Friday, 31 October 2014

31/10/2014

NRR:
I took the CX bike out this morning, with the intention to have an easy spin with the regular Friday northy. I watched the TT boys kick off,  I watched Skinny and Dave Sewell kick after them... then when another small group of guys kicked, I accidentally chased them, and thus my intentions were discarded.

I'm not going to pretend that I enjoyed myself, but I did get a solid workout in trying to hang onto TT riders while only having access to a 46T chain ring. I think I saw my HR dip below threshold once during the trip back up to St Kilda, but it's possible the puddle of sweat that had formed on my GPS was causing diffraction.

Strava link.

D: 45.8km
A: 187m

Commute:

D: 7.9km
A: 32m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 30 October 2014

30/10/2014

Rest:
I was going to write about the pencil I broke today, but it was pointless.

PMPW: 89kg

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

29/10/2014

Commute:

D: 5.2km
A: 48m

HCC Crit:
It's never a good sign when after finding out it's your first week back racing, that people giggle. Right up until that point I was in a calm and stable mental place, I knew it was going to hurt, but it was what I had to do. Post giggles, I was nervous. Had I underestimated how much pain I'd be going through?

In the end though, I did about what I expected. I hurt, I made it to the end of the race, I did a tiny bit of work.

The power data suggests the demands were on par with racing last year, with heart rate matching some of the harder races. This means I am down a little bit aerobically, which is about where I thought I was. The upside is, if I can get that extra aerobic ability back, I will be able to mix it in the race more, rather than a half hearted break, and a final lap effort to try and bring back the break for Adrian Jackson.

Strava link.

D: 47.9km
A: 500m

PMPW: 87kg

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

28/10/2014

6am NRR:
With a race tomorrow night, and no riding on the weekend, I felt it best to get some hurt in this morning. Sitting at the very back of the bunch talking with Boomtime wasn't the answer, so after we'd exchanged pleasantries, I rolled myself all the way to the front and pulled a few turns.

I don't recall when, but a little time later, I made myself a rule for the ride, and given how well it served me, might need to go into the playbook. Any time my HR was 160bpm (or lower), I had to go to the front. If I was 2nd wheel... to the front. If I was 30th wheel... to the front, and perhaps consider not being soft and drifting so far back next time.

This rule gave me some good moments, including a turn from mid pack as we came around the bend in Mentone towards Rickets. I was holding a solid 450W with only a few wheels left to cover when we reached the right hander back into the wind. 450W became 650W and those last few wheels seemed like a herculean task to cover. It got the hurt in alright.

Strava link.

D: 43.8km
A:186m

Commute:

D: 11.5km
A: 114m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 27 October 2014

27/10/2014

Commute:
The worst part of this morning's commute was convincing myself to do it. Once rolling it was actually pretty fun. Cars drivers were slowing to a crawl, and loosing their minds.

If I was on a bike with full fenders,  I probably would have extended my gloating route.

D: 6.5km
A: 30m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 26 October 2014

26/10/2014

Rest:
If they were important enough for old cowboys to write the song 'Get along little doggy', I wonder why sausage dogs didn't feature more in their films.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

25/10/2014

Rest:
Alright, the forecast for next week is starting to firm up, I think it's time to publically commit myself to a course of action, to give myself no wiggle room, and ensure that it comes to pass.

I'm going to race HCC's crit next Wednesday night (29/10/2014), in A grade.

Friday, 24 October 2014

24/10/2014

Rest:
I'm sure I've asked this question before, but it bears repeating, as I've never really come to a satisfactory answer.

If a ride happens without any form of data tracking... did it really happen?

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 23 October 2014

23/10/2014

Commute:
For a change, I ordered a pot of finely flavoured earl grey, and one of mild oolong. I told the waiter I wanted a to enjoy the subtle teas.

D: 6.0km
A: 43m

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

22/10/2014

5:45am NRR Long:
I lay in bed after my alarm went off at 5, working out if I'd told anyone I would be at the ride, working out if I'd done enough training yesterday and over the weekend to be able to explain away not riding today. After a few moments, it was a single thought that got me up and going.

"You never regret going."

With a slightly more awake brain it's obvious that it doesn't hold true in all situations, but it did today, and it was the difference between action and inaction. For that reason, those few moments flat on my back with a HR of around 55bpm, were just as important as the 8 minutes I spent on Canadian Bay and Two Bays rds with a HR soaring past 180bpm.

