Saturday, October 03, 2009


Day Five of the Simpson Desert Challenge

A quiet afternoon, a few beers and a decent feed. The perfect preparation to the final stage of the race.

After scrounging around the camp last night I managed to dig up half a cup of flour, some sundried tomatoes, and onion and a couple of potatoes to make quite a reasonable bangers and mash with onion gravy. Washing it down with a couple of beers and the last of the choccy biscuits I was off to bed full and happy, yet still quite tired from the week so far.

The landscape has change drastically as we moved to the northern edge of the desert. There is alot more vegetation here and the dunes, although much further apart, are significantly taller. To this end the race director Mark Polley has told us we will have extra time in the first half of the stage as he expects that most riders will have to walk the dunes. After the first water stop we will revert to normal Sweep time as we will be on the gravel road into Birdsville.

The early dunes are just as he has promised. Big, really big. And soft right across the top. Many riders walk both up and down the dunes, athough on some it is possible to find a small hard patch on the top to get back on and get going so you can ride down the far side. The gaps between the dunes are long and flat, up to 1.5km allowing all the riders to make reasonable time. The front bunch doesn't really take off today, there seems little point. The race for all intents and purposes has been won, so today is about getting as many riders as possible home.

The final dune looms larger than life in front of me. Big Red. The dune is monterous, even the 'short cut' which travels a further kilometre to the south and passes over a saddle in the dune called Little Red is huge. This is my last walk. Once I cross this dune it is hard packed corrugated road all the way into town, some 35 kilometres away. It sounds like a relief, but the currugations bring up once again the small issue of saddle sores.... sliding further back on teh saddle to get the pressure off my bum I lean forwad on the bars and wind it up. 35km should not take me more than an hour and a half. Today is done.

Crossing the line in Birdsville feels like one of the greatest acheivements I could make, however it is not until that moment that I realised that I took the brakes off my bike a week ago. passing straight through the finish line and another block and a half, eventually the bike slows down on the unfamiliar tar and I turn around and head back to the pub. Finished.

The worst thing I have ever done on a bike, and one of the best times I have had in my life.

Friday, October 02, 2009

I love it when a plan comes together...

Day Four of the Simpson Desert Challenge

With the Warburton Crossing closed Mark, the race Director, has informed us of a change of program for today. This morning will be a 46km stage across hopefully hardpacked terrain followed by a 100km transit stage. The dunes in the Northern Simpson are too big to ride and the track is entirely sand, meaning that the transit is imperative if we are to make it to Birdsville by Saturday Lunch. Strangely no-one is really keen about driving, but such is life. We will get a final go at sand riding tomorrow with 30km of very large dunes culminating in the ascent of Big Red before we ride the last 35km into Birdsville.

46km followed by an afternoon off? no matter what I am going to finish today. The sandstorm has left the first 20km of apparently hardpacked track covered in nearly a foot of soft loose sand. the only option is to go off track. riding on the hard crust to the side of the track I wander along at times up to 500m from the track, just a scar on the landscape off to my left. that's fine because I am making good time today. The first waterstop appears unexpectedly to my left behind some trees. I have to backtrack across to the road to ride back to the stop. Collecting food and water I jump back on my bike for the last 5km before the claypan.

The claypan is hard and heavily corrugated. Despite the discomfort I push it into the "Big Dog' and accelerate down the track. I am not worried about cooking myself today. I have the afternoon off, anyway I am already on the hardpack and there is only 1.5km of dunes at the end of the stage. Clearing the second waterstop I follow the track further north around the lake, then the track turns due east across the middle of the lake. The last dunes are in sight. Pedalling flat out I hit 42kph across the lake, racing straight up the first dune. 50 minutes ahead of Sweep, I have today in the bag, in fact I could walk it from here and still finish in time. But that is not the point. Dropping tyre pressure and gears I ride the last kilometre or so into camp with a grin from ear to ear. Today is a good day.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

A big day out.

Day Three of the Simpson Desert Bike Challenge.

The morning is a bit easier to cope with today. Sorting out my gear, I quickly prepare myself for the day. There are two stages again today, however the finish is still undecided. With flood waters still keeping the Warburton Crossing closed, we may have to divert the race north, this will mean a half day tomorrow with a transit, and a couple of nasty sand rides. If the river level has dropped then we will continue South-east towards the Birdsville Track as planned. As far as the riders are concerned, we will not know until the third water stop today, turn north and the race is shortened, turn south and it continues as planned.

