Saturday, 31 May 2014

31/05/2014

Total Rush Ride:
I had little intention of seeing the front this morning, but on the way back when the bunch got split, I realised I was probably the strongest one left, so felt it best to do the bulk of the work in getting everyone back to St Kilda.

Even though I hadn't been mentally preparing for time in the box, I readily found my groove, imagining it to be 10 min ergo, and focussing on the cues I use to keep things going.

Strava link.

D: 61.78km
A: 240m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 30 May 2014

30/05/2014

St Kilda East - Sandi - St Kilda East:
We planned to have a recovery roll, but instead we had a solid base mile tempo session, and I am not really sure why. Maybe, and this is purely speculation, maybe it was all the extra clothes we were wearing. Maybe due to the extra layers we lined up oddly and thus half wheeled the pace up to a solid 250-300 odd watts.

Strava link.

D: 34.5km
A: 89m

Commute:

D: 6.8km
A: 41m

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 29 May 2014

29/05/2014

6am NRR:
I'm hoping it was just a bad day today, but if we take the struggle at face value, I've lost a lot of fitness already, because it was a hell of a struggle to just sit in.

Such things make me wonder if I should take the Warny off the cards and just enjoy until it's time for crit season.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 162m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

28/05/2014

Commute:
According to someone someone, sometime ago, there are 5 stages of grief / loss. These stages are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

If we consider an injury that prevents me from riding as the loss of the ability to ride, then I think I've reached Acceptance. Thankfully I see no point in dwelling in self pity and depression, so I've skipped myself from bargaining to acceptance.

I accept that I'm not going to be smashing 600km weeks next week, I accept that I'm going to be taking a fitness hit, I accept that my arse may look big in this.

D: 5.3km
A: 31m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

27/05/2014

Commute:
Even though I'd gone to bed early last night, when I woke at 5:10, heard the wind howling outside, and saw a whole lot of ugly on the radar, I was happy to just go back to sleep and get even more sleep.

On the knee front, I've been icing it daily, and doing the prescribed support / supplemental exercises. I dont feel it most of the time, but sadly sometimes I do.

D: 12.4km
A: 59m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 26 May 2014

26/05/2014

Coffee roll:
I slept like arse last night, it felt like I spent most of it worried about not being asleep, how this was going to affect me this morning, and that I should probably msg DK and Smax to say I wouldn't be riding.

I'm glad I did though, it was good to turn the legs for an hour or so, chatting about riding, racing and life, then down a couple of flat whites.

Strava link.

D: 22.2km
A: 96m

Commute:
Yesterday I felt buoyed by the thought I'd set a 12 month 1hr power max. Today, on closer inspection, it seems I'd set my data rules a bit wonky, and I was far from a PB. Bugger, oh well, moving on.

D: 9.1km
A: 49m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 25 May 2014

25/05/2014

Tom Probert Teams Race:
Oh man, where do I start with this one? Probably at the team meeting before the race. I'd had a couple of coffees, was standing around in a borrowed SKCC jersey, and talking to a bunch of boys I race against. The aim of the meeting was to create a race plan, but everyone claimed to be off form, so it kind of fizzled into a vague "see how it goes, and chat during the race" scenario. There was one thing going our way though, we were racing on our home circuit out the back of Port Melbourne, rather than at Calder Park like it has been for the last few years.

I pushed to the front on the neutral lap, getting myself next to Mr Probert, and mentally preparing for the first attack. I was going to hit it as we crossed the line, hold myself out there for a while, and generally give my faster team mates a chance to warm their legs with no obligation to feel the wind.

A couple of guys launched before we completed the neutral lap, and I went with them. Up until the point of the race where we lapped them, that was the last I was to see of the bunch. Yep, you heard it right, I, Neil Robinson, was in a break away for the duration of a race... well sorta. Soon after we caught the bunch, there was an attack, and a split in our break of 15 or so riders. With 4 SKCC riders in the front portion, Chris Lee and I got a free pass to sit in, and cover any dangerous counter attacks.

