Wednesday, 30 April 2014


As I rolled the wrong direction to get home after work, I had a thought about the darkness of winter.

In a way, it's liberating. There's no question, you're going to be riding in the dark, so you might as well ignore when sunrise/sunset is, and just ride when/where you need to ride.

Obviously by you, I mean me.

D: 11.4km
A: 94m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 29 April 2014


No, it wasn't some weird out of season hay fever yesterday, it really was the beginning of a cold, and thus an excuse to wear a big jumper and eat all the food. ALL OF IT!

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 28 April 2014


All right, the weekend, here's what I think I should think.

I'm happy with the decisions I made, but acknowledge the (lack of) results that came from them.

In other words, I've got some work to do to achieve the same level in road races, as I do in crits.

D: 7.4km
A: 146m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 27 April 2014


Tour of the South West Stage 3:
In my more optimistic moments before the race, I hoped to help DK and Dom, and possibly sprint at the end. Given how things went last year, the more realistic aim was simply to survive.

Like the road race yesterday, I tried to start as far forward as I could, but in reality was still towards the back. In a field featuring a lot of strong NRS riders, it's hard to feel like you deserve to be at the front. After the first lap began with a literal and figurative bang, I never really had a choice about being up the pointy end. I was hanging on for dear life.

Each time we rounded the first left into the kicker, I stood and hit the pedals hard. The hill is both steeper and longer than the Kew crit course, so sitting and spinning never felt like an option for more than just the last little bit of the climb. Even then, it generally felt like a bad option.

At two points I gave up completely at the top of the climb, only to roll down the hill, through the tight left hander, and onto the back of the bunch. Finally, 27 minutes into the race, I couldn't face another time up the hill and withdrew to the sidelines to nurse lungs and legs that felt torn asunder.

I'm going to let my thoughts on this one, and the weekend in general, steep for a while before I commit them to print.

Strava link.

D: 18.6km
A: 337m

Saturday, 26 April 2014


Tour of the South West Stage 1:
It wasn't as windy as, but I still tried my best to start near the front, and avoid a repeat of the shemozzle that occurred last year.

After a fast first lap, where I found myself in the swinging tail towards the back, I was pleased that I'd made it far further than last year. As we approached the end of the second lap, my confidence was up even further, the pace had eased, I was camped in the first few riders, and Dom had just gone up the road with a break that featured most of the teams.

Then Ritchie told me that DK had flatted. It only took half a moment to realise the correct course of action was to put up my hand, wait for him, and aid in the task of getting back in contact with the bunch. So I did, and after the bunch, and the car convoy had passed I hung out on the side of the road, steadily getting more worried about how much time we were giving up.

Eventually DK rolled over the crest of the hill behind, and I got myself rolling again. The bunch wasn't in sight, but I was hopeful the easy pace they'd been doing when I last saw them, meant we would soon be back in the fold. I rolled a turn, then DK pulled through and pulled one three times as long, then I pulled through for a turn, then DK rolled through and pulled, and pulled, and pulled, and my legs hurt, and I couldn't hold on any longer.

At the time I called forward to let DK know he'd torn me asunder, I'd only covered 2 laps of the 5 lap race, and the bunch was still somewhere up the road. I felt pretty deflated, I hadn't really been any help at all.

Towards the end of that solo lap I encountered a few others who'd flatted early, and set to completing the final 2 and a bit laps with them. As we crossed the line for 2 to go, Shannon Johnson told me that DK was in the Rush tent... he'd obviously not made it back to the bunch. So for the second time in the morning, I waved good by to my riding companion(s).

As I rolled back to the tent, DK rolled out to meet me. We rolled a lap together, finishing it, just in time to watch the leaders of a grade sprint for the line.

Strava link.

D: 68.5km
A: 501m

Tour of the South West Stage 2:
After sorting out Ritchie who'd decided to rub his body along the asphalt a mere 200m from the finish, and shoving some food into my face, I got myself ready to TT.

I had nothing to prove, and felt it best I save myself for the crit tomorrow... but I didn't want to just ride on the tops either, so I set myself a power goal. 350W for 14.2km, not burying myself, but not piss farting around either.

