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Entries For: 2007


Now that i really know how far it is, I have no excuse.

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If i can ride to work as fast as it takes on the train, then who needs the train???

Well today was my first official commute to work and with the HRM on i was able to get a boot load of data on how i am going and where i need to improve. I was also able to measure out my route and make sure i am doing it in a time that was relavant to getting better and trying to stay within my training limits.

So from Noble Park Nth to Preston via the most direct route is 38 k. Now thats taking a pretty easy and not very hill way through Clayton, Carnegie, Brighton, St Kilda, Metro Melb, Brunswick, Northcote, Thornbury, and finaly Preston.

It's a nice ride almost exclusively on Bike Lane the whole way!! I am addicted to the commute now and feel the need to do more. I might even start to ride home as well as in.


It's Time to Commute To Preston!!

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And the time it takes is almost the same as a train?? That's inprobable!!

Well i have made the first commute from Preston to Noble Park Nth. It took about 2hrs and 15 min and i covered about 55 k. Now if my math is about right it looks like about 25.5 k/Hr. I have to admit that this is probably the longest single ride i have completed in a long time.

Now that this have been done, i really think i will have to look at doing this commute as often as possable due to the fact it takes bugger all time and i recon i could get it down to 2 hr or even 1.5 hrs if i get going a bit.

One reason for the commute is that i have been struggleing a little for fitness and my weight gust wont seem to drop. I have taken to diet but it just wont shift. So doing the commute will help drop the weight, and get some extra K's in the legs. I am also kinda proud that i was able to finnish such a ride. Bev and i have been doing our weekend Lunch ride for ages and i never thought i could cover the distance we do over 2 stints in 1 hit!!

Now i look to Shepparton carnival and a new year filled with bigger and better steps.


It's been so long, but I think I am ready now................

Or at least I hope so....

It has taken quite a while and with a few misshaps i think i'm ready to take on the riders at BBN Velo again. Times have been a little ruff for me at the minute and i think m y mind has been a little if not a lot preoccupied with other things. Time has been pf the essence, and yet i am still finding it hard to hit my straps.

I had a disastorus ride in Shepparton that has really put my racing and training back to a place i dont like, and that's back to the start. I was ment to be a social ride and something a few of us ABOC'ers were going to do for fun. I went for a training ride on Saturday to meet Bev on the road somewhere in between Cobram and Shepparton. Here is a condensed list of what happened in numerical order.

1) Ran off the road by locals and binned it in the thick gravel.

2) Swoop by a magpie for about a 12 k stretch.

3) Turned onto the Murray Goulburn freeway and was swooped by another bird for 6 k.

4) Had a snake take a liking to my shoes and give chase for 5-10 mtrs.

5) Had a puncture 9 k out of Tallygaroopna.

6) Forgot to bring money and ranout of drink just 6 k from Shep and had to stop a IGA for toilets and water. Thanks to Bev for Lollies as i even forgot food when i took a closer look.

So as you can see it was a kinda eventful ride to Shep and i was glad it was over when we got in. Had dinner and left Bev and Rob at the caravan park looking to the morning for the ride. When we got back to the farm i noticed that my knee was a little swollen and a small lump had  made it self home just under my knee. So thought i would see how this goes and make a decission in the morning.

Well with a bigger lump i was off to Cobram Hospital to see if there was anything they could do. Two X Rays and an ultrasound said i should keep off it for a couple of days and if it doesn't go down i will need to drop back in to the hospital or an Arthriscope. NO MORE SURGERY was the only thing i was thinking and came back to Melbourne as the lump seemed to go down almost overnight (OK it was still there 2 days later but was almost gone and was not there 4 days later).

So i still had a little pain and was a bit stiff so i went and got a massage telling the guy i had a fall and he should be a little gental on me. After about 10 minuets he managed to pop my shoulder back in (i didn't even think it was out) and felt a little more pain. More and more pain came in the dyas after so off to the Physio i went (on the recomendation of a few others) and he couldn't really find anything major untill we had the ultrasound and found the fracture in my Collar Bone!

So now over 3 weeks after the Shepparton debarkle i am almost fit (nothing hurting from broken or bashed) enough to have my first real race back. 

