Monday, 30 November 2015

30/11/2015

Commute:
It’s hard to explain puns to kleptomaniacs because they always take things literally.

D: 26.4km
A: 134m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 29 November 2015

29/11/2015

St Kilda East - SKCC Crits - St Kilda East:
I felt like I had a shot today, I didn't because the break was up the road and I never saw the lap boards come out, but I felt like I conserved well and had something left in the legs.

Other than someone giving my quad a bit of a polish with their elbow 3/4 of the way through the race, it was pretty uneventful for me. I cruised the bunch, avoiding the wind up the front, but generally happy to take some on the side. Rush had a team, but it was mostly the kids and we're yet to start working together, that meant I didn't have any responsibility or obligation, so I just worked on cornering and pushing people off the wheel I wanted.

Strava link.

D: 67.4km
A: 66m


PMPW: 87kg

Saturday, 28 November 2015

28/11/2015

Hell Ride:
A few hours less sleep after a work christmas party left me feeling a little off my best, but it was Pat Lane and James Cummins ripping out of the bunch and quickly gapping everyone up to Canadian Bay Rd that really showed me the difference between fit/fresh and tired.

Given the work I'd done to that point, there was no way that I could have gone with them, even if I'd had a solid 8 hours of shut eye it wouldn't have happened.

Strava link.

D: 100.2km
A: 367m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 27 November 2015

27/11/2015

Commute:
I've taken up wood carving in my spare time, I'm not very good, but I'm getting there whittle by whittle.

D: 15.2km
A: 92m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 26 November 2015

26/11/2015

Commute:
Did you hear about the guy who invented Lifesavers? They say he made a mint.

D: 33.8km
A: 125m

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

25/11/2015

5:45am NRR long:
That's better, some ego restoration has occurred.

I set out with one aim this morning, to get a solid Two Bays in, and given I scrubbed several seconds off my previous best time, I'm going to suggest that box got ticked. More pleasing was that I was mentally there, able to hold my body in place and keep on generating power when it hurt a lot, and the dude (Ethan and or Darcy) in front showed no signs of letting up. Yesterday I cracked quicker than an iPhone dropped onto the dunny floor tiles.

I'm still no good at pounding out hard turns on the flat, I left that to a rampaging Leigh Schilling and Darcy Wolley,

Strava link.

D: 106.4km
A: 512m

Commute:
I'll admit that much of the reason for my ear wide grin tonight was the look of misery on those going the other way. Only a small amount was due to the excessive speed even the barest hint of a pedal stroke delivered.

D: 12.3km
A: 60m

PMPW: 87kg

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

24/11/2015

Ricktastic Tuesday:
A couple of notches off due to a hangover from Saturday's shenanigans, a couple of lads willing to lay on some hurt, and I got a quick revision session on having others faster than me.

Riding with people faster than me used to be the norm, but it's gone out of fashion with me, I like being good. I know I've said it before, stated that I should htfu, I guess at this point I'm consciously incompetent (know I'm not able to do something, turn up). The next step is consciously competent, (get myself to turn up), and finally unconsciously competent (just do it).

Some things that I don't do because I might not even hang on. TKM noize. Bak pocket. Hills with DK.

Strava link.

D: 54.6km
A: 704m

Commute:

D:12.4km
A: 51m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 23 November 2015

23/11/2015

Commute:
I was listening to a podcast today while I stared intently at a spreadsheet filled with numbers that didn't quite reconcile, and slowly the words of it (the podcast that is) highlighted a thought, a feeling, a moment in time.

The bloke being interviewed nailed a few of my personal flaws, then talked about waiting for the right moment to take action. I believe he was going on about business choices, but in my head it was about a sprint. Waiting, patiently, ignoring the early moves, trusting that the moment will come.

If you're bored, it was a Harvard Business Review Ideacast episode. This one to be exact.

D: 26.2km
A: 135m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 22 November 2015

22/11/2015

Rest:
I actually thought about riding today, just half to three quarts of an hour, nothing that required me to grip the bars too much... you know, because I don't think I could.

