Entries For: November 2008
The Hotham camp was small, but good
As mentioned, I didn't ride Hotham this time, I did take a bike and did some sprint work on Sunday and rode (groveled!) to Dinner Plain and back on Sunday after the sprints (mistake!).
But the trip was good. We had hail, warm weather in the Ovens valley, some great performances by everyone that came along and no-one went hungry. Photos are here.
Over the w'end some other aboc'ers were racing the Metro championships. I've posted a news article about it, but it bears repeating here too, as I'm very proud of the team. Dino got a bronze in the MMAS4 sprint, Mick Thomas had a cold but still managed a bronze in the MMAS4 pursuit and a silver in the MMAS4 scratch race, Emily swept the track to win gold in the JW15 500m ITT and qualified fastest by more than half a second in the JW15 sprint. She got eliminated in the rounds though, but she'll learn from that and the experience she'll gain for later in her career will be invaluable. The Dundas girls did well, Krissy and Jodie both went home with bronze medals (Krissy in the JW17 sprint and Jodie in the JW17 pursuit) and Mick Thomas's kids, Will and Bridget both had good days out, with Will setting a PB and Bridge getting a bronze in the JW15 scratch race. Simon Quick from Quickcycle coaches Will and Bridge and he's got them going pretty quick.
Round 3 of the BSSS is this Sunday. In A grade, watch out for Dino!
Climbing camp #9.
This will be a first, I'm not going to ride the big hill! I figure after some 14 or so ascents of it over the last 4 years I don't need to do it again, expecially one week out from a sprint series round. This camp was touch and go as to it going ahead, but we had a couple of late entrants so it's all going to work out ok for everyone. Phew!
Gear to pack : my bike, ergo, spares for everyone, food, prizes, laptop, movies, clothes (it may be quite chilly up there!) etc. I'm going to squeeze in a session in the powerhaus before I go too.
The BoM says :
Forecast for Saturday
Cloudy. Scattered showers. Winds south to southeasterly averaging 20 to 30 km/h tending south to southwesterly 20 to 35 km/h around midday. Overnight temperatures falling to between 5 and 10 with daytime temperatures reaching between 10 and 16.
Forecast for Sunday
Cloudy. Isolated showers until late afternoon. Winds southwesterly averaging 15 to 25 km/h tending westerly up to 45 km/h later in the evening. Overnight temperatures falling to around 5 with daytime temperatures reaching between 11 and 17.
Good luck to all the aboc'ers racing at the Metro's this weekend. I'm sure I'll get SMS updates as they get their results!
After weights, a different Tuesday evening is ahead
Powerhaus today : squats 4 x 5 @ 152.5kg (3050kg), then some benchpress etc to finish off. I was going to do some clean pulls, but Dino, Em & I are going to have a tryout at Brad Robins' training at Blackburn tonight and I want to have a little bit left for that!
I had one pull out of the climbing camp today (after I paid for the lodge this morning ... hrm), and a bunch of people haven't paid their bills to come. Not much I can do now about that, C'est la Vie ....
At DISC tonight, and the Powerhaus today
New PB for squats, 152.5kg, 3 sets 5 reps (2287.5kg), then press (3 x 10 @ 40,42.5,45kg) and then clean pulls (5 x 6 @ 60kg).
Off to DISC, normal wheels, 13.25s F200. New PB!
Everyone was on fire, Emily set a time for a S500 that would have won her gold at last year's JW15 metros by more than a second and her F200 time would have qualified her second. Dino set a sub 13s F200. W00t!
I'm allergic to rain!
Today's weather radar ...
Rain ... everywhere rain! Glorious water falling from the sky! So, track racing at Blackburn isn't on. We did an ergo session in the PowerHaus and then some weight training. And, I didn't feel bad about not getting out for a ride in the rain.
We're promoting the Blackburn Australia Day Madison - I need to get some stuff done in time to get it to DISC tomorrow for the women's omnium, so that they see it and know that there's a women's madison. Last year, 3 teams, maybe we didn't promote it well enough? This year we'll try and do a little better. The website is here.
Tomorrow we're training indoors at DISC in the evening from 7-9pm, anyone's welcome to come, I need to see your licence and steal $20 of your units of currency to attend.
Cycling is not dangerous, why linger on the very rare horror stories?
Ghost bike: A white painted bicycle chained near a cycling fatality site.
Dog bites man is never news, man bites dog is. It's a media truism and a cliche'. We notice the unusual, and ignore the commonplace.
In 2007, for example, 332 people died on Victorian roads. How's that break up?
67 passengers in motor vehicles
6 cyclists. On average over the last 5 years, 8 cyclists a year died on Victorian roads.
