Thursday, 31 October 2013

31/10/2013

Commute:
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

Massage:
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

30/10/2013

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

Commute:

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

29/10/2013

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

Commute:
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

28/10/2013

Commute:
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

27/10/2013

Commute:
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

26/10/2013

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.

D:163.2km
A: 3,204m

PMPW: 96kg

Friday, 25 October 2013

25/10/2013

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

Commute:

D: 9.9km
A: 58m

PMPW: 97kg

Thursday, 24 October 2013

24/10/2013

Commute:
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

23/10/2013

Commute:
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

22/10/2013

Commute:
Probably could have ridden this morning. Oh well.

D: 5.5km
A: 74m

Intervals:
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

21/10/2013

Commute:
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

20/10/2013

AMG ATB:
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

Saturday, 19 October 2013

19/10/2013

CCC Crit:
Today I raced a crit who's club acronym is quite similar to Caulfield Carnegie's Cycling Club (CCCC), the Coburg Cycling Club (CCC). The similarities continued on beyond the acronyms too. Flattish courses, in industrial estates that takes a while to ride to, also they both attract strong riders.

I didn't have too much of a plan, I barely knew any riders and it was hard to tell how the slight uphill/headwind up the back straight, and downhill/tailwind down the front straight would play out. I decided to get feisty anyway.

We had a neutral half lap to start, I was on the front chatting to another rider, hit the start of the race proper, and made a snap decision to try and go off the front. I gave it some leg up the back straight, but decided to swing off when I felt other riders on my wheel. I figured the bunch was on for the free ride and I was wasting my time, so it was a surprise when there were only two guys, and I had to re-kick to get back on their wheels to continue what I started.

A few laps of that and more people came across, giving us a strong group of 25 or so. 25 or so is obviously a decent sized number, more than many wanted to take to the end of the race, so attacks kept coming for a while ensuring that those that hadn't come across were distanced and effectively eliminated from the race.

With DK in the bunch, I tried to keep active to save him some energy, but when eventually he hammered off the front to bridge to two other riders and set up the winning move, I got rewarded by the ability to just sit in and let others try to shut down the gap.

I got to watch the final two up sprint between Dave and a Target Trek rider, after they we got pulled when they lapped the field.

Strava link.

D: 113.1km
A: 615m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 18 October 2013

18/10/2013

Yarra trails:
Steve, his mate Andrew, and I met up for an hour or so of sneaky pre-work trails. I had ever so slightly misjudged how cold it was, so set a route that included a heap of steep climbs to keep my body temperatures up until the sun started to get cranking.

Other than a retarded low speed stack that cut up my hand a bit when I flubbed a roll off a gutter (looked behind and over weighted my front wheel), it was fun in the sun.

I hit the edges of my tyres hard a few times, riding in that sweet spot between in and out of control, but mostly I just rode the trails to the sounds of the world waking up, then put coffee in my face hole with some dudes.

Strava link.

D: 17.4km
A: 288m

Commute:

D: 22.9km
A: 243m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 17 October 2013

17/10/2013

Commute:
Holy HCC Hangover Hatman.*

20 minutes of racing last night and I'm feeling well used today. That's awesome!

I was planning on hitting some punchy hills on Saturday, but DK is going up to do the Coburg crit. I think I might join him. I hear the course is good, I hear the racing is good, but mostly I want to ride with my mates, and if he's not coming to the hills with me, I'll go race crits with him.

D: 6.9km
A: 71m

PMPW: 95kg

* It's my alliteration and I'm going to create whatever fictional version of a fictional character I feel necessary to complete it!

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

16/10/2013

Commute:

D: 5.9km
A: 126m

HCC Crit:
I now have some unfinished business with this race, quite literally. I made it through 22-24 minutes of the 43-45 minute race. I'm not angry or disappointed with yet another DNF. I know this race doesn't suit me terribly much, but I feel strongly that doing it is going to help me a lot on races that do.

I mostly sat in the last 1/3 of the bunch, moving up is difficult, so I took cheap places when they were on offer, and tried to judge my efforts along the bottom of the course so that I'd hit the hairpin corner the most recovered I could be.

I can't really know if my effort judgement was good or not, but I can say that it takes me a minimum of 1,000W to get out of that bottom corner, and of the 17 laps I managed before the repeated load cracked me, that most were of the kicks were in the 1,200-1,450W range.

Strava link.

D: 35.8km
A: 357m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

15/10/2013

6am NRR:
I'm not quite mentally on track for becoming a crit monster, but I rolled NRR, because the bin men are jerks who wake me anyway on a Tuesday morning.

