Today kicked off the XC season here in WA with race 1 of the PMBC XC series down at Langford Park, Jarrahdale.
It was not going to be a good day for me. It started with me finding a flat front tyre before I even left the house. Needless to say the rest fo the day followed suit.
I was feeling good and pumped for today’s race. We lined up at the start line and were soon off and racing, with me sitting in nicely near the front 10 or so riders. The trail was flowing nicely and was looking good and I felt set for a PB. These plans were shattered about 2.86km in when I went OTB (over the bars). Still not sure what caused it or how it happened, even after watchign the helmetcam. But 1 minute i’m going along nicely and the next I’m Superman. Offs don’t really bother me its a part of racing, but when you get up and find the front wheel looking a bit odd, now thats annoying. My race was now over and it had barely begun. The slow walk/roll back to the start was not the greatest either, especially when i was almost at the furtherest point out. Anyway the rest of the day was quite good. the race went nicely, the pea gravel claimed many victims and I started putting together some video for a promo (keep an eye out). Dismal start to the season and now the bike is out of action tile repairs are completed.
Check out the video of the short part of the race I did til the crash. If you have any ideas on WTF happened let me know, cos i’m stumped.
The weather in Perth of late has not been overly comfortable so this week would be a battle with both the body and the elements. Also to start the week I had an afternoon of water skiing on Sunday and a circuit with Training with Dave. This was going to be a hard week….
Our first WOD of the week was all about upper body; hang power cleans and hand release pushups followed by a 200m run for sets of 20-15-10-5. This was after a 10min warmup of volume trainingwhich involved sets of 3-4 pullups on the minute. My first set for 20 I managed with 40kg on the bar and began the 2nd likewise but after almost dropping it on myself I scaled to a more managable 30kg for the rest of the WOD. The pushups went the same way, full for the first set and a bit before scaling down to knees and by the end I was luck to just push out a normal pushup. Finishing time was 11:26.
Wednesday was another smash in the heat & humidity. Warmup consisted of 4 rounds of 15 kettlebell swings + 20 walking lunges. Then the main event; 100 pullups for time with a 50m sprint at the top of every minute then returning to the pullup count. No mean feat with the conditions, but I managed a reasonable 7:57 although I have some decent blisters to show for it.
By Friday the body was starting to feel the sessions of the week and the heat was not going to help. Tonight was to be no reprieve, Deadlifts & everyones favourite – Burpees in sets of 21-15-9. All this after a ‘warmup’ (I used that term lightly) of 20m sprints – 6x forward, 4x backwards, 6x side to side running, 4x heal kicks & 3 rounds of 5x pushups & 10x air squats. My 1st set was with 70kg on the deadlift and full burpees, halfway thru the 2nd I had to scale the weight to 60kg and the burpees were getting hard. I kept the 60kg again on the final round but the burpees became pushups. Time was 6:50, nowhere near the 3.50 ballpark of the front runners but a good place to be after only 2 weeks. The night was then finished off with a stretch session compliments of Amy.
For those that were keen there was a special Saturday session to be held at the South Perth foreshore. Due to other commitments I was unable to make it but the Little Lady was able to attend. Dealing with temps near 40C this was going to be a hard sesison. The workout was done in teams of 2 (with only 1 member working at a time), with a goal to complete; 100 Thrusters, 100 kettlebell swings, 100 Burpees & a 2km run for time. The Little Lady and her teammate finished in a very respecable 22.42.
I am going to enjoy a weekend of forced recovery ready to face what Chad has in store for us next week.
Well it was going to be a big weekend for the 2010 KarriCup from the start, with a few weeks of organising and getting prepared, most of us managed to make it. Unfortunately a few of the crew dropped out due to work commitments (next time guys). The caravan was picked up on Friday afternoon and bikes readied that evening. Saturday morning was almost a no go when someone’s alarm didn’t go off. Luckily the missus woke up and we got the show on the road with not too much time out. The car was packed and we hit the road for the trip south.
Normally a trip south is a couple of hours and not too bad but towing an ‘anchor’ in big winds can double that and the fuel usage. Eventually we made Pemberton were the fellow SPR guys were to race the Pemberton Classic. A quick stop here to drop off a jersey(thanks Kimbo) for Dave then onto Northcliffe to set up camp and have a quick rest.
