Saturday, 31 August 2013


Tewantin State Forest:
My brother and I found a window of time after lunch and slipped out with our bikes for another dirt foray. I'd never ridden in that forest before, but I had bouts of de ja vu as I pushed my tyres into the dirt. This bit of trail was like the Gravity drop up in Rosewhite, that bit was like the first bit of the Wombat trail that drops into the valley, the one over there was from Forest, and the other was like Smiths gully.

I'm going to need to go riding on the trails with mates when I get back home. I don't want to forget how fun it is again.

Strava link.

D: 9.3km
A: 203m

Friday, 30 August 2013


Parklands Forest Reserve:
I flew up to the sunshine coast to visit my brother and his family this morning. Not only was he waiting for me at the airport, but we snuck out for a few sneaky trails on our way back to his place.

It's been a long time since I hit some trails on the hardtail, and I've got to say, I've missed it a bit. The rocks and roots were swallowed by his big wheels and suspension, but forced me to be clean with my lines and moves. That meant that there was a slight evening of skills and abilities... which then fuelled my competitive nature and I soon found myself pushing hard through blind turns on loose dusty turns.

Strava link.

D: 5.2km
A: 208m

PMPW: 96kg

Thursday, 29 August 2013


6am NRR:
I sat in this morning, scared of pushing too hard and sending my health backwards. I was also scared that I might have no choice, DK rolled up and set up camp at the start of the bunch, making sure everyone knew just how strong he was... but from back in 15th wheel it felt ok. I just had to keep my head up so I could spot the blown guys I'd need to go around early, and make sure anything hacked from lungs was ejected safely out the side of the bunch.

I even put myself on the front of the chase bunch when a 50m split formed through the roundabouts at Mordi. I just tapped the pedals along, dragging everyone back up to the wheels of the lead riders.

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 180m


D: 7.3km
A: 37m

St Kilda East - Yarra Boulevard - St Kilda East:
Sitting around after Northy this morning I was feeling good, DK suggested he might roll this arvo, and like an over enthusiastic puppy, I said I'd join him.

The plan was 4 laps of the Kew Boulevard, riding 53x14. We ended up only doing one, as moment into that first lap the heavens opened up. That lap was still good quality, the gym block I'd done, and the morning's effort DK had done showed through, meaning I was able to ride away on the climbs. If only all racing was done on the tops in a big gear, my power booty would dominate all!

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 180m

PMPW: 97kg

Wednesday, 28 August 2013


My motivation at 5:10am can be summed up in words that only appear together in Australia. Yeah, nah.

On the other end of the motivation spectrum is Cam Wurf, a ex rowing Tasmanian, off riding the Vuelta in service of Ivan Basso. You should read his blog, it's solid, and I'm not just saying that because I have a soft spot for ex-rowers turned cyclists.

D: 5.9km
A: 102m

PMPW: 96kg

Tuesday, 27 August 2013


5:45am NRR:
Need is a strong word, and one that's quite likely overused, so I'll refrain from saying I needed to ride. Instead I'll say I really really wanted to ride, to get the legs cranking, to assess what this flu has done and is doing to me, and to get some post exercise coffee.

While I'll cop to being an idiot at times, I stop at least a step short of considering myself a complete idiot. For instance, I realise that destroying myself on the bike while sick will only prolong the sickness. So with that in mind I chose to do the quarter too northy bunch. It's easy down and rolling turns back.

I should state it's been a while since I've done the 5:45, and that I've come to think of it as a lesser option, a bunch with less skilled riders. This probably explains my bunch positioning, top 12 on the way down, and in the working group on the way back. In the working group?! Yeah, it just seemed a better option than playing with the class of riders I see in my mind.

The work was hard, but it got done and I felt good because of it. I even rolled off a few wheels to take the sprint, but that sort of felt like bullying kids in a younger grade.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 171m


D: 14.1km
A: 128m

PMPW: 98kg

Monday, 26 August 2013


Why do the French only eat one egg in the morning

Because one egg is an oeuf.

