists

2 x 5 @ 20lbs Bro curls
1 x 5 @ 27.5lbs Bro curls
2 x 5 @ 35lbs Bro curls

The lure of private racks/cages was too much  and I undertook my first squat session with DOMS. Dropping down was tough, and on the last set, in an effort to get it all done I had some ugly reps. Knees buckled, back dropped and neck strained. I don't like that mojo and have to be prepared to drop weight to keep form in a safe range.

Oh yeah, and bro curls for giggles.

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Present intervals and Turkey repeats (2nds, 3rds, etc... not voms).

I don't think either activity will make me faster, especially with how much chocolate the presents delivered.

Tuesday, 24 December 2013


I got access to a little gym today, and in squatting in the lull pre-christmas seemed like a great idea.

The gym was incredibly tiny. The squat rack was on the other side of an angled smith machine setup, and there was no place to put the smith bar that didn't affect my setup in some way. I ended up with it at the top so, which meant I had to ensure I went straight up, as any forward movement on the unrack would mean I brained myself. Good times.

2 min Ride

2 x 5 @ 20kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 45kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 60kg Squat
1 x 2 @ 80kg Squat
3 x 5 @ 100kg Squat

2 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
1 x 5 @ 40kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 60kg Bench press

Monday, 23 December 2013


What's the best coat for protecting you from the elements?
A lab coat.

Sunday, 22 December 2013


I was told this one by a waiter the other night.

An aussie flies into Montreal, spends the night in a hotel then the next morning sets off down the highway on the wrong side of the road. Soon a motorcycle cop pulls him over and angrily asks, "Why are you on the left, did you come here to die?"

To which the aussie promptly replies, "nah mate, I flew in yesterday".

Saturday, 21 December 2013


What did the fisherman say to the magician?
Pick a cod, any cod!

Friday, 20 December 2013


A 4 hour car drive through the rockies as we moved from Calgary to Cranbrook just highlighted to me that I need to get a bike with some squish and come back here in summer and frighten the pants off myself.

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 19 December 2013


All the energy used wandering around Calgary, and puckering my ring on the glass deck of the Calgary tower were undone when I had my first poutine.

Imagine a big bowl of chips and gravy, then add some soft, mild cheese... and then some bacon. 

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


The temperature has dropped a heap, before you factor in windchill it's around negative 20°c, and there are still people riding bikes around. If I dared risk frostbite to the ears, I'd take my hat off to these fine folk.

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 17 December 2013


My boobs hurt, so do my legs.

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 16 December 2013


Weights and Intervals:
Dawnski had to go to work for a few hours, and given said work is a massive gym, I tagged along to get some endorphins.

I was torn between trying to get a solid weights session, or trying to get a solid cardiovascular workout on a stationary rower or bike.

In the end I half arsed both, not because quality on either is mutually exclusive with quality at the other, but because my legs were trashed. It seems humping around in the snow in boots was effortfull.

2 x 5 @ 20kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 60kg Squat
1 x 5 @ 80kg Squat

2,700m Row

2 x 5 @ 20kg Bench
1 x 5 @ 30kg Bench
1 x 5 @ 40kg Bench
1 x 5 @ 50kg Bench
2 x 5 @ 60kg Bench

2 x 5 @ 20kg Press
1 x 5 @ 30kg Press
3 x 5 @ 40kg Press

25min @ 90rpm ride

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 15 December 2013


The Dawns and I set out to visit the Calgary zoo, it copped a little bit of a beating when Calgary flooded mid this year, so it seemed like a good idea to support some locals, plus get to see a few beasts I dont get back home.

Only a half dozen kms away, we walked, but the entrance had moved, and the way there was not obvious, by the time we got home we'd done double or triple what I'd expected. I really should work out more often, because I'm a litle bit pooped.

PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 14 December 2013


Ok, I had a sleep, 12 or so hours worth, and after I woke, it was still cold and snowy outside.

In good news there's decent coffee here, I feel like my chance of survival has increased purely on that knowledge.

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 13 December 2013


This day was sort of two days.

The first version was spent on several planes. Not that I have much control over the actual locomotion of the craft, I did have to call on a bit of just get it done for the Sydney to Vancouver leg. A full plane, a middle seat, and a few kids not loving life made for a mental challenge.

The second version was after I finally got to Calgary, a bit of walking around, and a lot of trying to get my head around the flip from summer to winter.

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 12 December 2013


6am NRR:
I rolled turns with Bing and Dave until a horrible job at clipping back in after some lights left me mid pack. Given how less than fresh I was feeling I hung out there until my favourite hill, and though I was on the front for the whole thing, it wasn't an amazing effort, for starters the bunch was mostly still together after.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 167m


D: 13.6km
A: 52m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 11 December 2013



D: 5.3km
A: 41m

HCC Crit:
Each week I roll up to the Kew boulie for the HCC crit I worry that my legs aren't feeling terribly good, then each week I remember I though the same last week and went alright anyway. This week was no different, the legs were tender to the touch and I struggled to push into them as I crossed town on my way to register.

We had the biggest a-grade Rush turnout for the year, with DK, Bing, Deano and myself rocking the pink kit. The numbers meant we had blokes on the front or in the move pretty much all day, starting off with Deano hitting it from the gun, then a couple of laps later I went clear for 3 circuits by myself. I spent that time wondering why there was a gale force headwind in the bottom straight, and not even a breeze strength tailwind up the climb and top straight. Also... I wondered why no one was jumping across. It  was so lonely out there.

Anyway I got caught, as any big boy on a bumpy course should, and slipped back into the bunch for a little bit of wheel sucking. DK and Bing took up duties near the front and I didn't see the wind again until a reasonable move was hanging in the wind, and the boys had been on the front for a while. I rolled up and set a steady tempo, closing the gap a little, then just ensuring it stayed constant. It was all good until a couple of fellows decided that was the perfect platform to take a flyer and suddenly I was deep in the box, scrabbling for wheels. Once I got my eyes uncrossed I decided to sit in for a bit.

I got a bit complacent sitting on wheels there, because time wasn't stopping, and soon C-grade was finished, leaving us with a clean course and not many laps to go. When the 3 laps sign came out for us, I was still around 20th, maybe even 30th, which is not ideal. Ideal position for the sprint is 2nd, with fresh legs, and covering 25odd wheels to get there does not make for fresh legs. So I looked for cheeky passing opportunities, slipping up the inside down the hill and pushing others off their hard earned wheel. I spotted Pat Drapac in about 5th, he's been featuring in the results with his brother Damo... wait, where is Damo? Coming through for the bell I soon spotted Damo on the left, he had spotted Patty, and just like that I had a free ride up the inside into the top few riders. I slotted in around 6th and mentally prepared myself. This was it, time to see how the sprint really feels at Kew.

I tipped into the corner, behind slipping tyres and carbon on tarmac rang out, I paused for half a moment at the exit while I processed the sound, and Patty got a free metre or two on me. I unleashed my legs, drawing back up towards the two Pat's Veg clad riders, but beyond them I could see the podium spots were covered by others. I pushed on to the line, crossing on their wheels. An envelope is going to have to wait until after I get back from Canada.

So my best results so far this year have been a 5th at SKCC and a 6th at HCC, both have come with some good power numbers. For instance tonight I put out my best end of race 1s effort (1,698W), and held on to most of that for 5 seconds (1,669W), almost matching the PB (1,686W) I set last year at the sprint eliminator. That's pretty awesome, the eliminator was on fresh legs, tonight I not only had 35 minutes of hard racing behind me, but last nights hard racing too. Oh well, time to move on, power numbers are great and all, but the numbers that truly matter are on envelopes, and on that front I'm a DNF.

Strava link.

D: 47.3km
A: 481m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 10 December 2013


I haven't talked about poo for a while, and I feel I might be letting the public down, so to keep everyone happy I provide for you this handy hyperlink to a different blog where poo was recently discussed. Klaus, not just good for Colombian cycling caps, but also for giggles from stories about emergency mid ride poos.

D: 10.8km
A: 62m

CCCC Crit - (Sandown):
It wasn't until I lined up at the rego desk that I realised I faced a hurdle that threatened to leave me on the sidelines. I only had a $50 note, and CCCC has very very strict policies on such things. So thanks to Alby for loaning me $20 so I could get an hour of quality suffering done.

It wasn't a great race for me, but it was pretty good training.I was able to bridge solo to a move that was trying to get across to the break, but they sat up just as I made contact. At another point, I pulled for a little bit to try and limit the break's lead, but got disheartened by a lack of organisation/help. Finally on the last lap I unloaded my legs up the back straight, to give others a tow up to, towards and through the shattered remnants of the break.

I felt a little off the pace today, and never had the feeling that the race deserved to be mine. That in itself is a bit of a come down after the way I've been feeling recently. It's done though, and that effort will stand me in good stead for the next race, so it's time to think about that instead.

In other news, Duncan Smith is a monster at the moment. The few times he unleashed his oversized legs the bunch chewed stem and many broke.

Strava link.

D: 96.7km
A: 555m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 9 December 2013


So after racing yesterday getting a few beers sounded like a great idea, sometime later, even more beers sounded like a great idea. At no point did I think losing my wallet a few days before flying out of the country would be a great idea, but I did that too.