The pace wasn't too dramatic, and I was ok with that. I took sits, rolled a few turns back into the wind, and generally marvelled at how tight my hips and hamstrings felt.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 176m

Commute:

D: 24.1km
A: 234m

PMPW: 96kg

Monday, 14 October 2013

14/10/2013

Rest:
I did a sum total of bugger all physical today, though I did think about the next few months of physicality.

I'm going to race HCC Crits at Kew on Wednesday this week. It's going to suck, I'm probably going to chuck, but hopefully not with any luck.

PMPW: 97kg

Sunday, 13 October 2013

13/10/2013

St Kilda East - Mordialloc - St Kilda East:
I got up early, acquired a coffee, then rolled down to St Kilda to feed Chris Cantor Racing and Skinny in the Melbourne Marathon.

Standing about in the cool morning air I got to see the pro men and women go through, gliding over the ground at 20km/h, while looking super relaxed.



Once the gels and water had been handed out, I went south in search of a Total Rush bunch, who I knew would be somewhere along the beach. To my good fortune I found them parked at Mordi, which made for an easy turn around and meet up.

The pace home was laconic, which was just fine by me, I used it as a chance to roll turns with varied modes. Big gears, big cadences, exaggerated heeling... all to feel how my legs were and also keep my mates entertained.

Strava link.

D: 55.0km
A: 234m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 12 October 2013

12/10/2013

Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic:
Yesterday I made a little mocka for my stem. I kept it simple, feed zones, the big hills of Camperdown and finally the 4 or 5 South heading roads. The roads were there because that's where the cross winds always are... well, where they had been every other year I'd played the Warny game. Not this year.

In the hours after the race, one word was used more than any other to describe the race. Brutal. The nice still morning developed into a warm day with a leg destroying south westerly wind. On top of that add in some very enthusiastic NRS teams... and yeah.... brutal.

I pulled the pin at Lismore. I'd spent the first few hours trying to work out if sitting in the gutter for the long cross wind sections was using up more energy than it would take for me to get to the front and avoid the gutter. I figured cheap places were ok, but I wasn't going to fight with semi-pros for wheels, so grovelled with everyone else centimetres from the broken left edge of the road.

At some point, I'm not sure exactly where as I'd been staring at wheels for some time, a crash happened in front of me. Two guys got tangled and went down. I was already on my mental and physical limit trying to hold the wheel, so when the crash forced me to the far right of the road, and I got a moment to look at the multiple echelons forming on the exposed stretch of tarmac... well my brain called it quits. I found a small bunch or two and rolled into the moisture sucking wind until Lismore then piled myself into the car.

Once I was convinced I wouldn't see the sprint I lost motivation. My cadence went from 110rpm down to 65-75, which only added to the feeling that I was riding through molasses.

From the accounts of those that finished, it came back together a little bit after that, but blew apart again... and came back together... and blew apart... brutal.

To those that got themselves to the end of the race, with or without sight of the winners, I doff my hat to you.

Right now I don't want to even think about the prospect of doing this race again. I'm not angry, just disappointed.

Strava link.

D: 151.3km
A: 885m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 11 October 2013

11/10/2013

Commute:
Last night I had vivid dreams. That's not a normal thing, nor was the theme. It, they, it feels like it was multiple, anyway they were all centred around the concept of not being ready.

Through the day that sense of foreboding lifted and I came to accept that the warny is going to happen. I got my feed bags and gear ready and went to bed early. I dont have a dedicated feeder, but we'll make it work.

Tomorrow i get the answers to a few questions, like how good (or not) my fitness is.

D: 7.1km
A: 93m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 10 October 2013

10/10/12

Commute:
Compounding the feelings of impending doom is the stress of loose ends. The big piece of fabric, blowing in the cross winds near Lismore, and threatening to tear the whole garment apart, is my lack of a dedicated feeder for the race.

Last night it got a bit much, i found myself napping on the couch by 7:30pm, and then this morning I turned off my 5:30 alarm and napped through to 7:30am.

This feels like far more stress than last year. I suppose because my goals have shifted up and I've put more time into preparing. In other words, I've got more skin in the game (literally too at 3kg heavier than last year). Last year we got dagged at Camperdown, but my aim had been to get to that point. This year I'd like to see the finish of the race. The real race, not the sprint for 67th.

To get to that final kick, I'm going to need to refuel along the way, and not having a dedicated person, in their own car is an element that could bring it all crashing down. I've had a missed feed, even with a dedicated feeder, every time I've done this race. So... what'll happen without one?!