That's not very many. It's hardly even noticeable in the stats, ~2% of road fatalities are cyclists.
So what's the point of the ghost bikes and the ride of silence and other such activities? If we're to accept the generally held interpretation of some reasearch out of the US, that suggests that the more cyclists ride on the roads, the less (in terms of riding time) get involved in collisions, one aim of most sensible cyclists is to encourage more people to ride, more often (apologies to Bicycle Victoria!). How does a ghost bike help that? How does something unusual and thus newsworthy reminding passers-by of a fatality encourage those passers-by to consider riding rather than driving? I don't think it does any of us any favours.
Cycling is NOT dangerous, cycling is one of the safest and best ways to get around. It's healthy for riders, it's better for the air we share, it's even better for drivers (reducing congestion etc). That's the message we want to push, and we need to push it because it's the truth.
So get on your bike and ride it, encourage your friends to ride. That's how to make a real difference. The best monument to the fallen, if you must, is for more people to ride their bikes; ride to work, ride to school, ride to the shops, ride to parties and dinners with friends, ride to your holidays, RIDE!
After Saturday's DT volunteer work, I didn't do much on Sunday
Lazy - yes.
Saturday was a long day in the sun (no training, no riding etc) and I was knackered at the end of it. Sunday I didn't do much training-wise, a good set of squats was it (5 x 5 @ 150kg, 3,750kg total). Today (Monday) I'll squeeze in a swim at the local pool between trying to make a new USB receipt printer work with an ancient SCO UNIX business program in a virtual machine, and porting my zope and plone installs to OpenSolaris. Fun, eh?!
One thing that we need to do better with races like the Doherty Tour is communicate with the riders. At the BSSS, we know that riders care a lot about their results, do a F200, and we give you your time right away. Instant feedback. Very important. I don't have the results yet for the DT to put on the website. This is frustrating. It should be up right away and a number of competitors are asking for the results, and rightly so. They should be there! I'm trying to nag Nicko to get the results to put up.
On the Climbing Camp front, I had one more sign up today. That makes 7, which means the camp runs at a loss, if I get 8 riders coming I'll wear the loss, but 7 is too much for a very broke aboc bank balance! 10 is the break-even number of attendees, I'll wear a loss on it, but not a huge one. Want to come to Hotham the week before the Tour of Bright? Sign up!
I didn't race it (it's got a hill in it!) - I was a volunteer at it
First job was the website, which we set up months ago. A basic plone site, with a logo, works like a charm. I did a couple of maps for it on Bikely. No big deal, and all done months ago.
On Saturday, I was a parking marshal and then the start line holder and then a corner marshal. We had everyone parking in a paddock at the base of the 1:20 such that the locals and the bogans in the area wouldn't get too cranky. It worked out pretty well, but one unlucky woman found a star picket hidden in long grass, which took some extricating after the morning's stage.
The start line holder's job is to allow each rider to have a 'held start', clipped in and ready to go. Most riders are pretty good with this, some need a bit of practice. In particular, the ones that ride to the start line and want to get caught are often tricky. It's much easier if they walk to the line, I hold their saddle, they sit on it and then clip in. Much easier ... Maybe one to write an article on for the website? Anyway, being an uphill start, most riders roll back a little and their saddle rests on my stomach before the start. Generally this is fine, but those who have Fizik Arione saddles can buy me a beer! The damn saddle has a point on the back of it, and I have a very odd bruise up my torso courtesy of this make of saddle! It may not seem all that difficult, but after over an hour and a quarter it gets quite tiring and quite painful, even with my big guts.
Anyway, with the time trial done (at least, my job there) Bev, Chris & I went off to the second stage, we got to Yarra Glen quite early, and did a lap of the course to check it out for safety etc, and also took some chalk along to provide some on-road support on the hills. Llama, Llama, Llama, oi oi oi! My job at stage 2 was to be one of the corner marshals. Turn 3 is the corner that dumps riders onto the Melba highway, it's dangerous and requires a traffic contoller to stop the traffic on the highway. My job was spotter - I was on top of a little hill with a radio, while Neil Dundas (the TC) was down at the junction with an assistant so he could stop traffic. The reason for the spotter is that the corner is blind, riders come down a steep drop to a T junction, and the junction cannot be seen from the approach until it's too late. So, my job, sit there and tell Neil when to close and open the road for the riders and on their first laps to warn them (riders) of the dangerous corner. It worked well despite the constant chatter on the radios from the commissaires trying to unravel B & C grade. You can see the view from where I was to the intersection here :
We were there for some time, from a bit before 2pm until around 5:15 when the last B grade rider passed through. I had a book (Carl Sagen's Cosmos), a small esky with cold drinks in it, a chair and some food and a sunhat, but no sunscreen, which in hindsight was a mistake, got a bit burnt out there. Anyway, job done, pretty-much everyone seemed to be riding well. I'd chalked a bit around my corner as well (I don't do cats very well, I'm afraid, but did a good martini glass for 'the Master'). I got to enjoy a little of the Lilydale airport airshow, which was on at the time, saw some aerobatics and the Galeb jet flew overhead a couple of times too, as well as seeing a lot of the moves in most of the race, or at least, the after effects of them.