I think I did ok with the pacing strategy. I resisted the temptation to smack it off the line and with the tail wind. I had enough to push hard on the steep kick of a climb at the back of the course, and drove hard to the line to average 340W.

Strava link.

D: 14.2km
A: 94m

Friday, 25 April 2014


St Kilda East - Port Melbourne - St Kilda East:
A quick roll with DK, before the long drive to Warrnambool while listening to the Bombers get flogged by the bloody Magpies.

Strava link.

D: 28.2km
A: 99m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 24 April 2014


St Kilda East - Slack Rock - St Kilda East:
It's nice having the day off, rides planned for 8am, can easily be pushed back half an hour to avoid a band of rain rolling through. Even then, the ride doesn't start until later, as coffee has to be drunk before anything can happen.

Strava link.

D: 40.8km
A: 175m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 23 April 2014


NRR Long:
With all day to ride, the only logical option was to start at 6am, and head down past Frankston.

Ok, so it wasn't the only choice, but it was the one that would let me test my legs against Matty Boys on "Bay" roads.

The final verdict is that he can get up a hill faster than me, but it was far better than mid Feb.

There were only 9 of us, but it was a solid crew. I did my part to get us down to Frankston, then hid as much as possible, hoping to keep my legs in reserve for Two Bays.

Baden Powel stretched me a little, and Canadian had me digging deep to hold on to the middle. Then I made a choice, to sit on wheels rather than follow Matty's attack on the final kicker to the top. I never closed that gap, and instead wound up playing with my break/sprint mate from Friday's HCC crit. He got the better of me too, but it's ok. I got some solid time in the box, and a guide to my current form.

It's good, but there are still faster people to chase down.

Strava link.

D: 106.9km
A: 602m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 22 April 2014


It was not an ideal day for riding bikes outdoors, so grabbed the track bike and rode indoors.

The first 3 minutes felt really sluggish, my cadence was crap, and I worried that I was well cooked. It turns out I'd just left a 51x14 on last session, instead of changing back to 49x16 like I know I should.

Other than that brain fart, there was nothing of note, I just wanted to get a spin and a sweat going.

Strava link.

PMPW: 92kg

Monday, 21 April 2014


St Kilda East - Mornington - St Kilda East:
The Stay True boys had a trip down to Arthurs Seat planned, but a solid northerly changed minds, and we did a loop down to Mornington and back along Bentons rd to Two Bays.

Much like yesterday, I wasn't planning on pushing too hard, but when Bensley started things off with a softish attack, I followed, unaware that things would escalate to an all out effort. For quite some time, I sort of thought I had it. Nick was steadily increasing the pace through surges, and knowing that wasn't ideal for my legs, I attacked up the left when he eased and looked to the right. Sadly it was not to be, he reeled me in like a rabbit just before the final corner, and I cracked on the tiny rise out of it, while trying to respond to his pace. Surprisingly, I still clocked my 2nd fastest time up the road, so I'm not too sad. Hell, given I've got an extra 20kg on him, I shouldn't be too upset about being within cooee... but I am.

The trip home was just a big long rolling paceline. None of us really wanting to hang around any longer than necessary in the wind, preferring to instead find a cafe with good coffee.

Strava link.

D: 117.6km
A: 622m

PMPW: 93kg

Sunday, 20 April 2014


St Kilda East - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
I was excited, but worried to be riding with Rick today. He'd said there'd be a few dudes, and the dudes he knows generally go up hills quickly. Thankfully, his mates are about as reliable as mine, and it ended up just being the two of us for a trip out to Mt Dandenong.

The plan was simple "just do the serpentine, then see what we feel like".

It turns out we felt like smacking The Serpentine, and the climb from Belgrave up through Kallista on to Sherbrook Rd. Though it's possible it was less of a "we felt like" and more of a "I accidentally attacked", I will deny it vehemently.

Strava link.

