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Entries For: September 2007


The arse-o-meter

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A simple and clever way to measure your posterior

As many of you know, I do bike fits at Cycle Science, and one of the most tricky things to get even close to right on is saddles. Cutout or no cutout, size of cutout, pressure relief, softness etc ... very tricky, and mostly trial and error - it's slow and often a frustrating process.bontrager fit stool

One of the key variables is width - convention suggests that your weight should be mostly carried by your sit bones - your ischial tuberosities I believe is the proper name for them.  Other research suggests carrying weight on your pubic rami (stradle bones). And, everyone is, of course, different.  If a saddle is too narrow, you feel like you're sitting on a knife, too broad and your soft tissue carries too much weight and you ruin your weekend's fun. So how do you find the bones and measure them to get a reasonable first guess?  You can get a rider and poke into their backside and use a ruler to measure the width, but that's a little .. personal .. for most to want to accomodate.  You can get an X ray, but that's not something we'd usually do in a bike shop.

How else can it be done?  Trek came up with a pretty nifty idea.  We're calling it the arse-o-meter, but I think they have a proper name for  it.  It's a stool (medical practitioners can stop sniggering now please), with a deformable foam pad and a colour-coded graduation for widths. Sit on it, upright, and your sitbones leave a distinct impression in the foam.  Locate the middle of the impressions, get the colour-code, and you have the width. It takes about 30 seconds to do and requires no poking and prodding or guesswork.  When you're done, we just smooth the foam (it's like a cream, really) back so it's ready for the next bum.  It's colour coded so we can say "ahha, a 'blue'" not "a large", as some might not take too kindly to being told they have a wide set of sitbones. Some people get quite touchy about such things.  The Seat of Power .. embrace it .. that's my philosophy, but not everyone is on the same page.

My appologies for the cluttered photos, but the photos tell a better story than I can describe it.

bumprints in the bontrager fit stool

bontrager fit stool measurement device

So anyway, how does this help?  It lets us know roughly where to start with saddle widths. It doesn't solve the cutout or no, or how big a cutout question, or padding, but it does tell us, quickly and easily, how wide a rider's sit bones are.  This isn't just useful for checking against the new Bontrager InForm saddles (which are very good, I have to say, I was quite surprised), but also other manufacturers.  Hopefully we'll get one in at the shop, I think it'll be a useful tool as part of a fitting, and will take out some guesswork.


Vehicular Cycling

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Ride on the road, you have the right to, and it's safer than you think

This crops up on web forums, USENET, conversation etc all to often.

What is Vehicular Cycling? Simply put, it's riding a bike on the road excerising your right to be there, being visible and predictable.

I have both of the books on this, 'Cyclecraft' and 'Effective cycling'.  Any aboc'er is welcome to borrow these books.

And remember, with rights comes responsibilites.  You don't get one without the other.



'08 Madone review

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It's done ...

Between sniffles, coughs and other 'flu related symptoms, it's done, I've written a review of the '08 Madone.

Read it here if you're interested.


Car free to get to the velodrome!

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Today the Trek 7.2FX became a tow bike

I haven't had time yet to write up a report on Trekworld or finish my '08 Madone review, but that'll be this week, I promise.  After yesterday's DFL in the eastern combine club champs road race (results here) and struggling to maintain 150 watts on the flat(!) I woke up today with the explanation - it's either a pretty wicked cold, or the 'flu. I was always going to come last, but I expected to be able to hold on until the hills. Nope!  Slept in for a while, watched Dr Who episodes, blew my nose, coughed, blew my nose again, then decided I could at least do something with the day.  So I cadged a lift with Vanders to Cycle Science and I put together the rest of my tow bike and used the shop rags as nose-goblin catchers.

trek 7.2 fx tow bikeThe tow bike is a 20" Trek 7.2 FX, with a trailer and pannier rack (and the suspension seatpost removed!  urgh ... get rid of it!).  You can see the final product.  A gallery is here and Vanders is the model posing with the bikes.  At speed it's quite unstable, the instructions on the trailer say 'no more than 10m/h' which is about 16km/h.  I had it at around 25km/h before the tail started to wag.  Ok, we'll take it easy on this rig.  It's only to get the bike and my kit to Blackburn for summer track races, which is only 5km away, but is quite hilly, so the triple on the 7.2FX will get used.  Who needs a car?!

