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I'm not a roady!

Honest ...

In the last two weeks I've done road miles.  Not a lot, it probably only adds up to 150km or so, but it's still road riding.   It's all been very low intensity (no burning off fast twitch, thankyou very much!) but a bit of weight control and just generally enjoying riding around a bit.

The bummer is it makes my average power outputs in WKO+ look even worse than they would normally!

Small things, small minds ...

A busy weekend is ahead, I'm commentating at the Omnium at DISC tomorrow and then on Sunday it's round 6 of the Summer Sprint Series (weather permitting) where we'll be having the presentation for the series aggregate and the Trevor Watson Trophy.  Then on Tuesday we have the first winter Spin session, then I'm off to Adelaide for an NTID conference.  So it's all go ...


Summer DISC 1 went well

We had a good turnout for our first Summer DISC session

It's been a pretty busy week at aboc HQ.  I haven't had time to write much, but it's been hectic.  We've had many people over helping to clear the shed in preparation for the launch of the aboc PowerHaus, I've trained with Brad Robins at Blackburn, and Pat and Dino, and Dino again on Thursday on ergos.  We raced on Saturday, trained again on Sunday at DISC, very busy indeed.

I haven't lifted at all for almost two weeks.  I feel bad about it, but every time I've tried to squat heavy I've felt weak and unable to get any sets done.  So, a bit of time off to recover, and I'll hit it again next week.  A big increase in volume of track training has probably contributed to my gym training's flatness. I'm not too worried, the gym work is to go faster on the bike, not to be good in the gym all the time.

Last night was our first Summer DISC session, a healthy turnout of riders, mostly sprinters, made for a busy night - we did standing half laps out of the gate, and then revouts chasing the motorbike, the enduros did a couple of E3 efforts then some motorpaced sprint efforts and revouts.  Suffice to say that come time for chicken and chips, everyone was well toasted.  Chris Ray's overtaking of the motorbike was a sight during a revout.  He's going pretty quick ... And Em and Jamie chasing the bike on J15 gearing at close to 60km/h .. Those kids have some legspeed ..

Speaking of going quick, round 2 of the aSSS is now oversubscribed, we've got 32 pre-entries and a rider on the standby list.  Fantastic.  Ride is due out this week, so we'll get a flurry of interest from that too I expect.

I've had signups and payments for the Hotham camp trickling in, the lodge is now paid for and we're all looking forward to it in four weeks.

I got the chance to congratulate the V-Train for his regaining of his world masters pursuit world title, he's riding at the sprint series this Sunday (round 2) so we'll see how he goes at that too, there's a bunch of new faces racing with us, it should make for some pretty exciting racing. I can't wait!


A bizarre egging

I got egged! Very odd it was too ...

So I'm riding home this evening along Mitcham Rd after a nice 30km tootle after work, and just at the intersection of Grey and Mitcham Rd (50m before my house) at ~7.15pm I notice a late model silver or light gold largish sedan (maybe a dunnydore? maybe a Magna? I don't know 'em well enough to tell) on the other side of the road slow and the driver looks out the window, and lobs an egg at me.

It hits my front wheel, no damage etc, not even any mess needing cleaning up. I turned around to try and get his rego, but I think he saw me turn and he went through a red light to get away.

It was quite odd, it wasn't a carload of laughing yahoo kids, the bloke looked mid to late 30's, on his own and with a very serious expression on his face. Not at all the typical yahoos out for a bit of fun.

I called 000 and reported it to the local coppers, this guy might be on some bizarre rampage? Very odd ... I've seen a lot of weird stuff and odd behaviour over the years, but this was something new.

What sort of mid 30's bloke drives around with an open carton of eggs at his disposal?


A pleasant Wednesday tootle

Hooked up with some aboc'ers and had a nice ride!

Wednesday's been a beautiful day, and after a week of next to no training I needed to get out on a bike in some way or other.  Knocked off work at 5:30 from the LBS, on the bike and met up with Bev, Dino, Em and Donna, and off we went for a nice 30km cruise.  All E1 stuff, just a really pleasant ride. I was tempted to roll in to watch the first of HCC's Kew crits for the summer, but I didn't want to do much more than about 30km today so I can get some quality work done tomorrow morning.

On the BSSS front, Trek sent me a box of goodies to use as extra prizes on Sunday. The forecast looks a bit iffy, but the BoM forecasts rain out of hope and desperation these days, more than any actual expectation of rain, I think ... We've got 19 riders so far pre-entered, which is great as long as the weather holds.

Yesterday morning was good fun, I had been contacted by a bloke who wanted to get a bit of his strength & conditioning qualifiations done, and he wanted a supervisor for a session.  We made a time (he's a PE teacher at Xavier, hold the jokes, every kid gets up to mostly harmless mischief on muckup day ... those kids just got unlucky by being caught out and a few took it a bit too far) and I trundled in to the Xavier gym - they have a very flash setup, indoor pool, indoor stadium for basketball, well set up all purpose gym ... That's a school with a few bucks to splash around.  Anyway, we went through a few exercises, had a good talk and ticked a few boxes on a form, it was pretty good fun and quite rewarding for both of us I think.  I hadn't been to Xavier since I was playing under 16's (or was it 14's?) rugby when we (Moorabbin) played Xavier's team once.  I remember their ground being quite narrow which made cover defence easy (I played No.8 as a junior, and in those days No.8 was a cover defensive role mainly), and that didn't look like it had changed, but the rest of the place was very swish indeed. The grounds were very green, Poowong footy club sort of green.  I'm sure they have a big tank.

