Thursday, 31 December 2009
There were strong entries, particularly at Bendigo, in both numbers and quality of competition, allowing for 2 grades for most of the series. Although how Thomay Michaltsis makes B grade rather than A beats me! The weather was great, low 30s on the first two days, with Shepp being a stinker in the high 30s. Racing was strong, competitive but friendly.
A bit of a joke with the Chief Comm FLN, before the first race of the meet, Maryborough. (BTW, check out the intensity of the light. hot! yes!!)
Time to get serious - find out what's in the legs after 7 rides in 2 weeks, and to see if the virus has gone. Came 5th, with final position of 4th after a relegation.
Maryborough on Monday was very different to Country Tracks - dry for one! I rode better than I anticipated, and even suggested to Shirley Amy we ride the women's madison for a laugh. Unfortunately there weren't enough entries, so a pointscore was offered instead. Shirley and I sat it out - I wouldn't have lasted the distance, and was very aware of keeping myself strong for another two days of racing.
Next day Bendigo. Me making my Big Move of the meet, attacking with 400m to go in the B Grade Scratch. I blew up, and came in at the back of the bunch, having dropped a few on the way home.
1000m handicap, me at third wheel, having worked well with Sophie Waldron and Jess Morgan, about to get hit by the back markers in the home lap. I stayed with them and finished midfield. We again worked well in the 2000m handicap, keeping the backmarkers at bay until the final lap. I unfortunately was slow to step out with the chasing group as they came through and was boxed in, unable to get out until they had gone. I chased them down, finishing off the back but midfield again. There were 19 women entries for Maryborough and Bendigo, slightly less for Shepp the final day.
Bendigo is a big flat open track, D shaped and rather unique. Although I prefer a shorter, more traditional track, I rode quite well on Tuesday night, finally hitting my limit with 4 to go in the final scratch race of the night, after the legs and brain had a bit of a discussion, which I was privy too, but had no real say in the matter. After a 6 or more week racing hiatus (excluding Country's at the end of November, which was a different beast), it was a hoot to be donning the suit and spinning the wheels! Handicaps, scratches, derbies and kierins = good racing and a real blast.
Thursday, 24 December 2009
O yeah! And merry christmas for tomorrow! I'm out for the regular Christmas morning ride - it's the best morning of the year to ride. Then it's onto some much anticipated Tasmanian and French bubbly and brilliant food for lunch.
Be safe everyone. Hope Santa brings you lots of nice presents, love and happiness for your day tomorrow.
Serious training resumes on Boxing Day to help shift those sneaking calories lingering from a week of chillin'. :-)
Monday, 21 December 2009
Friday night saw me at the Aust Madison Champs, swanning around shmoozing, and drinking cheap bubbly and eating not much at all, chatting up potential kit sponsors for 2010, catching up with old buddies, some long lost from O/S. All in all a fun night. O yeah, there was some racing too! I remember some of that.
Saturday, well, read para 1 for Saturday's adventures in Wonderland. Soulfood for lunch: YUM!!! Denches for fruit mince pies: average. I made my own pies, complete with fruit mince I made a week earlier. Mine pwn Denches no argument. Sourced some valrhona chocolate to coat my new found speciality: rum balls. Yeah, but these are not just any rum balls, and certainly nothing like Mother used to make. Mine make my mother's look like CWA fare. O wait! That's where she got the recipe from: long live the weetbix and condensed milk!!
I attempted some training last night, on the fixed wheel. It hurt, but fully justified the sparkling burgunday I drank later with dinner, capping off a run of 5 days straight drinking every night. With dinner of course. Xmas Carnivals are only 7 days away; time to stop with the alcohol, seasonal food and do some training as well. Or, maybe I could stay in denial, and keep partying....
Friday, 18 December 2009
I understand if these changes were made solely for the Olymnpic program, with this omnium format known as the Olympic Omnium. Makes sense.
But no, the UCI in their incredible policy-making, well-meaning, poorly -judged governance, has decided that these changes will be across the board, commencing with the World Champs next year. So those poor cherubs who have been training for the current, sorry, former omnium format, will now have to suddenly reconsider that event, or beef their training up to be able to meet the new distances imposed, whilst getting their brains around the new format.
Sounds to me like the UCI is trying to have its cake and throw it in our little trackie faces too. As an omnium promoter, this has ramifications for me locally. It certainly makes the omnium harder, particularly as we use it to encourage newbies and novices out into the competitive arena. It will also impact on our entries, as we will lose some girls with the increased distances. Masters and junior distances will remain as is. It makes for a longer day, which impacts on our officials and helpers, as well as the competitors. Already it's an 8 hour day for 50 odd competitors. How feasible will it be to run one, even as a State Championship, locally?
Of course, that may be the UCI's secret plan: making the thing so long it can't be raced in one day. So, it is raced over 2 or 3 days. Guess what?! We are then back to having "normal" pursuits, points etc, well as normal as you can get without having them as individual events. Maybe this is a clever, sneaky ploy on behalf of the UCI? Maybe they are not as self absorbed as I am currently thinking they are....??? But somehow, I doubt it... it will just be one incredibly long, arduous day for all concerned, officials and competitors.
