Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Ain't it the truth

I saw this today and thought isn't that the truth.

"It doesn't get any easier--You just get faster."
-Greg Lemond-

Monday, November 10, 2008

National MTB series round 1

Well I have to say it was a bit of a test of spirit.

I arrived at the Airport to leave for Adelaide after a bit of a stressful road trip. You tend to forget how much traffic the motorway carries at 5am.
I arrived at the check-in knowing I was over weight. (combined weight of luggage, bike, spares etc etc.) I knew I was bit over and spent about 40 minutes on the stupid automated Jetstar phone line the day before trying to find a way to book additional luggage, but to no avail. I ended up being slugged $10 per kg of weight over the 20 kg allowance. 10 kg and another $100 later on top of my air fair I have to say I was pretty pissed off. Especially when I over heard other guys saying they had just carried most of their weight in their hand luggage - doing the right thing didn't pay off again....

The flight was good, I arrived on time and was picked up by the owner of the hire company I had booked a vehicle from.

And what a piece of crap...

The local motorway to the race track was uphill and the bongo van was flat out hitting 70 Kph.
This thing blew smoke like Bob Marley.

But to be honest it got us there and did the job.

We headed out to the race track on Friday (race day Saturday) to check out the course. I was pretty surprised to find 4X jumps in an XC track I must admit. Who said XC bikes weren't for jumping?

Then there was the 'Cork Screw' Section.

So I was all keen for Saturday. The track looked good just about all single track (which is the reason I race XC).

After a short warm up (big mistake) I headed over to the marshaling area to watch to start of the Elite field. I then find out that somehow I had missed my name being called and hadn't yet been fitted with a transponder, so a bit of panic set in. I was called up to the line first mainly due to last season's results and many new faces. I was pretty impressed to be at the front on the start.

The plan from the start was to try and stay in the lead 4 or 5 riders before we hit the first hill. This was mainly due to the amount of switch backs on the climb and it very easy to be slowed up and loose your rhythm.

The gun went and off we went.

Not the best start, my foot came out of the pedal on my leading leg and I lost a good few bike lengths. I pushed to try and stay with the lead few riders for the first 600 metre or so before the first climb. At this stage a realised that the local riders were pretty strong as I struggled to stay with them.

By the time we got to the top of the main climb I was definitely in an oxygen deficit. At this stage I was in about 5th with the leading 4 already a little way ahead. I hit the single track on the other side of the hill with 3 riders sitting right behind me.

After about 5 minutes with a rider pushing behind, I couldn't hold up the pace any more and had to let the 3 riders behind pass on the next wide section. By this stage I was a mess. I backed off for the next kilometre or so and tried to compose myself.

Finally I finished the first 7km lap. Boy was it harder than I thought during practice. Its kind of a funny sport cross country, sometimes you can watch someone in the middle of a race and by looking at the pace you wouldn't think they were racing. That's exactly how I felt, I was struggling to push big gears and accelerate out of corners.

By the end of the 3rd lap I was beginning to feel better, I guess how I would have felt if I had of started with a 45 minute warm up!!!!! My mate Mika who was feeding me was a big help in motivating me each time I came past the feed zone and he handed me a new bottle.

I battled on for another lap and eventually began to pass Elite riders who had mechanicals or who had just pushed themselves to hard.

I headed in to the last lap pleased that I had made it this far. Mika had handed me my last bottle and decided he would run up the hill with his camera and take so shots. He continued cutting across the track from switch back to switch back. I couldn't help but laugh as he continued to re-appear all the way to the top of the climb.

As I headed down the 'Roller Coaster' for the last time and into the last 1.5 kms ahead I could see a rider ahead. Its sometimes difficult to determine who is actually in your class, but all the same its always good to catch up to someone. By the time the finish was in sight with about 500 metres up the rocky finish section to go, I had managed to be within about 20 - 30 meters of the rider in front of me. With everything I had left I slowly dragged him in. Slowly but surely I got closer and closer up the climb. The rider realised I was there and by the time we hit the finish straight we were in full sprint for the line. (Well as full as it gets after a 2 hour race) And...

