Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ultimates of 2010

In Summing up 2010, I am attempting a JK-style, ultimates of the year.

Best 100km race -- Capital Punishment. It was EPIC. Probably the only time during the year that I used that particular term. If you did it, you will never forget it. If you didn't do it - you have probably heard about it.

Best race result -- 1st at the Australian Titles in XCO was my highlight of the year.

Most enjoyable race --Back Yamma Bigfoot 100km. Awesome vibe, cool course, superfast race, good crew, result was a bonus

Best single day of riding -- Probably the Super D at Stromlo. 5 extremely focussed, tightly spaced (all within 10 seconds) runs down arguably the most enjoyable singletrack in Canberra -- Skyline, and the berm track.

Best group ride -- wolf pack ride down south.

Best tyres -- Continental Race King 2.2 Supersonic

Best handlebars -- Syntace 9 degree bend (flat)

Best hardtail -- Cannondale Flash

Best new innovation I finally got onto -- mtb 10 speed and 2x up front

Best week of training\riding -- Early January - 25 hours

Best investment of money -- weekly massage

Best race that never happened -- Angry Doctor 100km

Best excuse --it was in the meat (Spain or Mexico)

Best team effort -- Lonsdale St Cyclery and Spearman Cycles beating out numerous 'trade' teams at the Scott 24 hour race

OK, so that's the list, and as the picture says, I'm off to get some mega rides in over the xmas break.

Friday, December 17, 2010


This photo was taken before the carnage of rain that took over Canberra in the last month. You can see and appreciate the dust under the tyres. Again the road bike is getting a fair workout, but tomorrow I am hooking up with a good crew for a bit of an urban MTB ride.
This ride is happening way down in Tuggeranong in the ACT. I haven't been over this side of town for a while, so that in itself will be an adventure! In all seriousnes though, I am looking forward to riding the MTB bike in palces where hopefully the trails are dry.

Monday, December 13, 2010

early xmas present

An early xmas present arrived. XTR 10 speed. If it ever gets dry again, I will dust the cobwebs off the mountainbike and install and test it.
In the meantime, I have been racking up some good training on the road bike. A solid 8 hours over the last weekend spread evenly over the 2 days was just done. Saturday included 6 ascents of Stromlo with a top-secret mix of intervals within an interval in order to eek out a bit of performance.
Sunday was windy. Just a little. It took me over 2 hours to get out to the dirt at Condor Creek. It usually takes me about 1 hour 35. However, with that investment of time it I managed to average 40km/hr back to the cotter in a nice time of 26 minutes. And a further 1 hour to get back up to Palmerston before heading home to watch some golf.
This week coming up is slated as a recovery week. This means extra sleep. Extra sleep means awesome recovery and a clear mind for the next big block.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

James Williamson Enduro

James Williamson Enduro Challenge – 13 March 2011

Wingello State Forest, Southern Highlands NSW

The inaugural James Williamson Enduro Challenge is to be held in memory of James Williamson, the 2008 World and 2006 Australian MTB 24 Hour champion. James passed away on 23 March 2010 while he was participating in the Cape Epic Mountain Bike Race in South Africa.

The James Williamson Enduro Challenge is a joint initiative between the Southern Highlands Cycling Club and Canberra Off-Road Cyclists and is intended to be a ride for those who love mountain biking, and a race for those who love to ride hard.
Categories include:

· Open Male & Female - 75km, 50km & 25km
· Under 19 - 50km & 25km
· Under 17 - 25km & 13km
· Under 15 - 13km

Proceeds from this race will be used to finance a range of activities in support of developing young mountain bike riders in New South Wales and the ACT including an annual training camp, assistance packages and other forms of support to be determined by the administrators of the James Williamson Fund.

All registrations completed before December 1st, will receive a specially designed “Willo T-shirt” as part of their entry fee. Numbers will be limited to 600 riders, and registrations will cease after this number is reached.

For all enquiries please contact Meg Patey at meg.patey@gmail.com
More information and registration for this event can be found at

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

strange morning

I thought I would post about my standard Tuesday morning ride.
Today ended up being quite strange so this almost turns into a play by play.
Because of all of the rain of late, I have been running a set of wheels that are about 2 kilos and also have mr tuffy tyre liners, tubes and Conti GP4000s tyres on them. Tanks.
I start off with a warm up burst down to the Rex Hotel. This is all downhill so it averages 40km/hr. From here I meander to Anzac Parade, before making my way to Commonwealth Avenue Bridge. All this time I am slowly building up the intensity. By the time I am crusing up around State Circle, I have started by first LT block for the morning. This is a 10 minute drag run down to Woden town centre. A short recovery followed by a LT+ session of 15 minutes back into the city.
I pretty much get every red light back along Northbourne avenue, so after clipping in, I work at accelerating up to 40km/hr out of the saddle before sitting down again. It is also perfectly acceptable to chase buses along this strip.
Once I get to the end of Northbourne I chuck a left and head up to the badlands of Gungahlin via Barton Highway. I do some more LT work, followed by some AWC 1 minute sprints up a 2% grade out of the saddle for 600metres (usually 4-5 of these). From here it is a 25 minute time trial home. And that is 2 hours done.
This morning going up Barton Highway I experienced a double flat. At the same time. Front and rear - no air. Sucks big time. Luckily I carry 2 tubes, however after installing the rear one, it explodes off the rim. Bugger. So I reinstall a new one. The front tyre is only going down slowly, so I stick a bit of air in it to get me home.
Riding with about 50psi in each tyre is pretty dodgy and I was lucky to get home on this much air in the tyres - no hard leaning in corners!!
When I got home I still wanted to do my AWC intervals plus a bit more, so I grabbed the closest wheels I could see. These happened to be Kylie's Specialized Roval SL 45mm deep dish road wheels off her Specialized Amira S-Works.
To say I was impressed would be a total understatement. These things absolutely fly, with minimal effort. They are super stiff and cut through the wind without any problems at all.
My only problem now is figuring out what wheels to get Kylie for xmas as she is not getting these back!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

about being PRO

Sometimes you have to work hard to be PRO. This doesn't mean that you get paid to ride your bike, though that could be a nice option. Most amateurs over the age of 30 probably make more money than all real pros except the top 25 in the world.
As a cyclist it can consume your every waking hour. Things like ensuring that your sock height is just right, there is a good amount of white highlights on the bike, matching sunglasses - helmet - gloves and shoes. Making sure that you don't get a chainring mark on your inner calf. The right amount of head nod acknowledgement to a fellow cyclist.
So in my small way in addition to the aforementioned colour coding, there are 3 ways I enhance the PROness.
PRO food. Now I can be PRO on the inside.
PRO Oakley. Options are always good when it comes to eye protection.
PRO grip spares. Just in case the ones you have get dirty or something like that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thursday night Dirt Crit Racing

Over to Majura for another dirt crit. 3 days back into training and the dirt crits beckon. Thankfully it was just about fully dry over in the forest and the Onya guys had set a brutally tough course for a dirt crit.

