“Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it.” Lou Holtz

"I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." Confucius

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Ride 5 towards the Rapha ride to redemption

The Rapha 500 competition has certainly got me out onto the road more than I would have without the challenge.  I feel sorry for the northern hemisphere cyclists and am amazed at the exploits of some who have managed to ride the 500 in just a couple of days.

December 28th
 this ride was another of the iconic Melbourne rides, the 1 in 20, plus a bit extra to make the total up to greater than 50km.  My grand total so far is 334km and of the 2743 competitors I'm currently sitting in  352nd  place.

Good things happened today:
  • After yesterday's slog against thoughtless motorists who seemed keen on getting more than just a bit too close, I was delighted with their politeness today, waiting until the road widened before passing me and generally giving me a wide berth....when there was any traffic that is.
  • My politically incorrect suntan is getting a working over.  
  • No punctures!

In an amazing bit of forward planning I left some gear at work today, so tomorrow's ride will be part commute, part another heave over Mt Dandenong.

4 rides ..3 punctures

Taking part in the Rapha Redemption 500 (ride 500km between December 23rd and December 31st) has ensured that no matter how reluctant I am, I ride each day.

December 26th
After yesterday's incredible history making storm in Melbourne, I decided not to go out early as I felt certain the roads would be strewn with puncture creating debris and with  a 100% score of 2 rides and 2 punctures was not keen to improve on my stats!  I was also tired from the previous day's ride and celebrations.
Eventually I heaved myself out for a distinctly reluctant 26knm circuit on relatively main roads that were surprisingly uncluttered....apparently the expected Boxing Day sales crowds had not materialised in quite the numbers expected.  Total for the 3 days 177km.  Better rest up for a longer ride tomorrow..weather permitting.

December 27th
Yet another public holiday and anticipating that later would be busier on the roads, I set off early for a planned 102km ride that involved a long hard slog up a road named Skyline...the name says it all.  However, the spirit failed me as tired legs talked to me for the entire hour it took to reach the bottom of the climb and I altered my route, visiting  2 roads I used to race on, but which are now off the list due to increased housing and  local complaints.
turn around spot for skinny road tyres

I had planned to return a different way but  an increase in traffic and especially 4 wheel drives with boats and caravans had me diving for the back roads again.  Since it was only  late morning, I assume there must have been bad weather  further east for such early returns home.

Close to home but with not enough kms to reach the 100km, I rode another loop, finally turning for home and ending up with  106km to add to the total..177+106=283km and well past half way and on track to finish the 500km.

HOWEVER....just before I got home...

this time a front wheel ...so there we are, after not puncturing  for a very long time....4 rides, 3 punctures.  Better visit the bike shop again and stock up on more tubes and gas bottles!

Monday, 26 December 2011

I very rarely gets punctures

but on 2 of the last 2 rides I've had a rear flat.  I hasten to say that the second flat was  126km later than the firs and so I'm 100% certain was not as a result of the same bit of glass.

I'm taking part in the Rapha Festive 500..a self imposed challenge whereby I have to ride 500km between Dec23rd and December 31st.  so far I've managed 44km and 106.9km..would've gone more if I'd realised the .9 bit, but I was riding the last km with the flat tyre and was just glad to get home upright.

December 23rd was a non starter- work and pre Xmas prep took up all my time. Total kms..0

December 24th threatened to be similar and so I started early  but after 10km of what was planned to be 60km but ended up being 44km I was a rear wheel flat .
Poor planning meant I was light on spares and rather than going into rural Victoria without a replacement tube, I diverted to Lilydale and after much searching found a bike shop, wasting much time in the process.   total km...44

December 25th
Family feasting and gift exchanging happened yesterday evening, so today was totally mine..YAY!
The forecast was for late rain, thunderstorms and possible hail, so yet another early start was on the cards.
This is a ride I do often, although more times than not I'll stop at the 70km mark and take the train home.  The roads were mostly quiet although the notoriously dangerous parts of the road south were just as usual.
I visited 2 of the icons of Melbourne cycling....

Beach road  which  was lacking it's usual 100's of cyclists  and the Boulie which was totally deserted. To avoid the increasing traffic  the last part of my ride was on the bike path and since the weather was getting wet and a bit noisy, I had it to myself.  ~1km from home the rear tyre started talking to me and with expletive deleted cries of disbelief I hopped off to discover yet another flat tyre.  My options were to change it, beef it up with a blast from a gas bottle or roll home standing to take the weight off it...I opted for the last choice, which was a bit challenging.
Ride 106.9km  total 150.9km

December 26th
Plan..see if any bike shops are open to buy a new tyre.!  Ride out into the country to avoid the inevitable Boxing Day sales road carnage.  Hopefully 60-70km if the weather holds.

