Liz Randall's Cycling Blog - a life behind bars

"With ordinary talents and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable"

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Slow update from home

So what has been happening in the last week?.......

Well firstly I was almost totally separated from the internet... really weird!

Monday was travel day..I was booked on the overnight ferry to Devonport and was carrying bikes, wheels, trainers, rollers for my house mates, Lawrence and Lorraine.

I arrived fairly early as is my habit and went for a walk along what used to be the docks. I was amused to find that one of the piers being renovated didn't seem to be any further advanced than it was 10 years ago when I was haunting this area for pix to present for the 4 year photography course I was taking. I'd booked a cabin and so had a great sleep and was the very last car off the ferry the next morning. The drive into Launceston (Lonny) was a breeze although I managed to get lost close into town and after that it took forever for me to get a clear picture of the lie of the land into my brain.

The Silverdome velodrome is 285m and so we needed a practise session to get the head around the longer straights and gentle bends. Its quite old but has aged well.

The dummy was there just in case..but as you can was forbidden(!)

500m TT
They tried to start this event 30 minutes early!!! It was conducted 1 rider at a time as we finished on the apex of bend no 4. I rode 51/15 and was undergeared, my time was off song but not too badly. I got 3rd in the WMAS 4-8. The next day the wheels had fallen off the organisation as I was told there'd been a late protest (???) and actually I was now 2nd in WMAS 5-8...whaaaat? AFTER the presentation???!!! Not happy Jan especially as I had to hang around most of the next day after the pursuit to have a second ceremony. I gave in my bronze and got a silver..not everyone was so lucky..some were promoted(the happy ones) some were demoted (natch NOT happy). Yes I happily gave in the medal but not the cute soft Tassie Devil cuddly toy!!! so 1 medal..2 cuddlies.

Day 2 and its 2 years since I'd done a pursuit. My PB is 2'49" ish but I tended to do 2'52" but latterly had been struggling nearer to 3 mins so was expecting nothing...what I got was 2'57" a low baseline to work on. I rode 52/15 and was happy with the gearing, did a conservative 1st lap, waaaay too fast for the second and then gradual degradation over the final 5 laps..same old, same old. Tut hunh! 2nd last in WMAS 4-8 (I think 4-8 maybe 3-8)

Scratch I commenced the day discussing with CA officials the topic of WMAS8 Aussie records and how come my times had not been declared as best times (!) and how could we ensure that track racing was made as attractive as pos to ensure we didn't have such poor numbers in future. Also mentioned the lack of PA comment about the mix of grades etc etc. This was especially at the surface of my mind since the Scratch race was WMAS 3-8, which of course meant that I was just there to make up the numbers. Actually I don't mind doing that for the Scratch if I can get a chance at going for records in the timed events. After having that discussion I felt it was sorta important I didn't get lapped in the Scratch or drop out too early; I knew there'd be no mercy with WMAS 3's racing.

52/15 was the gear I decided to go leaves me with no jump (but then I don't have one, so no real loss there), but I can get a decent speed happening without having to spin past my "blow up" rpm..which is embarrassingly low and so I'm not gunna publish it(!).

The race was a total blast..I'm not sure I've ever ridden that fast. One of the other competitors had >51kph on her cyclocomputer. The speed was on from the get go and it wasn't long before there was a break which of course I missed. I chased and finally got on the back when the escape group slacked off a bit.

Part through that chase I began to wonder if it was ok to give up (pretty please) as my legs were about to explode..but I felt the need to keep the WMAS8 flag flying. My skill in Scratch races is 0, nil, no idea at all of tactics...but I felt the need to show strength to underline my discussions with CA about us WAMS8 girlies ie that we might be old, we might not be glamorous, we might be the slowest group on the track...but we are athletes and deserve to be treated as such.

A coupla laps of foxing followed and there was another break which was the final selection of 3..I led the chase but this time didn't do all the work. I felt my 2 companions in the chase/pace line were not pulling quite as strongly as me ( and this was confirmed by a spectator) but in all honesty we really had no hope of catching the break. We 3 ended 4-6 with me as 6th.

Pack up time followed plus a shopping trip into Lonny:..unusual place Lonny!

So, it was time shop for pressies for the family..Tassie beer for the boys and a Tassie shaped lump of choc for Phil. I also bought Alex and myself some CROCs...the sort with a furry lining and later on the ferry a warm jacket for me that I'd eyed on the way out.

The ferry trip home was boring although it was a bit strange that we returned to the dock very soon after leaving...???!!! it made us 45 minutes late into Melbourne and this time I was 3rd last car off.....

So that's all she wrote.

Now I have a very miserable 24hrs as I'm due for a colonoscopy tomorrow (family history..not me being ill) which means fluids only, no food at all, today and nasty, nasty Fleet to take ...yeeeetch. then nil at all after midnight. I can drink white wine or beer right up until midnight..should I want to(!) So with no food until sometime tomorrow afternoon...I become as tetchy as a cut snake.......keep well clear!


Penny said...

Hi Liz,
Well done at the Nationals - especially having to race against all of the younger women in the scratch race!
I'm still amazed at your ability to ride 51/15 or 52/15 ... as I've been struggling to spin 48/15 (from 48/16). (Just borrowed 47, 49 and 50 chainrings though, which will give me closer gear options :) )
P.S. Hope all goes well with your colonscopy tomorrow, and you get to eat food again soon!

asfastasicanforaslongasican said...

Penny..and I admire anyone who can spin..full stop. I can only look on with jealousy...