I think it's time for the Olympics to lose it's be-all end-all focus for track cycling, as it has done in equestrian disciplines, and other sports, where World Cups and World Championships carry more kudos than an Olympic medal. Let's face it, the Olympics is not that important for road cyclists, where the Tour de France and Classics hold more weight for the elites/pros. Hmm maybe the new omnium will for those roadies as well.
Thursday, 17 December 2009
There are just so many things wrong with the blog post, where do I begin? Minus 12 feeling like minus 24?? Either way, it simply feels fucking cold!! Full stop!!! Who rides out in that kind of cold??? And freezing water bottles?? We start off with frozen drink, which becomes warm enough to make a cup of tea within an hour of riding. And what's with the bare face?? How could she breath in that kind of cold without lungburn? I wouldn't be eating sugar girl, I'd be eating family blocks of chocolate!
Wednesday, 16 December 2009
Xmas Carnivals are back on.
And why not? What's the worst that can happen? Same as last season. Big deal. So long as I am grinning like Shirley and mean it, that's all that counts. It's a nice lesson to take home.
Monday, 14 December 2009
It’s hard to let it go. I was looking forward to spending three days away, living out of the car and motels, pretending to be a pro trackie for a brief moment of my holidays. But seriously, the chances of having the necessary fitness back in the next two weeks are so low as to be “are you kidding me???” status.
I managed 30 easy km on the trainer yesterday afternoon, my first ride since last Tuesday, from which it took me all week to recover. Yesterday I even did three 15 second low resistance sprints. Then I felt ill…. Really Ill… as in keep breathing deeply and the nausea WILL go away, as will the direly urgent, sudden need to roll up in a ball and sleep.
So this week will be simply getting my body used to working daily again, and testing what limits it currently has on its capacity for suffering. The suffermeter‘s red line will be low, I suspect. Results based on that testing will determine what I do next week. Who knows, I may be ok by the follow week to race at open level, in the summer heat of central Victoria, but I’m not prepared to put money on. So I am currently working on simply letting go….
Thursday, 10 December 2009
It's four months to Nationals (I counted them today), and I am about lose one to this lurgy ie a fortnight off serious training, a fortnight (if I am lucky!!) of getting back to where I was. No Scotty's for me this weekend, and I am beginning to think Xmas Carnivals are going to be a bit of a joke, and part of my racing back into fitness aka training!! schedule, rather than anything serious.
Such is life. Sleep is the order of the day. Now if I can just stop going to meetings, and catching up on domestic stuff .....
At least I am finding the odd 20 min each night to do some reading.. just a pity its sport related, not study related :-D
Monday, 7 December 2009
I had plans to do some hill work while there – it’s almost a waste not to. But after a ride out to Wandiligong, which is barely more rigourous than Beach Road, and finding that a bit overwhelming, I realised my hopes for Tawonga Gap would be just that: hopes. Being hurt by a flattish road meant I was still getting over whatever lurgy I had, and needed to be nice to myself! So I was :-D
The TOB is HUGE!! And very well run, for such a large event. Congratulations to the Alpine Cycling Club as promoter/organiser and to all the officials and support for an excellent event.
Highlights were being part of a “cycling town” for the weekend, catching up with friends, one of whom I’ve not seen for over a year, being support instead of main actor, cherries picked that morning, Bright Brewery beers, cold baths post ride, yummy non-athletic food, the scenery, the gorgeous weather. The only downside was spending Saturday afternoon in my jeans, then continually hopping on and off my bike to travel between accommodation, startlines, and coffee shops! 12km in total on the bike in jeans. Not recommended!
Thursday, 3 December 2009
Sunday I was over it, down in the dumps, critical, grumpy, tired and heavy legged. I put it down to 2 days of bad weather and tiredness. Sunday night I was way over it. I put it down to exhaustion.
Monday I was flat and unenthused, yet overly anxious about training and racing. I had a pretty average (attitude wise) gym session. I put it down to the weekend, racing, and a very stressful and busy fortnight leading up to the weekend.
Tuesday I woke up feeling like complete shit. I ached, felt like I had been beaten up, with a mass sinus blockage. I put it down to something akin to DOMS syndrome ie it takes 2 days after a work out to hit you. Tuesday I progressively got worse, and went to bed with a razor stuck in my throat, and a very tender body. I was with lurgy.
It's interesting to review this progression of attitudinal, and physical decline: which came first? Was the lurgy a result of my brain and heart shutting down on this thing called track cycling, or were they shutting down because of the blossoming lurgy? Either way, I've not had a break since mid-year, so I despite feeling a little better today and capable of an easy workout, I am giving myself the rest of the week off, with some fun rides prescribed for the weekend in Bright. A bit of freshening up and fun pedalling for post-lurgy therapy! Just what my track bike ordered!
Monday, 30 November 2009
I lost count of how many times I heard that over the weekend!! It may not rain in Maryborough, but obviously when it does, it overfills its quota! The bitterest joke was on Saturday afternoon when a fellow competitor had gone back to their digs for a few hours, returning to bucketing rain at the velodrome, saying it’s not raining in town! (1 kilometre away).
