Sunday, 31 July 2016

31/07/2016

Lazy:
I was (still) not feeling amazing today, perhaps the oysters forming in the back of my sinus/nose are a sign of sickness. Maybe it's just that pizza is no longer a great meal choice for dinner.

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 30 July 2016

30/07/2016

Lazy:
I had serious CBFs today. On paper it seemed logical, my high school 20 year reunion was last night, after drinks on campus we went to the local pub, but really, I didn't really drink, and was only an hourish later to bed than normal.

I did do some solid netflix series catching up though. That's got nothing to do with riding, but it did give a sense of achievement in an otherwise lazy day.

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 29 July 2016

29/07/2016

Commute:
The death of Alf from BCC was the motivator to dust off (quite literally) my track bike, and ride with a mate talking shit. I wasn't close with him, so this was less about honouring a top bloke, and more about solidarity with those grieving, and a splash of injecting some fun into life.

It seemed somewhat silly on the way home, riding deep carbon tubs, brakeless, in the wind and rain. I guess that just makes it even more appropriately inappropriate.

D: 21.61km
A: 128m

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 28 July 2016

28/07/2016

NRR:
Given I was once again a Chinese snot breathing dragon on Northy this morning, it seems fitting to continue with the eastern philosophy.

Hinduism, like Buddhism acknowledges that desire puts us into a never ending cycle of more desire, which is not a good thing. When we fulfil it, we move on to the next desire, and so the happiness is fleeting.

"Desire is life, and the reason we desire things is because we are alive. Desire is energy expressing itself. The only way you could get rid of desire would be to get rid of life."

So if you can't give up desire, then we need to by transmuting them, to desire things that are more refined. Instead of desiring just to make ourselves happy, we desire to make our family and friends happy, too.

Right, well, um.... I'm not buying any of you Baums!

Strava link.

D: 52.2km
A: 214m

Commute:

D: 8.9km
A: 33m

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

27/06/2016

Commute:
Two commutes diverged at Chapel St, and I
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

D: 22.0km
A: 137m

PMPW:

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

26/07/2016

6am NRR:
Buddha's teachings, specifically the four noble truths, are on happiness. They're a road map to understanding how to achieve happiness, and that it lies through understanding suffering in our lives.

According to the teachings, suffering is a natural state of life, but that it can be overcome. Suffering arises from craving, of wants and needs, and by taking a good hard look at our life, and these wants and supposed needs, we can transcend.

I don't think Siddhārtha was thinking about riding bikes, but I bloody well do, and in the moment we rounded the big left at Elwood, and I rolled to the front to bring the NRR train through to the sprint, I contemplated life and the state of suffering. I chose to accept that what I thought I needed (for the pain to stop) was at best a want, and quite irrelevant. Each time that sense of being overwhelmed by the situation arose, I released the tension in my body and mind.

Once I flicked off at Glen Huntly, I had a deep sense of satisfaction. Maybe buddhism does point the way to happiness on the bike. Maybe it's through the realisation that suffering is life, and the acceptance of that suffering into yourself that true happiness is achieved. Maybe.

Strava link.

D: 51.5km
A: 191m

Commute:

D:  7.9km
A: 15m

PMPW: 90kg

Monday, 25 July 2016

25/07/2016

Commute:
I used to have a soap addiction, but I'm clean now.

D: 16.0km
A: 109m

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 24 July 2016

24/07/2016

St Kilda East - Iron Bark - Flat Rock - St Kilda East:
It's hard to be serious when the temperature is hovering around zero, it brings an air of ridiculousness to adventuring out in mere layered lycra. We did though, DK, Bing (for a short while) and I. We put a couple of coffees in our face and headed north before any heat started to permeate the day, so that we could get some kms and smiles in before the forecasted rain.

Like last Saturday,the day's agenda revolved around over threshold efforts on any positive gradient, and in DK's words "easy" on the rest. I disagree on his definition of easy as often I found myself pushing the same Watts as yesterday's efforts. At the end of Bannons Lane the clouds forming behind the ridge of Kinglake West suddenly loomed large, so we turned for home, opting to stay warm and dry rather than get in Mine and Christians roads.

