Monday, September 1, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Zealand Duathlon Championships.

Seven months ago I decided I wanted to run again. I have not run properly for several years, so it was a challenge.I needed an incentive so thought competing in the New Zealand Duathlon Championships on the 31 August at Taupo would something to aim at. The decision was the easy part but the seven months has gone pretty quickly and here I am not a little terrified at the prospect. Everything has been done,my entry, and motel bookings. The training has not been all that enjoyable and I feel that I needed more time, perhaps a whole year. However I have accomplished what I set out to do and am able to run the five ks. cycle 20 ks. and run 2.5 ks. during training in what I thought a reasonable time for me. Hopefully I will do it a bit faster in the race. I will be in the 85-89 age group. The weatherman has promised rain so I don't know how I am going to dress as it can be pretty cold cycling in the cold wet weather. When I started running I had the advantage of just completing the cycle club racing season so I was otherwise fairly fit.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Decreasing Importance of Bipedalism which was once the Key to our Evolution

This is an essay I wrote for a course I took in Human evolution. Homo erectus and Australopithecus aferensis

The Decreasing Importance of Bipedalism which was once the Key to our Evolution


The differing biomechanical leg evolution in north-east Africa and Eurasia

Climate change created the situation whereby the forest areas deceased and the savannah increased opening up the opportunity for hominine ancestors to venture out of the forests into the savannah. With this new environment, considerable opportunities were brought about and this space was filled as space is always filled with living plants and animals. The new environment brought about change but there was no direction in the change. The result was bipedalism. Walking and running was not the aim of bipedalism but a fortunate spin off. Running is just so natural to us when you consider how children run almost as soon as they can walk. Once bipeds evolved they were able to move even farther, eventually occupying the habitable earth. Legs became very efficient enabling Homo erectus to travel large distances walking and running, perfectly ‘designed’ for the purpose. Bipedalism gave birth to increased head and brain size. Large heavy heads could develop on an upright body which would have been to heavy to be carried horizontally. Homo erectus over millennia ventured around Africa and Eurasia with variations on a theme, but it was in Africa that the they gave rise to Homo sapiens that spread throughout Africa with considerable variation. Eventually however a population of north-east Africans branched off 100000 years ago from the main sub-Sahara African population of Homo sapiens and later another branch populated Eurasia. The environment in Eurasia may not have favoured long legged 'athletes’ like north-east Africans, however it may be that after the split from the population that left Africa, the running ability of the north-east African population continued to evolve favouring their athleticism while those in Eurasia did not for a variety of reasons, mainly the different environment, including the cold climate and perhaps the admixture of Neanderthal genes. With recent genome analysis of Neanderthals up to four percent of Eurasian genes are from this source. Neanderthals have been depicted as being short and squat and they may have passed on ’leg genes’ to Homo sapiens in Europe and Asia. It is also claimed that the cold weather caused legs to become shorter but that does not account for normal legs of Scandinavians and Chinese. Eurasians have for the past 10000 years relied less and less on legs for their existence. The agricultural revolution made hunter-gatherers redundant, and allowed for a vastly increased population. With a greater population there is an increased chance of mutations and of course a greater chance of beneficial mutations being passed on to future generations. Other ways in which mutations that are not beneficial or greatly disadvantageous can be passed on is by genetic drift. If mutations that change the geometry of the leg structure have no adverse effect because the agricultural environment has no need of running bipeds, they could be passed on from generation to generation. In a hunter-gatherer populations these mutations would be deleterious.

. Faulty legs

The north-east populations of Africa were able to retain their efficient bipedalism. Hunter gathers like the San and other sub Saharan African all had well proportioned legs. If they had not they would have succumbed in one way or another and not passed on ‘poor leg genes.’ In long distance athletic events in South Africa the first ten places are almost all filled by Africans, even though a greater number of Europeans and Asians take part. Africans of West African decent dominate athletic sprint events without fail. This can be put down to the fact that either Eurasian legs degenerated over the past 100000 years or did not evolve further and are not as efficient as longer African legs. Japanese tend to have shorter lower limbs that are bowed while European legs come in all sorts and sizes which causes many injuries in long distance athletes. Runners with well constructed legs that are gifted runners seldom suffer injuries. The Tarahumara Indians of Mexico supposedly never get injured though they don‘t match the North East Africans. Those that have been unfortunate to inherit legs of different lengths, poorly constructed feet, and bowed legs, faults of which only a few are mentioned here, will suffer injuries. Over-pronation and high arch ‘clunk’ feet, cause a multitude of problems for runners. These faulty biomechanical factors such as different leg length bowed legs and lateral pelvic tilt can cause ilitotibial band friction syndrome and runners knee amongst other injuries. These inherited deformities will be passed on with increased frequency, and concentrated in the non athletic population. In the perfect running stride the knees will pass each other with barely a millimetre between and if foot marks are left on a sandy beach, a line can be drawn that will be parallel to the inside of the heel and big toe of each foot with only the width of the line in between them* Runners with abnormalities are unable to run like this and have to train less to avoid injuries, which means poorer performance. However these badly constructed legs can perform very efficiently in sports like cycling. Most good athletes can cycle well but not all cyclists can run well. Japan has the fourth largest rugby playing population in the world with 125000 players yet languish at the bottom of world cup competitions. They are keen participants in triathlons but are seldom seen amongst the winners while for a country with such a large population they do not make their presence felt in long distance running. Considering the poor conditions and other adverse conditions in the African countries their athletes perform exceptionally well. Africans with Kenyan and Ethiopian ancestry hold all world records from 3000 to marathon distance records while Africans with West African ancestry hold all records up to 400 metres. In all other sports where legs are not as important, Eurasian athletes competes just as well.

