Tuesday, 31 March 2015

31/03/2015

Ricktastic Tuesday:
I think the theme of this morning was "Who needs mates when you've got mates?".

Wilko and I were on the front from the start... I going to claim that Wilko started what followed. You see, shortly after rolling out, it came to my attention that young Daniel and myself were pushing hard on each rise. A review of the situation found that his wheel was a couple of inches in front of mine, that makes it his fault.

I am responsible for something though. I kept pushing once it became clear that Dan's breathing was more ragged than mine. I even took a moment to compose myself then ask him a couple of questions... which resulted in physical violence.

We got off the front before we hit Elgar Rd, but despite being on the back, I was able to clearly see Rick deciding that it was training time, and riding clear of the bunch. Similar attacks came on every hill there after, Jase Blankfield, Wilko, Youngie, me, Cam McDonald... all spent time in the breeze with a gap behind until we finally got ourselves to a cafe and a coffee (or two).

It was horrible. It was the best. It was mates.

Strava link.

D: 51.7km
A: 601m

Commute:

D: 8.7km
A: 62m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 30 March 2015

30/03/2015

Commute:
When I was in in hospital recently, I asked the nurse if I could do my own stitches.

She said suture self.

D: 9.2km
A: 24m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 29 March 2015

29/03/2015

Rest:
With all this weight I've lost, I figured I'd try something new, and used a couple of old watches as a belt.

Overall it was a waist of time.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 28 March 2015

28/03/2015

St Kilda East - Oh my lumps - St Kilda East
I think the last time I rode Nathans and Zig Zag roads pre-date this blog. It was at a time when I was training with Jimmy and BJ, and I was not a fan of all the small roads that form my current training routes. At that time I wanted to ride out to Kinglake, up it, and then go home. I wanted to go the most direct route, the Greensborough bypass was just fine, and any deviations from that direct path caused me concern. After a while I began to see a loop over Kinglake and home through Yarraglen as the norm, but when Jim and  BJ contended that Alma or Dawsons roads were shortcuts, I refused to believe them, and resented having to kick up these steep little roads.

Fast forward to now, and I'm obviously a big fan of Alma, Dawson, and many of the other small roads near by, but I'd still never gone back to a couple of roads at the north end of Eltham (Nathans and Zig Zag). This week that changed, and despite having more fitness, and a greater appreciation for quiet, and steep roads, I've got to say... the Nathan St berg is evil. I reckon it'll be used again this year, as it provides new routing options for rides, especially if I can learn the back roads, instead of just rolling up Main Rd..



In other news, it's safe to say that Cohen and DK are built very differently.

Strava link.

D: 106.2km
A: 1,857m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 27 March 2015

27/03/2015

Commute:
Htfu kid turned 6 years old early this week. I figure that's a good reason to have a look at some of the things that have occurred, to see what's changed, and what has stayed the same.

Including this one, there's 2,182 posts, 311 of them about North Road Ride.

In that time I've ridden bikes in 5 countries, and raced in 4 of them. I've donated blood 5 times, and left plenty on the road/trails, and various bits of my kit. In that time I've even ridden up Mt Baw Baw, but I've stuck to my guns about not racing it.

Comparing the first post to today, I've lost 3kg, but that doesn't tell the story of tapping triple figures at least once.

I still think farts are funny, especially mid way up a hard climb.


PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 26 March 2015

26/03/2015

TKM Full Noize:
Michael Matthews had some pretty mixed emotions after Milan San Remo, 3rd in one of the biggest races of the year is both a great result, and not quite the result he wanted. Why this is relevant, is that this morning I also had mixed emotions.

While waiting at Cafe Racer for the TKM bunch to roll out, it was exceedingly obvious that DK's quads were missing. One one hand that meant I wasn't going to have coffee with my mate after, on the other, it meant the ride might be a fraction easier than last week, and my tired legs might survive to the end.

It was a little easier, and they did survive. I'm still not ready to roll a bunch of terms, mostly because I'm not strong enough to, partially because it's someone else's ride. I did the first round of turns, then sat on until Brighton when it was obvious the engine room was starting to wear down.