I'm going back to bed to watch more Dr Who and submarine videos, until the codeine kicks in and I get to sleep!


Arrooogggahhhh!!!! Sprint training!

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On Tuesday, Dino, John & I chased motorbikes again ... w00t!

With Pat "Mr Motorcycle" suffering from a combination of guilty concience and a virus, it was down to John and I to chase him on Tuesday at the BBN roundabout.  Dino showed up as well, which was good.  He's getting better quite quickly.  We started off with a warmup - I had to swap a tyre over due to last week's puncture, so Dino and John chased Pat on the 250 for 20 laps (I think?).  I jumped on with about 3 to go and chased a little, but by then Pat was winding it up, John was dropped and I missed the wheel!  Doh!

So I do a couple of five lappers (86.4") with Pat winding it up to around 55km/h.

Then we do the sprinter thing - sit around and talk crap!

Next, three flying 200's on the 86", John's pushing 81 and spinning like a top, and Dino was on 84"? Dino - I'm sure you'll correct me.  Taking it up to high 50's, with a decent norwesterly wind of around 10kn meant that we were getting pushed up the bank on the southern corner, fun!

After them, it was big-gear-o-clock.  I'm using 98.4" again (I like this gear....), Dino & John are on low 90's.  Three of these each behind the motorbike, with 10-15 mins recovery.  60km/h or a bit over for each of us, and we're done.  John and I are having a healthy bit of rivalry re top speeds behind the bike.  I'm not sure who won the day, but John and Dino rode really well.

A warmdown in easy gears and then pack up and go home. I'll take jellylegs for a dollar, thankyou.  Ride home on the Madone, that little hill seems a little bigger today. Heh ...

Home, get the bolla ready for spin, and then back to the BBN velodrone clubrooms to run the spin session.  Nath's not coming so I ask if Tom minds if I pop the powertap under him for the session - I'm keen to find out what sort of wattages he's putting out.  We have a pretty good session - it's the second last session and we're upping the intensity now everyone's got plenty of endurance work in their legs.  It's been a good week for most of the suffering cyclicts, a number rode the Fruitloop and finished despite a gale, and Tom had won at Casey again on Saturday (lapping the field again ...) and then backed up to come 4th at the Bay2Bay Classic. Not bad for a bloke who's only training one day a week.   Claire (new aboc client) came along, a little flustered from being late (lost!) but soon settled in and had a productive session.

And today, I wussed out on my commute (6km ... blah .. I need to work further from home! It's too easy to be lazy) and rode the VFR, it was blowing a gale and raining when I left home, but now it's nice.  Will have to do an hour on the rollers tonight.  Joy! Tomorrow (at last ...) I'll get to ride the '08 Madone, I'll be at Trekworld in Sydney for two days and they have a demo ride on Thursday morning.  So, no DISC for me this week until Sunday.

And speaking of DISC, John'll be away, so I'll be running the session - and we're not going to let it be so disorganised this time!

30 mins warmup, then we'll split it 20 mins sprint, 20 mins enduro, repeat ... The last session was all over the shop and dangerous with people doing all sorts of things with no communication etc.  That's got to change!



DOMS - I've got it this afternoon!

