“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

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Resolutions

My New Year's Resolutions are pretty well much the same every year!
  • Lose weight
  • Learn to do a track stand
  • Learn to ride no hands on the road bike..I can already do this on the MTB and track bike
  • Learn to ride rollers with confidence and up to 120rpm......
 and new for this year
  • learn to check in to an MTB orienteering control on the fly..no stopping with a  foot on ground etc

I wish you all a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2013.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Ahhh...Boxing day!

  •  Christmas Eve.. a day for dashing around madly doing last minute things and last minute buying..especially of ingredients I bought in November, but which have mysteriously disappeared from the top shelf in the pantry.  You know who you are!
  • Christmas Day..a day for dashing around madly doing last minute cooking, salad making then present opening, eating and drinking far too much and finally carefully driving home.  A happy day  but also a stressful day for the cook.
  • Boxing Day...yessssGotta lerv Boxing Day with the sales, the "no need to cook due to all the leftovers" and especially  'cos finally I can get to play with all my new toys!

Saturday, 15 December 2012

when a word here or there can make a real difference

so when a professional cyclist says.." we will have to be very offensive in the first couple of stages" is he talking manners  or race strategy!

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

seen on the Tullamarine freeway

but since I couldn't stop...no photo:

No entry: 
construction traffic 

and a pedestrian/car road sign  which I may have mentioned before but in this "post Lance Armstrong saga" time can do with another view:

Give Way
which of course to athletes means Performance Enhancing Drugs ...really must get a pix of this.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Training started this week

This week was the re-start of  a planned training program as opposed to doing whatever I felt like, whenever, if ever.

We managed 1 MTB ride of a "road ride on MTB" variety last weekend followed by a meal at the Basil Leaf Thai restaurant in Montrose...well worth a visit..truly yummy food.  It's BYO and we were fortunate to have gone early enough that  the bottle shop was still  open.

For the rest of the week the goal has been: concentrating on higher than usual RPM's..when I can remember!

With a planned top temperature yesterday of 38 C I got out early for the longest ride of the week.  The traffic at this time of the year is totally feral as well as much more numerous than usual so I opted again  to ride the toll road bike trail - the Eastlink trail.

I fell into the trap of not estimating just how strong the tail wind was on the way out  and so struggled big time on the way home.  No rats on the trail today, instead 2 very brave:

I have been well aware that the Garmin Edge 500 has been over calculating my wattage and so have given up using it on the road bike using instead the highly expensive SRM I have and so might as well use(!)  however  for this long ride I decided compare the 2 and so slipped the Garmin into my pocket.

Here are the 2 read outs downloaded to  WKO+..same ride, same everything:


..nothing the same...although the temperature difference will be due to location..SRM in direct sun, Garmin in my pocket.  I trust the SRM power reading, neither are crash hot on cadence since at times I coasted and so it should be 0 and as for speed...I think I trust the Garmin more than the SRM and I don't really like the Garmin saying I only worked 311 kJ!!  However the point of the exercise was to see the variance in the power readings and, as I thought, the Garmin wildly overestimates with a max of 427watts to the SRM's 310 watts.  So for those of you with only a Garmin...you can only brag about your incredible wattage output to other Garmin users!

For about 4 years now I've had bouts of vertigo..Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV for short)..it's a problem of crystals in the semi circular canals of the ears getting stuck and giving wrong signals.   It's very fixable and I had it fixed 4 years ago then after hitting my head when on holiday in Italy last year it set up again.  It sorted itself out eventually but has grumbled on in a very low grade way  since then.  FINALLY I decided to do something as I was getting sick of occasionally looking like a drunk as I lurched around after suddenly changing direction(!).  Luckily for me the practitioners to go to are Physios and so I consulted with my friend Anne who specialises in neurlogical and vestibular issues and  who works out of Eastern Suburbs Physiotherapy in Nunawading . 30 minutes later all symptoms have gone..woo hoo!  now why didn't I go earlier?  you may well ask!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Animals and today's MTB ride

Todays' ride took us along single tracks  we wont attempt again firstly because they were too hard for us and  we were off the bike more than we were on but more importantly for me because  there were


I had a mega girlie moment when I discovered a whole heap on my leg but, after being scoffed at by my riding "friend", carried on..albeit rather reluctantly.

