#21: Managing the pain…

Feeling-It
As a motivated rider who wants to go faster and further, I have found that pain is something I am going to have to deal with regularly, especially since I am approaching 50 and didn’t exercise for around 15 years.

Pain. We all hate it because our bodies have been designed to use it as a warning system that can’t be ignored.

Achievement. The opposite to pain because getting results is going to require pain before, during and after the event.

Injury. This is the type of pain that no one wants. It’s the pain that stops us going forward, that affects fitness, that interrupts plans, and worst of all could be career ending.

Pain is what I am feeling now. I was having a good week. Rode some hills, got some PR’s on Strava and was ready for a long distance week, but my foot and lower leg are sore. So sore I grounded myself for the weekend and possibly longer.

Maybe I twisted it in the cleat Continue reading

#20: 1% could be the difference

1percent

In sport, you will often hear the commentator say that the game is a game of inches, meaning the littlest things can make the biggest difference. I totally subscribe to this theory when applied to road cycling.

As a smoker, advertisements about cancer concerned me but now as a cyclist, the regular reports of cycling deaths and my own close calls constantly remind me that there are always risks with getting off your butt, getting out on your bike and sharing the road with drivers.

I used to joke that “why should I exercise, I could be hit by a bus” and now that I am exercising, that reality is often front of mind, except it’s 4x4s, SUV’s and provisional drivers.

As a rider, there are basic ways to deal with risk:
– ignore it and keep moving
– don’t go out at all or
– continue riding and minimize the risk,
and because cycling has giving new life to this old body, there is really only one option and that is to keep riding and minimize the risk. Yet I understand how some people are too scared to go near the road.

Therefore my motto is that “it’s the 1% that could make the difference” where the 1% difference could be between being on a bike or being in an ambulance…. Continue reading

#19: 2013 was a year of change

La Perouse

It’s day 3 of 2014 and I sit here a bit frustrated. I have a sore throat and a flu of some nature, and that means spending four hours on my bike and breathing heavily is not really a good option, and its especially annoying that I’d planned a ride with an old mate today.

So I look at my gear that sits there waiting, I read some tweets about the cycling universe and as I stare out the window thinking that a cool summers day is a great day to ride, I reflect on what has been an interesting 12 months.

Seriously, I can’t believe the change that has come about through cycling since February 2013 and that after reviewing the stats (it’s my IT influence) I still get surprised. Since February 2013….

  • I rode 161 times, averaging 38kms (23mls) per ride of 103 minutes
  • Have ridden 5967 kms (3707 miles) in total
    That’s Sydney to Perth and 1/2 way back or New York to LA and 1/3 way back
  • My longest ride was 116kms (71 miles)
  • I reached 100km the first time after 5 months
  • My average calorie burn was 1098 cals per ride
  • and I have lost 11kg (24 lbs) in 9 months (yet I still eat some junk food)

It just astounds me that I can do this at 48 (which means basically anyone can) and comparing this year to last year, where I did nothing, sat on my ass and smoked heavily, it is a change that’s good – real good! Continue reading

#18: So what do I want for Christmas???

Xmas Choice

Let me check my list. I have……

  • Bike, peddles & shoes
  • Garmin with cadence sensor & heart rate monitor
  • Helmet, pump, under seat bag
  • Front and back lights
  • Shirts & undershirts
  • Pants & bib
  • Socks & gloves
  • Winter & wet weather wear
  • Peddle spanner, spare tubes & bike tool

Well that’s about it.  I think I have everything…. or do I?

Notably, every time I walk into a bike shop I look around and think – I could use that, and other than the head warmer which I haven’t warn because it didn’t get that cold, I have used everything I have bought.  This is good. Continue reading

#17: Why do I ride? Good question.

RidingToday a friend asked “Why do I ride? What drives me on?” And he asked me this because he has seen me go from nothing to 160km a week and keep on doing it.

So I ask myself “why do I ride?” because I wasn’t sure I knew the answer.

I don’t race (although I am considering it) so I am not training for anything.

I don’t have any events planned. I first pushed hard to achieve a virtual goal of two consecutive days of 100km. I road 100kms on the Spring cycle and another 100 on the Sydney to Gong ride but by that time, I had already learnt to ride the distance. Since then I tick off personal bests on Strava and continue to do some long rides to keep the skill level up.

I don’t have any big goals. I achieved Continue reading

#16: NSW Grand Prix Cycling: Round 1 Cronulla

Renshaw, Morton, Ewan

Renshaw, Morton, Ewan


Loved it, loved it, loved it, loved it. Other than not wearing sun block, getting fried and paying for it for the next two days, my baptism into watching professionals road race was a highlight and a joy.

Apart from going a lot faster the three things I really noticed were:
– by watching a criterium, you get the see the riders go past you many times
– their gear changes are mostly quick and smooth with an efficient clunk
– there is a definitively unique whirling sound that a peloton makes which is like a swarm of locusts

When the wife decided to go to the hair dresser, I jumped in the car and headed south to the shire where I grew up and to places I normally went with a surfboard, but this time Wanda and Elloura offered roads, and the waves were just the scenery. Continue reading

#15: What the idiot driver did today…

After riding suburbia for 8 months, I have learnt to classify three types of risky drivers.
1. The Taxi. They get close but my hope is they are professional enough not to hit me.
2. The ‘P’ plater: Provisional drivers have no concept of how close they are, it worries me.
3. The Soccer Mums car: Do you have a car shaped like this or bigger and higher?

Car

To me they don’t belong in the city. Many drivers of these type of vehicles think they are invincible, they think they own the road, they are always in a hurry, they often come too close and they rarely show patience. These drivers are by far the worst on the roads (in my opinion) and are my biggest risk.

Anyhow, that’s enough venting. Overall, I think drivers are pretty good and I am usually treated with respect as I ride.

But they will never be perfect so sometimes it’s up to us to fill the gaps of their mistakes.

Today, I realised a safety tip about being in traffic that I felt compelled to share. Check the animation below. It may be the 1% difference between being on a bike or in an ambulance….

The 1%, it’s a theme I will talk about another day but today, it’s not about an idiot driver, it’s about what’s not in the front of a driver’s mind, and that is you.  By thinking ahead, riding defensively and being prepared, the result is if they make a mistake (and they will), you are ready to react and move on.

The road, it takes you places – just make sure you do your best to get there safely.
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