Saturday, 31 January 2015

31/01/2015

St Kilda East - Iron Bark - Mine - Church - Flat Rock - Nichols - St Kilda East
I had a few route options planned out, but when we met at 6:15 in Rosanna, it was decided we'd do a pony/seahorse loop so as not to take Craig straight back past his house.

The first climb we hit hard, and thus the one where I got to find out my form verses Craig, Downie, and Jason was Iron Bark Rd just behind Diamond Creek. I told Downie I had to stop talking for a while, then worked on pedalling a lot. Strava tells me a I cracked a solid PB, but despite that, and the fact I beat the others to the top, I wanted to keep hitting the climbs hard, and I knew that Craig would keep coming at me.

True to form, when we turned into Mine Rd, Craig stood up and drove the pace. I was reminded of our battles up Dawson and Clintons Rds in 2012, I knew I had to stay seated, and just wait for him to tire. It wasn't that simple though, he kept at it and I had to coach myself several times before surging out of the saddle at the top to put my own tyre in front.

Church Rd from Cottles Bridge up to Patton Hill was next, and it was yet another road with flat sections that required concentration to keep the power up and the pace going. Jim couldn't make it today, but the way he has come at me in the past kept me honest all the way to the Gosfield junction.

Though not longer the last climb of my loops (Nichols Lane hold that honour), I still think of Flat Rock as the end to the pain, a place to empty legs, and today was no exception. I giggled and attacked from the bottom, confident I could hold off the others, and curious how much pain I could put myself through. The giggle quickly transitioned to a worried look, my legs were feeling dull, and it was obvious I was riding on fumes. I managed to crest the first ramp in front, I even managed to put a caffeinated gel in my face, but then Craig was on me and I had to hope my body would release any emergency stores of energy. My pride wasn't going to let the little mountain biker get a win in.

Strava link.

D: 113.3km
A: 1,874m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 30 January 2015

30/01/2015

Commute:
I've been reading about medieval history on my days off the bike. Did you know that King Arthur's roundest knight was named Sir Cumference? He got that way from eating too much pi.

D: 8.1km
A: 80m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 29 January 2015

29/01/2015

Commute:
Did you hear about the Mexican Train Killer?

He had locomotives.

D: 6.9km
A: 52m

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

28/01/2015

Commute:

D: 2.3km
A: 9m

HCC Crits:
Hats off to Brendan Canty, he didn't just win, he won solo after lapping the field (including me), and almost lapping the break he'd attacked from. I can't fathom what that kind of fitness and/or suffering must feel like... my brain refuses to consider what the world tour climbers are like.

I came into the race with no expectations, and thus I can honestly say I exceeded expectations, because I pulled at least 1... possibly 2 turns before we were unceremoniously passed by a storming Canty, and promptly removed ourselves from the course.

The ripping Sou-Easterly wind was not a good thing for me, it helped the smaller riders up the climb, and in my opinion, they dont really need any help in making me hurt. So I suppose that makes me happier that I hung onto wheels for 30ish minutes. Another nice point was I felt like I was taking the bottom corner the best I ever have. I'm crediting that to a recent change of tyres, and also working to keep my head up / through the corner.

Talking of cornering, I'm starting to feel that the fastest option isn't a perfect race line. I reckon turning in slightly sharper, then straightening the bike up so you can get on the gas earlier is best. You still end up  at/in the far gutter, but you're getting power down sooner, rather than letting the hill continue to scrub momentum away.

Strava link.

D: 39.1km
A: 360m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

27/01/2015

6am NRR:
I had a pretty vivid dream last night, which is kind of rare for me, in which I did northy this morning, but didn't realise until we were almost at Mordi, that I was riding the tiny canadian's commuter. I also had trouble clipping my garmin into the mount, I'm not sure if that's relevant.

Anyway, I suppose compared to riding an under-geared steel single-speed, northy wasn't too bad. That's not really how i feel though. I feel like there was a solid pace all morning, and several attacks that seemed to coincide with me being near the front. Granted, I was responsible for hammering it out of Black Rock, but the counter attack that came over me and Lach was uncalled for. Just rude really. How dare someone do to me what I was trying to do to the bunch?

Strava link.

D: 48.3km
A: 177m

Commute:

D: 8.8km
A: 26m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 26 January 2015

26/01/2015

Rest:
Have you ever noticed that chicken coops have two doors? Well, it's because if they had four, they'd be a chicken sedan.

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 25 January 2015

25/01/2015

Rest:
I didn't ride, but I did get up early and get out of the house. While pottering around the streets, I found a nun out for a stroll.