D: 18.2km
A: 115m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

9/10/2013

Albert Park Lake:
4 laps of the lake and a strong feeling of malaise.

There's a line, at least I hope there is, where you can detach yourself from a stressful situation enough that the stress is negated, but not so much that you fail to perceive and act on items that need attention. I find myself swinging wildly to both sides of that line, the malaise was too detached, the feeling of impending doom I had over the coffee that followed was too little.

Strava link.

D: 26.8km
A: 56m

Commute:
Saturday's forecast.
"Sunny day. The chance of showers during the evening. Winds north to northwesterly 15 to 25 km/h increasing to 40 km/h before tending west to northwesterly and becoming light during the day."

D: 11.2km
A: 56m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

8/10/2013

6am NRR:
I should start by saying I cheated today, in more than one way. Not only did I have race wheels on, but I'd had caffeine before the ride too. I'd rather not give back the BP sprint win, but if the IOC request it, then I'll accept their judgement.

For me the ride could be best described as shenanigans. Youngie was enthusiastic, putting in attacks down the highway. I played a little early, but kept most of my tinder dry for a bunch shattering effort up my favourite hill and a crack at the sprint. The former happened almost exactly as planned, as after a lot of tongue biting and soul searching I reached the top to find 2 riders on my wheel, a gap, then 3 riders, then a gap before the bunch in single file.

I sat back in after that, brimming with self congratulations, enjoying watching as the attacks started coming thick and fast from Brighton. First Drew Ginn, then DK, then Youngie, then Youngie again. Around into Ormond Esplanade the pace eased a little, someone was being left on the front... you could feel the nerves growing.

When the hit finally came from Andy Naylor I was on Luke Jones' wheel. I asked, and he delivered me across the gap, and let me go into the head/cross at the canal. It was too early for me to ride to the line, so I unloaded myself to try and give those behind me a good acceleration into their kicks. The speed number ever so slowly creeped up 57, then 58km/h. I could feel someone wavering on my wheel, I kept pushing to try and give them a final flick to 60, but my legs were telling me they were done. The speed slowly dropped, but no one was coming around me. So, I kept fighting to give whoever was on my wheel the benefit of the sit... then turned to see there was no one left. I'd ridden everyone off my wheel.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 196m

Commute:

D: 17.2km
A: 87m

PMPW: 96kg

Monday, 7 October 2013

7/10/2013

Commute:
On Saturday it felt like it was my back that took the most punishment, but today my body is singing a different tune. I assume it was the hard surface, and the barrier positioned at the end of a fast downwind straight and right before a hairpin turn, because my feet are aching like they abused with a cricket bat.


The current BOM forecast for Saturday reads:

"Mostly sunny morning. Scattered showers later in the day. Winds north to northwesterly 20 to 30 km/h turning westerly 25 to 35 km/h during the day."

That's windy, not epic wind, but enough to make it tough day in the office.

D: 17.3km
A: 21m

PMPW: 96kg

Sunday, 6 October 2013

6/10/2013

SKCC E-Grade Marshalling & A-Grade:
Holy googamooga, there were a lot of people in for E-grade today. Thankfully we had a handful of happy Rush folk along for the ride. My job was to sit at the front, tell people to roll through and yell "PEDALS UP!!!" each corner. It was a little harder than expected, trying to find that balance of communication that was clear, supportive and non condescending.

The race itself felt good, I was stuffed to the eyeballs with caffeine (3 coffees and two double caffeine gels), was on race wheels and was feeling super confident in my ability to corner better than most of the bunch, thus saving myself some energy in the process.

Early on it looked like nothing was going to get up the road, so I drifted to the back to veg out and wait for a bunch gallop. I didn't think I'd be able to get over Shannon Johnson in a dash to the line, but given the right wheel I was keen to try anyway.

20 or so before the end some words piqued my interest, a break was up the road. I hadn't seen them go, but there was no point me having a sprint banked up if there was no sprint on offing. I rolled to the front, to find pretty much the entire Rush contingent camped within the first 10 wheels.

I found Bing and asked "Do I need to chase that break down?"

He laughed, DK was in the move, an all the boys were doing was ensuring that anyone trying to bridge across would be taking one of us to bolster Rush's numbers in the break and boost Dave's chances. I stuck around and helped to cover a couple of moves, but when the bunch swamped me, I didn't resist.

