Monday, July 30, 2012

HPRW Womens Series - Race Two - The ITT


HPRW Race Two took  us out to Closeburn for a tough little 20kkm ITT course.

Shan built me up an AWESOME koiled TT bike with a blinging custom paint job and I dug out the skinsuit and helmet.  All good bikes need a name, so I decided she should be called the TTime Machine....

I knew I was asking for trouble by having done no TT practice, and only getting my bike the day before but what the hell - MTBers have nothing to lose right!

My teamie Bear wasn't riding so he headed out to help, encourage and watch - being the TT fiend that he is.  Having done the TTT last year I think I got the general idea about how to ride one of these thing, but has no idea how to pace myself. Both he and Jaman provided me various bits of good advice.

I rego'd and jumped onto the trainer to warm up.  With nearly 40 ladies in attendance it was a great turn out. Superstar TTer Simone Grounds was there and I expected a strong ride from Jess Toghill.  There were also a couple of other strong ladies, with long pedigrees. And I was in unfamiliar territory. 

I didn't feel completely awesome with my heart rate was pinging high and fast, but it was showtime. Nerves I suppose!

I ran through the tried and true CCC warm up and listened to some tunes.  It was a bit rushed (how does that always happen?!) but I jumped off the trainer, and into my helmet/gloves and shoes and headed for the start line. I rolled up the road and u-turned and rocked up to find the first 5 girls had already gone! Eeeek.  Nearly missed it!  Slotted in as lucky number 7 and only had one minute to wait before I was off.

I'd been given lots of good advice, but I seemed to misplace it as soon as the starter yelled go.  Inside of a minute my brain had screamed LIKE A BOSS and I was already at 180bpm and going hard.  Save yourself they said.  FAIL.  It was a windy day, and the experience of my first real TT bar ride on rough roads with race wheels and crosswinds was a challenge to say the least. I hardened up and took my chances - what do you know, I lived.    I'd been told that I would think that I had a headwind going out but I wouldn't.  FAIL.  I was sure I had a headwind, so worked hard thinking the back end would be a tailwind. FAAAAIL!

I could see ladies in front of me and did my best to ride and catch, offering encouragement where I could.  I had ticked off the numbers in the first 9kms or so - but then I was also being hunted by Simone.  She got me on the turn, and with no-one else out front of us - my job became trying to limit the gap she was putting in. 
At the end of the day I turned in a 32.31 for the 20km which I think was a good effort. It was good enough to be given 3rd on the day, which has been corrected to 2nd  due to a EDIT*: timing error mix up with muppets entering the wrong grade or some such thing (better?)...  Anyway it's my first ITT benchmark... and we know what happens next! The hunt for time!!!

As always the day was shared with good mates.  For the ITT game fellow dirty bikers Brett Nelson and Jaman rolled the horned steeds.... Brett had a ripper ride with 4th in MMAS2, and Jaman attacked himself senseless, as you do.  We also had the boss, Shannon and Neil there as spectators and helpers - thanks guys!

Koiled ITT'ers - Brett, Jaman and Rach.... and the TTime Machine.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

training train

I am on it.  Not sure where it is going yet, but I am going somewhere.

The train always runs.  When it is dark.  When it is wet.  I am on the train.

Most times the train has passengers.  Passengers help the trains by providing a reason to run, when the timetable is not enough ya' know!

I like this train because it almost always stops at a cafe to refuel.
Dark, wet, cold, hard sessions with coffee, breakfast and good company.
What's not to love!!! ALL ABOARD!!!!!

*pic shamelessly stolen from Mifflin.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Behind the scenes - Saphora

Not too much has been happening of late... but a UQCC friend of mine launched a cool business aiming to bring some styling chicks cycling gear of her own to market.  I have left all the serious brochure shots out, you'll find them soon enough through Saphora if you are interested - but I do have a great collection of out-takes and generally inappropriate shots which tell the story pretty well.

As part of getting her brand off the ground she organised a photo shoot and rounded a bunch of us up to play bike-related dress ups and to roll for some pictures.  Fun!  What we didn't know was that the sites she had chosen were somewhat challenging.  And by challenging I mean stupidly epic hills.  The first was a nice 15% gradient.  What a good warm up. As we pulled up I realised  three hours on coot-tha was probably not the best preparation but what the hell, I figured pain only hurts.  Even better the plan was not to ride the whole hill but to start off part way down.  Standing starts anyone? We laughed.  A lot.  No idea if any of the shots were good as we were fully consumed with making it!

Glasses on or off?  Whitemans overbite? Mostly it was trying not to stall or tear a leg off.
Since the 15% was presenting some challenges with getting everyone er, relaxed (!) we headed to the next location.  Anne sent the girls ahead on their bikes carefully giving them wrong directions, down another big climb - ooops!  I took the car with Anne's bike and mine, while she ferried the patient photographer, Ben, up to the next vantage point. I was sent on retrieval and I found the girls hauling ass back up the wrong turn and they wisely retrieved their cars and drove up to the next point.  Anne and I stayed parked on the corner and tackled the next hill.   The one she assured me was 'not as bad'.  Not as bad in a car maybe, but definitely WORSE on a bike.  We were both testing our core strength as we laughed and tried to make it up the beauty below.  It was definitely approaching slalom material.
The Approach -Tiny Dot Rach says " that looks steeper to me"  Tiny Dot Anne says "no, it is not as bad"..
The crest - Rach says "for the record, that hit 22% in one bit"... Anne says " hahahhhahahaaa".....
We then attempted a few off the bike shots, though we had limited time before the 'locals' turned up on their dirt bikes and started chucking monos for the ladies in the hot bike kit.  Shocker.

The natives are getting restless.... do we look impressed?
Ok, we now had too many hoons on dirt bikes getting sideways so we moved on to the next location.  This was about as flat as it got - which is to say not really flat at all.   Then we were on the attack through the cutting. Light was fading so off to the last site.

 We attempted some cool pace line shots while record amounts of Sunday afternoon back road traffic appeared!  What are the chances?  Something else to laugh about.
Losing it as Anne tried to pop and spray the mini Moet...... Good times.
Anne then called a wrap and opted to pop the champagne.  She shook it for what seemed to be forever, and after a few false starts because cars drove in between - she tried to spray it.  Did the cork pop? Yep.  Dramatic spray?  Not so much!  Too funny.

That was a fun afternoon.  (and if you are wondering, yep the kit is pretty slick, chamois is great and the extra class touches like a complimentary wash bag are top notch... check it out.)....