Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Triathlon N00b goes bush

And now for something completely different….. A man with a cat on his head! Wait no, that’s totally normal for me. Annnnyway I went and did something a bit different – I actually used the race MTB for an actual MTB race. All that lightweight carbon ued for commuting and the odd firetrail run actually got used in anger….. well maybe mild annoyance….. at Lake Crackenback. Yes I know cracks are usually to the beack, that’s the actual name of the place. I suppose the namers were thinking about something dirty, given this was the 1800’s and there were more or less only cattle for a late night bit of lovin.

At 75km and in what appeared to be difficult terrain, I was pretty much expecting to fail to finish. Moutain Bikes do put a lot more drag on the legs than a road bike and while I’m at home pushing out the kms on a roadie, 75km on a MTB was a very tall order, esp given I had never done such a distance in one hit. And also, 8-10% climbs are pretty much stock rather than the exception.

On the Friday afternoon after we got down there, I did a bit of road time to settle inot the MB and also get a guage on the topography. Annnnd…. 5 kms of 3-8% climb that peaked out for 400 meters of 20-32% going over a ridge at 1300 meters. Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck that made me breathe hard. 21kms in total for a 512meter total climb. And that was the road……! I did ride a bit of the course and it was actually easier.

Saturday rest 7th Day Adventist style. Or do they rest on Sunday? Okay I have no idea. The point was doing as little as possible and stuffing my face with food. Mmmmmm steak goodness.


The first thing is getting up at 5am for a race is actually pretty normal for me over the years of motorsport. 1 degree however? In SUMMER? That was a shock to the system. It was time to pull out the winter clothing big time and try to somehow stay warm….! With race breifing at 645am and the race starting at 7am, I set up the feed zone, found a cup of tea, checked the bike over and battled the penguins for a place next to the heater. The Magpuies were also hopping from leg to leg to avoid being frozen to the wire fences.


The Garmin was switched on and set to race mode. But frankly my strategty was quite different from the straining at the bit raw meat eaters up front – I’d just tool around and just try to beat the cutoff for the last lap at 1pm. With a rather approriate song by Cake (Going the Distance) blaring, the horn was blasted, startling the magpies and penguins to a battle for the nearest warmth and some 100 competitors sprinting away…. while the stragglers like me cruised up the first hill and onto the coruse proper. And yes, I was very much cruising, there was no hard push at all. Over take a couple of slower riders, get overtaekn, ride through kangaroo shit, a creek crossing then a bit of climbing to the Ski Tube car park, cross that and then up again. 100 meters climb in 5 kms. The nexk 5 kms were easier and a lot quicker – with some great jumps and some vicious single track that really wasnt made for 29er. Oh and wombat holes with more wombat shit. By this time we are by Threado river and it was COLD. Frozen water and frost, my feet utterly numb and this sheen of shit everywhere. The front of the bike was in fact black with shit. A roll uphill then around some more bridges slippery with ice, back to the blaring music and….. 1 hour for the first lap. Run to the bathroom, run back (Note utterly no feeling in feetquick water bottle refill (noting to take the lid off before drinking) then away again with a clif bar in the gob.

And to be honest for the next two laps that’s about all the highlights. By 10 am I had done 45kms and worked out hey…. I was pacing well and even if my knees were not happy and my legs pretty much held together by my leggings, the finish was possible. I was keeping up fluids and also scoffing gels regularly so I wasnt bonking….. just doing a nice consistent 1 hour for a lap kinda pace. But I did notice that if I got off my bike my legs would howl and get VERY sore. Not sure why that would happen but the last lap was certainly a do. not. stop not even for a breather. I did that at 55kms and my legs were not happy. I would have hought a slight rest would be a good thing? I guess not and I’m not sure why.

Anyway, decided to throw a bit more in at the end pedalled for the line and threw the bike down as I finished and collapsed. And smelt myself. Oh…. holy…. moly! Sweat mixed with kangroo and wombat shit is NOT a good thing. The bike was cleaner due to a couple of water crossings but my leggings and shirt….! And SHOES! Agggggh! I could not imagine I could smell worse dead!

