Many cyclist whilst spending time cruising the www may have come across Slam That Stem . Is this Wangaratta's best Slam? And I do have it on good authority this setup will be no more very soon,What will the replacement look like? It has big shoes to fill. Thank god for the trusty iphone camera,it does the job at times.
Since entering the Tour of Bright a few weeks ago I've decided that I better get into some decent shape so I can at least get through the event without completely blowing up. I took photos at the event last year and the pain on the riders faces as they dug into their suitcase of courage on the Mt Hotham climb should have been enough to scare me off doing it.
However, you need some goals in life and if your going to get out and train for many hours it gives some focus to what you are doing. I'm a relative newcomer to cycling and this is my 3rd year of reasonably committed riding,give or take a few months recuperation after a decent stack on my mountain bike that required 2 shoulder operations. Did I mention my mountain bike is for sale?
Below are a few photos of riders delving into their suitcase from the Mt Hotham stage of last years Tour of Bright. You may even see a couple of locals in there.
I'm quite interested in what others are doing and it does seem there is an element of secrecy going on. Have you ever asked a cyclist how they are performing? I'll guarantee you'll get an answer along the lines of "I havn't been doing much lately" or " I've got a fair bit of work to do", you get the picture. I've tried to work out a plan based on Joe Friels book The Cyclists Training Bible. It's very loosely based on his ideas but one of the things that has made the most sense is to improve your limiters or your weaknesses what ever you want to call them.
Heres is pretty much my last week's training.
Monday. Strength training and stretching at local gym 1 hour 40 mins
Tuesday. 30 km easy ride 1 hour 08mins
Wednesday. Beechworth group ride,91 km, mixed intensities. 3 hours 21 mins
Thursday. 30 km easy ride 1 hour 22 mins
Friday. Strength training and stretching at gym 1 hour 40 mins
Saturday. 40km Endurance pace 1 hour 20 mins.
Saturday. Wang CC 46 km Hcp race 1 hour 19 mins
Sunday. 53 km Endurance pace 1 hour 55 mins.
Gym hours 3 hours 20 mins
Cycling hours 10 hours 25 mins 290km
So that is what I did last week and I'm feeling pretty knackered and I reckon this coming week I am going to make a recovery week.
Love to hear some comments on this and perhaps what others have done. Its made me tired just writing about it.
Wednesday morning dawned to a beautiful clear morning and looked like being a perfect day for the weekly ride to Beechworth. However by the time I got tot Wangaratta around 7.15 am the fog had rolled in and was very thick. 11 riders braved the chilly conditions after missing out last week due to heavy rain. The fog stayed with us until Everton where it lifted as quick as the Myles Missile's sprint in Sunday. This lifted the spirits of our group and we were soon on the rail trail leg of our journey. I can't help thinking of the Kelly Gang as we ride through the bush on the old railway siding that is now a bike trail. I mentioned this to Wes and his reply was, I can't help thinking I'm on the wrong bike, as he looked out at the mountain bike paths that wind their way through the bush beside the sealed path we are riding on.
Arriving in Beechworth we now have a new coffee stop and I must admit I don't know the name of the place but the coffee is very good. When the place we were frequenting changed it's trading hours an inside tip from some Beechworth locals pointed us to this new establishment.
Coffee drunk it was time for the decent out of Beechworth and I found myself second wheel as we hammered down the Wangaratta road. Whilst coasting behind Tully I was thinking, I suppose I should go to the front but it's nice and easy sitting here. I did end up having a few turns on the front and luckily Tully didn't leave me there to long as during the last foray on the front I managed 184 bpm on my heart rate monitor which isn't far off max. Thank god for the Everton turn off and the end of this nonsense was all I could thinks about as my heart tried to calm itself down again.
The roll back into Wangaratta was perfect with spirits high and weather magnificent. We really are privileged to be able to do this on a Wednesday morning.