So, the joke of the Country Track Champs was the weather, or was it us for driving many hours in the hope of having a race or two? The sprint rounds and finals were cancelled, the IP finals were cancelled. Placings in those two events were based on times in the qualifying rounds. So my sprint debut is yet to happen, and my handtimed flying 200 was a bit of stunner. I’m not convinced.
When I arrived, the front and back straights were covered in mud from the previous night’s flooding, and the infield a swamp. The organisers worked hard and fast to clean the track, with blowers and brooms on it to dry it off. That was the procedure for the rest of the weekend: one eye on the radar, running events in between rain bursts, and blowing the track dry if the sun and wind (yes, there was plenty of wind) weren’t doing it.
The highlights, apart from toughing out the conditions, were good company, hanging out with buddies whom I usually only email/sms/facebook, watching some excellent racing, the good humour of all involved, despite the miserable conditions, and once again returning medals after each presentation. When will we (CSV) get this right????
I rode ok, nothing to rave about, and my scratch was a reversion to the good old days of wrecking myself out the back, with my brain on overdrive worrying about nonsense. I have to learn to not only ignore, but completely reject crap things people say to me, or I might as well go home and take up knitting as a more productive activity.
Next stop, Scotty’s Track Carnival in 2 weeks time. I got some work to do.
PS All photos by Peta and Brendan Stewart.
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
I've entered the sprint (my debut!!) 500m TT on Saturday, and Scratch race for some Sunday afternoon enjoyment.
Maryborough Track is 333m long. Only ever having done flying 200s on a 250m track, getting my brain around the entry line on Saturday afternoon is going to be interesting! Fortunately there are only 3 women masters entered, so timing is not crucial.Tactics will be, and stamina. I suspect at least one of my rivals will go for a longer sprint, so I'll have to work on delaying her final jump for as long as possible, or having her tow me around until I am close enough to the line to let it rip. It'll be good fun at the very least, and I am going for the learning as much as anything.
Training over the last 10days has been less than ideal thanks to a few small track events over the weekend. I've not ridden since Saturday, when I completely blew myself up with just one more effort. So this week isn't looking too great either (not because I blew myself up though!!). That's life and you just get on with what you got.
The next few weekends are taken up with racing of some sort, either track (Country's, Scotty's) or being support for others in the Tour of Bright (and sneaking in some hill training whilst staying away from the Chief Comm as he's promised to keep me from being bored in a small country town with jobs!! Thanks Doug). I am looking forward to Christmas, just for a break before it all starts again with the Xmas Carnivals in central Victoria.
The Women's Omnium is done and dusted. Well not really dusted, as it rained, and when it rains, the roof leaks at the velodrome. Ironic really.
So when I arrived at 9.30am to start sorting things out, our first potential showstopper (in fact, our ONLY potential showstopper) had arrived and was doing its thing. More leaks than ever before, in new spots on the boards. After the change of date debacle, I really didn't need this crap. So we waited. And waited. Kept checking the BOM radar, kept conferring with the Chief Comm and special Highly Knowledgeable guest. The decison was made to postpone the start, checking the boards (ie the leaks) every 30minutes to see how they were faring. At 11.30am we decided that racing would go ahead, but we'd start with the pursuit, to give the boards time to dry out more, with the diminishing rain and slowing leaks, and aided by men with mops. Some weren't convinced of the safety of this decision, and withdrew. Their call. It created some tensions that unfortunately marred the start of the day, but were eventually forgotten as racing progressed, the leaks finally stopped with the rain, and the fight for points became earnest.
We started with 7 more entries than last year, and the competition was as fierce, with a number of interstate competitors pushing the local girls along. The show ran very smoothly, and despite being a very long day, we had many smiling, but tired, faces come presentation time.
The Sukkie guys were fantastic entertaining the crowds, and sponsoring the points races, as well as providing swag for all placegetters. Our other sponsors Avanti, Crumpler, Evelyn Faye and A'qto provided some fantastic prizes, and Doug Armstrong's trophies were just stunning.
I must thank the guys on the organising team who helped me get the show running: Caro Page, Nathan Fraser and Emma Gaul. You guys rock. Big thanks to Omar Ramirez for his camera and artistic skills with our new logo. Thanks also to Doug Armstrong for officiating, and for ensuring we had enough officials on the day; Brunswick Club for being the host club, and providing helpers, judges, time keepers etc; Matilda Vaughan for keeping scores and times of her own volition - that was a real bonus!; Brett Truscott in the office for putting up with my nagging reminders; and finally Rhys No Sleep Zombie Walczak for being our Man from the Office for the day. Many people had come off the back of working World Cup, so it was a big call for them to work our event.
Finally, I have made a facebook page Womensomiun Championship to keep us on the radar. Please show your support be friending us and spreading the word!
All photos by Omar Ramirez.
Friday, 20 November 2009
Tonight and tomorrow night is World Cup Track. Looking at Andy White's latest post has got me revved up. Tonight we are in the infield, being corporate types. Might wear my new JP Gaultier jeans. How I am going to make it through the rest of the working day beats me. Lucky I have my performance review to keep me focused!
