Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Barring collecting a car door to the chest on my way home, it was a pretty tip top day to be on the bike. There was no rain, the roads were dry, I even snuck in a couple of bits of single track on the way to the office.

In the grand scheme of things the way home was pretty much tip top the entire time I was on the bike. Granted I spent some time off the bike when a passenger opened the (now bent) door of a VW golf into my path, leaving me juuuust enough time to realise it was going hurt, and the bit that would hurt would be my chest. I ache, and sleeping is likely going to suck, but all but the deepest, chest swelling breaths are fine, so I'll count myself lucky.

Yeah, the bike'll be fine too.

D: 17.0km
A: 140m

PMPW: 90kg

Tuesday, 30 August 2016


Ricktastic Tuesday:
I love that you can get both endorphins, and a catch up on the bike.

I love that because you can distribute the load based on ability, you can ride with people with a broad range of (athletic) life experiences. I love that while you roll between places of pain that you can turn and talk to someone who has raced bikes for their country, then a few moments later one who's rowed for theirs.

I love that on the final corner of pony club, a good mate can whisper words of encouragement in your ear as you stand on the pedals.

Strava link.

D: 48.0km
A: 609m


D: 8.8km
A: 24m


Monday, 29 August 2016


I woke with a mild case of pump track back, but decided to get some extras in to my legs that still have a touch of tightness 8 freaking days after that bloody run. That's a bit silly, and makes me wonder if my plan to just do some running on a work trip to the UK in October is a good idea. Maybe I should take a bike instead.

D: 27.0km
A: 186m

PMPW: 89kg

Sunday, 28 August 2016


CX Shenanigans:
As I rode across the foot bridge at Walmer, a couple of roadies were coming back done the hill towards me, saying that the road was blocked.The "fun" run participants and volunteers were all pretty good about sharing space though, as not only was everyone cool for me to criss-cross the road to reach the trails, there was a DJ and cheer squad just below the pump track, which meant my 3 x 10 laps were accompanied by tunes and shouts of encouragement.

Properly warmed up and with my eye in, I (overly) confidently got myself off the pump track and onto the trails. I miss timed ducking under a leant over tree soon after. I'm used to getting a graze or two from this one, but today I almost came to a standstill as my hip collected the arm-thick trunk like miscellaneous household objects on hard rubbish day. Unlike later when I high sided myself on a descent, there was no one around to see my pain and embarrassment, so after pulling a few faces and sucking in some deep breaths, I got back to riding and enjoying myself.

I guess that sums up what it was like today, there were some off moments (haha punny!), but mostly a few moments later they were forgotten for the joy of linked turns, or riding silly steep pinches. Just to make sure that it finished off with both fun and a physical challenge, I ripped a 20 lap set of the pump track as I left Studley Park.

Strava link.

D: 46.2km
A: 499m

PMPW: 89kg

Saturday, 27 August 2016


St Kilda East - Frankston - St Kilda East:
It started off as the Hell Ride, I got up at 5:17, I shaved my legs, I got into lycra and scooted out the door around 6.

I rode to Black Rock and had a coffee at Odo while keeping an eye on the big clock tower. I met the bunch and greeted my mates, we rolled out and someone attacked hard and early. I chased and bridged gaps, going cross eyed in the process, before getting swamped by the bunch finally getting back together.

I got around the roundabout, a car arriving to the right mid bunch, starting to enter the intersection, then stopping, causing the bunch to stop and then restart.

I worked my way to the front, rolling a turn or two, mindfull that I didn't want to end up down the back, and on the wrong side of a split. I was grateful that others rolled over the top of me, because even with the assistance of a tailwind, 54km/h turns are tough business.

Where it went wrong was a bloody pothole at Patto. It was one of those ones that feels like some's given your undercarridge a tap with a ball-peen hammer. For a second or two I thought it was all good, then I resigned myself to stopping, just hoping that the dozens or so riders behind me would have their heads up as I eased my weight onto my front wheel, and off the tyre being bounced by the procession of the valve every revolution.

I got the change done, taking my time because I knew there was no chance I'd chase on. Found a bunch got to Frankston, then turned and waited. When I was eventually caught, it was a 7 man group, chopping hard turns off the front in a tidy echelon. I jumped on then jumped in, trying to stay smooth with 500W being output via the pedals. Up to Mentone and some shenanigans started, turns skipped, then attacks launched. I mistakenly thought I could call/create some calm, but instead I created a launching pad for the remaining riders to go clear and leave me to roll back into Black Rock solo, the main bunch still somewhere behind on the road.

