Thursday, November 22, 2007

Full suspension 101

We had some awesome fun last weekend at the Wild Wellington 12/6 hour MTB race set in the Mt Vic Hills near Haitaitai.
We were racing in the "Legends class" . Thats over 40 years old each.
The Jville Cycles Legends team had 2 past national masters champs in the team, the current champ, and an Adventure Racing specalist in the form of Jerome Sheppard . Jerome is more famous by being related to his daughter Samara, who just happens to be Jville Cycle's most competitiive rider, and the NZ and Oceania XC champ in the womens under 19 class. This was a legit team of Jville riders. Actually, we may have been the first team of non ring-ins truth be known.

You would think we would have had a competitive chance, but its been a long time since Francis and myself have graced the podium at the national level, and there was a new batch of legends dealing to us in the form of Ian Paintin and his hand picked team.
After a while we decided that we were outclassed so the effort went into:
1. Having more fun - and
2. Doing some testing on the array of bikes that Francis from Jville Cycles had for us to try out. Its just so happened that we had pretty similar in-seam measurements, and we were all running Time pedals, except for Jerome.

I have to admit to being a bit of a hardtail person, and largely of the belief that full suspension, disc brakes and tubeless tyres are the efforts of bored marketing execs, and American MountainBike magazines trying to force new product on us.

The course was about 17 mins climbing and 3 mins descending for most of us, so on paper you would think it was a hands down hardtail course.
The uphill was nearly all smooth middle gear climbing though, so if you had a smooth spin, or a lock out on your rear shock, there was no bobbing happening anyway.

The first bike I tried, (other than my old 93 Litespeed hard-tail) was Francis's Jamis XCR full-susser. This is what he uses when he is in "race mode" and is also what our team-mate Trevor Woodward used to win the Master-2 national series, and one-off Champs this year. Trev had opted not to bring his one in, but had brought his Jamis hard tail and his Cannondale Rush Play-bike just for a laugh.

The ride on the Jamis XCR was my first time on a fully, and first time with discs all round. You can take anything I say with a grain of salt, as normally I cant tell the difference between my Mag 21s and my SIDS, but this bike felt pretty sharp. I no longer had to pick a line around the rough stuff, I just took a stab and bombed through it!

It felt a bit heavier on the climbs but then on the descents it was way less sketchy than my hard tail which was shod with the Michelin Jets, and the discs pulled me up in a real hurry. The modualtion on these discs (XTR I think? ) was pretty sweet to a v-brake user like myself.

I shot into the pits and recorded a time substanially faster than my hardtail's best time. This was a big surprise to me. I swung my leg over Francis's other bike, the 08 Commencal Meta and shot out for my next lap. The first tiny descent into the single track had me experiencing some serious over-braking. These brakes were powerful. Overkill in this situation for sure, but ideal in this bike's intended environment which is bombing the big stuff. This was a seriously fun machine. Even climbing felt very relaxed, and it always felt like I was running a gear lower than any of the other bikes. It may have been the more relaxed set-back position, I dont know, but it was by far the "funnest" bike. It had a 120mm fork on the front with 100mm at the rear end. My second lap was substantially slower on the Commencal, but thats probably mostly a lack of fitness. 2 laps was a long way with my current form. Francis pointed out that the way he had the Commnecal meta set up was not standard for such a play bike, but it seemed to be well balanced for what we were doing with it on the day.


Trev convinced me to give his alloy Cannondale Rush a thrash, so after I lowered the seat 12 inches I was away.This machine felt a bit ponderous to start with but the standout feature was the Lefty fork. It was so solid and really seemed to hold its line amazingly well. It seemed to be fast without feeling fast. I hated the crazy shifters that you change with the backs of your fingers, but Trev had bar-ends fitted so this made it easier to change up to an easier gear. The bar ends felt great actually, and it made me wish I still had them on my hard tail.

Something that Ricky Pincott said was worth noting. The Cannondale Lefty is very cheap to rebuild, unlike some other shocks which seem to be pretty expendable. So if you are not the kind of person that changes their bike every two years, then a lefty equipped bike might be a good investment.

When I got back onto my hard tail I suddenly wondered what had happend to my brakes. They were very average. The old hope disc front I had fitted seemed about as good as a poor v-brake.

As we got the track dialed in we found our favourite steeds. I eventually went back to my hard tail, Trev just got faster and faster on the Rush to get our fastest time by a long way, and Jerome just lapped it up with the Commencal. Francis stuck with the Jamis XCR , and the Salsa Juan Solo missed out on a ride from our crew, although I think one of the other teams may have given it a thrash? All in all a great days riding on a physically demanding but not technically challenging course. Very well oganised too.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

World Masters Track Champs

Well. The trailer trash crew are back from their most excellent adventure in Bass Hill, Bankstown Sydney Australia. We met some really interesting people and raced at the highest level that crusties can race at and still be called crusties.
CyclingNews.com coverage.
World Track Masters website
All the photos below are by Neil Butler. More here.Thanks Neil.


For me the whole inspiration for the trip came after I was drafted into driving the PNP club bus down to the NZ nationals earlier in the year. A competitive time in the pursuit on the shiny new velodrome at ILT gave me some hope of a potential medal if I actually did some training for masters worlds. I looked for all the good advice I could find and started up my plans for world domination.

By the time we left, the Wellington contingent had grown to 4 more riders. 71 year old legend Garry Humpherson, NZ track medalist Sepp Hribar, Wellington IT/motor-bike entrepreneur Jono Guthrie, and ex go-kart driver Geoff Shaw!

I spied a hot lead on the fixedgearfever.com track racing forum, which told us where the closest accommodation was.

The accommodation was great, with Sepp winning the arm wrestle for the double bed, well we could see no sense in trying to beat him so he got it anyway. After a while it dawned on us that we were actually in a "trailer". A Jayco trailer. We werent snobs though, so as long as we had a a packet of pasta, some sausages and the bottle of duty free rum that Geoff bought for his sister, we were made. (Sorry Geoffs sister!!).

It was about 4 mins walk to the Mall which was largely frequented by the mostly lebanese locals. About 500,000 in Oz the taxi driver told me. I think he said there was still 5 million or so in Lebanon. One thing you certainly notice as a Kiwi in Bankstown, which is apparently one of the most ethnically diverse places in Oz, is that we have a pretty small variation of race in NZ. Caucasian and Polynesian with a some recent asianisation is about it. We were also about 14 mins walk to the Velodrome where we kept all our gear. Primo. The Veodrome had a bar/restaurant attached which was handy for team de-briefings : )

The only shopping we did outside of our local mall was to take the 907 bus to Bankstown, where we nearly got in trouble by forgetting to pay for our cafe meal. Unlike in NZ where you pay first, you pay after you have finished in Oz. I wondered why the woman was giving us the evils as we walked off. DOH! We never had a coffee that got even close to the standard you get in Wellington which was surprising.