. Athletes and non athletes.

The change to a situation whereby bipedalism was not so important began with the agricultural revolution but perhaps increased more rapidly with the industrial revolution, though it is difficult to pinpoint that exactly. But up till recently in evolutionary terms humans needed their legs to get themselves around or they were in trouble. Now legs have become less and less important with mass transport, motor vehicles, and escalators moving people around without the necessity to walk any distance. Once at the work place there is little moving around. With the ever increasing population in densely populated cities, there is very little opportunity for people to run any distance and those that do, form a very small part of the total population. This is a relatively new phenomenon. There are also implications such as obesity, exacerbating the situation. However there is another side to the coin. Sport has in the last 125 years become an increasingly important cultural phenomenon in which only the gifted and motivated really take part and are just a minority in heavily populated areas, while most of the population are just fans or followers. Future generations may well be divided into athletes who pass on their genes to athletic children. Male athletes will produce children with women with well shaped legs. This will be sexual selection or they will produce children with female athletes. It is noticeable that female athletes whether in sports like skiing as seen in the Sochi Olympics or in other athletic sports all have well shaped legs. It is not just beauty in the eye of the beholder . Efficient legs are beautiful and beautiful legs are efficient. Well shaped legs going back in time to Greek statues are the same as what we consider perfect legs 2500 years on. Sport and particularly athletic sports as we know them today are a relatively new phenomenon and in only recent years have sports people been raised up to such heights of popularity There will be gene flow between athletes and non athletes, but it will result in a gradual sorting out. A huge population of non athletes will still be able to carry on normal lives but they will just not be able to participate in athletic sports effectively because genetic mutations will be passed on by genetic drift and not be removed by natural selection. The genes have been discussed earlier that cause deformed legs and running injuries. It will happen quite quickly in evolutionary terms and will be very noticeable in a few hundred years or so. Long term prognosis is impossible to forecast as there are too many variables to consider but all things being equal this is the scenario. The African population that lagged behind in the agricultural revolution and remained hunter gathers up till much more recently may well follow the same trend.

Notes This is partly inspired by Charles Murray’s ‘Coming Apart’ where he describes, new upper class (the rich and famous and elite) diverge from the new lower class. As an athlete, much of this essay is from personal observations especially leg geometry and the perfect stride*, including running injuries, though I referenced the Internet for some details and Tim Noakes ‘The Lore of Running’ on running injuries.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My new book.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cycle Paths around Napier

A few weeks ago I cycled on the paths from Clive to Napier on my road bike. Most of the way was sealed but the first ks are not and in some parts there is deep sand. I nearly took a tumble. It was a really enjoyable ride otherwise and I would like to explore further, so to this end I have rebuilt my old touring bike that took me over the Alps and across France in 1987, using parts from four other bikes, and also new Continental cyclocross 700x35c tyres. The larger tyres should I hope cope with the sandy areas. The pic of my new construction looks a bit odd.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Three long climbs.

Some time in my seventies I had this thought, that it was not possible for me to get really fit any more. Well I have blown that right out of the window.Its relative of course. I was talking to a salesman at Pedal Power and told him my problem was the distance and the hills. Just my little joke.On the last day of July I bit the bullet and decided to cycle over the Argyll hills from the Otane side. I had always been intimidated by the prospect. Yesterday I made a great leap. I cycled to Otane and over the Col de Argyll and then down to Argyll East School and on up to TeOnepu and down again and then back over Argyll hill to Otane and home. A total distance of 60ks. This is as much climbing as I would be doing in the Taupo Challenge. What I found interesting is that I could have climbed faster but had to watch my HR all the time.It was a cold miserable day for riding but it didn't intimidate me.On the last ks. I was still able to ride hard and legs still felt good. The reason I was at Pedal Power was that I am looking for some really light wheels that are as good a my American Classics.He showed me Shimano Dura-Ace WH-9000 C24 CL Clincher Wheelset which are 1398gms.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

80 ks. at last.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Bike Show in Taipei

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My New Bike.