D: 17.4km
A: 105m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 25 August 2013


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - St Kilda East:
It was decided, during one of the many random conversations that occurred during this ride, that spring (yep, the season) is the dastardly bad guy from old timey movies. You know the sort, the one who twirls his oiled mustache and ties damsels to train tracks. Anyway, in this day and age spring toys with emotions, and delights in the seemingly impossible situation of headwind both ways. It shows you the pretty days, then takes them away just as fast. Spring is a jerk of a season.

I feel a lot better after this ride, and I don't think it's just because turning the pedals for a few hours helped burn through some of the beers and the many dumplings that were consumed last night. Going up Burgundy St on the way home I felt almost normal. Seated, with a relatively big gear, just pushing through the first couple of layers of mental and physical resistance... it felt almost good. A few coughing fits brought that feeling crashing back to earth, but for a brief moment, like the fleeting glimpse of good weather spring gives us, everything was ok.

Strava link.

D: 90.3km
A: 1,133m

PMPW: 97kg

Saturday, 24 August 2013


St Kilda East - Brighton - St Kilda East:
I planned on doing the Rush shop ride this morning, but I just couldn't get to sleep last night. I was too hot under the covers, I was too cold with any part of me outside the covers and boy was I sweaty. So around midnight I cancelled my 5:20 alarm and eventually dozed off.

When I got up, I still wanted to ride, so I headed south along beach rd, flicking around at Brighton when I saw the big pink bunch I'd planned to ride with, rolling north towards me. From there I sat in, struggling to get oxygen from my mucus coated lungs. The one time I pulled through, the legs felt good, but I was soon panic breathing.

Yeah, not ideal.

Strava link.

D: 30.2km
A: 96m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 23 August 2013


I don't want to get ahead of myself, you know, because I still feel less than average, but I planned a ride on Sunday with Steve.

I figure I feel better today than I did yesterday, and that in turn was better than Wednesday, plotting out a trajectory, I think I might be able to manage a couple of hour ride on Sunday... bookended by some coffee... obviously.

D: 5.5km
A:  58m

PMPW: 98kg

Thursday, 22 August 2013


Even if I'd spent months on EPO, I doubt I could have climbed into bed any quicker tonight. The will was there, but I ached, especially the hips. They felt like I'd backed up sets of heavy deads.

D: 5.5km
A: 75m

PMPW: 98kg

Wednesday, 21 August 2013


Day 3 of the Fair Work Australia protected industrial action, the lungs have joined the picket line, voicing their concerns in a series of hacking coughs.

I will not succumb to their demands to stop even thinking about riding my bike. Not yet at least.

PMPW: 97kg

Tuesday, 20 August 2013


My body has unionised itself behind this cold or whatever it is. Yesterday's stuffed head was joined by a solidly running nose today. I fear this stop work action will get uglier before it get's better.

At this point I am acquiescing to their demands, despite it leading to a few SMS calling me soft.

D: 18.7km
A: 204m

PMWP: 96kg

Monday, 19 August 2013


Ok, I might have over done it on the weekend, as I'm feeling tight in the throat and runny in the nose.

Just to be clear, this is not regret, it's a blog... but even the words that are on this blog should not be read as regret. They should be read as words.

D: 14.8km
A: 102m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 18 August 2013


Tour de Cafe:
Last night, post track, the conversation with DK revolved around what time we'd have to meet at the coffee shop to get in at least two coffees before rolling easy over to the boulevard to meet Bing to watch Bones and Bridie race the TT.

It was 8:15am.

Strava link.

D: 30.0km
A: 383m

ABOC Sprint @ DISC:

1 x 1/4 lap Power jump @ 82" (15km/h)
1 x Flying 100m @ 82"

1 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 100"
1 x Team sprint @ 100" (187m, 2nd position, Jack in 1st)
1 x Team sprint @ 106" (187m, 2nd position, Jack in 1st)
2 x Team sprint @ 106" (375m, 3rd position, Jack in 1st, Luke in 2nd)
2 x Team sprint @ 98" (375m, 3rd position, Jack in 1st, Luke in 2nd)
1 x Over under duck & dive @ 82"

I never go easy on gate starts, but without doubt the intensity of my efforts stepped up twice tonight. First when I had to chase Jack, then again when I had to chase both Jack and Luke.