This week has been hectic and tomorrow is no better: training til midday, then home and domestics, followed by a 2 hour recolour session at the hairdresser, more house work/domestics etc, then back into Hi Sense for World Cup, this time on the fence (with a better view than the infield where you are seen to be seen, rather than seeing what's to be seen).
Sunday is Omnium day!!! The Victorian Women's State Omnium Champs specifically. Four of us have been planning and working towards this day for a long time, with the last few weeks a flurry of emails, phone calls, more emails, more phone calls. We will still be wrapping up final preps on Sunday morning, just before show time. 50 women entered, 20 helpers and officials. Prizes, sponsors, trophies, a welcome "gift" for the competitors. Oh! and I owe Doug a drink afterwards ;-)
And Mr Flowerpants asks this morning: wanna go see Jeff Martin Sunday night. Would love to, but we'll finish at 7, the gig is in Belgrave at 8. I gotta go home and iron my work clothes for the week!!!
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
These photos was taken on Sunday from my back yard in Boolarra, of the bushfire regrowth. Top one is looking forward to the hill in front of the house, bottom on is rearward, behind the back yard. Yep, that's how close it got to my backyard; two hundred metres at most. How it didn't spread across the hay paddock (ie dry tinder at the end of Summer) beats me. Good management on behalf of the CFA. Six houses down, the fire was licking the wall of the last house on the street.
Monday, 16 November 2009
Horse lovin' sheep. Well, it's not called Loves Lane for nothing. Horse declined to be photographed.
The view from the top of Loves Lane, on the Mardan Road. The pain is worth it!
Regrowth in the paddocks where my mare was born, only a few km from my house. This area was black and desolate 8 months ago when the bushfire went through.
Friday, 13 November 2009
This was my post racing Facebook status from last night, and sums up nicely how it felt on the boards last night. It wasn’t a huge gear by any means, but my legs felt like I was wading through sludge, with a long dwell time between brain activity and leg activity. I had no jump or real top end speed, which is normal after the week of training I had. But, despite that, I rode well, in terms of positioning, looking after myself. I even tried a little move, which may have paid off if I’d taken it a bit further. So overall, I am happy with my racing last night. Things are coming together. Most importantly, as well as being my weekly test of how my training is going, the best bit of feedback was that I really enjoyed it: the easiest way to get a bloody hard workout!
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
* World Cup (see you there Friday and Saturday nights)
* Bicycle Film Festival
* Racing every weekend from Nov 28 til Xmas (well, almost!!)
* THE WOMEN'S OMNIUM!!! of course (in between World Cup and the BFF)
and something else I can't remember but it will come to me.......
Monday, 9 November 2009
As riders, it's not often we actually get to see our legs in action. So when these images were sent to me 10 minutes ago, my initial reaction was: HOLY CRAP!!!! Look at my LEGS!!!!!!!!!!
Photos taken during a cool down lap about 2 mths back, on the Shady Creek circuit, after a club race.
Saturday, 7 November 2009
At the track this morning, I went to change the 14 cog on my back wheel to a 15. I take the back wheel off: no 14 cog, it's a 15. WTF?????? I search through my kit bag for the 14 cog.. no 14 cog to be found.. it's gone astray. So what am I doing with a 15 cog on my back wheel and not the 14 cog I thought was there?
To make matters worse, I hadn't changed the cog on that wheel since Worlds' "knowing" it was a 14. So when I warmed up and raced last Thursday night, in my mind I had a 14 cog on. I didn't. I thought I raced on 90.6. I didn't. Now I know why I couldn't finish off any of the races with the bunch. But bloody hell, I rode a brilliant motorpace on an 84!
Friday, 6 November 2009
Last night I had one of the worst afternoon preparations you could ask for. Normally I make sure I eat and hydrate well, because I stop eating real food at around 6pm, and can't eat heavily before then anyway. Yesterday afternoon was wall to wall meetings, with the final meeting finishing just shy of 6.30 (meaning reduced warm up time). So.. not enough food, not quite enough hydration, shortened warm up time, on race gear as a compromise for time. Add to the mix hayfever, which roused an asthmatic response under load, and NO ventolin in the kit bag to speak of. It was going to be an interesting night!!
I actually don't remember much of the scratch race. I DO remember thinking about attacking with 5 to go, but decided against it as a Bad Idea. 3 to go and two junior girls give it a solid crack, making us oldies groan at their enthusiasm. I went with them as best I could and with 2 to go, just had this odd sense in the brain of "STOP NOW!!!" So I did, just as the lungs filled with dust coated cotton wool, and my breathing failed. Good timing ;-) I rolled into the pits, felt like complete shite as the lack of oxygen hit my system. I was worried for the points up next: I was standing at the gates of nastyland.
I ate some snakes, which made me feel nauseous, drank some fluid, which made me feel nauseous. I finally began to only feel slightly better as the A graders completed the halfway point of their race. Lining up on the fence, I mentioned to the Gazman that I had left my ventolin at home. His reply: just win the first sprint. Well, I nearly did, but was blown away by racing regular Chris, who launched himself past me with about 150m to go and galloped home to collect full points.
