What weekends are made for!

Daylight saving has kicked in, the days are getting longer, warmer and so much brighter. Summer is on it’s way! For the first time in a while I rode outside both Saturday AND Sunday. Sure I’ve been hitting the trainer and Zwift with a vengeance, but there’s nothing quite like two beautifully sunny and perfect cycling weekend days in a row! How I’ve missed this!

Saturday was a climb-fest with some new cycling buddies and saw me tick off another one of Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs. Sunday was a much more laid back affair with a simple solo spin soaking up the sunshine.

It really doesn’t get much better than that! #happydays

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Climbing faster, getting fitter (or taking the #ZwiftEffect to the streets)

I’ve hardly ridden any road miles in the past couple of months, a combination of a chilly Tassie winter and weekend commitments meant that outdoor cycling has taken a back seat. Finally last weekend I got out for a decent spin including a local climb.

Mount Rumney (can you pick it from the route profile? lol) is a Cat 3 rated climb and number seven on Hobart’s Top 10 Climbs list. The full climb is a fairly consistent ascent averaging 5 percent for just shy of 6km. It allows to you get into a good seated rhythm for the most part, with a few steeper sections to test you out of the saddle.

On my fastest previous attempt I was actually gunning for a PR and was pretty gassed by the top. This time around I wasn’t aiming for a good time – simply enjoying the ride and fresh air – and I managed to knock 30 seconds off my previous best! I still had plenty left in the tank and was going to bang out another rep, but ran short on time before needing to be home. Instead I took a quick photo at the top…

…before descending back to the base. There’s actually nothing else at the top of this climb besides the nice view towards Hobart and only one road up the mountain.

I know I bang on about Zwift a lot, but it really has saved my cycling over the past couple of dark and cold months. There is no way I’d be as fit as I am or as motivated as I am right now without it. Bring on Spring and Summer!

A perfect Sunday cafe spin!

After almost a year in Tassie I finally managed to meet up with a local rider. Paul lives in the next town over and I’d initially found him through Strava, as we swapped KOMs back and forth a few times when I first moved to Tassie, then crossed paths out riding on our own. More recently we’ve both been riding Zwift and chatting on there, but we’d never been able to get out for a proper ride together. Today that changed.

We had agreed on a more sedate “cafe ride” this Sunday to start things off. We met up at the bakery (conveniently located half way between each of our places) for a later 10am start to let the sun burn away the morning chill. It was glorious outside, almost perfect as we rolled along the coast and country roads. The sun was shining brightly and a gentle cooling sea breeze swept across the island. It’s hard to beat Tassie on a day like today. We weren’t pushing super hard and spent much of the time side-by-side having a good chat like old friends.

After a solid 60km loop back to the bakery we stopped for a quick coffee in the sunshine, review the ride and chat some more breeze. Even though we were weren’t smashing it or pacelining, we still pushed hard enough to feel it a little in the legs and snag some good Strava trophies. A perfect Sunday cafe ride!

I don’t mind admitting that Paul is a much stronger rider than I am, in his words all he does is ride, eat and sleep! His FTP is a good 100W over mine so I know if he wants to he could drop me pretty easily. We’re hoping to make the “Z TAZ Sunday Ride” a semi regular thing, so it should amount to pretty good training when he does decide to put the hammer down!

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! ;-)

Never waste a sunny Sunday

Sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if I’m dreaming. I forget just how lucky I am to be able to live and ride here on this southern island. It really doesn’t get much better than waking up to this!

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I only had a short amount of “ride time” on this beautiful Sunday morning so I took my Zwift-fatigued legs out for a coastal loop in the glorious Tassie sunshine. I really should have been resting, but some mornings just can’t be wasted. With full sunshine and no wind I cruised around for a whisker under 32 miles (1850 ft elevation, 19mph average speed) of tan-line cultivating, mood boosting goodness. I even picked up a couple of sneaky Strava cups along the way. Happy weekend! :-)

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Sun, Zwift, KOMs and Crashes! My cycling 2017 starter…

I’ve had a pretty good start to the cycling year and I hope you have too, no matter what season you’re currently in the middle of. I kicked off 2017 with a very warm and also very wet New Years Day ride in the Blue Mountains two hours west of Sydney. The owner of the AirBnB we were staying in left me his spare bike to ride. What a champ!

img_3026Matching bar tape, hubs and socks. So totally pro…

Yesterday I took to local roads for a a little Saturday spin, not pushing hard just using it as a bit of active recovery and tan line sharpening. Even so I managed to clock a PR around the TT loop and take 2nd on the leaderboard. All that Zwifting is paying off!

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It was a fun ride. Well, it was until a bird flapped out of a roadside bush and collided with my chest! I must have grabbed too much front brake or turned abruptly as I was sent over the bars and hit the bitumen! Luckily nothing broken (on me, the bike or the bird) just a few grazes and some scuffed levers.

week-one-stravaI’m a bit stiff today, but otherwise it’s business as usual. I opted for some easy time on the rollers listening to the Zwift Podcast to work out the stiffness and keep the legs turning.

Next job is to check over the bike to see if there’s any damage I may have missed, then off to the beach for a bit of lazy Sunday afternoon recovery time! #keepcycling