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Entries For: April 2008


HCC on Sundays!

Hawthorn are running a Sunday session at DISC. Mixed feelings ...

In the unofficial Hawthorn Cycling Club mailing list 'bicigaga', I read :


It's official


2pm Sunday Afternoons at the Darebin International Sports Centre
("DISC") all winter long (1 June – 28 September 2008)


2pm: Support/ Masters Grade 20km Scratch/ Points

2:45pm: Open 40km Points/ 50km Madison last weekend of the month.

4:00pm the Floor is open- organise your own racing/ training (Good
opportunity to do some slings "hint, hint", or for the juniors to
kick the footy on the ground after the big kids!)

(This is just a guide: YOU decide the racing format on the day, YOU
decide what races you want to participate in as long as they're
broadly track endurance in nature. Racing will suit all road/ track
endurance riders of C grade and above standard, male and female, but
racing will be of an open/ mass start nature. Capacity for more and
different races subject to YOUR interest and participation)

Damage: $10 gets you 3 hours of PAIN.


Points: Sprint points awarded every 10 laps, points 5, 3, 2, 1,
double happiness (points) final sprint)
Madison: Sprints every 20 laps. Points 5, 3, 2, 1, double happiness
final sprint.
Scratch: Go nuts for 20 km!

More Details
Tim Watson xxxx xxx xxx
Stuart Vaughan xxxx xxx xxx

I can't stress enough how much we will need the support of club
members to get this up and running.

This is a good thing, more racing, but it also means that some of the HCC riders who were coming to our DISC sessions may not make it (racing, then training, then training again on the same day?). I don't quite know how they can do 3 hours for $10 per rider at DISC?  So it's good, in as much as it gets more opportunities for racing, although I understand Northcote's Thursday sessions are low on numbers at the moment, so it may be quite a gamble for a small and not terribly track-focussed club like Hawthorn to try and run another race session.  But it might have a negative impact on the aboc DISC sessions if we lose attendees that we need to make the sessions break even.  Wait and see I guess ...

I think they'll be more successful if instead of running 'just another enduro race meeting' they identify a niche and target it.  I'm sure they're in the process of putting together some sort of program, but semi-random unstructured racing is, I think, unlikely to draw much of a crowd.





A pleasant Sunday morning in the country

Corner marshalling at Lang Lang

I spent this morning at Corner 4 at the Lang Lang road race.  It's my usual corner, Lang Lang being a reasonably hilly course and when I was a roady I wasn't much (!) of a climber.  The two times I 'raced' Lang Lang I finished pretty close to DFL, so it's a good race to volunteer to help at.  I've been doing this corner now for I think 3 years?  Maybe 4?  Anyway, I know where to put the signs, which bunches go which way etc.  It's familiar and comfortable.  I took a chair and a book and had a read, waved a flag a bit when the bunches came past and generally had a pleasant Sunday morning.  It didn't rain, but I had a good goretex rain jacket just in case and an ushanka to keep my scone warm.   The racing went well, a small turnout for most grades, probably scared off by the forecast weather (rain, hail etc) but the weather was very benign in the end and if you missed it, it was really pleasant down there.

I went down carpooling with Nick Bird, he's got a snazzy new Golf TDI something, a turbo diesel so it's pretty easy on fuel and quite zippy, getting the hang of the startrek controls was interesting at first (I drove, Nick hates driving and I quite enjoy it), but it was a comfortable and quick trip.  a bit under 75 minutes to get there from aboc HQ.

Some feedback for the organisers : Please make sure that volunteers are looked after - I was fine, I had everything I needed (chair, book, raincoat, food etc) but a few vollies arrived not knowing what their jobs were and unprepared, and they needed to be informed beforehand so they could be prepared, and also the club should feed and water the vollies.  This needs to be a priority.  We do it at the TSSS (Thankyou Bev!)  It's not hard and it makes vollies feel appreciated.  We need vollies to run races.

And, the most important message.  If you race, you MUST help at some races.  No-one is too important to volunteer to help every now and then.   We're not professionals, everyone can afford to spend half a day a couple of times a year helping out at a race.  Blackburn is, I think, way too 'undemanding' of its members.  It needs to do a good job of communicating with club members (this is getting better slowly, but still has a long way to go), but it needs to enforce (carrot and stick) that club members help at some races.  This cannot be optional.  Races take a lot of time to make happen and there's a small team of dedicated people organising them. Personally I want to thank Brian Harwood and his team for Lang Lang today, he did a tower of work, as did Damien Petrie and David de Gama in the past organising Lang Lang, but they cannot do it on their own.  If you haven't helped out at a race, you need to.  Everyone.  I don't care if you're a wannabe professional, a former pro or a world champion, everyone who races has an obligation to assist at a few races a year.  If it's good enough for Stuart 'V-Train' Vaughan to help at time trials (he's a current world champion from HCC), it's good enough for everyone else.

In other news, when I got home this arvo I hit the PowerHouse.  5 x 6 @ 180kg, last set I did 8.  W00t! And aboc may soon have another coach, watch this space.

Roast beef tonight for dinner, with spuds, parsnip and kent cut pumpkin.  Time to cook dinner!



