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Entries For: November 2008


You gotta be happy with that..

Gold for Emily, bronze for me, medals for my mates. A great weekend

Some people seem to have a way with words - they can say so much with so little. My good friend Mick Thomas is one of those people. He didn't race on Saturday but came down with Bridget for a while to give support to me and Emily. He had to leave before my finals for bronze but I spoke to him later..

"A week ago you weren't even going to do them and now you've got Bronze and Emily has Gold. You gotta be happy with that"

And he was right. So, so right. Emily and I left DISC on Saturday with mixed emotions. Emily had set the track on fire and stunned everyone with her gold medal ride in the ITT and then a blistering 14.34 flying 200 which had "officials checking the record books" according to one commisaire. I don't know if he was joking. But then she didn't win any of the actual match sprints and got increasingly despondent through the afternoon. We learn't a lot from that and she'll be back stronger and keener.

I don't know my flying 200 time but I qualified third fastest which put me into a semi final against Brent "Turbo" McKenzie. He's actually a masters 2 but they combined masters 2,3 and 4 much to my dismay. Turbo killed me in the first sprint. I led out but was nervous and scared and he jumped past me at speed and the race was over in a blink of an eye. The second heat was much closer. I followed him and kept him guessing by diving all over the place. I set it up beautifully but hesitated when I had my chance to jump under him. He then jumped, got a bike length in front and kept it. Damn. I had my chance but didn't take it. So I wasn't going to be going for gold!

I won the final for bronze in straight sets easily, not just because I was faster but because I was far more aggressive and took the initiative in both races. I also wanted to do it for Emily.

Now I need to have a meeting with the coach and assess the future. Do I do the Victorian Masters? I have some glaring weaknesses that need to be worked on and match sprints at DISC are so different to Blackburn I feel I need to start again. Speed in itself is not enough.

On Sunday the pressure was off. I wasn't racing but Emily was doing the pursuit and scratch - not her strengths and she wasn't expecting to do well and wasn't bothered about it either. I helped Mick as much as I could and was elated to see him get bronze in the pursuit and then silver in the scratch race.

Emily was last in the pursuit but I had her on a very easy schedule and she did it easily. Next time she can go faster if she wants to do it. She did really well in the scratch race. Again, no expectations other than to do her best and hang on to the end and see what happened. And if possible to help Bridget which is the way it unfolded. At a critical time Emily let a gap open up for Bridge to drop into and save her having to drift to the back. Bridge did brilliantly to get Bronze and we all celebrated.

Throw in a Bronze each to Jodie (pursuit) and Krissy(sprint) against hot competition and it was great weekend for the aboc family.

You gotta be happy with that!



Be careful what you wish for

It started as a joke and now I'm doing the metro's on Saturday

I'm not exactly sure how I got myself into this but I'm doing the sprint event at the Metro's on Saturday.

Emily was always going to do it and I said to her a little while back that I'd only do it if I got my Flying 200 time below 13 seconds. At the time it seemed a reasonably safe bet that I'd be a spectator not a competitor but since then my times at Blackburn have gone from 13.5 to 13.3 then a 13.1 with the latter being the last 200 of a match sprint.

So I asked Carl to organise a training session at DISC last Sunday night which I would treat as a full dress rehearsal - if I went under 13 I'd be in, no ifs buts or maybes. So with Carl's disk wheel, the aboc skin suit and a lot of determination I managed 12.88 seconds even though my line and approach were not good.

That's the scary bit - I think there's room for improvement and I'll need it 'cause I just found out they have combined Masters 2,3 and 4 which means "young" Brent Turbo McKenzie joins us old blokes and if I get to race him he'll want revenge for last months sprint series.

Potentially I'm up for 7 sprints - a flying 200, best of three semi finals and best of three finals. Emily has it even tougher because she's doing the 500 metre ITT as well. Her racing will be interesting. The other girls in her age group are all a year older and more experienced but Emily has great top speed and she may surprise a few people. She's been quick in training and seems to respond well when the pressure is on at events.

