Cycling Mecca

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Belgium Bound....

Although the world championships are still 4 months away, there are points along the journey that one gets a little excited about.Today was one of those.

Flights to Belgium are booked and paid for......... Thanks Flight Centre

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

It's what we do........

All to often as riders we're asked "What's the attraction to riding your bike?"
      It's not the extremely early start to the day!
      It's not battling the sometimes undesirable weather!
      It's not putting yourself through such grueling training regimes that your on the verge of collapse!
      Its not the fact you get time away from work and family!!!!!!! Honest its not.
      Its not squeezing onto a tight, bright and bold Lycra uniform! - Although today I saw the new "crankstar" kit in the flesh and it did look resplendid and I noticed Adrian Booth with a few of  his athletes and the new "BoomTime" strip looking very sharp.
So what's the lure, why the attraction? Well for me it's the people and the coffee!!!!!


    Today I met up with Chris, Matty and Gerbs and we cruised around the picturesque Brisbane river. The route is ridden so often by local riders that after a while its like your bike is on rails and you automatically turn up at your local coffee stop.Most the time we hang out at "Denim Cafe" in Little Stanley Street at South bank......
                     This is why we ride, we order coffee and chat about the recent racing events, we order another coffee, we discuss the latest pro cycling results, chat about world events and how they impact on our training schedules, we order another coffee, we chat about the latest and the greatest gadgets to pimp out our bikes and then we figure its time to stroll off home or worse yet work.

Then on the way home... about 500mtrs up the road wow another bunch of guys and girls, doing exactly the same thing.... so what am I to do? It's obvious, I stop for a brew, shoot the breeze for a while, catch up with some blokes we just smoked on the track the day before and share some more time with friends and yip more coffee.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Mainline Mauling at ANZAC 25

Some of us started the day with a brew in the city prior to heading out to the race today.(Coffee for those who are unaware is the life blood of cyclists) so after a brief pondering of what is ahead we trundle out to Lakeside Raceway where Hamilton Pine River Wheelers hold an annual criterium style event known as the ANZAC 25. - Once again they did an excellent job of organisation and our thanks goes out to all the volunteers that make such events possible.

We turn up to registration, sign on and put on our race numbers, before long its time to marshall up and get our race briefing from the official commissaries - which is basically a time for the riders to start the verbal banter between teams about how the race will progress.

My objective today,sit in, do nothing, wait for the sprint at the finish.Sounds easy you think.......Well the race started  and nobody was doing much so I thought I would liven it up somewhat. Off the front I go, the intention is that the opposing teams will tire over time as they work to bring you back.Well that little burst was brief as I sat up and was caught by the peloton. Matt and I managed to get away for sometime and during this the prime or sprint lap was upon us the peloton was coming but not fast enough Matt and I kept working and we just rolled accross for some easy money. Not long after we were bought back, I wasn't happy so I instantly stepped off the front solo again for another 1/2 lap effort only to get chased down once more.It was about now that I demolished a SIS Go Energy Gel, this would safely see me thru to the end of the race.There were a few attempts at different times that included Team Mainline members including Chris, Andy and  Gerbs, but not all participants were working well togther and as such these too were chased down by the peloton.

Riders of note today for Mainlne were Stu, Chris, Andy Pattern,and Andrew Gerber as other teams tried desperately to establish breaks these hard men sat on each and every wheel needed,meaning  Mainline was represented in any of the moves covering any dangerous action.

The 2 lap to go sign was presented and the teams started to get ready, lines of riders getting prepared with sprinters spickled amoung the bunch looking for the best wheel and line to follow.Approching the last lap and Gerbs came up beside me sitting about 6th wheel, " When do you want to go?". My reponse was "Just give me your wheel and I'll direct you thru the final lap".We sat at the front but not on the front watchful and attentive to any little movement that looked dangerous. I just sat behind Gerbs barking out "YES" , " NO" , "SIT" then the final approach and hill came, Dave Croswell from Data3 Racing hit the hill at pace trying to gap us, but that was not going to happen.The final bend and Gerbs swings out around Dave, dropped into the 54/11 and started driving for the line, I was sitting on his wheel and Matty was behind me, it was then a matter of timing the jump to the line.Gerbs executed his leadout perfectly then Matty and I split one each side of Gerbs and fought off the pursuing bunch.  

Sub-Core carbon wheel technology was certainly the wheel of choice today as Matt Ryan hit the line first and I came second.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Perth UCI Championship Qualifier

With all the recent training completed (thanks to crankstar coaching) it was time to head off to Perth for the first of the newly formed UCI Masters qualifying rounds.
       We arrived at Perth domestic airport and were met by some friends that would spend the week with us.Well as we all know airport and airplane coffee is not counted as coffee to the purest so it's straight to the CBD to find a good brew.
       After a good nights sleep I was off to spin around the course that would have excess of 400 riders engulf it on the coming Saturday.The course was just around the corner from our accommodation and was set in and around the glorious "Kings Park".My initial thought was "ppfffft I got this course covered". Well that was until I returned to our apartment to find I had only been riding half of the full course.So with map in hand I went back and then rode a complete lap........ Ok this was not such a walk in the park after all.
      Race day rolled around and it as the sun came up so did the wind. We were the first to attack the course for the day and we started on time at 7.30am, the first lap was all rather gentle and the bunch was comfortable and stayed together until we came around to the climb again at the start for the second lap.It was here that two broke off the front and found themselves with a gap of about 400mtr very quickly, I was thought "Ok better get on this" so I started to drive the front of the bunch only to have them all sit on me.So I dropped to the 54/15 stood up and stepped off the front to bridge across to the leading 2 riders.We kept working together for next 40ish k's and extended our lead to over 2 minutes, we started to tire as the climbs and the relentless head wind began to take its toll.
It was just after this climb we had 6 others come across to us. As the group was now of decent size and there were 2 teams in it that both had numbers I backed off to recover as often as possible.We kept
rotating turns and checking off the laps.The relief was obvious when we heard the bell signifying the final lap, although this would also mean as expected they would smack it up the climb, and they did.I got tailed just off the back probably about 400 or 500 mtrs by the time I crested the climb. I had to get
straight back into TT mode and bridge the gap again .As I did this I picked up the others that also fell off the leading three that were together at the front of the race,not wanting to take them across with me meant one thing,drop into some big gears, chuck it in the gutter and drive as hard as I could. This worked and I bridged across on my own. A couple more climbs and descent's and the last stretch of block head wind, then came the finish.Sadly as I stood up to sprint for the line both my quads cramped solid and wouldn't move, I managed to roll across the line in 3rd.