I guess she was a roamin Catholic.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 24 January 2015

24/01/2015

St Kilda East - Double Pinch Flat - Train Ride - Rush Ride - St Kilda East:
I think I messed up my karma with all these amazing puns recently, because on my way out to meet Ricky and Jules for a flogging in the nongs, I pinch flatted both front and back tubes AND tyres!

Seriously, both brand spanking new tyres had torn/slashed/rooted sidewalls. So, I legged it to the train station, and got my sorry self to Richmond station and Total Rush, where I salvaged my morning with a quick rubber change, followed by a roll down to Mordi with the pink train (that sounds like the dodgiest euphemism, I swear it's not).

If you're curious about how one double pinch flats tyres, it seems all you have to do is turn right across the tram tracks at the corner of Burwood Rd and Power St.

Strava link.

D: 54.8km
A: 253m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 23 January 2015

23/01/2015

Commute:
I Planned to cx it, but after the 2nd night of woeful sleep in a row, I sent an SMS and high tailed it back to bed. Sorry Nugga.

So this lack of riding (today specifically, but also in general) has me thinking about efficient ways to get faster. Little did I know I was going about it the wrong way, but thanks to the GCN team, I've got my season plan sorted.



D: 9.1km
A: 34m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 22 January 2015

22/01/2015

Commute:
Two goldfish are sitting in their tank. One turns to the other and says

"You man the gun and I'll drive."

D: 5.6km
A: 48m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

21/01/2015

Commute:

D: 7.8km
A: 34m

HCC Marshalling - HCC Crit:
Given my lack of riding recently, I felt it might be of benefit to me to marshal D grade before lining up for A. In hindsight, i think it affected my own racing. Not so much because the pace was ridiculous, more how much the extra time in the heat/humidity drained me.

When Alby launched off the line, I had a moment of pleasure at the thought that the race may take it easy. It didn't, and after 25 of the 40 minutes we had to race, I pulled the pin. I'd been watching my heart rate climb into the mid to high 180bpm range, and feeling my will to respond to the constant attacks die away.

Oh well, it's done. Given the weather they were forecast yesterday (for today), I was happy to be racing at all.

Strava link.

D: 54.6km
A: 521m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

20/01/2015

6am NRR:
I had some serious CBFs this morning. In fact, the tiny Canadian tells me they started sometime last night. I was calling out "no... no... no!" in my sleep, I assume I was dreaming of someone flicking an elbow to call me through for a turn.

A set of changing lights split the engine room off the front of the NRR train, leaving a slightly underpowered bunch (myself included) to roll the rest of the loop. I kept myself tucked away, slowly working on the motivation to hit the wind.

Finally, up Rickets, then again the hill out of Black Rock, I emerged from the sea of wheels, and lent my legs to the good of all. My actual intention was to try and hurt/break the bunch, but I lacked punch, and so just ended up towing everyone.

Strava link.

D: 46.6km
A: 168m

Commute:

D: 21.3km
A: 127m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 19 January 2015

19/1/2015

Rest:
While moving it, I accidentally did a few swings with the 40kg KB.

We'll see how that turns out tomorrow.

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 18 January 2015

18/01/2015

Rest:
I went to the bakery earlier, looking to get a loaf of sour dough for lunch. Much to my dismay the place had gone up in smoke during the early hours of the morning. I caught the owners eye, hoping there might be a crust unscathed that I could buy, but sadly it was all toast.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 17 January 2015

17/01/2014

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Kruses - Pigeon Bank - Nichols - Ridge - Clintons - School - Christian - Flat Rock - St Kilda East:
While I've been clocking up minimal Kms, Jimmy has been clocking big miles in the mountains, and that made for an interesting ride.

We both talked about not needing/wanting to smash early hills, but inevitably by the top of the first rise, we were both be maxing out, and claiming the other started it.

By the time we hit the end of Mt Pleasant, it was a ridgey didge war, with mixed results from the battles to date. To be honest, the fact that I had a few wins to my name was a pleasant surprise to me. I thought I was in for a day of mental and physical suffering, instead I was (overly) competetive.

I gapped Jim up Kruses, but he cracked me on the repeated kicks of Pigeon Bank/Menzies. He had me easy on Nichols, but I took honours up Ridge and Clintons.

I could see some signs though, and I'm not talking about the ones alerting drivers to kangaroos. No, the signs I saw, were more like the BOM radar, brooding, ominous, and promising events that may lead to property damage. My body was telling me I was drilled.

