Tag Archives: track

Welcome 2015

I was meaning to do a round-up of 2014, including an excellent training stint with CCC Shuzenji. It has just been a whirlwind of events, on and off the bike.

The CCC Shuzenji training camp takes you back to the basics, and it’s something worth re-visiting every now and again. Form and posture, numerous efforts on small gears. Times aren’t so much of a concern, but with competitiveness and pressure to perform, riders always use times as a benchmark for either improvement or performance. This edition of the training camp housed a great bunch of up and coming junior riders with heaps of potential. So I’ll be looking out for their names in the near future. For me, it was more like a good solid 2 week training block, form check and to see where I am physically on the Wingate test at the keirin school.
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In the department of good news, after deciding to give the 2014 Asian Championships a miss, I’m up to compete at the 2015’s edition.
http://cycling.org.sg/selection-into-scf-national-training-squad-for-mtbroadtrack-and-acc-2015-track-and-road/
I’ve been making progress but at the same time putting a lot of pressure on myself to prove my worth. Well it’s kind of inevitable when you’re a noob, unless you have a coach/system/program (whatever you want to call it) looking out for you. So here I am, back in sunny Perth, to get them track legs ready. Thank you TCWA for the warm welcome back. A massive shout out to Rudy Project Singapore, for all the support and belief they have in me. BikeGearNow, Solitude of Strength, TRG, Restwise, Maxinutrition Asia, G8 Performance, MSTI, thank you for being part of this gruelling journey. Your support has helped keep me going.

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For sale: Casco Speed Time helmet

For sale: Casco SpeedTime Helmet. Used only a couple of times. Still in excellent

One size fits all. 55 – 61cm

Going for SGD$350. Comes with original hard carry case.

Feel free to contact me if you’re keen to take a look.

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in local cycling news

Singapore Cycling recently opened up nominations for National squads and the 2014 Asian Champs across all disciplines. Here’s the link to their website for the announcement of those who have been selected.

http://cycling.org.sg/announcement-of-athlete-selection-results/

Congratulations to everyone to has made the squads and the 2014 ACC team

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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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Heading in the right direction. Wait, is my compass working properly

It’s a wrap at the Continental Cycling Center Shuzenji. I did say that my time there passed slower than I expected, but that was only during the first week. As we moved into the second week, the days seemed to be on autopilot. We moved on to our aero bars and before I know it, we were told to prepare for our time trials. We did have a day off in the middle to take in the sights at Hakone, which us and the Hong Kong riders and Hiro (Female Pro Keirin rider!!) had badly needed at that time. The Kazhaks only arrived at the end of the first week. The training was systematic, the coaching was brilliant, and we were well fed. I might have to start learning Japanese if I plan to go back. The hotel, named Cytel (think cyclist hotel), had a few other guests attending a road race over the weekend, one of whom happened to be the famous pedal-strike.com (twitter). There was also a group of Pro Keirin riders and the Japan National futsal team came the second week we were there.

Photos courtesy of Izu Velodrome

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I came out of CCC Shuzenji with familiarity on the track. That might sound like a no-brainer but I can assure you it is not. I was an absolutely wrecked on the bike on my first days. The structured program, everything from warmup to working sets to cool down between sets, to cool down at the end was a routine which I really missed having and needed as there isn’t a track at home. Routine breeds familiarity which will help gain confidence and I needed that. I have to be honest, I wasn’t satisfied with my time trial results, especially the flying 200. I was mentally and most certainly physically prepared, but excitement got the better of me as I didn’t keep enough of my weight on the rear wheel and the wheel skipped on me, twice, when I came out of turn 2 going into the back straight. Process just went straight out the backdoor. Great.

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The 2-week training camp would be put to the test as we decided to head up to Kuala Lumpar for the 2nd Southeast Asian Grand Prix at the Cheras Velodrome. A little last minute, but we managed to get in on it. So it was a 3am arrival in Singapore for me, and off again at 6:30am as we drove our way up. As we had already missed the first day of the race (racing started on the 8th, we only flew into Singapore on the 9th), I wasn’t able to get in on the sprint qualification, another go at the flying 200. In the Keirin, it was a learning experience. With that familiarity on the track and on the bike, I was able to be in the mix, but I missed out on making the second round due to a lack of experience

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Photo courtesy of Josiah Ng

Things are certainly moving forward. Our coaches at CCC Shuzenji constantly remind us to take back what we have learn and continue to practice when we head back. There are limitations here at home in terms of the things which I need to work on, but there are also aspects which I can make sure I put in the 10,000-hour rule. Their school of thought is tried, tested and proven and I will take it with me where ever I go. Thank you Yajima-San, Kato-San, Hagihara-San, Nado-San, Koba-San and Fujii-San (I really hope I haven’t missed out anyone!!) for believing that age is not a determining factor. Though they don’t say much, I can sense their belief, attentiveness, eye-for-detail and eagerness to help us improve. I hope that they in turn have been able to take something back as well.

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Big shoutout to Maxinutrition, The Sufferfest (their kit was rockin it big time at the Izu Velodrome), Rudy Project Singapore, Compressport Singapore, G8 Performance, Athlete Lab and Wilier Triestina. Their unwavering support is what helps me to focus on putting in the hard yards. Thank you!

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