One hundred and eighty!

So much for finding limits ...

On Tuesday I squatted 5 x 6 @ 175kg, so it was time to go up again, today, 1 x 6 @ 175kg, and attempting 4 x 6 @ 180kg.  I got them all.  In the best drunken darts commentary voice you can do ... 'One Hundred and Eighty!".  Look out Big J, in a few years I might be able to hold your wheel off the bank at DISC!

Heh ..

Off to client sites for the arvo, unfortunatly in a hurry so having to use the motorbike.  Still beats being in a car, it's a beautiful day, and riding past a servo, unleaded ... $1.53/l.  Uhuh ...

This Sunday there's no DISC session, I had to cancel it because it's the ANZAC day long weekend and most people are away anyway, and there's also Blackburns' Lang Lang road race that I'm corner marshaling at.  I'm going down there with Nick Bird, which is good - carpooling is one thing that roadies can do a lot better at to save fuel etc.  The forecast is pretty shabby, rain, hail and cold, so it'll be a day for the hard men and women of road cycling.  I was one, once!  I remember flogging myself stupid at some miserable road race down in Warrigal the week after winning(!) a long flat handicap.  It was raining heavily, freezing cold, hilly ... blown off the back in the first lap of two up a little climb the locals called The Wall ... managed to finish close to DFL, such fun!  The luxury of velodromes ...


How to lose a race

In May 2004, Eric Zabel, in April 2008, Tom Boonen ...

An old rule for sprinters, never celebrate until you've crossed the line.  NEVER!

Eric Zabel is a classic case, in the 2004 Milan San Remo, he threw his hands up, only to see Oscar Freire throw to take the win.

And just a few days after his domination of the 2008 Paris-Roubaiux Tom Boonen did the same thing.



Baw Baw ... memories!

I've ridden Baw Baw, once is enough ...

A couple of years ago now, Byron Davy and I rode up Mt Baw Baw from Tanjil Bren.  We didn't race it, but he wanted to see what it was all about and I did too.  Let's just say it's bloody steep, and unlike Hotham, which while long is generally climable by anyone fit enough to ride 100km and with low enough gearing, Baw Baw isn't climable unless you're very fit.  I was pretty fit (but still heavy at ~88kg) when I did it then and it took me 55 minutes to do the last 6km.  Byron did it in about 45 with a break to fix a broken rear derailer.

Anyway .. to the story.  I go back every year to take photos of the Baw Baw Classic.  Baden Cooke, the year he won the Tour green jersey, said that it was the hardest hill he'd ever raced up, it was just a survival ride.  Maybe ... but every year Warrigal Cycling Club run the Mt Baw Baw Classic, and it does get raced.

Here's my lot of photos from Winch corner this year. winch corner is ~20% gradient and is about 3km into the main part of the climb.  It's the steepest part of the race and a good spot for photos, riders are going slow enough that you can get several shots of each rider.

In other news, Oil today, $116 per barrel. Almost doubled price in 12 months.  The graph tells the story, on yer bikes ....



In the PowerHouse today I managed to squat  : 6 @ 170kg, 6 @ 175kg x 3, 5 @ 175kg all with 120s seconds recovery.  I probably could have made the last one 6, but let the bar go a touch low and didn't want to blow my back out trying to get it up while out of balance.



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The powertap wheel ... broken!

Riding the Powertap wheel on Tuesday before the spin session (yes, I do train!) I noticed a bit of vibration.  Looked down and the wheel was a bit out of true.  No probs ... Nath uses it on Tues night at Spin, I take it to the shop on Wednesday, have a look .. hrm, cracked rim!  It's the second Mavic Open Pro I've cracked now, the last one was about 3 years ago I think.  We had a spare and now the wheel's rebuilt and ready to use again.



forange orifate

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Googlewhacking for fun (and profit?!)

Totally off-topic ...



Taking the lane

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A very good instructional video on riding in traffic

Some of you might know that a year or so ago Nick Bird and I were planning on doing a vehicular cycling instructional video.  Somewhere along the line we all ran out of time to do it.

Here's an American version of some of the techniques, very well done, just remember to flip left and right!




A limit at last

Partial squats today, starting off at 170kg

One set of 6

90 seconds rest

one set of 8

90 seconds rest

one set of 7

90 seconds rest

one failure!  2 (last one a struggle) reps, tried again at 160kg after a couple of minutes ... nope!  Cooked.

Good!  A limit!  Ouch!

The aim was 4 sets of 6-8 reps at 170kg, 90s recovery.  3 and a bit done. That's good.   170kg is around right at the moment.  In 6 weeks I'm aiming for 180kg, and 1400 watts peak on the trainer. June is the target for now.

Will be interesting to see what sort of wattage I can get out this arvo with the BGS and HCLR work on the trainer or out on the road (weather and work permitting).

Quite possibly the bravest thing I've seen on a bicycle

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There's a fine line between courage and stupidity ... I don't know what to call this!

Mountainbiker jumps a downhill ski jump.

You have to watch this ....


PS, Neil, if you read this, did you see the sleeper in the youtube 'related' panel?


Fraught with peril ...