A full max effort up the main fireroad followed by a hard left into some serpentine, subtly climbing, but still allowing for a bit of recovery. A hard hairpin put us out onto the top fireroad which was crossed hastily before climbing up some rocky technical singletrack in some low gears, before bombing back down to the top fireroad. This then fed into an awesomely fast bit of singletrack that was a pure gravity feed before rounding back to the start.

A grade was up last on the evening and there was a good vibe among the crew. A few of the B graders had been coaxed into moving up to the extra lap offered in the higher grade.

As soon as the start order was given, it was a full on drag race to the singletrack, I slotted in behind Garreth "the chicks only remember who won the first lap" Paton, and bided my time whilst he smashed out the first lap. On the 2nd lap I smashed the pedals hard whilst out of the saddle to see who was able to respond. Not surprisingly, Brad Morton was able to get on.

The next couple of laps continued in this form, smashing it up the fireroads putting copious amounts of time into the rest of the field, whilst recovering slightly in the singletrack before the next bit of climbing. Brad was able to get through on the 4th lap (of five) and get a 5 metre lead which was hard to reel back. He was able to hold this until the end. I finished in 2nd with a huge gap back to 3rd place.

I was really happy with that 2nd place after a week off down the coast. All the good sensations were apparent which is a good sign in the final build up to xmas.

One thing that I know for sure is that I have finally got my handlebars sorted. In the last 3 weeks I have gone through about 4 sets of handlebars trying to find a new set. The limiter was that I had put a 90mm stem on the bike, and the lefty fork top was the limiting feature. The bulge of certain bars was too great and would not allow for a straight set of bars (with the 31.8mm diameter).

I finally found my perfect solution with the Syntace Duraflite carbon bars. These are 630mm wide with a 9 degree sweep. When riding, these are sensational, mad power when out of the saddle, great handling in the rough technical stuff, perfect width (620mm with the sweep taken into account).

The renegade tyre continued to impress, allowing me to run it at 26 psi for the crit on rocky technical trails. I will have to get my hands on a front one soon!

The weekend is back to the road bike, rebuilding some endurance in the legs and lungs in order for the summer ahead. Let's hope the rain stays away!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A good break

Last week I did something that I have not done for quite a while. I took an extended break off the bike. I had 5 days off the bike in total. This is pretty much the longest I have had totally off the bike since 2006.

So, why.... I have done 30+ races in the last 12 months, which included some excellent results and consistency, plus I also have the Australian Cross Country Mountain Bike championships coming up in late February of 2011. Having a break at this stage will allow me to dedicate the next 3 months to ensuring everything is where I need it to be for that particular race.

My break was spent down the coast at Bateman's Bay laying on the beach, swimming, driving, walking and playing golf. The golf was pretty enjoyable actually as it gave me a good outlet to think about things other than the bike.

I also ate a lot of pizza, fish and chips, ice-cream and Thai food in that time. By the end of it though, I was a little over eating the dodgy food, and was craving salads again - mainly to detox my insides!!

The last 2 days have felt great on the bike. Fresh as can be and wanting to do more. This is always a good sign. Tomorrow is another 70km on the morning followed by an afternoon back to Majura to race some more crit action. Can't wait!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday Majura Muddy Dirt Crits

About 4 weeks ago I updated my facebook status stating that due to the bronchitis and hay fever, that some racing speed would be 2 weeks away. I wasn't too far off. Last week I felt pretty good, but an excursion over the bars put paid to that. Yesterday, Garreth Paton set a tough little course on probably the only dry(ish) bit of Majura available after a week of daily thunderstorms.
The morning started on the wind trainer doing some Coach Troy hill intervals. Not the same as the real thing, but makes an hour go by fairly quickly. Later that day Kylie and I rode over to Majura pines dodging puddles. After a few laps of the course, there was no mojo for anyone at practice pace.This was echoed by everyone after the race. So I went in search of some fireroad to open up the tempo. Then I just stopped worrying about trying to dodge the puddles and just rode through them. I must be over my Capital Punishment mud worrying. Obviously a good thing, because it looks like being a wet summer.
The start was good, until about the 10 pedal stroke where I pulled my right foot out. Luckily I didn't miss a beat and had it back in by the next pedal stroke. However I did go from 1st to 4th in this heartbeat (or 5). No hassle, just got back on and in the flow. On the 2nd lap I got back to 3rd and caught back up to Ben Henderson and Brad Morton. I had Ben Cory on my wheel and through the singletrack we got back to the leaders. On the 4th lap, I saw Ben Hendeson twitching to get past Brad, so I matched his movements and we were able to gt past Brad just before the largest puddle and we entered the singletrack in hot pursuit of the last 2 laps.
We managed to gap both Brad and Ben Cory a little on the next lap, but I could feel that Ben was starting to ramp it up a little. The last lap came around and I was just making sure that I kept smooth lines and kept all my flow. Across the line I finished about 10 seconds down from Ben H covered in mud but happy with how the race went. Brad and Ben C rounded out the top 4, with daylight to 5th and beyond.
One thing I did try out was some new bars. Last week I put on a -20 degree stem on the lefty fork, to  but the 6 degree x 620mm bars I had were hitting the lefty top leg. So I put on a set of 600mm bars with a 5 degree sweep. I also tried a set of 3T XIDA bars with a 3.5 degree sweep at 620mm, but these were too agressively forward for my liking. I found the 600mm a bit too narrow,and they left me feeling cramped a little in the cockpit. Anyway, I'll do some more experimenting to dial in the perfect fit.
Up next is a solid 5 day block of getting is as much riding as possible. After that it is an early summer holiday down at the Bay relaxing for 6 days (hopefully in the sun). A few rounds of golf, fish and chips and chillaxing! Awesome.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The price of racing

I just did a short analysis of the price of racing. Now this is the financial cost of racing as opposed to the mental or physical costs.

In order to race a MTBA National series round where I would race a Cross Country race on Saturday and a Short track race on Sunday the cost per kilometre is $15.18.

In order to race a standard 100km event from most promotors is $4.50 per kilometre.

These costs take into account travel, accomodation, car hire and race entries. It does not include food, as I have to eat. This is not-negotiable.

Now to be fair, I usually fly to the National Rounds, but the cost would be identical in both $$ and time in the long run.

Is it any wonder why the 100km events are so popular?

Specialized S-Works Renegade 2.1 review

So this year has been one where I trial different tyres. Next set off the rank are the Specialized S-Works Renegade. I first saw these on Sid Taberlay's bike at the Australian Titles in Radelaide in January this year. He got an Australian Title in the short track that weekend, but I didn't really think about the tyres, except that they looked massive and fast.