Thursday, 22 December 2011

'tis the season to be indulgent

so finally the weather has come good and I can get out onto the road more days than not  and away from the track and the ergo. 

Or at least that's what I thought until I managed to injure myself on Sunday.

I may never wash the kitchen floor again!    After warning everyone to watch out I managed to skid  while putting my right foot down and since I was in "push off" phase with my left foot I managed to cause  some painful damage to a couple of toes.  Either fractured little terminal phalanges or more likely, the terminal interphalangeal joints dislocated briefly.....whatever, it put a dent in my endurance training for 4 days..off the bike totally on Sunday and Monday and short sessions only on the ergo for Tuesday and Wednesday.  Wednesday was s'posed to be a VO2Max session for a research program that I'm  participating in, but I had to cancel.

Today was a 50 km ride and although I was a bit aware of my toes by the end I was really happy to be out and about again.  This ride is really great..no traffic lights at all  until the very last bit...the straight bit at the bottom of the map

I'm taking part in the Rapha Festive 500 between Dec 23 and Dec 31.....you have to ride 500km between those dates..not too hard for those of us where the weather is warm..can't think how I'd do it in UK ...ergo, rollers  and spin classes don't count.

I found out about it  on Strava which is where I download my road ride Garmin details, which I do after I've downloaded my SRM PCVI into the SRM site, WKO+ and finally Training Peaks  ;-)

Other things I  have downloaded (for the ergo) are the Sufferfest training videos which I link in with Trainer road. Trainer Road is a very useful program which tells me exactly what wattage I should be attempting for each phase of the videos....you plug in your HR and power thresholds so it does the transposing for you.  I was somewhat insulted the other day though as I'd failed to complete the full workout and a message flashed up saying I needed to change my power threshold from 175 watts to 0 watts!!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Weekend adventures

Working during the afternoon was interesting as the heat took toll on many of the patients and their reluctance factor was at an all time high..and I know that feeling well!  Humid weather and I don't go well together.

So I got home ready to have my second boxing class, this one with my hands also taped up so hopefully more secure and less ouchy, when I heard an unwelcome squeaking coming from the kitchen. Oh shit bugger bum and worse..Flea's caught another @#$%ing rat and brought it indoors....... during the day, no less..will we ever be  safe from the hunter's presents?

There followed a rat chase around the kitchen with the rat yet again finding the only door with a less than perfect fit and yet again ending up behind our ceiling high book shelves here in the computer room.  Long story short..the rat was eventually caught with the inept and very funny help of Pippi (now I'm 100% sure  she has very poor eyesight) and I managed to get to the gym in time.

The sequelae of this event are: the book cases are now in another room, the pantry floor is now clear of all recycle-able bags which have been recycled, the main door is going to have security doors added so we can get fresh air in but keep rat-carrying cats out and Flea has been told he's for the chop if he continues bringing me that sort of Xmas present.

My boxing session was brilliant and I was wasted by the end with my arms feeling as though they were  about to drop off , but it was a really good work out. I also got to actually get into the boxing ring, discovering that the floor was indeed made of canvas.  We only went into it in order to get some space, not to do anything really pugilistic...I'm not sure I could ever contemplate actually hitting anyone. 

My trainer does have a bit of a problem though since I'm a natural  south paw..! (or cackhanded or a mollydooker  although both of these monikers denigrate those  of us lucky to be left handed).  I've learned the jab, cross, hook and uppercut and forget  100% of the time to keep my elbows in and my hands up by my face.

I'm going to have to put my contacts in for the next session as my glasses kept sliding down my nose... giving me an interesting juxtaposition of  the old fashioned looking-over-the-glasses appearance while punching the living daylights out of a heavy bag.   It's quite difficult pushing them back up with taped up  hands inside  boxing gloves.

The taped hands bizzo worked well (mine are red) although my hands a just a bit sore today.

Saturday's ride was to be hilly so I set off to do the 1 in 20 loop. Its a while since I've been  there and rather than just grinding my way up to the top  I decided to assess my hill fitness by doing a 20 minute test..ie from the start line by the cafe in The Basin at the bottom of the climb as far as I could, riding tempo, in 20 minutes.  I rode tempo spinning a low gear and  was short of my all time record by about 200m.

