Thursday, 30 April 2015


I trapped a spider in the bathroom, but the tiny Canadian told me to take it out instead of killing it.

We went and got tacos. Cool guy. Wants to be a lawyer.

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 29 April 2015


5:45am NRR Long:
Rolling back home after an energetic loop around the back of Frankston, Amy mentioned how good the sunrise was this morning. I went through my little mental catalogue of the morning, and found nothing about the sun, nothing about an orange, pink, or red sky. There were images of riders' backs, of wheels in front of mine, of my bars, of my legs, of my cadence and power numbers... but no sunrise.

We'd ridden the same road, and until she rode off with the bunch on Two Bays, we'd done so at the same time, yet our experiences differed.

You're probably wondering what the point of those words were, I am too. I don't feel the need to talk about how hard it was, what times I achieved, or how I went compared to others, because I had no goals for today. I got on my bike, and turned up, just so that I could ride. When the bunch split in Sandi, I let it go and rolled the rest of the way home at an easier pace, chatting with Nadine O'Connor, enjoying the crisp morning air, enjoying the warming rays of the sun, enjoying my legs going around in triangles.

Strava link.

D: 97.8km
A: 510m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 28 April 2015


Ricktastic Tuesday:
Tuesday's are throwing up some serious breakfast conundrums!

At what point time of day, or in what weather conditions is it ok to have pork belly? It's certainly ok to have on a cold winters evening... but is it reasonable to order it at a cafe for breakfast while tranquil drizzle falls outside?

Strava link.

D: 51.8km
A: 651m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 27 April 2015


Recovery roll:
I've been working on a positive mental approach to tomorrow's ride, telling myself that the ongoing DOMS isn't an excuse, that I've ridden with worse and done just fine. It was going well, until I went for a little roll this morning, nothing hard, just spinning the legs out for an hour... when I cramped.

Seriously, I was rolling down Kerferd Rd, pushing a whopping 200W when my right hamstring twinged like I'd reached the dam wall halfway through the old Otway Odyssey course.

Right, so back to re-assuring myself, because I don't want to miss coffee and toast.

Strava link.

D: 19.7km
A: 53m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 26 April 2015


Oh yeah, this is what DOMS is like.... horrible.

I barely made it off the couch earlier, and the idea of walking down the stairs let alone doing any exercise seems like an impossible task. Which leaves me in an odd mental space, because on one hand it seems lazy to not exercise, on the other... I'm not able to... because of other exercise.

PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 25 April 2015


The forecast and radar made riding seem like a soggy option, and I'm still not super keen on the idea of running, so instead I lifted and listened to metal.

1 x 2min Row
1 x 100 Skip

2 x 5 @ 20kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 35kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 50kg Low bar squat
1 x 2 @ 70kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 85kg Low bar squat
2 x 5 @ 80kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 50kg Bench press

1 x 4 @ 22.5kg Power clean
3 x 4 @ 40kg Power clean

3 x 5 @ 23kg BB Bro curl

Being a year, and 12kg of body weight since I last squatted, I thought it best to drop my work set down to what would have been a warm up weight in the past. Even at just body weight, I was concerned about my right knee caving, so I dropped a further 5kg for the last two sets.

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 24 April 2015


Once I ate two pieces of string and they came out tied together. I shit you not.

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 23 April 2015


6am NRR:
I hoped a decent sleep would rejuvenate my legs, but they were still sore when I woke up this morning, which left me wondering about a return to bed. On the other hand I had a window of good weather to get a ride in, and I knew I'd regret not using it. Now, many hours later, I'm glad I did (get out), as my legs feel better now, than they did after 8 hours of shut eye. So mostly this is a note to myself. It's a relearning of past knowledge. It's proof, that you should just go for the ride.

I rolled up to the bunch intending to just sit in and go for coffee afterwards. The issue was, that once rolling, there were large lines of guys going forward, and if I didn't join them for a turn at the front, I would have ended up at the back, and the back was getting the full concertina effect.

