Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Ricktastic Tuesday:
To end off the financial year riding with my favourite financial advisor Rick Horvat was tougher than it sounds. My legs are stick aaaching. Either the pain, or just worry about the pain woke me several times during the night, giving me time to consider if I should ride. When it came time for my alarm, I considered not riding, of just doing 5:45 Northy... but I've been here before, I was committed to turning up to the meeting spot and trying to hang on.

So after getting dressed, a task made difficult by my inability to bend, I moved on to the next challenge. Getting myself and my blue beast of a bike down several flights of stairs on legs that refuse to support weight eccentrically. Once rolling I managed to pinch flat a road tyre crossing Burwood Rd on Power St.

I made it to Kew with a few moments to spare, and while Rick tested himself, and thus me up High St, and Rosehill Rd, it all paled in comparison to the effort it took to get to the ride in the first place. 

Strava link.

D: 50.0km
A: 663m

PMPW: 84kg

Monday, 29 June 2015


At some point during the night, my legs have caught up to my arms in terms of soreness.

Instead of going on (and on) about all this soreness, here's some footage from last week's Belgie, a time when going down stairs didn't take active concentration.

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 28 June 2015


The tiny Canadian's CrossFit box had a "bring a friend" day, and despite thinking I'm a bit of a jerk, she asked me to come along. Understandably the guys at CFSK weren't keen to throw a bunch of unknown (non)athletes under barbells, so programmed a bodyweight day, and thus begins the story of why I can no longer lift my arms over my head or go down stairs.

Everything was done with partners/friends, but it was the two main workouts where that came into play.

1 x 100m Run

3 x 100m Row

AMRAP in 13min (12 rounds)
Person 1: 1  x 5 Ring rows, Rest, 1 x 15 Air Squats
Person 2: Rest, 1 x 10 Push up, Rest

So, that means I did 6 x 10 push ups in 13 minutes. The first couple of rounds I did strict, but had to start taking short rests, then by round 3, I was doing them from my knees... and still resting!

AMRAP in 8mins (6 rounds)
1 x 2 Squat thrust jump (+2 per round)
1 x 2 Jumping lunges (+2 per round)
Rest while partner works.

The workout was meant to be burpees, but after the last one there was there was no way I was going to be doing the pushups, thus the squat thrust jumps. The tiny Canadian and I had polar opposite issues, I powered through the jumping lunges, she smashed her burpees.

1 x 400m Run

Squaxican wave game. Air squats, done in the fashion of a Mexican wave. I'd try to describe it better if that doesn't paint an accurate picture, then it's only going to get more cubist from here.

PMPW: 86kg

Saturday, 27 June 2015


Hell Ride:
I don't know if it was the wind at our backs, the two espressos in my system, or that until a red light split the bunch I made a concious effort to avoid the wind, but the trip south felt pretty easy. The split, and subsequent red lights changed things from easy to "Holy crap who's pulling this bad boy at 56km/h?!", to which the answer was Tommy Nankervis.

Anyway, after a few words of "encouragement", and some monster turns, we caught half the lead bunch by Frankston, leaving a 6-8 boys dangling a few hundred metres up the road. I'm still not quite sure the precise emotion this elicited in me, but the result was motivation to make the catch, and a willingness to sacrifice anyone to achieve it.

First on the chopping bloke was Leigh Atkins, I let him set the pace up Olivers, knowing that if I went at the pace I wanted, I'd blow myself and everyone else apart. Over the false flat, I took up the pacemaking duties, pushing a steady 400W through the pedals. Leigh to his credit came through again soon after, then a few more from the bunch rolled up to contribute. I let a 5-6 guys past before pushing the 7th off the wheel. I don't think I even looked over at who it was, and I'm not sure if I flipped a few fingers off the bars in a half arsed thank you wave, I was doing calculations on turn lengths, distance to go, and the length of the slowly closing gap. I could see Andy Naylor on the front of the lead group and he looked tired, I saw Troy Clarke flick over the road to turn early, I figured we were half a sniff. By this point we were onto the final rise up to and past Canadian Bay road, a big guy from Trades Collective was on the front powering away with  me on his wheel, still doing maths. The time came and I went, catching and releasing shrapnel from the front bunch, I could smell their pain and it fuelled me, there were meters to go, we'd catch them at the intersection and roll them to the top, it was going to be glorious.... but a red light spoiled the party.

