and how I got 3rd in a race I thought I could just make the top 10..
On a pretty cold Saturday morning I made my way down to Albert Park for a race I thought not only I had no chance, but thought if I could make the top 10 would be pretty happy.
Jot to the track around 7:15 in the am with not a breath of wind, but a balmy 6 deg showing on the thermostat. Start by grabbing bike; wheels; bits and bobs ready to go register. Rolling to the start line, no nerves just waiting to go was all I could think at this time (hurry up 8am). Once registered numbers were pinned and transbonder in place (electronic timing YAY) I head out for a few siting laps and warm up. Meet up with a couple of guys I knew and just tootled around looking for places to make moves, or if need be attacks on the field.
From the button the pace was........... well pretty comfortable. No one realy wanted to do anything major, and everyone was watching the others kill themselves on the front. I sat about 6 wheels back waiting for some excitement.................. and none came. After 20min or so of sitting in I decide to hit the front and ramp up the pace. I was wondering if anyone had the guts to come along for a breakaway.
I took the group from 31 k/Hr to 40 in the blink of an eye and charging right up the extreme left of the straight. Looking for riders to help I hit the turn and jumped out again at pace, flick of the elbow and none came through with any help. I moved to the other side of the trac and again flicked the elbow and still not a follower to come through to do a turn. I had to pull to thr right of track and tap the brakes to get back on the end of the field to recover.
It was at that point I decided to sit in, wait, and charge at the end.
I sat on the back until 3 laps to go, and decided to make some spots at every turn to make sure I was near the front when the sprint went. Heading into the last turn I was in 6th wheel and looking good to finish in the top four.
Much to my surprise the the lead out came at a pace I was able to follow. After shooting past 4 riders, and having to shoot left a little because the lead out man pulled into my way, I was in 2nd place and chasing down first but running out of legs quite fast. Hitting the line I saw a Hawthorn jersey just to my right about half a wheel in front, so I managed third place in the first ever open Criterium I have every ridden.
I learnt alot riding this race and there are alot of things I could have done better. But everything I learnt will be place in the next time I roll out with a number on my back and a ich in my leggs.....
Remember 70's disco "Ohhhhhh what a nigt"....
Well I was thanked at the end of the evening of racing for "one of the loadest and most exciting D Grade races".
I started out in C Grade, but there seemed to be something different about the grade. They were absolutely Stomping and it was some of the fastest racing I have seen in a long time. I was asked if I wanted to drop back to D Grade and I gladly took the oppurtunity for something a little more civilaised.
The Points was as I expected it to be. I rode as hard and long as I could, and kept up pretty well compared to how I was riding. I finnished the race well within the riders, and not to far really from getting into the points if I could have gotten a bit closer to the front earliier.
But that brings us to the Motor Pace. I have ridden many of these, but this was a very different race. It started out as normal. The bike pulled out into the throng of riders waiting to see who gets on the bike first. I was right at the back of the field as I did a pretty sneaky head count and saw that if I started last, I would be on the bike with 3 laps to go and in a very good position. That was the plan, and like all plans it went wrong...........................
With about 6 laps to go, i started to notice that we were slowing ddown a little. A gap had started to appear 2 back from the bike, and it was getting bigger by the second. By the time we got around to 5, the gap was at least 40 mtrs and getting bigger and I started to panic. I shout at the riders in front to go around, or et the girl off the front who was slowing us down. All of a sudden my call to arms got everyone going. We had to bridge the gap and, get back into the fight. I managed to get a pretty good wheel and held it rigt tiill we caught the 2 on the bike. 4 laps to go and i was in 5th wheel. The rider on the bike pulled off and left me in 4th wheel with half a chance at 4 to go, then for some reason the next rider pulled off and i was in 3rd wheel with three to go. It was then that I thought not what position I could finnish, I new I could win. 2 to go and the bike is still kicking along at around 40K/hr, and I was looking at where and when I was going to make my move.
Bike pulls of and we head to the bell. Out of the first turn the move from the second rider dose not come. He simply moves to the side and up to the blue line, and leaves me a big hole. I start stomping on the pedals, looking to make a move in the turn for home. I make the gap and I am on the leader and still have a little ground to make up. As we go through the back turn I hear the screaming and cheering urging me on to the finnish. I keep stomping the pedals up and down as fast as I could, making sure I was almost on the red line and leaving enough room in case soemthing went wrong.
But that never happend. I hit the line a wheel in front to screaming and cheering in the front straight. It was one of the best races I have not only riddden, but one of the best Club Races seen at DISC for a while.
The hardest $10 I have ever earnt.....................................
Everything is starting to fall into place..
Well it's Thursday and that means DISC is hot with some very dedicated riders, and the pace was on in all grades.
As usual i roll up for my D grade racing and gave myself a bit of a surprise tonight. I managed to keep up the pace in the Scratch race and found i was off the back with only 2 to go. Not bad for me. The Points is always something i really don't like. This time i found myself on the front with 2 to go to the first sprint. Well the rest really wrote itself, a pair tried to have a go but i just kept powering on and took the firt sprint. I was holding in there but fell off the back not long after. The last race of the night was the Motor Pace. I should be pretty good here, as it is a race that sort of suits the Sprinters. Tonight i found myself at 4 to go having to swing up and sit on the back. To many surges and i just could hold my position, plus the pace was pretty high.
So another night and some better results for me. I know that i am stronger than ever, my power is really good, now i just have to work on my endurance a bit.
Or at least I hope so....
It has taken quite a while and with a few misshaps i think i'm ready to take on the riders at BBN Velo again. Times have been a little ruff for me at the minute and i think m y mind has been a little if not a lot preoccupied with other things. Time has been pf the essence, and yet i am still finding it hard to hit my straps.