I *had* been keeping an eye open for :

of any variety or colour, but hadn't even considered leeches.

We're off on another jaunt on Sunday....the last mega jaunt before my real training for TTing starts...all subsequent rides will have to come under the heading of "recovery" rides...

Rollers, MTB, track

In reverse order

 2013 is a bit of a transition year for me.. it's the last year I'm in my current age group of 65-69 and since there is a paucity of people competing in this age group,  my competitive spirit has to be assuaged by going for records (state/national/world) in the timed events...pursuit and time trial.  Lyn Miller has put the Time Trial world record waaaay out of my reach (brilliant ride Lyn) and I currently hold the  pursuit world record (although the time is not one I'm particularly proud of). Consequently  I have made the decision to hang up my track bike for a year and concentrate on road time trials, which is the road discipline I'm best at and also where there are more ladies my age still racing. 


Is mega fun and for me is also a great way for retrieving  power/strength; it's also where I began my cycling life. I was never much good technically,  but now that I'm riding a 29er some of the issues I had on the older type of bike have magically disappeared...some haven't...!


I've had rollers somewhere in the house for a long time, but always tended to avoid them.  'cos I wasn't comfortable using them ...scared actually.  They're too big for me  both in height and length.  Firstly the drum size is big ..this makes it difficult for me to get on and  makes falling off more scarey.  They also are made for a taller person..ie when my bike is on the shortest setting the bike's front wheel hub is too far behind the front roller making the whole set up more unstable than I like. 

I've been on the look out for a set that would work with my shorter wheelbase bike and finally I found a second hand 1 on ebay. I failed to win it at $152.40 (!) but while researching the brand found the exact same brand was on sale in Melbourne for either $199 or $150 and so I am now the proud possessor of one bought new at $150...yay!   

I've been practising every day.... building up my skill level...however I don't think I wobble quite as much as my Garmin would have you believe!

 and finally, for no particular reason...

Sunday, 25 November 2012

MTB in the Dandenongs

A cruisy 1 hour ride in the hills near to home

 which  netted me 1 animal sighting......

Mr Reynard

yet another animal imported in Australia by unthinking  European migrants and which has since thrived and  damaged our native wildlife population


and 1 Crimson Rosella

I'm sure there were more......!

Saturday, 24 November 2012


Seen on last Saturday's MTB ride in the bush near St Andrews

 Seen on last Sunday's MTB ride  in the bush near Castlemaine (mini mob of 3)

Seen on Friday's road ride along the suburban  Eastlink bike path

hmm think I prefer  MTB animals!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Apple from the Apple Isle


from the Apple  Isle

= a broken tooth in an already well filled premolar with 1 cusp sheared off and another cusp sporting an undisplaced fracture (not sure what dentists call that).
= mega financial pain at an unfortunate time of the year.  The first ramifications being a rapid accommodation downgrade for my 2 MTB orienteering races in Beechworth after Xmas from motel to unpowered camp site and the temporary cancellation of private Italian lessons.

I try to pretend I'm not just a year or so away from being in my 70's, I don't feel as though that is so but parts of my body  keep reminding me.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Tassie pix

Peacock and peahen at Cataract Gorge, Launceston.  Peahen not impressed...more interested in food!!

Road  side whatevers on the road somewhere on the scenic route between Devenport and Launceston.  There was more....much more(!)

Is this what they mean by "Money laundering"?..a $10 note surfaced a bit later..and of course they were mine.....
Recycling is tops..first of all ..... and count them..7 shipping containers...what else can you see...?

and finally the reason we were in Tassie......
Alex waiting for the rest of the Road Race guys to arrive.  He ended up 4th and the big guy next to him????....possibly/probably shelled on the first major uphill attack.

The Crit..30 mins + 2 laps

So what happened was that there were 6 of us of which I think 2 had never ridden a crit before, so it was decided we would start off easy, however after 2 laps of parading round at a pace I normally train at, I decided to crank the speed up and so came from behind at a decent pace (? was that an attack??? it wasn't really meant to be) down the long side of the oblong course and with the wind behind me.

 No-one followed me, I hesitated, looked behind and then kept going.  The next lap I checked again and finally realised I was on my own.  By then I was too far ahead to sit up and let them catch up so the only option left to me was to keep going.  So I did.

