Postby sifter on Tue 5/Aug/08 3:59pm

Temperance...

Had a nice ride this lunchtime. Headed to Evans Bay behind Joel who was doing a tempo session. Farewelled him at the cutting, just after seeing a guy go within 0.5m of disappearing under a truck-and-trailer which moved in on him in frightening fashion.

At the cutting, I hooked up with benw, and we rode the BP4 circuit a couple of times. It was a lot of fun, and though the hills are pretty short, they are sharp! Should be a great race in a few weeks' time. Anyway, the weather was stunning, and the conversation was better than mediocre ;)

Had a nice ride back to town via Oriental Bay. Ben said he was going home via the Prison, but I'll believe it when I see it! Beautiful day in Wellington :thumbsup:
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Postby psychavoc on Tue 5/Aug/08 4:02pm

Lucky thing :( I sat around all day inside my windowless lab waiting for participants to sign up to my experiments :(

Actually, I'm glad I wasn't sitting in my office - staring out the window at the weather would've driven me slightly mad today!
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Postby way_downsouth on Tue 5/Aug/08 4:03pm

:pmob: Sounds like a great session!

I am hoping to sneak out when I get home tonight, unfortunately it will be in the dark. At least it wont be pouring with rain or to cold (hopefully)
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Postby psychavoc on Tue 5/Aug/08 4:05pm

way_downsouth wrote:I am hoping to sneak out when I get home tonight, unfortunately it will be in the dark. At least it wont be pouring with rain or to cold (hopefully)

Ditto :) Either that or I'll head out for a run.
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Postby benw on Tue 5/Aug/08 5:57pm

sifter wrote: Temperance...

Had a nice ride this lunchtime. Headed to Evans Bay behind Joel who was doing a tempo session. Farewelled him at the cutting, just after seeing a guy go within 0.5m of disappearing under a truck-and-trailer which moved in on him in frightening fashion.

At the cutting, I hooked up with benw, and we rode the BP4 circuit a couple of times. It was a lot of fun, and though the hills are pretty short, they are sharp! Should be a great race in a few weeks' time. Anyway, the weather was stunning, and the conversation was better than mediocre ;)

Had a nice ride back to town via Oriental Bay. Ben said he was going home via the Prison, but I'll believe it when I see it! Beautiful day in Wellington :thumbsup:

Ha, ye of little faith, I certainly did roll home via the Prison, I'll tell you what though I always wonder if the next corner is going to be my last on the way down from there to home because of the way the buses swing around the corners up there...

Oh and didn't we look pretty in our old and new Makara Peak shirts :love:
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Postby sifter on Tue 12/Aug/08 9:36pm

It's been nice to feel a bit of power in the legs over the last few weeks, and it hasn't been hard to remember how wonderful it feels to be moving quickly on a bicycle.

I didn't do anything else last week but commute, though I really rate my two short rides per day. I am convinced commuting maintains my ability to get on a bike for a few hours, and hum along with very little "training".

I'd agreed to meet Monolith in Karori last Saturday morning, although I had an offer too good to refuse - if I was to drop my HDD recorder into work, a colleague would record the Olympic Road Race on it via his Freeview set. (I collected it the next day, and it clocked in at a mighty 19GB!) Hoping the Mono would either see my post on vorb, or understand, I drove into town, handed over my recorder, then dragged the bike out of the boot.

A southerly was blowing, but it wasn't raining much, and at about half eleven, Monolith, Slackboy and I headed north from the end of Thorndon Quay. It was my first time along the Hutt Rd since the Memorial Ride, and I missed all the space. The tailwind was nice, though the water on the road lead to some very chilly spots. The three of us rode at a steady pace, sometimes two abreast, and mixed up the lead a bit. At one point, Ricky and I let Monolith "steam" ahead at times.

Beyond the Silverstream bridge, we were able to admire all the snow on the hills behind Whiteman's Valley. The image conjured up a fair bit of concern as well. We were all pretty damp, and while it wasn't overly cold riding, we knew we were going to cool down pretty fast.

