Entries For: April 2008
A really early morning rise for the BMC 100 on 20th April. It was absolutely freezing lining up for the start, but I was quite excited about the day of mountain biking ahead - new trails and 100km of fun. I started off really well and was feeling quite confident as we cruised through the trees on some really nice single track. We popped out onto fire trail with the occasional set of 4wd ruts to negotiate keeping things interesting ... a bit too interesting for me ... I chose a poor line and the trees along the side of the road were not as easy to squeeze past as I had thought... my front wheel slipped into a rather deep rut. I was over the bars in a flash and landed on my back across the rut on the other side of the road. At first I thought I was just badly winded ... I would have looked hilarious, the deep water filled ruts providing a generous mud bath. I hopped back on but it was a slow ouchy ride to the first water stop of the race. 20km in, and I was out for the day.
I scored a ride in an ambulance, despite my protest that I could get a ride home with my friend's Dad (who was running the water stop). Moving and breathing was becoming more and more painful and it was time to get checked out. Turns out I have a crack in my tenth rib on the right along with sprained facet joints at T12-L2.
I have had nearly two weeks off work now. What is really amazing is that I didn't miss riding at all for a week. I was too troubled with trying not to move the wrong way! Ribs are a shocker and anti-inflammatory drugs are definitely better than constipating codeine (believe me that with sore ribs you do not want to make any additional effort when doing a poo!) Regular visits to an osteopath and a bucket load of tablets later I am still whingy. My posture isn't quite right. I have a distinct lean to the right because of the muscles on the right being in spasm - and the left side is sore too as he muscles on that side are working hard to keep me stable. Unreal!
Yesterday I got on the trainer in the lounge room. woo-hoo! I was very excited that after the effort of getting on (it hurt a bit!) I could peddle virtually pain free. Yes! So I did an hour yesterday and another today ... once I can get on and off ok, I will try the real thing... perhaps this weekend.
Oh yes, I have decided that I am going to train for the tour of Bright this year :)
Can't wait to get back out on the bike!
Happy and safe riding to you!
With a pair of fast wheels ... shame about the rider :)
What a weekend! The Coleraine Cycle Tour was on this weekend and after taking a long holiday from roadie racing, I decided to give it a red-hot go in a bloody hard race :)
I was excited. The Orbea hasn't been ridden in anger yet (a planned outing to do the Great Doherty failed with a rider mechanical - gastro!). New bar tape fitted especially for the occasion. Zipps on. Woohoo! let's fly!
My carbo load (and bike check) ride was a blast - with Zipps on, even I sound fast! I wanted to keep sprinting longer than the 30secs. The excitement was building.
The morning arrived and thankfully the tent warmed with the sun after a night of drizzly rain (no mud today - today, I'm a roadie!). The Orbea and I were off on the trek to the start of the time trial - it was 11km and over some little climbs that soon slowed even my chatter to the riders around me. This race was already turning out to be a huge bike-porn-fest ... shiny, carbon and pretty coloured things everywhere! Cool!
There were a few ABOC friendlies there Roberta and Robin, Rebecca and Arnaud.
The time trial began with a huge downhill which had me and the Orbea jumping for joy as we zoomed along at what must have been about 70km/hr ... then the road turned upwards .. phew! Actually not as steep up as I had thought on the way out (when I was coming down the hill). I went my hardest - evidenced by my inability to speak afterwards and the significant stream of snot coming from my snoz. Nice. Stage 1 done. Kathy Watt won it. I was a mile back already.
Stage 2 had me wishing I had put the 27 on. (aaargh!) I was happy in the bunch until the road went upwards a bit more than was comfortable. I hadn't realised how much I relied on spinning to get up hill after hill and my legs were popping. I dropped off the back of the bunch but kept on going hard - tried to catch them and passed a few riders (mostly boys!) as the hills got small and sharp - you know, those nice ones where you can use the momentum of the down to power up the up - rolling undulations perhaps you'd call them. The last 15km was fast and great fun. I am in love with Zipps and that woosh woosh sound (do you know what I mean?). I caught two girls along the way but they didn't stay on my wheel for long, so no use waiting (it was the zipps!).
Day 2 dawned with an ominous fog, but all was well as us women riders cruised out of town and up the hill on the road to Merino. There were some nasty hills to get over even before the KOM and I was really pleased to be still with the bunch through them (still missing that 27 at the rear - most riders had their's, but I was too silly to bring mine). The scenery was lovely. The more serious riders may not have appreciated my making a comment as such when the sun came out. But I was having fun :D As we approached the KOM, I thought - hey this is alright, I'm with them and comfy ... past 500m sign .. bugger .. they're racing now .. come on! .. at about 200m to the top, the rubber band is stretching. I lost them here and tried for the next 30min to get back on .. they were so close! I picked up another girl, but she wasn't as keen as me to get there. We almost got to a bunch of three between the main bunch and us but then they got on the bunch and were stretching away too. :( A long TT home. Fun though. I saw a boat, a camel and a donkey. Oh and there was this nasty hill at about 10km to go that had two sections to it that I almost had to do the side to side thing on to flatten out the climb. I was out of the saddle with a cadence of about 40. I asked the people assembled at the top kindly shoot me. They didn't (thankfully!) and there was more lovely downhill afterwards ... Weeeeeeee!
