Thursday, May 28, 2009

just surfing

Found the funniest website to do with cycling just about.
 
 
Among other things are their comics - As the Toto Turns - Toto is Salvatore Commesso - Italian Roadie - don't know why him, but it is funny as.
 
This one attached here cracks me up - there are about 180 other ones also that take the piss out of protour riders. Classic.
 
 

 

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Shrooms

Saw a funny thing the other day. At Majura an old European man was collecting mushrooms. These are the golden brown variety, I am not really sure if they are magic or not. I am not sure if they have any adaptogenic properties, and I don't really need to find out. He was hanging them in plastic bags in the pine trees.
 
Other funny things I have seen:
 
A pigs head, cut clean off. This was back up in Brisvegas about 20 years ago - simpler times.
 
2 Naked sunbathers (M and F) on the mad-roo (Allan Sieper named trail down from Majura - but it wasn't him that was sunbaking) - needless to say, I had to do another loop.
 
Porn - side of road, on singletrack, all over the place - WTF?
 
Road kill - not really funny though, just smelly, the sort of stuff where a smell sticks to the lining of your throat.
 
Recumbents - again, not funny, just stupid.
 
2 guys getting pulled over by the cops for pushing a shopping trolley down Northbourne Ave with a 68cm TV in it. Fully frisked etc, but let go.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Majura XC

What a great day! The weather was perfect. The track was fast and 228 people turned up for the 2nd round of the 09/10 XC series at Majura Pines. In Elite men, there were 15 riders which is huge for a club race. After paying for a number, I went for a spin around the course. This was going to be rough on the hardtail. The course pretty much traversed every single trail that had been used for previous 24 hour races. Yes it was lumpy and bumpy. No problem, same for everybody.
 
The racing got under way only 5 minutes after 9:30am. I started fast and lead up through the start finish shute. At this stage Jeremy Ross, Sean Lewis and Brent Miller went past, so I joined the freight train. I was still with these guys at the end of the first lap. Through the 2nd lap, traffic played a part in separating me from the wheels in front, and after 2 laps I was 20 second back. From then on in, I worked at limiting the damage, and was able to put in a negative split last lap. I finished 4th, about 90 seconds behind Jeremy and 1:50 in front of 5th, so not too bad. The course was pretty fast and I managed to be the last one to sneak in a 21+km\h race.
 
After the race, I popped home, cleaned up and went out for a spin with Kylie around Bruce Ridge. This was pretty sensational as the weather was just perfect, the trails flowed and the corners were unreal. We did a couple of laps, and after checking Kylie stem for bite marks, we cruised home.
 
All in all the week has been a pretty good one. Without a taper at all I was pretty happy overall with the race. My goal this local season was to work on some top end speed and today provided that very nicely. The HR numbers were good also with 2 laps slightly above LT and the final 3 at exactly LT. Not bad for an hour and a half race.
 
The photos were taken by Kylie who after doing her training this morning, pinned it over the mountain to feed me for the last 2 laps. She raced around in between laps yelling time splits and encouragement. Always well received and appreciated.

Monday, May 11, 2009

slayed it.....

The week's training objectives have been met and as a bonus, the weekend weather was perfect for what I had to do.
 
One thing that kept me thinking was that they had put a new see-saw in on the Sullivan's creek singletrack. And I did 6 laps past it at the race 2 weeks ago and did not even notice it. In the zone obviously.
 
Another thing that blows me away is that a mate of Will's that pops into the bikeshop occasionally looks like Leif Hoste - yep the dude who has finsihed 2nd in the Tour of Flanders 3 times. I don't think it is Leif, but Will looks half flemish.
 
There is a race at Majura this weekend. Majura is pretty much old school hallowed ground. I first raced here in 1991. Back in the day, as a junior. I liked it so much, I bought a house under the shadows of the mountain, well not quite, but it is pretty handy. Over the years, there have been many a national round, club round and dirt crit raced here. I have probably raced here well over 30 times and clocked up thousands of hours out there training. There is nothing like your own stomping ground. You know all the trails, in all the conditions. You know how to take each and every corner. You know how much energy to outlay for each climb, and the exact spot that recovery kicks in. You tend to block out the flaws that the trails have, because, you just tough it out and get through it.
 
There are 2 spots in Canberra I really like to race and ride. They are Majura and Stromlo. Chalk and Cheese really, different geology, vegetation, topology - the lot. But, they keep you interested, and that is the hook.
 
Due to advancements in life, Roads ACT are putting in place a new road that will cut through the bottom half of Majura. This may be the last time certain trails will be raced on. I will definitely be lining up on the start line on Sunday with the same enthusiasm I had 18 years ago. It's a good sign when you still feel like a junior racing. Enthusiasm makes things easy, especially at 5:30am on a cold winter morning, or when the training program calls for an insane number of hill repeats.
 
All I can say is, bring it on!

 

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The last week in review

Things that I have done, seen or heard about in the last week.
 
I had a ride on Trev's new Cannondale. By the way, it has Shimano's new Di2 installed. This is the new offering from Shimano which is electronic shifting. Think of a 'mouse click' ........ That is the shift into a harder gear on the rear, another mouse click gets you an easier gear. The front shifting is the easiest mouse click ever. Best of all, you can shift under full load - both front and back. The battery is good for a bunch of miles before needing charging. If it ever makes its way to the MTB world, I would not hesitate to get it - absolutely no hand fatigue whilst shifting - could be good for 24 hour racers..... However, as its current RRP is $6000AUD for the setup, I may just wait until it pops up on EBAY or make my own.... maybe. trev doesn't need to buy cables anymore though!
 
Kylie was let out of the house on the weekend! On Saturday, she was cruising down Northbourne ave when she saw some dude in a car abusing 2 cyclist. The guy had actually got out of the car and was going mental at the 2 cyclists for riding 2 abreast in the on-road cycling lane. She went over to see what was up. Some kid on the footpath asked her (actual words) "what's wrong with that muppet?" The lights turned green, the guy took off in the car, Kylie takes off with the 2 guys and asks them about what went down. Suddenly a police car goes past. Kylie gets the sprint on (in the middle lane of Northbourne) catches up to the police car and taps on the window. She politely informs the officer of the situation that just occurred, and can he please fix it. Kylie is new hero to 2 cyclists!!
 
Saturday, snapped my rear gear shift cable, luckily I was (a) done with my hours, and (b) 3 kilometres from home. However, as it is downhill from my place to anywhere except the mountains behind, it was a nice grind to get home in the hardest gear on the back.
 
Sunday, big MTB ride - 4 hours anyway at LT. Saw some roadies out at Stromlo who had just finished the Canberra Tour. Saw way too many Pinarellos in D-Grade! Saw Joel Stewart, he had a good win on day 1 and also managed to hold onto 5th on GC. Nice work, this is a truly hilly race.
 
Another cold ride this morning at 6am-ish. But it was quick, what else do you want on a ride. No trucks tried to run me over this morning which was good - it's probably not their fault! The weather lately has been spectacular. Definitely worth taking advantage of.