The way home was a good solid session into the head wind, 500-600W turns, and no shortage of lights to add a fartlek element to the mix.

I knew the final sprint was going to be a late one, so I eased up to around 15th wheel, and pushed onto Booney's wheel. The first kick went at the corner, doomed from the moment it started, but a great platform for those behind to go. They went, but it was still to early. Booney had read it like I had, he waited until that kick was just about to start fading then went up the right, I left a tiny gap then did the same to him, getting enough of a gap to sit up across the line and slap my leg a few times in celebration. The Hell Ride isn't a race, but it's fun to win it anyway.

Strava link.

D: 100.8km
A: 387m

PMPW: 84kg

Friday, 26 June 2015


I managed to resist the temptation to chase the TT boys this morning, and stuck to the plan of spinning it with the easy bunch.

In other news, here's a vid from last Saturday's CX race.

6:17-6:45 is people witnessing the power of this fully operational roadie station.
8:57 is me passing the 1st entrance to the tech zone on lap 2.
9:03 is my bike kicking sideways and burping my back tyre, forcing me to run to the 2nd tech zone entrance.
11:14-11:35 is ever rider ever getting past me to the sound of either a small electric pump, or me letting go the most epic of farts.
11:41-49:15 is me making pain face (not shown).

Yeah i know the lap time thing is very broken.

Strava link.

D: 53.7km
A: 172m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 25 June 2015


St Kilda East - Park Orchards - St Kilda East:
Last night Jase Blankfield let me know he was looping through Park Orchards this morning, and I was pretty conflicted about going.

For the pro, I knew it'd be a solid day of training, for the con, I worried it might be too solid for my already tired legs/body.

Thankfully the loop we did didn't include the really steep roads of North Ringwood that Jimmy showed me last time, but I'm still left with an insatiable appetite for coffee and naps.

Strava link.

D: 70.3km
A: 981m


D: 5.4km
A: 12m

PMPW: 84kg

Wednesday, 24 June 2015


Yesterday's little mental training on Rickets carried over to today, I never felt amazingly strong or smooth, but I was willing to try to pedal hard and smooth for a while and see what would happen.

I was running a new tyre on the front, and it's changed my confidence on the bike a lot. Going from a Racing Ralph to a Rocket Ron had me nervous on man made surfaces, but supper happy on dirt, grass, and gravel. A small awkward burp also had me wishing for some solid tubeless cx tyre reviews, first and foremost tyre and rim should stay mated, then lets talk about tread suitability.

Perhaps it's time to ring local dealers and get a range of tyres to review.

Strava link.

D: 54.4km
A: 531m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 23 June 2015


6am NRR:
The fact that we were all still standing around chatting at 6:01 says something about the size of today's bunch. After years of rolling with the bunch, most of us have a feel for how many people should be hanging around when 6:00 ticks over, and today there was about a half to a third of what I expected.

As with most small bunch rides, it was an honest session today. Nearly everyone rolling turns on the way down, then track turns on the way back.

I've got to admit, there was a good chunk of time on the way back that I happily sat on wheels while Tom Leaper ripped out solid efforts on the front. Before I got back to regular appearances at the head of affairs (around Sandringham), there was one effort, and it stuck with me.

Around Mentone I was feeling the guilts for sitting on, so I made my way forward. I paused, then slotted myself onto a wheel that looked destined for the very front. A moment later, some brain cells having whirred away on some computations, I realised I was going to get my time pulling everyone along up Rickets.