I played with Pat Drapac for most of the remainder of the race, leaving him on the front, tailing him off the back, and sitting on any bridging attempts he made.

As we hit about 3 min + 3 laps to go, I struck out on my own, we'd already been lapped by DK, so the race was done. Chris had gone solo from our reduced group a few times, so I figured if I couldn't hold a steady tempo to the line, at least he'd be getting a free ride. With a bit of mental cajoling I found a familiar place, and got about riding to the end of the race. Sadly I didn't get to finish, a commissionaire pulled me from the course on the bell lap. The disappointment and frustration of this was wiped away quickly by the joy of the SKCC team win, and DKs individual win.

Strava link.

D: 67.6km
A: 151m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 24 May 2014

24/05/2014

Rush Shop Ride:
The trip down was delightful, and the one back hurt more than I thought it should.

I felt both arrogant and ashamed on the way home, when I wondered why rolling turns with a bunch of guys who don't race was putting me over threshold each time I got to the front.

Jerkhood aside, it was good to get out and push the body a little, remind it that I still want it to generate power, all in lovely, cool, autumn, morning air.

Strava link.

D: 72.9km
A: 358m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 23 May 2014

23/05/2014

Commute:
Did you hear about the magic tractor?

It turned into a field.

D: 16.3km
A: 170m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 22 May 2014

22/05/2014

6am NRR:
The knee is starting to feel less bad, it's not a factor for most of the day, in fact it's not even niggling me much during northy. If I take a moment to review my pedal action it feels like there is a tiny catch on the affected leg, and that I'm favouring the other one. Anyway, I pulled a couple of turns south with the tailwind, but after that left others to ride the front.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 193m

Commute:
I read an article today (everybody is winging it), and it rung true for many things, including the exercise aspect of my life that this here site is about.

I often get asked about my training, and while I've been at it for a while, and have gained experience about things that correlate to improvements in my performance, it doesn't tell me the specifics. There is no "the answer", just a bunch of best guesses based on experiences that might not relate 100%. Coming to terms with that concept doesn't mean I'm happy about it..... just tell me how much longer I need to faff around waiting for my knee to be 100%!!!

D: 8.3km
A: 33m

PMPW: 92kg

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

21/05/2014

Commute:
I found out today that one of my favorite baristas has quit the coffee business.

He was sick of the daily grind.

D: 14.4km
A: 64m

PMPW: 92kg

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

20/05/2014

6am NRR:
Well, that was one of the faster ones we've had in a while, I was dead set pooped by the end. Nothing a coffee and a puppy couldn't fix though.



Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 167m

Commute:


D: 13.0km
A: 114m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 19 May 2014

19/05/2014

Commute:
As I rolled around the other day, I saw a dude on a tractor shouting about the end of the world. It was Farmer Geddon.

D: 6.3km
A: 22m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 18 May 2014

18/05/2014

St Kilda East - Slack Rock - St Kilda East:
Last night, over a wine and a viewing of a rousing game of rugby (go rebels!), a plan was hatched to go for an easy roll to Slack Rock with DK and Bones. In our own ways, we were all invalids, and just a lazy coffee shop ride fit the bill.

Come the morn though, I found myself solo. The others had become more invalidic, leaving me the enviable task of generate my own enthusiasm and entertainment.

Two coffees didn't deliver the motivation, so I just started riding, hoping that rolling some back roads and back lots might provide enough entertainment to kick start it.

Strava link.

D: 66.2km
A: 221m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 17 May 2014

17/05/2014

Lazy:
I had full intentions of riding today, but after staying up to watch the Giro, I found myself waking at 8:30, wondering what happened to my alarm. After that, there were just more pressing things to do with my day, than roll solo.

I suppose it's not all bad, an extra day of resting the knee can't be a bad thing.

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 16 May 2014

16/05/2014

Commute:
It's the first day this week that I haven't thrown in extras on my commute, but that's made me feel lazier than the lack of regular training. Weird.

