Sunday, 30 November 2014

30/11/2014

St Kilda East - SKCC E grade Marshalling - St Kilda East - SKCC A grade - St Kilda East:
An easier day yesterday, big wheels, a skin suit, extra coffee, a caffeinated gel and white socks. That's the check list of additional things I had or did today. I figured if I was going to have a trial run, I wanted to tick all the boxes. They worked well too. I felt great all day (maybe a touch skittish after the gel), and finished with a throw for 5th.

I found myself moving around the bunch far easier, and able to head off the front to either create, or join small breaks. At around 35 minutes in, I was pretty convinced the race was going to come down to a sprint, so I started to sit in more. Floating through the bunch I found James Dunn too, and declared I was very, very, very eager to have a crack at the sprint myself, and he graciously offered a hand. In hindsight my caffeine enhanced enthusiasm was amusing, others no doubt over heard my loud proclamations... but I didn't care. They were welcome to try and take me on.

In the last 10 or so minutes, I found Dunny, I lost him, I found him again, I directed him, I lost him again, I found him again. Add in a crash behind us somewhere that caused a yellow flag, and it's suffice to say that it was somewhat of an emotional roller coaster. Round corner two and James pulled out and hit it up the right, just as O2 went up the left. We drag raced round the sweeper, O2 just head with a few on their wheels. As we came to corner 4, we weren't quite level pegging, then a moment of indecision led to a slight brake drag, and finally I was into the start/finish straight, James holding towards the middle of the road, and a half dozen guys with a small gap ahead. I put myself into my pedals, I drew up past dunny and did the calculations on if I could chop over him to access a cleaner line up the left. I was gaining on the back of the front group, but running out of road to overhaul them and get myself into a place. I threw for the line, maybe edging out whichever O2 rider had the final lead out duty, maybe not. It was a throw for 5th. It was a throw for pride, and I can tell you that I'm chock full of that pride right now.

I'm not proud of a 5th per se. It's hard to put into words what exactly I'm proud of... maybe the right word is confidence, satisfaction, or maybe even hope. Lets for the second go with happy. I'm happy that I am in good enough form to compete in a sprint, and it eases some of the tension I talked about yesterday.

Strava link.

D: 110.3km
A: 147m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 29 November 2014

29/11/2014

Hell Ride:
Before I rolled out of bed this morning, in fact even before I rolled into it last night, I was in two minds about what riding to do. The problem is the Shimano Supercrit, and how to be best prepared or it. On one hand I want to take the absolute best fitness into it, on the other, I want to see how good my fitness currently is and to test out racing on big wheels. The former approach pushed me towards another ride in the hills with Jim, the latter to racing tomorrow, and thus an easier one today.

I eventually decided on getting a Hell Ride in today, but I'm guessing you'd already gathered that. I rolled out of home at 6am with freshly shaved legs, and the intention to do some damage to the bunch up Olivers. After a coffee in Black Rock, I rolled across the road to say g'day to everyone else gathering for the ride, my intention was still to do some damage up Olivers. There's a trend here, but it hit a hiccup shortly after. All was good when we rolled out, it was even good when I danced from the front of the bunch to an attack that kicked clear early. No, where my intention wavered was when we were up to speed, the turns were hot. I glanced down at one point to find 56km/h displayed on the GPS, I breathed deeply and prepared for the ramp in power required to come over the top.

In bugger all time we were at Frankston, and I got myself to the front, actually, scratch that, I was on the front. A couple of VIS kids kicked as we approached the base of Olivers, I waited. A group of dudes rolled up the right and I picked up my pace. I knew I'd have to find a path through them in a moment, but for now I was happy to take a sit. When we hit the start of the service road and the start of the steep gradient I got up out of the saddle, it was time to find a path forward. I passed 3-4 riders almost immediately, and as I prepared to pass another I had a moment of panic. It was Zak Dempster and I wasn't sure if I was making a massive mistake. Adrenalin might have made me over confident... or worse, I could be poking the bear and prompting even more pain than he'd been dishing out earlier. I went around him anyway, got to the top and sat up to take some photos to surprised exclamations of "is that a real camera?!". Kids these days!!

PB290006

I had a bit of a play on the next few hills to Mt Eliza, but was a little too out of position to do anything worth noting. I sat in for the return leg, before having a crack at the sprint. I didn't feel amazing, and when the wheel I was on failed to cover moves, let alone move up, I found myself having to start from behind a gap. I was happy to find that not only could I cover the gap, but power through most of the dozen or so riders ahead of it, and finish up in around 4th.

