Monthly Archives: September 2014

When cycling legs meet real life

It’s a slender issue of RTI this week. Think of it as the Weight Weenie edition – where we’ve shed all the fat and focussed down the bare essentials…

In this weeks edition, we have a report from last weekend’s inugural Nusajaya Race in JB and a TriCorner update on the latest results and races in the region. The Nusajaya report is multi-media so watch the video links embedded in the report for some live crash action…

Interesting week for me where I received a couple of unexpected wake up calls about the true fitness of my legs in real-world situations. I’m pretty proud of my legs – the veins pop like a London Subway map & the calves are like someone has welded some overfed turkeys onto the back of my leg.

So I was pretty surprised when I did a bike fit on Wednesday and couldn’t manage some of the basic leg strength exercises and discovered that I’ve basically not been using half my leg muscle groups. More worryingly, my glutes (ass) were described as weak with a lot of room for improvement…  😦

Bloop-Soccer-in-Kovan-300x224Thursday brought me to a futsal pitch for the 1st time in 15 years as part of a team building event.  Pre-game confidence brimmed over as my superior cardio and legs were clearly going to crush the geeky data scientists that make up my team. The fact that we were encased in giant inflatable bubbles for the game would be no problem and I would reign supreme. 15 minutes into the game I found that my cycling strength was of limited use as football uses completely different muscles sets.  I then received a heck of shaming at the hands of people with double digit body fat percentages. Pride and legs are still hurting…

Moral of the story. I guess we’ve got to look beyond cycling sometimes and do some other things to make us more well rounded in our fitness. Maybe its not all about the bike after all…

Enjoy the weekend rides/races and be safe out there.

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Nusajaya Circuit Race, Johor

It’s only been a month since we were last in JB for a “circuit race” and here we go again. This one was different though. For new boys – Kayuh Johor – this was their inaugural event & the “circuit” turned out to be a couple of loops of a 35km circuit round JB’s new Iskandar region and the Legoland park.

The usual SG faces showed up at Wheelock Place at 6am and we had an impressive peleton of ~25 riders riding up together with Mavs, ex-Cannasia/Cycle Training Asia, Direct Asia and ANZA well represented. Boldly carrying the ANZA/DA flag were Pierre, Don, Guillame Rondy, Mark Scoular, Nico Las and Pete Macca.

The ride over the causeway was a 45km trek and largely uneventful apart from one of our contingent being taken for deep questioning at SG immigration. Malaysia petrol station toilets also proved unable to cope with the onslaught of racers pre-race nerves. Not pretty.

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The race circuit was a bit complex and seemed to consist of a lot of roundabouts, u-turns and a unexpectedly large number of long slow uphill drags. The wind and heat were throwing in nasty comments from the side.  The roads were open but police were handling the roundabouts and there were evil looking cones around to help mark the course…more on them later.

Open Category consisted of ~70 riders. A large MYR 1500 prize pot pulled in a lot of local teams and so the start line was packed and suitably excited. A lap with the VVIPs round a big fountain & we were off!

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The race started at a hectic pace and I had an average of ~50km/hr for the 1st 10km – pushing over 500 watts. The cones immediately became a factor with riders weaving in an out of them to try and move up the peleton. After each roundabout the field stretched out massively and splits rapidly started forming as the elastic snapped.

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About 15km in, we had our 1st accident with the cones and 2 guys went down hard. 1 rider was unconscious for a while but eventually recovered & both were left with just a bad case of road rash. Pete Macca was riding with his camera and got footage of both crashes here. http://youtu.be/sexGWGKZna8 and http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=akIECa8q9Ek.

Crappy placing had me near the back of the remaining peleton. After being in the red too often coming out of roundabouts,  I ended up in the 2nd group about 15km in and we puttered on trying to keep the lead pack in sight – hoping that eventually they might slow (never happened!). We kept this up till about 45km, when one of the police officers accidentally sent us the wrong way down one of the roads and we got lost.  5 minutes of some extreme fkng swearing later, a few of us then headed back to the start to watch the finish sprints.

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A 2nd crash came in soon after – again a victim of a cone strike. The poor Lapierre guy (Harish) was sporting a cut on the head and what looked like a broken collarbone. Clearly in pain, we felt bad for the guy. 3-Nil to the cones so far.

