Monday, July 27, 2009

great weekends

This weekend was awesome. Good weather (it's relative of course), not much wind. An open slate to ride. Saturday was spent hammering out to Condor Creek and back. This is a bit of a standard, but I haven't been out here for a while since I busted a spoke deep in Condor cat territory. Luckily on my return, the black ice had disappeared on the Mt McDonald descent. This is a 70km/hr + descent. Kylie hit 74.3km/hr on Sunday which is pretty quick, especially seeing as though it preceeds a hard left hander that requires at least 30 of those km/hr to be scrubbed.
Sunday was Stromlo repeats after watching the Mt Ventoux tour stage drinking coffee. 6 of these big gear efforts were done. I then cruised out to the Cotter to meet Kylie. All up today I saw Michael Baker doing the Stromlo hills - in hardest gear, Michael Brice and Brad Morton were cruising back from Cotter on the MTBs from some EPIC and a whole bunch of other people riding around the hills.
On the way back from the Cotter, it tried to rain on us. With the temperature at 9 degrees celcius and wind chill making it feel like 5, ending up drenched was not looking like a great idea. Amazingly we kept in front of the rain and stayed dry. We were pretty toasted though. After getting home and cleaning up and refuelling a sleep was on the cards.
This week will involve a nice little road trip down to Mogo to check out some of the Angry Doctor bits in readiness for the Enduro in early September. Should be good to check out some new trails.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

a few things

First Ride:
Temperature this morning's ride: -1 degrees celcius
Socks: Assos Winter Plus
Glasses: Oakley Radar Hi Intensity Persimmon
Bike: roadie - Cannondale
other items: assos windstopper vest, booties, leg warmers, arm warmers, robocap, layered gloves system, Giro Atmos helmet,
Second Ride:
Temperature this afternoon's ride: 15 degrees celcius
Socks: Assos Skinweb (summer weight)
Glasses: Oakley Radar Blue Iridium
Bike: MTB - Scott
other items: 661 Raji gloves, Specialized D2 helmet

Monday, July 13, 2009

mixed emotions

Sunday saw a little over 200 people descend upon Sparrow Hill for the standard Sunday morning Sparrow world championships (unofficial title)
After registering I cruised out for a quick practice lap. The course utilised some fireroads which had the added benefit of taking advantage of the prevailing tailwind - which was huge.
Most of the course was do-able in the big chainring which pretty much indicates how flat it was. There were some hills. But they weren't hard to ride, just hard to ride fast.
We had about 18 riders in the combined Elite\Sport A category. There were quite a few quick guys here too. Brendan Johnston - top 3 junior in Australia, Mark Tupalski - top 5 junior and winner of last 8 hour race (solo), Matt Rizutto, Joel Ryan, Brad Morton and a few others.
When the gun (metaphorically speaking) went off, I got my patented supefast clip in and roared off in the big ring searching for the holeshot into the singletrack which was about 400m up the fireroad. Brendan also got a fast start and we drag raced up the widetrack at about 45 km/hr thanks to the tailwind. The first lap went by with Brendan and I swapping turns at the front trying to break the rest of the crew. We got the lead group down to 4 and had about a 30-45 second lead over the next group of riders. The second lap was going really well with a train of 4 of us crusing along at a nice fast pace, until about the last 2 minutes of the lap, when my front tyre decided it wanted to go a bit low. I stayed calm and stopped and put a tube in it. This put me in about last place. However after having 3 minutes to recover and fix my flat, I was able to light it up and try and get through some traffic.
After the next 3 laps, the finish line appeared and I had managed to claw back to 5th place. I was 30 seconds behind 3rd place and 3 minutes behind first. I checked the lap times and saw that the flat had cost me exactly 3 minutes based on the 2nd lap splits. I don't think I had enough in me to beat Brendan or Mark, but it was good to know that it wouldn't have been too far off. Brendan will definitely take good form with him overseas as he heads over to Canada to race the World Cups at Mont St Anne and Bromont.
Next race is possibly the NSW state titles followed by the Sutton Road Club race and a SuperD at Stromlo - the next 4 weeks are looking good!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


