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Entries For: 2008


Get well, Fast Eddie

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Fast Eddie Wilson came a cropper ...

Fast Eddie Wilson's busted a collarbone at a country xmas carnival, with what looks like a decent compound fracture.  Get well soon Eddie!


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We're off to Mt Sterling

The lads and I have packed a tent, sleeping bags etc (the forecast is cold and wet!) and we're off to Mt Sterling in the morning for four days of MTB'ing and telling stories about how good we could have been, if only ....

Having a ride on new years day is a great way to start the year. I just finished my last set of squats for 2008, looking back I went from doing poxy pretend (quarter) squats working up to 210kg, to proper below parallel squats at 157.5kg (5 x 5reps) in about 9 months all up.  I'm reasonably happy with that.  Along the way I got S&C qualified, did a lot of training at the Mermet center with the Olympic lifters, a lot of sprint training at DISC over winter and chopped time off my F200 PB.  Bring on 2009!


Squats for christmas

More weight, more strength, time for power soon

I managed 5 x 5 @ 157.5kg squats on the 26th of Dec, which was good. They're getting really hard towards the end of the work sets.  I'm going to do one more set of 5 x 5 at that weight before moving up to 160kg.  I extimate my 1RM to be around 180kg at the moment based on doing sets of 5 and using tables from Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning.


According to Mark Rippetoe's charts in PPfST, at my weight, 108kg (237 lb) for the squat, 396 lb (180kg) makes me a very strong 'intermediate' lifter, close to 'advanced', so I suspect at least in terms of squats, I'm now strong enough, and need to start to really focus on power and leg speed, which means standing starts, rolling jumps and lots of motorpaced high speed work. My cleans are pretty feeble and my technique is terrible at them, I may need to shift focus onto them in the 'haus too, and get some guidance with them from Anthony Dove at the Mermet early next year.

My shoulder's improved, I did a couple of k in the pool yesterday with no discomfort, including some sprint work, so that's a good sign.

We're going to be heading off to Mt Sterling for new years with mountainbikes for fun and to check out the rumours of some new XC mtb trails. After that, it's only a month 'til round 4 of the BSSS and it'll be more training on the bike than in the gym, I'll probably drop back to 2 days a week in the Powerhaus and more cadence and acceleration work on the bike at the track.   Dino's setting himself some new goals and I have to do the same, I've done one of my season goals, which was a sub 13.5s flying 200 at Blackburn.  I'd like to be able to ride a 13.2 there and sub 13 at DISC by the end of the season, in time for the Blackburn club champs.  I'd like to win a few more (so far, only one!) rounds of the sprint series, I qualify well but haven't been successful much in actual match sprints, which is a bit disapointing, but it'll come with more speed I expect.

Everyone else is coming along very well, Em and Krissy are getting stronger in the powerhaus and it's showing with their track times. Dino's flying, Nath's off at the xmas carnivals doing wheelraces etc.


What do you know of the crunch?


Today, this morning and we're at DISC, myself, Dino, Em, Pat and John and we have a productive little gear (I rode 79.3") match sprint tactical hitout.  Plenty of high revving and good training as well as good practice.

Tonight, the powerhaus, and I squat 4 x 5 @ 157.5kg, and feel ok. They're pretty hard, but I manage the 4 sets without incident.  That's good.  Benchpress time, and I'm up to 102.5kg, the target is 3 x 5 reps with some armcurls between for interest.  The first two sets go well, but the third, I've done rep 3 and just start rep 4 when I feel a crackly crunch somewhere in my left arm or shoulder.  Instant fail of the rep (power racks are good!).  I wriggle out from under the bar, lift it back up onto the pegs and try again, same thing.  Ok ... that's it for the session - I'll skip the planned deadlifts and call it a day.  Left fingers are a little numb and my arm and shoulder, while not restricted in movement, feels weak and there's a dull ache around my shoulder somewhere indistinct.  Will see how it is tomorrow I guess.  I might sneak in a swim on xmas eve in the morning before working at the LBS if I have the chance and that'll tell me if it's just a strain or something slower to heal.  Benchpress isn't an exercise that contributes much to sprinting so I'm not overly worried, I can swap in some other upper body stuff that doesn't irritate this injury if necessary.