Anyway, despite this flurry of activity, I was in bed pretty early, so was "awake" and "fresh" for northy this morning. I grabbed the CX bike, because rolling the easiest northy day on race wheels would be ridiculous, and worked up a sweat getting myself down in down. Thankfully that was the hardest part of the morning, once at the bunch I found Lucas Sproson and settled in for a chat.

Strava link.

D: 45.8km
A: 176m


D: 7.4km
A: 67m

PMPW: 96kg

Sunday, 8 December 2013


SKCC Crits:
Rush had a decent numbers for the race, so we set a few plans, and to my mild ire, I wasn't the designated sprinter. I still had a bit of latitude, and wanted to help out the boys aiming to get up the road in a break, so I decided to make the first move.

Darcy Wooley beat me to the punch, hitting it as we came out of neutral, so I bolted over to his wheel, and the two of us chopped off half lap turns for 4-5 laps before a slightly strung out bunch brought us back. It was a pity, we got a good 15-20 seconds up, and as we settled into solid tempo my legs were feeling good as I rolled my turns into the wind.

Anyway after we were caught I slipped back into the bunch for a sit, content that though the attacks were frequent, nothing was being given any leash. Tozer and CJ were ever present until about half an hour in when a group of about 8 went away DK's pink arse was in it, and at some points they were out of sight. I honestly thought that was the race done, and the question of who was to be our sprinter irrelevant.

I was wrong, the break wasn't working well together and about 10 minutes to go, they were caught, and the bunch sort of hesitated for a bit, then DK went again, this time solo.

The boys asked me to pull them to the front, so I did, then sat a few wheels further back with Rico. I wanted him covered in case he tried to kick clear. When a few others went into the void and were making steady progress on the bunch I moved up as we got given 3 laps, and was told to go. So I layed into the pedals for a lap, eating ground on the guys in the void, but after a quick check over my shoulder, I realised I'd lost my team and was myself dangling in the void.

I made a choice, I was going to try and chase down the 3 riders, take an ever so slight draught off of them, and keep going to the line. That was a painful choice. Coming through for the bell I was deeply in the box and had to take firm control of a few factors.

Pedal smooth!! Head up!

Around to the back of the course I was still gaining on the riders, but another glance back told me the bunch had started to really motor, and had caught me. So I sat up. I had no extra punch to give my team mates, so I got out the way.

Rolling in half a lap down on the bunch, I got some incredible news. Not only had Dave held on to take the win, but Richie had won the sprint for 2nd.

I'd had a good day on the bike, despite it not being what I'd hoped or planned for, and the team 1-2 just reinforced the grin. There are two, maybe three races left that I can do before I fly to Canada on Friday, and my confidence and motivation have never felt better.

Strava link.

D: 73.8km
A: 160m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 7 December 2013


Total Rush pre-loop - Sandringham - St Kilda East:
Wedding season will soon be upon us, which means it's bucks party season now. Today I had to get a ride done early so I could go shoot my mate Jem with paintballs.

I rolled the Total Rush pre-loop with DK, shoved a quick short macc in my face then rolled out with the regular shop ride. To ensure I was home in time I swung off at Sandi and gave my legs a quick TT effort to catch a bunch up the road, then took a lazy sit.

I didn't feel amazing through any of it, but it was early, and I didn't really have any motivation to hurt, so the real test for tomorrow's crit, will have to be tomorrow's crit.

Strava link.

D: 60.2km
A: 394m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 6 December 2013


CX Shenanigans:
I'm getting too predictable, when I told the boys I had a super special section of dirt for them, then giggled like a manic school girl, they all knew that that it was a steep climb awaited.

On one hand its good that I like hard / stupid stuff,on the other, I need to keep these boys guessing so I can get even more pleasure by surprising them with pinches that threaten to tear their legs off.

As such, I propose the following actions to maximise the humour utility of climbs. Either stop giggling entirely, or increase its use to include boring bike path. Either way, they need to be kept guessing!!

p.s. I possibly had too many coffees. I cant feel my face. Send help.

Strava link.

D: 37.4km
A: 346m


D: 13.5km
A: 76m

PMPW: 96kg

Thursday, 5 December 2013


Alright, so next week I head to Calgary for a bit of white Christmas action.

Am I excited? Totes.

Is a fuller realisation* of how cold -30c is starting to dawn on me. Shit yes.

Is that making me somewhat nervous. Oh my god, yes.

If I die, make sure my Ti King Cage's go to good homes. If the cause of my death is the rowing ergs I've asked DK and Youngie to set for me, then consider them bad homes.

D: 6.3km
A: 44m

PMPW: 95kg

* I imagine I'll get an even fullererer realisation once I actually feel it.

Wednesday, 4 December 2013


Note to self, remember to start the gps computer somewhere near where you start riding, otherwise you can only claim you rode 3.8km for a ride, and that's a bit embarrassment.

D: 3.8km
A: 71m

HCC Crits:
Covered the first move, then went solo for few laps. I was far from flying, but the bunch wasn't destroying my lead, so I kept on the pedals to give DK and Heggers a free ride for a while. 3, maybe 4 laps later I was swallowed back up. Counter attacks came, and Wilko touched my bum. He tried to make it seem like he was helping me get back to speed, but I know what he was really doing... copping a feel.

Anyway the race wasn't too exciting, a few guys described it as negative, I'd call it defensive. There was no large teams of guys present, so no one was willing to let others just ride up the road to victory without them. After the sprint came and went, we had a brief lull, then about 5-10 minutes to go the pace started to get hectic. Attacks came pretty much every lap, I rode near the front to help cover any moves that didn't contain DK or Heggers. I finally decided there were enough riders willing to chase things down, and thus I could take a sit, when we started to get our laps counted down.

I've said it before, that I want to have a red hot crack at the sprint at the HCC Crits. Dunny knows it, and today offered to help get me to the bottom corner. Over the top for the bell, he rolled up the right, calling to me before he rolled past. Perfect! I slipped onto his wheel as he rolled to the front. I tried to keep calm, to suppress the nerves and concentrate on what I needed to do. I needed to destroy myself from that bottom corner, and hold the throttle wide open until the top.

As we rolled down the descent to the bottom straight I casually shifted into my big ring, and casually threw the chain clear off it. I figured i had time to fix it, so shifted back and forth between the two trim settings only to find my chain fully locked up in the rear mech. Gutted, I rolled to the right of the road and watched the bunch flow on to the final corner and the subsequent sprint.

James, we're going to make one of these moves work mate. These little bastards have had it their way for too long!

Strava link.

D: 50.8km
A: 530m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 3 December 2013


6am NRR:
I sat in, thinking about the weekend, thinking about mountain biking this arvo, and thinking about (hopefully) racing tomorrow arvo. Obviously with that much thinking, I had little energy left to do anything but sit in, but to my credit, at some point while we headed southward, I realised my legs were working ok.

So I came through to the front as we cleared the Black Rock roundabout, I apologised to the dude on the front, then wound up my legs. I felt awesome, my cadence was great, my perceived effort was low, and in that I suppose I opened myself to a minor error. I kept the gear I was in for the flat for when I hit the second ramp, and thus lost a tiny bit of impetus. I wasn't too disappointed though, as when I eased left and turned to look, I found the bunch in 3 or 4 pieces. That'll do.

In other news Skinny was at the cafe, and is talking about making it back to Northy next week. With all his running and injury malarky it feels like forever since I've got to play shenanigans in bunches with him, so I'm looking forward to his return.

Strava link.

D: 46.8km
A: 189m


D: 15.3km
A: 101m

Smiths Gully Xmas Ride:
I don't quite understand how it got in there, but I found the stick below in my tyre.

It made a hole too big for sealant to fix, so I had to resort to my emergency tube, and chasing the bunch.

Eventually, after a while of trying to get into the flow on half remembered trails, I found the group again, and got the advantage of using other peoples lines and body positions to improve my groove.

A bunch of singletrack later, well past the point where the sun could be considered up, we rolled back to the carpark, jerseys stained with sweat like a set of Rorschach test cards, to eat hamburgers and tell jokes.

D: 32.9km
A: 828m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 2 December 2013


Feeling well used, and a baking northerly meant I had plenty of time to think about yesterday. The thoughts were a little more practical than the self flagellation that occurred in the afternoon, they were about how to organise an impromptu train.

So yesterday I was eager to sprint, and asked a few boys to help out in the last few laps. I asked Dunny and Lach specifically, but I think not specifically enough.

In a well oiled sprint train, even at the club level, it's understood by each rider what their job is. This is often described as a speed and or distance from the line. This certainty gives everyone confidence that they just need to do their job. A good example of this is the O2 boys, they've been running trains at SKCC for years, and delivering consistent results. This is where I think impromptu trains, specifically the ones I try to organise fail. They have even less certainty about roles.

The solution seems simple here and now. More communication, specifically about speed, bunch position and distance from the line. "Can you give me a hand" should instead be "Can you drop me off at 55 to the last corner?" or "Can you drag me to 5th wheel by the back sweeper?".

The same goes the other way, if I'm telling a bloke that I'll deliver them, I need to be a very specific about what that means.