Our accommodation for the weekend was Round Tu It Caravan Park in Northcliffe. A lovely bush setting to park the caravan and take it easy when not on the bike or checking out the local tourist attractions. We parked up the van and set about getting it habitable, with annex and bedding etc. Once all was done and a quick rest out of the way, I set off back to Pemberton with the ol man to catch the action at the Pemberton Classic Crits series. Meanwhile we left the wife and my brother to guard camp and have dinner ready for our return 🙂
We made Pemberton in quick time and arrived to the SPR crew warming up and getting ready for their Crits races. The lads were looking sharp with a good showing of force in the SPR Team kit. The guys put in some big efforts to make a few key placings, despite the unbalanced grading. (full report here) While in town I caught up with a few of the locals from when I grew up and caught up on the goss about the new MTB course being built.
After the completion of the Crits races we bad the guys farewell and wished them luck on the road race the next day. From here we headed back to Northcliffe with Dave in close pursuit for our pasta dinner and a good sleep before the race ahead.
The campsite was packed with fellow riders and I ran into a few of the regulars who get to these events and had a quick chat about plans for the next day. After a good carb load dinner and final bike and kit prep we were off to bed.
No sooner had I fallen asleep (had a pretty average nite trying to sleep properly) and it was time to rise. The park was springing to life with bikes and riders everywhere. We had a quick breakfast and kitted up for the short ride to the start at the Northcliffe recreation oval. Everyone hustled around the start to hear the pre race briefing, catch up with friends and chat to other riders. Before we knew it though the start was underway. We said farewell to our support crew, my wife & father(thanks guys, was much appreciated by the 3 of us), and got under way. The start was slightly staggered but maybe not quite enough to avoid the congestion on the Round Tu It single track. It was a quick start for most until that point when it became a stop or walk situation for a little bit, but eventually things sorted themselves out and there was free roads ahead.
After the Round Tu It single track there was some open road and fire trails to get riders warmed up. Just before this ended and we hit the paddocks, riders had to negotiated a nice sand patch before the Borara Rd crossing. This proved entertaining to watch as inexperienced riders came unstuck or got caught out. It was then thru some paddocks, over a dam wall, past some cows and back into the bush. Fast flowing sections of firetrails and single track ensued broken up with a couple of river crossings which proved a bit too much for some riders who didn’t exercise caution and had some OTB moments. Thankfully the few incidents I saw were not too bad. It wasn’t long and we were into the Borara State course, which brought back a bit of technicality to the ride and kept you on your toes. Soon after and we were at the end of the 1st stage, were Dave was already waiting.
We had a quick rest & resupply, water was much needed as the day was warming up and then it was on the way again. Stage 2 was the shortest of the 4 and also the fastest. It was mostly flat lantana and dry swamp flats with a few minor undulations. Dave pulled away and Devan and I continued on at our own pace. There wasn’t much to say about this section as it was over pretty quick, just dusty and fast, but fun.
End of stage 2 was the half way point and lunch. The organisers provided a good selection of food including fruit and sandwiches to help riders refuel. Also the local CFA had a truck setup for getting a hose down and bit of a wash to freshen up, this proved pretty popular. As I pulled in the 50km riders were just heading off.
After a good rest, feed and knicks change it was back on the bike. Stage 3 started with a nice section of technical single track just to remind you this was not going to be easy. I found this by far the hardest stage of the day, not because of the actual course but more probably by the fact i had just had lunch and fatigue was setting in. This section was a good mix of terrain and even a tree across the trail (that had fallen overnight) for riders to negotiate their way thru, once some figured out that yes they were going the right way. I think I spent a fair bit of time pushing my bike on this stage as my back was giving me grief and cramping was hitting me. Mainly I think due to poor nutrition, I was finding it hard to eat even though I knew I had to, my stomach just felt nauseous. At least I was able to pump the fluids in but food was probably more needed.
I eventually made the end of stage 3 where Dave & Devan were already waiting for me. I managed to get a bit of food in here which pepped me up for the final run home, even though I did have serious thoughts of throwing it in. But I had come this far and wasn’t going to give up too easily. We set off on stage 4, basically the reverse of stage 1, for home. Dave was off from the start and I hung with Devan for a bit but he soon took off as well. Back thru the other half of the Borara State course was quite pleasant and I had a little chuckle at the downhill corner, jump with a tree in the middle of it, knowing good and well that many a rider had been caught out by it earlier (the bonus of knowing a trail). Out the back of Borara and it was into a good section of flowing downhill trails, which brought some welcome relief for the legs. These continued down til the creek crossing and then it was back up again, yuk, I hate hills.
Eventually it was out of the trees and back to the paddocks and I knew the end was not too far way. It was here I caught up with Devan again and we tackled the paddocks together, before he took off again. Coming thru the last paddock, the farm owner was kicking back in his camp chair (minus a beer) cheering the remaining riders on. Back thru the sand pit and along the final fire trail and I forgot about the 50m section of calf burning hill I had to negotiate. I finally made it back to the short bitumen section and rolled almost to town, the temptation to pull into the caravan park on the way and finish there was strong but with only a few kms to go I struggled on and eventually made the finish.