I've been quiet

Or at least, very very busy

Since the flooded out track races on the 8th of December I've hardly had time to scratch.  A trip to Bonnie Doon for Rich's Birthday where we went MTB'ing and got very, very muddy, a trip back there after another friend left his wallet behind, a sick guineapig that needed an urgent trip to the vet which meant I had to skip a session in the Powerhaus with Krissy (I'm sorry Krissy!), a tiny bit of training jammed in where I could, media (photography) at Revolution 4, lots of IT client work going on, I've had no time to write here. The squeaker is recovering well, getting a cyst removed and having a salty bath twice a day for a fortnight, which she's not too keen on, but will cope with.

Still, this is a crazy time of year, and that's to be expected I guess.  Racing today at Blackburn is the xmas handicap (blah) and a progressive points race.  Yuk and yuk.  Emily won the Melbourne Cup on Wheels JW15 1000m wheelrace on Wednesday which was fantastic.  On Thursday we got washed out at Blackburn so we did some tactical talking about match sprints with Dino, Em and Pat.  We were going to do a session on Friday morning but again the weather intervened. No complaints, we need rain.

Next week, back into serious training for the next round of the BSSSFast Eddie Wilson assures me he'll be there for round 4 and I had a chat with him and Turbo and Mr White on Wednesday at Rev 4 and they're keen.  Watch out, Wizard,  A grade is going to hot up!



Training tonight?

Rain ... wonderful rain!

The BoM radar shows :

bom weather radar 20081209

That's magnificent! Rain! Everywhere! It's coming from the west so we'll get doused again here in Deep Suburbia shortly.  Might curtail outdoor velodrome training tonight, but we have ergos and we have a shed with weights in it.  Training on an ergo listening to rain on a tin roof, bring it on.

At last, a good excuse!

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Seized bearings!

For some time my Saturday racing has been even worse than I expected it to be.  I didn't think to check the bike, after all I keep getting faster during sprints.  But, on Saturdays I use my old wheels, for sprints I use the bling bits.  Adam needed to borrow a wheel on Sunday so I passed him my old back wheel, only to have him say "I'm not using this, it's seized!" or words to that effect.

Sure enough, it was.  I guess it had been like that for some time. It could be turned, but not by hand at the axle.  Very tight indeed.  Hrm.

I put new bearings in it today and set the locknuts correctly which might help a bit!  Look out Dino, I may get a km/h faster in our warmups now the bike hasn't got the brakes on.  Woohoo!


Content lifting

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Copying content

Have a look at this and then this.

Jodie Batchelor has added some spelling mistakes, made some minor changes and reformatted a little, but that's my article.  They said nice things about it, but that doesn't make it theirs.  Cycling-inform is a competitor to aboc, and that's fine, I had a chat with David a few months back after he took offence to my commenting that a claim he made on his site was disingenious, the claim is still there but I'm not going to make an issue of it, it's not that big a deal and overall our conversation was constructive and of mutual benefit.  He seems a nice sort of bloke, he runs his website and email newsletter straight out of the 'Internet marketing for dummies' playbook, but that's ok too, we can all choose to market our services however we want to, and that's just fine.

We all lift content to a certain extent, but I try not to take value from my competitors and wherever possible I have asked to use an article, especially if I know the author and know how to get in touch with them.  Dave has changed my article but not made it clear what they changed and what is the original or provided a live link to the original article so that a reader may make their own minds up.

Dave, I'm waiting for you to at least ask if it's ok to use the article, and to make the reference at the bottom a live link, at a minimum. You know my phone number.



No wins again!

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But not unhappy ...

BSSS round 3 ... windy when I did my flying 200, I caught a gust just as I came around the top bend in the windup, and managed a 13.68s (52.6km/h).  Not my best at Blackburn, but my second best time there ever, which considering the unfavorable wind I was happy with.