My interest was only re-ignited in the final few laps, Bike Bug put a train on the front, and I felt like being a spoil sport and chasing them all down. As I moved up the side of the bunch I heard a familiar voice behind me telling me they were on. At the time I thought it was Skinny, but it turned out to be James Dunn, and his video camera was recording my pink clad arse. It was all a bit of fun, and I wish I'd gone outside the riders (as James did) into that final corner, but when their last leadout man went right, I didn't think I had room to do so and had to baulk a little bit.



Strava link.

D: 101.7km
A: 110m

PMPW: 95kg

Saturday, 5 October 2013

5/10/2013

Vic CX Champs:
This one hurt, but not in the way I expected. I went in worried about my legs, and came out confused as to why they'd never been a factor.


Before she got all dirty again.

So the course, it's a good place to start because it was a huge factor in the day. On the map of the course, it looked like there were some good long straights to really open up my big fat roadie legs and take time out of some of the whippets. The course was actually a lot smaller than I thought, which meant all the tight stuff I hoped to negate with the straights, was even tighter than I feared.

Out of the blocks I sat on the tail of the truly elite front runners. By mid lap I had ever so slowly been gapped, and by the end of the first lap riders behind me were starting to attack around and into that gap. That's totally the opposite of how I usually race, and probably a bit of a mistake. Anyway, I eventually found myself riding with Pete Smith, I let him push the air for me for a few laps, then I came through for a few laps of my own. It was a good pairing, I was aiming to be smooth and consistent, Pete was fuelled by enthusiasm, together we were slowly pegging back Jez from Saint Cloud.

From this point about midway through the hour long race to the end... I really don't quite understand. I started drinking to ensure I would have the legs to close out the race, Pete pulled through to the front again, and I lost all my mojo. The tight turns, the pumpy bmx track and the rock hard surface slowly destroyed my back. Not being near someone else, let alone catching them slowly destroyed my motivation.

The official results have me at 8th, but I lost a lap to the front two riders on my final lap (putting me one down) and Pete didn't. So it should read as Pete 8th, Neil 9th (+1 Lap).

Strava link.

D: 21.9km
A: 111m

PMPW: 95kg

Friday, 4 October 2013

4/10/2013

Commute:
I'm starting to feel enthusiastic... or cooped up... or something... I dunno how to describe it better... more energetic than the malaise of the last week or four.

Anyway, with Vic CX champs tomorrow I figured I should get some practice on the skills I haven't really used since last Vic CX champs. So, I found some single track near the lake after work, dropped my bag in the middle of it, then practised getting off and back on my bike.


D: 12.2km
A: 54m

PMPW: 95kg

Thursday, 3 October 2013

3/10/2013

6am NRR:
I still wasn't really feeling the love in the legs today, though I noticed I felt better when I ensured my cadence was over 75rpm. It was also much nicer on the ride when the rain slash hail wasn't coming in sideways, but that's less about my legs and more about spring time in Melbourne.

I sat my big, pink lycra clad arse in, refusing to get anywhere near the front of the small group that either forgot to check the radar or didn't care about the angry looking cloud that met us at Mordialloc.

Strava link.

D: 43.6km    
A: 197m

Commute:

D: 16.2km
A: 107m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

2/10/2013

St Kilda East - Yarra St Repeats - St Kilda East:
I felt short hard efforts to keep the legs moving, but not enough to hinder my recovery would be ideal. A steep hill ensures the effort, because any slacking off just extends the effort duration. Thus... 5 efforts up Yarra st, 5 and a half if you count the first one that I had to abort when I realised my wheel was in crooked and causing my gears to skip under decent power.

DK rolled in on my 2nd full ascents, he's been doing his own thing, I wasn't feeling fantastic, but a little competition was only going to help ensure quality efforts, so I welcomed his giant quads.

Strava link.

D: 28.4km
A: 463m

Commute:

D: 15.2km
A: 122m

PMPW: 95kg

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

1/10/2013

Rollers:
Long before I saw the forecast of wind or woke to it howling around my house at midnight, I had decided to sit on the rollers this morning. I wanted to get a bit more than the normal spin until the legs free up. I decided on an hour, something I've not done on the rollers before (trainer is another story).

It started off not too badly, sure the wind had knocked out the telly aerial, but the internet connection and thus iView still worked. An eternity passed and I finally gave in and checked the clock. I'd only been going for 25 minutes. I got back to the task of smooth pedal strokes and tried to ignore the fidgeting in my brain.

D: 27.5km

Commute:
With Vic CX champs this weekend, the Warny next weekend and the state of my legs, I'm going to go for a modified two week taper rather than my customary one. Stay tuned for updates on how stir crazy I'm going.

D: 11.1km
A: 96m

PMPW: 95kg