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Entries For: September 2008



Today's training

I was caught up in work stuff, so had to have a very short session in the Powerhaus just before heading in to the last aboc Spin Session for 2008.  I did squats only, 5 x 5 @ 150kg, for a tonnage of 3,750kg. I'm really feeling 150kg, it's bloody heavy!

Then it was a quick grab of everything before scooting in to the last spin session we're running this year.  A good turnout of 18 people, which was great, we threw on a free session and a BBQ afterwards.  The sprinters did :

2 x 10s max sprints (big gear, low speed start) on the 5

4 x 30s sprints (medium gear) on the 5.

Then we're done ... after the 30 second efforts everyone wants to lie down and crawl into a hole for a bit. The KK trainers really make you work very hard indeed and the power meter keeps riders honest!

My peak power was down a bit, 1331 watts, but interestingly over the last 4 weeks, my 5s power has been gradually creeping up, which is a good sign. I haven't hit the magical 1400 watts yet, but I think that's not too far off, if I do a test without heavy squats first!

We're all fired up and dead-keen for round one this Sunday! Bring your racing legs, lads, it's ON!


Southern vets join CA!

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Fantastic news! Sanity!

Cropped directly from the CCCC website :

Southern Vets vote to join mainstream cycling
Sep 29 2008
Mal Sawford

SVCC will become a Cycling Australia affliated club


At a special general meeting on Monday night, Southern Vets members voted overwhelmingly to change affiliation from the Australian Veterans Cycling Council to Cycling Australia.

And in their own words :

In probably the most far reaching decision taken in its thirty three year history, the club last night (Monday 29th September) voted at a Special General Meeting to change its affiliation from the Australian Veteran Cycling Council (AVCC) to Cycling Australia (CA). The result of the poll was that 91% of members who voted decided to support the change of affiliation

The change of affiliation will not affect the manner in which Southern’s events are held. Races will still be held under the popular ability grading system, apart from the usual age categories at Club Championships

What will change are the opportunities for members to access more and varied racing with other CA clubs eg racing at Sandown.
SVCC members will be able to race at Sandown on Tuesdays and Thursdays, time trials at Kew Boulevard; CSV masters events and much more, all on your SVCC licence.


This is fantasic news.  It's a step towards the vets/masters and the rest of the cycling racing community working together more closely to improve racing for all of us. SVCC riders will be able to race at 'our' events without having clubs double-dipping into their pockets, including track and the combine racing will, I'm sure, improve for it.  Now, Eastern Vets ... will you guys see sense too?  Not everyone likes the news, some maybe just fear change?  I'm struggling to see any negatives from this if it's handled well by CA.


Blackburn velodrome repairs

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My day today - helping CRS fix our velodrome!

This morning (today, all of it!) I spent at the Blackburn velodrome, assisting (feeding, giving beer to etc!) the guys from CRS who were fixing the two big cracks in the track.

I won't bore you with the details, save to say that it was a privilege to watch a master concreter at work, and the CRS people were very professional and did a great job.

Photos of the job are here.

I'll be back there first thing tomorrow to take the signs etc off the track - I hope no-one nicks the signs or vandalises the concrete overnight ....


Last DISC for 2008

We just had our last DISC Sunday Sesh for 2008!

A good turnout of riders and a few spectators for the last session for this winter (next Sunday is round 1!).

After watching the last bit of the HCC 'Sunday Roast' and some of their riders having a go at some match sprints, we did our usual 20 min warmup/last 10 laps becomes a scratch race of sorts, I attacked hard very early (6 or 7 to go) to break things up as we had a large bunch and I wanted it smaller to make it safer for everyone.   Dino hung me out to dry, but Mason came to the rescue after 2 laps of my being a long way off the front, but I'd done my dash and sat up and watched them, my grenade had destroyed the bunch and left it a lot safer for all.  Mason and Dino fought it out and I think Mason got it by a whisker in the end?