There was some fun in the efforts, testing to see if DK was pacing himself appropriately, seeing if I could finish them off harder and maybe slip a wheel in front at the top... that is until I cracked and resorted to an emergency gel on the way home through Kangaroo Ground. The joy though, the happy times, the thing that makes getting on the bike high on my priority list, was rolling through the few laden foot hills of Kinglake. Riding along bubbling brooks, and beside ruby coloured Rosellas. There were sections of grass, hidden in the shadows of ridge lines, that sported frosted tips like a 90s boy band.

Strava link.

D: 95.5km
A: 1,166m

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 23 July 2016

23/07/2016

Intervals:
1 x 10min E1 (inc 1 x 7sec HCLR)
1 x 5min @ 310W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 20min @ 310W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 20min @ 310W
1 x 10min E1

There were some emotions, but surprisingly the legs did what they were told fairly well. I sat, I span, I sweated, and I watched an hour long replay of last night's tour stage.

I'd love to say there were lessons learnt, or insights into happiness, but it's 70 minutes on a stationary trainer. It's not done for love of riding, it's done for fitness, so I've got nothing.

Strava link.

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 22 July 2016

22/07/2016

Commute:
A man walks into a bar with his giraffe and proceeds to get it drunk. eventually the giraffe falls over and the man goes to leave. Alarmed, the bar tender shouts out "you can't leave that lying there!", to which he replied "that's not a lion, it's a giraffe".

D: 17.0km
A: 92m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 21 July 2016

21/07/2016

NRR:
Ahh 6am Northy, I started off doing 5:45 back in ~2005, but with the addition of this post, this blog now has a years worth of NRR entries. At a guess I'd say there's less than a dozen 5:45 versions (Wednesday long doesn't count, 5:45 is the new 6 there). The point of this all, is that rolling back into the 6am bunch felt good, it felt right.

There was a few smiles, several nods, a g'day or two, and one arse tickle. I saw the front a couple of times, and hung out mid pack a few more. I whacked the sprint early and held on to the effort long past the point my body wanted to stop. It wasn't the win that left me happy all day though, it was the sense of belonging, the sense of being part of a larger whole that cycling, and in particular NRR (and the helly) give me.

Strava link.

D: 52.5km
A: 199m

Commute:

D: 9.3km
A: 21m

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

20/07/2016

Commute:
I found this CyclingTips podcast worth a listen. It's a few people talking about ultra endurance racing, the appeal to viewers/fans, the appeal to riders and of cours, the physical/mental challenges. Jesse Carlsson talking about Trans America was tip top, raising some German term that I translated to "the feeling when you're struggling to be pack fodder rather than being off the front feeling like a hero".

Those whacky Germans have terms for everything!

D: 15.0km
A: 166m

PMPW: 90kg

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

19/07/2016

Ricktastic Tuesday:
Feeling unfit... no, no, no... being unfit, and trying to do something about it in winter, makes it more challenging to find the good bits, the path to happiness, the stuff I said I was going to talk more about.

Looking closely though, there was stuff today, small stuff, but stuff none the less, that was more than just Watts or wins. Stuff deeper in meaning than pain caves, and more relevant than Pokemon Go. For instance, last week the forecast for today wasn't great. There was talk of rain and wind and just plain old miserable times. Instead, not only was it dry and wind free, but it was warm enough to go riding sans leg warmers with mates doing the same.

Yeah, there was half wheeling and a lot of hurt, but there was also engaged conversation (when oxygen requirements allowed), and perfectly formed flat whites. Hell, I didn't even have to use my AK! Today was a good day.

Strava link.

D: 47.1km
A: 613m

Commute:

D: 8.8km
A: 34m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 18 July 2016

18/06/2016

Commute:
Oof, this morning was windier than an IBS sufferer after baked bean night.

D:17.3km
A: 133m

PMPW: 91kg

Sunday, 17 July 2016

17/07/2016

St Kilda East - The Patch - The Crescent - St Kilda East:
I wasn't sure if I wanted to go out with DK again, I was afraid of the pain, while simultaneously knowing that I really should be embracing it for my own betterment. We didn't have an exact plans, just agreed on a precoffee time/place, and that we'd head east to the nongs.

