Road to Beijing

Monday, September 10, 2007


Annaliisa and I both found our trip to France very stressful. After some thought, Annaliisa has decided to dissolve our partnership and stop tandem cycling.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me through this dream and let you know your support was really appreciated.

I would especially like to thank Annaliisa for her time and effort in trying to get me to Beijing, and I am sorry that I couldn't be the cyclist that would ride the paralympics with you.

If you do decide to cycle with another partner at the paralympics I wish you all the luck and would be proud to hear the NZ national anthem play.

Thankyou all.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Days 17 to 20

Annaliisa here reporting every few days.........

DAY 17 – Monday
Well, what can I say………….it can only get better………….The weather has really turned to C--P, raining cats and dogs and blowing rather nicely. Boy it can rain here……..Anyway, Jayne, Neelu and myself decided to stay here at the hotel for lunch, Gabi was heading for the track for lunch then was going to come back and get ready, we had plenty of time. Gabs was suppose to be picked up at 11:30 – 12 to go and have something to eat then be back in time for getting ready……..1pm she got picked up so decided to stay down at the track. That’s okay. We eventually went and got lunch. We were to be picked up at 2:45pm – the driver didn’t get to us until 3:20pm…………after another 5-10 minutes we were on our way………………..TRAFFIC!!!!!!!!!! Instead of it taking us 20 minutes to get to the Velodrome it took us about 45 minutes at least!!!!!! Time is ticking. Didn’t have the warm up that we needed but hey you make the most of a bad situation. Time to get ready and get up to the track. Neelu was as calm as anything and my heart was doing a million miles an hour……….Away we go, the start was okay but slower than what we expected but the rest of the ride was okay. We did do a PB by about a 10th of a second BUT it is still a PB and under the circumstances I was actually quite pleased, at least we didn’t do any worse. I think we ended up 12th and considering it’s not what we’re here for it wasn’t that bad. At least that gets the bugs out of the system and we’ve got the pursuit on Wednesday to rectify things. As you all know we will be giving it our best shot. Had a very late dinner but that’s nothing unusual either. So, until tomorrow (quiet day) I’ll say cheerio.
DAY 18 – Tuesday
The day has dawned wet wet wet but now is starting to turn out quite nice. There is a good wind blowing and it is considerably cooler than it has been. Bit of a shame but that’s life. Today we are going to have a quiet ride on the wind trainer as I don’t want either of us to catch a chill, then once we’ve showered we will be going to the Velodrome for lunch and enjoy a bit of racing. We are looking forward to that. Just to get out of the hotel will be good. You start getting a bit of cabin fever. Will report back later.
Well, we did what I said we would……it was a good quiet ride on the trainer. The food was very nice at the Velodrome and the racing was good. It was the men’s LC1, LC2, LC3 and LC4 racing today. I think maybe the CP category was racing as well but not 100% sure on that. The LC categories are people with missing limbs/hands/feet. It is really amazing with the leg amputees as to how many different types of prosthetics (artificial limbs) there are. Well, almost time for dinner – again…….I love food……..
DAY 19 – Wednesday
Had a good sleep last night. We got our gear ready to head down to the track. We were on time today if not early which was wonderful. Feeling quite happy, confident of a good time (PB at least). We got set up, had a look around, had a chat to a few people and generally relaxed which was more than what happened two days ago. Started our warm up, that was going well then I got told by one of the Aussie girls that we were more than likely going to be started out of the starting gates…….oh dear, have never done that on a tandem…….didn’t really like the sounds of it. Brian went and queried it and yes we would be starting out of the gates. At least the organizers could have let everyone know way prior to the Champs then at least we could have been practicing it………never mind, they let us all have a go first before our event started. I must say that Neelu and I were nervous – I don’t really like the gates even on a single bike – but once we were in them and they counted down verbally it was fine and we have a good start out of them. That put our minds to rest. Gabs and Jayne were happy too. We then had to recommence our warm up. Time to line up. Our start wasn’t the greatest but it’s a 50/50 with starting at times. We went onto the blue for a split second but that was okay, it didn’t faze me. We completed the first lap, into the second – 18.2 – oh, a little bit fast, 2nd lap 18.1, okay, maybe we can hold this for awhile and come out of it alright – in a word……no. The last four/five laps were not good. We lost way too much time. Ended up with a 3:56:762ish. Very disappointing. I know were are better than that and it was disappointing. The girls were up and they ended up with a 3:56:607ish. So, not a very good day on the track at all. Paula did get Silver for the pursuit and Fiona ended up 4th in her pursuit final. So at least there was some success on the track. Back to the hotel after the medal ceremony, dinner, cupper green tea and to bed in the time out room.
DAY 20 – Thursday
Had an excellent sleep last night. Woke and went to breakfast. We had arranged with the Gabs and Jayne that we’d ride out to the road course, do a lap then ride back home. Before we got going it started to rain…….I hate going out in the rain………I don’t mind too much if I get caught in it on the way home on a ride but to go out in the rain it really narks me. I must say though, once we got going it was actually quite warm so it wasn’t too bad after all. Feet got extremely wet – hate that. Back for a shower then down to the velodrome for lunch. It was very nice but noisy. Back to the hotel and now we are resting till dinner time. It gets a bit monotonous all this resting, especially when you are used to working and training almost every day. It will be good to get the Road T/T done then get our teeth into the road race. With any luck it won’t be raining on the day as the course will be pretty darn nasty. Well, I’m going to go and have a leg massage then to dinner it is. I swear all we are doing is eating. That’s what it feels like……Caio