I slid past and in front of big Keith from Bike Networks, and kept the pace he'd set before me. I figured soon enough someone would come around. It started to hurt a bit, and there was no sense of anyone coming, so I dug into the box and tried to settle myself. The next minute, or half an hour (time stopped being linear), I went through a set of emotions, and responses that reminded me of a Todd Sampson Redesign my Brain bit (the series is worth a watch), the one where he's preparing to do a Houdini-esque underwater escape. His support team/trainers talk about the bodies natural fear response, and how he needs to calm himself. The first wave of panic/fear comes no where near the bodies limit, in fact there's many waves before the true limit is reached. Patience. Calm. Control. Trust yourself to be ok and just keep going.

Strava link.

D: 47.4km
A: 172m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 22 June 2015


Johnny Wurtz is working his way through a physio course and needs bodies to practice on. While on the surface it sounds like the plot of a blue movie, it is in fact a win win scenario for all involved.

The tiny canadian and I volunteer our ailments, and Johnny volunteers fixing them.

The only issue is it's not a completely passive process for the subject. Put another way, I had to be honest with myself, and then Johnny about how much pressure was required, and the spots that needed attention. Put yet another way, there was a lot of hating past me.

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 21 June 2015


Recovery Roll:
After a mere 45 minutes of racing yesterday, I ache all over today. As such, I figured I should get a little roll in before breakfast in the hope it'll stop me feeling like a rusting machine.

Strava link.

D: 28.0km
A: 82m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 20 June 2015


Due to time constraints today, I got my entry changed from elite, to masters (MMAS2) so I could get done earlier. Just like in 2010 at the SKCC Trophy race where I found myself in B grade instead of A, I mentally shifted from "I hope I can hang on a while" to "if I dont win, it's a failure". At DDCX the other week I downed a block of chocolate before the race, today I sat on the trainer warming up, then had a caffeinated cola beverage.

Being a national round, it was seeded start position, so I was on the 2nd row of the MMAS2, and effectively 4th row of MMAS1. With the starters' gun shot still ringing in my ear, I took a good hard look at the inside line, but realised the door was going to close hard on the right hander off the bitumen and onto the grass. A few grassy turns later, sitting in a conga line of riders, I heard the commentators start to talk about the lead Al from My Mountain was setting up off the front. We'd been close in speed at Brunswick, so set myself to getting through traffic to race him again.

Taking places on the grassy parts of the course wasn't easy, one spot here, another there... but as soon as I hit the tarmac hill and start/finish straight on that first lap I laid into the pedals and rode around half a dozen. A couple more passes on the grass, and I was in 3rd overall and 1st MMAS2, then around a normal right hand corner my back tyre slid, then gripped, then burped out nearly all its air. I picked it up and ran to the tech zone where someone pumped it up to 40psi for me, but by that stage I was back in effectively last place, and Al was still charging on/off the front.

Once going again I deployed the same style as earlier, take a few places on the grass, and hammer the bitumen hard to take large chunks of time back. Drawing to the end of the 45 minutes, my back starting to scream at me, I was coming up onto the back of the chasing bunch. I took a place or two, then lost them back when I washed out on one of the final grassy corners... then gained them back on the bitumen, but I was still to finish a few metres off the back of Nick "Spiro" Edwards, and 1:04 off Al.

While the ride was enough for 2nd in MMAS2, I'm still disappointed. After getting near the very front of everyone (MMAS1, MMAS2, MMAS3 and B grade), I wanted the outright win.

Strava link.

D: 15.3km
A: 221m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 19 June 2015


Even after this morning, hanging on to the back of the TTT version of NRR, I'm feeling like it's been a lazy/slack week.

Strava link.

D: 50.8km
A: 135m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 18 June 2015


A mate asked me to help get his cows ready for market. The first job was to count them, after a bit of effort I worked out there were 97, but when we rounded them up there was 100.

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 17 June 2015


NRR Long:
I was hoping to sit in a lot today, but really never got the nice easy ride I'd hoped.

It started right out the gate when I didn't want to sit at the back, so rolled to the front. Then after Mordi, the whole bunch rolled turns, so no slacking off could happen then. In the hills behind Frankston attacks started early, and keeping myself in/near the riders had me blowing bubbles. Then on the trip home dudes were pulling hot turns out front, leaving the rest of us single file in the gutter.