I had a bit of a ride this morning down to Glenvale for a look, then up to see my girls have a hit of tennis then home. 25 k with no pain in my shoulder but a little in the knee, but thats only because i have had trouble riding because of the other pains and it will come good over the next few days of training.

My Treck Summer Sprint Series was a fizzer as i could barely hold the bars and could only muster a 14.6 so a little dissapointed is an understaement. I know i can go alot faster and think the December edition will be a totaly different scenerio. 


Here he comes, here comes Speed Racer He's a demon on wheels!

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I am now a member of the 200 club!

Just a small note for all those concerned with all things Nathan.

Last night being Tuesday i finally managed to crack the 200 rpm cadence mark with a 202 (172.5 mm Cranks) in one of the HCLR runs. I never thought i would make it this far.

Now to crack 210.


Bloody Wind (not mine Mother Nature)

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Just when you thought it wouldn't get any harder PSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Well today was the ride i missed yeasterday because of work. I miss my time on the bike with Bev and anyone else that wants to come alone. Working Sucks and rideing makes more sense. If i didn't have to do a delivery yesterday on the way i was planning to ride from Preston back home to Noble Park as my training and then off to Masters Track this morning. But alas my best plans were shot to ribbons and i had to plan my big ride for today.

Bev and one of her friends got to my place at around 9 and we were off by 9.30 due to a few forgetfull things on my part. It was going to be an interesting ride when on one of the easier down hill sections both my drink botttles fell out when i hit a pot hole in the road. This was Karma letting me know that i haven't ridden my race bit for a while and the training bike was at home.

We were setting a great pace and managed to keep a great average of about 25 K/hr for the section from Noble Park to Frankston. The turn around point was the toilets before the Night Club section where we could take a pit stop if needed.

Back up Nepean Hwy to our normal lunch spot and a bit of a perve at Linda the waitress.

Lunch took a bit of sting out of our leggs, and it took a little bit of time for them to warm again and find that magic cadence. Along Neapan Hwy to Station St and choof along to Edithvale Rd heading home. So far we hadn't mentoned the stiff head wind but thought better not to. Usually you can get a good run back up Springvale Rd with the wind to your back. Not today thought. We struggled a little with the wind but then PSSSSSHHHHHHHH i blow a tire half way up Spingy Rd near Cheltenham Rd. So over we pull so i can change the stupid thing and back off we are.

So my cherry has been popped. I am the first in my small riding group to puncher on one of our rides. We made it back to Chez Larkin after 3 hours in the saddle and all felt a little better for it.


Work Hard Train Harder?

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Where is that dam clock??

I havn't written much lately as i have been training like a mad man and working myself metal. Time is a commodity i have yet to learn any respect for, and think it will last froever. I think i need to take a step back and look at all things clock related and determine what things i need to change to get the most out of my riding.

Wroking in Preston at the bike shop is a killer. It's about an hour travell each way by car; about an hour and a half by public transport; or if i tried to do it on the bike we would be looking at two hours. At work there is no shower so that makes riding in a bit of a smelly idea and working retail and being smelly dont really mix. I try and take the train as often as i can but with wanting to get home earlie to see my kids or needing to deliver something on my way home seems to keep the car an option for most of what i do.

Yet i still struggle to find time to train! Life seems to take time and piss it away for me. Working is taking up alot of my time. Traing is taking up alot of my time. Trying to be a good husband and father is taking up alot of my time.

Thank Christ i enjoy all the torment my lovely, delicate, chosen profession, sport, and family life or i would be a psyco by now.


Where does the time go and when will it come back?

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Train, Train, Train, Train, Train................................................................................................................................

Well as you can all see sometimes the monotony of traing does weird things to your head. I do suppose that you need to have full use of your facultys before assuming that you can loose part of them but hay who am i to complain.

Train, Train, Train, Train, and Train seems to be my mantra at the moment. I couldn't see the benefits until last night at DISC. I managed to hold on to most of the riders in the three races that were offered even though i never finnished a race. My best results ever.

Now that seems odd that i am pleased with my performance even though i never finnished a race, but there were a few things that are more important than winning and the small steps all count to the big steps. I am training for something else at the moment and tried my best to see how i was going to perform when this time comes. And from what i think i saw and felt i am almost ready.

