A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

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ldrcycles
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Mon Jul 23, 2018 10:39 pm

I got to Kilkivan only a few minutes after my planned 6:30 arrival, leaving plenty of time to swear about the cold while getting the bike ready. Seriously it was ridiculous. Singlespeedscott's dash was showing 3 at Kilkivan and 1 at Fat Hen Creek about 10km east, Kingaroy was -2.5 at about 5:50 and not a whole lot warmer by 7. There were a few little spots of frost at the station, and it persisted in the shadows along the trail until at least 8am.


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As a consequence, I was wearing quite literally every item of warm cycling gear I own. Even so, as soon as we started moving the air bit into exposed skin (in my case my temples) like little knives, and as my long finger gloves aren't thermal/winter specific it cut through them very well too.

Ignoring the temperature, it was a beautiful day, and we spun along through the open plains towards Kinbombi. Neither of us had any interest in wading through the Wide Bay Creek crossing (I know I've complained about it before but I cannot overstate how pathetic it is that Gympie Council haven't done anything at all to make it more usable) so we *ahem* found a way to cross without getting wet feet. You can imagine us bunny hopping it at 50kmh if you wish :lol: .

The climb up to Kinbombi starts around the 15km mark, and was just what we needed to warm up a bit. At just 2% grade for 5kms with (mostly) a great surface, it's the highlight of the whole trail. Things get rocky again immediately after coming over the top of the range, but it's improved a lot from the near unrideable beginnings. I was spinning a bit faster cadence than I usually do, and not putting a whole lot of power down as I waited in vain for my body to warm up. Scott clearly wasn't feeling the cold so much, and I had to concentrate on pacing myself even if that meant watching him zip up ahead.

In spite of the relatively mild pace I could feel I was going through calories at a cracking rate, so paused quickly at Goomeri station for some food. Then it was time for my least favourite part of the trail, the "Manyung Minefield" (where Gympie Council tried to outdo Roubaix for terrible surfacing work) and the rather dreary stretch through the scrub and sand from Moondooner to Murgon.

We finally reached Murgon (45km) after nearly 2 and a quarter hours. It says a lot about how tough the trail surface is that we weren't too far off the record pace. However, with a fair headwind blowing it wasn't looking too likely that we'd make up the time needed. The edge was finally coming off the cold, giving me cause to hope that I would finally switch on and could make use of the aerobars.

We ticked along pretty well to Wondai but as the climbing started just outside town Scott disappeared into the distance and my legs flatly refused to follow. After a couple of kms it was obvious the cold start had my body in survival mode and nothing would convince it otherwise. The one way record was obviously off the cards, and as much as I wanted to keep going to try and improve on the double, I could already predict exactly where and how I would crack. I suggested we continue to Tingoora to surf the wind back on the nice downhill from there to Wondai, and after stopping for more food and a toilet break we set off, into a headwind. Yes the wind had managed to swing 180 degrees in a matter of a minute or two :evil: .

Still, I was going that slowly it didn't make too much a difference. I stopped at Barambah Creek a few kms from Murgon to refill my water bottles (South Burnett tap water doesn't agree with me at the best of times).


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I was getting a bit drowsy (that "surviving the cold" mode in action) so nipped into a servo in Murgon for some Red Bull, chicken alfredo, hot chips, and crumbed sausage, much to Scott's amusement. Come to think of it, apart from some of my chips I can't remember seeing him eat the whole day...

It was on the downhill run from Murgon to Moondooner that things got unpleasant, while I was riding along on the aerobars I suddenly had a sharp stabbing pain. As well as muscle pain in my upper thigh there was a tremendously unpleasant sensation a bit to the side of there-


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Yep, not fun at all. One of my brothers complained of similar pain during a Brisbane to Gold Coast ride many years ago, and from memory it was a torn muscle that required a very long recovery. Obviously I was rather concerned but it quickly went away, so just sat up and tried not to aggravate things. I hoped it was just a cramp and said as much to Scott who suggested dates were the fix for cramping. It was worth a shot, and seemed to help a bit.

