25 uberbollas, 1 BBQ, and we're done!
Some stats :
150kg of mince beef
25kg of tomato paste
1.5kg of oregano(!)
50kg of canned tomatos!
That's a lot of bolla sauce!
Our busiest night had 27 people training at the clubrooms.
The hardest enduro session was the last one (it' a buildup)
It gets quiet once September starts, sprinters come en-mass, but enduros go road riding.
Very cold, wet nights seem to see attendance down a little, which is odd, because you didn't go riding that day, it was awful!
We went through a lot of deck tape on the Kurts with the sprint group using the big flywheels.
We'll be back for more in 2013, thank you to everyone that came, if you do it regularly, performance improves considerably.
What I've been up to lately
I've been pretty busy of late... Last weekend (no, sorry, the weekend before, June 23 and 24) I was looking after a bunch of VIS/Sprint Academy sprinters* at the Perth Speed-Dome on a flying visit to race a Grand Prix and the Westral, we flew in to Perth on Saturday morning, drove to the velodrome, trained, back to a motel, dinner, sleep, back to velodrome for a full day's racing, packed and drove back to the airport and flew home. Phew! I was so tired when I got back to Tullamarine I couldn't see straight, thank you Jayne for rescuing me! If I'd have tried to drive home it would have been a dangerous trip indeed.
We've also, in conjunction with Blackburn, started running Friday night training sessions at DISC. So far they've had low attendances, but hopefully word will spread and we'll get more numbers - we run a sprint and enduro session, with each group getting roughly 20 minute time slices. It's a format that works well and I've been using it for years with our Sunday sessions, but the Friday nights we have the luxury of three hours, not two on Sundays. More time! Sundays are chugging along well, it's been pretty cold in at DISC but we're doing good quality work and the guys are going faster (when they attend regularly!). Our program is always published in advance on this website, and I am more than willing to entertain requests and suggestions for additions and alterations to the program.
Also the Tuesday evening Spin sessions at Blackburn are trundling along - we've had some huge nights and some quiet ones - if you're not coming, I'd really like to know why, it will help me to improve the sessions if I know why you're choosing to do something else.
So that's Friday and Sunday and Tuesday evenings locked away. What else? Wednesdays I'm at DISC doing the Victorian Sprint Group coaching, assisting Hilton Clarke, and he's away in the US for a holiday until the 16th of July, so that's Wednesdays from ~11am 'til 7:30pm or so. This also happens on Saturdays, from ~11:30 'til 5ish. Lock away Tues, Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun. Anything else? Oh, yeah, coaching and lifting in the Powerhaus gym on Mondays and Thursdays from ~3pm 'til 8 or so.
That's, ahh ... pretty busy!
So if I've been a bit slow in getting back to anyone with emails etc, now you know why! I have to set dates for next summer's Summer Sprint Series, urgh ... Calendars ... Clash. clash clash ... Keep an eye here for dates.
* - No, I am not employed by the VIS, I was sitting in as a Sprint Academy coach for Sean Eadie while he's in Italy with the seniors in the leadup to the Olympics
A new peak power PB!
Last night at Spin, I set a new power PB of 1,597 watts. I had a goal of 1,600, how close is that? Given that it's a Powertap and not 100% accurate, I could stretch the truth and say I got it, but that's bollocks! Anyway, power is going up reasonably consistently, it's amazing what a bit of unbroken training can do. There's a hint - consistent training ... Keep working ...
A quick and dirty update on where we are
Firstly, I've revised my coaching structure a little, and am waiting for Nathan to see if he wants to change his stuff, the revised structure is here. This is to better reflect my specialisation in sprint and my experience. I will still be running the Tuesday ergo sessions which are both sprint and endurance sessions, as those of you who go already know - that's just had a pricing change and is otherwise mostly unchanged. I'm not coaching endurance riders so it makes sense that I make that clear.
We had to cancel the last round of the SSS for 2011-2012. This is mainly due to clashes with so many different events and training sessions that I just couldn't see a path through, and burnout on the part of many of the guys in the squad, not just racers but also the vitally important volunteers who run it. We're fried and need a break.
Now the good news!
DISC is closed from mid April 'til the end of May to have the leaky roof fixed. Good-o! But .. yes that takes away our Sunday DISC sessions for a bit. I'm considering (read: will, somehow!) running a Sunday sprint-Ergo session during that time, maybe at Blackburn, maybe at the powerHaus, maybe at home (if Jayne agrees!). Better than nothing. We'll charge a tenner to come and suffer, BYO chunder bucket and road bike as usual. It won't be an enduro session, just sprint. If Nath wants to put together some enduro stuff we can certainly accomodate that but I will leave it to him to decide. The track time loss is more critical to sprinters than enduros during the off season, but if Nath wants to make it happen I'm happy to help.
