Thursday, 28 February 2013


Blood Donation:
The nice nurse lady buttered me up with compliments early "oh, what nice veins you have" then BLAMO! A giant guage needle was in my arm draining away the good stuff.

She also told me it wasn't a race, but I'm sure she was just trying to protect everyone else's feelings. My bag totes filled up fastest (6 min 30 sec).

Operation Putallthefoodinmyface had a resurgence today, but some concerns about supplies exist.

It seems there is concurrent activity from Dan Wilkins, which may stress supplies at the local supermarket. I worry it's going to be like the day before a holiday weekend when everyone goes into survivalist mode and buys out the bottled water.... except it'll be the chip isle that's barren.

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Given my strong nerdish tendencies, the prospect of data in spreadsheets sounded like fun, especially when the data relates to cycling.

So, after a little bit of jiggery pokery I was left with some highly chartable information about my times last year on a few benchmark Strava segments.

Basically, I was fastest on uphilly bits around September/October last year.

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


Armed with a rain proof bag containing spare knicks and socks I enjoyed every moment of the riding in the rain to work. Car traffic on St Kilda rd didnt move and I had the bike lane almost all to myself.

Oh the humidity! I spent a significant amount of time at the end just laying on the floor feeling overwhelmed.

It didn't take too long to go from feeling great about the strength in my body and how amazing my legs looked during the squat movements to a sweating, quivering, "I cant do this any more" mess during the balance and twisting movements.

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 25 February 2013


Why does Michael J. Fox make the best milkshakes?

He uses the highest quality ingredients.

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 24 February 2013


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Stony Creek - Pigeon Bank - Port Melbourne:
Steve had some time free, I had some time free and riding bikes is free*! It was like the worlds were aligning, although I didn't see Milla Jovovich running around in an outfit made from orange seatbelts.

The sun was glowing low on the horizon as we rolled out past Eltham to the short punchy roads we bypassed yesterday. As we turned into the narrow roads that cars avoid, we rode two up, chatting about work, bikes and coffee.


Steve was hammered after a long few weeks at work, so after cajolling him into doing Pigeon Bank rd we turned towards a Brunswick St coffee and home.


SKCC Crit:
I parted ways with Steve at the west end of the city and snuck south to watch the end of the SKCC Crits, only to arrive and see that A grade hadn't yet started. It seemed like a fun idea to go ride with my mates, so I exchanged $15 for a race number with Julie.

I figured the previous 80km meant my legs were warm and attacked as soon as the race went live. We had a few off the front, but other than Ferg, no one seemed willing to roll through hard and clean. As we drifted back to the bunch a lap later DK came flying past. The next half hour or so was attack after attack. It was obvious that Will Walker was strong, he and Johnny were shutting down anything that didn't involve their red clad arses. Eventually a break with Will in it was finally given a bit of room to work with. We had two riders along for the ride, but DK was back with me in the main bunch. I gave him a lap to help get across (that ended up being useless as I'd burnt him off my wheel) and pulled out to grab a can of cold coke and to watch Will demonstrate why he has the green and gold bands of an ex aussie champ on his kit.

PMPW: 93kg

* not counting the cost of inevitable mid/post ride cafe stops.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


St Kilda East - Yarra Glen - Healesville - Kinglake - St Kilda East:
Before I cracked the sads I clicked on a little Strava challenge called "Quarq Power Trip", though it had nothing to do with power, and all to do with clocking up 100 miles in a single ride.

So to the hills with friends old and new I went on my bicycle, for an adventure that involved the timely demise of a carrot cake in Yarra Glen and quite a few giggles.


There was a point, shortly before the carrot cake was purchased, where I was standing in the servo at Yarra Glen, re-filling my bottles after the punchy roads of Warrandyte, across from me was a dude on a motorbike. We each smiled and nodded at the other, I commented "nice day for it eh?". He smiled, nodded again then went on to say he thought it a little cold. As the words registered in my brain a change happened, I lost some of my long held romanticism about motor bike riding. It no longer seemed that it was a fast way to get the same views and the same benefits, but without the effort, no, I realised that the effort was part of why I love riding a bike in the hills. I was warm in bibs and a jersey, I appreciated all the little roads, all the nasty rises and every pedal stroke that had gotten me to that spot.


