2017 In Review – Cycling

2017 was the year of little motivation, a lack of fitness and a shift towards not wanting to get on a bike… There was no game to have my head in.

My goal for 2017 was to ride my bike at least four times a week and complete a Gran Fondo once a month… neither thing eventuated.

As with last year, here is 2017 by the numbers.

BIKES 00533.jpg

2017 – BY THE NUMBERS

.:2:.
Number of events I raced in during 2017

.:53.4..
The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2017

.:103:.
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2017

144:.
The number of days I rode in 2017

.:212:.
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2017

.:340:.
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2017 – This includes multi-rides in one day such as my daily commute which is 3 individual rides

.:5,395:.
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2017

VeloViewer2017.png

Wishing everyone a safe 2018!
.:Chad:.

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2016 In Review – Cycling

2016 was the gap year I didn’t want, but needed to, in order to see the bigger picture.

My goal for 2016 was to find my mojo in a new city… I found it, it just took 11 months.

As with last year, here is 2016 by the numbers.

2016 – BY THE NUMBERS

.:1:.
Number of events I raced in during 2016.

c7d_6468
Wildside 2016 Photo: Matthew Connors Photography https://www.facebook.com/matthewconnorsphotography/

.:50.5..
The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2016

.:75.3:.
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2016

148:.
The number of days I rode in 2016

.:180:.
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2016

.:340:.
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2016 – This includes multi-rides in one day such as my daily commute which is 4 individual rides

.:4’439:.
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2016

img_2442

Wishing everyone a safe 2017!
.:Chad:.

bikes-0515

2015 In Review – Cycling

2015 was the year that I learnt no matter how much time, effort and care you put into training, racing and social cycling; injuries, illness and life will always derail the best laid plans.

My goal for 2015 was to enjoy cycling.  I lost a little bit of my love for the bike towards the end of 2014.  My failure to finish the Scott 24 Hour Solo in October was a huge hit to my confidence and the toll it took on my body would follow me late into 2015.

As with last year, here is 2015 by the numbers.

2015 – BY THE NUMBERS

.:1:.
One major crash during the year
During a relaxed ride on the XTC during wet weather I lost traction and hit the ground hard.  A hairline fracture in my collarbone followed and a few weeks off the bike was required.

.:2:.
Number of notable injuries in 2015
Injuries: Collarbone, torn glute

Number of new bikes in 2015

.:Anna:.
.:Anna:.
BIKES 373
.:Emily:.

.:4:.
Number of events I raced in during 2015

KC15 002
.:Andy & I at The Kowalski Classic :.
.:Suns out/guns out:. Photo: David B https://www.flickr.com/photos/45916358@N05/
.:Suns out/guns out:.
Photo: David B https://www.flickr.com/photos/45916358@N05/
cropped-image3.jpg
.:Capital Punishment 2015:.
.:Argo and I repping Soldier On:.
.:Argo and I repping Soldier On:.

.:54..
The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2015

.:151:.
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2015

.:193:.
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2015

.:213:.
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2015

.:4’861:.
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2015

Wishing everyone a safe 2016!
.:Chad:.

image

2014 In Review – Cycling

2014 was the year that I learnt that no matter how much time and effort you put into training and racing; life always has other plans.

The year started off with a single goal in mind.  I was going to race in the Easter National Mountain Bike 24 Hour Solo Championships.  I trained hard for this event and all looked good until the event was cancelled.  I kept up my training, albeit, with less intensity; and continued to ride more each week than in 2013.

2014 was the year I travelled to France with Soldier On to race in the Trois Etapes Pro-Am and was the year my beautiful daughter Celeste was born.

My riding year was littered with a number of injuries, incredible highs, depressing lows and amazing opportunities.

BIKES 234

As with last year, here is 2014 by the numbers.


2014 – BY THE NUMBERS

.:1:.
One major crash during the year
During my first race of the year, the AMB 100, I crashed out thanks to a little shit who decided that cutting the course and getting in the way of other riders was a good idea.
image

.:3:.
Number of notable injuries in 2014
Injuries: Snake bite, stitches to my left elbow and strained glute!
My Pics 045imageGlute Needling

.:6:.
The number of major events that I raced in during 2014
Every race was a challenge but I’ll never forget the 2014 Trois Etapes in France with Team Solider On!