D: 98.8km
A: 1,568m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 19 April 2014


St Kilda East - Yarra Trails - St Kilda East:
My motivation was very, very, very low. My legs hurt from racing, and my head was stuffed up after a few beers after it. I'd set an alarm for the Hell Ride, and promptly ignored it when it went off. By the time I woke up naturally, the sun had been up for a while, and I was in unknown territory. I had no rides planned, and it was a time of day I don't normally ride.

I got up, showered, put on my right sock, and then the left one. Soon I was dressed for a ride, but I still wasn't sure what one. I didn't want to touch beach road, and I couldn't face the hills, so I grabbed my hardtail and made my way north to the trails.

I hit a few sections hard, and others I just tried to pump and flow. I stopped for walkers and said hello to dogs.

By the time I rolled home, I was smiling from ear to ear. The world wasn't such a horrible place after all... that was until I saw the bombers lose to the saints.

Strava link.

D: 33.1km
A: 405m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 18 April 2014


St Kilda East - Mordialloc - St Kilda East:
I don't know how we dodged the rain, but other than a tiny bit of road spray, for a km or two, it was bone dry for a easy tap down to Mordi and back with Bing.

He's coming back off a 17th in an u23 world cup, and when he said he was going to win today, I figured he probably was. Any idea of me having a crack went out the window, and I told him I'd hit things early to soften up some legs for him to attack later. Anyway, more of that after some statistics.

Strava link.

D: 67.2km
A: 340m

HCC Crit:
I started the race on the front, setting a light tempo, while looking back into the eyes of the following bunch. A few nudged the pace, but were shut down almost instantly, leaving me a solid run out of the bottom corner, up the side of the bunch and clear off the front.

I was out there solo for a couple of laps, before another rider joined me. We tagged on and off for a few more laps before a 3rd came across to bolster our chances. I wasn't loving life, but I was getting a job done, and that's what mattered.

A few more laps later, a few more joined us, including Bing, Lucas and Boysy... basically all my mates in the race. I was convinced this was the winning move, it had solid legs who were all willing to work. My job was now to cover Bing's work load, and I had no doubt it was going to suck even more than the time leading up to it.

I get a little hazy about now, but at some point I looked down and noted the race was half done. I'd been off the front for 20 minutes. I gave myself a little pat on the back, and checked behind us, only to find the bunch closing down on us.

I acquiesced, slinking to the back of the bunch for a breather. What I didn't know was that Bing hadn't, he'd counter attacked and was still clear. He stayed clear too, dangling just off the front with another rider a couple of times, but always clear. In fact, he went on to win, just like he said, which was pretty awesome.

What that left, was a race for 3rd. Coming out of the bottom corner at the end of 2 to go, Damo Drapac hit it, and I decided to spoil his party. I nailed myself up the hill, glancing back as we crossed the line for the bell, and saw another rider. It was the dude who'd been the first to come across to me 40 odd minutes earlier. So I slapped my arse a couple of times to let him know to hang on, and I dumped everything I had left down, onto, and along the back straight, letting him go before the corner, and hopefully close enough to finish the Damo party spoiling.

I'm drilled. I haven't felt like this after a HCC crit since the second one I raced this season... the first A grade I'd ever finished. That feels like a lifetime ago, and I feel like I've made some good mental and physical steps since then. For instance, sometimes you've just got to harden the fuck up kid.

Strava link.

D: 49.7km
A: 536m

PMPW: 94kg

Thursday, 17 April 2014


I wanted to just ride my bike, and so I did. I rolled in a vague direction until a route started to coalesce, then turned my brain off again and followed it through the gorgeous morning light to a gorgeous coffee.

D: 20.9km
A: 163m

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


I rolled south with Tommy Leaper, chatting about random things until the Mordi roundabout.

From there, after a brief attack by me to string out the bunch, it was steady turns with Tom, Jez Hunt, Dan Moore, Tozer, and CJ. Most of them have serious credentials in their past, which made it a bit of an honour to chop off back to St Kilda amongst their wheels.

Strava link.

D: 45.9km
A: 182m

I rolled fat tyres to work, because they're fun, and because I can.

D: 6.3km
A: 28m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


6am NRR:
I had a decent sleep last night, but not enough to wipe away the excesses in everything but sleep from the night before. I didn't want that to become an excuse, so sent out a bunch of texts to mates, to rally a posse for post ride coffee, and commit myself to turning up.

