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Entries For: July 2007


I got knocked down but I got up again (great line for a song)

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My first crash at speed

Until last Thursday nights racing at DISC I'd had four "crashes" in my cycling career. All were at low speed and didn't involve another bike or car. In fact "falling off" would be more accurate description than "crash". Nevertheless they had still resulted in a broken thumb, fractured elbow and, most recently, hairline fracture to the rib in the infamous slide involving Carl. But unlike many of you I'd never crashed in a race or with the bike moving forward with any sort of speed.

That all changed at the pointy end of the C grade motor pace on Thursday night. The aboc team of myself, Mick Thomas and Matt Ditchfield had again conspired to help each other out and let a team mate back into the paceline if needed. It was going OK and both me and Matt had been able to let Mick back in to prevent him having to drift to the back. But it meant I was on the motor bike with 4 laps to go and had to peel off.

Not wanting to accept defeat because for once I was feeling OK, I didn't go all the way to the end of the line but stayed out in the wind for a lap hoping a gap would open up. It didn't and I had to work hard to hold my position. Then I started to fade and stronger riders were all around me. People were trying to squeeze into gaps that weren't there. I got chopped from underneath which apparently forced me up the track a bit....

THUMP....Someone wacks me behind my right shoulder. I go down and am aware of sickenning loud thud as my head smashes into the boards. I remember thinking "this is not good" and instantly developing a head ache. Then as I'm sliding down another rider crashes over the top of me. I end up lying face down on the concrete with my head throbbing and my arm, chest and back aching already. I don't know how long I was there but it seemed like an eternity. With help I roll over and reveal burns and cuts on my leg, bum and arm. My treasured aboc bib knicks are ruined as is my Descente base layer!

A trip to the doctor and physio the next day reveals no breaks. I've got whiplash from my head slinging into the ground and the usual aches and pains, burns and bruises. My spirit and confidence took a battering too but a quick pep talk from the coach on Friday put everything in perspective and re-ignited my determination. Today a sympathetic Bev took me for a gentle 2 hour ride for which I'm grateful.

I don't know how I'll be on Thursday night. I think my body will be OK but will I be brave enough to race?

(PS I've got new race wheels but I'll talk about them another time...)


The One Eyed Cyclist

A very scary incident indeed

I had a very disconcerting thing happen to me last night at DISC.

At the pointy end of the C grade scratch race (about 5 laps to go I think) I lost the contact lens in my right eye. I have quite advanced keratoconus  in both eyes and the only way to correct it is with rigid, hard, contact lenses. Normally the little buggers stay securely in place so I don't know why one would decide to pop out.

Let me tell you I was very scared. One eye had perfect vision, the other eye basically had none and I was travelling in excess of 40kph. It caused me to lose my sense of perception and depth and so I slowed right down much to the chagrin of those behind me. For a change I was near the front which meant a lot of the field had to go around me on both sides as I was between the red and blue lines.

Luckily I made it back to safety and Nathan found the lens wedged right down under my lower eye lid. This was a relief as I thought I'd lost it which would have meant the end of the night for me and not even able to drive home. The rest of the night was good with the aboc team consisting of Carl, Matty Ditchfield and myself trying some fun teamwork stuff. We got Matt into the points in the second race with a classic lead out train and we may had done better in the motor pace had I not forgotten the game plan. Sorry coach!

Lot of fun as usual and I can feel some form coming back.


From 25 to 50 in 10 seconds

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Well only 49.8 but I'll claim it

Not sure this is even worth blogging but I impressed myself today during my training session on the Preston velodrome...

Was doing some 10 second max efforts every 2 minutes, jumping from about 25kph in a middle gear (big ring at front, about a 15/17 on the back). Managed to accelerate to 50kph in 10 seconds. Don't know if that's good or not but it felt good and I impressed the little kids who were playing in the infield.

Added some HCLR's and E3 intervals for a very solid 90 minute workout. It was my first outdoor ride in a month and it felt good to be out in the sunshine

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