A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:30 pm

Well i've always been super critical of myself, so i wouldn't be surprised if that comes through. I do have a tendency to ride as quickly as possible though, something which i definitely need to work on.
I have entertained the thought of setting out a detailed training plan for myself, and was sent a very handy link by another forum member but i'm feeling that taking it a week or two at a time is the best approach for the moment, so i can easily change my plans to allow for varying weather/workload/health. My focus at the moment is on getting some core strength happening, doing some running and high cadence work to get my aerobic fitness up to scratch, and doing some steady long rides.

As for mental toughness, i have actually struggled with depression in the past and would actually describe myself as fairly fragile emotionally. Being able to get up at ridiculous hours just comes down to growing up on a farm (so waking up early to work hard was simply the way life happened) and my view that if i don't work hard now and get a good palmares, then all the time i've spent away from my friends, family and soulmate was just mucking about (and i don't like the sound of that). I have two very big goals to work towards in relation to that, but i'm keeping those under my hat for the moment.

This evening i got really rattled by a close call with an idiot who pulled out in front of me at an intersection while driving, so i really don't feel like doing any riding tomorrow. Some stretching and mechanical work will do i think.
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by BNA » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:27 pm

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jun 24, 2012 8:27 pm

Very nice day on the bike today, in spite of a very late night at work followed by 3 hours of sleep i got going without any problems, and got in 81k on the Mercier. Took it quite steady for the most part but still got around fairly quickly (Cooroy to Yandina on the highway in exactly 30 minutes :) ). Annoyingly, top gear was unusable, so i spent almost the whole time in 52-17, hopefully the Maillard freewheel i'm intending to fit will sort that. The weather is looking a bit crook, but fingers crossed it will be good enough for my planned long ride on Tuesday.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:51 pm

What a day! The weather was looking pretty crook, but i wanted to do a long ride today, so a long ride was going to be ridden dammit! Last night i popped the cranks off the Scott, tightened the BB (which was fine as it was, but i could tighten it more, so did) and greased the BB axle before putting the cranks back on. That only worked for 25 odd k and then that bloody noise came back, and it's getting worse so i need to set aside some time to strip the bastard down and sort it out once and for all.

I set off in my short gear, thinking it didn't look too cold or wet (HAHAHA!) and rode steadily to Caloundra. It was a bit frustrating only averaging 28 or thereabouts for the first hour but i knew i was going to need that energy later on, and there was a headwind after all. There were a couple of spots in Caloundra where i had to take poorly made and marked footpaths as bikes weren't allowed on the roads i wanted to take. Restricting where and when i can travel for no good reason? What next they want me to wear a bloody star of david? :evil: . But really, in the big picture it's nothing.

I stopped in Landsborough for some food and a rest stop, and then it was time to tackle the hulking great monster of a climb up Bald Knob. With a 39-25 bottom gear it was a hard slog, but i was very surprised at how well i got up it, even though i was only managing about 50-60rpm. From about 3/4 of the way up i felt on top of the world and rode very well for quite some time after that. By the time i was through Maleny it had started raining, and i was getting wet and cold. But i had a cunning plan, and had packed a plastic poncho :!: .

I hadn't expected that after nearly a year sitting in my car, the thing had fused together and i couldn't unwrap it. Oh.

I decided to carry on to the next town and grab one there, of course i didn't know that the next town was some way after the bottom of a long steep descent (ie lots of very cold wind). By the time i reached said town (Conondale) i was absolutely frozen. I rolled into the very sleepy town, expecting to see that kid with the banjo from deliverance at any moment :) . I popped into the general store, and there i got my hands on the Super Awesome Mega Sexy Colour Matching Poncho!! (and a nice hot meat pie, just the ticket).

That felt a lot better, so i carried on to Kenilworth, still getting along fairly well (although the flapping from that poncho was damn annoying). Along the way there was a ripper descent into Bellbird creek, not too steep so i wasn't as nervous as usual, and EVERY corner was perfect, like a bitumen roller coaster :D . I had worked out two possible routes on the map the other day, to reach Kenilworth and keep heading north to Traveston before heading back to Coolum (which would be about 215k) or to go from Kenilworth straight across to Eumundi, then on to Coolum. With the weather not looking to get any better i chose the latter.

At the top of Eerwah Vale (about halfway to Eumundi) i stopped for some more food, and then set off expecting an enjoyable run down the valley to the highway. WRONG! The minute i popped over the top of the range i got smashed in the face with rain and a bitterly cold gale, even with the Super Awesome Mega Sexy Colour Matching Poncho i was frozen again. The next 30odd k was very very hard slogging it into that wind and rain, pushing hard in the drops and only being able to hold 15kmh is an extraordinary kind of torture.