A month or so ago it was a sense of competition that drove the intensity. This week it was fear of failure and judgement. While you were on the boards, if felt like the eyes of everyone waiting for their turn were on you. The prospect of failing to hold the wheel(s) in front of friends kept me lining up long after nausea set in. The last set in particular took a lot of mental effort to ignore my legs, stomach and brain and just roll up to the line. Once there, the fear of failure did the rest.

PMPW: 97kg

Saturday, 17 August 2013


Hell Ride - Arthurs Seat - Arthurs Seat - Mornington - St Kilda East:
There were four challenges to this ride, staying up front of the Hell Ride, an ascent Arthurs Seat, a strength effort of Arthurs Seat, and the ride home. Honestly, the ride home was probably the hardest. That northerly just didn't quit, but thankfully neither did the jokes from my companions, DK, Wilko, Lach and Sam.

The Hell Ride is the Hell Ride, it's a useful training ride or high speed transport to get down the peninsula early on a Saturday. We had the same sort of police presence as last week, which meant being at the front was again key.

My first ascent of the seat was 4 seconds slower than a few weeks back, but there was a 2W better average power at the same body weights. Sampling error or wind... you decide. The next ascent was done with a much lower cadence, dropping down around 60-70rpm rather than the 90-100 I prefer for climbing. It felt ok and only added 14 seconds, last time down here the second ascent was over a minute slower. Anyway, what all that is meant to say is that I went up twice in the box, and set reasonable times.

It's at this point that I'd normally consider the ride done, well the crux of it, and start mentally checking out, you know... thinking about tomorrow's ride, or the afternoon's football game... oh yeah and food. Today was a bit different, by the time got back to Mornington, despite riding two up, two coffees, some turkish delight and some salami were required. Yes, required.

The slog, then continued through to home, where I took my little GPS unit, uploaded my data to Strava and was both surprised and unsurprised to find that the training stress score (suffer score) for the day was one of the highest I've recorded (228, 4th).

Strava link.

D: 176.9km
A: 1,828m

SKCC Track @ DISC:

1 x 35 lap warmup
1 x Flying 100
4 x Keirins (6 laps)

175km in the elements wasn't enough... we'll to be more accurate, it wasn't enough to make a session at the track under the tutelage of Shane Kelly unappealing.

The group standing around listening to Shane give advice on how to intimidate other riders by "sitting on their handlebars" and how to do so, was at best mixed. Each drill that followed was essentially a mini race where experimenting with tactics, positioning and handlebar sitting was actively encouraged. I blame the morning's antics on how long it took me to stop trying to win, and start trying to learn, but the last drill was awesome.

For the first time I managed to double or triple kick under an attacking rider (DK) to maintain control of the sprinters lane and force them them up the track and thus the long way to the line.

The desire to race kilos and keirins is still there inside me, it's not the biggest fire of desire I've got, but should things line up right, I'd like to do the Vic titles again.

D: 30.6km
A: 51m

PMPW: 98kg

Friday, 16 August 2013


Despite turning up in civies, the nice boys and girls at Dukes were willing to serve me coffee, two in fact. This pleases gaga.

D: 19.0km
A: 102m

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 15 August 2013


6am NRR:
I thought my legs were done this morning, but in hind sight it might have just been a serious case of CBFs.

I rolled to the front at the start of the ride, pulled one turn, before slinking back a bit to feel sorry for myself. At some point I was next to Jez Hunt, lamenting how my favourite hill wasn't so fun when he's around because he smacks me on it. Later, as we approached that hill I noted Jez had had to push more air than normal, so set about chasing down and passing him with extreme prejudice. Granted I blew a short while before the top, but I'd made my point, and in the process found that my legs worked better than I thought.

With this fresh revelation, I decided play in the sprint, wavering from setting myself to perform a lead out, or sprinting in earnest. The heavy headwind was going to make being on the front tough, and honestly I was letting it come down to who's wheel I was on where, because such things are so varied on a training ride that it's hard to predict.Anyway, lights at Glen Huntly spoilt the fun, so that put paid to the whole shebang.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 182m


D: 17.4km
A: 101m

PMPW: 98kg

Wednesday, 14 August 2013


NRR Long:
The pace stayed pretty steady all the way through to the turn from the highway into Canadian Bay Road. The Nor Westerly had got us down in decent time, but I think the thought that the weather might turn even more horrendous at any moment was keeping a damper on affairs.