Things escalated again when Lach offered to start some shenanigans out of Black Rock. I wasn't super keen, but how do you resist when you're offered a perfect sit? So roundly 35 minutes after setting out with the intent to sit on the whole ride, I was off the front of the bunch, going solo up a hill. My heart rate had long since passed threshold levels. I had blown right through my anaerobic energy pathways. I was deep in a bad place, with the weight of pride forcing me to keep on digging.

20 minutes or so after that, I was sat in a warm cafe with a flat white in hand, and everything was all right again.

Seriously, how good is riding bikes and drinking coffee?

Strava link.

D: 44.2km
A: 170m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 22 April 2015


NRR Long:
I figured the best strategy for my first NRR long in a while, especially after a solid hitout yesterday, was to save as much energy as possible for the top of Canadian and Two Bays.

I sat in on the trip to Frankston and felt pretty good. I sat in on Kars and felt pretty good. I sat in on Baden Powel and felt pretty good. I even felt alright on the highway.

All these positive feelings left me pretty happy. They left me pretty confident. They possibly left me over confident, as I decided to attack the bottom and top of Canadian Bay rd, and was promptly shown the fitness of a young kid in a flouro helmet. It was up the top where I really began to understand my error. He was sitting on the front when I rolled up the bunch and hit the pinch, not only did he match my pace in mere moments, he upped it and created a small gap at the top.

Into Two Bays I returned to the original plan, and camped myself a few wheels back. It wasn't fun times as Sam Gifford tapped pace on the front, but it was doable. Then, the flouro helmeted kid hit the front, and it was pretty much game over for me. I pulled left, flicked my elbow to the bloke behind, and tried to find some semblance of rhythm while my heart tattooed a staccato beat on my ribs.

Strava link.

D: 95.0km
A: 506m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 21 April 2015


Ricktastic Tuesday:
Ricky had a magical adventure for us today, one that involved new roads, traffic lights, half wheeling and solo attacks.

That's important, and interesting, but the important thing happened after we stopped pedalling. We sat down at a cafe that specialises in toast... and pondered the age old question of what level of topping precipitates the use of a knife and fork.

The question is yet to be resolved, but one thing is for certain. It's either knife and fork,,or hands. Using just a fork feels very very wrong, as I discovered when I adopted it halfway through my vegemite and cheese number ensemble.

Strava link.

D: 59.1km
A: 831m


D: 8.6km
A: 46m

PMPW: 86kg

Monday, 20 April 2015


I've watched the highlights of Amstel Gold a couple of times today, and it's amped me up more than red cordial shots amp up a 7 year old at a birthday party. I have a serious desire to get myself to a NRR long, and see what damage can be done on Canadian Bay rd. To attack, attack, attack!

Links to Amstel images and videos here.

D: 9.2km
A: 48m

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 19 April 2015


Walk for Marfans:
Ahh Melbourne weather, too hot for my jacket one moment, forcing us to hide from hail behind a palm tree the next.

Strava link.

D: 5.0km

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 18 April 2015


Hell Ride:
Despite a 7am alarm, my body woke at 5am for a nature break. So while I'm dealing with that, I figured I'd try multi tasking, and check the weather. To my surprise I was able to do both things at once... oh yeah, and the radar didn't look horrible either, which was kind of cool. After a few moments, I made the choice to go do the Hell Ride, rather than sticking with the plan of swinging a kettlebell later on in the living room.

Like most dreary Saturday mornings, the Hell Ride was sparsely populated. About half of the dozen or so blokes were up for rolling turns, one or two seemed only interesting in coming through too fast and gapping the bunch, and the rest were happy to just sit on wheels. I was in the first group, because despite a HR over threshold, I felt ok, and rolling through with a couple of ex elite riders like Jez Hunt and Troy Clarke is always nice for the ego.

From Frankston through to Mt Eliza I got the workout I'd been hoping for. Pacing the bunch, attacking Olivers, going with moves, before a final solo session off the front to Canadian Bay Rd where a red light ended my self induced pain, but also my chance at solo glory.

I spent most of the trip back home riding two up with Lee. I'd copped a bogan confetti induced flat in Frankston, and decided to chase some rabbits I spied up the road. It turns out those rabbits were a couple of Charter Mason boys, and Hollywood, just cruising down the road. I slowed to their pace, made it a 4 and settled in for a 40km chat.

