Sunday, 31 March 2013

31/03/2013

St Kilda East - Mornington - St Kilda East:
A 126km recovery ride. It sounds ridiculous when you say it out loud, but that was the plan, and I'm fairly confident that's what we achieved. I'll concede that it might not have been ideal recovery, especially with the soaking we got as we passed through Frankston on our southbound leg.

The aim was to turn the legs over easy, and when we found Pippa on the way back to Frankston and then Will Raisin-Shaw and Andy Naylor after it, that became easier as I wasn't on the front for the whole way.

DK and I looped out around the back of Port Melbourne to ensure he clicked over 2,000km for the month, little did I know, that it got me there too. 2,020km in March. I'm shocked, and kind of pleased. That's the biggest month I've got recorded by Strava.

Strava link.

D: 126.1km
A: 581m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 30 March 2013

30/03/2013

Rush Shop Ride - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
Extras Extras, read all about it.Well, maybe not all about it, I'm tired after backing up a long day with another decent one.

The simple story is after the Rush shop ride I went out Canterbury road with DK and Bones to climb a little climb DK had found. Old Coach Road, a combination of tarmac and gravel that in 2.3km climbs 251m. It's evil, it's horrible, it's going to get done again!

On the early steep bitumen grades I thought I had Dave covered, he was breathing harder than me, and seemed to be struggling, but around the hairpin left and onto the gravel, he just... rode away. I suppose this is what it's like to race Fabian Cancellara. Humbling.

D: 154.5km
A: 1,616m

Strava link.

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 29 March 2013

29/03/2013

Warburton - Reefton Spur - Lake Mountain - Mt Donna Buang - Warburton:
What a loop. Yes it started with a poo of a climb. Yes it featured 40km of steady climbing up the Reafton spur to the top of Lake Mountain. Yes, the descent of Lake Mountain left hands, nearly incapable of gripping bars due to the cold.... but what a loop.

From the pink arrows painted along the route I assume it shared most of the recent Rapha Gentleman's ride/race route. If so, it's understandable why everyone said they had a ball that day. The scenery is just gorgeous, especially towards to the top of Lake Mountain and along Archeron way
mostly rode with bones.





I spent most of the day riding with Bones while DK, Skinny, Pippa and Craig road ahead at their own pace. I stretched the legs once going up the Spur and went after Craig up the little hill behind where we parked the cars, but yeah, mostly it was just a nice easy tempo.

I did do a 180° turn at the car to go straight back up the hill. I really didn't want to go home with on 79m to go to achieve 3,000 vertical.

Strava link.

D: 143.9km
A: 3,021m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 28 March 2013

28/03/2013

Commute:
Did you hear about the fire at the circus?

It was in tents

D: 9.9km
A: 179m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

27/03/2013

NRR Long:
Oh my lordy goodness me. There are three possible explanations for what I felt this morning.

1) I'm creeeeeeeping.
2) Dudes are flying.
3) Some combination of the first two.

I planned to hide until the hills, but ended up riding the front with Bensley from Mordi to Frankston, the tailwind reduced the effort needed to hold good speeds, but we weren't really going easy on the legs either. To put another way, we were chatting, but I frequently had to think/breathe mid sentence.

As we swung off the front and rolled back down the bunch, I got a good chance witnessed the riders I'd been towing for the last dozen km. It looked enough like an NRS race that  I tore the top off my emergency gel and chased it with half a biddon.

The damage for me was the trip from the top of Kars St to the turn off the highway onto Canadian Bay Rd. Bensley was on the front for the climb on Baden Powel, a then Smythy took control on the highway.

I think it was Bing who kicked into the base of Canadian, but I didn't have the legs to go with the front group... or the second group, and barely managed to be in the third group. I eventually regrouped with everyone at the stop atop Two Bays, they were all calm and joking with each other, as if they'd been there for minutes. They probably had.

For the return trip I made myself the gate keeper of the working group, it gave me a reasonable sit, but the pace still meant I was doing threshold over/unders.

This was definitely training and I've definitely got some fitness to re-attain.

Strava link.

D: 95.9km
A: 555m

Commute:

D: 5.1km
A: 22m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

26/03/2013

6am NRR:
I just want the kms, I want to be fresh on a Wednesday so I can get around the long loop, I'm not ready for full on time in the box... yet I cant just sit in. I can't not work the front for position. I can't not get to Brighton and think about the sprint.

I had some good moments today, given the the power data, the moments were simply ones of good attitude to pain, of accepting the hurt, of reaching a limit and pushing on anyway.

Today felt like something I do to get better than I currently am. Today felt like training.

