“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, 25 October 2013

Last weekend's races and an appointment with a scalpel

On the way to the road race - looking back towards Sydney

as above.. a fave place name and this could be *only* be from Aus!

a tough TT course followed by a Crit (with the younger riders + Gaye Lynn driving the pace) followed by  a >65km RR (with the younger riders + Gaye Lynn driving the pace)  followed by a boring boring solo  drive down the Hume, followed by a full day at work ....and I ain't done much since!

Next Wednesday I have a ganglion removed from my right second toe which will mean 5 days off the bike...well actually 5 days off the road...I can still do ergo without a shoe...hmm now where did I put that cleated sandal OR single leg ergo  riding(!).  The original option was to arthrodese the final  joint which would have meant 6 weeks off the bike, so a 5 day offer was very much better.  

The story of this particular issue is quite interesting and the end result most unusual..or at least so everyone who sees it says;-)...some time late in 2011 I stubbed my toe so violently I though I had either broken it or it had subluxed.  It was painful and swollen for quite some time.  Then I forgot about it so that when a lump turned up on the same toe and I sought advice, when asked if I had damaged it at all...I said no.

Some time in March last year the ganglion was lanced and as mentioned above I was advised that I might need to have the joint arthrosed.  Earlier this year the lump returned but as I was due to go OS I just kept an eye on it...ie I ignored it and hoped for the best.  When OS it burst of its own accord and although concerned it didn't get infected I continued as before.  Cut to the present...its back up again and with my races finished for the year, it's time to get it sorted.  No need for the joint to be arthrosed since there is no issue there, but the constant fluid accumulation will eventually damage the skin so has to be dealt with.  More anon.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

The TT at Cavedine

When I got back home from Italy I found an email from Cycling Australia waiting for me requesting a report of the UCI TT.  Somewhat later I sent it in complete with permission to edit  as they saw fit (I wasn't too sure the  the criticism bit would be welcome).  I got a  reply saying..thanks, a great report..you'll be able to read it in the enewsletter next week.

The enewsletter arrived and while there was a report on the event in general it wasn't my report.  Bugger.  Somewhat miffed. Probably wont bother to waste my time if asked again.
So, FWIW here it it..:

UCI World Masters TT Championships 2013 Cav├Ędine Trentino Italy
Closed roads, motorbike escorts and above all a tough, tough course...an  epic
A check of the course on the internet revealed that, despite the Italian promo saying that there was a bit of a climb and a descent but this was essentially a flat course, it was in fact the toughest TT course I have raced.  Ever.  Comparing parcourses, this one is probably tougher than the Elite  Women’s World Championship course at Florence later in the month!  

The course could be divided into 5 sections: the first, immediately after the start  ramp and a 90° turn to the right, was a 6% climb approximately 2km long, the second was a glorious downhill hoon. The third, slightly bumpy section was alongside the lake and was more what we consider genuine TT terrain. This was followed by the climb to get out of the valley - a ~3km long grovel with a vicious 11-12% sting in the tail. The 5th and final section was a slightly uphill grind to the finish.   Given this analysis I was one of many who opted to use a road bike with TT extensions rather than a full TT rig.

I raced the course twice.  The first time was in July as the TT part of the Charly Gaul gran fondo.  I had arrived 5 days before from a wintery Melbourne and, starting at 5pm, had to endure a 35°C furnace complete with a blustery wind that gave me moments of pure panic on the downhill hairpin bends.  My time was, to say the least, pedestrian.

The second time was the UCI World Championships and with a couple of practise runs in between there were no surprises, only the knowledge that the race would be won by anyone who was strong enough to maintain a good pace up the hill and still have the legs to come home strongly. 

This time my start time was early and in fact I was the first off at 10am...consequently our race was less temperature and  wind affected and this time the downhill section, with no blustery wind to contend with, was pure unadulterated fun.... my top speed was  somewhere around 65kph. The climb saw me yet again grovelling at <10kph and wondering if forward motion was going to remain a possibility.  I might have been first out, but was definitely not first back; huge congratulations to Gaye Lynn who passed me earlier than I had wanted...she did a fantastic race.

There were many, many Aussies at the event; it was great to see so much green and gold. It was also an honour to have Tracy Gaudry (now a  UCI VP) presenting us with the medals and jersey in the historic Piazza Duomo in the centre of Trento.

Organisationally there were quite a few glitches......registering was a nightmare.  Standing in a queue for between 2 and 3 hours the day before a race is not ideal preparation and I never did find the portaloos at the event.  The start list time gaps weren’t adhered to and so later classes in the morning session were thrown into confusion both at the start and in the results.  

Other races will fade in the memory but not this one.  This one was an epic and I am sure it will be talked about by those who were there for years to come.

 “I survived the TT at Cav├Ędine”. 

Sunday, 6 October 2013

On the road again, it's great to be back on the road again tra la la la

 Memories first!  
Aussies at the World Masters Games Torino:

how's this for a really great shot??

 and back to reality!

somewhat sadly exchanging tall mountains for tall trees...historic passes for native animals and birds.

Yesterday's ride
 and  today's
yup...just checking out my climbing legs!

Soo...after a week I was back at work struggling through the day, but that was the end of jet lag and travel fatigue.  It was as if forcing myself to stay awake and alert beyond the "I just *have* to get horizontal" point fixed me up...although that day I did go to bed at 6pm, was up at 10pm and back in bed again at 3am to sleep through til 10am.

Having said farewell to the wee hours of the night and the spacey feeling that goes with jet lag I was ready to get out on the bike, which was when the weather took a turn for the worse and left me with no other option but the ergo...grrh!  So here we are...the first day of daylight saving and the weather was perfect for a longish ride..yee ha!

