Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Wait, weight, weights.


The keys to my cycling right now.

Wait: I can't have it all, do it all, be it all right now.  I have to wait for opportunities and work to get results.

Weight: I have to lose that last few kilos.  I'm just on the edge of fit weight and moving that last bit is really hard.  It's just discipline but discipline I don't have right now.

Weights:  I need strength.  Fast explosive strength that will let me blast out of corners, respond to surges and sprint for a line.  I just don't have that kind of strength and weights are a big part of getting it.

These are my targets.

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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Let's Go Racing

On Saturday I finally went racing.  Wow!  What a hoot.  Armed with my freshly minted racing licence I turned up at Glenaroua fire station in back of beyond.  Knowing I warm up slowly I did an easy 25km warmup with a few fast jumps just to get the legs working and fronted up with my five bucks to race.

With the race number 50 pinned to my shirt, I rolled up to the start.

First mistake: the previous Saturday morning I'd been out for a ride and met up with another rider.  Daryl was very sociable and I soon learned that he rode with my new club too.  We rode along together for 15k or so just putting a bit of punch into the hills and seeing what each other had while trying not to puff.  Daryl was, of course, the club handicapper.  Big mistake.

So it was that I found myself off 4 minutes from scratch, in amongst a bunch of guys who's legs looked huge.  The only steel frame and it seemed the only one without $4,000+ wheels.  Quickly I learned that I could at least climb with the other guys in my group.  We were caught by the 2 minute group at about 20km and things started to wind up.  Fortunately there were a few hills here and I was able to keep up without too much drama.  At around 24km we came to a sharpish corner and I found myself drifting through it at the back.  Of course that was where the acceleration came.  Twenty metres off the back I gave it everything.  Downhill with a tail wind I was pushing max heartrate without making any dent on the bunch.  Eventually 20 became 40, became 60m and I was starting to look down the barrel of a long limp home.  

I heard a fuss behind and looked back to see the scratch riders coming fast.   Somehow I managed to tag on and stick a wheel.  Fortunately we hit the hill up the cutting out of sugarloaf creek.  It was here that we caught back up to the remnants of my bunch and the 2 minute group. By now we were passing outmarkers at a great rate and I was feeling pretty good.  Well, as good as I can at 175bpm.  On the final corner with 4km to go I was determined to get around in mid bunch but again found myself outmanouvred to the back.  This time I was ready with a big gear and knew just what to do.  I flat sprinted out of the corner to get back on to the bunch which was now shedding riders rapidly. 

I made it, but had spend all my coins.  Nothing left, I had to let them drift up the road.  Several of my fellow riders now stuck the car following the main bunch.  I almost did the same but followed at sufficient distance to not be disqualified.  Eventually I came in 9th.  Not a triumph but not too shabby for a first outing.

What now?

Next weekend is an individual time-trial.  On the flat.  Not my preferred terrain.  Nowhere to hide. I'm looking forward to it.

All in all I just love going so fast.  The crowd from the club were really friendly and went out of their way to include me.

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Friday, 13 February 2009

Let's Get Jiggy

I've been a bit quiet of late.  Mainly because my life is so full of stuff I barely have a moment to write about it here.  The big cycling news for me is that I've responded to the idea that my legs don't want to get faster by going racing.

I've got a racing licence for the first time in 30 years (maybe more) and I'm off to race with the local club this weekend.  It's pretty exciting and scary at the same time.  Last time I raced, I never worried about hitting the deck. It happened sometimes and I'd get up and keep going. I'm getting weaker or smarter, because I really don't like scaping my bark off on the road anymore. It not only hurts like hell but I seem to be doing more damage and it takes much longer to heal.

The other big what if, is what happens if I get spat out the back in the first kilometer and have to choose between limping home alone and pulling the pin. I guess it'll be a long ride if that happens, 'cos I won't be pulling the pin.

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.
- Cake
Anyway, I've got to strip the old girl right down tonight, so I look a little serious, even on a 25 year old steel frame.  What?  No redundant lighting?

I might risk racing with only the one headlight bracket...

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