We had 3 days to check out the track before we started racing on tuesday. On day 1 we got in as many laps as we could in our 90 minute session. The track had very short straights which lessened the g-forces on the bends, as the whole transition from straight to banking was very gradual. On day 2 the temperature had rocketed up to 33 degrees! This is good. A hot track is a fast track. I threw in a 7 lap effort to get a feel for the track speed. Mid 17 to hi 17 second laps seemed doable. I would go up 1 inch in my gearing. The next day we just got in some more track time before the racing started.

On the first race day records were being broken left right and centre with 33 degrees of heat (outside). I did my first ever 750metres (an old mans Kilo) and was surprised at how easy it was... obviously I needed more experience in killing myself over that distance. With only 3 laps there was no time to really put the body into distress. The US Elite mens kilo champ who just happens to be 41, was there, and he set a new world record for the 750 metres.

The next day was my favourite event, the pursuit.The temperature had dropped from 30's the previous days down to hi teens/low 20's. When I heard Jono calling my splits the news wasnt good. I wasnt even maintaining hi 17's. The track was slow and I finished up with a time 0.6 of a second slower than my PB, which I hadn't even trained for, at Invercargill.

I was confused. That time would have given me top 5 at the Manchester Worlds, I had trained damn hard, and gone 0.6 seconds slower. And I finished 12th!!! I knew was stronger than I was at ILT, because I have the power readings on my power tap to prove it.

What could I take out of the race?
1. ILT in Invercargill is a fast track, its also heated (it has to be).
2. Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney is fast too, when its hot, but not when its cold.
3. The Aussies are bloody fast. There were 6 of them in front of me. 5 of them who didn't go to Manchester for last years Masters track champs. Many of them did what were slow times for them as well. The masters riders in the UK are obviously not as fast as the Aussies, or in as big a numbers.

Would I have done anything differently? Nope. Just realised that the standard in OZ probably the highest in the world. Its not for nothing that there are so many Aussies in the Tour de France. Maybe the good weather helps them?

Watching NZ Champ Ray Dunstan pick up a bronze in my group was a buzz. Ray went so hard he started to black out and roll down into the grey area of the course. He managed to pull it together to win by a small margin. Ray is the regular southern man. You can complain about the weather in Wellington, but at least we dont have our water bottles freezing on an evening ride like they do down south. Ex pom Hilton McMurdo was in a league of his own. (failed drugs test). In what he told us was only his 2nd ever pursuit, he destroyed the field ahead of the world number two at this years TT champs, Marco Hellman. Hilton is a regular in many of the major tours in NZ,and Oz, and hes not just making up the numbers. He was also 3rd in the scratch race and 2nd in the points.

The next day was the scratch race which I had forgotten that I had even entered. This was full-on. Basically a high-speed short course (10km) sprint. We must have sat between 50 and 60kmh for most of it. It was the scariest thing you could do on a track bike in my view. Circulating at that speed with 24 riders in close formation with big muntas like Sepp, above you on the banking, bashing bars with other riders trying to move into your space. I got spat a a few times but managed to get back on each time and finish with the bunch which I was more than happy with, given my lack of sprinting ability. Sepp did bloody well to finish 5th. A completely different kind of pain to the pursuit. The interesting thing was that in the race, 18 of the 24 riders were Aussies. But it wasnt enough to stop the frenchman, Philipe Vernet, who we had our eye on, from winning the race. And the bugger didnt even warm up.... The rest of us had been on the rollers for the previous 10-30 minutes getting up to operating temperature. He just rolled straight out and lined up with the rest of us. Apparently it took us 13 mins to do the 10kms.

Check out the vid of the race here. Sepp is the big black blob in the NZ kit, I am the smaller red and black blob circulation in the last 1/3 most of the time.
Link to Video of our 45-59 Scratch race.

The last event for me was a late entry into the team sprint. We needed a combined age of 135 years for 3 riders. We had our team sorted but then our first rider was not available. Then and our second choice rider was told we couldnt use him in two events (he was also in another team), in case both teams qualified... Some chance. We roped in an old buddy of Garry Humphersons who was 60-something. Basically the slowest guy starts first, leads for a lap, peels right off, and number 2 leads then pulls off etc. By the time the last rider finishes he is really motoring. A bit of fun for 3 laps. We were 2nd to last I think with our spare 30 years!!!

All up it was an awesome trip, made more memorable by hanging out with the Welly guys and the other kiwis in the Kiwi "pits". I was also lucky to have my "fan-base" of 3 supporters cheering for us and videoing, taking photos and smuggling back excess bagage for us as well. The only thing the Masters track worlds is really missing out on is the spectators. We felt honoured to have a few. My brother and his daughter also called in to cheer us on at one stage too.

The high-light for me was to watch Garry Humpherson, one of the legends of Wellington and NZ cycling smash the world record, then win the gold medal in the 70+ pursuit. Garry is an inspiration to all of us, and the most modest guy you could ever meet.

Thanks to all the people that helped us with gear and advice in NZ and Oz.
Mark Humphries, frame and groupset.
Ben Copsey, rollers and tyres
Simon Crumpton, powertap track wheel, booties and tyres
Kathleen David and Neil, Bob and Amey (fan-base) for support and videoing/camera work.
jvillecycles.com for awesome support

Here are some links.
Garry world champs ride on YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNP9DtC6O1E

Garry on his home made bike with radical aero-bars

Sepp racing Claus

More of Neils pix

Link to video of our 45-59 Scratch race


Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final

1 Philippe Vernet (Fra) 0.51.27 (52.66 km/h)
2 Peter Barnard (Aus) 0.51.42
3 Ivor Reid (GBr) 0.51.99
4 Michael Popplewell (Aus) 0.52.79
5 Paul Jackson (Aus) 0.53.08
6 Gerard Oconnell (Aus) 0.53.10
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can) 0.53.83
8 Dominique Sioul (Fra) 0.53.97
9 Sepp Hribar (NZl) 0.54.15
10 Byron Tucker (Aus) 0.54.16
11 Gary Mandy (Aus) 0.54.34
12 Brent Kay (USA) 0.54.47
13 Warren Bennett (Aus) 0.54.60
14 Ian Atkin (Aus) 0.55.08
15 Clint Mcdonell (Aus) 0.55.41
16 David Mann (USA) 0.55.61
17 Mark Arnold (Aus) 0.55.85
18 Jeff Lyall (NZl) 0.55.98
19 Matthew Guggisberg (Aus) 0.56.41
20 Andrea Neri (Ita) 0.56.78
21 Wayne Kreunen (RSA) 0.57.04
22 Wal Mullany (Aus) 0.57.30
23 Craig Taylor (Aus) 0.57.33
24 Claus Christiansen (Den) 0.57.45
25 James Van Gelder (Aus) 0.57.52
26 Glen Heuvel (RSA) 0.57.59
27 Phillip Mcneill (Aus) 0.58.04
28 Robert Thompson (Aus) 0.58.42
29 Stephen Joyce (Aus) 0.59.05
30 Raymond Gorrell (Aus) 0.59.38
31 Peter Holley (Aus) 0.59.52
32 David Russell (Aus) 1.01.00
33 Geoffrey Shaw (NZl) 1.02.00