The juniors race came into the finish soon after. The sprint was unique in that I saw the breakaway arrive from the left of the finish & then the main peleton arrived about 1 minute later coming in from completely the opposite direction!

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The Open field arrived soon after and was led in by one of the MY local pros –  probably 400m ahead of the main field. Around 30 others came in a bunch sprint – with Pierre around 10th.

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Some quick drinks and red bull and we all rode back for the border. The heat started taking its toll and there were a few cramping on the ride back to Woodlands. JB traffic did it’s usual best to kill us but was ultimately unsuccesful.

Whilst the race had some sketchy moments with the cones and signage, it was great to see a new entrant try and put on races in the region. Kayuh Johor has 4 more races scheduled next year and I’d definitely go back. Malaysia Boleh!

Unique race pack too…

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Tri-Corner 26/09/14

Tri-CornerMartin Reynolds

Race results

Weihai ITU Long Distance World Championships
The pinnacle of the ITU long distance triathlon season took place last Sunday in Weihai, China. France swept the men’s race with Bertrand Billard (5 hours 9 mins) retaining his title as the fastest man across the 4km swim, 120km bike, 20km run course. In the comeback story of the year, Camilla Pedersen (DEN) (5 hours 43mins) clenched her first world title in the women’s race. Pedersen, who crashed on her bike nearly a year ago and was required to be in an induced coma for the better part of a month. At the time it was unclear if Pedersen would survive, much less compete ever again.
Some fantastic performances, in their respective age groups, from ANZA members and friends who were selected by their national federations and raced for their country – a great honour indeed:

  • Tim Kelsall 6:13 (4th)
  • Jeremy Snoad 6:36 (2nd)
  • Victoria Hill 6:58 (2nd)
  • Liam Winston 6:59 (20th)

Upcoming Races
Singapore Aquathlon – National Championships
Some non-cycling action this Sunday, 27th September down at East Coast Park. Event kicks off at 8am, with Standard (1.5k swim/10k run), junior, sprint, youth and kids. Awards Ceremony at 11.15am
Langkawi, Ironman, Malaysia
Priding itself as the “Toughest Show on Earth” this race makes a welcome return to Malaysia – also this Sunday. 3.8km Swim/180km Bike and 42km run on one of the hottest IM routes out there. The fun starts at 7.20am.

The very best of luck to all those racing!
HK Triathlon
The 2014 Hong Kong ASTC Triathlon Asian Cup takes place on the iconic grounds of Lantau Island on 25 and 26 October. You can now register at http://www.hongkongtriathlon.com/. Organized by Metasport so it should be good,.

Big news day…

It seems like a big news day today – Scottish independence referendum, new iPhone 6 launch, Singapore F1 and Jensie’s smashing of the 1 hour record.

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Overloaded with the media overkill, RTI headquarters has ordered a slightly quieter week to chill things out before the weekend. This week, we’ve got a Tri update from Martin Reynolds & a ra-ra reminder for the Athlete Lab handling skills ride tomorrow. We’ve also got the return of the elusive but incisive Masked Assassin – giving his views on last weeks TdB Cat 3 training ride.

Let’s hope the smog clears up before the weekend. For those riding in Johor Circuit Race on Saturday – good luck!

Athlete Lab Bike Handling Skills Session | Saturday

Just a quick shout out for the Athlete Lab supported Skills Special Ride on Saturday.

The ride will be a SOCIAL ride with the specific aim of enhancing your bike handling skills. If you’re new to Group riding then this is highly recommended.
Whilst Lizzie Hodges is the main champion, this is not a Ladies Only ride & all are welcome.

WHAT

  • Increase confidence in basic bike handling
  • Cornering on the flat
  • Cornering downhill
  • Braking
  • Hand signals
  • Group riding skills

 

WHEN

  • Meet at Athlete Lab. Amoy Street. 7.15-7.30
  • Ride over to Mount Faber with Coach Wilson
  • Practise your skills
  • Back to Athlete Lab (can leave a bag there if you want)
  • Breakfast. Coffee. Chat on Telok Ayer Street

 

HOW

Let Lizzie Hodges know via the thread on ANZA Facebook if interested.

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Cat 3 Training – Truth or Fantasy

Masked AssassinThis week’s Cat 3 Training Ride

So here is the plan for this Saturday’s Cat 3 training ride.

