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Entries For: August 2010


Calling Yasmine!

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Hello ...

Yas, or your dad, can you give me a call before Saturday?  Sorry for putting this up on my blog but I don't have your contact details and there's some stuff on Saturday you will be interested in.

Everyone else reading, carry on, nothing interesting here!


20 spin sessions?!

Time does, indeed, fly ...

I just wrote up the program for our 20th spin session for this winter.  It's hard to believe, it seems to have gone so very quickly.  We've been averaging around 22 people per night at these sessions and apart from one night where Dino did the dinner, Lucie and I have cooked 19 monster spag bolls since the end of daylight savings.  Some stats :

We've used some 81 kilograms of mince beef so far.  My local butcher loves me.

All the enduros have done 1,900 seconds of HCLR and on the bike strength work just in the warmups.

My fluid trainers have been brilliant.  The sprinters know they're in for a hard night if they get the uber-flywheel KKRM, it's a very big ask indeed to get it up and going from a standing start.

I'm not going to do any more sums, but it's been a long and successful winter so far.  We haven't had a huge night like we did last winter, where we had one night some 34 riders show up, but we've had a solid block of regulars who keep coming back and my sprint group has grown too, which I'm very pleased about.

I've also been working for Hilton at the NTID sprint squad for about 4 or 5 months or so I think, that's been a fantastic learning and development opportunity and I expect will lead to bigger things in the future.  I'm responsible now for 11 Powertap track hubs which is a significant percentage of Wheelbuilder's production.  Two of them are mine, 3 NTID, 2 VIS, 3 are Hilton's and 1 is one of the riders.

And last night I did another 125km on the motorbike at DISC motorpacing the sprinters.

It sure adds up fast ...



I've been busy!

On Sunday at our regular DISC training session, we did K1's for the sprinters.  I had a little help from Rachael Matties who started putting data into sprintTracker for me.

Here's what the data entry form looks like :


 This is only a small part of this application, but it's the one that will get the most use - we will use it to add data into an SQL (sqlite3 at the moment) database for all our sprinters times.  Yes, it doesn't do power (yet).  For now my goal is to have it able to store all our training data from both aboc and NTID Sprint sessions and allow us to analyse rider performances quickly.  Just getting the data into the database is the first step.  Once it's in there we can query to our heart's content.

So I've been busy - the application is written in a programming language called Python, using a GUI toolkit called wxPython and a database/object orientation toolkit called SQLAlchemy.   I'll be using matplotlib to generate charts and graphs, but that's another toolkit I have to learn to use and it'll take some time to get something useful out of it.  I'm very very rusty as a programmer, the last time I did any even vaguely serious programming was way back in 1996 and that was a horrid mismash of code at Westpac to maintain a DNS database written in Perl.  Ugly ... I'm not proud of it!  Anyway, sprintTracker will hopefully scratch an itch I've had for some time re keeping records of sprint performances that a conventional spreadsheet isn't powerful enough (or I don't know enough about!) to do.

Along the way I've had a shoulder injury that's kept me out of the gym, the doctors diagnosed it as a supraspinatus bursitis, which is an inflamation of the bursa (sort of like a bearing) around a tendon in my shoulder. It's sometimes known as a subacromial bursitis.  They (the doctors I saw) insisted I have a cortisone injection in the shoulder.  Cortisone is on the banned list both in and out of competition, and so I need to get a TUE for it, which is a pain in the arse but must be done if I'm to keep my racing licence.  Round 1 isn't that far away ....


I have a confession to make

I can't trackstand (yet!)

What sort of a track sprinter (and track sprint coach!) can't track stand?  Me!  But, we're working on it.  I'm not the only one with this big gap in my skill set.  We're practicing a lot on Sundays at our DISC sessions while the enduros do their warmdown and last night I managed to roll to a stop and hold a track stand for about 10 seconds.  Progress!  Next week we'll be going up onto the boards to do them.  Still wearing shoes rather than clipped in, but it's progress and in a few weeks the whole squad will be bunny hopping up and down the track!  Or at least some will and the rest of us will be standing still watching.

This afternoon I'm off to get my left shoulder scanned with an ultrasound, I damaged it about two months ago, rest hasn't helped, physio made it worse, so it's time to find out what's actually wrong with it.  Wish me luck!  It's at the point now where I can't rotate my shoulder back far enough to do a squat and I'm not enjoying front squats as a substitute, even if I'm reaping the novice gains from a new exercise, I know I'm bleeding raw strength by missing my core exercise in the gym.  C'est la Vie!




Well done Maddison

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One of the NTID guys has a medal from the worlds

Two of the guys who train with the NTID sprint squad are over in Italy at the moment racing at the UCI 2010 Junior Track World Championships.  They're Maddison Hammond and Adele Sylvester.  They're VIS riders, but they train with us and Hilts does their programs. 

Anyway ...

Last night Maddison was in the Australian team that rode the second fastest qualifying time in the team sprint, qualifying them for the gold medal ride-off against the French team.  The French team won the final despite the Aussies going faster than they did in qualifying, so Maddison has a silver medal to bring home.  There's lots more racing for those two riders before they come home, we'll be watching them from here and cheering them on.

You can see the results as they come up on, but they're (cyclingnews) being pretty slow about it.  the official website is in Italian and doesn't seem to have any results on it (the 'English' function doesn't seem to work with Firefox).