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Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - DOMS

If you've ever done some hard work - lifting, weight training etc, and felt ok for the first day or so, then started to feel muscle soreness, you've had DOMS.  This afternoon, it's my turn.  I generally don't get it, maybe that's because I don't train hard enough?  No way!  There's lots of explanations for it, the wikipedia article I've linked to above is a pretty good summary.  Generally I use a 4:1 carb:protein drink after hard training to reduce its effects.  According to Ed Bourke and Chris Carmichael's books this works, and generally my experience (placebo tested?  nope ... this isn't science on my part) is that it does.  C4P, or chocolate milk is my post-training drink of choice.  Whatever the cause and cure, today it's not working!  I didn't do the usual 50 lap enduro ride after my sprint training, which may have contributed, although that's contentious.  There's no proof that stretching or warmdowns reduce DOMS, but even if they don't, they're worth doing anyway if for nothing else than a bit of endurance work after strength training to keep some endurance up.

And for something simply amazing and completely unrelated on bikes, Artistic Cycling - have a look here.  It'll blow your mind.


A dog's breakfast at DISC, and N+1 in 15 minutes

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Report from DISC training, and a new bike!

I had a lazy Saturday (bad case of CBF), where Vanders and I did a MTB ride through Westerfold Park down to Ivanhoe and back (~100 mins riding) at moderate intensity.  Averaged low E1 mostly, it was time for more sprint work at DISC on Sunday at the Masters session.

Rich and Dino came along, and there was quite a mix of people, most of whom (myself included) had their own agendas for the session - some more willing to fit in than others, alas.  We were a bit disorganised and Rich and Dino didn't get much of a ride in. I'm sorry, in particular, Rich, next time we'll get it better organised.  There was next to nothing for general enduro riders, as the pursuiters did their thing, and we slotted in sprints behind the motorbike.  It was a bit of a dogs breakfast.  John Lewis and I discussed it afterwards and some ideas floated was a time split between sprinters and enduros, as it's getting close to worlds the sprinters are wanting to do full recovery stuff (20 mins between efforts, roughly) maybe we can do 15 min enduro drills, and then let the sprinters have 15 mins (with 5 mins leeway) and share it up that way.  That might work.  Maybe we need a Hiltonesque coach to run the session to keep it moving and organised?  How well that would work with adults, I don't know.

I did get my stuff done, 5 big gear slow starts (strength training) for 150m chasing Leah Patterson.  Standing starts in 98.4" is quite eye-popping.  Then after I did some motorpacing for a few of the others, I did 5 flying 200's (again on 98.4") with around 15-20 mins recovery, the last two I started to grovel so I'd probably overdone it a bit for the day.  That's ok though, at the moment I'm only really playing at being a sprinter, I figure it'll take at least a year of more focussed sprint training before I can do any real high speeds, I'm not peaking for anything, so this is all groundwork for next summer ('08-09, not '07-'08).  My main focus this summer is the Blackburn track season (not the TSSS, I'm running that, so I can't race it as well).  I want to be able to give the Alans (Barnes and Dorin) a hard time and make them really earn their wins. It'd be nice to be able to exert some influence at Glenvale too and work for the boys in B grade there. We'll see... Once the BBN summer track season starts I'll stop racing at DISC, I don't think two races a week will work for me, I'd rather do more structured training than just race, race, race.  Therebe a path to burnout and stagnation.

Before we got started at DISC the Brunswick mob were finishing up their session with a coaching seminar, which I listened to a bit, quite well presented, I think.  Next time though, please put all your chairs back where they're not in the way! And to whoever re-wrote the whiteboard message asking cyclists not to use the bowlers chairs, maybe learn to spell Bowler (not boler, you dumb schmuck).

In the evening I had to go out to the Lilydale flying school and replace a broken tape drive in their server, but on the way we stopped in at Cycle Science (20 mins before closing time) and put my new tow-bike (Trek 7.2FX) together - from boxed to rideable in 15 minutes!  Not bad.  I'll still have to swap out the suspension seat post and put on the tow hitch, SPD-SL's and pannier rack,  but it's ready to ride now. Trek's are generally great to assemble, the wheels are true, the gears set and tensioned well, they're a delight to put together.  This bike will be hooked up to a trailer so I can tow my T1 to the BBN velodrome in summer with an esky and a bag full of bits. It's 5km each way, but quite hilly, so a triple will be handy, especially on the way home after a day's racing.  I'm looking forward to being able to race without depending on a car for transport.  Maybe next winter if I'm keen enough I'll use that rig to tow the T1 to DISC on Thursdays and Sundays?