We will call it as a separate Cat 3 ride, then roll out of Food Canopy and down to Bukit Timah.  At Adam road somebody will volunteer to ride to the front and proceed to try to rip the legs off the group all the way up Adam and Lornie, shelling the weakest riders out the back, who shouldn’t be there anyway!

The next group will then take up the mantle as we hit Old Upper Thompson and drive the pace until we lose another 2-3.

We’ll head off on a standard Kranji and by the time we get to NTU to do a couple of loops, we should be down to the 50% who are hardcore, the rest can limp home alone.

2 NTU loops to punish those who stayed with the group and back for coffee.

AngelAlternatively, and my preferred option:

We will try to divide into groups based on the waves we are in, but I’ll make the group sizes even.  I’ll try to get some ribbon or something so we can identify our ‘teams’.  Then we will make a brisk but ‘steady’ ride round to Rifle Range Road, the same as last week.  Each team is responsible for making sure that nobody in their team is dropped on the way.  I don’t care if you let them draft all the way or if you take turns pushing them up the hills, each team, and preferably the group as a whole should arrive at RRR together.

At RRR we’re going to try to have some fun.  Each team will choose a couple of attackers, and the teams will take it in turns to attack.  The other 2 teams must chase down the attack but AS A TEAM.  I don’t want to see a long line of individual gap crossers.  Work as a paceline to bring back the attack, it will be 6 or 12 (2 teams) against 1 attacker.  The attackers team should not do anything to help the chase down, nor should they join their attacker and support him.  Once caught, the next team has a go.

We’ll do this on the way down RRR, then ride back steady as a group. Repeat 2 or 3 times depending on how well it works and if you are having fun!

Tri-Corner | 19/09/14

ImageMartin Reynolds | Triathlon Director

Ironman 70.3 – Sunshine Coast

Last weekend, two-time Olympian Courtney Atkinson (03:45) withstood Australian ITU star Dan Wilson in a sprint finish to claim the men’s honours at IRONMAN 70.3 Sunshine Coast, with defending champion Pete Jacobs (03:47), with his focus firmly on Hawaii, content with third. In the women’s race, Caroline Steffen (04:12) out-pointed former short course star Czech Radka Vodickova (04:16) with an emphatic run with defending champion, New Zealand’s, Gina Crawford (04:19) rounding out the podium. Swim was calm, and weather was perfect by all accounts

A couple of great performances from ANZA members with Dean Campbell (4:49) and Stephen Duerden (4:59) both breaking the 5 hour mark – nice!

Open water swim this Saturday with Athlete Lab

Saturday 20th September 15:00 – 17:00. Frequency:  Where: Tanjong Beach, Sentosa  (meet at Life Guard tower – bikes/bags can be left there). Athlete Lab Coach: Wilson (98784113). Open and no cost to ANZA cycling members. Just turn up and introduce yourself to Wilson.

For those that are yet to enjoy the fun of swimming in Sentosa, this is a great opportunity to get experience of swimming in the sea, with high quality coaching helping you with techniques such as drafting; entry/exit strategies, pointing etc.  Open to all abilities, and it’s in a sheltered bay so very little chop and your friends, family can also keep an eye on you whilst enjoying the drinks and the sounds from Tanjong beach club.

 

Happy Birthday RTI!

RTI is one year old this week.

PilotWe’ve come a long way from our early days as a weekly Word document / fanzine type thing (click here for a reminder) & this week sees our 160th post on the new electronic RTI. Whilst we’re tooting our own horn, we thought some of you may be interested in some of the stats behind RTI.

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  • On average, we get around 250-300 unique visitors per week.Momentum was building nicely but decimated during our month long fiesta in July.
  • Our greatest ever traffic was generated on 21st March issue – which contained a Chengdu race report from Pierre, Martin Reynolds Under The Helmet & the Youtube video of the “angmoh cyclist incident” at Vivocity
  • Ian Burtons Cat 2 Batam Six Bridges race report is the single most viewed article on the site
  • We’re big in Singapore but also have a sizeable following in Mauritus and further afield!
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  • Facebook is the most common way that people find us but some unlucky (?) souls got to us through more exotic search terms including:
    • “singapore island of prostitutes”
    • “giants causeway red snails under the rocks that squirt water when you touch them”
    • “must ride like eagle, feeling like superman, one day per week on bike, or training program is shit:
    • And the deep and interesting “did the people that built titanic get to ride her?”.