It's funny how things go. I went for a ride last Thursday morning on the MTB. I never usually ride MTB in the morning, nor mid week for that matter. 3 minutes into the ride, whilst on singletrack, I got a bent rusty nail through my favorite longest lasting Race King 2.2. I have had this tyre on since the 1st of June (which is a very long time for me and a single tyre). I went home and patched it up, but it didn't fully sort it. I think the tyre had had its day.

Luckily like most cyclists, I have truck loads of spares. There are at least 10 brand new tyres hanging up in the garage, and those of you who know the saga with the Race King supersonic, these can take weeks to fully seal. So I popped this one (3 weeks into full sealing - 450grams) on the wheel. I personally think that the heavier Race Kings seal up better. I think that this one is too light with not enough rubber on the sidewalls.

Anyway, I went into Lonsdale Street Cyclery during my lunch break and got a spare tyre. A Specialized S-Works Renegade was put on the digital scales and recorded a 460 grams with associated plastic merchandising. When I got home, I put this on the race wheel (rear) to air up as a spare - probably had a slight premonition.

Later that afternoon as I headed over to Majura for the dirt crits, my rear tyre with the fresh RK on it got a little low. I headed home and swapped out the wheel for the one with the Renegade.

Back to the dirt crit, and a nice little warm up to get me going. I was really impressed with how smoothly the tyre rolled. Grip was not a problem, as it never usually is on a track that has a bit of moisture in it. I have used super light weight tyre (under 500 grams) pretty much for the last 5 years, so I know the trade offs. These ones tick my latest boxes with the huge volume (very similar to the Race King SS 2.2 in fact).

Executive Summary: The racing went well, the tyre was fast, no problems with grip. So what's next - a twin peaks loop of course to see how the tyres go against the clock. The other thing is, I need a front one, as I bought up the entire stock of 3 that LSC had, and 2 of those are going on Kylie's Scale for her to demo (for the 2nd time - she rode them on a Specialized EPIC demo bike at the Scott and had good things to say about them)

More of a report to come in due course.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dirt Crits!

Finally feeling good again at the dirt crits!! Wheelie good! 3rd place in A grade with an 'over the bars' incident on the 3rd lap of 4.

Tried out a Specialized Renegade 2.1 tyre on the rear. Wow! what a fast tyre with superb grip.

Looking forward to some good form coming back in the not too distant future. Hopefully some sun and warm weather will join it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

So, what's happening

The short summary is as follows.....
After the Scott 24 hour race, I managed to contract an annoying case of bronchitis mixed with the hayfever due to the insane amount of rain and subsequent weed growth. Note to self, ensure that team mates' sick babies are not allowed in the team tent for future 24 hour events!
So after only 2 weeks of the symptoms going away, I was feeling like a super diesel. Not exactly the best thing for short track or cross country. I decided to not race the NSW state titles. I believe that this was the correct decision as I knew I wasn't 100% - probably only 85%.
This has been reflected also in the first 2 weeks of Short track racing. Can go around, but no strong kick. It's all relative of course, but I can feel it.
My philosphy of racing is that I would rather do lots of races at 95% across the year than hit up key races and try to be 100%. This allows for quite a few races to be done, with the most amount of enjoyment. Well, that's how I take it anyway!
Like most cyclists, I have a 'tester' which allows me to gauge how things are going at anytime of the year. I have a few actually. My twin peaks loop, the majura fast lap, Stromlo road climbs, and the Woden to City 10.45km on the road.
The tester's have indicated what I thought, that there is something lagging, The good thing is that it's on the way back up. It is taking a bit longer than I fully expected, which is quite frustrating, and one which requires me to be patient, however, that is life. No point rushing it and getting sick or injured again.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Up Next....

The first dirt crits of the 2010\2011 season have commenced. The first one was held at Majura Pines and was on one of those courses that was just plain hard. After sort of recovering from bronchitis, I lined up in A-grade with some of the regular fast guys to gauge how my form was.

To say that I was a little underdone after a coupel of weeks off was an understatement. No top end at all really. 10 minutes later @ an average of 29.6km/hr and I was happy it was over. 3rd place behind Ben Henderson and Brad Morton, with Ben Cory coming in 4th. Daylight behind Ben to 5th.

This week however, after a good set of long weekend rides on the road bike and things are feeling better. Not quite 100% better, but stronger than the previous week.

After this week's short track Thursday, I will be heading off to Bowral for the NSW State Short track titles. This will be followed up by the NSW State Cross Country Titles. 2 days of racing in Elite class against some really fast guys. Always good to assist in the form building.

The Illinbah National round has been cancelled, which in my honest opinion is no great loss. This leads to the Geelong round at the end of November as being the (un)official first round. I really enjoyed the You Yangs track the last time I raced there. Fast flowing singletrack with super technical terrain over the natural rocky terrain.

Last time, it had bucketed down and gale force winds wreaked havoc on the event centre. I am really hoping for dry weather as this course is sensational in the dry.

I am also hoping for dryish weather this weekend also. The ever present fear of the Capital Punishment mudbath is always in the back of my mind when it comes to wet weather racing. Bring on the dust I say!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back on the Bike

In the lead up to the Scott 24 hour race, I was battling with hayfever or the flu (symptoms are the same), and therefore pretty much spent the week on the wind trainer, riding lightly. The week after the Scott was spent on the windtrainer and in bed recovering from a mild case of bronchitis.

Today was the first time back on the road bike in 2 weeks. Ouch! Saturday was wind trainer, Sunday MTB, and Monday, recovery MTB. It did feel good to be back on the road bike. Its efficiency is superb. However, the legs are screaming now. Missing that continuity!

On Thursday the dirt crit short track racing starts at Majura. Right now I am a few weeks off from feeling strong, but these will assist in the re-building of good form.

I also have the NSW state XCC and XCO titles next weekend at Fitroy Falls and Bowral. I will do these as training, as I don't think I will have full strength back until the weekend after that.

The attached photo (taken from the Back Yamma Bigfoot) shows how I want to ride through all of the pollen producing plants that the copious amounts of rain has produced. Mouth Shut, keeping it all out. Unfortunately, that is not going to happen, so I will just wait until it gets hotter and burns off all the plants, so they can't produce any pollen.

On bike related news, I have got some new bits that I am trying out.
  • Cannondale Hollowgram cranks with 40\27 chainrings (Sram XX spider and Rotor rings).
  • Stan's Podium MMX wheelset.
  • Continental X king tyres,
  • Continental 2.0 Race King tyres

The new chainrings are taking some getting used to - mainly in the headspace of knowing 'what gear to be in'.

Wheelset is superlight - no kidding!