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Days 12 - 16

DAY TWELVE – Wednesday
Had an average nights sleep last night. It is very warm and a bit humid. Unable to even have a sheet on me. Never mind, I will cope with it – toughen up I hear you say.
We (tandems) went out for a quiet ride this morning exploring. It was lovely as we found this quiet country road and followed it. We didn’t take too many turns as we will had to get back. Ended up at this town called Leognan which sounded very familiar to me. Found out later once we got back that we were near the top end of the road course – cool. It was a very enjoyable ride. Neelu and I went and got some lunch, very nice, then rested up ready for our dress rehersal track session tonight. Full kit, helmet etc. Getting the warm up sorted as to how much warm up we will need, getting to and from the toilets, changing into skinsuits, helmets, eveything. It went quite well. We then went out and did an 8 lap effort with a standing start. As soon as we started my contacts started to move in my eyes and were threatening to disappear altogether!!!!!! I had to keep blinking but carefully so I didn’t lose them. Trying to do that and concentrate on the ride wasn’t easy. I wasn’t as steady on the bike as I should have been. In the end we did 9 laps as Brian had miscounted. I knew we were doing one extra but it didn’t matter. We kept them all below 19 seconds and most of them were the mid 18 seconds. We made the transformation from the start to the 2nd lap to the 3rd lap really well. We controlled it beautifully. Very happy. Neelu is listening to me as far as what we need to do. Once we’d warmed down we packed up and that was the track session over with. Got outside and it started to spit, so back inside we go and wait for the van. When it arrived the rain was really coming down. Quite nice though. Cools things down a wee bit.
Once we’d had a very quick shower we headed for this Chinese buffet place. It is only 2 minutes walk but we took the van because we didn’t want to get a chill as some of us had washed our hair and it was still wet. Toughen up I hear you say, but as you know I am a self confessed wuse and am proud of it. The food was yummy!!!!!!! Didn’t overindulge which was a miracle for me because I love buffets as do most athletes I guess, really I guess most people. Back to the hotel and Jayne and I went up to Ann-Marie’s room for a cuppa green tea and a chat. Very nice. As I was taking Jayne back to her room Fiona was coming up the stairs. Her track bike – the one Tim had brought over – had finally turned up!!!!! Simply amazing!!! It has only taken four days……..Steve and Margarite turned up at the same time with the other two bikes as Brian did with her original bike – and Steve’s bike as well).
You certainly can’t say it’s been a boring trip although I don’t think we would have minded really if things had gone a bit smoother. It would have been nice if luggage, bikes, hotel rooms, transport, had all run smoothly. I guess it makes us Kiwis dig our toes in even more and go out to prove that it doesn’t matter what’s thrown at you, you get through it and it makes you tougher. Well that’s what I think and I’m going to stick to it. Another late night. Easy day tomorrow. Here’s hoping I sleep a bit better.
Another very aveage night last night. This time I couldn’t stand the sheet anywhere near me…….boy it was humid. It reminds me of sleeping in the tent last year and how humid that was! We’ve had breakfast and we’ll be going out for a ride soon so I had better get ready. We (tandems) are going to get a little bit more adventurous today and get onto the road course. We will have a map with us to make sure we don’t get lost.
No, we didn’t have a map but we didn’t get lost. Pretty hard to when you basically go straight. We ended up in the town the the road course goes through but we didn’t know where the start/finish was. Never mind it was a nice ride. We had only been back for about 5-10 minutes when down came the rain, it poured!!!! Cooled things down a wee bit. After a shower a few of us cruised down to the shopping centre (our favourite haunt) and had lunch. After lunch Jayne and I went for a cruise around the shops – again…..Jayne bought a lovely pair of shoes cause the ones that had been wearing finally gave up the ghost. I bought a lovely skirt and back to the hotel we go. At 3pm we headed for the track to