Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Confessions of an Adrenaline junkie

Last night I rode my first Road Criterium.
C Grade - Eastern Veterans - Metec in Kilsyth.


Last week after doing a D Grade trail ride where I was not allowed to contest the finish.  I thought this is easy. A nice afternoon ride with the heart race barely reaching 130.

Oh! How things change. C Grade after a gently first lap exploded. Hell have no Fury. Ride like all stink for 53 minutes, non stop.
I spent most of the 27 laps in the back 1/2 with the occasional excursion towards the front. I'm no stranger to riding in a bunch but at 40-45 kmh riding in to the sun where you can't see anything other than the outline of the rider in front is a bit of a scare.
For the last 2 laps I made it up to the front and rounded the last corner in the first 5.
The Sprint.  That is going to need some work.  8th place?

The after effects.
So the heart rate does go above 150.  Average 136 and I got a bit in the really dark red.
A 36.2 kmh average speed is also a first.

The body today has a new kind of sore.  Not like that of a 24 hour MTB.
It's the kind that craves more. An adrenaline rush like no other.

To be continued.  Next week.

By comparison to higher grades, I guess this was still a walk in the park.....

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Day 13 -14 - Are the drugs really worth it?

Well it's been another very uneventful 20 hr trip from San Francisco back to Melbourne.
But now the fun starts.  As I  exit the plane everybody is lined up out on the breeze way for the sniffer dogs.
What. Why would that nice dog single me out. I don't do drugs.

<2 hours later>
I've been queuing all over the place Passport, Duty free, More Passport stuff, Luggage, Oversize Luggage. I'm nearly out. The last stop in luggage inspection and as I get to the front the friendly dog man is there to greet me. "Can you come this way please Sir." Because the sniffer dog like me so much he wanted to get to know me a little better as well. Had they been watching travel for the airport for the last 2 hours. I really like to know.
Oh boy! here come the question.
Where have a been? What was I doing? Is there any reason why the dog liked you so much?
What medications do you have?.  Have you taken drug recently?

Stating got get a bit worried now. Squeezing a bit harder.
Next, a full luggage inspection.
Next, I full body pat down.

"OK Sir, You can exit that way".
Lucky.... They may not have liked it when they found the Alien Anal Probe.

No pictures supplied.
Who Dropped the Haych Bomb

Monday, October 5, 2015

Day 11 - Steak and Vegies

Back in San Francisco.
I have a new home now staying with Micheal and Gessica. Equally as tired as me as they have also traveled back from Weaverville where Micheal came 6th in the 45-49 Category.
1/2 way through there house renovation Micheal has taken time off to train and race but the place is great with views over the valley and the city beyond.

When asked what I would like for dinner my immediate answer was "Steak and veggies.  It's been so long I think I'm going to get scurvy".

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Race day #WEMBO 3rd/4th October 2015

WEMBO - Solo 24 hour MTB World Championships.

Weaverville, California. USA
3-4 October 2015.

Wow! Another big day.
I had the usual bad sleep with the night before nerves. Eventually I slept and eyes open at 7:50. Those drugs from the doctor were required. 
The massage I had yesterday was good to.

Ready to go.

There are a few things to do. Sort the clothes, load the bikes (not into the car this time. Lets just stick them in the back of Don's Ute), eat some breakfast, check the bikes are loaded, check the clothes are packed. What about the Garmin's, are they in?  

Wow no sore tooth this time. Yeah! Dentist not required.
Pretzels I've been told by the current World Champion. Eat pretzels. No fat, loaded to the gills with salt.
Shoes, helmet,  eat more pretzels.

It's now 9:30 on on way down to race headquarters in sunny Weaverville. Not to hot, it's going to be 66 today or 24 on the other side of the Pacific.

Paul is ready for his complementary support riders lap have fun buddy.

I stole this Pic.
 It's not my stuff but it is stuff.
Time to start laying the stuff out.