Strava link.

D: 102.2km
A: 392m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 28 November 2014

28/11/2014

CX Shenanigans:
It ended up  being a solo mission today, but despite a lack of unsuspecting people to turn up steep climbs, I found some giggles. Being solo meant that I had the pump track to myself, so could get a dozen or so pedal free laps in without having to worry about passing moves. Being solo also meant I could push as hard as I wanted, and get myself to more trails than we have been recently. Basically, I had a blast ripping trails in the early morning light, with my brain slowly reducing thoughts until it was just about the best lines. There were some drifts, there were plenty of hops, and there was a totally spazzed out stack.

I pushed on some sections, and if I was being honest, it was strava that kept me that way. I hit a couple of steep climbs, and I knew someone, somewhere, would have made a segment for them, and that they, and possibly others, would have had a crack. It feels kind of dirty admitting a web leader board might drive me, even if only for 100m at a time, but I've typed it now, and if you're reading it, then I've obviously not been able to backspace out my terrible, terrible shame.

Strava link.

D: 46.6km
A: 486m

Commute:

D: 3.7km
A: 18m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 27 November 2014

27/11/2014

Commute:
I was talking to a running mate of mine today, and it seems that not only do we share a lot of training modalities, we also share a bit of a love of good equipment. It turns out, that if you don't get your gear right for a running race, you will likely suffer the pain of defeat.

D: 10.0km
A: 58m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

26/11/2014

NRR:
That felt a lot better than yesterday, the legs moved when I asked them, and hitting tempo power came a lot easier. Case in point, when DK attacked coming out of the golden mile, it seemed relatively easy to smack it across to the first guy to crack and chase him, and then roll through and set a steady effort into the headwind.

Strava link.

D: 46.0km
A: 173m

Commute:

D: 5.4km
A: 21m

HCC Crits:
This too was better than last time/week. I even went off the front early, for shits and giggles.

I found it far easier to change position in the bunch, early on that was to have a dig or two, then when a break got established with Bing in it, I tried to keep an eye on the front to ensure nothing got across without me or DK. I felt like I was coming through the corner better, holding better speed, and not losing much ground to the wheel in front. The few times I was on the front into the corner were a different story, my confidence dropped, and I honestly believe I need to go down with some cones and work to visually understand the line.

Back to the race for a moment, the break stuck, so I went from patrolling near the front, to once again dumping out my legs. This time I put in a full lap on the front, even temporarily dropping everyone over the top. The full lap got be back to the hill, and there was no chance for me to get back on to the bunch, so I pulled up early and yelled at Bing during the sprint for 2nd (a TKM rider slipped away from the break).

So, today I've had two 46km rides, both of which have left me feeling a lot better about the my fitness. I suppose that just like yesterday was probably a bad exception, it's possible that today was a good exception, and my real fitness is somewhere in between. I'll take it though, yesterday got me a little bit sad panda.

Strava link.

D: 46.3km
A: 435m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

25/11/2014

6am NRR:
Oh man, I felt flaaaaat this morning. At one point on the highway I lost an arm warmer while trying to roll it up with it's mate and pocket them both. I had that moment of "should i go back and get that?" and decided that given it was an old pair, featuring a hole in the left arm, that I would sacrifice it in the hope of getting better training.

When I got home and reviewed, insult was added to injury. It was the intact one that slipped my grasp, leaving me with an old, holey and mateless arm warmer. It kind of summed up how I felt this morning pretty well.

Maybe because the session didn't do much for me, or maybe it's because I haven't had much influence on crits (yet), I'm starting to worry about the Shimano SKCC Supercrit, and how I'll fare racing it.

Strava link.

D: 44.0km
A: 164m

Commute:

D: 5.3km
A: 32m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 24 November 2014

24/11/2014

Commute:
It's rainy days like today that make me fantasise about bikes with full fenders, and possibly a front rack.

My commuter has done about 7 years of service, and while the zefal flamingo does solid work out back, water splashing off the seat tube and down tube makes me far wetter than I feel is necessary. There's a tonne of geared frames out there, some beautiful creations of steel or carbon, but I actually don't want a gears, nor do I want a nice bike.