Today was my day to get on the bike for some racing. I am a member of the Hume Veteran's Cycling Club and every second Sunday they hold their races. Today's event was a 48 km handicap starting at Benalla heading out to Tatong turning right and heading across until Samaria road then coming back towards Benalla finishing near the Samaria/Kilfeera Rds intersection.
There were 13 riders competing and I was in the second group at 8 mins with block behind us at 3 mins and then scratch.
In handicap races it's pretty well down to business right from the start doing rolling turns with your group and hoping you can catch the riders in front of you whilst not being caught yourselves by the following groups. It was my second race of the season and I found the race hard going. We caught limit (the first group) with just a few km's left to go and we thought it may be possible to stay out in front. We new the faster groups were coming and could see them in the distance but we still had a decent gap. Well, we did have, but we were swallowed up with about 500 metres left to ride and had to fight out the sprint with the faster riders. The victory went to John (The missile) Myles who packs a pretty fast sprint and I reckon he might find himself with the scratch riders next race (sorry John), well not really.
1st. John Myles 1h 17m 16 sec
2nd. Stephen O'Brien
3rd. Russell Edwards
4th. Tony Reeckman ( I won my entry fee back)
Fastest time. Geoff Morley 1h 14m 16 sec
It was a beautiful day in the North East today and what better way to spend than at a bike race. Whilst not racing today myself the opportunity to take some photographs at a bike race is always welcome. With a good roll up of riders it was the block group who took the first 4 places.
1st. Chris Anderson
2nd. Steve Fraser
3rd. Tomarsh Loki
4th. Jake Morgan
The 4 scratch riders were not far behind at the finish with James Boal recording the fastest time of the day 1h 30m 22sec.
The concept for the competition is pretty easy really. The starting point is at the bottom of the mountain near where the little office/gatehouse used to be. There is a big white line across the road and you can also see the sign on the LHS for another landmark. It will be based on the time it takes to ride from the starting point (see pic below) to the top of the main climb finishing at The Gap.
What is needed is the time it takes to ride this climb and I will then be able to add your time to the list in order from the fastest time to the slowest.
It's probably better to be stopped or rolling very slowly at the start so as not to get an unfair advantage by hitting the start line at 40 kmh. This is meant to be a fun thing and you can ride the climb as many times as you like over the year. I'd love to see some comments left and people getting involved. I would also like to include if the ride was done solo or it there was somebody who witnessed your deed so please supply that information too. This will be a work in progress and any suggestions appreciated. To locate this page in the future I'll put a link on my website's home page and there will also be a special category in the sidebar of the blog called Mt Buffalo Challenge.
The Descent is pretty easy and not compulsory,it's the exact reverse of the climb. It's just been added and we have 4 people with times.So next time you do the climb don't forget, have a go at the descent too.
Matt Clark has become the first winner of the competition with an excellent time of 49mins 30secs.The perpetual trophy is nearly finished and I hope to present it to Matt in the not too distant future.
Amy Bradley is the fastest woman with a time of 1 hour 6min 40secs.After riding with Amy in the Damian McDonald Memorial recently, I can see a time under the hour coming up this year.I'll be presenting Amy with one of my photos at the Tour of Bright.
The Challenge is on again this year so if anyone has a time to submit I'm more than happy to post in on a new leader board.
Hopefully in the next week or so I'll manage to get my first time of the new season recorded.With the Tour of Bright closing in Mt Buffalo offers a great training opportunity.The fastest descent has also been added if you fancy having a go on the way down.
Mt Buffalo Challenge.
Submit your time via email here.
