A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

open topic, for anything cycling related.

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

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:42 am

You need to pace yourself better Idry and use the down hill sections for recovery. Easier said than done I know but it will come with experience. :wink:

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by BNA » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:19 am

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

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:19 am

Racing Principles
Cycling is as much a game of chess as it is about endurance and power. It is difficult to teach a person race tactics in a short time, race craft is learnt through experience. You could race with one tactic and win, then use the exact same tactic in your next race and finish dead last. Every race is different, every single move (attack, chase, wait) causes different reactions and can effect race outcomes. Below are some basic principles of racing.
Energy and picking your moment to attack
Break Away – on your own
Break Away – with other riders
Bunch
Position
Cornering
Cross winds
Be alert
Ride close
Have a plan
Enjoy your racing and accomplishments

These principle will apply to most races and if followed should help you to be in a winning position more often than not. Remembering there are always exceptions. Good cyclists are not only fit and strong; they are also smart at reading the race.

Energy and Picking Your Moment to Attack
Conserve as much energy as possible throughout the race and only exert energy if it will directly help you to win the race. A simple way to look at energy is to pretend that you start your race with 1,000 tickets and every time you use your energy it is costing you tickets. So your objective is to be in a wining position with as many tickets left as possible.
Every time you attack, chase a break away, do a turn at the front of the bunch, or ride out of the slip stream it costs you tickets. This is not to say that you should not attack or chase down a breakaway, it means that you have to consider weather your efforts will help you to win or not. For example, unless you are one of the best sprinters there is no use staying in the bunch for the entire race and not using any tickets till the finish. If you are not the best sprinter you will want the bunch to split and you will want to be up the road away from the sprinters. In this situation you will have to use tickets (energy) during the race.
If you are going to attack or attempt to break the bunch up choose your time. If the bunch is working well together with everyone taking their turn at the front and there is a head or tail wind, then this is not a good time to attack. A single rider will never beat a working bunch. Wait until the bunch is tired and not functioning well as a group before you attack. A classic tactic is to wait until the bunch has worked hard chasing an earlier break, then attack just as the bunch is about to catch the breakaway, the bunch will want a rest from chasing the previous attack and they may let you ride off. Another good time to attack the bunch is in cross wind, attack along the edge of the road on the opposite side as the wind is coming from. This will force the bunch to work just has hard as you are as they will not be getting any protection from the wind. Cross winds present a good opportunity for the strong riders to do damage and get rid of the weaker riders from the race.

Break Away – On Your Own
A break away is when you have attacked and are ahead of the main bunch in the lead pack of riders.
If you are in a break on your own there is very little tactics. Here are a few tips to help give you your best chance.
Ride smoothly; your average speed will be best. Try not to do burst with efforts of high and low speeds, keep it smooth.
Concentrate on your peddling. As soon as you think about something other than your peddling you are slowing down. Depending on what stage of the race you are at you still may need to consider your race plan.
Ride in the car tracks as they are generally smoothest part of the road. On most roads you will see the paths that the cars make in the road.
If there are buildings or trees by the road ride as close to them as you can. They will provide some protection from the wind.
Try to keep low in an aero dynamic position.
If your breakaway is unsuccessful and you are going to be caught by the chasing riders, be ready for them. Take time to get your breath back, have something to eat and drink. As they are approaching accelerate so that you are doing a similar speed as them when they come past so you can easily get back in to the bunch.

Break Away – With Other Riders
If you are in a breakaway with other riders it is important to work as a team. If you want the breakaway to stay away from the bunch you have to show the other riders that you are committed to the break and that you are willing to work hard. Do hard turns on the front. If the other riders think that you are not committed they may not commit and the break will not work.
Look after the riders in your break. Give them room up the road in cross winds so they are not stuck on the edge of the road out of the slip stream. When it is your turn on the front do not accelerate fast. Keep the pace smooth so the rider who did the turn before you can get back in the slip steam easily. Once every rider in the break is in a good position you can lift the pace slowly keeping it smooth.
Cycling is about you winning not the break wining. For a break to work all the riders have to work together as a team. There then becomes a point in the race when the brake away riders ‘your allies’ become ‘your enemy’. You have to beat them across the line. Once you are certain that the main bunch is not going to catch your break away group it is time to think about beating the riders in the break. At this point you may want to consider doing the opposite to the suggestions above and try to make it hard for the riders in the break.