Strava link.

D: 101.2km
A: 389m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 17 April 2015


This is the forecast for tomorrow.

"Partly cloudy. Very high (95%) chance of rain. Rain and possible thunderstorm clearing early morning then fine until showers redevelop towards then evening. Heavy falls exceeding 50 mm possible in the southeast suburbs before dawn. Winds north to northwesterly 15 to 20 km/h shifting southwesterly 20 to 30 km/h in the evening."

Around midday I was bullish, and send a few texts to see if anyone was in for a ride.

Around 8pm, my thoughts had swung the other way. I sent a few more texts pulling the pin and set an alarm for 7am rather than 5. I wasn't in the mood to get soaked and brake my way down descents.

D: 5.7km
A: 33m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 16 April 2015


6am NRR:
I'm going to try a couple of metaphors about Northy this morning, but know in advance they'll likely require refinement to work perfectly.

The cross winds cross winds affected the bunch like shaking the jar does to a jar of nuts. The big ones came to the fore.

The bunch slapped  against the centre line like a poorly hung flag against a flagpole.

In other words, there was a solid crossy this morning, and it defined the ride. Being in the first 20 or so riders was tough, but being further back was tougher.

Strava link.

D: 46.4km
A: 196m


D: 5.7km
A: 33m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 15 April 2015


A few years ago I randomly decided to learn sign language.

It's pretty handy.

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 14 April 2015


Given the poo weather, I slept in and got up at a semi-human hour instead of silly o'clock. Anyway, after a coffee and a couple of toasted english muffins, thoughts about training, or lack there of set in. I wondered to myself what I could do on days when the weather isn't  conducive to riding outside.

One option would be to spend $1,500 on a Kickr, because the three other indoor trainers I have are a bit noisy and don't let me play Zwift.

A slightly more efficient, and certainly more cost effective option would be to take up running.Cold and wet don't matter as much as you're moving slower, and generating more heat. Sessions take less time, and running shoes cost far less, and take up bugger all room than a 4th trainer.

The more I think about it, the more logical running is, yet some part of me continues to resist the idea outright.

D: 7.2km
A: 33m

PMPW: 85kg


Two Irishmen walking down the road, see a recruitment poster asking for tree fellers. One says to the other; "Bejaysus, Paddy, and there's only two of us."

D: 8.2km
A: 23m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 12 April 2015


I spent a bit of time horizontal today. Firstly it was doing the foam rolling that I didn't get around to yesterday. Then it was a few impromptu bridges, because it's been a while since I've had DOMS, then it was some quality couch time for sport on telly.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 11 April 2015


St Kilda East - Feisty lumps - St Kilda East:
Oof, Ringwood North and Park Orchards... just oof. I'd racked up 1,000m of climbing before we hit roads I knew, and almost all of it was done out of the saddle.

I mostly rode on hope. The hope that the effort I was putting into the current hill, wouldn't compromise me for the next one. Hope that high voltage lines buzzing over our heads weren't going to give me cancer as I crawled up the bitumen ramps that Jim directed us along.

By the time we got to Pigeon Bank Ln, we were all feeling a bit shabby and opted to get ourselves home rather than tack on extra climbs.

I think it'll take a few trips out that way to get even a basic understanding of routing. A few more times of riding out, knowing that pain is coming, but with no idea about what's next, and certainly no control over when/if.

Strava link.

D: 101.6km
A: 1,709m

PMPW: 84kg

Friday, 10 April 2015


Wow, a year ago I got an Arundel Uno (saddlebag) from Dan at Artisan Cycles, and made myself a note to write something about it after a while. I guess a year is a while, so here goes.

To me, a good saddle bag fulfils one very specific function, (1) holding stuff so I don't have to put said stuff in my pocket. Stuff like a tube and couple of tyre levers.