  • Hard Food. Bars, bananas, baked beans, S&V chips (more salt), oh! and the pretzels.
  • Soft food. Sports jells, jelly, chocolate and rice cream.
  • The drugs. All sanctioned UCI approved?
  • Lip balm and he Aussie bum juice.
  • Clothes. Nicks, jerseys, gloves, socks, shoes.
  • Hardware. Goggles, Garmin's, lights, helmet, the spare tube, speedy and hanger, the multi tool. Have I forgotten anything? Nah I thing I got it all.

Haych and Don Bradbury at the start line.  1 minute to go.

Lap 1. Goose Bumps.

As I ride across the start line I get instant goose bumps. Here we go. Weaver Bally Road.

Somewhere in the first 5 laps.
Lap 3. The freak show.

I've done the climb for a third time and I'm on to the flat.  What being lapped by the leaders already.  These guys are freaks.

Lap 4. Oh! the leg cramps.

It's usually at about this stage. 5 hrs in that the legs start cramping up. This year nothing, 24 hrs not a single cramp.
Why? Don't really don't know.

  • My preparation has been some what better.
  • I'm 6 kg lighter.
  • And then there was Jason's excellent advice about the pretzels.

Lap 5. Candy to a baby.

Never offer a 2 for 1 deal to a cyclist. It's like offering smarties to a fat kid.

Black Candy has done an outstanding job but it's time to retire for the night. Dave is ready. Lights on and off we go.  Weaver Bally Road again.

Lap 6. Smashing the DH.
The last down hill into transition.

Full on dark now I only need one light for the climb so let's turn off the head lamp to conserve batteries.
This decent is great....... Even at night.  I'm used to the track now. I know when to go, know where the rocks are, know when to brake. NOW. The down hill times are always slower. But amazing not more than 5%.
Garmin # 1 fails.  Oh! fuck no Garmin.  "If it's not on STRAVA it didn't happen". 1/2 a lap lost.

The down hill at #WEMBO 2015 was just that. 8 km of crazy, sick, fast down hill

This is what it looked like.

Lap 7. Party at the Crossroads.

There's a spot 1/2 down at the crossroads. Fantastic support all night.  Cow bells lots of noise. As I smash down over the rocks on the approach I think what will I see this time? The girl in the Bee costume. The 2 dudes doing the full monty.

Lap 8. Doing the Bradbury.

Oh! Shit here we go again. Weaver Bally Road. 
Still not walking. As I come up to the Green Gate there is another familiar face. Don my host dad is having a chat with his mates.  "Get back on your bike old boy" I yell as I roll past. He is now on his 4th lap. We have a nice chat across the top while he fills me in with race news.
Who's on first, What's on second. He has now meet and had a chat to Paul, Kate, Peter & Jason or their crew and knows who everyone is and how they are going  I'm in 5th place.

It's now as we start the decent on the official Don Bradbury trail that I have my first and only fall. Real tight turn in the dust at 0 kmh. I get stuck in the clips and fall over just meters or is that yards in front of the Bradbury. How embarrassing. And Don Bradbury does a Steven Bradbury.

Lap 9. The Night Continues.

Riding at night was in some places on the trail better because I couldn't see how sharp the sides of the track dropped away.

Lap 10. Or is it lap 11. 

I have officially lost count. But still not walking. 
Some are passing me. Are they 1, 2, 3,.....7 laps ahead.
I pass the occasional rider.  Not because I'm riding faster than they are but it's only marginally faster to ride rather than walk.

Lap 12. Into the a new day.

I see a glow on the horizon the sun is coming.

Somewhere in the great outdoors.

Lap 14. One more / two more? That be the question.
The after shot

I head out on my next lap. I know 5th place is 35-40 minutes behind me.  If I come in from this lap before 11.30am I am going to have to do another.  Weaver Bally Road...... Noooooooo!

All worked out fine, I finished at 23:54 just 6 minutes before midday. That's it, not going to do another now.
Finished. collect my Participation Medal and head for camp.

The Results. 

Remember my goal was to be ranked in the top 100 in the world.

Male 45-59 Age Category 4th Place.

Overall Placing ........46th.

Afterwards and thinking back.