So at the moment i am at my lightest for at least 12 years, i have found and extra 3 k/Hr in my sprint, and i feel in the best shape of my life.

So in my best Iron Chef dubed voice "The secret to this ingrediant is Train, Train, Train, Train."


Philip Island was a fizzer. But whatch out "BBN Track Riders"!

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In the best South Park Saddam voice "I'm Coming to get ya".

Well my Phillip Island campain lasted 4 laps and out i went.

The track seems different on a pushbike for some reason? For the many times i rode it, i never noticed that ther was basically 2 hills, and the leg sapping up and down nature of the course takes every ounce of strength and courage to get around it. Still for my first time riding it and doing it in D Grade was alot of fun.

This only means that my track riding will get better and better as time goes on. My legs are getting stronger, and i am getting fitter with each ride. I am not far from starting to get back into some intensity work so my apperances at DISC will gain in occurance soon.

Looking forward to C Grade, i think some of the longer races might give me some trouble, but for my pet events like the Keirin, Motor Pace, and sprints i will be up near the pointy end.

So remember kids "Im coming to get ya".


It's a Brave New World this year!

Well i have finally started my prep for the comeing season at BBN Track and a few of the opens. Training and working is alot of pressure at the moment so time is of the essence and something of a comodity as well.

As i start this prep i have clearly defined goals, and now where i want to be before i tackle a few of the bigger races.

So we will start with Phillip Island on May 12. This will be more for the training and experiance. then all i have to do is train like made, ride DISC occasionaly over winter, the i will be ready for the Sheparton New Years Day Carnival and a few others i haven't decided on yet.

As i find some time i will chart my progress as best as i can.

It's a new season comeing up, and i have BIG plans.


So that's what it's like!

Well i sit here now at 2.35 pm on a Sunday afternoon replaceing carbs lost from a massive days riding. When i talk massive i mean MASSIVE.

I have had a huge weekned riding at Blackburn Velo and Glenvale and all i can think is " So that's what is's like".

Now let me take you all back a little ways so you can understand why this is such an important day for me and a huge step in my life.

On the 18th of May in 2005 at 5.05 pm a lovely lady in a Commodore full of kids decided to cut me off on the Monash Fwy while i was riding my Motorcycle home from work. After i had some great guys drag me off the road; and i thanked the driver in the middle lane for not running me over; i was taken to hospital. After X-Rays i found out i had a Plateau Fracture of the Tibia and may need a couple of operations to correct this. After the operation i was told it was quite successful and i should walk OK but will more than likely limp for the rest of my life.

All i wanted to do was crawl into a ball a not exist after this news. I was so depressed i realy needed something to take my mind off it all.

Then i woke up to my self and thought "This is your last chance fat man. You need to get out there and do it" so thats exactly what i did.

I was a reasonable juiour rider when i was young, but found the allure of the "Dark Side" to tempting and gave it all up. I think that it dissapointed my family as much as it did me over time. After the accident, and when i was able to start to walk again i decided then i was going to ride again. Now not just ride, but really go for a big shake at the thing. So grossly over weight i started to do spin class's with Carl. I found not only how un fit i was but how hard this was going to be.

So lets fast forward all the boring bits of me not even being able to finnish and E Garde Scratch race and being lapped by the E grade bunch at Glenvale as that would just bore you all stupid.

So now i am 30kg lighter (yes thats 30kg!) and think i have jumped a bridge in not only my racing but life in general. I have learned that you only get there from hard work and persistance, and if you don't try you will never know. I have tried on many occasions and failed, but those failures are only the stepping stones to winning.  

Every time i win i do think "So that's what it's like" and reflect on how hard i have worked to get there. It makes the winning so much sweeter.

So now i prepare for the 2007-2008 Track season as a C Grade rider and D Grade as a road rider. This will bring new challanges forward but the key points are still the same: Listen to you coach and body, Work at getting fitter and understanding the races you ride, and most importantly Have Fun because riding should not be a chore it should be enjoyed.


I have become something I love! A Cyclist.

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I know it has been a while since i have put anything in here but i have been very busy with things at home; work; training; and racing. Things have been hectic and i have that time a quite a precious commodity.