So let's assume that big function is a given, what sets one bag aside from another is an amalgam of little personal preferences. For me, a good bag, the perfect bag should meet a few more smaller points on the way to that primary function.  For a start, I go a bit loopy if anything touches my legs each pedal stroke, so that means it (2) must attach at the saddle rails only. Even though it's only attached at the saddle rails, (3) I don't want it bouncing/rattling around. (4) It should only come off when I want to use it, and (5) be simple to put back on after. When I go to use the stuff inside, the bag should have protected it from the elements enough that they function as expected e.g. (6) no holes in the tube. It should (7) continue working over a length of time proportional to it's cost. It should (8) play nice with my seat posts, resisting the threads of my Thompson Masterpiece. Finally, it'd be nice if it (9) looked nice under my saddle.

I'll be upfront, I haven't used a lot of saddle bags before the Uno. In fact I'd only used two of the same Continental bags, that essentially came free with a tube. They were a good size, and didn't touch my legs, but they had a few issues. The strap needed to be modified to get the velcro in the right spot, and then the excess strap cut off. The zip eventually would die, and tyre levers wore through the covering material. After a while the velcro would crap out, and the whole thing would go skittering down the road should you even look at a pothole sideways.

Right, so cue thoughts on the Uno.

I itemised a list of "needs" above, they're basically in order of most to least importance. So far, it's passed #1 through #6 with ease, and gets a tick on #9 as well, but your taste may differ. The highest praise I can give this (or any bag), is I don't normally remember it's there, but when I need it, it's there.

"So what about #7 and #8?" you ask. So now let's talk cost/performance, and playing nice with seat posts.

Price vs Performance is tough. It's done all I've asked, but until it dies I don't know what it's lifespan is. With a year of life in it, it's looking pretty good. If I had to estimate, I'd say it's got another year or three of use left. Taking the conservative end of that (1 extra year of life), then that'd be $15ish per year of life. Not too bad, but not amazing. Go the middle of the estimate, and $10 a year is in the middle of my happy place.

You might have noticed that I've got a lovely custom zip pull tab. The original material one fell off, so the tiny Canadian whipped together a colourful custom solution. I've spied a few other Uno's out and about on bikes, and they all seem to have their pull tab, so it may have just been mine.

The cute leather patch ( at the top/front) that I assumed would protect the bag from the bolt of my Thompson Masterpiece seat post didn't. Not because the leather failed, but because it was elsewhere, and the edge piping took the brunt of the threads. I do run my seat a fair way back, so it may work perfectly in other setups. You'll also see that I'm now riding a bike with a fancy carbon aero post, with a different saddle mounting system, and thus wear on the bag isn't an issue. The bag does rest against the post though, and given carbon isn't good with abrasion, I put a couple of bits of electrical tape on the post.

and just to ensure said aero post stays pretty I've put a couple of small bits of electrical tape where the bag rests.

D: 7.0km
A: 37m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 9 April 2015


I lost the battle against the doona monster this morning. Like a salt water croc, it pulled me down and held me there until I stopped struggling.

D: 9.3km
A: 34m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 8 April 2015


I thought that we were slowly getting over the security theatre that sprung up after September 11, but obviously not.

This morning I heard a bloke was refused entry onto a plane because he had two dead wombats. The airline is stating you're only allowed carrion per passenger.

D: 7.9km
A: 22m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Ricktastic Tuesday:
I'm liking this little ride, it's got more climbing than NRR long, and it's done without the long out/back drag. The alternating routes before the fireworks of Rosehill and Pony club keeps things interesting, and the fireworks themselves... well they're fun if you can play.

This week we had a crew of 6 riders and there was a bit of half wheeling on the way out, then attacks from almost as soon as we turned off Fitzsimons Ln. A rider, who wont be named to keep word of his return to form a secret, attacked and was given some leash. Like an overly eager puppy, he ran to the end of the slack, and kept on pulling, dragging the rest of us along 10-15m behind. A counter attack, a backward glance or two, and some giggling followed, as a group of 3 of us got together off the front. Into the bottom of Pony club and Cam McDonald was closing the gap, I waited as long as I could, but my nervousness level was inverse to the distance remaining. I cracked before the right hander and went solo for a few minutes inside a dribble filled box.

I was happy to get to the roundabout solo, to have an end to the pain. I was mistaken though, the pain continued. The pinch to Beverly Rd had me strung out, then there was the Banyule sprint, then another sprint for Red Rooster, and finally a big ringed effort on the Walmer St end of the boulevard.