Tomorrow, track in the morning, weights around midday, olympic lifts in the evening.  Bring it on!



Rainy days

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I'm glad I did my longer rides yesterday and on Friday!

Today's weather is good for indoor training, I have a session in the PowerHaus to do, and then tonight's DISC session, both will be dry, but not warm. I was due to do a motorpace session with one of my riders at 6am today, but at 5, when the alarm went off, it was raining quite heavily, so a quick SMS, and back to sleep!

Yesterday was meant to be an easy 1 hour or so tootle in E1 around the local 'burbs, but I found myself out at The Basin at the foot of the 1:20.  I had to .. against my better judgement.  Time?  27:03!  Now that is a slow climb.  I did it in E2 mostly, HR around 158, and it was E3 for about 5 or so minutes of the effort, but only just, average power was around 220-240 watts but I slacked right off at the false flat and noodled that at 180 watts.  For me, E3 is over 160bpm. Ended up about 2 hours on the road, and not quite the easy ride I had planned, the final slog up the Boronia Rd hill was the icing on the cake for this lazy fat hill-phobic cyclist!

Friday I also snuck in an hour on the bike, just a tootle to Dullcaster and back to a client site, so I was lucky with the weather for my tootling days this week. I'm looking forward to tonight at DISC, indoors, dry ... no hills ...


It was supposed to be an easy tootle

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I had a 1 hour E1 ride to do today, planned to be a tootle just to turn the legs over ...

Tomorrow's an intense day.  Weights and velodrome sprint efforts, so today was an easy E1 cruise for an hour just to tick over the legs and burn off last night's pizza.  That was the plan anyway ... I took off from aboc HQ with the idea of having a look at the Eastlink path, seeing how it went from the Mitcham Rd crossing and on.  I got on at the bridge over Eastline at Mitcham Rd, and found that it was closed off firmly at Park St, so followed a fit climber-type along the Mullum Mullum creek road.  That sucker is hilly!  So much for E1/easy cruising, it was roll down, granny gear grovel up, repeat!  Once I got onto the path again, it was nice, not very practical for training or commuting as it's full of sharp bends and has poor sight lines, but a pleasant amble to Ringwood, then down to Canterbury Rd, jump the fence and then to Burwood Hwy before coming back home along the road.  All up I got my hour and my HR average was at the top of E1, but that hides the frequent E3 and above efforts.  Hrm....



Anarchy on christmas day

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Or "what a beautiful bike path"

Riding home from Dad's (Baxter) to home (Vermont) I thought I'd try Eastlink before it's full of cars.  Got on it at Seaford, and a security guard found me somewhere about 5k short of Wellington Rd, where the conversation went like this :

me: "G'day!  What a beauty of a bike path"

sg: "yeah!  But, can you get off at the next exit, you're not really supposed to be on it"

me: "No worries"

and that was it, he followed me as far as the next exit, but it was a freeway intersection, and after I'd ridden up the off ramp he drove away, so I turned back and rode back to Eastlink and carried on north until I got to Wellington Road.  At that point I decided to call my mini critical mass to a halt and I rode back the rest of the way on normal roads.

Eastlink will make a great bike path once petrol hits $10/l and everyone's on a bike, and Transurban are suing the state for having the gall to not make petrol free so they can slug drivers with tolls.  Evil ..

Anyway, here's some photos for your amusement.

eastlink near seaford eastlink near seaford - carl
eastlink near dandenong carl on eastlink



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A crash! Doh!

After a morning tootle to The Basin to be the startline holder for the Dougherty Tour 1:20 stage with Bev, and then an express lap of the Death Valley stage on the motorbike, it was off to the BBN velodrone for some sprint training.  Dino, Emily and Mason Austen were the riders to come along, and it was Mason's first time on a velodrome (Mason, we have found your calling!).  After a few rolling turns and warmups, it was time for flying 200's.  A bit windy, so no times of any note, everyone did 2 unscathed, and everyone improved some aspect of their ride each time.

Then it was time for some practice match sprints.  Drawn first up, Dino vs me.  Dino has the lead.  Dino and I have very similar F200 times today, so it's going to be a tactical race.  No probs.   Dino keeps me under control for the first bit, I'm happy for him to lead me for the first lap, but I know with a bit over one to go I want to make him go early - there's a headwind up the back straight and I want a wheel to suck before coming past at the bottom corner.  So, coming off the bank I jump and start to come around Dino with the intent of making him react and then dropping in on his wheel into the headwind.  Next thing, I'm airborne.  I've pulled a pedal, and must have yanked the bars I think, anyway, a standing maximum acceleration interupted by a cleat disconnecting is no way to stay upright.  Bang, into the ground, head first and then rolling to my left (I can tell, that's where I hurt and I lost the skin!).  Lying in the grass checking for injuries, mostly ok, memory ok (yes, Howard is PM ... but hopefully not for much longer ...), collarbones ok, wrist sore (Tuff Keirin gloves ROCK!) but no skin off my palms despite hitting the ground palms first I think.  Ribs on left side .. not so good.  Not busted, but there's some bruising there, and a fair bit of debarking on my left knee, left elbow and left shoulder.  Bike report - back wheel needs truing and the bars, ground away ... will need new bars.  A little skin off my right knee, but only first layer stuff, no blood or plasma leaking there.  Clothes mostly ok, no tears.  Helmet, smashed to bits.  Apart from being a bit vague (that's normal?) no other concussion evidence.