Studying the race guide I have a pretty good chance at today. The start is again straight into dune country, the first 20km is soft sand dunes and some windblown sand lies across the track, Travelling with a couple of other riders we make good time and reach the first waterstop just outside of sweep time. After a quick bite to eat we make a dash south for a run along a clay pan. 25km of fast hardpacked clay allows me to make up about 40minutes as I turn into the final dunes section. This should be enough of a lead to get me through the next section of soft sand, and then the final run south is on more hardpack between the dunes. Today I am going to finish. I keep telling myself there are no more obstacles in my way, Sweep won't get me today. At the final water stop I am still 5 minutes ahead of the Sweep. On the other side of this dune the Warburton Road turns south and the finish is an easy 20km away.

Crossing the dune my heart sinks to a new low, the crossing is closed, the track turns north. To the north the track is covered in loose sand from yesterdays sandstorm, and I am now riding across it into a headwind. Somewhere ahead there is a another claypan, better riding but more exposed and a guarantee of more wind. At 65km I encounter the edge of the claypan, and crouch lower on the bike as the wind howls, scoffing down the last of my food, I have 10 or 15km left to go, I cant remember now.

All that matters is that I am still ahead of Sweep and still on the track. The wind howls and my muscles scream as I push myself through the wind blown sand over the track towards the finish, 70km, 75km... There are riders stopped in the middle of the track talking to the Medic, I know can't be more than 4km from the finish. The wind gets stronger and now it is a real effort to keep the bike going forward, soft sand is building up in patches on the track, and with my tyre pressure set high for the claypan my tyres sink into the sand slowing me down. I look at my speedo, 7.8kph. My legs are cooked, there is nothing left to lift me back up, gritting my teeth I dig in and keep going. It's got to be less than 3km now. Pushing harder on the pedals I struggle to regain speed, the Sweep arrives....

Shattered, and listless my support crew lift me off the ground and half carry me to the car. Unable to speak and barely able to hold a water bottle, I am cooked. Dave congratulates me on a big effort and lets me know I was 2km from the finish line. Then he tells me that he is going to tell the Race Director that I wont race that afternoon. I say nothing.

The whistle for weigh in for the afternoon stage blows. On auto-pilot - I climb out of the car and shuffle over to the doctors car. Climbing on the scales I am 2.5 kg down on my weight this morning. Given that I have just eaten about half a kilo of food and drunk about 3 litres of water and soft drink in the last two hours, that means that after drinking 10 litres this morning I still managed to lose 6kg in under 7 hours. the doctor looks at me. "are you riding this afternoon" Mal asks. "sure" I respond. Warily he nods at his assistant, " well just take it easy and make sure you drink alot". I nod and wander over to the start line. Dave brings me my bike, "are you sure?"
I need to start. The heat has a lot of riders cooked this afternoon. Struggling I pedal past nearly half the field before being swept again at the first water stop. I collapse in the car again after running with my bike on my shoulder, having gotten a flat 400m from the waterstop.

That night the desert throws everything at the camp. a sandstorm with 70kph winds and rain pound the camp and threaten a number of tents. Sleep, however, is not a problem.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Can it get any worse?

Day Two of the Simpson Desert Challenge.

"C'mon Gumby it's 4.30..."

Are they serious? Two days in a row? Crawling from my swag I scratch myself and look around. There are 29 other riders standing in the darkness, most have a far away look in their eyes as they remember their baptism in sand the day before. Weigh in with Dr Mal shows that I have lost a kilo in the last 24 hours - no great worry now, but worth keeping an eye on he says, remember to drink.... The start today goes straight into Big Sand. Increasing sized dunes for the first 30 km before turning north to run between the dunes for 10km then east again into more soft sand. These are the two worst stages in the race traditionally so I don't have high expectations of finishing today, but if I can get away after the first waterstop I have a pretty good chance of making a fist of it for a while.

The trick it seems, for us slower riders at the back of the field, is to avoid the main track. The lead riders have chopped up the dune tops and a lot more headway can be made by riding up beside the road and making a go of it on the hard sand next to the track. Rolling down a dune-back about 8km in to the ride and the tyre rolls off the bead, flapping around the wheel arch. Wasting time fitting it back to the rim and hitting it with a couple of CO2 cartridges to get it seated again is putting a serious hole in my time. 20 min later I have it rock hard and ready to roll. Rolling off, that's way too much pressure for this sand. Letting it down feels alot better in terms of getting a reasonable degree of float over the sand. with my almost flat tyre, I start out again.