Instead I opted for a bit of stretching, a bunch of pizza, and some time with the dog in front of the tv.

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 21 November 2015

21/11/2015

St Kida East - Warrandyte - Park Orchards - Ringwood North - Warrandyte - Eltham - Kangaroo Ground - North Warrandyte - St Kilda East:
About a year ago I spied a route created by my old mate BJ, at the time it was a 100km loop with ~2,300m of climbing. I sent him a text and declared I wanted in on it... and in the following 12 months he's added and refined until today he had a 120km ride, with 3,200m vert. I figured if a dumb idea was good, then a really dumb idea was better, so I rode out to Warrandyte to meet him, Jim, Christian and Justin.

The bit after we got rolling... I could either fill pages with text, or sum it up in a few brief sentences. I'll try for the middle the middle, but you'll forgive me if I ramble on, we certainly did during the five and a half hours the loop took.

It wasn't a race, but there were a few small things like "first to wheel spin" and "first to walk". Each of the boys have been riding and racing since before this blog began (hint that's going on 7 years), so normally such things would be unheard of... but we were riding the steepest roads that could be linked up, and it was drizzling when we started out.

I tried to pace myself, the last time I did over 2,000m vert in a single ride was in September, and that wasn't the norm even then. It wasn't just that either... the steepest and longest climbs were at the end, Gumtree, Pigeonbank and Kruses. A few times I thought about turning early, about taking my vert and hightailing it for home, pizza, and icecream.



Instead I rolled on when Jim and Justin exited stage left. I kept going when the conversation stopped, I assume the other two were each in their own mind. I kept going straight when all I wanted to do was deliver the mail, when my arms were screaming and my legs were struggling.

At the top of Kruses I gave BJ and Christian a handshake, or a fist bump, some form of digit touching... and grunted a few words along the lines of "good seeing you", then turned for home into the teeth of a ripping southerly.

Dumb ideas, are the best ideas.

Strava link.

D: 185.5km
A: 4,271m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 20 November 2015

20/11/2015

Commute:
On my roll home in the rain, I witness two snails having a ridgy didge fight. They were slugging each other.

D: 33.5km
A: 112m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 19 November 2015

19/11/2015

Rest:
I bought a pair of shoes from a drug dealer I found on gumtree, I don't know what he laced them with, but I was tripping all day.

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

18/11/2015

Commute:
I've been moaning about not cornering well a bunch recently, and the other day suggested a return to riding on dirt might be the answer. Today's commute, featuring some sneaky inner city dirt on my CX bike highlighted the issue, I've become a passenger to, rather than the driver of turns

D: 25.3km
A: 103m

St Kilda East - HCC Crits - St Kilda East:
The transformation to amazing cornerer didn't happen straight away, I still lost ground on the bottom corner at tonight's race, but I was at the very least leaning my bike in line with my body, rather than leaving it hanging out (more) upright.

While I was thinking about bike position, I completely futzed bunch position, and got caught behind a some spent riders and a rapidly opening gap. I was feeling calm about the race, taking the odd place here or there, losing one or two there and here... the standard bike race washing machine. Around the 10-12 minute mark I saw big Mat Gray coming backwards, I put out the hand of god, confident I'd he'd roll onto the wheel, and I'd have a sweet sit. What actually happened was Mat saw Mason going backwards, gave him the hand of god, I got boxed behind them both, and a big gap opened up.

"Shit."

I figured a lap or two would see us make contact again, especially after DK rolled around me along the bottom straight. It wasn't to be though, we steadily ate into the gap, and got close a couple of times, but just never quite found the safety of a draft.

My quick count of power/altitude spikes suggests we busted ourselves for 9 laps trying to make it happen, before this conversation happened with a C grade marshal.

CGM: "A grade coming through."
NR: "Actually mate, I'm not so sure about that."

23 minutes of racing and I feel hollow physically and detached mentally.

Strava link.

D: 36.9km
A: 337m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

17/11/2015

Ricktastic Tuesday:
I set a PB on Pony club, and I've mostly got Dusty's heavy breathing, and the thought that last week I managed to hold the effort all the way to the roundabout to thank for it. The 25 extra Watts I averaged probably helped too, but today it was the brain that told the legs to keep going.