D: 5.9km
A: 45m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 15 May 2014

15/05/2014

6am NRR:
I had a nice seat in gold class this morning, though the service wasn't outstanding. For a start I never received my popcorn, and dudes were rolling hard with the tail wind southbound, meaning it was a bit of a sprint after each red light.

The rehab/complementary work i've been doing for my knee/on my hips has left my hip abductors feelign worse for wear. Surprisingly, given that there is only bodyweight and gravity involved, it felt like it affected me today. the legs weren't smooth, and I struggled to get comfortable on the drops.

Strava link.

D: 49.9km
A: 341m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

14/05/2014

Commute:
I decided to get some extras after work, nothing to set worlds alight, but it was a nice night, and rolling along on my bike seemed like a good thing to do.

I got them done and was on my way home when I met Eddie (hi Eddie), so I detoured to chat with him. Then, post Eddie, I was heading for home again, and I met Straussy, so I detoured to chat with him.

My extras cup runneth over!

D: 19.4km
A: 139m

PMPW: 93kg

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

13/05/2014

6am NRR:
I don't understand why, but it's easier to wake up in time to do Northy, than it is to get up in time to meet dudes afterwards for coffee.

Strava link.

D: 47.4km
A: 199m

Commute:
I had one... then another appointment with some nice sports people from OPSMC, for which my desire was a plan for the most effective way to get back to full training. I didn't get that from either person.

As the hours have passed since, I'm less disapointed, and more accepting that maybe my desired outcome was unreasonable.

Instead, what I have is acknowledgement that I have an inflamed tendon and no structural damage. I also have some advice on my body and it's deficiencies, and some complimentary exercises to help address those and help ensure I can continue training and racing in the long term. Some of them may give me a bigger butt.

(_____._____)

D: 26.9km
A: 228m

PMPW: 93kg

Monday, 12 May 2014

12/05/2014

Commute:
Now that I've gone to rechargeable lights for commuting, I decided to give away all my old used AAAs. Free of charge of course.

D: 12.8km
A: 76m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 11 May 2014

11/05/2014

St Kilda East - Mordialloc - St Kilda East:
It was the rugby league kind of day. A ride for gentlemen, ridden by thugs.

A 10am coffee meet up, two up roll, only to Mordi and back... but with DK and Smax.

The knee had some sore moments, and it also had some good moments. I'm still feeling like a visit to Olympic Park Sports Medicine Centre is on the cards.

Strava link.

D: 49.7km
A: 206m

PMPW: 94kg

Saturday, 10 May 2014

10/05/2014

Philip Island TTT:
I really really really, wasn't keep to do a TTT. It's beyond just feeling that they don't suit me. I honestly believe I'm a liability to my team mates. So, I proposed I take the first turn, get the boys up to speed, hold on to it for as long as I could, and then let go to chop off the remainder of the 2 lap race.

Let's just say that we need a bit more practice at the concept, as I don't think the boys got any benefit from me. They appeared to have lost my wheel at the start, and then again through the big sweeping corner two (I could corner harder on my roadie than they could on TT rigs).

Philip Island GP Teams Race:
I did some good things today, the first of which was dressing well. Woolen socks, undershirt, arm warmers and gloves kept me from getting cold as I got soaked. Deep lensed, high contrast glasses kept my eyes free from water and grit while sitting on wheels. I also had decent caffeine levels, with a pre race coffee, a gel on the start line, then more on an every 30 minute schedule.

There are some things I did poorly. The biggest one was a (team) tactical one. DK and Dom had been fairly active at the front of the race from the start, so to give them a break, I went across to a two man move. We rolled a couple of times before being joined by a few more riders. I felt ok, not excited about the prospect of chopping off turns for most of the day, but I at least felt capable of doing so. At some point, I had a glance back and it looked like one of the boys was coming across, and this is where my error occurred. I sat up so I could give them a hand. What I didn't realise, was moments after I saw them coming, the bunch responded, shutting down their move. So what eventuated was we no no longer had anyone in the break. Back in the bunch I made sure I rolled a super hard turn down the main straight to cut into the breaks lead.

