Wednesday, 24 December 2008

81 Days, 15 Hours, 21 Minutes

And now we have pony!! Yes, in the last hour, Kat has paid for her new pony, Bogie (I call him snot block, appropriately) who passed his vet check this morning. He is a spunky lad, and I'd bring him home and polish his hooves any day. Merry Christmas Housie!! Santa came early.

Me, I did a 1in20 PB this morning. Cos I'm ace. Or something...

Monday, 22 December 2008

O Yeah, Training

Apparently I rode on the weekend. I found some hills with Mdm Hr. They felt good, very therapuetic, and a nice lift to my CTL. My training's back on track and I am a happy little racergirl.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

It's all about the hair













For those that know me, I like colour in my hair. The last month has been a bit dull and boring, as I grow my hair and have time out thinking about a new colour scheme. Well, here it is. It’s actually a deep violet. I am also currently growing my hair, ostensibly to soften my paper cut sharp jaw line, cheekbones that soar so high that eagles nest on them, and to look like Meg Ryan. And Santa is coming this week.....





Thursday, 18 December 2008

UK Coach of the Year

goes to Shane Sutton.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/other_sports/cycling/7788962.stm

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Bogboy

Once upon a time, on a weekend only a few days ago, lived a man by the name of Bogboy. Bogboy was not his real name, but people called him that, because, well, he got bogged. This is a tale of casting stones, aspersions, derisive insults and laughing at the vulnerable, namely those already bogged.

Bogboy and his mighty boggy entourage were following a little group of intrepid riders conquering the weathered out Scotty’s Ride. On the way, as there was time to spare, the bog standard Boggymobile took a detour past Bogboy’s uncle’s farm, just down the road from his cousin’s farm, around the corner from his grandfather’s farm, behind his nephew’s third cousin’s grandmother’s niece’s farm. Much to his delight, Bogboy’s nephews were out hooning in the front paddock. Well, they were hooning, until the Bogmonster grabbed hold of their hoonmobile by the axles and wouldn’t let go, as feral Bogmonsters are wont to do. Bogboy offered some words of ancient wisdom: “good on yas, lads”, amidst much laughter and merriment, and promptly drove off into the rainy distance, in the opposition direction from the intrepid Scotty’s Ride riders.

To get where he wanted to get to, and be where he once was, Bogboy needed to turn the Bogmobile around. Being a skilled bogger, and still enjoying the merriment of the memory of his nephews’ encounter with the Bogmonster, Bogboy replicated the family trait of getting bogged, promptly dropping the Bogmobile into a Bogmonster lair, on the soft shoulder of the road, quite securely and definitively achieving a state of bogment.

Fortunately the Local Slayer of Bogmonsters (ie the local constabulary) was driving by, in his large Bogslayingmobile, and was able to lasso the Bogmobile and drag it bare handed and by his very teeth, out of the bogmonster’s liar on the shoulder of the road. Bogboy, somewhat embarrassed, but truly forever grateful, thanked the Local Slayer of Bogmonsters, who, after some interrogative questioning, ascertained that indeed he had rescued a member of the Bogster family, much to his delight, as there was a bog of history between the Local Slayer of Bogmonsters and the Bogster family.

The moral of the story: don’t play in mud. Be nice to your loved ones, lest you get bogged down in shit.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Scotty's Weekend

Saturday was miserable, wet, windy, cold. Not a nice way to spend 3hrs (out of an anticipated 5) in the saddle. But good conversation kept us going until a crash in our small ladies group stopped the show. By the time everything was sorted, the ambulance came and went, we were over it. Wrapped up in a huge bluey jacket, and 2 thick woollen blankets, plus a beanie (I would have loved a photo of that! Great look!!) I clambered into the back of Mini Me’s car with the Coach family, went back to the motel and thawed out under a very hot shower. The evening track meet was also cancelled (obvious really – didn’t need a degree to work that one out!!) so Saturday night was kick back time, lots of belly laughs, a few Christmas bevvies and a good meal.

Sunday I was back on course, this time in the back of the Chief Commissaire’s car, watching Scotty’s Race rapidly unfold. Once the flag was down, the guns off the front tore the pack apart, and the never-ending wind did the rest. It was full on from the start, with the CB and UHF radios, 2 mobile phones going flat out, commentary flying around the car, listening to the radio for updates on the front of the race, scout motorbikes, spares vehicles, cyclists all around; four of us in the car, keeping tabs on the race, not just the racing but race logisitics. Sitting in a comm car is not just a pleasant drive in the country. If you want to get a real understanding of road racing, get yourself in a comm car. It’s a totally different experience.

Friday, 12 December 2008

FIGJAM

Race brain: Check. Legs: well, yeah check. Post race attitude: You bet! Me, I was awesome (just ask me!)!!! I am the bunch smasher.

