“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

Friday, 30 March 2012

TT bike set up

The TT bike I rode during last week's TT at Glenrowan is about 50% different today.

Different bits:
  • The seat post had to be changed completely in order to be UCI legal. 
  • The crank set is no longer a Dura ace, it's a super light compact 34/50 "Lightning"  brand
  • The chain rings are now  featherweight Extralight brand. 
  • The cassette is no longer a Dura Ace12-27, it's  a  lighter SRAM 11-25 
  • The chain naturally enough had to be changed too. 

So those are different bits, but following my bike set up at Cycle Edge in Geelong by John Hind I  now have:
  • A lower saddle 
  • A saddle which is pushed further back. 
  • The stem is upside down
  • The bars are rotated down
  • The arm rest are further back
Not much the same actually! 

oh and I have been reminded to  once again put 2 socks on my slightly smaller left foot.

My next TT is next weekend at Maryborough, so we'll see how it all goes then.

Checking over the new UCI rules, I've been alerted to one particular aspect which *seems* to indicate that the distance from the center of the pedal axle to the rear edge of the front tire must be greater than 89mm...well I have 4 bikes (2 x road, 1 x TT and 1 x track) and Alex has 2 (1 road, 1 x TT) and none pass that test....even the ones custom made for me.   See page 43 of the above power point presentation. 

We all need more sleep.....

Hmmm...might need more nanna naps You Need More Sleep
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Monday, 26 March 2012

TT weekend oop north

This weekend there were 2 TT's up in the north east of the state and so I took advantage..went up and stayed there in my favourite motel at Wangaratta, Ryleys.  Actually it's probably no better than any other motel in that town, but you go to a place enough times, you get known and that's nice.

Saturday's TT at Glenrowan was billed as 26km but ended up being a shade under 20km.  run by the Wangaratta club it was a well run event over a truly ace course....pity we're not returning to it this year for a comparison ride.  Essentially flat with a mighty heave over a couple of lumps which were much worse on the way back it was a very similar course to the one in St Johann, although the lumps were sited differently.

This was the first race with my new bike and since its not yet dialled in fit-wise, I expected to have some issues with comfort...there were none..well not on that day anyway.  My plan was to go full gas until I couldn't hold it, which i did until I died on the stiff climb on the way back, when in Cancellaran terms, "I had lactic acid coming out of my ears".  I felt sick and dizzy and was just grateful to get to the top without falling off the bike!

So back to the motel via the supermarket and  while  in the throes of reading the newspaper  sleep over took me.

Sunday's race was at Wodonga, I got up early and went to recce the course:  it appeared quite benign until you honed in on the apparently simple climbs which is when you discovered a nasty but very short  pinch of ~17%.

 Any how I got on the bike and immediately discovered I had a saddle/pelvic bone interface problem.  Without delving into "too much information",  the usual problem women have with saddles is a soft tissue issue whereas my problem  was/is a boney issue.

My new saddle is wider at the front and I'd been sitting too far back on it resulting in bone pain and I just didn't realise til I got on the bike again. If the race had been a championships  I could have raced perched on the front of the saddle and obviously this is how I'll have to set it up,  but this was a training race and just wasn't worth causing more pain resulting in time off the bike.

So I got home early and was well rested for a great meal at Shakahari to celebrate Alex's birthday.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

A 60km ride I'll probably not repeat

 you'd have to wonder where my brain was when deciding to do this ride.  First of all the weather is good, which means more people on the road, then it took me onto Toorak Road at brunch time...i mean...how dumb can you be, FFS, and finally today is the Aus Formula 1 race, located not too far  from where I started to head back home.

Yup...there were a gazillion people about and most of them were feral.

One in particular caught my attention..... I recall some years ago when smart phones/blue tooth etc first came in and all the wankers in town started talking loudly into their lapels...or at least that's what it looked like to the rest of us...!  On today's ride after watching one rather odd person I decided that it was  really difficult to tell if she was one of those sad people wandering around talking to themselves or perhaps  hearing voices or she was just having an animated phone conversation. Turns out she was having a  robust discussion on her phone  (AKA a violent argument ) but her expression plus gestures were more than a little disconcerting.