Regular rounds, I drew Robbie Verkes and Adam King and the bye .. I was guaranteed a win (the bye!).  The others ... maybe ... Robbie rode a fast F200 (13.58s) despite using the most unusual line I'd ever seen a rider use for a flying 200, he didn't use the bank at all, so he was quick, and crazy!  Anyway, he beat me soundly and the last 200m for that race was a 13.12 and I was never  in it.  That's a time that would have had Robbie firmly in A grade if he'd done it in qualifying.  When he uses the bank properly he'll be up in A for sure!  The BSSS is a learning experience for all of us. He's got a great turn of speed.

Against Adam I had more of a chance.  Adam had already raced Glenvale in the morning and while not a newbie to match sprinting, he's still learning a lot of the rules and tactical stuff.  We've had a couple of races against eachother and they've all been very close and a lot of fun.

Adam had qualified a smidge slower than me (13.82s), through the series I've always qualified a little faster than Adam, our races have been close, and he's won all of them.  Today .. I'll try and surprise him.  I win the toss, I'll lead it out ... Knowing he'd be tired and I had a bye next, I went very early, just as we came to the southern bank as he was above me I dived down the hill (about 500m out at a guess), but I dived too steeply and had to backpedal a little to avoid running off the track into the infield.  Bugger!  On the video below you can see this at 35-38 seconds in.  There goes the gap I hoped to open up, now it was a case of can I hold Adam off at the last bend?  The short answer, no, but it was pretty close. Adam got me by half a wheel in the end I think, and the last 200m was done in 13.75s, which was pretty good given how early I'd gone to full speed. The reason for going where I did was that there's two places the lead rider, if lower on the track, has an advantage, and that's where the bank starts.  The higher rider has to go uphill more, and if the jump is timed well and catches the high rider unawares, the low rider gets an advantage. It's generally used into the second last corner, ie: at Blackburn with about 280m to go, but I chose to go a lot earlier for reasons above.  Worth a try and if I'd not fluffed the jump it may have paid off.

That was me for the day then, as I'd drawn the bye no chance for another race.  C'est la Vie! I wasn't bored, commentating was my other job and that's always a lot of fun.  My dad came along and took photos and that was good too.

Adam and Robbie went on to race for the B grade first place, and Adam won it, so I can say I was beaten by the two riders who were the best B graders on the day!

Dino had a bummer, he did a PB in qualifying again, but that meant he was the only 13s+ rider in A grade, and he tried his heart out as always, but it wasn't enough this time.  Emily and Krissy had some good races, Krissy not quite on the pace this week and Em took a clean sweep (3:0), and the other aboc'ers all had fun and learnt lots.  Round 4 is in February, so we have 2 months to train for it.  This week, I'm slacking off for a couple of days before getting back into strength work.



Round 3 this Sunday

Round 3 of the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series is very soon

I have the usual organiser's anxiety - will anyone show up to race?  Will the weather be kind or cruel?  We're down on some of the regulars due to family commitments, illness and the GVBR (!) which doesn't help.  But, we'll see, there's not much more I can do now to attract more people.  Adam King at Carnegie has again posted a news item for us. CCCC's website is the place to put things to be seen, BBN's is, by comparison, moribund at best.

Our second go at Brad Robins' sessions at the Blackburn velodrome on Tuesday evening was shortened by rain such that the sprinters only got two efforts for the night.  They were reasonable quality, motorpaced up to high speed in little gears then 200m, but only two of them.  I'm not sure that these sessions are a good use of our time, almost 3 hours for very few efforts which could be done in 2 or less hours and still allow for full recovery.  Still, we'll stick it out for another week or so before making any decisions. It's hard to run that sort of thing when you have a mix of enduro and sprint riders and the enduros are working on time-consuming stuff, I don't envy Brad, I do the same sort of thing over winter at DISC, where we have the luxury of not having to worry about weather interuptions or bad light etc.

