Monday, August 25, 2008

Riding forever

The week gone has been a great one for training. Four solid days of doing high intensity off road hill work. Then 2 back to back 4 hour rides at a pretty good tempo off road.
I cruised from my house (at the base of Mount Majura) out to Bruce Ridge which was a total of 12 minutes on the road, then it was all off road out to Stromlo via Bruce Ridge, Aranda Ridge, Black Mountain, Cork Plantation, Zoo, RSPCA. All off road - so sweet. These used to be my training rides as a junior back in the day. So nice now with more fitness and better bikes and gear.
I rode the Scott Scale as it is what I will be using at the World Cup support race on Friday this week. I took it out to Stromlo for the first time last week. I did have worn tyres on and it felt so sketchy. The next day the tyres arrived and on the bike they went. Control again - which is a good thing out at Stromlo. The ball bearings on the singletrack are pretty sketch at the best of times.
Sunday was great, I recovered really well from the previous day and checked out a few things including the A lines at the Stromlo tech ascent - this was pleasing, defintiely worth taking the lines - we're talking about a 5-7 second advantage. Over 4-5 laps that will be pleasing.
I saw an echidna out the back in the secret valley after the bridge crossing - he was pretty cool about me taking a picture - I think he even smiled at me.
Kylie has got a really bad cold which is not the best thing to have in the lead up week to a bigish race. Hopefully she can ride, let alone breathe on Saturday. Hopefully I don't catch it either - it blows big time.
This week will also involve the all-important practice:) Lucky I have done all I want with regard to practice - it is a hard technical course and can blow you up easily - better to be a bit fresher for this one I reckon - we'll see how that goes anyway!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

another week gone

On the weekend we raced the NSW State Titles up at Appin in Sydney. This is a truly tech course - The titus racer-x got a huge workout at this track.
It is super rocky with some cool little drop ins, with A and B line options. No mega hills which is pretty cool but still pretty tough. I had a win in expert men and Kylie got 2nd in Elite women. Not bad for her first Elite race with just base miles in the legs.
The last couple of days I have been out at Stromlo riding the World Cup course. Did 3 laps today focussing primarily on the tech climb, and the berm track section. All good flow and a pretty good workout as well. The tech climb section is about 5 and a half minutes long but the heart rate is deep into the 170s the whole way due to the technical nature of the course.
I love it!!!!
I'll go back out tomorrow if it doesn't rain and pin a few full laps together to see how the race lap pain measures up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

a road trip this weekend

This weekend we are heading up to Appin for the NSW State XC Titles. I haven't raced here before, but have heard that it is a little like Arcadia - sort of.
I'll take both bikes and then see the day before which one is the better one to race.
Checked out Stromlo World Cup XC course yesterday with Kylie. Pretty much played on the technical ascent section. I managed to get through just using middle ring on the Titus.
This did have the benefit of being fresh and not having just smashed it up the fireroad that precedes it. It is such a cool bit of singeltrack. It is extremely technical and you have to be so precise with the lines that you choose. I am really looking forward to racing here.
Kylie had a blast riding this trail, she loved the technical features - lots of rocks, drops, step ups, off cambered bits etc. Saw a few people out there doing secret training. That is always the case with these types of events - everyone is crawling out of the woodwork just aching to give it a go. Pretty cool actually having a World Cup round in your own city, let alone at one of your favorite places to ride and race. Schweet.....

Friday, August 8, 2008

feeling good again

My legs were happy on Wednesday night - got a massage finally. A lot of miles have gone in between massages and they were pretty hammered.
Not to mention the unco off in the race on the weekend - the bruise is finally coming through on the hip and it is about the size of my hand.
Got the back up chiropractic crunch this morning and everything is feeling how it should.
I fitted some Enduro Zero Ceramic bearing to the bottom bracket yesterday on the Scale.
Duncan from hooked me up with some of these sweet gems.
They spin forever as well. Expensive but having felt the difference with the normal ceramics over stainless steel stockers, for my purpose and mind they are worth it.
It's not like I have a doctor with performance enhancing drugs to help me go faster, so I might as well dope\pimp my bikes.
This weekend it is set to be cold and crappy - fantastic. 7 degrees on Sunday with rain forecasted. We'll see how that goes.....
As long as I don't have to ride through clay, like at the Adelaide National Series round number 1 in the short track I will be happy.
The bike amazingly gained about 5 kilos of mud that day - the look on the face is of relief that it was over.
The Adelaide round was the best though. I have already booked my accomodation for this year's first National Series round at the same place as last year. A nice modern cottage in the heart of Adelaide. The owners are into bikes which makes it really good. Plus I will stay on for an extra week for some sushi, shopping and training.


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

lost in cyber space

The last 2 weeks have flown. I went back to work, got the outside training thing happening again. Got my Scale built sort of how I want it, and had a race.

The race was at Kowen old homestead. Nice spot to start the race, but there have been truckloads of motorbikes in and around, not to mention that this was the site also for a few years worth of muddy 24 hour races.

Needless to say that taking the hardtail out to this course was not a great idea. I saw Bec, Trekkie and John and we went for a practice lap. This was so bad. The course started out by going up some pine needles with some logs to guide the way. It had rained a bit during the week also which made it not roll very well. The course was 8km and not very inspiring. Usually on most courses there is at least 1 spot that you look forward to. Not here unfortunately.

Most people seemed not to like it much either - there was a really high DNF count.

So I had the Scale all sorted, with the Stan's Crow tyre on the back as these work well at the Kowen East course. It was ok which was good. I copped a pounding on the hardtail, and was using the fireroads as recovery. Following a rider on a full suspension bike - it was all I could do to keep close to him through the rough stuff. Then on the fireroads I would try to get past him but he was too powerful and also blocked a couple of my efforts. I stayed in touch for the 40kms and then put all of my eggs in the sprint basket. The finale was a nice 2% grade up a fireroad. Perfect to unleash the fury of a pounded ass, in a 20 second all out sprint for the line. I got it by 2 seconds.

Pretty lame stats for the race:
1hour57 minutes,
avg BPM: 157,
avg speed 20.5km/hr.

I just couldn't get the heartrate up today, plus it was cold. I had three layers up top, knee warmers, arm warmers, plus neoprene booties. I am a cold weather wuss.

Brett Bellchambers on his singlespeed caught us and sat with us for a while. To keep things interesting we just talked shit whilst going around.

On the first lap, I hit the last wooden bridge at a nasty angle for the slick rear tyre and ate it reasonably big. What was even worse was that I had just styled it up doubling over a bunch of roots for Marky Mark and Darren who were wisely not racing and just taking photos.

They just thoguht I was some punter who had stacked - fair enough - it was lame.
Right now I am pretty bruised all over, but I have a massage tonight and that should get rid of all the crap.

Kylie did her training then came out to feed me and hand bottles up. Sensational work as always - the feed zone was probably the fastest part of the course- but she had the turbo bottles going great.

2 weeks time - NSW state titles down in Appin and 4 weeks time - World Cup in Canberra. I love Stromlo.

Kylie and I went out there on Monday after the race. First I took her to the BMX track and she did some jumping for an hour then she rode with me around the trunk trail. She hammered me up the climb riding it all in the big ring. I was trying to just do a recovery ride (yeah right). The berm track which will be a feature in the World Cup is in fantastic shape - the berms are super high and the trail builders have almost made them idiot proof and built so that you can't skid through them. Some mongers will undoubtedly prove me wrong though.

I can't wait......