have a final touch up before the champs. We had shared time with Australia and Britain which was cool because Neelu, Jayne and myself got to have a chat with some of the athletes that we’d meet in Sydney earlier this year. We warmed up on the trainer then did a six lap tempo. It was quite good. Nice and even. Back on the trainer then we did one standing start. It felt quite sluggish but Brian came over to us with a huge grin on his face and told us that it was the fastest start/lap that we’d done! We couldn’t believe it! We did a 23.3! We had been doing 24’s/25’s. I think what clinched it was the fact that the start was a good steady straight one. We were wrapped. After getting back to the hotel we showered again and had dinner at the hotel that we’re staying at. It is where we will be having our meals from now on. Had a lovely cuppa with Jayne and Ann-Marie. Time for bed.
Terrible nights sleep last night. I’m going to see for tonight at least if I can have the time out room, maybe even for a couple of nights. I really need to get some good sleep. I had been sleeping really well until the last three/four nights. Never mind. Didn’t do any training today, went into Bordeaux with Marguerite for a couple of hours. It was nice and relaxing which I needed (Neelu went for a cruise down to the shops (local haunt) and had a good couple of hours down there). So not much else to report apart from that. It’s just a nice relaxing day for us. Gabs and Jayne went for a ride. Yesterday Neelu took a fall in the shower. It’s a deep bath with the shower over top, she lost her balance when turning around. Bit of a sore arm but she is okay, a bit shocked as well – as you would be. That’s another reason why we didn’t go riding, I just wanted to make sure that she had recovered from the fall. Had a massage tonight and it was really good. Wendy got into the old legs good and proper. Had a nice cuppa green tea and now I’m heading for bed, so until tomorrow au revoir.
DAY FIFTEEN – Saturday
I had a brilliant sleep last night. I was in my own room for the night. Another night like that and I’ll be smoken’ tyres…….Mucked about this morning as we were leaving for the road course at about 1pm. As from Thrusday we have been chaufered around by volunteers for the Worlds. The guys we had today Brian could just about murdered them…..The guy with the trailer on didn’t seem to really care the fact that he had thousands of dollars worth of equipment in his van as well as the trailer cause he was going over bumps like no tomorrow!!!!! We were following and chringing every time he hit a speed bump. I think the trailer even left the ground at one stage!!!!!! Not good. And to make matters worse these guys didn’t speak ANY English…..oh dear…..not good for the peace of mind. The trip back to the hotel was slower.
The ride around the course was good. We were trying out the TT wheels but I’ve decided that they are too heavy for the type of course it is. What we would gain on the downhill would be minimal to what we’d lose on the uphill. Never mind, you need to try these things don’t you. After a shower Sam, Jayne and myself went for a walk down to the haunt and we did a bit a grocery shopping. Back to the hotel for dinner. Very nice. I don’t like eating this late though. I think it was about 7:45ish. Not good when you’re not used to it. Had a massage – nice……and a cuppa green tea and now I’m about to hit the hay. I’m in a room by myself again tonight but I’ll be back in with Neelu tomorrow night.
Another great nights sleep last night. I love that. A very quiet day today. Went down to the track with Neelu for her classification. She has been classed as a B3 which is the least extreme in blindness. Watch some of the other countries going through their paces which was really good. Some really amazing athletes here. Had lunch at the velodrome which was nice then back to base for a quiet ¾ hour toodle on the windtrainer. It has been a cooler day today with showers off and on all day. It’s quite windy to. I’m back in the room with Neelu now, she has the double bed now. I had it for two weeks so she’ll have it now for two weeks. Hopefully I will sleep well being back in the room with Neelu, if not I’m going to move out again. Need good sleep to race well – usually.
Anyway, as I say, a very quiet day. Not a great deal to report on. Catch up later.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Days 9 - 11