Anyway, the 15% kick at the bottom of Canadian did what it always does, forces action. A couple of boys flicked off the front without huge response from the bunch, sitting in 4th or 5th wheel I felt ok, you know what it's like, you figure the pace is soft... so you do something dumb. So yeah, I did something dumb, or genius, or dumb... I pulled out and rode myself to the front of the bunch and set the tempo. I caught the first of the riders quickly, he'd obviously been charged with giving his mate the benefit of his effort, the second catch came around the start of the false flat... so I kept pushing. Well... pushing is probably a stretch, I went from 600W+ to 250-300, but any pressure on the pedals feels huge for me there. I hit the last pinch at the front and only had a couple of guys come off my wheel and around me.

On the descent I took drafts, and checked the damage that I'd wrought (7 or 8 riders had made the selection). I had no idea who of those 7 or 8 had had to push air to make it and who hadn't, realising thinking of others is pointless, I went back to thinking about myself (I look handsome today). Into the bottom of Two Bays, Joel Strachan worked the front early before swinging off to expose me to the wind. I set myself to try and hold a steady effort, the numbers tell me that was around 530W, but the pitch changes and a headwind that was gusting meant I never felt settled. At some point Bensley and a couple of others attacked around me, leaving me to battle my way to the roundabout with only the sound of my ragged breath for company.

The trip home was solid, a long two up turn with Tim McGrath, then later on, turns with a small group of willing fellows.
Strava link.

D: 94.5km
A: 544m

I took a Strava KOM recently, Dawns had the girl version, and I thought it cute to have a segment where we had both titles. Well... it seems that last night the bloke I took it off, took it back off of me.

A cute relationship gesture may have now turned to war. Who does this bloke think he is? That was mine, or ours, or mine, or something.

Practically, I'm fairly sure I can best his time as I shut down the legs early to set my previous time... but maybe I should crack out the race wheels.... or the disk to make a statement of intent.

I hear some guys buy their girlfriends flowers to show their affection. Weirdos.

D: 10.9km
A: 78m

PMPW: 98kg

Tuesday, 13 August 2013


6am NRR:
From North Road to Southland it was Youngie and I on the front. Two up. Solid tempo. After that I sat in for a while, we'd copped pretty much every red light possible, and the accelerations were not doing me many favours.

Into Mordi, I took a deep breath, getting myself mentally ready for the hurt. Then the bunch split. Cars turning right chopped the bunch in half, and I was in the wrong one. Despite looking for some solid hurt time, I wasn't ready for that. When we got the ride back together I set about rolling through every turn. It felt ok... well, you know, it hurt, but that's ok.

It was another solid morning into a head wind, with all bar a couple of blokes rolling their turns smoothly until lights and traffic around Elwood put paid to the sprint and thus ended the ride.

Strava link.

D: 45.7km
A: 209m


D: 17.4km
A: 100m

PMPW: 98kg

Monday, 12 August 2013


Holy crap that wind was incredible. I had the misfortune to be riding to work during the worst of it (around 10:45), I had to unclip at St Kilda rd because trying to trackstand was resulting in me being driven backwards.

D: 6.3km
A: 36m

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 11 August 2013


ABOC Sprint @ DISC:
1 x 1/4 lap Power jump @ 82" (15km/h)
1 x 1/4 lap Power jump @ 82" (30km/h)

2 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 100"
1 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 100"
2 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 104"
1 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 104"
2 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 106"
1 x Gate start + 1/4 lap @ 106"
1 x Flying 150m @ 82"

Ungh, big gear gate starts, at least they were standing efforts. The 1/2 lap efforts felt better than the 1/4s. Maybe because I was able to get the gears (mostly) wound up. Maybe it was the prospect of more time to recover from errors that kept me calm (and thus performing well) in the gate.