Male - 45 to 49 Pursuit- qualifying

1 188 Hilton MCMURDO Busted for steroids 3:27.616
2 174 Marco HELLMAN USA USA19610507 50.34 3:34.561
3 168 Claus CHRISTIANSEN DEN DEN19600331 49.22 3: 39.423
4 170 Ray DUNSTAN NZL NZL19600930 49.11 3:39.917
5 187 Clint MCDONELL AUS AUS19600630 49.09 3:39.991
6 201 Stephane Le BEAU CAN CAN19590616 48.76 3:41.489
7 208 Peter VERHOEVEN AUS AUS19590508 48.54 3:42.494
8 203 Craig TAYLOR AUS AUS19610114 48.48 3:42.759
9 167 Nicholas CHADDERTON AUS AUS19610531 48.43 3:42.996
10 205 Byron TUCKER AUS AUS19610305 48.27 3:43.752
11 180 Brent KAY USA USA19620302 48.21 3:44.003
12 183 Jeff LYALL NZL NZL19611027 48.05 3:44.751
13 206 Robert UPTON AUS AUS19591225 47.76 3:46.135
14 165 Warren BENNETT AUS AUS19590905 47.41 3:47.817
15 162 Mark ARNOLD AUS AUS19600810 47.08 3:49.408
16 177 Sepp HRIBAR NZL NZL19610611 47.07 3:49.427
17 212 Vicente Florio ZORIC ARG ARG19590805 46.90 3:50.280
18 185 David MANN USA USA19600121 46.01 3:54.755
19 182 Niels-Henrik LAUGESEN AUS AUS19620807 45.04 3:59.775
20 207 James VAN GELDER AUS AUS19610202 43.48 4:08.394
21 204 Robert THOMPSON AUS AUS19590218 43.06 4:10.836
22 176 Peter HOLLEY AUS AUS19580603 42.96 4:11.394
23 198 David RUSSELL AUS AUS19611020 42.83 4:12.180
24 199 Geoffrey SHAW NZL NZL19580428 40.08 4:29.441
25 210 David WHISH AUS AUS19581016 39.05 4:36.562
DSQ 192 Andrea NERI ITA ITA19590107 DSQ

Male - 45 to 49 Scratch race.

1 Philippe Vernet (Fra)
2 Roberto Mattei (Ita)
3 Hilton Mcmurdo (Aus) Busted for steroids
4 Byron Tucker (Aus)
5 Sepp Hribar (NZl)
6 Warren Bennett (Aus)
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can)
8 Clint Mcdonell (Aus)
9 Claus Christiansen (Den)
10 Ricardo Pereyra (Arg)
11 Mark Harris (Aus)
12 Vicente Florio Zoric (Arg)
13 Craig Taylor (Aus)
14 Jeff Lyall (NZl)
15 Robert Upton (Aus)
16 Mark Arnold (Aus)
17 Geoffrey Willmot (Aus)
DNF Matthew Guggisberg (Aus)
DNF Glen Heuvel (RSA)
DNF Peter Holley (Aus)
DNF Stephen Joyce (Aus)
DNF Phillip Mcneill (Aus)
DNF Geoffrey Shaw (NZl)
DNF Peter Verhoeven (Aus)

Results Summary of NZ Riders World Track World Masters

MEDAL WINNERS

Megan BLATCHFORD-PECK
Gold Medal - Female - 30 to 44 5km Scratch Race Final
Silver Medal - Female - 40 to 49 2000m Individual Pursuit 2.44.896
Silver Medal - Female - 40 to 44 Sprint Final
Bronze Medal - Female - 40 to 44 500m Time Trial 39.457

Ray DUNSTAN
Bronze Medal - Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit 3:42.020 (Now silver)

Garry HUMPHERSON
Gold Medal - Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Final 2:40.892
World Record (unofficial) - Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification - 1st 2:40.847
Bronze Medal - Male - 70+ 10km Points
Male - 70+ 5km Scratch Race Final 8th

Sue REDMAN
Bronze Medal - Female - 55+ 500m Time Trial Final 42.483
Bronze Medal – Female - 55+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Final 2:52.239

OTHER RESULTS

Jamie BATE
Male - 30 to 34 200m Sprint Qualification 5th 11.604

Owen DUFFY
Male - 70+ 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 8th 3:13.903
Male - 70+ 200m Sprint Qualification – 13th 15.885
Male - 70+ 500m Time Trial Final 14th 45.407

David GEE
Male - 65 to 69 5km Scratch Race Final - 6th
Male - 60 to 69 10km Points Race Final 12th

Sepp HRIBAR
Male - 45 to 49 10km Scratch Race Final 5th
Male - 45 to 49 200m Sprint Qualification 6th 11.779
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 9th 54.154
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 16th 3:49.427

Jeff LYALL
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 12th 3:44.751
Male - 45 to 49 10km Scratch Race Final – 14th
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 18th 55.975

Kelvin MCANULTY
Male - 55 to 59 500m Time Trial Final 24th 40.742
Male - 55 to 59 2000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 16th 2:58.776

Kevin MCCOMB
Male - 60 to 64 500m Time Trial Final 7th 39.013
Male - 60 to 64 5km Scratch Race Final – 14th
Male - 60 to 64 200m Sprint Qualification – 7th 13.071

Paul NEEDHAM
Male - 40 to 44 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 10th 3:43.288

Geoffrey SHAW
Male - 45 to 49 200m Sprint Qualification 22nd 13.140
Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 24th 4:29.441
Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final 33rd 1:01.966

Stewart THOMAS
Male - 35 to 39 200m Sprint Qualification 10th 11.855
Male - 35 to 39 1000m Time Trial Final 11th 1:13.393

