Saturday, October 31, 2009

Windy Warnambool

Well I had a good race.

I didn't even finish with the front group, but it was good, no, great! Why so good? Because I had fun, lot's of it. Wind, gutter, attacks, basically things that make racing hard and things that make racing great. At the risk of sounding like a cheesy sentimentalist, it's all about having fun isn't it? (Stop rolling your eyes dammit!). Everyone has gotta ask, if you're not doing it for the joy, then why are you doing it? (No seriously stop it!)

The last couple of months have not been the most enjoyable I've experienced on the bike, so to just cut loose and race hard was fantastic. Before everyone gets all excited, no, I am not talking about the Warny! Just the Shipwreck Coast Classic that was on the Sunday following the Warny.

This week has been a busy one, organising cycling next year, organising uni next year, just getting stuff sorted. Riding, gyming, stretching and swimming and all the fun in between, and on this Saturday in particular, enjoying some HEAT!

Had some more fun on my TT bike this morning ripping up and down beach road just loving the sun, the other cyclists and of course the coffee.

On an unfortunate note, David Rafferton had a bad stack at the first Hawthorn Crit on Wednesday evening. At current it sounds like no broken bones but some possible nerve damage plus bruising and a whole lot of discomfort.

For those of you who don't know David (aka Vidman), he first started cycling at around a weight of 150KG. Over the last 2 or so years his weight has plunged to the low 90s and his fitness has sky-rocketed. So much has he impressed me what with his penchant for pain and his obvious lust for a challenge that a few months ago I said two little words to him; "Baw Baw". But not just climb Baw Baw, complete the whole 100k Baw Baw Classic Road Race.Straight away the fire in his not so large belly stoked up. I was starting to get pretty concerned, because he promised me, if he made it to the top, he was going to punch me in the arm, hard. Now I am still concerned, because for all I know, he'll recover from his stack and smash Baw Baw anyway. BUT, I hereby grant a 12 month extension on the Baw Baw Challenge Vidman ;-) You'll be back, plenty of time! Best wishes for the recovery.

Lunch Time!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Worth a Laugh

Good ol' stuck in a car conservative rant about bikes in the media. Yawn.

Getting a bit tired of these, but one bit made me chuckle

"How aggressive do you have to be at 5am, anyway? You never hear of rowers, joggers, swimmers, yoga artists or other dawn fitness devotees attacking people."

The award for drawing the worst analogy, possibly in the history of time, goes to Ms Devine. I've seen people stumble into a University Arts class after 'a few too many' at the lunch time barbeque and trot out better debate and prose than this 'article' written by Ms Devine.

Blabbering over, back to that comment; Why don't we rephrase it;

"How many rowers, joggers, swimmers or yoga artists have to contend with motor traffic every day (including 15 tonne buses!)?" Still struggling to answer that aren't we Miranda?

Next time someone decides to row their way to work down Punt Rd, I'm tipping they may just get a little hot under the collar.

Nothing like having your life threatened by someone else's incompetence to fire you up!

Anyway, all fun and games. No point dwelling too long on pieces designed to bait hot-headed comments and drag up the Ages advertising revenue.

Got a report from the Shipwreck Coast Classic in the pipeline.

Morning all!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just a Quickie

Spring has maybe, finally, properly sprung. (touchwood!)

You know what is hard? That first ride in some semblance of summery weather. Pete B and I went out to the nongs on Tuesday in the 'heat' of the mid twenties, boy oh boy I was buckled by the time I got home!

Been riding and gyming and doing the true Uni thing and leaving my assignments up to the very last minute to get started. But I work well under pressure, I think.

I'm also very excited to be getting back on the TT bike tomorrow. 3 months or so till nationals means it's time to start getting comfy in what is really an uncomfy kinda position. Thanks to the constructive advice from someone who will remain nameless (OK it was Sherwin!)I am more motivated than ever to have a good TT and RR at nationals.

Good luck to all the nutters racing the Warnie on Saturday. So much prestige but oh so much pain. Hope everyone is nice and tired the next day for the shipwreck coast classic!!

My birthday tomorrow, get excited people.


PS-Proper punctuation is over-rated and proof reading is for those who have no faith in getting things right the first time round. IE I'm tired, lazy and pressed for time ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

First Race back

Was fun. Nice course, nice competitors nice racing.

Our A grade race at Lang Lang was 2 laps of a big undulating circuit around Gippsland totalling 146 k. We rolled turns for the first lap just cruising, took a 'pisso' (aka toilet stop) at the end of the first lap then rolled turn again till we hit the hills and pretty much raced the last 40-50k or so pretty hard.