Race 1, lap 7 and I’m on the front, with a plan. And the plan is to roll away, away from all those behind me. And I do it, slowly winding the bike up, getting on top of the gear until she lets go and starts to sing. I look back and I see a few riders behind me. End of my lap, I swing up and look down. Holy crap – there is so much air behind the two riders below me, I can’t see the rest of the bunch in my peripheral vision. I whoop inside, drop down tight into 3 rd wheel and yell at my little posse (1 guy, 1 woman) to GO!!!!!! JUST GO!!!! But they don’t, well not as much as I’d like them to go. In the final 2 laps we’re caught and swamped, and I roll home for 6th or 7th.

I sms Mrs Coach: I am AWESOME!!! Somewhere on the boards, I’ve had an attitude transplant. My racebrain is humming, plotting already for the next race. I feel... different.

Points was not spectacular, but early on I take height to hit them, but don’t commit 100%. I’m just practicing, toying with them, and roll over the finish line in 6th for the 1st sprint. There's another strategy locked away for future use, just need to hone it. I’m tired from the scratch, and hunt for a wheel to take me up the front. Once I have it, it’s locked and loaded taking me where I want to go. I stay in the mix, non-combatant in the sprints, and finish the race 5th over the line. I’m not as awesome, but something’s happening in my brain and body. I feel like a racer. I am a racer.

Motorpace. Woohoo – the derny’s back!!! And the speed is up right from the start instead of the fall off the track pace of the motorbike. I count. I should be on the derny for lap2. Perfect. Wrong. I was on the dern for lap 3, almost thumping the back of the derny to move out of the way. Then I realise. Crap! I was primed and ready to smash it, but instead had to roll off and take pot luck. I was high with the guys coming under me, and I did my normal thing of slightly backing off until they pass. Where’s my attitude gone?? Get agro girl! Push them out of the way. I finish mid-field and realise C Grade is probably not so far away. That's a good feeling :-)

And male chauvinism is such a sweet thing: After the scratch race, seated beside the only male in my breakaway, I overhear a buddy of his congratulating him on his brilliant attack that ripped the field apart. I’m on the rollers and think Me!! That was me!!! I did that!! That was mine!!! Me Me Me!!!!! What was worse, my breakaway man accepted his congratulations. Bastards.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Bring it on Santa!

Competitive cycling is a high demand sport, mentally and physically. It’s easy to take for granted, or underestimate the costs of those demands – it’s part of being a competitive cyclist, so we just suck it and see. But sometimes, it’s hard to suck a lemon day after day. It’s hard to keep hurting yourself week after week, in amongst being a regular working adult with a mortgage and other responsibilities, but that’s what’s required to achieve goals. And doing so takes its toll at times; slowly but progressively until you start fighting yourself just to do a simple ride. I’m lucky in that I have other cycling interests I turn to at these low points, so I stay involved, engaged and enjoying the sport. In fact, all my social group are involved in either horse sports, or cycling. This could be a bad thing, but I’m not worried: it helps to anchor me.

I’ve been struggling the last few weeks to maintain my regular training routine and load. I berated myself for being soft, but nothing changed. So the time has come. I need a freshen up. I had a small dose last weekend at Country’s. This weekend is set aside for some chill out time and some self-indulgence. I need it! It's hug a teddy bear time :-)


Coach has set my new program for the next 4 weeks around more road kms, to rebuild some of the base I threw away over the last 4 weeks and get some more conditioning into my legs and lungs. We had a bit of chat last weekend about where I am at, and he got to see 1st hand proof of that. All my weaknesses were on display, which was a Good Thing TM. I needed that grade on the test as concrete, real world evidence.

Fortunately I have a great coach, and the new program looks good, and I am looking forward to doing it. I have some time off over Xmas, so I can fit in those kms, eat, sleep, sand walls and glue tiles, and ride my bike at my leisure, rather than chasing the clock in and around an employer set schedule. We’ve reset some goals, and Baw Baw is not a main focus any more (read: palpable relief!). I’m back on track, and back to being a trackie. WOOT!! It’s what I love, and what I need to be/do. So, this coming month, lots of road km, back to Thursday night racing, and lots of Bring It On Santa!

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Tour of Bright

Tour of Bright is on this weekend, with the women's entries totalling 65. I don't know of a race in Victoria in recent times that has attracted that many female competitors. It's totally awesome!!!

To my buddies who are racing - rock on girls!!!! Ride hard, be bold, have fun.

Going the Distance

Apparently, it's as bad to do 150m too much as doing 150 too little. We're enduros, we're meant to go the distance, and some!



Reluctantly crouched at the starting line,
Engines pumping and thumping in time.
The green light flashes, the flags goes up,
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup.