2.0 tyres are also superlight (430grams) - same as 1.95 small block eight. Will ride these tomorrow.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Scott 24 hour race - some more pics 2.0

More Scott 24 hour pics

Scott 24 hour race - some more pics

2010 Scott 24 hour race - the aftermath

The Scott 24 hour race for 2010 has been run, won and done. This year it was run in conjunction with the World Solo Championships. Luckily, the solos and the teams were run on 2 different courses, which allowed for the solo guys to do their thing without the hassle of teams.

The teams course used the standard blue loop of Mount Stromlo made popular by the twin lap set up of 2008. There were a few new additions, namely Blue Tongue, Little Seymour and the newly created Willow Trail, which pretty much made for an 18.5km track with not a lot of fireroad.

This year the Lonsdale Street Cyclery team entered 2 teams. The standard 6 man team was made up of Trevor Rix, Allan Sieper, Doug McLean, Will Bowron, Ben Carmody and myself. The other team was the 4 person mixed team made up of Cameron Kerr, Kylie Webb, Devin Sando and Jon Harris.

Friday and Saturday mornings were spent setting up the tent and getting everything sorted. Trev had sorted us a corporate tent that we shared with the Specialized guys, Tanya, Jay and Adam, who were on hand with a very bling demo fleet.

We had the team roster sorted the week before at the team meeting, with Will graciously offering to do the team run (by default of being the youngest rider on the team) and at 12:15 on Saturday, he raced the 400m around the bitumen road crit track and started the first lap. I took over from Will and handed off to Ben. From here on, it was just a matter of sticking to the plan and punching out consistent laps.

After the 6th lap, we had worked our way up into 2nd place behind the Spearman Cycles team and just in front of Team Felt. Throughout the next 18 hours there was some good racing that occurred with the night laps proving to be decisive as we were able to pull away from Team Felt, and at one stage in the night, Will had got us back to within 28 seconds of the Spearman Cycles team.

After the 24 hours we ended up covering 26 laps of the 18.5km course, which was 480km at 19.49km/hr. IN the end, this resulted in us getting 2nd in the 6 man teams, and 5th overall. Again, a great team effort and quite satisfying in the end.

The mixed 4 team that Lonsdale St Cyclery entered as a cruisy relaxed team ended up getting 2nd in their category also, which was a major bonus, covering 23 laps and 425km!!

We were also fortunate to share our corporate tent with the awesome guys from Specialized. Tanya, Jay and Adam were an awesome bunch of guys who were running a demo fleet made up of somepretty sensational bikes. There were at least 5 S-Works Epics available for people to ride either around the holden's creek trails, or even take it out for a lap of the course. Not too shabby riding a $10,000 demo bike on a real mountain bike course, rather than in a carpark. Needless to say, it will be interesting to see the orders come in for these bikes.

Right now, I am trying to battle off the bronchitis that is trying its best to take over my chest, and drink a truck load of water to flush out the crap that I have eaten on the weekend!!

In the end I also decided to run a pair of Schwalbe Racing Ralph Double Defence tyres. I was really happy with this choice as there was a truckload of rocks all over the course, and the resulting dust that formed also required some good deep biting grip.

This week will be a good opportunity to slot in a recovery week and get some more sleep in the bank.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Scott 24 hour race

I am here at the Scott 24 hr race with the lonsdale st cyclery team, hitting up the 6 man teams event for another year.

The le man's start has just been done and I am now just  waiting for Will to finish his lap then I am out for a fifty minute smash.

The course is super dry and dusty in true stromlo fashion. It is breaking up a bit and will get a bit hammered over the next 24 hours.

We will see how things go over the next day / night / day.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

X king

X king

Continental X King - pictures

Continental X-King

Yesterday I got my hands on a pair of Continental X-King 2.2 Supersonic tyres.

Today I will be mounting them up and giving them a bit of a thrash at Stromlo on the Scott 24 hour teams course.

I have gone for these tyres as they have a few attributes that I am after for this weekend.

UST bead - nice tight fit on the rim
RS sidewall - a bit more rubber to allow for easy tubeless (with sealant) sealing
Skinnier bag - to pick the way through sharp rocks out the back of Stromlo
Deeper side knobs - to punch down through the deep dust that a 24 hour race produces
Low centre knobs - to facilitate fast rolling

Pics and further write up to come.......

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Long weekend - review in numbers

A long weekend is always a good chance to ride the bike.

Days ridden: 3

Total hours: 12

Calories expended: 15,000

Road bike: two days

Mtb: one day

Stromlo climbs: ten

Scott 24hr course laps: 2

Slices of recovery cheesecake: 2

Energy gels: 20+

Crashes: 1

Flats: 1

Magpies: 3

30km/hr block headwinds: 75km

Needless to say, today is taking the bike for a walk on the windtrainer in third gear watching stage 7 of the 2010 tdf

Monday, September 27, 2010

Back Yamma Bigfoot Photos

Back Yamma Bigfoot race report

I cruised up to Parkes on the Saturday morning and headed directly to the race HQ. Kylie and I cruised the first 25km of the 50km loop to scope out some of the course. Fast, Fast, Fast! It was relatively flat, with awesome singletrack that was a bit like Sparrow Hill in that it was not hard to ride, just harder when you started to ride it fast.

Sunday morning came and we headed out once again to the race HQ. With a fully sold out event, there was a large amount of cars with bikes and families all enjoying the perfect spring day. There was a really good vibe to the event with everyone talking crap and anticipating a nice fast race.

At 8:00am on the dot the 100km race was underway with about 135 riders heading off on the slightly downhill fireroad. We hit the first singletrack about a kilometre down the road, and I was well positioned in 2nd place on Ryan Quade's wheel. We were powering along pretty well and by the time we had hit the next fireroad, the group was whittled down to about 10.

This fireroad was a super long one with a couple of puddles and a slight false flat rise. Ryan Quade, Joel Ryan, Trevor Rix and I swapped through a couple of times here keeping the pace pretty high. Pretty much the first hour of racing (and the first 25km) passed through a bit like this. A few of us were driving the pace through the singletrack, then sitting up a bit on the fireroads to regroup before getting back on it for the next bits. It reminded me a bit of Paris - Roubaix and the dynamics between the cobblestones and the smooth roads.

At the 24 km mark, Ryan caught a pedal on something and went down on his stem caning himself in the process. He was quick to get on and the selection of 6 regrouped once again on the next fireroad. At this stage it was myself, Joel Ryan, Ryan Quade, Trevor Rix, Chad Gossert and Brendan Den. 2 kilometres later we heard the loudest bang, and looked back to see Joel Ryan beside his bike, his day ending early with a flat tyre.

The 25 to 50km was a bit of a recce for all of us as no-one had seen this side of the course. Trev caned it along this massive section of fireroad averaging close to 40km/hr, we were absolutely motoring. Trev kept the pace high all the way to the end of the first lap, where as we approached the crowd was going wild cheering for us. We came through for the first 50km in 1 hour and 55 minutes.