Emily and Krissy had a match sprint, doing some very aggressive riding high on the bank, Krissy threw some good hooks at Em but Em held her ground and it was a thrilling 1cm win to Em, to even the score up.

Then we did motorpaced 3 rider (low gear, high cadence) 6 lap efforts, with each rider rolling off the front after a lap, and each group of 3 riders getting three runs, so every rider ended up with one effort behind the bike as a last lap 'hang on for as long as you can while the bike goes faster'. 

After that high cadence flaying, the same groups of three had 4 lap scratch races (everyone was on little gears) to give them something to take home after the night's work.

We finished after that with a warmdown rolling turns, and I managed to slip in a couple of very short sprints during the warmdown to at least get a little bit of riding (the motorbike doesn't really count!). I'd done a very easy tootle with Bev this morning out to the 1:20 for the Blackburn time trial (my job at these is startline holder) and said g'day to a few friends and watched Shane ride the perfect ITT for him, 14:30 or so, 380 watts averaged for the 7km. He's flying! Then I was lazy and got a ride home, before doing a weights session, so not a totally lazy day, despite spending most of the DISC session twisting the wrist on the CSV motorbike pacing everyone!

Off to Nandos for dinner, mmmm, chicken and chilli....


A PB at the BSSS practice day

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Today was thr practice day for the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series, and we did two flying 200's and two match sprints each.

The weather, perfect - very little wind, cool and overcast.  We had 14 people riding, which was great!  A few newcomers who did carl sprinting at the bsss practice dayreally well, the Dundas Mafia, the Apolito Crew etc.  My first F200 was a PB for me at BBN, but only a 14.43, my previous PB being a 14.44, so within human error (~0.1s) it was the same time.  Dino, Dino was on fire, pulling out a scorcher for him, a 13.51, where did he get that from?!  Wow!  The Wizard came along and predicably was the only rider to clock a sub-13s time, a 12.6 first up. Second F200, and I manage a new PB at Blackburn, a 13.88, that's probably about a 13.5 at DISC or faster, so I'm very happy.  Dino goes faster again!  13.39, not that far off Barry's time, so Barry at least will need to pay serious attention to Dino and not let him get a big gap.

Sprinting time, first up I'm matched against Martin Lama, Martin's a former triathete and mainly rides road time trials, but he's pretty quick in the sprint, he's qualified with a 13.86, I figure I should be able to win, but can't make any mistakes.  I lead it out, he gives me too much room on the bottom corner during lap 1 and I jump, he's got a small gear on due to a mechanical he's trying to sort out, and never has the oompf to get past - win one to me.

Dino races Barry first up, and although Barry wins, it's no easy win, Dino surprised The Wizard and almost scored an upset win.  Second round and I'm up against Dino.  So far at DISC and here we're evenly matched, which is to say every match sprint we've done has been close, and we're 50/50 on wins.  It's great for us to be so closely matched, as we really have to work hard and it's good sport. 

I lead out again (I like to be the lead rider), and at the bottom of lap one Dino dives under me and I jump straight onto his wheel.  I'm a bit complacent here thinking he's made a blunder and I've got an easy tow around, but he surges and opens a gap of 5 or 6 meters, which I don't pull back until it's too late, half way around the final bend, I come off the wheel with speed, but it's not enough and he wins by half a bike.

Full results here.

Barry's two flying 200's on video :



Here you can see the race between Martin Lama and me, he's on quite a small gear, I think if he was on something a bit bigger the result would have been less clear-cut.

And here's Dino, giving me a lesson!


Dino gave me a caning!

Training this morning at DISC .. ouch!

Dino and I took an opportunistic hour and a half to see if we could turn our legs into mush this morning, and we did!  I did, anyway ...