My legs felt a bit sore, and I never felt comfortable at cadences over 100rpm, but I put myself on the front a few times, including up the hill out of Black Rock.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 177m

I cut out of work at 5 on the dot, so I could make use of the last of the afternoon light to sneak a couple of Albert Park laps. I wanted to get a solid block of time with my legs spinning with minimal load, before heading home for an early dinner and bed.

D: 21.9km
A: 113m

PMPW: 95kg

Monday, 14 April 2014


After swallowing some Scrabble tiles, I'm worried my next poo could spell disaster.

D: 12.1km
A: 67m

PMPW: 95kg

Sunday, 13 April 2014


SKCC Crit World Champs:
I've trained hard for this race, and tested a range of tactical scenarios. Basically all that was left to do today, was put it all together, and see what result it would achieve.

As a team, we felt DK was our best option to win, he's a one man leg destroyer, but in the case that he couldn't get up the road, Richie has a wicked kick and we'd try to put him into the sprint in pole position. My job was to keep those two out of the wind and as far forward in the over sized bunch as possible.

I spent the first half of the race finding my boys, moving them up the bunch, or slotting myself in front of them to take the wind for them. It wasn't too physically demanding, but the natural ebb and flow of such a large group meant it required a little bit of mental effort.

As we approached the time when I assumed a strong break would form, I went with a couple of attacks with the aim of giving DK a launching pad should they become the race winning move. They didn't, they were both brought back within a couple of laps. In fact, that was a trend, nothing was getting any leash. The most well represented teams all had lead blokes that suited a break, but the right combination never got together. It became obvious that it was going to come down to a sprint and that I had to get Richie sorted.

I positioned us inside the top 20, letting others push the air, and do the pace making. The other guys had used their legs up, so it looked to be just me and Rich, but in some ways that was reassuring as it is less to organise.

When the 3 laps to go board was held out, I found Lou nearby and asked him to move us up a bit, instructing him how far up the bunch I needed him to take us, and that we needed to do so on the outside of the bunch. Then I co-opted Lach, asking him to take me the next step of the way, while O2 kept driving it on the front.

Into the last lap, and O2 looked tired, I was delighted, they'd spent too many tickets, they were suffering! I'd been there, knew how horrible a place it was, mentally and physically, but now wasn't a time for mercy, it was a time for braaaaap. As we came out of turn 3 onto the back straight, I pulled out and hit it up the right. I was ripping through and feeling like a total boss. We were flying, it was better than last week, and despite it being further, I knew I had the effort perfectly pegged.

I was excited, I was arrogantly confident, and then I was shown the power of a fully operational Charter Mason sprint train. I forget the name of their lead out guy, but I distinctly recall the shock at how hard he accelerated on the left, up that back straight. I knew myself, and knew I couldn't match the power of his move, but I had to try.

I got to that final corner, and held a wide line so that Richie could come under me, and they in turn under him. I'd failed to get him there first, and I could only hope he could make his way through the 3-4 riders that had been on the back of that train. I'd given everything, but I felt like I'd come up short. I felt like I'd failed, and in doing so let down those that helped me, and those that depended on me.

I know that's not a reasonable reaction, and that given time, I'll be proud of what I did, and what I was part of. I know that no one, but me, is disappointed in me. However, I put a lot of time into getting to that moment, in trying to make that moment something specific, and not achieving that, is... well... emotional.

Strava link.

D: 86.5km
A: 158m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 12 April 2014


Total Rush Shop Ride - Airlie St Reps:
I wanted to get a few efforts to remind myself what pain felt like, and ensure that I could still pedal a bike.

The first effort was to give others some fun down into Mordi, I popped myself over to some boys who'd kicked clear out of Mentone, then got myself on the front and tried to hold 700W for as long as possible. That ended up being a minute and fifteen seconds, nearly as good as a PB, though I didn't know that at the time, and in fact felt it was a bit weak.