I pulled out from my cosy 25th wheel and steadily made my way to the very front, eased my way in front of the first rider, and then tried to forget I'd already spent around a minute or two in the wind to get there. I got on the wheel that eventually rolled over me, then promptly dropped my chain off my big ring and went back to 25th-ish wheel. Once going again, I went about re-passing the pile of riders so I could be involved in the sprint lead out, and my final effort of the day.

A lot of that sounds like I'm reviewing a training session and my fitness. I'm not sure if that's just the habit of writing that way for most of the year, or if it's indicative of a mental shift from recent "just ride my bike" to "righteo, time to make a fitter me". I guess I'll know about it on Saturday when I head north for some lumpy riding again.

Strava link.

D: 49.7km
A: 184m

Commute:

D: 5.8km
A: 35m

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

25/03/2015

NRR:
I never felt comfortable today, was I too far forward on my saddle, was it because I was backing up days for the first time in months? I don't know, but I was certainly not enthused to roll turns the whole way home.

I rolled a few though, because I knew the apres ride coffee would taste better if I did.

Strava link.

D: 46.1km
A: 166m

Commute:

D: 13.6km
A: 64m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

24/03/2015

Ricktastic Tuesday:
I really thought this morning's ride would get soggy. I checked my phone several times after I got up at early o'clock. I checked both the 128 and the 64km radars, they suggested rain would fall. What I really wanted to see was a message from one of the boys saying they were bailing. I didn't want to be the first to back out.

No message came, and so I rolled out the door at 5:30 to meet everyone in the back of (far) Kew. A quick discussion revealed they had done the same phone checking, hoping that someone else would pull the pin.

You know what though? We didn't get rained on until we were almost at the cafe, and even then it was a piddling drizzle.

The ride itself only got feisty once we turned off Fitzsimons Ln, up Rosehill, and then onto Pony club. On Rosehill, Ricky and I had odd little gentlemanly battles. Try to break the other, but if there's a chance of actually achieving it, back off to ensure you finish together. Pony club was just big ring, try to ride everyone off the wheel fun. I thought I'd disposed of Rick, only to have him come huffing off my wheel after the final left hander, half a km an hour faster than I. It was simultaneously the easiest and hardest thing to counter in the world. His wheel inexorably drawing in front of mine, and claiming the win.

Strava link.

D: 52.1km
A: 627m

Commute:

D: 7.1km
A: 25m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 23 March 2015

23/03/2015

Commute:
There's two very difficult decisions relating to Milan San Remo. Firstly, do you follow the attack on the Poggio. Secondly do you stay up and watch it, or just catch the highlights the next day. Obviously the second is the tougher choice.

I ended up crashing out, though unlike the masses of unfortunate riders who hit the deck, I wasn't even there for the start.

D: 9.3km
A: 23m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 22 March 2015

22/03/2015

Commute:
I think Wilko wrote the best words to describe how I feel about the mates who rolled through Iron Man Melbourne yesterday.

"You've all, in an incredibly inspiring way, lost the plot."

D: 6.2km
A: 13m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 21 March 2015

21/03/2015

St Kilda East - Frosty lumps - St Kilda East:
Last week I lamented not having arm warmers and gloves for the chilly valleys out near Warrandyte and Patton Hill. This week I was far more prepared, I had both arm warmers and gloves, but my hands still got bloody cold, because I'd decided to leave said gloves in my pocket. Most would call it stupidity, I'd try and pronounce it machismo, but Rick didn't have gloves, so I decided it wouldn't be fair for me to wear mine.



Anyway, my hands were mostly ok, I'd shove them in my arm pits every so often, and life would be dandy. The biggest problem was a new bit of road I threw in, Long Gully Rd, out the back of Patton Hill. It was dirt, and the drifts of soft sandy soil, and clumps of larger gravel meant hands needed to stay on the bars. Well, one could come off so I could take a photo of the other one and a temperature readout.


Bottom left number. 1°C.

