Tag Archives: Strava

Merry Christmas from MMT

Dear Rouleurs,

November and December have vanished in the blink of an eye, and MMT has not posted anything for over three weeks. MMT is way behind on updating his bike log.  A quick look at MMT’s Strava account reveals a grand total of almost 7,500 Km.  MMT has averaged 5 rides  and 160 Km a week all year.  Damn….thats not bad.  When MMT returns to work next year he’ll have to do the math and see where he ended up.

Santa came early for MMT.  He took delivery of a very cool and fast pair of Aeolus 5 wheels for his beloved Domane.  Whilst his wallet will hurt for a few months, the wheels have been absolutely superb and worth the $4,000 they cost.

The other nifty addition, to MMT’s never ending collection of bike paraphernalia, has been a Topeak bike seat.  This has been installed on Marv’s old Canondale F4, for the specific purpose of doing Sunday morning rides to the park with gorgeous half-pint daughter.  Here she is locked into the seat and enjoying being the centre of attention.

Change of topic, MMT scanned an article on Richie Porte a few months ago.  He’s Tasmania’s (er…Australia’s as well) best chance to win the Tour de France next year.  He had a horrific stack this year breaking his pelvis among other things.  You can see the screen capture of this incident, that I posted a few months ago.  The good news is that he is back training.  Another interesting development was the departure of Simon Gerrans to Porte’s Team BMC Racing.  That could make for a very interesting combination on the road next year.  Anyhow here’s blatant breach of copyright from Herald Sun a few months ago.

So finally, MMT and famil would like to wish any that may have accidently stumbled across this blog, a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.

Until next time, ride safe.

Marv

 

 

 

2017 Cadel Evans People’s Ride

Dear Rouleurs,

Life as daddy day care has continued at pace.  So much so that MMT has realised that he’s only got about 4 weeks left before he returns to work… the horror….Nooooo!!!!.  MMT had a long ‘do to’ list that hasn’t quite worked.  One of those items, that has been sadly neglected, has been this blog. Whilst MMT has been on the bike, training with his new club Rapha Cycling Melbourne and doing longer versions of the events he did last year, not much blogging has been occurring.  Another new development for MMT was signing up for Strava for the first time this year. At some point in the not too distant future, MMT will write about what it’s like to be a new member of RCC and his impression’s of Strava.

The subject of this blog is one of those recently completed events, the 2017 Cadel Evan’s Peoples Ride. Team MMT stayed in Geelong three nights to soak up the atmosphere of, what event organisers are hoping will be become, a modern one day classic. Team MMT really enjoyed the ‘buzz’ around Geelong for the race.  The event village, finish/start line and sponsor’s pavilions were ideally located on the foreshore.  Good weather for the People’s Ride, Men’s and Women’s races seemed to draw the crowds out around the course.

MMT’s first attempt of the  111 Km version of the People’s ride was pretty tough experience. A quick look of the course profile can provide some insight into why this so.  The first 50Km or so is easy and very scenic, particularly the segment between Barwon Waters and Torquay.  However the fun starts on the hills just outside of Bells Beach where a vicious ‘W’ shape contains the KOM climb. Looking at Strava, these hills range between 4.5 and 6% on average.  Honestly, they felt much tougher than that and I had to walk some of last two.  Happily MMT made it over the top of the KOM by myself.  After that it’s quite manageable up to the final Aid Station Moriac at kilometre 82.  After that it begins to become quite nasty. There are 6 steep climbs in the backend of the course that I found difficult.

This is not a pretty picture !!

By far the nastiest of these is the very last section, Queens Park Road to Melville St, which if Strava is to be believed, ranges from 5% to a whopping 19%.  That’s a proper Belgian Col and I only saw one guy make it up over the top.  How the pros ride over this hill three times, fast, is a mystery to me. The other sections range in the 5 to 7%, with the hills around Ceres (up to 7%) and Scenic Road (up to 11%) being the toughest. I think I had to walk on least four of them.  I was really underdone coming into this event. Next time I’ll need to add some hills to my training and not get pneumonia.

Opps!! 114km or 111km, printer error.

On the course itself, I have to say that I though the positioning of the aid stations was really off.  The Aid Station in Torquay, should have been after the first climbs, not before it.  The first aid station, intended for the shorter course, I assume, was at kilometre 29 in Barwon Heads.  The Torquay station was less than 20 kms further down the road, on the flat part of the course.  In hindsight I would have stopped there and not Barwon Heads.  Moriac station was about 35km further on.  The finish line was another 29Km after that.

IMHO, the Torquay station should have been a few kilometres after the KOM at kilometre 62.  Similarly the Moriac Station should have been around kilometre 92.  The printed collateral which I’ve re-produced here, also had some errors.  First the long version course was 111km not 114km.  Not sure why there was a screw up measuring the distance.  Also the distance between the stations was completely wrong.  Not sure who has been doing their proof reading.

So here’s my Strava log for the event.  Have to say that a Suffer Score of 136 is not something MMT would hope to repeat anytime soon.

So onto a few photos, some taken by MMT, others by course photographers.  Happily, none of these guys took a photo of me walking up a hill 🙂

On the starting line.

Crap selfie of moi. I’m showing nerves

On the road, near Torquay.

In the hills of the last 25km.

Moriac rest stop. Nice bikes 🙂

Nearly there, a few km from the finish in Geelong

So the big question is will Team MMT try this tough course again next year??

Until next time, ride safe

Marv

The Mean Streets of Melbourne

Dear Rouleurs,

As an adopted Melbournian and born again road cyclist, I always feel a bit twitchy when I read a heading on the front page of The Age that said something like “Melbourne’s worst streets for bike crashes”. This appeared in the Age on the 26th February, and immediately had me scratching my head and assessing this list.

20160229-DangerousRoads

But its this commentary that caught my eye:

“Five of the top 10 streets for crashes are in the City of Melbourne – St Kilda Road, Elizabeth Street, La Trobe Street, Collins Street and Swanston Street. Others in the top 10, including Chapel Street and Brunswick Street, mostly share the common trait of cyclists riding on busy streets beside parking spaces that have a high turnover of cars.”

The key common factor being the movement of motorists across where the bike riders are going, is creating these hazardous situations. That’s a fair point, it is a point that is also supported by the Strava Heat Map of Melbourne CBD.

20160229-StravaMelb

The bright blue ‘lanes’ of Swanston St, St Kilda Rd, Latrobe St, the top ‘end’ parts of Collins and Elizabeth St at clearly heavy use cycling areas. Elizabeth St just baffles me as there is no cycling path, the same is true for most of Collins St. Why any cyclist would use these streets is just beyond me. Same goes with Chapel St and Sydney Road. It seems to me that a cyclist’s best survival strategy is to avoid these corridors.

Of all these streets, Latrobe St is by far the biggest disappointment. It’s really clear that the ‘so-called’ Copenhagen lane, hasn’t worked. That’s probably no surprise to commuter cyclists who use. It simply doesn’t cover the entire street and offers no protection to cyclists to motorists turning left.

 

So what’s the answer?? It is the unthinkable – remove all non-public transport and non-commercial vehicles from the CBD in the hours of 7.00-9.30 am and 16.00-19:00 pm and implement a London-style congestion zone for the period in between. Then build car parks outside the CBD and next to tram ways to house cars driven by commuting motorists. It makes no sense to keep supporting the use of cars in CBD.

So that’s my 2016 leap year anti-car rant. Until next time, stay safe.

Marv