The group was almost half and half of Rush and Gallery riders, with early results putting rush (through me) firmly in the hot seat for the inevitable tuck and roll downhill challenges, but the question of who would come out on top when it came to climbing (haha, punny) had to wait until we hit Chum Creek Rd. To be honest, I'm still not sure who won, I pulled the chute a km or two from the top when my HR read 10 beats over threshold.


Due to the afore mentioned Strava challenge, I went against my "no looking at the datas!!" mandate, and uploaded my GPS file to the internet. I was surprised to see that I got up Chum Creek faster than last time. Last time being when I felt like I was flying and managed to hold onto DK the whole way up. Anyway, whatever whatever, those are thoughts for when I train, and right now is not about training, it's about Operation Putallthefoodinmyface.

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 22 February 2013


Yarra Trails:
Feel the rythym, feel the rhyme, it's olympic style cross country mountain bike riding time!


PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 21 February 2013


The ride last night left my body energised for long past my bed time, I think this is what caused the alarm ignoring this morning. A pity, it would have been nice to get a sneaky roll followed by a cheeky coffee.

 Thoughts of throwing in some extras to my commute were kyboshed by some after hours work and a looming storm front.

In other news I called up the Red Cross and promised to deliver them a pint of blood* next week. It's been... um... shit, it's been almost 2 years since I donated! In light of recent reasoned decisions, it feels like I'm anti doping and that by signing up for a few few party pies I'm doing my part to restore the public's vision of my favourite sport.... plus I get free party pies.

PMPW: 92kg

* well it's about halfway between a schooner and a pint, but saying a schooner of blood sounds off, so I'm going with pint.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Yarra Trails:
I had to leave my car North side this morning, so it was a prime opportunity to pack my hardtail and get some post work singletrack in.

It's been a long time since I've ridden anything past the Bourke Rd foot bridge, I wanted to change that by getting all the way out and around Hans' loop. Being solo, I saw the opportunity to explore a little, to turn down new looking bits, or as the case may be, simply get lost and ride whatever is in front of me.

There were old ruts and sand drifts, there were wombat holes and logs, and there were trails that used to be (but no longer were) and rocks that never were. It felt like coffee with an old friend who'd undergone facial surgery to add some sweet berms in the Bruce's loop area.


PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


The forecast was for rain about dawn, so I set my alarm for 7 rather than 5, and prayed I'd eventually get to sleep in the heat.

I must have dozed off at some point, because I woke up. I like waking up, if I'm not feeling overly existential it's confirmation that I'm alive. I like being alive.

Anyway, after I woke up, I found that it hadn't rained, and I could have gone out for a roll and a coffee with my mates. Oh well, next time.

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 18 February 2013


Ok, four weeks of riding only for fun times, with mates, for coffee, on dirt, on pretty roads or for monos. The only data to be thought about are giggles, coffees and monos.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand go!

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 17 February 2013


What happened is simple. I got split off the back of our 4 man team on the 5th lap and didn't make it back on. The team went on to record the 2nd fastest time of the day.

How I felt is equally as simple, but much more important. I felt like a joke and I'm bitterly disappointed. I'm proud of the team's results, but despite pulling a solid lap, I don't feel I deserve any credit for it. DK is the hero, while Jake and Craig deserve credit for seeing it through.

Strava link.

D: 6.1km
A: 16m

SKCC Crit:
The change to 46cm bars and a regular saddle felt very odd for the first 5 minutes of the race, after which time I felt good. Sitting up the back, I gave up any knowledge about the race at the front in exchange for limited mental output.

This photo is totally thieved from the ever chipper Grover. I'm fairly sure he's the only guy to race a XC World Cup in a Seasame St jersey.

By the time I was ready to come out of my box and push my legs, maybe help my team mates do something interesting a break was well established, and our best rider (DK) had been dropped from it. I got on the front and started to work, pulling clear with Wilko and a few others, only to find two of them were just covering the move to protect riders in the break. They weren't getting in the way, but it took me a bit to work out why, and it disrupted me rolling forward. After a lap or two I sat up, I didn't want to play that game.