We'd planned to stop for a bit in Upper Hutt, and after circumnavigating H20 Extreme, we found a decent looking cafe, and Monolith picked up a bit of glass. We grabbed an outside table in a lovely, sunny and sheltered spot. I scoffed a bagel, and a bowl latte, Ricky a plate of bacon and eggs and a hot chocco, while Dave mended his puncture, and ate a banana. We finished, and with a bit of urgency, headed off. A quick stop at a nearby petrol station, and a call from Joel suggesting we get a wiggle on, and we headed over Mangaroa Hill towards the start.

After a brief pause to admire the storm passing through the valley, and all the snow on the far hills, it was a quick descent to the valley floor, and registration.

Despite the waiting being cold, there was a nice vibe at the start line. There was a decent sized bunch of people, many vorbers, and many otherwise familiar faces. People all seemed to be in a good mood, and there was plenty of chatting while we waited for the starts. Great to see the overlap between the Wellington MTB and road communities.

To the racing then... It's funny how I know the weather was shithouse, but it doesn't really seem like such a dominant aspect a few days on. Anyway, we rolled off the line, a reasonably quickly got a decent paceline going. The first corner, then the hill made it hard, but we communicated well, and most people pulled through. It was great to have Tom Paulin in the bunch, who never shirks work, and ThingOne and Monolith were both strong riders making their way up from Break 2 last week.

Just after the turnaround, it was a shame to see Joe Chapman with a wry smile on his face. He'd put in such a huge amount of work last week, I'd assumed he was just sitting in this week, but alas, he'd been shelled out the back. I almost came a cropper on a narrow right hander - I was in the outside line, and just as we moved into the turn, a car appear coming towards us. We all went wider, and I had to get through a pothole and then onto some wet grass. I then found myself safely back on the tarmac, but with my bunch accelerating away from me, and my bike in a shitty gear. I managed to limit the gap to about 30m, and decided against letting them know I was gapped. Instead, I put my head down, and worked pretty hard to get back on as quickly as I could. I took stock at the back of the bunch for a couple of minutes, and then got stuck into my work again.

Up cowpat hill, I found myself at the front of the bunch, and thought it was probably a good idea to go fairly hard up the hill, and reduce the size of the bunch a bit. There was another guy who must have had similar ideas, and I urged him on. A couple of glances at my speedo showed speeds over 40km/h on some of the flatter parts of the climb. If only I'd looked back, I would have seen the effects on the bunch, and the half dozen or so riders still with us.

Instead of surveying the damage, I simply put my head down, and put all my eggs in one basket. I was first to the left hand turn, though I didn't take a great line, and ended up worrying a little about the white center line. With little left in my legs, I stayed seated and pedalled as hard as I could, but with little intensity. Nonetheless, having clear road in front of me, at least I could just crank away. The inevitable happened, and a few dozen metres from the line, ThingOne came past me on my left. I could sense someone on my right fading, but then both he and I were overhauled by the eventual second placed rider coming at warp speed. I was good enough for third on the line. It felt good, though I was a little frustrated at my inflexibility to adapt to what was going on around me - indeed, in my inability to even check...

Soon after the finish, my body started to seriously complain about the cold. I had a mostly dry set of clothes to change into, and got a lift back to town with my parents! A bowl latte and a serving of apple crumble at Leuven was just the thing!

Wainui next week... Last year I went at a kilometre, and surrendered a decent gap in the last 100m to finish fourth. Sounds a little familiar... :D
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Postby Oli on Tue 12/Aug/08 9:45pm

Another wicked write-up, bro! I feel like I was there...brrrr! :D

And remember, I think it was Napoleon (or Fausto Coppi?) who said that every loss teaches you how to win. :thumbsup:
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Postby Conners on Tue 12/Aug/08 9:50pm

Awesome read - thanks John!
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Postby sifter on Sun 17/Aug/08 7:46pm

After a quiet (bikewise, pretty much every other aspect was busy busy busy) and snotty week, it was nice to wake up yesterday morning to a bit of sun creeping around the curtains.

