Tuesday, February 25, 2020

What Have I Got Myself Into ??

I had typed an informative post but my stupid iPad somehow ate it just as I was finishing up. I can’t believe how fcuking shit Apple products are to actually use and interact with other websites. Millions have been drinking the cool aid and I just can’t see it. I might have to look at a small pc to use at work instead of the company issued iPad.

So, the short version -
Basically I am heading off to have a crack at the Vic Divide 550 today after I get home from work. There is a LOT of bush/singletrack and a SHITLOAD of climbing in this route!! I am not sure how I will actually go but I am going to give it a crack.

Looking across Mt Buller (1805m - arrowed) back southwest towards Melbourne. Mt Buller is 331km and a HEAP of climbing along the route!!

The Route is here on Ride With GPS. (and below)

My Spotwalla page is here. Not sure if it will work....

If the Spotwalla isn’t effective then my Spot page is here.

Wish me luck. I'll bloody well need it!!


Thursday, February 13, 2020

Training... Or Is That Testing Days

Here I am, well into Week 2 of my base training for the CTR and it is seemingly going well. I am coming off a low base fitness this year, which my Threshold Test confirmed with quite low heart rate zones. The Threshold Test is never much fun as it involves a 50 minute warm up then 20 minutes of going as hard as you can - and by that it means finishing just as strongly as you started - which can be pretty tricky to judge. I think I went a bit easy at the start as I felt quite strong still by the end but it can be a very fine line and I didn't want to stuff it up thereby having to punish myself and do it again. At worst, my zones are on the low side which is safer from an overtraining point of view. I will get the pleasure of doing it again next month though as your zones change as you get fitter.....looking forward to that one..... :(

It has actually been nice to enter a structured training plan as well. I think I need to have a goal with my cycling. Whenever I don't I feel like I am just going through the motions to some extent and the last few months my mtbing has been a bit stale. I am also enjoying the little bit of strength training in the gym as a distraction from the bike. I can already feel the muscle memory coming back from the last two big training efforts in 2015 and 2018.

This has been exacerbated this year by a challenge that Dean Anderson (he did the AZTR750 in 2018 with me) threw out there late last year. He challenged all of us on the Strava platform (think Facebook for cyclists and runners) to ride for at least 15 minutes, EVERY day of 2020. 
It sounded like my kind of challenge!
But do you realise how hard it is to ride EVERY day? No? Well, I can tell you it has been pretty tough some days, seeing me out on the bike at 2340 some nights just to squeeze that 15 minutes in because once you are out of the challenge, you are OUT!!

Dean at Kelvin Bridge in the 2018 AZTR750 race

Anyway, I am pleased to say that I have not missed a day and this CTR training is making it far easier to meet the challenge. Not that I have any excuse as despite the rain here, it is not the -13C that Dean is dealing with in Canada!

January efforts

February so far.....

Today's training ride saw me cop a drenching but at least it is warm here. 
Speaking of the rain, it just hasn't stopped for a week now! We have had seven days of constant, heavy rain and our total here is somewhere in the 400mm(16inch) range - give or take a few. To say the contrast from ten days ago to now is dramatic is a massive understatement. We went from still worrying about bushfires to having floods in the space of about four days!

Mid December - but it could have been last Wednesday - just 8 days ago! 

Today - the 13th of February 2020!!

That's not to say that the whole country is enjoying some rain. I witnessed a pretty intense dust storm last Friday on my way to Perth. It was somewhere in the Riverland region of South Australia and was still impressive from 34 000 feet!

Speaking of work, this bloody Coronavirus - Covid19 - to give it it's newly minted name is wreaking havoc with inbound tourism here in Australia. Working for an airline does have me worried about the knock-on effects that are yet to be played out. Bus, accommodation and general tourism operators who rely on Chinese tourists are doing it very tough already. Anecdotally, as a company and from what I see, we are very reliant on the Chinese as well and this thing is going to knock us all pretty badly for the rest of 2020. (Bloody gut feeling was right - see comments on this post)

On another note, I was made on offer too good to refuse on my beloved BMW. Here she is, going to a new master just before the rains hit last week. She will have a good home as he is not only an a/c engineer but a fellow mtber.

Now don't panic because that was always the plan. Find an inexpensive adventure bike to see if I liked it, then if so (HELL YES!!!) to buy a more capable (read expensive) adventure bike. I am now working on Stage 2 (as I hope are the Covid19 vaccine scientists) of that plan so watch this space. 

Thanks for checkin' in.