So I've cleaned up, used some quarts to clean the grit out (yah, that stings .. and when you're treating yourself it's kinda special!), and then wrapped Mefix on the skin abrasions.  Coughing isn't much fun, but compared to Dino's busted ribs and lung puncture, it's nothing. I should HTFU!  No Glenvale for me tomorrow, I was planning on getting down there for my first crit for this summer, but instead I'll stay home, write training programs and feel sorry for myself instead! 

Thanks for the lift home, Dino and Mason, I owe you both a beer! Where's the codeine? .. I hurt!



Climbing Camp wrapup

The real writeup of the 7th aboc Climbing Camp

We've had, in the past, snow, rain, baking heat and constant drizzle, but rarely have we had two days of nearly perfect weather for the camp at the Marouka ski lodge at Mt Hotham.  It wasn't quite perfect, but the brief rainstorm as the full-distance riders climbed the last 10km of the hill was a blessing, it may have been wet, but it wasn't cold and the rain meant less need for water at the crucial last pitches up CRB hill and Diamantina. There was patches of snow on the side of the road and on some of the shaded ridges leftover from a snowstorm a week ago, just enough to remind everyone that we're in the mountains.

the bunch at marouka nov 2007

We had a great bunch of cyclists at this camp, a diverse bunch, many had never climbed Hotham (or anything else of this scale) but some were old timers who knew The Meg and the soul-crushing kilometer of CRB all too well.  All up 23 brave riders came to stay, including Hari Gopu who drove all the way from Sydney to come to his second camp, and Vanders (Craig van der Valk) who came all the way only to drive down the mountain at 6am on the Saturday and race a 12 hour enduro mountainbike event.  Such was the lure of the famous aboc bolla that he came all the way back for dinner afterwards, albeit after midnight.

So what did we really do?  Everyone was up safely on Friday night and most were in bed and tucked in by midnight, although a few who got away from Melbourne later didn't arrive 'til around 1.  Saturday's briefing was at 8am, and we covered safety, personal responsibility for riding, and pacing up the mountain.  Hotham is climbed in three stages, the first, including a nasty pinch at around 5km past Harrietville called The Meg is 10km long and it winds its way up the first ridgeline at around an average of 6-7%, then the next 10km is a gentle 1-2% for around 10km, before the final crunch, from the toll booth to the top, including CRB hill, where in the past Neil Robinson set the camp speed record (claimed 108km/h in Feb 2007 at CC#6) descending. CRB hill is ~1km at 10%.  The final 10km varies between grinding climbs and short, very sharp drops, before the last grovel up pastthe start of the last grind, mt hotham nov 2007 Diamantina hut and the Razorback walk to Mt Feathertop to the summit.  Then a 2km roll to the lodge, downhill all the way. The key is pacing - go too hard early and the last few kilometers will see you blown to bits, throwing every scrap of excess weight off your bike, body and breathing out to make yourself lighter.  The last 10km has been likened to 10 minutes of having your head held under water, 30 seconds of breathing time, repeated three times. Or, as Richard says, "it's <deleted> hard".

The bunch rolled out at 9am, and rode up(!) to the summit from the lodge, then hooted down to the toll booth for the first regroup. After establishing the fastest speed, 89km/h (Jase Ellis), with no-one able to crack 90km/h due to a light headwind and a sense of self preservation, the bunch then descended to Harrietville.  No incidents on the descent, it was dry, clean and safe.

Roughly half of the bunch decided to climb up from Harrietville, the rest took on the extra 50km return trip to Bright (one HAF rider bagged Mt Buffalo as well, solo!).  Most of us were together, with the traditional sprints at Smoko, Freeburg and Bright won by your author, your author and then Robin Brown, very closely followed by Bec Domage.  It's fair to say that by Bright, your author was a marked man and no games or dummy sprints would work anymore.  Lunch at Bright, where as luck would have it there was a hotrod convention.  Main street Bright was choked solid with (mostly well behaved) hot rods doing laps and causing a jam worthy of Punt Road on a Friday afternoon.  A quick bite, some decided to go directly back to Harrietville for lunch rather than stay at Bright, the rest of us had the usual carbo-feast at the Bright bakery before riding back up the valley to Harrietville.

I can't write much about other's rides back up, as after the sprints had taken their toll I was doomed to be the lantern rouge, kept company by Jase Ellis, as we played tortoise and hare for 30km from Harrietville to the top (Jase being the hare) and 'Liv Ellis kept us company with drinks and a seeming never ending supply of salt tablets for Jase (who must have some bizzare salt addiction!). Thankyou 'Liv!

