Tag Archives: track cycling

Fading into the background. Getting dropped like a fly

I’ve fallen behind on SO many occasions that I can’t help but start to wonder how many times can someone actually get beaten down and still expect to get back up. What’s worst this time was that I actually worked my butt off going in. Numbers were constantly going up, the training was focused, confident I was on the right track. But I came out with a beating so bad, I’m struggling to find any positives at all to walk out with my head up.
You might be on the right track, getting faster, but not fast enough yet. People on the outside don’t care about the process, they just want to know the outcome. Like life, racing is brutal. If you get dropped, you’re not fast enough, period, don’t bother trying. That’s how people are on the outside.
While I would have preferred to have my trusted circle run through this difficult weekend with me, I have to settle for an exchange of wise words thanks to the wonders of technology. It will be a trying next couple of weeks as I look to dig myself out from six feet under.

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Over and Under

Nothing exciting to report to be honest: DNFed most or nearly all my races. The training block really only took off in the last 3 weeks. I struggled to find my feet at the beginning 3 with lack of direction and focus. Talk about a roller coaster ride, besides the rolling hills.

If I was going to chuck in any of the goals I kicked, at least I’ve worked up the grades. First crack in an open A grade race in the form of Pickering Brook. Well you gotta throw yourself into the deep end to know where you are and how far away the shore is. Working through the mental side of things alone isn’t a fun game at all. #characterbuilding

At track side, I definitely struggled to find any track legs. It could have been a combination of a number of factors, but I’ll remain focus on what’s within my control: my own progress and performance.

Push through, and good things will come out at the end. I left knowing and seeing that I’ve stepped up (with some valuable help) and made new friends. Cheers to the AvantiPlus boys for smashing me in the hills and the crew from BikeForce Success for looking out for me when I made the hike down to have a hit out at the Peel races. Top job by the Peel District Cycling Club.

It’s been a blast catching up with everyone. They say cycling is cliquey. While I won’t agree entirely, neither will I entirely disagree. More about that next time. Thanks Track Cycling WA for welcoming me back. Till we meet again.

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finding myself

I’ve been lazy with the updates.

In regional news, the 2015 Asian Track and Road Cycling Championships was on a few weeks ago in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand, aka Korat. Great hit out, especially those gunning for a slot at this year’s SEA Games. If you haven’t heard, only the Road team will be out in full force. Bummer for the trackies, mountain bikers and bmxers.

I finished 17th in the Keirin and didn’t qualify for the sprints. Full results here. Needless to say, the competition ended for rather early for me. It gave me plenty of time to evaluate how I should progress. Preparation leading up was pretty solid. Squeezed in as much track time as I could get with the help of CCC Shuzenji and Track Cycling WA, but it dawned on me that I haven’t picked up enough of the technical skill needed to handle the sprint events. All the strength and power work I’ve been doing just isn’t going into the bike quick enough to stay in the race. You always question the decision you’ve made when I doesn’t turn out right the first time. Should I have dabbled in endurance right from the get go? Maybe. But I don’t regret it one bit.
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Focus on the process and you are sure to take something positive along the way. Well, at least it worked for me. I believe the people I’ve met who has helped me with my cycling, the tracks I’ve been fortunate enough to train on, was because of the decision to have a go at the sprints. The lessons learned along the way helps you find yourself. In my case, I’m better suited for endurance.

So I’ve started the long road back to 4 hours on the saddle and high intensity intervals. I almost forgot what torture and suffering felt like, but it didn’t take me long to get reacquainted. Looking back, with the measly amount of Ks I have in my legs, I could still put my head down and keep up in the 100-lappers in the Speed Dome. My first dabble back into bunch riding last week showed plenty of promise. Not quite like the speeds in a points/scratch race, but I wasted no time putting the hurt down. So you’ll probably see me on the road alot more now. Don’t forget to say Hi
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Konichiwa

I’m glad I’ve made it back to Izu Velodrome for CCC Shuzenji’s second training camp for the year. The past few weeks have been a little crazy. There was certainly no resting after a less than satisfying display at the Track Asia Cup. I’m still looking for that breakthrough on the bike I need to mix it up with the big boys. I remember my time at Mercantile with Sandy, when I finally started to feel some blade work and actually move the boat properly. Not quite the same equipment, but I’m determined to find that same element which will get me the speed I need on the bike

The sessions with Louis on the road definitely helped upped my game. Working on acceleration on the road with a racing track bike isn’t exactly the easiest thing to put together, in particular the logistics, considering I do not own a 4-door vehicle. With the recent videos of cyclists circulating around the Facebook hemisphere, location was our main concern. Huge thanks to Louis for taking time out to put it together. I owe him heaps.