DAY NINE – Sunday
Well, after a late night talking…….I got to sleep at about 11pm. Woke up at 4:45am, oh dear. Finally got up at about 6:20am and went downstairs to breakfast. Neelu went back to sleep and came down later. We were going to go to the supermarket but it was closed. Apparently the place closes on a Sunday, so we headed into Bordeaux which of course was closed because of it being a Sunday, church day. Never mind, we had a lovely day just quietly walking around. Brought another fridge magnet, we’ve got a very big fridge with plenty of room on it so I can justify buying fridge magnets…don’t you think????? We didn’t walk around too much. Once back at the hotel we just lazed around which is good. Back into training tomorrow and it will be good. Neelu is getting heaps better which is great. She will be flying by the time we start the Champs. Hard to believe that in eight days time it all starts. Bring it on………….Fiona’s track bike still hasn’t turned up. Tim Carswell had to make an emergency trip with Fiona’s track bike but it was left in Munic, Tim said that he saw it beside the plane at Munic and thought “Sweet, it’s going to be put on the plane”, BUT, when he got to Bordeaux and off the plane he only had his luggage and not the bike…..sound familiar (luggage). Most of the gear (ergs, Fiona’s TT bike) from what I can gather are still in Auckland……great isn’t it. We must be here for a holiday I think. Heads will roll…………Well, dinner time shortly. Yummy……..

DAY TEN – Monday
Wow! What a feed! We went to a mainly seafood/mussel restaurant that’s only 2 minutes walk, we look at it from our hotel window. I had a medium steak – in NZ it would be a rare…….yummy, very nice. The chef was a hard case, Brian went and saw him with regards to vegetables and he came out with a plate full for us to look at. Primo. We got 4 x large plates full of vegetables for everyone to help their selves to, they were beautiful. Five of the group get the mussels and you should have seen the dishes when they came out, chocker blocker full of small mussels, giant king prawns and calamari (squid rings) in a tomato type base sauce. The mussels would be undersize in NZ. They were very sweet.
This morning I slept in – 6:50am. For those that know me you will know that this is a sleep in. Got up and sleepwalked to the restaurant for breakfast. Fiona told me to open my eyes. I think I should have lain in bed for a few minutes longer…….didn ‘t take too long and the eyes opened quite nicely. Had breakfast then Neelu and I went out for a quiet 30km ride. Round and round our little circuit we went. Going straight out after breakfast is not a good thing to do and I do know that. Never again!!!!!!! Very windy I was…..Neelu is really good today. She has had a good sleep and her chest is all but clear. We have a track session this afternoon between 1 – 3pm but we won’t be hammering it as we want to make sure that she is 100% recovered. Tomorrow we will be hammering the track. We have a three hour session so that is going to be excellent.
It’s a bit overcast today but still a very nice temperature. A light breeze is blowing and I’ve got washing hanging up in the window – again. Certainly doesn’t take long to get dry that’s for sure.
The latest on Fiona’s track bike is that now the airline has no record of it, I think that they’ve decided that they are going to be pigs about it and aren’t interested in helping. So, Fi’s bike is lost and the ergs have gone missing too by the sounds of it or I could have that completely wrong. The ergs may still be in Auckland – who would know……..That’s all for the moment. We are just resting before heading down to the track. Will report on how that goes later. Track went reasonably good tonight. Neelu is still feeling the effects of the chest cold but is getting by the day. It was so weird today heading down to the track. I started to feel a bit tense because all of a sudden it started to hit me that the champs aren’t that far away. There was a kind of nervous energy around the place. People are starting to set up the areas where each country will be warming up etc and the hussle and bussle was quite sobering.
Once back we’d had showers back at the hotel Gabs and I went down the road to the supermarket only we didn’t quite get into the supermarket, we wandered on past it and went to a couple of shops just beyond it. What a lovely time we had……….The shop was closing the doors and we were paying for a purchases and I thought it must have been about 6pm. Well, you can imagine our shock when we saw that it was 7pm!!!! Precisely the time that the team was meeting down in the lobby to go to dinner…..oh dear….we walked rather fast back to the hotel. We were a bit sheepish by the time we got back but it wasn’t too bad. We apologised for our tardiness. Lovely dinner. Time for bed.
DAY ELEVEN – Tuesday
Didn’t wake up until 6:50 again this morning…..amazing……mind you I was awake at 4am, lay there thinking how wide awake I was when next thing I know it was 6:50am. Oh well, it doesn’t matter. We had a track session from 11 – 2pm today and what a ripper!!!!!! Neelu is on top of her game again which is fantastic. We did this progressive 8 lapper and rode it to perfection finishing off with a 17.9 second lap, FANTASTIC!!!!!!!!!!!! Felt sooooooooo good after it. Every lap we just got faster and faster. The next time out doing the same thing we had another great ride. We were on a smaller gear so we didn’t quite go as quick (1.2 seconds slower overall) but we got steadily faster and faster every lap. It was a wonderful feeling. Brian was riding the Derny (motorbike) after that and we were doing even faster laps and I was on my aerobars – exciting stuff………….all in all the session was a real confidence booster. After getting back to the hotel and showering, Gabs, Jane and I went for a walk down to the shops and supermarket. This time I managed to get some groceries – after Jane and I had had a gandering around the shops – again. We made it back in plenty of time to get changed and go out for dinner which again was very nice. Had a cuppa milo with Ann-Marie, Tim and Jane which was lovely. Now time for bed as it is getting rather late. Tomorrow is a quiet road ride in the morning and a track session from 5 – 7pm tomorrow night. Bring it on. Goodnight.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Trip so far.........

