Sunday, February 28, 2010

on hold

After flogging the mountain bike the last couple of days this week, and not riding at all yesterday (we had nearly 90mm of rain yesterday) I am keen to have a bash at the afternoon criterion at 4pm on the V8 track, our new 'home' for all the crits, but the radar is not looking good. It has been dry all day, so much weeding has been done, but it is closing in fast and it doesn't look good for 4pm.

The forecast for the week is to stay on the mountain bike. *sigh*

I never posted my time trial times from a few weeks back, so I will now use them as filler, since there is not much happening.

Last year for the 10km Pallarenda TT I was 19:16:96
this year 18:39.20.

Considering how I plumped up over christmas, I attribute this to being more experienced, not more fit. Or maybe my fat reserves kicked in ; )

Anyway, I am keeping an eye on the weather, fingers crossed for this arvo.

3:20 update. We just had a bucketing, even though it has eased we have called it off because the track will be soaked. Looks like more on the way. Will cook instead.

Monday, February 22, 2010

thanks for caring

The winter Olympics in the swelter of Australian summer is always a bit strange. I haven't really been watching, I just catch up in the online media. So I loved this headline in the Brisbane Times this morning:
Who would have known that the Aussies got the intense rivalry between Canada and the US.

Well it is hard to be cross with a team that refers to their last victory over Canada as "the miracle on ice", and was celebrating the last time they won in 1960 by wearing a jersey that was nearly the same. I am sure the home crowd was gutted, and will be out in force to urge their team on to the finals, Russia willing.

Hockey, it is so much more than a sport in Canada, trust me.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

finding my niche

There was a road race today around a circuit I have never ridden, so we rolled out early for BoaB to race and for me to have a few laps of the circuit and wrap my brain around the possibilities. So I did a lap before the races started, and when I rolled back in (it is just 4.2 kms) I was asked if I would accompany the junior racers, who usually have to wait til D grade finishes to get an escort. There was another supporter on a bike, so we both rolled, one per kid.

Well I had such fun. Following a kid on a bike and watching out for him/her is just the ticket for me. We did two laps, and I had to really coax my wee duck up the last hill, but he did really well, and powered across the finish line.

So I volunteered to do that again any time, they can count on me. If they don't need me I'll have a sufferfest of my own in D grade, but getting the future safely around the circuit is a bigger contribution to cycle sport than any effort I will ever make on my own as a racer. It is going to be a great year.

Monday, February 15, 2010

being a product of our times

I am a child of the 60s and 70s. I was formed as a human being by my country, my neighbours and the aspirations of my times. So I was thinking as I rode today, about an American president, and what he did to change my life, and it occurred to me that it is President's day in America, and they are my cousins, and they have changed the world.

I salute you JFK for a vision that still resonates.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pallarenda TT

5kms out, turn, 5 kms back. How hard can that be.

Well it is as hard as you make it. Wind was not a factor and a bit of thunder was encouragement to wind it up and have a red hot go, so despite the fact that I was leaner and much more 'gym fit' this time last year I had a better time. I am not sure exactly what it was but it began with 18, and last year was 19:16:96, so I am surprised and pleased.

I also feel I gave it a better effort this time, taking advantage of a tiny tail wind on the way out to pad up my time rather than holding back, and then a good old sufferfest on the home leg with a decent sprint at the end.

So then on to coffee, and a friends for a celebratory brunch, not rolling home til nearly noon in the heat and glare. Every shade pocket along the bikeway was like a bucket of cool water.

When I got home I had to take an antihistamine for a bite I got on yesterdays ride. On the inside of my elbow where the bug hit at speed, it jarred over every bump of the ride and I was sick of putting up with it. So I spent most of the day in a zombie like state, drifting in and out of sleep and quaffing water. Kind of a waste of a nice Sunday if you ask me, but I do feel luxuriously well rested now that it is wearing off, and the bite has been iced and drugged into submission at last.

So now I will whip up a Valentine's Day dinner with prawns. Still haven't decided on the flavours. Thai? Italian? Indian? I took a turn through the garden and picked a big nosegay of herbs to cover all possibilities: basil, oregano, parsley, lemon myrtle, kaffir lime leaves, a big juicy lime, mint.

