VLOG Episode 4. 109 Days to go. Albi 2017 #WGFC

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Just 109 days to go till France. The training is stepping up a bit but it the head down bum up kind of work. I took the TT bike out for my first run of the ATTA Calga 25km TT course. Some cool stuff turned up this week. My passport and bicistickers nameplates for my bikes.

b2b Blaney to Bathurst 2016

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I stood in the middle of a town I had never been to before, wearing not much and freezing. I’m about to do the Blaney to Bathurst fro the first time, this will be my longest timed event to date.
Back up to 4:30 this morning. It was even colder, 7c according to my phone and I had to get out to the buses at Mt Panorama for the transfer to the start in B We were staying on the eastern side of Bathurst and I had a short ride out to the start from here but I was torn. I had to carry what i wanted to race with and I did’nt want to lug a whole lot of cold weather gear. Opted for the leg and arm warmers but went the summer gloves. Departing it was cold, even colder with the morning air and my fingers were frozen in a matter of minutes. The trip out did take long but the tempreture never got any warmer. This got worse when I stopped to wait for the bus. It ended up being 45-50 minutes before they got my bike loaded and I was shiverring. This is about the point the sunlight finally decided to peek its head up and offer no warth what so ever.
The bus trip took about 30-40 minues, I don’t really remember, I chatted with the guy next to me but I was gratful just o be out of the cold. It at these points you reflect and go how the hell did I end up on a bus in the middle of nowhere with a large amount of middle aged men in lycra. It was 06:30 and my phone pinged to say I had a message. I opened it up to find some final words of encouragement from my coach and its these little things that just make me appreciate him more and am grateful for guidance. My goal here was pretty simple and that was finish to as close to 3 hours as possible. Tough with the 3 climbs be doable in my head.

Which brings me back to the start line, I’m still cold but have braved removing the leg warmers. Somewhere in my reasoning system I decided to go in the 45kph+ group, figuring once i got dropped the next group through would pick me up and so on. Wasn’t till the start when Crafty (who was MC’ing) made a point of saying how all the people how didn’t make the gold wave were all at the front of my group. I hung on for about 20 minutes but the pace was relentless. Dropped off the group with a couple of others and lost them within a few k’s. Felt pretty crappy here, thought I would have held on a bit longer. Took the second group another 40 minutes to catch me. I got in with them but ended up towards the back when we made the left hand turn into the first hill. Kept a good pace but just lost contact the the main bunch, tried to get back on with another rider but didn’t quite get contact. Ended up in a small group for quite while till my bottle cage cracked and I had to stop to fix it as the bottle was rubbing on the big ring. I lost my group and set back off. This was about the 52k mark. Pushed along on my own agian till I got in another group and stayed with them till the beginning of the main climb. This is where the front of the next wave caught us and everybody just splintered. Took the first k to get the gel to kick in but the hill was ok. I just paced myself and just stuck to my training all the way up trying to keep my cadence high. Came in at 19:54 which is a bit short of where I wanted to be on the climb but I didn’t have anyone over take me on the way and I passed several without going into the red. 
From the descent to the end was basically on my own. This felt the best of the day and I seemed to have more consistent power then during my earlier solo efforts. Pushed on to the end just trying to keep the cadence as high as i could and keep low in the wind. Got to the end and pushed hard to look good across the line.  Unclipped and just felt overwhelmed by it all, briefly till a kid handed me a banana, that solved it all. 3:21:58


Till next year….


15/16 Crit Season Review

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It was the last race of the crit season. Around the back of the course the headwind just smashed whoever was on the front. It seemed like there was just no shelter and by this stage the riders in our race had just relented themselves to a single pace-line to keep what energy they could.
 Connor having a practice lap
The 2015/16 Crit season drew to a close on Friday and whilst initially the wind seemed to be nothing but a distraction in turned out to be a defining force in the race. I got a call on my arrival from Dan the Bike man, it was hammering down with rain at Ourimbah. It was however bone dry here although storms were forecast. We had already lost so many race days to rain and flooding this year, not the last one!