I honestly never felt amazing all ride, I was generally turning a low cadence, feeling bogged down, but on the steepest climb of the day, a new little jaunt parallel to Foote st, I felt positively sprightly on the 15% sections. Still, I'm not one to examine the teeth of a donated equine, especially not when it pertains to a club of them. I'm stoked.

Strava link.

D: 54.7km
A: 703m

Commute:

D: 12.8km
A: 67m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 16 November 2015

16/11/2015

Commute:
Why don’t you ever see hippopotamus hiding in trees? Because they’re really good at it.

D: 27.1km
A: 126m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 15 November 2015

15/11/2015

St Kilda East - SKCC Crits - St Kilda East:
For most of the race there was an overriding feeling of "I don't trust these guys". I wasn't confident of their lines, I wasn't confident of their vision/awareness, I wasn't happy with how much braking went on.

That changed with a few laps to go. Dunny and I had found each other and he'd offered the lead out. There I was, happily following his wheel when a rider tried to work me off of it. I give them a bump, said "my wheel". The turned, smiled, said "G'day Neil" and rode off to find another spot. Those two moments, just a second or two apart, caused a change, then another in my thinking.

I was simultaneously more committed to racing, and off with the fairies wondering who it was. I lost track of how many laps we were to go, I dove under Malchai, I gave up Dunny's wheel, I faught for Pat Drapac's, regained Dunny's wheel, had a chat, had a small coming together with Sam Gifford, then rolled over the line. They were moments quick edited together, distinct, but so brief and disjointed that no clear narrative shines through.

Strava link.

D: 66.7km
A: 72m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 14 November 2015

14/11/2015

Hell Ride:
Gah, I must have really fluffed that high 5 yesterday, because after a nice little push up Olivers to ride around everyone and bridge to Tommy Leaper, my tyre blew out (again).

I'm going to have to admit I was pretty sulky about it. I got a tyre boot, and a fresh tube in, then got myself turned around and through Frankston before the bunch, so it's not like it made me get home late... but missing those next couple of hills... they're the best bit!!

I spent most of the roll home sulking in the bunch while others smacked it on the front. I'm pretty sure it was Tommy Leaper and Tiggalo doing the massive turns that had everyone single file, but I was too far back to verify.

A coffee or two and a laugh with mates helped put it all back into perspective. There's always another Hell Ride.

Strava link.

D: 93.1km
A: 304m

PMPW: 85kg

Friday, 13 November 2015

13/11/2015

Commute:
I'm not superstitious, but I occasionally see hints of karma in action.

Rolling home in the sun I spied the giant figure of Beggers riding toward me. I extended my hand for our now customary bike5, and felt the unsatisfying contact of wrist beneath my palm.

The universe was not pleased with this woeful display, for shortly after I hit a blue stone rock and blew out both my tyres.

D: 16.2km
A: 65m

PMPW: 85kg

Thursday, 12 November 2015

12/11/2015

Commute:
When did I become shit at cornering? I swear I used to be half decent, but not I feel like I lose a bike length at both HCC and SKCC crits. I'm thinking I need to spend some time working on it, maybe i need some dirt time. Everyone always needs dirt time.

D: 26.7km
A: 103m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

11/11/2015

Commute w extras:
I was meant to meet a mate for a roll, at least I think I was, anyway he wasn't where we didn't actually agree to meet at the time we didn't confirm... so I went for a roll anyway.

Part way down the golden mile I spied a few of the Bak Pocket girls making their way North. "Sweet" I thought. That meant a bunch of massive dudes would soon come rampaging along, and I'd be able to get a nice little leg opener and a coffee. Sure enough, lead by Drew Ginn, they came storming through, and after a dodgy u-turn I was ensconced in their little working group on my way to a piccolo latte.

Strava link.