Grant WILSON
Male - 40 to 44 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification 24th 4:10.193
Male - 40 to 44 200m Sprint Qualification 27th 12.553
Male - 40 to 44 750m Time Trial Final 35th 58.020

TEAM SPRINT
23rd Kelvin MCANULTY Grant WILSON Stewart THOMAS 55.925
25th Jeff LYALL, Sepp HRIBAR, David GEE 58.300
27th Geoffrey SHAW, Jonathan GUTHRIE, Garry HUMPHERSON 58.885

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Report 2 from Sydney Masters Worlds

Male - 45 to 49 10km scratch race final

This race was a hell of a lot of fun. For a relative novice like me, bumping elbows at 50-60 kmh has its own kind of buzz.
I must have got spat at least twice but managed to bridge back again.
It was a completely different kind of pain from the pursuit. This race was stacked.
Of the 24 riders, 18 were Aussies! All the more interesting was that we could see Philippe Vernet from where Sepp and I were warming up on the rollers. He did not do ANY warm-up. While we circled in the call-up area he was still veged out on the seats.
It didnt stop him from appearing to win with ease.

1 Philippe Vernet (Fra)
2 Roberto Mattei (Ita)
3 Hilton Mcmurdo (Aus) (busted for doping)
4 Byron Tucker (Aus)
5 Sepp Hribar (NZl)
6 Warren Bennett (Aus)
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can)
8 Clint Mcdonell (Aus)
9 Claus Christiansen (Den)
10 Ricardo Pereyra (Arg)
11 Mark Harris (Aus)
12 Vicente Florio Zoric (Arg)
13 Craig Taylor (Aus)
14 Jeff Lyall (NZl)
15 Robert Upton (Aus)
16 Mark Arnold (Aus)
17 Geoffrey Willmot (Aus)
DNF Matthew Guggisberg (Aus)
DNF Glen Heuvel (RSA)
DNF Peter Holley (Aus)
DNF Stephen Joyce (Aus)
DNF Phillip Mcneill (Aus)
DNF Geoffrey Shaw (NZl)
DNF Peter Verhoeven (Aus)

Male - 45 to 49 3000m Individual Pursuit Qualification

This was the event I came over for. The 3000 metres pursuit.
With only one pursuit indoors under my belt I was hoping to break my record of 3.44.
I trained hard, by comparison to my eariler attempt for which I had 1 weeks notice.
It wasnt to be. The track cooled down after the first day and the speed just did not seem to be there.
One thing it brings home to me is the fact that the ILT Velodrome in Invercargill is actually damn fast. ILT is artifically heated, which it needs to be, if you know anything about the weather down there! Dunc Gray has an amazing eco-friendly heating system that is energy efficient but there is likely more variation in the track temperature and speeds. Taking this into account, Hilton McMurdos time is just amazing.(later busted for doping). World number 2 road time triallist Marco Hellman was there soley for the pursuit and also had a standout time.
The understated Claus from Denmark had to ride off against kiwi Ray Dunstan and Ray pushed it so hard that the tunnel vision had him dropping down the track at one stage, but he managed to pull it off getting the bronze, 1 second ahead of Claus.

The pursuiting highlight for me was seeing my clubmate Garry Humpherson smash the world record and win the gold in the 70 + mens pursuit. Gary had a childhood injury that left one of his legs shorter and half the size of his other leg, but at the age of 65 he was still doing sub-60 40km TTs.
He also made his own revolutionary aero-bars that look like they belong on a tractor and has been known to scrounge bits for his bike out of the recycling station.
He also made his own frame by chopping down a road bike.
Here is Garry's pursuit on Youtube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNP9DtC6O1E


1 188 Hilton MCMURDO AUS AUS19620202 52.02 3:27.616 (busted for doping)
2 174 Marco HELLMAN USA USA19610507 50.34 3:34.561
3 168 Claus CHRISTIANSEN DEN DEN19600331 49.22 3:39.423
4 170 Ray DUNSTAN NZL NZL19600930 49.11 3:39.917
5 187 Clint MCDONELL AUS AUS19600630 49.09 3:39.991
6 201 Stephane Le BEAU CAN CAN19590616 48.76 3:41.489
7 208 Peter VERHOEVEN AUS AUS19590508 48.54 3:42.494
8 203 Craig TAYLOR AUS AUS19610114 48.48 3:42.759
9 167 Nicholas CHADDERTON AUS AUS19610531 48.43 3:42.996
10 205 Byron TUCKER AUS AUS19610305 48.27 3:43.752
11 180 Brent KAY USA USA19620302 48.21 3:44.003
12 183 Jeff LYALL NZL NZL19611027 48.05 3:44.751
13 206 Robert UPTON AUS AUS19591225 47.76 3:46.135
14 165 Warren BENNETT AUS AUS19590905 47.41 3:47.817
15 162 Mark ARNOLD AUS AUS19600810 47.08 3:49.408
16 177 Sepp HRIBAR NZL NZL19610611 47.07 3:49.427
17 212 Vicente Florio ZORIC ARG ARG19590805 46.90 3:50.280
18 185 David MANN USA USA19600121 46.01 3:54.755
19 182 Niels-Henrik LAUGESEN AUS AUS19620807 45.04 3:59.775
20 207 James VAN GELDER AUS AUS19610202 43.48 4:08.394
21 204 Robert THOMPSON AUS AUS19590218 43.06 4:10.836
22 176 Peter HOLLEY AUS AUS19580603 42.96 4:11.394
23 198 David RUSSELL AUS AUS19611020 42.83 4:12.180
24 199 Geoffrey SHAW NZL NZL19580428 40.08 4:29.441
25 210 David WHISH AUS AUS19581016 39.05 4:36.562
DSQ 192 Andrea NERI ITA ITA19590107 DSQ

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Report 1 from Sydney Masters Worlds

We are having a great time in sydney, was bloody hot yesterday.
Got the first event out of the way but looking forward to the real race later today.
We are staying in what are effectively "trailers" I think? Little boxes made by a company called Jayco.

Suits a bunch of 3 smelly guys, just not something you would pull on the Mrs.
The cool thing about an event like this, is that altho there are people who are acting like there whole entire life is depending on winning their event, there are still heaps of other really cool and laid back people who are really into enjoying meeting the people from other countries as well.