World Champs – Bordeaux France
Neelu and I left Christchurch at 6:50pm on Friday 3rd August bound for Bordeaux France. Hate saying goodbye at the airport, it really sucks! First stop is Auckland with a three hours wait until we catch the flight to Hong Kong where we will be staying for about 40 hours at the Regent Airport Hotel. The plane finally left Auckland at midnight. All we want to do is sleep but they serve us a supper, it was very nice and I must say that when I smelt the food I decided I could stay awake a little bit longer – wouldn’t you?? Watched the New Zealand movie – Black Sheep…..really enjoyed it. Good kiwi humour in it which I do like. Time to settle down and try and get some shut eye….yeah right. First we’ll hit some good turbulence – that shakes things up for a moment or three. Finally settling down and it’s 2am NZ time. Managed to get a few hours sleep in between Neelu kicking me cause she had her feet up on the seat, so every time she kicked me I whacked her foot. I decided that if she was going to disturb my sleep I was going to disturb hers….fairs fair. Eventually woke up properly at about 6am NZ time, not bad – about 3 hours of that would have been sleep.
Got into Hong Kong – quite amazing as you land on the new runway, very impressive. Got off the plane and once we got everyone together we headed for baggage claim, quite a laugh really. Eventually found our hotel and of course because it was only 8am and our rooms weren’t ready. So, we milled around for awhile then Chris came back eventually with our room numbers (we thought that he might have been kidnapped and being held for ranson – he took forever to get back to us). We got our gear into the rooms, had a shower – lovely…….and went back downstairs. It was only 9:45am and we were rather hungry – nooooo…..I hear you all say, well we were. It was a long time since breakfast. Gabi got onto the phone to Brian to find out what was happening food wise, he was talking about getting something to eat at about 11:30am – too long to wait so he was going to get back to us. We were sitting in the lobby talking about food – as you do - when one of the guys at the desk took pity on us and bless his soul he brought over four muffins compliments of the hotel!!!!! Such friendly people!! We were in heaven… was a good stop gap until we went and got some proper food. Had to go over to Terminal 2 to get the better restaurant/food cafes etc but that was fine. Wandered around for awhile then the old eyelids started to droop. Had a lovely stroll back to the rooms. Going to go to the gym for an hour or so at about 2pm. We’re all meeting up at 6pm in the lobby to go and try some more yummy food over in Terminal 2 – life is good…….
You gotta love things not going to plan don’t ya……we went to this restaurant, had a look at the menu and proceeded to try and order food. Things were going okay until a couple of questions were asked regarding vegetables and what not. A guy came out and everything started to go wrong. He didn’t speak overly good English and things went from bad to worse. The meals came out in dribs ‘n’ drabs and a couple of people didn’t get what they ordered and one meal hadn’t even been started – we’d just about finished ours! Sam told them not to bother with it, she was going to go and get a pizza. Next thing you know out comes a meal and I don’t think it was what she had ordered! Oh dear, let’s just put this night down to a good laugh – well, some will laugh later I’m sure.
My meal was lovely….bonus!
Well, time for bed, it’s 9:30pm Hong Kong time. Tomorrow most of us are going to go into Kowloon. I guess you have to do it. Can’t say I’m overly fussed but a couple of hours with zillions of people might be bearable.
Good night
DAY 2 - Sunday
After a good nights sleep we get up and go down to a buffet breakfast – OH MY GOD!!!! What a spread!! It was incredible, all the different types of food you could have, it was amazing. We certainly had our fill as it was to do us for lunch as well. Yummy.