Some changes - we're charging more!
This is for those of you that come to aboc Spin over winter, we've made a small change - we're charging more! Just what you wanted to hear! But it's not all bad, we kept the fee at $10/head for 5 years, which is pretty good, but everything's more expensive now than it was in 2007, especially food. We've also decided that a season pass is a good option.
The fees to attend are now :
$15 per person on a casual basis
A "season pass" is $340, there's 26 sessions over the winter, which would normally cost (at this year's rate) $390, but you can save $50 if you pay up front, so a season pass is $340. You don't get a refund for missed sessions though (so you'd better show up, eh?!).
Also, we very much understand that for a few of you, this is a family thing, so we're offering a family discount as follows (casual only, but may be applied to family of someone with a season pass).
$15 for the first person
$12 for the second
$10 for the third
$8 for the fourth or any more (you have 3 kids? they all want to train?!)
(and no rorting this, Nic, Dino is not your defacto!)
so that's only $45 for 4 people, which is only $5 more than it would have been last year. I think that's pretty fair!
We have also done away with the $5 just to train option, just about everyone stays for dinner, and that's how we want it to be. If you have special dietary requirements let me know and we'll look after you.
I'm going to be away for three weekends in a row, and one full week
aboc's sessions, however, will be in capable hands. Nathan's looking after our DISC sessions this Sunday and the Sundays of the 24th and 31st of July, and Spin on Tuesday the 26th will be taken care of too (but the details are yet to be arranged).
It's good to have some variety, those of you that go to these sessions will be well looked after!
Well, you know, we all want to change the world ...
Tonight at Spin we tested the Lemond Revolution under Dino.
To paraphrase :
It's much harder to spin up than the Kurt Kinetic, but it's too easy once it's going.
That's Dino's thoughts - given that we care about the acceleration phase, this might be a good thing. It's noticeably less stable than a KKRM, and a LOT noisier (as you'd expect, it's a wind trainer after all, albeit a fancy one). I will try it under a few other guys and see what they think.
I have a Lemond Revolution on order to try out
Ok, we won't get power from it, at least, not acceleration, although it may be calibrated for steady state (enduro) training, but I have one of these coming which will hopefully be in time for this Tuesday's ergo.
Interesting bit of kit ...
We'll review it once we've tried it out. Rumour has it it has a decent flywheel in it, and if so, and direct drive, it might be a game changer for ergos. If they made one with a built in powermeter ...
What are we doing wrong?
To run my Sunday evening DISC sessions over winter, I need to cover the costs of hiring the track (currently $55/hr) and the lights ($20/hr) and the motorbike if we use it (~$0.50c/km). Over the last few weeks we've had pretty low turn ups for these sessions. To break even, at $20/head, I need 8 people to show up. That's no profit to aboc, that's just to break even. The ergo/spin sessions we run on Tuesday subsidises Sunday DISC, but it can't afford to do that forever, or for more than a few tens of dollars (spin is cheap, too, $10 includes dinner!).
We sometimes get 10 or so people, which pays for the session and my dinner (CHICKEN!), and that's good - it also means we get a decent group of riders to match up with sprint work, and some enduros to do endurance work while the sprinters recover.
So .. Why are less of you coming? What am I doing wrong? I need your input on this, if you're not coming, please tell me why.
Looks good for enduros, potential to be good for sprint
For a long time I've been a champion of the Kurt Kinetic Road Machine ergo. I think I own 6 of them? It's got a stonkingly heavy flywheel which makes it good (ok, at least, viable) for standing start and acceleration work, which sprinters need. It's not without issues - the main one being tyre slip under heavy torque - ie: Those standing starts that we want to train on it. It's issue is that it uses a roller drive, and we can work around that with skateboard deck tape (lasts around 5-10 starts depending on the rider) and it does eat tyres. We can mate it up to a road powertap and get power and torque (sorta) from it, which is good too. They're also pretty quiet (fluid), unlike wind trainers.
But ... it's roller driven. A direct drive would be better, without doubt. Of course, to do this, would mean that the powertap wouldn't be any use, so we'd lose our data. Bugger ... We could use SRM's, if we had a huge budget, alas, not this week!