Male - 45 to 49 750m Time Trial Final

1 Philippe Vernet (Fra) 0.51.27 (52.66 km/h)
2 Peter Barnard (Aus) 0.51.42
3 Ivor Reid (GBr) 0.51.99
4 Michael Popplewell (Aus) 0.52.79
5 Paul Jackson (Aus) 0.53.08
6 Gerard Oconnell (Aus) 0.53.10
7 Stephane Le Beau (Can) 0.53.83
8 Dominique Sioul (Fra) 0.53.97
9 Sepp Hribar (NZl) 0.54.15
10 Byron Tucker (Aus) 0.54.16
11 Gary Mandy (Aus) 0.54.34
12 Brent Kay (USA) 0.54.47
13 Warren Bennett (Aus) 0.54.60
14 Ian Atkin (Aus) 0.55.08
15 Clint Mcdonell (Aus) 0.55.41
16 David Mann (USA) 0.55.61
17 Mark Arnold (Aus) 0.55.85
18 Jeff Lyall (NZl) 0.55.98
19 Matthew Guggisberg (Aus) 0.56.41
20 Andrea Neri (Ita) 0.56.78
21 Wayne Kreunen (RSA) 0.57.04
22 Wal Mullany (Aus) 0.57.30
23 Craig Taylor (Aus) 0.57.33
24 Claus Christiansen (Den) 0.57.45
25 James Van Gelder (Aus) 0.57.52
26 Glen Heuvel (RSA) 0.57.59
27 Phillip Mcneill (Aus) 0.58.04
28 Robert Thompson (Aus) 0.58.42
29 Stephen Joyce (Aus) 0.59.05
30 Raymond Gorrell (Aus) 0.59.38
31 Peter Holley (Aus) 0.59.52
32 David Russell (Aus) 1.01.00
33 Geoffrey Shaw (NZl) 1.02.00

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Team talk from mascot...


Mint-sauce gave me a pep talk. After the Allblacks untimely exit from the World Cup, its up to me to restore the pride in our country. No pressure....

Mint-sauce is still on the good stuff. No grass yet, just bottled milk. I tasted it and I got quite a liking for it after a while. I thinks its got collostrum in it? I am sure its made me feel stronger! I mean look what it does for her!!! (Link here) .

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sheep are people too ya know!

Dont you hate it the way all people can think of when you say you live in NZ, is how many sheep we have? I mean, crikey, theres more to us than that!

Oh yeah. Check the latest member of our family. I call him mint sauce but my daughter calls him pepper.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Hours of fun.. Podcast city arizona


This is the coolest site I have come across in ages
Competitor Radio
Downloads for your PC or MP3 player...

These are a few of the podcasts I have listened to.
Greg Lemond talking about winning the tour clean.
Lemond Interview
Betsy Andreu, on LA!
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=154
Bob Roll, gonzo cool dude..
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=7
Bob Roll, on Phloyd
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=8
Chris McCormack. Winningest triathlete across all distances... except the Ironman
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=11
David Walshe, on LA
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=150
Faris Al Sultan, hawaii ironman winner
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=63
Greg Welch, Iron-tri dude, now has a built in defribulator!
http://www.competitorradio.com/details.php?show=22

Friday, July 27, 2007

The hills are alive...




We discovered this new hill in Wellington the other day, in Wadestown, "Weld St" . Dang it was steep... you cant tell from the photos, but I felt ill riding up it, as short as it was. The last photo is from out near Makara beach. Much less steep, and more scenic.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Assembling kit for Oz masters world track champs

I got an axle kit from HED, to convert this old screw-on clustered disc into a fixed wheel for the track. It worked a treat! It was easy as to set up. I havent tried it out yet, the velodrome is probably a bit slippery at the moment. Hmmm bugger.... have just found a flaw with the HED kit. It only has the one set of threads, and there is not much room for a lock-ring.... which means I cant use the clever Miche styled carrier system I just bought. You can slip a very thin lock-ring on if you are using standard cogs, but its threaded the same way anyway, so its just for decoration. A trick for young players.

My buddy Humpy has lent me his Raceline Record with Miche crankset, so that should be a bit faster than my old "Pex" . A couple of new chains and some bars and I should be rocking.

I will put a negative rise stem on to improve my cda. Its easier than making more watts. I have an idea on what kind of watts I will need to be competitive, and its another 70 watts over what I estimate I made at the nationals. I am not sure how easy it is to grow another 70 watts for 3kms but I will be monitoring my progress closely with the power tap.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

New toy just arrived...

Power tap Pro.
Looks a bit like an SL, but its not.
Compare
The Saris guys are amazing. They certainly stand by their product. Awesome to know this when you live thousands of miles away from their HQ. These babies look totally different inside to the old yellow model pro. It has little hearing aid type batteries instead of the bigger half AA sized ones.


The weight is very similar to the old yellow pro though, despite the shiney carbon : ) - well, it was on my kitchen scale.

Friday, June 29, 2007

THE HUMANS ARE DEAD (I poked one.. it was dead)

This is the Flight of the Conchords. NZ's 4th most popular Folk Comedy Duo. Currently screening on HBO.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Dynamic Composites Zen Disks


I really liked the look of these wheels while at the the Track nats this year so I took a few shots.

Apparently their offical launch is coming in the next few months. Stay tuned.

zen-wheels

zen-bike

http://www.dynamic-composites.co.nz

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A commute route I often take to get to work

This is a commute route I often take to get to work. I live about 2kms from work, and its all downhill. Good for 14 calories of expenditure according to my power tap. So some times I start by carrying on up my hill until I reach the Danzig MTB track built by the local MTB club. If I ride down it, then back up again, and back down my hill, its a good 60 mins of single-track fun.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/41957928@N00/sets/72157600225825229/
Or a slide-show here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A lunch time ride in the Hutt Valley

This is a lunch time ride for us here in "The Hutt". It takes in Moonshine Hill and can be done at a firm pace of 1 hour and 9 mins from my place of work. It has one of the steepest climbs about and I think it is about 15 %. Check out the location map if you are a Lord of The Rings fan. For a hell of a long time the set for the battle scene of Helms deep was sitting in at Dry Creek Quarry at the bottom of Haywards hill.
You could see if from the road, I guess I shoudl have taken a picture? A lot of this stuff is lying around in back-lots in Wellington as they dont really know what to do with it. What do you do with giant polystyrene monsters and buildings.They filmed the downtown scenes for King Kong behind my wifes work in Petone, but you couldnt see a thing. Amazing the tiny places they can sneak a movie set into.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Flying Scotsman movie

I saw the movie last night. The Mrs was using the car carting the kids about, so I had to ride my bike into town to meet the folks I was going with. I thought it was apt that I should ride my fixer so by the time I got to their house at the top of Brookyn Hill my legs were seriously munted.

