There has been a bit of a resurgence in my riding of late. I got motivated and started training for the Cycle Epic in September almost by accident and now I am 4 weeks into a training plan with Today's Plan and feeling pretty bloody good. I have tried many times to analyse the reasons I stop riding from time to time but there is really no explanation other than I forget how good it is! I love it in all it's forms whether it is the roll around the river on the road bike, a quick bash through some sweet single track or a multi day adventure into the bush. I really dig pedaling my bike.
It isn't like I haven't had anything to write about either. In the last couple of months there have been some very exciting additions to the stable of bikes currently residing with me. My most recent is a cyclocross bike. A TCX SLR1 to be exact. Getting that thing out on some trails and bridleways is an absolute hoot! Around my home is the perfect area for such a bike. The Pony Trails, Mount Nebo, The Goat Track. All of these are in close proximity and I can head out on the quiet roads and then jump on the dirt from some fun and hard climbs. The 105 groupset is bomb proof and the hydraulic brakes have an amazing feel and of course will pull you up way quicker than you probably ever need. The power and modulation is boss though. I hope to get out and race a few CX events soon but we will see.
The other and perhaps most exciting steed is my Anthem Advanced 0 Team. OMG.
This thing is fast and comfortable. I am running mine stock apart from the usual grips, saddle and tyres. ESI Chunkies, a Fizik Gobi because I love it and some Maxxis Ikons tubeless and the whole thing comes in a touch over 9.5kg. I have become such a fan of the hydraulic actuator on the SID forks I now want the Black Box version of the rear shock so I can have the lockout there too! I took a little while to get the suspension set up right as I have been used to the Fox variants for the last couple of years but now it is really sweet. The Rockshox Monarch RL has excellent small bump sensitivity but does have the slightest hint of "Bob" when pedaling hard on the flat. Really though, do you notice it in the real world? Nope. Could it be my crappy pedaling style? Never.....If you are climbing there is no bob and the traction is as to be expected with the Maestro system. The trail chatter is dealt with really well too. The fatigue levels in my lower back can attest to that!
I have raced a bit too. There was a top trip down to Nambucca Heads for the Jacks Ridge XXX. It is a 100km race on some really awesome single track in a beautiful part of the world. Big thanks there to Pete for the company on the drive and to Warren and Leslie and the Clews's for the conversation and banter through the weekend. While the race had to be pulled up short due to a pretty serious crash I still had a blast and hope to go back next year. The meals at the pub were certainly highlights as was the cooks tour back along the North Coast. Top weekend!
http://www.3plus3.com.au/event-organisers-wrap-up/. See you at next years?
I should definitely mention this whole training plan thing. Today's Plan is an online coaching system that is tailored to your needs. It has the facility to fit around your week and gives amazing feedback with graphs and instruction on workouts and goals. http://www.todaysplan.com.au/
It works for me on a couple of levels. I have a structure. I love structure. It is realistic in the time parameters as you basically set them yourself. And lastly it gets results.
When I say results I am not talking muppet to machine kind of results. I feel stronger and on a climb I have struggled with recently I felt more relaxed and in control of my body. The plan runs through until September and I can see that if I stick with it there will be some serious improvement in my fitness and riding. Don't expect to see me on any podiums but you might be able to see me next to you on some training rides chatting away happily when before I would have been out the back blowing like a train! Should be fun right?
As always my mates from #Cyc'd for Bikes, #QBC and #GiantbikesAUS rock! I still pinch myself most mornings that I get to hang out and ride such awesome gear. Ta!