Each of the remaining 5 riders stopped for new bottles at the transition and we headed out for the second lap with fresh bottles and a full knowledge of what lay ahead for the remaining 50.
It felt as though the pace was raised a bit for the 2nd leg, always hard to say! Again, the next hour went by without too much drama.

At the 70km mark, I lead through the singletrack that ran parallel to the creek, and increased the pace a little to test the legs of the group. I was able to open up a gap of about 20 metres on this flat twisty singletrack. Towards the end, I backed off a little bit, and let the group come back together at the fireroad. The feedback given was that I had put everyone in the hurt box just a little!

At the next singletrack climb I went up as per normal pace - ie pretty high, but not too deep, but on the other side I decided to ramp it up again. This was a twisty singletrack descent that required a fair bit of concentration due to the dry, dusty conditions. By the bottom of the descent I had managed to open up a gap of about 75metres. This was enough for me to decide to empty the tank from here on.

I dug deep knowing that there was probably less than an hour to go and only about 25 kilometres left. By the 95kilometre mark at the superlong fireroad highway, I motored as hard as I could go trying to mimic Trev's initial power ramp. By the end of the fireroad I knew that it was all downhill ,and that I couldn't see anyone behind on the trail.

From here it was just a matter of linking corners and ensuring that the pace was kept high. At the last creek crossing I knew that I had it won and I just had to negotiate the slightly muddy, logged section. After successfully getting around this section I rounded the last bend and put my hands in the air and savoured the victory to the cheers from the crowd.

I had managed to do the back 50km in 1:52 for a total time of 3 hours and 47 minutes for the 100km. The average speed was about 26.6km/hr with the last hour motoring along at 27.5km/hr. Not bad for offroad!

Chad Gossert came in second about 3 minutes after I had crossed the line and Trev came in third a couple of minutes after.

In the fifty, Kylie managed to smoke the course in a shade over 2 hours to win the women's class and get 3rd overall behind a couple of fast Canberra guys, Phil Tucker and Greg Collis.

All in all, an excellent, enjoyable weekend with the bonus of a good result for the Lonsdale Street Cyclery team on a superb course with a truckload of superfast singletrack. I will definitely be back for next year and would recommend this event for anyone!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Off to the Back Yamma Bigfoot

The training is always consistent, therefore the form is usually fairly consistent also. What does this mean? Not really sure, but the latest twinpeaks TT has indicated that things are trekking in the right direction. I am heading off to Parkes tomorrow to race the inaugural Back Yamma Bigfoot 100km race.

It always takes forever to gather all of the equipment needed to take to a race where I have to drive and stay overnight. I have to make sure that I have adequate cycling clothing, cycling food, and bottles, a million bottles! All premade with the stuff I drink in order to not waste energy the night before.

Two bikes to wash and prep takes up a bit of time also. But, it is always worth it. A smooth bike is a fast bike that's for sure.

I also hit up the massage table. 3 massages this week. I had some tightness in my left ITB that was caused by the new S-Works shoes which have a slightly thinner sole than my SHimano ones, thus effectively giving me a higher saddle for my ride on Sunday.

Tools, spares, cleaning rags, extra water, table, track pump, bike cleaning products --- it is all there as well.

The wagon will be packed up tomorrow morning and I will head north out of Canberra on a well travelled road. A bit of a course recce. Some chilling whilst watching the AFL grand final (not supporting Collingwood though) will be a nice distraction until dinner time. Some more pasta, as a cyclist, it is a good thing that I do like pasta. 8 hours sleep, then a morning coffee and breakfast before heading out to the race.

I still love racing after doing my first one back in 1989 as an excited 15 year old. The technology has changed dramatically, however the simplicity of a group of people racing on a course with a number plate on will never change. Hit up the course in the shortest time possible, going as fast as the course will let you.

I can't wait for this one either - fully amped!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Recovery Monday

 Long road ride Saturday, Long MTB ride Sunday. Two days without any need for arm warmers or leg warmers. After riding through all of winter again, when it gets to 10 degrees, I am pretty stoked as, relatively, that is quite warm.


After doing a huge build up to the non-existent Angry Doctor, and then having a weekend of not much riding on a relative peaking curve, I needed to get some more long miles in the legs. Last weekend I managed 3 hours on Saturday and a race on Sunday. Not a huge amount of volume, but intensity was quite high.


So this weekend I put out 4 and a bit hours on Saturday on the road bike and 4 hours on Sunday on the mountain bike. Saturday was the worst day to be out on a road bike, 30km/hr wind, foreign pollen in the air, but the weather was good. I did my normal Condor Creek loop with a run up Mount Stromlo at the end followed by a 20km/hr struggle on flat bike path into a mental headwind up to Gungahlin. When I turned around, it was easy-peasy – 55km/hr all the way back down to Northbourne avenue.


Sunday was less windy, but I was pretty hammered from the Saturday fight against the wind and the pollen. One good thing was the tailwind out to Stromlo, and the dust on the trails. I don't think I have seen dust on the trails at Stromlo or Bruce Ridge since April. 2 wheel drifts are now back in fashion at Stromlo!


This was also the first time that I have used my Continental Race King Supersonics tyres in the dry (ie dusty). They are pretty damn good I must say. I was running them a little high with regard to pressure (testing), but they hooked up superbly in the skaty conditions.


Another first this weekend was the use of my new Specialized S-Works MTB shoes. For a first ride, and one being 4 hours long, these were sensational. The comfort levels were excellent and my feet were happy when I got home. The BOA system allows you to fine tune the fit as 4 clicks on the dial is equal to one click on a standard buckle ratchet system on other branded shoes.


These shoes are also really light. This can be felt when spinning the cranks round during any sort of pedalling. Sprinting out of the saddle is just unreal.


The beauty of the dry conditions also meant that the shoes didn't get covered in mud and crap, always a bonus with patent white shoes!


With the warmer weather, I also managed to see the first snake out on the trails. I had just finished climbing heartbreak climb at Stromlo, and was cruising up a fireroad to get some water and almost rode right over him. Luckily for me, I think we were both in a cruisy zone.


To finish off the ride on Sunday I did some more singletrack through Bruce, followed by a climb up Mount Ainslie to take in the view.


It sure does feel like Spring again, which means great riding conditions and lots of enjoyable trail time.


