Cycling Mecca

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Strike 1.... Strike 2....... Strike?

Sat 27th of August =  QLD State Road Race Champs day.

The race was 120ks in length over undulating terrain , nothing really to demanding it was to be the conditions that would ultimately be the determining factor.we turned up at the start line for the usual riders briefing it was noted that today was "wet, cold and windy" riders would need to ride to the course conditions. etc.....

We start lap 1 of the 4 x 30k course. A few winding roads and before long, about 5ks, we come across the "climb" of the course, nothing that should be to concerning however because it was sooooo cold many in the peleton had not had time to get their race legs up to speed.We get up and over with most of us still together then a few individual attacks come from myself, Chris and Lucas among some others. Today my legs were felling good and I wanted to push the pace early, I kept on attacking till the the rubber band broke and the bunch let me go. I stayed out in front of the peleton putting a 2min 30 sec gap into them at one point then I punctured and that was my race over.The ruling states that if you have own spare wheels in the spares vehicle following the race then you can use these in times like this.Well this was my epic mistake of the day, I had not put my spare wheels in the follow car, leaving me "high and dry"..... or in this case "low and wet".

Chris and Lucas were both still in good positions in a group of 5, then after a small mishap Lucas crashed out, just leaving Chris representing Mainline in our category. Chris had done a lot of work during the day and eventually hunger flatted but managed to hold on for Bronze...
Congrats Chris nice work.
Andy Patten also held on in his race for Silver, Congrats to you too mate.

Net individual result for the day Strike 1.

Also today work took a number of customers to the Tri Nations deciding match at Suncorp.
I think there was only myself and one other in our group supporting my native boys in black. We meet at a venue for a pre match function and on the table is a small statue of a player with ball in hand poised in the running motion, well so ours doesn't goo missing we hide it under the table while we head over to the stadium and watch the game. As the game unfolded it was clear this was to not going end well for the loyal NZ supporters.The game concludes and we all head back to the function room for few more drinks and some light entertainment oh and we get to watch a replay of the awesome game we just lost. Well the function concludes one of my colleague's picks up our statue and we start making our way home.

The All Blacks loss ..... Strike 2 for the day.

On the way to find a Cab I'm feeling a little hungry so Paul from Sound Control and I stop at McDonald's for a snack and then head towards the city. As we leave McDonald's we see one of these statues from the function however this has no head......somebody had snapped the head off this poor bloke and left him behind. Well Paul picks up the now "Trophy" and is extremely proud of his find.We decide the night is still young and head to the casino to see if this headless "Trophy" would become strike 3 for the day.

I'm pleased to advise that our headless "Trophy" was quite popular at the tables, he was introduced to number of personalities through the night and considering some of the sights we saw,its probably a good thing Pauls "Trophy" had no eyes.

Best of all there was no strike 3 infact by the time we left Paul had hit a few home runs of his own.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

"It never gets easier, you just go faster." Greg LeMond

How true the words of Greg LeMond, I've never been one to hide the fact that hills and I don't get along too well and with the Masters Worlds upcoming course in Belgium being suited to climbers my coach has seen fit to include a number of hill routines in my training.

While the physical stature of the hill can be daunting I often recall what others have mentioned to me so as to improve my climbing, "Focus on peddling in circles", "Climb at your own pace", and another very apt quote from Harry Groves " Don't attack a hill from the bottom-it's bigger than you are".

Last Sunday was such a day, there were a number of us all of whom are coached by Steven George "Crankstar" heading up to O'Reilly's Hinterland Retreat, which is approx a 19km climb, with an average gradient of around 4 or 5%. For me this was a climb I could not attack from the bottom, a long climb like this needed a solid consistent approach.Just sitting tempo at my specific power zone. While climbing I'm often  just thinking about when will this pain end, I'm pleased to say that more often than not it ends with a relaxing coffee, food and some great company. On this occasion we only went about half way up the climb and stopped at the "Mountview Alpaca Farm" which sadly was closed, but here are some of the views from the balcony out the back looking down the valley.The best part about climbing is descending, so we turned around back to a little township to find a decent bakery.

It was also really nice to see the Wallaby's out enjoying the day as we were.

Its not until you get some time away from training and examine your recent data that you get to see the results and realise the improvements made.I must say the progress is exciting. Thanks to my coach and those that I train with constantly pushing me all of my speeds,power outputs and cadence have all improved.

Greg was right none of it (training) was any easier?....  but I have become faster.

Training is going well and on target plus guess what... I've got more hill repeats tomorrow.