I had a disastorus ride in Shepparton that has really put my racing and training back to a place i dont like, and that's back to the start. I was ment to be a social ride and something a few of us ABOC'ers were going to do for fun. I went for a training ride on Saturday to meet Bev on the road somewhere in between Cobram and Shepparton. Here is a condensed list of what happened in numerical order.
1) Ran off the road by locals and binned it in the thick gravel.
2) Swoop by a magpie for about a 12 k stretch.
3) Turned onto the Murray Goulburn freeway and was swooped by another bird for 6 k.
4) Had a snake take a liking to my shoes and give chase for 5-10 mtrs.
5) Had a puncture 9 k out of Tallygaroopna.
6) Forgot to bring money and ranout of drink just 6 k from Shep and had to stop a IGA for toilets and water. Thanks to Bev for Lollies as i even forgot food when i took a closer look.
So as you can see it was a kinda eventful ride to Shep and i was glad it was over when we got in. Had dinner and left Bev and Rob at the caravan park looking to the morning for the ride. When we got back to the farm i noticed that my knee was a little swollen and a small lump had made it self home just under my knee. So thought i would see how this goes and make a decission in the morning.
Well with a bigger lump i was off to Cobram Hospital to see if there was anything they could do. Two X Rays and an ultrasound said i should keep off it for a couple of days and if it doesn't go down i will need to drop back in to the hospital or an Arthriscope. NO MORE SURGERY was the only thing i was thinking and came back to Melbourne as the lump seemed to go down almost overnight (OK it was still there 2 days later but was almost gone and was not there 4 days later).
So i still had a little pain and was a bit stiff so i went and got a massage telling the guy i had a fall and he should be a little gental on me. After about 10 minuets he managed to pop my shoulder back in (i didn't even think it was out) and felt a little more pain. More and more pain came in the dyas after so off to the Physio i went (on the recomendation of a few others) and he couldn't really find anything major untill we had the ultrasound and found the fracture in my Collar Bone!
So now over 3 weeks after the Shepparton debarkle i am almost fit (nothing hurting from broken or bashed) enough to have my first real race back.
I had a bit of a ride this morning down to Glenvale for a look, then up to see my girls have a hit of tennis then home. 25 k with no pain in my shoulder but a little in the knee, but thats only because i have had trouble riding because of the other pains and it will come good over the next few days of training.
My Treck Summer Sprint Series was a fizzer as i could barely hold the bars and could only muster a 14.6 so a little dissapointed is an understaement. I know i can go alot faster and think the December edition will be a totaly different scenerio.
Train, Train, Train, Train, Train................................................................................................................................
Well as you can all see sometimes the monotony of traing does weird things to your head. I do suppose that you need to have full use of your facultys before assuming that you can loose part of them but hay who am i to complain.
Train, Train, Train, Train, and Train seems to be my mantra at the moment. I couldn't see the benefits until last night at DISC. I managed to hold on to most of the riders in the three races that were offered even though i never finnished a race. My best results ever.
Now that seems odd that i am pleased with my performance even though i never finnished a race, but there were a few things that are more important than winning and the small steps all count to the big steps. I am training for something else at the moment and tried my best to see how i was going to perform when this time comes. And from what i think i saw and felt i am almost ready.
So at the moment i am at my lightest for at least 12 years, i have found and extra 3 k/Hr in my sprint, and i feel in the best shape of my life.
So in my best Iron Chef dubed voice "The secret to this ingrediant is Train, Train, Train, Train."
Well i sit here now at 2.35 pm on a Sunday afternoon replaceing carbs lost from a massive days riding. When i talk massive i mean MASSIVE.
I have had a huge weekned riding at Blackburn Velo and Glenvale and all i can think is " So that's what is's like".
Now let me take you all back a little ways so you can understand why this is such an important day for me and a huge step in my life.
On the 18th of May in 2005 at 5.05 pm a lovely lady in a Commodore full of kids decided to cut me off on the Monash Fwy while i was riding my Motorcycle home from work. After i had some great guys drag me off the road; and i thanked the driver in the middle lane for not running me over; i was taken to hospital. After X-Rays i found out i had a Plateau Fracture of the Tibia and may need a couple of operations to correct this. After the operation i was told it was quite successful and i should walk OK but will more than likely limp for the rest of my life.
All i wanted to do was crawl into a ball a not exist after this news. I was so depressed i realy needed something to take my mind off it all.
Then i woke up to my self and thought "This is your last chance fat man. You need to get out there and do it" so thats exactly what i did.
I was a reasonable juiour rider when i was young, but found the allure of the "Dark Side" to tempting and gave it all up. I think that it dissapointed my family as much as it did me over time. After the accident, and when i was able to start to walk again i decided then i was going to ride again. Now not just ride, but really go for a big shake at the thing. So grossly over weight i started to do spin class's with Carl. I found not only how un fit i was but how hard this was going to be.
So lets fast forward all the boring bits of me not even being able to finnish and E Garde Scratch race and being lapped by the E grade bunch at Glenvale as that would just bore you all stupid.
So now i am 30kg lighter (yes thats 30kg!) and think i have jumped a bridge in not only my racing but life in general. I have learned that you only get there from hard work and persistance, and if you don't try you will never know. I have tried on many occasions and failed, but those failures are only the stepping stones to winning.
Every time i win i do think "So that's what it's like" and reflect on how hard i have worked to get there. It makes the winning so much sweeter.
So now i prepare for the 2007-2008 Track season as a C Grade rider and D Grade as a road rider. This will bring new challanges forward but the key points are still the same: Listen to you coach and body, Work at getting fitter and understanding the races you ride, and most importantly Have Fun because riding should not be a chore it should be enjoyed.