Monthly Archives: January 2016

Time to Junglecross

The first of this year’s series of 5, yes, you read it right, a series of 5 Junglecross events kicks off on Sunday.  If you want to know what Junglecross is all about, take a look here at this excellent write up by all round cycling hardman Arran Pearson.

Junglecross Write Up

The event is run by the great team at Cycosports who have made racing in and around Singapore a real treat in the last few years, so special thanks to them for all their efforts.  You can still sign up on the day if you find yourself at a loose end on Sunday or you could just pop down to see what it’s all about and you’re bound to see some of your ANZA mates putting in some effort.  Now, if it rains you might not recognise them, but hey, everybody deserves a cheer in this event.  And if you are taking part, have a think about sending us a write up, it is always good to get some new contributions.  Send anything to anzacycling.rti.ed@gmail.com.

Take a look here for details and registration http://www.cycosports.com/jungle-cross-1.html

The rest of this week is dedicated to details of an exclusive ANZA training offer from CrankPunk and a write up on that mysterious product pitstop that all serious cyclists carry, all hope never to use and apparently few use successfully.  Read on for more.

Finally a quick reminder if you missed it late last year, but we’re planning a number of trips so take a look at these and make space in your diary if any take your fancy

Feb 27 2016 – Bintan Day Trip
March 12 & Sept 10 2016 – The ‘New to 100km’ Desaru Day Trip (specifically designed for the 26-28km av riders looking to increase their distance. Supported by a number of experienced ANZA riders)
March 18-20 2016 – Tour de Phuket
April 29 – May 1 2016 – Kuala Lumpur Trip (new route, new climbs, new pain)
May 20 – 24 2016 – Sun Moon Lake Trip (Taiwan)
June 18-19 2016 – Mersing Trip
July 30 2016 – Desaru Day Trip
Sept 23-25 2016 – Kuala Lumpur Trip (new route, new climbs, new pain)
Nov 25-27 2016 – ANZA Club Championship (TBC)

Back to normal after Christmas, so…..
Let’s be careful out there
Andrew

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Pitstop – Does it ever work?

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Since the invention of pneumatic tires the cyclist’s bane has been the flat tyre. The history of the bicycle is filled with gadgets designed to keep air inside the tyre and, once it leaks out, how to get it back in. The ideas range from zany to ingenious. One of the most readily available & easiest to use (in principle) is Vittoria’s Pit Stop.

For those that have never experienced Pit Stop it’s a pressurized cylinder filled with compressed gas and polymer foam sealant. You carry the cylinder with you in a bike bag or jersey pocket. When you have a flat tyre you simply open your valve stem, press the nozzle on the Vittoria Pit Stop canister onto your valve stem and press toward the tyre to release the compressed gas and the liquid foam sealant.  The gas inflates the tyre while the foam sealant flows into the puncture and instantly dries, sealing the hole and fixing the flat. It’s like spray cheese but for flat tyres…

That’s the theory anyway. However, in my 4 attempts to use it, I’ve never actually got it to do anything except disappoint me. My experience has been that the marketing blurb is great but all I’ve ever managed to do is get white foam sprayed all over my carbon rims….

This failing might be due to my ineptitude but I’ve also observed statesman riders – including ANZA’s male rider of the year 2015 – struggling to get any worth out of that little can of Hope. The only time that I’ve ever observed Pitstop exceeding expectations was when it was accidentally sprayed bukkake-style into the face of a rival racing team member whilst being soaked on a Malaysian road hard shoulder!

I love the idea of the product which is why I seem to keep giving it one more try. Interested to see if anyone has had success with it & whether the fault lies in me. Give us your experience below.

CrankPunk | ANZA Training Special

ANZA has an ongoing special deal with our preferred coaching partner – Crankpunk Coaching solutions. Crankpunk is ex-professional rider Lee Rodgers. In addition to his cycling training, he’s also a key part of the Taiwan KOM organisation & a well known cycling journalist and blogger.

Crankpunk has coached a number of ANZA riders in the past and testimonials from a few of the ANZA peleton are available at: http://www.crankpunk.com/coaching/client-testimonials.html

ANZA has a standard 20% discount available for members taking coaching packages with Crankpunk. To kick the year-off, we’ve secured an even better deal to help you get in form for Bintan and the plethora of upcoming events.

ANZA TRAINING | SPRING SMASHERS

First up is a 12 week SPRING Training Capsule, working on stamina and endurance in the first phase, power in the second and speed in the third. It’s designed to get the rider in the best possible shape within a time frame of 8-12 available training hours per week. My training is tested and tried and will also facilitate fat loss over the 12 weeks, so you’ll be ready for your spring challenges looking mean and lean!

Cost is usually $120, Special Offer to ANZA members $90 US.

Next is a special New Year offer on my 1-2-1 Fully Personalised training package. This involves Skype calls every week, with each week’s training plans written especially for you, focusing on finding the optimal schedule. If you want to get stronger, faster and fitter in the shortest possible time, this is the plan for you.