The other option is to just run an organised train...

D: 15.7km
A: 63m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 1 December 2013


SKCC Crits:
In between coffees from Mick, I rolled with E and D grades, helping the riders and the club, but also getting my legs woken up and ready for my own race.

That's where this audio comes in, it's right after I got home, even before I went and found icecream to put in my face.

If you aren't seeing a little audio player above, you might need to refresh the browser.

Strava link.

D: 111.3km
A: 103m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 30 November 2013


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Morilla - Stony Creek - Pigeon Bank - Nicholas - Alma - School - Mine - Flat Rock - St Kilda East:
Steve has got himself a spot on the next Chain Reaction Victoria ride... which ironically will be in Tasmania. Anyway it's a pretty big week with a bunch of climbing and it's putting the fear of John Claxton into him and is thus keen to clock up some decent rides both horizontally and vertically. Queue me. My job is to suggest routes that combine a lack of cars, gorgeous scenery, and gradients that mean all you see is your stem. Today I came along, quite literally, for the ride.

I didn't want to destroy my legs, and thus my race tomorrow, but there was also no point in me sitting in the saddle for 5-6 hours an not exerting myself. So I picked a couple of solid roads to go full noise on, and for the rest I ensured Steve and Craig Peacock (who'd obviously joined us) stayed honest.

The two roads I chose in advance were Alma and Flat Rock.

On Alma I took over a minute off my PB (7:01 vs 8:04), which I set on a ride with the Stay True guys, and a further 16 seconds off one I did against Mat Gray, which until I checked Strava, I had assumed was the fastest I'd been up it.

On Flat Rock I went a bit hard to begin with, which I think cost me at the end. I started the first ramp at 800W, looking to dispatch Craig early. I stopped the clock 1 second after / slower than my previous best, set in November last year when Will Geor and I went hammer and tongs against each other.

A few bonus efforts, on Morilla/Kreuss and the final hill of Mt Pleasant saw me set not only PBs but put all bar a few other riders time to the sword, that's bloody satisfying.

6 paragraphs ago, I claimed I was the one setting the route, but we took a deviation to try a road Dave Collins had suggested to Steve. I believe it's been recently paved, and it includes a brutal kick 2/3 of the way up. School Rd near St Andrews climbs idyllically through the landscape, but around a corner, hidden by some trees it has a ramp that peaks over 20% lying in wait. This one has got to be done again with a bit of fire in the legs, hitting it at ITT speeds might just be enough to break me and make me cry.

Strava link.

D: 123.7km
A: 2,178m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 29 November 2013


No one was up for CX this morning, so I took a sleep in and the chance to drink a coffee in a cafe rather than takeaway, and committed myself to riding with Steve tomorrow.

D: 24.3km
A: 205m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Yesterday I had the day off work to run some errands north of town, today on my way home I ran into Brad Eastwick who's started working southside at knog on chapel.

I pulled up to say g'day, and my first reaction on finding he'd only been this side of the river since Tuesday, was to tell him where to get great coffee. He looked happy, and it took a moment to realise that not knowing a dozen good places to get a good cup around north Fitzroy yesterday was part of the slightly lost feeling I had.

For me this is sort of like racing. Wait... what?! Yeah, stick with me a moment, I'll see if I can justify that statement. In a new race or on new terrain, unless you are leagues ahead of everyone else, information is king. You need to be able to use your energy efficiently, and feel assured that you're doing so while you're doing it. In a race, knowing where you can get a good wheel, or even just when you're going to need one, can be the difference between being pack fodder and collecting a small white envelope.

The last couple of races I've panicked a little and gone early, either because I thought I had no chance, or because I didn't have a feeling for the timing of the end. Next week I'll be slightly better armed with knowledge. I know more about my competitors, I've reinforced how the courses and race styles play out.

D: 4.9km
A: 36m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 27 November 2013


I don't know if I didnt sleep until 2am, but I know I rolled over at one point, stared at my clock glowing with a single digit hour number, and wasnt sure either way. 3 hours of sleep sounded like a horrendous way to get ready for the HCC crit tonight, so I changed my alarm for 7am and tried to find slumber.

I woke up at 5:10am without my alarm, and my mind was alert, and Northy seemed like a good idea, basically the complete opposite to how yesterday morning unfolded. So I got up, put on kit and rolled out the door to see what the legs had to offer.

The answer was not a huge amount, but they still worked. I sat in for the whole trip, chatting with Wilko and DK on the way down, and following wheels fairly easily on the way back. Well.... it was fairly easy until Brighton beach when DK rolled from somewhere off the back to the front of the bunch and wound up the pace on his TT rig. I knew it was coming, and I switched up both mental and physical gears... but it still hurt. I slowly worked my way forward, passing 1 rider at a time, sometimes to cover a small gap, sometimes pushing them off their wheel. Lights towards the end of Ormond Esplanade that split the bunch cleanly a couple of riders behind DK and couple of riders in front of me meant I could sit up and stop wondering if I should try and sprint.

Strava link.

D: 46.4km
A: 181m

HCC Crit:
Ah crits, my legs were tender, I was tired, and I predicted that none of that would matter once the race started. I was right.

A big and quality packed field started, Alby and Nathan Hass were the biggest names, but the Drapac brothers, Roh and Smax from Tarket Trek, Lew Rattray, Ty Chambers, a crew of Bike Gallery boys (hi Ricky), a squad of Malaysian, and the never to be underestimated Ned Powell were all there. Thankfully it wasn't all blokes to race against, I had one more than capable fella on my side. Bing.

I covered the first move, then slid back and felt guilty in the bunch while Bing stayed active near the front. When something got given a bit of latitude and Bing was looking tired, I'd roll up and give chase for a lap to bring the bunch back within sniffing distance. I feel that you don't need to get on to the wheel, as merely the close presence of the bunch is enough to stop the motivation in most breaks. At one point I got away myself, I forget if I started the move or if I bridged up to one, but we rolled for a few laps in the oppressive heat and humidity before the bunch brought us back in.

Around 20 minutes into the 32+3lap race Bing got clear by himself. The bunch wasn't keen to let anyone get across to him, so we had a good 10 minute period of attack / lull / counter-attack racing. I moved myself up and covered moves. When I found myself on the front I pedalled in a way that ensured I was recovering for the next attack, all the while hoping that Bing would finally get completely out of sight. Sadly it never happened and the repeated attacks in the bunch ate into his lead. On the final 3 laps I went from being in 2nd or 3rd wheel of a select group in the gap between the bunch and Bing, to realising that he was going to be caught, and so would we.

On that final lap the bunch swarmed along the bottom. Bing was caught and I was facing a bunch sprint out of that bottom corner. All I knew is that I needed to be in the first few wheels, so I attacked. A couple of others went hard inside of me, and at the corner I was forced wide and saw my chances vanish. I knew it would have been a hard ask to sprint well, I was already at 210bpm before the corner, but I was going to have a go.

I feel like I deserve an envelope soon. I just have to get myself into the right position at the end of a race and the rest feels inevitable.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 454m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 26 November 2013


I pushed my alarm back an hour so I could skip Northy, but still go for a coffee. CBFs and nerves about tonight are rife.

After a couple of coffees, which I now believe hit me harder if I dont ride, I took my excess energy to Airlie Bank Lane in Richmond and shaved another second off my PB up the cobbles. It's both bouyed my confidence and alerted De Luca to the fact, and it may now turn into a ridgy didge KOM off.

D: 18.0km
A: 134m

CCCC Crit - Sandown:
As I sat around trying to wind down post racing I made these audio notes. As I'm lazy I'm posting the mp3 rather than typing it out.

If you aren't seeing a little audio player above, you might need to refresh the browser.

Strava link.
D: 100.0km
A: 543m

PMPW: 95kg

*edit* lols, uploaded the wrong file before. fixed now.

Monday, 25 November 2013


Alright, this year I've raced two races that have scared me to think about, Glenvale and HCC Kew, now it's time to complete the trifecta and head to Sandown. The last time I was there was when I won B-grade a couple of years ago. JLS had had the bump to A earlier in the season and despite doing some serious training, was getting hooped.

D: 11.4km
A: 68m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 24 November 2013


The rain was already falling when I woke up, there was nothing on social media to say crits had been called off, but I knew they would, it was as obvious as the result of the Ashes first test.

So I hung out on the couch, watching Australia play Scotland in the rugby. If you're even partially aware of how much vegemite I eat, you'd know I'm a fairly proud aussie. What you might not know is I hold a Scotish... ok UK... ok EU passport as well as my blue Aussie one, so my loyalties were ever so slightly pulled in opposing directions.

This has nothing to with training though, mostly because there was none. I had the ever so slightest upper respiratory cough, and even when the rain cleared in the afternoon, I'd already decided to stay in tracky dacks and a big jumper.

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 23 November 2013


St Kilda East - Slack Rock - St Kilda East:
Sometimes I dislike my way of labelling each day's activities, it beats any short story I type to the punch. Though to be fair today's activities involved no punch at all, so I guess the point is moot.

