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Entries For: April 2007


No longer a DISC virgin!

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Dino Apolito, Matty Ditchfield & I broke our DISC virginity last night

A healthy mob of aboc riders attended DISC last night to race, Nathan and Matty Ditchfield riding D, Dino, Wayne Evans, Mick Thomas and I riding C.  For a few of us it was our first race on the boards.  Matty had done some laps in the past, Dino & I had done time there at masters training last weekend. 

How'd we go? I'm glad you asked ....

Nath is preparing for a big summer of sprinting, so his riding was really just to gather more track time, and he got plenty working hard in D and looked strong in the motorpace, Matty took some points in the points race by winning the second sprint and finishing well in the final sprint for that race.

Dino, as is often the case, despite depleted legs from a hard ride on Wednesday, rode above himself and finished safely in the bunch for each of his races, Wayne Evans (with sand leaking from his pockets!) claims a contested 2nd in the scratch race and finished right at the pointy end in all his races, and I got dropped from the scratch race, dropped in the points race but chased for 10 laps and got back on to then lead out the bunch to the final sprint, and managed to hold on for most of the motorpace.

The standard's a bit higher than at Blackburn, I'd say the C grade bunch was around half way between B and C at BBN depending on who was at BBN for the races, and D grade looked about the same sort of 'a bit higher than D, but not quite C' pace at BBN.

Overall, for myself and Dino and Matty and Nath, it was a good evening's racing - we were there to gain experience with the track and racing on it, and we all got that, safely and with no problems.  In a few weeks once we've all found our legs there (and don't arrive flattened from a big effort the day before!) I think aboc jerseys will be quite prominant at the pointy end of the races when it matters.




Baw Baw, DISC, around we go ...

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A very bikish weekend

Saturday morning, a good 95km ride from aboc HQ, via Doncaster Rd to the city, Beach Rd to Edithvale and back home via Spingvale Rd.  Along Beach Rd, this muppet in an old red Phonak kit keeps going through red lights.  I'd catch him in E1 (~200 watts was the target power for the ride) and he'd suck wheel, then I'd stop for a red light and he'd just keep on going.  After the third time I had a bit of a 'chat' with this clown.  Expressing to him that red lights are for everyone (he wasn't just ignoring ped crossings, it was intersections too ...) and that he should stop for them.  He told me not to care about him, I told him that what he does affects us all, and then a few insults got thrown around.  The old saying goes "There's an infinite number of idiots and a finite number of bullets". The funniest part was that he told me I should save my energy for riding.  Heh ... funny from someone I was consistanly towing along and catching every time he shot a red, eh?  He pulled off at the Brighton Yacht Club, but later caught me up some rise, but by then I'd had enough and I turned it up for the rest of the ride and dropped him pretty easily.  Idiot ...

After that incident, the rest of the ride was fine.  I saw the hellride coming back through Beaumaris, it was only using 1.5 lanes at that time, unusually 'good' for them.

Got home just in time to head out to take photos of the Baw Baw.  Mistake was to not take the motorbike, the traffic once we got past Noojee meant that I got no photos of A or B grade, but did get some of C, the masters and what was left of the women (maybe 5 of them?) at Winch Corner - 20% pinch on the climb.  I've ridden Baw Baw once (not racing, just Byron & I went out and did it a couple of years ago for 'fun'.  It's the only Hors Category climb in Oz, 6km at an average of 13%.  Gloomy light and my poor skills with a camera meant I didn't get many good shots - certainly not many suitable for, but I did get a good one of Cam Woolcock, but my shot of Les was out of focus.  Drove on up to the top to congratulate Les and Cam on finishing the beast just as it started to rain (rain?  what is this water falling from the sky?).  No snow this year ...

Dino told me later about Emily at the Siemens junior training she went to on Sat arvo.  It started out a bit stressful for her, but at the end she was all smiles and had a great time.  Well done Emily, and thankyou to Nathan for setting her bike up for 'road' use.

Sunday, we (Nathan, Dino & I) were going to head out to DISC to do the masters track training session, while Neil was going to Glenvale to shake up B grade (and by all reports he did - Mal Sawford's report mentions him).  Nath was cooked from a long ride on Saturday so didn't bring his bike(!) but did come along and provide mechanical support.  Thanks for fitting the 90" Nath!  It turned out that Stu Vaughn was away and the session was being run by Liz Randall.  Liz is a masters female world champion and knows DISC pretty well.  Dino and I had the velodrone to ourselves as no-one else showed up, and Liz taught us more about the banking, taking us -way- up the bank and we did some sprint efforts etc.  Thankyou Liz, for me, that was just what I needed to get comfortable with the bank on those corners.  I'm not 100% on them, but at least I know what the bike will do.  My Bontrager Race-Lites hung on just fine, and Dino was using Nath's Vittoria Rubino Pros which also were fine, after his bad experience with Michellin Pro-Race 2's, which are -not- good on steep boards!  We have Veloflex Records on order, will be interesting to see how they go.  It was pretty good having the whole velodrone to ourselves for three hours. I think Nath was regretting not bringing his bike, he could have rolled around and just got more track time, which at DISC I think is very worth having. Next week, Nath!

Dino's got my track kit, this Thursday is my first foray into DISC for racing.  I'm not sure about it, but will give it a go and see how I handle it. Wish me luck!




Westerfolds Park encounters of the edible kind

8:30pm, Vanders & I are going for a night fang through Westerfolds Park on MTB's.  I've got my HID, he's got an array of halogens.  Clearly I have the advantage ....