 This week I have a bike fit since my body has changed shape more than somewhat and then  the following week the CA Masters Nats at Goulburn NSW.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Last few days...Feltre, Trento, Sankt Johann, Munich and home

The last few days in Italy were so crammed full the blog didn't get a look in.

On Thursday, after class I drove to Trento to register for the UCI World Masters TT Championships.  As always I arrived a bit early and after circling the centre of town a few times found a multi-storey car park where I felt it would be safe to leave my car which was loaded with bike, spares and all my worldly goods and chattels except for my laptop and passport(!)  Much, much later (hours and hours later) when I returned I expected to have to take out a mortgage to pay to get out and so was a bit gob smacked to discover the bill was only 5 euros....in Melbourne I would have had to have done the mortgage bit.

I wandered round the old part of the town to kill time, ate something and then went over to the rider's briefing which was at 2pm...the same time that registration opened.  And that is where the problems started:
1.  there was no-one to tell us we could just go in,  so initially we all stood in the queue until I went in, asked the question and then suggested to someone official that it might, just might be an idea to let those waiting for the briefing know that  they didn't have to queue.
2. since the briefing was in the same room as the registration, just separated by a partition, it was well nigh impossible to hear the briefing!!!
3. After the briefing we then had to join the back of the queue to register..initially standing out in the sun.
4. Some 2 hours later I had registered and drove to my BnB, which was situated actually on the TT course, at a time much much later than anticipated.
5. Despite the lateness I went for a ride to ease the blocking of my legs brought on by all that standing...just the flat part of the course.
6.   I then dashed off to get some food at the pub which was a the foot of the climb at Ponte Olivetti.

The next day all went smoothly until I forgot to attached the timing chip to my leg and had to sprint back to my car just a few minutes before my start.  I was first off and so had none of the issues with timing that others did when the starter just followed the list of names rather than the list AND their start times!

I rode a rather ordinary race and was well beaten by Gaye Lynn who rode an ace race.  I came second ..my time on the course continues to improve but is still pretty pedestrian.  Weight loss is good until it impacts on your power output (I've lost ~10kgs since Xmas and am now a better  hill climber than a TTer!).

Back to the BnB and it was time to pack my gear which as always seems to take forever.  Once I'd finished, showered and eaten it was time to get to Trento for the presentation  although first I had to wait for the road to open and so was able to watch from my driveway and note how the really fast guys tackled that part of the course.

The presentation was  good with Tracy Gaudry..Oceania President and now VP of the UCI presenting us with medals, jersey, flowers and wine.   Getting a bit tired I thought it was time to go and so left a bit earlier than was polite, but I had a long day ahead of me.

So next day I took off early as I had stop off at Sankt Johann with various bits of gear before making my way to Munich airport and I didn't really want to rush.

After about an hour of driving I suddenly realised I had failed to confirm with the car place that I was definitely departing that day.  It was a Saturday and the phone and email were unattended and so panic set in....if they were not there I would have to stay another 2 days  with added costs for: car hire, accommodation, airline ticket change,car and travel insurance.  I costed it out as between $600 and $800.  I was distracted to say the least.

I decided I needed to get a wriggle on since if he was to be there...he might, just might stay until  early afternoon.  I stopped at 3 places to get one of those annoying vignettes that allow you to use the Austrian autobahns and finally managed to buy one.  Stress was mounting!  I went to my home from home in Sankt Johann and managed to keep polite but not stay very long(!).  Hans commented on how little sun tan I had on my face...I think I must have been pale with worry!

Then the real problems started...

I put the address of the car place into the Tom Tom but put it as a Munich street and so end up in the centre of Munich.  Too anxious and stupid to realise in advance that I was nowhere near the airport I finally cottoned on and took a good look at the instructions...you idiot  Halbergmoos NOT Munich!  Reconfiguring the Tom Tom took a while until; finally I was away.

By this time I was clearly mega distracted cos the first instruction was to turn right...which I did and saw what I took to be a line of parked cars and I since they took up most of the road, I assumed it was a one way street and so drove ...on the left of the street.  I approached the lights just as they were turning green and realised  my mistake......so there I was on the wrong side of the road on a minor road at a crossing with a dual carriage way and I wanted to turn left.  I stopped threw my hands in the air, then buried my head in my hands and finally looking sheepish and apologetic  manoeuvered my way around the cars who had, thankfully all stopped to allow to to extricate myself.

10 km later I was at the gate of the car place and was delighted and relieved to discover it was open.  Phew!

That, however, was not the end of the day's blunders!

The first of which was to walk from where I'd been hanging around into the the queue at the check in leaving my bike bag behind.  Some 10 minutes later I realised what I was missing(!) and went to wrench it from the grasp of a police man who was about to...confiscate it/blow it up!  The second was to leave the trophy I'd been lugging around forever in the lounge and was nearly in the plane before I realised my error.  I had to give my passport to the official in order to be allowed back to get it.

All in all...I think I was beyond tired.  What am I saying...I know I was.... I spent virtually the next 24 hours asleep...the "quickest" and least boring long haul plane trip I've ever taken!

We arrived 45 minutes early..I was one of the first through the passport control and on arriving at the carousel my bags were already there.  I was surprised!

Then I looked over at the oversized carousel and bugger me ...there was my bike case...I was reall really amazed.  From getting off the plane to walking out into the arrival hall it was probably 15 minutes and needless to say there was no-one to meet me.  A quick telephone call extracted Phil from MacDonalds and I was on my way home.