Bunch
Riding in the bunch is possibly the most important skill in cycle racing. If you ride in the bunch effectively you can preserve a lot of energy. Skilled bunch riders will know,
Where to position themselves within the bunch;
When to do turns on the front of the bunch;
Able to predict and react to changes in the bunch; and
Able to ride close to the riders around them taking maximum advantage from the slip steam.

Position
There are always exceptions but generally being about the 10th rider in the bunch is a good position. 10th is close to the front so you can react to moves and go with attacks if you desire. It is close enough to the front that you should not get stuck on the edge of the road out of the slip stream in a cross wind. 10th is far enough away from the front of the bunch so you will not have to do too many turns on the front to hold your position. When riding in a bigger bunch you have to continually be moving forward through the bunch. If you are not moving forward in a big bunch you are going backwards.

Cornering
It is important to be close to the front of the bunch when racing on a circuit with a lot of corners such as a criterium. The bunch has a rubber band effect when cornering. The riders at the front of the bunch slow down to go around the corner which forces the riders at the back slow. The front riders then accelerate out of the corner; this means that the riders at the back of the bunch are breaking while the riders at the front are accelerating. Therefore the riders at the back have to accelerate a lot harder out of the corner than the front riders.

Cross Winds
It is important to be at the front of the bunch in cross winds. It is to your advantage to do your turn at the front and be part of the working group in cross winds. In a cross wind the bunch will spread (echelon) out across the road. For the riders that get stuck on the edge of the road it is very difficult as they get minimal slip stream advantage.
If you are in the working group at the front of the bunch in a cross wind it is important that you stick very close to the wheel in front of you. Riders from behind will try to force their way into the working group so they can get protection from the wind. If one person can break your link in the chain, another two or three may get through and you will end out of the group and in the wind.

Be Alert
When you are in the bunch it is important to concentrate on what is happening ahead of you. Watch the front of the bunch. If the riders at the front are accelerating you know that you to will have to accelerate; the sooner you react the better it is. Don’t rely on the wheel in front of you. Be prepared for changes.
Know what changes (e.g. climbs/corners) are coming up in the circuit. Be aware which side of the bunch will offer the best protection from the wind and get to that side of bunch before the corner.
Be wary of tired riders in front of you. If the rider in front looks tired and it is likely they are going to drop off from the wheel in front of them, go pass the tired person.

Ride Close
Riding close to the wheel is a skill that will come with practice. Make an effort to get good at riding close as it will save a lot of energy as you gain maximum slip stream advantage. Know who the good bike handlers are in your race, follow them learn from them.

Have a Plan
Have an objective and a plan before you start the race. As mentioned earlier there is no perfect race tactic. However you are still better to go into the race prepared. Be realistic about your ability, strengths and weakness.
If wining is a distant dream for you at the moment your plan for the race may not be to win but to improve on an aspect of your racing, for example your plan could be to ride the race using as little energy as possible teaching you how to preserve energy, or to get in a breakaway so you learn how to handle your self in a break. Stick to your plan, to eventually win a bike race sometimes you have to be prepared to lose a few.
After the race assess your performance and plan. Figure out what went well for you and what did not. Think about what you will do next time you are in the same situation.

Enjoy Your Racing and Accomplishments
As you have read cycling is complicated so winning is rarely easy. Therefore celebrate your wins as they can be few and far between. Similarly do not be disheartened by your defeats because the difference between winning and losing can be due to one of a hundred tiny factors. However evaluate your wins and loses and learn from them.
A true understanding of cycling tactics will only come with years of experience. The more you understand cycling the more issues arise and it becomes even more complicated. However this article which only scrapes the surface of cycling tactics should help to stimulate thoughts regarding your racing.

