Monday, November 28, 2011

fortune favours the brave

After a fairly heinous road crash I can tell you getting on the road bike again is tough. 

And getting on it to rub shoulders with the usual suspects in a crit is even tougher.  The skin heals, bruises fade and the stiffness and pain subside.  But you have to fix your head.  In a sport where a moment hesitation means you missed the opportunity, and being afraid means you can't hang in there is no room for fear.

So I told fear to get gone the best way I knew how.  I got on my bike, I paid my money and I raced HPRW.

I stayed upright, I had support from my koiled team mates and somewhere in there I rolled to my best ever result in the presence of some good competition (Donna, Nik and Jemma).

I guess I am choosing to believe fortune favours the brave.
Ride on.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A brief intermission

My day job requires that I travel from time to time - and although this does play havoc with regular bike training, I like my job. 

This time round I was off to the USA, to visit Houston and Seattle.  As it were I was still busy regrowing skin so I guess, apart from the discomfort of flying with pieces missing - it was probably a good time to go!   You certainly cant miss it when you land here - LAX loves a flag.
The first few days were a blur - into Houston late, full day workshop the next day. 

Our office in Houston had a couple of very cool things - including this.... a treadmill office. 

Puts new meaning into being trapped on the treadmill of work!  I want the ERGO version but I cannot imagine the Australian OH&S concerns allowing it.  

I often eat what the locals eat as the food of a place to me is an essential element for culture immersion.  This time around I got to try a Texas specialty - a 'chicken fried steak'.

WTF if a chicken fried steak? Well it has no chicken.  It is fried, and it is steak.   The chicken part comes from the KFC type batter that surrounds the steak.  mind boggling. 


 Then at day's end Houston was disapearing behind me and I was heading north, to Seattle where a 4 day intensive with the best and brightest Dream Team awaited me. 

 Seattle (home of MAD FIBER!) was a cool city.  One of our UQCC girls, Devon - calls it home and offered to hook me up with some riding.  

Unfortunately taking a bike for this whirlwind trip was not an option.  And based on the locals behaviour detailed in the local street press - maybe I am glad.  I don't want to see a Raccoon on a Koiled.

So I settled for a bit of the dreaded gym work when I could fit it in.  And if not, no matter.  I prioritised getting home without some kind of upper respiratory infection from pushing too hard. 

And it worked!!!!!  I have to figure a week of little training sets me back less than an illness.

Top of the list for Seattle's cool things were Ryan's new electric car.

Goes well, just don't use the heater on a long drive.  Nuff said!

Ryan sorted my shoppping - he took me to REI headquarters where I picked up a bunch of stuff.
Then onto 'Seattles best bike shop' (allegedly) - Gregg's Cycles - where I added a new saddle to my luggage for about 50% of the shelf price here.  

This week, back to training - ouch.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vault Crit

TR, Shan and I lined up for the Vault Crit on the weekend.  With big money and a very mixed grade it was always going to have some hairy moments.  But definitely a little more than we bargained for.  I felt good going in.  The day before we'd had a good, fast crit with a practiced finish that gave 1st and 2nd.  Nick and TR also took 5th and 7th - 4 in top 7 is definitely approaching the KOILED TRAIN. Anyways, race day and I had warmed up, bike was dialled, and I was ready.

* photo by Anthony Hartley

I was aiming to sit in and see what's what before working my way up towards the pointy end for the finish.  With my current sprint I was hoping not too many would be getting away from me.  Working your way anywhere in the chaotic mess was tough.  I watched people shelled off the track every lap on the chicanes as some straight lined it and some followed the curves.  Inside was no good - you'd be off the track.  Middle was no good, you were getting squeezed.  Outside - ok for one corner, but it became inside on the next bend, see first comment.  Coming into the last few laps I forced my way up.  Last lap, the pace was high and suddenly fore runners became mid pack as everyone tried to push forward.  Two bars hooked next to me (on a straight piece of track no less) and a loss of control, they then claimed me and another rider.  I have to have a laugh at all those MAMILS who are quick to blame women riders or young riders (insert 'anyone but us' riders) for being at fault.  Clearly none of them saw the incident.  I suppose they should get rid of all the women and young riders from the TDF.  That would solve the crashes.... oh, wait a minute.....

* photo by Morbo

In the 10 years I have owned a roadie I have never managed to crash it.  First time for everything, and it now occurs to me that if you are midpack you are a passenger.  I can tell you 53km to 0km is not enjoyable and neither is large amounts of road rash.  Be at the front or the back I think.

 There were three crashes in the last lap, or so I hear.  Hope all involved heal quick and are back rolling soon.
Thanks to all who contacted me to check in!  Greatly appreciated, and yes was back on the trainer on Monday, and out and about on Tuesday ( I was not crying I had something in my eye).

One the plus side the koiled Ti bike and Mad Fibers were definitely generating some interest for Shan.  Look forward to them arriving, head to the koiled site if you have enquiries.