I missed. Doh! beaten by about half a bike length over the finish line. and...

He was in my class. But it felt awesome to give everything I had and really empty the cup.

By the end of the race I was down just over 8 minutes, which I guess isn't to bad over a 2 hour race. All I can say is on the day I did my best.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Quote for the Day

There is little difference in people, but that little difference makes a big difference. The little difference is attitude. The big difference is whether it is positive or negative.

W. Clement Stone

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Leaving for Adelaide

This is my last post before I leave for the first round of the Nationals.

I have decided to remain in "Expert Men's" (B Grade) category for another season. The time I had off over training during my build period I think took its toll.

Not a huge drama, its just good to compete in the top category of any chosen sport....

I will be racing Olympic Cross Country on Saturday (2 hour race) and the Short Track Cross country on Sunday, this is about a 40 minute race.
I am all packed and ready to go, just a little concerned about flying my bike to the meeting, possible additional charges etc. Will have to wait and see.

Anyway will check in next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Racing Season Starts

I just raced my last club race before the National season starts.

Ever wanted to turn back time? Well I sure did on the weekend, oh the pain. I realised I really haven't create the base I wanted to have by this time of the season.

A flat on the first lap certainly didn't help things to much either.

Ever take someone eles's advice and then realised you should have just kept doing what you were doing to start with. Well this was the case with tyres, I was told you light fast tyres, etc,etc. So I went and spent $150 on new tyres... within 5 rides both tyres are wrecked and I am back on the old ones....... If in doubt look at the guys that are winning events!

Club race went ok other than that. The track has been shortened for the club races and the race is done and dusted in about 50 minutes. But believe me its not an easy 50 minutes. The long downhill has been cut out and you basically race at threshold heart rate the entire time. Not unlike a road crit or short track XC.

6 Days till the nationals.....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Freedom MTB Marathon update

Well I am kinda glad that is over.

I have gained a new respect for the top Marathon racers. If all the races are like this, this is hard..... But I have to say completely mind numbing.

This particular track boasted no word of a lie about 200 metres of single track before exiting a creek crossing and hitting the fire roads again....

I have never seen so many water bars.

I did learn a major lesson though.

HYDRATION - if you are trying to rehydrate before or during an event with fliuds or electrolytes your dreaming. Along with nutrition the results of up to the last 7 days is what will determine how well you perform on race day, no exceptions. This is learnt the hard way. I suffered cramps in pretty much every leg muscle in both legs at some stage during this race. Its was the most pain I have ever been through during an event. With in the first 20ks I had my first cramp in my left caft, this is pretty unusual for me as I never usually have a problem with cramps that much. I have definately upped my sodium intake as I think for me this seems to be the major component for anti-cramping.

From the start of the race the pace was pretty sustainable especially after only racing XC races. After climbing for about the first 2 klms I backed of a little as I wasnt completely sure how long the first climb was. I am kind of glad I did as it must have climbed for about 20 minutes. This may not sound like a long and it isn't... on a road bike, but a mountain bike is much different, resistance from the dirt and heavier, grippier tyres add up pretty quickly when you are talking energy comsuption over extented periods.

The rest of the race just continued up hill for a long time and downhill for a short time. That was pretty much it. By the time a arrived at the 20 drink stop to marshall informed me that I was only about 6 minutes down from the leader, I was pretty stoked about that considering I the way I was feeling.

Apart from chain suck in about the last 5 klms causing me to have to dismount during one of the final climbs all went pretty well I guess.

By the end of the race I was about 35 minutes done for the leader and about 25minutes down from the time I had set for myself, but this happens. From now on I will be taking steps the ensure I NEVER cramp like that again.

Here is the file on motionbased for anyone who is interested.

Quote for the Day

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them.