Strava link.

D: 44.4km
A: 179m

Commute:

D: 5.1km
A: 22m

PMPW: 93kg


Monday, 25 March 2013

25/03/2013

NRR:
I'm losing about 50km in commuting, NRR is 40 something. Mondays are easy days, NRR Mondays are easy days.So there we go, a possible solution to the office relocation issues. A ride that can be done totally little ring and leaves enough time for a pre work coffee.

I'm not fully ready to sign off on an extra day of NRR, but today's spin made it feel like a viable option.

Strava link.

D: 44.3km
A: 164m

Commute:

D: 6.2km
A: 82m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 24 March 2013

24/03/2013

SKCC Crits - Marshalling:
The neighbours across the street felt that 3am-4am was a grand time to hang out on the curb talking at exuberant levels. So when my alarm went off at 6:45 to get me down to Port Melbourne to marshal E and D grades... well I reset it and went back to sleep.

I eventually got myself down for the start of A and C grades, and decided to marshal the C graders. It felt like the soft option, but given my state on ennui, it was far better than bugger all.


Strava link.

D: 60.8km
A: 158m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 23 March 2013

23/03/2013

Hell Ride:
I've got some mixed feelings about the two police vehicles that sat in the right hand lane next to the bunch for most of the ride.

Certainly the way the bunch swells out in the middle and overflows into the 2nd lane is an issue, as it effects the safety and comfort of other road users. The cars made riders nervous, so inside the bunch it felt far less safe than normal. As we rolled home after the return to Black Rock I thought about what viable options there are, perhaps if future police presence was two wheel (motorised), then it wouldn't feel like the bunch was stuck between a cop and a hard place.

Strava link.

D: 105.8km
A: 420m

Concrete destruction:
My mate Mick has a back garden with a lot of concrete... well, he had a back garden with a lot of concrete before he and I set about piling the concrete in chunks into a couple of 4m³ skips.

We used the same process as at Steve's, a long crowbar to lift the edge of the concrete and create a gap below, then a few strikes of a sledge hammer to break it up.

It's been a while since I've moved like that, and I'm sure my arms, legs and back wont love me tomorrow.



PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 22 March 2013

22/03/2013

Commute:
I'm going to have to work out a little route that gets me 45 minutes in the legs, because the new office is a mere 2.2km from my house, and 18 minutes a day (round trip) is not even good as a recovery.

D: 4.5km
A: 54m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 21 March 2013

21/03/2013


Work's moving office and it's thrown my week around a bit, I had to have my car north of the city in the morning. Not the end of the world given the blustery northerly that buffeted me along Smith St.

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

20/03/2013

St Kilda East - Frankston - St Kilda East:
I rolled south with NRR, each pedal stroke making me more nervous about making it around the hills south of Frankston, and worried that I might not make it to some meetings at work in time. DK was turning at Frankston, and in the split second he rolled off, I decided to swing around with him and get a head start on the way home.

We had a terrific run through to Mordi, mostly two up riding hard tempo into the slight headwind, but I'm not ashamed to admit I had to take a couple of breathers on his wheel.

Strava link.

D: 70.3km
A: 153m

Commute:

D: 18.9km
A: 175m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

19/03/2013

6am NRR:
Today was a demonstration of DK, Pauly from Velobourne and the guy who rides a De Rosa's fitness. On the return leg of the ride they sat at the front and pulled track turns that kept the bunch single file almost all the way back.

When we turned at Mordi it was DK and I, but when we were joined by Pauly and De Rosa I took it as an opportunity to sit in, and try and get my heart rate down to threshold levels.

I fluffed the sprint a little, I was on the perfect wheel, but was slightly gapped when the guy two in front hit the wind and hit the gas as we rolled past Glen Huntly. The resulting chase back on took the joy out of my legs and I rolled the line in 2nd. It's not really disappointing, I'm simply riding for saddle time at the moment, getting used to pedalling for 15-20 hours a week.

D: 46.8km
A: 179m

Strava link.

Commute:

D: 16.8km
A: 202m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 18 March 2013

18/03/2013

Commute:
Ok, so it wasn't just underpants and video games yesterday, it seems there was also a period of placing copious amounts of beer into my face.

I blame that latter activity for the (very) vague brain I had this morning and the fact I decided to leave the house sans arm warmers, gloves and a rain shell... probably could have used booties too. Anyway, I got wet, and it wasn't awesome. So that brings me an issue that's quite important as we head into winter. A good rain jacket. Inrng had a post (linky) about the issue as it related to San Remo on the weekend. Last year I got a S&S jacket from Mal, and honestly it was amazing... for most of the year. By the end of spring the arms were starting to let moisture through. Even though it wasn't cheap, I'm honestly considering buying another, it got me through some shitty training rides amazingly.

