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Entries For: 2014


I was interviewed

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An article on the Cycling Australia website, no less ...


Carb Loaded

Similar to Cereal Killers

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Carb Loaded

The film traces the origins of our beliefs about healthful and unhealthful food. Experts from all over the world talk about the problems as well as short and long term solutions. Among the many experts in the film are authors like Gary Taubes, Mark Sisson, and Melanie Warner. Medical doctors such as David Perlmutter M.D., David L. Katz, and Timothy Noakes share insights that are certain to challenge the status quo.

Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat is a chronicle of the things its writer and director Lathe Poland learned after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He sought to find out why he got sick, because he didn’t fit the classic picture of an adult onset diabetes sufferer. He quickly learned that much of what he knew about healthy eating was based on myths or fifty year old science. In the film he searches out why Americas modern food culture is killing us. The upside? There is a lot that can be done!



Here I am in South Korea

Today, I woke up in Gwang Myeong at the Guro Hotel (South Korea, Seoul, about 50km from the DMZ/border with North Korea) and for the first time since we got here last week, it was clear with blue skies.

It's been overcast and raining/very humid for every other day that we've been here. It's an amazing city, the scale of it is staggering. This is the first time I've spent time in a non-English speaking country (apart from the USA, which is still kinda English ...), it's a fun challenge to just buy basic things - yesterday Mikey (Michael Winter, the No.1 mechanic) and I found paint thinner to clean wheels we've been gluing tyres onto, after exploring the main road for a good hour.

It's quite a fun challenge trying to translate "do you have any kerosene?" into Korean!

Racing starts tonight, my job here is pretty simple, Mikey is the chief mechanic and I'm assisting - we pump tyres up, make sure all the right wheels are ready to go, fit them in the bikes, change gears etc so all the kids and coaches have to do it concentrate on racing. It can be challenging if there's an issue that needs sorting in a hurry, but that's pretty rare, if we're organised, things run like clockwork from our position. We're organised ...

It is a little frustrating to be out of the coaching loop, but our job is important to the team and Rik Fulcher, who is the team manager, places a lot of trust in us to do the job right.  From my own professional development, it's great experience - not only from the "see how it works at a big championships" perspective, but also, and probably moreso - getting the experience of the mechanics job.  I think a good leader (coach) needs to understand all the roles in the team that they work in, and getting your hands dirty and doing the actual work is one of the best ways to get this experience. 

Mikey only got here on Wednesday (he flew in directly from the Comm Games in Glasgow, 30-odd hours of traveling and then directy to the track to work with me, hard core!), so for the 3 days prior to that I was the only mechanic for 14 riders.  I did a lot of carrying wheels up from our storage pen, inflating tyres etc.  I was getting to the track about 2 hours before the team would, getting everything ready so when they arrived, it was relaxed and easy.  Having someone as experienced and competant as Mikey to work with is a real pleasure.  I'm learning lots about how things work at International level, it's quite an eye opener in some ways, in other ways, it's just another bike race.  The big challenges are logistics and the varying levels of respect and competance of riders while using the track for warm ups.  Think an early season NJTS round, and make it more chaotic, warm up is *the* most dangerous part of the program for the riders. 

We're one of, if not the most, organised and professional teams here, some of the teams are clearly full of kids that are here so they can say they've been to Junior Worlds, not that serious about racing it and it shows in their behaviour and organisation.  Others are deadly serious - the Russians, Germans, Kiwis, Koreans, Japanese and us are deadly serious and well organised.  We get a lot of interest in how we do things from other teams - all our efforts on track get watched.  There's no GB team here, the French only have a couple of riders.  We've seen the Polish guys and the Danes and they look pretty serious.  We'll see what they're made of in the next five days.

