Posts for year 2009

Back in the saddle again

After the rather large effort which was the Bicycle Queensland Wilson HTM Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge (seen here via Nokia SportsTracker), I took a bit of time off to be less cycle-y. Also wanted to get a chunk of time together to give my steed a service, especially the brakes. So it was only today that I got back on the bike.

Yes, rather slack, and rather lazy of me.

I’ll live.

I’d put the knobblies back on because I planned to ride up to the top of Bowman Place (higher than the top of Mt Ommaney Drive) and then ride down the southern side, which is all bush. Sadly, not to be. The southern side is massively overgrown with some really thick vine-like stuff with thorns. I’d have had to crawl underneath if I’d been walking – riding was out of the question. Got back to Bowman Place, kicked up a gear or two going down towards the boat ramp, then kept up a decent pace going all the way up to Sumners Rd and home just before the rain started.

So, 16.7km in 56 minutes at an average of 17.9km/h. Not too bad really since that includes the scrabbling around in undergrowth as well as the actual ascent of Mt Ommaney itself. Since that was one of my goals from before the B/GC100, I was delighted at just how easy it was to get up there.

Yes, I was panting and pretty stuffed at the top, but I recovered very quickly.

Also, what used to be a real killer of an end – the last climb up to Sumners Road – just wasn’t. So, I still need to get my brakes fixed up properly, they’re just not quite right yet, still not one-finger control. I also need to adjust my rear derailleur – sometimes it just doesn’t shift from 4-5 or 6-7, very annoying.

I also need to spend more time off the roads, and boy oh boy, the difference in cornering with the knobblies (cf the slicks) was quite strange. Sigh. Want Road Bike. Sigh. Just going to have to keep on riding, no matter what I’ve got.

Less than a week before the 100km Brisbane->GC ride

Soooo... last week was horrendous – absolutely no riding done, and I only managed a shade under 70km for the week before that (week 2). Work really kept me busy, with several 6am concalls and a bunch of concalls at other times too.

So I took last Thursday and Friday off and hoped to get off my backside and ride both days. That didn’t happen – had to do a build respin on the Thursday (lost half the day so only got the back yard tidied up), and on the Friday I cleaned up my disc brake pads (wet-n-dry sandpaper, rinse with metho) and discovered that the problem is actually my rotors.

One’s got a large wobble in it, the other is totally dishlike.

’ll have to replace them, but they’ll keep going for a while yet. I did manage to order some Supersonics from Ground Effect and picked up some spare skinny tubes for next Sunday’s ride, but that was it until today because yesterday’s 35C temp got in the way of doing pretty much everything except having a dip in the pool.

So I rode off to Cafe Sul Ponto – the coffee cart on the Goodwill Bridge.

Had to stop for a few minutes and adjust my brake calipers (too loose!), but still managed to get there by 09:02. Good coffee, excellent conversation with the bloke who runs it, then I thought I’d wander back via the Kurilpa Bridge which opened today.

Sadly, I got there too early to ride over, so I had to dismount and walk through the launch party site instead. Kinda disappointing, really.

Anyway, 42.1km today at average of 20.6km/h, which I’m pleased with. Still not quite sure how Sportstracker reckons I hit 74.1km/h coming home (that’s the drop from Fig Tree Pocket to the bridge over the Centenary Highway, btw).

I have three goals for this week: (1) ride up Arrabri Ave from the southern end – it’s always beaten me up until now, that’s going to stop! (2) ride up Mt Ommaney Drive from the southern end – only climbed it from the south once, it’s time to do it again, and (3) ride at least 15km every day with a 50k effort on Saturday. Should be doable. We’ll see!

Heard for the first time under this roof….

This afternoon I heard, for the first time “CZM, NO!” from J. (It can only be a matter of time before I pull out the full name “NO” usage). C’s been crawling around the dining room table where J’s got her laptop setup, and she’s been trying to play with the power pack and cables. Now we’re well and truly into the realm of ‘no’ being our most used word. I guess our little bundle is growing up!

Week one progress towards goal

Progress towards my 100km/week goal is good so far. Last week’s efforts included two spins around the Centenary Suburbs (14.0 and 18.8km), a long hard slog up the back road of Mt Coottha with Tim (39.5km) and a 47.2km trip to Kangaroo Point – all for a total of 119.5km. Score!

Took me most of 40 minutes to climb up Mt Coottha, unfortunately, so I think next time Tim and I ride it (we’re hoping to do that every Friday) we might just go up the front way. Apparently it’s a tad easier. We’ll just have to see.

The Kangaroo Point jaunt was quite nice. We caught up with several bunches of roadies along the way, tagged along with them for a while and then split off. It was quite interesting – different dynamics entirely.

On a “oh my ego is bruised” note, I’m starting to think that while my Double Happys are excellent for off-road, they seem to want to ride up the thigh when I’m doing a long road stretch. I might have to get some lycra roadie nicks.