This week, training wise has been a peaking week.  I did heavy squats on Tuesday (3 x 5 @ 155kg, new PB, 2,325kg volume), then some clean pulls, then Brad's rain-shortened session.  Wednesday was a cruisy E1 ride with 3 seated big gear hillsprints mixed in, Thursday morning Dino, Pat and I chased the motorbike then did 400m sprints once up to speed on tiny gears 3 times each.  I was doing ~53km/h on 79" ... which is about 140rpm.  We can and do do HCLR's at around 190-200rpm, but it's very different when you're having to put out a lot of power at the same time.  Thursday evening and we're (myself, Em and Krissy) all in at the Mermet doing squats and some olympic lifts.  Today, lazy day .. nothing!  Tomorrow a 'show up, pay my $10 and come last in everything' day at the regular Blackburn Summer of Track races, and Sunday ... round 3!



Phones in cars, BAD

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It's kinda old news, but it's in the news again, and it's no surprise ...


From this article referencing the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied

Extracts :

handsfree mobile phones are just as distracting as handheld models

chatting on a mobile phone can slow the reaction times of young adult drivers to levels seen among senior citizens, and shown that drivers using mobile telephones are as impaired as drivers who are legally drunk.

So stay off the phone when driving!


Hotham from a car

The Hotham camp was small, but good

As mentioned, I didn't ride Hotham this time, I did take a bike and did some sprint work on Sunday and rode (groveled!) to Dinner Plain and back on Sunday after the sprints (mistake!).

But the trip was good.  We had hail, warm weather in the Ovens valley, some great performances by everyone that came along and no-one went hungry. Photos are here.

Over the w'end some other aboc'ers were racing the Metro championships.  I've posted a news article about it, but it bears repeating here too, as I'm very proud of the team.  Dino got a bronze in the MMAS4 sprint, Mick Thomas had a cold but still managed a bronze in the MMAS4 pursuit and a silver in the MMAS4 scratch race, Emily swept the track to win gold in the JW15 500m ITT and qualified fastest by more than half a second in the JW15 sprint.  She got eliminated in the rounds though, but she'll learn from that and the experience she'll gain for later in her career will be invaluable.  The Dundas girls did well, Krissy and Jodie both went home with bronze medals (Krissy in the JW17 sprint and Jodie in the JW17 pursuit) and Mick Thomas's kids, Will and Bridget both had good days out, with Will setting a PB and Bridge getting a bronze in the JW15 scratch race.  Simon Quick from Quickcycle coaches Will and Bridge and he's got them going pretty quick.

Round 3 of the BSSS is this Sunday.  In A grade, watch out for Dino!



Hotham again

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Climbing camp #9.

This will be a first, I'm not going to ride the big hill!  I figure after some 14 or so ascents of it over the last 4 years I don't need to do it again, expecially one week out from a sprint series round. This camp was touch and go as to it going ahead, but we had a couple of late entrants so it's all going to work out ok for everyone.  Phew!

Gear to pack : my bike, ergo, spares for everyone, food, prizes, laptop, movies, clothes (it may be quite chilly up there!) etc.  I'm going to squeeze in a session in the powerhaus before I go too.

The BoM says :

Forecast for Saturday

Cloudy. Scattered showers. Winds south to southeasterly averaging 20 to 30 km/h tending south to southwesterly 20 to 35 km/h around midday. Overnight temperatures falling to between 5 and 10 with daytime temperatures reaching between 10 and 16.

Mount Hotham Few showers.
Min 5
Max 7


Forecast for Sunday

Cloudy. Isolated showers until late afternoon. Winds southwesterly averaging 15 to 25 km/h tending westerly up to 45 km/h later in the evening. Overnight temperatures falling to around 5 with daytime temperatures reaching between 11 and 17.

Mount Hotham Shower or two then windy.
Min 2

Max 8

Good luck to all the aboc'ers racing at the Metro's this weekend.  I'm sure I'll get SMS updates as they get their results!


some different training

After weights, a different Tuesday evening is ahead

Powerhaus today : squats 4 x 5 @ 152.5kg (3050kg), then some benchpress etc to finish off. I was going to do some clean pulls, but Dino, Em & I are going to have a tryout at Brad Robins' training at Blackburn tonight and I want to have a little bit left for that!

I had one pull out of the climbing camp today (after I paid for the lodge this morning ... hrm), and a bunch of people haven't paid their bills to come.  Not much I can do now about that, C'est la Vie ....



