The joy of pre-work rides

Now that the weather is improving and there is a decent amount of daylight early in the morning, I’ve started to get into the habit of pre-work rides. It’s a great way to get a solid hour in before starting work!

It’s taken a bit of logistics and forward planning though. I ride my motorbike to/from work so I’ve had to leave one of my road bikes (luckily I own a few) at the office, along with some spare clothes, kit and basic bike stuff like chain lube, track pump, etc. I’m lucky in that respect too as I am able to have a good setup at the office.

I’ve commandeered this spare office to be my bike workshop!

There’s no shortage of testing climbs within a 10 minute warm-up ride, including some of Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs such as Mount Nelson (Cat 2), Strickland Avenue (Cat 3) and The Domain (Cat 4). But currently my favourite morning ride is a rolling blast along the  Inner City Cycleway, which provides a relatively smooth and car-free out and back course from the centre of town.

It’s a two-way shared path that roughly follows the old railway track. When it’s not busy it can provide an even tempo effort for the majority of the route – although the many intersections, road crossings and morning runners can mess with that! ;-)

So now a few times a week I get in early and smash out a solid hour on the bike before starting work. I get to beat the morning rush hour, get the endorphins flowing and set myself up nicely for the day ahead, something I miss from my cycle commuting days.

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Paul Pritchard: Adventure Trike Rider

I get to meet some awesome people in my line of work. Today, one of those incredible human beings was Paul Pritchard. He came in today so we could kit him and his team out in our merino wool thermals and active/outdoor wear in preparation for their upcoming cycle expedition!

Paul is a life-long adventurer. Back in 1998 while climbing the Totem Pole (one of Tasmania’s most famous rock formations) Paul was struck on the head by a falling boulder. He lay on the cliff ledge for over ten hours, bleeding and broken, as his climbing partner ran 8km back to base for help. The accident left him a hemiplegic and changed his life forever. He basically had to learn to walk and talk all over again.

But he has never let his injuries curb his adventure spirit. Years of recovery and rehab later, he has since completed a trike expedition across the Himalaya from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp and most significantly, returned to the rock which almost finished him – to finish what he started – succeeding in climbing to the top!

Tasman Peninsula rock formations, including the Totem Pole

Next month Paul and his team will set off on a 2100km cycling challenge which will see them pedal their trikes from Australia’s geographical low point (Lake Eyre) to it’s highest, the peak of Mount Kosciusko! Not only that, he’ll be doing it on a TANDEM trike – accompanied by a blind stoker – alongside his team of other disabled adventurers. People really are amazing.

Exploring the Tasman Peninsula on two wheels

Last weekend I had the opportunity to take my bike down onto the Tasman Peninsula for a ride along the coast and into the hills. It was one of those rare and perfect early winter evenings. Still mild enough to have the legs out, not a drop of wind and hardly a car to contend with.

It’s not often enough I get out on the road these days and this ride certainly reminded me of what I am missing out on!

During the summer  the roads down on the Peninsula are jammed full of tourist rental cars and badly driven camper vans, but outside of peak season you can almost have the place to yourself. It really is a little slice of island paradise. If it weren’t for the fading light I could have ridden for hours, but in the end I rolled back to the house with a shade over 51km on the Garmin, three Cat 4 Climbs, 28kph average, two Strava KOMS and one absolutely stunning sunset to finish off the ride. Some days life is just ohhh so sweet and it makes you thankful to be alive. #keepthosepedalsturning

Some evenings are just too good to spend on the trainer!

Some moments are just too good to waste on the trainer. My plan for the evening was to get home from work and jump on Zwift for an hour’s sweetspot session, but perfect weather (combined with an internet outage, hehehe) convinced me to unshackle myself from the trainer and head outdoors for some magically mellow miles.

A quick photo stop on the jetty to capture a perfect late summer evening…

I took my trusty time trial bike out for a spin as I need to clock up some more time in that position. Well, what a fantastic evening for it! I wasn’t pushing super hard or staring at my Garmin stats, just enjoying the fresh sea air, but I still managed to pick up some Strava PRs (including a couple of Top 5 times). Some days, there’s just no better way to spend and evening than outside on two wheels. #moremilesmoresmiles

* Photo critique: Yeah I know, I didn’t remove my light, saddle bag or water bottle and also forgot to line up valve stems properly. At least it’s in the big ring! ;-)

2016 Woking CC Metric Century Challenge

The Woking CC Metric Century Challenge is a monthly challenge that encourages club members to get out and ride their bikes further and more often! The rules are simple enough. Clock up one 100km (or longer) ride each month for 12 months. Virtual rides do not count. The ride can be as fast or as slow or as flat or as hilly or take as long as you like, as long as it’s one single ride completed in one day.

IMG_2005For some this may be a breeze, for others it will be a really tough slog. The idea behind the challenge was that it be accessible to as many club members as possible, getting more people out on their bikes for longer. It’s more about just getting out there every month!

The challenge runs for 12 consecutive months from December the previous year to November in the current year. Why not January to December you ask? It’s so the award badges can be given out at the Club Christmas Party, the number one social event of the year! I’m sad to be missing that for the first time this year…

IMG_2365Where will your 100km journey take you?

Steve H, the club’s Competition Secretary has done a sterling job of keeping the challenge going and promoting it to many more members this year. I’ve recently ticked off my November 100km to complete the dozen, so I’m looking forward to receiving my badge of honour to take pride of place alongside last year’s finishers badge!