Saturday, May 26, 2007

A week away, I know nothing

And my week away is done. I didn't see the news, I didn't use the internet, I know nothing and it's so good. The last week was spent surfing, riding and generally lazing about with mates, a repeat at the shack in Lorne.

Sunny nearly all week but still pretty darn cold I must say, and blowing a gale. I was well rugged up on the roadie. The highlight of the week was surprisingly not spent on the bike, but in the water. Yeah it was cold, but squeeze into a 4/3 wettie and you'll always be able to tough it out. Especially when you're paddling out, only people in the water are you and your mates, it's clean as a whistle and a very fun 3 foot, a light drizzle with the sun beating at the same time on your back, and the most vivid rainbow you've ever seen about 30 metres away. For anyone that knows Lorne, it started in the main carpark and finished at the pier. I even got barreled that day, barely but I was in.

Now to the riding, I got a couple of rides in. The 92km to Apollo Bay one day and then a lazy 58km to Anglesea. Sun was out, wind was blowing, and it was indeed still chilly.

Rugged Up

But awesome views to keep you entertained

Fun roads

Time to burn

Nearly there, coming into Apollo Bay

Anyone remember that road?

I had planned on coming home on Thursday, which I did. Unfortunately it wasn't to stay. Bails had left his keys in Sev's car who had come home on Wednesday. So Thursday was a long day in the car. Driving home with Juanita and Jess (Jerry for anyone that remembers code names), getting Bails' keys and heading back down to Ocean Grove for a night at Jess' house (code name Jeff).

The next day Bails and I shot around to the Barwon River to what was a pretty damn good kite-surfing spot I was told. So Bails got out on the water and I shot some piccies. He's come on in leaps and bounds since the last time I saw him, which was his first day on the water.

Belting along

Even gets some airtime now - I'm told this is a 'dead man'

I left him after about 20 minutes to take a trip into Hendry Cycles at Ocean Grove. Friendly guys who just happen to be the Australian source for King Cage. So I'm now the proud owner of a King Titanium Bottle Cage.

Bike jewellery!
US made titanium quality coming in smack on the claimed 28 grams.

I don't know exactly how much it cost and don't really care, it's cool. Oh, and I got a couple of stainless steel ones for the single speed.

One week to go before I disappear to the country. Make sure you all keep those blogs updated, they'll be the only thing keeping me sane for the next 15 weeks.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

CTS#2...didn't happen

A little more single speeding occurred on Saturday afternoon with a visit to Lysterfield. The Cyclinic had been run that day, and plenty of people were picking up race packs for Sunday's round 2 of 'Chase The Sun' so there were a number of familiar faces out and about. With a fair bit of rain through last week the trails were patchy, on the whole just railing with the knobby tyres, but a regular littering of mud puddles kept things interesting, and very dirty by the end.

'Hmmm, how'd they get it that light?'

Chasing AJ around on his new Spark proved quite difficult for Maebus and I on our one geared wonders and my legs were well and truly toast by the end. Thank goodness I had to work the next day and hadn't planned on racing. However, I had planned on getting up at 6, catching a lift out, watching the battle unfold and then ride the roadie home. Perhaps most important of all was getting 'Off Road to Athens' to Rich. The plan seemed good apart from the part were I had a good mate's 21st on Saturday night.

Plenty of horrid outfits and hours of good fun...

Jen in a tracksuit that would be a sure thing in RLCsport's Tracksuit of the Month competition.

Sorry for the picture quality but this had to go up, remember Bananaman?

Top Gun

Care Bears

Some sort of Martial Arts thing

Mario, Luigi, Toad and I think that's Wilma

The birthday boy himself in leopard skin spandex and a dress...with his special Care Bear

A special talent down at Hawthorn...bulge enhancers for sure

Waiting for the cab to the city following the party, a bit of stick cricket
Claudia hooks that martial arts thing for 6

...unfortunately I ended up in bed at 4am. I did actually set the alarm for 6 still planning on sticking to my prior arrangements, alas, I woke up at 10. So I hope CTS was good fun for everyone. I'm totally out of the loop on this one, and Rich, I'll bring ORTA somewhere you'll be sometime soon.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Sweat Sessions

So the last two days I've absolutely cooked - it seems I'm not used to the cold/wet weather and tend to overdress.

Thursday night means dirt crits, and seeing as Ash wanted to borrow 24solo to watch I figured I'd go in, have a race and give it to him. Expecting lashings of mud it was single speed complete with knobby tyres. The start went, the fairly sizable A grade field took off, those knobs gave a decent first corner and I came out in a fairly strong position wedged in 5th between a couple of Felt boys. Burn up the climb, start turning the screws along the ridge, and then I had no more screws to turn. It seems that the 33:16 ratio is not that great for dirt crits as I spun myself stupid while most of the field rode past.

Spinning in no mans land for the next 50 minutes, I certainly wasn't quick, but it was still good training. Polar tells me the HR averaged a cool 177, even managing to hit 193 up the last climb of the last lap, no wonder I wanted to donate my dinner to the shrubbery when I finished. Results should be here soon, think I may have even cracked 10minutes for the last lap which I'll be pretty happy with considering the gear.

Then riding home was two jerseys, vest, and warmers on the ears, arms and legs along with thermal glove liners. Cooking.