A little after the halfway point of the race I got a little too smart for my own good. I started opening gaps on riders and looking at the rider behind until they covered it off. The problem was, a solid chase of the  break began, and I got caught out down the line. After a lap or so in the gutter, I reached the limit of my legs.

Fitness wise I was pretty close to where I needed to be, though I think I need to work on producing power in the drops so I can deal with extended time in the gutter. I also need to get my knee back to ridgy didge, possibly even having a chat to a sports physician next week.

Strava link.

D: 64.9km
A: 143m

PMPW: 93

Friday, 9 May 2014

9/05/2014

Commute:
I'm getting a bit angsty about how how little riding I've done this week. In fact, I almost booked myself a flight to Moscow, but I figured there's no point Russian into things.

D: 6.3km
A: 80m

PMPW: 92kg

Thursday, 8 May 2014

8/04/2014

Commute:
A month or two back, I was looking for a new minimal saddle bag. I'd been through two of the cheap/free continental ones, and now wanted more of a forever product. Anyway, after a bit of a look around, I thought the Arundel Uno looked the goods, and as it turns out, a mate sells them at his local shop. G'day Dan!

So, a few emails, and some issues with Toll couriers later, I had a new saddle bag, for the princely sum of $0, a request to get Dan to Warnambool this year, and also a request that I review it as a product.

This isn't the review, it's more of a review of reviews... omg so meta! While I don't think my influence is great, I feel fairly strongly that when giving advice, it should be as impartial as possible, and with some kind of research to back it up. The antithesis of what I believe should occur, is something Steve and I still joke about. MTBR reviews along the lines of:

"OMG this is like the best product ever, it's so amazing, it's just the best! I can't wait for it to arrive next week! (similar products used: none) (rating: 5 chillies/5 chillies)"

Cycling Tips cops a little bit of, generally good hearted, flack over some of their bike reviews. They all seem to state that each of the bikes is perfect, and accelerates like a rocket ship and feels great for all day riding. Ignoring the overuse of the same phrases, something I'm obviously prone too, to me it draws out an important point. I feel that each product category should therefore have some clearly stated goals to be reviewed against. E.g. a saddle bag for me, needs to be unobtrusive (not touch my legs), not fall off on rough/unsealed roads, and resist wear from the bolts on my Thompson seatpost clamp.

Bike Radar overhauled their review system a year or three back. In essence there can only be one 5 star and only a few 4 and a half items per category. They're sort of working towards a bell curve, which means they've really got to consider carefully if and when to call something the best.

Wow, that was a lot of words to say that at some point I might write some other words.

D: 8.2km
A: 55m

PMPW: 93kg

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

7/05/2014

Commute:
I was thinking about life and the future today, and I began to wonder the purpose of a will. Then I realised, it's a dead give-away.

D: 8.5km
A: 46m

PMPW: 94kg

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

6/05/2014

6am NRR:
As I was going to be woken anyway by the binmen, I thought I might as well see how the knee was going.

Heh, why hasn't that been covered by Wade on Cyclingtips? "Want to get faster, move somewhere with noisy council contractors!!"

Anyway, I sat in the bunch through to Black Rock, where I'd just finished telling Leigh Atkins that I wasn't going to attack the hill today because it would be rude after sitting in... then someone else attacked. Obviously I chased them down, and possibly kept it strung out after the catch... but that's very different to me attacking myself!

As for the knee, it's NQR. I'll take the next day or two off to let it calm down.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 178m

Commute:

D: 24.2km
A: 185m

PMPW: 94kg

Monday, 5 May 2014

5/05/2014

Commute:
I felt pretty good yesterday, not so much today. It's mostly that I'm tired and my legs lethargic, but also my left knee has pulled up a bit sore.