Figuring that was me done, and wondering why the hell I was spinning out the gear in a standing acceleration but truly feeling its weight seated, I figured my race was done and dusted. Then I noticed I was gaining on the bunch and about to join them up, having let them roll over me after the first sprint. I wasn't sure whether to be pleased or not, but decided to hang in until my grip let go and I slid off. It took a few more laps for that to happen, and I was by that time more interested in managing the rising asthma than scoring racing goals. And I was feeling a bit better than I had been after the scratch: that had to be a Good Thing!
I was ready and keen for the motorpace by the time I lead out the bunch behind the derny; a huge physical and mental change from when I rolled off the track after the scratch. The gear felt like butter, smooth but with some gentle weight to work with. I was happy. Behind the derny at 5, and off up to the blue line with 4 to go, to wait anxiously for the right wheel. The woman behind me had disappeared and in her place was a big guy to draft when he pulled off the derny. Sweet! When he came off, I was ready for him. I was worried he would drift too far back down the line, and mentally urged him to stay forward, ready to hit the pedals when the time came. He was my ride home, and I didn't want him to fail in this task! Somehow, my mental telepathy worked, and he caught his backward drift and maintained forward. Unfortunately when the jump came, I didn't have the legs, and then had a minor scare with a guy passing over me, dropping his line into me. Back off time!!! Into the final lap and legs and lungs were in failure mode, but I was happy to be able to deliver myself into a good finishing position ready for the jump. New task: more fitness (o, that's my current life's mission!!) and learn how to finish the job.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Time to start sizing up myself and the opposition:
Photo courtesy of Ernie Smith via email.
Friday, 23 October 2009
Thank you to the arseholes out there who make me fiercer and stronger, and thank you to my dear buddies and my very precious loves who make me stronger and bolder, keep me sane and grounded, and keep my renown smile beaming on. I am one fortunate and privileged woman to have such company.
I’ve just had a look at the online footage of the race, and as usual, it always looks different from the outside. There was a small cluster of girls for most of the race, in the middle of the track, creating mayhem and mischief that I wasn’t prepared to get involved with. After the falls of the previous race, most of us were more conservative and unwilling to take risks or push through as we would normally. I’m not sure this isn’t a bad thing (apart from the double negative) as we all managed to stay upright and finish the race. I'm not sure how at times, but we did thank god. Poor Tanya B ended up with broken bones from her scratch race (speedy recovery Tanya!!).
I rolled down the ramp after the race, with some much needed braking support from Pete Barnard. Got to the bottom, fell off the bike and sat straight down with my back against the wall, before I fainted (well almost). I was barely aware of what was going on around me: I know I got a congratulory kiss from an admiring fan :-D, but frankly, I was working through a realisation that I can actually do this stuff. It was a sweet, revelatory moment. I can do this stuff: I just need more top end speed, and to improve my endurance, and I am so there.
PS just realised the link will take you to the TTs not the Scratch. Can't get the Scratch url, so you'll have to look it up under 2009 events!
Monday, 19 October 2009
I seem to be stuck in the 42 second range. The last 3 500ms I have done have all been in that range. Washing speed off rolling around the track, I looked up at the board and saw 42.77 sec. My first thought: FFS, what's with this 42 seconds crap??!!??
I have some explanations for today's performance, but I ain't gunna lay 'em out here. They'll just sound like excuses, which basically they are. So I'm keeping them to myself, and for you dear reader, no excuses, just that I didn't have the legs today. Tough shit, that's life, and racing.
I would like to say, though, a huge THANK YOU to my friends in the grandstand and online watching me today. I felt very humbled by your support. Thank you.
Friday, 16 October 2009
At least we'll be seeing Real Women next week, athletic, fit and healthy. This crap just makes me irate. How can you take seriously a clothing manufacturer (Ralph Lauren is just that, a brand of clothing, not a creative designer) who can't take seriously their clients? I am sure RL is not the only guilty company either, they just happen to present with a hyperbolic instance of a "fashion statement", and got sprung big time doing so. Stupid as well as disrespectful.
This morning I rode my second last "training" session before I suit up around 1 pm on Monday. There is nothing more I can do, apart from making sure my muscles are well fed, awake and fully functional by the time I am sitting in the gate, ready to go.
In about 21 hours, Coach and I head off to Sydney, with a carload of gear, and an ipod full of music again (after synching a playlist and having itunes DELETE those songs not on the playlist, on albums referenced by the playlist songs. Thanks itunes grrrrr).
I'm not stressing my sleep has been crap the last few nights, culminating in the cat sitting her butt on my cheek in the wee hours of this morning, because I wasn't complying with her own personal sleep arrangements. She is a stately senior, and is usually treated with the respect her age deserves. Except for last night. The cat's arse was the final straw. Needless to say, neither of us was very impressed with the other, but I won. I am bigger. My face is not a couch.
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Monday, 12 October 2009
Five women entered the World Masters Games 40-45 yrs 500m TT: 2 Nzers, 1 Australian, 1 Canadian and 1 American.
Eight women have entered the UCI World Masters Track 40-45 yrs 500m TT: 7 Australians and 1 NZer.