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The CCC Shuzenji training camp was initially a no-go for me. I just haven’t been working enough to save up moolah for it. I decided to move on and I’m looking elsewhere for a more supportive work environment. Fortunately I managed to pull together enough in the nick of time and so here I am.

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One thing is for sure, it’s going to be a cold two weeks.

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Week in review, Singapore Road Cycling Criterium Series

I was meaning to write about the rebirth of criterium racing in Singapore last weekend. Procrastination got the better of me. One thing led to another and here I am, a week past and I’m waiting to board my flight to Bangkok for round 2 of the Queens Cup, which is the Thailand National Track Cycling Champsionships.

Rewind a week ago, Singapore saw the rebirth of criterium racing, courtesy of the people at Rad Events. What I would estimate would be a 100 over riders, gathered at Tampines Industrial Avenue 2 for Round 1 of the Singapore Road Cycling Criterium Series. The turnout was wonderful: teams with tents, photographers sprawling all around, spectators at the critical U-turns to catch the action. I can imagine the many other riders’ hesitation and were eager to see what it would be like before signing up. Round 2 will be a blast.

I’m definitely no crit expert, but I’ve had my fair share of racing, all learning the hard way. I wasn’t particularly comfortable with the two right U-turns, but so were all those in B grade. If you’re wondering (more like questioning) WHY I’m racing B grade, like I said, I’m no crit expert. It’s the socially responsible thing to do. I’m not able to take the U-turn at speed and getting stuck with the A graders is just a disaster waiting to happen. I went on full gas with 2 laps to go but it wasn’t to be. I didn’t take lap times, so I obviously had went too early. I was caught at 3/4 lap to go.

On to more exciting things this weekend: Track race! I can’t wait to get on.

Here are links to some photos from the crit series. I won’t insert any into this post, but if you have Facebook, get on and check them out!

Sports Snapshots
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.499876116759716.1073741833.369289756485020&type=1

Rad Events
https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.492982487456300.1073741830.411801865574363&type=1

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rollers, needles, wake-up call

The ever-present challenges in competitive sport always seem to hit me the hardest when I’m down. Things looked like it was going to pick up coming back from the Southeast Asia GP in KL, which now seems like eons ago. I continue to adapt to my training environment at home by making the most out of what I have and focusing on what needs to be worked on. Roller sessions have now become a regular thing for me. Not good news for my rusty, not-so-trusty ol’ e-motion rollers as the elastic band decided to snap. I wasn’t about to let her retire as I didn’t even have enough moolah on hand to buy myself another set of rollers. If cable ties can hold MRT tracks in place, I’m sure it can secure a roller frame. So the no-motion is back in business.

Just as I’ve solved one problem, a back injury decided to haunt me again. I won’t bore you with the how it happened this time, but I didn’t get it fixed the last time. Time will heal all wounds obviously didn’t come true. You must be thinking why I didn’t get it fixed the last time? Reminder, even though I have ridden with national colors, I’m recognized by the federation, but literally non-existent to big brother. Private consults don’t come cheap and I needed every penny I had to make it to the Continental Cycling Center Shuzenji. In times like these, prioritizing was crucial. I made the calculated decision to rest it off, which I do NOT regret. As a part-time joe worker, I got enough hours in to afford to get it properly sorted out. After some needles by Dr.Cormac at The Belle Clinic and a physio session by Kelvin, I can now bend my back properly again.

The physio session with Kelvin was timely. I needed that slap to the head about how I approached my trainings. I had lost focus on the little thing that mattered, control. Like when I was in the boat, going about solo has taken its toll on me. In my opinion, it is quite impossible for someone to compete at an elite level without systematic, structured, professional support. Athletes who have been fully supported before will grow when the support is taken away. With new found discipline and appreciation, there lies the opportunity to improve by leaps and bound when they are able to have that support team around them again. The same for athletes who have had to work their own way into the system. The question is, what level should the athlete be at in order to deserve national support? Going private is always an alternative, if you can afford it. You can even buy some medals if you have spare change.

I have always been a believer that we got to get out there and make it happen. I’m sad and disappointed to admit that for the past couple weeks the drive had slipped and I drifted a little to the dark side. There are many factors to blame, the only one worth mentioning is myself. It’s time to get back out there again, knock on plenty of doors and get back on track. (punt intended)

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