Key Advice for Road Racing
General
Know yourself including strengths, weaknesses and those of your major opposition. Once you are comfortable with this analysis race accordingly and expose your strengths and your competitor’s weaknesses.
Analyse the course including the climbs, descents, road surface, cross winds, finishing set up, i.e., corners roundabouts.
Know the vital points of the race and prepare for them
Be patient, but decisive. Always have a reason for doing what you do within the race. Ask yourself what have I to gain? What have I to lose?
Be ready to capitalise on any situation that arises, turn negatives into positives.

Breakaways
The longer the race the less likely an early break will succeed. Always check who is in the break. If you are not sure go with it, but do not drive it until you have something to gain from it.
Be prepared to take a calculated chance. Play the percentage game. If you play safe all the time, that’s where you will finish, safely back in the bunch. Put it on the line when the odds are going your way.
Keep positive, but don’t deceive yourself. Don’t make excuses after the race is over.

Timing
Good Times to Attack:
Immediately after a break is caught, or just before
Over the top of a difficult climb
Straight after a sprint
At “that moment” when everyone hesitates after a major effort
Just near the finish
Change of wind direction

Bad Times to Attack:
Down Hill, unless very technical descent and you are very confident. This is often not worth the risk especially if it is wet
Tail Wind, or when the race speed is fast
On long straight roads into the wind, unless you can take a strong group with you.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:54 pm

greyhoundtom wrote:

If you play safe all the time, that’s where you will finish, safely back in the bunch.



That's my favourite line :) . No one ever got faster and stronger by being comfortable :) .

Thanks for that tom, really interesting, while i had seen/heard a lot of that stuff reading it all at once helped it to seep in.
The issue i have had is that to date, any race i have been in has seen me dropping off the back regardless of whether i pushed hard on the front or tried to just follow a wheel. Now that i am getting stronger though, i think i can actually start to put these tactical aspects in to play, for me the message from last night was that even though i wasted a huge amount of energy in a poorly timed, poorly executed charge, i still finished mid pack, where in most of the other crits i've done, i sat in the pack sucking wheel and got the same result at the finish. So with the strength that is starting to develop, if i conserve my energy and attack properly (ie at the right time) i should see some better results.


If nothing else, my little attack had one good result...

http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/ph ... /17097/#/0


It's me! :D . (or as my mum said with a disapproving tone "a thinner version of you"; she thinks i'm getting too skinny).

The next time i do some hard training (probably an afternoon or two this week) i'll be doing it at the crit track so i have less recovery time compared to doing intervals at gyndier.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby greyhoundtom » Sun Dec 16, 2012 5:16 am

Great photo, and nicely balanced on that corner .........looking good :D
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:13 pm

What a fantastic 24hrs!
With Noosa blanketed in smoke from the fire on North Shore, i decided to ditch the Giraween crit track for a loop out at Cudgerie Estate near Cooroy, and while i was in the area there were a few interesting segments i could have a crack at.
The first climb was a subdivision on the outskirts of Cooroy, while it's very short it's also a long way north of 20%, so i was happy to clear it with the 52-28, 2 runs up that and then i set off for Black Mountain.

There are a bunch of hilly roads around Black Mountain but my destination was the exceptionally steep road to the summit of the mountain itself. It's narrow, rough, peaks somewhere in the high 20s and even in the 39t it's seriously hard yakka.
But once at the top the reward is a great view over the hinterland to Noosa.