I rolled down early to Black Rock to get a pre Hell Ride coffee. The forecast was for showers and rain later in the morning, and the radar looked pretty good, so I left my rain jacket at home. By the time I got to Sandi I was concerned I'd made a poor choice, but figured hiding under the Sandi pub until the current rain passed would see me right for the rest of the day.

I was right until Blackrock, but sometime between ordering my 3/4 flat white  and finishing it, the rain settled in and the only think leaving the cafe at 7am was my motivation to ride. I ordered another coffee.

Strava link.

D: 39.4km
A: 87m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 22 November 2013


CX Shenanigans:
I thought it was just going to be little Mick from Rush and I, which I suppose isn't all that bad, he laughs easily and carves corners, but just below the pump track we spied Courtenay and made a 3.

Feeling a little feisty I picked out some steep hills to send us up, and then out to the Bourke Rd footbridge before back into town and my 2nd and 3rd coffees for the morning. on

I've been rolling tubeless vitorria cx tyres for a bit, and though the side knobs of the XG pattern may not be perfect (they slide a bit earlier than they should), tubeless was a godsend today given how exposed a lot of rocks have gotten. When you could find space between them everything was amazingly fast, but if not care and consideration was required.

I'd like to try a few more true tubeless (or tubeless ready) tyres, so if you'd rolled anything that tickles your fancy, let me know. I think next up I might see if I can find some kenda slant six.

Strava link.

D: 42.0km
A: 466m


D: 8.4km
A: 44m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 21 November 2013


6am NRR:
Last Sunday, as I rolled out from SKCC crits, Rick Horvat said he wanted to do Northy on Thursday (today) and get a coffee/breakfast after. At the time I knew it'd be tough to back up the planned HCC crit on Wednesday night, but I like the bloke so agreed in what is the trademark of past me.

So yeah, last night I got home after drilling myself into a hole on Yarra St and set my alarm for 5:10. I rolled out from home at 5:45, and from the corner of North Rd and Napean Hwy at at 6:00. It wasn't until we got back to St Kilda that I got a chance to chat to Rick. He was feeling peppy and rolled turns all day, I was in mental and physical fog and just followed wheels, thanking my lucky stars that it wasn't too fast.

All said and done though, it was good to get out, the weather held out for us, the bit of water on the road was only enough to add a slight layer of filth to my shiny bike. DK met us at Luna Park and the three of us rolled back up to Chapel st to smash a couple of coffees and some grub. 

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 193m


D: 10.7km
A: 67m

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 20 November 2013



D: 5.7km
A: 46m

St Kilda East - Yarra St x 15 - St Kilda East:
When I rolled out of home on my way to the HCC crits there were a few spots of rain, and a forecast for increasing precipitation density as the evening progressed. I wasn't confident that racing would be on. As I rolled up Chapel st I considered my options, I'd queued up the boys for an ergo session as a backup, but I figured there might be another option. Yarra St repeats.

I was surprised when D and B grades were sent off to start racing, but sure enough a few minutes later they were pulled and all racing was called off. I told rounded up a small posse of riders to come round the boulevard for some hard training, waited while a few offloaded bags at the bottom, then set off hard for 15 trips up and around.

I crested the turn into Studley Ave first, eased off the legs to let others catch up so we could form a bit of a group, and then swore when DK rolled past hard. At the time I thought he was a jerk for attacking, but in hindsight it was a counter attack to my own move. I picked him up next lap as we hit Yarra st again, but soon realised that I couldn't continue to play at his average pace. I dropped back, letting Richie from Artisan to play with him, and instead started playing with another rider who may or may not have been a Braunstein (seriously I'm not sure).

Around lap 6-8 I hit a bit of an emotional black hole. My body was telling me stories, my speed had dropped enough that I was struggling with traction in my lowest gear, and DK was well out of sight. By this point pretty much every other rider had pulled the pin, so I was riding solo in a world of hurt. I was there to train though, so quitting or shortcutting was never an option, I'd been prepared to do this circuit solo, so who cared if I was alone? It was around that point I realised I'd been dropping my head up the climb. I'd taken my eye off the goal, so the next few laps I made a point of keeping my head up high, staring down first the the corner, then the roundabout, and finally the crest.

My moods lifted, suddenly I was two thirds of the way through, then I caught sight of a pink clad rider. I struggled to work out who it was. All I knew for sure was it couldn't be DK, I figured he was a danger to lap me. I was wrong though. Wrong in a good way. It was DK, and I quickly closed to his wheel and found a him entering a bonk that got deeper as we closed out the last couple of laps. I left him on the final ascent, emptying my legs, pushing power that 6 laps ago had seemed impossible.

The data tells me I hit previous, or set new power PBs for 31 through to 65 seconds and I couldnt be happier. Well, maybe after a nap I'll be even happier, because right now I'm fair jiggered.

Strava link.

D: 49.1km
A: 1,080m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


6am NRR:
Last night I called that I'd be hitting Blackrock-Sandi hill on Northy this morning. I did so hoping my legs would be a bit fresher after another nights sleep, but they still felt stiff and underpowered.

I hoped that a bit of an effort would loosen things up, so I rolled up the bunch just after we rolled out, flicking Youngie clear for his favourite time of the day, when he can get some time off the front and force others to chase. After that I sat in and tried to spin, when we rolled into Blackrock I still wasn't confident, but I'd opened my fat mouth yesterday and comitted myself to what was about to occur. I rolled onto the back of the working group, getting to the front just as the gradient eased upwards, I apologised to CJ as instead of rolling nicely over him I ramped up the pace. Soon life sucked and I was fighting my inner daemons to get through the headwind and onto the second ramp. I ungraciously exploded shortly after making the second ramp, dropping all the way to the back of the bunch to feel sorry for myself.

As we got towards Brighton and my mind turned to the sprint I found Nicky Whitburn and told her in no uncertain terms that she was to hold my wheel. This committed me to another effort, and ensured she did too. Youngie, with a bit of cajoling, got me past Glen Huntly, then I rolled into the headwind and worked to increase the pace all the way to 150m to go. Nicky kicked, one guy came over her, and everyone else got chicked.

I should thank DK, Youngie, Tozer, Leaper and Dan Moore for dragging the bunch around all morning while I sat in gold class a dozen or two riders back.

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 200m

It was such a gorgeous morning that even with shitty legs I wanted to just roll past work and keep riding in the warm morning sun. I didn't though, I went to work though, because if I rode any more I was likely to drink more coffee, and if I drank any more coffee I would probably not be able to feel my face (again). I haven't researched that symptom on google, but I'm sure it's either a sign of just a scootch too much caffeine, or that I have lupus and cancer.

D: 5.6km
A: 36m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 18 November 2013


Its possible, that riding standing up for 10km through trails yesterday, was not good for me. I'm not 100% certain, but I'm fairly sure that the ache in my legs is from that. The ache in my arms and hands are from picking the crummiest lines for myself when I didnt have anyone else's to follow.

Anyway, the weather was nice, so I rolled the Monday northy bunch with a few dozen others. Content to let a couple of blokes tow us the whole way round back to St Kilda and now opened cafes.

Strava link.

D: 44.1km
A: 150m

I got some extras after work too, partially because my legs hurt, partially because it was still a gorgeous day, and mostly because with 10km total I knew I'd clock up 17,000km for the year.

D: 12.3km
A: 66m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 17 November 2013


SKCC Crits:
I rolled in early to marshal e grade. I was kitted with big wheels and white socks, stuff that speaks of intention, and yet I was rolled convincingly by half a dozen blokes in the sprint.

Not disheartened I lined up straight after for d grade. I was feeling good, able to follow attacks when they went, but worried I was going to be DQ'd for jumping on b grade every time they went past I pulled the pin before the sprint and hit up Mick for a ristretto.

A grade was the final chance I had to get myself an envelope. There were 3 sprints on offer, but I wanted to feature at the end, so let others dampen their legs going for the early cash. Lui and Jake were up front working the breaks, which left me able to sit in and wait for a possible sprint finish.

Pre race we talked about setting up a train for the last half lap to go toe to toe with O2, but for the 2nd week in a row 3 laps was called at 55 minutes with no 5+3 forewarning. I made the decision to freelance the sprint and found myself in a great spot coming round for the last lap. I was on Andy Naylor and he was behind Duncan Smith. I though it odd, Andy usually leads out Dunc, but whatever, I was in about 6th wheel coming round the back, no one was coming up the outside, I was thinking about how to hit the last corner. Then, as we started into the long bend, Andy eased off Dunc's wheel. The gap was easy enough to close, but I still called him a jerk as I went past. Post race he claimed it wasn't the move of a sweeper, but I'll make sure he pays for it none the less.

Anyway, I hit the sprint with the best legs and best position I've had in a couple of years. Shannon punched it just before the corner with someone on his wheel. I took a widish line and went up the right, passing a couple of riders, fighting to hold onto 4th, fighting to hold off a rider edging up on my right. I threw for the line, but knew he'd got it, and as blood returned to my brain I realised it was Richie, my team mate.

Sadly, I assume due to the primes, they only paid to 3rd. I'm still happy about 5th though, my actual kick was a measly 1,390W. The power for the 10 seconds from the corner to the line wasn't too bad (1,261W) but I'd like to hit it harder for those first 2 or 3 pedal strokes from the corner, to close some gaps in front or open some behind.