Strava link.

D: 84.4km
A: 219m


Friday, 26 August 2016


Ricktastic Friday:
It seems only fitting that a second try at our Tuesday loop, after failing to go the full distance on Tuesday, would fail to go the full distance. No no, that's unfair, we never set out to do the same loop, it's just that we're not very imaginative at 10am when we arrange a meet time/location, or at 6am when we leave said (same) location.

After a couple of half wheeled hills got some blood flowing, some options opened themselves to us, variations that suited a ride of slightly less... intent. Straight instead of right, right instead of straight, left instead of right, Two Birds instead of Burnside.

Strava link.

D: 44.5km
A: 590m


D: 7.6km
A: 20m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 25 August 2016


My Czech mate is surprisingly bad at chess.

D: 16.2km
A: 166m

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 24 August 2016


I just read a book about Stockholm syndrome. It was pretty bad at first, but by the end I liked it.

D: 19.8km
A: 84m

PMPW: 90kg

Tuesday, 23 August 2016


Ricktastic Tuesday:
Lets for a moment imagine that you, like me, are of the subset of cyclists who care a modicum about their clothing/appearance. Many would consider this subset "wankers" or that we have too much time on our hands, I totally agree, but it's not the point right now.

So you are into a bit of #matchymatchy, but not too much, because that would be garish, and your sock collection is on fleek... but now it's winter? If you're in the southern hemisphere you're living it, if you're from up north, get the image in your mind, as it's the crux of what I hope to explore today.

Do leg warmers cover socks, or do socks cover leg warmers?

What would the pros do? It's likely that if you're a wanker, that you follow pro cycling, and think that Ronde van Vlaanderen (as if you'd call it the Anglicised "Tour of Flanders"), is better than Paris-Roubaix. Obviously you know most true Belgian roulers favour knee warmers (or just thigh warmers) over a full leg, and that Boonen rides without gloves... but what about those that do wear legs, what is their sock situation?

Kristiff, he's not a Belgie, he's won a bunch of races... but his helmet is often at an angle. Perhaps not the ideal role model, but goes socks over legs.

Bouhanni is a Frenchy who can't sprint straight and runs his mouth. He's got some wins to his name (but almost as many relagations). In short, he's the sort of bloke you don't want to be associated with. He wears his legs over his socks.

Martin (Tony), De Panzerwagon! Mouth open, dribble running down his chin, single handedly ripping a bunch to shreds or ruining the prospects of the break. Now here's someone we can respect! Socks over legs.

Mostly though, if you're a pro, on race day you rub yourself in some heated oil and get your massive quads out into the early spring air. So ignore the pros, what about if we talk about investment or style?

A set of leg warmers will set you back $30-$60, which is more than the wankiest of socks (usually in the $20-$30 range). So based on cost it could be argued that legs should have prominence. If you take a broader cost view though, you likely have only a couple sets of leg warmers, but over a dozen pairs of socks, so by collection value the socks are king.

For me though, the crux is the style and purpose of the garment. I buy leg warmers to keep my legs warm, they come in black. On the other hand I buy socks based height and design/colour. Socks are part of the show, if you're part of a small team they're often the only bit of kit you wear daily that you can express yourself with.

I shy away from "rules" about clothing, and don't think that even amongst the Velominati (publishers of "the rules") there's too much judgement on which way you dress. Me? I know where I stance on the issue. Socks over legs!

Strava link.

D: 41.4km
A: 466m


D: 9.0km
A: 51m

PMPW: 90kg

Monday, 22 August 2016


I don't think it was one thing that lead to my love of intersections, I guess I just came to it in a roundabout way.

D: 17.8km
A: 161m

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 21 August 2016


I've got a trip to the London office in a few weeks, and I'm really not sure I want the hassle of lugging a bike with me, but a pair of running shoes is no problemo. Anyway, when faced with a series of rain bands rolling through all day, and a desire not to get on the ergo, I went for a run. Quick, efficient, and calf destroying!

Strava link.