On top of the people issue I discovered that Toorak road travelling west is a very badly looked after road with a patchwork of repairs most of which  have sunk resulting in a more than somewhat dangerous ride.

The 3rd week of mega km's

Woo hoo! Gerrans..you're de man...you know your talents and use them wisely

Cancellara..you're a machine ...so incredibly strong and your favourite method of winning...full power to the finish ..but if you're not alone, if others have managed to stay with you.... you wont win. 

And here in Melbourne at a slower pace.....

The weather's been kinder this week and so I've had less of mind numbing ergo work and when I had to I've had  DVD's of previous years' classics on to distract me.  Memo to self, must buy more of these.....

With a public holiday on Monday and no Italian one on one conversation sessions and no track or gym session, I've managed to get a fair amount of rest and recuperation happening, so as I reported to "he who must be obeyed"...I'm still tired from the increased work but not so tired that I'm sick.  I've also managed to lose a kilo or 2 and  I'm noticing an improvement in fitness/strength/power up the hills..

Since my TT season is about to commence  (~2 TT's per month) I opted to get out on the TT bike yesterday.  I chose to ride the Boulie rather than Beach Road.  There were 2 reasons for this...firstly it's closer and secondly on the way back I can shop at Leo's supermarket in Kew.. (there are at least 3 items I regularly buy which both Coles and Woolworth's have opted to remove from their shelves but which I can still get at Leo's.  Yay for independent grocers).

my brief for this ride was 40km at high rpm with a few efforts thrown in for good measure.  Not sure about the high revs bit, but I certainly got in a few efforts as I "did" the Boulie x 3 plus the extra loop  x 1  to ensure I got to the magic number.  The saddle still feels good and with a deep dish wheel on the back and a smaller deep dish on the front, I'm happy with the set up although I need to visit John Hine at Cycle Edge in Geelong to have it  tweaked to perfection.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Saturday in Wangaratta - time on the TT bike and Adamo saddle

After delivering  my TT frameset  and exchanging $$ in the car park at Wangaratta(!) I drove back to Glenrowan to recce 2 of the 3 TT courses I plan on racing this season.  The mapmyride.com profile of both of them appeared extremely benign, but I've learned my lesson and now just don't believe it. 

The first course however was flat to very flat with just a couple of pimples that even I didn't need to change out of big chain ring....'nuff said!  I couldn't go all the way as there was a road closure sign  at the junction prior to the turn around and with my race wheels on, I didn't want to explore.  With such a flat course there was nowhere I needed to get out of the saddle and so the Adamo got a really good trial....more on that later.   This is a planned 40km race and is I think the last of the 3.  Before I set off  a lost lady begged directions back to Glenrowan  although looking at the map you'll see she wasn't actually "lost" just a bit geographically embarrassed and confused.

After getting back to the car, I shifted parking spots and  checked out the other course, which will be raced on 24/3.  The elevation profile for this one illustrates how it misses out on the fine details.   The course starts off with an uphill heave over the freeway a bit of an undulation or 2 then is  flat to very flat.  I drove the full course but only rode halfway and back.  The slope on the way back being harder since you approach it from a flat run rather than a downhill swoop (and you are tired).

Adamo Saddle
For me getting to be UCI legal WRT to the relationship between the nose of my saddle and the bottom bracket left me with the option of only 2 saddles, the Fizik TT saddle and the Adamo.  I'd already tried and failed with the Fizik, so the Adamo just HAD to work.  And surprise, surprise it did.  I'm not sure that I've ever before  had a saddle that has been an instant hit, but this one was and is and will be.  I might have to equip all my bikes with one..its just a pity there isn't a retailer in Aus.  Ebay it is....again.

Bike set up...there are still a few tweaks that need to happen for the perfect fit; I can feel a bike fit at Geelong  coming on. 

Friday, 9 March 2012

Loooong weekend and a rather special month of March for the family

Woo,hoo!!...a whole 4 days with no work commitments and today no training at all.

 Currently  I'm employed for a regular 2 afternoons a week and 1 day a fortnight plus the occasional couple of hours on a Friday afternoon. All of which nicely fills the coffers for little luxuries such as a massage,  private Italian conversation lessons and groovy lightweight carbon cranks for my TT bike

 Training wise...my body is  slowly getting used to a different training regime and so I'm VERY pleased to have a day off the bike today..a 100% ME day....well no work and no training but still doing my other job...domestic slave. 