Back at the lodge and the war stories were told, Nick telling of his first exposure to hail on a bike, Richard making it up in fine form, Bev completing the climb under her own steam for the first time etc.  Dinner was prepared, the usual aboc spag boll that riders who come to our spin class know so well.  Thankyou to Bev and Claire for the garlic bread with teeth and chopping the veggies etc.  The troops heartily fed and then a presentation, Robin winning the 'race to bright' and a superman cape, Bec taking the QOM, Brett the KOM (and HAF award, for riding to Mt Buffalo and back!), Bev the 'special achievement', Merv the Dummy for bringing a 47 tooth 'small' chainring(!) and almost making it up the hill on that crazy big gear!  A movie, desert (fruitcake and custard) and then everyone was asleep.  Except Vanders.  Vanders' story is here.  He rode the 12 hour in a team of two, then drove back up the hill, arriving at ~1am.  HAF!

Sunday saw most up at 6ish, a quick briefing at 7 and then most riders decided to drop down to Dinner Plain for breakfast, some choosing to go all the way down to Cobungra Station (go Claire, go Hari!).  Merv and Karen came back telling stories of a great breakfast at a pub in Dinner Plain, so Richard, Vanders and I decided lunch cooked by someone else (and the cleaning!) was the order.  A missile-like descent to Dinner Plain saw Vanders pip your author at the sign by half a wheel after an 80km/h downhill leadout and sprint.  Doh! A good lunch was shared with the local flies before we ambled the 10km back up to Marouka.

In the afternoon, everyone pitched in to clean up, a very special thankyou to Bev and Rob Monteath who did the work of 5 each to see the lodge spotless and meaning I had little to do save for emptying the fridges and turning everything off.

I'd like to thank everyone that came, it was one of the most successful camps we've run so far, according to the (anonymous!) feedback forms 90% of the people that came said "don't change a thing", with one wag suggesting leveling the hill.  Where was Dino when we needed his stoic grace?  Hopefully next time Shane 'The Llama' will be able to make it up as well to give everyone a spanking up the hill, and Byron as well. We missed you. We missed Neil too.  Next time ...

 brett rides away, aboc cc nov 2007



I found a minute!

Slow improvement up the 1:20

Since Vanders & I have started doing the 1:20 on Monday mornings (3 weeks ago now) I've gone from a 24:30, to a 24:02, to a 23:27 up it.  Ok, those times are still way off anything that I used to be able to do when I was fit (pb is around 18:50 from memory), but it is a healthy improvement. Vanders stood me up this morning, soft!  Some lame excuse about being up all night working on an assignment (we know what you were really working on, Vanders!).

After a disapointing Sunday's washout at the TSSS, this weekend is aboc Climbing Camp No. 7.  The weather forecast from this distance is good! It's going to be a hectic few weeks as I set up my new hosting server, and move all of my old work sites over to it, I have until Dec 1 to get it all moved.  Busy Times!


And so the regular racing starts ...

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An eventful Saturday at Blackburn, and a flaying up Hurt Hill

After another poorly attended Race Skills session on Saturday morning (thankyou to Vanders and Dino for coming, I hope what we did was useful), it was time to load up the tow bike with the T1 and bits and do the first of the regular Blackburn track rounds.

It was a bit windy, but although threatening rain, it didn't actually fall, and after a warmup the regular races started.  Blackburn decided to interleave the grades, so it was F,A,E,B,D,C.  The program for the day, scratch, points, elimination. About 40 riders for the day, so quite a healthy field. C grade in particular was pretty large.

I didn't pay much attention to F grade, but A grade was good to watch, Rowan Geddes was a bit off the boil, but Steve 'the Master' Martin was boiling, attacking and making the race very interesting, and winning in the end.

E raced, next, then it was our turn in B grade.  20 laps.  I'm not one to let a race stagnate, and I attacked a few times, let a few gaps open up etc, generally trying to shake the field up.  With 10 to go, I'd just been caught and was on the front at the clubrooms end, and I swung up the bank, the woman behind me (I'm sorry, I don't know her name) swung up with me(!), but in the process young Peter Vlahos must have been overlapping her wheel, and he went down (we were moving pretty quickly at the time), and Dino (again!) and Alan Doran had nowhere to go.  I heard the first impact and had time to look around to see Alan flying through the air (I think it was Alan!), before we wound down as Doug Reith blew the whistle to stop the race.  All three of them were lying on the duckboards or in the mud beside the track.  My first concern was Dino, he seemed ok and there was a crowd of helpers making sure everyone was being looked after, so I rolled around to cool down for a lap before pulling off the track.

My mum had made the effort to come along and watch, and I had to assure her that this was an unusual thing to happen (at least at Blackburn, not DISC ...). 

Peter had a ride in an ambulance, but we're since informed that he's ok, just a bit shaken up (being winded is a pretty scary experience the first time it happens) and I dare say he'll be a bit further off wheels in future.  Dino's trashed another helmet, but apart from jokes about the colour of the inside of his knicks matching the mud on the outside, he's ok. Alan lost a bit of bark but was basically ok also. 

