Tuesday, September 29, 2009

and so it goes..

Sunday I got snowed on. It was that cold. 3 and a half hours at tempo into a biting block headwind.
However the return trip wasn't that bad as the 35km/hr northwesterly assisted me to get home. Always feels good climbing in an extra gear.
And then I find out Cadel won the worlds. Deep sigh....

Saturday, September 26, 2009

keep on top of it

Saturday - usually the perfect day for a long ride. With the weather forecast as 5 - 10 degrees and windy with showers I was fully stoked - NOT. I had already done my Wind trainer allocation for the month, so I carefully chose my riding kit. The wind was 35km/hr on average - North Westerly, so I decided that Mount Ainslie hill repeats were on the cards.

The roads were still wet from the rain last night, but I was banking on a slight tailwind up mount ainslie. Ainsle is an interesting hill. It lulls you into a false sense of grimpeur ability on the lower slopes. Then it kicks up about 3/4 of the way up to about 11-12%.

The first run was into a block headwind. The legs were blocked a bit also, could have been from the cold, the caffeine, or because yesterday was a rest day off the bike. The next 2 runs up were almost identical times, and faster than the first one - that is a new one! The fourth time up I saw an asian 'alberto' climbing up. Full yellow jersey, cycling cap (sans helmet). His enthusiasm got the better of him and he blew at the 12% point. Poor fella.

The 4th and 5th climbs were the fastest, the tailwind placebo was helping, the legs were getting unblocked and I had chased down 'alberto', classic.

The 6th run was the last one, it was 10 seconds slower than the first one, but 5.3% slower than the fastest one. I try and always use a 10% rule. That is, when doing intervals (especially climbing), stop before the intervals degrade past 10% of the fastest time. There are a few reasons for this, but the main one is that once you have gone past 10%, there are no more physiological gains to be made.

I then cruised against the wind out to Hall, where my rear derailleur cable decided to snap inappropriately and provided me with a singlespeed. I stopped and locked out the rear derailleur to about the 5th gear. With the mental tailwind, and grossly undergeared bike I cruised back towards home.

5 minutes later the front tyre decided to go low at the bottom, 2 minutes later I decideded to stop and pop a new tube in. This left me with 10k to get home - all tailwind luckily.

A protein shake followed by a bowl of pasta to ensure that I can ride again tomorrow, went down way too quickly. I think I might go have a snooze.

temperature: 6 degrees
Wind: 35km/hr
rain: a bit
distance: 80km
time: 3:00
hill repeats: 6
max speed: 85km/hr
avg HR: 145bpm
max HR: 178bpm
Vertical Metres climbed: 1700m
Clif blox consumed: 12 (2 per climb)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

what happens when it is raining and 40km/h winds

3 hours on the wind trainer......
Dedication to the cause.
The cause being optimal fitness for the desired events on the calendar.
Scott 24 hour is coming up. The Lonsdale Street Cyclery team is back to defend the 6 man team title. The course is a little different, but should still be good.
The race strategies are currently being developed and the process will unfold. Got to go do a night ride to check out the course.
Trev hooked us up a corporate tent, all I know is that it is 6 x 9m and has power and is near transition.
Bring on the caffeine!