The guys I went with were not cyclists at all, but they loved the movie. Its been playing for 3 days now in Wellington, altho there were only about 10 of us in the theatre last night. Many cyclists have said to me that its their favorite movie and it would be the best cycling movie I have seen too.
The movie manages to come across in a really balanced way that has appeal to the man/woman on the street and still manages to appeal to the hard core cyclist. The UCI (called the WCF in the movie) get pretty demonised, but everyone else comes out pretty well. Chris Boardman comes over as a genuinely good sportsman which is pretty much the feeling I got from reading the book.

The topic of depression is dealt with very well. Its always there in the background, but doesnt overwhelm the movie. With 1 in 5 people in this country being afflicted at some stage in their life its a topic that could do with more coverage. I am sure Graham isnt the only athlete to have suffered.

The movie seems to finish quite abruptly. There was a lot more that could have been put in, but it would possibly have ended up looking repetitive in the end, as it was more of the same. Wins more, position banned, more downers etc.

I would definitely recommend it as a great movie to watch, for cycling fans, and non-fans. Maybe the non-fans would enjoy it the most, because they will know less about it, and be gobsmacked at the way things happened. The people I went with were.

As usual, a movie never matches up to the book, but thats a tall order in 105 minutes. The best way to do it would be movie first, then book.
Its an awesome book, and a great movie.

Audio here from review and chat to the director

Obree in a recent race.
Wikipedia

Monday, April 23, 2007

DIY aero testing

DIY aero testing.

The goal.
To see if there is a measurable difference in "aero-ness" between using my new aero lid, and using my old standard helmet.

An increase in "aero-ness" is crudely defined as the ability to do the same speed for less watts.

The location.
Outdoor velodrome at Haitaitai, Wellington NZ.
333 metre concrete track. (Bumpy).
Wind . Nil.
Temperature. 9-11 degrees.
From around 8am onwards.
Barometric pressure 1026 hpa.
Humidity 80%

The format.
8 runs. Completed in 1 hour and 15 mins with very little resting or downtime, apart from swapping helmets and noting temperature. Aero means Aero helmet, non-aero means non-aero helmet.
4 x 5 mins at 34 kmh. Aero, non-aero, aero, non-aero
2 x 5 mins at 40 kmh Non-aero, aero,
2 x 10 mins at 35 kmh. Aero, non-aero(35kmh seemed easier to do than 34 kmh)

The difficulities.
1. Getting the track to myself. (No problems)
2. Getting consistant wind . (No problems)
3. Getting consistant temperature. Pretty good.
4. Riding at a consistant speed. Way better than a previous attempt. The trick was to ride by feel (cadence?), rather than obsess on watching the computer.
5. Getting a smooth line. I rode on the sprinters line because it was way smoother than the bumpier pursuiting line. I guess this means I am less vertical than I could have been.

The equipment:

1. Bianchi d2 chrono TT bike and Power tap. Deep front rim. Weight around 9kgs
2. Carrera Dragon Fly helmet (Non-aero)
3. Louis Garneu Rocket helmet. (Aero)
4. Rider about 71 kgs. Add another 3 kgs for kit at least.


The "raw results"" are as follows, and have had no factors applied to them. They are listed in the order that they were undertaken.

Run number:
----------------------------------------------------
1. Aero. 5mins 34.6kmh 191 watts temp 9.3
2. Non-aero 5mins 34.5kmh 194 watts temp 9.9
----------------------------------------------------
3. Aero 5mins 34.7kmh 196 watts temp 9.4
4. Non-aero 5mins 34.5kmh 197 watts temp 9.8
----------------------------------------------------
5. Non-aero 5mins 40.2kmh 280 watts temp 9.9
6. Aero 5mins 40.5kmh 270 watts temp 10.9
----------------------------------------------------
7. Aero 10mins 35.1kmh 195 watts temp 11.4
8. Non-aero 10mins 35.3kmh 197 watts temp 11.4
----------------------------------------------------


To try to get an smooth transitition from start to finish, I would set my timer off for 5 mins, take two laps to settle in, then go another 2 laps after my time had elapsed, and stop pedaling on the line.

At the end of the day, after downloading this data, I would then "select" 5 mins worth of data, back from that coasting point, so all tests at least stopped in the same place.

The differences I recorded in the 40kmh test were pretty major, compared to the lower speeds, but I guess I would have to do it a couple of times to see if they were consistant and not some kind of an aberration. I think the last two runs are the least impressive as far as being decisive in any way, as the last run was actually faster than the one before it. If I am doing it right, I get a CdA of .233 using Alex Simmon's spread sheet. I am not sure if that is good or not.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

07 NZ Track nationals


I was pretty keen to do the NZ track champs when I heard that they were going to be held in the new covered velodrome in Invercargill, but totally dismissed the idea after Kay's job came to an end in December. I knew it was an extravagance we couldn't afford.

Rachel rang the weekend before the track champs started and asked if I would be interested in driving the van loaded with bikes and two young'ns down to Invercargill. Simon had wrecked his back and couldn't drive down the van! Simon was particularly gutted as he had some good form. As I would be spending 4 days driving the bikes and riders down there and back, the club would subsidise my accommodation while there. I initially dismissed the idea as my brownie point collection was not looking good. In the end my long suffering wife told me to go, as I could at least visit my Aunt who had been having treatment for her cancer at Invercargill, and I could stay with my brother on the way there and back, who also had not been well.

That next week was a pretty damn hectic. I had to prep my TT bike for the event I had actually been training for (Saturdays TT in Masterton), as well as build up my track bike into something competitive by borrowing fruity parts from most of the trackies in Wellington. Trackies are great like that. Bars, wheels, chains.... not much of my original bike remained. I also had to load up the van kindly lent to us by Marty McDonald to ferry the gear down. Bikes, wheels rollers and other inanimate objects were jammed into the back along with Nick and Troy who managed to keep me fully entertained for the 2500kms we did in the van. They unmercifully ribbed each other constantly about the size of each others legs and their inability to own up when the air turned foul. I have to admit to being worried on the way back when Nick started for the first time to eat non-processed food, eg Apples.... Nick's diet up until then had consisted solely of Coke and Subway.