A busy, fraught day

Started out with Dad on the phone with family problems, then I ran over a toilet cistern in Lucie's car and had to stop and jack it up to free the thing! I can only guess someone's dropped if off a trailer or something and I didn't have time to miss it after it went under a big car.

Some time in the Power House, 3 x 6 @ 170kg partial squats, 1 x 8 @ 170 kg.  Next time I'm up to 175kg and I'll see what I can push out for 3-4 sets of 4-6 reps.  Maybe 180kg?  We'll see on Tuesday ... did a bit of bench and some other stuff, then got my stuff sorted for the first DISC session.  Along the way I had to have a look at Camster's PC which seems to have a faulty motherboard or CPU.  Bugger ...

Nath picks me up and we head in to DISC, 8 riders (9 if you include me) .. we got off to a late start as the previous session ran over time, a couple of riders had not ridden DISC before so while Big Jeremy lead the rest around I took our two newcomers around and they quickly got the hang of the bends and rolling turns.

The enduros all do well with the 5 min E3's, then we do standing 100's (thankyou Lisa for hanging around and timing us!), then we get the enduros to do half lap chases, but there's a slippery patch of track just near the 200m timing line and one comes down, not too hard, but it sets off a chain and another falls too, breaking a helmet!  We're one rider down, but everyone's ok and we get them going again.  Lost a bit of time but apart from a few frazzled nerves we're all alright.  Everyone's a bit slippy around the 200m timing line, maybe there's something funny there on the track.  That particular part has seen a lot of crashes in the last few weeks.  Might have a look at it or at least talk to CSV and see if they can check it out.

Then it's sprinters time to do flying 100's and even Big J is stuffed at the end of it (but .. still blazingly fast!).  We finish off with the enduros doing a take a lap GP.  Everyone scoots (thankyou Dino!) but I can't get the front door to lock.  After much too'ing and fro'ing and triple checking all the locks are shut I call the after hours council number and they come out to find out what's wrong. It seems that maybe the bowling club hasn't locked a door or something, as unless everything's locked the front door won't lock, but my access pass only does the cycling bit.  Hrm ... anyway ... by 8:30 Nath and I are on our way!  Nandos for dinner with Merv and Karen, then we drive back to Deep Suburbia, only to find that the freeway's one lane near Springvale Rd and it takes us ages to get to aboc HQ.  I find that the jerseys & knicks box is still outside on the porch where I'd left it (phew!). Nath scoots and it's time to get some rest, but the Paris-Roubaux is on .. so Vanders & I watch it.  A great win by Tom Boonen who looked like he won it at a canter.

What a day ...



More weight ...

After 3 weeks of basically plateau'ing (3 x 15 reps, 90s recovery) with all the weights we originally got for the aboc Power House (137.5kg), an extra 80kg arrived yesterday.  Today it was time to get back into stength work.  I bumped the weight up to 150kg, 12 reps - too easy.  160kg, 12, ok, these are working... so did 1 x 12 @ 150kg, 3 x 12 @ 160kg (all 90s recovery, partial squats, not going past 90 degrees of knee bend).  The last lot were getting to be a struggle and my neighbours, if home, were probably wondering who let the gorilla out, the PH isn't exactly soundproof.  Using 12 @ 160kg to predict 1rm, it's around 215kg at the moment, I'd like it to be closer to 250kg, so have a lot of work to do.

The plan for the next 3 months is to focus on strength in the powerhouse, cadence and power on the bike by doing 3 days a week in the powerhouse and at least 3 days a week doing high cadence short intervals and short sprints (5-20 seconds) in big gears.  To try and keep my weight under some sort of control at least 2, ideally 3, longish (1-2 hour) easy E1 rides a week, so visiting friends etc on the pushbike, if I can organise gear riding to the DISC sessions on Sundays, going for night MTB rides dodging wombats around the Yarra Trails etc.  Mix in a swim every week or so and I should start to gain some speed.

That's the plan anyway .. we'll see what happens.



Spin, spin ....

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We had a big turnout for the first spin session of '08

Thanks everyone who came along for shared misery at Spin. We had 10 at the first spin session for the winter, which is a huge number for this time of year.  We almost ran out of pasta sauce, and did run out of pasta!  Thankyou to Donna for the cheezy bread and sweet stuff, and Nath for the ciabati rolls.

In other news, an extra 80kg arrived today for the powerhouse.  It's time to do strength again.

We have the first of the aboc DISC sessions this Sunday.  Who's coming?!


Such a waste

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Traffic ... people are -mad-

Last night I stayed at Rich's place, because I needed to ferry some computers around I took the motorbike.  Coming back to aboc HQ this morning, I came back up the Eastern Freeway.  From Hoddle street to Blackburn road (20km?) it was jammed solid at 8am.  I don't mean it was heavy traffic, it was a car park.  It wasn't moving. The lane reserved for cars with more than one occupant was mostly empty.

Imagine, thousands of cars, 90% of which have one person in them.  Sitting there, idling, burning fuel going nowhere.

And beside it, a bike path and a network of suburban arterial roads that are quite good on a bicycle.

So incredibly mind bogglingly stupid.

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