Still, when we turned up the kicker of Schools rd I kept fighting, narrowly edging my wheel with one final surge at the top, only to pay for it when we hit a new bit of bitumen and gravel just outside of Hurstbridge, Christian Rd.

By this point I was shovelling food into my face, and still felt that a coke at Kangaroo Ground was needed. I knew that twinges of cramp were in my future, it was just a matter of when. I knew this, yet still went after Jim up Flat Rock Rd, getting over the top a few meters before the gradient eased, our official unofficial finish line. I couldn't help myself, we've been riding this way together for so long, that it's neigh on impossible not to.

Strava link.

D: 119.7km
A: 2,301m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 16 January 2015

16/01/2015

Commute:
I found myself doing some extras this morning, when I found Chris Lee rolling down Chapel St. We started talking, and before my brain realised, we were past my normal turn off.

Got to love a chat that adds 10km to your ride.

D: 14.6km
A: 70m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 15 January 2015

15/01/2015

Rest:
A bloke I know fell into a machine at a local upholstery factory. It's ok, as he's now fully recovered.

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

14/01/2015

Commute:

D: 6.7km
A: 30m

HCC Crit:
I went in expecting to hurt, so I suppose I should be happy that I had the fitness to finish the race. I didn't though, finish that is, I spent myself on the 2nd last lap to shut down AJ who was solo off the front.

Preceding that leg dumping exercise, I had a painful day. I rode attentively when DK went up the road, riding the surges and the emotions they brought alike. After one surge, I watched Cam Clamp roll up the side, I knew he was going to hit it, so followed his wheel. His hit was never really a hit though, so I was surprised to find that we were off the front of the bunch, and into the gap.

DK sat up as we caught him, and not even a hand in the back could convince him to keep going. I (rightfully) assumed he'd been doing all the work in the 2 man break, and was thus a touch pooped.

Back together again and I had to take a bit of time on the back to rest physically. To get that, I had work mentally. To get the best wheel over the top, to not loose wheels down the descent, and to take the best line/speed through the final turn. Getting any of them wrong just put me deeper into the cave.

That basically brings us back to the end of the race. When we were given 3 laps to go, I rolled myself forward and asked how many were up the road. It was just AJ, and he was in sight, so knowing that I had several mates behind me, I punched out a lap, lap and a half to bring it all back to a sprint.

Probably not the nicest thing to to do another mate, AJ, but he's a great rabbit to chase and thus ensure the quality of my final effort.

Strava link.

D: 47.2km
A: 478m

PMPW: 87kg

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

13/01/2015

6am NRR:
Ungh, getting up at 5am to ride gets harder when you're not doing it regularly.

I'm glad I did though, because after the normal processes, I was soon hanging around the corner of North Rd and Nepean Hwy. Much like the gents waiting for their morphine outside pharmacies on Chapel St, I was waiting for a fix. My drug of choice is still endorphins.

Today they came with a side dose of humility. I started off chopping some turns at the front, which is nice for my legs and morale. At some point I was a couple of wheels back, Jez Hunt sitting on the front. I figured I'm a nice bloke, I'll roll up and relieve him. Instead what happened was he turned the screws, and I made it to level... then spent what felt like an eternity trying to muster even more power to get over the top. Eventually (probably a mere 20-30 seconds later), I cracked and headed back to the comfort of the bunch.

Strava link.

D: 44.0km
A: 146m

Commute:

D: 6.1km
A: 28m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 12 January 2015

12/01/2015

Rest:
I worked from home today, and to tire up the pooch quickly I opted for a few stair sprints. 3 flights up at full pace, then walk back down.

I cheated and used the hand rail. He cheated and used all 4 paws.

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 11 January 2015

11/01/2015

Rest:
I thought it would take longer than this, but today I realised that the pooch is taking it easy on me when we do sprints (to wear him out).

This afternoon, we went to the park to get him 4-5 efforts, and wear him out. The plan being to leave him with some friends while the tiny canadian and I went out for dinner. It was halfway through rep #3 that it dawned on me, that the puppy was holding back. The little bugger even had the nerve to half paw me for most of the 50m run.

In related news. I'm fully unco off the bike.

PMPW: 84kg

Saturday, 10 January 2015

10/01/2015

Rest:/strong>
Happy 72nd birthday to my old man. He may not cycle, but his sock tan lines are still an inspiration to me.

PMPW: 84kg

Friday, 9 January 2015

9/01/2015

Commute:
Is weather an idea, a thing, or a person?

I want to talk about it (again), but I'm not sure if Eleanor Roosevelt* would consider that great, average, or small minded.

