Antilag

Random rubbish from the motor sport world

Saturday, March 15, 2014

22 seconds

Well, Triathlon N00b was out there Triathlon-ing today. The new super bike got a workout. There was thunder bolts and lightning, very very frightening and cue eventual headbanging and hanging onto tents to make sure they dont fly away

It did look pretty dubious in fact, the storm that screamed in was intense but thankfully resonably short lived. For a while tho it did look touch and go wether it would take place but eventually we got going – late but away we went

Unlike other triathlons we have had out there, the wind was light and so there would be no “downhill” scream to make up time. And nor would there be a tailwind on the swim…. water wasnt cold either. But this time I did decide to line up and go for the it on the start, usually I hang back and cruise for the first 100 meters. It was…. different. A lot rougher, a fair bit of shoving about and hitting other swimmmers, a bit of sneaky drafting and eventually began to get a nice bit of water as the go for hell starters flagged. Basically I just started at a higher pace that I felt I could hold, held it and just started to make inroads from there. The thing is, going hell for leather is not a good idea – it gets you tired. Set a pace and hold it.

T1 transition was slow – But I wasnt bothered. Today was simply about pacing and not fucking up the treacherous cycle leg.

Cycle – pretty much to plan. Yes, had a plan! Simply select a gear, select a cadence, and hold it. Dont push 100%, dont kill my legs, just do 35-36 kph. And that’s exactly what I did – a bit slower than the fastest I’ve done (15 seconds slower in fact) but average of 34.3kph, max of 39.6. Almost smack bang where I wanted it. Plus with the tri bars mounted water bottle, I was able to drink a fair bit more so I came into T2 well hydrated and feeling pretty good.

To be honest, also came into transition somewhat slower than I have too. Took my time to get the shoes off and stopping (also avoiding a crash), but was able to run the bike to the rack, put the runenrs on, have a quick drink and not need a few seconds to catch my breath.

And then surprised the hell out of myself with a 12:58 2.5km run.

I turned at 6:50 so I knew the run was nearly a minute up from my best. But getting under 13 minutes? Doing a 10.7kph average? 13.81kph best speed? Pacing at 5:39 per km? This REALLY was great! I’m no runner so to do a decent time is awesome.

And I knew I had more left in me too, there was no collapse over the finish. I… actually felt pretty good. Well for a minute or so because a guy with a magnificent beard who finished a bit behind me was a bit miffed he had gone 40:41. And at that point I realised I had missed going sub 40 minutes by even less.

SHIT!

Annnnnd…. 40minutes, 21 secs. Well…. damn. That was close indeed! But to be honest all that is is actually hurrying in transition or giving the bike a bit more. Probably 30 or more seconds lost in transitions. 15 seconds could have been grabbed on the bike for sure. 38 minutes could have been done.

Eh…. to be honest I’m really happy. The run was for me quite a turn about for a sucky run to not bad at all. Swim? Decent. Cycle? Did exactly what I wanted to do and the fact is, I wasnt going for a time at all. The object of the day was pacing. 9/10, good race.

Some thoughts tho – the bike may not have been the thunderous 15 minute blast I think it’s capable of, but the thing is, the pacing and the ease of which the bike held it meant I was quite a deal fresher and opened up the run leg. There was no recovery 500 meters, fighting to get the run legs going. It was yep, lets run. And away I went. And that’s where the value of the new bike is…. it allowed a 2 minute faster run. Sure it was still fast and probaly I bet will have a fast in comparison bike leg, the air was slow today but the fact is plain, I could run and run well. I hadnt blown myelf up simply due pacing and the bike being a godawful load easier to maintain that pace.

Yep, 22 seconds and I would have that 39 minute race but….. you know what? I’m really pleased with how it all went. I’ll take this result nooooo problem at all and I know I can go faster. I did exactly what I wanted to do and surprised myself as well.

The thing is now I see I am opening up the run leg for myself to not be a struggle. :D

posted by admin at 9:13 pm  

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Mixed emotions day

Well…. a day of mixed emotions allright. Lets start with¬† the not so good

Franjo Ceh, 1930 – 2014. Originally from Croatia, migrated here in the 1950’s. Built a plumbing empire from nothing. He was a next door neigbour and in fact he gave me my first job and I help physically build his house – laying bricks, carpentry, landscaping, plumbing…. hard work for a youg teenager but I loved it. So in fact I do know how to have a real job :D
Also the skills learnt have certainly come in handy ove the years.

