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A busy month, July

I'll be all over the place!

July 2011, it's going to be busy.  I'm going to Adelaide with the NTID and VIS kids on the 22nd for a sprint race meeting for J17's and J19's and then staying on for a week to assist/learn/get in the way with the pre Junior Worlds camp.  The camp is three weeks long and takes the kids going to Moscow from the race meeting on the 23rd and 24th through 'til their departure to Moscow.  I've been given the opportunity to stay with them for the first week and assist Sean Eadie.  Along the way hopefully I'll get a lot of learning done.  I'm looking forward to it, but I will be away from home for a week and will miss a couple of our winter DISC sessions. 

In actual fact, I'm probably going to miss almost all the DISC sessions through July, on the 16th and 17th I'm (assuming it goes ahead) doing a whitewater rescue course.  So I will probably miss that weekend also, and this coming Sunday I can't make it either.  I've written a program that the guys can do without needing much guidance.  Nathan's going to run this Sunday, I'll work something out for the others that I can't make.  Ergo anyone?!  Nah ... I didn't think so!  Anyway, it's going to be hectic, this July.

I do have heaps of reading to do.  I believe that any good coach needs to read widely and understand a lot of "stuff", so one of my current reads is a textbook on exercise physiology.  Things are going well in the 'Haus, I lifted an equal PB deadlift yesterday (and can feel it today .. stairs .. urgh!), power's been down a bit on the bike for the last couple of sessions, but I think that'll come good soon. the other sprint squad people and assorted ring ins are all lifting well and their numbers are getting better on the track too.  It's all good!

Oh, and we now have aboc Sprint Squad ploarfleece beanies.  Perfect to keep your bonce warm at DISC or spin this winter.  All the cool kids have one .. aboc sprint squad beanie

$20 and you can have one too!


Keeping warm

Riding around in circles gets pretty cold

It's proving to be a cold winter, and riding around in circles on the motorbike at DISC is .. pretty chilly.  It's been around 10 degrees or so in there for the last couple of sessions, and after a few laps, one starts to shiver somewhat!

So, how do we keep warm?  I have a few layers on, but one nifty thing I got recently is a kayaking neoprene skullcap.  Yep, a rubber hat (insert gimp joke here now).  One of these, nifty!



A new year!

Forgive me for not having written much in the last fortnight.  It's been pretty busy.  We've got our next lot of aboc kit all done, thank you to Dino for making that happen.  The new stuff is made by Giramondo and it's very good.  Locally made (not in some anonymous overseas sweatshop) and top quality.  That's not a sales pitch, I'm not trying to sell you this stuff, I'm just very pleased with it.

I've also done a bit of work on The Book, nothing worth writing about, but more background reading more than anything else.  What else?  Oh, yeah, xmas and new years are all out of the way and they (finally!) put me in the noisy tube to try and see what's going on with my cranky shoulder.  I'm off to see my doctor again on Thursday to discuss the results.  I've been asking them to do this for probably 6 months now, FINALLY they agreed!  Anyway, hopefully we'll have some answers on Thursday.  My power uotput is hovering around 1350 or so watts (peak) from small gear efforts, I haven't pushed anything bigger than 84" for some time, but my cadence is good so I'm moderatly pleased with how that's all going. I still want to try and get a 13.2s flying 200 at Blackburn this summer and 12.5 at DISC at the Vic masters would make me happy, although just a 12.9 would be acceptable, given the injury-disrupted year I had, maintaining the status quo is an OK result.

Summer Sprint Series round 4 is coming up soon (13th Feb) but before that is the Vic junior track championships (29th & 30th of Jan) and the Australian senior track championships (1-6 Feb) in Sydney, which as far as I know, I'm going to as an assistant coach.  More chances to learn from some of the best. 

At DISC, with the weather being warm, I'm finding a lot more confidence on the motorbike.  Over winter I was unhappy at anything much over 75km/h around the bends, now I'm comfortable at about 83km/h which is about as fast as we ever need to go.  The DISC motorbike's speedo reads around 5% over, we think 83km/h indicated is probably about 78-79km/h actual speed, which is faster than anyone can race, so at least in terms of speed, I'm now able to ride the motorbike fast enough for just about anyone.  I still need to get better at a skill that Hilts is a master of, riding at speed around the track while looking over my shoulder. It takes a lot of practice to get good at that and I've not yet gotten to a stage that I think is acceptably good but I'm better at it than I was this time last year!  It (the motorbike) skips around at high speeds especially when you cross the painted lines, but I'm used to it now.  Hilts has been very patient with me learning this skill, it's not as easy as it looks to get good at.

Dino and Pat and I have been doing our Tuesday morning sessions at Blackburn and enjoying a good solid flaying, we've had low (one last time, just me!) turnouts to Summer Spin but it's been holiday season and everyone's off riding outside as they should - it's really only the pure sprinters that need the uber-high intensity work on the ergos over summer, the rest of you, On Yer Bikes!