Tyre burps again, no more CO2.....Sweep makes the inevitable call on his horn 15 minutes later. As I sit in the car I berate myself for my stupidity and lack of organisation with my bike prep, then I realise that today is probably a good day to be swept early. A dust storm whips across the desert, punishing wind and sand reducing visibility to a few metres in some places. The entire field is slowly swept, leaving one lone rider battling against the clock and the desert. Alan Wins.

Afternoon stage starts after a frantic lunch stop. The troublesome rear tyre gets the flick and is replaced with a Downhill tyre I had for "just in case". The sand storm abates leaving behind clear skies and 42 degree scorching heat. Lunch is shoved in and a bottle of water follows for good measure to keep the Doctors happy.

This afternoon riders are dropping like flies, The desert has taken its toll this morning. At the 8km mark I came across two riders, it seems Freddy has really struggled with the heat and has taken refuge under a tree, struggling to speak and making little sense, it is clear that he needs some one to stay with him. Kane is a higher placed rider and capable of grabbing a podium so I shuffle him out and stay with Freddy. Twenty minutes later he has started to speak and is making some sense. Checking he has water, and knowing the sweep is just over the next hill, I leave Freddies bike in the middle of the track and make a run for it. Its hardpack this afternoon, but Sweep is right on my tail.

Riders are littering the track again this afternoon. Every few hundred metres there is a rider resting or waiting for Sweep to come and get them with that vacant, hollow look in their eyes of a man with nothing left to give. The medics are tending to a team mate of mine as I ride past. Should I stop? He has some good people looking after him. I can grab a few more kilometers, harsh, but so is this place. Clearing the first waterstop I am only minutes in front of Sweep.

I managed just over half the stage this afternoon, Finally a good effort, things are looking up. I roll in to my swag and stare up at the perfect night sky, planets, stars, comets and satellites all dance before my eyes. There is nothing left to go wrong. Tomorrow is going to be a good day.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

So, this is sand.....

Day One of the Simpson Desert Challenge.

Its four thirty in the morning and I am standing, rather cross and quite cold and miserable in the middle of Australia's largest desert. Thank you for your concern, how do I feel? Uncomfortable.

Thirty other guys and their crews are going through the same pile of morning rituals; food, water, bathroom, water, bike, get dressed, water, coffee, water... there is so much to do and the race start is constantly approaching. "What time is it?" I ask, sucking on a water bottle. "Quarterpast 5", replies Uncle Dave absently chewing on a mouthfull of weetbix as he packs away swags and gets the car ready for the day.

After weighing in I wander back to the car and grab my bike and riding gear, there is 10 minutes from the start and the excitement is building in the camp as the riders wander to the startline. At 112.8kg I am the second heaviest rider in this years feild, that is really not going to help me at all in the soft sand. This morning is a 80km stage to start the race, about 25km of increasing dunes followed by a 10km run south between dunes before turning east into bigger dunes until lunch. The afternoon will be much the same.

Rolling off the start line we all feel our way over the first few dunes, a short play in sand riding the previous day was helpful, but after the tenth fall from stalling in the powder soft sand it is clear that there is a very steep learning curve coming up. At about the 6km marker I fall heavily again, no injury but something has gone wrong as the drive train has started to play up badly. Stop and fix it? That could take me 25minutes and then Iwill be in a dangerous position with sweep times, If I battle on it may come good. with fourstable gear combinations I continue on, but thes gear selections are still a significant issue, too high to spin my way over the sand dunes and far to low to sprint between the dunes on the clay topped road. the ending is inevitable. Sweep will get me today....

With one gear choice I continue to ride over as many dunes as I can, walking across the soft crests and coasting between the dunes, with only 5km left to the first water stop I might be able to get something sorted there. Not to be the case however, the Grimsweeper fulfilling his duties as I entered the first waterstsop, that is my first day done, second rider swept, fresh and ready to ride, but with a bike that just refuses to play.

A frantic lunch stop ensues. As most riders escape from the 40 degree heat and rest, I rebuild my rear derailier, and gear housings in the sand, less than ideal working conditions for such a finicky job. with 15min left before the afternoon stage, I have a result, 7 of the 9 gears work consistently, so I'm ready to give it another go. After the upset of the morning I am keen to have a go and try to put some km down.

The first 30km is a relatively hardpacked run south between dunes, and a good opportunity for me to stretch my legs again before turning back into softer terrain. Overtaking many riders on the harder surfaces I run quickly to the south and my spirits have risen quite alot, it feels good to actually get some km up on on the board. 700m short of the final water stop that dread horn blows behind me, Sweep has once again caught me in the soft dunes, with only 10km to go, clearly need to lift my game......

