Posts Tagged ‘mtb

Keen to get some km under the belt, I tee’d up a ride with Neil for this morning. I was expecting road, but he had an itch to singletrack that he needed to scratch, and though I didn’t feel keen when I agreed (I remember the pain of mountain biking much more readily than the fun), I agreed nonetheless. The night before it rained heavily, and I expected to take a mud bath, but the rust-red ribbons were just perfectly tacky. We barely encountered a puddle.

We stayed within a stones throw of all the old inner Yarra trails, retracing many of the routes we cut our teeth on back in our XC racing days. There was hardly a trail that didn’t bring up a memory and a tale about someone we used to ride with, a time someone fell in the river or old bike spec. 

The good news after yesterday’s workout is DOMS in the VMOs — a place I need some activation and development.

The bad news is on the face of the scale: 77kg. 5kg up from where I was back in CF / 24-hour racing days, and 7kg up from where I’d really like to be when the season kicks winds out and Chain Reaction 2015 saddles up.

60km   821m   3:26h

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I didn’t do any real specific training for the Southern Exposure Surf Coast 100. It’s a 100km, it’s a (relatively) flat course, it’s certainly nothing like the Otway Odyssey … what could go wrong?

What I neglected to consider is that, while 100km might make a delightful pre-breakfast jaunt on a road bike, it’s still a pretty hefty chunk of distance-change on a mountain bike. I also realised too late, just how much of a beating even a mildly rocky or rooty course dishes out. It’s a double-whammy, because everything’s fine if you stay above a certain speed, but it’s a slugfest below that. The combination mandates a minimum sustained effort if you want to survive (or at least if you want to enjoy your survival).

My first lap was pretty conservative. I would say I rode it like you ride a 24 hour race — thinkin’ about where you’ll be at 2 a.m. and playing the patient tortoise game. Not the way to ride if you want to lightly skim the root-tops.

By lap two I’d figured out that I needed to kick it up a notch, and did so. Everything got more fun. Switchbacks weren’t no thang. Riders in the distance got closer, then passed, then dropped. The trail felt smoother. Life was sweet. I eventually found my mark, a guy about the same pace, behind me and together we ate up a few of the slower 50k stragglers.

We crested a sustained climb, dropped down through some quick singletrail and then climbed a harder, switchbacked climb. About a quarter way up that climb I. Just. Slowed. Down. At the top I rode to the side of the trail and waved him through. I’d been hit by the man with the hammer. Bam.

I’d been drinking steadily, but with no get out of jail Gu I’d have to mope along to the end of the lap, getting kicked in the butt and hands at slow-speed along the way. Some guys I’d passed re-passed me. (Ouch.) My left foot, which had been aching, started to hurt — really hurt. I started to get a twinge in my vastus medialis, which turned into the threat of real cramp, which, by the end of the lap, had become a visible spasm on the upper inside of my left leg above the knee.

Not a big deal.

I rolled back into the feed zone thinking I’d take five to ten minutes out of the race to down a whole bottle of recovery drink, eat a Gu, stretch and then jump on and ride the race to completion. When I got off the bike though, I was shocked. Firstly at how much my left foot hurt, then at how Goddamn stiff I was — it was hard to bend down to release the shoe — and then how hard it was to stand up. Yikes. Either way, I drank, I Gu’d, I stretched and I got back on the bike.

I got back on the bike, rode down into the pit area and quit. My hands felt like I’d just finished the Odyssey. I felt spent and tired. It was Just Not Happening.

I had a number of possibly admissible excuses for succumbing to the dreaded DNF — a finishing status I’ve been quietly proud to avoid until now (one nasty little case of heat-stroke notwithstanding) — big, stressful work week, interrupted sleep, whatever. Now might be a good time to think about focussing on finishing what you start.

Anyway, I was pretty damn tired after that. Andrew also DNF’d with a bikeful of chain-suck. The guy I was chasing, and several guys I passed also pulled out. All in all, there were only 12 finishers in the Men’s Vets, but Dave managed to pull through and nab third (we didn’t know this until safely back in Melbourne).

Dave booked an awesome dinner at a sleeper of a Greek restaurant in Airey’s Inlet, where we ate duck and lamb with a local red and romanticised about hitting the hay early. Which we did, but Mae proved difficult to settle. Once she was down, Fee and I drifted off until Fee woke at about 1:30 to find Claire in the kitchen, coughing an awful wheezy cough. She said she just needed a drink of water, but 10 minutes later Fee woke me up to come and see Claire, who by then had the full stridor breathing croup going on. I called Geelong hospital, and on hearing her in the background said come on in. I called 000 and the ambulance was there ten minutes later.

I went back to bed to get some rest with Mae, but it was a while before I could get back to sleep. At 5:45 the phone buzzed with the news that we could go and collect Fee and Claire, which was good news, but the rest of the day was brought to you by Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee; and to be honest, I was pretty thankful not to have made the extra exertion to finish the race.

52.2km, 1,174m, 3:05h


I’ve been stoked on thoughts of riding mtb again since watching Paul VDP take the XCE World Cup trophy.

It’s not just that event. It’s the warmer weather, the lengthening days, Dave’s 29er in the carpark and, most recently, a run in Benalla on dirt that smelled like the dirt on rides of old.