There were some good legs in the bunch today, but a mix of upcoming races (Grafton-Inverell) or lack there of, meant there weren't too many being aggressive on the front. Bensley, well... he was worth several men this morning. He attacked on every single climb, forcing riders to ask themselves questions. I asked a couple of questions of myself, and mostly the answers were drool filled mumbling.

Strava link.

D: 93.4km
A: 513m

Commute:
Some folks at work needed a tender delivered to the CBD pronto. So with great delight I volunteered to get it there personally. Little did they know, I'd also planned to live out some minor cycling related fantasies.

For a brief few moments, I was a pro rider, as I totes got paid to bum around on two wheels. While I didn't do any mad skids, and my fixed gear bicycle is equipped with a hand operated brake (which I used), I still nodded to all the couriers I saw, an act of camaraderie. Basically I was just a walky talky, front rack, massive messenger bag, many tattoos, disdain for traffic laws, and an actual job with a delivery company away from being the envy of several 2007 hipsters .

D: 19.1km
A: 231m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

21/10/2014

6am NRR:
I think it was slow today, or I'm tired, but I worked turns all the way south and my HR stayed pretty low.

The only time it passed threshold on the way back was when I tried to 1 man the Blackrock-Sandi hill. It wasn't a convincing effort, and Dave Tozer roller over me a bit past half way.

Not a very exciting bunch of words, and I suppose that's fair as it wasn't an eventful ride. Coffee on the other hand was an event worth getting out of bed for.

Strava link.

D: 45.8km
A: 177m

Commute:
I cut a few sneaky lunchtime lake laps with the tiny Canadian. I tried to keep the pace fast enough that there was a breeze, but easy enough that I didn't sweat too much.

D: 21.6km
A: 110m

PMPW: 88kg

Monday, 20 October 2014

20/10/2014

Commute:
Somewhere between my commute home on Friday arvo, and the one today, they made the hill from St Kilda rd up High st steeper and longer.

It's fair to say, that I feel tired today, but despite CBFs I still had to get on the foam roller before bed and work on my ITB so that I'll be functional tomorrow for Northy.

D: 7.6km
A: 21m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 19 October 2014

19/10/2014

St Kilda East, Blairgowrie, St Kilda East:
There were 3 things vying for the coveted title of "hardest things about today".

Firstly, getting to the start of this ride at 5am was definitely not easy.

Secondly, hanging on when Dom got bored and laid out watts on the front gave my recent power numbers a good nudge.

Finally, setting tempo between rounds of Dom destruction, into the northerly insistent on shoving every piece of pollen in victoria into my eyes and up my nose, was taxing too.

The ride was a joint venture between AMG Berwick and Rush. They provided a couple of hundred black clad riders up for an adventure. We provided a few dozen pink clad riders to help make that happen, and happen happily. Like the regular Saturday morning shop ride, there were different speed groups, to allow for a range of abilities.

I set out first with the fastest group bound for Blairgowrie and a cooked 2nd breakfast. I had my nose in the wind for most of the trip from Frankston down, then all the way back. Our little bunch of happy riders got split up by the kick of Olivers, so I rode with a few of those that got tailed off until breakfast. After some eggs, bacon and a coffee, we set our little group back out onto the road and into the headwind. Dom was obviously the strongest rider, at times dragging a ragged single file line of riders down the road, so he stayed on the front for all bar a few kms before Mordi. I put myself next to him as often as traffic (cars and cyclists), and my legs allowed.

Strava link.

D: 175.8km
A: 888m

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 18 October 2014

18/10/2014

Hell Ride:
I felt pushed during the very middle and the very end of the Helly today, and both were times when I was on the front. Otherwise I felt pretty relaxed about it all, and that's a confidence building experience.

It was Olivers and the subsequent rollers that made me happiest. I was able to chase down a break and drop everyone up Olivers, and then helped a small group stay clear through to Mt Eliza. CJ Fuller was the dude who attacked first on Olivers, and after waiting for others to cover it, I took it upon myself to get up to him and another, then clear over the top.

A last minute decision on the run into Ricketts saw me put myself at the aid of Lach from Artisan for the sprint, pushing the wind and the pace from before the final right hander into Black Rock to around 200m to go. It was a good chance to think about and practice a continual increase of speed until the final drop off.

In summary, it was a top morning weather wise, there was no naughtiness in (my part of) the bunch, and couple of solid efforts for my legs. 