I said my goodbyes, peeled off, and limped my way home at a snail like pace. A couple of coffee's haven't been enough to stave off flash backs to Friday.

Strava link.

D: 52.5km
A: 635m


D: 6.0km
A: 14m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 6 April 2015


No bike today, just a couple of walks with the tiny Canadian and the pooch, then some quality couch and foam roller time.

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 5 April 2015


St Kilda East - Albert Park Lake - Albert Park Lake - Albert Park Lake - St Kilda East:
I had a chance for a quick roll this morning, but I was still feeling pretty beat down from Friday, so I rolled down the hill, and around the lake a few times. In my head I knew around ~30km was about right for a recovery roll, and in my head I knew I had around an hour, hour and a half to get home, but needed to factor in picking up a coffee. So "recovery roll", became "hold at least 30km/h". 

Strava link.

D: 31.3km
A: 39m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 4 April 2015


Rush Shop Ride:
My legs were not feeling terribly chipper, and even last night I knew that a morning in the hills wouldn't be the greatest idea I'd ever had. I messaged Jim and Jase letting them know, and went to bed with plans to just roll the Hell Ride. Those plans made it through until my alarm went off, at which point I decided I didn't even have legs for that, so I took a bit more rest and did the Rush shop ride instead.

Thankfully it was a small group, it meant we rolled two up almost the entire way back to St Kilda, and most importantly, that I didn't have to push any wind until things accelerated around Brighton, and feelings of guilt got me to the front to help out.

Humevale out of the saddle... even just 3/4 of it... was not the smartest thing I've ever done.

Strava link.

D: 61.8km
A: 221m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 3 April 2015


St Kilda East - Humevale - St Kilda East:
Humevale Rd... why have I never been up you before?

I've made no bones about my dislike of the main Kinglake climb, of how I prefer the small side roads that can be linked to form Flanders/Ardennes style loops. Humevale, is totally in that vein, but it's twice as long as any other climb, it's Kinglake, done in the fashion I prefer. It's opened my mind to new route options. I'm excited!

Talking of excited, we hit the bottom of Humevale, and I stood to stretch out the legs. Ricky turned to me after a moment or two and asked "Are you going to do that for the whole climb?". I figured why not, I figured I haven't done anything super stupid in a while. So Ricky and I had a little tweetle beetle battle. After a few kms, we'd warmed up from the 0°c of Whittlesea, and for me it was a tweetle beetle puddle battle.

I didn't manage to stay standing all the way to the top. I thought I was a chance a couple of times, if Ricky had cracked and stayed cracked, I could have eased a little and got it done, but he didn't, and I couldn't. Around 4-5kms in, I gave in, sat down, and began working out how to finish a climb on legs that have had the strength beaten out of them.

Strava link.

D: 135.8km
A: 1,650m


D: 9.4km
A: 49m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 2 April 2015


6am NRR:
Bloody rowers! It's a very rare day that I'm the smallest bloke rolling turns, but that's exactly how it was this morning. Drew Ginn was doing about a third of the work on the way south, Youngie and Nathan Wood chopped him out for about a quarter of the work each, and I picked up the final sixth of time at the front. Just before Mordi, Drew and Nathan opened up a small gap. Despite Youngie burying himself repeatedly, and several 8ish people working groups, we never caught the two tall men.

That trip along the beach, getting lashed equally by Mick's turns, gusty cross winds, and a desire to catch the two out front, now feels like a good one. I'm home, I'm safe, I've had several coffees and a good laugh with mates about the pain in my legs. At the time though, I don't think I would have agreed that it was good times. At the time, I was concentrating on riding, on staying upright, on how much room each rider we passed needed, and where the tail of riders behind me was positioned on the road.

Strava link.

D: 44.6km
A: 217m


D: 5.0km
A: 35m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 1 April 2015


I've decided that puns aren't funny, and have thus vowed to stop posting any more of them. I'm sorry you had to read so many before I came to this realisation.

D: 5.8km
A: 32m

PMPW: 85kg