I want a bike that I can be locked to a metal pole with little thought about it being a target for theft. I want trusty parts that will continue to work through season after season, but still retaining some elegance. For instance, I have a set of old/used Dura Ace 7800 cranks hanging out, a relic of my Trek Madone that has since gone to heaven. They'd make a bloody solid and reliable crank... but even at close to 8 years old... they're a bit too nice.

Anyway, sitting around with slightly damp and chilled feet, makes a bike with full fenders sound bloody good.

D: 7.3km
A: 34m

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 23 November 2014

23/11/2014

St Kilda East - SKCC Marshalling - St Kilda East:
I had a surprising challenge this morning, after rolling around with E grade, I was standing around having a coffee with Ritchie, you know, just chatting away. Anyway, up strode the race director and asked if I/we could help out marshalling a junior grade.

There were only 3 young dudes racing, but it was almost more of a handful than the dozen or two we had in E grade. I think I need to do it a bit more to understand what the kids are capable of, and thus what I can help them achieve. At the moment, I think the goals should be #1 Safe, #2 Fun, #3 Fast.

Strava link.

D: 42.9km
A: 62m

PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 22 November 2014

22/11/2014

St Kilda East - Iron Bark - Mine - Hewitts - School - Church - Flat Rock - Nicholas - St Kilda East:
I wasn't feeling super enthused, partially because I thought Downie was coming, and though I know he's had a couple of years without much riding, what he used to do to me/us on the bike is burned into my brain. Thankfully he didn't turn up, but a fitter version of Jim did. From the outset he half wheeled me, and on the first climb (Iron bark rd) he was a presence on my hip until the final couple of kickers.

That was sort of the tone for the day, good pace between climbs, and hard work up them. By the time we turned up Flat Rock rd we were both starting to feel a little cross eyed, and the steep and loose dirt climb of Nicholas emptied all we had left. We were so spent that we shared a can of coke at the Kangaroo Ground general store, before heading home through Eltham and Banyule flats.

Up until now we've run a system of "today's extras is next week's standard", or to put another way, each time we've ridden, we've added an extra climb to what we did the time before. I think we've about topped out on the time we each have to ride, so from here, we'll need to alter the route in different ways to keep it interesting, and our legs progressing.

Strava link.

D: 132.3km
A: 2,211m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 21 November 2014

21/11/2014

CX Shenanigans:
Ah CX Fridays, you're a mental rest day, and a physical training day all wrapped up into one. Loose surfaces, with lots of rocks, combined with skinny tyres mean that even at full noise up a hill, your mind is on so many things other than your legs.

It was also good to get Pikey back out, as not only is he nearly as enthusiastic as Bing, but his passion for it all means he's always gone out and found new things for us to ride. Today's new section was a little loop of the Yarra Bend golf course, an endless series of whoops that's got some serious replay value.

Strava link.

D: 34.8km
A: 362m

Commute:

D: 9.1km
A: 70m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 20 November 2014

20/11/2014

Commute:
It's a sign of how much my weight has changed that most days I have to correct it from 90 something kg to 80 something kg, so on Tuesday I went and got some blood done, with the results due today.

I was meant to get a call today if there was any drama, and there has been no call... which should mean that I'm not going to die of whatever they tested me for. That's re-assuring, and I'm not going to suggest it doesn't offer some level of comfort... but... I still have no idea why I'm suddenly 10-12kg lighter that I have been for years.

Oh well, you know what they say. Don't look a gift power to weight ratio boost in the mouth.

D: 7.8km
A: 67m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

19/11/2014

Commute:

D: 5.6km
A: 32m

HCC Crit:
I've had juuust enough time since racing to cool down and think about it, and I'm going to put a thought out there. HCC is exactly what I need midweek.

I wouldn't go as far as saying it's easier than the yarra st hill sprints I've donbe the last few weeks, they're both brutally hard, it's just that they're hard in different ways. The reason I think HCC is good for me is that I believe I'm lacking in aerobic fitness, and with an average HR of 171bpm for the 48 minute race... well, I reckon she's just the ticket.