I was about 10 minutes in to my ride when hurtling down towards me at warp speed  and in a really low tuck was what initially I took to be  pro cyclists in  that position they take up on really steep descents. A poompteenth of a second later, as they passed me, I realised they were leathered and helmeted up and  were on skateboards.  WOW!...were they moving!

Later on as I in my turn sped downhill (at less than warp speed but still satisfyingly fast), carefully checking behind me before pulling out to take the correct line on left hand turns, I had the dubious pleasure of  coming nearly face to face with  a motorcyclist  on my side of the road and over double white lines, passing a car on a blind corner...yet another impatient idiot with a death wish.

Not sure yet, but the forecast isn't good so I suspect an ergo session is on the cards along with decorating the Xmas tree.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The program for UCI's 2012 version of the Masters World Champs is out


check out this link for info on the 2012 version.  More chances to enter this year although once again I don't see it as "racing" and I'm not sure the UCI does either  the following quote is from the above link. 

"The UWCT is part of the UCI's 'Cycling for All' project. Anyone can acquire a one day license and take part. Riders with a masters license are also most welcome, unless they are a member of a UCI team or have won UCI points during the season. In practice the UCI targets well-trained amateurs, the type who ride Gran Fondo events."

Some of the events are waaaaay long and tough..alright if you're  young , but for the rest of us?

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Crits x 2

Tuesday's crit was not the best for me..I got spat out the back far too early.  After trying to work out why, I realised 2 things ...firstly the pace was  faster than the previous week and with no let up, secondly I need to learn to corner better as I seemed to be for ever catching up to close the gap that appeared in front of me at each of the 3 major corners on the red circuit we raced both days.

Acknowledgment:Eastern Vets CC for the above map

Alex however had a good time in A grade racing his new bike for the first time and  getting 3rd place, allowing him to pay me back some of what he owes me!!!!

So today,  Wednesday, I decided to do another crit, this one at the Boulie loop (Yarra Boulevard).

The published start time was 10:00 and I thought I'd missed it but  when I finally found the group,  I was "just" in time.  This loop, unlike yesterday's 1.2 km is probably about ~ 900m and has only 2 corners, 1 downhill (the northern one), 1 uphill (the more difficult southern one)  which, with about 22 laps during the 40 something minutes race gave me 44 opportunities to analyse my cornering skills..or lack thereof.  

a part of the graph

I felt much better after the race and was pleased to be told I'd been considered a risk for the uphill sprint finish!   ....next time maybe.......

Saturday, 10 December 2011

A temporary change of title and a different sort of training

A temporary  change of title 

while I put in 14 hours/week at the salt mine...ie work...gotta fund the hols OS somehow!   2 half days and 1 day from 0930 to 1600 are doable and only go til the end of January....and it's nice to feel wanted.

I had to turn down 2 other offers...guess there might be a shortage of rehab Physios looking for just a few hours here and there... so maybe,just maybe.... they might be a bit desperate!!!

and  a different sort of training

I'm taking a mini break from doing track work over the holiday season in order to ramp up the amount of endurance road sessions.  My coach doesn't want me to do quite as much top end stuff too soon.  Today's ride was 2 hours over a million undulations to the north  of the Dandenongs.

I've also been doing some rather tedious  general fitness work at a local gym...well to me all gym work is tedious.  2 sessions a week..one for increasing power and strength in my legs and the other one is....boxing!!!  Boxing ...good for cycling??!!  probably not, but it's a bit of fun, it exercises my pathetically weak upper body, is good for core strength, raises a sweat and, as a bonus, if anybody has been annoying me, I can imagine them on the receiving end of my wickedly hard (!!..not) punches.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

I am not a bike rider, I am a "cyclist"


tnx David  of Cycling Inform for alerting me to this via FB 

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

First crit for quite a whle

   “Know how sublime a thing it is to suffer and be strong”    
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
 Doesn't look very hard, but I was hanging off the back all the time, and was grateful to be there at the end.  I got mini dropped after tangling with another group we were passing and had to first shelter in that slower group going into the wind, then TT  back up to the back of my bunch.

Not a stellar event or performance...but ..since its the longest sustained effort I've made since August, I'll take it as a starting point and will slowly improve.    And as the pix below says.......
they make you get stronger