Congrats to the Thomas's

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Will and Bridge score wins at Modella

A big congrats to Will and Bridge Thomas, today at Modella Will won C grade and got for his troubles the big "time to up a grade" message from the commissaires, and Bridgette won the women's division of D grade.  This was at the Modella Hilly course, which is a very tough one to win at.  Will and his dad Mick are regulars at our Tuesday Spin sessions, we'll be sure to give him a big round of applause on Tuesday night!


Sunday Sprint changes

More time!

I posted this to the aboc mailing list, but some of you aren't on it who come to DISC on Sundays, so here it is again.  My apologies if you've now seen this twice :

A heads up for the sprinters who come to our Sunday DISC sessions.  We've made a change to the session's structure.

Sprint now starts at 4:20pm with a 20 minute roller/ergo warmup and the first effort on track is at 5pm SHARP.  Yes, that's DURING the enduro warm up so sprinters will be sharing the track.  The drills are chosen so that's possible (no K1's in the first block!) and the sprinters will have to do these efforts above the blue and safely overtake the enduros while they warm up.  No buzzing the less confident enduros will be tolerated!

Sprint now gets three blocks of efforts instead of two.  I consulted many of you over the last few weeks to see if this was workable and the consensus was yes.  If you can't get there for a 4:20 start the session will still work for you starting at 5, you just do the enduro warm up and miss the first sprint block.

Sunday's program is, as always, here :


First aid

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CA coaches now all need a first aid certificate

Those of you reading this who aren't involved in coaching may still be interested.

As of late last year, CA came out with a policy that all coaches need to have a first aid qualification (and it has to be up to date!).  This is being phased in, any new coach or new qualification sought by a coach as of Jan 2010 has to have a ticket, and as of Jan 2011, we all have to have it.

I think this is a good thing.  I've also had first aid qualifications since I was 13 years old (surf lifesaving as a nipper and then as a senior).  However, my surf bronze hasn't been requalified since some time in the mid 1990s so it's lapsed and my PADI diving first aid qualifiation, while it never expires, is not worth the paper it's printed on.  Seriously, the PADI 'medic first aid' ticket was self assessed(!) and never expires.  They've changed that now but back when I worked as a dive master (late 1990's and early 2000's) that was their course.  How they (PADI) got away with it I don't know .. But there you go .. I've had many opportunities to practice first aid, most memorable was during(!) my first Warny, where myself and the other bloke I was riding (we weren't racing, we just wanted to get to the finish!) with, about 30km from Warnambool, had a car crash happen right in front of us.  Muggins here took over and got the injured people stable and comfortable until the ambulance arrived, handed over to the pros and then we jumped back on our bikes and finished the race!  heh ...

So, I had to get a new first aid ticket.  Ok ... Time consuming (and time is, for those of you that know me, the one thing I don't have a lot of to spare!).  I went a googling and found this : The Red Cross do an online course.  Alarm bells ringing?  First aid online?  How? There's a fair chunk of theory work which works pretty well online with a few multiple choice tests along the way.  Then there's a practical assessment of CPR and I expect a few other bits and pieces that I'll write about when I've done it.  The online theory bit is pretty good - it's quite thorough. A few things have changed since I last did any real first aid training, mainly CPR practice has gone from 60bpm compressions to 100bpm compressions and some snake and spider bite things have changed.  The Red Cross course doesn't teach two-person CPR like we learned in surf lifesaving, but that may be because it's too hard to co-ordinate when you don't necessarily know the skill level of your co-first-aider where we certainly did know it in surf lifesaving.  We did hours and hours of practice as kids.  Some things, like times tables, you just never forget.  15:2, 5:1, 60bpm ... repeat .. Well, now it's 30:2, 5:1 is gone and the cadence is up to 100bpm.  No worries.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I've done the online part of the course and will get the practical part of it done in a week or so. It's pretty good.  Cost $150, you can do the theory component in your 'spare' time from anywhere where you can get access to a web browser and the information is good.


St Kilda CC's new website

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Check it out.

That's a serious game-lifting cycling club website.  Wow.

How we make the bolla

Lucie and I cook the sauce for Spin on Monday

One of the reasons aboc Spin is successful is that we provide dinner afterwards.  For a tenner you get your legs and lungs smashed to pieces and a solid feed in the company of like-minded fools.  No-one has better value than us!  Enough of the one-eyed advertising... I don't promise you 45.985% improvements or a shower and some mysticism, I promise you a good feed and a solid session over winter when it's cold, wet and disgusting outside.

Lucie and I cook the sauce on Mondays so it has 24 hours in the fridge to let the herbs settle into the sauce before we re-heat it on Tuesday nights. Here's how we do it.

The enduros load up on pasta, the sprinters eat more sauce.



Other ingredients

The cookBrowning the onionsAlmost transparentLucie stirsall brownIn go the herbsBefore the stirtomato pastemixedricherdone

Settling a debate

Josiah went to Keirin School

For many years we've wondered, but here's the truth:

At Keirin School in Japan riders are trained to not release the handlebars when crashing.  This is to (in theory) protect their arms and collarbones.  Many keirin riders in Japan wear body armour that includes shoulder padding which protects them when they fall and they're trained to land on the padding not to extend their arms.  This is also why keirin gloves have armoured knuckes.  If you hold the bars when you crash, guess what hits the deck .. yep, your knuckles!

This is according to Josiah Ng who just got back from a racing tour of Japan where he rode some 90-odd keirins and had no crashes!

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