The bike had given me a few minor shifting problems at BP2, so Friday afternoon it had a bit of a tune up by my generous sponsor, Oli Brooke-White at Roadworks Bicycle Repairs. We'd had a bit of a communication break down, and it was much appreciated that Oli gave me a bit of his precious family time.

I'm really liking these late race starts, so it was a bit of a sifty morning. A few bits of toast (peanut butter and red plum jam FTW!) and a big bucket of sweet tea disappeared down the hatch, and another cuppa for good measure. A bit of time on vorb, and I'd arranged to meet way_downsouth for a ride over to the race, and have a bag of warm clothes ferried over by Scotty and psychavoc. We all live within a minute's ride of one another which is pretty cool.

Pete and I had a nice ride out of Karori, and then along the Old Hutt Rd, followed by SH2 to Petone. I don't really mind the presence of the cars, and always enjoy getting onto the smooth surface along there with its decent shelter from the wind. It always also signals I'm goin' ridin' which no doubt adds to my enjoyment. We had plenty to chat about, with race tactics, the Makara Peak Supporters' AGM (Pete's treasurer, and I'm secretary), and KPMG's generous sponsorship of MPS on the agenda.

The ride along the Petone foreshore was pretty uneventful, and before too long we were grovelling up the Wainui Hill. I almost came a cropper blowing my nose and simultaneously dropping off the road into the gutter!!! Novice...

I think I have a 36-25 gear, and before too long watching Pete in his 39-?? was doing my head in, so I overtook him, and paced myself to the top. Scotty and Celia passed us on the way up the hill in the car. After a short pause, we rolled down into Wainui, and headed for the bakery preferred by the Wainui trail-building crew. It was about midday by this point, and damn hard to choose what to eat. There was plenty of delicious looking sweet stuff laden with cream and custard, but sense prevailed, and I stuck with a ham and egg sandwich (which I ate straightaway) and a bit of date loaf (which I ended up eating after the race).

We then rolled down to the registration trailer that PNP have recently acquired - an excellent addition to their growing list of race-related assets. I must say, they are a very impressive club which is clearly prospering. We then shot back around the corner, where I had a coffee and Pete a hot chocolate. After making use of the facilities, it was time to head back for briefing.

It was bloody nice standing around in the sun, surrounded by familiar faces, bling bikes, and interesting roadie outfits. It was great to see a young guy had turned up to ride on a pretty low-end MTB, though unfortunately he ended up riding solo for most of the way. After a good briefing by Mike Sim, it was time to race. It was going to be tough for my Break group - we were a little over half the size of Scratch, who we had a mere minute on, and there was no safety gap to put us out of sight.

We started off, and quickly got into a decent paceline. The rotation was pretty good, but it became clear that there were a couple of riders a little underpowered, and to keep it smooth, we had to drop our speed, and it soon became apparent we were simply going too slow.

From memory, Scratch caught us almost 10 minutes from the coast on the way out. Craig Lawn and Brent Backhouse seemed to have taken charge, and were doing a lot of the work. I was at the front of Break when they came to the front, and managed to find a gap just behind Craig, and then stay on his wheel. The last thing I wanted was to have Break implode, and then have to ride alone or in a small group into the pretty stiff northerly.

I ended up staying near the front of the combined bunch to the turn around, taking regular pulls - one of only half a dozen or so to do so. A few more chipped in after the turn around, which was essential if we were going to make progress into the wind. It was nice to see SteveC and Chris Kendall out there. A couple of times I was on Craig Lawn's wheel and got the old flick of the elbow. I felt duty bound to come by him each time, and usually could back that up with the necessary power. A couple of times I simply had to sit in, and mumble an apology.

And so we toiled on. I don't think I drifted back beyond about 12th wheel at any stage, and had no real idea what was going on behind. The riders in front of me were the usual suspects, and every now and then a new jersey would appear. ThingOne came to the front about a third of the way home on the upwind leg, and stuck around in the front for the remainder. There were a few accelerations which I really struggled to match, and there were a couple of times when I was really on the rivet and worrying that I was about to pop. Although in hindsight, I would have had plenty of shelter if I'd just stopped working, I didn't consider that possibility, and was able to keep rotating through good luck and timing more than anything.