All told it came to a touch over 175k, moving time 6:48, total time 8:02 (by jiminy i wasted some time off the bike!), average HR 144 and calories burned (FWIW and as accurate as it may/may not be) 6476!

Interesting point on the HR, only 6k in i was riding along at a steady pace that should have had me on about 140bpm, and i noticed the HRM was actually showing 216. So it may well be the 219 i saw a while back was also a dud. Could be a couple of reasons for it but i wouldn't be surprised if it's just a problem with the HRM, i was wearing it when i had my bad MTB crash last year.

I'm amazed at how good i feel after this ride, i know i've done a lot of work but i'm not doubled up in pain, and haven't had any cramping (YET!!)
Tomorrow morning if i wake up on time i'm intending on throwing the bike on the stationary trainer for a little bit of a spin. As for the rest of the week, i may do some sessions on the trainer on thursday or friday, there's no way i want to go out in that weather again for a while!

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby duds2u » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:09 am

Lockie,
You are a nut to be riding in this weather.
I'm getting frustrated with not riding since Sunday but my rule is "If it's aining when I look outside, I stay inside".
I may be a bit soft but at my age I'm entitled to be. :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby Retro man » Wed Jun 27, 2012 9:58 am

Man
You better hpoe toolonglegs dosent read that! :lol:
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:25 pm

To my great annoyance i slept in yesterday and wasn't able to get on the trainer as i had planned, but i did get to sneak in half an hour on it this evening, fast spinning with a couple of efforts thrown in. Always amazes me how much i sweat on that thing, even with a fan going. Ideally i want to get some riding in tomorrow morning, either a lap around Kin Kin or 30mins to an hour on the trainer if the weather is still crook.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jun 30, 2012 11:40 pm

Short commute today on the Dawes, i was intending to take it at only a moderately brisk pace and then i was caught by the big saturday morning bunch i occasionally see going up the coast. Tried to stick with them for a while but they were doing between 42 and 50, and at 50 i was over 185rpm, OW!! They eased back a smidgen on the hillier northern end of the david low way and i was able to keep within shouting distance (well ok i would have needed to shout pretty damn loud :) ), averaged 34.7kmh for the ride up which was a bit lower than i expected. To my utter disgust, when i finished work and grabbed the bike to head back, the rear tyre was flat. No sign of anything to puncture it, and it has indestructible Michelin City 700x28s, nothing can puncture those. Because of my previously unshakeable faith in my tyres i had no pump, tube or levers, so had to get a lift :evil: . So only 26k for the day.

Tomorrow (if i wake up on time, damn late finish at work) i'll head up the coast on the Mercier (with it's AWESOME sounding new Maillard freewheel) for the Sunday bunch ride, probably about 140-150k all up. Then i might repeat the 175k ride on Monday, and hopefully go to my first criterium on Tuesday evening. That may be a little bit much though, so i'll see how i feel tomorrow after the morning ride.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ozstriker » Sun Jul 01, 2012 12:53 pm

185 your legs would have been a blur.

Your nuts, i never leave home without a spare tyre
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:04 pm

ozstriker wrote:Your nuts


Yea i get that a lot :D hahaha.

ozstriker wrote: i never leave home without a spare tyre


A whole tyre, you must have some nasty roads :lol: . On any bike with 700c tyres i usually take 2 levers, pump and at least 2 tubes, but i wouldn't expect to get a puncture on MTB trails with those Michelin hybrid tyres. I haven't been able to investigate yet and find out what actually caused it, there's no obvious signs of anything having penetrated the tyre. I've put probably 2500km on those 2 tyres across a number of bikes and they're still barely worn (although you can actually see the right side of the tyres is a LOT more worn than the left side, that's Noosa's roundabouts for you :D ).

Slept in this morning so i didn't get to do the group ride, i didn't even get out of bed til after 9! Hopped on the Mercier and rode to Alexandra Headlands and back, threw in a detour to get it to 50k. Lovely weather and i felt great, the new Maillard freewheel shifts much better than the Shimano one i had on there before, and it sounds THE BOMB when it's coasting :D . Delighted to report that the top (14t) cog on this one is working, so i was able to get some solid high speed efforts in, but for the most part took the ride pretty steady, need to leave plenty in the tank for the big ride tomorrow.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ozstriker » Sun Jul 01, 2012 2:27 pm

ldrcycles wrote:
ozstriker wrote:Your nuts


Yea i get that a lot :D hahaha.

ozstriker wrote: i never leave home without a spare tyre


A whole tyre, you must have some nasty roads :lol: . On any bike with 700c tyres i usually take 2 levers, pump and at least 2 tubes, but i wouldn't expect to get a puncture on MTB trails with those Michelin hybrid tyres. I haven't been able to investigate yet and find out what actually caused it, there's no obvious signs of anything having penetrated the tyre. I've put probably 2500km on those 2 tyres across a number of bikes and they're still barely worn (although you can actually see the right side of the tyres is a LOT more worn than the left side, that's Noosa's roundabouts for you :D ).