Scott took pity on me after we went through Goomeri and we swapped bikes for a little while, mine being a very tall, very heavy Merida 29er, and his a vintage Diamondback steel hardtail with drop bars and 26x incredibly fat road tyres. The extra speed available from the Diamondback was offset for me by the limited confidence and comfort from the skinny bars and Brooks saddle. Scott wasn't overly enamoured with the Merida either so we soon swapped back.

After descending Kinbombi and making our way through the plains again, the muscle suddenly flared up and hurt like hell as we went through a gate just a couple of kms from Kilkivan. Again, it settled down quickly (and again Scott got me to eat one of his magic dates) and we finally reached the finish after 133kms and 7.5hrs. That was a long way from the 177kms in 8hrs that I was so confident of.

After getting some fuel and food at the Kilkivan General Store I headed home to do some Googling.

It seemed pretty clear from the symptoms that I was looking at a minor-moderate tear of an abductor muscle, and 5-8 weeks off the bike. That sounded pretty bad to me (with the Strade Bianche in less than 3 weeks and Brisbane-Gympie attempt in just over 4), but given there was no bruising or inflammation (and no real ongoing pain) I made an appointment for the doc. That lead to an ultrasound this afternoon, and while the doc has the final verdict on Wednesday, the radiographer confidently said that there was no sign of any tear. It makes me think that it was just cramping, though why it should be such a specific cramp of a muscle I've never had cramping in before I don't know. Food, sleep, water etc was all normal, the only thing out of the ordinary was the temperature, so maybe that was what did it. In any case, until the doc tells me what to do I'll just sit tight and rest.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby singlespeedscott » Tue Jul 24, 2018 9:04 am

Pleased the injury is not to bad. I stand by my point that man is not designed to sit on his perineum whilst resting on aero bars, particularly when riding off-road
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Tue Jul 24, 2018 10:54 am

singlespeedscott wrote:Pleased the injury is not to bad. I stand by my point that man is not designed to sit on his perineum whilst resting on aero bars, particularly when riding off-road


Dat's true! :wink:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Tue Jul 24, 2018 12:05 pm

Have been enjoying this thread for a while (not a stalker..).

Thanks for posting this narrative, helps me avoid work when I go brain-dead. Hope the injury is nothing severe.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:18 pm

singlespeedscott wrote: I stand by my point that man is not designed to sit on his perineum whilst resting on aero bars, particularly when riding off-road


As opposed the on the hoods position first used by Homo Habilis :lol: .


The doc agreed with the radiographer, no sign of a tear, and the circumstances don't add up. The verdict was some sort of referred nerve pain. So off I went to a physio who poked and prodded for quite some time and again there was a confident verdict of "not a torn muscle". He feels it was actually caused by tight muscles in my back (which I noticed the day before the ride and has been an issue since before I started cycling) pinching a nerve which then goes down to the groin and caused the very unpleasant sensation there. Even being careful with my back it and the shoulders get tight every few weeks and a half hour massage every month or so tends to keep it under control. Of course that isn't addressing why it's actually getting tight in the first place, so there's some work to do there.

As to why this is the first time it's caused this particular response, who knows. The back muscles being at a particular stage of crankiness, plus the cold temps perhaps, or maybe it just felt like it. Bodies can be a bit unpredictable sometimes. I've got the go ahead to get back on the bike, there's no indication there should be an ongoing problem.


Now on the record front, I've now got every single application off to all 8 regional councils and TMR. Gympie have approved their end of the Brisbane-Gympie route (about 1500 metres!) and Toowoomba rang just now to say they need me to send some more info to jump some local laws hoops, but it sounds like a simple box ticking exercise.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Fri Jul 27, 2018 9:32 pm

Only 30kms around Noosa this evening, the legs were happy to be back out there but my lungs protested quite a bit, and the motorists were at their incompetent best.