Strava link.

D: 95.5km
A: 401m

PMPW: 90kg

Friday, 17 October 2014

17/10/2014

St Kilda East - Albert Park Lake - St Kilda East:
I'm not saying that rolling a few easy laps of the lake, then having a couple of coffees on Chapel st, before finally going home for a further two coffees was a mistake... but I had a shorter attention span than a goldfish on meth, while at work this morning.

Strava link.

D: 21.7km
A: 113m

Commute:

D: 8.3km
A: 62m

PMPW: 89kg

Thursday, 16 October 2014

16/10/2014

Commute:
You know you're on the early morning bandwagon when getting up at 6:30am to stretch feels like a super sleep in. Granted the tiny Canadian might not fully agree with those thoughts, but this is my blog, she can write her thoughts on hers!

D: 7.0km
A: 45m

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

15/10/2014

NRR:
I rolled into this one with a poor mental attitude, and in return my body never wanted to party. I sat on the front until Southland, a move motivated by wanting to be near the front, and not wanting to be the jerk who rolls up and pushes in at 5th wheel. After Southland I didn't get further forward than 3rd wheel until there was 900m to go in the ride (to BP).

I probably should have validated the first idea up there before typing it out, but it's done now, I'm 4-5 lines later and there's no going back. I suppose it's not really a bad thing that I had an easier day in a week that I've designated as one where I want to take it easier. I had a vision of having less hard days, but still going moderately hard on those days, and I guess that's where the poor attitude thing comes from. On a micro level (individual rides), I thought I should be going hard, on a macro level (the week as a whole), I feel it should be easy.

Strava link.

D: 44.1km
A: 151m

Commute:
In other news, I'm told that today is ride to work day. Coming off the end of northy I joked about walking to work. I rode, you know... because walking is silly, and was surprised that there was less evidence of people riding to my office building than on normal days.

On a micro level that's good for me, as I got a bike park. On a macro level it's a worry, Steve puts it best "more people on more bikes is more better.".

D: 6.9km
A: 36m

PMPW:87kg

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

14/10/2014

Commute:
A friend linked this article to me today, it's not terribly long, and didn't offer any insight to me, but the final paragraph did resonate.

"I love long-distance cycling because it's a leisurely, gentle, human-powered way to appreciate the landscape. It makes a person feel completely alive. Moreover, it transforms that post-ride meal — whatever is on your plate - into a glorious recharge for the body."

D: 8.3km
A: 61m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 13 October 2014

13/10/2014

Commute:
Ok, last week was solid, but I'm feeling tight (left itb) and there's a bit more discomfort in my left knee, so this week I'm going to back it back a little, and get some quality rest and stretching done.

It doesn't hurt matters that the weather is forecast to be pretty poo until Friday, maybe I'll forgo the bike entirely and pull out the kettle bell again, or maybe it's time to sit on the ergo. Neither sounds appealing right now, but give me a couple of days without endorphins, and strange things could happen.

D: 7.8km
A: 32m

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 12 October 2014

12/10/2014

SKCC Crits:
After consultation with the ATO on the status of my payments to SKCC these last two weeks, I now view my time today in a different light. I'd hoped my $15 would be viewed as a charitable donation, a tax deduction to offset against my accrued PAYG balance. It's not to be though, it seems that neither SKCC nor the riders winning have filled in the necessary forms to be classed as a DGR.

To put it another way, and hopefully with far less acronyms, the only thing I contributed to the A grade race today was cash. No one was getting a sit on my wheel, because I spent a good part of the race up the back, wondering if I'd be able to get anywhere near the front. The one time I went to the front to chase a move, it came back in half a lap. I assume based out of pity for my pained pins rather than fear of my lackluster fire power.

I'd like to thank to thank whichever corner marshal swept up my shattered illusions for sparing me the ignominy of ruining others tyres and days.

Ok, so it's not actually as bad as all that, but a bit of melodramatic melancholy makes for a bit of fun. I assumed I wouldn't be to much chop today, after my time in the hills yesterday, and in truth I did struggle to even move up the bunch during the race, come the sprint for 3rd I couldn't get to, let alone help Richie and Ben.

Strava link.