I lapped 1 of our group and 1 of the group that started 10 mins before us and won solo a good 1/2 to 3/4 lap in front of the rest of my group.  My laps were not totally equal in time, but they are fairly close.

I had a great work out and am now well and truly stuffed.

Waiting for the presentations was a bit nerve wracking as we had to get back to our house, pack the car and get to Devenport for the ferry home to Melbourne, so I ended up asking them to get on with it!

Back home now doing the washing, reading the mail and being adored by the cats!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

AVCC championships in Tasmania

Sorry no pix..forgot to bring the card/computer interface..they'll go up when I get home.

Friday's weather for the TT was ..to put it mildly...... blusterous.  Not a steady wind..front, side or more rarely rear...nope...today's icy blast was  variable,here one minute, not the next.  Added to that, the course changed direction frequently and the hedge/tree cover at the sides of the road was there/not there/there. The weather therefore was definitely an added challenge to the course and the dead road sections.  I was happy with my ~45 minutes, winning my age grade, Alex got 2nd in his grade with ~37 and Lorraine scooped the pool with ~41 ...the fastest female.

 Yesterday was road race day and my group was last off.  Sadly Alex's group was second off so we had a longish wait between the 2 races.  Both Alex and I were 4th over the line and I won my age grade...I  have to try and remember to stand up to sprint(!)...too much time trialling!! Lorraine had decided not to race the RR.  Alex had a great race and was delighted that there was alot of attacking.

 Our race was...well....different...Grouping all 50+ riders together will always throw up surprises since there is the need for various riders to get rid of their age grade competition before thinking about being first across the line. Today there seemed to be times when there was more social chatting going on than attacking  however..I put in 2 attacks , 1 significant in that it spat my competition out the back  and the second in that it at least animated the race a bit. Some one else put in another but that was about it........weird.I was 4th across the line in the company of of 3 50 year olds. We were on TV.must have been a slow news day. Crit today..more on that when I've ridden it!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

TT practice

Bright and early today and 3 of us were at the TT course ,Bishopsbourne near  Longford.

feels like a good course with the middle 8km, ie last 4 km out and first 4 km in being the tester...lumpy,a dead road and today a bit of a head wind when you least want it.  I did 2 laps ie 50 km which is about 25km more than I normally spend on the TT bike and by the finish my back was complaining bitterly.

Food was definitely next on the list so we went into Launceston CBD, ate and followed this up by inspecting all bikes shops in the area.

Then to Cataract gorge where the stars of the show were 6 peacocks and 3 peahens.....the one (peacock..natch) vainly trying to impress the other (peahen) who was blithely ignoring all fanned out tail displays complete with feather rattling, preferring to eat!...most amusing.Or it was until one peacock wanted my icecream.......

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tasmania for a week

the car was (over)loaded with 4 bikes, 11 wheels, 2 ergos, 1 track pump...and a partridge in a pear tree.....! ie food and clothing
Needless to say with that  much of a load we travelled across the ditch on the night ferry.  Both Alex and I were in 4 bunk cabins..his 3 companions were noisy, my 2 were totally silent.

Arriving in Devenport at 0630, we had time to spare since arrival time for our house was not til 1400.

What to do?  First of all...brekky.  Experience has led me to avoid all caffs close to ferry crossings, so we went into Devenport and using the tablet app and a council worker talking rather loudly outside our car, we went to The Laneway cafe.  Gold dust...100% fantastic.see trip advisor.....

Then we did a bit of a  round trip to Launceston via .....not quite sure where we went actually but we did manage to visit our TT course to do a prelminary recce.  Looks to be a good course mostly flat with just  a couple of lumpy sections.

And finally we got to our accommodation...www.braemere.com.au   a house I've stayed at before when the  Aus masters track champs were here......great place and well recommended.

Saturday, 3 November 2012


I loved last weekend's MTB  so much I upgraded the 15 year old bike to a Specialized Fate 29er...got a good price on a 2012 model.
the bigger wheels smooth a out the trails more than the 26" wheels...thereby helping to make experts of us all.

Alex is enthusiastically suggesting upgrades..I'm happy to let it and I settle in together....the possie is a bit upright when comparing it to my road and track bikes, but I'm not complaining!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Long time no write...

In the climate there is this week and because I HAVE been asked(!) I thought I might start this off by saying that as the proud possessor of many titles and many records on road and track -  state, national and world in age grades from aged 55 up to today (I'm now 68)..I have not doped!