I collapsed into a chair and stretched the legs a bit, while getting more fluids in as it had been a hot day. We watched the final few riders come thru and had a bit of a chat with a few of the organisers while waiting for the presentations. They kept getting pushed back so we ended up going back to camp for a well deserved wash and feed, before making it an early night.
All in all it was a good day. Having done a few 100km races/rides before I thought this would have been a bit easier. I think my nutrition was what let me down the most, as I was fitter than when I had done the previous events. But next time(if there is) I hope to be even better prepared and have more training under the belt. It had been almost 6 months since Dave & myself had been on the MTB bikes, too much scumming had made us soft we think.
A few improvments for next year –
- a few extra signs on some of the confusing intersections
- make distance markers harder for delinquents to remove (this 1 is not always easy)
- more staggered start or change the singletrack location
- bit less of the paddocks, while generally ok, a few grass hidden holes seemed to catch some out.
- better organisation of presentations time as it got pushed back twice (1hr 1/2 in total)
Other than that a big thank you to all the organisers and volunteers who helped make the day what it was. It is a well run event and really well supported by the locals, whether they were lands owners opening their land for use or helping thruout the day, Thank you.
Well it’s been a busy week for me on the bike and I’ve started 2010 with all guns blazing, managing to get out for 3 rides this week. My goal for the year is to keep this up and I’m aiming for 5000+km on the bike, both road & MTB. Hopefully this will increase my cycling capacity and make me more competitive at races as well as being good for my health and dropping a few kilos (that will in turn help me on the hills).
Tuesday SPR ride
I dragged myself out of bed nice and early for this, was a struggle but slowly getting used to it. The weather was cool, rather nice after all the hot days of late. On arrival it was good to see Andrew join us for the morning along with the usual regulars.
We headed west along Mounts Bay Rd with a nice cool breeze at our side, it was going to be a nice ride today. Heading thru the back of Dalkeith I got dropped on the usual hill but caught back up after the top with the help of Matt and 1 of the other guys drafting me back. Andrew was bouncing off the back of the group with me as well, the pace was a little quicker than usual thru here.
Next was that lovley lil hill thru Mosman, 1 day i’ll make it without dropping to the lowest gear I have, especially when the ‘Flying Finn’ does it on the big ring of his TT bike (bastard :p). The rest of the group were waiting at the top for me at the regroup point, we headed off soon after, once 1 of the group had ducked back to pick up a dropped tool bag. Its quite a scenic ride thru the back of Peppermint Grove & Mosman especially with a cool clear morning. One day i’ll stop and take a few photos.
The group continued on thru East Freo and back towards the river again. Again I got dropped off the back here with Andrew, but we continued on at a steady pace and caught glimpses of the group now and again, but never quite able to get back on.
Heading back up the Freeway PSP for coffee I lost Andrew somewhere, but it was good to see so many out commuting to work and reaping the benefits of cycling. On arrival at Atomic, Dave had already ordered my hot choc so was able to sit down and catch my breathe a bit. Dave said they had only just gotten in so I wasn’t too far off the back. Michael also dropped in to say hi after attempting to make the novice ride but just missing them.
Thursday morning required extra motivation to get out of bed, but I managed. Headed off and it was feeling pretty cool with a light breeze until Riverside drive where a very humid breeze swept in off the river. On the way a fellow SPR rider zipped past hoping to get to the start of the fast group ride on time.
On arrival at the Bell Tower I found the rest of the Sweeper ride group there which included Lee and Dave. Maybe Lee was feeling guilty after all his running of late and us hassling him about it (remember Lee friends don’t let friends run 🙂 ). We started off soon after at a nice steady pace, but could already feel the effects of the humidity creeping up. I fell behind on the usual hill, nothing new there, but slowly improving. I hoped to get back on at the top but someone in the group put the gas down and they were gone.
Continuing on I found Toby waiting for me at Stirling Hwy, he was recovering from a Jacob’s Ladder workout the night before and wasn’t keen on the fast pace either, so we set off at our own speed. The roads are nice and quiet at this time of morning so it was good to just enjoy the ride instead of worrying about cars.
The rest of the ride was pretty standard other than a short stop to find an annoying clicking noise coming from my bike, which was very intermittent and hard to track down. Toby ended up finding the problem after watching my wheel spin down and noticing the speed magnet on my back wheel just clipping the sensor. That sorted it was back to a peaceful ride back to the coffee shop, via the back streets of Como & South Perth.