I suppose I should mention the roo that sprung onto the road from our left, the one that scrabbled for traction mere inches in front of us as we descended down Gosfield Rd towards Cottles Bridge. It happened so fast, that it took a moment to realise the noise I'd heard was it's claws on the road, and not something something falling out of my pocket or bum.

That wasn't the most terrifying thing on the ride though. No, that was the few minutes between remembering I'd agreed to hit all the side streets off Banyule Rd, and the moment when we started up Walker St. Yep, the prospect of hill sprint repeats on not so fresh legs had me thinking about busting out the emergency gel keeping my gloves company in my pocket.

Strava link.

D: 117.3km
A: 2,114m

PMPW: 85kg


Friday, 20 March 2015

20/03/2015

Commute:
I had a moment's thought about about the pervasiveness of competition, and the idea that it should be held above all else. The moment came after lunch on Chapel St, I saw a couple of star AFL players having a burger together. Knowing that they don't play for the same team (no that's not a euphemism), I wondered if that was kosher.

That's when the moment occurred. They're two blokes, in the off/pre-season having lunch together, it's not the future of the world that's at stake.

Deeper reflection highlighted many more situations that featured that completive mindset, ones that in hindsight shouldn't. Close to home is when club riders getting angsty when another changes clubs/teams. The future of the world is not at stake.

I'm one of the first to categorise us and them, to pick out a target, to chase a rabbit, to see rungs in a ladder, and strive to succeed over others.

So this is a reminder to me. Find motivation where it's needed, but don't forget the person on the other side of the line I've decided to draw is still a person.

Oh, and.... go bombers!

D: 10.2km
A: 46m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 19 March 2015

19/03/2015

TKM Full Noize:
I haven't ridden and drunk coffee with DK in forever, and yesterday it dawned on me that with one housewives trick that you wouldn't believe, that I could do just that. Thankfully you dont have to click through to an ad riddled page to find out what it was, in fact, if you read the title of this little block of text, you already know.

DK long ago swapped NRR for Full Noize. They use the beach instead of the highway, and roll south easier, but come back like the TGV. It's fast, and there's a lof of "french" being bandied about.

I think there's a few reasons I haven't joined Noise more often, the fact I got dagged last time is one of them. Anyway, I got over those reasons, and went for a roll with the green train. The way down doesn't need much of a mention, but the way back... well that's the crux of the ride.

I rolled through for the first round of turns. Then missed the boat to go around again. I sat on the wheel I was on, figuring that things would get back to rolling a bit later. They didn't, instead it was single file all the way back to the end of the golden mile, where I tried to help Norm up for the sprint. It wasn't to be, a parked car curtailed any shenanigans, and the group called off the sprint.

I realise that I've glossed over around 20km of single file riding, and it wasn't because it was easy. Rather, it hurt like an emergency trip to the dentist, and had me asking questions about my ability to hold the wheel in front. When around Mentone the guy whose wheel I was on created a gap, I hesitated, waiting to see if he had it covered, not wanting to be presumptuous in a group I'm essentially a stranger to. He didn't, and from there, through to the top of my favourite hill when the pace eased slightly, I basically chewed stem and hoped my legs could deliver enough power to cover the gap and then just hold a wheel.

Strava link.

D: 49.7km
A: 178m

Commute:

D: 3.4km
A: 11m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

18/03/2015

Commute:
Some of you enjoy the jokes I've posted, others don't. To me though, a good pun is it's own reword.

D: 5.7km
A: 21m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

17/03/2015

St Kilda East - Ricktastic Tuesday - St Kilda East:
This morning's ride got me thinking of the goldilocks like situation of being too fast or too slow can lead to feeling like a jerk.

There were 5 blokes along for the ride... it was meant to be 6, but Wilko prefers sleep to mates and coffee. Anyway, I didn't know the 3 blokes who weren't Ricky and I, and early on I began to suspect they might be good up hills. Ricky and I were on the front, chatting until going up the first hill required all the oxygen our bodies could muster. I felt good about my fitness, until the two behind resumed chatting to each other. That's the first jerk. The one who gets tailed off while every one else rides away, making them wait, making it longer until coffee is placed in the face hole.