There was some new techniques and instructions to change feet. Initially I was reluctant to even try starting left foot forward, but I gave it (mostly) shut up and used it for 2/3 of my efforts. The new technique was about crank position. I'd like to get some solid power and/or time data before commenting and committing to using it, but the theory is sound.

PMPW: 96kg

Saturday, 10 August 2013


Hell Ride:
Coming back through Mordi, I said g'day* to Cam from Bike Gallery. He in turn asked me if I'd been dropped by the Hell Ride. I had, and to my continued shock, I wasn't ashamed of it.

The ride down was solid, as the pace was good and I wanted to be up the front. It wasn't just about training, the bunch was big, and the local motorbike mounted police who were out monitoring our progress were occasionally pressing lights ahead of us to force mid pack reds. Anyway, the point is, I was up the front, I was pulling turns, and I was feeling good.

I was feeling so good that I cruised past the pack into the bottom of Olivers, telling Bensley to get on my wheel in the process. I hit the bottom of the pinch, setting a decent tempo, then standing when the first couple of riders felt confident enough to attack. I hit the top of the climb in the usual fashion, pained, and got ready for the usual suckfest of the false flat as I closed the gap to the 1 or 2 riders that were clear. One of those riders, Bensley, kicked and just like that I was in trouble. The gap grew, and furtive glances behind me left me with the conclusion that no one had the legs to help me close it. By the time I hit the bottom Baden Powel, you know, the start of the last ramp, I was slightly panicked (the data says I was already 4 beats over threshold). The pace continued and eventually the elastic broke, leaving me to stare at the lights at Canadian, hoping they'd stop the bunch and let me catch up.

They did... sort of. They caught half the bunch, which let me roll back up into contact... but that front group was never to be seen again. So it was me and 30 or so other solid guys rolling turns back home to copious coffee.

Strava link.

D: 102.4km
A: 403m

PMPW: 96kg

* ok, so I called him a hubard and told him to stay left... with the biggest grin on my face I could muster.

Friday, 9 August 2013


It's possible that I'm too rested. Being rested makes me restless. Being restless makes me want to stab people. Stabbing unsuspecting people is (allegedly) bad.

So, in the spirit of making me a less not nice person, anyone willing to sign a small waiver and stand in my general vicinity should contact me through the regular channels. Especially if they're the ones responsible for this week's weather.

D: 10.2km
A: 61m

PMPW: 96kg

Thursday, 8 August 2013


Jokes about German sausages are the wurst.

D: 4.94km
A: 45m

PMPW: 95kg

Wednesday, 7 August 2013


NRR Long:
That was the biggest bunch I've seen go long in, well, a long time. Some of the turns, where a good portion of the bunch were rolling through, were neigh on excruciating. It wasn't just the whip effect of being that far back, it was the anguish of waiting, like the lead up to a sprint, but without the potential pay off of a win in the offing.

I kept myself tucked away on the hills before Canadian Bay as best as I could. I did have to cover a small gap up Baden Powell, but mostly I sucked wheels and sucked air until we hit the bottom kicker on Canadian. From there I pushed more air than I hoped, setting my own tempo to the false flat, then having to continue the effort when the only one to come around me was Danny Kah, and he did it by sprinting over to the front few guys.

Down to the bottom of Two Bays I tried to recover and regain ground. A tough combination that meant I still had a few metres gap when we made the turn into the climb. Like last week I attempted to just settle and set my own pace. Unlike last week I never found the happy unhappy place, and had to spend a lot more mental effort.

None of the key times were amazing, but the moderate pace down and strong pace home helped bump up the over all stress score.

Strava link.

D: 95.3km
A: 129m

PMPW: 96kg

Tuesday, 6 August 2013


In a near repeat of last week, the weather in the middle of the night made me hesitant to ride. Perhaps it was a bit of confirmation bias about how I read the forecast. I reset my alarm to 7am and went back to sleep.