So back in the bunch, preparing to play in the kick for 4th or 6th or whatever place was left I felt good. I tried to get near Skinny in the dying laps but the constant shuffle pushed me away any time I got close. In the end I was boxed around the back and pulled up in the last corner as a crash laid out riders in front of me.

I packed up my two bikes and drove home feeling pretty deflated. Time for some time off the bike.

Strava link.

D: 40.0km
A: 49m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 16 February 2013


Rush Shop Ride:
I chose to do the shop ride to minimise the damage I might do to my legs in a fit of excitement before tomorrow's TTT and Crit. It's shorter than the Hell Ride and has controlled speed to Mordi.

I ended up at the front for that downward leg, having a chat to Jacob, one of the guys that used to ride Fatties with me. We held it at 33km/h through the still morning air until just south of Mentone I kicked to start the sprint to Mordi. It felt good to drive on the pedals, but I'd miss judged how far out we were and had to let Jacob go solo from 500m out.

On the way back I was again on the front, holding a steady 33km/h while chatting to Jake Sutherland. We were caught and passed by a storming Hell Ride as we came into Rickets Point, then re-passed them after Black Rock. Our bunch got chopped up and muddled with the larger Hell Ride, meanwhile DK was heading off the front in a solo move that took 4 of us to chase down. The shenanigans continued through to St Kilda before a regroup and a roll home.

Ok, so maybe not a perfect taper, but probably a lot better than what I could have done to myself.

Strava link.

D: 71.4km
A: 306m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 15 February 2013


CX Shenanigans:
It was just Dusty and I for the Friday CX, and for the first time we had to make a slight change to my route to ensure there was enough light to really have fun on some of the better trails.


I planned to have an easy day on the legs with some grins in the single track. I'm not sure about easy but on the train and during the numerous times I attacked, I was grinning from ear to ear.

Strava link.

D: 33.6km
A: 358m


D: 12.0km
A: 231m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 14 February 2013


I woke up feeling pretty bloody shattered. I got myself to the toilet, closed the door to ensure my flatmate didn't get woken by the reverberating sounds, and did a poo. Just in case you were wondering, it was a pretty good poo, but it wasn't good enough to temper the shattered feeling. Post poo, I went back to my room, set an alarm for an hour later and went back to bed.

That was almost the end of the story for today's training, but a comment Dave made yesterday while I was dripping sweat and shaking at the end of the ride,  niggled at me. "Thank me next week"

So moments later, I got up, turned off the bonus alarm and got myself dressed and out the door (it's important to mention the dressing, nakey TTing is not aero). I arrived in time to see the 5:45 bunch roll out, My plan was to set my own pace, so I gave them a few minutes then headed out into the poorly lit morning.

Somewhere along the highway, at some lights, the Artisan boys caught me and I started using them as pacers. I sat a few metres off the back, they rolled turns and kept me honest. Just before the turn at Mordi Leigh Schilling joined me off the back. As far as training sessions go, it was solid, more of what I'd had the last couple of days, meaning I was in need of many coffees (3) before work.

I was happy with where I'd got the position to. I spent almost the entirety of the ride in an aero tuck, which meant by the end of the ride my stem was splattered white with sweat and drool.

Strava link.

D: 47.2km
A: 212m

On my ride home I had a heap of time to think. I took the direct route, but ghosting my CX bike down St Kilda Rd while riding a fixed wheel bike.... well it took a while.

Anyway that additional time to think, I spent a lot of it thinking "I'm a bloody idiot". It had nothing to do with TAC ads, and surprisingly it had nothing to do with the knobby tyres humming along next to me. No, it turns out I completely stuffed up the date of the Vic Masters Track Champs. It's this weekend (16/17), not next weekend (23/24). Even though it would leave me with shitty legs for the TT on Sunday I called up and inquired about a late entry... no go. I am an idiot.

D: 15.7km
A: 184m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 13 February 2013


Alright, North Road, David Kelly, TT bikes, hurt box, kabooom, lots of coffee needed.

