Monthly Archives: May 2015

Quotas

After a hectic few weeks of racing, it has gone quiet at RTI towers so we can get out some long overdue updates.

Now ANZA Cycling, as you know is an Australian society that tolerates New Zealanders, and being as it is in Singapore, and on this 50th anniversary of SG we should remember that if Singapore weren’t here then we wouldn’t be here either 😉 (memorable quote from the VOTYs that one).

It seems that we have have been suffering from a bit of an influx of the French recently.  Since racial harmony in the peloton is a top priority, we have deemed that the French should be like handbags.  That is to say, when a new one comes in, and old one must go out, and so having instigated the formation of FRANZA, he has brought this on himself and it is with much sadness that we must commence the process of saying goodbye to Nico.  And what better way to say goodbye than to post a long overdue Under The Helmet so we can get to know him just as he leaves our island.

Ok ramble over, you can read the rest in the Under The Helmet profile.  On top of that, we have news from one of this year’s sponsors, Swift Carbon and Toro gives us a lowdown on how to get fit in Sentosa without ever setting wheel off the island.

Good luck to those in Taiwan this weekend, I hope the weather is kind and the mountains aren’t too steep

As mentioned last week, steer clear of Tuas, but the rest of the rides should be fine for the weekend.

And for my final words – Buy the bibs!

Let’s be careful out there…

Andrew

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Under The Helmet | Nico Las

DSCN1656You see them on the bike but who are the people behind the helmet. Nicolas Chaste, and saying goodbye at the same time.

Who are you?

Nico Las it’s derived from my actual first name.

Where are you from and how long have you been in Singapore?

I’m from Paris, a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour. I spent a bit more than 2 years in Singapore. Sad to leave in one month, but happy to move to a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour.

How long you been riding?

I’ve been riding commuter bikes in Paris since I was a student. Cheap, super-fast and beer-proof. In 2011 while living in Perth the colleagues I was riding with told me I’d be faster with a proper road bike. ANZA is the first cycling club that I joined and I owe it a lot: I learned the etiquette with Adrian Muir, the language with Alan Benson, and the chivalry with Mike “Toro” Sewell.

Whats in your bike cabinet?

Focus Izalco Pro 1.0 my first and only road bike.

Cinelli Hoy Hoy Rats

Cardboard-collecting-uncle tricycle (which is only used for secret Franza underground training sessions).

Greatest cycling achievement?

Tour of Friendship 2015 (Thailand). 35th out of 36 finishers in my age cat. Sketchy sometimes but I had a great time amongst  passionate cyclists.

Worst crash?

I only crashed once after a long Saturday ride at a pace above my level (note: know your limits). I hope I won’t crash again to decide which was worst.

Most embarrassing moment in life?

Right now when I think about all the embarrassing moments in my life.

Most embarrassing moment on a bike?

When I realised in the middle of a ride that my most loved Franza bib was past its age limit.

If your life was a film, what would it be?

Lost In Translation. Apply that to a few countries where I have worked.

Motto in life?

Seize the day

Motto on the bike?

NFGU

Words of wisdom for the club members?

This is not a race, but the first at the top wins.

What’s the last song you’d play before a race to motivate yourself?

Standing on the verge of getting it on (George CIinton)

If your life were a film, who would you want to play you?

Mark Losi, she’s such a great actress. And my twin brother Colin Alexander for the stunts.

Favourite SG ride and why?

Dave Powell’s social reverse Kranji recovery ride. Double it and it becomes the Double Franza. Because it makes me recover twice faster.

Where can you be found when not on the bike?

1. Having a skinny soy latte in some hipster coffee shop. I keep espressos for when I am with fellow club members.

2. Playing with my Japanese-run-New-Orleans-inspired-Singapore-based brass band.

Best ride in the region that you have done?

1. Cycosport’s Tour de Kepri

2. Losi’s Fraser

3. Kari’s Eddies

4. Double Franza

Cycling ambition still to be tackled?