D: 3.0km
P: 4:12/km

Saturday, 20 August 2016


St Kilda East - Park Orchards - Inverness - Sky High - St Kilda East:
Given the forecast, I planned with DK to head over to his and get a few efforts on the ergos. If memory serves me right, 1x5min warm up and 2x20min all at sweet spot. I glanced out the window as I made a piccolo on the rancilio, and it was obvious that the roads were dry, and the sky free from rain bearing clouds, so I did the logical thing and phoned DK to ask if he wanted to ride outside instead.

We rolled out thinking a couple of laps of the Kew Boulie, or maybe Mt Pleasant, in the end we rode over Mt Dandenong via Park Orchards. I spent a lot of time thinking about my undercarriage, I was on a new (wider) saddle and was trying to decide if it was better/worse/just different.

We played the over threshold game on most rises, cresting hills with grunts and pants of "500W, nice". Up Inverness I gave it some stick, managing to make it to the end of my abilities before I reached the end of the road. Up to Sky high and I continued to perform in a way that suggested that ow ow ow my legs!

Still, physical stressors aside, we were out and about on bikes, on a day when we'd expected to be stuck indoors. Despite the clouds that formed over the top of the mountain we avoided rain altogether, though our arrival in Sassafras was hailed with ice falling from the sky.

Strava link.

D: 104.9km
A: 1,810m

PMPW: 90kg

Friday, 19 August 2016


I'm not very religious, but I had a mate who needed help making holy water. I've never done it before, and the web couldn't deliver instructions, so I just boiled the hell out of it.

D: 19.9km
A: 126m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Wednesday, 17 August 2016


I've been concentrating on the fun of cycling, on the good times and great hits. There is something that has begun that isn't cool, and that's certainly not chill.

Magpies! They're already starting to swoop. Ungh, there goes the nice quiet roll down Fullham Rd in Alphington for a while.

D: 16.2km
A: 144m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 16 August 2016


Rickfree Tuesdee:
#FreeTheKnees may not be a number one trending tag, but it does capture some of the liberation (both physical, and schedule) that not having to don knee or leg warmers brings. No longer do you have to debate the hierarchy of clothing items, is it socks under legs, or legs under socks? What about booties?

I suppose where I'm getting at, is that this morning I had my hair free legs out in the wild, and the fear of getting cold merely added to the exhilaration. It was a celebration of small victories, all while knowing the Chinook like conditions surely can't last and soon I'll be rugged back up.

Strava link.

D: 55.0km
A: 715m


D: 10.0km
A: 46m

PMPW: 90kg

Monday, 15 August 2016


Due to Earth's strong gravitational field, the cost of attaining escape velocity is exorbitant.

D: 16.7km
A: 146m

PMPW: 90kg

Sunday, 14 August 2016


St Kilda East - Double gully - Mine, Hildebrand - St Andrews - Kangaroo Ground - St Kilda East:
I met up with Rick, Cam, and their mate Dean, without any ride specifics planned. After bugger all discussion, we vaguely settled on some modified form of the BG hill route, then set out Northward on the damp morning roads.

The was a corner or two where the damp road made us more cautious, and the clouds that hung about were less threatening rain, and more keeping the temperature stable. To put that all another way, it was a freaking lovely morning to get out into the hills, and make last moment decisions about which roads to take.

Wilson or Broad Gully? Broad Gully.

Christian or Hildebrand? Hildebrand.

Flat Rock or the Nichols/Carters? Nichols/Carters.... no wait, Cam has snapped the cage of his front derailleur... better just do the Antique Store climb.

Strava link.

D: 109.6km
A: 1,682m

PMPW: 89kg

Saturday, 13 August 2016


Total Rush Shop Ride:
My plans for riding today changed at the last minute, leaving me mentally scrambling to work out what ride I could get done. The main requirement was other people to keep me honest, with a latish start, because I was certainly too late for the helly.

I opted to skip breakfast and dash to Total Rush for the shop ride. A quick piccolo latte later, it was off down the beach with a few others doing the work, and a tailwind to ensure I didn't have to pedal very often.

The way back there was certainly some pedalling. The tailwind was now a headwind and we didn't have DK like last week, so really it was Sewelly and I chopping off track turns, with a few others rolling through and off all the way through to St Kilda. I pegged my efforts at 350-400W on the flat and 450-500W on the hills, because I had no sense of the effort to pace them any other way.

Strava link.