Sunday is the P word day. I'm helping Mick Thomas with his pursuit by timing his laps and keeping him on schedule. He should do well. I was half tempted to enter the scratch race but again I'll be cheering Mick from the sidelines. Emily also entered the endurance events even though they are not her strength. But she has no expectations for those events and good on her for having a go. She has more guts than her dad.

Wish me luck but be careful what you wish for....


Structured training

Filed Under:

It really does work!

Carl sent through some interesting stats the other night. Basically it was everything we'd timed over the past 12 months both in racing and training. He did the same for Emily although her data only goes back to April this year.

Basically we're both getting faster. Not just a little but rather dramatically. For example in Round 1 (October 2008) of last year's Trek Summer Sprint Series my Flying 200 time was a personal best of 14.72 seconds on a calm day. That was only the second time I'd gone under 15 seconds and I was happy. By the last round in April 2008 I was down to 13.94 - the first time under 14 seconds. Last Sunday on a windy day I was down to 13.32 seconds, a new PB. I know comparing outdoor times is fraught with danger because the conditions play a big role but the times in training at DISC also reflect this trend. There's ups and downs of course, you can't set a PB every time you train but the trend is unmistakable.

If you would prefer to talk about speed rather than time then we are talking 48.91 kph in October 2007 versus 54.05 kph in November 2008. That's a speed increase of over 5kph which is very significant on the track.

Emily's improvement is also substantial. In April this year she set 16.1 seconds for a flying 200 at DISC which was not only a PB but gave her the state title very comfortably. On Sunday on a windy day at Blackburn she set 14.92 seconds. So her speed has gone from 44.72 kph to 48.26.

The above is a long winded way of saying that training really does work. Not just any training but structured, planned training with particular goals and outcomes in mind. The easiest thing to do is ride your bike a lot, throw in some efforts here and there and fall for the myth that if a little bit of something is good for you then a lot of the same something is even better.

We can do better of course. I'd like to build my speed endurance to a point where I can use my kick and speed at the end of a scratch race or in a handicap not just in a 3 lap match sprint. I'm sure we'll get there. We just need some structure and planning...


Wow! Three good days in a row

Filed Under:

It started with Tuesday night at DISC and ended with the Summer Sprint Series.

Maybe, just maybe, things have turned for the better. Let's hope it can stay that way.

It started at the Brunswick Tuesday night racing at DISC. I felt very ordinary in the scratch and came close to handing in my number and going home. But in the points race I started to feel alive and took one of the sprints which ws enough to give me second overall I think. Then for a third week in a row I won the motorpace after once again being "on the bike" when it peeled off before powering away off the front for a good win.

Things fell my way a little on Saturday at Blackburn. Only 5 of us in B grade so Dougie listenned to our plees and shortened our races. The scratch race was down to 15 laps and for the most part the pace was sedentry apart from some attacks from Will Thomas which I was able to cover. I thought I had the sprint finish in the bag until one of the kids got me on the line. Still, second place was heaps better than anything before it. I even managed to win the first sprint of the points race which was enough to give me third place. The elimination also went to plan and I was happily the first to go, saving myself for Sunday.

The Bontrager Summer Sprint Series was one for the scrapbook. I qualified 4th fastest with a 13.32 - a new PB. I was in elite compnay in A grade with the likes of Barry Woods et al but they were still a whopping 0.6 seconds faster than me and I was under no illusions.

I gave my all against Chris Ray and did everything right, but he came over me at the line. It was closer than we all thought it would be. Then I gave Barry the fright of his life, losing it by a tyre. I don't know what Barry was up to. I think he could have creamed me had he not turned around to see where I was and therefore giving me a chance to go past with some momentum. In the third race I was creamed by a rampant Brent "Turbo" McKenzie who was smarter and a whole lot faster.

So nobody really expected me to reverse the result when Brent and I met again shortly after for the minor final. The race unfolded in a similar fashion with me leading and Brent hanging a long way back but this time I was the aggressor, jumped first and very hard and after a long sprint managed to hold him off at the line. Wow - third in A grade and real scalp under my belt.


The scary thing is I think I can do better...





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