Saturday, October 15, 2011

Capping off a pretty good year ....

I have had a couple of major disappointments this year, the cancellation of mawson, the failure of 24hours of adrenalin to sort out a world champs, and a poorly timed and fairly severe lung illness ending up my local 24 hours and metros.  Ever in the search for improvement, these things are top of mind when I review the year.

But if I slow down and look at the things that DID work out - wow, there are actually quite a few.  On the road I tallied up a bunch of club stuff - wins for the coot-tha TT, the triple crown, the world cup... and a bunch of open stuff - a win at the State Road Champs, a bronze at the State TTT, a win at the Charles Coin road race. Racing with Uni at Crits has been awesome; we got the HPRW teams race, and almost had a clean sweep at the crit for the HRPW ladies series.

Then onto the main game, my mountain bike enduros - a win at the 4hr, the 6hr and the 8hr.  Still managed points at the 24hr (5th maybe) and therefore overall Superseries winner.  Silver at LunarC.  An elite win (my first) at Epic in the Merida Pursuit. Most of these were in terrible conditions, which is where I like to think I come into my own.

I guess this year the last few years of hard work are coming together.  Learning skills, gaining fitness, and sorting out my bikes are all part of it.  My move to Koiled has been so good for me, and I am certain my bikes have contributed to my improvement this year. Not a single mechanical.  Not even a flat (touch wood!!!!).  Sorting out access to eLoad has also been a big part as I can now exclusively race on it - best fuel.  And I guess there is just hard work.

Now in addition, it appears I made the finalist nominations for Cyclist of the Year (Masters Road) for Cycling Queensland.  Unexpected, and a nice way to end the year.

Headed to the Vault Crit, and also might be time to solo the Matrix 6hr. 
On that note, time to get out of bed and ride!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I'll try anything once!

I've been up to a fair bit of random lately!

Firstly, I have been convinced by the evil track star (Stef) I keep road company with to do some track so she can make up some team thing for some team race at some point.  I went out to see a velodrome for the first time, and had my first attempt at riding completely fixed.  Somewhat daunting, but it didn't take too many laps with Miff before I sorted myself out.

"hey Miff, two mountain bikers walk into a velodrome......"

Starts weren't hard from a balance, falling over point of view - which is what I had been concerned about. However they were hard from a STRENGTH point of view (and I am not telling what wussy ratio I was riding either!).  I now understand trackies love affair with all things weight lifting. 

Trying a start - 10 seconds after they said 'GO' I was still there trying to turn over the first rev.
Seeing as though I could start and stop (ish) it was time to step it up and get on the motorpacing.  Several hours and an individual pursuit later I was smashed to pieces and ready for a good lie down.  Track is hard.

The Scott24 Hour was held, and I swapped up the usual sufferfest solo for a fun team.  The Nightlightning crew were headed down, and had a slot for Shannon and myself.  Although numbers were down, and the weather somewhat off CORC turned on the usual great event.  Showers, good food, great photographers and the track that is unbeatable.

Perhaps predictably the gods of mountain biking took their road riding payment in the only currency they trade - blood.  A crash on my first lap reminded me to settle down and remember how to ride my mountain bike before suffering a serious penalty for failure.

payment to the gods of mountain biking made!
It was a very weird experience spending that much of a 24hour race in a sleeping bag!  When the dawn came we had ridden ourselves up onto the podium and were getting in our best laps to finish it off.  I got in my fastest of the race, breaking 40 minutes - which is a big deal for a skill-less wonder like me.  Maybe I haven't dropped as much endurance as I thought?

Happy Nightlightnings on the Podium.
Up next.... no idea.... ?  Suggestions?