The Crit. Yeah! It was a nasty affair from go. I was "on the rivet", as Phil would say, and counting down the laps as soon as the first was over. Phew! It was tough. No slow bits. All breaks and switches. It was cool! I was going well until the sprint lap ... shouldn't have helped chase breaks .. when all of a sudden my power went and I was struggling to hold wheels. I was doing that thing where you (well I do) fixate on a rear wheel and just hold it .. dribbling and snotting everywhere ... trying to breathe .. Kathy Watt calls me through and I have nothing. But she is a lady I am a bit scared of, and I had to go just that bit harder. Thankfully another girl came through knowing I was slowing us down (about half of the field was ahead of us and we were determined to get 'em). I was back on Kathy's wheel but doom came when someone came through and surged and I was off the back of them. Two laps to go. Another girl and I went our hardest to the last metre. Uuuurgh!
I don't know where I came yet - the results aren't on the web. But that's not the important part of it. I had a great time and learnt a few lessons and got a big hankering to get back into crits and the occasional road race.
I reckon I'll be up for Coleraine again next year .. and maybe Bright inbetween? (I'll sleep on that decision!)
The beautiful world of knobbly tires, trees, mud .... sticks, scrapes .. and big grins!
Welcome to my first blog ever. What to say?? (not usually a problem for me at all...)
I love riding my bike. At the moment, I have this thing where whenever I go out on the mountain bike (a beautiful little Yeti ASR) I can't wait to get back out on it again. There is nothing better than a bit of flowing single track and the smell of the trees .... mmm .. - thinking about it while living in the stinky city makes me want to ride right now!
I have only been riding MTB for just over 18mths. It all started in Alice Springs where any rider in town gets soon gets the message that the hills in Alice are only of the dirt variety and the terrain too amazing to appreciate from the roadside saddle only. After trying to make the message clear that I was a roadie, I was soon 'talked to' by the local riders, given a special deal at the bike shop and whisked away over rocks and dirt (not many logs there) on my first mountain bike. The first ride was a blast until disaster struck - side wall tear, butt covered in the Alice prickles, I ran after the 'girls evening ride' as my bike was no longer rideable. The tear was so big a tube wouldn't stay in, let alone inflated. I had run to because I did'nt know my way home and had to keep up with the riders (lucky they were going slow for me).
NB. Don't jump to conclusions from this ... I don't run. I had to run because I didn't want to get lost or hold up my new MTB riding buddies ... unnecessary running is evil.
Despite the unlucky start, mountain biking was going well and on my ... fourth time out on the mountain bike, I was entered in the Alice Springs 12 hour with three other girls. We were having a great time and doing pretty well - mostly thanks to my mate Nicole and her amazing ability to float over every bump and whip around switchbacks at amazing speed - I soon learnt that was what real mountain bike riders do (I'm still not one). On my third lap I got pushed off the bike by some fierce little trail troll and rolled down the side of a hill. I got up, the inevitable Alice prickles were everywhere, but all else was fine... until I went to walk .. I had a stick stuck in the side of my knee and it was clearly in deep. How did that happen? We never figured out how I fell, or how the stick got there...
I recovered after a bit of surgery and a few weeks. Road racing was going well in Alice. We'd had a few track events too. The crash had knocked all confidence out of me (as they do) and I wasn't getting better on the mountain bike. I started training and practicing my skills on my own in the early morning (the road bike still perched up against a table in my room, wondering what it had done to deserve being given the silent treatment). I am not sure that I am made to ride mountain bikes ... I got done by another, bigger stick. I balked on a little incline after a corner, so went back to try it again and lost control (in slow motion) and peddled into a mulga bush. It promptly showed its displeasure at being ridden at and stabbed one of its dead branches into my lower leg. Seven days in hospital. No more riding in Alice :(
Heaps has happened since then and I think I am getting better at steering and stuff!
While in Alice I was not only suckered into the wonderful world of knobbly tires, but to enter into a big race in Canada - I had to get off the training wheels! .. more about that another time.
This weekend I return to the road. I am off to Coleraine to do the Tour of the Southern Grampians. Those fast girls are going to kill me ... but I'll be smiling all the way (almost) :)