The other good trainer is the BT Ergo, which is a direct drive wind trainer. It's bulky, it's very expensive and it has next to no inertial load (no flywheel) so it's not good for training acceleration (great for constant power etc, but not for sprint work where we want to target acceleration). It, being direct drive, does not suffer from wheel slip though (although, since it has no significant flywheel, that's not really an issue with it anyway!). There's a power-based trainer or two around as well, the Computrainer is probably the most famous of them, but it's not a sprinters trainer. And the AIS's Wombat, the VIS's Godzilla etc (custom made jobbies, with uber-flywheels and SRM's and a big budget to put them together!)
Here's a new player on the block (thanks to Scott McGrory, we had a brief chat about it yesterday at DISC). It's the Lemond Revolution. Direct drive (no slip) and a flywheel. We lose out on power measurements with it, at least at the moment, but it might be worth a play - I will see if I can get one to add to the collection of trainers I have, to see if it can fill a niche in our sprint ergo program. If the flywheel has enough mass and we gear it up right it might be a valuable tool.
Not quite what I had in mind, but they are sprints ...
aboc, ie: me, is sponsoring this; Blackburn's running five sprint nights at DISC over "winter". The rough program is this :
Flying 200 for grading.
1.5 lap dashes (4 riders at a time I think)
Team sprints (graded by your f200, not able to nominate your own team - this is still being 'discussed', I am not happy about not being able to nominate my own team or starting order). These at least will be no longer than 3 laps (they originally wanted 4 laps, huh? What 'team sprint' has 4 laps? And then expects the poor bugger that rode 4th to race again in 15 minutes?!)
1k handicap, held start, no push (The kilo is dead, no-one trains for it anymore ... why is this in the program? To embarras sprinters?)
Scratch races for the leftovers
If there's enough time, keirins to finish.
I will only be racing the F200, team sprint (assuming an acceptable team and I'm lead rider) and the keirin, assuming the program doesn't have to be cut short because there's too much going on. The other stuff is just silly and I'm not doing it.
Those of you who were at the last round of the SSS will know that the above is not what I planned, but since I'm not running this, it is what it is and it's better than a night of scratch, points, h'cap and/or motorpaces. It's a start. If it's a bit successful, we can lobby to make it different for later rounds or next year etc.
So that's tonight's festivities at DISC.
I've been pretty busy with the NTID squad and helping Hilton for the last few weeks, as well as coaching in the 'Haus a lot, running Spin, Sunday DISC sessions, and that's my excuse for not writing much here in May. I have loads ot writing to do for The Book too ... lots of gaps to fill!
A new year!
Forgive me for not having written much in the last fortnight. It's been pretty busy. We've got our next lot of aboc kit all done, thank you to Dino for making that happen. The new stuff is made by Giramondo and it's very good. Locally made (not in some anonymous overseas sweatshop) and top quality. That's not a sales pitch, I'm not trying to sell you this stuff, I'm just very pleased with it.
I've also done a bit of work on The Book, nothing worth writing about, but more background reading more than anything else. What else? Oh, yeah, xmas and new years are all out of the way and they (finally!) put me in the noisy tube to try and see what's going on with my cranky shoulder. I'm off to see my doctor again on Thursday to discuss the results. I've been asking them to do this for probably 6 months now, FINALLY they agreed! Anyway, hopefully we'll have some answers on Thursday. My power uotput is hovering around 1350 or so watts (peak) from small gear efforts, I haven't pushed anything bigger than 84" for some time, but my cadence is good so I'm moderatly pleased with how that's all going. I still want to try and get a 13.2s flying 200 at Blackburn this summer and 12.5 at DISC at the Vic masters would make me happy, although just a 12.9 would be acceptable, given the injury-disrupted year I had, maintaining the status quo is an OK result.
Summer Sprint Series round 4 is coming up soon (13th Feb) but before that is the Vic junior track championships (29th & 30th of Jan) and the Australian senior track championships (1-6 Feb) in Sydney, which as far as I know, I'm going to as an assistant coach. More chances to learn from some of the best.
At DISC, with the weather being warm, I'm finding a lot more confidence on the motorbike. Over winter I was unhappy at anything much over 75km/h around the bends, now I'm comfortable at about 83km/h which is about as fast as we ever need to go. The DISC motorbike's speedo reads around 5% over, we think 83km/h indicated is probably about 78-79km/h actual speed, which is faster than anyone can race, so at least in terms of speed, I'm now able to ride the motorbike fast enough for just about anyone. I still need to get better at a skill that Hilts is a master of, riding at speed around the track while looking over my shoulder. It takes a lot of practice to get good at that and I've not yet gotten to a stage that I think is acceptably good but I'm better at it than I was this time last year! It (the motorbike) skips around at high speeds especially when you cross the painted lines, but I'm used to it now. Hilts has been very patient with me learning this skill, it's not as easy as it looks to get good at.