Anyway, if you're looking at jackets yourself, this article (linky) on what "water column" means may be helpful to you. It relates to tents but waterproofing is waterproofing... besides you might as well be wearing a tent given the cut of some of the jackets I've seen.

D: 5.7km
A: 191m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 17 March 2013

17/03/2013

Lazy:
Last night over pizza and wine I told Bones I'd message him before 7:30 about the prospect of riding to Mornington.

While sitting on the toilet at 7:14, looking at the BOM radar that showed a 50km/h southerly and a bunch of rain I sent him a text to say that I would be spending the morning in my undies playing video and watching cartoons.

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 16 March 2013

16/03/2013

Rush PreLoop and Shop ride:
Competing desires to do the shop ride and more kms than the shop ride saw me set an alarm for fairly early o'clock so I could get the preloop done before the shop ride propper. The pace is fairly cruisy until I decided that people talking on hills was a terrible terrible insult and must be stopped in the only sensible way available. Go faster.

The shop ride itself was a bit of fun, Jake, Skinny and I went up the road through Mentone, leaving everyone else to chase us down around all the other shop rides that were out there. Our trio ended up working with some boys in On The Rivet kit, I assumed they were a new Melbourne store, but google suggests they were out of towners. We were eventually caught by some hardy Rush riders, and somewhere along the way Skinny called Chris Hoy a wanker (not knowing it was him) for not wearing a helmet.

I'm sad I missed a chance to say hello to Sir Hoy, but after the ride and a coffee were done I found out that one of my childhood cycling idols, Shane Kelly, was working at the shop. In a quiet moment I sidled about carbon knuckled gloves and Keirin racing in Japan.

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 15 March 2013

15/03/2013

CX Shenanigans:
Pikey made his grand return to a sitting lack of applause by the only other two to turn up, Steve and I. I'm not complaining, in fact it was nice to have a small efficient bunch, less waiting, less chances of flats (3 weeks in a row without any!).

The trails were flowing, or maybe it was me, either way my job was to show the boys a clean set of heels in the single track and some places they hadn't seen before. In return they ensured I suffered on the climbs and that I got a 2nd short mac into me post ride.

Commute:



CE: 1

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 14 March 2013

14/03/2013

St Kilda East - Black Rock - St Kilda East:
I met DK and Bones for an easy roll to Slack Rock, DK wanted to rest his legs for the weekend, Bones wanted to get his moving again after his collar bone surgery and I wanted to do as little as possible.

There was fair head wind going Southward, DK and I tapping out tempo into what felt like a wall of air. The return was a breeze by comparison (lols, puns!).

Commute:

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

13/03/2013

NRR:
I sent a bunch of SMS last night, I wanted a ride, but more than that, I wanted a ride with my mates. It's been a while since we sat down with a coffee and talked utter bollocks post roll, there's been travel, racing, injuries and tantrums in the way of what for a while was a near daily occurance.

The epic northerly saw us fly down the highway barely touching the pedals. At one point I looked down to see 124bpm returning 51km/h. Like all good things though, this came to an end, and that end was the 180 at Mordialloc.

The easy roll, giggling with mates turned into a veritable shit fight. Barely a kilometre into the northward leg a split had occurred in the bunch, and in what felt like moments a group of 8 riders were putting 50-60 metres into the bunch. DK swore and kicked into the gap. I swore and kicked onto his wheel. Skinny swore and kicked onto my wheel. Somewhere further back Bones and Youngy missed the move and swore.

The next few km were pure box time. I recall clearly staring at DK's back trying to will my body to keep going, to hold the wheel, to give it just a few more pedal strokes. I distinctly remember the taste of breakfast, this time a lot more acidic than when it had gone in 45 minutes earlier.

When we made contact Skinny told me in uncertain terms that there should be no turns. I was ok with that, I didn't want to hurt, I just wanted to hear the words "who ordered the flat white?".

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

12/03/2013

Commute:
I had an 8am phone call with our South American office this morning. I'd organised it last week while not thinking about what I'd be doing on Monday. So that meant setting an earlier alarm and rolling my uncooperative legs down St Kilda Road in the rays of the low sun.

My brain slowly shut down during the day, making me worried about the trip home... surprisingly, my legs felt ok as I span then along the river. Screw it, they're good enough for Northy tomorrow.