 I'd also like to say the reason  I have not doped is NOT because I'm  worried about the effect on my health or because it's too expensive ...I have not doped because it's not allowed in the rules of the sport and therefore is illegal, immoral and unfair to other competitors.  If I'm going to win or do well, I like it to be something that I own,.... the result of my hard work and NOT something I have to share with my friendly chemist/drug dealer.

Phew, now that's out of the way...

Melbourne to Taree is 1175km and no 1 son and I went there for a weekend of MTB orienteering.  Alex 'cos as a highly ranked MTBOer so he should be competing in the nationals and me to help with the drive.  The original idea was that I would take my road bike and do some training km's around Taree.  However, when you don't compete, the inevitable orienteering focussed conversations are incredibly boring, so I decided to compete.

I took the MTB out of mothballs and searched for the map board.  The bike needed a visit to the bike shop and the map board still had the map of my last ride in it...the 2010 nationals near Castlemaine.  I peeled the plastic cover off and since it took half the map with it, spent an hour cleaning up the resulting mess.  The bike is old school and twice as heavy as my road bikes...Alex thinks I need a new bike...I think probably not, afterall if I only ride once every 2 years.....!

Alex won both his competitions and somewhat surprisingly I won the long course and came second in the middle length course.

Major impressions of the drive...
  • some NSW drivers are rude and stupid
  • petrol in NSW is more expensive than in Vic
  • no need to cull kangaroos..just send them near the Pacific Highway and they do the culling themselves..the amount of bodies and red smears across the road was quite sickening.
  • when everyone is on cruise control it's really difficult to overtake when you only have 3kph over limit to play with
  • when a police car follows you for 10km, the likelihood of taking the road to Alexandra instead of the road to Melbourne is 100%
  • my GPS has no brain or logic and failed us 3 times.
  • falling off an MTB is a given and I am the proud possessor of quite a few bruises large and small
Next races..next week in Tas..the AVCC nationals near Launceston.

MTB riding is a total blast..haven't had so much fun on 2 wheels for...well ....2 years!

Friday, 5 October 2012

Ikea chair build fail

well ok...I got it right eventually!  I think there are  4 possible options and I tried 3...hmm.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

More pix

Definitely avoiding this one!

and this parking in Melbourne (my car is the front one and  was there first)

just isn't up to the giddy heights of Italian parking!

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Nope, none allowed

I've been home 5 days and jet lag is still in situ.... I seem to have developed a habit of waking up at 1100am! and my cat is delighted to have a body in a bed at a time when he's allowed the run of the house....My current sleeping habits are not helped by watching the Vuelta at 1100pm til whenever it finishes but it   is soooo exciting..unlike this year's 100% boring Tour de France. 

So far sleeping at odd times has been my major occupation but at least I've managed 1 ergo session, entry to the  CA and AVCC road nats, 3 coffee sessions and some much needed shopping for food...I'm ignoring the piles of dust everywhere for another day or so. (my welcome home was an empty fridge and layers of  dust everywhere!).

Hopefully tomorrow the weather will be good at a time when I'm awake and then I guess I'll have to  pluck up courage and at least think of  attacking the dust...

Monday, 3 September 2012

My thoughts exactly

"My biggest fear is not crashing on a bike... 
It's sitting in a chair at 90 and saying, 
 'I wish I had done more'  "
 - Graeme Obree.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

3rd in the road race

The forecast for today was diabolical but when it came down to the time for my race it was just very cold and very wet!!

8 registered but only 6 started and once again I got dropped on the first hill...gotta sort this problem out me thinks!  I made it worse for myself by starting off with too many clothes on and so had to stop and take off my rain jacket half way up the hill..stupid me...lost time and lost the jacket!

So with 2 away and a third about 400m ahead of me I spent the rest of the race getting more TT practice.  I gradually caught up with her and stuck on her wheel for about 2 km before going ahead just as  we started to pick up the stragglers from the race that started 10 minutes ahead of us.

My aim was to gradually up the pace and rely on my "sprint" (!), which I did and had a bit of a gap by the finish line, although we were given the same time...we ended up 2 minutes adrift of 1st and 2nd.