This weekend, I will be heading up to Parkes for the Back Yamma Bigfoot. I am super stoked as the weather forecast is one for no rain this week. What an absolute novelty – dry trails! Excellent………

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Specialized S-Works Amira

I got a text from Trev the other day. He said that a Specialized S-Works Amira bike had turned up at the shop in a size for Kylie. In the flesh, the bike is stunning. The red is a deep glossy colour which contrasts nicely with the matte carbon lower tubes.
The Amira is the female line of the Specialized bikes, that align with the Tarmac men's model. In short, Specialized make exceptionally good female specific bikes. Geometry and ride quality is absolutely dialed.
Dura-Ace makes up the running gear, with the S-Works FACT crankset providing a tight unit. 45mm roval wheels come standard as well, with graphics sorted to match the frame.
Without pedals the complete bike weighed in at 6.4kgs which is nice and light for snappy acceleration and effortless climbing.
Specialzed have tuned the carbon to provide the same ride feeling in all sized frames regardless of front and rear triangle size. This is a good thing as sometimes a small 'man's' sized frame can be overly stiff.
The next step is to actually see if the bike is the right size for Kylie by comparing her current set-up (tried and true for 6 years) with the Amira. Fun times ahead tonight at the bike shop.
Also, just as a heads up if you are in Canberra this weekend. Lonsdale St Cyclery are having a huge carpark sale of 2010 stock in order to make way for some 2011 goodies. If you are after a bargain, drop by.

Monday, September 13, 2010

more pics

some pics from the weekend

CORC XC - Sutton Road

Bit of a theme this winter. Lots of rain, lots of mud. The CORC XC race at Sutton Road Kowen foothills was no exception. After doing a fairly solid 3 and a half hours on Saturday out in the Brindabellas, I backed it up on Sunday morning with a smash around a pine forest.
The last time I raced here was during the Capital Punishment 100km race. To be honest, it wasn't that much different, except that it was warmer and sunnier. To this end, the numbers out today definitely backed up everyone's sentiment of the mud - ie low numbers in attendance.
At least Brad Morton and Matt Rizzutto turned up. We only had 5 guys in A grade, but getting the podium was not going to be a given. No easy ride here that's for sure! When the gun went, Brad leapt out of the start, attempting to lay down some power that he had stored up from the previous weekend's Angry Doctor no-show.
I quickly got onto his wheel and powered up the first fireroad in hot pursuit, with Matt on my wheel. Brad was smoking it today and it was relatively tricky to keep with him through the singeltrack. There were times when I was out of the saddle just smashing it hard to get back on the wheel.
The train stuck together until the 3rd lap when Matt attacked on the uphill around some backmarkers. I was wondering what he was doing attacking here, as for me it was pretty much the hardest part of the course, and when you hit this part you are just about at max. Matt and Brad got a 20 metre gap on me, but I could see that it had hurt Matt a bit. 3 minutes later through the start \ finish fireroad, Brad had bolted and Matt had blown big time.
So, 2 laps to go, and I started to see if I could reel Brad in. Knowing that he was in great form for the Angry Doctor 50km, that never eventuated, I knew that he would be fast. I had about a 20 second deficit for the 4th and 5th lap, and at one stage during the last lap I was able to see him through the trees, but unfortunately that was about it.
Now I am pretty sure that this is the first XC club race win for Brad, and he was flying - a big Congrats to him. Too strong on the day.
We were doing roughly 17 minute laps consistently around the course. The conditions were grippy wet. There were some bits of the track that had turned to porridge, which made things very interesting (and not that fun - but that is mtb racing).
Some of the mud was so deep that I was picking up pine needles in my cassette which made the chain skip a bit. I also got these caught in the chainrings and small reedy vegetation caught in the jockey wheels. A bit of a mess!
Some stats:
1 hour 25 minutes (roughly) of racing
2 hours of bike cleaning!
17 minute laps
170bpm average HR ~92% of max
185bpm maximum
Oakley Radar G30 vented glasses

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Back yamma bigfoot

Entries are in for this event to be held at the end of September.100km of pancake flat singletrack. I think that this might be a fairly quick race.

Not having seen the course, I am gunning for a sub four hour time. I will be hitting this up as a training race, I.e. still doing a standard training day the day before.

Way back in the mid nineties I was doing geophysical exploration in the Parkes area searching for gold and copper for North Exploration. We were using cutting edge technology of real time differential GPS combined with top of the line magnetometer.

We were able to find more resources inthe shadow of the Northparkes mine, which was quite satisfying.

I lived in Parkes for a year whilst working here, after finishing my studies. I was fortunate to have a mountain bike which I used to explore the local trails. These had mainly been created by motos and 4wd vehicles., a bit rough but cherished like any 'local' trails that you have

With the angry doctor having been canned this year, I am definitely looking forward to this smashfest!

Posted via Blogaway

Posted via Blogaway

New MTB Shoes - Specialized S-works MTB initial review

After a good 12 months of racing with my trusty Shimano MTB shoes, I was in the market for a new pair of shoes. There is nothing wrong with the Shimano ones, just a bit grubby from all of the mud racing done lately, a few dodgy buckles (replaceable) and just looking a little tired.
About 8 months ago I got myself some Specialized Body Geometry soles and put them in my Shimano MTB shoes. For me, these allow my knees to track straighter and provide me with 5% extra power. I can't quantify it, but I know I am faster using time. Plus that's what the brochure said it would do!
Yesterday I was checking out Trev's new 29er Carbon Flash (9.5kgs with heavy stuff on it BTW), and he showed me the new Specialized S-Works MTB shoes. As is often the case, he had my size ready for me to try on and it fitted just like cindarella's (cancellara's?) slipper. The BOA system is pretty smooth and there are 2 of these at key places. There is also a standard velcro strap lower down to fine tune the fit.
As a bonus the tread on the sole can be replaced a'la the Sidi way with their Dominator range. With Specialized making a big move in the Australian market of late, the price has also come down considerably making the decision a little easier. It probably wouldn't have mattered as with the patent white and black faux leather look, these look relatively smooth and enhance the overall PRO-ness of 'the look'.
Last night I fitted some fresh eggbeater cleats and took it for a test spin around the back yard. They feel pretty nice on the feet with no hot spots or wierd stuff that made me think. With the crappy weather, these may not get a look in until November at this rate when (if) the trails dry up. There will be a follow up review in due course after I have logged some actual miles on them.

Monday, September 6, 2010

2010 Angry Doctor - the aftermath

First off, the race was cancelled. Eventually. I drove down on Saturday morning through the rain and the mist of the Clyde Mountain. I kitted up and rode the last 10km of the back fifty to see what would be on the cards for the last half hour of the race.

The course at this stage was pretty soggy, which was to be expected, but I figured without more rain and a bit of win it should dry out.

Be careful what you wish for! The rain stopped and the wind picked up - a lot. Whilst eating dinner looking out over the beach, the wind was howling - hurricane style. I could barely sleep during the night due to the sound of the wind, it was absolutely huge. At 3am, the power went out and the alarm system at the unit went on - loud and crazy. In a flash I was out of bed trying to figure out what the hell happened.

The noise was so loud I could barely hear myself think. In the end the code combo of 1-2-3-4 worked a treat and peace and tranquility was restored. The day was starting well!