Strava link.

D: 111.4km
A: 115m

Bing wanted some dirt, and in my tired state post racing I was unable to come up with a reason not to join him. 3 hours, where I was shown how poor my line choice and feel for my tyres has become. Rode so much better when I followed him, though some modifications to allow for my 26" hardtail vs his 29" duallie were made.

Bing's mate Andy snapped a bolt in his seatpost at the point furthest from the cars as possible. We laughed, then we searched our bikes for a sacrificial m4 bolt to fix it, before finally turning for home. After some initial joking it was decided that Bing and I would ride standing to keep things fair. By the time we climbed back up to the car I had a visceral need to use my saddle for it's intended purpose. I'd even avoided too much hopping as I feared the slight touch of the seat before the launch might be too much temptation to resist.

Andy safely back at his Subaru, Bing and I refilled bottles and went out for a few extra trails in the late afternoon light. The snap had certainly been beaten out of my legs, but outrageously loose cornering by kept us both smiling and laughing.

Strava link.

D: 40.7km
A: 710m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 16 November 2013


Hell Ride:
I was surprised how easy the pace was on the way down. It was probably the southerly we were heading into, but I never stuck my nose out far enough to find out for sure. I hit the front once to close a split caused by a red light, but otherwise I followed wheels and enjoyed a gorgeous morning after a week of rain. As we approached Frankston I started to worry that I'd been to passive, and that my legs would refuse to cooperate when we hit Olivers and I chased riders.

Worry melted as we hit the incline, I slipped past everyone and made my way over to the two individuals who'd scooted clear. Making contact on the false flat, I rolled straight through and kept the power on, intent on making the bunch chase for as long as possible. One of the guys took a quick sit then came through to get us down the other side, but it was not to be, we got caught near the bottom of the second roller. Duggan says he did the job, but I'm not convinced a northsider could achieve such a feat, and so assume he was relaying a story from someone else.

The pace home was pretty solid, a tail wind and a group of enthusiastic blokes meant we averaged over 47km/h from Frankston back to Mordi. Will Walker hit it hard just before Rickets creating a gap on and a panic in the bunch. I trusted that others would control the gap, and searched for a good wheel, eventually finding myself behind a couple of the Croydon trackies. Sadly I let myself be distracted by some shenanigans as we came round the corner and out of the dip. I was jolted out of my complacence by Jez Hunt blitzing past with Rico in tow, that spelt the end for my chances, so I rolled it in with soft pedals.

Strava link.

D: 101.2km
A: 430m

Vareel needed some people to stand around so he could test some new camera kit (I assume either a new strobe or umbrella). So I rolled myself up to rush and flexed the latter part of my rider slash model job title.

I hope he's good with photoshop.

D: 10.7km
A: 60m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 15 November 2013


NRR (TTT pacing):
I rolled outside the bunch chatting to Leigh until around Southland, then a little while later, when the TT boys decided it was time to make happy happy leg times, I jumped on their tail and settled in for a solid TTT pacing session.

Other than the tradie that veered from the right lane into our path around Brighton, there isn't much about the riding to note. What is of note is that I hit similar heart rates at similar points to both the recent Bak Pocket, and TKM rides... both of which popped me. This begs the question, was the issue then just mental?

There's an old saying "it never get's easier, you just go faster". I think i fall into the trap this aims to avoid. As I start finding some form, I expect it to be easy. For me it might be a simpler process,  and lets face it, when you're hurting simple mental things are best, to think of it as "it never get's easier, you just get more reward for your pain".

Strava link.

D: 43.8km
A: 163m


D: 7.6km
A: 43m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 14 November 2013


I hit the lake after work, today was slated as an easy day, but the mere 5-6km round trip of my commute isn't enough to spin out the damage of previous hard sessions.

As I rolled along easy a cross bike with a Stay True kit clad rider whipped past. I couldn't just let Stewy ride clear, so I chased him down and halfwheeled him until we were back down to talking pace. It seems you can take the boy out of a crit, but you can't take the crit out of the boy.

D: 12.1km
A: 67m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 13 November 2013



D: 6.9km
A: 37m

I convinced Bones to do an ergo session given that HCC Crits were cancelled. He was set for a bunch of 4 minute efforts, I did a modified version of what I did last time. I set all my target power numbers at 85% of my 6 week max instead of the 80% of last time. I also dropped the 2min and 30sec efforts in favour of multiple 10sec efforts with minimal recovery.

1 x 5 min E1
1 x 7 sec BGSS : 2min
1 x 7 sec HCLR : 3min
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10 min @ 362W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5 min @ 377W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 1 min @ 626W
1 x 4min E1
1 x 10 sec @ 1,094W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10 sec @ 1,094W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10 sec @ 1,094W
1 x 5min E1

I hit all my numbers bar the 362W I had for the 10 minute interval. I achieved 355W, a case of my mind wandering a bit and thus not keeping the legs on task.

As predicted, the sprint efforts left me a bit nauseous, but I'm happy I was able to hit 1,182W, 1,101W, and 1,159W average respectively, with the first effort maxing out at 1,488W.

Strava link.


PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 12 November 2013


TKM Full Noize:
I had heard that the TKM boys roll south easy, and north hard. I underestimated both levels of intensity. Well, maybe not the way south. Sitting in was a piece of pie, but hitting the front and pushing the southerly out of the way for everyone else took some going.

There was a little speech at Mordi, and a decision that the right hand line of riders would do 58.6km/h. The latter sounded like a joke, but it wasn't, we totally rolled up to 58-59 klicks then held that steady until we hit the hills.

Me? I pulled the first few rounds of turns, then sat in, then drifted back slightly, then lost the wheel, then got back on due to lights, then drifted back again, then covered a gap, then created my own gap, then created a blog post written like a 4th grader's "what did you do on the holidays" homework.

Thought wasn't really an option for me after those first few turns. Any mental energy I had was put towards trying to be smooth and efficient to help holding the wheel. Eventually though, it was just all too much and through the golden mile I blew off the back of the still storming bunch.

Two rides along beach road, and two DNFs. It makes me want to slink back to North road so I can feel strong again, but really the behaviour should be to ride more with these two groups to get some really high speed work, and improve rather than stagnate.

Strava link.

D: 51.6km
A: 213m


D: 24.9km
A: 179m

Brunswick Tuesday Track:
Tomorrow doesn't look promising for racing, the forecast rain will likely wash out the crit, and leave me down a session this week. So a plan was hatched to do track tonight as a just in case. I think that was half the problem I had mentally, I was just there to get some riding done, not to punish myself and it showed.

I got boxed in at the end of the scratch race, meaning I had no chance of the sprint and thus just sat up with 200m to go.

I had on a big gear for the Win and out / Elimination race, because I thought we were getting a keirin. So I went to the front and wound up the pace for everyone else, trying to see if I could do the full 8 laps on the front... only to realise that I had needlessly held back, due to it being 4 laps to the Win and out sprint.

In the motorpace I felt alright, ending up in 3rd wheel when the bike pulled off, but I didn't have any legs left to go with DK to the sprint. In a sense, though I had the least chance of making a mark on this race, it was the one I did best in, because it's the one I reached a physical limit. It would have been better if I beat my head against that limit, tried to push it out a bit, but it was late and I was tired.

Strava link.

D: 34.7km
A: 51m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 11 November 2013


I could have done with an extra coffee today, but otherwise it was just a regulation Monday.

No hard training, a complete misjudge of the weather, and a chance to plan out the week's activities.

D: 6.4km
A: 26m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 10 November 2013


SKCC Crits:
I got up when my body decided to wake up and put on kit with marginally more energy than yesterday. I didn't bother putting big wheels into my bike, it was probably going to rain and I was pretty sure I'd have zero legs. I was wrong on both counts.

I got to the crits in time to watch the last half of C-grade, and then B-grade racing. I had half a plan to marshal, but instead sat around drinking coffee chatting to mates. A strong flat white later, I hired myself a race number and pinned it to my hot pink Rush jersey. I wasn't convinced, but you'll never never know, if you never never go.

As B-grade sprinted for the line I got myself a short macchiato, slammed it down. The extra caffeine and getting on to the course changed my mental attitude. I was going to get aggressive early!

As I was winding up the mind and legs into the start of the first live lap, 3 or 4 others hit it up the right side of the road. They'd stolen my game! Never mind, I might not get credit for starting the shenanigans, but I could sure as hell play along. We got a small gap, then we baulked, then Wilko got to the front and ripped out a hard lap. The guy on his wheel wasn't looking too keen, so I prepared to repeat Wilko's effort, part of which was checking where the bunch was. The bunch was now right on our wheels. Shit.

The counter attack came pretty much instantly, and I was engulfed. I sat in for a bit, watching attack after attack go off the front only to be closed down.

That's pretty much how it went until the last few laps, when a sprint became assured. Unfortunately there was no 5 min + 3 laps sign, and I didn't see the 3 laps sign, so was caught out of place when guys started swarming to the front. I tried to move myself into a good position to freelance the sprint, but it got really messy and coming around the back straight on the final lap I decided to sit up. I was at best in 15th wheel, so well out of contention, and thus saw no point to risk injury for nothing.