After that Dino's daughter Emily was a bit spooked, but managed to gather her wits and go on to win her next two races, and show her dad that not all the Apolito's are crash magnets!  Rob Monteath also rode well in C grade, half of C was lifted to B as there was only two of us left after the crash, and Rob dominated the reduced C grade points race, attacking after the first sprint and riding away from the field and staying clear for the remainder.  I had a bit of a case of CFB after the crash, and took the points race way too easily, basically letting the main contenders who'd come up from C grade get gaps and then I'd try and chase them down.  Not a good race winning strategy at all.  Our final race was converted into a mystery distance due to there only being three of us (it was supposed to be an elimination), I think it ended up about a 5 or 6 lap race.  Again, I wasn't that interested, I did contest the sprint, but a bit half heartedly, and when the big C grade lad came through with 80m to go I didn't bother to chase.  A pretty feeble effort at the end of the day and one that might cost me in aggregate points later on.  Not much of a show for the cheer squad I'm afraid, sorry Bev and Mum.

Emily and Rob rode really well though, and that was good to see.  Nath'll be back racing in a week or two once his collarbone is healed and I don't expect to see Dino out for long either.

After the show was over I packed up the tow bike and tootled home, before packing to go to Bonnie Doon for the rest of the weekend.

At Bonnie Doon Lucie and I planted some more trees in Trev's paddock, set fire to a nasty weed (a lot of fun!) and then I did a lap up 'Hurt Hill Loop' on the old MTB, which goes from Trev's house on Peppin Point Road, up Sonnberg Drive (Hurt Hill ... 2.63km, 265m gain, and the first 800 is gentle ... It's steep!)  and then follow Sonnberg Dve to the crossways on Skyline road and back to Bonnie Doon.  It's mostly gravel, and I was pretty slow up the hill (22 mins .. my PB is about 19.30 I think) but it's always good to just get up the damn thing.  The loop all up is about 17km and generally takes about an hour.



A stunning day for a ride

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After a sleepin, time to bag some miles ...

What a day!  Slept in, so I didn't get started on the road 'til about 10:45am.  Sunny, warm enough to not need arm warmers or a thermal undershirt. After a hectic week in the Real World, and no structured training for the week, I needed to get some miles in my legs and blow out some cobwebs.  I'd managed to fit in a bit of a session on Tuesday with John Lewis and Pat Dougherty at the BBN velodrone doing speed work, taking turns chasing a motorbike, and that went well, but otherwise my training diary is bare.

I make a few calls, but everyone's already out I guess, no-one wants to ride with me!  Dino's still laid up as is Nick and this will be a bit faster and further than Nath would be able to go, so I go alone. I think Bev's overseas at the moment?  Anyway ... solo ride today. Most of the serious roadies are out at Modella doing a hilly race - I'm in no condition for hills at the moment, 15kg overweight. No chance of even finishing, so I'll give that a miss for a while.

I dropped in at Cycle Science, and did a quick ride around the block with a fitting client who I hope will now be able to ride without breaking her wrists, and then off to the city via Whitehorse Rd (headwind ...) and then across to Alexander Pde via the Boule southern end.  A quick dash down Pickle St and over the Stu O'Grady memorial cobbles at Port Melb, and then it's time to open up and say ahhh.  Lisa Friend and a chum of hers were riding and I swept them up around South Melbourne, I think they must have been on a recovery tootle, I was only using 200watts at the time.  They latched on and away we go south to Mordi.  Along the way I keep lifting the tempo, hitting 500-600 watts on the rises (and 170+bpm, max was 181 for the day, good to see I could get it up that high and recover ok), we mopped up more cyclists and my little bunch grew to about 6 or 7 riders. I sat on the front intent on working hard, and most of the time the rest sat in, around Black Rock a bloke on a Look with Cosmic Carbones sat alongside me and we pulled togther for a few k, which made the hills a little tougher for your correspondant (that's when I hit 181bpm and 600 or so watts), dragging my lazy 104kg (!) carcass up those rises hurts, and when I'm not the one setting the pace .. ouch!

At one point a young lad with a lot of enthusiasm who's been sitting in for a few k jumps off the front (at the clocktower, from memory) but Mr Cosmics and I reel him back after about a k, just riding a solid tempo.  It's easy to think you can go faster when you're sucking wheel, eh?  He maybe forgot there was a 10 knot headwind and I put a pretty big hole in it for anyone on my wheel. Anyway, he got a bit of high intensity for a few moments, maybe that was his plan?

At a pedestrian crossing in Beaumaris (the one at the bottom of the hill opposite the life saving club, or maybe a yacht club .. I can't remember exactly) we get a red, and we all stop (good!) except one muppet on a MTB in a red jersey who'd been sitting in and every now and then taking a flyer off the front for about 50 metres, who flies straight through - well done, dickhead.  You could have taken out the mum and her little kid who were just about to cross the road. I bet she'll tell her kid that cyclists are a dangerous mob.  Score one for PR, muppet.

