Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Biggest ride yet

I have 2 weekends to report. Weekend one was challenging - 80km or so, Wolvi then a loop of Deep Ck rd on Saturday.
Last Sunday was our biggest ride yet. One of the riders wanted to check out the Noosa 160km course, so we rode over the gap, Kin Kin range then to Tewantin to inspect it. A quick coffee at Cooroy, then back the same way - 147 km. I was very pleased to make it. THe Kin Kin range is getting easier, but the 15% gradient at the gap seems just the same - almost impossible every time. I give myself a stern talking to about not walking it before every attempt.
During the week, the taped Giro was a great benefit to the windtraining sessions. We managed 3 lots in front of the telly. (Don't tell my mum that our bikes have now moved into the living room during the week)
The following Saturday was a quick 70km along the Sandy Ck route, but Sunday was a cycling write off. We drove to the Sunshine Coast for our daughter's music exam, and the closest I got to a bike was buying myself a new cycling jersey at Mountain Designs.
So far this week I have been running once and managed one session of windtraining. I am trying to get a cadence over 90 on the big chain ring, but am finding it rather tricky.
Our plan is one shorter ride and one longer ride on the weekend. Time is getting short!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Update, 8 weeks to go

Our heart rate monitors have been sent off for new batteries and servicing. I am realizing how much I depend on the computer to help me record my training - no posts since I sent the monitor away.
The last 10 days have been fairly easy, as a recovery after the increased ride distances. In order, there were 2 windtraining sessions, about 30 minutes each, then last weekend was an easy set of rides. 1x about 70k, with some steep hills (Kin Kin, 15% gradients), followed on Sunday by a rolling hilly ride, Mary Valley via Diamondfield, again about 70km. This week I ran for the first time in about 6 weeks -very slowly for an hour, and squeezed in another half hour windtraining session.
Today, friday, was a local holiday for the show. We rode out past Wolvi, with a return via East Deep Ck to add in some hills. I have not much idea about the distance, maybe just over 70km again.
Tomorrow we plan our longest ride yet, 145km. I plan to get to bed early.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

More hills and more km

The second long weekend in a row for Queensland (Labour day). This is always a hard couple of weeks at work, as in our job, a day off simply means trying to squeeze 5 (or 6) days work into 4, so I should not have been surprized that I a)did not manage to cycle at all during the work week, and b)I started the weekend of riding feeling very flat and unenthusiastic.
On Saturday, I was working a half day, so had planned a 3 hour ride, around 65km, but instead turned around at the Gap, and was home by 8am, having only 45km or so under the belt.
I was able to catch up on some things at home before leaving for work - there are distinct advantages to a shorter ride.
However, the trip is looming, and there are some nasty pictures of mountain climbs on the internet, so on Sunday it was 110km to and from Kenilworth over the range again.
This was a terrific ride. There were only 3 riders, and we found a happy medium pace (I did struggle to keep up, but managed mostly), with perfect riding conditions aside from a gusty headwind which managed to change directions whilst we stopped for another excellent coffee at McGinns, so that we could enjoy resistance in both directions. I was tired in the afternoon, but managed to carry out normal weekend catch up activities and thought I was all set for another ride on Monday.
This was a new ride to me, an extension of the 80km return ride to Pomona by crossing the highway at Traveston, and coming back on Mary Valley Road.
The hills to Pomona were fine, and I did some stomach training for France by having a croissant with my coffee at the Pomona bakery. No problems there at all.
Unfortunately, I was putting my watch on the front of the bike after the coffee stop, and was passed closely by a bus, and fell off. Sore shoulder, bang on the head, but the bike was fine. I rode the rest of the way with a head and neck ache. This did not help over a 14% gradient hill and its two nasty unrated companions. Traveston crossing is hard work. I was really tired after the hills, and by the time I got home, after 90km, I was completely exhausted.
The ride took only 4 hours, with a coffee stop, but I did not achieve anything else all day.
I do not want to be lying around on a couch doing nothing after the rides in France. More training is required. This is unappealing this morning.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Long weekend riding

The public holidays over the next 3 months are a great boon to our training programme - in theory.

