Wednesday, 31 December 2014

31/12/2014

Rest:

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

30/12/2014

Rest:


PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 29 December 2014

29/12/2014

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Kruses - Pigeon Bank - Dawsons - St Kilda East:
I was already getting myself ready to ride when my riding partner pulled the pin, so I headed out the door for a solo session.

I pushed on the pedals. I pushed on my pain barrier. I pushed on a few thoughts.

After giving myself a nudge on Mt Pleasant, a road that requires intense concentration to keep pushing, I turned for Warrandyte and roads that gave me no choice but to dig. If you don't dig on Kruses, Pigeon Bank, or Alma you're walking. Everything but "smooth" and "power" cease to matter, and in my tired state, that was perfect.

Strava link.

D: 96.4km
A: 1,705m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 28 December 2014

28/12/2014

Rest:

PMWPL 85kg

Saturday, 27 December 2014

27/12/2014

Hell Ride:
This time of the year is amazing for it's lack of traffic on the roads, but that's partially offset by the lack of cafes open. I had a leisurely coffee, then a roll to Black Rock with Turner to meet the Hell Ride. To my horror the cafe we were meeting at was closed, and it was only through some tempo riding, and a short macc order that I managed to get some caffeine in before the bunch rolled out.

I rolled through on the way south, then tried to break the bunch on Olivers. Instead of breaking them, I almost broke myself. 2 or 3 riders got clear, I pushed to catch them, but instead found myself used as a launching pad for those who'd sat in the bunch, meaning I was eternally just off the back of an increasing group of riders. The lights at Humphries brought it all back together, but my confidence was dented, and I sat on wheels only hitting the wind to go around flagging riders.

I wanted to sprint, but I just didn't have it. It would have been cool to though. Lined up in front of me were Hendo, Koen, Baden, Troy Clarke, and a few NRS boys.

Strava link.

D: 100.1km
A: 372m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 26 December 2014

26/12/2014

Rest:

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 25 December 2014

25/12/2014

Rest:
Today featured some sprint work... but not by me.

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

24/12/2014

5:45 NRR Long:
There wasn't anyone truly scary in the bunch today, though that's not to say it didn't contain quality... just that there was no one who could destroy all comers single handed (read: legged).

Halfway up the last kick of Kars, and coming into the 2nd roundabout of Baden Powel, I came off wheels and ensured that there was no one getting a free ride by driving the pace. Both times, I'd question if it was wise to spend anything before Canadian... oh well, that was for later me to deal with.

On Canadian a freshly married and strong looking Dan Pickering pushed clear, and was eventually joined by one other. A small bunch formed behind to limit the damage, and I tacked myself on the back of them. For once, I didn't kick hard on the final pinch, I wanted to see the difference a little less stress would make on Two Bays.


 I might not have hit it here, but the moment I took this, the bunch did.

From the first speed hump, when the road started to point upwards, I knew it'd be touch and go for me. Lach Davidson, and Jules Floures set tempo on the front, and it had me hovering around my limits. Moves that happened as we started to see house numbers were a struggle to cover. We'd caught the two escapees from Canadian, but a strong move went up the right with 4-5 riders. It was too fast for me to kick onto, so I waited a moment or two in the wheels, and as we approached the final corner, went solo. I entered the roundabout satisfied I'd got the pain in, and the stats tell me this was my 3rd fastest time. I'll take that.

On the way home it was big group turns with a slight taily. I thought it was tough until some lights split the bunch, and we were faced a chase with less manpower. 52-54km/h pulls with box section wheels soon had me wishing for my carbon tubs, or several more coffees.


Strava link.

D: 96.3km
A: 493m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

23/12/2014

Rest:
It's not related to cycling, but it did influence my decision not to ride this morning... we got a puppy.

The little tacker needs to get up every few hours during the night, and it's not leaving me feeling well rested, or eager to ride... but in a few years, I'm expecting him to rock some sprints.


Finn the whippet. Tiny puppy, massive troublemaker.