D: 73.4km
A: 266m

PMPW: 89kg

Friday, 12 August 2016


The availability of good coffee close to work's new office is definitely offset by the kms I get each day. Yes I have a choice about how far I ride each day, but going the opposite direction, tacking on extra kms before and after working.... to only just get the same mileage i used to get each day... I dunno, I almost miss the haul along the docks.



D: 24.6km
A: 168m

PMPW: 90kg

Thursday, 11 August 2016


There's only one thing that upsets me more than how unmotivated I was this morning, it was that I didnt record any data for the ride. I should be ok with both, I did the ride, even rolling a few turns... but it still irks me.

D: 44.2km
A: 185m

D: 18.0km
A: 177m

CE: 1/2

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 10 August 2016


I used to work at a knife factory, but then it got dull.

D: 18.8km
A: 109m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 9 August 2016


Ricktastic Tuesday:
The good news is we didn't get wet, the bad news is I assumed we might and so dressed accordingly. Once I found a pocket for all of my superfluous clothing items I only had to worry that Rick had invited not only Angus Thomson, but also Fergus Sully. They sat themselves on the front from the start, and set a tempo that removed conversation from all bar themselves, which I'll freely admit, intimidated me.

Eventually though I got comfortable on my perch, found my rhythm, and finally felt confident that I had control of my destiny. I looked that waitress right in the eye and ordered a flat white.

Strava link.

D: 49.3km
A: 669m


D: 9.4km
A: 30m

PMPW: 91kg

Monday, 8 August 2016


Did you hear about the sheep dog that rounded up 38 sheep? He got 40 of them in the pen.

D: 15.9km
A: 149m

PMPW: 91kg

Sunday, 7 August 2016


St Kilda East - Mt Dandenong - Mt Dandenong - St Kilda East:
Today was meant to be a Dandenongs adventure with Rick and DK, but DK pulled the pin, and I've got to say, I was mostly happy about it. While I know that the over threshold efforts he favours will make me faster, I was still feeling a little used from yesterday, so longer, chattier outputs sounded far nicer.

I tried to convince Rick to swing up some of the random, and not so random alternatives to the Montrose climb, but in the end the main road was quiet enough to allow us to ride two abreast for most of it, and head over the mountain to an adventure.

It turns out that the 4th road exiting The Basin roundabout goes somewhere. There's the one that heads back up the 1 in 20, and the two that you can take to go back to town, but the 4th one, the one shooting off between lush green fields, is worth a look at (shocking when you put it that way eh?). 500m in the tarmac gives way to hard packed dirt that winds its way through the stringy barks, eventually popping out at the turn off to Sky High. There's the occasional corrugation to keep things interesting, and a couple of houses to remind you of civilisation, but mostly it's a peaceful alternative to the hustle and bustle of the 1 in 20.

A photo posted by Neil Robinson (@entyr) on

Strava link.

D: 111.3km
A: 1,669m

PMPW: 90kg

Saturday, 6 August 2016


Total Rush Shop Ride:
There are moments when you witness a physical performance and go "yeah, alright, fair play", then there are ones where you go "holy shit, what?!", on today's shoppy there was both.

Up until Brighton beach on the way home, it was a totally regulation shoppy.  I'd sat on the front with DK on the way down, having a chat, keeping things under control, monitoring any splits in the bunch. Then, we'd had a short break to regroup in Mordi, I'd gotten my big voice out and announced two bunches for the return, then got about chopping off turns with DK and Sewelly. Totes regulation.

Anyway, so we're popping round the bend from Sandi, down to Brighton beach. DK has been sitting on the front like the giant locomotive he is, and I think to myself "I should be a top bloke and roll over him.". It hadn't been the longest turn ever, but I'm a nice bloke, share the love and all that. Right, so I'm pulling along side the big, pink lycra clad unit, and I see his eyes dart to the right, a grin turn up the side of his mouth.... and then his pace lift. Like an overly bro-ey weight session, I lift, he lifts, I lift, he lifts. Soon enough its hurting and I decide to just start jamming over to the gutter to cut his line of acceleration off and end this shenanigans. I get a few moments of peace on the front, finding my rythm, settling in... then DK comes rolling up the right. I forgo being a top bloke, and lift the pace... he lifts also... I lift... he lifts.... he gets a gap... he extends the gap... I eject out the side like toast from a knocked over toaster. "Yeah, alright, fair play."