I have a huge bucket list of cycling trips. Taiwan, Japan, Norway, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland. But since I have never ridden in the country mostly known as Le Tour, and I’m moving back there, I’ll put Mont Ventoux at the top of the list.

Oh and I would really like to make a podium in TOF one day because the porcelain trophies are absolute must-haves.

3 words which best describe you?

Attack

Cramp

Bonk

(in any order)

Nico – you’re leaving the country soon. Where are you heading off to & when?

To Paris, a city in France mostly known as the finish line of Le Tour. Moving at the end of June.

What’s this Franza thing all about & what’s going to happen without it’s leader (you)

Franza was the codename for the promotion of French language at the front of the ANZA peloton. It is now a training program for champions, based on double recovery rides and underground tricycle exercises. This not-secret organisation will survive me in Singapore as long as there will be Raoul Bertillon and other fast French speaking cyclists around. Craig Cameron qualifies as French speaking because he knows how to say “Allez Allez Allez”. Franza did well in Batam 6 Bridges. Franza has international ambitions in the country mostly known as Le Tour, but that will be announced later.

The State Of Fun

Mike Sewell

So if you are looking for a ride with no traffic lights, smooth road surfaces, undulating terrain, minimal traffic, where do you head for? Malaysia, Bintan, Batam. No the answer is on your doorstep – Sentosa

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Ride details:

  • Tuesday 0545 Ranger Station Sentosa Gateway
  • Distance – approx. 35 km
  • Speed – variable, between steady, fast & faster.

For those of you unfamiliar with the State of Fun it is the ‘catchy’ description for Sentosa, not sure how long it took those highly paid advertising executives to come up with that slogan but it was worth every dollar – right?

Prior to moving to Sentosa I had hardly ridden on the Island as I was stuck in a never ending cycle of West Coast 32,s, Eddies/Edwinas interspersed with the East Coast blast to spice things up a bit.  Sentosa being compact allowed me to explore pretty quickly & formulate a cunning plan to give me a ride that would be enjoyable but still be hard enough to make it meaningful.  This would also save me getting my arse kicked on the East Coast Blast, so a win – win situation.

The ride starts at the Ranger Station as you enter Sentosa Gateway, there is a small layby which allows a safe waiting place. We head across the Gateway & through the toll barriers, (entrance is free before 0700) & we start the first climb up to a left turn onto Artillery Avenue, heading straight we lead onto Allanbrooke Road, good rolling section with a recovery downhill before our first left turn which takes us on past our Club Sponsors Picotins premises & we do our first U turn in front of the W Hotel.

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Retrace back to Allanbrooke Road & that nice recovery downhill becomes an uphill slog, continue along to the roundabout & a left turn puts us on a steady climb up to Sentosa Golf Club, quick left turn into the Car park, avoid the Bentleys & the Maserati,s etc  & descend back to a sharp left & down to Tanjong Beach, sweeping left turn takes us onto the flat section along the beach, avoid the barrier & the Kayakers & after a roundabout turn retrace back up the climb & back onto Artillery Avenue.

This is not a recovery section as the road rises slightly as you head towards Resorts World, following Siloso Road we turn left onto Imbiah Road, which is a short sharp climb & a roundabout at the top gives you a chance to draw breath & head for a descent down towards the Shangri La, a few speedbumps keep you focused before another roundabout U turn & climb back up the hill you have just descended. This is a tough section before a left turn back onto Siloso Road offers you a brief respite as you retrace back to the starting point at the exit road onto Sentosa Gateway.

That’s the end of Lap 1. Most weeks we do around 2.5 laps with most riders leaving the Island by around 0700. The ride has been scheduled now for around 5 months & attracts anywhere from 1 rider to around 8.