Slept in this morning so i didn't get to do the group ride, i didn't even get out of bed til after 9! Hopped on the Mercier and rode to Alexandra Headlands and back, threw in a detour to get it to 50k. Lovely weather and i felt great, the new Maillard freewheel shifts much better than the Shimano one i had on there before, and it sounds THE BOMB when it's coasting :D . Delighted to report that the top (14t) cog on this one is working, so i was able to get some solid high speed efforts in, but for the most part took the ride pretty steady, need to leave plenty in the tank for the big ride tomorrow.


haha whoops i meant tube
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:36 pm

Boy oh boy have i got news!

My planned 175k ride didn't eventuate, i woke up late and decided to have a rest day instead. (In hindsight i'm happy with that decision).

This morning i popped off to a chiropractor to get an answer on whether or not my hips were skewiff as i (and the masseur i saw the other week) suspected.
Basically, everything below my ears is a mess.
The left side of my pelvis is sitting forward of the right side, which means my right leg is effectively 2 inches shorter, which is causing my lower spine to be tilted off to one side, which explains the tight muscles on my left side. The top few vertebrae are also sitting off to one side, which could be related to my crash last year, but just as likely is simply due to the mess below it. I got x-rays done today and see the chiro about them on thursday arvo.

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Don't need a phD to see that isn't sitting right.

This evening i went off to Caloundra to have a crack at my first criterium. I was nervous as hell as i knew no one, and didn't know how to sign up, what grade i should go on etc. All was well though, everyone was extremely friendly and helpful and i was soon tagged up, ready to go in B grade. :shock: .
So now i was nervous about something else, and not to mention that it was absolutely FREEZING!
The A graders went off first, then a short while later with a yell the B grade bunch rolled over the line. They spun up to about 38kmh and held there for a few hundred metres, and i thought 'this is ok i can deal with this'. And then they all went nuts. All of a sudden BANG they fired out of a corner and up to 52kmh.

With fresh legs i kept on them easily enough, and just as suddenly as they had sped up, they seemed to blow up completely and we were back to 34. :? .
And then it happened again!
What in the hell is going on here? It took me a second but yes i did finally work it out, of course, they were attacking, trying to wear people out.
Once i realised that it added another level of fun to proceedings, riding along pushing a solid pace and constantly looking about at all the other riders, trying to work out who was going to go on a charge and when, and trying to position myself so as to keep up using as little effort as possible, and recovering as much as i could in between.
I quickly learned which parts of the circuit suited me (there was one corner that i particularly liked and could really carve through and gain a fair bit of ground on the others) and realised that none of those parts were near the finish line, so any wishful thinking about a placing got a good dose of reality. The plan switched to trying to get into a half decent position going into the last straight and just smashing it to keep out of last place.
We came onto the bell lap, i didn't have a heck of a lot in the tank but i was far from blown up too. For the first quarter of the circuit they took things pretty easy, i guessed they were preparing to open it up along the back straight and moved up as far as i could. They turned onto the back straight and went very hard but i hung on alright. Onto the top of the circuit they eased back a little and i again tried to move up but was pushing hard. Around the last corner and it was on, i jumped a little late and pushed as hard as i could.

I ended up with 10th, which sounds cool until i add that there were only 13 people in B grade. I'm still very pleased with how i rode, and i had an absolute blast.
Average speed for 40 minutes +2 laps was 39.05kmh, apparently that's a bit slow :shock: .
This is the point where i have to acknowledge my beloved Stef, who stood beside the finish line chatting to another WAG and freezing for the whole 3/4 of an hour. Boy i'm lucky.

The A graders went for 50 minutes +2 laps, so i got to be a spectator for their finish, and HOLY MOLY they were scary fast. Above 65kmh by my guess.