Last crit of the CCCC summer season. Equaled my PR for the final sprint so at least I was there in the end. #avanti #racing #mcc #outsideisfree #whatyoumissedthisevening #CorsaSL #cycling #critracing #crits #cycling ?? Gary White #cyclingphotos #paceline #pushygalore
Last crit of the CCCC summer season. Equaled my PR for the final sprint so at least I was there in the end. #avanti #racing #mcc #outsideisfree #whatyoumissedthisevening #CorsaSL #cycling #critracing #crits #cycling ?? Gary White #cyclingphotos #paceline #pushygalore
For me this year had been one of positive goals and achievements. I started out wanting to go up a grade and finally take a win. Last year had been so close with a number of podiums in D Grade but none on the top step. The other goal was to get Connor from training at the velodrome to finally getting out there and doing a race.
After a delayed start to the beginning of the crit season I lined up with the other riders I had not seen for the last month or so before making our way up to the sign on table. I had started with Mick just a month or so ago and had my shiny new Avanti Corsa SL all dialed in and ready.
The goals here were pretty simple, move up a grade. I went to the table to sign on to D grade only to find I was now in C grade. Well ticked that one-off before I had even turned a crank. Turned out most of last seasons D grade was now in C. The racing for the first part of the season was strong. I regularly made breakaways but they never last more than a few laps. I felt good and only seemed to get stronger each race but could just not get it done.
In the last race before the Christmas break I found myself sitting at the back of the bunch. Don’t really know why but we were 3/4 of the way through and I was holding a conversation with the rider next to me. I looked down and my HR was really low and it occurred to me I had not put in any efforts this race, just seemed to be floating around. As we came into the hill for the second last lap the bunch slowed and started to play with each other. They opened up a massive hole on the left side of the road just as I came into the bottom of the hill. I grabbed the bars and just thought, “NOW”. I smashed it up the hill hoping to take them by surprise. So far this year I had been able to hold them off for at least one lap before my power reduced.
I turned the top corner and down past the finish line collecting the last lap bell in the process. My body went low and I put my head back on my trainer at home, focusing on each stroke and keeping it smooth. I rounded the next corner and pushed before finally making the turn for the last time up the hill. I afforded myself a look to the left as was amazed how much space I had put into the group. The top of the hill is always tough but I was able to dig in and get over, losing a light amount of ground but enough to keep a gap. Into the final corner and head down, not my fastest sprint but i brought it home. Once over the line a massive hoot ūüôā Got it by about 8 seconds.
Finally got it done :) Love seeing the work pay off and a massive thank you to @mickcurrancoaching I think I'm more excited to see where we are going then we have been :) Also a quick shout out to the Avanti Plus Pushy Galore #pushygalore crew for keeping everything working and this awesome machine. Thanks for your support 
Finally got it done ūüôā Love seeing the work pay off and a massive thank you to @mickcurrancoaching I think I’m more excited to see where we are going then we have been ūüôā Also a quick shout out to the Avanti Plus Pushy Galore #pushygalore crew for keeping everything working and this awesome machine. Thanks for your support
The damage was done and I was to be put up to B2 grade. On return from the Christmas break they regraded everybody and B2 got called C. So I went from C to C, but all the C’s went to D. This grade was harder and whilst i felt strong and could keep up but another visit to the podium eluded me. This was mostly due to me making big efforts of the front or trying to get into the breakaway. The sprint in this grade was stronger than what I had but I was unable to break away.
As we continued to circulate on this last week, any hope of trying to make a break had diminished. The preem bell went and they put down the power, my plan was to just hang in there and let them wear themselves out. I found a wheel and did my best to keep out of the wind. This seemed to work till the second last lap when everybody had the same idea. I finally got myself back into the group and found a wheel that I wanted. The last lap in this grade is always strong and the pace got higher and higher. We pushed up the last hill and I had the wheel I wanted but as we pushed hard another rider become quite aggressive with his request to have my carefully selected wheel. During this process I just lost contact and came into the final corner towards the back but I had enough to get another wheel and started my sprint. I clawed my way back up to 4th or 5th but just ran out of road.
Happy with the season, 1 first place and Connor with 2 3rd places. Just stoked at the progress he had made for the year. Now, bring on the road season!

PCRA BRA NSW Commuterlite Championship Round 1 2014 Race report

Round 1 of the Post Classic Racing Association /  Bucket Racing Association championship was a very bittersweet affair.

For the last 3 months I have pushed as hard as I could to increase my fitness. Cycling most days and monitoring my input had me in what I felt was a better state than the final round from last year.

Happy overall with the 2013 season I wanted to finish in the top 10 for the champioship from last years 12th. Due to an increase in numbers the class was split into Pro’s and AM’s. This being based on previous race results and lap times. I was graded to the AM class.

Goulbourn greeted us with a very cool and crisp morning. Walking through the town to get coffee saw just about every shop that was open being patronized by riders and support crew. Every why you liked on the streets, the traffic was some form of motorcycle transport.

The last time I went to Wakefield Park was late in the 2013 season. My best lap for that outing was a 1:33.6. However this was achieved with what was later found to be a dragging front brake. My main goal for the day was to get my PB down under the 1:30 mark. I also decided to try out Harrys GPS Laptimer on and old iphone to give me real time lap information.

This proved to be quite useful and very accurate. I was able to get a 1:31.71 which placed me 27th on the grid and 9 com and 5 Com AM. I was happy to beat the PB but felt I had more.

Race 1
In race 1 I had a great start making up some positions by turn 2. Going up the hill on lap one was full of traffic. The best plan seemed to be avoid where possible till the race thinned out somewhat. At the end of lap 2 I cam in hard to turn 10 when the bike suddenly stopped mid turn. I put my hand up and was quickly overtaken by the other competitors. Thankful that It was clean. My now stalled bike rolled into the back of pit-lane.