The second came later. I'd managed to survive a bunch of new hills, and was confident I wasn't going to make anyone wait. We got to the Pony Club climb, and assumed we'd give it a nudge for training purposes, so I put myself on the front and left the chain on the big ring (don't say big cog to much, it starts to sound rude, plus cog usually refers to one at the back). Anyway I ended up riding off the front, while everyone else came up together. Ugh! What a jerk!

Strava link.

D: 53.6km
A: 626m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 16 March 2015

16/03/2015

Commute:
I heard the reason Balaclava Glass is now a cafe, is one of the old guys accidentally inhaled, instead of blew.

It wasn't too serious, just a little stomach pane.

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 15 March 2015

15/03/2015

Rest:
My niece was rushed to hospital this morning, she'd swollowed $8 in 50c coins.

The doctors have been monitoring her situation overnight, but there's no change yet.

PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 14 March 2015

14/03/2015

St Kilda East - Out that way - St Kilda East:
I figured I'd try going around Pigeon Bank / Menzies, rather than up it, and I think it's probably better to just go up it. Instead of taking the nice quiet PB/M I routed Jason and myself along the Kangaroo ground -Warrandyte road, and then back along the Eltham - Yarra Glen road to essentially the end of PB/M. It's just extra kms on busier roads, especially the Eltham Rd bit. This said, it made me realise that I should go past Story Creek, all the way into Warrandyte, and use it (KG-W) as a climb. Actually I should head into Warrandyte, and maybe even Park Orchards, a statement I'm sure I'll come to regret when it's time to climb the murs that dot the area.



Re-reading that, it sounds so simple and logical, as if it just came to me as I rolled along in the early morning light. In fact, it came to me much later. During the early morning light my thoughts were on my poor clothing choices. I had no arm warmers, no gloves, and my computer was dropping into the low 3°C range. I was close to having claws at the bottom of a couple of descents, giving me extra desire to get to the climbs I had planned.

Strava link.

D: 101.8km
A: 1,866m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 13 March 2015

13/03/2015

Commute:
I've decided to give up cycling and become a banana farmer.

Well, it's not set in stone just yet, but the idea does have a peel.

D: 5.8km
A: 51m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 12 March 2015

12/03/2015

6am NRR:
I slept very poorly last night. I managed to make it out of bed at 5:10 when my alarm went off, but then spent an inordinate amount of time on the toilet, looking for an excuse to go back to bed. I checked the BOM 128km radar, it suggested there might be rain somewhere. I checked the BOM 64km radar, it suggested there wasn't really. I checked details of the wind, it wasn't blowing very hard. I really wanted to just go back to sleep. Instead I went and put on my socks.

The ride itself happened, my legs went around many times, including a few times at the very tippy front of the bunch. Those times at the front felt like eternity, and in review, they were longer than normal. Guys were being hung out at the front all morning, before being burnt by the rider eventually coming through.

Strava link.

D: 44.3km
A: 152m

Commute:

D: 5.5km
A: 36m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

11/03/2015

Commute:
A mate of mine was interviewing for a job as a farrier. The interviewer asked him if he had any experience shoeing horses.

He said no, but he had once told a donkey to fuck off.

D: 4.9km
A: 35m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

10/03/2015

St Kilda East - Ricktastic Tuesday - St Kilda East:
Tuesday's are a training day for Horvat, but for Wilko and I it's about going for a roll with mates, then downing too many coffees. Anyway, I know that there's two main climbs that Ricky will want/need to hit hard, and so on the second, Pony Club, I again went hard from the start, aiming to give him a great big tow.

Last time I rode with Rick I did the same, and he complained that I pulled off too early, and left him swinging in the wind. So, I champed down on the bit, and cranked over my big ring until we were within sniffing distance of the big left hander that leads to the roundabout and the finish. I was hurting, I was hurting a lot, but still Ricky wasn't coming off my wheel. Then, from behind me, a nicely composed voice uttered the words "strong riding buddy".