Lets talk Track racing first.

My apperances at the BBN Velo have been numerous and prostigous at times. I have tasted the highs of being the  winner and the stinging heart ache of defeat. But over all i don't suck any more and think the C Grade riders better start looking over there shoulders. I have managed to find that i am now kinda inbetween the D Grade and C Grade riders at the moment so thats a big push from not even being able to finnish an E Grade race. My dreams of knocking on the B Grade door next year are looking quite good.

My performance at the Club Champs was nothing but surpriseing not only to me, but Carl and the other on lookers probably never thought i was able to do what i did. I managed 4th fastest in the flying 200. at a 14.44 that is the fastest i have ever gone and this PB will stand for a while. If i can get it down to a 14 flat for next season i will be very happy. My race for third against Carl was something i think we will both remember. He was better than me on the day, but i made sure i kept him honest! As for the other races i managed to do the best i can and thats all i can do. It was great to think that if i was on slightly bigger gear i might have been able to stay with them a little better in the scratch race.

Now i get ready for the 2007/2008 season and i am looking forward to the New Years carnival at Shepparton. That's My Goal Now.

Now it's all other riding stuff.

I have been riding to Glenvale and racing then taking a quick training ride after. This has been something i thought i would never be able to do, and now i am doing 60-80 k on a Sunday! Glenvale is a kind of race that i think i could do better at over time, and time is something i have on my side. I look forward to riding there every Sunday morning now and cant wait to get going. I try and creep up the K's every week to increase the time and distance i do.

With the way i am riding at the moment i will be doing the Philip Island Road Race! I will go and throw my hat in the ring and ride the dam thing as fast and smart as i can. Working for the other ABOC'ers or riding for my self. It will be the biggest and best test of my Race Skills and abillity, and when i complete it i will smile slightly and think to myself "Now Your A Cyclist".


Hooray for Saturday & Sunday!!

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Or How I won the day at BBN Track on Saturday and discovered something new in my self on Sunday.

Well Saturday and Sunday were both HUGE days for me in my short cycling carer. I have fond a niech as a sprinter, a "Pure" sprinter. But as I progress, I seem to be getting better at the longer races.

Saturday was a hot dry afternoon of about 30 odd degrees and the track was most definately hotter. I was warming up and could only think "It's a tough day today" and couldn't shake my doubts. We started the scratch race with only 4 of us in D Grade. The pace was a little on and off for the 12 laps. On of the girls kept surging as she hit the front to hurt us and the other girl held up the pace so everyone slowed and got there breath back. I was making sure I had my position right in the line with 2 to go. I was on the back knowing that as we we crossed I would be in 3rd wheel and primed ready. Now what happened next was the most damnedest thing. We get the bell and I'm in thrid wheel thinking "I have to make some room now" and then it happened. The girl on the front pulled up so I was second wheel and knew I could roll over the top and win. Then as we hit the 200 mark, the girl in front of me pulled out of the sprinters lane leaving me clear to put the foot down and leave them behind. I couldn't beleive my luck. A 100 mtr lead out for the win from two riders.

The Sprint Derby was next and you know what happened there. I left'em for dead in the heat, and blasted away in the final. I knew they were never going to catch me and it was a "safe as houses" bet I was going to win. I love sprinting. It's something I am good at, and have fairly good understanding of how to win. The sprint is something where my 2 strenghts come into play. That's Patience, and Strength. You must be Patient in a sprint. Go to early and your done, and to late you wont make the front in time. Strength to get on top of the gear and spin it right out. The rest is learing and time but if you have Patience and Strength give Sprinting a go.

I was never going to win the Points Race but gave it a shake anyway. Took third in the first sprint and second in the second. After the second sprint I was done. I knew I was never going to be able to contest the last sprint as my legs started to turn off and I could barely pedal.

So Overall Winner D Grade for me!

Now after admitting to Carl that Glenvale is about 5k from my home and I drive because there is 2 hills (now stop the "Boo Hoo Trakie") he said if I keep driving he will make sure that I ride there. Now I don't know what he was going to do, but I didn't want to risk it.