Out at YLIL we watched Jono Merridew land an Archer in a gusty 35kn+ crosswind. Some landing .. that boy can fly. YLIL is a 180/0 runway, and the wind was almost all coming in at 270 degrees (straight westerly).  I think Archers are rated at a 17kn crosswind?  Jono made it look like a gentle 5kn headwind landing. The tape drive needs a different cable, so I knocked up a quick(ish) tarball of their server and copied it onto their firewall so at least they have a backup, and will sort out the rest of it this week before I scoot to Skider-knee to Trekworld.

Nath, Rob M and Bev (and a few others?) went out and did the Fruitloop ride on Sunday, out at Shepparton, that would have been uber-windy. No reports back from them yet.  I hope they're all still alive!




DISC report - I'm auditioning to be a derny

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Tonight's DISC, and they call me 'Mr Domestique'

The usual Thursday at DISC, sorta.  Who's here this week?  Of my crew?  None of my coaching clients are racing tonight, but John Lewis and Pat Dougherty are there, and ... they're riding C grade.  Ok ... I owe John a few favours as he's been looking after my T1 for me while Dino's been off the boards.  How can I help?  They ask me to try and keep the pace even for the first half of the scratch race so they're not disgraced.  Ok, I can do that.  The field is big but most of the stronger riders are absent.  Plan?  You bet ... this'll confuse a few people, but will work.

How best to control the pace?  Simple, just stay on the front and string out the field. so that's what I did.  Got on the front from the start whistle, and just stayed there, for 9 laps. Not super-fast, but a reasonable tempo, no-one keen to attack was near the front at the start, so I had a fair buffer of wheelsuckers before anyone who would exercise any initiative, and that wasn't until 10 to go (of an 18 lap race), I chased the first (rather weak!) attack down straight away, but then I'd done my job and I let the bunch roll over and I rolled down and got out of the way. A DNF, but John & Pat finished comfortably with the bunch.  Job No. 1 done.

Then, the points race.  I wanted to set John up for the first sprint, and Pat's job was to tow him back if he got dropped at any time.  Same drill, this time John's camped on my wheel from the starting lineup, and there's a girl in QC gear in front of us at the start, but she shows no interest in leading off, so I go over her straight away.  On the front, 4 laps 'til the first sprint, and John knows the plan.  I'm going to wind it right up and do the first leadout, and then I'll be blown and will probably DNF.  So at the whistle, I ramp it up and up and up each lap, keeping the field in a long line and John has an armchair ride.  With about half a lap to go John gets the hint and kicks over the top, just as well, I'm cooked. He takes the first sprint at a canter.  Perfect. I'm spent though, I make a half-arsed attempt to hold the gap I've let open up, but concede after a few laps of this once I notice John's been dropped after the second sprint and Pat isn't coming back to help him.  Bugger!  Oh well ... we got him in the points and that's good.  Job No.2 done.

Up to 98.4" for the motorpace, this time, I'll be riding for me and the confused crowd won't be wondering what's going on with this fool who rides on the front like some triathalete!  That's the plan, anyway.  The last two races have taken a lot out of my legs though, big long turns on the front have done some damage.  I'm not in my prefered position at the start and with that big gear, I let a little gap open up at the very start, I close it, but overpower the bridge and waste some matches and have to roll up the bank to slow, dumb ... and after about a lap and half my right hamstring starts to hint it's about to cramp.  I had a knee recon a decade ago on my right knee, and the surgeon did a hamstring graft, so I have less tendons in my right hamsting than the default that humans come with.  If my right hammy says something to me, I know to stop what I'm doing, pronto.  So I pull up and get out of the way, roll down and pop my pedal out, and let my right leg hang while I scrub speed and roll back into the infield.  Three DNF's for the night!  But, it was still fun and I did my duty by the riders I worked for.