Name Cat. Date Time
1. Matt Clark Elite M 2-4-12 49mins 30secs (Matts in great form at present,time is on strava too)
2. Shane Miller. Mas1 29-4-12 50mins. 40secs.(Shane just knocked 1 minute of his previous time)
3.Christian McDonald. Mas 2.29-10 52mins.10s Just got the go ahead to post this time,have known about it for a while)
4. Tully Lyster. Mas2 13-11 53mins. 40secs (aiming to go lower,I reckon he fueled up on Big Macs @ McHappy Day)
5. Rhys Lyster. Mas1 13-11 54mins. 48secs. (like a good wine, getting better all the time)
6.Tomarsh Loki. U17 03-11 56mins 34secs (Tomarsh smashes the 1 hour mark)
7.Travis Lindhe. Mas1 2-1 57mins. 28secs. (Welcome to the Cobram mob)
8.Stephen Lane. Mas1 29-10 57mins.41secs.(Great time and another team Kosdown member on the board)
9.Raymond Jarratt.Mas5 2-1 59mins.35secs.(A month after Tour of Bright and still goes under the hour)
10. Gavin Frawley. Mas5 13-11 1 hour 50secs. (Gav is on fire,I'll be chasing him up Hotham come TOB)
11. Jake Morgan. 26-8 1 hour 1 min. (Jake got his timing right this time)
12. Laurie Lyster. Mas7 13-11 1 hour 3min. (5 minutes quicker than previous attempt)
13.Tony Reeckman. Mas4 20-11 1 hour 3min. 25secs ( All out today and a PB so I'm happy)
14.Brendan Phillips. Mas4 20-11 1 hour 3min. 25secs ( 3rd day of climbing and pushed me all the way)
15. Chris Howard. Mas2 25-9 1 hour 4 min. Not bad for a recovery ride.
16. Wes Samson. Mas2 20-11 1 hour 4 min. 40 secs.(Another improvement again today)
17. Wayne Walsh Mas4 20-11 1 hour 5min. 30 secs. (strong performance after 3 days in the hills)
18.Gifford Crostwaite.Mas6 2-1 1 hour 6min. 12 secs. (Another of the Cobram mob)
19. Amy Bradley Elite W 20-11 1 hour 6min. 40secs. (First placed female as the women start to get involved)
20.Thad Roos. 18-1 1 hour 7min. 07secs. (Apologies to Thad for the delay in posting your time)
21.Cameron Meggs 31-12 1 hour 7min. 50secs (great to have one of the BDA crew getting on board)
22.Jenny Kjar WMas2 14-4-12. 1 hour 8min.56secs. (Another challenger for the fastest women's title)
23.Carolyn Phillips.WMas3 20-11 1 hour 9min. 1secs. (Gutsy ride and after 3 hard days too)
24.Gary Smith Mas4 2-1 1 hour 10mins.2secs.(Another of the Cobram crew)
25.Richard Kjar Mas2 14-4-12 1 hour 12min.56secs. (Welcome to Richard)
26.Steve Bean Mas5 20-11 1 hour 15min. 40secs. (Another of the Captain's Crew on a 3 day mission)
27.Veronica Micich.WMas1 20-11 1 hour 16mins 06 secs. (Von moves up a spot with an updated time)
28.Russel Whitby Mas5 2-1 1 hour 16min. 15secs. (Cobram crew)
29.Joey Artarivilla Mas4 2-1 1 hour 20 mins (Cobram Crew)
30.Zane Douglas Mas7 2-1 1 hour 20mins. 18seconds (Cobram Crew)
31.John Myles Mas 7 22-2-12 1 hour 21mins. Well done John,a while in coming and is planning another attempt.
32.Bin Cameron WMas4 20-11 1 hour 21min. 10secs. (Captain's Crew member and looked great in the Euro kit)
33.Anne Lyster WMas7 13-1 1 hour 23min. (Anne might give Laurie a run on the Stelvio at this rate.)