D: 37.6km
A: 105m

HCC Crit:
Brendan Canty, Allan Iacuone, Alex Morgan, Troy Clarke, David Collins, the Drapac boys, Cam Clamp, Warrack Leach, I'm sure I've missed a few solid riders with a desire to make races hard, but that's what faced me when I rolled up today.

I started up front, but after a little foray into the wind decided to recover a little. Laps came and went, and there wasn't much of a chance to get forward, the pace was hot, and I had a few moments of being pretty much cross eyed.


This is Martyn Taylor's photo, and my knee.

Suddenly it was 4 laps to go, and I had no idea the status of the race, was anyone up the road? I pushed up and asked around, the general consensus was two were away, then Canty drilled it and no one could hold his wheel. 3 up the road. I asked Alby if he wanted me to bring it back, but he told me he didn't have the legs/heart for it... then promptly launched himself too. Through for two to go and guys were dumping their legs, as we hit the bottom straight an elbow flicked and it was my turn in the wind. I put a hard tempo in, tried to get the bike round the corner smoothly, then dumped everything I had left up to the line and the bell. I'd picked up Alby, but Canty and the two others were still away, from what I can tell that's how it finished too.

Not a great race, but I'm happy that it was at the very least a solid training session.

Strava link.

D: 51.8km
A: 491m

PMPW: 85kg

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

10/11/2015

Ricktastic Tuesday:
I felt pretty good once we got rolling this morning. I'd woken sans alarm, and found myself with only 10 minutes to get out the door, I rushed through my normal routines and got pedaling. Maybe it was that that hard start that prepared me, or maybe it was a opportunity presented on a platter by Warrack.

Rolling towards the ramp on Foote St i joked about how much worse approaching it in daylight was, as at least in the dark the true length and gradient were hidden from sight. He replied that he hated it due to power riders opening him up on it.... "it hurts you you say?!"

Seriously, how could I now try and stretch him out? Warrack's got me covered on longer climbs, or in circuits with lots of hard braking and acceleration, so a big neon sign signalling a weakness.... hell yeah I'm going to take a bite at that.

When that went well, I decided to drive the pace on Pony club as well. See how long I could hold onto 600W for, see if I could drop everyone off my wheel, to see if I could ride through the pain.

Strava link.

D: 54.0km
A: 732m

Commute:
After the fun of the morning, I was almost ok with how wet it was on the way home. "If this is the price I have to pay, then that's ok." I said to myself.

D: 12.4km
A: 53m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 9 November 2015

9/11/2015

Commute:
I've got a mate who's made some bad job choices. He's now decided, given his career lies in ruins, to become an Archaeologist.

D: 26.4km
A: 88m

PMPW: 85kg

Sunday, 8 November 2015

8/11/2015

Essendon Fields - Mt Macedon - Essendon Fields:
I volunteered to help chaperone some blokes on the Toyota ride to the divide (R2D) ride today. It wasn't quite as strong a group as I had for the AMG round the bay a month or so back, which meant I spent a lot of time perched on the front, doing sweet spot work.

Sunburn aside, it was a good day out. I spent a large part of it talking with a Turkish dude, teaching him how to pronounce Straya and  Melbin.

The climb up Mt Macedon was great, first I played with Bing a bit, which is surreal, but great. Then I dropped back and rode with the R2D riders and practised monoing my road bike. Then, because I looped back one too many times, and was thus a good km or two behind the bunch, I got a great solo run down the steep Macedon side of the hill... well until I caught up to some cars and had to slow down.

Strava link.

D: 141.1km
A: 1,565m

PMPW: 85kg

Saturday, 7 November 2015

7/11/2015

Hell Ride:
I wasn't feeling too strong this morning, so when the headwind took me from 24km/h back down to 20km/h... after I'd crested the hill I was on, well... I considered pulling the pin and going back home and to bed.

I'm glad I didn't though. The smallish crew that came out was pretty much all quality, and 100km in the legs by 9:30am is always nice once it's there.

As for the ride, it was awesome to see Jojo Hogan throwing out more attacks than any of the dudes. I'm not just saying that because having her off the front meant I wasnt stuck, getting zero draught, behind her in the bunch.