So...off to Rome tomorrow starting at 5am...it's nominally an 8 hour drive, but it's also Saturday when many tourists are on the move, so an early start is needed.  My flight doesn't leave til 10pm, so there's no huge rush and no need to panic if all doesn't quite go to plan.

No pix...the tablet has gone on strike..will catch up when I get home

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Time Trial day

Today's  weather forecast had been very iffy but when it came down to it, we had perfect weather.  The previous day's head wind on the way back was still there but not as strongly.

My normal plan is to load the car up with everything I need and drive down to the start very early to get a good spot, then cycle back home on the road bike and somewhat  later cycle back again and get onto the trainer.  However this year the stomach bug I've been wrestling for the past 2 weeks reared it's ugly head again this morning and so I drove down much closer to my start time.  Actually not only did I race on fresh air and water, I  couldn't even manage to have any coffee so I also raced with a caffeine withdrawal headache!

So I warmed up initially on the road bike, then on the TT bike, although I was very despondent with how hard everything seemed on the TT bike...until I got off and realised the back tyre had punctured.......=language most foul!

Well what can you do?...change wheels and think positively...its a lighter wheel was my positive thought. I did a couple of quick efforts to make sure the gears were working and it was time for my bike to be inspected.

I was last starter in my group and all went well until the hill ( tops out briefly at 7%) which is when I discovered that  actually all was not ok with my gears.   Looking for an easier gear, everything went bellyup and I almost came to a standstill as I fished around for a gear, any gear that would work and that I could turn!  Well I got up it, but with somewhat more pain in my legs and a higher heart rate than planned..however, when the going gets tough etc etc...and people who do TT's are tough types.  What's more, I'd carted the TT bike around for weeks and I wasn't going to give up before it earned it's keep!

A much needed day of rest happens tomorrow which will include a bit of a ride, a drive out to Oberndorf to pick up my newly re-tyred wheel and ...groan...packing the TT bike........the weather forecast for my RR is currently diabolical, but we'll see..we all know how accurate they are.........not.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Sankt Johann in Tirol

Prior to the 2 most important races of this particular block of racing, I'm trying hard NOT to go out and smash myself senseless on these beautiful roads...luckily it's raining so the temptation is somewhat nullified...however I also have to think of this (from FB..natch)

like I said, the weather is less than friendly with another incredible storm last night cutting the electricity off for a few hours....playing Scrabble in Italian was hard enough without having to play it by candlelight!

my races are on Wednesday and ...oooooh dear..Friday

Friday, 24 August 2012

Farewell Deutschlandsberg

Ciao to Deutschlandsberg, town of multi coloured houses, pumpkins, corn(maize), funny named satellite towns and suspiciously naughty places up almost deserted valley roads...taking my understanding of the term "interactive games" to another baser level....
I wanted to get closer to this town, but the roads were being fixed and were only suitable for a mountain bike..sad...Grub and Grubegg will live for ever in my mind.
Some things are just desperate to live and grow
I want one!
and finally
and so farewell D'berg and also sunny weather (hopefully temporarily), last night's thunderstorm here in the Tirol being a real son e lumiere occasion...even Melbourne's very best thunderstorm couldn't compete and now it's raining, dammit.....better get a pix of my sun tan before it fades!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

R'n R in Steiermark

Fantastic weather: blue skies, little or no wind, 30 degrees+, no commitments...paradise!

 So the day goes something like this: wake up/shower/brekky/60-70km ride/coffee or ice cream or lunch/back to hotel/download Garmin/shower/nanna nap/download pix/watch the Vuelta(TV for the pix + the internet for the English commentary)/go for a walk/shop/eat/sleep. like I said....paradise on earth.

With the week's gap between races quite a few cyclists have opted to stay here rather than travel north straight away so there's still quite a cycling presence here in Deutschlandsberg and since there is a general feeling of sadness that the race week has had to move, the locals are more than usually friendly...not that they're ever anything other than very polite and friendly...just aa bit more so this year I've noticed .

So while my rides are still training rides with hill efforts (did a 16% er up to Stainz castle today...well ok, it was only very briefly 16% but I'm claiming it!) I have plenty of time to check out people's taste in garden furniture, colour of house etc etc.

What is it with Italians and Austrians and garden gnomes!!!

I thought the first factory was, well...very blue....until I saw the second one!

Today's colour is....blue!