During the week I sold my previous TT frame on ebay and since the guy who bought it lives near where my next TT race is (Wangaratta), I've opted to drive out there to suss out the course, give my new TT bike a decent test and deliver the  frame  to him.  It's a win win situation ...it saves him freight and it saves me having to pack the thing up and hand around waiting for the courier to turn up.   The courses there tend to be pretty flat so I've got my fingers well and truly crossed that the roads are open since there's been some flooding around the state.

March 2012
  • By the end of the month Ben and Melissa will have the keys to their new house.
  • By the end of the month Alex will have had a rather significant birthday..not sure how he feels about this!
  • And finally an anniversary none of us really want to remember and certainly wont celebrate:  this time last year Alex hadn't had to take a stick out of his knee, didn't have a huge scar on his knee and hadn't spent an agonising  time in hospital on nuclear strength IV antibiotics. But a week after this holiday in 2011 he'd experienced  all of the above. A traumatic time for the entire family with Phil also in hospital at the same time. 

Monday, 5 March 2012

Training shift

So  how do I feel after week 1 of my new training regime?

Tired! but happy.

The shift away from highly objective wattage based  training to  a more subjective approach has been a breath of fresh air, although it leaves me a little concerned that I'm not working hard enough.  The current emphasis is on rpm and I'm to aim for 90-100 in a fairly easy gear.

I'm putting in more km's that's for sure, although most km's this last  week were on the ergo, given the wet stuff that was constantly leaking from the sky....and it still is.

On Thursday I was s'posed to go first to the track and then to  the Austin respiratory lab  to be VO2max tested as part of a medical research program.  The track part got ambushed by my car's light with BOTH my headlight globes having blown.  I was soooo annoyed, getting up at 4am to be at the track  for training by 6 only to get in the car and find out I had no lights.

The VO2 max test was slightly different from other times I've done it in that the bike and its set up and the room was...very average.  Naturally I couldn't use my own pedals/shoes and the saddle was waaaay uncomfortable.  The room was very small  and there was no fan which was not an issue to begin with but by the end of the test I was dripping.  Having said all that, it was a medical research test and not an in-depth test of my personal fitness level.  There was a doctor present who took my BP every 2 minutes, I think it ended up being 200/85, he was surprised how quickly my pulse dropped once I'd stopped exercising.

However, apart from failing to keep my lips sealed over the mouth piece during the final effortful grunt, I was happy with the session. I kept going for ~15 mins I think ..maybe 14.  He increased it by bigger increments than is normal for my age since he felt that we'd be there for ever!  I wanted to stand up to grind out the last  bit and felt I could have gone on for a minute longer if I had been allowed to do that, but sadly that's not in the protocol.

Apparently I'm so far above the norm for my age that I'm off the page.  My score was ~50, it was actually high 49 but he said due to the poor seal towards the end, it was under reporting.  I've been tested 2 or 3 times before and need to unearth the results, but from memory, I don't think it's changed much.

VO2 Max values for Women as measured in ml/kg/min
Age Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent Superior
13-19 <25.0 25.0-30.9 31.0-34.9 35.0-38.9 39.0-41.9 >41.9
20-29 <23.6 23.6-28.9 29.0-32.9 33.0-36.9 37.0-41.0 >41.0
30-39 <22.8 22.8-26.9 27.0-31.4 31.5-35.6 35.7-40.0 >40.0
40-49 <21.0 21.0-24.4 24.5-28.9 29.0-32.8 32.9-36.9 >36.9
50-59 <20.2 20.2-22.7 22.8-26.9 27.0-31.4 31.5-35.7 >35.7
60+ <17.5 17.5-20.1 20.2-24.4 24.5-30.2 30.3-31.4 >31.4

and from another source:

Women Age 50-65 (I'm 67)
  •  Low          <21 
  •  Fair            22-28 
  •  Avg.           29-36 
  •  Good         37-41 
  •  High          42-45 
  •  Athletic     46-49 
  •  Olympic    50+
ok..now I've finished polishing my ego I'd better go out and train!