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Entries For: November 2009


The deed is done

And may the Lord have mercy on my soul!

After much cajoling from Mick Thomas who then recruited Will, Ann and Emily to do his bidding I somewhat reluctantly signed up to do the Sprint and Time Trial at this next weekend's Metro's.

After looking at  the start list I reckon they will combine Masters 2,3 and 4 again which means I will have to contend with the likes of Stuart Vaughan and Andrew Shannon and assorted other 'youngsters' who are heaps faster than me. I will be giving it my best shot as always but the good Lord doesn't do miracles until a little later doesn't he?

Emily is getting better. She's moving a lot more freely and has had a couple of very short sessions on the wind trainer. It nearly killed her watching the Women's Omnium from the stands yesterday and kept muttering "I would have won that" after each race (well almost...not the pursuit). I swear when they started the 500m TT at the end of the day she would have jumped on a hire bike in her skirt and blouse had they let her.

So we'll both be going around on Saturday. It will be a long day.

Mick. You better be there!


Thank You!

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We've had a lot of well wishers after Emily's crash

Just a short blog to thank everyone for the support we've received since Emily crashed on Saturday. Over the past two days we've received emails, phone calls, text messages and home visits which all help make a difficult situation a little bit easier.

A big thank you to all the people who raced to her side to help her at the track when she was very distressed and frightened. I'm not sure I can remember you all ( I was a little distressed myself) but wherever I turned there were people helping or offering to help.

A special thank you to Sue and Bridgette Thomas who calmed Emily down and got her breathing normally again and to the entire Thomas family who came to visit the following day with a box full of muffins and love in their hearts!

Pat Dougherty, Merv Tracey and Jenny Ward - your messages were passed onto Emily and made her smile. Bev, we'd be lost without you.

And to Carl....what can I say?  You're the absolute rock of support.

The patient is now doing a lot better. She's a bit of a sight, covered head to toe in bandages, and is hobbling about from a very sore hip and lots pf bruises, but she's getting better quickly and it wouldn't surprise me if she is back on her wind trainer next week.

Kids bounce and this is one particularly special...


Even an end has a start

Starting gate woes...

The Editors have got it right in their hit song "An end has a start..."

"I won't disappoint you
As you fall apart.
Some things should be simple.
Even an end has a start"

But were they talking about gate starts? I doubt it. But i do know I need to improve my gate starts a LOT if I'm to end the 500m ITT at the upcoming metros with a good time.

On Sunday night at DISC we did three gate starts and I used a 96.8" gear for the first time. That's a big gear for li' ol' me and my starts were uniformly horrible. I didn't "fall apart" as the song may have suggested but I did wobble quite a bit and the best time I did for the first 125m was low 14 seconds. Compare that to Emily with a 13.8 and Chris Ray, 12.7.

So this morning it was down to Blackburn with Carl and we did another set of six. The good news is that mine got better as we went along and I think I sort of know what to do now - it's just a matter of doing it. For the record Carl pretty much nailed his straight away.

Speaking of starts, Emily had a great start to the track open season in Shepparton. Three wins and two seconds from five races is a pretty fair return. Her 500m ITT was 42.66 seconds outdoors on a breezy day and after fluffing the start. That time would have gotten her third in the J17 girls.

I asked her during the drive home which of her 5 races was she most pleased and satisfied with. "The Pursuit" came the reply.

Hmmm I need to beat that nonsense out of her....




That's more like it

Finally, the Apolito's score some wins...

The day didn't start well. Maybe it was the electrical storm overnight or just the anxiety of hoping to sleep well that ironically kept me awake but I only managed 3-4 hours sleep Saturday and awoke for Round 2 of the sprint series far from refreshed. Even a cup of "Espresso Dino" didn't help much. Emily had a similarly bad night and neither of us was in the mood for a long day of sprinting. Still the show had to go on..