It is a drop ride (I am a witness to that every week) but as it is on a circuit you can shortcut to rejoin the group or suffer in silence off the back. There is a hard core of regulars who keep the pace up & it is perhaps the only ride midweek where you can get 75 minutes of traffic light free fun.

See you on Tuesday

SwiftCarbon Bikes

The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that Swift Carbon are one of the new sponsors of the club this year. We thought this a great opporunity to introduce this new brand that you may not be familar with….

SwiftCarbon  is a clean-sheet company, structured around what they believe is the most effective way to produce high performance carbon fibre bicycles. The brand is the brainchild of South African ex-professional cyclist Mark Blewett & the range covers road, mountain and TT disciplines.

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The range leading Ultravox Ti  is currently ridden by Team DRAPAC in Australia and Japan’s Team Lemonade Bellmare.  Drapac used the Ultravox Ti to great effect in 2014 recording 15 wins (including the OCBC Cycle Singapore Criterium) and many more podiums in races around the world. In 2015, Drapac rider Wouter Wippert steered the Ultravox to its first ever UCI WorldTour victory when he triumphed in Stage 6 of the Tour Down Under in January as well as some podiums in the recent Tour Of California.

The unique ride feel of a SwiftCarbon frame should instil complete confidence in the rider. It’s a sensation that comes from being totally relaxed and comfortable on the bike. When a bike is predictable yet agile, stiff under power yet damps out road buzz, with spot-on fit for its intended purpose, that rider feels utterly at home on it. A relaxed rider is an efficient rider, and an efficient rider is a faster rider. Our bikes have a signature look, standing out in the bunch while remaining understated. A SwiftCarbon bike looks like a SwiftCarbon bike, whether it’s a road racer, TT bike or MTB. But the key element is, and always will be, the ride.

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ANZA Cycling members receive 15% off SwiftCarbon retail products upon presentation of a valid membership card. Contact kaz@swiftcarbon.com for more info.

Don’t be another face in the crowd with yet another Pinarello/Specialised/Trek …..with its good looks, race ready performance and reasonable price tag, the SwiftCarbon is definitely worth a look.

More info at : https://www.facebook.com/SwiftCarbonSingapore
www.swiftcarbon.com

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What a good start to the year

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No I am not talking about ANZA Cyclings accident record, which unfortunately has not been so good the first half of the year, I am of course referring to our record on the race track, or the road race to be more precise.

Podiums Galore at the Batam 6 Bridges last weekend

Congratulations to Craig “Big Guns” Cameron, for his win in Cat 2, good job mate, but you may have to get a license for those thighs now.

More podiums with Victor Michel and Jonathan “Hoops” Hooper taking 2nd and 3rd in Cat 3 and with the Cat 3 team walking away with the team prize, well done to all of you.

Full results as follows:

Cat 1
4th Pierre-Alain Scherwey
11th  Peter Bennett
19th Donald Macdonald
24th Hish Scarff
26th Raoul Berthillon

Cat 2
1st  Craig Cameron
33rd Frank Stevenaar
36th Massimo Nanni
44th Klaus Gohra
56th Alex Thieme

Cat 3
2nd Victor Michel
3rd Jonathan Hooper
5th Nigel Taylor
9th Pece Tasevski
32nd Bill Olver
43rd Philip Morris
45th Derek Donaldson
84th Johan Hundertmark
87th Howard Wallis
90th Bjorn Engelhardt (Riding undercover for The Cranks)

In terms of road closures for this weekend, we have these words of wisdom from Dave “Road Report” Powell “None [road closures] for the normal Anza rides, but anyone thinking of a Tuas variation should think twice.  Tuas South Avenues 2, 4, 5 6 & 7 will all be closed during the next four Saturdays.  Times vary, but usually in the morning.”

With all the good results we have race reports from Cat 1 and Cat 2.  Cat 3 were clearly just too tired after the exertion to put pen to paper for us, but we’d be happy to see a late submission next week from anybody, particularly anybody who was racing for the first time. Write ups, articles, points of interest, questions to anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com

Finally, the gentleman cyclist has some pointed words regarding punctures which everybody would be advised to read.

