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Random rambings ...


Brit on TV

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Roller racing!


Standards, safety, syllabus

Making Blackburn's Friday night DISC session safe and efficient

At present there's no standard for riders who lob up on Friday nights at the Blackburn DISC sessions I'm running for the club as the senior coach present.  This is a problem, there's a culture of "just show up, you'll be right".  This is NOT acceptable - we've had a number of close calls and some crashes resulting in injury due to this problem. 

I don't whinge about things, I fix them.  Here's a fix.  A set of skills a rider must demonstrate before they come :



Skills required to attend Friday DISC sessions run by Blackburn Cycling Club


  • Ride sprinters lane solo at ~30km/h

  • Ride blue line solo at ~30-35km/h

  • Ride the fence solo at ~35-40km/h

  • Competently display 1/4 lap RAC (Rolling acceleration/Powerjump)

  • Competently display solo flying 100

  • Competently display held start and gate start

  • Competently roll turns in a bunch at 30km/h

  • Follow motorbike at 50cm distance or closer

  • Follow motorbike for motorbike acceleration

  • Roll turns behind motorbike

  • Roll turns with motorbike

  • Change own gears

  • Accelerate out of saddle in bends



On its own, that's not enough.  Here's a rough syllabus to teach these skills :



Progression for attendance at DISC sessions


Eash session is ~30 mins, small groups – no more than 4 riders per coach, coach to ride with riders as a demonstration, leader, pacesetter etc


  • Change gears

  • Understand appropriate equipment for DISC – tyre selection, range of gears, warm clothes for winter.

  • Recommended tyres for DISC : Vittoria Rubino Pro-lite, Vittoria Rubino Pista

  • Expressly not permitted at DISC : Michellin Pro-*-race, Michellin Lithium.

  • Default warmup gear 82" (49x16)

At BBN on 82" (49x16) or relevant junior gear if J15 or younger

Session 1

  • Ride sprinters lane 30km/h 82" gear (49x16)

  • Ride blue line 30km/h

  • roll turns in small group


Session 2

  • Held start

  • Gate start

  • 1/4 lap RAC15 (powerjump)

  • Accelerate out of saddle in bend

  • Flying 100


Session 3 :

  • Motorpace 50cm from motorbike

  • Roll turns behind motorbike

  • MAC

  • Roll turns with motorbike

At DISC on 82" (49x16) or relevant junior gear if J15 or younger

Session 1 :

  • Ride the sprinters lane at 30km/h

  • Ride the blue line at 35km/h

  • Roll turns in small group


Session 2 :

  • Consolidate rolling turns in small group

  • 1/4 lap RAC15

  • Accelerate out of saddle in bend

  • Ride the fence at 35-40km/h

  • Flying 100


Session 3 :

  • Motorpace 50cm behind motorbike

  • Roll turns behind motorbike

  • Roll turns with motorbike

  • MAC



Let it be known that I am volunteering to teach this, but NOT AT DISC ON FRIDAYS DURING THE SESSION (6:30-9:30pm).


Cam Woolcock on TV!

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roller racing! - I don't know why I can't embed it, but check out Cam's Big Win!



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It's not what I do, but if it was .. - Andy White's annual ride around Melbourne gets better every year.  Check it out for an adventure!


Cerial killers!

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Worth a look

In the context of "put your money where your mouth is", I've donated to this project.

See why :


Golden Cheetah 3.0

It's out and it's funky!

Those of you using Golden Cheetah to look at your power data, 3.0 has been released. It's available here :


Our spin, it rocks!

It's not like most other spin sessions

Many people run "spin" classes.  There's sessions done at gyms, there's general sessions done by coaches, Personal Trainers (PT's, or "cheerleaders" to the rest of us!) and so on.  The vast majority of these sessions are essentially context free.  You roll up, you do the session, get tired, feel good, go home.  Maybe there's some variables in the sessions but on the whole they're pretty general and there's no real progression or structure to them.  It feels good to be tired, so it's doing some good ... 

What's different about our enduro ergo program?

It's 26 weeks long - that's right, six months.  It's not "drop in whenever you want", it's structured.  If you do the "A" stream from the start, it builds up base in E3 then gradually inserts higher intensity intervals and more race-specific drills through the 26 weeks.  You can attend casually, and that's why we have a "B" and "C" stream to provide paths into the "A" stream, but on the whole, you get much, much more out of it if you attend for the entire 26 weeks. By the end of it you're able to do things that would have killed you during the first few weeks.  We know, we've been evolving the program since 2006.  Every year we see our regular attendees get stronger and faster.  From recreational roadies to former professionals and developing elite juniors.

