10 March, 2013

An Experiment in Lent(il) Behaviour

The road racing season is back for 2013 here in the north and today, Sunday, marked the second in a series of crits for the local club. Numbers have been great across all grades with more than 100 riders registering across 4 grades in addition to the junior riders.

The left hand turning circuit is a 600 metre semi-rhomboid/elliptoid, flat road in a semi-industrial area as per the image below from Endomondo. What wind there was today was a greeting for all riders on the section heading into the last turn before the finishing straight on Dalrymple Road. The cross wind on the back segment was pretty much blocked out by the buildings lining the road.

I wandered from my usual Saturday evening pre-race meal routine (pasta in one form or another) and had lentil burgers and salad. They were delicious and filling but when I woke this morning, I was absolutely starving. A couple of Weet-Bix and my usual morning breakfast drink (no- not that kind of drink!!!) called Up-n-Go and I was out the door and on the way. During the ride to the circuit and the warm up I didn't feel all that energetic so I also had an energy gel a few minutes prior to the start.

Last week's average speed was just on 37km/hr for the 12 starters. This week it was 38.5 with 23 riders fronting. Like last week there were a few new starters which is always good to see- unlike last week when a young bloke who was giving it his first go and happened to grab a handful of front brake at an inopportune moment, there were no spills- even better to see.

So even though the pace was on a bit more than last week, I felt I had less in the tank on the last couple of laps. So it looks like it will be back to pasta for next week's crit; however, if there's no improvement, I'll know I will have to look at the engine the fuel is going into, not at the fuel. (Or maybe crit circuits just aren't my forte)

Cheers- ride safe

06 March, 2013

Rolling and Reflecting......

I have been thinking about this particular subject for almost three weeks now- it's an annual occurrence, the reflecting part that is, and has been since 1982. On 15 February of that year, 84 lives were lost when The Ocean Ranger went down in a storm off Newfoundland.

I was working on a rig at the time- The Rowan Juneau- off Sable Island and we had had a bit of a brush with the same weather system some hours before. I remember our radio operator's look of despair when no further chatter could be picked up from the Ranger and the supply ships reported that one of the "unsinkable" rigs had capsized.

And while it is, as I said earlier, an annual period of reflection, this year that reflection has lingered- triggered I suppose by items in the news from both here and from back in Nova Scotia:

A fishing boat swamped in the waters off the coast in the southern part of Queensland- the skipper made it but his deckhand is lost, presumed drowned.

A friend posted a photo the other day of a coiled heaving line from The Bounty- one of the few items remaining from the replica built for the movie- the loss coming after the skipper set sail into hurricane conditions.

The sinking of The Miss Ally and the loss of all five aboard after sailing from Cape Sable Island on a halibut fishing trip.

And the announcement by Clive Palmer that he is building a replica of The Titanic- that most famous of unsinkable maritime vessels- and will be tracing the voyage of the original (hopefully with a much better outcome).

The local club road racing season has just started- a series of crits last weekend and the following two Sundays to kick things off. It was really good to see a number of new faces across most grades fronting up to race- it will be interesting to see if interest remains high when we get into the longer road races.

Cheers- ride safe