Wednesday, 30 November 2016


With De Luca's Chris(tmas)Cross this weekend I figured I should get some time in on the dirt, but I didn't really have too much time to do so. Queue 40 laps of the Kew pump track on the way to work.

1 x 20 normal way
1 x 10 reverse
1 x 10 normal way
1 x I think I need a coffee

D: 23.3km
A: 195m

St Kilda East - HCC Crits D Grade - HCC Crits A Grade - St Kilda East:
I rolled in to the crits early and sidled my way up to Laurie Lovelock. Despite a very good sidling, and some great puppy dog eyes (the best puppy dog eyes, ask anyone!), Laurie informed me they didn't need any more ride marshals for D-grade. Though a few moments later he realised that one of their rostered riders hadn't shown, so my warm up/extras were soon back on track.

D Grade wasn't too eventful. They slowly shattered themselves, meaning that I was frequently dagged off the back by exploded riders, and got to practice carrying speed through the bottom turn without anyone else around.

A Grade was similar in that the bunch whittled down over the course of the 45 minute rate. I hid in the bunch for the first half of the race, then started to go with some moves once the intermediate sprints were done. By go with, I only mean go with. There was no pulling of turns or initiating of attacks. Basically if the rider in front of me went for it, I'd tag along and suffer.

Eventually though, the twenty or so riders left were given a 4 lap countdown. Brendan Canty traipsed away, leaving the rest of us to sprint for 2nd. I was kind of shagged, but DK offered to dump me into the corner first and I figured why not. Why not see where the tank would run completely dry? Through for the 2 laps to go Dave was powering us up the side of the bunch, taking us from the back and around the outside of the bunch. Some dodgy lines on the inside pushed us even wider on the downhill sweeper, I unclipped my inside foot, fearing an imminent lie down in the concrete gutter. I didn't, but our momentum was baulked meaning that through the hairpin and up for the bell we were still at the back. Dave once again took us up and around the bunch, driving hard down and along the flat. He flicked an inside elbow and shot straight through to the spectators, it took me a moment to process, I scrubbed speed... I scrubbed a lot of speed and then tipped into the corner. Left foot down. *scraaaape*, perhaps a millisecond too soon? Right foot down, my cadence was too low but I drove the gear anyway. I felt a presence up my inside. I fought. The presence became a person along side me. I fought. The along side became in front. I fought. Another rider slipped up past. I exploded.

So the answer to where the tank emptied was halfway up the hill. Sure there was room to improve the final few laps and especially the final corner, but I'm satisfied that I was there at all. A normalised power of 406W tells me it wasn't an easy race, but I was there until the bitter end.

Strava link.

D: 71.5km
A: 770m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 29 November 2016


Ricktastic Tuesday:
The last of the November amnesty rides, though given my legs felt flatter than piss on a platter, perhaps I should be sad rather than glad.

Strava link.

D: 49.2km
A: 619m


D: 8.9km
A: 15m

PMPW: 88kg

Monday, 28 November 2016


Two people walk into a science bar. One says "I'll have an H2O." The second one says "I'll have an H2O too." He died.

D: 18.1km
A: 151m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 27 November 2016


I haven't raced track in a while, let alone match sprinting, but SKCC had a week off crits, so I thought I might literally wipe the dust off my track gear and see what's up.

I qualified with a 12.806 flying 200, around half a second off my best that was set in.... holy shit 2011, that seems like forever ago. Back then a high 12 second would have been one of the better in A grade, today it was almost a second off the fastest time, and behind the bulk of riders.

I didn't win a singe one of my 3 races, so instead I'm going to look at what's different between the day of my outdoor f200 PB, and today. For a start I'm a few kg lighter (86-88 vs 90-92), I was training specifically for track and the Kilo but still riding a mountain bike. I wasn't racing at HCC, but I was racing B-Grade at CCCC. Most amusing to me was that I intentionally didnt ride the Hell Ride the day before my PB, because I didn't want to ruin sprint, where as I was sad panda to miss it yesterday.

Post race sausages: 5

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 26 November 2016


St Kilda East - Frankston - St Kilda East:
Despite being at Black Rock before 7am, I missed the Hell Ride. I rolled out of the cafe across the roundabout with a few minutes to spare, but discovered that my rear tyre lacked air.

After getting it changed I rolled south, hooking up with a small bunch through to Frankston, then chucked a u-turn to unite with the helly for the return to Black Rock\

Not what I'd planned, and not terribly exciting, but still better than another rain cancellation.

Strava link.