Not an ideal day all round actually, a nice bloke from TMR rang to discuss "the application we received, actually quite a few applications" :lol: . It was a rather substantial hiccup, apparently it is absolutely impossible for them to issue a permit for me to ride on any highway that is designated as a motorway. So the 2 lane goat track that is the Bruce Highway from Gladstone to Rocky? No worries. The 4 to 6 lane divided magic carpet ride Bruce Highway north of Brisbane? Hell no! :roll:

He couldn't explain how Dave Alley was able to use that same stretch of highway for the round australia record back in 2011 (and having messaged dave earlier this year, I know he did everything by the book), but he was quite certain that it wasn't possible to approve of such a thing now. I was more than a little concerned, but after some work with google maps it looks like it will be reasonably straightforward to adjust the routes (the annoying part is going to Brisbane and Sunshine Coast Councils and getting them to approve wildly different routes). Brisbane-Landsborough is very simple, from there to Gympie is, let's say, less than ideal (virtually all hills) but achievable. The section between Ipswich and Brisbane (for the likes of Brisbane-Toogoolawah) took a bit of working out but again, it's pretty reasonable.

All this talk of reasonable brings me to the lowlight of the day, Toowoomba Council. They sent me a list of conditions last night, saying that if I could tick every box, they could issue a letter of no objection without any further ado.

Condition 1- the activity does not unduly interfere with the operation of the road (easy)
Condition 4 or something- if the activity requires a QPS permit it is interfering and requires an application

So I rang to advise that, yes it does need a QPS permit, but that permit will expressly state that I am not to interfere with traffic in any way, so it doesn't count right? Cue much furrowing of brows and "I'll get back to you".

Well they got back to me all right, with a demand for an "Activity Management Plan" (no explanation of what the hell that is), an explanation of how I plan to "avoid waste being accumulated on council controlled land during the course of the activity" (HUH?!), asking if I will adhere to the road rules (clearly laid out in the Event Management Plan which they obviously haven't read), and advising that the Local Law Approval application will need to be accompanied by $265! Like hell!

Frankly at the moment with such a ludicrous response I'm tempted to tell them to take a long walk off a short jetty and very noisily scrub Brisbane-Toowoomba off the list, but I'll give them a ring on Monday morning and see if I can get some sense out of them.


On a more pleasant note, I've realised time is fast running out to get ready for the Noosa Strade Bianche, so the rather shabby Abeni will come apart this weekend ready for stripping and repainting during the week, and I'll try to get Winnie's little Local ready too.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Jul 28, 2018 7:10 pm

When I did the Cancer ride back in 81, we couldn't ride on the new stretch from Aspley to Nambour. We had to ride on the old hi-way. :wink:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Jul 28, 2018 9:24 pm

That's what's really throwing me, I know Dave Alley went on the highway because I just happened to see him go past (followed by support van) at Yandina, and while I haven't checked I'm assuming Reid Anderton would have done too.

I know it was 2013 that TMR put up "No bicycles etc" signs between Eumundi and Cooroy, because I sent them a very cranky email pointing out that it was far safer to go on the smooth, wide highway shoulder than the bumpy and relatively narrow descent of Eumundi Range Road. Their response was that bicycles had always been banned through there, but they just hadn't got around to putting signs up. As to why bicycles were banned? Because if they were allowed, then schoolchildren would ride their bikes along there and that would be dangerous...

My taxes keep these intellectual giants in a job :roll:
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:45 pm

Well I did decide to tell Toowoomba "thanks, but no thanks", mainly on the basis of not feeling like paying $265 for something everyone else does for free, and funnily enough after I said that on Facebook they are suddenly very interested in having a chat :lol: .

I still want that record, as it has some good history to it, but it won't be this year, as I'm really liking the feel of the slightly more relaxed schedule I now have for the next few months (well, relaxed by my standards!).

