Wednesday, May 23, 2012
The prize is a Velocite Geos 3.
Tickets cost 50 euros each. You can enter as many times as you want. Entries close on June 7th.
It's easy to enter:
- Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org telling me how many tickets you would like.
- I'll then send you payment request that you can use to buy the tickets with your credit card or PayPal account.
The fine print:
- there are no limits on the number of entries
- the prize is a Velocite Geos 3 in the size of the winner's choice
- the winner will be drawn at random from all entries on Friday the 8th of June
- the bike will be shipped directly from the factory to the winner's address, or can be collected from Geneva Switzerland
- the winner is responsible for all import duties and taxes
- changes to the model or specifications mayt be possible at the winners expense, subject to availability and approval by Velocite
Thursday, March 15, 2012
Originally I only a power meter on my time trial bike. Then I met the good people from Power2Max at Eurobike late last year. I'm now delighted to be able to use a power meter on all the bikes I use. The second great thing about these meters in particular, after the fact that they're less than half the price of the an SRM(!), is that you can change the chainrings without any need for recallibration. So, I was able to use small chainrings for cyclocross, then put on bigger chainrings for time trialling. On my road bike I've kept a semi-compact set of chainrings. One power meter, three different gearing options. Brilliant.
Power2Max recently released a version of thier power meter for mountian bikes. I received mine last week. I'm particularly happy as it'll help me with pacing during the Finale Ligure 24 Hour race in May. I know I definitely went out too hard when I did it last year. Happy days!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Well, my plan of dropping a few kilos for nationals didn't work out as well as I'd hoped. GreenEdge (the new Australian pro team) turned up in force and demolished everyone. Of 161 starters only 21 finished. Needless to say I wasn't one of them. I barely made it 50km into the 160km race. After being dropped on the fourth lap the little group I was with were pulled off the course after the fifth lap.
In an effort to be able to stay with the race on the climb I'd lost 3-4 kilos in the month before the race. Unfortunately I lost some power along with the weight. Power that I sorely missed during the time trial. My 20th place in the TT was exactly the same as last year. While I was a bit more than a minute faster than last year in, much more difficult conditions, I had hoped for better. For those interested in such things, my average speed was 44km/hr and my average power output was 318 watts (4.54watts/kg).
Anyway, that's enough of the short stuff for now. My focus has switched entirely to the 4,800km time trial that is the Race Across America. Only 13 weeks to go!
Monday, November 28, 2011
I was asked the other day what races I'd done this year, so I sat down and tried to remember them all. By my recollection The Omnium Romand race on Saturday was my 31st day of racing this year. That's more than one race every fortnight, which is not a lot by pro standards, but not bad for a mediocre amateur. With only a couple of cyclocross races left in the year I figure it's a good time reflect on the past year before jumping headlong into the Australian national championships in January.
The year started reasonably well when I finished in the middle of the field in the Australian National Time Trial Championships. That doesn't sound very impressive, but given that the podium was filled by three current world champions, including the current holder of the world record for the individual pursuit I was pretty happy. I hope to do a little better than my 20th place when I race again in January. In October I significantly improved my PB in the Orbe time trial by averaging 45.9km/hr. That's still a long way behind the pros who'll dominate the field in Ballarat, but is 2 1/2 km/hr faster than I did in the same race last year.April is classics time. Ordinarily for me that means trying to find coverage of tour of Flanders Paris-Roubaix the other monuments. This year though I thought I'd head up to Belgium and northern France to watch them live and do some riding. The Flanders sportive was disappointing. With no timing, no exact start time and not even a starting line it was impossible to even pretend to race it. I still did the full course with all the cobbled climbs so it wasn't for naught, but without the spice of competition it left me a bit hollow. The Paris-Roubaix sportive was much better. It was run like a race with semi-closed roads and motorcycle outriders and was an absolute blast. The authorities withdrew their approval for the race at the last minute, so it was officially non-competitive and no times were posted. You couldn't tell on the day though. If it looks like a duck and walks like a duck... The lack of published times didn't bother me. I knew where I placed because I was first over the line! I rode the last 60km with Phillipe Gaumont, ex-pro with Confidis. He graciously didn't contest the finish and let me go when I surged to the line on the famed pavé of the Carrefour de l'Arbe. That was a definite highlight of my year.
The 24 Hours of Finale Ligure was another. Ouch that was hard. I went out way too fast, tried to compensate by eating too much and then felt terrible. Less than six hours in I wasn't sure I was going to be able to finish. Karolina put me right when she told me to harden up. I pressed on and recovered, then settled in and started to enjoy myself. It was a great course and brilliantly organised. I ended up really enjoying myself and finished 2nd overall.
I had a few other podiums, including 3rd overall and 2nd in my age category when I set my PB at the Orbe TT (after excluding the tandem from the results- seriously, that's not fair!), and third in the Forestiere MTB XCM. Unfortunately I also DNFed four times... at four of my my biggest races of the year. I abandoned the 2nd Etape du Tour because I couldn't handle the conditions, then had unrepairable punctures at the European 24 Hour MTB championships, the Master World Championships road race and at the UCI ranked Ornans XCM. Ah well, it gives me room for improvement next year!
Fortunately the critic is unlikely to read this as he is undoubtedly fornicating, so I might get away with being dull for quite some time. Perhaps even more fortunately, there are bloggers out there who do have interesting things to say. Among my favourites are my friends La Grande and Urban Ninja.
La Grande is my training buddy and Velocite Bikes contact. He's preparing for Ironman Frankfurt. Aside from giving me the motivation to get out of bed for pre-dawn rides in subzero temperatures he's a good resource for the latest training science and bike tech. He's also infinitely better organised that I am so will probably update his blog more than once a month, which is my current frequency.
Urban Ninja is the South African zen philospoher of triathlon and worth a read. His posts are a nice counterpoint to the jaded cynicism of the Fornicator. He's also a founding member of Pure Planet Racing, which seeks to offset the terrible carbon footprint that we self-absorbed globe-trotting athletes invariably have and to generally do good stuff for the environment.
On the other side of the feel good coin is the merciless New York City Bike Snob. We all need a laugh from time to time, and what better way than by mercilessly ridiculing fixie riding hipsters.
Finally, for the inside goss on all things pro cycling, I love The Inner Ring.
So, there is an entire universe of interesting cycling-related blogs out in the ether. I'll therefore be less concerned about being interesting and more concerned about keeping you updated on progress towards RAAM and occasionally doing some training. If anyone finds that interesting, so much the better!
Monday, October 3, 2011
I had a fun night in Zurich last week with the guys from Eufex, where I gave a presentation on RAAM at their annual investors meeting. Anders established Eufex as a fund exchange 11 years ago... when he was only 24! I can't imagine starting a financial company, let alone when so young. I could barely balance a cheque book when I was 24. Come to think of it, I still can't now.
It seems like an unusual pairing at first, but there's a bit more in common with ultradistance cycling and starting a bank than you might imagine. Basically it's all about realising that perceived barriers are often just that, perceptions.
Many people told Anders that what he was trying to do was impossible, that he was too inexperienced, didn't know what he was doing, was underestimating the difficulties... all the reasons that stop people from trying things. No doubt there were many who had similar thoughts when I announced that I was going to do RAAM. Fortunately nobody said as much to me though. Anders proved his doubters wrong in much the same way that I showed that riding a bike across a continent needn't be impossible.
So, thanks Anders, Daniel and the rest of the people at Eufex for your generousity. At RAAM next year I'll be watching for drunken Finnish fans.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
For RAAM I'll be using the lightweight Geos model in the mountains...