We lift it again towards Mordi, and I jump back on the front after having to chase back on after the last hill (Lisa Friend finally decided to do some work!) and hammer in to the end of Beach Rd, the rest except one bloke on a tidy looking Trek Madone 5.9 SL turn back, and he and I roll easy down through Aspendale before he turns down his street for home.

I'm toasted by now, 70km, including a pretty hard 40km burn on the front into a reasonable headwind, and turn left up Edithvale Rd to head up the hill for home.  The wind has swung *again* and it's a head/cross wind, not the tailwind I was hoping for, but it's such a nice day that even the odd bogan overtaking with 3 inches of room don't affect my mood and I just twiddle on home at 180 watts.

Drop in at Cycle Science again to say hi to the lads, discuss track racing with 'Bust a Rhyme, Sime' and suggest that if he commits to doing a significant number of Blackburn's summer track season he might get himself a free aboc jersey and knicks, "we'll talk".  There's an in-joke, Simon's spent years giving me stick about knicks, he's a former freestyle BMX'er, but I think he'll have a ball riding track, but he will have to wear knicks.  The poetry ... ha!

Home now, power meter data uploaded - yeah, it tells the story.  100k bagged for the day, that'll do just fine. The powertap says 2200kj burnt and Cycling Peaks says I had a decent endurance session. The Polar would have said 4000 kcal I bet ... random number generator. My legs have every right to be a bit lethargic this arvo. Guineapigs fed, they're happy, Vander's dog is happy (Yukon the wolf!), fish are happy.  Ace day. Tonight, a feed with my dad, Thai tucker in Mornington.  Red beef curry please, hot enough to kill a mortal.  Bring it on!

Hopefully I'll feel ok in the morning, it's the BBN/HCC time trial at Kew on the Boule, I'll be crap of course, but it's a good excuse for a 20 minute E3 ride while I make up the numbers and donate $10 to the winners, and then DISC for three hours.  Sunday night, legs up and relax, I think!  Mmmm, riding bikes ...

Get well, Dino, you would have loved this ride!


Recovery days rock!

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A hard weekend on legs and lungs, today - rest!

I had a pretty good weekend on the bike - the weather did the right things (mostly!) and I rode with good company and had a go at a few things new. 

After a bit of a bummer night at DISC on Thursday where I just couldn't get my legs going - spent 18 laps chasing the points race, for example (but at least I kept chasing, got a decent high intensity training session out of the night ...) and then Nandos in Ivanhoe being out of chicken(WTF?!) and having to resort to Red Rooter, I was due a positive bike experience.

On Friday Mark G from Trek brought in a new Trek Madone 5.5 (performance - read 'the old pilot') for us to look at at the LBS.  It was much prettier in the flesh than it looks on the 'net.  We poked and proded at it but I didn't get to keep it for the weekend - Maybe Mark knew I had a few hundred k planned? Mark assured me that we'll get it as a loaner for a decent test and review.  Stay tuned ...

Saturday morning, Bev & I rode in to meet Dino (late!) and then we did a tootle down the Yarra Boule, I stopped off at the crit loop for a few hillsprints and downhill sprints, then we rolled on to Port Melb for muffins and hot chocolate.  By the time we got to Port Melb a fair breeze had sprung up.  Bev and Dino rode with me to Fitzroy St before they turned back, and then I did a hard ride to Mordialloc - tailwind assisted. It was late enough in the morning that all the serious cyclists had finished for the day, so I spent the ride to Mordi chasing rabbits and trying to stay above 280 watts on the flats.  A bit of ego-flogging, no-one managed to hold my wheel for more than a k or two (even on the hills!) so I felt strong.  I caught one bloke who was in boardshorts with v.hairy legs in Mentone, but I couldn't shake him all the way to Mordi!  Including a kick to 800watts for a bit at the Parkdale yacht club and 50km/h on the last kilometer or so.  A good wheelsucker.  I eased off at the last set of pedestrian lights and he went past. 

After that flogfest, I noodled to Edithvale at around 180 watts, before turning into the headwind to ride home back up Springvale Rd.  120km for the day, that'll do.

Sunday was a race - of sorts - the Blackburn/Hawthorn ITTs had been a bit down on numbers last time, so I figured I'd donate $10 to the winner and have a bit of an E3 session.  No-one took me up on an offer of the back seat of the tandem so I had no excuse and had to ride it on my own.  Lots of bling at the ITT this time, Trek TTX's, a lot of aerobars and fancy wheelsets, and a decent turnout - even Barry 'The Wizard' Woods came along (a sprinter at an ITT?! There's two of us stupid enough to be here?!).  It was good to see Jono Lovelock back from his European jaunt, and Jamie Goddard, Steve "The Master" Martin and Tom Leaper turning out, as well as a few fresh faces and a healthy size field.  It was also nice to meet up with Wendy and Lisa, who I hope will have a go next time.  TT's are only as hard as you make them, remember?!

I pushed as hard as I could, but this fat lazy sprinter, even at 450 watts up the hills, was overtaken by his 30 second chaser after about 2km.  I came in at about 20 minutes for the course, ok I guess, it's not my baby .... I'm no climber nor am I a tempo rider, and the Boule has nary a flat centimeter.  HR peaked at about 175bpm (HRmax is 188) so I was working pretty hard - around 93% of HRmax for the last 5 minutes. 