Dino's come down for a look and he's worked out what was going on (all those race skill sessions *are* worthwhile, eh?!), Lisa Hocking's along for a spectate as well, and it's off to Nandos for a refuel. It was good to see big Trav take out the D grade scratch race, and Lawrence rode well, and Stu Vaughan finished the night with a great attack in the A grade motorpace and held his gap for a win. It was great to see Monique Hanley and we congratulated her on her fantastic performance in the RAAM (she was in the winning team).

Tomorrow, easy recovery ride, before doing it all again on the w'end.  Mmmm, bikes are good.


I'm going to Trekworld

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Pete from Cycle Science is sending me to TrekWorld

Trekworld - eh?  Trekworld is a two (or three, if you have the luxury of an extra spare day) day Trek Bicycles 'love in' (to use the IT industry term for a conference/marketing brainwashing session).  Stuff to be covered is details of the '08 range of bikes and bits that Trek do - including all the other brands - Lemond, Gary Fischer, Giant (heh ...) and sales training and so on.  I'll miss the demo day, I can't afford three days during the week, that's for sure, but I'll get the rest of the stuff.  This time I hope Mr Sales Guru from Clarence St Cyclery (the company/LBS that is Trek Australia) who is the same bloke who came down to Melb last year or early this year,  spends a little less time talking about how he used to be a twat but is now a Really Nice Guy, and a bit more on actual sales techniques.  Last time, from a two hour talk, about 45 mins was useful, and the food was good. This time, it's costing us Real Money to go to the talk, so it'd better be high on content and less on hot air! And, the food had better be good! And (Mark G, if you're reading this?) I EXPECT a t-shirt!

I'm hoping to finally be able to take an '08 Madone for a thrash, due to a minor comedy of errors I missed out on riding the one that was down here for a couple of weeks - got to look at it, but not actually ride it.  And yes, it looks pretty snazzy, but how it rides I can't say yet.

The demo day will also allow LBS people to play with a Powertap, I bet they don't get the chance to look at the way 10 speed cassettes dig into the alloy freehub bodies!  And I bet also that TBA don't know if it'll work with a Garmin 705 or any other ANT+Sport devices.  That could be a good question to ask the techies if any of them know much about Saris's stuff.  Here's a free tip, get CyclingPeaks, and ditch the Saris power software unless you have to run it.  Cyclingpeaks has a crap licence (you have to pay twice if you have two PCs, which is wrong) but it's way more advanced than the Saris Power software.

I may get a chance to ask someone who knows about the protocol, but I doubt it, it'll probably just be Trek people saying 'look at the new dualie, it's got ubershockers and megabearings  and is better because we moved the pivot....' or something.  MTB'ers are still lucky in a way, their equipment hasn't matured to the point where road and track has - we know it's not the bike that makes you faster, but MTB riders aren't there yet so they get to get really excited about some new feature, and think it'll actually make them faster or better riders etc.  Us roadies have no such illusions! Our bikes make gradual improvements, they get a little lighter, a little stiffer, a little more compliant where we want comfort in one direction but stiffness in another, but we know they are no faster or significantly better handling than the good bikes from 20 years ago.  Of course, the marketing people will spin otherwise, but that's the truth of the matter.  The big changes in road in living memory was the introduction of carbon as a frame material and the STI lever.  Other than that, most roadbikes are essentially the same as they were 20 years or more ago, the geometry that works, works and the differences are minor.  Tom Leaper won most of the A grade track races last summer at BBN on an ancient steel dunger and Jamie Goddard wasn't far behind, on another old steel dunger.  Legs and lungs ... that's what matters. 

I'm amazed (not really ..) that Ride magazine and the other road cycling mag have pages and pages of new bling that will only make riders faster by lightening their wallets and letting them pose more at Cafe Wanker, but they've never thought to do a review of coaching services - something that can actually make a real difference.  Maybe if they did a survey of what's around, who offers what, and at what price etc. Maybe if they did a dummy coaching client and found out what the different coaches offer?  That would be of real value to aspiring cyclists, I think.  What're the odds?