The race itself had some interest, with the start of the win coming when a few guys slipped up the road on the first lap.  A few more went across to them a lap or two later, then a few more after that, meaning not long into the race a good break of 8-10 dudes were away, and no concerted chase was happening. The bunch slowly picked up the tempo (arf arf arf punny), and we were within 10-15m of the catch when a crash at the back of the break took the wind out of the sails. Everyone sort of took a moment to consider the two dudes on the deck, and forgot to forge on. Just to be clear, I had no part in the pace making until that point. Pre-race I'd planned to roll the dice and wait for the sprint, but in reality, I was getting worked pretty hard in the bunch. Sure there were a couple of gaps that needed covered, and I generally found I was coming out of the hairpin slower than others (so had to kick harder), but it was only when we were coming through for two to go that I put myself squarely on the front and drove the bunch.

Strava link.

D: 57.8km
A: 532m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

18/11/2014

6am NRR:
I rolled some turns on the way south, but the pace wasn't really earth shattering and my mind was on the hill out of Black Rock. Obviously I've used it as a cheeky tester of myself and the bunch before, and today was no exception. I wanted a cheeky test of where I was at (could I push myself for 2ish minutes), and where I was at compared to others (could I ride people off my wheel). Of that latter point I became pretty confident when several attacks strung out the bunch up Rickets. I knew there would be hurting legs.

At the top it was just me Pauly Addler. I was happy with how hard I'd pushed, but I felt I'd cheated the bunch slightly. It was slightly messy when I rolled to the front, and if it was hard to get onto my wheel to start with, then that means I didn't ride people off it. Anyway it was good to get the cheeky test in, and I'm not disappointed with how my body responded... I think that means I should be good for tomorrow night at HCC, and might be on track to race ok at the SKCC super crit.

Strava link.

D: 48.5km
A: 179m

Commute:

D: 6.4km
A: 51m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 17 November 2014

17/11/2014

Commute:
I used to be convinced I was indecisive... now... well, I'm not so sure any more.

D: 11.7km
A: 58m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 16 November 2014

16/11/2014

Rest:
I was singing in the shower this morning, and all was good until I started sudsing up. Then it turned into a bit of a soap opera.

PMPW: 87kg

Saturday, 15 November 2014

15/11/2014

St Kilda East - Arthurs Seat - Arthurs Seat - St Kilda East:
We caught the Hell Ride south to Mt Eliza, then headed on to Dromana for some time on Arthurs Seat. Aimz opted for a single ascent, Lee any myself went for two, CJ Fuller stopped at three, and we all left Row Dever alone to finish his sixpeat by himself.

The Helly was a bit of a giggle, I rolled some turns to keep myself up front, then went clear over the top of Olivers. I was hoping to repeat that performance up past Canadian Bay... but hard attacks from behind steadily tore up any tickets I had spare, leaving me to roll with the bunch.

I knew CJ was going to be doing specific efforts on Arthurs, and figured I'd try and hang with Rowan, who claimed to be just tapping out a tempo. However that tempo was well over my threshold numbers, and I soon had to let him go and play with Lee instead.



Neither of my times up the hill set any records, with the faster first attempt being almost a minute slower than my best, a time set back in March with most of the same crew.

Strava link.

D: 156.5km
A: 1,451m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 14 November 2014

14/11/2014

CX Shenanigans:
Oh man, my bunnyhop timing is atrocious on the CX bike, it feels like I've never done one before. The front end comes up about 3.5cm, then the back, at some uncertain time, does just enough to unweight the sidewalls. I feel like I'm trying for the first time.

Anyway, dirt was ridden and giggles were had. There were also a bunch of pinch flatted tubes, which makes me glad more companies are starting to release tubeless tyres. Tubeless CX, get on it, seriously.

Strava link.

D: 34.0km
A: 285m

Commute:

D: 6.3km
A: 45m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 13 November 2014

13/11/2014

Commute:
Since joining forces with Total Rush a couple of years ago, I've have a pretty big change of heart regarding how clean my bike should be, especially my drive train.

A clean bike is certainly a nice thing, and lends itself to important things like being able to instagram it anywhere, any time. A clean drive train on the other hand, is more than just being pretty, I now firmly believe it has performance and to a lesser extent, cost benefits too. You don't have to believe me on the cost side (it helps prolong chain, cassette and chain ring life), I certainly wouldn't have a few years ago, but the performance side should be easy and cheap for you to test yourself.

Anyway, those words above are just a prelude to me talking about bike washing, and the technique I now use. I clean my chain most weeks, and my whole bike every few weeks on a as needed basis. I live in an apartment, and do this all outside with a bucket of supplies, a hose, and an air compressor, with the air compressor just there to speed up the drying process so I can lube my chain straight after washing.