Dave & Lee had already arrived with Lee heading off for work and Dave preordering our post ride refreshments. We had the usual chat about the ride before heading our respective ways for the daily grind (well except me who was still on holidays).
Saturday SPR Ride
To round out the week I did the usual Saturday SPR ride. This morning was a bit discombobulated, got halfway up the road and realised I’d forgotten my water bottles, not good on a day that will be hot. I quickly ducked back to grab them to save the pain later. En route to the start point I ran into Matt and we had a quick chat along the way. On arrival Michael was already there and getting along well with the rest of the novice crew. I dropped around and said hi to a few others before Toby finally arrived.
The route brief was given and ended up being the reverse to what was posted, but no biggy and we headed off. The group kept a nice steady pace, somewhat slower than usual I think, but that was probably due to the large turnout and trying to get everyone thru the lights. We headed down Canning Hwy with no problems and then up the hill near Alfred Cove, long and slow. I dropped off the back here on the way up. We turned into Stock road and I made good time to try and get back with the pack, but due to 2 consecutive red lights I didn’t quite get there and ended up not catching them again.
By now I was into a nice rhythm and kept that up for the rest of the trip only being bothered by a territorial Wattle Bird that i thought was trying to hitch a ride but instead was dive bombing me, lil bastard. On the home stretch near the Causeway the fast group ended up catching up with me and I tailed them along Riverside Drive until I caught another red and a stalled truck. I dropped into the coffee shop and caught up with everyone and how their rides went. Most notable was Brendan having a mini stack after perving instead of looking where he was going…lol!!
I then headed home throwing in and extra loop around Burswood to rack up some extra km and to enjoy the ‘scenery’ since it was such a nice day.
All in all a good week just short of 200km, hope to have many more like it. Safe and happy cycling.
Well this morning I made the early rise to attempt my first SPR Tuesday morning ride. Somehow Toby had talked me into giving up a few hours of good sleep, for a few hard hours on the bike. What was I thinking….??
Anyway I woke to the 1st alarm and jumped out of bed to get ready, and headed out the to meet Toby on the way. It was a nice morning, not yet too hot with the sun still rising and a gentle breeze off the river. We got there on time and waited for others to arrive and Toby introduced me to Mino & Mike before we headed off. The pace started fairly ok along Mounts Bay Rd (where I remembered I should start the 705, I always seem to forget to hit start) averaging about 35km/hr.
Soon we were heading thru the back of Crawley & Dalkeith (you know, where the other half lives along Jutland Parade). This i where we hit the first hill, and we all know I hate hills (improving). I kept good contact with the group but dropped a lil way off, but soon caught up, but as we continued the upwards slant i slowly dropped back a few 100m. I kept everyone in site along the Pepermint Grove waterfront but as Mosman Hill approached, most disappeared up there like rockets. Needless to say they were waiting for me at the regroup point up the top, thankfully I didn’t hold them up too long.
The group contunied on to Freo at a good speed and we enjoyed a bit of the ocean view. As we went over the river my rear slipped into one of the expansion gaps and may have been the beginning of damage to the rear wheel. At the time thinking nothing of a lil bump it was ignored. We headed thru East Freo and around the back of the Defence Barracks and up to Point Walter, this is where I got spat out the back again (and didn’t get back on), but did have a few other SPR riders out and about pass by.
From here I continued at my own pace and took in some of the view of the wonderful Swan River, trying to push my average speed back up to 30km/hr after it dropped on the hills (we use that term losely around the city). Heading along the Applecross foreshore is where I got the 1st indication something was wrong. Something in the back wheel started clicking and twanging away, I stopped pedalling briefly thinking it was a twig or similar and when I started pedaling again it was gone so left it at that. Soon after though it came back and with more avengance. This time I stopped to have a look and found a spoke hanging out the side of the rear wheel & hitting eveything on its way around. I pulled it out and assessed the situation, it didn’t look to bad and there was no other damage, so continued on my way taking it a little easier especially over bumps. These road wheels just arn’t like my MTB ones. Riding on, the only thing I could think of was I broke the spoke nipple back on the bridge when I dropped in the gap, who really knows…??
Heading thru Applecross I also came across Gus & Lennie on the side of the road. Gus had flatted & they were repairing it. They had things under control so I kept going. The rest of the trip was pretty routine up the Freeway PSP, its busy at that time of morning with commuters & other cyclists out for the mornign ride. I saw a few regulars from the SPR sat ride and also past Durx on his way to work, can’t miss him with his Pink Giro jersey.
I dropped by Atomic as I came thru South Perth to let the others know I was done and wish all a Merry Christmas, it was good to hear Lorraine had remained upright for this trip and there were no other spills either. From here I headed home to prepare for the work day ahead, which included a nice plate of scrambled eggs on toast to refuel.