D: 101.8km
A: 125m

PMPW: 87kg

Saturday, 11 October 2014

11/10/2014

St Kilda East, Hewitts, School, Mine, Gosfield, Flat Rock, Alfred, Nicholas, St Kilda East:
Riding up a little dead end road in the middle of no where (Alfred Pl), my breath coming hard, my legs struggling to deal with the ever increasing gradient, I thought of an equation that seemed apt. If you see more wildlife on a ride than you do humans, it's a good ride. Today's was a good ride.


My arse, Stephen's photo.

Jim and I took the route from last week, and applied the theory of "if some is good, more is better", by adding a couple more climbs, and a couple more riders. We hit most hills hard, and cruised the flatter bits in between while shooting the shit. Once again, I giggled when both my front and back wheels drifted a few inches through the gravel at the turn into School Rd. A different giggle returned just before the right hand turn a km or two later, the one that hid a wall of bitumen that I was sure Stephen hadn't met before.

Last week I spent a bunch of time playing with Jason on hills, half wheeling all the way to his limit. This week I tried to just do my own thing, and give each effort an honest go, before circling back to whomever was coming up slowest.

It wasn't just the ups that I was pushed on, Rich Read was dominating all the descents, and forcing me to employ every aerodynamic trick in my book to even get a sniff of a roll off result. Pedals flat, head dropped between the shoulders, heck I even had my sunnies on to clear up the flow around my eye sockets.

Strava link.

D: 143.9km
A: 2,377m

PMPW: 89kg

Friday, 10 October 2014

10/10/2014

Commute:
I didn't make eye contact with the policeman I saw this morning while riding around the lake. With all this extra training, I was worried he'd nab me for resisting a rest.

D: 13.2km
A: 78m

PMPW: 88kg

Thursday, 9 October 2014

9/10/2014

6am NRR:
I made it, and I suppose I should be happy about that, though I really thought I'd be able to roll more turns than I did... I just felt flat, and left the pace making to others.

Thinking about where my knee/recovery is, I'm slowly getting happier. Being able to do 100km rides, and backing up days on the bike is great. There's still background discomfort, but it's no where near what I experienced after starting up again post my trip to Canada in June.

I've still got a few tests to go, the first one is a bit of a mental hurdle too. Racing a grade at HCC. I'll give myself a couple more weeks of longer rides before I get there, and once there, I'm going to try and give myself permission to hurt (a lot).

Strava link.

D: 46.3km
A: 178m

Commute:

D: 7.1km
A: 45m

PMPW: 88kg

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

8/10/2014

5:45am NRR Long:
I apologise in advance if this becomes like a first person race summary,  I've had so many battles on NRR long over the years I think of it as a race. So much so, that I was just as nervous about this morning, as I was about lining up for Sunday's crit. Thankfully, it's Warny week, so a lot of the dudes who've been tearing legs off were absent.

Firstly, holy crap it was a big bunch. At a guess I'd put it at 40-50 riders going long off of the 5:45 bunch. When everyone rolled through for turns, which happened for a bunch of the trip down and the trip back, it lead to panicked "oh god I'm too far back" when in the slow lane.

I set times up Canadian Bay and Two Bays that feature in my top 10 all time best times, which is nice, but I couldn't hold onto a surge that happened around house #30 on Two Bays. Adam McGillivray cracked in front of me, so I headed around him, only to find the rider in front of him had cracked too leaving a gap to the 6 lead riders. It was a bridge too far, and I had to revert to finding my own pace for the final km.

It was around then that another rider come up to my hip, and announced he'd written me off earlier as a sprinter. I was pretty solidly in the box, so squeezed out a couple of words to confirm that I am... then I dug deeper. The incentive to dislodge him into 'beaten up a hill by a fat bloke' shame, was enough to find an extra 100w for a few moments.

Close to Mordi, I had my best ever interaction with another rider about their (wrong) behaviour. A guy had ridden up the inside and past a car waiting patiently to go around a stopped garbage truck. It wasn't planned, but when the bunch, who'd waited behind said car came along side, I simply said "dude, that wasn't the correct decision". Later, when we had a moment at some lights he happily engaged on the subject, rather than coming in super defensive.

Strava link.

D: 94.9km
A: 510m

Commute:

D: 6.9km
A: 33m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

7/10/2014

Commute:
With this whole rehab/management thingy going on with my left leg, I've been diligent(ish) with the foam roller on it, but the right leg hasn't really been getting any love. It's definitely a case of the squeeky wheel gets the horrible horrible pain.