This has left me with mixed emotions.

I'm pretty pleased I had legs given the no show of yesterday. I was able to move up and cover gaps reasonably easily all day, even on 32 spoke box section wheels.

I'm a little bit dark that I felt able to have an influence on the race, or even to contest it... and I achieved absolutely nothing, it wasn't even great from a training perspective. I basically donated $15.

Strava link.

D: 65.0km
A: 107m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 9 November 2013


St Kilda East - Brighton - St Kilda East:
I did not feel the love this morning, but I followed the tried and true process to get myself out the door. Do each small task required, and don't think about the the next one until you've finish... and never think about what it's all leading to, until it's too late.

Anyway, I rolled out the door into the early morning gloom, made even gloomier by some patches of cold drizzle. The legs felt dead, so I worked on another tried and true system, cadence. I clicked up my cassette and tried to get them spinning through freely, instead I just rode slower. Cadence higher than 80rpm eluded me, and a quick check revealed that power was eluding me to. I was barely getting over 200W.

I was intending to do the Hell Ride, but at mirror mountain in Brighton, I pulled a big U-turn and called it a day. Thanfully the roads were quiet and I only ran into two people I knew, Lee and Alison.

Strava link.

D: 14.9km
A: 71m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 8 November 2013


Bak Pocket Express:
I asked Youngie if I could hook up with his Friday morning crew for some beach road shenanigans. Of course the answer was yes, I'm pretty awesome after all, and who wouldn't want me along for a roll?

I co-opted DK to come along, his first semi serious ride after a bit of a pasting by an infection. We were running late so had to haul arse to make it to Port Melbourne at the ungodly hour the ride started. I distinctly remember thinking that I was glad that pain was done, and glad that it was likely the worst pain I'd feel today. Oh how wrong I was.

The ride rolled hard, two up, down to Mentone. Dave and I were together and pulled between Brighton and Blackrock. I was concerned at how eager Youngie looked, but I've played with him enough to know if you weather the initial enthusiasm it's not too bad.

Into Reserve Road, a place I knew the boys would be having a crack, I jumped onto Dave's wheel as he made a point to Youngie. I got a free tow to the win and a renewed confidence that I was one of the fitter boys in the bunch. We rolled back to Blackrock, then the pain started.

The group is pretty much 100% rowers and ex rowers, and they were smacking off some brutal track turns. I looked down at one point and saw 181bpm, and all I was trying to do was hold a wheel, not push my own air. I pulled the chute after one turn along Ormond Esplanade, waiting for the few guys that had pinged off the back, to ensure I went to the right cafe.

Strava link.

D: 60.8km
A: 204m


D: 4.9km
A: 40m

The pain of this massage surpassed what I endured this morning on the bike. Nervous laughter, sympathetic sweats, biting my tongue to feel some sense of control over the pain in my body... it was all there.

Trying not to tense tired and sore muscles as thumbs, forearms and elbows were raked through them was particularly difficult. In the end I tried to push the muscle(s) back into the pressure, ensuring it was the opposing muscle that was working.

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 7 November 2013


I spent some time with my massage stick and foam roller this morning, because my appointment with Andy makes me as nervous as HCC's Crit does.

I like the less shock and gore tone of this new TAC ad. It's aimed at our motorised two wheel bretheren, but given the stacks a few mates have had recently, it's been hitting fairly close to home for me.

D: 6.4km
A: 37m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 6 November 2013



D: 5.2km
A: 62m

HCC Crit:
My legs were still tender from yesterday as I lined up to register, this worried me. The standard stuff, this crit is hard enough when fresh, will me legs be able to go? Will my heart and lungs be able to deliver oxygen? Can I hang on to the end? Can I be of use to Bing?

Oh yeah, then there was the fear about the fitness of the bunch. Having Bing turn up was both awesone, and scary. On one hands he's a mate and team mate, on the other the boy is a freak on a bike with a penchant for making things painful on hills.

I dont remember when I stopped worrying, probably on the first lap, because I'd promised Bing I'd be aggressive early to give him a sit and let him assess who he was racing against. The first few laps I sat in, others were pinging off the front, and yet more dudes were chasing them down. I ended up covering 2 reasonable moves, kicking hard enough to make those on my wheel hurt, but not drop them.

I like the way that riders up the road stop pedalling when they see the bunch coming hard at their wheels. My job wasn't to get clear, it was to ensure no one else did. That said, I would like to get to the fitness point where I can attack hard enough to get clear, and still have something left to settle into a tempo, rather than attack and explode.

Some time after the sprint Bing skipped clear with Alby and I got to sit in the bunch and watch as dudes killed themselves trying to get across in ones and twos only to be chased down or explode in limbo. I set myself for the bunch kick for 6th, coming into the bottom corner in 2nd... only to have my chain derail off the big ring as I kicked hard out of the corner. Oh well, the sprint was for giggles, they pay first 4, so it's not like I had a chance at anything other than a final statement of where my fitness is.

Strava link.

D: 54.5km
A: 535m

PMPW: 96kg

Tuesday, 5 November 2013


6am NRR - Devils Elbow - St Kilda East:
I had several plans for today, all of which revolved around the central concept of riding with mates. When the extravagant plans fell through, I took myself to North Road for the 6am bunch, then had a loose plan to have a coffee and do some hills (possibly repeats) somewhere.

I spent the trip down and part of the trip back having a chat to Lach. Eventually I found myself in a position where it was impossibly not to pull a turn, which soon lead to Lach and I trying to destroy the bunch up the Blackrock/Sandi hill. Lach got me to halfway, I rolled off his wheel and turned the legs from stun to kill. Up my outside, out of the saddle, Jez Hunt slowly progressed. I was exceedingly pleased with myself that I was able to catch his wheel, already grinning at the idea that I was going to get a quick break before pipping him for the top. Then I realised he had backed into me, taking the pace out of my move. I had been too stuck in my winning fantasy to realise, and when I finally did, it was too late.

The other thing that happened was I found myself a hilly post NRR ride. Lach was heading to Mt Dandenong with a few of the Artisan boys, and I asked to tag along.

We took North Rd to get ourselves east. It was a pleasant change from High st as it's far far flatter. As we rolled it was decided we'd begin with Devils Elbow, then some of us would head for home while the rest continued elsewhere to enjoy the gorgeous weather that Melbourne was putting on for Pony Day.

Even without DK, I had the same nervousness as we rolled towards the turn off of Burwood Hwy. Lach hit it from the entrance to the 1,000 steps car park. The pace being set by the others seemed a bit slow to minimise the damage, so I rolled off the wheel in front of me and started to set my own tempo. I caught his wheel on the ramp to the elbow, only to have the other boys who'd hitched a ride on my wheel rolled over the pair of us, leaving me last wheel.

Around the elbow Dan Pickering attacked, and the bunch started to splinter. I lost a little bit of ground as everyone scrambled to respond, I was now behind a gap behind a few riders I'd expected to beat. I checked all my numbers (Cadence, HR, Power) and realised that it was unlikely I could do more, so I just tried to hold the best cadence I could, and keep pedalling smooth.

I slowly pegged back riders, chasing down all bar Dan, Noffy and Ritchy. It took a final surge to dislodge Lach, and that surge left no doubt that I'd done all I could. As we descended the 1 in 20 and rode back along North Rd, I began to wonder how fast I'd ridden in. There'd been no wind to slow us down, and I'd slowly lifted my intensity all the way to the top. Finding out I'd slashed almost a minute off my previous PB and set some new peak power numbers for 14:30 - 17:30 had to wait until after coffee and 2nd breakfast.

Strava link.

D: 131.8km
A: 1,100m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 4 November 2013


I popped down to the bay for a few extras before work, the tail wind along the beach let the legs come through easier and gave a reassuring sense of speed.

D: 14.6km
A: 81m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 3 November 2013


SKCC Crits:
I rolled in early to help out with e-grade, thankfully it was a relatively small bunch, and I assume they were mostly well behaved, but I can't be sure as I sat on the front being a pacer for all bar the final 200m. At that point the 5-6 guys who'd managed to hang on when I wound it out, went for the line.

It was nice to have a small group, because the quick debrief at the end about what the club is trying to achieve with e-grade and how to move up to proper racing was easy to handle.

That was all just helping new riders, SKCC, and Total Rush, which while good, wasn't the reason I had 68mm tubular wheels on my bike. Racing a-grade was, and after a brief period of rain before the race, 30-40 guys and a few girls rolled out to see who had brought good legs, and who hadn't.

I continued with the theme of recent races, where by I ride aggressively early on to flush out riders who're feeling feisty, and to take the pressure of my team mates. Like the Coburg crit of a few weeks ago I hit it as soon as the neutral section was over, because it seemed like fun.

I had another crack or two soon after, only settling back a bit when I spotted DK's pink arse up the road. Bing took up camp in the first half dozen wheels, making sure nothing was going anywhere without him, so I slid back for a short breather, before starting to be cheeky with the bunch. I chased a couple of moves, and opened a lot of gaps, all with the aim of taking the sting out of other's legs.