Last weekend we rode Sandy Creek on Saturday (62km, rolling hills) Kenilworth on Sunday( 111 km, mixed including steep range, 10% gradient)with a recovery ride on Monday - about 50km, rolling hills.
DSCF0187 YJ cooked breakfast for people attending the Anzac dawn service before riding to Kenilworth. He must be tough.
Unfortunately when I was not on the bike during the weekend, I was at work, which has left me rather unenergetic this week. I have done no exercise at all since Monday, although there was a little bit of stretching due to feeling extremely stiff.
We have been booking accommodation and train trips in France to inspire us. Mostly it has inspired us to drink wine and eat, as all the advertisements on the web sites seem to emphasize these pastimes. I don't need any encouragement in this direction, as I never seem to lack motivation for these activites :).
In fact, I think the only reason I am able to ride to Kenilworth is the thought of the excellent coffe at McGinns. It is fortunate for my waistline that it takes at least 2 hours to ride there!

Monday, April 19, 2010


How in Australia, do you prepare to cycle in the Pyrenees?
I don't live anywhere near Mt. Kosciuszko, so I have to compromise.
That covered up sign says "Trucks use low gear, 15% gradient". To local cyclists, this hill is know as Gentle Annie.
It is not gentle.
I have boasting rights, I have ridden up Gentle Annie. It takes less than 3 minutes but feels as if it takes a lot longer, especially if you have just ridden up the Kin Kin range. I auppose I should have done this a few times in a row, but at the moment, once is enough. My legs were sore all week. There is a 20% gradient closer to town, but it is only a few hundred metres long.
Training is progressing. After the 4 days of riding over Easter, I managed 2x 40km rides and a half hour of windtraining during the week, then a 3 hour ride with hills on Saturday, and another 40k on Sunday.
During the next week, one 40k road ride, one windtraining session, then unfortunately the weekend was not good training. It rained again, and although we started out on Saturday, we were on the road only briefly and returned home for a windtraining session. I am not keen to fall off due to bad weather. Sunday was a 40k ride again.
This weekend is a public holiday on Monday, so we are hoping to fit in another 110km ride, maybe with a hill or two.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Finishing off a big week

The fourth consecutive day of cycling was a just over 60K, Sandy Creek, and the turn out was quite small for some reason!


This is another gorgeous ride, hilly, but with nice flat gaps between the hills. I had not done the whole ride previously and was pleasantly surprized to find that it was not the monstrously difficutly ride that more experienced cyclists had been warning me about.
Admittedly, we did take it very slowly.
The feeling of relief at actually riding cycling tour type distances for several days in a row without collapsing or falling off the bike is considerable. I now feel as if I may enjoy the tour in 3 months time, instead of alternating between torture on the bike and stunned exhaustion for the rest of the day!
Follow up training this week has been 1x35 minute windtraining session - single leg drills and standing drills, and I managed to slip in a 40 odd km ride to Hervey siding. With no driving the children to school duties during this school holiday week, I could do this before work on my later start day. I did not quite manage to fit in the distance in 1 hour 30 minutes, but am getting faster, a nice feeling.

I haven't tried starting a ride before dawn yet, but as the days become shorter this might be necessary. I have lights all organized, but am yet to sew reflective tape on my jerseys, maybe this should be a job for the weekend.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

More long rides

The public holidays over Easter have allowed a big jump in the training programme. Unfortunately in the week leading up to Easter, I only managed 2x short (30minutes or so) on the windtrainer, but in retrospect an easy week was probably a good idea.
On Friday we rode 110km, in perfect conditions.
This is the longest ride I have done to date, and I was very pleased and relieved to accomplish it. The ride was mostly rolling hills, but included climbing the Kenilworth range in both directions.
On Saturday, a recovery ride or 45 or so km was not a problem, although rain caught up with us. Unsurprisingly, I felt very stiff by the afternoon, stretched for about half an hour, then went to bed before 8pm.
This morning, we backed up with a ride of just under 70km, at an easy pace over rolling hills. Again the conditions were perfect. We are hoping for a slightly longer and more hilly ride tomorrow.
I haven't got much else done over Easter!