This, along with a rag or two, is what my bucket contains

1. Aerosol Degreaser ($3 a can, good for 1 incredibly filthy drivetrain, or 2-3 cleaner ones)
2a. Truck wash ($12 for 1L, dilute it 10:1, a 1L should last you 30-40 washes)
2b. Garden sprayer ($15 1.5L, good for a year or two)
3. Big soft paint brush ($5-$10, should last you yonks)
4. Kitchen brush ($5, should last you yonks)
5. Park Tools GSC1 ($10, should last you yonks)
6. Small paint brush ($5-$10, should last you yonks)

So, first step is to clean your drivetrain, and for that, a can of aerosol degreaser (1) from a local auto store is amazing, and worth the $3 cost. I just lean my bike against a wall, and aim the jet of liquid from the can at the lower portion of my chain as I back pedal the cranks. Grease and crap melts away, under the combined might of high pressure and chemicals.

If it's a particularly dirty chain i give it the occasional rinse off. Once the chain is approaching spotless, I have a go at the chainrings, cassette and the teeth of my jockey wheels. I try to be cautious around those last items, the jockey wheels, as there are teeny tiny bearings close by that get sad if you remove all their grease. If in doubt, apply degreaser to a rag and use that on them instead of a direct stream from the can. The park tools brush is helpful for stubborn grease on chain rings and cassette. I keep mine solely for this job so I don't transpose any latent grease to other parts of my bike.

When you're done with your drive train, give it a rinse off with a hose. You'll likely notice that in the process of getting it spotless, you've splattered the surrounding area of your bike with filth, which is what we attend to next. If I'm just cleaning my chain I only clean the rear wheel and the stays at this point, if it's a whole bike was day, I do the whole bike, either way, I don't leave the mess I made over the rest of my bike.


Chains tend to have writing on them, and silver inner links. Keep cleaning until you see these things. I keep cleaning until I can run the chain over a finger or rag, and it doesn't leave a grease mark of any kind.

Right, so CT18 (2a), diluted roughly 1:10 with water, and whacked in a hand pressurised garden sprayer (2b) is my cleaner of choice. Allegedly it's gel formula wont harm paint, chrome, copper, aluminium, steel or a bunch of other things, which makes it suitable for a bike, I also think it works pretty well at cleaning. Anyway, I spray it all over my bike, including the wheels and drivetrain. I use a big fat paintbrush (3) to massage it into small spaces of my frame (back of the fork crown, near the front derailleur, under the BB). You might want to take out your front wheel to make getting at the inside of the forks, and the rear for the inside of the stays... I generally don't because that takes effort, and means my bike frame will touch the ground. I use a stiffer kitchen brush (4) to scrub my rims, especially the brake tracks, and if I've removed my wheels to clean my brake pads.

Once that's done, I hose off the bike, giving the drivetrain an additional rinse for luck. At this point, I consider my bike clean, but obviously severely lacking in chain lubrication. I cheat and use a narrow nozzle on a air compressor to dry my chain, and with any air left in the tiny tank, I blow excess water away from bearings and bushings on other parts of the bike (derailleurs, wheels, brakes). Pre air compressor purchase, I wiped my chain off with a rag, and gave it an hour or so to dry.

Now that my chain is dry, I apply some lube (currently that's Boeshield T9), leave it for a few hours to sink in, and then wipe off any excess with a rag. If I'm feeling super keen, I'll apply a small amount of light lube (Prolink gold) to my derailleur bushings to keep them super smooth.

After all that, my bike feels like it doesn't have a chain, and any noise is an indication (to be confirmed with a gauge) that my chain has stretched, and needs replacing before it chews out my cassette.

D: 5.6km
A: 49m

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

12/11/2014

Commute:
I got a few laps of the lake at lunch with the tiny Canadian, her holding a once sided conversation, while I tried to hold a triple figure cadence.

D: 24.0km
A: 138m

St Kilda East - Yarra st reps - St Kilda East:
HCC was cancelled tonight, a big crash in D grade laid someone out, and the wait for all the kings horses and all the kings men to put them back together again, was looking like it'd eat up our racing time. Frustrating for me, but the right decision. To the dude who lay on the tarmac for a while, I hope it's nothing too serious, and that you heal up soon.