I really enjoyed Craig Lawn's announcement at about 1500m to go... - something along the lines of "I don't want to see anyone contesting the sprint that hasn't been working." That probably was to my favour, as it might have intimidated a few of my limpet-like Break compatriots, and a few Scratch riders who I was competing against on handicap! The year before I'd blown spectacularly on the way out of the little dipper just short of the line. This year, I held something in reserve, and I was able to put in a bit of an acceleration, managing to hold Craig Lawn's wheel almost to the line.

Lee Evans came around us all - the first time I'd seen him all race! Apparently he got a spectacular scolding from some of the more seasoned roadies! I managed to pass ThingOne before the line (though apparently I cut him up a bit which was absolutely unintentional). Looking at the results, I managed to stay clear of Kevin McCormack who'd passed me at a huge rate of knots just before the line in BP2.

I finished with the sense that I'd been about 6th or 7th to the line, but the results showed 4th to the line, and 4th on handicap which I'm absolutely thrilled with. I keep improving each week, and it was great to have the opportunity to mix it with Scratch. I think if I'd started with them, my result probably would have been the same. I'm really surprised given the long injury lay-off I've had. I guess I timed it well, and it probably coincided with everyone's off season.

Pete and I rode home, joined by Perry. The legs were well and truly protesting by the time I got to Simon's in Northland for a debrief!

Next week, the race will be interesting with a few hills thrown in. At this stage, I'm leaning towards starting with Scratch...
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Postby Oli on Sun 17/Aug/08 7:53pm

Yeah! Go Big Boy! I think by the sounds of it you'll be able to foot it just fine in scratch. :thumbsup:

We'll be on the hill yelling for you too, hopefully...
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Postby Joel on Sun 17/Aug/08 7:54pm

sifter you are a legend, it will be an honour to ride with you in scratch this weekend. just don't drop me :paranoid:

lawn is great in a bunch, he lays down the law.. in the manner only someone who has been there, got the t-shirt can do. Lee does have a great sprint, and an amazing ability to shelter from the wind :lol:
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Postby Joel on Sun 17/Aug/08 8:12pm

Oli wrote:We'll be on the hill yelling for you too, hopefully...
:hmmm:
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Postby ThingOne on Sun 17/Aug/08 8:24pm

Sounds like a vorb family affair in Scratch next weekend, Have to get Mono in as well..

Hey, Mono hows the cold?
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Postby SlackBoy on Sun 17/Aug/08 8:27pm

ThingOne wrote: Sounds like a vorb family affair in Scratch next weekend, Have to get Mono in as well..

Hey, Mono hows the cold?
he's in vegas playing in the mud
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Postby Conners on Sun 17/Aug/08 8:28pm

ThingOne wrote:Hey, Mono hows the cold?

Apparently pretty good :lol:

psychavoc wrote:
Monolith wrote: Nice day for a sift in welly today :)

Sally Alley, Missing Link, 4wd to the top, half way down Aratihi, back to the top, down Aratihi, back up the 4wd, down Leaping Lizard, Nikau Valley, Missing Link, Along the 4wd, dropped into Sally Alley, then back up the 4wd to RLE, Big Tom's and Swigg. Then headed up Lazy fern, along Magic carpet, down Livewires (Thanks for the awesome work MPS) up Koru, along the 4wd and back down Swigg.

Up Salvation, down Scout Hall. Made a quick stop off at Mum's for a juice and a sammich :D Back onto the fenceline, down Goldmine, up the Rollercoaster, down Carparts, down the rollercaster, down Rooty Trail to Aro. Headed over to Rongotai College to hear about the GDR via the top of Mt. Vic. Back to karori via Mt. Vic.

Excellent fun, and I've sold myself on the demo bike I have had the pleasure of riding :blush:

Guess you've recovered from that cold huh? ;)
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