The research I had done before heading south had unearthed nothing about the kinds of times I expected would be competitive in my 3km pursuit. There were no results to be found on the Cycling Southland Website. We tend to forget we probably have the best cycling club website in NZ thanks to Jonno. http://www.pnp.org.nz

I didn't race until the Friday, so I had time to try some bigger gears. We arrived at about 4pm (having left Christchurch at 7.30 am) and got on the track at 8pm on the Monday night! I started by going up 2.5 inches in my gearing and I was still spinning pretty damn fast on a 3/4 length effort. After ringing up Aaron for advice, I went up another inch in another effort a few days later.
I was now looking at splits of 18 seconds flat per 250 metre lap. This was my best case scenario. If I blew, I thought I could come under 3.46, bearing in mind my fastest time in Wellington was 4.06 . Yep, it was a fast track. At the last minute Mike Byrne offered me his Teschner with Mavic and Zen wheels on it... possibly one of the fruitiest bikes there, but I decided against it. It had taken me a week to build up my bike, and I was happy with my aero position on it. I had Aarons old rear Ghibli so that was pretty cool. Luckily I did a few laps in the morning with my contact lenses in, as they dried up with the heat of the enclosed velodrome. There was an emergency trip by Mark back to the Motel to get my specs which meant not using the visor on my new lid.

The guy who I thought would win my event was Ray Dunstan. He wins the TT in our age group every year at the Road nats... (every year except this year). Just my luck. I didn't go down to Palmerston South, but Mike Sim did, and got Rays scalp. Ray rode the pursuit just before me. I sat in the hotseat and watched him shorten the Masters 2 record by 24 seconds! His time was sharp. 3.39. It was a PB for him by 3 seconds and would have given him a silver at the world masters in Manchester last year. Ray has a duel going with NZ's current top women's pursuiter, Alison Shanks. We think he is now in front of Ali by a few hundreths!

I knew I would have to be firing to beat Ray. My splits were for a 3.41, but I would see what happened. After telling Troy and Nick that the three rules of pursuiting are....
1. Dont start too hard, 2. Dont start too hard, and 3. Dont start too hard.... I started too hard....

Not that hard, but 17's when I was supposed to be doing 18 flat. As you would expect, as I tired my times drifted up.... I wasn't dying but it was getting harder.... I was starting to think about looking for the lap board so I could see how many I had to hang on for...... BUMMER! Only one lap to go... I dug it in and was in hi 17s again... too late, it was already over. Time flies when you are having fun.... or not...
3.44.01. In the end I came 2nd and pushed Murray Steele into 3rd spot. Apparently Murray got silver in the teams pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in 82'? Anyway. My mum was watching, and apparently the guys doing the commentary were getting pretty excited as the unknown from Wellington was mowing down the local guy (Mike Lormans). I nearly caught him on the line. As vets, we didn't do heats, and he didn't medal in the end. 9 seconds seemed to be the difference if you caught someone over the 12 laps.
Jville Cycles satanic mechanic Mark Humphries did a great job of yelling my splits. Its damn hard to hear with the noise of the crowd and the wind blasting around your ears.

Going back thru my pursuit calculator, I come out with an average of 18.3 second laps, an average speed of 48.21 kmh. (Sarah Ulmers WR is about 52 kmh). It looks safe to me!

Some of the guys down there are gnarly looking old buggers. I think its the climate. They look like they are 10 years older than they really are. We are lucky we have such a mild climate here in Wellington.... shame about the wind tho! If the drome down there wasn't covered we would have been lucky to get 1 days racing in. We had rain and hail and artic winds during in the week.

We had a great time and Shane Riches and Sepp Hiribar both tore the legs off the opposition in heats and finals, once again, against guys that had represented NZ at the very highest level..... Shanes heat was scary, he just dropped them by so much. Maybe too much? They certainly would have had an eye on him for the final! He was racing some seriously fast guys that had muscles on their muscles. Shanes cooking had to be experienced to be believed. Lasagne with home made pasta! Yummmmmm.

I expressed concern to Sepp that the guy he was racing had a sprint bronze from the Commonwealth Games and would have tactics we could only dream about. Sepp told me to relax. Sprinting is an intuitive thing. Not something to worry about.
A gold and an NZ record in the Master 2 515m scratch proved him right!
Paulas efforts in the AWD were amazing too, especially since she had food poisoning the day before she raced!

Thanks to all the guys that lent us bits and supported us. There was a petition going around to get the event back to Invercargill for next year. If it was anywhere else this year most of it would have been rained out.

Cheers Jeff
More photos here

Technorati Profile

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Velodrome Aero Power Testing Protocol links

Monday, March 19, 2007

NZ mountainbike champs series final


The NZ mountainbike champ series/circus came to Wellington the other day.
The green-belt based Course in Mount Victoria was used in the 1997 World Cup circuit when MTBing was at its heady heights, and had the distinction of being called the best urban-based course ever made. One of the organisers, Arthur Klapp, went on to spear-head organisation of the 2006 World MTB champs that were held in Rotorua with great success.

I coach a couple of young athletes for Mountainbiking, and one of them was in with a chance of the overall series title. In New Zealand you have the national series - best 4 races from 6 starts (a massive undertaking), and the National Champs, a one-off race.

Jordan Blake had won the first round of the nats at Coronet peak, but had had some dramas with poor gear selection, and breakages in other rounds, meaning his next best 2 results were 4ths. With a different kid winning the race in each town (always the local rider) Jord had a chance to get some good points in the final on his local track.

Series leader (Tauranga's Ash Hough) only had to finish in the top three and the series was his ! It was pretty tense and Jord attacked like there was no tomorrow. He started so hard I was worried he was going to blow, but he did it well.

Poor Ash Hough got taken out within seconds of the start as the riders jockeyed for position on the lap they did of the Haitaitai Velodrome. Ash and another couple of guys went down real hard.

They seemed to take ages getting going again and Ash fought his way back and had a gusty race to finish 4th..... 1 place off winning the national under 19 cross country championships.

The title was Jordans! A 16 year old racing in the under 19 class. The other riders I coach had pretty good rides too, but Kane wasnt happy with his performance and straight away started training for the national secondary school MTB champs to be held in mid April. Kathryn enjoyed the brutally steep Mt Vic climbs and rode parts even the elite women were walking. I raced in the masters 2 class but was well and truly beaten into 4th place by original Karapoti Classic event organiser Simon Kennett, National series winner Trevor Woodward and another local, Ant Bradshaw. Santa Cruz Rep and NZ selector Mike Stylianou finished 5th, and 2nd overall in the masters 2 series. Series Results.
"Stylie" coaches some real good up and coming young athletes including Nelsonian Gordon Bennett.

Stylie was NZ Coach for the team that went to the Oceania MTB champs in Thredbo Australia a few weeks later. It wasnt the spectacle that the NZ Oceania champs were in Rotorua last year, and the weather turned bad for under 19 guys, but they got a taste of the level expected if they are to go head to head with the Aussies. Australias geographic size seems to be the biggest limiter in getting big fields of participants to these events. The standard is always very high though. Jordan came away with 6th place, and 2nd kiwi to Connor McFarlane whose technical riding skills were head and shoulders above the rest.
Read Jordans report here.
Professional photos here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pacing with the Power Tap in a series of short TT's

Here is a bit of a timeline on my first serious efforts at racing, (rather than training) with my Power Tap on. I almost always go back to my race wheel (Corimma disc) rather than using my Power Tap wheel, which is a Mavic Open Pro with a Wheel cover.