You can feel differences in frames and bikes, of course, but they rarely make a real performance difference, just a comfort thing, generally, but sometimes at the expense of handling, soft forks may be comfy for example, but on a high speed descent ... scary ...

So what else is going on?  While up in Skid-yer-knee I'll catch up with Hari and we'll go for a ride (matching powertaps, what fun!) and hopefully he'll be able to find me a reasonably flat place to put in an hour or two and a few little sharp hills to do some sprint training on. Maybe on an '08 Madone, maybe on mine - it depends on how generous TBA is with their '08 stuff.  I'm hoping that Trek have some posters or other material we can use to show punters why Trek bottom brackets are better (cutaways, and cutaways of other brands to compare - that was an eye opener at the tech talk we got last year - Scott BB's are full of foam filler, for example) or other such things.  I'm a fan of hard data and testrides, not marketing spin and bullshit!

DISC tonight, after Tuesday's sprint training and a reasonable chunk of more targeted training I think my kick is improving.  I'd really like to get a power meter on the track bike so I can see what's really going on.  Nath's using my Powertap at spin and it's been great to guage his improvement, we've found 200 more watts in two months, and much better duration and it's let me see what we've needed to target and see if we're really making any differences.

On a side note, Spinopsys is going away - Phil Gomes is going to a video blog on poo-tube.  IMO, a mistake, but time will be the judge of success or failure of that venture. Once the novelty of video production wears off, will Phil have anything interesting to say and will he have an audience? Most of his blog consists of commentary on lifted stuff and links to other blogs, how he goes with video, where that's much harder to do, will be interesting.


UPDATE I'll get to ride the '08 Madone on Thurs morning for a bit, but not Thurs night, so I'm taking either my old 1400 or the P1 up with me to get some riding done. 


Sometimes the right thing isn't popular

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A report from Crib Point - and a reminder - Race by the rules.

Today I rode down to Crib Point to do the Crib Pt road race.  I was a little late getting away from home, it's 66km from aboc HQ to the start line at Crib Point, taking it easy that's about two and a half hours.  Could go quicker, but want to conserve energy for the race.

Anyway... I was a little slow getting away from home, planned depart was 10:30, and I got away at 10:45.  No big drama.  The ride down Stud Rd was uneventful, and as I got through Dandenong, I got caught by Tom Leaper and Andrew (sorry Andrew, I don't know your sirname), also on their way.  Great, A grade wheels to suck.  So I tuck in and Tom's in a hurry, it seems.  We're belting along at 38-40km/h.  Ok ... E2, dipping up into E3 on the gentle rises.  Errr ... I don't want to be going this hard before a race that I don't think I'm fit enough for anyway.  But, it's a training day, so I stay with them.  They drop me on a couple of hills, but slow down afterwards and I get back on (and this fat lazy sprinter even does a turn, on the hill dropping down towards Hastings).  Arrive with about 30 mins to spare, after averaging around 35-40km/h for the last hour and a quarter.  Eat, say g'day to Jamie and The Wizard and a few other faces, and wish Mason good luck, and then we're off.

It's a lively race, it's my first road race in a few months so I'm not sure of who needs to be watched if they go, and foolishly early in the second lap I bridge up to a pair that had got up the road. Hitting 182bpm for couple of minutes before we get swamped by the bunch - a complete waste of energy, especially at Crib Point with no significant wind.  I spend most of the race making position, and then letting the bunch soak up attacks, and moving back up when the pace slackened.  A few Hawthorn members in 6am-ers kit are doing some obvious team riding - they'd mass on the front then one would attack with the other two soft pedaled.  Kinda pointless there, more annoying than anything else, but that's their game, ok ... they'll have nothing left for the finish when it hots up.  We're doing 55-56km/h most laps through the start/finish area (slight downhill and a hint of a tailwind) so the finish is likely to be 65km/h+.  Ok, I've been hitting 60 at the BBN velodrome behind a motorbike and coming around it, if I can make it to the end I'll be a chance.