We rolled out High St, and though it wasn't as all out as yesterday, we pushed hard tempo with our weary legs on all the rollers. I figured Devils Elbow would be a logical route given the angle we'd approach the mountain, but the lack of planning meant we got to embrace the suggestion of something different.

"Let's go round the back."

A photo posted by Neil Robinson (@entyr) on

An emergency poo, and some dodgy singing later, we were heading east of Belgrave, under the trestle bridges of Puffing Billy, around through The Patch and up towards Kallista. There was the occasional car, but mostly it was just the sound of us breathing hard into the frosty morning air. A quick turn into the dirt of Waterfield road turned our fingers to ice, and our faces into grins. The small creek running parallel to the road under the shade of the tall gums kept both the air and the road surface moist. Our aero road bikes squirmed beneath us, spitting globs of mud around with abandon. My thoughts too moved around freely, and I realised I've once again fallen into a pattern of describing the pain and sacrifice of training, rather than the joy and excitement of riding. There was a very real risk that I was taking myself and riding my bike seriously.

So, when we rolled past a side road (Moxhams) that pointed skyward, I was quick to jam on the anchors and chuck a u-bolt when DK asked "shall we?"
. It looked hard, we had no idea where it went and the name reminded us of a mate (Malachai Moxon), in hindsight it was the perfect diversion. A km or two later we were at the bottom of the wall, beginning what felt like a proper serious training moment. A km after that we spied the dirt road exiting the outside of the hairpin and decided to rip down that instead.

My bike is going to need a wash, I'm going to need a shower and a rest day, but I regret nothing.

Strava link.

D: 106.7km
A: 1,620m

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 16 July 2016

16/07/2016

St Kilda East - Mt Pleasant - Nathans - St Kilda East:
Fartlek, not just a word that makes me giggle, but also a rather apt descriptor of this morning's adventure.

I thought I'd try out riding with DK, it's been a while, and he promised me he was fat and slow. What I didn't realise is that he has a desire to rectify that situation through the judicial use of pain. Any and every hill we came to was done with intent, and that included the little lump on Church st between Bridge and Swan.

The data tells me I was producing decent power, but I struggled to make it smoothly, each pedal stroke a fight rather than fluid. It was only on the 30% pitches of Nathans rd that I felt even mildly competitive, but really that was only because I had a 28t to Dave's 25.

Strava link.

D: 76.5km
A: 1,246m

PMPW: 89kg

Friday, 15 July 2016

15/07/2016

Commute:
I span a few extras, up along the river, rather than down by the bay or around the lake.

Odd how the desire for a few additional kms tends to lead me to water.

D: 25.5km
A: 166m

PMPW: 89kg

Thursday, 14 July 2016

14/07/2016

5:45am NRR:
I set an alarm for 6am NRR, but woke well enough before it to make 5:45, so I went and did that instead. I admit, I was nervous about rolling 6am, and that's part of the reason I opted for the easier option. I made sure it wasn't easy though, as soon as we turned at Mordi I rolled through to the front, and kept doing so back to St Kilda.

It basically was a case of over/unders, with turns being anywhere from 350 to 500W, and sitting on around 150 to 250W.

I reckon that's going to be my bag for the next few months, steady threshold (sweet spot) efforts like Tuesday's ergo, and shorter, over threshold work like today or Saturday. While I went for today's sprint (came 2nd), there's no real point me concentrating on peak 5-15s power until I can get through to the end of a ride with something left.

Strava link.

D: 53.5km
A: 192m

Commute:

D: 7.7km
A: 17m

PMPW: 89kg

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

13/07/2016

Commute:
It was so cold this morning that I had to chop up the piano for firewood. I only got two chords.

D: 16.5km
A: 136m

PMPW: 89kg

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

12/07/2016

Intervals:
1 x 10min E1
1 x 5min @ 300W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5min @ 300W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min @ 300W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5min @ 300W
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5min @ 300W SE
1 x 5min E1

The weather threatened to turn horrible all day, and though there were plenty of chances to get out, I made a decision to get on the ergo early in the piece.

It wasn't the hardest session I've ever set myself, just 5 efforts at my threshold sweet spot, most only 5 minutes. I had stage 8 of the tour to help distract me from the fan I discovered wasn't working after I'd already started, and thus was too late to replace. I had Lamb of God and Gojira to provide aural distraction from what was going on in my legs. I did the efforts on the hoods or drops, avoiding my normal tendency to sit on the tops and open up the lungs.