In the short term it means I might need to back off the load for a couple of days, but I'll also need to take note of my pedal action. Even if it's just a teeny bit off, the knee tracking ever so slightly skewif, adds up over a long ride like Sunday. Given that's not the last long ride in my future, I want to get it right now.

D: 18.9km
A: 96m

PMPW: 94kg

Sunday, 4 May 2014

4/05/2014

St Kilda East - Portsea - St Kilda East:
There was no iconic battles today, but I'm left with a body that is pretty sure I went through a war.

Actually, I feel pretty bloody good considering we knocked out 95km into a solid southerly, then another tailwind assisted 95, with periods of freezing rain rolling through to keep us feeling like hard men.

Today wasn't about threshold, it was purely a time in the saddle affair. DK, Smax and myself all feel that at last year's Warny, that we were lacking a few long days in our preparation. So, after a couple of preparatory coffees, we rolled out of Cafe Racer into the teeth of the first patch of rain for the day.

Some 7 hours of pedalling later, in an odd type of symmetry, we rolled back through St Kilda, again in the middle of a patch of rain.

Despite the desire to ring the local pizza joint and order 3 large pizzas for myself, I feel like it was just a regular roll with a couple of mates. I think next time will involve a sneaky Arthurs Seat on the return.

Strava link.

D: 190.6km
A: 1,090m

PMPW: 93kg

Saturday, 3 May 2014

3/05/2014

St Kilda East - Kinglake reps - St Kilda East:
I wanted some time in the hills, but wasn't too fussed about the specifics. What eventuated was a ride with DK, Smax and Caff to execute Smax's training program of 3 long efforts.

The general plan was to get ourselves out to Kinglake, and Smax would do bad things to himself up the climb. Up until it happened, I wasn't sure what I'd do when he started to push hard on the pedals. In the end I sat on DK who sat on Smax, doing the prescribed cadence, and trying hard not to think about who I was trying to match.

We rolled out through Arthurs Creek, then up and over Hewitt's to the base of Kinglake and three threshold efforts. The route out was more for the scenery and quietness than because it held any training purpose.

The first effort was 15 minutes at any cadence, stepping up in watts at 5 and 10 minutes from a moderate pace, to sub threshold, to above threshold. Surprisingly to me, and DK as well (given he kept looking back to see if I was still there), I managed to hold on right the way through.

The second effort was 20 minutes of threshold power, but swapping from 60 to 90rpm every 5 minutes. Again, I managed to stick with it to the end.

The final effort was 15 minutes of threshold, and when DK dropped the wheel after the cutting, I was faced with a gap to chase, so I stepped off the wheel and chased. I closed the gap slightly, but it was obvious that Smax was ramping up his effort, so I settled for not letting the gap blow out any further. It was only after we turned the legs off that I realised that I'd just held onto an NRS rider up 3 long hills.

The feeling of accomplishment that the realisation brought stuck with me the whole way home, even as we scurried to try and avoid the worst of the looming black clouds.

Strava link.

D: 160.2km
A: 2,691m

PMPW: 93kg

Friday, 2 May 2014

2/05/2014

Commute:
I somehow missed all the rain the last couple of days, I don't know if it's luck or magic, but regardless of how, it's been nice.

D: 10.5km
A: 77m

PMPW: 93kg

Thursday, 1 May 2014

1/05/2014

NRR:
It sort of was NRR and sort of wasn't. Bones got out of his ankle reconstruction moonboot on Monday, so wanted to roll easy. The general plan was to sit on 5:45 NRR until Mordi, but we missed the start by about 30 seconds, and so just rolled as a pair until Black Rock when the 6am bunch finally made contact.

I told Chris I'd circle back for him at St Kilda, and kicked to join the bunch and stretch the legs for the remaining 13km of the ride.

Strava link.

D: 49.8km
A: 172m

Commute:

D: 10.6km
A: 77m

PMPW: 94kg