Now, I don't know if it's related to the rolling, or the concentration on pedalling smooth, or recent weight loss... or what... but sitting on the couch, admiring my legs (as I often do), I've come to notice the left leg has better definition than the right. So today the right side got some foam roller love too... just in case.

D: 8.2km
A: 62m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 6 October 2014

6/10/2014

Commute:
The other day I was watching the old Disney Wizard of Oz movie, and I gotta say, I'm sad that Scarecrow never won an Oscar. He was outstanding in his field.

D: 7.8km
A: 34m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 5 October 2014

5/10/2014

SKCC Crit:
I turned up early and rolled around with e grade, but skipped D completely, because the grades have changed times this year. Last year, E and D were back to back, and then there was a gap while the women's grades raced where I could get a coffee or two, pin on a number, and relax for a few moments. Anyway, I rocked up for A grade, and lined up with the simple goal of seeing how fit I am.

The answer to that simple question is, not amazing, but not horrible either. I never feared I'd get dropped, and I grabbed wheels that were bridging to attacks, but on the other hand, moving up the bunch wasn't simple, and I wasn't confident to bridge to moves solo.

There were a lot of attacks through out the race, but everything was getting shut down after a few laps off the front. By halfway through the race, I was confident it'd come down to a bunch kick, and I could thus become even less attentive than I had been. It was during this time of quiet confidence (not in my legs), tucked away in the pack I spied a rogue shopping bag blowing across the course. If I'd had a sports camera mounted under my bars, it would have been the most beautiful thing I'd ever filmed. I ran over it, and moments later I knew it'd gone straight into my rear mech.

I spent the next few minutes clearing it from my gears, before rejoining the bunch. I rejoined at the back of the bunch, only to a lap or so later see the 3 to go sign. I was way too far out of position, and on the wrong side of the bunch from Ben Abels. I moved myself up a bit, and found Sam from Artisan, and told him to get on. I made ground where I could, but we were still 30 odd riders from the front as we got the bell for the final lap. Coming out of turn two I drove up the side, under the encouragement of Sam. I made it up to the top 10 coming up to the final turn, indicated to him he should go inside me, and continued straight on instead of trying to get my spent body around the corner safely.

I'm happy to have a race under the belt, and to get my nerves of failure put to bed.

Strava link.

D: 90.1km
A: 96m

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 4 October 2014

4/10/2014

St Kilda East - Hewitts - School - Mine - Flat Rock - Nicholas - St Kilda East:
When Jim told me we were meeting a 3rd rider, "Jason", my heart skipped a beat. My mind instantly thought Jason Jackson was coming, and I had flashbacks to when he, John Claxton, and Jeff Williams user to tear me apart. Kind of crazy that after all these years, and after the number of kms I've done, these guys still scare me.

Anyway, it wasn't Jase Jackson, so my nerves eventually settled down, and we rolled out towards Strathewen through the apple orchards of Arthurs Creek. The ride tempo was the one with Jim a few weeks ago, generally genial, with a few efforts to get the blood flowing, and answer a few questions. I concentrated on my legs and breathing on the first few efforts, then on later ones I played with Jason a bit.



We covered a few more kms, and turned up a few more climbs than the other week, but once gain, the t-junction at the top of Nicholas lane signalled the end of the ride. If you look it up, you'll note that's still a long way from home, but it's the only way to describe the mental change. From there on, it's just a commute home, the hills aren't for training or competing on, they're just hills. It helped that we had a warm wind at our backs, pushing us home.

Strava link.

D: 133.5km
A: 2,132m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 3 October 2014

3/10/2014

Rest:
I plan to stretch the legs out tomorrow with Jim in the hills, so I nervously hit the foam roller a couple of times today.

I've been at it most days, rolling up and down my left side, most of my weight stacked over it, then getting out the lacrosse ball for the hip. I don't feel like I'm clear of all issues, but I do feel like it's holding at around a 2 out of 10, thus the tester tomorrow.

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 2 October 2014

2/10/2014

6am NRR:
Nothing to really report, I rolled along in the bunch for most of the ride, thinking about my clothing choices for the day, and trying to decide if I'd made a mistake.

Strava link.

D: 47.1km
A: 174m

Commute:

D: 7.6km
A: 36m

PMPW: 89kg

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

1/10/2014

Commute:
I'm going to make a statement of intent, and thus commit myself to action.

I'm going to do NRR long soon, basically on the first reasonable weather opportunity.

D: 6.1km
A:43m

PMPW: 88kg