Lets be careful out there…
Andrew

 

Cycosports Batam 6 Bridges | Cat 2

Craig Cameron

Hoping to learn from some terrible race tactics at the recent criterium I set off on Saturday with one aim – work as little as possible. I was hoping to use the large peloton to my advantage and try contest what was bound to be a sprint finish, with nobody willing to take a chance and work in a breakaway….. How I wish this was the case…

After an uneventful crossing and set up prior to the race start we were soon out of the ferry terminal and on to the Neutral zone which was quite pleasant and even when the race started on the bridge it was quite a relaxed pace in the peloton. There was an early 4 man break which managed to get 1.5mins however there was no urgency with well over 100km to go. I could see from the rear of the bunch that we were pulling some of the riders back and decided to head to the front to find out what was going on and bring with me some water. James Cole was sitting up front monitoring and he let me know that Nate was up the road with a Mav (Alan) and 2 others.

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Nate was pulled back with Alan left off the front on his own. There was still no response from any teams with such a long way still to go and we continued with a relaxed pace gradually reeling him in. A few km from the turn there was a large crash in the middle of the pack and the peloton split. I was lucky, however we lost Nate and James here as they were caught behind and were unable to chase back on and Klaus unfortunately managed to pick up a puncture. I decided with some riders in the group showing signs of tiring it was no longer good sitting right at the back and headed up to the pointy end and stayed around 5th-10thwheel coming in to the turn.

The Mavs were well represented on the front and were reminding us that it was a race and looking for someone to try pick up the pace but I wasn’t looking for the wind and just sat in between their wheels. On one of the run ups to a short incline the Mavs were sending Alan up the road while the others on the front were sitting up to let him get a gap. I decided he wasn’t a bad wheel to follow and slipped out past them on the descent and carried the speed onto his wheel with zero interests of working, just covering, so we didn’t get caught out and have to work this early in the race.

Alan seemed happy to sit on the front while I just sat in we were also joined by Mark 4T2 and when he decided to take the front pushed the pace real hard. For a few turns they allowed me to sit on the back however I soon got some grief and they were not keen on pulling a sprinter any further. Ok I thought we have a decent gap and we also have another sprinter in the pack for Anza (ok Salter really – Sean you need to sort this out!!) maybe I should do a few turns but nothing serious, just to keep us away and make the other teams work….

So 45km from the finish the break was formed and we are rolling pretty well together. With Mark setting a blistering pace on the flat we soon opened up a 1.5 min gap and with 30km to go we were told that opened up to 3.5min. As I was digesting this and thinking we might be able to make it to the end the first cramp hit my left calf. With 2 gels left I decided it was all or nothing so took both in quick succession and as much water as I could stomach.
From here Alan was also fading and had stopped working on the front. However with the strength of Ironman Mark, I decided I was going to stay committed and pushed on. With 15km left to go we were down to 1.5min and on the inclines we were slowing a lot, as much as it sounds weird slowing actually was hurting me more and I preferred to get out the saddle and push on which was putting a few bike lengths between us. This way I didn’t have to respond to the surges when Matt came past and was a little more comfortable keeping the same rhythm. I’m sure my counterpart hates me for this as it was no doubt putting him under pressure on the climbs.

With 4 km to go I’m not sure if it was an attack or a genuine pull however after I had done one of my longer pulls Mark came past like a steam train and I was struggling to jump in front of Alan’s wheel and was very close to throwing in the towel. Thankfully he eased up slightly and I managed to regain some composure before Alan said he was going to give us one pull before sending us off to fight for the win.