Getting stretched on the way home happens, I even expect it a little because my aim for the long bunch is always the hills. To hit them as hard as possible, and if that affects the ride home, then so be it.

So... the hills... I wasn't feeling amazing on the Kars st burg, starting way back and wondering what level of torture I was in for on the coming hills. I had my arse in the saddle, grinding out a gear, passing a few riders, watching a few guys create a gap off the front, realising I'd created one behind me and that I now had a decision. Chase, or wait. I chose to chase, and I suppose that course of events, or even those 4 words could be used to describe the next hills. I never felt great, I was never the one dishing out the pain, but I was always in the top half dozen riders, dribbling away on my handlebars in a world of hurt.

Strava link.

D: 94.8km
A: 521m

PMPW: 84kg

Tuesday, 16 June 2015


I've got no excuse for not riding today, I had planned on working through an ergo session so I can't even blame the weather.

Worse than failing to train, I don't even have a good pun lined up.

I'm going to have to take a good long hard look at myself and see where my priorities are. Dad, I need some more jokes!

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 15 June 2015


1 x 100 Skips
1 x 2min Row

2 x 5 @ 20kg Front squat
1 x 5 @ 30kg Front squat
1 x 5 @ 40kg Front squat
1 x 2 @ 55kg Front squat
3 x 5 @ 67.5kg Front squat

1 x 10 @ 20kg Press
3 x 5 @ 40kg Press

3 x 8 @ 13kg DB ES Bro curl

I used a calculation google found me to determine my 3x5 set weight from the 1RM I worked out last week. The first set felt super heavy to lift off, but with every successful squat, I became more confident, and more assured that next time I can do even more.

PMPW: 84kg

Sunday, 14 June 2015


St Kilda East - Port Melbourne - St Kilda East:
With a freshly cleaned and lubed chain, my ride through the early morning fog was almost silent. I wasn't rolling with intent, I wanted to spin for a while, then go home to a how shower and a coffee, so that's what I did. I pulled up my buff to cover my mouth, nose, and ears, then rode past the 3 big bodies of water near by. Albert Park Lake, the Yarra, and the bay.

In hindsight riding near water on a cold morning only adds to the chill.

Strava link.

D: 29.1km
A: 54m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 13 June 2015


Hell Ride:
I wasn't feeling sprightly today, even a pre-ride coffee didnt provide enough verve to get me rolling turns. That's not what I'm most disappointed about though, no that was getting home and realising I hadn't got a full 100km, despite a few extra roads tacked on either side of the ride.

As for the good things, I had a nice hit out through the hills between Frankston and Mt Eliza. I'm back at the point where Olivers is fun. With a gap behind me I'm left wondering why no one else thinks the same way.

Strava link.

D: 97.1km
A: 379m

PMPW: 84kg

Friday, 12 June 2015


St Kilda East - Devils elbow - Perrins Creek - St Kilda East:
Rolling out to Mt Dandenong, both Gene and Aimz stated they were a bit cooked, and wanted to just tempo (or easier) the climbs. I on the other hand wanted to give the elbow a nudge, and get an idea of how my fitness is travelling.

So I started off into the elbow doing my own thing, trying to settle into a rythym... but I became aware Gene was tagging along. At the elbow itself, I took a look, figuring he'd have dropped off after I'd averaged over 400W. Nope, instead I turned in time to catch him coming off my wheel and beginning to ride off up the road. I tried to resettle, but found myself struggling a little as he slowly was swallowed by the heavy fog. He stopped at the left to One tree, I kept going and kept struggling with pushing myself. At the top I was a little disheartened, but here in front of my peecee, I see I was only 13 seconds off my time PB, and set a whole host of power to weight PBs (12-22mins).

It was after I rolled back down to find Aimz and Gene that I realised what a gorgeous morning it was, and from that moment onwards I spent my time marvelling at the scenery and light, rather than efforts.

Strava link.