Strava link.

D: 101.1km
A: 450m

PMPW: 86kg

Friday, 6 November 2015

6/11/2015

Commute:
I had to take my roadie out today, between the bad weather, and missing the good weather opportunities because I assume it's going to be bad weather, I haven't ridden trained terribly much. A jaunt out on the big blue broadsword wasn't quite enough to soothe the soul, but it was nice none the less.

D: 36.3km
A: 136m

PMPW: 86kg

Thursday, 5 November 2015

5/11/2015

Commute:
Derek Zoolander stated that water is the essence of wetness, i'd contend that this mornings commute was in fact the essence of wetness.

D: 25.8km
A: 92 m

PMPW: 85kg

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

4/11/2015

Commute:
I wasn't keen to ride the Warny, I've said that a few times now, but some days on my commute I feel like I'm getting the Warny experience.

You see there's this bike path along the docklands, and as it passes the wicked sculpture of a dead cow up a tree, there's heaps of pedestrian crossings. As they should, our mates sans wheels have right of way, and to help indicate you might need to slow for them, the council has put in rumble strip things. They're fully shit to ride on, and at 7:45am when there's no one about and I'm thus hooking through, I'd rather prefer if I didn't have to... queue how this relates to the Warny.

Along the edge of the bike path is a thin strip of smooth tile that doesn't get the rumble strip treatment. Rail that and you positively hum along, but given it's fairly narrow, there's always a crossy, and there are light poles smack bang in the middle of it, you've got to be on your A game. Try and push hard down it, and suddenly there's flash backs of being guttered by crossies just past Lismore.

D: 25.7km
A: 119m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

3/11/2015

St Kilda East - High - Mt Pleasant - Reynolds - Nathans - Allendale - Yarra - St Kilda East:
It was just Rick and I for an early Tuesday ride, but given a bit of extra time thanks to a public holiday, we had a little extra time up our arm warmers.

We began as most Tuesday's do, rolling up Doncaster Rd, then High St with only a modicum of half wheeling going on. Then once we'd done marveling at beauty of the orange glow of day break that had thrown Mt Dandenong into stark relief, we kicked on and hit some back streets of Eltham. Whack whack, and the kick up Antoinette boulevard was over. A bit of a grind and we got over the rollers of Reynolds rd... but Nathan's rd was a whole different beast. With gradients in the high twentys/low thirties, there is only one option. Go, and hope your frozen hands can hang on to the bars the entire time.

After getting ourselves over that, and back home through Plenty gorge, a side trip to the Kew boulevard and Yarra St seemed like a pleasant prelude to breakfast. I rolled in hard, gave it a kick, and ticked off the power goal I set a few weeks back. 10W/kg for a minute. That... or the 4 coffees I consumed before midday, have left me buzzing.

Strava link.

D: 71.9k
A: 1,221m

PMPW: 85kg

Monday, 2 November 2015

2/11/2015

Commute:
I remember back in high school I wasn't as funny as I am now, in fact I took year 11 and 12 chemistry just so I could get a reaction.

D: 29.4km
A: 160m

PMPW: 86kg

Sunday, 1 November 2015

1/11/2015

St Kilda East - SKCC E grade marshalling - SKCC Womens B grade marshalling - SKCC D grade marshalling - SKCC A Grade - St Kilda East:
I did about 122 laps of the SKCC crit course this morning, and I got a good sense of where I'm at.

I'm not the strongest, I don't have the best sprint, I don't corner better than anyone else, and I'm certainly lacking in the threshold power department... but I'm pretty happy with the DNF that would sit beside my name should they list more than the first 3 riders.

I felt like I was a bit off, but I was still able to mix it up. I missed the break, and the move that went over to it, but I spent a bunch of time either off the front, or chasing said break(s). Give me a good set of legs, and a big set of wheels, and it's game on.

In other news, I still like coffee, talking shit at the back of the bunch, and also dropping a wheel so I can attack into the gap and make the person behind me chase. I'm starting not to like tubs though.

Strava link.

D: 136.9km
A: 136m

PMPW: 86kg