News from afar

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The Apolitos are in France, and sent me some photos

Some of you may remember the very exciting news a few months ago ... Yes, aboc Sprint Squad t-shirts!  Remember?  Yeah... Of course you do!

Anyway ... Dino and Emily have some (do you feel uncool for not having one? Give it time ...). They're also in France on holidays. Here's some photos :

Em shows off the new tshirtsEm and Dino posing

Em in France, somewhere ...

I heard at Spin on Tuesday that only leaders wear yellow in July.  Right!


Running around ...

Lucie and I spent the morning looking for an embroidery place that was open for a new logo

I've done a new logo, sort of, for our sprinters.  Here it is aboc sprint squad logo

We're going to get it on the sprinters kit.  Lucie and I spent the morning trying to find a local embroidery place that was open and had a clue.  No luck! Next week ...

This arvo some of the Sprint Squad were over in the 'Haus for training and Nath rolled over to video his bike fit to finish off his Level 1 coaching ticket.  Then Alex and I went out on the MTB's for a bit of an explore of some singletrack he'd found around Mullum Mullum.  We had a bit of fun in the dirt, so not a bad day at all, despite the morning's frustration with all the embroidery places either being closed or useless.




A new warm jacket

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It gets mighty cold in at DISC on Sunday nights and my old jacket has died

Many years ago I bought myself a cheapy cycling jacket from Uno clothes in Elwood.  It was a windproof membrane jacket with a fleece laminate.  It was great!  Warm, windproof, shower resistant.  The only drawback was that it was black.  Not the ideal colour for a winter jacket.  About 4 months ago I made the mistake of washing it in hot water.  It fell apart!  They don't make (import, of course, no-one actually makes anything here these days, except rowbust ...) it anymore.

So I need a new cold weather training jacket.  I'm getting one of these.  Similar idea, fleece laminated against a membrane by the looks of it.  The colour pattern is a bit busy but it should do the trick for Sunday DISC sessions and general warmup.  It'd be better in blue and yellow, of course.
Cannondale LE MAX Jacket


Watts, delays, cards

Consistent on the power meter, delays with clothes and promo cards have arrived

Yesterday, the powerhaus and I rip out 4 sets of 5 @ 145kg deep squats, not bad.  Then some bench, 102.5kg, 3 sets; 4, 3 and 3 reps - that extra 2.5kg is a lot! I was doing 5,5,5,3 at 100kg last week.  Thursday is power day, squats in the morning then olympic lifts in the afternoon at the Mermet center in Hawthorn.

Then Nath takes me to spin and we run the session together as usual this year - 3 x 10s big gear sprints and then 3 x 30s sprints.  I manage a peak output of 1,375 watts. Ok, I wanted 1,400+ but was tired from the squats, that'll do, I've been consistantly improving over the last few weeks and am about to start focussing on more power than strength - the Powertap says around 180nm of crank torque which I'm happy with.  Nath swaps in and rips off a big PB on the watt-o-meter, top stuff Nath!  The bolla sauce was noticed to be a bit bland (I ran out of chilli) - so I promised the troops I'd double it up next week.  I think they thought I was joking ...

My clothing order's going to be delayed (again!) - Rowbust, who make them, get their printing done by Giramondo, and apparently there's a problem with the digital printer.  It's supposed to be being looked at today.  I hope it's a quick fix, one of the lads wants his skin suit for an ITT coming up soon and everyone wants them for the first round of the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series.  Speaking of which we're going to do a practice day the weekend before it, on the Saturday 27th Sept.  Details are at the website, as usual.  Free BBQ courtesy of aboc for all that come and have a go...

The Blackburn Summer of Track promo cards arrived yesterday too, so I started handing them out last night at Spin.  Congrats to Jamie Goddard for winning the Blackburn elite road championship out at Modella. Thankyou to Carnegie-Caulfield for running the event. CCCC really do set the standard for quality and number of road races in our combine.

Finally, I'm ordering a lenticular disc wheel, a Shimano 'Pro' wheel for track use - it'll be available to hire and borrow for selected events soon.


Skinsuit pattern

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The skinsuit to be seen in this summer and winter

Here it is, the first aboc skin suit.  I hope to have them in production in a week or two.

skinsuit v3 top



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We're getting close to having aboc skinsuits at last

It's been a long time coming (I think over a year) but we're finally almost ready to get the aboc skinsuits done.

richard’s skinsuit findRowbust have got a PDF template for me, and I've been hacking away with Illustrator to come up with a design roughly based on Richard Grace's suggestion, pictured on the left.