George Bernard Shaw

Thursday, October 16, 2008

7 Day hill Training - cyclo-club

I will finally finished my 7 day climbing camp on the week end.

Hey this definitely wasn't easy. By the time I got to day 5 and Cyclo-impossible I still felt really good, but by the end of day 6 along with doing additional day at work on Saturday (I don't usually work weekends) I was buggered.

It really made me look at my pedal efficiency over the course of the week and I think this is definitely something that many riders (myself included) over look. We get so concerned about looking at our power meters or heart rate monitor to see which zone we are in and where we should be that we sometimes forget that we need to maintain that wattage of heart rate for the duration of an event.... And this is unlikely to happen if we constantly waste energy with poor bike setup and riding techniques.

After the 7 days I was definitely ready to have a couple of days off training and just focusing on recovery. I have now started on the Club's 6 weeks mountain bike plan. I completed the first training day on Wednesday and I have to admit its completely different to any other training I have done before. I takes I bit to get your head around it and you definitely feel it the next day.

My First 'C' Priority race start in on this weekend, the Freedom MTB Marathon 60k race. This next race after this is the first round of the national series in 2 weeks.

You can Change!!!

I saw this quote today and thought it was worth sharing
If you don't like who you are and where you are, don't worry about it because you're not stuck either with who you are or where you are. You can grow. You can change .
Zig Ziglar

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

7 Day fat loss - Complete

I'm pumped. I think this is the first time I have actually really set a short term goal and stuck it out. No I don't feel like it, or I have to this and that. I stayed focused!!!

Hey it wasn't easy as I realised I really love food, maybe too much.

By the end of the week I managed to loose 2 kg's and I have started to feel good again.

I realised I haven't been eating the best diet of optimum performance and I really wasn't eating enough carbs.

I can't wait to receive my new nutrition plan on the post Cyclo-Fuel Nutrition plan.

I am now in Day 2 of the 7 Day climbing camp. Yesterday was quite a hard day but it should be a real advantage for threshold training riding at threshold wattage and heart rate for 2o minutes.

Quote for the day.

I read this today and thought I would spare it. I think most people could gain power from it.

"It is never too late to be what you might have been."

George Eliot

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Goal One on my 4 week Journey

Ok I have just hit day 4 of my 7 day fat loss program. Its hard to stay focused sometimes but I just need to do one day at a time... then 2 days off and the next 7 week block begins.

I was a little unsure I was heading in the right direction but I listened Greame's newest post 2 Week Formula for CLUB Success!. It was then reinforced I am going the right way about this.

I figured this would be a good place to start as I have been feeling really unmotivated, I guess probably a little over trained - this has been a mega bummer as the National series starts in just 4 and a half weeks. I got in a good base but I think I just over did it when I began interval and anaerobic work. I am still pretty new at all this so I have plenty to learn.

Using TSS scores off my PowerTap power meter seems to be the most accurate way to quantify the intensity of my workout. I just wish I had taken a little more notice of the scores as I finished a workout instead or recapping at the end of a training cycle.

More info is available here if any is interested in finding out about TSS scores and how is works visit

Monday, September 29, 2008

Training away from home.

I created my new 4 week goal week, that was followed by 3 days living in a hotel for work, just to make sure I am on my game.

This was an awesome opportunity to put some Cyclo-Core workouts to the test.

I was about to fit my stability ball in my luggage, these things are awesome they just take some time to pump up again but I guess this is part of the training. LOL

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I have decided to take up Graeme on his challenge.....

A 4 week goal.... and people know about it, then I have to fulfil it.

OK here it is, I am going to increase my Threshold or 30 minute Time Trial average wattage by 15 watts in 4 weeks......

Monday, September 22, 2008

Stagnant Site

Slack I know.

Sorry my blog has been stagnant so long and quite a bit has happened too. I know all this should be documented for others view too.

I have purchased a PowerTap power meter, new bike, testing and training etc, etc.