Those are the things the same as yesterday, the things that were different were.... um.... we rode two up behind the bunch on the way down the highway.

I had adjusted the armrests which made staying in a tuck more comfortable, not whole ride in a tuck comfortable, but a better than yesterday. I think there's a bit of adjustment needed to the seat height too, when playing the old tip of the saddle game, I lose a bunch of height and decrease the angle to the BB (and thus effective saddle height).

When we got to the golden mile, DK and I decided to past the bunch and wind them up way early for the sprint. I kicked off the line, at a moderate pace, believing I'd do the first turn and then let DK run wild to the end. Instead DK rolled straight over me and tore me apart. As I went backwards up the road, it was a marginal solice to see that the bunch had been split in not 2, but 3 pieces.

2 coffees.

Strava link.

D: 46.2km
A: 182m

Rolled over to the Kew boulevard to check out the HCC crit. The new surface looked good... right up until I saw how fast the a-grade boys were riding on it. From that moment on it looked owie. I'll do a week of arvo riding soon and see if I can hang on for the full time.

D: 27.4km
A: 223m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


This coming weekend there is a Team Time Trial (TTT) at SKCC Crits. Rush has got a team in, and I figured I'd get involved. Given I've had Ian's TT bike in my living room, unused, since Tour of Bright, it's safe to say that I'm not used to being in a tuck on extensions. So, this week, the road bike shall go to the shop for service and I shall spend all my bike training time on the TT bike.

This morning was a TTT of NRR. By TTT I mean I met DK at the start of Northy a few minutes before 6, we rolled out together, and for the next 40 odd km I suffered on his wheel.

Actually it wasn't even 40km, I made it to the lights at Bay st (Sandringham) before exploding like latex filled tyre that hasn't been seated properly (loudly and messily).

It was kind of awesome to see that we (by which i obviously mean DK) kept NRR at bay, even rolling easy from Brighton to BP they only caught up to us for the final sprint. The boys who rolled in with the bunch were looking beat and exclaiming how fast it had been.

Strava link.

D: 46.2km
A: 190m


D: 15.2km
A: 154m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 11 February 2013



D: 16.8km
A: 113m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I had other plans today that were a priority over racing and/or training.

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 9 February 2013


Hell Ride:
I was on the front, two up, pushing a tempo but having a quick chat, a few guys rolled over the top hard. I kicked out of the saddle on the next hill... you know, to show them their place. Then Hendo whipped straight through me, doing to me what I was hoping I was doing to everyone else.

That sequence pretty much sums up the ride. Hendo was an animal, he pulled turns, attacked lulls and attacked attacks. I saw the front a few times, but did my best to just get to Frankston alive. Into the hills and I was thoroughly boxed in on Olivers/Hopes, before being thoroughly put into the box on the next few by Hendo, Jez Hunt and Matty Lloyd.

I know it might sound obvious in hindsight... but it turns out the pros can ride!

I was feeling pretty bloody humbled for a while, but a number of guys commented later they were impressed I'd been up (near) the front through to Mt Eliza.

Strava link.

D: 109.0km
A: 465m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 8 February 2013


Yarra Trails:
I took a slight sleep in, skipping the normal cx shenanigans, and instead headed to the same trails on my mountain bike get just a little bit looser and a little bit more airborne that normal.

Ccompared to the tall skinny knobs, the mountain bike feels like a monster truck that just ploughs through everything with ease. That ease meant I often felt further from the ragged edge. The point of traction (or lack of) where the side knobs are scrabbling on the dirt, the body wants to tense up and the inside foot wants to come out of the pedal. That's the point where cheeks ache from grinning.

Strava link.

D: 34.7km
A: 401m

CE: 1

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 7 February 2013


6am NRR:
My notes from immediately after this ride contain a single sound. "Weeeeee!".

I planned to ride like yesterday, sit in and sprint, but got a few extra turns in "by accident".