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 11 March 2013

11/03/2013

Moe, Mt Baw Baw, Mt Dandenong, St Kilda East:
Where to start on this epic ride? Well, the ride started in Moe, but you know what I mean. What details do you pick out of a ride with almost 10 hours of pedalling time?

For me this was about a few things. Riding a mountain I'd never ridden (Mt Baw Baw) and doing a ride that would be so long, and with so much climbing I'd get to explore my mental and physical limits.

I'm stoked that I chose to ride the whole way home and how my legs felt in those last 80km. I kept putting the food and drink in and my legs kept pushing the pedals around. Simply put, it was a demonstration of "getting shit done".

The back road up Baw Baw was a dirty affair, featuring 5 front pinch flats from the descents down loose gravel that were spotted along the way. Eventually though we got to the main road, and hit the climb proper. A devilish bit of road that had Straussy get dropped by a butterfly while he struggled to keep his speed above the minimum auto stop speed of his Garmin.

P3110012

P3110015

P3110022

We stuck together until the back of Hoddles Creek where finally the pressure of keeping a group of riders in mixed states of fatigue and with various time constraints together finally came to a head. Most were heading to the nearest train station, Straussy and I continued on, aiming for one a bit further on... but prepared to playing it by ear.

P3110023

As we got towards Ferntree Gully and places and roads became familiar I started to feel a strong determination build within me. I wanted to finish this ride. I wanted to get all the way back to my place under my own steam, and the train option could go jump. With a bit of icecream, and a giant nectarine Straussy was revived enough buy into the stupidity. So, as a tired and dusty pair we rode towards the setting sun and home.

Tomorrow is going to be an interesting day, there may not be enough coffee to get me through.

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 10 March 2013

10/03/2013

Rest:
Yesterday hurt a bit, and just a guess... tomorrow isn't going to be any easier.

So today, well... I rolled up the coffee shop, polished off a couple of coffees and some eggs, then rolled home. Hopefully that wont be too much.



PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 9 March 2013

9/03/2013

Hell Ride:
I was kind of nervous about doing the Helly, I knew there would be times when my top end would be pushed, and that's just the thing that gets hammered by a lack of blood.

The pace down was hilariously fast, a slight tail wind had us rolling along at 52-53km/h and pushing up to the mid/high 50s at times. I didn't want to play the pushing air game, not at those speeds, no sir, no way.

I got myself into a decent position before Oliversand hit out after the front runners, clearing the crest and onto the false flat in around 6th, with a few metres gap to guys like Will Walker. I tried to dig and bridge up, but I was already red lining, and had to slide backwards, looking across as riders went around, hoping, praying that someone might lend a hand. Eventually Smythy rolled through with a hand to the arse. I got stretched again on the next couple of rollers, eventually blowing on the roll up to Canadian Bay Rd and coming through dead last for the turn to Mt Eliza.

The pace back was a bit nicer, the headwind taking the sting out of riders legs, and eventually we dropped from 50km/h back down to mid/low 40s. The damage was done, halfway up Ricketts I had to concede that I would have zero influence on the sprint and it was perhaps time to consider where my post ride flat whites would come from.

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 8 March 2013

8/03/2013

CX Shenanigans:
It's possible I looked waiting, forlornly at the cafe with my macchiato, I was woried that I was in for a solo mission. Thankfully young Mick from StK Rush rocked up to make it a rocking duo.

There were lots of giggles as we hooked out to Bruce's loop and some of the alley run of old. While I went through spells of feeling the rhythm perfectly and times where I felt awkward and clumsy, I regaled Mick with stories of those old times. Then I realised I was being that bloke.

Commute:



PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 7 March 2013

7/03/2013

Commute:
So there's a long weekend coming up, which means a bonus day to do stupid things involving bicycles. But this brings us to a point that feels quite pertinent... how stupid is too stupid?

On Monday a few lads (and possibly ladettes) are intending to ride two hundred and forty odd kms, including Mt Baw Baw on Monday. That seems like quite stupid.... but also fun.

I think I might be sick in the head.

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

6/03/2012

NRR Long: - sort of
I decided to do North Road long for giggles, some bonus kms, followed by coffee on a nice Autumn morning.

I didn't make the loop though, a flat around Chelsea meant I met the bunch as they came back into Frankston before hammering it home. A couple of the TKM boys were rolling turns hard, and slowly tearing the legs off everyone. Given how hammered everyone looked at the end, I'm actually kind of pleased I could ride at that pace. Welcome back red blood cells.

Commute:

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

5/03/2013

6:00 NRR:
I figured I might as well get up and do North Road this morning, as the past few weeks when I've tried to sleep in, the bin men wake me anyway.