This has been by far the easiest of my 24 hr events. No cramping and better preparation has helped here.  
The course on the other hand has been the toughest.  Initially the climbs where taking just over 30 minutes. By the end I think this was extended to 50 minutes plus. That's hard work.
The downhill was always the same.

The under carriage come out unscathed. The legs are sore. The neck shoulders and lower back OK. I walked away this time on my own two feet....... 

Some other facts.

Total distance - 290.5 km
Average Speed - 12.9 kmh
Elevation Gain - 6342 meters
Average Heart Rate - 132 BPM
Kilometers Walked - None, Zero, 0 
Jells Consumed -13
Energy Bars Consumed - 4
And a whole lot more junk food.
Calories Burned - 9702

Laps on Black Candy - 5
Laps on Dave - 9 

The Extended Bradbury Family

Friday, October 2, 2015

Day 7 - A quiet day.

Short ride up the bitumen towards Dave's house. Wash the bikes and get a few thing ready.
Tomorrow is going to be a big day...........

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Day 6 - Dinner at Dave's

Course Recon Part 2

On other lap. 3 minutes slower than yesterday.
Oh Man! 24 hours later and it's harder. how am I going to go when I string two laps together?

Dinner at Dave's place tonight. Lots of riders who are in home stay. They have this lovely house on the hill overlooking the valley and Weaverville.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Day 5 - To the gates of hell.

Course Recon.

I'm here been planning this for 2 years. The goal this time is the same as last. To finish in the top 100.

Of for my first look at the course. Based on what I've been been told. I'm shitting myself. "The ride from hell". "The ride to the Green Gate".
I set off on the climb with Peter from Newcastle and Pedro from Portugal. Both world champions in their age group on some event. The flat part at the start is 4.5%.......

Bally Road Climb.
4 km, 370m, 9% average grade.

Half way up now. Still with the guys but now it kicks even more.
There they go disappearing around the next corner. Oh boy this is tough.
Turn another corner and it still goes up. Wait they they are there's the Green Gate.
OK not the ride from hell. It's just the ride to the front gate.

The Bradburys

I'm now with my fantastic family. Don and Norine.
My room overlooks the creek and I don't need my water music to sleep now.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Day 4 - San Francisco Bridge

Lombard Street.

Up early today, packed everything into the car and headed back to the city for a bicycle tour.
First stop Lombard Street.

I got a few strange looks while walking up the steps to the top carrying the bike. 

I then got to roll down. I wouldn't call it riding. it's steeper and more technical the most down hill trails.......
No there were to many cars.

Off on the tour. Next up the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now down to Blazing Saddles. The biggest bike hire company in SF. They were very surprised when I showed up on my own bike. Ha! never see a Carbon Mountain bike before.
With our tour guide Franco we st off on a leisurely towards the bridge and over.

Weaverville here I come. 

Monday, September 28, 2015

Day 3 - Escape from Alcatraz

This morning I rode up this big hill call Montara Mountain in the fog to see views of SF. Bitch of a climb really.
When I got to the top it was nice and sunny but all I could see was the clouds with two steal towers poking through.  They are on a hill in the city somewhere. If you blow up the pic enough you can see them in there.

Great decent. I even got a top 10 on Strava.

For the afternoon I went into the city to do the Alcatraz thing.  
I spent a couple of hours walking the city.  Lots of people.  Many homeless.
I have not seen the bay, the bridge or anything other that concrete, and gee it's hilly.
I made it to Pier 31 for the tour and something to look at at last.
It's always very foggy and everything is hazy.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Day 2 - Half Moon Bay

Went off for a little ride with Steve today. Coffee at his local the up into the hills. Wherever you look it's hills.

Over 800 meters of climbing on road and fire trail.  A great view out over the Pacific Ocean then a wicked single trail back down to the bottom.

Today I have seen, Humpback Whales, Dolphins,  Deer a Raccoon (dead), a picture of a Mountain Lion and I heard a rattlesnake.  NO Bears.

Oh! and I heard all about Poison Oak.