Image


Image



After slowly making my way back down (being so steep it's best to take it VERY steady), and a brief break to take a phone call :roll: i headed for my training loop, where i got in 3 good repeats. That loop is a lot of fun, there is a nice view from the top, it's short enough to keep the heart rate right up, and the climb is in 3 pinches, with JUST barely enough easing between each that they can all be taken at 100%.
As the evening was getting on by this stage i headed back towards Cooroy, keen to keep pushing a fast pace. But as i got up to pace (mid to high 30s) a voice came to me, like Obi Wan Kenobi telling Luke to "use the Force", i could hear Foo saying "pace yourself". So i did, and blow me down if i didn't set an absolutely blistering average speed in to Cooroy. Once in town i headed over to Swift Drive to see what i could do on the segment there and rode exceptionally well, just floating along.
On getting home and uploading the file, BAM! 3 KOMs! You bloody ripper!

While i wanted to commute on the bike today, after having ridden so hard last night it seemed the sensible thing to do would be to ride VERY slowly so as not to upset my tender 'muscles'. Alas, i slept in, so i had a choice of riding quickly and getting to work on time, or taking the car and using petrol and destroying the environment and won't someone please think of the children?!

So i rode. And that's where things got very interesting, as i was able to tick along MUCH faster than i had expected. With supernatural Foo sitting on my shoulder again, i kept my cadence higher than usual and concentrated on keeping a consistent sustainable effort, and was richly rewarded when i ("i" means the guy with a big backpack riding a steel 96 Apollo with triple cranks and MTB gearing at the back) blew past a bloke on a carbon Cervelo TT bike in his best skinsuit. An average of 34.2kmh between Coolum and Noosa (with one red light) is very acceptable indeed, especially on that bike.

And then i opened the Noosa News to see that photo from the Crit filling some empty space between the classified ads for purebred Alaskan Malamutes and the ads on the back page. Which was cool, even if the caption described me as "pumping hard".

Onwards and upwards (as it were).
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Re: I would write something here but i forgot

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:49 am

From my understanding an integral part of getting old (along with complaining about the cost of EVERYTHING and driving everywhere at 30kmh with your left indicator on) is forgetting things. Being only 25 i've got to have that KOM well and truly sewn up, because i've forgotten a few things lately.

First of all, the results for the timed climb in the Tour de Tamborine, last year i managed 24:11 for 31st place, this year i took more than 2 and a half minutes off that, to 21:35 and 9th place :D .

The other thing was that i FINALLY adjusted my cleats before Monday night's ride. I've been meaning to shift them for ages, as i've been getting the feeling i had them too far forward. They still need a little fine tuning but it's definitely a big improvement, and hopefully it will reduce or completely fix the foot pain i've been having. It could also explain those 3 KOMs, i mean getting fitter and stroger is one thing but every wannabe racer knows that equipment is the be all and end all, which is why there were so many people at the Tour de Tamborine offsetting their saddle bags by running deep dish Zipps.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby g-boaf » Wed Dec 19, 2012 7:33 am

ldrcycles wrote:After slowly making my way back down (being so steep it's best to take it VERY steady), and a brief break to take a phone call :roll: i headed for my training loop, where i got in 3 good repeats. That loop is a lot of fun, there is a nice view from the top, it's short enough to keep the heart rate right up, and the climb is in 3 pinches, with JUST barely enough easing between each that they can all be taken at 100%.
As the evening was getting on by this stage i headed back towards Cooroy, keen to keep pushing a fast pace. But as i got up to pace (mid to high 30s) a voice came to me, like Obi Wan Kenobi telling Luke to "use the Force", i could hear Foo saying "pace yourself". So i did, and blow me down if i didn't set an absolutely blistering average speed in to Cooroy. Once in town i headed over to Swift Drive to see what i could do on the segment there and rode exceptionally well, just floating along.
On getting home and uploading the file, BAM! 3 KOMs! You bloody ripper!

While i wanted to commute on the bike today, after having ridden so hard last night it seemed the sensible thing to do would be to ride VERY slowly so as not to upset my tender 'muscles'. Alas, i slept in, so i had a choice of riding quickly and getting to work on time, or taking the car and using petrol and destroying the environment and won't someone please think of the children?!