Usually this 1-2-1 coaching pack is $50 per week, but for ANZA Members you can receive a whopping 30% off the first 8 weeks, making it $35 US per week! Thereafter will be the usual discount price of $40 per week for ANZA members.

Finally, we have the 4-week SPRING Blaster Special. Again fully-personalised, this is for those unsure about committing for a whole 12 weeks or for those with a very specific goal in mind. We chat about your needs, and then get blasting away to get your form to jump significantly in the 4 weeks. The intensity of the training is up to you, depending on your goals and present condition. Price is $25 per week with 2 Skype calls over the 4 weeks to monitor progress. After this 4 week period if you want to continue in this way, we revert to the usual In-Betweener plan, which is still personalised, cost is $30 per week with the bi-monthly catch up calls.

Feel free to email Lee at lee@crankpunk.com with any questions or advice. You can also read testimonials here: http://www.crankpunk.com/coaching/client-testimonials.html

RTI roars into 2016

RTI is back from a long and blissful off-season.

The first edition of the year also brings reports from the first club trip of the season in Pulau Indah, Malaysia. Hear about the luxury that a $22 a night hotel can bring & tales from the front & middle of the raging peleton.

Seriously. the 1st Gordons Getaways trip of the year set the bar high. Not 1 – but 2 reports from the race – delivered well ahead of time with some great pictures. RTI salutes these brave and worthy contributors.

We also have an update on the 2016 Racing Season which is looking pretty packed.

Roll on 2016. Keep the rubber side up!

Pulau Indah | View From The Front

Michael Koreneff

An early start on Saturday morning meant for the usual 6am alarm to get to the bus for a 7:00am (hard!) departure. 20 passengers ready on time and an easy boarder crossing on the way out and off we went. Toilet break was called around half way and our first stop was at a luxury (comparatively) petrol station with food, decent coffee and doughnuts for the brave, or hungry and lunch for those who didn’t pack one. The stop was not overly long and then onwards to Klang we went!

Arriving at the “dreamy” Dream Garden Hotel a wee bit early. Highly recommend you check out the view from the window if you ever get to stay.

We no longer needed to collect race packs as Mr Wong took the honours (Thank you!). Some non-ANZA jersey stowaways still needed to collect race packs so a small group of 5 set out to the start line, for a recce, while everyone else took in the sights and relaxed. An easy pace was kept for the afternoon riders, packs collected and everyone returned in just before a downpour erupted.

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With a nice looking local eatery next door, the decision was easy, as they served cold beer. Seating 20 without a booking was a risky move but 2 tables secured and the food was ordered en mass! Soon after 8 everyone was in bed, or getting close. 5am start and 180km’s to look forward to.

Don’t know how everyone else slept but I was out like a light, and up early! (ed: I think Rick had a different POV, as the locals – had one helluva story to tell outside his window till 3am!!)

Breakfast and cutlery was BYO for those who read Laura’s Email 4, or 5, maybe it was 3? The bus was leaving at 6:00am and everyone looked perky and eager to get racing. We did not have the bus for the way back from the finish so that meant another 25km in everyone’s legs after the 180km. Everyone put that out of mind! Onward to the start line.

We alighted the bus and waved goodbye to that white, eerr grey and red haven with air conditioning and comfy seats, which apparently looks like a diet coke can.
Glen Kenny and myself rolled up to the start line early, but already we were 10 deep. Soon to be joined by the Mavs and Matadors! The other ANZA riders weren’t able to spot us so they were another 20 back.

Opening speech, Dignitaries, Anthem and a prayer done it was race time! Very soon after the announced 7:30am start time the horn was blown (for about 5 minutes) and everyone rolled off. Immediately there was a hustle and bustle for position behind the pace car and I found myself in good position. Sitting right by the front but not too close.

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The pace car pulls away around km 25 and it’s all systems go, attacks start immediately. The pace is kept high and the attacks continue until a small group is given a free ride around km 30. The pace settles a little but is still unbelievable. I look over and Glen Kenny is right there asking if I saw the crash?! Nope, which crash? The one where a moped came sliding through the peloton sideways and took out around 10 people. Almost everyone gets back onto the peloton.

Reports of more crashes come but sitting at the pointy end I’m happy to be working and not avoiding crashes. Uncle Pete was behind a crash and so were some other comrades, Pete worked hard to get back on and the others were unable to hold his wheel so were left off the back.

Another group break around km60 and make it to the break. 30 odd riders 1 minute 10 seconds up the road is the news.

Nothing much happens in the peloton until km100 where the temperature starts to creep into the 30’s and another small group of 7 attempt to bridge over to the break. 4 make it and the pace lifts at the front. The peleton is riffle with arguing and sand baggers who wanted a free ride to the group sprint finish. Considerable efforts were put in by ANZA and Allied World colours for the later 60km’s of racing. Phil Routley puts in an attack at 5km to go, which raises the pace towards, at 3km to go the pace kicks again with fresh legs emerging at the front.