The Speedom velodrome is just staggering in size - it's an indoor, 333 meter concrete track with a very grippy surface similar to the Bendigo track surface.  It's about a 30 minute drive from here.  The track itself isn't that interesting, but the building around it is use awe inspiring.  It's huge, it makes its own weather!  The stands extend up for the equivalent of about 4 or 5 stories, it seats around 30,000 we think.  It's set up with huge display screens and it's mainly a venue for Korean keirin.  A lot of the seats have desks for the gamblers to fill out betting slips and read form guides.  We watched a keirin round on the day we arrived.  It was a very surreal, sterile kind of thing to watch.  There was a lot of people there, I'd guess around 5,000 or so?  But the venue seemed empty, as it is so big.  The racing was mostly pretty dull to watch and the crowd wasn't all that interested in it save for the results (gambling, that's all it is to most of them). 

We've been exploring the local part of town a bit as well.  Our hotel is right in the middle of what must be a bit of a hub of food and entertainment - imagine a cross between Brunswick street, Chinatown and very narrow alleyways.  Almost all the signs are in Korean (of course!) but some also in English.  The food is amazingly good.  I've been asking the people in the eateries we've visited to tell me what they like that's local, and just giving it a go.  The hot BBQ chicken is pretty special!  At least, that's what I think I've been asking, in a combination of mangled English, my three Korean phrases and sign language. 

The currency translation is pretty simple, the local currency is the Won, and roughly, one Australian dollar is about 1,000w.  So we just drop three zeroes and the sums are pretty simple.  Food and drinks are cheap and just up the road is an EMart, which is, as far as I can tell, the Korean version of a Kmart/Target.  While the numbers are all in Arabic numerals (same as English), they're not spoken the same way, so when something has no price tag, we can write it down or the locals write it so we can understand.  I'm sure they think we're just dumb foreigners!


TED talk on dropping out

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Well worth the 15 minutes if you're interested in keeping participation levels up in sports


Junior worlds

I'm off to Korea

A quick note, I will be away in Perth from the 26th of July (2014), then South Korea (Seoul) from the 2nd 'til the 14th of August as I am working as a team mechanic at the UCI Junior world track titles.

Sessions will run as normal, I just won't be there to run them.



Pathways update

Things are changing, for the better

About a year or so ago I wrote this article on pathways into sprint in Victoria.  Things are changing a little, Glenn Doney is the new VIS head coach and he's making some changes to how riders are recruited into the VIS sprint program.  It's now reaching down a little lower in age groups than it has in the past, watch for some interesting announcements soon from the VIS on how that's working.

The pathway is now :


Some of you may remember the sprint academy, it was a layer between the state institutes, eg VIS, NSWIS, SASI, WAIS etc and the AIS program, designed to fill a void.  It looks like the SIS/SAS layer is being broadened a little and mostly absorbing the role that the academy filled for a year.

So, how is this relevant?

We're working on setting up a layer below the VIS to develop sprinters, to feed riders into the VIS program.  A little like the old NTID program was, a layer where identified promising juniors are pulled into a sprint squad that will train seperatly from the VIS squad.  The VIS squad is now quite large, and coached exclusively by Hilton Clarke, with my assistance doing motorbike work and power meter stuff etc. I'm not directly coaching anyone in that VIS sprint group.  I think we're going to call the new developent squad the Victorian Sprint Developent Squad, or VSDS.

So the pathway will end up, as soon as we can get it all sorted :

Club -> VSDS -> VIS sprint -> AIS Sprint

There's a lot of work to do to get it running and we need buy-in from a number of groups, so the politics will be a challenge, but I'm confident that we can have it going soon and it will be a leading structure, that the rest of the country may duplicate in time.


A great quote

It's not over for us, it is just going to be different

Yep, things are changing in the Vic sprint scene, quite dramatically.  Hopefully very soon we'll be able to quash the rumours, put out the fires and show you all a new structure, with progression and direction and it will be a big win.



juniors, flying 200's, oh my

Lots of room for improvement

At the Aussies, we saw the best under 15's, or at least, the best that came through the state teams.  We saw them ride flying 200's and make poor pacing choices.  Read this article on it that I wrote.


A break?

I need one!