At 4:30am I got out of bed with the alarm clock and had a coffee and the standard breakfast. When we left the unit for Mogo, the wind was mental. There was debris everywhere and the main highway to Mogo was closed.

We took the plan B route, but that was closed also, so we were forced to use the GPS and go via Malua Bay. Eventually what should have been a 20 minute drive turned into a 75 minute comedy and we were finally at the event hub.

What was a race event HQ looked like a hurricane aftermath. The race had now been put on hold for 2 hours whilst they checked the track. I think that it wasn't exactly rocket science to figure it out as the course was trashed. This will eventually be argued to death on rotorburn, but I do believe that AROC made the correct decision not to hold the 100km event. However it is my opinion that it should have been made at 7am.

At 9:30am they made the decision to hold a 'token' event later in the day - they would do a 20k track and if you were doing the 100k you did 2 x 20k, 50k - 1 x 20km. Kylie, Brad, Darren and I decided to go for a ride to check out the carnage and to see if the new event would be worth it. We hit up the back 50k trails. A couple of fireroads weren't too bad for the first 300m, but then it was a struggle to go 50m without stopping or hopping a branch or a tree.

In the end we turned around at the 57km mark, we were just having the best time talking crap and riding carnaged trails, whilst hopping logs. When we got back to the carpark we talked some more crap with some good Canberra crew discussing the merits of the day. There weren't many - except hitting the beach.

And so the decision was made to cruise. And for good reason. The 20km turned into 8km and subsequently turned into FAIL. At this stage though I was walking along Long Beach looking to the future and planning the next build.

I did manage however, to get my race entry worth in free Red Bull shots and drink, thanks to the Red Bull ladies! I don't drink RB anymore, but someone in my crew someday in the future will get some use.

Despite the issues, I will definitely be back next year (IF). I have been racing long enough to do races for the course and the experience that it provides rather than the prizes (haha) 0r the event presentation. This was however, in 21 years of racing only the 2nd event that has ever been cancelled due to weird weather. The other one was a state BMX round sometime back in 2003.

Next up - a few options - Back Yamma Bigfoot 100km in Parkes NSW might be on the cards. There is a club race this weekend at the Sutton Rd course, and the Scott 24 hour race in early October. There is always something on!

A few photos provide a summary of the day.....

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Angry doctor.

Short summary thus far. At event hub, race cancelled 2 hours due to gale force winds. Random decision will be made later after motos have done course recce. Possibility of shortened course. Really sunny and warm though.

1 hour course practise yesterday. Pretty wet, but jot too bad. Only the clay was a bit dodgy.

Gees, I have eaten quite a few carbs this week! If it is cancelled, the corc club race next weekend might be a massive turnout.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Good karma

Hopefully by feeding my local Magpie grated cheese on a daily basis, will hold me in good stead during spring this year.

Somehow I think it is just wishful thinking.

All the training has been done for the week, now it is about freshening up, a massage to loosen up the legs, some carbs to stoke the muscles full of glycogen and I am good to go for this weekend at the angry doctor 100om race in mogo.

Definitely looking forward to this one. Lots of fast guys in the elite class this year. It will be a hard fought battle that is for sure.

Monday, August 30, 2010

working on the tan

The last weekend before the Angry Doctor 100km race. The weather this weekend was perfect for riding. So I rode, and ensured that a few things were checked off.
  • Friday Massage
  • Friday Pasta
  • 5 hour road ride Saturday
  • 2000 vm Saturday
  • Saturday Pasta
  • 4 hour MTB ride Sunday
  • 1500 vm Sunday
  • VO2 Max intervals Saturday (Mt McDonald, Dog Hill, Condor - all x 2) - These were all done for 3-5 minutes after building to a LT level. These hurt bad.
  • Truck loads of gels, bars and energy drink consumed
  • Sunday night Roast
So what's new for this week? Well, I will ensure that I get some good sleep leading up to next weekend. I will reduce volume a bit (a little) and increase intensity (a little) to essentially tune out the diesel a little bit. Lots of rest and ensure the bike is running perfectly. Another massage Thursday night and all should be feeling good to hit up some hills.
I will also think back to that lovely day at the end of May, affectionately known as the Capital Punishment mud-fest, and remember all of the ways that I coped with that particualr set of conditions. It seems AROC have the monopoly on 'epic' race conditions. Yes it does look like the AD will be wet this year. How wet, will be determined by this weeks localised climatology.
Anyway, it's just a race, every one has the same conditions!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what a sight.

I love the sight of this. It is the point of turnaround at the top of the Condor Creek climb. It means that the descent can begin. It is exactly 45 kilometres from my front yard to this point.
I have ridden up further from here on the road bike, but it does get a bit rough at times as it is frequented by many vehicles that cause awesome corrugations!
I have ridden down here on the MTB in the dark, sans lights, sans energy, coming home from an epic Brindabella adventure. What was I thinking? Heading out to the Brindies with Graeme Allbon with just 2 powerbars! That was about 15 years ago.
Occasionally I do go off onto the fireroads on the road bike, a lot of them are really smooth. Warks Road isn't too bad on 23mm tyres. One day I might fit up some 25mm tyres on the heavy training wheels and go exploring. Or, I could just head out there on the mountain bike. Actually, I think that could be a better option. Lots of trails out there to explore. One day....

Monday, August 23, 2010

Big weekend

They usually always are, however in the last month I have been working on specifically logging log miles, hours and lots of vertical gain. This is all being done in readiness for the Angry Doctor in early September. Training is the coping mechanism for racing and what better way to be able to cope than to replicate what is being dished out.
Sunday's ride was the first on the mountain bike for a while. It started with a time trial up Mount Ainslie via the twin peaks loop trail. With the amount of water on the trail, as well as 5 hours the previous day, I was exceptionally happy with the time taken to climb this mountain which was on par with course record time.
I then ventured over to Bruce Ridge to ride the Anaconda trail. Not bad, but really slow here due to truckloads of soil moisture, known affectionately as mud in places and a bit squishy in others. Over through Black Mountain I kept to the high grounds and got through this part before hitting up the Cork Plantation and Dairy Farmers hill.
When I got to Stromlo I filled up with water and headed up the trunk trail. Wow. I have never seen sloppy mud at Stromlo before. I must admit I didn't ride the MTB last winter much and now I know why! A run down skyline and the berm track punctuated my exploration of Stromlo as I didn't care too much to take on too much more mud.
From here it was a strong pinning back via the fireroads parallel to the Tuggeranong Parkway, a traverse through the Cork Plantation and Aranda ridge, followed by an urban assault to the Hackett lined channel, where the urban singletrack got me to the base of Mount Ainslie once again. Just up from the old Ainslie tip, I took the steepest fireroad to get up Mount Ainslie in the shortest possible time. It was a granny gear, third on the back effort, but it was still quite hard especially with the pace being pushed. I hit 183bpm on the first Ainslie climb of the day and was hitting 175bpm on this one.
As I hit the sealed road I knew that there was only 2 minutes left, so dug mildly deep and pushed it to the white line that someone has nicely painted near the sign where the road levels out at the summit. I looked at the snow off in the distance, the observatory pods on Mount Stromlo and got myself ready for the descent. Not that hard to do! Just tuck and check the brakes and let go! By the time I have hit 70km/hr I flick left and I am off the sealed pavement and onto the fireroads.
10 minutes later, I am back home and pretty stoked with the 2 day block just put out. The training objectives have been met and that is the main thing!! Next thing on the list was to strip the bike, fully clean it, and put some new consumable parts on it to freshen it up and just chill.