Why do we do this?

Over winter the vast majority of your riding is long, slow distance.  There's not many crits, there's a little track but it's irregular or you're already doing it (Tues & Thurs at DISC).   The weather is cold and wet, the mountains are dangerously slippery etc.  You're not doing high intensity intervals much.  This program has evolved over years to fill that high intensity gap.

It's easy to go to any old spin session and get tired, but if you want structure and progression and don't want to shell out for a coached individual program, ours is pretty good. It also includes a good quaility meal after the session that's high in protein to help you recover.  For $15?  That's some seriously good value. We're so happy with it that we give it away for free to anyone that wants to do it at home but it's more "fun" to share the suffering with us and enjoy the feed afterwards.


Now you can buy Anna's helmet

It's not cheap! - 599 euro!  But, it's a very fast helmet.  A Casco-beater?  Maybe Shane can find out for us!

Welcome Lisa

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Lisa Cochrane joins the team

I've needed a new enduro coach for a while now Nathan's moved on to concentrate on his photography career.  Lisa Cochrane has been helping out at the Blackburn Friday night sessions for a few months and she is a good fit, with lots of road and track endurance experience and a bucketload of enthusiasm.

I asked her a few weeks ago if she was interested and she said yes.  A big welcome to Lisa who will be looking after endurance riders as part of the aboc family.


rule changes

It's our responsibility to know

There's been a bit of a thread on the Blackburn Cycling Club facebook page about UCI rules, some of which is ranting, some is not very constructive, some is tilting at windmills and some is complaining about the UCI or CA not doing enough to tell us what the rule changes are. Some is fair comment and it's all well intentioned (or at least, mostly ...).  In my role as a moderator on the BBN FB page I've had no need to delete anything, so it's well behaved.

With regards to the dissemination of the rules, in some other equipment-specific sports, for example motorsport (CAMS) it is a requirement that each year competitors purchase a rulebook and adhere to the rules.  We don't have to buy a rulebook, we can just download it for free (cheaper!).  It is still "our" obligation to read and understand the rules and if in doubt, to discuss the rules with a commissaire to seek clarification.   I have had reason to do this recently with the 5cm/aerobar rule change.    So whether or not the rules agree with your philosophy, it is OUR (everyone who races under the umbrella of the UCI) obligation to know the rules and keep track of them.  In particular, coaches need to be up to date. Yes, this is a little bit of work to do each year when rule changes get published and YES it can be inconsistently applied at races by well intentioned but not necessarily up to date or well informed commissaires, but it is still our obligation to know the rules of our sport.   It's a lot easier these days to do so with the advent of social media, websites and so on.  The following website may be of use :

And for local variants :

Aerobars and sprint TT's

Rule changes ...

For those of you riding kilos or 500m TT's, there's been a rule change as of Feb this year that you may have missed. It is now illegal (unless you have a morphological exemption) to use aero bars/clip ons for the 500 and kilo AND be closer than 50mm to the bottom bracket. Sprint events (sprint, team sprint, kilo, 500, keirin) allow you to position your saddle up to 0mm behind the bottom bracket and this, until February, was ok including the use of aerobars, :

1.3.013 The peak of the saddle shall be a minimum of 5 cm to the rear of a vertical plane passing through the bottom bracket spindle. This restriction shall not be applied to the bicycle ridden by a rider in a sprint event on track (flying 200 m, flying lap, sprint, team sprint, keirin, 500 metres and 1 kilometre); however, in no circumstances shall the peak of the saddle extend in front of a vertical line passing through the bottom bracket spindle.

but rule 1.3.023 overrides this rule :

1.3.023 For road time trials and individual and team pursuit on the track, a fixed extension may be added to the steering system; in this instance, only a position where the forearms are in the horizontal plane is permitted. It is also possible to add a handlebar extension for the 500 m and kilometre time trials on the track, but in this case, the position of the tip of the saddle must be at least 5 cm behind the vertical plane passing through the bottom bracket axle.

This is effective as of Feb 2013. If you have an older copy of the rules, 1.3.023 HAS CHANGED. Anyone training for kilos or 500's needs to be aware of this rule change if you're intending to use aero bars. I expect (but am not certain) that the same applies to masters riding 750m ITT's.