Dino and Pat and I have been doing our Tuesday morning sessions at Blackburn and enjoying a good solid flaying, we've had low (one last time, just me!) turnouts to Summer Spin but it's been holiday season and everyone's off riding outside as they should - it's really only the pure sprinters that need the uber-high intensity work on the ergos over summer, the rest of you, On Yer Bikes!
We're considering running Summer Spin at the Powerhaus
After a pleasant meal devouring many chickens at our favorite chicken-cookers last night after training, a few of the crew discussed Summer Spin, strength work and venues. Specifically, we thought, as number at Summer Spin are low (as they should be, it's off-season for ergo) we might run them in the Powerhaus instead of at Blackburn. Same time, but different venue.
We'd still run our winter ergo sessions at Blackburn (I can't fit 20+ people in the 'haus, or provide parking and it would be bad for the Blackburn club to move it also).
I'd appreciate your thoughts on this, if you're one who comes to these sessions or you might be.
Please let me know.
Next week I'm off to assist the NTID and VIS guys at the Oceania track championships in Adelaide. That's why we moved Spin forward a week. I'll be carrying Hilton's bags mainly, but it's another great opportunity to gather experience at elite level, even if all I do is carry heavy stuff and push buttons on stopwatches I'll be soaking it all up and learning as much as I can. It'll be quite different to the NTID sprint camp I went to way back in July, where I pretty-much ran the show for all the NTID sprinters for two days, it'll be a good intro to how it's done with more coaches present etc.
I'm supposed to be in at DISC today with the squad (my usual Wednesday, 11am -> 9:30pm or so), but I've got a bit of a cold, it's not enough to stop work etc, but it is probably contageous, so I've pulled the day off so I don't share the bugs with the guys in the squad who are racing the Metros this weekend and/or are going to Adelaide.
Last weekend I was given one of the most enjoyable jobs in cycling, I was asked to commentate at the Country Track Championships. This was heaps of fun, I hope I added some value to the event and didn't make too many mistakes. Two days in a row of full-time commentating is not as easy as it sounds. The next time you get cranky with Phil and Paul, just try doing it yourself! Maybe it's the non-stop yapping that's brought on this cold?
Anyway, I'll be right in a day or two. I spent some of today getting equipment for the 'haus, we now have a pair of 20 and a pair of 25kg bumper plates. These are expensive things, some of the guys are strong enough to need them now (good!). I had another visit to the physio which was positive - my cranky shoulder is slowly improving (about time!) - I got out on the water on Monday evening and surfed some standing waves and felt very happy in whitewater, so that's good. I hope to be able to get some heavy squats done soon. It'll be a long rebuild, I reckon I'll be pretty happy with a 120kg squat to start with! But .. slow progress is good.
I like their new stuff better than their old stuff
I don't know how many of you bother to look, but today is Summer Spin #2. The astute and observant will notice that there's now two sprint streams. As we're getting closer to crunch time for a lot of you who race Metros, Vics etc, some need more of a focus on short, sharp stuff, others on more speed-endurance. So there's now two formal sprint streams. Kilo riders, 750 riders, you guys get to do the Speed Endurance stream, match sprinters get to do the Power stream.
I think we'll be able to keep track of it tonight. Time will tell. If anyone wants to do the power stream with me, early, I'll be at Blackburn at around 6:15pm, hopefully started by then. Otherwise, it's the usual 7 for 7:30pm start for you all.
In other news at the Country track champs I've been asked to commentate, which should be good fun. They're being held at DISC, which given the weather forecast means they might actually go ahead.
Our HC drills are starting to work
Tonight's ergo session :
6:00 2 x 6s HCLR:1
6:05 7s HC (60 seated)
6:08 7s HC (60 seated)
6:11 7s HC (80 seated)
6:14 7s HC (80 seated)
6:17 8s HC+1 (70 seated)
6:21 8s HC+1 (70 seated)
6:24 7s HC-1 (90 seated)
6:27 7s HC-1 (90 seated)
6:30 10s HC (0, seated, L)
6:33 10s HC (0, seated, R)
6:39 30s HC r/up 10:110, 10:130, 10:max
The first number in brackets is the starting cadence.
My "HC" gear is (or, was ...) 75" - that's a gear that we can get up to 160rpm on on a Kurt Kinetic in 7 seconds from 80 rpm. I'd been using the super-flywheel version, I switched back to the normal one today, on 75" I'd been able to get it up to about 150rpm from 80rpm in 7 seconds, with the light flywheel I got up to 160+ in about 4 seconds. Ok! I don't think I'm significantly stronger, so I'll put that down to the lighter flywheel being easier to accelerate. I was happy with power at cadence, at 160rpm I was still putting out over 1,000 watts, so that's good, for me at least!