On the way home I rolled a couple of turns but mostly sat on and let others tow me back towards St Kilda. I put myself on the front for the end of the golden mile and around into Ormond esplanade. The aim was to set a solid tempo, and continually lift it until a set point, the lights halfway along. So, after the initial effort to get us up to speed from a red light, I worked to take it from 400W to 700W, knowing that DK was on my wheel, and would take the remaining riders on the next leg of their magical journey.

Once we dropped everyone back at Rush, I took myself off to Airlie st for a couple of hill sprint.

Not too hard or long a ride, but hopefully enough to remind my body and mind that they need to accept they're going to hurt tomorrow.

Strava link.

D: 74.6km
A: 361m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 11 April 2014


Sometimes I think I'm pushing the envelope, but then I realise it's still stationary.

D: 10.3km
A: 36m

CE: 1

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 10 April 2014



Wednesday, 9 April 2014


I'm in Brisbane for some work, and while a few work mates invited me out for a run along the river, I thought it best to avoid the eccentric stress.

Instead I did a couple of static holds (planks) in my hotel room. I don't think they'll make a huge difference to my preparedness, but they were an interesting, and different mental challenge.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014


6am NRR:
I have a confession to make. I cheated on today's ride, and it was more than just the obvious big wheels. You see, and I'm not super proud of this, I had some caffeine prior to the 6am roll out. It doesn't excuse the blatant offence, but this morning is my last session for a couple of days, and I wanted it to be able to push hard.

Through very little of my own design, hard is what I got. Today was just plain old on from the start, and I loved it. I followed a standard routine, rolling a few turns on the way down, a couple on the way back, then a long one out of Black Rock. The difference was, they were all just a little bit faster than normal.

Sadly the sprint was baulked by lights, but I was curious how I'd go from 5-6 riders back, as I felt good and was setting myself to run at Tom Leaper's wheel when we had to abort.

Strava link.

D: 50.1km
A: 217m


D: 5.3km

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 7 April 2014


I think I know where I went wrong yesterday... no, not in the sprint... in watching Ronde van Vlaanderen.

I was aggressive early, making sure I marked every move, noting who was off the front and their time gaps. Then, the time when I should have been most attentive, 30km of thrilling racing remaining, I went backwards into the couch.

It's cool though, I woke up in time to watch the finish. Replay.

D: 5.8km
A: 34m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 6 April 2014


SKCC Crits:
I played somewhat with  my caffeine levels today, avoiding it totally until just before A grade. I might have pushed the envelope a bit much, as from when the race started until around 8pm, my face felt funny.... but my legs felt alright, and that's the important thing.

Talking of alright, I was involved in a couple of things that make me proud today. Firstly a guy from work who's rolled a couple of E grades, allowed me to cajole him into racing D grade straight after he was done with E. He got around just fine, finishing firmly in the bunch. Nice work Darragh.

The second was dropping Richie off for the sprint at the front. With no DK racing, he was Rush's best chance for a top result, and as always I was keen for the lead out role. Before the race, we discussed that we needed to be in the top dozen or so riders with 3 to go, to avoid wasting energy moving up. To that end I owe Toz, Lui and Jake a thanks as they helped get us forward as the race drew to a close. Then, on the final lap, along the back of the course, Richie told me it was time to go, so I stepped out, ripped on the pedals, and pulled him past the lead few riders, and along to the final corner, where at 62km/h he let me know he was going to go inside.

Right, so, good things described, now on to the bad thing. So I had Richie going inside me through the corner, which meant I had to be outside, but it turns out Wilko with Stu in tow, were going outside of me. The issue is, I wasn't smooth through that last corner, my line changed a little as my brain tried to process leaving room for Richie. This ended up pushing Wilko and Stu out to the gutter and into emergency gutter-hopping / driveway-splitting procedures. Next week, I aim to be the first bloke to that corner again, and as such I have a responsibility to everyone behind me to be predictable. It's the exact thing I try to work on with E grade each week. So next week, I aim to be the first bloke to that corner, and even if my actual lead out is done the instant before I tip it in, I believe that I need to ensure I straighten up and give a last pedal stroke or two to clear myself from the bend.

Strava link.