Stop searching for yourselves on Google – we can see all those searches too…

Road Closures from Dave
None for Saturday.

Sunday will see roads around Changi prison closed in the morning for the Yellow Ribbon Run.  Shouldn’t affect anyone using Loyang Avenue.

Kiddies are having a run around Marina Bay area as well.  Two lanes of Marinal Blvd will be closed, but who rides there anyway.

FrANZA goes to KL
DSCN1656Not content with taking over the sharp end of ANZA Cycling, it seems the French want their own secret cycling signal so they can identify each other on the road, so taking the east coast / west coast hand gestures from stateside (look it up on Google if you dont believe me) they have created their own.  Apparently it is a F – I’ll let you decide.

First Aid
We hope never to need it, but when we have a rider down, it is always handy to have somebody around who knows what they are doing.  The club wants to arrange some First Aid training but we want to know what sort of thing you want.  Can you hunt down Lizzie Hodges post on Facebook where there is a voting option.  If you can’t find it an email to the usual anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com with suggestions is always welcome.

Take care out there.

Newbie goes to Frasers!

[It took me 5 years to get to Frasers, Arran has managed it in 2 months. Ed.]

By Arran Pearson

21st July, arrived in Singapore…
25th July, first road ride in Singapore (followed an ANZA West Coast Ride route I found on Strava)…
26th July, first attempt at an ‘official’ ANZA ride (bike broke!)
27th July, first MTB ride (Bukit Timah dodging monkeys)…
10th August, MTB ride with the ANZA dirt crew
17th August, first ANZA race (again with the dirt crew).

So as you might have guessed by now, when we decided to move from Sydney I had pretty much sussed out the riding situation in my soon-to-be home well before I had managed to secure myself gainful employment!  Helped of course by the number of ex (and current?) ANZA members that have ended up riding with my Sydney Club (Sydney CC).

So when facebook lit up with discussions of an upcoming trip to KL I figured that I’d just jump in the deep end – what better way to get to know a few people than go and hang out for a weekend riding bikes with complete strangers.  Having secured the approval of my darling wife all there seemed to do was actually work through the logistics of actually getting there.

I confess I signed up and sorted most of this well before I had any real inkling of what was involved or where we were going.  The banter on the facebook group gave me confidence that someone seemed to know what was happening and besides – it would add another country to my ‘list’.

As our departure loomed strava files showing the route were produced… hmm…. Now its not the distance per-se that was worrying… or the climbing really… but I was suddenly conscious that the weeks prior to my departure (and indeed since arriving) had perhaps been filtered through an amber haze that may not put me in the best shape to tackle a 36++ km climb.  Oh well… how bad could it be?

Bad.  But more on that later.

Thanks to Nico and Matt’s organization skills the coach arrived on time and our passage out of Singapore and through customs was surprisingly hassle-free.  About now I had consumed most of my snacks and was looking forward to the dinner stop that is always part of the traditional aussie road-trip.  This was not a traditional aussie road trip.  There was no dinner stop.  (at one point Nico tried to offer me some kind of substance he claimed was food but to this day I’m not convinced).  Ok.  The ‘pack sandwiches’ comment was serious advice and not banter!

It was a weary (and in my case starving) group of travelers who arrived at the KL Parkroyal to be greeted by exceptional hospitality at midnight – swift check-in and friendly staff (no doubt aided by the efforts of club member and Parkroyal GM Mark Losi) made the late night arrival bearable verging on pleasant!  It was swiftly off to sleep for me – breakfast at 6, depart at 7!

Day 1, the Queen Stage…

This was the biggie – 200km out to Bukit Fraser and back.  Strava maps were posted and for someone who had just gotten used to the lack of ‘up’… to see a real mountain was not pretty.  5 climbs – ‘The Wall’ – a nasty 1km of 10+ % to get you warmed up.  ‘Evian’ (spelling mistakes are mine alone!) – about 6% average but steadily ramping as you climb.  Bukit Fraser – 36+km of an average of around 4% but at 6% for most of the last 8km.  Then Evian (steeper) and the wall (shorter but still steep) on the way back.  All in all you are climbing for about 80km or so.

I was fine for the first two – sure not with the mountain goats but still ok and feeling sort of comfortable.  Mark had organized a couple of chase vans well stocked with liquids and other goodies so we were never short of refreshment and snacks – just as well as the temperature climbed well over 35’.