D: 87.5km
A: 232m

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 25 November 2016


This week has had more 5am ZZZ emojis than it has training rides, so an extended commute was called for.

A photo posted by Neil Robinson (@entyr) on

D: 26.6km
A: 126m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 24 November 2016


I think (by think I mean I'm planning to but want to leave myself a tiny out in case I get scared) that I'm going to go race track sprints on Sunday at Blackburn. My track bike hasn't had any regular use, let alone regular racing since 2013.

I should probably re-glue the tyres on my race wheels.

D: 16.8km
A: 122m

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 23 November 2016


As the world moves towards more political correctness / empathy (US elections aside), it's important to remember that dwarfs and midgets have very little in common.

D: 16.1km
A: 147m

PMPW: 87kg

Tuesday, 22 November 2016


I've been an asthmatic for as long as I remember.  As a kid I was hooked up to a nebuliser countless times, a plastic mask strapped to my face while a droning sound emanated from compressor next to me that pushed air through a drug cocktail and then on into my lungs.

These days things tend to be pretty manageable. The occasional tightness during dry winters and pollenous springs that are quickly dealt with via some terbutaline. Last night however, was fucked.

In the space of a few moments I went from happily sitting on the couch, to feeling like there was a 20kg plate on my chest. The sense that I wasn't getting enough air set against a backdrop of panicked emotions. The desire to cough was constant, and though I couldn't alleviate the symptoms, I decided to ride it out rather than go to the hospital and contribute to a code brown... and not just because that sounds like the result of a too spicy curry.

Anyway, the point is holy crap pollen is a jerk, and that's why my only activity for the day was visiting my GP.

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 21 November 2016


6 out of 7 dwarfs aren't Happy.

D: 16.1km
A: 147m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 20 November 2016


St Kilda East - SKCC Crits (E, WB, D, A grades) - St Kilda East:
As I rolled into the driveway at lunch time, I saw my GPS click over from 149km to 150km, a satisfyingly round number. Strava claims it was only 149.9km, but there wasn't anything left in my legs or reserves of will to try and work out how to get an extra 100m added in.

I rolled over to White St early to run the 20 or so dudes around in E-grade. Half an hour of rolling around at 35km/h, nothing crazy but some nice miles to have in the bank. Given I was there, and didn't have anything else to do, I grabbed a marshal jersey and sat on the back of women's B, thus getting another 40 minutes at 36km/h. Then it was on to D-grade, which had several run ins with the back of B after averaging a snappy 43km/h.

The point there I guess is that before I rolled myself to the front of the waiting A-grade bunch, I had a good 90 laps of the White St circuit in the legs, and that was possibly too much given my lack of racing of late. Once rolling it was obvious that people wanted to get clear, guys would go up the road, a little bit of leash would be given, then bridging attempts would be made. Seeing strong riders going into the void, the bunch would inevitably give chase, and moments after the break was caught by the chasers, everything would be back together and ripe for another couple of riders move to go clear. I took part in some of that, managing to find myself right on Stu Hill's wheel twice as he decided that a break was a good idea.

After the second sojourn off the front, I realised I didn't have too much left, so drifted back into the bunch to consume a gel and see if I could conjure up some kind of sprint. The clock ticked down, and attacks continued to go clear, resulting in the bunch surging forward in chase. Each time I was along for the ride, but it was becoming obvious to me that there would be no miracle of recovery, and when things got lined out at 3 to go, I decided to pull out the side and call it a day. I was empty both mentally and physically, so there was no way I was going to do anything about 100m extra for a Strava file.

Strava link.

D: 149.9km
A: 44m

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 19 November 2016


Total Rush Shop Ride:
The lack of a lot of strong people made today's shoppy harder. It meant I felt obliged to pull the bunch home, and for most of that trip back to St Kilda, it was just Scotty from the shop chopping off with me.

With just the two of us up front providing the pony power, it meant long stints in the still morning air. Getting comfortable with the idea that things were going to be uncomfortable for a good chunk of time.

So to recap, I started off with no intention of doing much work, but finished with a near PB for 20-30min wattage (for the year).

Strava link.

D: 72.8km
A: 279m

PMPW: 88kg

Friday, 18 November 2016


The bike path on the south of the Yarra has been under (re)construction in what feels like forever, so it was a delightful surprise to discover you can now get under Punt rd again. What that means is instead of criss-crossing the river, or doing bean cloverleaf shaped routes to get back up to Chapel St, I can stay on the south edge all the way through to the city.

Anyway, the point is I'm more likely to roll along the river to/from work, which is fantastic news given we're approaching summer.