After that wonderful gluttony session we meet up at 11am and Chris took us into Kowloon. As soon as we stepped off the train and out onto the city streets I wanted to get the hell out of there. It was disgusting, dirty, smelly, humid beyond belief and zillions of people. The buildings were dirty, I hated it and I wasn’t the only one that didn’t like it. We had Sam and Ann-Marie (wheelchairs) with us and Jayne (blind) and you should have seen the people staring at us, you’d have thought it was a freak show or something (Neelu had gone with Aaron earlier to Victoria Peak and other places). I think these people hide their disabled people and close their eyes and ears to it. We had no end of trouble trying to get back to the train station because there was no lift to get the girls down to the platform. Eventually we found someone who could speak English that could help us. He was part of platform official type person or something……he got this robot type machine that went up & down stairs – really cool. The girls weren’t so sure about it for a start but it was great. You should have seen the people stopping to watch what was going on, incredible. They would lean right over you and stare!!! Finally after 6 hours we were back at the Hotel – thank god! I never want to go there again, it was definitely not my cup of tea.
Time to have a shower and get the grime and sweat off of you and get packed. Next drama was……at the check in, we got told that the plane that goes from Munic to Bordeaux was a 45 seater and that there wasn’t any room for our bikes, not a good thing to say to cyclists. We hung around forever for it to be sorted. Finally we get checked in and go and grab a quick bite to eat. Raced back to the check-in area and away we went. An airport official was taking us through to our flight. (The people over in Hong Kong were very helpful – I will give them that. If you looked as if you were lost or looking for something they didn’t hesitate to stop and help you). We got onto our flight and away we eventually went. Had supper and I was asleep before the trays were taken away, didn’t hear a thing. Slept really well, not surprising though after 6 hours walking around trying to get back to the hotel. Long flight, ankles blew up like balloons, oh yay……
It is now day three (Monday) and we are sitting at the Bordeaux airport waiting for our luggage, but then so are some of the other passengers. Our bikes got here but because of that some of the luggage didn’t arrive – I don’t think those passengers like us very much – oh dear. The guys who came to pick us up were told that there were only two people to pick up - ? – and were quite shocked to see 12 of us. I think they had to go away and get a people carrier as well as another van. Chris and Paula stayed at the airport to do the paperwork for the missing luggage. Away we go to the Hotel, they only thought two people were turning up!!!!!! Can it get any worse!!!!!! Here we are, tired from travelling hanging around a hotel waiting, waiting, waiting. Eventually Chris and Paula came back and Chris would have to go to the airport eveytime a flight came in from Munic to see if the luggage had turned up.
We finally get to our rooms – we had gone for a walk because we were getting very bored sitting around – waiting. The rooms are adequate, not much room but that is the French rooms for you. Chris has been and come back – no luggage. We have had something to eat which is good.
DAY FOUR – Tuesday
Had a good nights sleep last night. Down to breakfast we go and yummy French food it is – I love it. Still waiting for our luggage……The latest is that it went on a flight to Lyon – can you believe it??? We all go for a walk down to the supermarket and there are a heap of shops down there as well, so, you can guess what we were doing – shopping!! Might as well, the bikes are being put together but some of us are going to have to borrow gear to ride in. Still no luggage!!!!!! Poor Chris, he knows the way to the airport and back that’s for sure. Some of the riders do have their gear. The bikes were put together and we went for a ride – on my feet I had my normal day to day shoes – not a good look…..I don’t think it will start a trend. It was so good to finally get out and do something! We found this 1.8km block to go round and round on and it was only 400 meters away from the hotel – cool. Got an hour and a half in so that was good, it wasn’t fast because of course I was unable to comfortably cycle in my trainers.
Back for a shower and tea. Bed was good to get into. Fell asleep pretty quickly. At about 11pm there was a knock at the door – Merry Xmas!!!!! Our luggage had finally arrived!!!!! I went back to sleep very happy.
DAY FIVE – Wednesday