The time gaps called by Bones from the sidelines hovered between 30 and 40 seconds, fluctuating as riders tried to get across the gap in ones or twos, only to fail in the southerly wind and come back to a bunch that never organised itself into a concerted chase.

As we came through for the bell, the gap was 12 seconds, so I put myself near the front in case it came together and a sprint for the win was needed. Coming into turn 2, I heard a "Neil, yep!" from behind, someone wanted the best leadout in the bunch, but it was too early for me to commit to anything. I had to know that DK was clear to the line. The riders in front of me tired and swung leaving me on the front out of turn 3, so while my eyes scanned up the road, assessing if the two riders were coming backwards fast, I eased off the pedals slightly and backed into the bunch. As soon as I was sure they were free to fight each other without us coming into play I went hard up the right of the road. I hoped to shake as many riders as I could, roll into the final corner clear and have a chance at the 3rd place spot myself. 5-10 seconds into the effort I could tell there were riders on my wheel, so I paced the effort to finish just after the final corner, to launch whomever was feeling feisty at the line. Inside pedal up, ready to turn in SJ gave me a "swing wide" instruction, so I did, leaving him a clear line to take out 3rd.

Dave ended up with the win, Will Walker didn't put up a fight for it, after what would have been a tough day in the saddle for both. Finally being of use to SJ was also pretty cool, as I've been promising him a good wheel into a sprint since May.

Strava link.

D: 89.1km
A: 184m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Hell Ride:
It was a fairly decent sized bunch, I dunno, maybe 60-70 riders, so I endeavoured to keep myself forward. I rolled a few turns, I sat in for a bit, and I helped chase down a break of 6-8 guys that was getting some slack off the front. Granted a set of lights did most of the work there, but my legs still hurt for a bit, so it's going on my list.

The main aim was to hit the hills, see what the Kew crits and more rest has done to my legs. The short of it is good things. I was well back hitting the bottom, and despite being fairly vocal about what I wanted other riders to do (get out of my way), I had to stall my pedalling a couple of times before I finally got a clear run to chase down everyone. I do mean everyone. Over the top, the false flat bit I caught the two that had scarpered, rolling over them to draw out the bunch for as long as possible. I felt it was important to ensure everyone got some quality training in. I'm a giver you see.

From there through to Mt Eliza I sat pretty a dozen or so riders back, covering dropped wheels and getting ready to hit out to the final crest past Canadian Bay. I doubted I was going to take the win, I wasn't cruising easy, but I was excited to be having a crack rather than being unceremoniously spat like a few times ago.

On the way home, I once again kept forward before trying to set up some mates for the bunch kick. I had to cover a move a bit earlier than I'd hoped, and during the moment where I caught them and hesitated to decide what next to do, Gerro unleashed and showed me the true difference between a club a grader and an elite athlete.

Strava link.

D: 108.1km
A: 398m

DDCX - Spooky Cross:
I finished with a bunch of 3rds and a 1st, in what is fundamentally racing where results don't matter. I suppose the fact that I know these places says a lot about me.

The course was contained completely within the Brunswick velodrome,  but due to more tight turns than you could poke bunting at, each lap still took around 3 minutes.

Leading into the 3rd race of the day, I'd just got a burger and some chips from a food van, when someone asked if the race about to start was mine. It was, so I rolled down with most of a hamburger left to be scoffed on the start line. I got it in in time to take the holeshot, then have 3 laps of fun racing against Brett Kellett. I think it took about 4 corners before concern over winning overtook the concern about vomiting. Thankfully I succeeded on both counts, unleashing the legs out of the last grass corner and onto the velo for the dash to the line.

Strava link.

D: 38.4km
A: 244m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 1 November 2013


CX Shenanigans:
Ah CX friday, now with tubeless goodness to combat the Yarra Trail rock induced pinch flat. It's good.

Pikey, Dusty and Steve were up for a roll, and given I was concerned I was boderline underdressed, I took it upon myself to attack them on every climb until the morning sun started to warm the day. At one point I even utilised the old point and exclaim "hey whats that over there?" while attacking the opposite side of the road into the bottom of the rehab sandy climb.

Strava link.

D: 33.8km
A: 328m


D: 9.6km
A: 59m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 31 October 2013


As I reached for the CX bike to roll to work I spied it's smaller wheeled, but fatter tyred cousin behind it and knew it was the better choice. Today was definitely a lazy roll on the mountain bike kind of day. A bit of mono practice past the bumper to bumper car traffic on Chapel St, then a coffee, before finally rolling in to work feeling relaxed.

D: 9.5km
A: 48m

Talking of relaxed, I swung a last minute appointment with Andy Naylor and when I rolled up, I asked for something different. I asked him to work from the buttcrack up, rather than the usual request of legs only.

I can't say it was a pleasant experience. Sure the conversation was good, and JJJ had an interesting topic for HAC playing in the background, but there's something about elbows and thumbs raking muscles that are tigher than a hillbilly's banjo strings that set the teeth on edge and causes toes to cramp.

We'll see how it goes, but my hope is it will aid in getting the upper body low and relaxed without any discomfort.

Next week I go back to get the legs done... I'm scared that it may hurt even more.

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 30 October 2013


St Kilda East - Albert Park Lake - Albert Park Lake - Albert Park Lake - St Kilda East:
The aim for the session was to get my legs moving freely, so I tried to keep my gearing low and pedal stroke smooth. This didn't leave much mental capacity to think of another way to describe what I wanted to achieve to the 57,423 other times I've talked about pedalling smoothly.

I did succeed though, spending a fair chunk of time with triple figure revs on the clock and getting a light sweat up. I'm finding the 100rpm mark to be pretty important, firstly because it's longer than two digit numbers, and secondly it's the base level for racing on the flat. If I can hit it in training when there isn't a constant drip feed of adrenalin (and caffeine) coursing through me, then I can certainly do it when there is.

Strava link.

D: 22.2km
A: 50m


D: 4.7km
A: 129m

HCC Crits:
A friend showed me this blog post tonight, and it strikes a point fairly clearly. Cherry picking, what it is, why its terrible.

To put it into context, HCC crit scares the crap out of me, it's not ideal for a big fella, but I see it as holding the potential for massive improvement because of that fact. There are days when the fear of hard things overwhelm me, hell I took a 4 year hiatus from racing at Kew, but that's not the way to excellence. Sucking it up and getting on with doing what you aren't good at is.

So, the race. Well... it hurt like a bastard, but I rode better than last time, and that combined with some confidence from Sunday saw me achieve something I thought would take quite a few more tries. I finished the race.

I started towards the front, working for the first dozen or so laps to ensure nothing got away, while ensuring I pushed as little air as possible. The former was because I wanted to ensure DK had a chance to sit in for a bit and save his legs for shenanigans later in the race. The latter was because I wanted to last longer than last week's 20 minutes.

After I slipped back down the pack a bit, I made a fairly conscious decision to not look at my Power and HR numbers, that instead I would just shut up and do what it took to get up that bloody hill. To me, the pace was pretty hot, lap after lap guys would attack up the hill, trying to ride off the front, and be chased down by others. Once the mid race sprint came and passed, things eased a little, and I came to realise my breathing sounded like a retarded donkey in heat. I assume it's because of the way my diaphragm was being hammered by my thighs up the hill, then crushed by them as I tried to recover while cornering down the back of the course.

Each lap I'd lose a wheel or two out of the corner. I don't think I corner worse than anyone, but I think my mass means I lose more speed on the uphill exit. The flip side is, each lap I grew in confidence in my ability to cover that gap, and to ride past a significant number of guys up the hill. So when C grade pulled off the course, and then again when 3 laps to go was called, I got a mental boost that I was going to finish... and possibly... possibly... be able to have a crack at the sprint.

I didn't, I came in a bit poorly placed, something a race or two more will help me understand where I need to be and how to achieve it, but still finished off the race hard to pick up 11thish, right on DKs wheel.

I'm stoked, completely jiggered, but stoked.

The GPS tells me my normalised power was 478W,

Strava link.

D: 56.3km
A: 590m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 29 October 2013


6am NRR:
I worked turns down to Mordi, hoping that coming through might help open up the pipes and make my legs feel like something other than lumps of wood strapped to my hip sockets.

It didn't, so I stopped pushing myself and sat in on the way home, only seeing the wind for the sprint where I rolled up the side of the train that was setting up, mostly because I'm a jerk and wanted to prove that I'm the best at that job, partly because I wanted the effort.

Strava link.

D: 46.8km
A: 184m

I rolled a couple of extra kms on the fixed commuter, trying to get the legs coming through smoothly and free things up before racing at HCC tomorrow arvo. I feel better, but there's still a bit of apprehension over and above the normal nerves that race gives me.

D: 12.6km
A: 100m

PMPW: 96kg

Monday, 28 October 2013


As I was up relatively early, I rolled a few extras before work, the aim was to get the legs moving, but it got my brain working too. So there I was, working my way through the morning peak hour traffic on Chapel St, and I started to wonder. Where is the Solo man now?

I've always had guys like John, Jase, Jeff and Jim as inspirational characters to weigh the hardness of my actions against, but I suppose the Solo man was around long before them. He was working hard, taking the lead and making the others follow.