Thanks to Nicko, Sue Dundas, Alan Barnes et at for running the 'race' (cruel ... cruel people!).

Then it was a tootle to Rich's place to drag him to DISC, but it turns out he'd been out all night on the grog and wasn't home when I got to his place.  Ok ... off to DISC - stop off en-route for a chocolate big-M and a couple of Wagon wheels.  Yum!

At DISC I met up with Nath & Dino and the rest of the old farts, it was good to see Liz Randall doing some fast laps and Lawrence Maskill turned a pedal a few times too.  Big Stu Vaughan got me by a cm in the warmup sprint, I thought I had enough gap, but not -quite- enough!  Nath & I (and Dino after one or two) did some standing 100's before I rode the DISC motorbike for the rest of the training group doing fast leadouts.  Nath & I managed to squeeze in a couple of flying 200's between my leadout sessions, and Dino looked flash with his new wheels. Nath's getting strong, he got over me on both flying 200's.  The summer sprint series is going to be interesting indeed.  Riding the motorbike is bloody cold too!  I had a jacket, but no leg warmers, so my legs were frozen stiff as I span around the velodrone on the motorbike.

After that, it was time for a 50 lap 'take a lap' grand prix.  I set myself a target of taking 5 laps, and I got 'em, a couple on my own and two with Mr Green from Albury and one with Nath.  That got rid of any coldness ... 3 hours at DISC and an ITT for the day, that'll do.  I groveled, and Nath gave me a lift home in the Rayvan. No way would I have been able to ride home, *smashed* legs. Thanks as always to John Lewis for running the session. It was good to catch up with Paul Parker (Mr Cycle Finess) and to watch his charge as she trains for the masters games.  Strong ...

Today, recovery ... 30 mins of tootling ... -easy-


Tomorrow, more strengh work and E3's ... Summer track season approaches and I have a date with Alan Barnes and Alan Doran that I want to keep ... I'm not going to beat them much, but I will keep them honest (and will try and stay ahead of Dino, who's gunning for me too ... ), summer's going to be a lot of fun.



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



A lazy 100 miles with the lads, a track report, and the Tours that Greg should have won

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Yesterday a few of us did a lazy 100 (ks or miles), on Thursday we went a'racing at DISC, and some funny stuff about the Tour and Greg Lemond

In jumbled order, DISC on Thursday last week.  Richard makes his DISC debut and rode very well, he managed to finish strongly in all his races except the motorpace, but the motorpace was disturbed by a crash that not only saw Rich get spooked, saw John Lewis (masters session coach) crash heavily through no fault of his own, get a pretty impressive concussion (It's Thursday night John, you're at DISC, you were in a crash, remember?) and almost certainly break a collarbone.  We wish you all the best for a speedy recovery John.

Dino rode well, he took a punt in the points race in a very strong C grade field and overdid it, but in the motorpace took a good 4th and was unlucky to not have placed in the money.  Wayne Evans handled the move up to B grade (about time you sandbagger!) well and never looked like he was struggling.  I sat the night out taking photos due to a feeble excuse (headcold!).  Justin Wornes rode A grade and was strong, but no-one could beat big Stu Vaughan, who won everything in A grade. The photos are here. The team was cheered on by Bev, the Llama and Von, Emily and Anne Apolito.  Thankyou everyone for your support.

And on Sunday, Byron, Dino, Steve Bourke and I did a lazy cruise down Beach Rd, the lads all clocked up around 100k each and I put 100 miles in my legs for the day including a grovel home up Whitehorse Rd after one too many sprints against Dino and rather a lot of time in E2  Lucozade and red eye got me home up the hill!  Bourky's thrilled with his new steed (Trek 1400) and we'll work on getting him racing next summer .. Glenvale maybe ..

Finally, gleaned from aus.bicycles, for your and my amusement :

Minneapolis, MN -- Greg Lemond today released a statement that said he
has, reluctantly and with great sadness, been forced to add the 2006
Tour de France to the long list of tours that he should have won. Lemond
initially believed, and was even quoted in an earlier interview as
saying, that this was the first clean Tour de France in many years.
However, in light of the recent positive doping test of tour winner
Floyd Landis, Lemond has concluded that, in all likelihood, he himself
should have won the tour this year.

This brings the total number of Tours de France That Lemond Should Have
Won (TDFTLSHW) to 167. Lemond first won the tour in 1986. However, as he
has explained many times over the years since, he should have won the
Tour in 1985, but was lied to by Bernard Hinault and cheated out of the
race victory. Lemond next should have won the Tour in 1987 and 1988, but
was incapacitated by a shotgun blast from his brother-in-law. While the
incident was ruled an accident by the police, Lemond believes that his
brother-in-law was working with Hinault and a young Texan by the name of
Lance Armstrong to remove him from the sport.

Lemond came back to win the Tour in 1989 and 1990, but lost in 1991 due
to the fact that, as incredible as it may sound, every other rider in
the Tour de France besides Lemond was taking performance enhancing
drugs. Lemond believes these drugs were supplied by Bernard Hinault, who
realized that if nothing were done, Lemond would continue to win the
Tour for the next 50 years. The drug-tainted Tour would continue through
2005, including the reign of Lance Armstrong. In the absence of doping,
Lemond clearly would have won the Tour from 1991 to 2005, bringing the
total number of TDFTLSHW to 21.

