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Mon, 30 Mar 2009

Recent movies - 15:06
I have seen two movies in the last week or so, first was Watchmen a week or so ago and then last night Duplicity. I liked them both quite a lot. Watchmen had some patently silly scenes and some things that did not quite work, however on the whole I liked the effect of the movie. Even at 2h40m in length it felt a little bit rushed trying to tell it all, however it does make me stop and think about a lot of the stuff they wanted to push through, the style of the film was interesting too, I think they did the 1985 and the historical montages well and also brought through the characters well. Strangely being a comics geek I have never gotten around to reading Watchmen.

Duplicity was also good, I have a habit of spoiling movies and have to work hard to stop myself spoiling this one. I think it is let down a bit in that it is a little bit hard to care about any of the characters, however the twists are fun and the premise is entertaining and carried out well. Next on the movie agenda I think I will in fact make the effort to go and see the new Star Trek movie, I did not bother seeing the last one, however I look forward to seeing if this reboot of the universe works somehow or not.

[/leisure/screen] link

Tue, 24 Mar 2009

Swimming injuries - 17:00
Continuing my tales of silly injuries, today I have nasty bruising on my left hand from swimming last night. One would think at swimming speeds (rather than high dive from 10 metres up speed) water is fairly harmless and soft, thinking that you are quite correct. The lane ropes at the pool are unfortunately less soft, in a squad session trying to stick to the left of the lane I have a habit of not keeping my arms quite high enough on exit from the water and hence whack my left hand often on the rope.

In the lead up to Jindabyne I noticed my left hand was often swollen on top from this making my bike gloves feel tight on my left hand. I am sure I will stop getting this bruising as much as I swim more and get more used to being in the pool over time.

On another note, I was glancing through some old entries on my diary and noticed one that fairly nicely shows how little I ride these days compared with times in the past. As noted the other day I have not done many days over 100km in the last 18 months (the ride up to Corin on Sunday just now was fortunately another one clocking in at 105km). Back in September 2004 I commented on getting my km count up from a week of only riding 230 km during the Monday to Friday week, so I headed out on the weekend to clock up 281km (175 on road bike and 106 on the mtb) over the two weekend days for a week total of 511km.

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Sun, 22 Mar 2009

Hanging bikes or using shed space effectively. - 18:48

Bikes on the left (fullsize)

Bikes in the middle (fullsize)

Bikes on the right (fullsize)

Bike hooks (fullsize)

So when Danielle moved in to the house here recently the number of bikes increased, then another new housemate moved in who also has some bikes. I finally needed to get around to making the storage of bikes and access to them in the shed more effective. I have been thinking of doing this for years and with lots more bikes in the shed being used I finally got around to it this weekend.

I have 4 bikes I use daily (hardtail mtb, cyclo cross/road bike, single speed mtb, fixie road bike) and another hardtail mtb in working order. I also have an old unisex pub bike sort of thing in the shed and my old road bike sans front wheel, so 7 bikes to get out of the way somewhere. Danielle has 3 bikes in daily usage (dual suspension good mtb, hardtail mtb and new road bike). She also has 2 older bikes she will soon sell. Matt has 2 bikes in daily sort of usage (mtb with slicks and a road bike).

Allan and other friends have erected hooks in their bike rooms or sheds to hang bikes up by a wheel and they then take up less space but are all still easily accessed. I had a look at distances needed between bikes and worked out I can probably hang 12 bikes along one end of the shed. I should dispose of the old pub bike thing and also do something about my old road bike (frame needs repair so not using it). Also I will probably soon loan my spare hardtail mtb to a friend for an extended period. However I have them all up there for now as proof of concept for 12 at once.

The hardware I bought was 2 3 metre lengths of wood to screw into the shed roof beams (cost $15 or $7.50 each), 12 hooks at $6.32 each a packet of 9cm screws (only needed 8) for mounting the wood to the beams ($22.97) and a packet of shorter timber screws for screwing the hooks into the timber ($9.23) and 3 metres of clear vinyl tubing to fit around the hooks to protect the rims. A total cost of AUD $135.01 for the lot.

I bought this at the hardware store yesterday (a mountain biker hang out it seems as I saw Morgs and Joo there and later also so Madge there) and after getting home from a road ride today put it all together. Works a treat as you can see from the photos. Thanks to Danielle for the help putting it up there.