On the plus side, Gladstone Council have given the go ahead, and I got a great response from Livingstone aka Yeppoon-

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I'll try and get a writeup of last week's rail trail foray up tomorrow, I've been rushed off my feet this week with work, record paperwork, stripping the Abeni for a respray and rebuild ahead of the Noosa Strade Bianche, and carting water in 25 litre drums. This afternoon I was out for a couple of hours with the brushcutter and I'll be at it again tomorrow so I can get a pipeline in from our main dam up to the house tank. It's been dry enough for the tank to run out twice already, so far the feed is holding up ok but I'll have to start cutting camphor laurel and bamboo for the goats to eat soon. Fingers crossed this dry season doesn't get as bad as last year, that was nasty.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:24 pm

10th day in a row I've run out of time to do a proper writeup :roll:

Sorting that pipeline turned out to be a huge saga, 2.5 days on the chainsaw to get it clear (and looking like I'd been fighting a hundred feral cats), then an hour to lay out the pipe and nearly 5 hours of stuffing around with a hired firefighter pump that should never have been sent out in the condition it was in (for starters, when the oil in a petrol engine is jet black, that's not a good sign...).

In the end, I've got a 3/4 full house tank and 1,000l in an IBC for the poddy calves, so it was worth doing. Once we've got our own pump permanently setup we'll be pretty well drought proofed.


A tremendously confused (but very nice) complaints lady rang from Toowoomba Council today, and I eventually got the point across that while the record attempt is off the list and I'm not putting it back on, they really need to sort out whatever process or procedure lead to that ridiculous fee request.

Only 20 minutes later Sunshine Coast Council was on the phone, and the confusion ramped up to a whole new level.

Basically, because I'm adhering to the road rules, not closing the road, and not stopping on council land, their take is that I'm not doing anything they can object to, therefore they can't issue a letter of no objection. The lady explaining the conundrum was very nice and assured me that they support the attempt and don't want to get in the way, but her hands were apparently tied by one of the most ridiculous "Yes Minister" situations I've ever encountered.
The plan now is to contact Road Policing Command and explain it to them, if they insist on having something in writing (I'm betting they will) then I'm to give them her direct number and she will "work something out". Heaven only knows...


I'm sweating a bit on Rockhampton as the Gladstone-Rocky record is only a month away now but I'm told "they're looking at it". I'll need to give TMR a buzz in the morning as well to see how they're getting on, and attempt once more to get some kind of response out of Brisbane City Council.


Oh and in the meantime, it's Strade time, and we all know what that means. Last minute bare metal restoration!


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That was what the Abeni looked like last week when I dragged the poor girl out of the shed, after a visit to the sandblaster I sanded back to bare metal yesterday, then got a metallic primer on this morning-


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Followed by 3 coats of "Hot Lips Gloss" Dulux Duramax rattlecan. I did want to use automotive paint this time around but that stuff is damn expensive, and the budget is tight (ie as close to zero as possible). I used Duramax on a cyclocross build last year and it is fantastic stuff. The super low humidity today was great for painting, I should get 3, hopefully 4 coats of clear done tomorrow, then I just need to clean and polish the parts, and rebuild in time for the show on Saturday!
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:33 am

Breaking news, the Darling Downs section of TMR are saying they "will not support the permit application" for Stanthorpe-Brisbane. No reason given yet, and no reason for the refusal as the Bridge2Bridge charity ride takes exactly the same route in the opposite direction every year. Hopefully I'll have more detail later today.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby foo on patrol » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:30 pm

Don't get ya hopes up. :wink:

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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:04 pm

foo on patrol wrote:Don't get ya hopes up. :wink:

Foo


On the money again mate, haven't heard anything yet. I'll ring first thing on Monday and see what happens, I'll get the local state MP to lean on them if need be.


Ok I really need to go over the rail trail mishap before getting into the Strade Bianche stuff.

It was nowhere near as cold as the previous week, but I still wore almost all the cold weather gear anyway to avoid my body having another tantrum. As soon as I felt the legs and lungs were at a happy temperature I dropped the hammer, the Kilkivan-Kingaroy record is very solid and I wanted to retake some of the shorter ones too.

I clobbered Kilkivan-Goomeri by 3.5 minutes, and while I was a bit slower to Murgon I was quite happy with the pace. After a short stop at the Murgon station to scoff some more food I pushed on towards Wondai. I had the bit between my teeth and was ticking along very nicely until a dip a few kms from Wondai produced a BIG squirm from the back tyre. Not wanting to believe I had a puncture (and not seeing any evidence of damage to the tyre) I tried to just put some more air in, to no avail. I assumed it was the fault of the mini pump, so carried on to Wondai hoping for a servo.