D: 15.0km
A: 142m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 17 November 2016


6am NRR:
The sun's ray's peaking over the horizon, casting an orange glow across the ground.

A man, wearing a gillet open to the wind and flapping behind him in the eddies of air left by his passing body.

A bike, without lights but deep of wheel profile.

A bunch, filled with facsimile, a lurid mish mash of colours but a single intent, speed.

The speed builds, the face on the front growing contorted with effort, then changing to a fresher copy. A hyrdra may replace every head with two, but this beast only shows one at a time. One engine on the front of a train that stretches back along the beach in that orange, early morning glow.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 167m


D: 16.7km
A: 114m

PMPW: 86kg

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


Do you know why I hate Russian/babushka dolls so much? They're just so full of themselves.

D: 18.9km
A: 129m

PMPW: 86kg

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


I was rolling along, having a chat to Leigh Schilling when it struck me that my fitness wasn't too bad. Sure it could be better, but I was sitting out in the wind, and still able to conduct a protracted conversation.

There were other moments when I flexed some fitness with intent, but it was the familiar faces that've stuck with me. All right, sure that's possibly a tautology, but if you stop being a language pedant for a moment you'll get to what I mean. It was saying g'day to guys and girls I haven't seen to much of in the last year that meant the most this morning. Ok, that and once again claiming the hill out of Black Rock as my own.

Strava link.

D: 43.9km
A: 207m


D: 16.4km
A: 159m

PMPW: 87kg

Monday, 14 November 2016


I've got some offsite training (sadly not the bike kind) this week, which is going to throw a slight spanner in the works of riding. It's not all bad though, it means I get to try a different cafe at 10am each day.

D: 21.4km
A: 242m

PMPW: 87kg

Sunday, 13 November 2016


I'd hoped to race, but both SKCC and CCCC were called off due to rain, so I pulled out the trainer and found a CX world cup to watch while putting myself through 40 minutes of threshold work.

1 x 10min E1 (inc 2 x 7s HCLR)
1 x 5min @ 300W (result: 307W)
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min @ 300W (result: 305W)
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min @ 300W (result: 319W)
1 x 5min E1
1 x 10min @ 300W (result: 333W)
1 x 5min E1
1 x 5min @ 300W (result: 441W)
1 x 5min E1

So I only achieved 35 minutes of sweet spot. Given the final 10 minute set had felt good, I decided to see how much I could hold for the final 5 minute effort. Somehow that translated to a 6 week max.... doing that on the ergo is unheard of for me.

Strava link.

PMPW: 88kg

Saturday, 12 November 2016


Shout out to the people who want to know what the opposite of in is.

PMPW: 88kg

Friday, 11 November 2016


St Kilda East - Kew Boulevard (Yarra St x 3) - Carlton:
If you had to sum up this morning with a single sentence, it'd be. Intelligent conversation interspersed with really stupid hill sprints.

It's been a while since I've caught up with Caddy, especially on the bike, so I proposed we head out for a roll somewhere between our respective homes and work places. I needed it to be not too intimidating, something that lacked a history of attacking each other, somewhere that Steve would say yes to riding. I also wanted some training stress, a sprint or two so I could look back on the week and not feel it's wasted.

So we headed to the Kew boulevard for a lap and a half, with ascents up Yarra st each time we passed. I let Steve set the pace on the main rd, and pointed out a shortcut for him up the hill sprint, but for me, it was up past the roundabout to Sir William, then a moment to catch my breath before a sprint up up to Studley to Molesworth.

We didn't solve any of the world's pressing issues in our conversations, or set records with our efforts up Yarra St, but those weren't the measures for success.

Strava link.

D: 42.9km
A: 659m


D: 8.6km
A: 41m

PMPW: 89kg

Thursday, 10 November 2016


49x18 is a 73.5" gear, and it's what I've got on my commuter. I had to accelerate it coming down Princess St hill towards Lakeside Drive this morning to ensure a minimum of issue with claiming a full lane.

So basically this is just a reminder of the cause of possible future hip socket pain. Ripping said 73.5" gear through at 150rpm until I could duck off down/around the lake, out of the path of people driving their cars to work.

D: 17.5km
A: 172m

PMPW: 88kg

Wednesday, 9 November 2016


I was up late working with the UK office last night, which left me tired this morning. Mostly though, I was mentally tired, so initially set out in the opposite direction of work to get a few extra kms and a few extra moments for my brain to relax.\

Soon enough I was in Elwood, so stopped at Turtle Cafe to say g'day to Lucas and grab another brew. Shortly after Dunc Smith arrived, so I chatted to him, then came Gerro, and with him thoughts of me ditching work to go ride slightly under-dressed in the nongs.