D: 5.1km
A: 36m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 5 August 2013


1 x 2min Row
1 x 100 Skip

2 x 5 @ 20kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 50kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 70kg Low bar squat
1 x 2 @ 90kg Low bar squat
3 x 5 @ 122.5kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Press
1 x 5 @ 47kg Press
1 x 4 @ 47kg Press
1 x 3 @ 47kg Press

1 x 6 Chin ups

My head was not in it today. I smashed through the first set of squats, then got lazy and lost form and had to fight through some ugly reps. Press was no better, an extra kg and decreasing rep counts. It's not the end of the world, just a challenge to go after it again next time.

Actually, next time might be in a year. I'm pretty much at the point where I want to get more hills and more recovery, something has to give and that's likely to be this Monday session.


D: 12.6km
A: 61m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 4 August 2013


St Kilda East - Frankston - St Kilda East:
I wasn't motivated for this, my neighbours had a shouting match for a couple of hours... or rather he spilt wine on the couch and she shouted at him. Despite how long it went on for, I'm still unsure if she was upset that the couch was stained, or that wine was wasted. Probably the latter.

The plan was some steady state kms. Nothing earth shattering, just ticking the legs over for a few hours, and hopefully avoid getting too wet. I ticked the first box, the weather was kind enough to enable the second, and I found some mates on the return leg to keep me company.

Now, where's the wine?

Strava link.

D: 92.9km
A: 238m

PMPW: 96kg

Saturday, 3 August 2013


St Kilda East - Devils Elbow - The Wall - Sassafrass Creek - St Kilda East:
Before this ride I felt I needed some more time in the hills, after it, I feel like I need some more time in the hills. CJ,  Danny Cohen and Wade Wallace all put me in the box by various methods through out the day. I'm not complaining mind you, it was all quality threshold work, it will make me faster.... but it would be nice to be competitive on the hills.

The Elbow was first up and I started on the front, riding two up with Danny. We turned toward the elbow itself and the road ramped, I was soon riding on his wheel... then watching from behind somewhere as CJ attacked and dropped Danny at a similar rate to what Danny was doing to me. I was 30 seconds slower than last week, but averaged an 8 beats per minute higher heart rate.

After working hard on the descent to the bottom of the wall, in an attempt to give Danny a head start on CJ, I took a little bit to settle into a tempo. Settling in I tried to distance myself from Wade, but he kept on keeping on, showing an annoying tendency to continue conversation despite my best efforts.

This is Wade's photo, I've totes stolen it without asking permission.

The final climb was a social affair, two up up Sass Creek rd. By social I of course mean the guys 30-40kg lighter than me chatted away and I occasionally had to concentrate very hard on pedalling.


So compared to others, not a great day. Compared to some of my times, not a great day. My power numbers? Not a bad day at all. I was within 8 watts of my all time best 20 minute power (395W vs 403W).

In the box time is good time.

Strava link.

D: 97.1km

PMPW: 97kg

Friday, 2 August 2013


Did you hear the about the man who fell into the upholstery machine?

He's fully recovered now.

D: 10.2km
A: 46m

PMPW: 96kg

Thursday, 1 August 2013


6am NRR:
If this was a Tuesday I'd be shitty with life and how I'd performed. As it was the 3rd day on the bike in a row, and 6th day of training I was happy to have been able to get my nose into the wind on the front.

Most of the work was on the way down, rolling through until we neared the turn, then a couple of times on the way home. I figured a bit of a northerly would make the sprint fun, and fun it was.

Flat out, single file, with a tour de france rider pulling a monster SE effort into the wind to take us to Glen Huntly. From there the train disintegrated, no one wanted to be in the wind unless it suited them. Eventually I ran out of wheels to hide on and had to launch to try and chase down Luke Jones who'd gone early.

The power numbers weren't amazing, but as Luke was dangling close, and possibly coming back ever so slowly I had the motivation to keep the power on for longer than my legs wanted. That's a good thing. I havent really pushed those sub 30 second efforts recently and they're some of the efforts I find most rewarding.

I ended up overhauling Lukey just before the brown sign finish line

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 198m

I sat down and watched this video last night with the Dawns. I'd read some of his articles on the topics before, but the talk was much better. I gave the bloke more credit when I knew his athletic credentials than when I just knew his medical ones.

D: 23.0km
A: 139m

PMPW: 96kg