[/mtb/gear] link

Fri, 20 Mar 2009

My geek credentials in question - 17:38
I have been rereading some of my Terry Pratchet Discworld books the last few weeks and I realised I have not read some of those I am likely to enjoy. Vimes and watch books tend to be my favourite and yet I do not have Thud! or Night Watch and have not read them. Others I expect I would like that I do not have are Making Money (I liked Going Postal so expect I will enjoy this), Thief of Time and Interesting Times and the two alternate format books Faust Eric and The Last Hero.

I own two of the witch books but have never yet been able to read more than the first few pages without getting bored and putting them down, so I doubt I have any interest in those I do not have. Anyway thinking I should attempt to rectify this lack of ownership involving some good Pratchett books I headed out to Canty's second hand book shop in Fyshwick today to see if they had any of those I do not have to buy. Alas it seems their Pratchett stocks were low as only two of the YA books were there and nothing else. I guess it is probably time to trawl through some of the other second hand book shops in Canberra, if only I can find the time.

I wonder if my geek credentials should be called into question for not having them all?

[/leisure/books] link

Thu, 19 Mar 2009

Jindabyne Multisport Classic 2009 - 17:28
Last year I wrote one of my longish and reasonably detailed reports about this race. This year I managed to finish the event solo, however do not feel like writing too much about it. As always the Jindabyne Multisport Classic (they called it a classic, even the first year they ran it...) is a fantastic event. After being pulled out of the water more than 11 hours in during the final swim unable to breathe and cramping up last year I really wanted to finish.

Fortunately I did, though I did not speed up much on last year. I felt fantastic for the first 6 or 7 hours of this race, then sometime during the long run up to sawpit I no longer felt I had enough left in the tank to go hard. I had been hoping that pacing myself I might finally feel I could start putting some effort in at this point, however I was unable to get my HR over 130 for the rest of the race and pretty much crawled all the way to the finish.

Once again my worst leg was definitely swimming, compared with good swimmers in the solo field, such as Alex, I lost almost an hour. Looking at times for excellent swimmers such as Shanyn I lost more, however I can not imagine I will ever swim as well as she does, and I was racing solo anyway. My current plan, rather than stopping swimming again until I start getting ready for this event again next year is to continue to go to at least one coached squad session every week.

On a seeming tangent now, I notice in my GPS/HR training data that since I bought the Garmin in August 2007 I have the distances of all sessions I have done (riding, running, paddling) listed to inspect and view the maps and data from. In that time I have only done a session in which I travelled more than 100KM on 6 occasions. This is pretty pathetic when you consider how easy it is for me to do a road ride over 100 KM. Two of these sessions were the Hawkesbury classic paddle race in 2007 and the Jindabyne race I just finished on Sunday. So I think we can see when compared to how I used to do long road rides at least once a week, generally a longish mountain bike ride every fortnight or so my riding is definitely down on what it once was. Sure I kayak and run now days but none of them tend to be longer than 2 hours very often.

Getting back to the race I think my body just was not ready for more than 6 hours non stop and was not working as well as it could after that time. Also the multi discipline nature of the event was something I had not prepared for well in the lead up. For next year I will definitely need to do more long stuff and make sure I am feeling more ready for such a long stretch out there at intensity.

I must thank my support crew, Kerry, for her help all day. She did a spectacular job and was organised all day and got kept me going despite never having done support like this before, also thanks to Ron for helping her out most of the day. Without their help and some generous help from many others I would not be able to do the event solo.

I did do more swim training before the race this year and I think it showed as I was able to get out of the swims reasonably fresh feeling and was not even the slowest solo competitor in them all. The long ride though I was once more crawling through it, really is spectacular and I recommend it to any mountain bikers who like epic feeling bike legs and big hills and alpine country. The long run is also though a really lovely walking track and when not suffering worth admiring.

Race coverage wise, I have a few photos on my camera but am being a bit lazy to upload them. Sri Chinmoy's gallery page for the event has a fair few (those with me in them are finishing the second bike, transitioning to long run, start of first run, background behind Libby running, start of fun (techy) bike leg, running through Thredbo river picnic area, first swim start with Julie and Alex and getting out of a swim.

There are good shots there of Alex (who won solo mens) and Julie (won solo womens) and a lot of my other friends up there racing. Also there was a professional photographer up there, Greg Long and his event photos are pretty good.

Anyway I enjoyed the event and have a definite interest in trying to do better next year, a spectacular (and hard) day out. I still think more people should enter, it is more fun than Triple Tri, shorter legs, better scenery, something different (though triple tri is itself a lot of fun). Also more solos would be cool (lets hope Zoe, Danielle, Libby and others may be keen to enter next year so it is not just Julie in womens).