We're at the stage of firing around drafts, the current (v2) draft is a pattern, so you'll need to do some mental jigsaw rearrangements to visualise the suit, but here we go :

skinsuit v2 top

The bottom half :

skinsuit v2 bottom

I hope to have a test print of this in the next week or so and then we'll take orders.  I will need a minimum of 10 to get an order in. I expect they'll be around $160 for the suit. Expressions of interest? email me!



Thursday night at DISC and some skin suit proposals

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A good night at DISC for aboc, and we have some ideas for the skinsuit

Thursday night saw Nathan pull out his best night at DISC so far, with a good finish in the D grade scratch and narrowly missing out on a place in the D grade motorpace.  We didn't notice Mick Thomas in the stands, because the cheersquad (Bev, Dino, Emily and Mick) was too loud to pick individual voices.

I managed a 3rd in the motorpace after a fine leadout from Paul Ambry from HCC.  We split the prizemoney 50/50, so he got a $2 coin for his efforts.  Should have won it, but 250m is a long way to be on the front at full speed and I faded with 50m to go, allowing the mosquito fleet to take first and second.

Emily reported that she had a 1st, a second and a 3rd at the Siemens junior racing on the weekend, and she was even more excited to nform us all that she can now get off her bike without falling!  It's good to have Dino back in the country after his brief stint in the US.

Richard found an excellent skinsuit design that I'm working on adapting to aboc :richard’s skinsuit find



tandemania, track crashes

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An interesting day indeed

7am, 6 degrees, ride the tandem to the boule, meet up with Vaughan Bowman en route, and a few others.  The tandem on my own, is a barge.  It'll be fun doing the BBN ITT on it.

Arrive at the ITT, meet up with Rob Monteith, we set up the tandem stoker seat for him and enter ($10 for the team! that's half price!).  We do a practice run, it's a barge, it's a truck ...

ITT time, and we go pretty hard, not a great time, but we only get caught by one rider, on a hilly course on a great big heavy bargebike.  It's a handfull, on the descents it drops like a missile, on the flats .. we don't know, the boule has no flats, and up hills ... urgh!  We managed to get around the turnaround at the roundabout without having to get off it.  19:40-something.  Tom Leaper wins it, Jono Lovelock wins the juniors(!). Not a big turnout, but I think it'll grow.

Then, off to the velodrome.  3 hours of some decent training.  A big aboc turnout - Dino, Rich, Rob, Nath and me.  We train pretty hard, and to finish off, Dino wants to do a match sprint. Ok, I'm game.  We roll around, and at the second turn, Dino's about 2m ahead of me up on the red line, I'm down on the duckboards - we're going pretty slow, and Dino slips and falls right in front of me.  Nowhere to go except straight into him!  He's ok, a bit of skin off, but otherwise ok, my bike .. bent chainring, bent crank spider.  Bugger!  I was only doing 2-3km/h when it happened.  No bones broken.  I need a new crankarm.  A Bontrager/Truvativ 165mm crank.  I hope Trek have some in stock, or no racing for me this Thursday!

The Rowbust skinsuit Dino was trialing was torn!  But, it did fit well before then, and generally everyone liked the aboc jacket. You want one?  Send me an email.


Jerseys ... simple, right?

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Except they're not ...

Yesterday I made the trip out to Williamstown to pick up an order of aboc clothes - knicks, jerseys and bib & brace knicks. I get them made by a local company called Rowbust.  They're good people, I like them, and they've been good to work with, local people, paying their staff decent wages, no sweatshop labour and the quality of their work is, I think, excellent. They do small orders and have been quite responsive when I've wanted specials done etc.

They used to be in Collingwood, which was quite convenient.  But, they moved to Williamstown, which is not! I live in Vermont and work in the city and eastern suburbs.

To cut a long story short, I had an order for about $3,000 worth of kit.  Picked it all up and today, sorted it for giving out to people who'd pre-ordered it.  It wasn't 'til I tried mine on that I noticed the pockets on the jerseys are upside down.  Not a huge deal, except that the pockets are not rectangles, they're shaped, and having them upside down makes them pull in at the midriff, and thus, makes the jersey tight around the middle.  Not good for men's jerseys (but, great for girls jerseys ....). I can live with the pattern being upside down, I doubt anyone would notice except me, but the shape change makes the jerseys both uncomfortable and quite unflattering for those of us who aren't skinny around the middle.

I've been waiting 3 months for this order (as has everyone that ordered them!) and I'm going to have to send the jerseys back and wait for them to be redone.  The worrying thing is that this is the second time they've made the same mistake.  My second clothes order with them a couple of years ago had the same problem, and I thought we had it sorted.  Hrm.

Tuff didn't deliver my new track gloves in time either, but I do have the uberflash Easton EC90's on my T1, and will be (rain permitting) using them this arvo at Blackburn.  w00t!

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