Oh it is soooooooo good to have my bag with all my gear in it, you can only borrow so much. We went down for an early breakfast and lounged around for awhile. We then got ready to go for a ride at 10am. 10am came and went and no Aaron or Brian. Aaron had gone for a ride – he got lost, Brian had gone for a trip around the road course with Bernard and they were late back. Finally all piled into the van – cannot ride on the motorways – and away we went to the course. We drove around it first, I wasn’t too happy with the course, it is very narrow. Very picturesque though. We parked at the start/finish line and got our bikes ready and did three laps of the course. Of course it had to pour down on the first lap didn’t it. We got drenched!! One nice thing though, it was warm. The sun soon came out and we dried off pretty good. The dirt from the road was all over us and our clothing – yuk. Got back into the van, back to the hotel and showered – turned the water black – and now we are waiting for lunch. We have got our first track season tonight from 7-9pm. Really looking forward to that. Will report more tomorrow.
DAY SIX – Thursday
Another good sleep, Neelu has got bit of cold but that’s nothing new with going to training camps/competition. Last night we managed to get onto the track, it was so good. It’s really amazing how different tracks are as in how they feel. I liked the track. For some strange reason it looks smaller than Invercargill. The track itself is made with dark wood – maybe that just because it was built in 1985 and has had a lot of use - I don’t know. Fiona’s gear still hasn’t turned up from Auckland, very poor service from the freighting people, it really is. Some of the gear was damaged as well. I’m sure they have had fun dropping boxes from great heights………Finished on the track at 9:30pm and headed back to the hotel. Had a bite to eat and headed to bed – 11pm. Had a good sleep despite old snuffeluffigus in the next bed. Got up early again – once I’m awake that’s it, gotta get up. Left Neelu sleeping, she needs it. Went and got Jayne and we headed down to breakfast. Aaron soon joined us then Sam then Neelu. After that I don’t know cause I took Jayne back up to her room. Gabs was still asleep in another room as she isn’t feeling to well at the moment either, she’s got a terrible cough. Rang mum and Nigel to let them know that I was still alive and having a couple of problems with getting the laptop set up. It’s all good, I’ll ask Chris to help me today and we’ll be away laughing. We are heading back out to the course again today and we’ll get a couple of hours in I guess, getting used to it. Very warm today so heaps of fluid and we should be good. We came back, had a great ride round the course. Getting used to it. Had a shower and Jayne & I went and got some lunch for us, Anne-Marie & Brian. Neelu got hers and disappeared back to the hotel. It was very nice. Jayne & I put our feet up and we chatting away (Neelu was sound asleep in our room – I was in Jayne’s room) when all of a sudden I felt soooo tired that I started to doze off. One minute she was talking about Vanessa then the next thing I know she’s talking about Brent. Oh dear, it was quite funny. We’ve got another track session tonight from 7-9pm which will be good. Looking forward to it very much.
DAY SEVEN – Friday
Had an excellent go on the track last night, very happy with what we did. Today we had a good ride on the road (round and round the road course). Tried out the aerobars for time trialing, they felt good, rather exhilarating going quick downhill on them…..weeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!! Road’s a wee bit bumpy in places which adds to the excitement of it – tee hee. After we’d finished with the course we headed away with Aaron. When asked how long he thought it would take he said about 40 minutes, try 1 ½ hours…..yeah. It was a beautiful day so we didn’t mind too much.
Neelu’s cold has unfortunately gone to her chest. It will come fine by the time the champs roll round, she’s not the only one in the camp with a chest cold. So far, touch wood, I’m okay. Cruised around for the rest of the afternoon. Went and got a bite to eat then rested then off for dinner. It was very nice. We are trying out different places. Didn’t do much else today, a couple of the team went and did a laundry run which was desperately needed. It’s good to have the clothes washed and dried. Tomorrow we’ve got track from 9am – 1pm. We’ll see how Neelu is feeling as to how long we actually do stay on the track.
DAY EIGHT – Saturday
Got up nice and early this morning as we were away by 8am. Got down to the track, got set up and warmed up. Neelu is feeling pretty cr_p at the moment but we had a good 2 ½ hours training before she felt rather knacked. We weren’t hammering it. Time to pack up and head back to the hotel. Have had something to eat and waiting for everyone to arrive so we can have a team meeting then enjoy the rest of the afternoon. Tomorrow is a day off completely so I think we are going to do a bit of sight seeing. Will keep you informed. Until tomorrow – au revoir.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Training, training, training.