[/mtb/events] link

Thu, 12 Mar 2009

How could I say no - 13:17

Sassy Pink Handjob (fullsize)
My primary geared bike, the bender bicycles steel mtb has now undergone two fixes, the paint job looks kind of ratty and I notice Richard recently retired his KHS steel HT. I have put a lot of hard riding onto this bike and though still nice to ride I had been from time to time looking for another frame just out of interest.

Then I saw this Cove Handjob, in my size selling for AUD $480 in sassy pink colour. How could I say no, it arrived this morning. I probably should not swap the frames before the Jindabyne multisport race on Sunday, after all riding a new frame I am not used to with different geometry and feel may not be the best idea. Tempting to do it now, but I will probably wait until next weekend.

[/mtb/gear] link

Fri, 06 Mar 2009

New not leather work shoes - 15:49

Non leather Salomon work shoes (fullsize)
Usually a photo such as that to the left would appear in my mtb/gear category, however although they are a Salomon walking shoe with the Salomon quick lace system, I purchased these to wear at work.

Because I am lazy and often tend to be changing into bike shoes and back into work shoes a lot during the day I like having slip on shoes at work. Thus most sneakers with laces annoy me. However to get a pair of slip on shoes that I can wear at work with shorts or jeans means I am limiting my choices a bit.

However the other problem I face is I do not want to buy a new pair of leather or similar animal product based shoes. My running shoes, cycling shoes and other shoes I tend to wear are all synthetic. Vegan Wares in Melbourne do not have a slip on shoe that is not formal looking and thus nothing I would want to wear at work.

I already have some Salomon shoes and like the lacing system for ease and speed of use so it occurred to me I could probably wear them if I could find a pair that were not to obviously an all out racing/running shoe. The XA Pro 3D running shoes come in black so were one option. However I noticed the Fury and the Fusion 2 models on the Salomon website both had non leather uppers and the quick lace system. The pair that is available in Australia (Fusion 2, the more expensive model) is a walking shoe, they do not look quite so much like a running shoe and thus I thought I could wear them for work.

They cost a bit (AUD $225) but hopefully will last a while and they satisfy my requirements.

[/various] link

Thu, 05 Mar 2009

Missing swims - 16:46
Most weeks recently I have been getting along to the Friday evening Bilbys swim squad and other than that getting out for a swim on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This stems from doing lake swims on those days, then when the lake was closed for swimming I simply kept those times at the pool by myself. I have stretching class at lunch on Monday and Wednesday. On Wednesday evenings I do the paddling time trial, and as I swim Friday evening I do not want to do extra swimming that day.

This week I have not been able to swim on either Tuesday or Thursday, though I had been planning to, I simply ended up with too much stuff I was doing out of the office on both days, a lot of it for CORC, that I could not justify being out of the office for a whole additional hour for a swim session. I should have made the effort to swim on Monday after work, however hindsight is always useful this way. A week and a half to go before Jindabyne now, I just have to hope I am relaxed and comfortable enough with the swimming to get through all three and not lose pace too much.

I suspect the hardest will again be the final swim just trying not to cramp and make it through that one will be a big challenge, I already tend to cramp up very easily swimming and once more staying hydrated at Jindabyne will be a constant battle.

This week the Wednesday night paddle time trial did not happen at the club as molonglo reach was also closed to secondary contact sports. A few of us were hoping to do a time trial on the rowing course on the lake as that is open, however it was one of the windiest days in recent times yesterday and there were white caps on the rowing course so when we got there it we were not venturing out of the safety of the sheltered areas.

The normal paddle time trial is 9.6km on the gps. The rowing course is 1.8km so 6 laps of it (3 times out and back) would have been 10.8km, so if it had been nice and calm it would have been a tougher race than we normally do. Ahh well maybe some other time that will work as a replacement race.

Even though there was no group run on Tuesday I still had a good run from home to the top of Mt Ainslie and back via Dickson ovals. That I was able to keep running all the way up and hold a reasonable pace (even though HR was above 170) actually makes me feel I should be alright on the long run at Jindabyne next weekend.

With the long weekend coming up, I hope to get a few good sessions in, Sam is keen to do some long stuff on Saturday (maybe a run, a paddle and a ride if she can leave Ben with the kids for that much of the day, we will see). I was keen to do the AROC urban race on this weekend however almost none of my friends seem to be interested in it this year which is most unusual. Danealle and Danielle are doing it but everyone else seemed a bit hohum and are off doing other stuff.

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