Sunday, July 20, 2008

a new toy

This last week, my eye has gotten a lot better and I have been able to venture outside for some riding. Finally I was able to beat the wind trainer blues.

I took a spin out to Stromlo and checked out the World Cup climb that the CORC trails team have created. This is a superb bit of trail. It is the epitome of the word 'technical'. The descent in the climb wouldn't look out of place on a downhill course. All in all a really good test of bike handling.

I have been able to also get out on the road bike as well, which is less fun, but achieves the desired training objectives. Today was freezing, about 5 degrees when I left and maxed out at 10 degrees when I got home. Anyway, the time and kilometres are in and that is all that matters.

I have to go to work tomorrow which should be pretty fun. I have had two weeks off recovering from the surgery, but I am good enough to ride and therefore good enough to work (unfortunately).

I also got a new toy last week. I was able to get a good deal on a Scott Scale. I have wanted a hardtail frame for a while, and the Scott Scale is a good place to start the build from. I am stripping it right down and rebuilding with a whole bunch of new XTR, avid ultimates, Rockshox SIDs, and some other bling. I'll post some pics when it is finally done.

It should be an awesome short track weapon and smooth XC course speedster. It is the first hardtail I have owned for a about 18 months!!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Euro house music

Another day off work recovering - my eye is opening up a little more which is good.

I am off to the doctor this arvo for the follow up check up. I can not wait for the sweeling to go down. I did 3 hours on the windtrainer today watching Youtube.

I have a whole bunch of cycling clips that are done to Euro house music. Doof doof to the max. I got a delivery from Australia Post this morning but didn't hear the guy ring the doorbell. Lucky he knows us and just left the box on the doorstep.

Lucky I live in a good neighbourhood. Only have to worry about kangaroos in the morning making their way back to the mountain.

Thank god for the internet while I am off work - I really do think that apart from USB, it is the greatest invention ever. Sooo much information about all sorts of random stuff.

Last night Kylie and I played a game of 'name the Tour de France riders'. I could only come up with 74. Kylie got 102. I have got to do some more training on this. 28 riders is a lot to make up.

Just thinking, I find that Red Hot Chilli Peppers are hard to listen to whilst riding, however I like them when I am relaxing. I think the best music for me anyway is Bogan rock, ie Guns n Roses, Metallica and early 90s rap music, Tone Loc, Run DMC etc. Ska covers are also really good when it is time to go over tempo. But not today - if I go over 140bpm I think I'll bust my stitches, and that would not be good - It is probably not a bad idea to run it in low E2. I usually always ride at tempo or above.

Due to it not snowing in Canberra (often) we don't really have an off season. It is just cold. The racing season runs all year anyway - you just have to pick the ones you want to do.

Picture today is of me kicking it out at Tuggeranong BMX track back in August 2004 over the second straight doubles. Fully RAD.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Wind trainer blues......

So, I am stuck on the wind trainer - at least I have some new footage to watch. It is pretty boring watching an ITT on the wind trainer. Almost as boring as doing the wind trainer. But it is less than 5 degrees outside and my eye is fully puffed up and I can barely see out ot it.

Stefan Schumacher won this one. I didn't realise that he could time trial. That is pretty go

od. He beat Kim Kirchen, David Millar, Cadel Evans and Fabian Cancellara. As a bonus he inherits yellow - got to be better than Gerolosteiner blue anyway.

I found some good Youtube clips.

They are in my favorites now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Lucky it's a recovery week

Yesterday I got a Basal Cell Carcinoma chopped out of my face. It was located just under my eye and as expected I have a super puffed up eye now.
The doctor did a great job with the plastic surgery and was able to successfully chop out a 3cmx3cm bit of cancered skin from a delicate part of the face.
I am so glad that the Tour is on because I can't really train for a few days - at least I can keep my mental training on.
It is so fascinating watching the team tactics (or lack thereof) play out over the course of a day. Some teams just figure it out and get it spot on. It never ceases to amaze me the sort of planning that goes on. I try to mimic this with my own racing to ensure that the least amount of energy is used up on the actual day. This starts with things like getting bottles, food clothing etc ready 2 days before the race. I also write out a race plan for every race with at least 3 options. This way when a certain element plays out, I don't have to think about it too much. You can't afford to be thinking for 3 seconds as you may miss the key break.
It sometimes seems like a lot of work, but I think that it is worth it. The results this last 6 months have highlighted that something is going pretty well. I am still looking for a fair bit of improvement for the next 6 months as it didn't go exactly perfect, and there is always something to learn.
Stats time now:
  • Races contested in last 6 months: 42
  • Podiums: >50%
  • Top 5: >75%
  • Mechanicals: 0
  • National Series Championship overall titles won: 2
  • Ordinary races where it felt crap: 4
  • Dislocated fingers: 2
  • Races where I couldn't feel my fingers or toes: 1 - Tumut 3 hour - so cold
  • Dehydrated after races and throwing up: 2
  • Times I wish I had a hardtail: most of them
I love my Titus Racer X. At 10 kgs it is pretty light for a 4" travel dual suspension bike. I have ridden this for 18 months, this is concidentally the bike I have owned for the longest time. I have been racing bikes since 1989 and in that time have had over 35 bikes. However, there are times when I feel the need for a rock solid platform that a dually can't offer. So in the next couple of weeks I will be getting a Scott Scale.
I have pondered long and hard over this bike choice, the Cannondale Taurine was on the hotlist for a while, but the system integration - or lack of it with all other bikes in my stable (eg lefty front wheel and cannondale cranks) have got me going with the standard fare XTR and Chris King for cranks and wheels - and this is something that the Scott Scale can offer me. I'll see how it goes anyway - I aminly want it for the Short track races, and the occasional XC - I'll probably ride it all the time - who knows!!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

by the numbers

Well it is only 2 sleeps here in Australia before the Tour de France starts. The good thing is that there will be new content to watch on the TV whilst on the trainer.

Here are some random stats for this week.

Anti-biotics taken since monday: 24

Days off work: 1.5

Morons at work who have annoyed me: 3

Days ridden since Saturday: 2

Tubs of Cytomax delivered: 5

Continental GP4000 road tyres delivered: 6

New bits and pieces delivered for different bikes: 16

Money spent for getting a skin cancer removed: $1811 (ouch for the pocket)

Minutes spent determining if full hosptial cover was worth it: 13

Episodes of Two and a Half Men downloaded this week: 4

Hours I plan to ride this weekend: at least 6

Temperature it will be on Staurday and Sunday: 13 degrees Celcius

At least the shortest day of the year has been run and won and we are leading up to the ong ones that are warmer.

Photo is rock railing at the 2007 Brindabella challenge

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

not an energy drink ingredient

This last week, I have been fortunate enough to demo a Cannondale Taurine. This is a bit of a custom job, with full XTR and some bling bits. All up with pedals it weighs about 8.8kgs.

I am really impressed with this bike as a whole. The stiffness afforded by the lefty fork impresses me hugely.

I love how light it feels and how you never seem to feel fatigued on it.

I have been able to smash some lap times and hill climb records on it also which is extremely pleasing. Definitely one to recommend.

AT the moment I am on a course of antibiotics due to an annoying infection picked up from somewhere. It was so bad on Saturday I had to cut my ride short and went home feeling absolutely frozen for about an hour then feeling hotter than the sun for the next with a fever. It'll be better soon and I will probably hop back on the bike tomorrow after 3 full rest days.