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 22 December 2014

22/12/2014

Commute:
Have you noticed that pumps and tyres are getting more expensive every year? It's due to inflation.

D: 6.4km
A: 48m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 21 December 2014

21/12/2014

Rest:
I wanted to go to the zoo today, but i heard the only animal they had was a small dog.

It's a Shih Tzu.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 20 December 2014

20/12/2014

Hell Ride:
That was a giggle, and pretty quick too. The Christmas Hell Ride is always a good one, with riders hitting the front hard in attempt to get away and secure glory for the year to come.

Today, the rider hitting the front hardest, was Hendo. Gregory seemed to take great pleasure in ripping off the front with a couple of riders in tow, and seeing what damage he could inflict. I gotta say though, I thought that was awesome, and loved every moment of it. It's quite probable my joy came from having my race wheels in still, and thus an extra few watts up my craft undershirt.

After shenanigans in the hills, including kicking clear up Olivers I was all about the sprint. I wanted to win it, and I felt like I was a chance. Coming over Rickets the legs felt good, and I was sitting around 12th, I found Smax and asked if he'd give me a hand, and moments later he'd dragged my grinning face past everyone else and into the clear (or so I thought). I punched off his wheel just a moment before he flicked his elbow (perfect!) and then kept myself low and powering. I was sure I was clear of the bunch, I was sure the finish was closer! I was hurting, but committed. I stayed committed until about 50m to go when Rico came flying off my wheel with a couple of others in tow.

Oh well, next year I'll win the Christmas helly for sure!

Strava link.

D: 97.3km
A: 392m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 19 December 2014

19/12/2014

CX Belgie:
I've wanted to do the Wednesday morning "Belgie" ride that Dusty, Pikey, et al have been running of late, but it's tough given racing etcetera. Anyway, when I heard there was a crew hitting it this morning, I figured it was my chance to try something different.


I reckon I need to get to the Wednesday edition, because the dynamic between blokes on CX bikes, and those on roadies on a route that features tarmac, gravel and a tiny bit of dirt.... well, it'd be a hoot when it's a big group that all know the way. This morning, our crew of 5 was made up of 4 new to the route, and Dusty, so shenanigans were tempered to times where the route was obvious to all.



As the photo from Wilko I'm unashamedly embeding shows... it was not a bad morning for it.

Strava link.

D: 56.5km
A: 634m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 18 December 2014

18/12/2014

Rest:
I was going past a bakery on fire this morning, the place was toast.

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

17/12/2014

St Kilda East - HCC Marshalling - HCC Crit - St Kilda East:
I didn't expect to be much chop racing tonight, so opted to marshal D grade first to get some extras done. To my surprise, I felt pretty good come race time, possibly because of the race wheels still in my Venge, possibly because of my caffeine levels.

Anyway, I found was finding it easy to hold position and mark attacks. A few got up the road, and I patrolled the front until Lukey Aggett lost contact, then I tried to bridge. I spent a few laps trying to get across, but ended up falling short and acting as a spring board for others to make it. Once I got my heart rate, breathing, and legs back under control, I quickly realised that it was a potentially race winning move.

So, I was faced with a dilemma, it was too far for me to bridge solo, and bridging or chopping off turns in a chase would cut my legs out from under me, leaving me with minimal sprint. If I didn't bridge/chase, I would likely not get to sprint. I chose to wait and hope, sitting in the bunch and running quick surveys to see how interested others were in working together. As we neared the end, I once again reached the point of training. I wasn't going to get much out of sitting in, and there was no chance of a sprint without any work, so I got to the front and made my legs hurt.

We never did catch the break, but I got a ripper workout, and confidence to carry to the next race.

Strava link.

D: 78.4km
A: 810m

PMPW: 87kg

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

16/12/2014

Commute:
A few house keeping items, firstly sleep ins are delightful. Maybe not as delightful as attacks that stick, but still not bad.

My knee is still an ongoing concern. I'm not as religious about my daily foam roller or "the stick" treatment, which implies it's improving, but it still aches a little every now and then just to remind me it's not right.