.:Team Soldier On and our Pro-Rider Jo Hogan:. https://www.facebook.com/matthewconnorsphotography
.:Team Soldier On and our Pro-Rider Jo Hogan:.
https://www.facebook.com/matthewconnorsphotography

.:98:.
The amount of vertical kilometres I climbed in 2014

.:132:.
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2014

.:287:.
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2014

.:349:.
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2014

.:8,395:.
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2014

Wishing everyone a safe 2015!
.:Chad:.

MCP 080 BIKES 204

 

 

Training In Review – Update #1

Training – Week 2 – Backing Up A Big Week
After riding 406.9km the week before I was keen to continue the big kilometres – but my quads had other ideas.

I needed to take it easy and was still finding my groove in the new training program.  I mixed the week up with road riding on Sara and dirt commuting on Emma; this seemed to work and by mid week I was finding my rhythm and spending some much needed time in saddle.

Although I was still in a base-building phase in my training (basically just riding as much as I could handle) I decided to inject some heart-rate zone training into my program.  This proved to be beneficial as I was starting to understand and put into practice the basic ideas of endurance training; something that I will need as second nature during the 24 hour solo.

BIKES 130.:Posing on the Centenary Trail:.

By the time I washed my bikes ready for the next week of riding I had chalked up 402.6km – another 400km week.

Training – Week 3 – A Heatwave Hits Canberra
The weather forecast was not looking promising for a big week on the bike.  Sure I could have just gotten on with it, but was riding in 40’C really worth it this early in my training program; no!

So I got up early and rode to work the long way before the heat kicked in.  Having ridden over 800km in the previous two weeks I was finding it harder to ride for long distances.  My knees were aching and my quads were sore to the touch.  So I backed off a bit and finished up with 302.5km for the week.

BIKES 132.:47.5’C on the ride home was horrible:.

Training – Week 4 – #Winning
The week started off with the aim of riding more on Kate the XTC.  I intentionally kept within my ideal heart-rate zone in order to build endurance on the mountain bike.  Surprisingly, riding at a slower pace with a consistent cadence and heart-rate you are are actually faster over longer distances.  There is less recovery time needed as the higher intensity intervals are no longer there so you can just keep pedalling for as long as you want.

I kept to the bike paths early in the week to get my cadence and heart-rate dialled in before switching to dirt and putting the same principles into action.  I quickly found my rhythm and was finding my new riding style a lot easier to manage and exactly what I would need in a few months time.

I took Friday off work and headed out to Mt Stromlo for a training ride with the focus on climbing and endurance.  My aim of 50km was cut short at 35km after it started hailing and the trails became a mixture of mud and ball-bearing like grip.

image.:Fenceline at Mt Stromlo:.

On Saturday I returned to Mt Stromlo and set off for a high intensity ride with a focus on climbing up the mountain with a red-zone heart-rate.  The ride was going extremely well and I was enjoying the heavy sweating and throwing my bike around the trails with renewed confidence.

On my second lap of the course I was riding up Blackberry Climb when I met a Red Belly Black snake on the trail.

My Pics 044 My Pics 045.:And that’s what a snakebite looks like:.
My Pics 046.:Chilling at in the Calvary Hospital Emergency Department:.

Long story short: I was bitten but not envenomated by the little snake.  It did however mean an enforced but not unwanted rest day off the bike.

At the end of my fourth week of training for the Easter 24 Hour Solo’s I rode 224.5km.  While it is a smaller amount than previous weeks I achieved a lot of goals and learnt some valuable lessons on and off the bike.

Training In Review – Looking Towards My First 24 Hour Solo

Another Blog series about training! Gah! Why!?
Well its all part of the training that’s why!  Motivation is one of the key components to sticking with a training program; especially one in its infancy.

I find it easier to continue with a training program if I can share the highs and lows with others.  But this time around I won’t be subjecting the masses to weekly updates (to be honest I struggled writing a new piece each week last time) instead I’ll be doing semi regular updates detailing key milestones, mishaps and interesting things.

So welcome to my new series on my lead up training to my next big event…
The OnyaBike 2014 Australian Solo 24 Hour MTB Championships held over the Easter weekend.

Don’t let the Championship part fool you, there will be no riding for a fairytale podium finish; focus more on the Solo 24 Hour part!
Yes that’s right, I am aiming to ride in my first 24 hour solo race, so naturally I have to do some serious training for this upcoming pain train.