So this morning I got up, showered and fed, grabbed the bike and was determined to ride to Glenvale. As usuall I blew up on the first hill out the front door from my place and had that "No not me. Where's the car" thought but shook it away and kept going. When I got to the next hill, I found that it was much easier and made it up no problems and much easier than the first hill.

Yep that's right. I rode to Glenvale and raced E Grade. After the race I caught up with Mick T, Matt D, and Rob C, and had a chat about the racing and then I rode home. Yep RODE HOME!! I am amased at how far I have come and have found that I am more confident in my abilitys. I will now do a bit more road riding (even though it scares the begebus out of me) and that will intern improve my track rideing.

It has been a big weekend for me. First overall Saturday and first rode, raced, rode on Sunday.


Leongatha Track Carnival

Is that how fast i REALLY need to be?

Most of the ABOC crew took to the Leongatha track to turn pedals in anger. I on the other hand was "Wrech Monkey" and taking a good look at the compition i will be facing in December.

Watching the likes of Dino, Rich and Carl ride in the top parts of most of the field in there races made me realize how far i have come, and still how far i need to go. I know there was no way i was ever going to be competative if i had of ridden, but i might have not come last at least.

My next goal is to start racing at DISC on Thursdays (Yes Dino i am waiting for you to coem bac). This will add not only to my skills, but i will be able to keep an eye on most of the competition!

Look out kids here i come! 


I think I am almost ready.

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Well Saturday turned out kinda nice for the weather but the track felt kinda weired. I don't quite know what it was, but the gear i was riding (86) felt a little to big and i wasn't feeling real comfortable. I had a few laps on the warm up and was tossing up if i should change down a gear or not and the racing had already started.

As the given rule is we had the Scratch race first. I pulled out a few earlie peels and found my self in about 4th wheel coming up to a lap to go. When the jumped i went as well with a pretty good stamp of authority and managed to take the long way round for second. I wasn't that far from first, but the traffic and having to take the blue line around them all soaked up some time.

Next was the Handicap. I am starting to considermyself not a bad mid-marker now off 90 mtrs and being able to wind up enough to take second. I almost had third as i eased up a bit before the line because i was buggered doing so much work to gwet around everyone, but put in a little bit more sprint to keep them at bay. It was a pretty good race for me as i was shouting instructions to the juniors and the responded as i had hoped. They answered my calls of "fill the gap" with "No" or "In" when they were able to. It was great that everyone worked together and tried to catch the front markers.

We had a Motor Pace next and i really struggled to just keep going at this race. I took the bike from the start and really should have done 2 laps on the front to recover from the effort just getting on the bike, but peeled after the first and found my self dropping off the back and not able to hold them. I didn't come last, but still could have put in a better effort from hindsight.

So another Saturday of racing and another week of getting closer to the top of D Grade. I have given myself until the end of this year to make C Grade and think if my results keep going the way they are, i will start the 07/08 season in C Grade.


Hoorah for the future!!

Well i have made a very hard decission and decided to leave my current job at Corporate Express and start learning the family business.

The "Family Business" you ponder? No it has nothing to do with the Mafia, it's Bicycles. My father is the owner of Rays Bicycle Centre and i will be joining him to learn all about the business and hopefully taking it over at a later date. This is something that couldn't have happened at a better time. I have been looking for a new place to work for a while now, but having my dad ask me to join him was not only out of the blue but something i have wished for a long time.

How does this relate to riding and trainng in my quest for Maters Track Success in the futer? Well i will be able to commute most of the way every morning witch will help with my traing and dropping a little mor weight. It will also give the oppurtunity to get some extra K's in the legs.

I am so exited!! 



So is DISC is Friend or Foe?

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Well i had my first ride on DISC and i can say that for the first time in a while, i have never been that scared and excited at the same time.

I havn't had those kinda feelings rideing a bike for many years. The last time would have been when i was about 13 and first rode at the old (if i remember correctly) board track in Tassie. The steep banking, the smell of the timber, the sound of tires "sequelching" as you slow down that little to much on the banked corners. You can't explain how wonderful and free it feels riding on that kind of surface and at the same time how terrifying the banked corners look as you enter them.

I know there will be a time of adjustment for me as it has been many years since i have ridden such a beast, but i really look forward to this challange.  

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