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bored in the desert....

Waking early again this morning we headed up to the servo in Coober Pedy. Dreggsy and I had both had issues in seating the bead on our new tyres and needed the compressor to sort things out. As we mucked about with bike junk, Dave (Uncle Dave as the entire crew came to know him) sorted out the truck tyre pressure fuel and other minor 4wd related chores. In the same time Lissanthea needed to take a moment to find a grocery store to pick up some bits and pieces for lunch.

Finally ready to roll and armed with two crusty bread rolls and a bag of salad, we headed up the track to Oodnadatta and the Pink Roadhouse. This was the last petrol for 800km until we got in to Birdsville in a week. filling up before theSouth Australian convoy, we headed outinto the desert proper. Along the way we stopped to remove a dangling number plate from the back of my car and to scope out the amazing landscape.

From the Pink Road house we headed east along station tracks to a spot called Dalhousie, old ruins of a previous cattle station, and then on to Dalhousie Springs for a swim for an hour. The springs were over 35 degrees and were soooo nice after three non-stop days in the car. A short arguement then erupted in the convoy over whetherwe should be staying for another swim in the morning in the natural hot spring or moving on to stay at Purnie Bore. Moving on won, and we all bundled back into the car for another 40km of very rutted and sandy tracks.

An hour and a half later and finaly our rag-tag little convoy creeped into Purnie, just as the last of the dying light fell beneath the sand dunes in thewest revealing an absolutely magical evening sky. At that moment I really had forgotten all about riding bikes......

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Wild, Wild West

We decided this morning that we should get underway quite early as we had a significant drive to do, leaving at 5am we headed west towards South Australia and Port Augusta for Lunch and some groceries. a couple of coffees and some race food (aka Pizza) later, and we met up with the Summit Trax lads at the petrol station for the trip north to Coober Pedy.

As the girls hit up Go-Lo for foam Pirate swords, the rest of us sorted out important jobs like food and fuel and scoped out the competition. the drive was LOOOOOOOOOOOONG, and just a little bit samey samey, but only for the first 600km. A couple of stops at Woomera for a photo op at the missile launch site and a couple of the salt lakes allowed a welcome releif from the driving,and eventually we rolled into Coober Pedy.

Wayne (Rocket Man) Chapman managed to completely bungle the bookings for the evening and after the second attempt we managed to find an underground hotel that actually had our names in their booking sheet. settling in underground we relaxed, there is only one more day of driving to the start, and tomorrow we hit the desert!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Journey of a Thousand miles...

After a hard night driving half way across the state, we holed up in the F1 motel at Dubbo. An early start this morning saw breakfast at thebakery at Nevertire before continuing west. The further west we headed the worse the weather became. At Wilcannia we were told the road ahead was closed at Little Topar due to a sandstorm. Driving in the storm I could see about 4m infront of the bull bar and we crept along the highway at about 25km per hour, slowly edging our way towards Broken Hill.

Finally we arrived after a gruelling 10 and a half hours of driving. dumping our gear we went straight to the pub for dinner and a quiet beer to wash the dust off. There are still two very solid days of driving to do as we have to get to Prot Augusta for lunch tomorrow to meet the guys from Summit Trax 4wd club, and then off to Coober Pedy and the desert. The crew and riders have started to come together and there was plenty of friendly banter across the radios. The trip ahead looks promising and I am really looking forward to the race

Thursday, August 20, 2009

All amped up!

It's late August and race time draws near, every day is a training day for the next month. Finally I think I have all the key details for the trip sorted, gear arranged and accomodation booked. It is panning out to be a pretty exciting trip.

After leaving Sydney it will take about three days to get to the start of the race, hopefully there will be time to get out on the bikes and go for a spin along the way or I think my legs will get pretty stiff after three and a half days in the car! I am looking forward to visiting Broken Hill again, and Coober Pedy. I still haven't managed to get that far west, so it is an interesting little town that I am looking forward to seeeing.

Some feedback from the race director Mark Polley has been really helpful in confirming what I already knew, and what I suspected to be true in regards to my daily planning. The race is the least of my problems, getting across the desert 100% is the only real goal for me to focus on. This will make sure I can maximise the money I raise for the RFDS.

In terms of fundraising, I really need to pull my finger out and hit that up again, I have sort of dropped the ball in terms of getting people to stick their hand in their pocket for charity. Hopefully I can get 10 dollars a km in sponsorship before I go.