We warmed up, did two flying 200's, and then two match sprints.  Dino's ripping DISC up with his F200s, while my first one was ok-ish (13.75s, 52.4km/h) my second was rubbish (13.9s! 51.8km/h ....) - keeping this in perspective all my times are dog-slow, 20080925 slow f200wouldn't qualify me for anything except 'fat man on a bike' on youtube!  Anyway ... You can only work with what you have ... The HRM did record 55.9km/h during the second F200,  I must have faded badly towards the end of the effort. It felt fast, it just wasn't.

Then our two match sprints, I led the first one and kept pulling Dino down off the bank every time he tried to go up it, and I wound up gradually and took the first one comfortably.  We sat down and rested, and Shane Perkins rolled up to train,  he looks strong ... Then it was our last sprint, Dino's turn to lead.  I want to control the race, and I sweep up the bank at the start of our second lap, he lets me get ahead and above, not by a lot, but enough to trip the 'here's my chance-o-meter' and I take it... it's a very long way to go though, I get the jump and 20080925 match sprint vs dinolead him, clear into the lane by a few lengths, I think I got a gap but wasn't sure, my mistake being to back off a little assuming he was on my wheel when he might not have been, and then try and go for a second kick on the final bend.  Alas, the second kick was not to be found as my legs and lungs simply refused to move any faster and Dino timed his run to perfection, winning the second sprint by a tyre width.  That hurt ... (not the being beaten, the 2 lap sprint!).  Ohhh, that really really hurt! We both rolled around gasping for a couple of laps, Perko paying no attention to these two old farts pretending to be sprinters whatsoever!

On the way out I got a bit lightheaded walking up the stairs and had to sit down for a bit to get my head together ... I think we trained hard enough this morning, eh Dino? I think Dino and I will have some good races at the BSSS this summer, if I can get into the same grade as him anyway. 

Tonight we're at the Mermet again doing olympic lifts. Tomorrow, recovery day. Bring it on!

We're considering doing a Thursday morning (6am-8am or similar) DISC training session over summer, if you're interested, please let me know.  It'd be $20 per head for 2 hours same as for the winter sessions we run on Sunday afternoons.

Heroes, Villians & Velodromes

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Another book to read!

After reading "Bad Blood", which was a pretty lame and dull book, with about as much substance as a can of flat coke, I'm looking forward to reading the latest addition to the aboc library, "Heroes, Villains & Velodromes", which is about Chris Hoy and the British track cycling revolution.  Could be a few late nights until it's digested.



198rpm will do

Not quite a PB on the powertap, but good cadence

Tonight's drills : 10s max sprint in a big gear (53x12) from a slow rolling start, then 2 x 15s HCLR on the two minutes, then 4 by 30s sprints on the 5 minute. I wasn't feeling too good for the max effort and only managed 1341 watts, after heavy squats earlier in the day, but the HCLRs I was happy with, the powertap reporting a peak of 198 rpm.  That'll do.  The 30 second efforts are just horrible to do, the last couple are nausea-town, but we all got through them ok.

Next week is the last ergo session aboc is running for the winter, free BBQ and free entry to all who've come through the year to thank you all for your support and patronage.  It's been a very successful winter and everyone who's come along is part of that success.

More new equipment

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We're building up the sprinters lab

A new Kirt Kinetic road machine to add to the aboc equipment list, so my sprinters can have no excuses! I now have 2 KK RM's and one Cyclops Fluid 2 in the inventory.  Watts!  More watts ....


The concreters are coming

We've got the ok to fix the big holes in the track

The City of Whitehorse council are paying to have the two big holes in the Blackburn velodrome fixed, so I've been in touch with the concreters and given them the go-ahead.  We're expecting they'll do the work next week, so just in time for round 1.  I'm going to have to do a lot of running around chasing forms, paperwork etc to make sure it happens to keep the various bureaucracies happy,  but it's going ahead.  Good-o.

Interclub co-operation

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In the spirit of inter club co-operation

I had a chat with Mal Sawford on Sunday at the Blackburn/Hawthorn ITT on the boule', and he was interested in my promo cards I've done for the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series and the Blackburn Summer of Track.