So i rode. And that's where things got very interesting, as i was able to tick along MUCH faster than i had expected. With supernatural Foo sitting on my shoulder again, i kept my cadence higher than usual and concentrated on keeping a consistent sustainable effort, and was richly rewarded when i ("i" means the guy with a big backpack riding a steel 96 Apollo with triple cranks and MTB gearing at the back) blew past a bloke on a carbon Cervelo TT bike in his best skinsuit. An average of 34.2kmh between Coolum and Noosa (with one red light) is very acceptable indeed, especially on that bike.

And then i opened the Noosa News to see that photo from the Crit filling some empty space between the classified ads for purebred Alaskan Malamutes and the ads on the back page. Which was cool, even if the caption described me as "pumping hard".

Onwards and upwards (as it were).


That's priceless! The bike is nothing without a good engine. :)

Your posts are are an inspiration. 8)
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby zakka101 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:31 pm

lachy i saw the KOMS on your strava feed and was like ' FAR OUT ' mate you are killing it.
you love life.

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

Postby zakka101 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 12:38 pm

im actually scared for my life
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Re: Today is Thursday.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Dec 20, 2012 9:32 pm

Thanks guys :D . I don't know about 'inspirational' (maybe down the track, i have some ideas) but so long as i'm enjoying myself and not upsetting anyone i reckon i'm going alright.

As mentioned above, today is thursday, and so i decided to join the morning bunch ride. Up at 3:30am (that part is never fun) to drive down to Noosa. Things started off pretty well, from Noosa to Black Mountain my legs were feeling ok, if a little stiff. Then up Black Mountain i got dropped like a sack of potatoes, i didn't feel like i could suck in enough air and my legs were AWOL. I was a bit surprised, especially given how well i had ridden earlier in the week but i managed to get back on to the group so no worries (and i probably can't expect my best after waking up that early). I let a little gap open up on the Cootharaba climb but got back on by the top, at which point i was promptly dropped on the descent, in spite of hitting nearly 80kmh. I need to get a cassette with an 11 tooth, 52-12 just isn't enough.

All of which is just fine and dandy, as that part of the ride is only a warm up anyway. The real action starts when the 2 or 3 bunches join up at Boreen Point and head for Noosa.
It goes a little like this, spin along the main road out of Boreen Point village, down a little hill, and then when you hit the flat instantly up the pace to 50+kmh and hold that til the finish :shock: .

Even though i know what's about to happen i have never been able to hang on, this morning with my improved form i was keen to see how it would go. I hopped on the bunch, they hit 50kmh and i held on, keeping my cadence up a bit and trying not to push too hard. Not pushing hard and 50kmh on the flat are of course 2 completely different things and before too long they had left me behind, but i kept pushing as fast a pace as i could maintain. And maintain it i did, about 4 times further than i have ever managed in the past, it was a wonderful feeling to just keep pushing and pushing, sitting on 38-40kmh.

Eventually i had to sit up but still ticked along at a respectable speed. Strava now informs me that for the 17km segment from Boreen Point to Tewantin i averaged 37.4kmh, most of which was without anyone to draft, i'm absolutely delighted with that.
And somehow even though i felt pretty below average on the climbs i've managed to place on a few, it'll be interesting to see what i can do when i'm feeling good.

Maybe a little spin tomorrow on the Dawes just to move the legs about, then a rest on saturday before the Buderim 9. I'm a bit apprehensive about that one, 75km of ONLY straight up or straight down in less than 3 hrs will be VERY tough. Some of the climbs are well in excess of 25% so i might try to steal my brother's compact cranks.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Dec 23, 2012 9:50 pm

Well that hurt like hell.
Up at 2:58am (oh the humanity!), got my stuff together and headed up to Buderim to register for the 'challenging charity event', remember kiddies it's NOT A RACE!! :lol: .

It was then i realised i had forgotten the gel and extra water bottle :? , ah well it's only 3 hrs and i had 6 weetbix for brekky.
As the eastern sky grew light..