Then I spent a day down at Baum and got very tempted by the idea of a 650b bike … or a 29er.
Somebody stop me!

After this pit-stop I forgot to restart the Garmin and then rode for another hour. Figures below are guestimates.

2:15-ish, 40km-ish, 1,000m-ish


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A couple of times during the last week or two, Neil and I have happened to comment to each other that, some years ago, road bikes were just for training and that if we could only choose one set of wheels they’d have knobby tyres. Not so these days. Road bikes are surprisingly fun and the fact that roads begin at the doorstep makes them hella convenient. But seeing some world cup and Olympic XC lately sparked some nostalgia in me. To see if the magic was still there, I tookq a couple of hours out on the Yarra trails this morning. They were in pretty good nick in spite of the wet winter… The same cant be said for my bike handling skills.

The magic? It deserves at least three chances.



~2:00 / 40 km / 230 m

Strava link


Strava: 96.3km, 2,883m, 6:51:15

260th overall (/806)
175th in category (open men, /466)

Stay tuned for words…

I’ll come back and update this later, but Neil, JP and I managed to take second place with six laps each at the Male Threes at the Surf Coast 12 hour.

The trail was fast and flowy with just a couple of proper climbs, neither of them brutal, but you could certainly smack yourself if you wanted to. Neil wanted to and put down some wicked-fast laps, getting faster as the day wore on (up until his last lap). James wasn’t too far behind, and I was … just a few minutes behind that. That irks me more than it should, but I have to take consolation in the fact that I haven’t actually been training other than commuting at conversational speed. It’s something, but it’s not the pointy stick that I’m beginning to crave. (Sense of future regret at saying that.) I should also remind myself here that life has been rockin’ on many fronts lately and to a magnitude that is difficult to achieve with the focus and specialisation usually required to take home fastest lap honours.

New this race was having a mini supporter. Claire is officially old enough to come out and enjoy being at the race site and cliché as it might be, hearing a little voice yell “Gooo Daddy!” at you as you stomp into transition is pretty fuckin’ awesome.

Winners are grinners.

84km and somewhere around 1,000m for the day.

Jim and I met up for a quick and mellow roll along the inner trails before work. We met at a civilised 7:30 and were done and dusted with coffee in hand by 8:45. Soft? Yeah, but it was good just to roll and catch up on life.

30km and 330m including the trip from home.

Deets: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/123632823

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Not a long time, but a good time zipping around the refreshed You Yangs. Neil unpacked a bike whose brakes were in dire need of bleeding, so we climbed out of the stockyards and over to the … (think, damnit) flat bit. Without brakes Neil couldn’t descent too well, so to make it fair and fun I tried to ride the same – recalling Jeff yelling ‘no brakes’ from behind me at the approach to every corner. Good practice.

<a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/entyrity/6225341872/&#8221; title=”PA090003 by entyr, on Flickr”><img src=”http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6060/6225341872_294efba276.jpg&#8221; width=”375″ height=”500″ alt=”PA090003″></a>

The trails are in fantastic condition. Berms are pitch perfect and as solid as pavement. Everything is fast and furious and although we were only out for an hour and a half I felt it throughout the whole body. Mountain biking is hard. The week’s 12 hour is going to be … interesting.


Distance: 27.47 km
Time: 1:33:25
Avg Speed: 17.6 km/h
Max Speed: 45.1 km/h
Elevation Gain: 439 m

Avg HR: 148 bpm / 76 %MHR
Max HR: 175 bpm / 89 %MHR

Map and all the numbers.

55 km from home to the Yarra trails to meet Jim and some mates of his. From there it was out to the edge of Westerfolds Park and finally back in to Ikea/Victoria Gardens.

Muddy, and fun as hell.

Numbers to come…

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September 2020

On the bike

CrossFit benchmarks

100 Burpees: 11:07 10:32
50 Burpees: 4:24
Angie: 30:47 (60 pull-ups only)
Annie: ---
Cindy: 13 rounds
Dianne: 39:07 (scaled)
Elizabeth: 24:47 (scaled)
Fight Gone Bad (3 rounds): 311
Filthy Fifty: 31:16
Fran: 10:31
Grace (35 kg): 4:25
Hangover Cure: 8 rounds
Helen: 11:10
Jeremy: 13:33
Kelly: 36:09
Linda (scaled): 1:17:04
Michael: 32:30
Murph: 54:17
Nancy: 17:30 (scaled to 35 kg)
Nate: 7 rounds (scaled)
Nicole: 3 rounds, 19 pullups

Row 1k: 3:26.3
Row 2k: 7:15.4
Row 500m: 1:35.7
Run 5k: 24:05 (Feb 17)

Weightlifting PBs

Bench Press: ---
Clean: 70kg
Jerk: 70kg
Press: 52.5kg
Snatch: 47.5kg+
Squat (back): 102.5kg
Squat (front): 85kg (x2)
Deadlift: 130kg
CrossFit Total: 623


3RM OHS: 55kg
3RM Front squat: 82.5kg (x5)
3RM Back squat: 90kg
3RM Deadlift: 130kg
5RM Press: 45kg
5RM Front squat: 82.5kg
5RM Back squat: 90kg
5RM Deadlift: 120
20RM Back squat: 65kg