I haven't heard about his exploits for years now, is he still kayaking? Has he moved onto other sports? Is he still doing the things that others fear to do? Or... has he hung up the saxophone soundtrack and retired?

D: 17.3km
A: 77m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 27 October 2013


I got up early and rolled my tired legs to the SKCC crits, corner marshal duty meant I was staring at a day of not riding, but given how beat I felt, it wasn't such a bad thing.

Then the crits were called off due to a couple of large metal plates after corner 3 and my day was thrown wide open.

D: 8.2km
A: 23m

St Kilda East - CCCC Crits - St Kilda East:
DK, who had rolled up to SKCC to marshal E-grade took the cancellation as reason to go race Glenvale instead, and I figured agreed to go along. We weren't the only St Kilda A-grade regulars to make the trip either, the start line was swollen with many familiar faces.

From the start the pace was pretty frantic. The first move was an attack, then after that it was nothing but counter attacks. I know that sounds like a stupid truism, but bear with me. There was no let up, no time that the bunch sat around for a while and thought about life, the second a move was neutralised, someone else had a crack to see if they could get one to stick.

My legs were heavy, but I'd given them a fair warm up and they were holding on ok. Actually, they felt alright, goodish even, so about 10 minutes in when I saw 3 or 4 guys getting a bit of a gap established, and one of those blokes was the ever dangerous Duncan Smith, I launched hard into the void. A lap later I was across with a couple of others who'd managed to make my wheel. I was drilled, but others were making the pace, so I sat on the back and tried to recover enough to be of use. A few laps later, my eyes starting to come uncrossed and the thought of rolling through entering my mind, I glanced back to see the bunch barrelling back towards us, then the counter attack being launched.

I slipped back into the fold, happy I'd helped give my team mates a free ride for a while, happy to get a chance to rest myself. I kept an eye out for my boys, DK was easy to spot, the bright pink skinsuit standing out in the sea of colours like a bright pink Total Rush skinsuit. He was riding aggressively, hitting the bunch hard each time he saw a chance to put his stamp on the race. Tozer wasn't quite as garish, but his presence at the front was constant. Mere moments after he'd chase something down or be brought back himself, drifting back a little to let the fire subside in his legs, he would be back at it again, making sure nothing that didn't contain a pink arse got any leash.

Time ticked by, C-grade was passed a few times, sprinted, and then rolled off the course, leaving the course open for what looked to be an inevitable bunch gallop. I figured I'd give this whole sprinting caper a go, so I started to get my elbows out and to look for good wheels. In the end I wasn't well positioned, leaving myself no clear or even semi obstructed path to the line.

I'd be hard pressed to be too disappointed though, I didn't expect to race today at all, I didn't expect my legs to be any good, and I've wiped away the pain of DNFing there from 6 months ago.

Strava link.

D: 100.2km
A: 543m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 26 October 2013


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Morilla - Pidgeon Bank - Old Mt Slide - Mittons Bridge - Mine - Hearns - St Kilda East:
I thought this was going to be a loop out through Yarrambat, up Kinglake, then home. That's what the last few rides with Smax and DK have been, but that's not what we did today.

We started off like it was my loop of punchy climbs, Mt Pleasant, Stony Creek, Kreuss and Pidgeon Bank roads, but when we hit Henley Rd and went right instead of left, an adventure on new roads began.

At Bend of Islands we turned onto Skyline road and the bitumen gave way to dirt. The rolling hills continued, but now there was no option to stand up to give your muscles a break on the steep slopes. The reduced traction meant you had to keep your arse firmly planted on the saddle. DK was monstering everything, leaving Smax and myself behind as we powered on towards the top of the Yarra Glen climb.

The feeling of familiar roads ended quickly as we ripped down towards the valley, then took a left onto Steels Creek Rd, a gorgeous alternative to the Melba Hwy along the valley floor, but even the familiar feeling of the valley soon passed as we turned left up the Old Yarra Glen road and back onto the dirt for a long climb with nothing but the soundtrack of heavy breathing and counter attacks to fill the ears.

I spent a good ticket or two on that road, the boys pushed hard early and my legs weren't quite ready to respond, so I set my own tempo. Slowly slowly my body and mind responded and I increased my pace, eventually catching the duo having a little chat and going straight past. Now I was the rabbit. I continued to try and keep the legs coming through clean and to ignore the threat of the two sets of big legs behind me. DK caught me and soon disappeared up the road, but the job didn't change. Concentrate on my legs, and ignore any one else's.

I paid for spending those tickets for the rest of the ride, my state of mind swinging in tandem with the sugar and caffeine levels in my system. We swung out through Arthurs Creek and Yarrambat, pretty much a reverse of the loop I expected before I rolled up for a coffee 7 hours after the one that had started the ride.

Strava link.

A: 3,204m

PMPW: 96kg

Friday, 25 October 2013


NRR (TTT pacing):
I have been feeling so lazy this week, part of the CBFs has been the motivation void left by the passing of the Warny, partially because the weather has been a bit poo. So to combat this lazy feeling I got up and rolled down to get a bit of Friday Northy action.

When the TT boys kicked off around Southland I went with them, sitting behind a train of guys chopping off track turns, offering the occasional hand of god when they blew themselves apart on the return leg.

I had made a minor variation to my bike set-up, moving my saddle forward and up to give me a better (more comfortable and powerful) position in the drops for crits, so I spent most of the ride thinking about that change rather than what was going on in the ride around me.

Strava link.

D: 47.3km
A: 165m


D: 9.9km
A: 58m

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 24 October 2013


Why do nuns always wear the same clothes?

They just get in a habit.

D: 5.1km
A: 116m

PMPW: 97kg

Wednesday, 23 October 2013


13 words, and two punctuation points were enough to give me mixed emotions.

"HCC Crits are cancelled for this evening. The rain gods are against us."

I was disappointed I wouldn't get to race, and relieved that I didnt have to race. Oh well, next week.

Talking of next week, I need to organise an outfit for SpookyCross.

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


Probably could have ridden this morning. Oh well.

D: 5.5km
A: 74m

I created this little session by taking 80-85% of my best power numbers over the last 6 weeks for each duration. I wan't sure if I was being too hard or too easy on myself, in the end it's about right, though the 200W working recoveries become almost impossible to do, and I failed on my 30second effort. I think the failure was because I didn't get the 5 minute rest, a decision I made to keep the whole session under an hour.

1 x 5min E1
1 x BGSS : 2
1 x HCLR : 2
1 x 5min @ 200W
1 x 10min @ 306W - 325W
1 x 5min @ 200W
1 x 5min @ 356W - 378W
1 x 5min @ 200W
1 x 2min @ 444W - 471W
1 x 5min @ 200W 
1 x 1min @ 586W - 623W
1 x 3min @ 200W
1 x 30sec @ 824W - 875W
1 x 5min @ 200W
1 x 10sec @ MAX (1,049W - 1,115W)
1 x 5min E1

I aimed to keep my cadence over 100, to treat this as a simulation of a crit ending in a sprint. For all bar the 30 seconds I achieved the 80% number with "ease", and of those, it was only the 10minute effort that didn't surpass the 85% number (320W achieved vs 325W 85%).

While I was getting all this done, next to me DK punched out some 10min SE efforts on the TT rig. It didn't matter that we weren't doing the same session, the presence of the other kept us both pushing hard.

Strava link.

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 21 October 2013


A couple, or several, or possibly even many refreshing beverages were had yesterday arvo, yet somehow I still feel somewhat dehydrated and under the weather today.

The only possible solution is to have more refreshing beverages next time.

D: 8.9km
A: 74m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 20 October 2013


The shop provided riders, myself included, to help run a ride for the folks at, and friends of, AMG in Berwick. Geared up with a bunch of food in my back pockets and a radio piece in my ear, I set of down to Blairgowrie with DK, Deano, Ash, Tozer and about 50 black clad AMG riders. The tailwind and two Rush riders on the front ensured that we covered the kms to breakfast at a decent clip, I pulled one long turn with DK on the front, but mostly ran sweeper on the back to help keep riders that started to struggle in contact with the bunch. The radio was a godsend for that, splits caused by lights or bunch shattering on hills could be quickly communicated to the engines on the front. They also came in handy for jokes and general shit talk.

The way back was a bit tougher, for a start I had a massive case of cafe legs, then I got a flat a few kms into the leg, meaning I was faced with a good 3-4 minute gap to chase down to get back on. Thankfully the bunch was taking it easyish, but for a long time, until I hit radio range again, I had to battle my mental daemons to keep the legs going over. Once into the hills between Mt Martha and Frankston the challenge to keep riders in contact became a lot greater. 400-600W up a hill with your hand in someone's back isn't sustainable, so we started to let riders drift back to be picked up by later groups. In the end, we finished with 12 tired but happy riders, and got to see the spent but excited faces of all the Rush and AMG crew as they rolled in for a much deserved beer.

It was a fun day, mostly because I got to help others push their limits mentally and physically, then have a chat and a laugh about it afterwards. I guess it didn't harm my enjoyment to have others treat me as special because I can turn a pedal faster than them.

Talking of special, DK only pulled one turn today. It was 170km long.

Strava link.

D: 182.0km
A: 943m

PMPW: 94kg