I just got back from the Junior Aussies on Saturday, after driving the CV Van that Rocked home.  Another big week at titles, I need a rest or a holiday or something.  At the titles the Vic boys broke (twice!) the previous JM17 team sprint Australian record, Conor, Ryan and Tom blew it to bits in qualifying, then beat their record again in the final.  All their changes were spot on - no DQ's.  Conor also managed to break the Aust record for the 500m ITT but only held the record for about 6 minutes, as Ryan Schilt and Cam Scott broke it again in the last heat.  Exciting times indeed.  Brit Jackson managed a couple of solid bronze medals in the Sprint and the TT, and missed out, with Alana Field, on the bronze in the JW17 by 4 thousandths of a second.  Everything matters in this game.

The team performed above expectations and other records that went included the JM17 team pursuit and the JW17 500 and F200, both broken by a very talented Tahlay Christie from Perth.  Tahlay had a superb titles, winning the sprint, TT and keirin and setting two Australian records along the way.  Tahlay's a great kid and a gracious, well mannered athlete.  Clay Worthington from WA is coaching her and they're a teriffic team.

For us, Aust masters champs are coming up and I am going to fiddle around with my new Garmin VIRB Elite and use it for some F200 pacing analysis over the next couple of weeks.  Sometime, I'll get a rest ...



Video toys on the way

Mum got me a VIRB for my birthday!

I know .. I'll be 43(!) in March, mum asked, I told her, she said yes.  I have a Garmin VIRB Elite ANT+ video camera coming.

Why is this any funkier than my collection of GoPro Hero's?

It does power.  Last week Garmin updated the firmware in the VIRB to store power meter data.  No, this isn't a substitute for a power meter computer, I'm not replacing my Cyclops Joule 1.0's for VIRB's (at 4.5x the price!), but it does make overlaying performance data onto video a lot quicker and easier than it has been 'til now.  The old way, was to use Dashware to overlay power data onto video, but it was a messy, time consuming task.  With the new VIRB update, I can get video data much more quickly combined with power and speed, so it becomes practical to do, maybe even during a training session.  Handy?  Yes, for teaching and explaining what happens in, for example, a team sprint.  We take hand splits with stop watches, but if we have video, with power and speed, we can actually see what's really happening and make more intelligent gear choices and pacing decisions.

Same sort of thing with flying 200's and the like.  I'm excited at what I think we can do with this toy.



HFLC diet and cholesterol

I have some data

I got my blood test results today, of interest is cholesterol levels.  Eating HFLC, pretty-much all the time for the last two months after being inspired to be more serious about it by Cereal Killers Movie and meeting Dr Bruckner et al.  All units in mmol/L
Total : 6.3
Triglycerides : 1.5
HDL : 1.4
LDL : 4.2
Chol/HDL ratio : 4.5.

From this calculator : it states :

Your Total Cholesterol of 6.3 is DESIRABLE
Your LDL of 4.2 is OPTIMAL
Your HDL of 1.4 is HIGH RISK
Your Triglyceride level of 1.5 is NORMAL

Your Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio is: 4.50 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 3.5) GOOD
Your LDL/HDL ratio is: 3.000 - (preferably under 5.0, ideally under 2.0) GOOD
Your triglycerides/HDL ratio is: 1.071 - (preferably under 4, ideally under 2) IDEAL

The report from Dorevitch states  :
"In this patient the cholesterol level and ratio suggest low CHD risk".

So although the HDL pops up as an alert, it's the ratio that seems to be more important, and we didn't get a particle size test done on the LDL, despite asking Dorevitch for it.  Might have to further investigate out of curiosity. Tim Noakes makes the point that the particle size is all important, and I don't have that data.


SSS as a WSS, in Perth?

Check this out, we're spreading ...

From Clay Worthington, WAIS sprint coach :

Hello All,

Please pass word around that TCWA has agreed to run a winter sprint series in Perth. We have targeted the last Friday of every month starting in April (and with one exception … please see attached), and we think it doesn’t clash with many major events (although there are likely to be clashes with road events). The better it is attended the better the racing experience will be for everyone.