D: 124.3km
A: 92m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 5 April 2014


St Kilda East - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
Last week, DK and I felt a bit flat on Sunday, and decided that a too easy Saturday was to blame. To that end, we decided to do some silly things at Mt Dandenong.

We rolled East with some TKM crew, and parted ways when we reached the bottom of Devils Elbow. It's not often that the elbow isn't steep enough, but that was the case today, we were hunting ridiculous gradients.

Hughes, Mast Gully, The Serpentine, and Terry's, were the climbs of the day, though we did a bonus One Tree Hill after we made a wrong turn.

Of that lot, I'd only seen The Serpentine before, and it was by far the easiest of the lot.

On Hughes, I went a bit hard a bit early, and paid for it.

On Mast Gully, I way too hard way to early, and paid for it over and over and over again. Seriously, I had no concept of how long, or steep, or long the road was. It's sadistic! My forearms and triceps started giving out before my legs did... and we still had 2 solid climbs to go!

Silly things? Check.

Strava link.

D: 102.1km
A: 1,863m

PMPW: 94kg

Friday, 4 April 2014


A little further than my normal 5km commute, but worth it for a nice spin, some nice coffee, and
nice mates.

The legs felt surprisingly good, though I'll be the first to admit I didn't prod them. Let sleeping dogs lie, or something.

D: 48.8km
A: 255m

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 3 April 2014



D: 6.6km
A: 125m

Solo ergos is not my idea of fun, but I'd committed to it, so it had to be done.

1 x 5min
1 x 7sec BGSS : 2
1 x 7sec HCLR : 3
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min @ 375.7W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5min @ 389.3W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 1min @ 657.05W
1 x 4min E1
1 x 10sec @ 1347.25W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10sec @ 1347.25W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10sec @ 1347.25W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10sec @ 1347.25W
1 x 50sec E1
1 x 10sec @ 1347.25W
1 x 5min E1

The power figures are 85% of the best I've achieved for each in the last 6 weeks. I exceeded my 1 minute target, which is nice, that's the power I want most right now. I was a couple of watts under on the 10 and 5 minute efforts, which is close enough to be ok with it, though also close enough to question why I couldn't just hold the extra power. The numbers make me feel like the 10 second ones were failures. I went all out out of the saddle, but was a few hundred watts off my targets.

I think if I do this again next week, I'll try the sprints seated and see how that goes. I might also try not answering the phone halfway through the 10 minute one. That put a dent in the average power.

Strava link.

PMPW: 94kg

Wednesday, 2 April 2014


St Kilda East - Anderson St Reps - St Kilda East:
Rolling down Chapel I got to thinking about how I treat these 45 second efforts as races. I got to wondering if doing so was a good or bad choice in terms of making me as fast as I can be.

The positive of it is it drives me harder to perform, and push my limits.

The flip side is that if I'm "winning" I may end up pacing my effort on the other rider, holding back, ensuring I have something for the next one. It can also be hard to push through when you're obviously beaten.

This last point, the obviously beaten, was to be the theme for much of today. After the first two reps, DK was plain old monstering the efforts, and me. I found it hard to keep pushing through the last 15 seconds of the effort, and mentally I was in a dark place.

The last few reps, when I could see the light at the end of the tunnel, I found an extra 100-200W in those last few seconds.

Strava link.

D: 21.3km
A: 356m


D: 6.4km
A: 62m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 1 April 2014


6am NRR:
It seems I upset the red light gods at some stage, because they were right jerks today. I imagine that comment isn't going to help either.

Anyway, a small group including DK and Jez Hunt got up the road early on the way down. A few times some full chasing occurred, but inevitably we got caught at intersections with 2 minute sequences.

I rolled a few turns, including some bonus ones that came about due to my adherence of the 1973 Luxembourg convention on if you're going to the front, go to the front.

I had some fun out of Black Rock, chasing down a couple of guys that'd slipped clear through the round about, and generally making sure no one was enjoying life.

More lights meant that a proper sprint wasn't in the offing, so I decided to just empty the legs around the corner to and long Ormond esplanade.

Strava link.

D: 46.5km
A: 240m


D: 9.7km
A: 57m

PMPW: 94kg