I must say it is a little hard to fit it all in sometimes and try and keep my girl happy too. LOL

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quote for the Day

I read this and it really hit home. Some times I think we all have a build in naysayer that constantly questions us.

Living Life to the Fullest

It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.

Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, April 28, 2008

Sunshine Series Round 5 - The Final Round

And it began again...
Countless hours training, preparation, bike maintanence and its back at the race track. This time for the final round of the Cross Country Sunshine Series.

A Few last minute adjustments and a bit of warmup and we are up to the line.

Some pretty glum looking faces as we all prepare to "bring on the hurt" for the next hour and a half. Being this late in the race series there isn't much chit chat before this race.

With a couple of practice laps under my belt from Saturday, I was pretty confident of a good result and maintaining my series lead for the overall win.....

The buzzer when and we hit the first hill. What a dreadful start, couldn't get clipped in properly and I was totally unable to get a good pedal rhythm before I hit the bottom of the first hill.

Struggling to keep up the pace I jump onto the back wheel on I rider I could see was making his way through the pack.
At the top of the hill we pass the feed zone then the first section of single track starts. I knew I didn't want to be to far back when we hit the single track, with no where to pass I could easily loose touch of the leaders.

Heading into the single track I managed to pull up in 4th, two riders were already a little way in front and another rider was right behind me. The strange I could hear my bike making during warm-up was still, but could find what it was.....

Through the first section of single track and up the next short climb, the rider behind me quickly moves up to 3rd in one foul swoop. After about 2ks we begin to close in on the lead 2. The rider in third is pretty soon in the lead and continuing his fine form picks up the race pace quite considerably. At this point I begin to realize this could be a real struggle.

Surely but steadily the main group began to ride away from me including the rider in forth. Sure that I could make up the time at a later stage I tried to find a steady rhythm and conserve valuable energy for the rest of the race......

By the time I hit the 2nd lap I was beginning to really struggle. I could no longer see the main bunch of 4 riders and I was beginning to fade fast - so early in the race. I hoped that as I went past the food zone and grabbed a new bottle and gel (thanks to my angel for feeding me) that once I got a chance to take the gel, I would be back on the pace.....

As I started to use the gel on a fire road section to my disbelief I was passed by yet any competitor. Placing me in sixth - this was looking really bad not only for the race results but also the series and the noise from my bike was not going away. Unsure if the noise was the freewheel (the part that make the wheel go forward when you pedal) or the spokes. I kept looking at down at my bike I realized there was a buckle in the rear wheel – I had broken a spoke somehow during warm-up… This can be a bit of a worry due to the lose on strength in the wheel …

Washing down the gel with some water I thought 'I had better pull my finger out'. Wasting no more time, I did my best to start pulling in the riders in front of me.
Within about the next 1 - 2 klms I was able pass 5th and make a bit of a gap. Then I began to start getting some back pain – I never usually have a problem with this…..

Lap three. Still no signs of anyone not even on the switch back sections. I was trying to block out the pain and just KEEP GOING. By the time I hit the steepest climb on the trail my back was really hurting. Still in disbelief of my efforts at this point I just kept pedaling. Suddenly from out of know where I caught the rider that was earlier leading the race. He is just rolling along the trails ‘I ask if he is ok’, he replied ‘that he had hurt his back’. This created a little bit of excitement inside (although I felt bad for the guy) but made it a bit easier to keep going knowing I was up to forth.

Just as I was getting the end of the 3rd, one of my mates Mika that had come to watch was yelling ‘keep going there’s another rider just up ahead your catching him’. By the time I went over the start/finish line for the final lap I have caught the rider in 3rd it was BOB. I can’t believe my luck – the universe must be watching over me. (speaking wit hBob after the race he informed me that a gel had gone done the wrong way causing him to go into a coughing fit)
Knowing all I needed to do was stay in this position on the race to win the overall series I was stoked – but also nervous, especially with I broken spoke making my rear wheel sound like a wind chime.