After the race, Dreggsy and I are planinng on heading to Canberra for the Scott 24hr, and with a few days up our sleeve there is a bit of Australia to see. We drive straight past Lake Eyre, and right through the heart of the Flinders Ranges...look forward to photos of me banging around here on my bike!

Canberra will be a great way to finish the trip with a race on one of my favorite tracks, I can't wait - Bring on October!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

getting the details sorted...

Well time is quickly running out to prepare for the Simpson Trip. The truck has been my focus over the last two weeks, making sure that it is roadworthy for the journey, and kitted out for the trip. Passing rego was no major issue but it needed new windscreen glass, and a significant wheel alignment to sort out a few niggling issues.

The rear storage space has been divided up with a drawer system, although I wont actually drop in the rear drawer until I get back as I think the space will be more easily used as a large void for shoving stuff into. Thanks to my mate Paul Honeywill who gave me quite alot of help in getting the storage unit built up and installed, it was clearly not a one man job.

The recovery gear has all been checked out, and the guys at ARB St Peters have been really helpful in making sure that everything strapped onto the car will a)stay there and b)do the job is has been asked to do. ARB have been a great help in making sure the truck is set-up properly, and now I feel a bit happier to just pass over the keys and see it at the other end.

A meeting of the ride crew, last weekend, got alot of the little details sorted out and now we have three trucks carting 10 people and 6 bikes out to the race with an additional 850L of water, 500L of fuel, recovery gear, 3 fridges, 2 full sets of bike tools and work stands, camping gear, food for 10 for a week and everyones personal junk! Lucky I pack light!

Accommodation out and back has been sorted out, and I should have Internet or phone access for the entire trip, except the 5 days of the race. I will try and keep you up to date. Mark Polley, the race director has said that he will try and load the daily results up on the site via sat phone each night, so there you go, you will be able to keep an eye on how the race is going via the daily stats.

All I have left to sort out is my race food, the final service on my bike, ohh and a spot of riding if I can find the time.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The hard way...

Jeez, I tell you what - I am not doing this training thing the easy way.

March saw me break my foot and spend 9 weeks in plaster, followed by a very slow recovery. Unknitted bones kept me out of regular shoes and Physio revealed some substantial shortfalls in the stability of my ankle after the break, which then demanded my full attention. Finally in mid-May I was given the all clear to get back amoungst it, and not a moment too late!

As I have built my fitness back up during my recovery and returned to training, I have really struggled to maintain speed for any substantial amount of time. For a few weeks it was taking me almost 90min to trek in to work! And of course, to top it all off, the last fortnight has seen me struck almost completely infirm by the flu. Hundreds of dollars on doctors bills and pharmaceuticals later and I am back on a bike again.......again.

Currently, I am riding through an endurance development training program which has been written for my by Alex Simmons from RST cycle coaching. Legs are burning at every session, and there are plenty of afternoon naps at the moment. On the positive side my average speed has come back up to around 30km/h on the road from the painfully slow 21km/h after I got the cast off. Additionally the threshold training is proving to be quite interesting.

I have signed up for a couple of races between now and 'The Simpson' as a way of keeping in contact with my goals and trying to break it down into smaller more manageable bites. So between here and October there is...
Three Ring Circus 50km
Angry Doctor 100km

the goal is to finish in the top third of the field of both, Mogo's Angry Doctor is going to be a important race in terms to pacing myself and managing my food and water for a day as it is quite close to the distance and time efforts that I will need to put in during the Simpson Desert Classic.

I have also signed up for the Scott 24hr the weekend after the Simpson race, as well as the MS Gong ride, and the Highland Fling 50km. Both of which are in November.

It is all looking very promising!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

On the road again.....

Rode into work yesterday to test out my fitness after a couple of months off. i wasn't too sure if my foot would be up to the task, but then again if I keep waiting I will never find out!

I decided that i would ride the single speed into work for a while as I haven't had a chance to ride it at all, having finishing its build the same weekend I broke my foot in March. 44x17 gearing and a spinning rate of around 100rpm had me wandering down the street at about 30kmh for most of the trip in. This put me at work 28km later in about 55minutes, which I think is pretty bloody good for a first ride, in the wet no less.