Training, training, training.

And it is cold.

We go to France on Aug 5 for world champs. Sad thing is we have to train HERE on the other side of the world. Boy it is getting cold. We've been pretty lucky so far and we still have a month of training- so fingers crossed it will be alright.

Coach (Alfie) has put the miles up. And my weights trainer (Matt) has increased weight and volume. I am getting tired every day, and have taken friday off work. I guess I really want this dream now. No point giving it a half-assed effort. I may as well go the whole way. Annaliisa is putting in heaps too, and I really want to make her proud of me. We have started track as of last sunday and are going to Inver this weekend to use the valedrome. When we are up here Hamish Ferguson is going to be coaching us on the weekends we are up here, so that will be good.

Mine and Annaliisa's pet event is the pursuit. That is what I hope to do best at. But I still want to give eve3rything else a go too. You never know what could happen on the day!

But since we don't live in Inver, we have ti cincentrate on getting the niles in the legs. I am getting very excited to race in France! I am excited at the week I will get off after the comp too!

I will keep you filled in with training.
Right now it feels like all I do apart from work...


Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Around Brunner

Well time has been going faster than I wish it would. The worlds are getting quite close quite fast and I am kind of realising. Trainig is going up in volume and intensity slowly. I think Annaliisa is hoping I won't notice!

Annaliisa has been doing a lot of racing on single (nenchmark races). This has meant I habe been doing training with different partners which ha been fun!

Annaliisa and I did however race the around brunner race together which had 1200 people entered! That was fun but hard. The biggest race I had raced bedpre brummer was Coop Town which was 90 km. Neither Annaliisa or I were very sure how I would go racing 130km. But we gave it a go. And it was a good go. The race started at the chilly time on 8am. Luckily I had just bought a merino top and didn;t feel it too bad. We were a little late and so ended up starting quite far back in the bunch. It took about 5 full minutes to get going and once we did we realised we were riding with a BIG bunch of 100 people or more.

I had drunk coffee too close to the start of the race, and my body quickly told me I needed to stop for a pee. Annaliisa reluctantly let me off the bike, and the big bunch went on ahead. When we got going it wasn't long before Jackson's we stopped again. This time we had a puncture. Annaliisa was cussing as she fixed the puncture and apologising for it, but I felt exactly the same. When we got back on the bike we were fired up and took off. My hip flexor was sore but I was so frustrated with the time we missed I didn;t care. I can't even remember very much as I was so focused and in the moment. I remember it seemed to take a long time, there were lots of false flats, and we ended up working with 2 guys whom we didn't know as we had no bunch. We ended up overtaking quite a few bunches. Man I think it was the hardest race I have ever raced. We really went hard, and kept pushing right till the end. We finished in 4hrs and 2 minutes. When I got off my hip was giving me quite a lot of pain and I was very tired. Annaliia, Nigel and myself were driving back to chch within an hour of finishing. It was an very testing race. Annaliisa was happy with the way we raced it as was I. 4 other tandems finished before us, but we were the first female female cycle to finish. We weren't really there for the placing anyway. We were there to see if I could do it! And I did! Oh and the views were beautiful as well, if I hadn't been so focused on the race, I would've realised I was in one of the most beautiful places in N.Z.