Conditions couldn't have been much better at Blackburn. Warm but not hot and virtually no wind. The air was a bit thick with humidity though and added to the general feeling of lethargy. A flying 200 time of 13.273. Not bad but below expectations. I really need/want to go faster but seem o have stagnated around that 13.2-13.3 mark. Might need to consult the coach more on that one. Bigger gear? Smaller gear? Different line? I do know I'm often going faster than in the races themselves.

Young Marc Wilson first up and I'm leading and doing a fair job of keeping control. I noticed he was frequently taking a hand off the bars to push his sunglasses up his nose and with this in mind I jumped hard as we approached the front straight, got a small break and held on for the win. 13.1 seconds for the last 200 (See!)

Stuart Vaughan in Race 2 and I was looking forward to this one. You've got nothing to lose when racing a World Champ right? I had a definite plan against Stuart but unfortunately it involved me leading and controlling (especially when we crossed the finish line!). Stuart almost read my mind and controlled the race beautifully. I couldn't go under or over and just had to bide my time. As we came off the clubhouse bank for the last time I kicked as hard as I could basically drag racing Stu to the next corner. I had to get to the sprinters lane by then if I was to be a chance and although I got about a half a bike length ahead I was never in a position to safely chop down on Stu and then had to go the long way around the last bend. By then Stu ahd speed up and pulled away to win by a bike length. We both enjoyed the race.

Neil Robinson again. He jumped me coming into the home straight but didn't quite get far enough in front to take the lane. He then did me a favour by electing to ease off and sit on my wheel for a draft up the back straight but I had just enough in reserve to kick again when he tried to come around and took the win.

So I had made the final for third. That was significant because the only other time I had made an A grade final was when there were only four of us in the grade and the final was a fait accompli. But I was wasn't confident. The last race against Neil really drained me and the long day after little sleep was taking it's toll. I was up against Marc again and the race was turning into a carbon copy of the earlier encounter except this time he jumped me and opened up an enormous gap. Not sure how he got so far ahead. Was I really that brain dead and slow to react? I put in a huge chase and made up significant ground but was never close. So the day finished with two wins, two losses and more homework to do.

Emily raced really well. I reckon it's the best set of match sprints I've seen her do. She's building up quite a (friendly) rivalry with John Lewis and their races are great to watch. So we're both looking forward to Round 3. In the meantime Emily has a few target events, The Formua Future,, then the Womens' Omnium and The Metro's. I haven't decided if I will do the Metro's but I did gain some confidence yesterday.


More consulting with the coach needed!



Still winless

But hopeful things will turn around soon

So far the track season hasn't exactly started with a bang.

Round 1 of the Summer Sprint Series was a mixture of emotions. I had jokingly said I wanted to qualify in A grade even if I lost all the races and that's exactly the way it panned out. So why the hint of disappointment? Well I qualified with 13.307 which got me the final place in A grade. Last season I went faster than that twice (not by much but faster nevertheless) on rather windy days. So I was hoping for a PB this time given the calm conditions for Round 1 and the fact that this winter I have trained exclusively for sprint. Still the season is young and I am determined to go under 13 seconds at BBN. I've done it at DISC but not at BBN.

It was always going to be a tall ask beating Gary Jackson and he beat me easily. Still I had no real plan to beat him which didn't help. If there's a next time I know what I will try to do. I thought I was a chance against Steve Martin but catching my knicks in the nose of the saddle when I was trying to jump over him caused me to wobble horribly and surrender position. Next time I pull up my knicks nice and tight! Neil Robinson was in hot form. I didn't do much wrong but played to his strengths a bit. Again, if there's a rematch I will do things a little differently.

Club racing at Blackburn has been a lot of fun. It's a great atmosphere on a Saturday afternoon and really enjoyable just being there. Who in their right mind would want to move this? Anyway I'm not taking it too seriously but always like to do well. Got a second in the scratch race this week and a third in the kieran after fluffing the start, then getting boxed in and having to come from last position with 200 metres to go. So third was a good result.

I feel like things are starting to turn around. Bring on the summer

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