Quick breakdown of the ride? The gearing felt a little low and I really had to concentrate on spinning quickly to keep my speed up. I can see this being a valuable tool at the moment in recovering leg speed and cardiovascular fitness. It is clearly going to require a bit more punch on hills, but I dont really think that my legs are ready for that kind of abuse just yet, maybe in a fortnight or so. Stem length and seat position were pretty much spot on, maybe slide the seat back a couple of mm, but otherwise its right on. Theonly problem I encountered was with the wheels, which didn't appreciate a short detour across the park on the way in, and a bit of a shudder through the front end under heavy breaking. Although I do suspect the braking problem had more to do with the tyres i was running, and the wet conditions.

wednesday is a day off the bike, kids to transport to school and afterschool activities. We shall see a resurgence of effort and activity in thursday morning and friday as we lead up towards a weekend hit up on the dirt.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Kayaks Australia kick in major coin for the Flying Doctors

Well fundraising for the SDCC has taken off with a flying start. The good people at Kayaks Australia have promised $5 per kilometre in sponsorship for the Royal Flying Doctors Service. This means that potentially they are going to kick in almost $3000.00 towards the RFDS. Their support is up on their website with a bit of a story and they even have a shocker photo of half my head up on the site!

Denise and Troy from Kayaks Australia have put money into charitable works for some years now as their own way of giving something back to the local community, and their belief in my ability to complete this endeavour has really charged me up to give it my best shot.

Fired up by their support I headed out this weekend to chase some support and quite a few friends and family have been steam-rollered by the sponsorship machine this weekend. Currently I have about $7 a kilometre in sponsorship, so I am pretty chuffed with the support. Hopefully they will all remember in October when the race is done!

The only big thing for me to sort out now is the logistics support for the race. I have the truck, bike and all the camping gear sorted so the last thing is a driver to get the whole lot to the other end of the race and offer me a kind word or two along the way. I have a couple of tentative offers, but I'm sure that it will sort itself out in a week or two.

I guess all that is left to do now is a bit of training!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's ON!

That's right intrepid readers, I have decided to enter the SDCC, the Simpson Desert Cycle Classic. A 5 day cycle race across the Simpson Desert. It's been called "Satan's Velodrome" and for many competitors it has certainly been hell. And yet they return, again and again, from throughout Australia and around the world, for those five days of the year when this unique location plays host to an extraordinary cycling event ......

I have completed a number of 24hour races and 100km races, although this will be my first stage race, and it seems I may have chosen a slightly difficult first race. I never have been one for taking the easy route. My good friend Wayne (Elvis) Chapman competed last year and after some long discussions in the quiet of the evening at the 24hr Solo MTB race at easter this year I have decided to make the trip out to the Red Centre to compete in this years event.

The race is a fundraising event for the Royal Flying Doctors Service and I have decided that this will be my charitable work for the year. I am hoping to raise between $10 and $20 per km in sponsorship for the 600km race. Sponsors will be asked to sponsor me for the KM of the race that I complete. It is on all accounts a gruelling undertaking and will help focus my resolve in the desert, knowing that every step forward is going to be providing the RFDS with the money they need to continue their vital work. All the race costs (entry, cars, food, support, etc) will be entirely covered by me so that all of the funds raised will be donated directly to the RFDS. So head for your cheque books people, I'm coming for donations soon..............

Monday, April 20, 2009

Got the cast off my left foot today, the Orthopaedic Specialist informed me that the walker boot could stay in the cupboard and I can start some easy walking about on flat surfaces. He also told me that I can start some gentle riding to get my leg strength back. This is psychologically a big bonus as I have really missed being on the bike over the last few weeks. A little worry still remains however, and given how stiff and sore my ankle and foot still feels I think the trainer will be a good starting place. Its almost been 6 weeks off the bike, so I will probably hit the trainer 20-30 min a day this week to get my legs turning over.

On the down side, a long overdue visit to the physio this afternoon confirmed what I have suspected for a couple of weeks now, the fall at soccer which broke my ankle also did a real number on the soft tissue, with torn ligaments and tendons all over the shop. The down side is that these haven't been treated proactively, the plus being that 6 weeks in stasis means that the tissue damage is largely sorted out, it is just a stretching and strength program.

Looking forward to my new training program from Alex Simmons from RST coaching. Hopefully a solid effort on the bike and plenty of physio will see me racing again in a month or so.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Well avid readers its true, I am back and writing once again. My over caffinated creative talent is oozing from my clogged and sweaty pores onto the keyboard, producing a series of delightful letter patterns to amuse you. Given the time of my absence I have to say that your dedication is - well to put it politely - creepy as hell.
I haven't written anything on this blog for almost two years and you still check it regularly!
Honestly, I thought that I had issues..................