As the first attempt for me of the SPR Tuesday ride I was happy with the effort. I had set a slighty ambishious average of 30km/hr and came in at 27.3, so not too far off, few more rides and i’ll be there. Its a nice scenic route around the river, taking in many of the richer suburbs with spectacular views of the river & cityscape. All in all a great way to start the day.
Yes I know there hasn’t been any updates for a while but due to work commitments I’ve been off the bike for the last 4 weeks. In preparation for this weekend’s Sat ride I did step out for a quick spin on Thursday to make sure the bike was ok & I wouldn’t carc it. Needless to say I felt pretty rusty.
Anyway Sat morning came round and it was already pretty warm on leaving the house, this was going to be a hot day. I arrived at the start point feeling pretty good after such a long time out of the saddle. I then realised I’d forgotten to load the morning’s route into my Garmin, thankfully it has the nifty ability to transfer courses between units using Ant+ (Cheers Melvyn).
Soon after we were on the way, heading out Great Eastern Hwy at a nice steady pace. On the way out I got speaking to a couple who were over from Canberra for a few weeks and had decided to join the SPR crew this morning (and after the ride said they would be back again) after hearing about us and checking out the website. Looks like we are really getting a name for the club.
The ride up Garrett road and Grand Prom went pretty smooth, although the pace was slowly creeping up with the fast guys eager to put down the pedal. By now I was starting to feel the lack of kms in the legs over the last few weeks. Hills were hurting more than usual and taking their toll on me. After the group split there was still a lil more climbing before a few rolling hills with a generally downwards flow to the city. From here it was pretty smooth sailing (me still struggling on the hills though, but making up for it on the downs & flats). The heat was not helping as the temp had crept up to almost 30C by now. We hit the fast downhill section behind Kings Park and everyone made the turn behind the hospital, but we did miss the turn thru the back of Claremont, but no biggy as we could take the slightly longer route at the next turn.
Thru the last half of the route Toby was a great help with drafting me back to the group after some of the hills and big Dan was a machine helping to push me up a few of the hills and not drop too far off the back of the pack. Thanks to them I managed to keep with the main group all the way until the home stretch thru Dalkeith, where the day took its toll on me and I couldn’t hang on any longer. At this point the fast group started to trickle thru as they caught up, offering words of encouragement and then disappearing into the distance (maybe 1 day I’ll be at their level). From here I continued at my own pace with what I had left in me, back to the coffee shop where i replenished the water stocks and had a breather before heading home.
Having a few weeks off really does drop the fitness level and make the first ride back a bit of a struggle, I spent half the ride in the hurtlocker, but its good to know your putting in. Also with the holidays coming up I hope to get a few extra rides in to get back to where I was and also improve my endurance and speed.
Following on from Saturday’s 1st stage of the Tour de Perth (not counting Friday night’s Northbridge crit) was Stage 2 & 3 held at Perry Lakes. This incorporated the PIHC Festival of cycling. SPR had the team tent out for the day and showcased their wares as well as having a Power to Weight ratio challenge to see how riders stood against each other.
Racing was pretty much a repeat of Saturday with the womens race and overall winner decided long before the finish line. Ruth Corsett of QLD put in a smashing day yet again to dominate the field from the outset. Other placings were where the action was with a hard fought sprint finish and big efforts in the Individual Time Trial to be the deciders.
The mens racing was a different story after a big sprint finish the Tour leader again changed, this time to stage 1 winner Robert Lang, but he was not to keep it and with a huge effort in the ITT, local rider Travis Meyer took the stage win and also the overall Tour victory. Friday’s critereum winner Graeme Brwon placed 2nd followed in 3rd by Robert Lang.
Our SPR riders did well in the event with most finishing and putting in big efforts, unfortunately mechanicals and injury hampered the ‘dreams’ of a few. Next year we may have our own support vehicle (Nico). Matt Upton also did well in the fashion stakes giving everyone the 1st ever viewing of the SPR skin suit in action and a TV cameo during the start of stage 2. While Nicole Sloan managed the only photo (along with Sally Robbins) in a local paper (Sunday Times) for the weekend. So well done SPR.
Meanwhile back at festival central Pete, Lorraine, Darryl and myself had the SPR tent rolling thru nicely. Lorraine was roping punters in with her ‘World Famous’ brownies, Darryl would then talk their ear off before Pete lured a few to the Power to Weight challenge, so I could pocket there gold coins into the SPR team ‘trust’. All in all a good showing for SPR at the event and some good publicity to raise the club profile.