Anyway, and after opening my fat mouth earlier to tell Brad Eastwick he'd have to do Yarra St because he had missed entries, I had no choice but to go do Yarra st reps for the 2nd week in a row. Dunny said he would only be up for 5, and after the unhappy times of last week, I chose not to argue. Less reps didn't mean it was easier though. At the end, I was once again pale, shaking, and nauseous.

With less reps to do, there was no space for complacency, especially not with Dunny and his mate Mat doing them with me. Ever present, and thus possible witnesses to the outward manifestation of my internal struggles.

Strava link.

D: 35.2km
A: 473m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

11/11/2014

6am NRR:
I think it's best to ease a little, after clocking neigh on 500km last week, so I took this morning as an opportunity to get 50km in the legs, before a couple of late spring flat whites on Chapel st.

The ride itself was the opposite of last week, I seldom saw my HR reach the 160bpm point that was a lower limit/call to action. I popped my nose into the (tail) wind once, for the sprint, hoping to chick the entire bunch with Nicky Whitburn, but instead won on my own when she lost the wheel. I felt oddly disappointed, a 65km/h+ sprint win was not what I wanted..

Strava link.

D: 49.7km
A: 195m

Commute:

D: 15.6km
A: 107m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 10 November 2014

10/11/2014

Commute:
Ross Enamait has timed it his words perfectly, and once again given some much needed perspective (linky).

There's some good thoughts in there, but it was ones in particular that helped me today.

"It is important to understand that you will have bad days. It is inevitable."

"I never let one day define the life that I have lived for several thousand days."

D: 6.5km
A: 164m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 9 November 2014

9/11/2014

St Kilda East - SKCC Crits - Slack Rock - St Kilda East:
E grade, a roll to St Kilda, D grade, A grade, and then a roll to Black Rock. Somewhere in there I drank a few coffees, and reinforced some already dramatic tan lines.

What didn't happen in there, was me having much in the way of legs. In hindsight the reason why was given to me on the second activity of the morning. After getting off the dunny, I jumped on the scales and was surprised to see 84kg. I haven't seen 84kg since 2002ish, I'd just bought a trek 8000 disc to ride around town. I'd also cut my calorie intake by several loves of bread a week, and my weight plummeted from a heady 107kg-ish. Anyway, it was down that memory lane that my brain went, rather than thinking that I was perhaps still dehydrated from riding in the hot conditions yesterday.

In A grade, I mostly floated around the bunch, moving Richie up a couple of times, and pulling one or two turns to help limit a breaks advantage. None of it felt good, and often I was dead last, just wondering what was going on, and if I had any right to consider myself an A grader.

She'll be right, and given I've already got my entry for HCC on Wednesday sorted, there's no point worrying about what was, it's time to concern myself with what will be. I will be racing, and I will be aiming to influence the race.

Strava link.

D: 159.7km
A: 197m

PMPW: 84kg

Saturday, 8 November 2014

8/11/2014

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Reserve - Clintons - St Kilda East:
Starting the ride by heading North was a genius idea, and for it I have Wilko to thank. It meant that once the training part of the ride was done, we had a tailwind to ease the legs home.


@MelbourneCyclingLeague's photo

I spent a bit of time hanging back to ensure a couple of our crew knew which way to go, leaving Danny Cohen, Gene, and sometimes Wilko to play at the front. When we got to the Christmas Hills antique store, I took things back to my own terms. I introduced everyone to Reserve Rd, then lead the way up Clintons.

By this point my power meter battery had given up the ghost, so I was riding on HR and feel... neither of which seemed to be well calibrated. The heat was jacking up my HR, and my body is a known liar. Rising up Clintons Rd, rolling green paddocks with cows who showed little interest in our passing, slipped by on the left. I went into the right hander, the bit where the road kicks hard, with a heart rate 10 beats over threshold and Gene on my hip. I resented him being there, but in the same breath was glad he was around. His presence kept me, and the effort honest. If he hadn't been on my hip, I wouldn't have dug as deep or hurt so much, and for that I'm resentful/thankful.

Strava link.

D: 102.0km
A: 1,694m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 7 November 2014

7/11/2014

CX Shenanigans:
Going CX riding with a bloke who can hammer you on a road bike, and drop you like a hot potato on a mountain bike, does not seem like a good idea on paper. Thankfully, we weren't on paper, we were on bikes, which were in turn on dirt, and as I already know (and you really should too) riding on dirt is always good.