I like riding bikes. I've probably come off a bit of a sad sack of late, but that's just me highlighting where I've got room for improvement. Riding bikes is rad, riding bikes faster might be even radder, unless that made life less rad, in which case it's probably not as rad.

Finally, I think I need to take more pictures. I used to carry my little waterproof point and shoot camera everywhere, and pull it out on the reg. I'm going to try and do that again, so prepare for #foreverbuttphotos.

D: 11.9km
A: 129m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 15 December 2014

15/12/2014

Commute:
I'm super tired today, and I have a vague memory of being spiderman and battling vampires. I'm mostly certain it was a dream, but i'm not really cognisant enough to be certain.

D: 10.2km
A: 32m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 14 December 2014

14/12/2014

St Kilda East - SKCC Marshalling - Shimano SuperCrit - St Kilda East:
I rolled in early to St Kilda to keep my routine intact, and to ensure my little E graders were kept company. That (E grade) went well, I let the pace creep up from what it has been in the past, and in the last lap or two it blew apart when a couple of dudes attacked.

With those dozen or two kms done, I threw on a marshall's vest and went out with D grade. The speed was similar, and because I wasn't rolling turns it was easier at times. As the only Marshall I was honestly getting a little bored, so played the game of "how long can I coast round the back for, and still roll onto the bunch in the start/finish straight?"

I spent the next few hours alternating between chatting with folks, and sitting quietly, with 45 minutes until the race, I grabbed my first coffee, then just before we headed out to the course, I grabbed a double. Once I pulled up my skin suit, I was mentally fairly calm. I'd ticked off the things that would help me race, and now it was just time to race.

Now, the super crit itself. I feel that while I could easily sum it up in a few short sentences, that I owe it more than that.

So, let's start with the good stuff. I finished the race (in the bunch), and achieved my best ever threshold power to weight (4.8W/Kg for an hour). During the race I helped shelter and move up both Dom and DK when they came backwards through the bunch from what I assume were attacks/efforts.

That seems like a short list, and I suppose that's one of the reasons why I'm feeling somewhat nonplussed. My influence on the race feels super minimal, and at the end, I didn't have any legs left despite doing my best to conserve energy. I spent most of the race as good as last wheel, and struggled to get further up the bunch. Normally last wheel is fine, but there was some heavy braking into the final turn most laps, which meant there was a long acceleration out of it, which made it hard to accelerate faster than the bunch and thus move up. I'm positive the dudes at the front weren't slowing to 40-45km/h like I was, so I was wasting energy lap after lap, but most frustratingly... I couldn't do anything about it. At times it felt like I was racing a fast D grade, which is not at all what I expected. In my mind I expected to be racing pros, but in reality they were 60 odd wheels up the road, and I never really experienced what it was like to race next to them.

I'd like to do this race again, but if I do, I need to come in with better fitness so that I can actually be involved. Sitting in the tail of the bunch for 80 odd minutes isn't why I get out of bed in the morning, and it's certainly not something I'd list as a season goal.

Strava link.

D: 129.1km
A: 136m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 13 December 2014

13/12/2014

Rush Shop Ride:
The shop ride was predicted to be big due to Mick Rogers coming along, before racing the Super Crit for us tomorrow.

The roll down was a nice two up affair. I jumped clear a few times so I could get some photos of it all, before chasing back onto the tail end. There was talk of cruising home too, so I was mentally prepared for a couple of hill sprints to get a bit of a leg opener in before tomorrow's race. Thanfully it wasn't necessary, as we split into the standard faster and slower groups, and set for home.

I went with the faster group, intending to take a sit, but instead rolled turns all the way back to St Kilda. Once we got into a rhythm, it took a bunch of legs, but not a lot of brain to keep going. The best sit was from James Tomkins, and the worst was a draw between the 5'5" David Loakes, and the 6'1" Rogers. You'd think with a couple of world championships, and several world tour wins, that he would be be able to afford a few sandwiches now and then, but all signs point to him struggling to earn enough to feed himself.



Strava link.