A good man and our family was close to them so it’s sad to see him passing to be with Jesus. I certainly remeber the parties his sons had… and young Frank’s Porsche was the first one I drove in anger. Real, absolute flat stick anger. So yeah built cars with them too. He had a C3 Corvette we dropped this monster 454 into – didnt handle for shit woooooo weee did to go in a straight line!

Old Franjo was a man who lived modesty and knew the value of hard work. His work also just happened to make him incredibly wealthy but he never showed it off.  He will be very much missed.

The somewhat better

Triathlon N00B is something of a keen cyclist and I do have a few. The present bike is a Roubaix that has done a lot of kms in just a year – great bike but not exactly a thing that can open up like a TT or a Tri bike can. I have hired a Specialized Venge Pro a couple of times in road bike form and it’s 2 minutes faster over 10 kms….. that’s a fair bit of course. So what with two 70.3’s later in the year, I got not quite the ultimate time trail aero weapon…..

But I did get a Specialized S-Works Venge. And hooooooly shit, what a piece of carbon fibre that is! I think there is a review floating round that sums up the Venge perfectly – a Cervelo is more of a scapel, a Venge is a sledgehammer, there is nothing subtle about it, it’s a brute force machine for big power and just going as humanly fast as possible. And in this startlingly bright orange… yep nothing subtle about this bike at all. It’s an angry bike and it goes like nothing else I’ve ridden. It isnt quite the instant spin up of the ROubaix but it really REALLY burns road when you work it up to speed. It just gets better the harder you hammer it.

Unlike the usual Venge builds tho, this one is set up as a TT bike as well, so the builders have called it the Shvenge – a unique blend of Shiv and Venge. Actually it’s not a unique idea, A Venge is a very good TT bike, but in my case I’ve gone a bit further so it is now a very different build to my specifications. It is also incredibly light for a TT bike as well, ready to ride (so no weight cheating) of 7.8 kgs, ie with all the bottle cages, pedals, aero bars, etc. Strip it down and swap to road bars plus a light seat, SPD to Speedplay and yes, it would get under the UCI weight limit of 6.8 kgs, ready to ride. Most TT and Triathlon bikes are a few kgs heavier.

The other vitals –

  • Carbon aero bars
  • Xentis Squad 4.2 carbon wheels + cermic bearings
  • Specialized carbon S-Works cranks
  • Sitero TT seat
  • 24mm Turbo tyres
  • 11 Speed Ultegra Di2 11-24 cluster
  • 52-30 Pro Compact
  • Ultegra brakes
  • Dura-Ace brake levers

Oh and to REALLY top the build off……

  • Dura-Ace 5 way electronic shift controller
  • Dura-Ace button shift on the brake lever and on the TT bars
  • Ultegra Di2 front de-railleur
  • Ultegra Di2 rear de-railleur

Yes, it’s got electronic paddleshift brakes…..! It’s truly freaky to tap a button and it shifts smoothly and fast. Hold the button down and it multishifts. And you can just hammer and it wont be bothered at all.

So after the fit and a few tweaks to suitme, I took it for it’s first run …… and well…. it really surprised me. When you spend the cost of a small car on a bike, you really want something good but just how good is the Shvenge? Well it takes a bit to wind up as it doesnt have the low gearing of the Roubaix but when it’s going…. it’s fast! And unlike most TT bikes, its fast uphill due to it’s bugger all weight. Of course downhill it’s fast but it’s party trick is when you go aero – you can feel the bike just become something else. It WANTS to go even faster. And it becomes easier too. I found myself ripping along at 40+kph and it felt like I wasnt really working. And being in aero just worked. But it didnt matter, out of aero it’s just as fast and willing to go. And given its a road bike turned into a TT monster, it handles really well. Quite a surprsingly smooth ride too. Even without going above 90%, it’s comfortably 3-4 kms an hour faster average over 50 kms.

And it looks so outrageous in it’s bright orange colour too. It’s a real attention getter!

I doubt it’s a bike for anyone else other than me – it is a custom build to suit what I wanted. And given it’s just been customed for me…. yes it is damn near as perfect as a bike can get.

Quite an interesting day to say the least.

posted by admin at 9:37 pm  

Powered by WordPress