Em did very well out at Shepparton for her track racing, she's fast, that kid ... and learning lots.
After an aborted training session on Sunday, I got back into the gym this arvo, 5 x 5 @ 145kg deep squats (3,625kg total), then after an hour, Alex came over and we did a sprint ergo session. I managed to push out 1362 watts in one effort, peak 5s was 1311 watts which I'm very pleased with, not far off my best over the last few months, and given the fatigue from the squats, I'm happy with that. My right knee (the reconstructed one) is quite swolen and stiff, so it's icepacks and rest for a few hours to stabilise it tonight. Waiting to get a report from the crew racing at DISC tonight. It'd be hot and sticky in there tonight.
I had two people pull out of the climbing camp, I was prepared to run it at a loss, but not a huge loss, it looks like I'll have to cancel this camp unless I get a few more keen to come in the next couple of days, which is a bummer. I think November is just too full this year. We'll run one in February....
I may have had too big a weekend?
Saturday, racing - C grade, DNF, DNF & DNF, not worried by this at all. I'm there to support the club's racing program, not to win any enduro races.
Sunday, an early(ish) morning 30km ride with Alex, and we did some strength work along the way, some very big gear hill sprints. No probs, then to the Blackburn velodrome in the afternoon with Dino, Em, Alex and Jodie, standing 150's (2 of) and then some tactical games. Ok, feeling pretty flat though the games, but ok ...
Then home and try to do some gym work under the bar in the Powerhaus. Nope ... I can't do 20kg squats. Legs too stiff even for an unweighted bar. One more week of strength then the focus moves into power and speed-endurance work. Urgh! It's only 6 more days ... Must. Get. Stronger.
Last night ...
Last night (Saturday) was Blackburn's presentation night for 2007/2008. Not a bad night, a lot of people (I heard 120?), the venue wasn't ideal, it was at Sofias on Burwood Highway and we didn't have our own room and there was a lot of background noise, and not everyone could see the video screen, but even so, it was a good night, albeit a challenging one for Brett Curren (MC) to keep on top of with the noise and layout.
We did a video for it :
which unfortunatly didn't get seen by many as we couldn't really blot out the place and make it a focus, but half saw I think! Anyway ... plenty of food, good people etc ...
I got egged! Very odd it was too ...
So I'm riding home this evening along Mitcham Rd after a nice 30km tootle after work, and just at the intersection of Grey and Mitcham Rd (50m before my house) at ~7.15pm I notice a late model silver or light gold largish sedan (maybe a dunnydore? maybe a Magna? I don't know 'em well enough to tell) on the other side of the road slow and the driver looks out the window, and lobs an egg at me.
It hits my front wheel, no damage etc, not even any mess needing cleaning up. I turned around to try and get his rego, but I think he saw me turn and he went through a red light to get away.
It was quite odd, it wasn't a carload of laughing yahoo kids, the bloke looked mid to late 30's, on his own and with a very serious expression on his face. Not at all the typical yahoos out for a bit of fun.
I called 000 and reported it to the local coppers, this guy might be on some bizarre rampage? Very odd ... I've seen a lot of weird stuff and odd behaviour over the years, but this was something new.
What sort of mid 30's bloke drives around with an open carton of eggs at his disposal?
Didn't win a race, but not unhappy
Last Sunday was round 2 of the Bontrager Summer Sprint Series. All the results, Dino's race report etc are up and I've done half the videos and need a break from editing videos! So a little time to write my report on how I went at last!
The day starts early, I do a light warmup set of squats (12 x 20kg, 8 x 60kg, 5 x 100kg) then some hang cleans (12 x 20kg - I did say it was light!) then Alex picks me up and we load his car with tonnes of junk for the day. Everyone pitches in and the track, video, signs etc are all up by 11am, excellent!
I'm not sure what to expect from myself this round, the last fortnight's been very disrupted and my training has been intermittant, I've had a few days off with hayfever etc ... Anyway, here we are and it's time to do my best with what I have.
On goes the disk wheel and the Bonty front wheel.
Warmup on the track, the usual, roll around for 10 laps or so then do a couple of entries (wind up and accelerate to sprint pace then back off immediatly). At 11:30 I have a drink with caffeine in it (I don't normally drink caffeine).