Which brings us to today, 4 o'clock came and I decided a ride was in order. A bit of drizzle outside saw me layer up the same as the previous night plus the addition of booties and full on thermal gloves for the roadie. Called in to visit Steiny at Camberwell and he convinced me I needed a fancy new white PRO rain shell. Hey it looked cool, so I bought one, and wore it out only to discover it was no longer raining. But when you've got something new you've gotta use it, so it stayed on through Richmond where I checked to see if the next bike I'm going to buy was in stock yet, over to Fitzroy to visit Erin and home again. I definitely wasn't cold. A good hurt session pumping the legs for an hour and a half that wasn't too boring thanks to the idiot drivers I had to negotiate keeping the mind stimulated - there are some serious problems with our driver testing procedures.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Aussie Aussie Aussie

Highly recommended. Yesterday 24 solo came in the post all the way from Winny's current digs, the good ol' US of A. Yesterday was also my final written exam, and today my final practical exam, so I was good and put off watching it for 24 hours and saved it as the first part of my celebration. Definitely worth the wait.

'In the dog's in the dog.'

Well something like that at least, Gordo likes his big ring. First 17-18 hours in the 'dog' or something stupid like that. 30,000ft of climbing, 280miles. Great camera work and an Aussie that goes over to take it up to Eatough makes a great story. Even better when Gordo gets up.

Further continuing the Aussie spirit, there's a skinny wheeled rider called Robbie riding around Italy managing to beat the Italian Jet and his train in the first showdown. How good!

One thing I'm not happy about is the doctor I had to deal with recently - could well be the same bloke Ash is seeing as he wasn't much help. Pretty much went in, explained, well somehow got the message across with keywords and pointing (don't doctors need to pass English?), to him what was wrong, was told it was nothing, then proceeded to explain to him the little that I knew about medicine which ended up in me self diagnosing which ended up in me getting...antibiotics! What a shock. He also managed to tell me to take Nurofen for pain. I bit my tongue at that point and left. Nurofen - anti-inflammatory with some paracetamol content. Panadol (or a million others) - paracetamol based. John's problem - no inflammatory response - Nurofen doesn't work.

So I'm nearly healed and am itching to be back on the bike. Ordered myself one of those fancy new Garmin GPS thingies last week, the Edge 305, so hopefully that comes before I take off to Sale and I can go exploring without getting lost.

Anyone doing the Tour of Bairnsdale on the tarmac tweaker? Seeing as I'm down there I might just give it a crack. Worth it?

Monday, May 07, 2007

A New Perspective

Unfortunately someone had the insight to remove my shoes from the heater on Saturday night so Sunday's road ride plans died with me being soft and not wanting to wear wet shoes. I had to ride though so a last moment idea before work saw me throw some gear in a bag and grab the single speed for a planned after work solo night session at Lysterfield.

About 10 to 6 I kitted up and took of with the Vicious ARC blazing. I couldn't have planned it better with the Ipod shuffle dishing out Cosmic Gate's Exploration of Space first up as I belted down trails I'd ridden hundreds of times but were somehow different.

Rubbish Phone Pic #1 - makes the CWG start/finish area look like a good trail at night.

There's just that extra bit of guess work at night, not getting a sneak peek around corners due to shadows that make it that little bit more challenging. No matter how many times I'd ridden these trails there's little thing that were forgotten that test the reflexes.

The rock face - maybe our Police friend should have done it at night, she wouldn't have aimed for the tree if she couldn't see it.

Not only the dark was testing the reflexes but the locals as well. It seems that the 'roos get a bit more bold at night. A number of times I nearly t-boned one, the closest of which was coming down the 'riding on ice' descent at the end of the comm games course. Apparently their trails run at 90 degrees to ours forming a crossroads and he decided to play chicken with me.

When the sun goes down the 'roos come out, and they certainly aren't shy.

I finished up about quarter past seven, not a long ride, but single speed and the slightly more stop/start nature of the dark meant the legs had had plenty of work.

Pretty damn good possy for some fireworks watching eh.

Pity there weren't any fireworks as that may have kept the couple in the car occupied and in clothes, I'm sure they got a decent shock when the HID's lit up the carpark when I arrived back. Mood spoiled? Tick!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

4 Seasons?

Friday saw end of the semester at Uni and with it the end of assignments. That meant that between church and reffing yesterday I could ride instead of write. A quick dash up the 1in20 and back. Melbourne was in fine form, starting out in the cold, cooking in the belting sun half way out there, climbing comfortably in overcast skies, on the brakes all the way down in the pouring rain, comfortable under overcast skies for half the trip home and then cooking in beating sun again. Who knows what season it is?

Anyway, with only that one hour single speed burst in the last two and a half weeks it took a while for the legs to remember how to go round. Once out at the 1in20 I didn't hit it too hard, I wasn't expecting any records. Going up it felt like I was crawling, and suffering, with the heart rate at and over threshold in no time. Had a mini 'blow' at about 2km to go but came good and hitting the line the clock stopped at 17, which was much better than the 19 or 20 it was feeling like. Diet must make a difference, well at least that's what I'll put it down to. No chocolate, lollies, cake, biscuits, soft drink etc. for the last three weeks (OK, two pieces of carrot cake on my birthday but that's acceptable). I think I'll stick with that, the body feels like it's running on premium not that normal unleaded, nice and clean.

Back to riding, the heavens opened at the top so it was vest and arm warmers on for the trip down. SSing in the rain last week I didn't seem to be too lacking in the wet skills department, but descending in the rain on the roadie, no idea anymore. Just plain old scary. Still managed to beat the cars down though so that's alright. Home nice and quick for the 4 hours of boredom that is basketball reffing.