I am yet to figure out why this is so; why the World Masters Games has attracted a more diversely international competition base than the UCI Track Masters. Can someone please enlighten me as to why one is more attactive for international competitors than the other, particularly when they are so close together (although I can understand the cost of staying for an extra two weeks may be prohibitive).
Friday, 9 October 2009
Cari raced USA National Elite Champs last week, and took home a swag of bling for her efforts. I read her reflections on her week at Nationals on her blog this morning. It's an honest account of Cari's personal response to her racing, and touched a chord with me. Kudos to her for writing it, and thank you for continuing to be an inspiration and role model girl!
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
Daylight savings is here, and crit season has begun:
Sunday: Carnegie Caulfield @ Glenvale (and at Warragul @ Warragul)
Tuesday: Carnegie Caulfield @ Sandown
Wednesday: Hawthorn @ Kew Blvd
Thursday: Southern Vets (women incl) @ Sandown
Saturday: Footscray @ National Blvd.
Hmm looks like Monday is recovery day.
Then there is track racing as well. Rumour has it there will be Wednesday track racing at a venue near you (if you live in the inner burbs) soon.
So track will look something like this:
Tuesday: Brunswick @ DISC (Warragul @ Warragul)
Thursday: Northcote @ DISC
Saturday: Carnegie Caulfield @ Packer Park (tbc)
So my schedule may look something like this:
Wednesday: TBA racing or training ride
Saturday: National Blvd or training ride
Plus assorted Opens on the weekends, as per the forthcoming fixture.
Non-racing days will be secret training sessions. I (new) love critnog season! With a dash of track for spice.
How timely, considering it starts next week!!!
As ripped off ozcycling.com:
Inaugural Honda Hybrid Women's Tour, Course Announcement
Following the win by Cadel Evans at the UCI Road World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, Australian cycling is on high.
However, it has so often been the women delivering the results for Australia including Kathy Watt's gold medal ride at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Sara Carrigan in Athens in 2004.
This success has been achieved despite there being no major multi-stage tour for women in Australia.
That is all about to change with the inaugural Honda Hybrid Women's Tour.
What: Honda Hybrid Women's Tour, course announcement with Australian world championships representative Rochelle Gilmore and the Prime Estate elite women's cycling team
When: Tuesday 6 October
Where: Alexandra Gardens, Boathouse Drive, Melbourne
The Honda Hybrid Women's Tour will run from 15-17 October, 2009, and feature more than 70 women.
The three-day stage race will consist of a 55km road race, 10km individual time trial and a criterium race in Lygon Street on a 2.1km circuit.
The Honda Hybrid Women's Tour will use the resources and infrastructure of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour including Police-resourced rolling closures and fully closed circuits for the time trial and criterium.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Training on the weekend was of the" I know I should but I just wanna ride my bike and enjoy the sunshine variety". So I did.
At this stage of the game, fitness gains will be so minute as to be seemingly non-existent if I want to be sitting in the start gate with fresh legs. The plan is to keep the legs fast, and squeeze a few more rpm out of them, stay healthy, freshen up mentally and physically and enjoy the whole shebang.
The aim this year is to PB, nothing less, nothing more, just PB. If that gets me kicking the podium, fantastic, if not, so be it. It's a hot field of 11 women, with some real powerhouses in the mix. For me, it's another meet on the calendar, the season opener, setting some baselines for the coming season. Nationals is in about 6 months, and in Melbourne. A real opportunity to do some Good Stuff.
Thursday, 1 October 2009
The protagonists would get off without penalty, no worries.
And for once, the Herald Sun has provided space for both voices in the Magda vs Road Cyclists media scrum. Thank you H-S, considering you are a naming sponsor for one of the largest bike races held in this state, which occurs later this month incidentally. Oops.
Wednesday, 30 September 2009
But now, my love is waning, is totally conditional. The chain grates and grinds along the rear cassette, although cassette and chain are relatively new. La Luna, your jockey wheel wobbles indelicately, and changing gears is painful, excrutiating to the hand, leg and ear. To hear the rattle and clatter of chain de-cogged in flagrante delicato, is an abomination of the once beautiful, luscious campagly purr . So currently I refuse to ride La Luna, fretting over its debauched state, and instead relish in the soft buttery delight of 4B, as the thick chain cinches smoothly over the single cog, and glides solidly forward onto and over the chainring, crank positive and deliberate in its forward stroke.
So my little Luna, you are relegated to the bike room until a shiny, colourful piece of bike bling arrives in the letter box, and I can repair your mechanical indiscretion and we can once again be united on the sunny road.
Thanks Hampsten Cycles!!
Monday, 28 September 2009
Friday, 25 September 2009
Or women are the barometer for indicating how bike-friendly a city may be.
Thanks to TreadlyandMe for the twitter alert.