More PB's

At DISC tonight, and the Powerhaus today

New PB for squats, 152.5kg, 3 sets 5 reps (2287.5kg), then press (3 x 10 @ 40,42.5,45kg) and then clean pulls (5 x 6 @ 60kg).

Off to DISC, normal wheels, 13.25s F200.  New PB!

Everyone was on fire, Emily set a time for a S500 that would have won her gold at last year's JW15 metros by more than a second and her F200 time would have qualified her second. Dino set a sub 13s F200.  W00t!


The metamorphasis is complete

I'm allergic to rain!

Today's weather radar ...

bom weather radar 20081122

Rain ... everywhere rain!  Glorious water falling from the sky!  So, track racing at Blackburn isn't on.  We did an ergo session in the PowerHaus and then some weight training.  And, I didn't feel bad about not getting out for a ride in the rain.

We're promoting the Blackburn Australia Day Madison - I need to get some stuff done in time to get it to DISC tomorrow for the women's omnium, so that they see it and know that there's a women's madison.  Last year, 3 teams, maybe we didn't promote it well enough?  This year we'll try and do a little better. The website is here.

Tomorrow we're training indoors at DISC in the evening from 7-9pm, anyone's welcome to come, I need to see your licence and steal $20 of your units of currency to attend.


Ghost bikes? No thanks ...

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Cycling is not dangerous, why linger on the very rare horror stories?

Ghost bike: A white painted bicycle chained near a cycling fatality site.

Dog bites man is never news, man bites dog is. It's a media truism and a cliche'.  We notice the unusual, and ignore the commonplace. 

In 2007, for example, 332 people died on Victorian roads.  How's that break up?

6 cyclists

173 drivers

45 motorcyclists

67 passengers in motor vehicles

41 pedestrians

6 cyclists. On average over the last 5 years, 8 cyclists a year died on Victorian roads. 

That's not very many.  It's hardly even noticeable in the stats, ~2% of road fatalities are cyclists.

So what's the point of the ghost bikes and the ride of silence and other such activities?  If we're to accept the generally held interpretation of some reasearch out of the US, that suggests that the more cyclists ride on the roads, the less (in terms of riding time) get involved in collisions, one aim of most sensible cyclists is to encourage more people to ride, more often (apologies to Bicycle Victoria!).  How does a ghost bike help that?  How does something unusual and thus newsworthy reminding passers-by of a fatality encourage those passers-by to consider riding rather than driving?  I don't think it does any of us any favours.

Cycling is NOT dangerous, cycling is one of the safest and best ways to get around.  It's healthy for riders, it's better for the air we share, it's even better for drivers (reducing congestion etc). That's the message we want to push, and we need to push it because it's the truth.

So get on your bike and ride it, encourage your friends to ride. That's how to make a real difference. The best monument to the fallen, if you must, is for more people to ride their bikes; ride to work, ride to school, ride to the shops, ride to parties and dinners with friends, ride to your holidays, RIDE!




A lazy Sunday

After Saturday's DT volunteer work, I didn't do much on Sunday

Lazy - yes.

Saturday was a long day in the sun (no training, no riding etc) and I was knackered at the end of it.  Sunday I didn't do much training-wise, a good set of squats was it (5 x 5 @ 150kg, 3,750kg total).  Today (Monday) I'll squeeze in a swim at the local pool between trying to make a new USB receipt printer work with an ancient SCO UNIX business program in a virtual machine, and porting my zope and plone installs to OpenSolaris.  Fun, eh?!

One thing that we need to do better with races like the Doherty Tour is communicate with the riders.  At the BSSS, we know that riders care a lot about their results, do a F200, and we give you your time right away.  Instant feedback.  Very important.  I don't have the results yet for the DT to put on the website.  This is frustrating.  It should be up right away and a number of competitors are asking for the results, and rightly so.  They should be there! I'm trying to nag Nicko to get the results to put up.

On the Climbing Camp front, I had one more sign up today.  That makes 7, which means the camp runs at a loss, if I get 8 riders coming I'll wear the loss, but 7 is too much for a very broke aboc bank balance! 10 is the break-even number of attendees, I'll wear a loss on it, but not a huge one.  Want to come to Hotham the week before the Tour of Bright?  Sign up!