The weekend involved some good rides. I knew I was pushing a bit hard last week becuase the muscles started to hurt a bit and felt a little depleted on the Thursday ride.
On Saturday I was super fresh after a full day off on Friday. I started off with an ascent up Mount Majura on the road. This climb is a steady 9-10% on a realtively rough road that winds through the trees of majura. The road is fairly narrow - but the upshot of it is that you will never see a car on it as there is a locked gate that stops them - awesome. This climb just puts you at LT and you suffer for a good while. On key days I might use this climb to also perform some sprints - to every powerpole - over about 15 metres. This is the good stuff! The view at the top is pretty good - I can see my house from the top here! The descent is 70km/hr and fully wicked as the road is rough, narrow and covered in she-oak leaves and nuts. There is also the risk of a kangaroo hopping across. Plus you have to throw out the anchors to avoid slamming the gate.
From there it was over to Stromlo which is about 45 minutes away. Stromlo is a 5% grade which is not difficult. Again this puts you at LT after about 90 seconds in. The cars give you a fair bit of room because a lot of cyclists use this hill for power training. The view at the top is pretty good - you can see the trails of Stromlo due to the distinct lack of trees. The descent is about 50km/hr and you pedal the whole way (just about!). Another bonus of Stromlo is that there is a tap at the top. Good opportunity for a refill.
Next on the list was Black Mountain. This is back near the city so about 15km from Stromlo. Black Mountain is a brute. It starts out at about 15% and feels like you hit a wall about 35 seconds in. After that it is really hard to get a good rhythym going - as it varies at around 10-ish%. As I was going up, I saw Sean Lewis going down - smiling - bastard! Black Mountain feels the longest of all the mountains - but funnily enough they are all pretty similar in times - it just hurts the most. There is no view at the top (due to trees) - but on the way up if you look sideways, whilst suffering you can see the lake. It doesn't help at all though. The descent is pretty awesome. The road is nice and smooth and the corners are tight - 60-70km/hr all the way down. On my way down, I saw Sean heading up for another one - the smile had gone as he had gone into the pain cave.
From here i dissected the City and made my way over to Mount Ainslie. I can say that I almost enjoy climbing Mount Ainslie. Even last on the list. It starts off reasonably mellow and only kicks up to 10-12% at the top in the last 2 minutes. It almost always feels like it has a tailwind! At the top I can see my house - which is pretty cool again! This climb takes you into LT territory at about 1/3 of the way up. The view again is really cool from the top. The descent is awesome - 80km/hr+ fully tucked. There is the slight possibility of ramming a roo, but you don't think about that! After the descent it is about 10-15 to get home all uphill unfortunately, but that the secret training part!
So that was Saturday's 3 hour ride. This was followed up with a protein shake and a massage. Pretty good after ripping up 1000 calories per hour. So Sunday rolled around, and I was doing some Big Dog slogs up Stromlo. After 3 of these I got a call from Kylie, and I flew off down to the Cotter to meet her for a bit of a spin. Climbing out of the Cotter, I started to feel the onset of a fringale. A fringale is the worst hunger knock you can get. I pretty much shoved down all the food I had in my pockets. 2 powerbars, 1 clif bar, 1 packet of clif shots. 10 minutes later I started to feel a bit better, but all the power had gone! Spin smoothly was my mantra to get home. I was toasted - and a pretty good sign that my flirt with overtraining was working! Time to just kick back and eat now in readiness for the weekend's race at the Sparrow Hill Sunday World Championships!


Wednesday, July 1, 2009

almost as good as winning lotto

I cruised off early for today's training. Deep down inside I was hoping that I would find my light that I lost yesterday. Cruising around Parliament House I looked over to where my flat occurred, and there was a small glow eminating from the grass. YES!!!!! My light was still there, still on and I was stoked.
Apart from that, the ride was full of headwinds that hurt. These are the ones where it is a struggle to go 30km/hr down a hill into the wind. However, as long as you can put up with the pain long enough, the tailwind is a 50km/hr ripper!!!
Picture today is about FAIL! As they say a picture says a 1000 words.