Racing format is still being developed, but we’ll start smart and let it grow. At this time we’re planning a F200 qualification to determine racing groups by ability (not age, gender, or category). We’ll run 2up match sprints, derby’s, and Keirins depending on numbers and all in sprint formats and distances (i.e. sprints 2-3 laps, derbys 2-4 laps, Keirin 6-8 laps). I’m not planning any “Coach’s Kilos”, but will keep working on DB and Muzz to line up opposite one another. J If you attend, expect to race 4-6 times plus a 200.

Registration will run through TCWA as per a typical Fri Night Racing (i.e. Tues midnight deadline, through TCWA website, or email Ken Benson), but please feel free to express your interest to me as we’ll need attendance to keep it running. Same $15 as is typical.

At this time, I’m expecting to be registration desk, session coach, commissairre, motorcycle driver, etc as it’s being listed as a TCWA Sprint Training session; but we’ll be racing for training. Warm up starts at 6p and racing starts at 7p with qualifications, and we’ll plan to finish by 9p. Electronic timing gates will be on track with hand timing for back up and to deliver splits.

If you have questions, please call/email/text me. If you know of folks who want to sprint but haven’t gotten a chance yet, please tell them their opportunity is here!

Thanks for your attention.



SRM battery replacement

Finally some batteries arrived ....

Nic Mark got himself a set of SRM cranks, powercontrol V, single reed switch job.  I've already replaced batteries in the fancier two reed switch special I got last year, which was easy once I found a supplier for the batteries, the single reed switch version is a little fiddlier, but still pretty easy to do.

Photos here.


Senior Aussies

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I'm off to the Aussies again

Tomorrow morning I'm driving to Adelaide to coach as part of the Victorian team at the Senior Australian track titles. It's game time after a year's preparation.

No live TV this time, but hilights will be on SBS. A significant percentage of the Victorian sprint team have, at some point, been coached by me and are now coached by Hilton or myself (Emily, James, John, Jaegan). Almost the entire Victorian sprint team has been through Hilton's squad. We're very proud of these sprinters. Medals or no, I know they will all do the best the possibly can, and that's the thing.

While I'm away, Brit Jackson will be doing the Vic junior track titles, go Brit!


Cereal killers screening sold out!

But you can see it online ...

I'm stoked, Cereal Killers' screening at the (ironically!) Jam Factory this Friday is now sold out. 

You can see it online though ..



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Cereal Killers


The film follows Donal – a lean, fit, seemingly healthy 41 year old man – on a quest to hack his genes and drop dead healthy by avoiding the heart disease and diabetes that has afflicted his family.

Donal’s father Kevin, an Irish gaelic football star from the 1960s, won the first of 2 All Ireland Championships with the Down Senior Football Team in 1960 before the biggest crowd (94,000) ever seen at an Irish sporting event.

When Kevin suffered a heart attack later in life, family and friends were shocked. How does a lean, fit and seemingly healthy man – who has sailed through cardiac stress tests – suddenly fall victim to heart disease?

Can a controversial diet consisting of 70% fat provide the answers?



Come see my film!

Well, I helped kickstart it anyway ...

Get on it!  Ironically, it's at the Jam Factory!


Modern nutrition

And the old school

The "old school" of nutrition isn't really old school, it's middle school, but I digress.  Read this :


Bring on 2014

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2013 was full of frustration ...

A lot of interesting, but confidential, stuff happened in 2013 with me, in terms of career development.  I got to spend a week embedded with the AIS sprint program, which was great (the big secret : there is no big secret, it's just consistant, specific, hard work).  2014 is going to see some big changes, which will be .. big!  We don't know what they'll be yet.  Sorry for the ambiguity, but I can't say any more at this time except that the VIS has a new cycling head coach coming (Glenn Doney from ACTAS) in mid February, and there's other irons in the fire.  We're in limbo until February, but to keep me busy and out of mischief,  I'm off to Adelaide for the Senior Aussies in 4 weeks.

Limbo ... sucks!  But hopefully it will be over soon.


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