D: 94.6km
A: 1,662m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 11 June 2015


I figured the long weekend was a good excuse not to shave, but even with extra time, my beard is looking a little scrappy. Though... it is growing on me.

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 10 June 2015


Crossing the road at the top of pony club, Straussy summed up the morning in a nicely Australian way.

"Not shit.".

In that same spirit, here's some other things the ride this morning was not. Not warm. Not demure. Not always in control. Not racing. Not not racing.

My legs never felt amazing, a mild ache and muted feedback the after glow of yesterday's squats. They still worked though, giving me a few surprise "wins" over a CBF Crosbie.

Strava link.

D: 53.1km
A: 520m

PMPW: 84kg

Tuesday, 9 June 2015


1 x 2min Row
1 x 100 Skips

2 x 5 @ 20kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 40kg Low bar squat
1 x 5 @ 50kg Low bar squat
1 x 2 @ 70kg Low bar squat
3 x 5 @ 87.5kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 57.5kg Bench press

3 x 7 @ 13kg DB ES Bro curl

I have a fairly clear memory of stacking 120kg+ on a barbell for sets, so sitting, looking at a bar loaded to 87.5kg makes me feel like I've fallen a long way, especially given I'll go again at this weight next time. I had a strong feeling that I was rotating forward in most of my reps, letting the barbell get in front of my toes, and making getting my chest up more of a chore.

I assume my arse is rising independently of/faster than the bar.

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 8 June 2015


St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - St Kilda East:
Like yesterday, the wind direction, and available time were the main influencers of the ride route today. The northerly of yesterday was still blowing, but due to Queeny celebrating another birthday (or not, her actual birthday is the 21st of April), DK and I had a lot more time to ride.

Neither of us had a need to train hard, but it's hard to escape feeling like you need to achieve something with a ride. 100km... 1,000m of climbing... reaching a place... just something to make it feel like you didn't waste an opportunity.

It took little discussion to decide on heading to Mt Pleasant rd out the back of Eltham. Even ridden chatting, it clocked up some nice ascent, and as always felt like we were far further from home than we really were. Put another way, it more than just ticked the boxes, it gave us some nice views and mental space.

The way home featured a few old fashioned roll offs, but somewhere along the lines I've lost a lot of ground on DK. Where once it was a even fight, now he's not only got me on toast, but I'm not even close enough to see if he uses a knife and fork! I reckon I need to book some time at the wind tunnel, because losing roll offs is unacceptable!

Strava link.

D: 72.9km
A: 1,105m

PMPW: 84kg

Sunday, 7 June 2015


St Kilda East - Burnley bouli - Ivanhoe bouli - Kew Bouli - St Kilda East:
There was a ripping northerly blowing when I rolled out of home, so I turned straight into it. I'd rather come home with it behind me, than have to fight tooth and nail just to get back. The time I had, and the conditions made me settle on the route Bones and I rode a couple of weeks ago, the three Yarra boulevards of Burnley, Ivanhoe, and Kew.

Without Chris to chat to I pushed on the pedals harder at the start, but due to the head wind never really felt like I was getting anywhere. At one moment I glanced down to see my 450W effort was only giving me a return of 27km/h.

Again I hit a few small pinches of tarmac to test out the legs and give a bit of a bite to the ride. Again I've got some nice power to weight PBs to give my feelings of self fitness a bit of a boost.

Strava link.

D: 37.6km
A: 473m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 6 June 2015


Hell ride:
I was suckered in by the tailwind today, my roll to Black rock for a coffee and a Hell ride had me convinced I had a good set of legs.

After realising my mistake, I kept myself tucked away for most of the time, only coming out through the hills. A rider skipped clear over Olivers and I knew I had no chance of matching, let alone catching him... but by the top there was Troy Clarke on my wheel and daylight on his, so I kept the legs coming through, before giving the old chicken wing arm flap. Even with the addition of Ryan Cottrell's legs into the mix, we were shut down from behind. I gave the hills one last effort up to Canadian, making sure everyone earned the loop, before slinking back into the bunch to draught and talk shit with mates.