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As the final bridge came in to view I was confident I could get a gap and hold it so I decided I was going to take up the attack very early as I was very scared the peloton were closing quick and with a few punchy sprinters in there I would have no chance if we were caught. I reckon I picked up the pace with around 600m to go and with 200m to go my quads, calf and hamstrings were all reminding me that they had been cramping for some time and I had to grit my teeth but with a few grunts and yelps I pushed for the line with everything I could muster.

I managed to cross the line 1st and my fellow breakaway companions also made it home before the Peloton so would join me on the podium. Fantastic work all round and without any member working the way we did I have no doubt that none of us would have made it on the podium. So if you are reading this, thanks Alan and Mark both of whom gave their all to make the break stick.

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I would also like to add a massive thank you to my fellow Anza rider; James, Nate, Don, Max, Frank & Alex who were all really up for this one and were willing to cover on the front making sure we were not left unrepresented with me not having to do any work in the first 80km apart from a few cheeky bottle runs on the descents.

Another great event organized by the cycosports group so last thing is to say thanks to Kent and his crew of volunteers and I’m looking forward to the next race back at Pasir Gudang to celebrate SG50

Cycosports Batam 6 Bridges | Cat 1

Donald MacDonald

3rd running of the Cycosports B6B race and by now, we know what to expect. A long, hilly, hot race which is usually infused with massive amounts of cramping.

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Cat 1 had 30 registered but post ToF fatigue had set in and a few missed it through illness. I’d been coughing up green shit for days and had a voice like a phone sex operator but I wasn’t missing this! Dave Cox on the other hand missed it for more mundane reasons, sleeping through his alarm…  Nevertheless, we had a reasonable team including Pierre-Alain, Pete Bennett, Raoul, Hish and myself. The Mavs had a strong team of 8 and Cycle Training Asia and Joyriders also had decent numbers.

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For once, the day was overcast and the Mad Max style oppressive heat was manageable. Gloomy skies kept teasing rain but sadly never followed through and it stayed mostly dry throughout. Batam pulled out some borderline underage cheerleaders for the dance at race start which was er, stimulating.

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The outward leg was relatively quiet. All of us managed to get into some form of break but nothing was sticking. At around 40km, race favourite Bastian Mav went off the front solo and due to inability/unwillingness of the group DA took the front and set the pace to keep the break at a reasonable distance. The group made it clear that they’d prefer me at the back for the race. My threadbare Direct Asia bibs were showing their age and my barely hidden ass was a bit too visible!

DA ramped the pace up in the run to the larger hills in the 10km prior to the uturn. PA then attacked on the biggest hill – decimating the peleton but taking 4 Mavs with him. I’d been setting the pace on the front at this point and had nothing left to make the jump to what was clearly the race deciding move.

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Whilst most people’s legs were popping at this moment. For Hish, it was his tyre that decided to go out with a bang. He ended up with a 40km solo ride in the heat before Cat 2 caught him.

In the peleton, it was left to Cycle Training Asia and Joyriders to chase the break as they were unrepresented. This collaboration didn’t go so well and led to some testy comments. Joyriders Strooper had clearly read the right managerial handbooks and was deploying F* and C* words in abundance – to little avail from the group. Joyriders tried hard but there was small chance of getting the break back without a co-ordinated chase. Pete, myself and the Mavs enjoyed the spectacle whilst mentally high fiving ourselves on our tactical genius (luck).

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Up front in the break, PA was lining up for 70km worth of pain from the Maverics finest – with Ben, Bastian, Andreas and Nick Swallow all present for the gangbang. Full marks to him for a fine ride as he kept it together all the way to the end. As in the movies, the German came out on top of the gangbang and Bastian attacked with 2km to go and took the win. PA – legs twisted with cramp – came home 4th in the sprint.

The fireman hoses at the end were a welcome respite from the heat. We then had lunch, beers and awards in another of those massive Indonesian sheds in the middle of nowhere. One wonders what these are used for on other days of the week.