Not exactly the most plesant of drives home and even the washing machine fought hard to not have those foul clothes stuffed in it. It wants to press charges of cruelty to washing machines. The shoes got dunked in alcohol and hot water. I basically took to myself with a wire brush to scrape stink off me.

So….. yep, different. Finished. Time wise? Eh. Dont care. It was slow. The point was never to go at the pace I could have gone at, but to finish. It’s basically a good bit of training for the Novemeber Hell month of two 70.3’s in three weeks. A good long hard event to give me confidence I’d have energy left even after 5 hours. Thence… ticked the boxes, move onto the next one. Which is a Tri Sprint in Wollongong.

But before I get there….. ew equipment is coming.

posted by admin at 9:23 pm  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Why suck at one sport….

When you can suck at three?


Somewhere along the line, someone has gotten me into Triathlon. And now in a first of abject madness I’m entered in a 70.3, also known as Long course or half IronMan. I’m sure I entered it thinking something something Robert Downey Jnr and metal suits. Cause you know, he does have such niiiiice suits.

So…. why post about it here? Why not? Why not add some rather warped perspective to yet another sport? And this time I can write terrible humour about something I dont really know much about – at least with Rallying I know something about that subject and the drunken debachery that goes on. See Tri folk…. you think you know how to party but you dont. Rally folk drink enough alcohol to poision a Russian and they have a rather…. warped outlook on life. But I will admit that rally folk arent exactly as fit to say the least, you can be rather rotund and still rally successfully. In Triathlon, that’s more a set up for a heart attack than a trophy. And also in Triathlon the point of it isnt to give someone a heart attack like a driver does to a co-driver, plus inflicting damage to your equipment and scencery is painful.

And the other good thing? No one in Triathlon has any idea who Sebastian Loeb is, while Loeb could never actually ride a bike due to the size of his balls. Plus the whole drug testing thing… they would rapidly find out Loeb has no blood and is indeed either a robot or been turned inhuman in his deal with Satan. Fortuantly demonic spirits and robots are not Triathlon legal so HOORAY! no Loeb to spoil the fun! And as well with the USADA puttig Lance Armstrong int he sin bin for life, I dont feel the need to make jokes about fitting better on a bike all the time. Cause you know, sitting on your own testicles kinda is uncomfortable – that’s really one of the things they never tell you about cycling, the reverse tranny tuck to get your wedding tackle out of the way and not to find yourself 50 kms down the road realising you have cut off circulation down there and the rather alarming amount of pain it is when you rearrange things down there and blood returns. It’s liek someone took a branding iron and hit you in the crotch. Except no sizzling pubes. Which if you are a cyclist you probably shaved off so at least there’s no smell of burning crotch if you did entertain the thought of branding yourself.

Reminds me, I saw a video like that once….

Annnnyway, back onto the vague thing that passes as a point when I get going into a blur of keyboard dribble, the point of this was that someone who knows me suggested it would be a godo idea to write down a bunch of stuff in my journery to the 70.3. Possibly as a warning for others to not go there because HERE BE DRAGONS, keep watching You are a Loser and stay fat. Or if you have lost leave of anything approaching your senses, get inspired and get off the couch, turn the TV off, get running, cycling, splashing in a pool not drowning etc etc etc and just do it.

Serious part – yeah I get serious. See, the issue I think is too few people dont realise that fitness is a lifestyle. You have to make time, you have to set goals, you have to go into it knowing that if you are horribly unfit there are no quick fixes. It’s about like I did a few years ago, putting one foot in front of the other and then the next until you look back and realise where you have come from and where you have been. And to be honest, I’m not like Big Kev, I never have been. I have gotten fairly uncomfortably unhealthy and fat so lets say I know where some people are coming from. But let me tell you, it’s worth seeing your dcotor tell you your blood has returned to what should be normal, rather than what you could have been and were going to.

So you know, maybe people wont read this…. that’s fine. I’m used to talking to myself. But if you do happen to read and you feel you can do it too….. then remeber, it’s a lifestyle and the journey starts with a footstep in the right direction. Just remeber, once you start, just dont stop.


posted by admin at 11:14 pm  

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