I chose note to invite myself to their ride, and instead headed back along the beach to Port Melbourne, and finally in to my desk. .

D: 33.9km
A: 136m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Ricktastic Tuesday:
This morning felt like an allegory of the USA elections. There were lies, there were innuendos, and there certainly was controversy late in the show.

Until the FBI releases the deleted coffee conversation, I can't confirm or deny if there was any half wheeling.

Alright, so no one was taking part in #pantsuittuesday, but by definition an amnesty is a political act, and the USA election is the biggest political party going on in the world right now.

Strava link.

D: 50.9km
A: 679m


D: 10.9km
A: 40m


Monday, 7 November 2016


I know a lot of jokes about unemployed people but none of them work.

D: 16.6km
A: 164m

PMPW: 88kg

Sunday, 6 November 2016


St Kilda East - Mt Macedon - St Kilda East:
That ride didn't make everything perfect, but it certainly swung my mood back out of mopey and into happy. The dumb ideas (which I'll get to) were the highlights, but the foundation was a solid base of mates and bikes.

Think of this bad boy like a great big pot o'bolognese. The meat is totally the building block, but because it's a given, we tend to talk about the variety, the differences, the nuance. So today the beef was riding Ride to the Divide in a bunch with DK, Jay, and Kate Perry, but there was a bunch of seasoning that spiced it up.

DK and I cooked that bad boy for 8 hours, adding in a roll to and from the Essondon Fields starting point ensured there was enough time for the umami flavours to develop and permeate the whole day.

I threw in a dash of trying to beat everyone up the back (easier side) of Mt Macedon to spice things up, finding myself coming off the steep early ramps side by side with one of the Avanti Isowhey boys, and deciding to go toe to toe to the top.

At the end was a hit of fresh pump track on the road bike with race wheels, because nothing livens up flavours like pushing tyres of any width down perfectly formed rollers.

A video posted by Felix T. (@visionftphoto) on

Strava link.

D: 184.9km
A: 1,916m

PMPW: 87kg

Saturday, 5 November 2016


If I'm being honest with myself and you, I was mopey today. Yesterday's training fail putt a dampener on my positivity.

I barely touched the bike during the week, and I still couldn't get through a few short efforts. Yeah I've had a bunch of work on, yeah I haven't slept amazingly, but... yeah, I hang a bunch of my self value in my ability to pedal a bike.

A day off the bike isn't all bad though, I finally swapped out the rotors on my CX bike and gave the BB an overhaul. Hopefully that addresses all the annoying noises.

PMPW: 87kg

Friday, 4 November 2016


St Kilda East - Yarra st x 2.5 - Carlton:
I woke with the intention of doing 20 Yarra St reps, by the time I rolled out of home I was down to 10, and by the time I hit the boulevard I was down to 5 but for them to be followed by 5 at the crit track. I guess the point here is that I wasn't feeling super keen on the efforts.

At the end of the 2nd effort I was worried that my HR strap wasn't registering properly, 158bpm after a minute something of dumping everything I had into my pedals wasn't right. I stopped, undid all the layers I had up top, and re-moistened the contacts. I hit rep three and it was clear that the problem wasn't with the data, it was with me. I pulled the pin and went for a coffee.

Strava link.

D: 20.1km
A: 300m


D: 10.5km
A: 37m

PMPW: 87kg

Thursday, 3 November 2016


A photo posted by Neil Robinson (@entyr) on

D: 22.0km
A: 127m

PMPW: 87kg

Wednesday, 2 November 2016


St Kilda East - Yarra Boulevard - Carlton:
I asked DK out for a roll, and I expected there would be some intensity to it, but in the end we just had an easy roll followed by a couple of cuppas.

Strava link.

D: 31.3km
A: 389m

Given this morning featured exactly zero Yarra streets, I added a minor detour on my way home via Anderson St. I timed the lights at the bottom to ensure I had some momentum, then got out of the saddle and sprinted way longer than felt healthy.... and then proceeded to cough up a lung for the next hour or two.

D: 8.5km
A: 62m

PMPW: 88kg

Tuesday, 1 November 2016


The roads were quiet for my roll to work, I guess that's the upside to working on a public holiday. The flipside of that might explain why I'm tired and skipped Ricktastic Tuesday.

D: 22.1km
A: 102m

PMPW: 88kg