The usual Cycosports efficiency took a hit on the way back. Something went amiss with the bikes and our lone ferry ended up being delayed for 2 hours. The crowd were surprisingly stoic and no one really got shirty about it. A small price to pay to get such a good race! The resort probably loved it too – easily selling a years worth of Magnums and tinnies to the FBCC in those 2 hours.

Overall, a good race for the team. We rode well, made the race defining move but were just unlucky to be beneath the dogpile of Maverics. Congrats to the boys in red – they rode a fine race.

B6B | Cat 3

b6b cat3They say a picure paints a 1000 words. Probably just as well, as received exactly zero words from the Cat 3 racing team on their B6B experience.

Clearly they were still out celebrating with Victor Michel and Jonathan “Hoops” Hooper taking 2nd and 3rd in Cat 3 and  the Cat 3 team walking away with the team prize.

Cat 3 –  we’d be happy to see a late submission next week from anybody, particularly anybody who was racing for the first time. Imortalise yourselves in print by sending something through to anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com

 

The Gentleman Cyclist – Punctures

Gentleman Cyclist 2My dearest club mates, you may not have noticed me, but I have been amongst you recently dressed incognito in my tweeds to blend in.  I have been observing the manners and behaviour of the modern cyclist so that I am up to date on culture and etiquette of the lycra clad generation.

Of course in my day, there was never any need as discuss these things as a gentleman was brought up to know how to act in public, whether on the shooting range, escorting a lady to her favourite hat shop, in the boardroom or when on the recreational bicycle.

I noticed on my foray into modern two wheeled culture that the scouts motto “Be Prepared” seems to have slipped out of common usage, and certainly is not being followed in spirit or kind.

What am I talking about?

Punctures!

Gentleman Cyclist 8Yes, the bane of the modern cyclist.  Back when I was leading the peloton, this was not a problem.  Solid wheels did not puncture.  Of course they were a little uncomfortable especially when you hit those cobbles in Roubaix but we got by without the need for pneumatic cushions.  Sadly today, comfort has taken over from practicality and you modern softies feel the need to glide along on a layer of captured air which leads to a problem when that air escapes.

Now for most it is a few minutes, but there are definitely some in the peloton who could do with some puncture practice.  I’m not talking about old school puncture repair with glue patches, sand paper, chalk dust and all that palava, what I am talking about is the relatively simple task of changing an inner tube.

Now I know some of you have delicate hands, and the fairer sex are always welcome to stand beside their steeds looking helplessly at the gentlemen in the group who would be, well, less than gentlemen if they did not come to the rescue, but for most of you no excuses, this is a basic skill of life.

 pedrosI understand that it can be daunting and indeed if you do a googly search on the world wide interweb, one of the first pictures is a little intimidating.  Surely you don’t need to have all this to change a simple inner tube?  And of course no you don’t.  Pedro’s are just trying to sell tools, and presumably help a saddle bag company out at the same time.

So club mates I researched a little and found this:

An average joe fixing a puncture in around 49 seconds -> Average Joe changing a tube

And a look a little deeper found examples from a couple of past tour winners.

Fellow Gentleman Cyclist Greg Lemond gives us the low down here -> Greg changing a tube

And that scoundrel Lance helps us out here -> Lance changing a tube and I want you all to particularly take note of what lance says at 1 minute 7 seconds 😉

So next time you are out on a ride, you know what you need to do, and you all know you should be carrying a spare tube, levers, pump right.

innppz41Just before I leave you to go and practice your tube changing technique, one final word.  I know you all believe that cycling is all about legs and so don’t like to exercise your arms so if you have decided that pumping is just too much work for your wasting upper bodies and have invested in carbon dioxide (that’s CO2 to you) cartridges, then for goodness sake learn how to use them.  There is nothing marks you out as an amateur more than a large puff of icy gas as you waste $4 of CO2 and ask your mates if you can borrow a pump.

To help you there, there is this -> How to use CO2

 Good luck out there, and happy pumping gentlemen.

TGC