Image



we rolled down to Tanawha to line up at the start ('we' came to 148 all up and 'rolled' meant flying down Mons Road at 70+kmh) and at bang on 5am away we went. I sat in with the lead group up the first climb, and felt pretty good, not 'good' in the sense of doing any quick attacking, but 'good' as in being able to hold a solid pace for a good while, which i proceeded to do.

I had actually been more concerned about the downhills than the climbs, as most of the roads up and down from Buderim are extremely steep, but it went just fine and dandy, i topped out at 88kmh somewhere along the way and the bike felt absolutely rock solid. The first few climbs and downhills zipped by, and before i knew it i had 35kms down. And then i hit a spot of bother.

Until that point, the course had been well signed and marshalled, and i knew exactly where i was going. Then all of a sudden the clear signage and marshall direction disappeared completely and i ended up lost. I kept pushing hard to limit my losses and eventually found a marshall.

Who had no idea where i needed to go.

So i decided to just take my lead from the riders going past, get another climb done and ask the marshalls who would surely be at the top of the climb.

They also had no idea what direction i should take.

After another downhill i was faced with an intersection with no signs at all, but looking down the side street i could see a large group, so i gave chase. 2kms later i had caught them and asked a bloke "excuse me, which hill did you just come down?", to which he replied "we came along Karawatha Drive? Oh you're wearing a number, are you in a race?". :shock:

This WASN'T happening.
An about turn and away i charged again. Naturally i was furious, my legs felt great but they were being wasted. For a while i contemplated just riding back to my car and going home and bugger the lot of you, but soon decided to keep going and do what i could. Eventually my travels led me back to the registration point where i found one of the even organisers who could actually work out where i had been and where i needed to go. So now i knew i had only 2 climbs to go and plenty of time so i was revved up again.

After a slightly sketchy downhill i ground my way up climb 8 (thinking that perhaps it would have been a good idea to take my brother's compact cranks) and headed down Mons Road to Tanawha again. Halfway down i came across a bloke wildly waving to slow down, and around the next corner, an ambulance, first aid car and a crumpled body on the side of the road. From what i've heard the bloke hit a cat's eye and lost it, he would have been doing at least 70 or 80kmh at that point, i really hope he wasn't too badly hurt.

Naturally after that i wasn't too keen on continuing to push hard, which was good as that was the point my water ran out, and the single gummy bear i had been given by a marshall half an hour before was pretty well used up. I inched my way up the last climb (naturally, the steepest, barely rideable with a 39-28) and grovelled over the top, at which point i was passed by a bloke on a mountain bike (of which there were a surprising number, and some of them really honking along).
Of course even in my state of advanced stuffage i couldn't stand by and let that happen so i hoisted my petticoats and gave chase. He knew immediately, and leaped out of the saddle to give it everything he had.
We rocketed through the top of Buderim at 40+kmh, neither of us gaining much until about 150m from the finish i did my best Cavendish impersonation and got the green jersey.
In the end it turns out i did miss one of the climbs, which is irritating but given how well i rode, the fact i covered the 75km it was supposed to be, and i was well within the time limit, to all intents i got the job done.

The finish area

Image



Oppy was a bit tired and needed a lie down


Image


Op op op oppy malvern star!

I was pretty knackered but after a good feed and a lie down i was still able to clear some lantana this afternoon :) .

A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.

Tomorrow i might skip the riding, just perhaps. I think that's a good idea.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby foo on patrol » Mon Dec 24, 2012 8:51 am

That's pretty p*** poor organising on their behalf Idry. :shock:

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Re: Getting the job done.

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:26 pm

While Australian's are by and large not overly religious, we do have some traditions we like to adhere to. Christmas Day is for over-eating and drinking, and Boxing Day is for doing sweet Fannie Adams as the saying goes.

But sometimes traditions need to take a back seat to other activities, and so it was that i hopped out of bed at 3:15 and on to my Malvern Star at 10 to 4 yesterday.