So I've knocked this up for his consideration. You might recognise a couple of the riders in the photo ... One's a very successful aboc alumni and another is a former guest speaker at an aboc dinner! I had to put Frank in there too.

2008-2009 cccc crit card


A PB ... good-o

At DISC tonight, I set a PB in a flying 100

After another hard gym session (3 x 5 @ 150kg squats) this afternoon, it was off to DISC again tonight to make the legs go round and round ... we did a warmup/scratch race, won in fine style by Dino again, and then the sprinters did a couple of match sprints, and then a standing 250 and finishing off with a flying 100.  I managed to take a 10th of a second off my previous PB, which I'm happy with.  As we get closer to round 1 of the BSSS, I'm about to reduce the squatting loads and up the power work (more cleans, less squats, more standing starts and motorpaced high speed work).  So far, so good ...


Watts for free?

Aerodynamics .. or how to go faster without really trying

Speaking with one of the lads today at the Blackburn time trial at the Yarra Boulevard, who'd just come out of a testing session in at the Monash low speed wind tunnel.  He'd done around 90 mins in it testing various configs, and as well as deciding his new super-douper aero helmet wasn't as good as he thought, he found a way to go at the same speed but use 50 watts less power to do so.

His writeup of the experience is here.

It seems Monash might be going to offer as a semi commercial thing, use of their tunnel.

Not something that's been available to 'the rest of us' at all, although a power meter and a velodrome and a good speed computer can be used as a rough wind tunnel, a proper one has been the domain of the AIS etc but not ordinary cyclists.

Stay tuned, if and when more info is available ... I'll let you know!


Road rage - strategies

A very good article on road rage

It's by a yank, but is pretty relevant to here.  Have a read.

An extract :

My goal is to stay in control of my emotions. When a bad driver cuts me off because he is not paying attention or checking his mirrors, I am able to stay cool. Let someone else ‘teach him a lesson’-whatever I have to tell myself to get through those first critical moments without reacting. In those cases where it seems the bad and dangerous driving was intentionally directed at me-it is very difficult for me to control my knee jerk response to retaliate immediately. It feels like I am ‘giving in’ or in some other way ‘losing’. In order to change my reaction I had to change my perspective. If I lose my temper and escalate an antagonistic situation- what I am really doing is losing control. I try to equate losing my temper with being defeated, with ‘losing’. For me this is often enough to deter my dark side from emerging.



Windy at Blackburn this morning

Or why it's not good to compare windy, old concrete velodromes with indoor board tracks!

Dino and I had a sprint session this morning at Blackburn.  We tried a few different lines for flying 200's and had a couple of match sprints against eachother too (1 all in the match sprints).  Blackburn is so much slower than DISC it's just not funny!  We were on little baby gears and pounded by a 15kn+ nor westerly which made the windup a struggle and the final 80m tricky- but with little gears on it the wind wasn't such an issue, it was just spin as fast as you can time!

A good hitout anyway.

My condolances to the family and friends of the woman killed on Swanston St this morning in a collision with a bus.  We don't know how it happened, but it's a terrible thing for her family and friends.  Last year 6 cyclists died on Victorian roads from a total of 334 fatalities, so not many of us die, but some do, and it's tragic when it happens.  Stay alert on the roads, our safety is our responsibility.


2009? That's next year or something ...

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Planning ahead for next year

I've just confirmed our booking for DISC for 'winter' 2009 - our Sunday evening DISC sessions will run again from April until September 2009.  Now that's planning ahead ...

How strong is strong enough?

Just how much weight do I need to be able to lift anyway?

I'm not training for olympic weightlifting or 'power'lifting, but for track sprinting - I do quite enjoy weight training and learning olympic lifts is challenging and fun and I've found I like lifting properly (after years of the wrong sort of training when playing rugby etc, if I'd known then what I know now .... ).  That being the case, the real goal is faster sprinting and a better jump.  Ie: peak watts and peak torque on the bike. Along the way I'm now qualifed as a strength & conditioning coach, and am working with athletes in at the Victorian weightlifting center (Mermet). It's been a lot of fun and very rewarding.