Along the way, on about lap 6 I think, one of the 6am-er/HCC riders is sitting on the wrong side of the road as we head towards the start/finish.  I'm inside him, there's no reason for him to be there.  I suggest to him that he can move in, there's plenty of room, but he says 'I'm avoiding the potholes'.  Huh?  Maybe Northern combine riders don't take the white line rule seriously, but we have to, last year Flinty's whole grade was pulled for riders crossing the line, and in this instance, there was no reasonable excuse for him being where he was. We're running low on race courses and I don't want to spend the rest of my road racing time trolling around Casey Fields.

More about this later ...

With 2 laps to go, my legs say 'enough' and I can't will them to make a bridge after missing a small split at the last turn, and I'm blown.  The ride down with Tom and Andrew and that dumb bridging effort earlier has torn off my legs and I just idle back to the finish.  So much for finishing ... and this was an easy, flat course.  The power meter tells an interesting story indeed.

At the end I speak to the commissaire, informing him that if the tail car reports that No.13 was on the wrong side of the road that I would corroborate the story.  I think that's the right thing to do.  If riders think they're above the rules and want to risk our use of one of the few flat road race circuits left, they can bugger off.

One of the other 6am-ers approaches me at the end calling me a 'dobber' and some other schoolyard stuff, but as far as I'm concerned, I did the right thing, and they can moan as much as they like - he was in the wrong, deliberatly risking our race permits, and I've no tolerance for that.  I doubt Mr Precious Pothole Dodger got any more than a stern talking to anyway.

An sms from Bev, she and Dino had a good ride today, which is excellent.  Good going, Dino!  Nath's done a big day too. Mason got 2nd in C grade, tops!

We go home in the car, with Tom and Andrew in the back.  Dinner (seafood marinara, cooked by yours trully, yummy!) and a good rest.  Tomorrow, 3 hours at DISC and then a practice run for officials to sort out our procedures for the sprint series.  I need sleep!


Crib Point - who's riding with me?

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I'm off to a flat roadrace on Saturday - who wants a domestique?

In my current state of fitness (read - fat bastard!) I'm not a contender for a win or even likely to finish well, but I'll be racing Crib Point on Saturday in B grade, and am offering my services as a chase monkey or leadout (if I make it that far) to a B grade aboc'er, if any of you are coming.  I'm riding down there from Vermont, but getting a lift home, if anyone wants to ride down there with me, that would be good too.

Tonight, DISC for a tootle around.  Still a bit flat from sprint work on Tues afternoon chasing Pat on the motorbike at Blackburn, but we'll see ...


UPDATE : this is the way I'm riding there


A stunning day for a ride

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After a sleepin, time to bag some miles ...

What a day!  Slept in, so I didn't get started on the road 'til about 10:45am.  Sunny, warm enough to not need arm warmers or a thermal undershirt. After a hectic week in the Real World, and no structured training for the week, I needed to get some miles in my legs and blow out some cobwebs.  I'd managed to fit in a bit of a session on Tuesday with John Lewis and Pat Dougherty at the BBN velodrone doing speed work, taking turns chasing a motorbike, and that went well, but otherwise my training diary is bare.

I make a few calls, but everyone's already out I guess, no-one wants to ride with me!  Dino's still laid up as is Nick and this will be a bit faster and further than Nath would be able to go, so I go alone. I think Bev's overseas at the moment?  Anyway ... solo ride today. Most of the serious roadies are out at Modella doing a hilly race - I'm in no condition for hills at the moment, 15kg overweight. No chance of even finishing, so I'll give that a miss for a while.