I was there just for the company and the coffee afterwards, I'd even considered the possibility I might get spat out the back. I didn't like that possibility, but given how I felt on Saturday, I had to accept it might come to fruition. At one point, I figured the only question was if I'd go down fighting or not.

I rolled to the front a few times, right to the front too, no shirking into a half gap around 8th wheel, and honestly... it felt ok, but I figured "bugger taking chances" and tried my best to keep my nose well clear of the wind.

So coming through the golden mile, my legs having ticked over a nice cadence all morning, I felt ok, much better than the chaff that surrounded me, so I moved towards the front, found a rider hung out on the outside and sat calmly on his wheel. As we rounded onto Ormond Esplanade two full trains had formed, and I was camped comfortably in the outside one. Riders hit the wind and unloaded their legs then peeled off in a rhythm that reassured me, everything, just. felt. right.

And so it was, I was dropped of around 60km/h sometime after the canal, I'd dropped the wheel a fraction moments before the final bloke blew so I had room to run into the draught before his blown legs sent him backwards. I got out of the saddle and hammered the pedals before planting my arse and driving to the line.

It took a while after my wheel crossed the line for my heart to get a signal to my brain. My brain had been pre-occupied with the elation of a "win" to pay attention to the palpitations occurring beneath my ribs, the screen poised in front of my bars read 224bpm. That effort was tad harder than I thought I'd go today.

Commute:
Putting three flat whites into my face before the clock chimed 8:30am seemed like a good idea at the time. At 11am, when I giggled for 5 minutes at an AMEX statement, it occurred to me that it I might possibly have been too much. Maybe.


PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 4 March 2013

4/03/2013

Commute:
It was too nice an afternoon to not sneak in a few extras on the way home. A quick scoot out to Richmond then a casual roll back against the commuter cup traffic on the north side of the river.

I think the only thing that would have made it better was if there had been a Mr Whippy van somewhere along the route.

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 3 March 2013

3/03/2013

St Kilda East - Port Melbourne - St Kilda East:
Racing for SKCC was on Bay St, Port Melbourne, a seemingly nice change from the industrial back streets until you realised it was a hot dog circuit.

I left my license at home and rolled down to watch the women and men's a-grade races. The races unfolded in similar fashions. Strong, but light, riders blew the bunch to pieces, and rode clear to finish in 3-4 person sprints won by the first person out of the last corner. Hrm, in review that sounds right boring, but for me it was exciting, both races featured mates at the pointy end, Amy got the chocolates in the women's race, and Bing rolled home in 4th after making both Walker brothers hurt all day long.

Watching all that riding was tiring, so I headed home via Dukes for 2nd breakfast and a 3rd coffee.

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 2 March 2013

2/03/2013

Rush Shop Ride:
I was half convinced by Skinny to go out to Mt Donna Buang with DK and Bing for a couple of repeats. A massive day, especially sans oxygen carrying red blood cells, but Skinny said we'd cruise it together. Then, last night in a flurry of sms to organise details Skinny bailed, his ribs had taken a harder hit than he thought in yesterday's crash. This left me in a limbo of indecision. Go on the ride up the big hill with the really fast mates, or find something else to do. The latter won out fairly easily. Sleep in and ride easy makes for a pretty convincing argument.

I rode the front of the group as we headed Southbound, but I wasn't feeling great, one of the guys I spent time with opened me up on each of the rollers. 32km/h on the flat and 35km/h up the hill? Yeah that resulted in a fat finger inserted into a jersey pocket and a gentle "settle tiger!".

For the return leg I volunteered to ride gatekeeper for the second, slightly slower group. My legs ticked over while my vocal chords got a workout "yep. yep. pete. yep yep yep!!"

Being part of the shop team is not too bad. There's the sense of belonging you get as a member of a group, but right now, while my mates are off doing hard training, the biggest benefit is the cafe right in store!

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 1 March 2013

1/03/2013

CX Shenanigans:
The first few trails were ridden with under lights, wobbly, bar mounted lights, that didn't give confidence in their rock spotting abilities, a problem given the 32/32c tyres humming along beneath me. Though today was notable for the complete lack of flats... but a couple of notable offs.

The first off was mine, I turned off my light for the whoops trail from studley park boat house and tried to outrun Skinny's light. I got an early lead through the fast start, but as the trail tightened I was missing the extra illumination. Two thirds of the way in where the trail goes right... no wait... left... no right... nooo..... shit! I washed out by front wheel on the soft trail edge and got a free trip down the bank towards the Yarra.

The second... well, the video tells the story better than I do.




Commute:

PMPW: 92kg