Thursday, 24 September 2009
Like me, he is involved, at some level, in the organisation of his sport. This weekend, he is organising a the Mallee Roots, er sorry, Routes ride, with distances of between 50 – 600km. It’s been a bit of an eye opener watching how the organisation has unfolded. Currently the lounge room is covered in maps, documents, cue sheets etc. Outside on the verandah are ride signs, plastic boxes full of ride/admin stuff (eg the very important brevet card), gas bottles etc. The phone keeps ringing with people who refuse to believe what they read, and want someone to confirm: yes, it’s compulsory to start with lights; yes, it’s compulsory to wear a reflective vest after dark. Despite what we non-Audaxers think, some Audaxers really don’t want to actually be a part of the fluro set, even when it really does matter, like, at night, in the dark, on unlit country roads.
Personally, I think organising a track event is much easier! At least people know the rules and are happy to follow them, and I have a commissaire to refer people to when there is a query! And my event is undercover! Who said trackies are dumb??
So, good luck for this weekend Mr Flowerpants. I hope the weather is not as bad as it’s meant to be (sorry for reminding you) and all ride safely, lights and all, and enjoy the experience. Me, I’ll be eating pizza, doing some speed work, and staying warm and dry
Monday, 21 September 2009
Riding up the long hill at the start of the Warragul Club handicap, a course I started my racing career on, I was thoroughly happy with the thought: this proves it! I am truly a trackie, cos I've just been dropped on a hill!
Yesterday, on tired legs, I rode 4b over to Coburg track for a bit of a session with Coach. I couldn't hold 40kph behind the bike. It wasn't looking good. So we opted for some starts: getting the technique down pat and levelling out my crooked body out of the gate. I had the speedo on, and began looking at the kphs at particular points on the track. The warm-up lied, and I am feeling confident for a PB at Worlds.
The inability to stand up without wanting to puke or faint after an effort is totally worth knowing there is a PB festering away in it. I felt like a sprinter between efforts, hobbling over to a blanket to lie down, because even sitting was too much for my glycogen depleted body. It's hard to comprehend that a one lap effort can drain the body so deeply. Pursuiting five or six or seven, yes, but not ripping up one.. But the slow realisation of what I was doing in terms of numbers on the speedo, on a windy concrete track, was worth every shaking muscle and every quiver of nausea. I love track. You can be an enduro or a sprinter or something in between. It's just a matter of finding what gives you the thrill, and brings out your mojo.
Thursday, 17 September 2009
My salad lunches are noted at work. I have a reputation for eating rabbit and cat food. Today's comment was: that's very healthy (hmm I could be rich for every time I hear that). Standard reply: too healthy. I really want fish and chips. Then I get: no wonder you're so skinny (hmm debatable, there are much much skinnier in the office). If I didn't race bikes, I would be skinnier!
Therein, for me, lies the joke. The joke that makes me think about cycling, racing bikes, the things we do to ourselves to have some kind of success (truly only measurable by ourselves). Today, over my salad with tuna, rabbit and cat food, I came across some writings by a guy called Nathaniel Ward. Nathaniel writes for Embrocation Cycling Journal. But his articles today, he wrote for me. Timely. His words even reminded me of my dressage days, and the beauty in that sport; the years of study, training and learning I undertook to become a "natural" with talent and feel. Those memories reminded me of how long I have been in cycling, and where I was at half a life time ago, with the same number of serious horse years in my riding boots.
It was timely because I have been sitting here wondering why the hell I am in this sport, mainly because of the barriers that present repeatedly. Dressage would be easier in many ways, but only because I realise that I have done the hard yards already. I understand the professionalism required of that sport, intrinsically. I am still learning in this one. By professionalism, I don't mean being paid to ride, but behaving and acting with professionalism. There is a difference between just racing, and being a racer. I am finding my way through that gap. Often I get lost, or scared, or frustrated, or tired, plain bone-tired, or unbelieving, mainly unbelieving. Just as I did learning the way of dressage, over many hard years, to the point where I can feel dressage in my bones, my muscles and nerves, my blood, even right now as I write of it.
Funny how things come to you, when you need them. Nathaniel's words did that today whilst I was munching my salad. And I finally made a connection that I have been looking for, but didn't know what it was or where to find it. Guess it was there all the time, just waiting for me, under the baby spinach.
Wednesday, 16 September 2009
Passionate people do not follow standardized scripts well, they are constantly seeking to improvise, challenge conventional wisdom and strike out on new and unexpected paths. Passionate people are not predictable and, as a result, undermine determined efforts to ensure predictability. These individuals also detest the organizational politics that pervade these institutions as many in the hierarchy begin to focus on hoarding and protecting limited resources.
As a result, we often tend to be deeply unhappy in our current institutions. We are profoundly frustrated by the daily obstacles that we encounter at every turn. We see all the possibilities, but experience firsthand the barriers that keep these possibilities far out on the horizon rather than within our grasp. Well-meaning mentors advise us to get with the program and embrace the institutional agenda even if it means leaving our passion at the door every morning as we report for work. We quickly learn that our passions are viewed as deeply subversive, rather than as treasured assets. As a consequence, many of us have fled these institutions and learned to build independent platforms that are more suitable for pursuing the work that we love. Others remain in our institutional homes, struggling to make a difference against enormous pressure."
Strike a chord??? The whole article is here.
- Every bike was carbon. Except mine
- Every state had the state institute of sport involved. Except
- Head counting kids in a bus is much harder than it looks.
