So the post for week, fought night, month even is a bit of everything, what I’ve been up to and what’s to come.
Firstly what I’ve been up to! Lately struggling to find the motivation to get going in the mornings; whether it’s a result of the restless nights I’ve been having or the fact that it’s getting light just that little bit later every morning I am not sure. That said I seem to be getting in some good miles and the sessions I do manage to complete as planned (which are most of them) are always crackers!.. That said sometimes I feel the need to just ride my bike, usually on a Sunday I will head out for an hour, pedal around, hammer up a few climbs, go for a coffee and enjoy what’s left of the nice summer (now autumn) weather.
As with a bulk of the year to date I’ve been working improving my threshold POWAAARH, without giving too much away this means a steady diet of 2 x 20min intervals, often mixed up with 1 x 40min, 1 x 60min intervals, some Vo2 Max work and the odd bit of long slow distance, tempo rides and lots of other stuff. Is it working? Well I guess I will never know truly until I convince the wife I need a power meter, but if Strava segment times are anything to go by the answer is YES, having collected a fair share of top 10’s on a number of local climbs I am wrapped. I will have to go out to Mount Macedon to do my 20min test again sometime soon to gauge improvements.
Race report: Gazebo 3hr – Rd3
The first weekend in March saw the season finale of GMBC’s Gazebo 3hr series; this month’s round was the first to be held at the Stockyards end of the You Yangs. Not only is Stockyards one of my favorite places to ride, but it’s almost a home track having ridden around the You Yangs since before the MTB trails were even legal, it holds a special place.
The course was a fairly good one, fire road start entering into a long grinding single track climb before a slow technical decent, then another long single track climb, a bit more fire road and a very fast rocky and technical decent, the remainder of the course was a mixture of fast fire road, and reasonably flat single track. A good mountain bikers course!
The race got off to a fast start, I positioned myself mid pack at the start and put the hammer down from the gun; despite not being able to get my right foot clipped in I didn’t lose too much ground into the first climb. By now the field had spread a little but not enough to stop the whole concertina effect once reaching the single track, so got held up a little here. First technical decent was a little sketchy as I’d changed my setup a little and had not done a great deal of riding – not to mention I’d only ever ridden up this new section of trail. Second climb was a good one, second technical decent was FAAAAAAAAAAAAAST! In fact on every lap I’d nearly run down a few poor suckers.
The whole race was reasonably uneventful, I focused on chowing down the gels / bars and drinks and powering along, chasing the odd rider down as they come into my field of vision. As each lap progressed I seemed to get faster on the descents some of which involved the odd evasive action to avoid falling riders on rock gardens. Mid race I had a fall on a sweeping left hander in soft powder, ran a little wide and front wheel dug in… Back on and off I went! On the last lap I got held up on the first climb of the course, after passing the guy I hear “two” and the rider behind me calls out“nice bike Cul”, I give a smug “thanks” in reply knowing full well that could only be one person, I put the hammer down on the decent figuring he’d surely chew me up on the climb. I gave it some stick up the final climb making sure I stayed in front to the single track descent. I never heard from Bodin again until after crossing the line…
Once again finished mid pack in “A” Grade, happy with the result especially given the pace (20.1kph) – If I can keep that up for the 6 hour series I will be extremely happy.
I always try to take lessons from each race, there are a few things that are blindingly obvious.
1) I need to spend more time on the mountain bike, it will be my goal to get out on it at least once a week from now.
2) New position is great, but the 30/40 gearing up front is too big, I spent the whole race in the 40t, a 38 would have been perfect for this.
3) The 680g Maxxis Crossmark tractor tire on the back needs to go, looking for something lighter now (any recommendations, 26 x 2.2?).
4) Racing Crits have paid dividends, more intensity work needed down the track.
5) I need to spend more time on the mountain bike.
6) I need to spend more time on the mountain bike.
7) And finally, I need to spend more time on the mountain bike!
I didn’t make it to National’s this weekend just gone, which is disappointing as I would have loved to have had a crack at the XCM event, and even the XCE would have been cool. Unfortunately racing for four hours and being four hours from home was a bit too much for the heavily pregnant support crew. Not only that being that far away from home given the circumstances probably wasn’t wise (ref below).
So what’s to come?
As mentioned in a previous post our Baby is coming out tomorrow (13th March) whether it likes it or not it’s about to turn the wife and I’s lives upside down. This will mean a steady dose of sleepless nights, interrupted life / riding / racing, and loads of time on the trainer for the next few months. It’s not such a bad thing though right?.. I mean babies are cute after all and if it’s anything like number one, it will be a cyclist in the future.
That in mind Vic Enduro Series will be a bit of a soft start for me, fortunately there is only one round before June so there is some time up my sleeve to settle in to a routine. Looking forward to what is ahead though!