Strava link.

D: 102.8km
A: 385m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 5 June 2015


I've been giving thought to simplifying my stable of bikes, specifically to parting ways with my hardtail. It'd free up space in our small place, and I really have the time or inclination to ride it much of late.

Then you get times like today, when on a whim I pulled it out for commuting duties, and remembered how much fun it is to pop a bike up on the back wheel. To bunny hop anything and everything.

Now I'm not so sure what I want.

D: 13.9km
A: 45m

PMPW: 84kg

Thursday, 4 June 2015


1 x 100 Skips
1 x 2min Row

2 x 5 @ 20kg Front squat
1 x 5 @ 40kg Front squat
1 x 5 @ 50kg Front squat
1 x 2 @ 60kg Front squat
1 x 2 @ 70kg Front squat
1 x 2 @ 75kg Front squat
1 x 1 @ 80kg Front squat
Fail @ 85kg Front squat

1 x 10 @ 20kg Press
1 x 5 @ 40kg Press
1 x 4 @ 40kg Press
1 x 3 @ 40kg Press

3 x 6 @ 13kg DB ES Bro curl

I've never given front squats a ridgy didge go, so today's main session aim was to work out (hahaha punny) where my front squat limit is.

When I got the 2 reps at 75kg done the idea of aiming for a single body weight rep formed, and might have influenced me stepping up weights too quickly. That aside, I enjoyed my time in the cage, a more upright torso makes it easier for me to keep my lower back rigid.

I thought 40kg would be ok for press, I got 3x5 done a month or so back, but today it was no bueno.

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


Crossing the pipe bridge in Fairfield, I was pretty happy to with the morning's ride and how I'd gone.

My legs felt dead, but they performed just fine, in fact I'd been making sure everyone (bar Bing who's fitter) got a good workout by attacking, then re-attacking when they'd almost make contact again.

Anyway, by the time we got to the pipe bridge I'd hit several sections of dirt, gravel and tarmac hard. I'd talked and I'd laughed, and was mostly just thinking about a post ride coffee or two.

What I wasn't aware of, was the child like joy the little bit of single track that tracks Merri creek near NMIT would bring. I've ridden it before, but never as greasy as today. Even on the front, great gobs of dirt would hit you in the face, having flung skyward off front wheels searching for traction. A sole bike had ridden through before I got to it, and it was easy to tell when things were going to get squirrelly, their track was deeper, there was more claylike soil squished to the side of their tread indent. By the 2nd or third patch of sideways, I was pre and post giggling. I knew that I was about to go somewhere unpredictable, and I knew those behind would have a brief moment of hilarity before they too took a magic mystery tour.

So while turning the screws when I realised Dusty was breathing hard was fun, it was a narrow strip of fairly straight dirt that brought the biggest smiles of the morning.

Strava link.

D: 57.5km
A: 534m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 2 June 2015


Given it was a bit of a poo of a day, I pulled out the rollers, thinking I'd have a go at doing 30-45 minutes.

30-45 minutes....? Nup! 15 minutes after I started, I was done.

It's the same story as always, I get warmed up, my cadence rises, and I can't hold 130ish rpm for too long before it's time to get off and do something else.

It seems to be enough, my legs feel a lot freer the next day. If that stops being the case, I suppose I could whack something bigger than 82" on the track bike.


D: 4.6km
A: 34m

PMPW: 84kg

Monday, 1 June 2015


1 x 2min Row
1 x 100 Skips

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
3 x 5 @ 85kg Low bar squat

1 x 5 @ 20kg Bench press
3 x 5 @ 55kg Bench press

3 x 5 @ 13kg DB ES Bro curl

It was nice to achieve body weight squats again, it's far from a PB, but it's a milestone none the less.

Come time to bench press, I surpassed another old milestone. I confused 10kg and 20kg plates. It took lifting the barbell off the rack/rests a couple of times to finally twig that I wasn't having a bad day physically... just mentally.


D: 12.1km
A: 43m

PMPW: 83