I hope this helps clear up a little confusion about the matter.


The rule is here :


Martial arts to help sprint

There's more in common than it may seem at first - have a read.  For us, as sprinters, we're not THAT dissimilar to martial artists.  We have skills that we need to master, moves and countermoves that use those skills, and then "tactics" which is essentially the application of the right moves at the right times.  Very similar to martial arts.  I think we can learn a lot from them.

Another nutritionalist to check out

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We are not alone ...

Well worth a look.  I'm trying to see if getting her to give us a talk is feasible.


Women's keirin!

In Japan!

This is a really good thing!

Thank you Nathan

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Nathan's moving on, thank you

Nathan Larkin worked with aboc for some years as a coach, but has now moved on to studying art at university and hasn't the time to coach any more riders.  I wish Nathan the very best of luck at uni and in the future with his art and photography.  Nathan's a top guy and a good friend and a talented photographer with a great eye for a shot.  He's contributed a lot to aboc and the culture we're doing our best to encourage, with honesty and integrity.  Thank you big guy, everyone I know appreciates your contribution.

So now I need to find a coach to look after enduro riders as I am only doing sprinters.  If you're keen, let me know. If you're doing a level 1 and want mentored hours etc, I am keen to help.


Quitting sugar

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Jayne found a good book


A week (or so) in the life of

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Or how to suck up time!

Let's start a week ago, why not, it's a nice place to start. Before this we had Oceanias, sprint camps etc ...

Wednesday - 11am-7pm at DISC, VSG training

Thursday - 3:30-7:30pm Kids in the powerhaus gym

Friday - 10am-2rpm VSG, 5pm-9:30pm BBN DISC training sessions

Sat - 7am-12:30ish - Vic junior titles ITT

Sun - 7am-4pm - Vic junior titles sprint & keirin, 4pm-7:30pm aboc sprint group

Mon - Day off, powerhaus CLOSED!!!

Tues - 7am-2pm - travel to Adelaide, 3pm-11pm NJTS R4 Adelaide

Wed - 4:45am - 9am travel home from Adelaide, 11am-7:30pm VSG at DISC

Thur - 9am-12:30 DISC working bee, 1-2 visit IT client (make money to pay bills!) 3:30-7:30 powerhaus gym

Fri - morning SLEEP IN!  4pm-9:30pm BBN DISC

Sat - 11am-4pm VSG training, 4pm-6pm pack CV vans to go to Sydney for senior nationals

Sun - 6am? Drive to Dunc Grey velodrome (Sydney) for Senior Aust titles

Mon 'til um ... when're we back?  Senior nationals, 18 hour days

Get back, get J17's ready for junior nationals in late Feb.  Organise SSS R5.  See wife?!

If I haven't returned your phonecalls lately ... I'm sorry!

Gears, again...

What the rest of the world does

In the UK :  

youth A u16..6.93m - ~7m, ~same as us, 1 year offset younger kids
youth B u14..6.45m  - bigger than us
youth C u12..6.05m  - bigger than us
youth D u10..5.40m  - ~same
youth E u8..5.10m - do we have U8's?!

They're not falling apart, in fact, Le Poms seem to do pretty well ...

In the US (not so much a powerhouse anymore, but interesting all the same) :

17-18: Unrestricted
15-16: 6.78 meters (22'3")(48x15)
13-14: 6.36 meters (20'10.5")(48x16)
10-12: 6.00 meters (19’8”)(48x17)
For Juniors 16 and under who are competing in Championship team sprint, team pursuit, keirin, or Madison the 17-18 (unrestricted) gear limit applies.

I don't have the rules for other countries yet, watch this space ..



Big gears, big fears?

Has the world imploded?

Not everyone's a fan of the 7m rollout for J17's.  I've gone on to discuss this in the past.  We now have our first lot of in competition times from Vic titles to look at.  So let's have a look.  I'm going to just look at sprint, I am not interested in the pursuits!

This year :

Event 3: JW17 Time Trial

2 Laps 500m Final - STANDINGS

1. 32 Brook RAMSHAW (CAR)   38.735    
2. 31 Chloe BAGGS (BBN)   39.023 +0.28  
3. 33 Brit JACKSON (BBN)   39.145 +0.41  
4. 35 Jordyn HASSETT (BBN)   40.033 +1.29  
5. 37 Emily DUNK (BWK)   41.310 +2.57  
6. 36 Jamie GOODING (BBN)   41.909 +3.17  
7. 41 Freya WICKENDEN (CAR)   42.000 +3.26  
8. 34 Greta CURRAN (BWK)   42.063 +3.32  
9. 38 Madison FITZGERALD (BBN)   42.637 +3.90  


No new records.  Reasonably close times. 