In the interests of self betterment I decided to use the PT wheel and see if I could use it for pacing, even in short events like our Wednesday night 24km Time Trials.
Coming from a background as a Mountainbiker I am used to starting at maximum watts to be the first into the single track !
Old habits die hard, there is no single-track on our course, and we are starting at 1 minute intervals, so maybe I could slow down a bit?

Race 1. I pretty much raced as I always did, hard out of the blocks.
Its a 4 lap course. Up one side of the main drag, usually into a strong northerly, ever so slightly climbing, and back down the other side over about 4 rollers, no more than 5-10 metres in height.
Watch as my lap times got slower and slower.

Liverton road 4 laps (5.85kms)34-08 mins
1, 8.21 mins 307 watts, 168 bpm, cad 94, 42.3 kmh
2, 8.26 mins 301 watts, 179 bpm, cad 90, 42.2 kmh
3, 8.36 mins 284 watts, 179 bpm, cad 90, 41.0 kmh
4, 8.46 mins 292 watts, 179 bpm, cad 90, 41.0 kmh

Average power 296, Normalised Power 303
20 min power, 307 average , 312 Normalised power.

Out and back speed differentials on a very windy northerly
39.2 / 46.1 kmh
38.8 / 46.1 kmh
37.3 / 45.2 kmh
37.3 / 45.1 kmh


Race 2. I decided to use my 20 minute power of 307 watts as an upper ceiling to try not to go over. This had a good pacing effect on my first lap.
At the end of the TT, my 2nd and last laps were the same, a very good thing... my average power was up 8 watts and my NP was up 6 watts.
I was also 30 odd seconds faster.

Liverton road 4 laps (5.85kms) 33.26 mins
1, 8.24 mins 307 watts, 168 bpm, cad 94, 42.5 kmh
2, 8.18 mins 303 watts, 179 bpm, cad 89, 42.9 kmh
3, 8.26 mins 304 watts, 179 bpm, cad 90, 42.1 kmh
4, 8.18 mins 300 watts, 179 bpm, cad 90, 42.3 kmh
Average power 304, normalised power 309
20 min power, 310 average , 313 Normalised power.

Out and back differentials on another very windy northerly
40.1 / 45.2 kmh
40.6 / 45.7 kmh
39.0 / 45.9 kmh
39.7 / 45.4 kmh


Race 3. The same plan as the previous week. But at last some good conditions, a lighter southerly. The speed differential between out an back legs would be less.
I had done some pretty hard workouts only 2 days previous, so I would be tired, but the chance to have a go at the course record was to good too turn down. I was supposd to be peaking for a 40km TT the next weekend (3 days away).

Liverton road 4 laps (5.85kms) 31.30 mins. A new allcomers record, and vets record by 1 minute 20.
1, 7.51 mins 306 watts 167 hr 95 cad 45.0 kmh speed differential 46.0 / 43.7
2, 7.53 mins 299 watts 177 hr 96 cad 45.2 kmh speed differential 46.7 / 43.7
3, 7.56 mins 300 watts 180 hr 96 cad 44.8 kmh speed differential 46.1 / 43.5
4, 7.51 mins 301 watts 181 hr 97 cad 45.6 kmh speed differential 45.6 / 45.5

Average power 302, normalised power 306
20 min power 304, 307 normalised.

Watts were down about 2 in average and normalised power, probably due to tiredness, but the better conditions meant I went 2 minutes faster.

A speed differential of only 2-3 kmh, as opposed to 6-8kmh of the previous two weeks races, meant I was able to get maximum value out of my efforts.
Keeping a lid on my watts on the first couple of laps was essential to a good time..

Friday, January 12, 2007

Otago Rail Trail


http://www.otagorailtrail.co.nz/
Our family holiday was a bit of fun this year. We headed off to the South Island and the picturesque Otago Rail Trail. A couple of hundred Kms between Clyde and Middlemarch on old abandoned railway lines. There were big questions to be asked of our family. Could I ride that slow - and could the family ride that long on the one bottom!
Francis at Jville Cycles said the following. Its not about how comfy your seat is, its about being able to change your seat, when that part of your bum gets tired! He was dead right. Swapping bikes on the last day helped two of my family immensely. The one in our family that did it the easiest was the one that rides horses, not complaints at all. Its all time in the saddle!

We did about 30kms a day for 3 days, and that was about all my troops could handle. Folks with a bit of grit and/or fitness would do a lot better.
We met a little guy called Paelo, a 7 year old with an awesome attitude. He liked to lead from the front! He spanked us on the leg from Oterehua to Ranfurly, but it rained the next day and apparently he said he would rather be at school!

The scenery was surprisingly green, and overcast. No baking in the sun for us. We saw heaps of people, many of them over 50 years of age, none of them what you would call hard-core cyclists, and most of them with hire bikes, or doing trips that had been pre-planned for them by a company.

Accomodation along the route was good with many different varieties, Pubs, back-packers and bed and breakfasts. We only did 3 legs in the middle of the trail, due to time constraints. Alexandra to Omakau. Omakau to Oterehua, and Oterehua to Waipiata. Each day was roughly 30kms.
At the end of each day I would ride back and pick up the car, usually partly on the trail, and partly on the tar-sealed road, this way we didnt have to carry much gear. Some people had their gear picked up and forwarded each day by a bus that comes through the trail.

There was nearly a revolt amongst the crew on our last day. Bums were sore and after 36 kms, the back packers that was promised turned into a series of signs saying, 3 kms, 1 km and then 1 km again! It wouldnt have been so bad except there was a slight hill, and there are no hills at all on the trail! The Pubs are really good in Central Otago too. Some of them even have ice-creams for sale and they are very children friendly. This photo is of The Iron-Horse B & B at Waipiata. Its very rustic.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Worlds Steepest St.


We spent a bit of time in Dunedin. Unfortunately the Cadburys chocolate Factory, and Speights beer factories were closed down for tours, so after Larnach castle, the next obvious thing to do was check out the worlds steepest street in. Baldwin St. I pity the poor locals. After watching a pair of foreign gentlemen in matching hire cars tailgating each other up this crazy steep hill.... well I stood well back. This mountainbiker had a treat in store for her on the decent when a family stopped their car at the bottom... in the midde of the road.... and opened all the doors....