I manage to get back on, and through the golden mile I have a chat with mr I totally lift bro, we both offer to do lead out train duties for the sprint, but eventually it's DK on the front from before the left turn at Elsternwick, making it a delightful single file line of riders right up until Glen Huntly. He didn't run out of legs, nah, we had a red at the canal, so he came off the gas. I was getting ready to shut it all down, but while we still had a little bit of speed the lights change back to green. In a split second I decide that it's on, that I should hit the pedals hard and give the rag tag group of shop customers who'd taken a tow from Mordi, a vision of speed and power. It was a good kick, I would have been surprised to turn and see a rider even on my wheel, that's how good of a kick it was. Then... one of our junior riders, a kid of 17 who I reckon would be lucky to weigh 60kg, cam ripping through on the right. I see he has his chest pressed low, a lovely aero sprint position, especially given he's a climber... but given he's a climber I'm confident that if I continue to apply the power, he'll blow and I'll rock on through. So I did, I kept that solid power flowing, and he also kept on going, audaciously flaunting his additional speed all the way to the line. 1,394W held for 18 seconds, and a 1 second peak of 1,666W and beaten... "Holy shit, what?!"

Strava link.

D: 72.6km
A: 283m

PMPW: 91kg

Friday, 5 August 2016


While I stole a few single track moments on my CX commute, I mused about how to describe what it is about dirt that's so appealing. It used to be that I'd describe flowing in and out of trees as the speeders on Endor scene of Return of the Jedi. I'm not sure if I've since seen through the external locus to the true meaning, or that what matters to me has changed, but that Lucas creation no longer gets to the heart of it.

The flow is not about how my body moves through the external world, it's about the sensation within my skin. It's about co-ordination and timing, it's like getting your hips in time with the beat of Blame it on the Boogie, while your hands give it the old "sunshine, moonlight, goodtimes". As a clumsy white boy, it's a moment where things turn out better than expected, and it's achievable on a roll to work.

D: 19.3km
A: 125m

PMPW: 91kg

Thursday, 4 August 2016


A week since I pushed a pedal hard, a week since my last trip down the highway and back up the beach. I knew it would hurt, because that was the point of turning up. After a minute or two of sitting in and chatting, I went up the outside to say hello to all the workers and get some turns done.

There was barely a breath of wind, so things went pretty smoothly. It was like a baker swapping between work and eating an orange. Roll, peel off, roll, peel off, roll, peel off. It wasn't that perfect human powered machine you sometimes get in a handicap, the flow of people occasionally broke down, but... almost without fail, Dan Pickering would roll through to chop out anyone stranded on the front.

I was too far back for the sprint after losing my position at a red light, so I decided to go for a flyer, hit it hard, get a gap, and then hold off everyone. I hit it, but at least one dude got my wheel, and thus a free sit to the brown sign. Some panic breathing, and a change of gloves later, it was on to a quiet roll along the bay, then a hot shower at work.

I thought about going sans coffee for the day, but by 9:04am I was already ordering a 3/4 flat white.

Strava link.

D: 54.4km
A: 176m


D: 7.9km
A: 13m

PMPW: 90kg

Wednesday, 3 August 2016


It feels like forever since I got my hurt on, and had the endorphins flowing. Wednesday's might not work for me to go hard, but I eked out a few extra minutes in the morning so I could get a whif of some endogenous opioid neuropeptides.

I span my commuter down the bay, thinking about my butt. I've been doing 3-4 days of remedial exercises a week on my glute med in particular, so my butt has been on my mind. Currently I'm giving some one legged squats with the no squatting leg pushing sideways into an object (e.g. wall) to induce some lateral load. It's superior to the one legged ceiling humping I've been doing, and possibly a bit better than the Jane Fonda clams that I've had going on for a while.

D: 25.0km
A: 141m

PMPW: 91kg

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


You know in Game of Thrones how the three eyed raven has grown into the tree? That was me and the bed/covers this morning.

D: 16.3km
A: 135m

PMPW:  90kg

Monday, 1 August 2016


It was wetter than a submarines number plate both on the way to, and from work... but because it was past the point of ridiculousness, the more it rained, the better it was.

The only time I stopped grinning was when someone rolled up to me at some lights and got in with "nice day for a ride, eh?" before I did. Jerk!

D: 16.3km
A: 124m

PMPW: 90kg