I can't wait to do it again, what a rush. Tomorrow morning i'm hopping on the Mercier for a 40k spin, then joining the Thursday morning bunch (IF i get to bed at a reasonable hour, i have to work tomorrow night as State of Origin is on).
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:28 pm

Sadly i haven't been on the bike since last Tuesday's crit, i have a couple of sources of extreme stress at the moment and maintaining mental fitness will do more than trying to squeeze in some riding. There's a chance i might get in a ride tomorrow but what will be will be.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ozstriker » Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:37 am

That racing sounds fun i would love to give it a crack one day, my legs need a few more miles first me thinks
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:29 pm

Managed 52k late this morning on the Mercier, very windy conditions which made it hard going in a few spots, but that was outdone by having a speedo on her for the first time and boy can that thing hold speed on the flat (when i haven't got a roaring headwind). Sustained 44kmh? No worries. Even 59.9 was on the cards (thanks to slipstreaming a truck i must admit). Highlight of the ride was seeing a pink with gold decals Univega ladies bike locked up near Alexandra Headlands, not often i see a Univega. The legs felt pretty reasonable, so i'm hoping to get out again tomorrow morning before work.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:11 am

Another 45k on the Mercier this morning, still wet but at least the wind had died down.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby Chris249 » Wed Jul 11, 2012 9:56 pm

Cheezers you're working hard! You're probably averaging as many ks a day as I was getting each week at the end of last season.

If you're unhappy with progress (as it sounds like you are) then maybe as Ozstriker says, you are smashing too hard and too often and not allowing yourself enough recovery time? After all, it's recovery that makes you stronger.

It's either the Cyclist's Training Bible or one of Chris Carmichael's books that notes that you have to put as much mental effort into taking things easy as you have to put into making things hard, just at different times. I used that as a mantra during last year's racing season, when the need for recovery rides meant that every second day I had to commute as slow as 12-15kmh up some grades, while being passed by a stream of riders.

Good luck with the black dog; I had issues there for years until I read Seligman's book, which made a huge difference to life.
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:56 pm

I'm actually thinking it's a lack of training that is the issue, it's not uncommon for me to have entire weeks without any riding, and that's far more recovery than i need really.

The black dog is in the kennel at the moment, occasionally it might growl a bit but doesn't come out these days. A couple of years ago i learned (with the help of a few people) ways to keep things in check. That and the extraordinary support of my soulmate Stef. Every day i fall a little bit more in love with her :) .

I thought i might take a slightly different tack tonight, and describe a night at the pizza shop (as what happens there directly affects things on the bike).

I rocked up this afternoon to find a new driver on (the previous number 2 driver quit last week) so i took him with me for the first 2 deliveries to show him the ropes. It's been quite some time since we had a really busy night at the shop, and of course the boom times had to return tonight. So with only those 2 deliveries worth of training the poor bloke was thrown in at the deep end, as orders came flooding in and i had to do my thing.
Our delivery area takes in around 250km2 (yes really) and doing 14 deliveries across that area in about 3.5 hrs is as hard as any ride. It's more the mental side of things than anything else, the amount of concentration required to drive as quickly as possible (within the boundaries of the law, getting the pizza there quickly means nothing if i lose my licence in the process) whilst remembering where i'm delivering to (which is even harder when taking 2 or more deliveries at once) and then turning on the song and dance for the customer when i get there leaves me shaking and drained by the end of a night like this one.

That might sound pretty horrible, but there is an extraordinarily rewarding feeling that comes from knowing that you are doing your job about as well as anyone could. Compared to the last driver, i could do 3 deliveries in the time it took him to do one. And the tips come in handy too :) .

So after all that is done and dusted, i wander on down the coast to my significant other's, tap out a few lines on here and get some sleep before heading off to work tomorrow morning. And then! Then i try and find some time for cycling, which with the source of stress (which must still remain nameless, but i should be able to elaborate on shortly) will probably not eventuate. There may be an opportunity for a little spin on the trainer on sunday, but we'll just see.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby durilium » Sun Jul 15, 2012 9:30 am

To be honest it sounds like you need a better more fulfilling job, I used to strip and seal floors at sunshine plaza when I first came to the coast five years ago. The job was terrible hours and the boss was a crumpet, it consumed me and was no fun to be around and I had no energy left for anything else. Two years ago I finished my shift and walked out the door and into the car ark and something just clicked.

I called the boss from my mobile right there and then and quit, I know work for Auspost and as far as occupation goes ive never been happier to go to work in the morning. I am home by lunchtime everyday and still make more money than my previous job plus never have to work weekends. I have plenty of time for my wife, son and gym, cycling without feeling bombed out all the time like I used to.