- Bananas are more popular than apples as fruit of choice for cyclists
- Sitting in a hire bus for 8 hours really is character building
- When dressed in the same gear as teenagers, I still get mistaken for being a kid. Until I take my sunglasses off and smile ;-)
- Mecca Bah in Manuka has great food. Especially the icecream
is an awesome facility. Except for its lack of velodrome Stromlo Park
- Yes, I CAN yell loud enough for kids to hear me when they are racing!
- Mobile phone reception is dodgy in
. Easy to forget you really are in the country when in the nation’s capital. Canberra
- I heard a rumour Calvin Watson is moving to NSW
- It IS possible to wear a pair of jeans for more than three days in a row, and get away with it
- Being Team Manager is a shit of a job. I think Luke probably got three hours sleep a night.
- The food at the roadhouse in Holbrook is overpriced and badly done. Don’t go there
- Being a team coach is hard emotional and physical work, and very rewarding.
The week at Junior Nationals was a blur of planning, organising, riding, training, race prep, mental prep, mentoring kids, doing 11pm patrols to make sure everyone is where they are meant to be, making sure fluids and food are going in, nerves are not totally overwhelming, warm ups happen on time, last minute mechanicals didn’t stress out athletes too much, crash nerves steadied and riders remounted, instructional words and encouragement shouted every lap, sitting in the back of spares vans doing some extreme van surfing whilst getting incredibly emotionally involved with your riders slogging it out to the bitter end.
By Friday, I had no idea what day it was, what time it was. My perspective was the race we were focussing on for that day (ie Friday: must be TT day), how long before race start, warm up for the current rider, where my next rider was, last minute check ins with riders pre-race, post race check ins to make sure they were eating and drinking and feeling ok. Days revolved around head counts, loading bikes, bags, kids on to and off the bus and trailer, setting up in the stands, getting race order/start times implanted in my head, listing rider numbers on the back of my hand, helping sort out race spares, constantly checking in with the kids individually with simple words of encouragement or a quiet question: How are you feeling? Can I get you anything? How’s it going? The answers provided a gauge to nerve levels, which then fed into how much support the rider needed to get organised for racing. It was a learning experience, that’s for sure.
Every day, the team continually surprised and inspired me with their determination and gutsy racing. No one gave up; many kept giving more when there seemed nothing left to give. Some quietly circulated after their own races, helping support their team members during their warm ups and encouraging them during their races. Kids who were challenging and distracted off the bike, became focussed racing machines on the bike. Kids who were quiet and reserved made brave bold moves that demanded attention, and deserved admiration and praise for their audacity. For some, it was their first time competing at that level, let alone travelling interstate. It was a daunting, overwhelming prospect for those kids, but they rallied and stepped up. They gave it what they had, and then some.
I was fortunate to get to meet some talented, dynamic, interesting people, and a little sad now to simply walk away from the team, as it disperses into a group of individuals who have a shared experience of competing. I know I’ll encounter them over the coming track season, and I’ll enjoy watching them all progress now that they are no longer names on race programs and results lists, but personalities whose company I have enjoyed, and who have reminded me why we race, and, more simply, ride a bike.
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
I am sure I have packed too much, but am prepared for the Canberra morning chill!!! Bike clothes, normal clothes, food, bike gear. Even for training only, it adds up.
I'll be posting via Twitter and Facebook on team results, and what it's like to be a team coach. I am nervous, as a first timer on Team Management, but also really looking forward to providing some final support and encouragement to the team as they lay their best on the line.
Monday, 7 September 2009
Sunday was track day, that wasn’t. I started the day with an upset digestive tract, and only rode part of the way to the track on 4B, into a lovely headwind which seems to be the norm in
Once home, I climbed onto the trainer, which has had the fixed wheel strapped into it for the last few months. This time, I had my road bike plugged in, and the feel was much easier on my beleaguered quads. I’ve been trying to work out why I have been struggling a bit on the trainer: now I know why. Same as riding the fixie on the road, makes a freewheel feel like sponge puff with passionfruit icing. As I was feeling bad about not doing any track efforts, and was feeling ok after a good warm up, I had a crack at a 500m TT effort. I set up the gear and trainer resistance as I normally do for these efforts, to make them as track like as possible. 200m into the effort and I see a whopping figure on the powertap for kph. Like, a ridiculous figure that I’ve never seen before. So I figure the powertap is playing up, although the watts are consistent with what I’ve experienced before under that load, and, well, they were pretty good watts but not extra-ordinary for me. I have a rest and do it again. Same thing. I try for a third time, but this time try to see if I can wring more speed out of the thing, whilst trying to keep the trainer on the floor. Well, that worked, so at least the PT is responsive, if a bit outrageous (though consistently so) in its estimates of my speed. Another two efforts of the same outputs, plus a gut full of nausea and I call it quits, with the knowledge that there is some improvement in my ability to do those mock 500m TT efforts, but what exactly, I’m not really sure apart from higher rpm held for longer. Woohoo!! And to do it with a body totally underwhelmed by a morning of gastric distress, is, well, plain odd. But kind of pleasing. In a surreal, scratch your head, how did that happen kind of way.