2016 My year in review

Overall I would rate 2016 as a pretty good year for my cycling. Once again achieving my annual goal 15,000kms, which included one 300km ride to Toowoomba and three 200k rides to various parts of Brisbane.

The Toowoomba ride was particularly satisfying as it was my first 300k ride in three years and it was good to know I could still do it.

It was a great ride via the back roads of the Lockyer Valley so the traffic was minimal. A couple of good climbs (Mt Glorious and the Toowoomba Range) as well, both are in the first half of the ride so the legs are still relatively fresh when you hit them.  The downside was head wind coming home, the Laidley to Rosewood leg wasn’t much fun when you already have 200kms in your legs. By the time I arrived at Rosewood I was really struggling so I stopped at the local shop to take on some more snacks. While sitting there, working my way through a packet of salty corn chips, the band at the pub across the road started playing “Poor, Poor, Pitiful Me”, summed it up nicely I thought. I don’t know if was the song or the corn chips but after stopping at Rosewood I gained my second wind and the ride home from there was pretty strong.

The 200k rides were

  • A ride to Kilcoy for a pie with Adam. I’ve done this ride a couple of times, nice ride but the climb up the reverse side of Mt Mee after 140k is tough, on a hot day, it’s brutal
  • HWCC Century ride, This is the Hamilton Wheelers annual century (100 mile) club ride. I always add a little extra to it make it an easy 200k and the stop at the Landborough bakery is always welcome.
  • The Brisbane to Gold Coast ride with the added extra of riding back to Brisbane. While it is flat route it turned out to be a tough ride. Even though this is not a race, it certainly travels along at race pace, completing the 100k ride in 2.5 hours.

On the race front it was definitely a good year, with some of my best results in years.

  • 1st Tour de Valley ITT 40-49 age group (4rd fastest overall) –
  • 1st QLD TTT Championships M4/5 (2nd fastest team overall)
  • 3rd QLD ITT Championships M4 (6th fastest overall)
  • 1st HWCC Road Championships
  • 2nd HWCC ITT Championships
  • 1st Interclub Challenge B grade
  • 1st Mooloolaba Triathlon Mixed team (Fastest team overall, 2nd fastest bike leg)

2016 saw the rise of Zwift as a serious training tool for me, racking up over 3000kms on the indoor trainer so the year.  What I particularly liked and found useful was the ability to import my training workouts from Today’s Plan. This made doing the workouts super easy and doing specific intervals on the trainer allows you to them with a high level of precision. No hills, descents, stop signs or turns to interfere with your interval, allowing you to tap out a perfect 3 x 20 minute intervals at 300 watts. Later in the year I discovered virtual  racing on Zwift, It’s really kinda cool being able to race people around the world from your own garage but make no mistake, virtual racing can be as tough as the real thing.

Finally on the club front, it was another year as the Vice President of the Hamilton Wheelers. Probably my most pleasing contribution to the club for 2016 was the proposal for new Time Trial course out at Pinkenba. As it turns out, the course was well received by the riders, so much so that it will now be used as the preferred TT course for the club in 2017. Always nice to give something back to the sport.

  
        
          

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