Off to the physio tomorrow morning for more shoulder-bashing, with a tiny bit of luck I'll be able to get out of the saddle on Sunday. Here's hoping!
Also posted to the aboc mailing list
It's the second last Spin for winter of 2010 tonight. We've had a bumper year with big turnouts and lots of 'fun' (if you can call being flayed on a trainer fun....) through the winter. Lucie and I have cooked an enormous amount of the aboc bolla over the year. There will end up with a total of 25 sessions this winter, 4.5kg of beef in each session, that's 112.5 kg of beef!
Details of the session are, as always, here
Thank you to Nicole Holt who initially suggested we publish the program online way back in mid 2009, we've done so ever since so you can see what we're doing (there are no secrets at aboc!) and we're always open to questions and suggestions for improvements to the spin program.
We've also had a pretty good winter in at DISC, in the past Spin has subsidised DISC to a significant extent. This winter that wasn't necessary, again, we're doing something right because you keep coming back. We can always do better and I always want to hear suggestions for improvements to the sessions at DISC as well as Spin. We introduced an early warm up for the sprint stream midway through this winter which has worked well and our enduros, under Nathan's guidance, have learned skills and become more confident on the track.
We're running the Summer Sprint Series again this summer at Blackburn, the details are on the series website
That will be a lot of fun and some pretty good competition. Andrew Steele from Avanti Plus Croydon and Gary Jackson from Riviera Cycles are sponsoring the series again and we'll have some good prizes. Sue Dundas and the team will be back to make it work seamlessly and efficiently again.
What else is coming up?
We're going to run fortnightly Spin sessions over summer, probably again on Thursday evenings. Last year these worked well and a small core group of you kept coming to them, maintaining the rage, so to speak. We'll also run fortnightly DISC sessions or Blackburn track sessions on Sunday afternoons. I am yet to set a date for our Hotham trip, the calender is so full this summer that it's quite difficult to squeeze anything in.
Personally, I've moved to more specialisation with the sprint squad and Nathan's looking after more of the endurance program that we run so everyone's getting well looked after, but as I mentioned earlier, we can always do better. We do best when we receive feedback, so please, if there's something we can do better, let us both know!
Not so successful after all ...
A week or so I wrote about using skateboard deck tape to stop wheel slip on my Kurt Kinetic with the Uberflywheel.
To cut a long story short, the deck tape on the roller is now two bits, with a worn-to-the-roller tyre-wide gap. Ie, it's worn out the tape, in 2 weeks.
Back to the drawing board ...
Time does, indeed, fly ...
I just wrote up the program for our 20th spin session for this winter. It's hard to believe, it seems to have gone so very quickly. We've been averaging around 22 people per night at these sessions and apart from one night where Dino did the dinner, Lucie and I have cooked 19 monster spag bolls since the end of daylight savings. Some stats :
We've used some 81 kilograms of mince beef so far. My local butcher loves me.
All the enduros have done 1,900 seconds of HCLR and on the bike strength work just in the warmups.
My fluid trainers have been brilliant. The sprinters know they're in for a hard night if they get the uber-flywheel KKRM, it's a very big ask indeed to get it up and going from a standing start.
I'm not going to do any more sums, but it's been a long and successful winter so far. We haven't had a huge night like we did last winter, where we had one night some 34 riders show up, but we've had a solid block of regulars who keep coming back and my sprint group has grown too, which I'm very pleased about.
I've also been working for Hilton at the NTID sprint squad for about 4 or 5 months or so I think, that's been a fantastic learning and development opportunity and I expect will lead to bigger things in the future. I'm responsible now for 11 Powertap track hubs which is a significant percentage of Wheelbuilder's production. Two of them are mine, 3 NTID, 2 VIS, 3 are Hilton's and 1 is one of the riders.
And last night I did another 125km on the motorbike at DISC motorpacing the sprinters.
It sure adds up fast ...
Lucie and I cook the sauce for Spin on Monday
One of the reasons aboc Spin is successful is that we provide dinner afterwards. For a tenner you get your legs and lungs smashed to pieces and a solid feed in the company of like-minded fools. No-one has better value than us! Enough of the one-eyed advertising... I don't promise you 45.985% improvements or a shower and some mysticism, I promise you a good feed and a solid session over winter when it's cold, wet and disgusting outside.
The enduros load up on pasta, the sprinters eat more sauce.