Posted by: Ian on 4 December 2013
Posted by: Ian on 17 November 2013
Yesterday, Rapha’s Super Cross series came to Sydney for the first time after taking in Japan, America and the UK. We’ve had an amazing run of sunny and dry weather, but in true CX fashion, the weather gods prevailed and subjected us to torrential rain and thunderstorms overnight.
After getting the train over to St Peter’s Station, it was a short walk past the former brick kilns to the Park Kiosk where things were getting underway. A few delays to the start of proceedings gave me a few minutes to walk around the paddock and snap some photos.
The owner of this Yeti said it was new, but its a lovely throwback to the drop-bar Yeti-MTBs of the mid 90s, complete with purple anodized Chris King hubs and Salsa skewers. The Di2 groupset was definitely 2013 though.
The course lacked some of the classic CX obstacles such as loose sand, ankle deep mud or stairs, but it made up for with some nasty climbs, off camber corners and classic barriers.
The elite races ran for 40 minutes plus a lap, so I spent my time watching rather than taking too many photos. After a couple of laps the field was well strung out, so it was hard work keeping track of who was who and where the leaders were as they made their way through the back markers.
After the race was over, the sun and temperature had taken its toll on the competitors, with the first two or three over the line sitting on the ground for a few minutes to get their breath back. Other riders just looked rather traumatised after they finished.
As well as my SLR, I took the GoPro as well (partly as I was worried I’d be shooting in the rain). I tried it running at 120fps in XVGA and also the 10-shot burst mode. The burst mode worked particularly well, allowing me to grab the following picture.
Overall, it was a great way to spend a couple of hours, and everyone seemed be having fun (especially in the Open category when the foam cannon got going properly.
Impeccable coordination, and a perfect demonstration of where branding should be for an undershirt…
Posted by: Ian on 7 November 2013
Today, the excellent Veloviewer implemented Activity Wheels for your months workouts. Taking inspiration from the 2013 Giro route visualisation, Ben has created an amazing utility created purely depending on the Strava API system (and hence, an excellent demonstration of why messing with, or not having an API is a really Bad Idea).
Being a complete sucker for an infographic, I loaded up my data from October to see what would happen. The end result is fantastic and works really well on the iPad too, I love the way you can select an activity and the whole wheel rotates till it is in the 12 o’clock position, with the corresponding map loaded into the centre.
I’d like to be able to change some of the colours, so maybe i’ll poke around in the page code a bit later and see if there is anything there.
Posted by: Ian on 20 October 2013
As part of my birthday present, I was given the follow up to the food-for-cyclists ‘Feed Zone Cookbook’ titled ‘Feed Zone Portables’. Whereas the former covered all aspects of nutrition from everyday through pre-ride, food on the bike and post ride meals, Portables focuses on pocket-sized real food which can fit in a jersey pocket and be easily consumed on the move.
Included with the book was supposed to be a sample pack of one of their hydration mixes, but when she opened the box, The Australian found the invoice with the hand written note ‘we love Australia and we’re gonna hook you up’ along with about a half-dozen samplers and a full 1lb bag of exercise mix.
I should point out that the platypus is hand drawn on the box too. Before Competitive Cyclist were bought by Backcountry, they used to send out some of their orders with drawings too:
I’m looking forward to trying them out on some shorter rides soon, I don’t want to wade into something epic only to discover they don’t agree with me after 60km!
Posted by: Ian on 16 October 2013
Lorikeets were trimming the plants at the end of the evenings run.
Posted by: Ian on 9 October 2013
There is nothing like enjoying a good bike ride on your birthday. Last year I rode some Gorges, but wanted to do something closer to home this time around so I had more time for other things, so settled on the Sydney standard of the Tour De East.
The first few miles takes you almost due south through residential and then industrial areas as you near Sydney Airport and the heavy freight terminal of Port Botany. After mixing with the heavy trucks on the port access roads, the route first does an out-and-back along Botany Sea Wall which protects both the freight port and the airport from waves coming into Botany Bay from the Tasman Sea.
After Botany, you head east around Yarra Bay to La Perouse and the former military fort of Bare Island. Completed in 1885, the fort was decommissioned just 17 years later in 1902. The area around the island is popular with divers and snorkelers but I didn’t see any (I did however see one of the local fire tenders on their smoking break!).
From La Perouse, the ride heads north on Anzac Parade and takes in a couple of hills above Maroubra before dropping down to the beach and back up again. Mons Avenue marks the transition from the relatively flat first half of the ride to short and sharp climbs of the second. Maroubra Beach is registered as a national surfing reserve and is home to several large competitions.
Travelling further north through Coogee, I joined the route of the 2000 Olympic Road Race for a few kilometers for the descent into Bronte and the climb back out. It was here that Jan Ullrich made the decisive move that won him his gold medal, and given the condition of the road, it was probably on the same asphalt!
After Bronte, Tamarama beach was next. The Surf Life Saving Club has recently been rebuilt and it looked like a new cafe area was under construction too. The storm clouds were still off shore and thankfully saving me from a soaking. A few surfers were trying their luck, but the wind was not in a favourable direction for good waves.
The final beach on the tour was of course Bondi, the world famous crescent of sand. The wind made it a little on the cold side, so there weren’t a huge number of people on the beach. My ride took me along Campbell Parade and up Military Road (actually tracing much of the route of the City2Surf, but in reverse).
The rest of my ride took me past Watsons Bay, through Vaucluse, Rose Bay, Double Bay and Edgecliff. I had hoped to see some of the ships in town for the International Fleet Review, but it seemed that everything is moored up further into the harbour and out of sight from the view points of the ride.
Posted by: Ian on 21 September 2013
Posted by: Ian on 21 September 2013
Posted by: Ian on 9 September 2013
Picked up a package from the Post Office today, it came complete with an awesome hand-drawn piece of art on the box.
Posted by: Ian on 1 September 2013
After ysterdays Gorges ride (which finished in Brooklyn with cider and oysters), I headed south today. Felt good so managed a nice average speed over the 80km.
Posted by: Ian on 22 August 2013
Experimenting with bread-making now we have a real oven. So far loaves are coming out ok, but could do with a bit more lift.