Whichever it is, my socks are wet.

D: 5.2km
A:34m

PMPW: 85kg

* Or whomever actually said it first, because its apparently slightly contentious.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

8/01/2015

6am NRR:
I wasn't terribly motivated today, it was hot, it was humid, and there were many other things that I cant think of right now, but were obviously incredibly valid reasons. I thought that despite this lack of motivation, I might get a workout/roll some turns anyway.

That thought of a possible workout was because early on 30ish riders rolled through, and I figured that we'd have just a big old chain-gang for 40km. If all the bunch is rolling, then peer pressure dictates I am too, and that's good for my fitness. Instead of a 40km TTT, the whole thing dissolved after one or two rotations, and once it broke down, no one seemed eager to get it going again.

What we did have was lulls in the pace, which lead to riders, in particular Jono Cantwell attacking for the lolz. When he took a couple of riders up the road through Black Rock, I finally got something interesting enough to spark me out of the wheels I was sitting on, and hit the wind.

The next moment to spark my interest was the sprint. I got myself up and onto Jez Hunt's wheel, for a change his body language and more importantly his bunch position said he was going to play in the sprint. Like Steele on Caleb in the nationals crit, I tried to prethink my gears. Like Steele I came over the top. Unlike Steele I was seated, and I didn't win (Ray Forbes came over me, and I shut it down). Still, it's a fucking rad feeling coming off the wheel of a bloke who did lead outs for a living.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 167m

Commute:

D: 7.0km
A: 21m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

7/01/2015

Commute:
Ugh, this humidity is shit. How do people in QLD, or SE Asia train in this crap? I rode 3km home, barely touching the pedals, and sweated my arse off... well not literally. there's too much arse for that to be literally true.

D: 6.6km
A: 23m

PMPW: 84kg

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

6/01/2015

6am NRR:
With a new puppy eating into food stores and spare time, I wanted to make the most of a chance to ride this morning. I planned to get some work in Southward, and leaving myself two thirds of the normal time to get to Northy certainly ticked that box.

After that 9 minute TT, I reverted to the standard summer plan. Hit it out of Black Rock, and wind up the sprint. In the former there was only one rider left on my wheel, in the latter, just two.

Strava link.

D: 44.0km
A: 158m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 5 January 2015

5/01/2015

Commute:
I am still amused that the less I ride, the less I weigh. 84kg is a weight that hasn't been seen on the regular, since... oh man... I think I got down to 84kg in 2000ish when I stopped eating 3 loaves of bread as supplement to my pasta dinners, and started riding a bike 50km a week.

Before that? I think I was 15 or 16 years old (20 years ago)!

D: 6.3km
A: 25m

PMPW: 84kg

Sunday, 4 January 2015

4/01/2015

Rest:
I wanted to have an omelette today, but boiled eggs are hard to beat.

PMPW: 84kg

Saturday, 3 January 2015

3/01/2015

Rest:
I don't know what's worse, the 39°c top temperature, or the humidity that accompanied the 10° drop this arvo.

Maxi Bons Eaten: 2
Lemonade Icy Poles Eaten: 4

PMPW: 84kg

Friday, 2 January 2015

2/01/2015

CX Shenanigans:
I watched the movie Lucy the other day, I honestly wouldn't recommend it, but it had a theme that has struck true with me.

All entities exist to either pass on their knowledge, or to reproduce.

I don't have any interest in breeding, but passing on knowledge appeals greatly to me, and not just because I like to talk.

Right, so how does that relate to today's ride? We'll to get to that, we need to consider CX Friday rides of the past, and discussion's i've had with a few of the roadie boys about skills progression. I think Dusty has copped a spiel about braking only slowing you down several times from me. In that spiel is a bit about training cornering trust/skill by attempting to ride Bruce's loop brake free.

Aaaaand there we have it, my mission today was to get to the little paddock loop in Ivanhoe/Bulleen. Brakes are definitely needed for a few corners, but if you go clockwise there's a series of turns at the start that link perfectly. It's an awesome sequence that gives you brief flutters of panic about traction, but if you trust it, you'll be rewarded with berm induced g forces, then a weightlessness and another panicked moment as you get yourself over the bike to turn the other way in the next corner.

I'd give the plums on the tree out the front another few days, they're still slightly tart.

Strava link.

D: 42.2km
A: 453m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 1 January 2015

1/01/2015

Rest:
A guy I knew was fired for stealing from his job on the highway roadwork crew. I didn't want to believe it, but when the cops turned up to his place, all the signs were there

PMPW: 84kg