We spoke of wombats and how one would not like to hit one at any kind of speed.  There's often one or two near the bridge over the Yarra.  Not tonight .. we clean the first few sections of singletrack without incident.

After the bridge we turn left through the sweepers, often a wombat here too .. nope .. through the little dipper, through some tighter stuff, then BANG something low to the ground and black thuds into my bike somewhere around the middle, THUMP it charges into me again (I'm still upright!), and WHACK it hits my front wheel (I think) and I'm lying on the ground, wondering exactly what made a wombat charge into me from the side not once, or even twice, but three times.

Bastard!  Vanders was just behind me, laughing!  Brush off the dust and check for damage between laughs.  I'm ok, a little bruised and dirty around the right shoulder and side, but my front wheel is taco'd.  4km we'd ridden, so it's a 4km walk back to Vander's car.  He scoots off for some more fun while I roll & carry my bike back to the car.  *doh*

They're a protected species, right?  Hrmmm ...



Ionized water, Alkaline water? Snake oil ....

Some fool or fraud keeps sending me adverts for a miracle 'water' that cures all ills .. it's snake oil


Seen any hype about alkaline water?  Ionized water?  Carnegie-Caulfield even have one of these as a sponsor (I'm somewhat saddened that CCCC would accept their money, but that's their call) .. but it's a fraud.  Read here for why.  And also here. Recently, a certain XXXXX XXXXX has been sending me some junk about it, and how it's a miracle cure for just about everything.  In an early reply I asked him if it also cures baldness, impotence and cancer, and he replied that it probably did too ... alarm bells ringing?  They should be.


This was his first unsolicited mail to me :

shonky_fraudster@xx.xx.xx wrote: 
You are receiving this mail because S Fraudster is 
sending feedback about the site administered by you at  The message sent was: 
Dear ABOC check out this wicked new hydration product. I started 
using this about 1 mth ago for hydration and then began to notice my 
cycling and endurance performance improving dramatically. I have been 
a keen committed cyclist for over 20 years and have never seen my 
performance on road and off road improve this much. I go up hills 
easier, I can maintain higher speeds for longer, there seems less 
lactic acid build up when I am riding, I need to pee less....hurrah, 
my legs don't ache the next day, and my sweat causes less neck rashes 
etc. I am very impressed with this product. I would recommend all 
cyclists try it for 3 mths and see how their performance improves. I 
hear on the grapevine that some UK soccer clubs are starting to use 
this. You can also earn a lot of money if you like the product! 
Cyclists will love this once they get their hands on it! How you can 
improve your performance while drinking water Check it out! Kind Regards Cheers Shonky Fraudster


Today, I get this gem (again, unsolicited, and after I'd told this huckster I was in no way interested in his snake oil) :


Carl, This may be of interest to you. As we both know, timing is critical when it comes to getting in first on something brand new.

Check out the message update below I received from our team and click on the link. Or GO HERE -- Would love to know what you think about this new Movie (it's only 5 minutes long) that really brings to light the truth about the water, health drinks, and energy drinks the world is consuming in mass quantity... it's indeed a real eye-opener!


----- Original Message -----

From: 'X2O Movie System Admin'

To:  Shonky
Sent: April 3, 2007
Subject: (Update) New X2O Movie

Hello Shonky Fraudster,

Attention All Xooma Worldwide Partners!

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  • Global consumption of bottled water is increasing an average or 12% annually with no slow down in site.
  • Prevention magazine and the Wall Street Journal have called WATER "The Next Vitamin"
  • World beverage consultants predict bottled water to surpass soft drink sales by 2010.
  • Donald Trump and Rapper 50 cent have started their own line of water products.

We know Xooma is poised for massive growth.

Check out your brand new 5 minute "Water Makes Me Happy" Movie

It's really very informative and will help you explode your business. Plus we are offering some free gifts, including a FREE CD if your visitors check it out over the next 48 hours.


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To Your Online Xooma Success!

X2O Movie System Support



This stuff is classic snake oil.  Don't be fooled. It's fraud.




2007-2008 summer track sprint series?

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Who's interested? I need suggestions.

Next summer, I'd like to run a track sprint series.  Rowan Geddes complained to me a few years ago now that if you're a track sprinter, and you're not in the VIS/AIS or otherwise elite level, there's very little in the way of match sprint racing.  It's not unreasonable to expect this to be the case, match sprinting is time consuming and running it in with track carnivals takes too long. 

So, what can we do for Rowan, Nathan Larkin, Richard Grace, and anyone else that wants to do regular match sprinting?  I know there's a lot of Blackburn trackies that would like the chance to do more of it.  Brett Curren and I discussed it and his eyes lit up (as well they should!), and of course Nicko (John Nicholson), as a former world match sprint champion, was interested too. Maybe we can get the old lion out racing again?

Some possibilities :

Once a fortnight over the summer track season, run a 'sprint series' on Sunday afternoons at the BBN velodrome. Round robins rather than eliminations (so everyone gets more chances to race).  Graded, with series aggregate and daily prizes.  Maybe do grading by initial flying 200 times and then promotion/relegation through grades depending on ongoing results.

Once a fortnight run Friday night sprints at Blackburn or one of the other banked velodromes - Packer Park (CCCC) isn't banked enough so it's not a good venue for match sprinting.  I'm not so keen on weeknights, people that work for a living can't often get away from work early enough to make this practical, but it might work?

Any other suggestions?  I want to make this run next summer, and input is much appreciated.

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