34.Helen Bean WMas5 20-11 1 hour 23min. 15 secs. ( Helen another crew member on her 3rd day in hills)
35.Barry Harvey Mas7 20-11 1 hour 34min. 58 secs. (Great to have The Silver Streak on board,on his 3rd day too)
36.Mike Fox Mas5 20-11 1 hour 35min. (Captains Crew member and on his 3rd day climbing)
37. Bec. 14-8 1 hour 36 mins ( Ok Bec time for another attempt)
38.Kylie Samson 6-4-12 1hour 52mins 40secs (a nice way to spend good Friday)
What Goes Up-Must Come Down
Mt Buffalo Challenge Descent
Name Cat. Time. Date
1.Shane Miller. Mas1 18min. 39sec. 05-11-2011
2.Ray Jarratt Mas5 19min. 45sec. 02-01-2012
3.Tomarsh Loki Und17 21min. 45sec. 28-11-2011
4.Tony Reeckman Mas4 21min. 53sec. 08-04-2012
Over this weekend the Wangaratta Cycling Club held the Victorian Junior Cycling Championships.The Time Trials were held on Saturday with the road races today. I had the job today of carrying spare wheels for the under 19 women's road race. This weekend's weather has been horrible with rain showers and a few thunderstorms thrown in to the mix. We started around 11.05 am finishing around 2 hours later. I was hoping my services wouldn't be required mainly for the cyclists sake but also the heater in my Hilux works beautifully and it wasn't so nice outside. Unfortunately one of the girls had a front tyre puncture going up Taminick Gap the first time and a wheel change was required. Losing the bunch on the climb meant a pretty tough race ahead for her to get back in the group. I got dropped on this climb in my first race in C grade earlier this year and spent the next 90 minutes watching the peloton slowly disappear into the distance whilst stubbornly refusing to pull out.
As she delved into her "suitcase of courage" (thanks Mr. Liggett) I really thought for a while she might just do it then the gap slowly started to grow.
That was pretty much the status quo for the rest of the race, the gap slowly getting bigger.Luckily the rest of the race passed without any more mechanical issues and we were finished pretty much on schedule.
I decided to hang around for the next and final race of the day the under 19 men's road race. They were about an hour away so there was time for a quick hamburger and drink from the canteen. It's amazing the amount of effort that goes into running an event like this. It's a huge commitment from heaps of people, many of them volunteers giving up their weekends to help. All I had to do was turn up at 10 am drive for 2 hours so I'm not putting myself in that category. At least I thought I'll get a photograph of the mens under 19 sprint finish.
There are gearing restrictions for Junior Cycling events and bikes are checked by officials to make sure they comply.
I was riding along one of my least favourite stretches of road late last week,my least favourite because of the traffic. When out of the corner of my eye I noticed a little black dot approaching,now this particular magpie at least gives you a sporting chance by announcing it's arrival very loudly so even somebody like me, who only has one ear that works, can't fail to hear it.
This particular bird is quite aggressive, although it has never made contact with my head, (unlike the one in the photo) it swoops me for at least 500 metres. At least the cars wizzing past have some entertainment at my expense.
Talking to other riders we all have our training loops and know where these kamikaze birds are located. They can give you a fair whack on the helmet sometimes and I remember one near the golf course just out of Wangaratta, heading towards Yarrawonga, that is a real nasty bugger (it is the bird in the photograph). I'm sure there are plenty of experiences like this and it's not isolated to cyclists.
This is the second time I've joined this social ride that leaves Wangaratta every Wednesday morning at 7.30 am. The ride
follows quiet country roads at a steady pace before getting onto the rail trail near Everton. From here its probably around 15 km of 2-3% climbing most of the way to Beechworth. The group tends to split up a little as people find their own comfortable climbing pace. There is a regrouping for coffee at Wardens Wine Bar at Beechworth before the run home.
Leaving Beechworth via the main Wangaratta road it's a pretty fast pace down the hill until the Everton turn off. Regrouping, the ride then rolls back to Wangaratta pretty much the same way as the outward journey. All up it a little over 90 km and a great mid week ride with a friendly group of cyclists.
I'm always interested on the history of these rides and the guys tell me it's been running for at least 10 years but nobody is completely sure of the exact time. There has been a few different routes over the years before the current incarnation. On most Wednesday mornings the riders number around 10, give or take a few. It's pretty much got a little of everything, some nice steady riding, the rail trail climb and some pretty quick pacing coming out of Beechworth.