Destination: Kilcoy. After having a look over the map i had worked it out as 100 kms each way, so it was going to be a solid ride.

I ticked along down the coast at a moderate pace until i reached the Steve Irwin Way and caught up to a young bloke on a Look 695 with Di2. We had a bit of a chat (he was planning on about 4 hrs riding doing hills around Maleny) and then i decided to get back to work. He had been doing about 28kmh, myself about 32 so i imagined that was what we would go back to. Well, no, as it happened after a little while i heard the chirp of an electronic gearchange behind me and realised he was taking a draft.

I'm not some snooty elitist who wants everyone to ask permission to suck the wheel of the great LDR but i don't like people drafting me as it means i have a responsibility to ride straighter and more consistently. So i thought i would show Mr Fancy French Bike and Electromological Doohickeys what was what and wound up to 40-42kmh for the next few k. Because i was pacing myself (thanks again Foo :) ) i was holding that pace quite happily, and thought after a little while "hehehe that's done him" and eased off a little.

At which point i heard another "chirp". Rats.
In due course he took a turn, then i took another, he turned off at Beerwah and we both thanked the other for the assistance.

The remainder of the ride to Caboolture was fairly uneventful (until it started raining at km 75) and before long i turned on to the D'Aguilar Highway. I was well pleased with the road there, the surface was ok and the shoulder was nice and wide, though it was still very early and traffic was light.
With my very limited knowledge of the area, i was of the understanding that the terrain between Caboolture and Kilcoy was flat as a pancake, so after passing through the pleasant little town of Wamuran (soon to be home to a new shopping centre called "Wam Central", i kid you not) I was surprised and not a little annoyed when the road started to go up. When i was presented with a sign indicating a 10% grade i swore out loud, and there was more cursing when i rounded the next corner to see a big climb ahead. Especially as it was still raining.

Of course in the big scheme of things the 'big climb' was really just an anthill and i got over it just fine. The following towns of D'Aguilar and Woodford were as nice as Wamuran, and as Woodford was the last town before Kilcoy it was a significant milestone, as was crossing the Stanley River a little way outside the town.
It wasn't long after Woodford that the flat open plains of my imagination were instead replaced with an endless sucession of ups and downs over wide gullys, with a dreadful road surface resembling black cobbles to boot. So it was with great relief that i rolled in to Kilcoy a bit after 8am with 130km down, and i made straight for the servo for a wholesome, nutritious meal.


Image


(there's a seafood stick hiding behind that chiko roll as well)

Suitably refuelled i set off for home, without any rain falling! After having had such a large meal i took it easy for a while, but ended up getting a stitch anyway which stuck with me until i was back on the coast. I felt pretty average as i inched my way up and over the hills out of Kilcoy but i gradually improved to the point that i averaged 34.5kmh between Wamuran and Caboolture.
From Caboolture up through the Glass House Mountains i struggled again, but pushed through and in due course my body seemed to find a rhythm it was happy with, to my delight that rhythm was on the good side of 30kmh. By the time i reached Caloundra i was running really well, and going up Nicklin Way i was absolutely flying, sitting on 36-38kmh no worries. I kept it up through Maroochy, and coming along Bradman Avenue i had a race with a car (one of those moments when you keep pace with a car, they look over and smile, speed up a little, you speed up a little, they laugh, and so on until either the rider runs out of steam or the car runs out of road) and got up to 52kmh! Amazing.

I eventually got back to base with 261.2kms down, 1,822m of climbing, and a moving average of 31.5kmh! I'm stoked i made the distance but absolutely stunned to have got that average speed, my body is really starting to respond to the whip :D .

I've mentioned before what an extraordinary woman my fiancee is, but she really confirmed it yesterday. When i got home after nearly 9 and a half hours, she met me at the door with a huge grin, asking me how i went. Then she made me a protein shake, and as i stood in the kitchen drinking that and regaining my composure she noticed my forehead was quite sweaty and grabbed a hand towel to wipe it off. She is the most exceptional support i could hope for.