So just how strong is strong enough?  I just did 3 sets of 5 lifts squatting 150kg (proper full squats, or as full as I can on a rebuilt knee anyway).  I've built a lot of strength over the last 6 months, given that I started training in the Powerhaus way back in February or March and have been in it three times a week without interuption since, focussing on the big core lifts, mainly the squat.  My legs are bigger and stronger, that's for sure, and if you poke them they're rock-hard.  I'm also heavier by a few kilos, but not that much, about 108kg at the moment, I was around 100kg late last year I think.  I'm certainly not lean, but I don't think I'm carrying much more fat than I was then.  Just, bigger legs and upper body.

I think it'll be interesting to have a chat to some of the riders who come along to the sprint series and see what they're lifting, just to get a rough idea, I'm interested in Fast Eddie and Big Jeremy in particular, but it'll be worth talking to John Beasley and Rick Leonard if I get a chance in the not too distant future also, and next time I run into Brad Robins I'll pick his brains also.

Until then .. we're three weeks out from the first round, and it's time to really get into power and speed-endurance stuff - tonight we'll be doing one 10 second max sprint effort, then 5 30 second efforts.  Vomit-time!

In other news, I spoke to the concreters today, and assuming we get the go-ahead on Friday, they'll have the two big holes in the track fixed by round 1!





Chelsea & Peninsula have a new website

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C&P have a new site, with a real domain name etc!

Check it out.

Out of curiosity, do they race at the Edithvale velodrome at all?

Track repairs ..

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Nicko and I met with some people from the Whitehorse council!

Nicko and I had a chat today with two people from the council and we gave them a bit of a look at the holes in the Blackburn velodrome - and we groveled a bit for council funding for the repairs.  They said they'd let us know by Friday if the council can or will pay for the repairs.

Here's hoping!



A good Sunday Sesh

weights and then DISC, and it's all good

I started Sunday with a weights session, this time up to 5 x 5 @ 147.5kg squats, and some bench for balance (3 x 5 @ 102.5kg), then Alex picked me up and we tootled in to DISC for the evening training session.

I took the new wheel (a disk at DISC!) and slapped a 15 tooth sprocket on it, warmed up on the normal wheels (86.something inches) then swapped in the disk for the last bit of the warmup, where we have a baby scratch race.  I took off early knowing Dino was locked onto my wheel, at about 6 or so to go hoping that we'd get a gap and he'd have to work with me and I'd be able to set up the last lap, but Craig caught us and then surged off the front after my initial attack, with Karen in tow.  I had no choice but to bridge, I could feel Dino's grin as I pulled him up to a fading Craig, as Craig swung up with 2 to go I dived into the gap between him and Karen, but Dino was alert and must have been riding the virtual tandem by then, and although I backed off a little and then kicked again with 150m to go it wasn't enough and he got over the top to take the win by half a wheel - perfect timing by Dino and great race sense. I hit HRmax ... That's intense enough!

We then did a points race for the enduros, and then sprinters did match sprints - I was matched with Craig, who's normally an enduro pursuiter, but we're working on his sprinting as well, and we did a very slow first lap, but with about 300 to go Craig jumped from up the bank a bit and got a 20m gap on me, I had to burn every match I had to catch him, but it was enough and I got over by a few cm and HRmax again ... that hurt!

Then the enduros did motorpaced laps, and the sprinters standing 250's, before the usual 'take a lap grand prix' finish.

A very good session, I think everyone enjoyed it and got a good quality, high intensity hit out from it as we get closer to the summer track racing season.

Congrats to Shane 'teh Llama' Miller for winning the Hawthorn club champs and also to Camster for getting second in his masters division at the same club champs. All these old men! Heh!


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