Needless to say my form was not great, but no excuses the other guys out there; Rowan, Leaper, Kane, Stuart and a few others were strong and aggressive so the racing was fun. No negative messing around, it is only a club race after all. Eventually some guys got up the road and that was it for me. Rolled in the last 10 k with not much to report on for my race. Sorry guys, interesting stories will be on hand once I make it to China in a few weeks!

Had a good time at Lygon on Saturday. Snuck my way into the VIP tent and enjoyed the fruits of success, a small bottle of sparkling mineral water and some gourmet party pies. "Yes!", I thought, "I have arrived!"

The race was a mild snooze fest thanks to the strength of Garmin, I had more interest looking at all the bits and pieces for sale that I don't need but boy do I want!

Big weekend coming up with my birthday on Friday (goodbye teens!) and the Shipwreck Coast classic on Sunday. I had been looking forward to doing the Warny (on the saturday) all year, however, I am just not up to scratch. I want to go there to race, not get pummelled and risk any further injury, so next year it is!


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

6 Doughnuts Thanks

I had my very own "5 Cougars thanks" moment mid ride at the Basin Bakery today. Don't read too much into it though, by no means did my Cougar moment have anything to do with the generous physical attributes of the lady serving me. No, in fact it was more of a Hungry Jacks "Stunner" moment, hunger combined with the abhorrently cheap 6 iced doughnuts for $3.50 had me well, stunned. Soon after the doughnuts had me stunned and struggling to pedal, my body facing the tough choice between digestion and oxygen supply. Don't fret though guys, I made it home, slowly.

It was wet today too, that nice soaking rainforest Dandenongs kind of wet. It doesn't appear to actually be raining, it's more like there is inescapable constant moisture suspended in the air and I am riding through taking a collection as I go. It was cold too, AND windy!

But rather than talk about how tough I am (trust me, really, I'm not...) I'd prefer to take some joy that I am not racing the Sun Tour. Those guys have it rough this year! Last year there was about 10k total of serious gutter action and pretty much Sun (who would have thought!) all tour. This year looks bad, bad and oh so bad. Nothing but rain and broken collarbones! Hope everyone who went down recovers quickly. Thoughts also go out to Andrew Garnham the race doctor, he will certainly have his work cut out for him!

Lang Lang this Sunday. Yeha.

Bye for now.

Actually wait! It seems in my sugary euphoric ramblings I managed to neglect that I also had a chocolate croissant. At the oh so stunning value of $1.70. Bakeries really are friends of cyclists and students. Good thing I'm both, otherwise you lot might call me stingey...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Holy %@*#!%^ #$"^ !!

Is a rough translation of what I said after nearly getting completely cleaned up by some random dude on a jumps bike yesterday.

Picture this, I was on the Eastern Freeway bikepath, I'd just crossed Bulleen Rd and was heading in towards the city when I noticed something in the corner of my eye flying down the dirt track that runs on the right of the path. This guy was moving fast! Dangerously fast! The moment of curiosity went from,

"Hmm geez he's smokin!" to,

"Oh sweet merciful crap!"

When I realised he was about to hit the banking below the bikepath on my right and fly up onto the section of path where I was going to be in about 0.5 seconds.

"OH @#)$#%)@%)"

At the last minute, he sees me and changes his line just enough, and I head left as much as the path allows, and at around 40kph one of the tiny spikes on his flat metal pedals just so lightly graze my right knee. That was nearly the collision to end all collisions.

I came within a split second of a crushed patella at best, a completely trashed frame and most likely a pelvis/hip/femur fracture or three at worst.

That was close. Heart rate check anyone?

I let loose with a torrent of abuse and McKenzie who was hot on my tail was currently displaying shock at the fact that,

1) We were both still alive, and,

2) This idiot could do something so reckless! If he misjudged it slightly, even with a clear path, he could have easily ended up eating some metal fence.

The idiot came and apologised and karma was restored all round.

So my list (you know I love a list...) of "Things to avoid while on the bike path" has a new leader;

1)Nutcase Jumps MTBers
3)Ipod Dawdlers
4)Other cyclists
5)Little kids
6)The entire Eastlink bikepath on a wet day (ie, the wooden bridges of death; they are slipperier than Silvio Berlusconi and more painful that Hey Hey it's Saturday)

So what's the moral of the story?

Bikepaths are dangerous. Roads are dangerous. Cycling in general can be considered very dangerous! But shit it's fun! (And much less dangerous than the couch)

Over and out.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Lang Lang

Next weekend!