After a little lie down it was off to Noosa to give Christmas pressies to her mum and dad, then off to a restaurant for a well earned parma.
Today my riding was limited to a kilometre or so getting groceries but my legs feel pretty reasonable, and i haven't had any cramping.
Tomorrow morning i should be out on the Dawes before work, then maybe an hour or two in the evening followed by a nice big weekend :) .

As far as big rides go, i'm thinking i will do another 200-250k ride within a month, then maybe another slightly longer one, and then Coolum to Kingaroy and back, which should come to around 450kms. Now that will take some hard pumping.
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby foo on patrol » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:19 am

Good effort there Idry but I will warn you. If you doing that ride it gets hillier and no shoulder after Kilcoy but Blackbutt Range has reopened and is resurfaced and there is plenty of trucks using it. :wink: I would do a recon drive first, so you know what you're getting into. :idea:

Foo
I don't suffer fools easily and so long as you have done your best,you should have no regrets.
Goal 6000km
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby zakka101 » Fri Dec 28, 2012 8:29 pm

Major ride, what a gun. goals for 2013?
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Re: It's my thread and i'll cry if i want to.

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:30 pm

So good news and bad news, the bad news i'll get out of the way first.
Last night i was going to go for a bit of a wander while stef was at work, took the wheels out of the car boot and one valve stem has split right at the base for no reason. This morning i set out to go from Coolum to Bli Bli, through to Yandina, then back via Mt Ninderry. I got to Dunethin Rock before my crank arm came loose, how that happened i don't know as i was VERY particular when i installed it, but then i suppose it has done a good thousand or two k since.

Stef, glorious creature that she is, picked me up so i was able to get myself to work on time, whereupon some vile cretin saw fit to heap abuse on me for absolutely no reason. And then i checked my emails and found i had lost 2 KOMs. Bloody hell.

But then to the good news, i stripped the Oppy down this arvo, sorted the cranks out, adjusted the headset, got the chain PERFECTLY clean (i was very pleased with that) and managed 64k feeling very good indeed. I didn't get my KOMs back, but i did come very close, and improved on my previous efforts.

And so it's time to look back on the year that was, i rode 7,727km, lost 7kgs (from 87kgs down to 79.8 this morning), rode 200k for the first time, rode 250k for the first time, rode my first crit, ticked off my new year's resolution of riding over Kiel Mountain, Razorback, Bald Knob and Obi Obi in one ride, rode up to O'Reilly's (to my knowledge, the biggest climb in Queensland), made big improvements to my times for the Noosa Century, GC100 and Tour de Tamborine.

I lost another tooth, got my first carbon fibre bike, restored 10 bikes (or was it 11?) and not least of all, got engaged!

It's been an absolutely extraordinary year, and it's been my pleasure to be able to share it with you all. My most heartfelt thanks for all your interest, advice and good wishes throughout the year, and i hope the next year of rambling is as entertaining, if not more so.

Be awesome to each other :D .
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer.

Postby duds2u » Mon Dec 31, 2012 9:41 pm

Lockie, You're the man.

Looking forward to more of your travels next year and - maybe - one less KOM's.

Damn, if you're real lucky, I might even venture out onto the crit track with you sometime next year. Remember, some OFIL's can't remember how old they really are. :twisted:

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

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:17 pm

Hahaha, it would be great to see you out there mate, and as for that KOM, i reckon i could have that under the minute by the end of this year :) .

Foo, i'll definitely be going for a bit of a roadtrip out that way before riding, just so i know what the hills are like. Riding country roads with no shoulder and crummy surfaces is second nature for me so no worries there.

zakka, the only goals i have in mind at the moment are 15,000km or more for the year, 500k in one ride and to win at least one race. There will definitely be more targets, i will commit them all to paper tonight, ready for me to start a new thread in the next couple of days :) .
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