Going back before 1985, Lemond believes that in all likelihood, he would
have won the Tour de France each year since his birth in 1961 if a) he
had known about it and he had not had the small stature and limited leg
length common to children between the ages of 0 and 10. As Lemond
explains, clearly it would be unfair to him to discount the Tour wins he
should have achieved were he only able to reach the pedals of his
bicycle. This brings the TDFTLSHW to 45.

While Lemond concedes that some may believe him to be "stretching it" by
including in his TDFTLSHW years from Tours before his birth, he claims
that if one is to think about it logically, the only possible conclusion
is that the greatest bike rider in the history of the Tour would
absolutely have won the Tour since its inception in 1903, if only he had
been alive at that time. It was not Greg Lemond's fault that his parents
were not alive and able to conceive him in time to ride the initial Tour
in 1903; thus, it would be unfair to strip him of the Tour wins that he
rightly should have been awarded.

Note that there have been 11 years since its creation in 1903 that the
Tour de France was not held due to the two World Wars. Clearly, stopping
the Tour due to worldwide war would have been unfair to Greg Lemond, had
he been alive, and would have in all likelihood, been a move
orchestrated by Bernard Hinault, had he himself been alive, to keep
Lemond from winning the tour. Thus, Lemond believes that these years
should also be included in the TDFTLSHW, giving him a total of 103 wins.

Finally, Lemond explains that he has included the years between the
invention of the bicycle to the first Tour de France (1839 to 1903) in
the TDFTLSHW. Had the French had the foresight to create the Tour de
France in a more timely manner, Lemond would have definitely won it each
and every year, again assuming he had been alive (see above). Obviously
Lemond cannot be blaimed for the shortsightedness and general ineptitude
of the French, and therefore the victory from the Tours de France that
should have been held in these years must be credited to Lemond,
bringing the final tally of TDFTLSHW to 167.

Note that while Lemond has not yet been able to rationalize including
years before the invention of the bicycle in the TDFTLSHW, he has
created a company to pursue such an effort. The company is hard at work
on a rationalization and hopes to produce one for him within the year.


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.


Bug eyed!

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Casey Field, rain, Dandenong Creek trail and a bug ...

Saturday I rode down to Casey to do the first Casey Field crit of the season. Not long after I left aboc HQ the rain started, but assisted by a decent northerly tailwind I averaged 29km/h to Casey and did the trip in a bit over 90 mins.  The race, we won't mention, combined A & B grade due to low nubers of A graders, and I got blown to bits after a hard turn at the front chasing down an early attack when we thought the bunch was under control.  I was the only aboc rider present. Where was everyone?!  It's just a bit of rain! Rather than waste the day, I did a couple of 20 min E3 efforts and then rode home.  Being in no mood for traffic or hills, I thought I'd try the Dandeong Ck trail rather than Stud Rd. Nice enough, partially sealed, partially gravel, ok on a roady, except in places very poorly signed (where's the trail go, again?!). The usual collection of loose dogs etc ...

As it was getting dark I tok off my sunnies and next thing, a bug flies into my left eye.  No big deal, except I've always had eyes that react badly to any scratches, and before I knew it I was monocular.  10km from home, 125km in my legs and one eye, into a headwind up a hill (Boronia Rd to Canterbury Rd on my crit cassette!)... not happy, Jan!

When I finally got home Vanders fed me and I went out for eye drops and dinner.  Spent most of the night unable to sleep and finally woke up with one eye glued shut.  Today, I took the masters track session at DISC, but didn't ride as I basically can't see from one eye so have poor depth perception until it's better.  Only two people came, Nath (thanks for the lift!) and Nick, an Australian/Canadian former semi pro MTB racer. With a split between enduro and sprint riders I couldn't do much interesting stuff for them, so we did reaction drills and Nath did flying 100's.  A bit sad to see how poor the resource (DISC) is utilised.  It's cost a fortune to build, but trackies aren't taking advantage of it.

I'm going back to bed, hopefully I'll have stereo vision tomorrow!



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I join (feebly, and with dishonour) Neil's club of bleeding MTB riders

Tonight, dusk, Westerfolds Park, in the CARPARK I crashed my MTB!  Showing off, I thought I'd ride through a pothole.  Front suspension was still locked out, front wheel goes in hole, bike stops.  I don't.  Right over the handlebars!

That'll learn me to showboat!  Neil would indeed be proud, nice gouge in thigh from pedal I think, no damage to knicks, save for a bit of blood staining (rinsed out now, all good ...).  It's only superficial damage, not enough to warrant a bit of Mefix, but it does sure sting in the shower. 

I did get up the steep hill that I normally have to bail out and walk up though, and recovered from overcooking it into a tight corner with a bit of front wheel sliding(w00t!), so it wasn't a disaster of a ride.

I ordered one of these today, for winter night MTB fangs.  It'll be just like the old days with the old rally car, but cheaper and colder.  Mmmm, cross-training ...

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