Monday, 14 April 2008

Final big rides before Nationals

I am in the final days of preparation for Nationals now. Just checked the BOM for Sydney forecasts: showers and 21 nearly every day… it won’t be a fast track and riding the crit circuit for recovery will be unpleasant if they are like the showers we are getting here at the moment.

So now I have to seriously think about packing, food etc. I leave very early Wednesday morning, and being tied up at work for the next 2 days limits my time frames for pottering around making piles of stuff to take. At least it’s only Sydney where they still speak English (mostly) and the currency is still the same.

I had a good weekend of riding, even though I “ failed” my IP dress rehearsal yesterday, where I hit out too hard in the first two laps and cooked myself. You’d think I’d know by now, but the pressure was on to get off the track for the next booking, and I wasn’t paying attention to me and the plan (more to the point). At least it happened in training and not during competition. I’ve been mentally rehearsing slowing it down the 1st lap back straight component since, as well as repeating the mantra: “stick to the plan”. I’ve not hurt that much in a pursuit effort since last year. I was tired, so expected it to be ugly, but not that ugly, from a stupid mistake I should no longer be making. I still need to seriously work on that initial control stage and get it really nailed 100% of the time, no matter what. I know I will on the day, and I’d much rather have too slow a first lap than too fast so I can finish off the race strongly.

Saturday I rode with Mr Univac into the city. A 3.5 hr ride turned into a 6 hr outing for a number of reasons, all social, but it was great just to cruise around all day on the bike. I smashed a few hills on the way in, and then one or two more on the way back, which was probably not really a good idea after my efforts on Friday ie my legs were hurting by the halfway mark! Sometimes you just got to prove a point to guys on flash carbon fibre TT bikes riding the bike path… There is a very steep but short (thank god) hill on the Eastern bike path, near the golf course. I normally roll up at a reasonable but steady pace, but Saturday this guy set off my trigger and I decided to attack on this climb to close the gap between us. I succeeded (which did surprise me) and was about to go again on the second part of the hill to drive the point home when I heard a cry of hill-induced anguish from Mr Univac, so pulled off Mr Stockland’s wheel and waited up. Mr Stockland had turned to see I was onto him, and tried to ride off but was unsuccessful. Point proven, ego slightly bloated, job done.

On Sunday Mr Univac and I opted for a shorter, slower and easier ride so I could get in some track time later in the day, and he a load of wood from some felled trees in our backyard. It was clear skies and good weather when we left, but 40 km and a coffee and raisin toast later, we were soaked through with the rain fronts coming over. When we finally got back to my place, Mr Legs asked if I got his sms. What sms? I checked my phone: do you want me to pick you up? Never mind, I’ll take a rain check on that!

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