I had no luck on that count, so stopped at the Wondai station to throw some more elbow grease at the problem. I did the best I could, and wishfully thought it was perhaps a little better, and charged onwards. A couple of kms further on (as luck would have it, at exactly the same road I pulled the pin on the last ride) I had to admit it wasn't good enough and the tyre needed to come off.

What I found was an inner tube damaged by the spoke holes that had been exposed by the ELECTRICAL TAPE some halfwit had wrapped the rim with! :evil: I can't imagine it left the factory like that, the original owner was unlikely to have done it, and I sure hope the bike shop in Maroochydore that swapped the factory tyres for Maxxis Ikons didn't do it. The end result was me sitting there fuming. I ended up having to stick one end of the tape to a trail bollard and unravel it, get it lined up and stick it back on. After losing a solid chunk of time, and having close to zero confidence it wouldn't cause further trouble, I decided to turn back and arrange a pickup from Murgon. Furious is an understatement.

On the plus side, I was able to wander around the Barambah Creek crossing and try to get some photos that show how pretty it is.


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It took my old man a fair while to drive out there, so after all the larking about at the creek, I still had time to smother my anger with servo food and relax in the main street of Murgon (or as relaxed as I could get, there were a few people about and a bit of a tense atmosphere).

As I loaded the bike into the car I found one of the spokes in the back wheel had no tension at all, so I was very comfortable I'd made the right decision. I was still mighty annoyed, but even more determined to get my hands on that record. It will have to wait for a while but it will happen.
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:24 pm

Saturday morning I headed down to Noosa early to swap out the gearing on the Healing before the Piccolo Fondo. Last year I had fitted a shorter gear in the hope it would make climbing more viable. It turned out to do next to nothing on that front, and meant getting any kind of speed on the flat was impossible. The Piccolo Fondo has one main climb (the infamous Tank Hill) which I would have to walk regardless, so the taller gear went back on.

There were some difficulties, so I ended up a couple of minutes late. Chasing a bunch on an 18kg singlespeed while wearing wool and corduroy? Sure! Drafting a bus out of Tewantin to gain a few extra seconds? Why not? :lol:

I caught the back of the line within a couple of kms and kept working my way up the line (to the amusement of many) to allow plenty of time to walk up Tank Hill. It was a fairly nippy morning, which was great as I was still sweating more than enough!

A quick stop halfway up for a photo with one of the other heavy singlespeed clunkers-


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And after reaching the top we spent some time comparing (there were only 3 of us silly enough to use these old tanks).


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In due course we headed off again, and about a kilometre up the road passed a roadside rubbish collection pile with a bike on it. If you've never seen 80 odd enthusiastic cyclists swarming a rubbish pile, let me assure you it's just as funny as you imagine :lol: .

The gravel descent on Ringtail Creek Road was very slow and careful with only the coaster brake to rely on, but in due course we were back onto the flat and I decided to turn the wick up a bit to buy more show prep time. Unfortunately, a group of about a dozen followed me, and next thing I know I was spinning along in the mid 30s (which is enormously fast on that old lump!).

To be continued on the morrow...
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Re: A year in the life of a wannabe racer- Part 4- The Comeback!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Aug 14, 2018 7:16 am

It's still monday GMT, so I'm not too far behind :lol: .

After the Piccolo Fondo I raced off to my workplace to pick up the other bikes. After 8 years people have come to expect last minute rushing from me, but it still draws amused onlookers.


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The number of bikes at the show was down quite a bit this year (as it seemed were the number of riders on the Sunday) but there were still heaps of very nice examples. Best in show went to a Colnago dripping with gold bling.


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After lots of talking (which didn't do my already sore throat any favours), and finding a set of replacement top tube cable clamps from Petey Mac's stall, I made my way home to keep working on the Abeni, eventually finishing at 5:30 that afternoon.


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Everything was looking good!


To be continued again, hopefully this evening :)
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