As I looked up the race had been red-flagged, due to an accident at turn 2. I pushed the bike into the garage and my awesome pit crew and I set to work to figure out the problem. After locating a very suspect lead that was no longer connected to my battery we fired it back to life. At this point the announced that the race would be a full race restart.

Chasing down #888 Jack in race 1
Chasing down #888 Jack in race 1

A few minutes later we headed back out to the starting grid. This turned out to advantageous for me. By the end of turn 2 I found myself chasing down #888 Jack Robinson. Jack and spent the next 4 laps exchanging places on the circuit. Going to lap 4 I was able to hold him at at turn 2 where he had been getting a much better line. Once I was past I spotted #171 Arthur Cook in my sights. Cookie is a mate of mine but I have never been able to beat him. I pushed the next lap as hard as I could, setting my fastest lap pf the day a 1:27.7. Second only to Ron Pulido for the class for the outing. Coming in to turn 10, the penultimate corner of the final lap I was able to get right on Cookies heels. I missed my gear change, hit the limiter and felt it start to slip away. I was close enough to get the draft on him and made myself as small as I could. Catching him in the slipstream I pulled out at the last second pushing as hard as I could to get it over the line. We were wheel to wheel as we crossed the line. Unknown if I had in fact beaten him I was happy to have had chase.

Pulling into the Pits I was notified that I had beaten him by 0.020 seconds! This gave me 3rd outright in Commuterlites and 2nd in the class.

Race 2

Coming of the back of the previous rate I had mixed feelings of increased confidence mixed with a feeling of having to meet my own expectations I had just laid down. However the heat had risen significantly with the track temp now about 55c.

Rolling to my grid spot for race to I clicked down into 1st gear. Checked my clutch friction point and prepared for the start. The lights went out, clutch came off and everybody went around me. Right, turns out I had selected 2nd not 1st. I lost 8 positions off the start and was now in pursuit of my rivals. I found focus and had passed 6 bikes by lap 3. Coming up the hill I got around another riding before taking a sweeping arc at the top of the hill. I had just caught sight of #888 and #171 and felt that I was catching my places.

Overtake on turn 10

Unbeknown to me I was now coming 1st in the AM class with 2nd and 3rd very close on my heels. Coming down to the hairpin I setup to go a little wide and deep to take a sweeping exit across the hairpin into the second left corner. As I came and committed to the corner I heard another bike very close. I looked up to find my next apex to see a black bike on the edge of my vision. Next thing I know I felt a massive shunt to me left rear and I was being thrown to the right. The asphalt came up very quickly as I hit the ground and slid across the turn. I remember rolling once however the video shows me rolling several times.

I was pretty stunned and whilst I had feeling everywhere I felt very dizzy and found it very difficult to get back up. I saw my bike laying in the track in pieces. When I did mange to get up I signaled to the Marshall and was able to go and pick the bike up and get it into neutral and off the track. At this point the medics arrived and felt it best to have a check over.

Once cleared of anything major I left the medics clinic and went to the tower to see the final standings. It turned out that the decision to red flag had in fact declared our race for the day. The officials had deemed to to hot to continue and the last few races were run, ending the day early.

I was in disbelief. I had not known that I had made up the necessary places to take first place in the class. Additionally the 2 riders behind were in 2nd and 3rd. This gave me the race win and enough points to take out the round 1 win for Commuterlite AM!

A big thank to Jye Lawrence for all the Pit lane help, bike setup and fitness coach, Drew Lawrence for driving home and general work avoidance, Ken Lawrence to the mechanical help, Will Russell for getting me of my butt onto some training and finally Andrew Wilson from PyhsioXtra at Erina from my pre-race physiotherapy.

Round 2 6/4/14. Sydney Motor-sport Park South Circuit. Entry is free for this event. Qualifying starts at 9

King Edward Park Hill Climb 2010

DSC_1328, originally uploaded by oliverhiggins.

Day one of King Edward Park Hill Climb

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Considered one of the most challenging Hillclimb courses in Australia, King Edward Park has been a picturesque hill climbing venue since 1951. Newcastle MG Car Clubs premier annual event has been run on the historic King Edward Park course every October since 1963. The course record for the 1.094 kilometre hillclimb is 38.05 seconds, set by Eric Barnes on October 11, 1999.

The event has become so popular that it is now conducted over two days – with the New South Wales Hillclimb Championship held on Saturday 16 October, whilst Sunday 17 October features the Tri-Challenge series between Newcastle, Tamworth and Kempsey Sporting Car Clubs. The outstanding success of this event, held as part of the Mattara Festival, is achieved through the efforts of many dedicated people.

A feature of the weekend is the large historic car display in the adjacent parkland, usually attracting special interest classic and sports cars from other car and motorcycle clubs in the district.

The historic King Edward Park Hillclimb course is justly famous and Newcastle MG Car Club are fortunate to have such a beautiful and challenging circuit in our home town.