Doherty Tour report

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I didn't race it (it's got a hill in it!) - I was a volunteer at it

First job was the website, which we set up months ago.  A basic plone site, with a logo, works like a charm.  I did a couple of maps for it on Bikely. No big deal, and all done months ago.

On Saturday, I was a parking marshal and then the start line holder and then a corner marshal.  We had everyone parking in a paddock at the base of the 1:20 such that the locals and the bogans in the area wouldn't get too cranky.  It worked out pretty well, but one unlucky woman found a star picket hidden in long grass, which took some extricating after the morning's stage.

The start line holder's job is to allow each rider to have a 'held start', clipped in and ready to go.  Most riders are pretty good with this, some need a bit of practice.  In particular, the ones that ride to the start line and want to get caught are often tricky.  It's much easier if they walk to the line, I hold their saddle, they sit on it and then clip in.  Much easier ... Maybe one to write an article on for the website?  Anyway, being an uphill start, most riders roll back a little and their saddle rests on my stomach before the start.  Generally this is fine, but those who have Fizik Arione saddles can buy me a beer!  The damn saddle has a point on the back of it, and I have a very odd bruise up my torso courtesy of this make of saddle!  It may not seem all that difficult, but after over an hour and a quarter it gets quite tiring and quite painful, even with my big guts.

Anyway, with the time trial done (at least, my job there) Bev, Chris & I went off to the second stage, we got to Yarra Glen quite early, and did a lap of the course to check it out for safety etc, and also took some chalk along to provide some on-road support on the hills.  Llama, Llama, Llama, oi oi oi!  My job at stage 2 was to be one of the corner marshals.  Turn 3 is the corner that dumps riders onto the Melba highway, it's dangerous and requires a traffic contoller to stop the traffic on the highway.  My job was spotter - I was on top of a little hill with a radio, while Neil Dundas (the TC) was down at the junction with an assistant so he could stop traffic.  The reason for the spotter is that the corner is blind, riders come down a steep drop to a T junction, and the junction cannot be seen from the approach until it's too late.  So, my job, sit there and tell Neil when to close and open the road for the riders and on their first laps to warn them (riders) of the dangerous corner.  It worked well despite the constant chatter on the radios from the commissaires trying to unravel B & C grade. You can see the view from where I was to the intersection here :

View Larger Map

We were there for some time, from a bit before 2pm until around 5:15 when the last B grade rider passed through.  I had a book (Carl Sagen's Cosmos), a small esky with cold drinks in it, a chair and some food and a sunhat, but no sunscreen, which in hindsight was a mistake, got a bit burnt out there. Anyway, job done, pretty-much everyone seemed to be riding well.  I'd chalked a bit around my corner as well (I don't do cats very well, I'm afraid, but did a good martini glass for 'the Master').  I got to enjoy a little of the Lilydale airport airshow, which was on at the time, saw some aerobatics and the Galeb jet flew overhead a couple of times too, as well as seeing a lot of the moves in most of the race, or at least, the after effects of them.

Em did very well out at Shepparton for her track racing, she's fast, that kid ... and learning lots.



1362 ..


After an aborted training session on Sunday, I got back into the gym this arvo, 5 x 5 @ 145kg deep squats (3,625kg total), then after an hour, Alex came over and we did a sprint ergo session. I managed to push out 1362 watts in one effort, peak 5s was 1311 watts which I'm very pleased with, not far off my best over the last few months, and given the fatigue from the squats, I'm happy with that.  My right knee (the reconstructed one) is quite swolen and stiff, so it's icepacks and rest for a few hours to stabilise it tonight.  Waiting to get a report from the crew racing at DISC tonight.  It'd be hot and sticky in there tonight.

I had two people pull out of the climbing camp, I was prepared to run it at a loss, but not a huge loss, it looks like I'll have to cancel this camp unless I get a few more keen to come in the next couple of days, which is a bummer.  I think November is just too full this year.  We'll run one in February....


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