I'm confident that all this work will put me in good shape for the upcoming State titles, of course Worlds in just 4 weeks time and then its straight home for Nationals in Ballarat early October only to then finishing off the road season with Grafton to Inverell on the 22nd Oct.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Night time training .... & hungry

Leading into Worlds in Belgium has meant a well planned training routine has been outlaid for me....

Thanks "Crankstar Coaching", Steve has had me doing some great routines, however due to current work loads this has meant some training has been at night or early evenings.The most difficult part of this is training before diner.

Why is this so hard???

Because I like to eat, but I also love training,  but you can't do both at the same time and a heavy training session is not going to happen on a full stomach of food is it..... so training comes first......

While out training I've been covering a mix of terrains, spread through various suburbs in and around Brisbane smelling all the rich delicacies I love so much.... That has to Salmon I can smell ah and the herbs and garlic wafting out into the streets, ooooh roast lamb and chickens everywhere, which I imagine are being served with fresh crisp steamed veggies.  I can smell what I reckon are some glorious pasta dishes set upon a table accompanied by bottles yes bottles of '89 Penfolds grange.

The Steak... I can smell a good steak from a long way away and somebody has some Wagu on the grill around here...

As I arrive home and hang my awesome Giant up in its rack for the night I wonder what I will have for diner tonight......

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Reward & Repair @ Charles Coin

Charles Coin is a fantastic race put on each year by the UNI of QLD Racing Club and it's renowned for being flat, fast and windy. What would 2011 bring?

Team Mainline had a strong representation once again headed by Stu, Adam, Patten, Grady, Lucas, Gerb’s, Paddy and Tim. The numbers stacked up well amongst a field of over 70 riders. We would cover five laps of a circuit or approx 90kms during our race across a course that had been ravaged by the recent flood activity and the roads were very rough in places. Due to the conditions we didn’t expect a break to stay away therefore we hatched a plan to keep the peloton together for the first lap, then try and get one, two if they let us in a break for as long as possible, while our sprinters would conserve energy if it comes to a bunch sprint at the end.

Lap 1 there were a few early moves but the boys marked the moves they had to and really it proved rather uneventful, nobody was willing to anyone get away.

Lap 2 it was all about to change... Lucas was feeling good and just stood up to attack when.... Psssssss he punctured. The bunch recognised this as perfect opportunity to stick the knife into Team Mainline with one of our men down, they picked up the pace and by the time Lucas had a spare wheel the bunch was basically out of sight and he was not to return to the ensuing battle.Further into lap 2 would see another rookie mistake by somebody in the peloton. He was sitting on the front then turned to look around and took one of “99 bike” team member’s front wheel out. With not too many spokes left Ricky did very well to control himself and his machine and fortunately nobody hit the road.

As the race continued a number of attacks ensued. One of which featured Andy Patten in a 2 man break with Dave Croswell, it took sometime but QSM eventually wound them both back in. Patrick also had a number of digs only to find that a solo effort would be futile. I recall with each lap having to rip into another SIS Energy Gel. The nutritional supplements that SIS supplies are by far superior to any others I have used in the past, and for anybody that knows me well, they will attest to the fact I can eat, I know what tastes good and fuels your body well.

Due to the reasonably flat course and the lack of wind (other than ours yelling at each other) to break the field apart the reality was it was a day for a bunch sprint and the longer the race went the more apparent this was becoming.

Shooting past the start finish line for the final lap and it’s all together. The remaining boys of Team Mainline knew exactly what was in order. Straight to the front came Stu, Grady and Patrick all we had to do was keep the bunch together. The peloton were looking to Team Mainline as the aggressors’ and they weren’t mistaken. Following on from the boys efforts to control the race it was then the turn of Andrew “The Work Horse” Patten. He sat on the front for what seemed like an eternity, just tapping away keeping the wolves at bay, holding the pace high enough that nobody would come past. He was tiring though he pushed himself and the rest of us over the  hill and on the other side at the base he flicks the elbow to say I’m done, Gerb’s you’re up mate. I’m sitting right behind him ever mindful of the position I need to be into the final corner, at this point of the race your adrenaline is pumping, your heart is racing, the bunch is closing in on you, they are nervous and twitchy, your fixated on the wheel in front while the sensation of everyone strung out behind you is buzzing around in mind. Gerb’s had done everything he could with about 7 or 800mtrs to go  just then a couple of HPRW riders come around us so I jump on the back.......only to hear a disaster behind me, the sound of Gerbs’ lightweight spokes be broken .....but alas no time to stop....we are in the throes of battle, we skip through the final couple of corners and I peel to the outside... ooopps an oncoming truck... ok so back across to the inside of the road, head down, bum up......go go go go go ..... I held to be first across the line.  

Thanks to the selflessness and team spirit displayed by our boys today and every race we do. It was a great Team effort and a result that we all share.