Compare to last year

Courtney FIELD(CAR) 38.195
Emily APOLITO(BBN) 39.256 +1.06
Chloe BAGGS(BBN) 39.656 +1.46
Emma BILSTON(B-S) 40.629 +2.43
Zoe NICHOLSON(ART) 41.872 +3.67
Nicole CLARK(WNG) 44.980 +6.78
Rebecca THOMSON(LAV) 45.568 +7.37

Apart from the outlier (Courtney), they're pretty close.  A little faster with the bigger gears, but there's too much variation in te size of the girls fields and the quality of them to make any judgements yet.  There's a lot of depth (relatively) in JW17 this year.


And the F200 :

Event 15: JW17 Sprint Qualifying

Flying 200 Top 8 to Quarter Finals

1. 31 Chloe BAGGS (BBN)   12.737    
2. 33 Brit JACKSON (BBN)   13.046 +0.30  
3. 32 Brook RAMSHAW (CAR)   13.128 +0.39  
4. 35 Jordyn HASSETT (BBN)   13.373 +0.63  
5. 34 Greta CURRAN (BWK)   13.512 +0.77  
6. 41 Freya WICKENDEN (CAR)   14.029 +1.29  
7. 37 Emily DUNK (BWK)   14.193 +1.45  
8. 36 Jamie GOODING (BBN)   14.195 +1.45  


CF last year :

Courtney FIELD(CAR) 12.466
Emily APOLITO(BBN) 13.308 +0.84
Zoe NICHOLSON (ART) 14.670 +2.20
Rebecca THOMSON(LAV) 15.109 +2.64

Here we see some bigger differences - again, if we ignore Courtney as an outlier, the top three girls rode significantly faster this year.  For the girls this isn't a suprise in the F200, they can wind up the gear, rather than have to accelerate it from a standing start (and most of the girls are not very strong, I don't think many of them lift), so I'd expect to see bigger changes here.  What we are seeing is greater density at the top end.  The girls field in 2011-2012 was tiny though, so the sample size is too small to draw any conclusions from, except that we have more JW17's racing sprint this year and that's a really good thing, there's also no (that I have seen) dead bodies on the floor.  The horror of allowing 14 and 15 year olds to rev a little lower has not killed anyone.  If anything, it's leveling the playing field a little, the mashers can keep up with the hummingbirds. AMAZING!


Where do we have depth? The boys.  This is where we don't tend to see outliers so much because the talent pool is much bigger.

This year :

Event 4: JM17 Time Trial

2 Laps 500m Final - STANDINGS

1. 4 Gary RAMSHAW (CAR)   34.323    
2. 1 Ryan SCHILT (BWK)   34.592 +0.26  
3. 2 David KOROKNAI (CAR)   34.852 +0.52  
4. 7 Stephen ELLUL (BBN)   35.144 +0.82  
5. 6 Thomas MCFARLANE (LGA)   35.699 +1.37  
6. 5 Conor ROWLEY (BBN)   35.929 +1.60  
7. 3 Kurt SANTAGADA (BBN)   36.556 +2.23  
8. 13 Kyle MUIR (BBN)   36.626 +2.30  
9. 11 James TICKNER (CAR)   36.915 +2.59  
10. 8 Caiden HULL (CAR)   36.985 +2.66  
11. 9 Nicolas ABELS (BWK)   37.483 +3.16  
12. 12 Tomarsh LOKI (WNG)   37.853 +3.53  
13. 14 Ryan KILPATRICK (SHP)   37.935 +3.61  
14. 23 Jarrod WILSON (BBN)   38.223 +3.90  
15. 16 Hamish WEBBER (BBN)   38.779 +4.45  
16. 22 Lachlan VAN DER VELDEN (CAR)   38.970 +4.64  
17. 21 Sebastian PRESLEY (BBN)   39.614 +5.29  
18. 20 Adam PAYKEL-SAMUEL (CAR)   39.766 +5.44  
19. 25 Clancy LLOYD (LAV)   39.847 +5.52  
20. 15 Jacob MUMFORD (BBN)   39.910 +5.58  
21. 19 Indiana MICHEL (SHP)   40.463 +6.14  
22. 24 Ian HERMAN (BWK)   40.601 +6.27  
23. 17 Samuel BROWN (BWK)   40.874 +6.55  
24. 18 Stephen DAMM (LAV)   41.435 +7.11  