I'm the first to do my F200 so I can get it out of the way and commentate for the rest. It's quite windy, a gusty and swirly northerly is blowing around 10 knots or so. 12:00 on the dot and I roll out of the infield onto the track...
I wind up, hit the accelerator into the headwind up the finishing straight, then take the J-line. It feels reasonably quick, I find it hard to keep in the lane at the bottom corner (windy ...). 13.44. 13.44?! Wow! 53.57km/h. My season goal was a 13.5 outdoors at Blackburn, that's beaten it. Woot! My previous PB was a 13.88 at round 1. That's almost 1.5km/h faster! Good .. Very happy with that. I'll have to reset the goal now ...
Anyway ... on we go, and everyone's lifted except A grade. Dino does a 13.32, I've qualified second fastest in B grade, with Jason Plowman the only B grader who went faster (13.41). B grade F200 times are : fastest - Jason Plowman with 13.41, slowest, Mason Austen, 13.56. It's going to be very hard to win a race today, we're all within 0.2 of a second. B grade this round is about half a second faster that last round. A middle-field B grade time from last round (like mine, 13.88) would be C grade today.
First up and I'm racing Jason Plowman. The draw hasn't worked out how I'd want it (the fastest two aren't supposed to meet unless there's low numbers in the grade) and we're the fastest two qualifiers. Jason goes from a long way out, he's done his homework and knows that I take a while to get wound up and he's a good enduro rider. He wins by 10 meters or so.
Round 2 and I'm paired with Mason Austen. Mason's been training for the Warny, and may have lost some of his kick, but not a lot, I know he's a talented sprinter. We have a very close race, I come off his wheel a fraction too late and he wins by a wheel rim. Neither of us knew who'd won it was that close. The photo tells the story, as does the video.
So, after that effort .. it's round 3.
Martin Lama. Martin's a very good time trialer, an enduro. But, he's been improving his sprint a lot - in the practice day I got the jump on him and he never managed to get past me, but he's no bunny, he's smart and fast and fit. He did a 13.48 F200, so we're equally fast today. He kicks early but I'm alert and get onto his wheel, and almost run up the back of it coming into the clubroom bend, I make the mistake of backpedaling to hold position rather than passing with momentum, then when we hit the 200 line he kicks .. Where'd that come from?! Argh! I was complacent with the sit and expected him to lead out, but he had an extra kick and used it with rutheless efficiency. I didn't expect it and didn't react fast enough, and Martin won it by miles in the end.
So that's my racing for the day. One very close result, two canings and a PB (and season goal). No wins against live opponents - I know why - I didn't once take the initiative, and never had control of any of the races. Martin went on to win B grade in a thriller against Jason Plowman, and Dino, with a huge heart, got 3rd in A grade in the end.
Yesterday afternoon I ran an opportunistic training session at DISC for a few of the crew, and we worked on standing starts from the starting gate and a few motorpaced efforts. Said g'day to John Beasley and the Malasian sprinters who were finishing up when we got there. I didn't ride except for the motorbike, I had a swim in the evening though, and felt good, a strength week for me now, round 3 is the 7th of December. I'd like a couple of wins this time!
Pay attention ....
Those of you who get the CycleSport Vic newsletter and who hold masters licences will have got a masters newsletter in the mail today.
Amongst it, there's a mention of a desire to have a time trial series, and an exhortation to 'the clubs' to do more to make it happen.
Dear Anonymous Newsletter Author,
Blackburn ran a road time trial series last winter and the winter before. Once a month. It was well supported and well attended, the last two rounds had 70 or so riders, many of whom were masters age riders, attending. The masters commission may not be an organising body but it would be good if they were an 'attention paying' body. The club (Blackburn) and in particular Nick Bird, did a heap of work promoting the series with an emphasis on participation and encouragement for masters riders to attend. It was advertised in the CSV winter program.
'The clubs' are doing plenty.
A surprise ...
One of my season goals for 2008-2009 is an outdoor flying 200 at Blackburn in 13.50. Today, 13.44.
No wins in the rounds though ... But still pleased with the day - will write a report tomorrow.
I took it very easy at Blackburn today!
Scratch race .. cruised around in C grade for around 8 laps or so until the first real attack went off the front, chased for a couple of laps, that's enough ...
Points race .. the idea of taking the first one was tempting, but some of the kids went out quite hard in lap 2, meh ... have it ...
Elimination .. add one to the neutral laps, I'm out on the first one!
Tomorrow ... round 2. Don't rain!
Dino did well, 3rd overall in B grade, a quiet day for Em who was a bit under the weather, the Dundas Mafia did well as usual.