There was a safe but highly contested group finish and the peleton were glad to be done! Riders to finish in the peloton were Mr Kenny, Uncle Pete, Phil R, Sofianne and myself.

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News later on comes that someone fell in front of Peter Tasevski and he walked away with a buckled front wheel. Good sport Rick stayed for safety in numbers and as Pete was out they ordered a cab, which turned out to be a local who had a van and was able to drive them back. Just as it was arriving Iain MacLeod, who made the mistake of stopping at km50 to take on water, was there to grab a lift as well. Lonely work way off the back meant a tactful retirement was made.

Ned and Phil Morris crossed the line together, thankful for the 180km’s to be done. [Ed: Still smiling]

From 20 starters we had 1 mechanical and 4 more tactical retirements.
Everyone raced well and put in solid efforts.

With everyone suitable wrecked from a long day in the saddle we all regrouped back at the Dream Garden and our departure time was set at 16:00. Tales of glory, misfortune and hurt were passed around, the bus was loaded, beers acquired and off we set. Sleep was the agenda on the way home until the first stop where KFC was devoured en mass. Heads up was then brought out and laughs were a plenty. The timing worked well and we crossed the border around 10:45pm.

Taxi’s for some, riding for others and the weekend was done! Another adventure with #Gordon’sGetaways a great success.

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Pulau Indah | View From The Middle

Phil Morris

It’s the first race of the season. Pulau Indah, just west of KL. After the super smooth logistics we had come to expect from Gordon’s Getaways, ANZA lined up with a 20 strong showing at the start line.

The first 10K was nervous as you would expect with over 800 racers. The ANZA crew were proactive in looking after each other and we had great support from the Malaysian Police stopping the traffic at junctions. We felt like the pros!

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By the 20km mark, the real contenders had broken away. The ANZA “solid” crew had formed a perfect pace line, punching along at 35km/h+. We looked round to see the rest of the peloton fanned out behind us! As you will see, this becomes a recurring theme.

At 50km, the inconsequential first water station flew past. Opps, weren’t we supposed to stop? Luckily we found the support car who was happy to refill bidons on the go.

For the first 100km the weather gods were kind with an overcast sky shielding us from worst the Malay sun could have thrown at us.

At this point, it is worth noting the 180km course was flat and I mean pan flat. My Garmin showed 270m of elevation gain over the whole course. Nonetheless, a small 40m climb just after the water station at 100km was enough to split the peloton.

Smaller groups formed. Jelte, Andrew and myself found ourselves in one. Once again we formed a pace line and pulled the rest of the smaller pack along, trying hard to pick off riders up ahead. Enough was enough!

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No one else wanted to pull and we had picked up a fairly stiff headwind. We decided to slow our pace line right down in the hope that Ned, Yin, Honfei, Laura and Iain who we knew were behind us could get back on. We slowed to 25km/h before anyone else would take up the baton.

The headwind was taking its toll. Small groups had formed. At the 150km water station my lack of pre-race preparation meant a longer than normal stop to address a call on nature! Jelte kindly choose to wait, and just as we were about to set off, who should fly past but Ned (grinning and giving a colorful hand signal) with Yin and Honfei not far behind. We took that as a challenge to chase her down, so not for the first time it was head down into the wind….

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The last 10km was a hell like no other. The cloud cover had gone and the sun as up high. Jelte had pushed on with a rider who had been wheel sucking for quite some time (sensible move). Ned and I were left.

I had nothing in the tank, and to an external observe we must have looked and sounded like grumpy old farts complaining about each and every body part that now screamed stop. Once gain the “Garmin law of Relativity” kicked in. As the finish line approached, the time taken for each 1km to roll over took longer and longer. By the last kilometer I had switched to watching the tenths of kilometers count down….

The relief of the finish line quickly switched to the need to cool down and rehydrate. Fortunately the organization was top notch with plenty of water, juice and other goodies available.

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Overall a tough but wonderful race. Even in the middle, the ANZA solid crew did themselves and the club proud. A real chance to feel like a racer!

2016 Q1 Racing Calendar

Q4 2015 was a bust for racing. The Haze situation slit the jugular of the racing calendar and we were left to amuse ourselves indoors and on Zwift for months. The absolute nadir of those dark days being the cancellation of the Tour de Bintan in November.

2016 starts on  a positive note and the racing calendar is look particularly perky for the first few months. If anything the March/April period is looking almost too packed at the moment with Tour Of Phuket, Tour Of Friendship, a rescheduled Tour De Bintan and a (gasp!) provisional Singapore National Champs date all planned.

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The calendar doesn’t include things like Masters Tour Of Chiang Mai or the traditional year end TdB yet as dates are not confirmed. We’ll get them on there once they’re officially announced.

The 1st major event – Cycosports Nongsa Challenge is only 5 weeks away. Best get out riding now.