A good ride can be very satisfying indeed....

Friday, August 20, 2010

Specialized S-Works Podium Shoe

That's right! A shoe to wear whilst on the podium. When you are taking the steep rise up to the podium in order to showcase your recent race ability, it is vital that your feet are well supported.
There have been plenty of documented cases where racers have slipped whilst on the podium steps. Why... they were probably wearing their cycling shoes (FAIL) or they had non-PRO shoes on.
The Specialzed S-Works Podium shoe (AKA Stumpy II) is the solution for all of those little problems. Firstly they have the BOA system that all top-end Specialized cycling shoes have. Secondly, they have the exellent Specialized BG foot beds. Thirdly, they have adequate ventialtion and support.
The styling is quite bold with a patent leather look in black and white, which should go with your fresh cycling outfit that you have just put on after finishing the race.
There is super grippy rubber on the soles so that you can kiss the podium girls, spray champagne around, and then walk suavely over to shake the hands of the invited dignitaries and so forth, without slipping over and looking non-PRO.
As they say in the Rap Game..... Pimpin' aint easy! - However with a pair of S-Works podium shoes you are halfway there.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lonsdale St Cyclery Information Nights

For those hooked up Facebook, check out the Lonsdale St Cyclery Wall.
24hour Race Survival  Night seminars
Come in and Listen to INDUSTRY EXPERTS speak on matters that can help you improve comfort, endurance and ultimately your enjoyment at Australia's biggest mountain bike race!!

Wednesday 1ST September
September 1 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm
The second night in our series features:
Craig is an osteopath and yoga instructor http://www.softtissue.com.au/index.html and will be discussing the relationships between setup, comfort, breathing and ultimately endurance.
September 15 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Ok, the big one! World 24hr Champion Jason English will be discussing RACE ETTIQUETTE AND TECHNIQUES and showing off his new 2011 Pivot Mach 4 race bike.
September 29 · 7:30pm - 10:30pm
Check out some of these information sessions if you are interested. Some of them could unlock some of the things that may make your racing and riding more enjoyable or successful!

Team-mate needed for fast team at Scott 24 Hour Race

This is basically a public service announcement on behalf of Nathan Spencer, who is after a team-mate for his team 'On the Go Advertising' (http://www.onthegoadvertising.com.au/).

Everything is fully paid for - you just need to punch out the fast laps day and night as part of the team.

They are a man down and need an extra person to step in and ride fast. Contact Nathan directly at nspencer@cercol.com.au

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Otherwise known as a standard ‘average’ training week…..

Monday: off the bike


Tuesday: AM: 2 hours road bike, push some hard gears, work the LT, sprint a bit, chase commuters.


Wednesday: AM: 2 – 3 hours road bike, big gear Mount Stromlo repeats – 4-6 at LT, keep times within 10% of each other. Keep pedalling whilst recovering.


Thursday: AM 2 hours road bike, play it by ear depending on fatigue level. Ok to split this day up into 2 sessions, trainer\road in morning, MTB at lunchtime.


Friday: Lunch time 75 minute MTB ride – twin peaks loop – race pace, or 45 minute MTB ride at recovery pace.


Saturday: AM 4-4.5 hours road bike, hit up lots of mountains. Ensure last hour is done reasonably hard


Sunday: AM 4 hours road or MTB depending on requirements



Repeat for a number of weeks then have an inside trainer week with an extra half hour of sleep, with half an hour less riding. Never increase volume by more than 10% for each successive week. Build weeks can go for 2-6 weeks depending on specific requirements.


In Summer, Thursday is XCC race day for 5 months – good high intensity training day. Still do 2 hours in the morning, probably switch hill day to Sunday.


Racing can also occur on the weekends for XCO or 100km races.


Recovery is important, eating is important, hydration is important.


Highest intensity work only ever conducted at a volume of 10% or less of total weekly volume, except for a race week, where racing is done at what ever intensity required to perform – ie usually pretty high!


It is not a lot of weekly volume as it has to fit in with other commitments such as work, house cleaning, bike repair, tv watching, recovery, living etc, but it seems to work ok for me with regard to doing XCC, XCO and XCM (ie 100 km races).
As they say, you reap what you sow....


Monday, August 16, 2010

Compressports Compression Garment Review

Recovery is the number one thing that helps an athlete respond to the daily training stimuli. Consistency with training is also another thing that is vital in order to progress. There are many ways to recovery effectively, including compression garments. A lot has been documented about the virtues of compression garments, so I won't be elaborating on these details. If you need to know, use the google.


I have used these compression garments since XMAS 2009. I pretty much throw them on straight after a ride and wear them for quite a while after. The unique thing about the Compressport items is that they are a 2 piece set.  There is the quad version and the calf version. This is pretty good in my opinion for many reasons. The compression is actually being performed on the muscle itself, as opposed to the bony bits such as the knee.


These things are tight. This is an exceptionally good thing as it is exactly what you require with regard to compression. The other great thing is that unlike other brands the tightness does not diminish over time. This is the greatest attribute that these garments have. The set from XMAS lasted until August this year with daily use. That is pretty sensational.


They come in both black and white colours and there is also a line that includes some extra recovery oils embedded in the material. I just use the plain jane model.


Having 2 sets of garments for the quad and the calf allows you to wear them underneath long pants, easily put them on when flying or driving, and are also cooler when it is hotter. These are all pluses when combining training and racing with real life.


I guess that people pretty much fall into the yes or no bandwagons on the validity of the compression justification option. If you are in the 'yes' group, then these would be worth looking into. Trev has just started stocking these at Lonsdale Street Cyclery in Braddon (Canberra). If you are in the ACT, and want to at least check them out, you can pop in at any time. They also have a website where you can buy them direct.


These items are pretty big in the triathlon scene, when actually competing, but would also have possible application in the longer enduro scene – ie 24 hour racing. I haven't ever used them whilst racing or even riding the bike in training, but it might work for some. Apparently they are banned for UCI sanctioned events. Supposedly…..