There is plenty of work on the coast if you look at don't expect to be CEO soon as you walk through the door ;)

You'd be very surprised of the positive change to every aspect of your life once your doing an occupation that is not acting as a cancer on your ambitions :)
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jul 15, 2012 11:17 am

Ha ha, i found myself nodding to everything you were saying, because i used to have a job exactly like that. The work itself wasn't really that bad, very repetitive but i don't mind menial tasks, but the work environment was absolutely toxic, not one of the dozens of employees had any interest let alone assion for the job, and the management were quite simply bastards. I was terribly sick frequently when i was there, it absolutely blew me away when i quit there and got my current job at the pool shop. In about 4 years at the previous job, regardless of how much effort i put in, there was never a word of encouragement or any recognition, at the pool shop, EVERY day the boss thanks me for the work i've done.

The pizza shop is much the same, a crazy night like Friday is seriously hard work but the atmosphere amongst the people is very good. Last night was a walk in the park by comparison. It's far from ideal to have the 2 jobs but until my girlfriend can find a job (was 'downsized' from Twin Waters resort over a year ago and hasn't been able to get a job since then, in spite of doing numerous courses in business admin etc) i need to keep plenty of money coming in. Once the L'Eroica is done and dusted i can put the bike restoring off to one side and that will give me a heck of a lot more time.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:15 pm

This week is all about getting ready for the L'Eroica, but i may be able to squeeze in a little bit of riding. 42k this morning (the Coolum to Alex run) to shake down a freshly restored Lawrencia. Bloody awful headwind on the way down but then had a reasonable tailwind in a few spots on the way back. Gave her a bit coming back through Maroochy and again at Marcoola, no speedo fitted to this one so i don't know how fast i was going but i was spinning pretty fast in 53-17 (had the cable length wrong so it wouldn't go into the 14).

Unfortunately i've been called into work tomorrow, might try and sort that clicking noise on the Scott before work and then mosey on down to the crits at Caloundra in the evening. Maybe. :)
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jul 17, 2012 10:11 pm

Woohoo crits are so much fun!! I had another go at sorting the creaking noise on the Scott by replacing the rear wheel skewer and then the cranks, no luck. The only options left now are the BB and chain (although both should be fine) or the frame itself cracking (hopefully not, but possible). I didn't have time to try anything else but i really wanted to go to the crits. "Stuff it" i thought "I'll take the Mercier, what's the worst that could happen".

I was interested to see how it would go, especially with friction shifters on the downtube. I ended up having a great time, i only needed the 2 top gears and changing between those is very quick and easy, it cornered much better than i had thought it would, and while weighing in at 14kg doesn't do wonders for the acceleration, she does ok and holds onto speed very very well.

There didn't seem to be as many sprints this week, and those that did happen didn't last as long. On the other hand, the speeds didn't seem to drop down as much in between so i still had to work jolly hard. Tried to position myself better in the bunch (though i still made plenty of mistakes) and concentrated on getting into a good spot for the final straight. Did an alright job at that, jumped only a little bit later than i should have and went pretty strong to the line, managed 6th from 13 :D .

32k at an average of 37.6kmh. I'm absolutely hooked, can't wait to get out there again.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 21, 2012 8:26 pm

ldrcycles wrote: i have a couple of sources of extreme stress at the moment


And now they're sorted out i should be able to get some really serious training happening.

By the way, they were preparing the bikes for the Noosa Eroica show, and proposing to my girlfriend :D . Done and very done.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby durilium » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:39 am

Congrats on the proposal ;) did you present her with a polished headset spacer as a gag before producing the real ring? :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby foo on patrol » Sun Jul 22, 2012 1:03 pm

Good one mate and the real ring is a highly polished chainring! :mrgreen:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Jul 22, 2012 10:30 pm

Managed to get in some pretty solid riding this weekend. The 40k Mini Eroica on saturday was pretty gentle for the most part, although there were a couple of blokes who were keen for a bit of a barney and the Mercier was willing to join in :) .

Today the Full Eroica absolutely destroyed me, rode well for the first half and got up the significant climbs very well, but the final half i suffered like a dog, it could have been the lack of sleep, the lack of breakfast (although i did my very best to make up for that at the numerous rest stops :) ) or the amount of time we spent stationary but it was very hard going. There was a vicious soul destroying headwind though, and everyone else was in the hurt locker too.
My leg cramped this evening for the first time in a long time, and about the worst i've ever had, the damn thing just wouldn't unlock until i hit it with a vibrating massage thing, which did a great job. Some intense recovery required after all that!
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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ldrcycles
 
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Location: Kin Kin, Queensland

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