They deftly manouver and muscle for rank,
Fuel burning fast on an empty tank,
Wreckless and wild they pour thru the turns,
Their prowess is potent and secretly stern.

As they speed thru the finish the flags go down.
The fans get up, and get out of town.
The arena is empty except for one man,
Still driving and striving as fast as he can

The sun has gone down and the moon has come up,
And long ago somebody left with the cup,
But he's driving and striving and hugging the turns,
And thinking of someone for whom he still burns.

He's going the distance.
He's going for speed.
She's all alone, all alone in her time of need.

Because he's racing and pacing and plotting the course,
He's fighting and biting and riding on his horse.
He's going the distance.

Going the Distance - Cake

I also discovered last night it's possible to piss yourself laughing when at 90% throttle, thanks to the rowdy chorus on the fence who helped me through my final half lap of the second effort. :-D

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

I Heart Track with Photos



Far out, how does it go again? It's been so long since I worked on a slow bike. Maybe Mini Me Coach can help....















Dude, I think it's stuffed... This bike has no speed about it at all... I can smell onions cooking, let's get breakfast!



MMC: Mate, did you see how slow that teschner was in that last race??

Shane: Yeah, didn't think they could be that slow. But goddam, Gaz, she sure looks hot in that new Scott Peoples Foundation kit.







Monday, 1 December 2008

I Heart Track

For the last 3-4 weeks, I’ve been suffering delayed post Worlds blerhs. Mine was a delayed reaction, probably because my strong sense of denial helped stave it off for a while. At least, I think it’s post Worlds blerhs, cos it sounds very much like the disease Mdm Hr has been struggling with lately, and I feel the muggy, rank, dankness of it. You hop on the bike because you know if you don’t, all that hard work you've done so far will be wasted, so you do enough to keep ticking over. I've been doing for it, but it’s just not doing it for me.

So yesterday, my two henchmen and I went to Maryborough for Day 2 (IP and scratch) of the Country Track Champs. I hadn’t intended entering, but fellow Warragul member, Karen M goaded me into it (Thanks for doing that for me Kaz! You're a winner and a gem) . I wasn’t excited about it, but thought it would be a good opportunity for some pursuit practice under race conditions. So I picked up Coach at 5am and we drove across town to meet up with Mini Me Coach, moved all my gear from my car into his, and took off down the highway for a day of fun and frivolity (ie I got paid out on a lot, which was lovingly reciprocated).

Highlights (cos the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet for verbosity):

  • More WMAS entered than elite women
  • Remembering everything but the kitchen sink and the extra spacer needed for my aero bars. This lead to some interesting work by Coach and Mini Me with coke cans, until they realised I meant spacer not shim. Fortunately Mr McCoombe came to our rescue and I rode the aero bars in the IP instead of sprint bars.
  • The awesome work by my mechanic and soigny. It was a real treat to not have to worry about my bike, and to have drinks handed to me, someone to catch as me as I fell off the bike after each event and take my bike back to the car etc. Thanks to the best henchmen a girl could have!
  • Being nervous before the heat. Nervous??!!?? It’s a training run at Country Track, so what’s with the nerves??? I wasn’t that nervous at Worlds!!! I guess having your coach there, and doing your schedule for you ( a first for us) made all the difference
  • Doing a new best worst time, then realising everyone (well, nearly everyone) was going slow, thanks to the wind and the large bumpy track
  • Losing my IP heat in the final 2.5 laps. Oops on the classic but fatal pursuiter’s error.
  • Thinking what the hell am I doing here, and what the hell am I doing pursuits for, after my heat
  • Losing my final but going 2 seconds faster than the heat, and remembering what’s so good about pursuiting.
  • Looking forward to the scratch race, and having my butt kicked in the final lap with nothing left in the legs to kick on with when the other 3 girls jumped for the sprint, and having a total ball.
  • Getting new kit*
  • Looking good in my new kit in the scratch race, despite coming in behind the little bunch. Looking good is as good as winning ;-)
  • Sunburn
  • Remembering what track racing is all about: it’s not just the racing, but the comraderie, the friendships, the community that sits around the track and supports its own, and the thrill of the chase out on the concrete.
  • Coming home totally in love with track again.

* Two of the Scott Peoples Foundation recipients wore the new Scott Peoples Foundation kit yesterday. It looks fantastic, so I managed to score myself a set, which I wore during the scratch race, and look forward to wearing in future racing and training. Coach and I are also Foundation grant recipients, so it’s great to be able to promote the Foundation and the good work it’s doing to help regional juniors with their training and racing. We are both working at the Scott Peoples Memorial Cycling Festival weekend after next, and now I can proudly wear the kit over the weekend.

PS photos coming