D: 64.1km
A: 266m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 12 December 2014

12/12/2014

Commute:
The cold that hit me last Friday is still hanging around a little in the form of a chesty cough, so I skipped cx friday, and instead took some extra sleep, and took a lazy roll down to the beach after work.

It was a nice arvo for a roll, and because I was just out to enjoy warmth, the ripping headwind along the foreshore didn't really bother me. I wasn't trying to set any land speed records, I left that to those going the other way along the bike path.

D: 13.4km
A: 56m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 11 December 2014

11/12/2014

Commute:
I'm concerned that all this thought about the Shimano Supercrit is making me too tense. Yesterday I felt like a tipi, and today I can't shake the feeling I'm a yurt.

D: 8.5km
A: 38m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

10/12/2014

Commute:

D: 6.2km
A: 38m

HCC Crits:
It was a great relief to me to note, that there was no Drapac truck hanging out at the crits this week. It was just Wouter Wippert in red, and even his 7th place  from the @ 2011 u23 road worlds getting legs weren't enough to make me nervous... he's just par for the course now.

I took myself off the front from the start, hoping to kick start myself, but despite 2-3 laps solo and a further 2-3 paired with Mitch from Saint Cloud, I never really felt it. The headwind on the bottom straight kept the bunch  together, and I just hung out at the back with business Wilkie, practising the art of dropping wheels and catching back at the exit of the corner.

Before the race, I'd promised I'd do what I could for Dunny, but it didn't really work out that way. I hit the front coming round for 2 to go, just at the moment when Bing attacked. I set a steady tempo, aiming to keep the bunch behind me, but allow Bing to maximise his chances. When the two blokes who kicked with him didn't co-operate, I shut all three down, and then pulled off at the bell so I could watch the sprint.

Given my lack of motivation, or goals today, I'm not going to think much about if I did good or a bad, it's done, it's in the bank, and the eyes are firmly on Sunday.

Strava link.

D: 45.4km
A: 432m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

9/12/2014

Commute:
My body woke at 6am, not a bad sign after sleeping to 8am yesterday, so I rolled to St Kilda to meet Youngie for a post NRR coffee.

D: 4.9km
A: 28m

Smiths Gully Xmas Ride:
If I had to sum up tonight's ride, it was that my fitness was writing cheques that my skills couldn't cash. I was confident in my ability to pedal a bike, but there was no efficiency, and no smoothness to go with it. Trying to hang with Bellie and Rohin resulted in crossed eyes and extended periods well above threshold heart rates.

I bounced around on the trails like a 4 year old who'd been given 2 espressos and 4 shots of red cordial. My ability to ride uphill switch backs a distant memory, and confidence in my tyre's side knobs consigned to fossil records.

That all sounds pretty negative, but that's not the feeling I left the night with. I had no problem copping a cardiovascular flogging, and ridding poorly on dirt is still a hoot. I spent a lot of time forgetting about how good I used to be, or how great others still are, and just existed in the moment, perched precariously on the tip of my saddle and on the wheels in front. Struggling to ride the balance between power and smoothness up rutted and rocky ascents.

Strava link.

D: 27.2km
A: 669m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 8 December 2014

8/12/2014

Rest:
Today's post is in the form of a haiku, because like a dog left home alone who decides to chew on the curtains, I am bored and entertaining myself.

Forever coughing,
It is doing my head in,
There's no bike riding.

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 7 December 2014

7/12/2014

Rest:
The good news of this morning is my sinuses are no longer clogged, but it seems that's only because the production of mucus has shifted to my lungs. I'm not excited about not training two days in a row, but I don't want to push my body and prolong this sickness.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 6 December 2014

6/12/2014

Rest:
I'd planned to go north with Jimmy, but the combination of rain heavy enough to wake me, and the snot factory my face has turned into, I turned off my alarm and went back to sleep.

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 5 December 2014

5/12/2014

CX Shenanigans:
Puddles? Puddles?! Given spring was so nice to us, I'd almost forgotten that trails could get little sections of water and wet earth. So, it took me a moment to process what to do when faced with such this morning.