Training – Week 1 – The Long Journey Begins
After a fairly relaxed Christmas break in Brisbane riding in the stifling heat (by Canberra standards anyway) and climbing up the never ending series of steep hills I was in pretty good shape fitness wise to tackle my first week of training for the Easter solos.

With a few days left before I had to go back to work for 2014, I decided I wanted to put some extra kilometres under the tyres and set a big total for the week.  What I didn’t expect to do was ride more in the first week of my training than I have ever before.

Monday saw 87.3km on Kate the XTC during a ride to and from Mt Stromlo.  It was a hot day and I didn’t drink enough fluids.
BIKES 115.:Kate posing at Mt Stromlo:.

However I backed it up on Sara the Defy with a 100.3km ride around Canberra on Tuesday.
BIKES 116.:Sara chilling by the lake:.

Wednesday was a New Years Day ride at Mt Stromlo with some of the more dedicated The Berm crew (well those that didn’t race at the Wicked Wombat in Jindabyne the day before).  I rode 27.2km of sweet Stromlo singletrack to ring in the 2014!
BIKES 119.:A fine looking bunch of sober cyclists:.

Thursday and Friday saw the return to work for the new year and joining the Canberra cycling commuting community once again.  In two days I added another 97.2km to the weeks total, just 2.8km short of what I was aiming for.
BIKES 121.:Somewhat hot on Friday afternoon:.

Saturday saw a new bike join the stable and some short rides around Mulligans Flat dialling it in and trying to set some new Strava PR’s!
BIKES 122.:Introducing Emma!:.

As usual Sunday morning comprised of my regular Sunday Morning Social and Breakfast ride with The Berm crew.  A relaxed 56.3km in the morning followed up with a brisk 8.9km in the afternoon on the brand new Emma.

At the end of my first week actively training with a semi-set program and a clear end goal to achieve, I rode 406.9km.

2013 In Review – Cycling

2013 was the year I decided I wanted to become a cyclist.  Sure anyone can ride a bike; but I wanted to fully immerse myself in the technology, the science and the lifestyle.

My year started off with the simple aim of riding more.  Commuting to work most days of the week and slowly building my fitness was the foundation for what would become a central part of my life in 2013.

I was extremely lucky to have the support of my Wife who allowed me time away from home and to buy new bikes; and to be surrounded by the fantastic bunch of people who comprise The Berm.  At least once a week I would join other Bermers on a social ride at one of Canberra’s world-class mountain biking areas.  Riding with others, most of whom are a lot more confident and capable on a bike enabled me to improve gradually throughout the year.

2013 – BY THE NUMBERS

.:1:.
One major crash during the year
During the final round of the 2012/2013 CORC XC Series at Mt Stromlo I had a heavy crash while attempting a jump near the end of the race.  End result: A torn left pectoral muscle that would haunt me throughout the year.
IMG_2841

.:2:.
The number of new bikes I bought during 2013
My first purchase of the year was Sara the Giant Defy road bike in January followed by Kate the Giant XTC in June.
BIKES 051Kate 04

.:7:.
The number of major events that I raced in during 2013
Sure there were no podium finishes but that 5th on the Flowing Beast felt pretty sweet!
BOTB 13 057

.:62:.
The amount on vertical kilometres I climbed in 2013

.:108:.
In kilometres, my longest single ride of 2013

.:266:.
My CORC XC race plate number
Race Plate 06
BIKES 112

.:280:.
How many times I rode my bike(s) in 2013

.:309:.
The amount of hours I spent riding in 2013

.:5’790:.
In dollars, the amount raised for Soldier On in 2013
BOTB 13 117
.:6’773:.
In kilometres, the total distance I rode in 2013

Wishing everyone a safe 2014!
.:Chad:.

Random 031

Training Week In Review – Week 10

For the first time in a long time I entered a new week of riding and training without feeling any pressure.  I ended last week on a high after relaxing and just enjoying my time on the bike.

So on Monday morning when I woke up feeling a bit tight and sore in my hamstrings I opted out of commuting to work and rested.  On Tuesday I took Kate the XTC into work and rode home via a loop of Bruce Ridge to start my week of riding.  I rode a total of 43.6km in what felt like freezing temperatures but was in fact a balmy 4’C.