I dropped in at Cycle Science, and did a quick ride around the block with a fitting client who I hope will now be able to ride without breaking her wrists, and then off to the city via Whitehorse Rd (headwind ...) and then across to Alexander Pde via the Boule southern end.  A quick dash down Pickle St and over the Stu O'Grady memorial cobbles at Port Melb, and then it's time to open up and say ahhh.  Lisa Friend and a chum of hers were riding and I swept them up around South Melbourne, I think they must have been on a recovery tootle, I was only using 200watts at the time.  They latched on and away we go south to Mordi.  Along the way I keep lifting the tempo, hitting 500-600 watts on the rises (and 170+bpm, max was 181 for the day, good to see I could get it up that high and recover ok), we mopped up more cyclists and my little bunch grew to about 6 or 7 riders. I sat on the front intent on working hard, and most of the time the rest sat in, around Black Rock a bloke on a Look with Cosmic Carbones sat alongside me and we pulled togther for a few k, which made the hills a little tougher for your correspondant (that's when I hit 181bpm and 600 or so watts), dragging my lazy 104kg (!) carcass up those rises hurts, and when I'm not the one setting the pace .. ouch!

At one point a young lad with a lot of enthusiasm who's been sitting in for a few k jumps off the front (at the clocktower, from memory) but Mr Cosmics and I reel him back after about a k, just riding a solid tempo.  It's easy to think you can go faster when you're sucking wheel, eh?  He maybe forgot there was a 10 knot headwind and I put a pretty big hole in it for anyone on my wheel. Anyway, he got a bit of high intensity for a few moments, maybe that was his plan?

At a pedestrian crossing in Beaumaris (the one at the bottom of the hill opposite the life saving club, or maybe a yacht club .. I can't remember exactly) we get a red, and we all stop (good!) except one muppet on a MTB in a red jersey who'd been sitting in and every now and then taking a flyer off the front for about 50 metres, who flies straight through - well done, dickhead.  You could have taken out the mum and her little kid who were just about to cross the road. I bet she'll tell her kid that cyclists are a dangerous mob.  Score one for PR, muppet.

We lift it again towards Mordi, and I jump back on the front after having to chase back on after the last hill (Lisa Friend finally decided to do some work!) and hammer in to the end of Beach Rd, the rest except one bloke on a tidy looking Trek Madone 5.9 SL turn back, and he and I roll easy down through Aspendale before he turns down his street for home.

I'm toasted by now, 70km, including a pretty hard 40km burn on the front into a reasonable headwind, and turn left up Edithvale Rd to head up the hill for home.  The wind has swung *again* and it's a head/cross wind, not the tailwind I was hoping for, but it's such a nice day that even the odd bogan overtaking with 3 inches of room don't affect my mood and I just twiddle on home at 180 watts.

Drop in at Cycle Science again to say hi to the lads, discuss track racing with 'Bust a Rhyme, Sime' and suggest that if he commits to doing a significant number of Blackburn's summer track season he might get himself a free aboc jersey and knicks, "we'll talk".  There's an in-joke, Simon's spent years giving me stick about knicks, he's a former freestyle BMX'er, but I think he'll have a ball riding track, but he will have to wear knicks.  The poetry ... ha!

Home now, power meter data uploaded - yeah, it tells the story.  100k bagged for the day, that'll do just fine. The powertap says 2200kj burnt and Cycling Peaks says I had a decent endurance session. The Polar would have said 4000 kcal I bet ... random number generator. My legs have every right to be a bit lethargic this arvo. Guineapigs fed, they're happy, Vander's dog is happy (Yukon the wolf!), fish are happy.  Ace day. Tonight, a feed with my dad, Thai tucker in Mornington.  Red beef curry please, hot enough to kill a mortal.  Bring it on!

Hopefully I'll feel ok in the morning, it's the BBN/HCC time trial at Kew on the Boule, I'll be crap of course, but it's a good excuse for a 20 minute E3 ride while I make up the numbers and donate $10 to the winners, and then DISC for three hours.  Sunday night, legs up and relax, I think!  Mmmm, riding bikes ...

Get well, Dino, you would have loved this ride!

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