I tried to stay on a steady pace and pick really smooth line, but this gets harder and harder as you get tired as well as a lot of discomfort from my back.
I kept it together for the remainder of the race.

I finished 3rd on the day making me the overall winner of the ‘Sunshine Series Expert Class’. This was definitely the a ‘Moment of Glory’

I found it much easier to keep racing on the day with the support of my friends that came out cheer for the last round. Thanks a million to Mandy and Heather for supplying some awesome shoots of the day and my girlfriend Kylie for feeding me on the day. It certainly beats trying to use and esky.

I have decided with the success of this series that I will move up to the Elite level for the QLD Championships. Stay tuned for results………

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunshine Series Round 4

Well we turned up for Round 4 of the Sunshine Series... Weather was awesome, atmosphere was great (just being around nature) all pumped and ready to go.

This is one of the locals checking out the MTB scene.

13 Riders had turned up to compete in the 'B' Grade' class and with the series rapidly drawing to a close everybody is looking to grasp those extra points for their overall standings.

As usual the horn sounded we took off and Brendon (BOB) hits the front. This guy would be a Short Track Cross Country legend (Mountain Bike Short Track: A mountain bike race similar to a criterium where riders do as many laps as possible laps of a short 3-5 min course over roughly a 20 - 30 minute duration.)....

I decided to sit the start out a little on this one and dropped back to about 4th of 5th. We headed up the first fire road incline and into the start of the single track. About 3 corners into the single I manage to shoulder barge a tree, run into a bunch on stick and cut off the poor guy behind me re-entering the track - oops. Steering back on track and sitting in 4th with 5th right on my hammer.

I could see the lead 2 guys slowly slipping away up ahead and became concerned that I was going to lose touch. Having a fair bit of single track on this course I knew there wasn't much I could do until the next fire road. We hit the fire road and I moved up to third.... Hello, out a no where a new face appeared on the scene and over took me. We headed up the dusty old fire road - I guess its about 800mm. I sat in forth for the next lap and a half. In the mean time the rider in third had caught up to the lead two.

By the end of the second lap the rider in third had dropped back again and on the start of the third lap I felt it was time to start making a move. Up the last climb of the second lap and onto the start of the fire road I grabbed a bottle from my feed box and chased down the lead two. I managed to pass them just as I hit the single track. I though 'awesome, hopefully I can make a gap'. I head down the single track like a cut snake up the next couple of short climbs and into the switch backs , trying to push big gears and create a bit of gap. On the switch backs I noticed the rider that was in second was now in hot pursuit. I hit the long fire road, hammered down a gel and tried to keep on the gas. In the next section I could see the track switch back on itself, I figured I had about a 15 second gap. Coming into the last climb of the lap I though 'S#*t hang on a minute they upped the laps before the race, its a 5 lap race not 4 as usual, dame' Realizing this and pretty sure I wasn't going to be able to keep up the pace for the last 2 laps I decided to back off a little and let the rider behind catch me.......

As suspected he took the bait hammered the last two climbs and took the lead. I grab a new bottle from my bottle bucket and headed down the trail after him. He was on a mission, I could see him mashing the pedals through the trees and standing at every chance he got. Battling to try to keep him in close range I did what I could. Heading down the last technical section before the last climbs of the lap I could see I was making ground. Into the last climbs - I had bought the gap down to about 10 metres. We headed up the hill to complete the lap and......

The rider in fronts chain came off. With a drastic effort to get it on as quick as he could, I jumped out of the saddle and started the final lap. I headed down the first fire road incline and into single track knowing I have a few seconds up my sleeve, big gears all the way. I though 'this is where all those early morning rides are gonna pay off'. As I rode as fast as I could I realised........

This is bad........

My rear tyre is going.... down......