First race in a while and I am already looking forward to it! Will have to tone down the post Herald Sun Tour celebrations with the lads (yes even though I am not racing!) my 'form' has rapidly declined since schoolies '07 and I am now depressingly intolerant to alcoholic beverages!

But rambling aside,the 2009 Damian McDonald Memorial Road Race, Lang Lang, Victoria. is on next weekend and although that weekend is congested enough with Suntour crits, club champ races plus some little jaunt round the bay just to name a few massive cycling events, I have my fingers and other extremities crossed for a good turn out at Lang Lang. I have only raced the circuit once and from memory it's beautiful, green, hilly and all round conducive to some hard racing.

I would love to relax now with an arvo nap but I am still fueled from a mega session at Padre so will have to procrastinate the day away. This should help

Ciao folks. Have a good weekend of riding.

Back in the Swing

Well the last month or so has been up and down to say the least.

Back into training, back out of training, feeling great finally then feeling crap again the next day. No matter the circumstance, never underestimate a fractured pelvis, like all good things it has taken time. I am, touch wood, confident that I am starting to trend upward with no downturns in the near future (unless I throw myself on the road again).

The last month was a big rush to get ready to race the Herald Sun Tour and the Warnie, but last week I made the call to miss both, I was really not up to shape and most likely to animate the laughing bunch at best.

So now I am looking forward to racing the Tour of Hainan in early November. Now this race is big, real big. And it's long, real long. It's a 2.HC ranking, so on par with Suntour, but this one goes for 9 days and around 1450k. I predict there will be a lot of rice, noodles, bad coffee and serious time in the hurt box. I'll be heading over there to race as a stagiare with the Savings and Loans Cycling team which is great news. I was very fortunate to have some people working behind the scenes to get me some big racing opportunities after missing the entire Australian Season bar Gippsland. The Parcours for Hainan is looking like a good mix; some pancake action to start off the first few stages then the hills rear up and the real action begins. Got to avoid my habit of last day crashes given the final stage is a city circuit race, stay up the front, stay up the front, stay up the... easier said than done; everyone wants to stay up the front!

Coffee time folks.

PS- Random food note for the day. Everyone MUST go here. Mixed Kilo, $18, it was meant to be.

Random training note, great day yesterday out at Kinglake, spied Braunie D getting in some berg action, and the smell of doughnuts at Hurstbridge, combined with rapidly declining blood sugar levels make for a desperate TT effort to reach the bakery before hypoglycemia kicks in. Go on try it, see if you can outrun your own biological functions, it can only result in

1)The best doughnut you have ever had, or more likely,

2) The worst hunger flat you have ever had, combined with a rising urge to throttle whoever suggested this silliness...

OK, now it's coffee time.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


A picture tells a thousand words.

The Sherwinator is back in classic style; loud, vocal, opinionated, hilarious.

You've been warned.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Get Lost

This Saturday just past saw three brave cyclists (Grover, McKenzie and Lovelock) venture into the unknown pastures in Melbourne's far outer suburbs.

Departure: 1100 hours
Objective: Get Lost
Target: Unknown areas skirting Warrandyte-Ringwood Road

We have some regular roads that are well off 'the beaten track', they snake through Eltham, Research, Warrandyte, Park Orchards, Wonga Park and the surrounding areas. A bit of bike path here, a few gravel sections there, basically; it ain't beach road. No traffic lights, minimal cars, maximal enjoyment.

Well, we decided to take it out a bit further, Croydon, Croydon Hills, Warranwood (Warren where??) all made it onto the itinerary. Basically, if we saw a road that we hadn't ridden down before, we had to ride down it. Easy, and deceptively fun. Using a bit of intuition we managed to loop up some new roads and get nearly 2 hours of fun riding all bar a short 500 metre stretch on the Maroondah Highway.

The real fun came not from bombing up gravel paths, sprinting up 20% hills, being graphically embarrassed or ravaging the Warrandyte bakery; no the real fun was simply riding on roads we had not ridden before.

Beach road, Dandenongs and Kinglake have been done to death for me. Old adages never lie, variety is indeed the spice of life, and my new found playground of roads will surely spice up the training as I ramp it up over the next few weeks.

So go on, get lost the lot of you.

It's fun*.

*JONATHAN LOVELOCK @ BLOGSPOT hereby accepts no responsibility for any cyclists who suffer dehydration, starvation, mugging, maiming, or any other injury/disease/unfortunate occurrence as a result of being displaced in an unknown area. The recommendations given above are in no way representative of the VIS, Bouwmeester or anyone associated with Jonathan. Jonathan recommends you speak to Tim Holding for sound advice on venturing into unknown areas.