#8 Is your team doing bad? Follow Cycling!

Top left to right: Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte, Michael Matthews Middle left to right: Cadel Evans, Rohan Dennis, Lachlan Morton, Annette Edmondson Bottom left to right: Shane Perkins, Paul Van Der Ploeg, Caroline Buchanan, Craig Alexander

Pic: Some of the Aussies on the world cyling stage
Top left to right: Simon Gerrans, Richie Porte, Michael Matthews
Middle: Cadel Evans, Rohan Dennis, Lachlan Morton, Annette Edmondson
Bottom: Shane Perkins, Paul Van Der Ploeg, Caroline Buchanan, Craig Alexander

On the eve of the world cycling championships (which start tonight) I am filled with hope and anticipation since all of my other sports have finished miserably. My Cronulla Sharks lost their semi-final on Friday, the Aussie cricket team are regularly beaten by England, the Wallabies just get a win over Argentina and Mark Webber is wrapping up and winding down his year.

But I have to say, this is my first winter (European Summer) of seriously following all forms of road racing and I have loved it. Every morning I have woken up and checked the twitter feed to get my daily fix of Aussies going well.

Seriously, if you haven’t checked, Aussies in road cycling and for that matter, any form of Cycling – are Winners!!!! Continue reading

#7: I cannot stress enough the value of lights!

Lights

Today I forgot to put my front light on and because of that, it nearly cost me a lot of money and pain, as I was only just able to avoid an accident.

You will hear commentators say in sport it’s the 1% that makes the difference and with lights on your bike, I absolutely agree.  One little thing could be the difference between life and death.

If a driver can just get a quick glimpse of a flash it may cause them to brake instead of accelerate, and that may be the difference between a good ride and an ambulance ride.

It was daytime and I was travelling in traffic Continue reading

#6: Without goals, targets and desires, what’s the point?

100-2

Today is a great day for me. Today I checked off one of my major riding goals in less than 5 months.

Sorry to jump into the present when I have been writing about the past journey and things learnt, but the comments and thoughts of things that occurred in the past have reached fulfilment today.

When I bought my bike (bike purchase blog story coming soon), my brother suggested we could go on a fund raiser later in the year which was a 2 day ride, 100kms (60 miles) each way, basically out and back from Sydney.

After doing some research, I decided not to do the ride but kept the target – and that was to ride 2 consecutive cycling days of 100kms.  And that was in April.

In July, I achieved half the goal. I had been increasing my distances each weekend until one weekend I rode 103kms on a mostly flat ride to the south of Sydney. Suitably motivated and believing in myself, the next weekend I rode 100kms on a hilly ride north of Sydney.

Since then, with the goal in mind, I have been piecing together hilly and flat rides, totaling 156kms and 171kms on the weekend until yesterday, when I conquered a long ride from home, up a major hill (for me at least) and returned, totaling 108kms.

Now it’s September. I had a 100+km Saturday ride under my belt, a free day on Sunday ready for more riding and I felt good.
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#5: Where do you want to go today?

Q: Where do you want to go today?
A: Know where you want to go the night before.

One of the things I really enjoy is thinking of where I am going to go. I have many things on my list to do which keeps me heading forward.  Some harder than I can do, some I want to revisit and do better, some I just love doing.

To give you some quick tips:
– Before you go anywhere, know where you think you want to go
– Start from home as it’s better if you don’t have to load up the car
– Time of day and day of the week will be a big factor in your decision
– Choose a ride style: Hard, fast , hilly, flat, cruise, scenic, destination…. variety is good
– Where ever you think you will go, be flexible to change depending on how you feel
– If you want to change, don’t make it shorter unless your body is screaming pain or the weather changes to real bad.

And now for the longer version from my experience…..

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#4: Technology motivates the cyclist

TechApps

As a person who has been in IT and computers for more than 25 years, technology has been one of the biggest motivators for me to continue cycling. Even if you are not into technology, for self-motivation you have to try it!

It’s rare that you will ride without your phone on you so why not use it for your advantage. After hearing about a few options, I downloaded a couple of apps and tried the first one – Runtastic Road Bike.

HeartRate

When you start your ride, you open the app, click “start” or “ride”, put your phone in your pocket and off you go. You can “pause” it if you stop midway or just “stop” when you are done. The key thing is these apps use features on the phone such as GPS to record your time, distance, average speed, top speed, elevation up (meaning how much you rode up hills) and elevation down, plus you can see the whole route and track it on a map.

For those who want to get fitter, many also calculate calories that you have burnt which means if you know you have burnt 500 calories in the morning, you can eat the yummy stuff at night without feeling guilty (and you’ll probably be way ahead of everyone else).
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