It seems there's currently not a standard Friday morning CX group, but that's no reason not to get out and giggle with Bing.

Strava link.

D: 26.9km
A: 324m

Commute:

D: 8.1km
A: 33m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 6 November 2014

6/11/2014

Commute:
Last night I felt horrible after the yarra street reps last night. I've already mentioned it, and it's not really a surprise given the nature of the efforts... but what is a surprise is that I still don't feel 100% today. There's a mild feeling of dissociation with my body and the world, it's like the end stage of a hangover, the bit where you've got past the nausea and headache, but the brain isn't fully online.

D: 6.6km
A: 32m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

5/11/2014

Commute:

D: 8.9km
A: 43m

St Kilda East - Yarra st reps - St Kilda East:
I turned up for HCC's crits around 6:10, only to be told they'd sold out all grades. Despite my levels of caffination, I was pretty deflated, but there were other options near by, including the ever fun Yarra St.

So, after convincing Luke Aggett to come with me, we set about an emotional 10 lap journey. Four any way you like to Sir William St, then one seated to the same place, repeating the pattern twice. I felt like I was coping ok until around rep 5, then I went to a dark place for a while.

Even after we'd finished up and rolled back to the crits I didn't feel too chipper. I sat on the big gate, watching C grade, then A grade finish off their races, feeling nauseous the entire time.

Strava link.

D: 39.4km
A: 750m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

4/11/2014

6am NRR:
I'm starting to think something magical happens on public holiday bunch rides, lights go the bunch's way, and more dudes are willing to work hard, but smooth turns. The clock had barely ticked over 6:48am by the time I rolled past BP, blowing hard after lead out duties.

It took until around Southland for almost the entire bunch to start rolling through, sometime before that, a little bored, I went full Belgie and ducked into the service road, and attacked hard. A set of red lights spoiled what was a good gap, but the giggles I heard wafting across the nature strip made the effort worthwhile.

Strava link.

D: 50.0km
A: 194m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 3 November 2014

3/11/2014

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Kruses - Menzies - Nichols - Alma - St Kilda East:
I took today off work to make it a 4 day weekend, but still I had plans in the arvo, and thus couldn't just spend all day in the saddle. Most of my mates did though, so they were starting late, and going long, so I ended up on a solo mission, something I haven't done in a while.

The old solo mission is an odd mental place, for me it means planning a route that gives me little choice to push hard, because otherwise I'm prone to just cruising along. For me, there's one area of Melbourne that screams enforced effort on the bike, Warrandyte. It's the home of some of the steepest roads I know, and most of them are relatively car free which means a very personal experience.



I hooked out through Banyule, and over Mt Pleasant, my HR barely rising out of the doldrums. I gave the legs a few squirts, and still the beats per minute struggled to get up towards threshold. I spent some time thinking about what going on with my body, and then before I knew it, I was turning down Kruses Rd and the option to soft pedal was taken off the table. At the top, heart rate finally indicating effort, I turned into Pigeon Bank, then Nichols, then Alma.

I never again saw those soaring HR numbers, so got home unsure at the quality of my session, then I saw the power data and climb times, and they were good... made me slightly giddy good. I'll put the depressed cardio numbers down to a lack of sleep last night.

Strava link.

D: 95.2km
A: 1,823m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 2 November 2014

2/11/2014

St Kilda East - SKCC E grade - Black Rock - St Kilda East:
I didn't feel like racing would be anything other than a donation today, so after working with a fresh batch of E graders, I headed South to Black Rock with DK.

Instagram later showed me that Gerro turned up, which made me a little sad about my decision. His last few seasons have made me somewhat of a fan boy, and any opportunity to see the stars of our sport seem a shame to miss.

Strava link.

D: 58.4km
A: 164m

PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 1 November 2014

1/11/2014

Rest:
The weather was plain old poo, so I kept the couch company instead of riding.

While lazing around with weekend television, I gave time to a thought that's been bouncing around my head of late. The cause of my recent 10ish kg weight loss. I haven't set out to drop the weight, and to me, there hasn't been much of a change in my diet. Exercise wise, I've obviously had some fluctuation, but that hasn't resulted in any comparable changes to the number on the scales.

So, just for the giggles of it, I might go to the local GP and get a bunch of blood work done.

PMPW: 86kg