Up until those words were passed by my ear drums and parsed by my brain, I reckon I was good to keep the effort going, maybe even all the way to the roundabout. After I heard the relaxed nature of them, I was done. In hindsight it was Rick's sign off as he slipped from my wheel. At the time it was a statement of how much stronger he was. To have such vocal control left, while I slobbered all over myself, was too much for my poor brain.

Anyway, I've had too many coffees and can't feel my face. I blame Rick for that too.

Strava link.

D: 49.9km
A: 622m

Commute:

D: 6.25km
A:45m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 9 March 2015

9/03/2015

Rest:
Did you hear that Sean Connery got buried under a pile of books?

He's only got his shelf to blame.

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 8 March 2015

8/03/2015

Rest:
I was saddened to hear some schmo knicked the cow from the end of Pigeon Bank Ln / Menzies Rd. Obviously it's ridiculous that someone felt it ok to take some one else's property, but on a personal note, it has served as a handy thing to photograph and send to mates. It was something that told them exactly how hard you've been riding, to rub in that you're in the hills and they're likely nursing a wine induced hangover.

In short, if you know where the cow is, help get it back so I can continue rack up hefty phone bills.



PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 7 March 2015

7/03/2015

St Kilda East - Gos(field) catchup - St Kilda East:
I'm not against riding on dirt on a road bike, I'd go so far as to say that one can have a lot of fun doing it, but the exception is descending corrugated dirt. I'd long looked at our little routes and wondered why we didn't just hook down Mithorpe Rd instead of Broad Gully Rd, and save ourselves a few kms and a couple of minutes. We didn't have a reason not to before, but we do now, it so closely resembles a washboard in texture, that my hands are still tingling and making it tough to type this.

Jim and I didn't attack each other much, instead we just kept a good tempo going the whole way around our slightly backwards look, meaning that by the time we popped out of Mt Pleasant, we were shocked at how early it was.

Strava link.

D: 49.9km
A: 622m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 6 March 2015

6/03/2015

Commute:
A mate of mine was telling me that he has a problem with premature ejaculation.

It came as a surprise to me.

D: 5.5km
A: 40m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 5 March 2015

5/03/2015

Commute:
Tonight, riding once again proved to be treasured time. I had a bit on my mind, so I headed in the opposite direction to home after work, hoping to gain the bliss of mental silence that often comes from additional pedal revolutions.

Instead of silence my brain freewheeled through issues, finding perspective, offering up devils advocate points of view, and arguing both sides of the ensuing debate.

A minor topic that came up was my change in weight, and how that's affecting how my clothes fit. A trusty pair of shorts now slips over my reduced arse, and makes me wonder if I should go lift heavy things for a while. At the very worst, it's another activity that disengages the mind from the body, and provides clarity on life.

D: 12.7km
A: 58m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

4/03/2015

Commute:
I had a dream last night that I had 5 legs.

My pants fit me like a glove.

D: 5.5km
A: 43m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

3/03/2015

6am NRR:
We held a pretty good clip this morning, or at the very least, it was towards my current fitness limits.

Ok, so I'm going to try not to talk about my fitness, or efforts, or heart rate... you know, the normal things I talk about. It's a struggle, but here goes. I grinned, or out right laughed at least half a dozen times with a variety of dudes during the 50 minutes it took to get from Brighton to St Kilda. Then more over a coffee on Chapel St, while listening to the tale of woe big Simon spun about his morning (when he eventually turned up).

Riding bikes is ace.

Strava link.

D: 46.7km
A: 176m

Commute:


D: 7.4km
A: 33m

PMPW: 84kg

Monday, 2 March 2015

2/03/2015

Commute:
I'm thinking about moving to Switzerland.

I'm not a fan of snow, but the flag is a big plus.

D: 14.3km
A: 77m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 1 March 2015

1/03/2015

Rest:
Why do the French only eat one egg in the morning?

One egg is an oeuf.

PMPW: 84kg