Now, the monster Bukit Fraser is really not _that_ bad – just like the climb up SBV… its just that you’re doing that for more than 2 hours.  Add in some over exuberance on the lower parts of the climb and insufficient water (and salt) intake and I was in a world of hurt.  Not the place to be when the road markers helpfully point out that there’s 30km still to go.

It was a long lonely ride for me – more or less stuck in no-mans land not being quick enough to catch anyone in front but the unwise choice of a 11-25t cassette meaning that I was not able to sit and comfortably spin.  The sense of achievement when I finally went around the last bend and saw the clock tower at the top of the climb was amazing (luckily I saw bikes thus and didn’t feel the need to do some extra climbing to the uppermost resorts like some).  Of course this was dampened somewhat by not really being able to move as my legs cried enough!

I ride 45km uphill and all I get is a photo?The banter in the group at the top was great – there’s something about a shared difficult experience that really makes a group of strangers into friends (although sadly I was not in the small group that had been reportedly offered ‘inducements’ to keep climbing by some of the ANZA women…).  A bit of food and more refreshments (sorry – its going to take a while before I look forward to fried rice as a mid ride snack rather than the traditional burger!) and we were off again.

If the ride up was torture then the ride down more than made up for it (well… once we had stopped to take care of Andrew and Phil who had perhaps chose the wrong corner to practice their late braking skills – missing skin but importantly the bikes were ok! [What are you talking about, ok?  My bike left skin on the road too 😦 Ed.]).  The descent was 50 minutes of pure fun – not so steep that you had to constantly be on the brakes but still enough downhill that pedaling was more a choice about how hard you wanted to go than necessity.  Nice!

Quick stop for refreshments (and for some refugees to flee to the comfort of the busses) and then it was back on the flat roads back to home.  Spirits were high, we had conquered the highest (and I thought toughest) mountains and it was time to potter home.

Wrong.

DSCN1639Turns out that when you’ve got over 150km in the legs that a 5km 7% climb in 40’c is actually quite tough.  This was the low point for me… as soon as the road pointed up I dropped straight off the group and resigned myself to a slow plod up the mountain.  As I suffered along my heart was lifted a tiny bit by the sight of some of my fellow riders (names withheld) stopped beside the road waiting for the bus… although the bus seemed more intent on slowly following me rather than any broken body collection!  Yes I was nice (eventually) and got the driver to turn around!

This hill seemingly went on forever – my faithful bus had rejoined me and probably the only thing that carried me forward was not knowing exactly around which bend the top was and the fear of bailing out and taking a seat some stupidly short distance from glory!  No fear though, once the summit was crested there was the smiling face of Mark and his crew ready with bottles of coke and 100+ on hand to convince the head (if not the body) that there was only one more climb to go.

After all the grinding climbs, the 800m 10% wall at the end was almost a relief – at least the short, sharp standing climb exercised slightly difference muscles!

We eventually arrived back at the hotel at 5:30 – some 10 hours or so after we left and amazingly the spirits of the group had done nothing but lift the entire day.  A quick shower and it was off to enjoy yet more of the Parkroyal’s amazing hospitality – some drinks and then out for dinner where, despite Nico’s exhortations to hit up the local karaoke bars most turned in for an early night knowing that a recovery ride was scheduled for the next day!

Day 2, the recovery.

Only after an epic we’d experienced the day before could this be termed a recovery ride.  Only one hill but it was still 15km long although once again at a relatively gentle grade.

The majority of the day was pretty uneventful – after the efforts of the day before this was just a nice ride in the countryside – KL even managed to turn on a fun run in the centre of town for us!  The climb itself was a civilized 3-4% and mostly shady.  All in all this was an ideal way to end the weekend – just enough to turn the legs over and do a little bit of work (although from what I hear there was the usual silly antics up front from the fast crowd!) without ending the day utterly destroyed.

We were back at the hotel just before lunch – just enough time for a leisurely lunch and swim beside the pool before once again boarding the bus for the 6 hour trip home.

For a new member to the club (and indeed new to Singapore) this was a fantastic introduction to both the club and the sort of riding lifestyle that I am sure I can become accustomed to.  The actual organization of the trip was flawless (thanks Nico and Matt for ensuring that the logistics of getting to and from were well sorted) and the actual riding and accommodation in KL itself is top notch (big shout out to Mark Losi).

The only thing I really want to know now is when (and where) is the next one!