For the sprint I was all set to (attempt to) chase down my team mate, Ray Forbes, but lights at the canal cut the fun short. The heart rate data is interesting. A 2nd day in a row where I've kicked for the sprint with my HR well over threshold and climbed it well into the mid 190's. I haven't seen those sorts of numbers in ages, and it's nice to see my can still rev. I don't know if it makes any performance difference, but i'll take it on pure "my hr is bigger than yours" grounds.

Strava link.

D: 44.7km
A: 187m

A one way commute.... why?!

Because dumplings and beer, that's why!

D: 7.4km
A: 40m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


The plan was identical to last week, and for the most part it went as I'd hoped. Sit in to conserve energy, then ride hard at the end.

I found it tough a few times, tough to resist the urge to hit the bunch hard, to burn off the excess energy I don't normally have the luxury of. A few times I cracked, a few times I went surging up the side of the bunch, but I never rode till I chode (I know that doesnt make sense, but I really wanted it to rhyme).

In the end I took the BP sprint by a couple of wheel lengths, coming off the wheels of a few others who'd hit out too early. It's a nice boon to the confidence, but I'm taking it with a pinch of the salt crusted on my helmet straps. There wasn't anyone who normally contests the sprints present.

When I got home and shoved the data on Strava I laughed. I gave the legs a little kick as we rolled under the railway line before Mordi. Bones' GPS was picking up my power meter and it seemed funny to set a new power PB for him. Well, that little effort for giggles was higher power than the 190bpm+ sprint at BP. 1,702W vs 1,499W.

Strava data.

D: 44.9km
A: 189m

The self control I was able to muster in the morning to hold back my legs was not present on the way home. I found myself hammering along the river, treating rowing coaches like rabbits stunned in the headlights (no I didn't shoot them!)

D: 17.5km
A: 113m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 5 February 2013


6am NRR:
I did not feel the love in my legs today, and given that the pace was on the whole time, what I felt in my legs was unhappiness.

I'm chalking this one up against the weekend's boozing and/or yoga last night, and will return myself to the corner of North Road and Nepean Hwy tomorrow morning at 6am for another go round the mulberry bush.

Strava link.

D: 44.0km
A: 182m

Dawn wanted to try out a new saddle, so I bailed on work early for a tour of the Capital City Trail on the commuter.

I was amused when I got home and saw that my commute was longer than my training ride.

Strava link.

D: 47.5km
A: 308m

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 4 February 2013


My hardtail hasn't had any love of late, sitting tucked away at home while larger diameter wheels have dominated the cycling time. Today I said "it's time".

Granted that time was a mere 16 odd km with only a smattering of single track, but it (once again) reminded me that fat tyres may for fat smiles.

D: 16.2km
A: 189m

By now comments about sweat volumes seem overdone, yet failing to say anything brings fear that what is a major feature of these sessions, might be overlooked.

Though I wasn't able to hold all the poses for their full duration, I didn't have to opt out of anything entirely, so I'll chalk it up as a win.

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 3 February 2013


After a few bacon and sausage repeats it was time to grab a coffee, jump in the car and head back to Melbourne through the flat country of central Victoria.

Saturday, 2 February 2013


Moama - Echuca - Moama:
With most of the Rush team in Echuca/Moama for Skinny's wedding, and given how much riding means to the groom, there was always going to be a pre ceremony roll.


Skinny's mum wanted Skinny to ride in front of me, I think the memory of her son in hospital after the Bay Crits was still fresh in her mind. He didn't, he took the sit offered by DK and my legs and got carted around like cycling royalty.... well, when we weren't hanging off his saddle or attacking him in the savage crossies.



No grooms were harmed in the making of this photo.

Strava link.

D: 35.7km
A: 89m

Friday, 1 February 2013


CX Shenanigans:
A 5 word email exchange was the difference between me riding this morning and me not.

"are you rolling tomorrow?"

It ended up just being me and the owner of the "yep" (Pikey), a few stout coffees and we headind into the murk of the morning to do battle with slippery root and puddle laden trails.

Most of the morning was me trying to drop Pikey in the single track, but you might see on the GPS file that we hid under the Walmer st bridge when the rain came in hard.

D: 27.8km
A: 136m


D: 15.4km
A: 279m

CE: 1

PMPW: 93kg