Mr light weight here, had been listening to all the B.S and decided to NOT use sealant in his tubeless tyres. Rotating mass, light weight, more speed, blah, blah, blah, and now I am gonna have to pay the price. I though 'maybe I can go the distance' Within another couple of corners I realised that was not an option. Going up the last climb before the long fire trail (about half the course to go) I decided to get an air canister out of my saddle bag and pump up my tyre. I pulled over at the top of the climb and frantically refilled my tyre with air. I just nipped up the presta value I looked up to see the rider in second appear over the rise. Wasting no time I jumped on the bike gasped a mouth full of water, thinking it was probably gonna be my last chance and accelerated away as fast as I could. Head down non stop pedaling down the fire road.....

Tyre was still hard, like a rock actually bouncing me all over the place, but I was just happy it was still up. On a couple of the switch backs (about 2 kms to get) I thought I could here someone coming but decided not to look and just KEEP PEDALING.

I headed into the last bit of technical trail before the final climb and finally took a quick look, it seemed safe. With blazing barrels I headed up the climb, scaring the life out of of my mate Wags who was just about to start his final lap in his class. Wags decided he would have a drag race with me up the last climb. I could hear him there and thought,'What who's coming , where did they come from'. With great relief I crossed the line in 1st and to win my first MTB Jersey. ....

Tyre was still up. Awesome feeling, just to look back and see some improvement.

Bob finished Third, awesome effort Bob.

Thanks to Wags for car pooling and giving me a lift to the Meeting and thanks for all my buddies for the supportive text messages etc.

I had the pleasure of meeting Matt Christmas (usually wins Vets) on Saturday, what a top guy. Raced Elite at this events and went awesome finished 3. And thanks to Dave "the man" Whitney for his occasional pointers and positive feed back.

Oh and yeah, this was definitely a 'Moment of Glory'!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Round 3 Cont.

Here is one of those moments I mentioned earlier

This place always seems cold, but an awesome and welcome sunrise all the same.

This is what is looks like to not get the the winners jersey. LOL

Round 3 Photo's

This is one of my MTB hero's (he just doesn't know it). This guy has a life filled with 'moments of glory' - you just have to see him with his kids to know that. He plays dad and husband all week, works none stop then turns up to race. What a guy.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Champions, Skill and Will

"Champions aren’t made in gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them a desire, a dream, a vision. They have to have the skill and the will. But the will must be stronger than the skill."

Muhammad Ali

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Sunshine Series Rd 3

Well the day finally arrived... 3 weeks since the last Cross Country event.

Its was time to see if the countless sunrises and endless hills were going to pay off.

A lot seemed to have happened in the last 3 weeks. I destroyed 2 sets of Lycra, a helmet and damaged my ego no end - sometimes I wonder if not riding at all might be better, maybe roller blading or something.

Anyway, the time had come for Round # 3. We lined up on the start and off we went. The field seemed a little smaller than it had been, the current series leader wasn't there but there always seems to be a surprise rider at every event....... and there was.

Heading up the first hill one of the top 'B' Graders Brendon hits the front, he's known for his fast starts. I decided to stick with him hoping that the two of use would make a bit of a break on the rest of the field......

About 7 or 8 minutes into the race once most of the step climbs were out of the way, I took a short glimpse behind to notice we weren't alone. The rider in third soon passed me and then took to the lead (the surprise rider) while the rider in 4 th also moved up in third, placing me in forth. The rider in front, seemed to just disappear in the distance. Meanwhile I battled to stick with third place. I never remembered this track having so many hills - the pain....

I had big plans of putting in some fast laps on the 3rd and 4Th lap, but after the fast start I was pretty much unable to recover. The third placed rider ended up getting a flat tyre on about the 3rd lap. I managed to crawl home in third about 5 minutes behind 1st and 1 minute behind 2nd. A bit disappointed at first, but later I realized it just created more fuel to burn for the last 2 rounds....

I guess third was still a small 'Moment of Glory'

Thanks for reading.

Photo's to follow.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Thought for the Day

“I am easily satisfied with the very best.”
Winston Churchill