CF last year:

1 Jay CASTLES(SHP) 34.608
2 Mathew ROSS(CAR) 35.419
3 John COCHRANE(BBN) 35.484
4 James DANN(BBN) 35.600
5 Jack HICKEY(CAR) 35.775
6 Jerome BECHAZ(CAR) 36.075
7 Braeden DEAN(BGO) 36.142
8 Jordan STANNUS(CAR) 36.866
9 Angus LYONS(B-S) 37.349
10 Caiden HULL(CAR) 37.580
11 Thomas VERLEYS-DONK(CAR) 37.878
12 Pierce CONNOR(BBN) 38.381
13 Lucas HAMILTON(ART) 38.383
14 David KOROKNAI(CAR) 38.436
15 Jade MADDERN(CSL) 38.764
16 Angus FLOOD(BBN) 38.820
17 Jack WALK(WGL) 39.241
18 Steven CARROLL(PRS) 39.563
19 Nicolas ABELS(BWK) 39.679
20 Hamish HAYNES(SHP) 39.935
21 Ned EFE(CAR) 40.039
22 Tomarsh LOKI(WNG) 40.555
23 Michael STRINGER(BBN) 41.495
24 Jarrod WILSON(BBN) 42.294
25 Lex MUNOZ(CAR) 42.452
26 Stephen DAMM(LAV) 42.841
27 Jacob MUMFORD(BBN) 44.577


Quicker across the board.  Not dramatically, but it's significant.  No dead bodies.

In the F200, we're a little quicker, but interestlingly, a lot denser at the top end.  I wonder if any of the kids can get into the 10's if we find any real outliers?  Wouldn't that be amazing ...

Event 16: JM17 Sprint Qualifying

Flying 200 Top 8 to Quarter Finals

1. 1 Ryan SCHILT (BWK)   11.543    
2. 2 David KOROKNAI (CAR)   11.627 +0.08  
3. 4 Gary RAMSHAW (CAR)   11.651 +0.10  
4. 7 Stephen ELLUL (BBN)   11.662 +0.11  
5. 6 Thomas MCFARLANE (LGA)   11.785 +0.24  
6. 9 Nicolas ABELS (BWK)   11.866 +0.32  
7. 5 Conor ROWLEY (BBN)   12.019 +0.47  
8. 13 Kyle MUIR (BBN)   12.152 +0.60  
9. 11 James TICKNER (CAR)   12.176 +0.63  
10. 14 Ryan KILPATRICK (SHP)   12.477 +0.93  
11. 23 Jarrod WILSON (BBN)   12.480 +0.93  
12. 16 Hamish WEBBER (BBN)   12.669 +1.12  
13. 25 Clancy LLOYD (LAV)   13.066 +1.52  
14. 22 Lachlan VAN DER VELDEN (CAR)   13.366 +1.82  
15. 19 Indiana MICHEL (SHP)   13.410 +1.86  


Last year :

Jay CASTLES(SHP) 11.631
Jack HICKEY(CAR) 11.682
John COCHRANE(BBN) 11.733
James DANN(BBN) 11.780
Braeden DEAN(BGO) 11.809
Jerome BECHAZ(CAR) 12.154
Jordan STANNUS(CAR) 12.383
Thomas VERLEYS-DONK(CAR) 12.623
Lucas HAMILTON(ART) 12.659
Angus FLOOD(BBN) 12.791
Nicolas ABELS(BWK) 12.839
Hamish HAYNES(SHP) 13.038
Jade MADDERN(CSL) 13.546
Stephen ELLUL(BBN) 13.635
Jarrod WILSON(BBN) 14.136
Ian HERMAN(BWK) 15.915

 Any conclusions to draw?  Not yet, it's too early to tell and I have only done a very quick and cursory look at the times from two Vic titles and I haven't considered atmospheric conditions etc.  We'll see what happens at the Aussies and also when this lot of J17's move up to J19's next year.  Remember the whole aim is to make the J19 -> senior jump less of a killer, and that will take 3-4 years to show itself.  So far, no dead bodies, no velodromes lined with corpses and we saw some really good, close racing on the weekend, in particular in the JW17's sprint and keirens.



New locals

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Whittlesea Cycling Club!

They're very new, check them out :

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