Monday, September 14, 2009

The Angry Doctor - Mogo NSW 2009

The Angry Doctor put on by AROC sports was my first 100km race. And apart from some major rides done back as a junior with Graeme Allbon, pretty much the longest I have ridden my mountain bike in one go. As has been the (fortunate) trend over the last 2 years, I nailed the accomodation. An awesome spot, quiet, spacious and views over the beach - got to be happy!
The plan was to do some riding on Saturday, but it just got way too hot. So in true hire-car mtb tradition, we recced some of the fire trails instead. This turned out to be awesome as I reckon we would have been pre-fried before jumping into the big boiling pot that was Sunday. Checking out the trail in the safety and comfort of the Kluger was great!
The sleep Saturday night was just non-existent - not sure why, but 2 hours was probably all I got. On 'awakening' sunday morning at 5am to get some eggs down it didn't matter as it was all about getting fed before heading out to the event village.
All the bottles and race strategies were sorted during the week, so all I had to do was just get to the start line. Kylie was racing the 50km, which started about 2 and a half hours after my race, so she came down and took some photos.
When the start horn went off, it was slightly more subdued than a standard XC race, but not by much. I was pretty fresh from not riding the day before so the HR coming back at 185bpm on some of the early climbs, whilst holding back, was mainly due to adrenaline and heat. And boy was it hot! 26 degrees at the start, and 40 degrees max reading from my HRM out on course towards the end.
Pretty much the race was going to be just about survival and smart pacing strategies. Early on in, a rider smashed past a climb as if he was doing an Alberto Contador impression, 5 minutes later, alberto was blown and I never saw him again. At the 30km mark was the first of the feed stations. I topped up with water and Gu2O. And this was where the reality set in. Still 70km to go, yep long day ahead.
At the 50km mark, I had my ice bag with fresh drinks and gels plus some fresh lube for the chain. This made the bike run a bit nicer and it was good to pedal out of the feedzone with it feeling fresh. The next 15km were pretty much what I expected, and then at the 65km mark I pretty much settled into the long climb that was ahead of me. At this stage also, I started to dream of the next feed station so I could get some more water. The last bit down to the 80km feed station was the most smoothest fastest singletrack around - big berms, no brakes - just awesome.
At the feed zone, i chugged down half a bidon of water, half a bidon of Gu2O and refilled them to the top. I also managed to catch up to about 4 people that I hadn't really seen much of all race. Going out of the feedzone, I chatted with Brent Miller for a bit, then sort of felt alright, so just kept the pedals turning over smoothly. At the 85km mark, I decided to empty the tank a bit and upped the pace. Each 5km section seemed to take forever and there just seemed to be no end to the hills that sprung up out of the creeks that we had to cross.
Finally I rounded the last bend into the event village and crossed the line in 4 hours and 51 minutes. 6th place in Elite Men. I was pretty happy as all I wanted to do was break 5 hours.
I got some fresh bottles of water and Electrolyte mix and went and chilled out under a tree and waited for Kylie to come in. When she rounded the last bend, I got up and yelled some encouragement to get her to the top of the climb. She ended up coming in first place in the Elite women 50km event. Not too shabby at all!
The rest of the day was spent cruising around Bateman's Bay eating fish and chips and ice cream, and the most awesome pizza from Batehaven. Monday morning was all about coffee and a walk on the beach where a local dog, 'Boof' adopted us and cruised the sands chasing seagulls. What a life!

Monday, September 7, 2009

2 weeks gone

The last 2 weeks have seen some pretty awesome things. I was out on a standard training ride a couple of weeks ago and my gears were just not shifting right. I finally figured out that the cassette lockring had come loose (lack of smooth roads!). Luckily I had seen a set of multi-grip pliers lying at the side of the road. So I used these to tighten up the cassette and finish off my ride. Since that day I have found another set of mutli grip pliers within 10 kilometres of the first set. No real need to bring an allen key set.

Saw Sven Nys riding on the fireroad near the RSPCA a week ago. Gave him the Euro-cyclist nod, got one back.

Another 15 hour training week. My favorite ride this week was Saturday. 5 times up Mount Majura. 10% grade, 9minute climb. Every 55 seconds shift into a harder gear for 5 seconds and get out of the saddle. Last 90 seconds out of saddle to top of the climb. Saw so many people out on the mountain that day. Then went out to Stromlo to watch the Elite Men's cross country race. Awesome.

Angry doctor coming up this weekend down in Mogo. Accomodation is sorted. Fish and chips after 100km race around the state forest surrounding Mogo. Should be a good one.

Finally broke 20 minutes for my secret XC test loop at Majura. It has taken me about 63 laps over about 14 months. Good benchmarking tool also for parts, tyre pressure, pacing strategies etc. Pretty happy with that!

The sun has finally come out also and this means that summer is finally on its way. there have been many rides lately with summer weight jerseys. The Canberra winter tan will soon be abolished - well sort of, it's all relative - got to keep the suncream on!