Riding my bike, I’ve got a goal

In the last few weeks I’ve gotten more serious about taking part in the Bicycle Queensland Wilson HTM Brisbane to the Gold Coast Cycle Challenge. It’s a 100km jaunt from Southbank to Southport. I figured that I needed to be riding a lot more in order to get my fitness and stamina up to par, so I’ve actually gotten out on the bike and ridden a bit. Father’s Day helped by providing some cross-training (I scooted around Mt Coottha/Gap Creek for an hour or so and really enjoyed myself), but most of my riding has been on the roads.

One of J’s mothers’ group friends (Elissa) is planning to take part as well, so we’ve ridden together on several occasions, hoping to make a regular training partnership. Last Saturday we got to the park under the Story Bridge at Kangaroo Point, for a total of 50km by the time we got back. It was a nice run, but we could have pushed it harder. Today with Tim I went up the back, twisty-windy way on Mt Coottha. Took us (well, me!) aaaages to get up from JC Slaughter Falls to the ABC broadcast compound. I do hope that we’ll be able to make a regular training ride. After all, there’s the Mt Coottha Challengeto train for. Tim did the climb this year (I only did the 35k easy ride) and I want to do the climb next year as well.

One thing I’ve actually been using my phone for is Nokia SportsTracker, which makes use of the accelerometers and GPS receiver in my N95 and mashes that up with Google Maps to show me where I’ve been, how fast I was going and what the altitude was. The web app mentions a heart rate record as well, but I haven’t got a gadget to do that yet.

Anyway … my goal is to be riding 100km every week. Not just until the B-GC100k on 11 October, but continuing. I need the exercise, I need to do it as a way of de-stressing, and heck, I just want to – it’s fun!

Tomorrow Tim and I (and probably Elissa) are going to do the Kangaroo Point trip, my goal is to do it faster than last Saturday. That’ll actually give me a 122km result for the week, which will be very nice indeed.

For those interested in the tech, I’m riding a GT Avalanche 2.0 mountain bike with Specialized Fatboy slicks front and rear at 95psi. While I’d love to get a road bike, right now I’d prefer to spend money on my family. I’ll live.

Ch10 7PM Project – your privacy policy, Ts+Cs are rancid

I’ve been watching the 7pm Project on Channel 10, and I really wanted to send them some feedback on how they can make the show better. Chiefly, GET RID OF THE BLITTERING THAT BRACKETS A VIDEO GRAB.Unfortunately, you have to register with before you can do that. I was going to register, then I read the Terms and Conditions, and the Site Use Policy documents.

No way will I sign up to those Ts and Cs, they’re rancid:

  • When filling in the personal details section, age and gender are required.

    No option to provide this later if you want to access an age-specific or restricted section of or an affiliate.

  • 6.3 TEN may refuse your registration request for any reason, including if you attempt to associate the same email address with more than one membership (irrespective of whether an existing membership is inactive or has been deleted, locked or suspended).

Ten years today

Ten years ago today, J and I were married in front of our family and friends. We’ve gone through highs and lows, the rollercoaster of life, and we’re more deeply in love and together and entwined than we thought possible all those years ago.

J’s mum is staying with us for a few days and has very kindly offered to mind C for us this evening so we can go and have a nice dinner. I just hope we can enjoy ourselves without worrying about our darling girl too much!

Happy Anniversary

This, methinks, is cool

One of my facebook friends works for Nokia, and cycles a fair bit. I noticed recently that he’s started using Nokia Sportstracker, and after seeing some examples of what it could do I decided I’d try it too.

For my lunchtime ride today I started a new “workout” and set off on the bike on a quickish circuit around the suburb. Of course, there was a slight impediment to the N95 finding a GPS signal (something to do with heavy clouds…) but when it did lock on, it tracked the route, my speed, then mapped it to the terrain as well.

When I uploaded it to the website and looked at the whole thing, I noticed that they’ve integrated it quite nicely with Google Maps’ terrain feature. There’s also an option for a heart rate monitor record too, but I’m not quite sure how to get that activated. Probably need a Polar unit, I guess.

There’s also an option to upload a list of what music you listened too while on a particular “workout”. Which I’m sure is great, but just feels a little weird to me – I don’t listen to music when I ride.

A feature that I’d love to see is being able to click on the altitude profile, and have that particular point of the workout given a marker on the associated map.

Going to keep using it, for sure. I reckon it’s really cool that I can get all this without having to pay extra for some gadget to attach to my bike.

Now if only VirtualBox would figure out how to attach multi-endpoint usb devices (such as my phone) with OpenSolaris, I’d be really happy.

Two years ago today….

Two years ago today, a very tired J and I arrived at the front door of our new home in Brisbane, and were delighted to walk into our own home. After so many years of renting it was a fantastic feeling to be able to walk in and know that yes, we could put a hook in the wall if we wanted (and where we wanted), and that all this was ours. (Well, modulo the mortgage!)

Home, sweet home. Love it!