Transverse roots and logs you hop, rocks you look for a clean line around or over... but puddles that take up the (w)hole trail... where do I go... oh god my bike and legs are going to get dirty!!

Strava link.

D: 36.3km
A: 368m

Commute:

D: 5.8km
A: 22m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 4 December 2014

4/12/2015

Commute:
A mate and I often send each other photos of our coffee, with comments about how important the coffee is to us at that time. E.g. [Photo of a short mac] "necessary".

This morning I felt the coffee, was so important, that I decided against pulling out my phone as it would have delayed the coffee.

[Photo of a flat white]
"life saving"

D: 25.2km
A: 174m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

3/12/2014

NRR:
I didn't really feel the love this morning. It was a little like Tuesday of last week, the HR stayed low, and I power never came freely.

Still, after Mordi, I started to roll turns with the dozen or so others coming through, and was thankful that I made the bunch this morning.

Strava link.

D: 47.0km
A: 181m

Commute:


D: 5.6km
A: 48m

HCC Crit:
I was confident about this crit, the legs and heart have been working well together recently, and I figured I could influence the race, throwing out a few attacks or chasing some others down. That is, I was confident before I arrived at rego to find the Drapac truck parked, and 8 of their boys kitted up and getting numbers.

I'm ok with admitting I was bloody intimidated, but when one of their red clad arses hit it off the start line, I chased him down while towing the entire bunch. Breaks that go on the first lap offend me, it feels rude, and I will not let it stand.

Now that I've sounded like I had some control over the race, let me categorically state that that was the one and only time it happened. From then on out, I was firmly at the mercy of others. All bar 2 laps took over 1,300W to get out of the bottom corner and onto the wheel in front. Anytime a break was chased down, another pinged off the front, normally driven by a Drapac rider. Even when the race winning break was out of sight, the pace never really let up. I spent an inordinate amount of time thinking about the bottom corner. The best line, the highest speed I could carry into it, and when I could get on the gas again. Get it wrong and I'd have to punch 1,500W out.

When I eventually got up the courage to take a turn on the front, it was for a turn along the bottom of the course. I settled myself at 450W, knowing it was solid, then as I approached the corner, I realised that it would be "easiest" to stay on the front up the hill too. I "only" managed 1,006W, but by getting to the top of the hill I had a few moments of recovery before I had to kick onto the back of the bunch down the hill.

A few laps later, I rolled to a stop at the top, spent. It was 4 laps to go, and while I'd say now I could have maaaybe finished, at the time I was mentally done. Constantly forcing my body to unload that much power took it's toll.

Strava link.

D: 50.8km
A: 509m
PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

2/12/2014

St Kilda East - Brighton - St Kilda East:
I looked at my bike at 5:40, noting that magic fairies had failed to swap out my race wheels for me, and decided that I'd ride them on Northy. At that time, I really didnt have much of a choice, if I changed them, I would miss the bunch.

After a bit of faffing about, I left home about 4 minutes later than normal, worried I'd miss the bunch, but confident if there was any bike setup to achieve it, it was this one. Then, 50m from home, I got a flat.

I went home and did what I should have done last night, put my training wheels in, then rolled down to Beach rd for some solo kms. I had plans of catching the end of NRR, but I was on the wrong side of the road when they came through. Oh well.

Strava link.

D: 31.0km
A: 108m

Commute:

D: 12.5km
A: 97m

PMPW: 84kg

Monday, 1 December 2014

1/12/2014

Commute:
It's been several months now since I began using the ol' foam roller on a regular basis, and I've learnt some things.

Firstly, if you want to feel like you're a supple leopard, roll fast. The pain will be minimal and you will assume everything is a'ok.

If on the other hand, you want to hate life, and induce serious sympathetic sweats, then go slow. Maybe, you know if you're feeling truly masochistic, you pause on a particularly painful spot... then slowly move a relevant joint. If this is more your style, i'd strongly advise removing your socks though, as mine felt like they were on fire this morning.

D: 9.4km
A: 82m

PMPW: 85kg