29 June, 2009

A Sunday Ride with a Sprint

Yesterday was race day and we ended up having a very sociable Sunday ride with a sprint at the end- a race which sounds like the one described in Bluenoser's musings. Mind you it wasn't a 142km social- only about a 25km road race. We headed out at a relatively modest pace with one of the club's newer members on the front and he just didn't want to relinquish the lead- turns out he was wanting to better his TT time over 20km........... and the fact that he didn't really understand race tactics.

Anyway we had a few good laughs on the ride and then with about 5km to go, a few of us broke and decided to make a bit of a race of it anyway. Paul was first to go and then myself and a couple of others decided to go after him- we kind of figured he'd do himself as he went too early. We were right, about 1/3 of the way through the finishing circuit we caught him and then it was another bit of a dawdle around the back to "the hill". Not much of a hill but it can make or break your race.

It was quite funny because the last time we raced this circuit, Paul and I had done most of the work and then another bloke who only took the front a couple of times for about 500 metres on each time occasion ended up blitzing us on the finish. And so it was the three of us again heading up the hill but this time the hill really wasn't all that bad. Maybe it was the fact that we'd had an easy ride or that I have started doing some hill work again (as I have said before, I seriously dislike doing hills but.....) but it was almost enjoyable going up.

Anyay, Paul and I left the rest of them behind and headed for home with Paul falling victim to his earlier break away. With about 250 to go, he said he had nothing left so another one falls my way.

And thanks to Dee for driving the support vehicle. Our race scene cannot function without volunteers.

Next week is a TT up the range and then a scratch race from the top. If I have another good result, I'll be moving back up to C Grade.

And good luck to one of our club racers, Ruth Corsett, a member of the Jazz Apple team out of New Zealand. She's on her way back to North America for some more racing in just over a week's time. It's always great to see Ruth back riding with her club- she's really an inspiration for all of the riders and offers lots of encouragement to our juniors.

Cheers- ride safe

20 June, 2009

Where did that fortnight go?

Can't believe it. It's been almost two weeks since I last blogged. Where does the time go?

It's like the last 280+ hours have been sucked into a vacuum and never existed.

I suspect work has had something to do with it....I'm an SME (Subject Matter Expert) in our asset and management works system. A system that was implemented more than two and a half years ago at great expense and with considerable disruption to many employees.

It was going to make the business more efficient, more robust...a shining beacon for all other corporations considering a similar strategy to hone in on and emulate.

And you know what? After 30 months, we've got people who may as well have been stuffed in a hessian sack and left on one of the outer-most islands of the Galapagos. Routine functionalities like opening a work order and adding details to close it off so maintenance records can be maintained have disappeared. Users enter the number, hit search and nothing happens...nada, rien, nichts, zip, zero, zilch. And nobody can explain why...our IT people are at a loss.

And here's the rub- I (and about two dozen of my colleagues) am being asked to resign my position with my current employer and accept a position with the IT group (a joint venture between my current employer and another utility company). I'm an end-user... and yet I have the IT people (and my direct supervisor) calling me and asking "what's wrong with the system?"

Is this really the work group/business I want to align myself with? Methinks not.

The cycling has been pretty good over the last couple of weeks. The cough from the respiratory infection lingers and seems to get worse in the low humidity- but I can still ride. The weather has been kind as well. Brilliantly blue skies and temps around 27C during the day- although when I'm heading off at 5:00am, it's a different story.

Last weekend, Dee and I did a century on Saturday in absolutely stunning conditions, and then on Sunday went off to help out at the local club's time trial. We manned the turnaround point at 10 km- and dragged a few obstacles off the road. Nobody wants to hit a dead kanagroo or wallaby while concentrating on keeping their cadence and breathing right on a 20km TT.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is a crit- will I ride? I may- but probably D grade. And it will help me think of something other than work. If I don't- well, they always need volunteers.

Cheers- ride safe

08 June, 2009


I have survived the weekend- 4 races in three days with this morning's 40 km road race being the worst (read most difficult) of the lot. It was a handicap race and we were 2 minutes off "Go". There were 4 of us and as we headed off down the road, I had a bad feeling- not ominous or foreboding- just not comfortable on the bike.

The wind was straight in our face, gusting to 35 or so and I managed to hang on for about 14 km but the respiratory infection of three weeks ago and subsequent lack of good training did me in. As it turned out, the winner was from the group ahead of us and the remainder of my grouping all picked up places (and money!!!) "D'oh!!"

Anyway it was all good fun and I did manage to lend a hand to some of my fellow cyclists. A couple of other blokes had managed to bridge to me after the turn and were looking for a break. I said I'd do what I could and gave them the better part of a km @ 40+ so they were able to refresh and go. They were effusive in their thanks when I crossed the line

While I didn't finish "stone motherless last" as my good mate Mr S Donaldson would say, I did finish by myself and in a world of hurt. Ahh racing is such fun. I can't wait for the Charters Towers to Townsville race in August- 125 km of the same road we raced today.

Training starts on Wednesday (I am taking tomorrow as a day off the bike) and if I can stay healthy, I'm going to give it a shot....

Cheers- Ride safe

p.s. Totals for the year:

June 209 km
 2009 4284 km