The only problem is that there are so many good recipes on the net that I have only narrowed it to 6! Bring another glass of champers waiter, and leave us to peruse the menu a while longer.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

check in

Has it really been a week? Sorry.
There have been a few evenings where the computer was unplugged while there was a lightning storm, but with 9 hours of battery life I confess that is no excuse.

I am a bit over extended at work, so I am in 'come home really hard and crash' mode, which helps with stress, and I suppose with fitness too (but it is only 15 kms) but I am SO not ready for a time trial tomorrow. I should have followed AMR's excellent plan, but it was too hot, and too rainy, and too hard, and I didn't do it (now I am sorry of course). But I am psyching up for it now, having decided about a half hour ago that I would give it a bash.

I should have rested today I suppose, but rode 50kms instead (as you do). Boab woke me up from a sound sleep at 5:15 and said "are you coming?" - we leave at 5:30 - so I leapt up and dressed and out the door and was 20kms or so before I woke up and realised where I was. Yeesh, so much for making a plan for the weekend. I just can't get the hang of this athletic thing, but really, as long as you are having fun.

And now an update for Ant. I did a Google Earth/Pro workshop over two days this week and I am blown away. It is time to take of the GIS goggles and go deep into PRO. I am buying on Monday and can't wait to get stuck into it. If you need to share/visualize data for decision making, this leaves GIS for dead. Vale ESRI.

Now for some carb loading, does wine count?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

coping with the wet season

Bluenoser is a bit concerned about us being off our bikes and getting a bit moldy, but there is an upside to the wet season, for all the whinging we do. It is green and pretty. If you like the smell of rotting vegetation you would think this was Paradise indeed.

But there is always an upside, every clouds silver lining. The eggplant bush, and we only have one mind you, has gone into overdrive.
I will be hitting up the Tropical Vegans site for a fresh take on this worthy vegie. And we have a fresh harvest from the banana, which is always a good thing. I am going to try some green banana as vegetable recipe tomorrow.
Aren't they lovely! They just grow and fruit and we hardly do anything at all except hack them back with a machete. It doesn't seem fair really.

These days I am getting a lot of time in on this bike:
My "Ute" bike, it is for going to the green grocers and running errands and going through puddles in wet weather. It is fun to ride and has flat pedals so I can ruin a 20 dollar pair of volleys rather than a pair of mountain bike shoes (my preferred footwear). I actually like riding in the rain on this bike, it is a mark of the seasons for me.

When the sun comes out I can get back on my beloved road bike. If I get caught in an unexpected shower BoaB kindly washes it up and lubes it before I even have a chance to think about it.
He is SUCH a peach, if I could clone him and sell him in Australia I would be very rich. There is nothing quite like a nice Canadian boy.

So we are in the air conditioning, which is dry compared to outside. We have water damage from the flooding rain and a clogged downpipe, but will get it all sorted with our excellent insurer, and we are enjoying the wet season. I love heading out at 5:30 in the heat. Honestly. It is just so lovely to be so warm.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

hot enough

As I had a cup of coffee and read the paper online this morning, I was planning my day. Actually, I was planning how to ride in my day. I could hurry out the door and get a ride to the dam, then leave work early (say 4:30) to get home and changed and get BoaB at the airport at 6. And then I realised I was hot. A trickle of sweat was tickling down my calf as I drank coffee.

I always said, if the summer gets too hot to cycle I will take some time off the bike. Yesterday was hot, but I flogged it out to the dam, feeling sick and enjoying a sufferfest. I never made a full recovery all day. I drank lots of water but I was listless and tired. I hauled my sorry ass up Angus Smith drive at the end of the day and I had so little strength I was doing 20 kmh at the top (my PB is 37). So I rolled home and drank and slept and didn't want dinner but cooked and ate some pasta because you must.

A 31 year old guy died of a heart attack on Castle hill a few days ago. He never dreamed he couldn't do the usual in the heat, I am sure. So as I was reading his story in the paper, sweating through a coffee, I decided to grow up a little and finally take that day off the bike, because it is too hot. I live to cycle, but I want to live to cycle tomorrow. I'm not 49 anymore you know : )