Monday, April 23, 2007

From 6th to 2nd

Last Saturday was my second criterium race at Heffron Park. The Dulwich Hill club was well represented in D grade with Grant and Lindsay racing with me. My race almost didn’t begin as I got a flat half way around my warm up lap. Thankfully, the starters waited for me and Lindsay quickly put in my ‘three-patched’ spare tube. I was paranoid for the first few laps that I’d get another flat. The D grade race was a lot quicker than the previous week. All the Dulwich Hill riders did a lot of work at the front. I did several turns at the front although this week I was weary not to do too much work. The first real move in the race came at lap 10 (although due to a counting error we did 11 laps instead of ten). One of the stronger Randwick-Botany riders (Rocky) did a really hard turn at the front and winded up the pace to weaken the field. He then returned back into the pack halfway down the main straight before the final lap. I was now at first wheel and I noticed the pace drop off immediately from the rider in front.

At the first turn I decided to attack and push myself all the way back to the finish line. I choose this point because it was just before a series of sharp turns so I thought that the pack would be slowed down and I’d have the most chance of sustaining a break away. I rode with everything I had until I got to ‘the pimple’ (i.e. the little hill) where I was really starting to hurt. I knew there was only one rider on my wheel, but I didn’t know who it was? As I came down the hill I realised it was my clubmate Lindsay and I found out latter that he was on my wheel when I attached. As we turned to the main straight it was clear that the pack wouldn’t catch up so it was down to the two of us. At this stage I was thoroughly rooted and happy to concede defeat in the sprint. In true trackie style, Lindsay passed me at about 100m to take line honours. I knew Lindsay would pass me and I was happy for him to win. One thought entered my mind after the race. The most important piece of equipment in cycling is your head. Cycling is not just about grunt-work but is much closer to a tactical game like chess and thats what makes it so exciting.

In other bike related news I got rid of my car this week. I sold it for scrap for $100. So while I've barely used it in the last year, I'm now completely detached from the automotive wet nurse. The pick-up guy asked me 'what car do you drive now'... I told him that I didn't drive anymore and to my suprise he responded: 'thats the best way to be'.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

The Autumn double

After much huffing and puffing about not having a red jersey, I've finally got my hands on a DHBC jersey from on of the veterans. I like the fact that the jersey has no bloody advertising on it. My racing license also arrived in the mail today, making it an Autumn double. Now I just need to do some training.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

My first race

Well, I finally made it to my first race after many delayed starts and rainy weekends. Before the race I wasn’t well prepared as I hadn’t been on the bike for a week and I had a sore knee from a bushwalking hike over the Easter long weekend. I had no idea what to expect but I found the pace of D grade quite easy. In fact I really wanted to speed things up a bit because I don’t like holding on the breaks. If a breakaway had have formed I would have definitely gone with it as I prefer to ride fast race rather than leaving it all to the final sprint. I sat and second and third wheel for almost the entire race until I followed Geoff on his cramp interrupted breakaway and was sprung to the front. For the reminding two and a half laps I would lead the race until the final straight. I was comfortable but I wasn’t feeling too good as the contents of my lunch (salmon on toast) were making themselves known to me. Leading the bunch was tactically stupid but I had no interest attempting to win the sprint. I was keen to first get a feel for racing and then work towards getting some good results in the future.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Improving workplace facilities for cyclists

(Image from SMH online)

While I havn't seen the details, I was pleased to hear that a commercial development has just been approved with the purpose of raising the standards of ecologically sound development in the city. The development will be called Workplace6 and it will be located in Pymont near the Casino. The "6" in "Workplace6" refers to the "6 green star" rating of the Green Building Council of Australia. Amongst the many design measures adopted in the development I was most pleased to see the following sentence:
The building's premium amenities will include showers and change rooms with lockers, 135 secure car spaces and 120 bicycle racks.
Now thats the kind of bike to car spaces ratio that I like to see. The development will be something to be admired but the critical issue is whether the planning legislation will follow it.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Bike eBay

I have watched this bike be stripped piece by piece over the last few days. On Sunday it was just missing the front wheel. Today it’s missing the front fork and headset. Next time I see it, I imagine the pedals will be gone as well. Watch out for orange KHS forks on eBay. Every bike has stories to tell and I’d love to know what happened to this one? Why didn’t the owner collect it? These bike racks at Summer Hill station were only installed two months ago as one of ASHBUGs little victories with the local council. However, the abandoned and stripped bike has quickly turned this infrastructure gain into an advertisement for not cycling.