Strava link.

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 11 July 2016

11/07/2016

Stretching:
While in Canada I learnt that deer nuts are cheap, like, they're under a buck.

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 10 July 2016

10/07/2016

St Kilda East - Port Melbourne - Slack Rock - St Kilda East:
I found out today, that there is an advantage to losing fitness/conditioning, as the pain in my arse from sitting on my saddle, confirmed that I do in fact sit on my sitz bones, and thus my saddle is appropriate.

It feels like a hard lesson.

Strava link.

D: 49.1km
A: 109m

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 9 July 2016

9/07/2016

St Kilda East - Wilson - Flat Rock - St Kilda East:
April, April the 3rd to be exact, was the SKCC World Champs, and the point where I said "righteo, no more training, and certainly no racing.". I knew that that time off would butt up against the holiday the tiny Canadian and I just got back from, but I was prepared for that.

I was also prepared, or at the very least aware, that starting to ride hard again after all that... would not be the funnest of times. Anyway, we're back from holidays and it's time to start making myself back into the human I'm happiest being. Jet lag meant I was up way earlier than I needed to be to meet Cam, Rick, Warrack, Tom and a few others for some action in the hills, so I rolled a few extras through the fog.

The ride out wasn't too bad, there was some two up action with Rick and I on the front. Chatting away while fog condensed on trees and street lights, then dripped down around us. It was alright into Wilson rd, Warrack and I on the front, tapping a tempo that felt like it should keep all but the most eager behind us. It didn't though, the eager ones kicked past hard, then semi eager guys went around, and finally some reticent riders filled through. Not even the crest of Wilson stemmed the damage, and I soon found myself deep in the box and scrabbling for wheels along Broad Gully Rd.

Eventually, everyone say up and through the grace of a tuck that would make Matej Mohorič proud, I regained contact with the bunch. What I wasn't aware until later, was that that would be the high point of my day's performance. I cracked on Flat Rock, then bonked through Eltham at the exact moment a couple of links in my chain stopped rotating. Put another way, I had legs that could push around 200W at their best, and a drive train that meant I could only do so for 2 our of every 3 pedal strokes.

Some coffee and a chain breaker got me home, and some more suffering will get me started down the path to being fitter.

Strava link.

D: 106.6km
A: 1,473m

PMPW: 89kg

Monday, 4 July 2016

4/07/2016

Lakit lookout:
After too many days of drinking beer and eating chips, the tiny Canadian, her dad and I took off in an oversized 4x4 truck/ute for a bit of shoe shuffling in nature.

GOPR0195

We decided not to try for Lakit Mountain itself, the steep trail had given us enough exercise to kickstart the flow of endorphins, and the peak was covered in cloud/rain covered.

GOPR0207

GOPR0210

GOPR0215

We did find some snow, which I figured was the perfect break from the pounding my legs and knees were getting from the descent.

GOPR0217

Strava link.

D: 4.4km
A: 452m

Friday, 1 July 2016

1/07/2016

Fernie:
It seems fitting to me, to spend Canada day riding mountain bikes in the Rockies. The tiny Canadian and I are in Fernie for a family do, which meant I had a bunch of mountain biking in laws who were up for a roll, and I've got to admit, I was nervous about my skills. I hired a fairly squishy bike ahead of time, but in the end I had more travel and waaaay more lycra than anyone else.

GOPR0179

I only did a few minor things to my hire bike to make it work for me, I whacked on some clipless pedals, I whacked the dropper post up to full XC height, and after a bit of cajolling of the wrenches at the bike shop, I swapped the brakes L/R so I wouldn't end up doing an absent minded superman when things got hairy..

A long climb and then a fast descent left us a rider down after a cousin tried to mate his shin and platform pedal.

GOPR0181

We lost a sibling to the lure of shuttled runs, which left me with one final cousin to head back up above the town into the logged out areas of forest to get horribly hot, tired, and thirsty. Thankfully being Canada day in a small town, we were able to roll to not one but two relatives place to smash cold beers.

GOPR0184

Strava link.

D: 26.8km
A: 641m