I took Sara the roadie into work on Wednesday morning and did a quick lap of Lake Burley Griffin with the intention of doing a bigger ride in the afternoon.  Unfortunately my beloved Giant Defy had other ideas and I ended up with a busted derailleur and had to abandon any further road rides.  I am yet to fix this bike and with more time to spend on the MTB before the Battle Of The Beasts, I doubt she’ll get another ride in the next couple of months.

Thursday and Friday were literally washouts for riding in Canberra.  I had no intention of riding in the wind and rain so opted for some time in front of the TV honing my XBox skills.  Saturday was a ride-free day due to the Girly flying out of town and my vote to ride having been vetoed.

Sunday kicked off with my regular ride at Bruce Ridge with The Berm crew followed by breakfast at Edgar’s Inn.  I haven’t ridden Zooey the Giant Anthem off-road since I bought Kate the XTC a few months ago.  I have been riding her to work quite often but this was her first time on dirt in a long time.  It took me 10km to get used to her not-so-tight cornering, non-carbon weight, dual suspension and longer wheel base.

I was heading out to Mt Stromlo mid morning for a short spin and with some time to spare I went home and swapped Zooey out for Kate.  I was glad I did as I met up with Bermers Roger and Alyssa and followed them around one of the Scott 24 Hour loops.  After finishing my ride with 14.2km under the wheels I packed up my bike and gear and went home with a total of 92.4km for the week.

BIKES 096.:Kate at Mt Stromlo:.

 

 

Training Week In Review – Week 5

For the first time in a long time I was looking forward to tackling another week on the bike. After taking a few hits mentally during the past couple of weeks it felt really good to want to spend more time in the saddle. Thanks to the previous week’s 250.3km of fairly high intensity riding I started the new week quite tender and fatigued.

While I had grand plans of long commutes on the roadie, Canberra decided it was going to be a very wet week with lots of fog. It is a fact that skinny tyres and wet/icy asphalt don’t mix so I prepped Zooey the Anthem with some lights, higher pressure tyres and dragged out my waterproof jacket.

I wanted to ride at least 50km each day while commuting; a goal I achieved on both Monday and Tuesday while riding in some light rain each time. Even at this early stage of the week I was feeling a lot of muscle fatigue but was still making gains while getting very wet and muddy.

Wednesday was dry enough that I was able to ride the roadie, but the aforementioned muscle fatigue was now in the fully fledged DOMS stage and any aspirations of a massive road ride were halted before the wheels began to even turn. But I still reached my 50km/day goal with a short commute into work and a longer commute home. I even managed to wash both Zooey and Sara taking advantage of the break in rain and brief sunshine.

Thursday was another mild Canberra day so I decided to take Kate the XTC into work. After riding Zooey and the ultra stiff (in a good way) Sara, riding Kate felt amazing. By swapping out a few components I’ve managed to keep my carbon hardtail under 10kg. With the front forks locked out and a good tucked position I quite often overtake most road bikes on the commuting climbs; something I relish doing. There’s nothing worse than tackling a long and difficult climb and having someone pass you looking cool, calm and collected. I aim to be that person; especially on a 29er while my prey is on a road bike sporting aerobars.

…But anyway, I took Kate to work on a particularly foggy morning the longish way and managed to push out 31.1km prior to work. On the way home my quadriceps were incredibly sore; but I wanted some off road time. A quick spin around the more fun tracks at Bruce Ridge went down a treat and I then headed off home covered in mud.

Thursday was also the day an article about my fundraising for Soldier On was printed in the Australian Army News.

Army News Jpeg

Friday was a complete wash out for commuting and to be honest I don’t think my aching legs had much more than a slow roll left in them. My bikes stayed at home and instead of riding I signed up for the JetBlack WSMTB 12 Hour at Dargle Farm on 10 August 2013. This will my first 12 hour and I’m looking forward to pushing myself over an extended period of time to test my body and mind before October’s Battle Of The Beasts.

This will also be my last race before my Wedding in September; so in some roundabout way the race will be my Buck’s Ride and I’m looking forward to spending the weekend riding with some of my good friends from The Berm.

At the end if this week I managed to push out 215.3km in four days riding.

Next week will be a much smaller week for riding as I only intend to ride on Sunday due to spending some time on my board in the snow.
Snow Gear