After much procrastination I purchased a new frame. The best my money could buy.The name sold it to me. Wielier Triestina Gran Turisma. I did a little internet search though and all reviews were mostly favourable. Like 'if we could have just one bike this could be the one'. Anyway the frame is very light weighing in under 1.5 ks including the forks. I thought of assembling it myself but as I didn't have the spanner for the bottom bracket I had my neighbour, a bike mechanic, do it for me. He had a few problems but managed all right. My old bike an Avanti Corsa with carbon back stays was pretty good, with all the parts Ultegra which had to be moved over to the new frame. I set off for my first ride and on a small hill I changed down to my biggest cog on the cluster with the chain on the middle chain ring, but after a few turns it just jumped off onto the small chain ring with no help from the deralier. I asked him about it and he said it was because this was a modern frame with a different alignment or something like that, which didn't make any sense to me. I went to Avanti plus to pick their brains but they were not at all obliging and at one point said something about 'trade secret',and me making a note about going somewhere else when I wanted a part. I went back home to ponder the problem and with a bit of luck after trying a couple of Heath Robinson solutions turned the bike upside down to put the back wheel on again, and noticed that the back stays were about 1.5 mm wider than the cones on the wheel. This didn't seem much but when tightening the quick release pulled the stays together and pulling the cluster out of alignment especially on this frame with the stay opposite the cluster being much larger than the one on the chain side.I found a washer 1.5 mm and inserted it on the distal side and hey presto it worked. Now after a few hundred ks I find the bike exceptional and very comfortable on the saddle. Choosing the size was a problem as the choice was between xtra small and Medium. There didn't seem to be much difference but I just wasn't extra small. The main difference was in the head tube. If I had taken the xtra small I would have had to have too many spacers in place to raise the bars for my comfort, so I chose the medium. I think I am enjoying riding it more than I have enjoyed any other bike that I have had.

This is the view from near the top of the Col de Argyll. Yesterday I tackled it again except that I made a much longer loop so that my ride was 60 ks. I'm very pleased with my progress.I took this photo at about the same time of the year, only five years ago. Next stop 80ks.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

My Holistic Aproach to Training Part the Two

In the first part I mentioned the use of weights in training. I have had to revert to their use again. I am having so much trouble with my arms getting tired during long rides because of their increasing weakness I feel it necessary to strengthen them. I have had to use tribars to gain relief but as they are illegal in the Round Taupo Challenge I have decided to do something about it. I think apart from strength I also need high reps with low weights for endurance, so to this end I am doing the bench press and arm curls with dumbbells, gradually increasing reps and weight. So far it seems to be helping.

In the past we were not blessed with Heart Rate Monitors to help us in our training. I have been using one for about twenty years now but only now am I making proper use of it. For long rides I was more inclined to watch my speed ignoring my heart rate. Because I have had problems with atrial fibrillation after training I have made sure not to exceed 80% of max for more than very short periods and try to stay below 70% to 75% for most of my ride (118 bpm.) Its too soon to say I have solved the problem but so far so good.

Yesterday I decided to tackle a hill I have always been scared of. Its a little less than 3ks much about 7%. Anyway I took the bull by the horns and made it without any problem. Just at the top my HR went up to 132 bpm but just for a short period and I had no ill effects afterwards.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mountain Ride.

I went for a ride up to the mountains yesterday on my new bike. Its brilliant.The weather was also brilliant and that's an admission for a Natalian where the weather was always perfect. Fifty sevens Ks. under my belt.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

My Holistic approach to Training.

This is nothing new but I am going to restate it for myself. When I was a young track cyclist I had this holistic approach. I was unaware of any others employing my methods at that time. I had Reginald Hargreaves Harris, World sprint Champion as my role model though I don't think he even did the things I did. or I did the things he did. He smoked a pipe for instance and maybe I thought momentarily that I should as well. Lucky I didn't.He did long cycle rides wearing plus fours. I really wanted to do that but couldn't find any. Well seriously I followed him in spirit anyway.

Health for me was based on proper diet adequate sleep and rest, exercise and the a absent of harmful substances and polluted air. My training was also different from others. I believed in cross training though I hadn't a name for it.

My diet as far as possible was a good mixture of fats protein and carbohydrates from natural sources. Brown sugar and honey for sweeteners, brown bread, unrefined maize meal and oats and mabela porridge (sorgum)for breakfast with bacon and eggs or scrambled eggs. Breakfast being a most important meal. I drank stacks of milk and maas or amasi in Zulu (sour milk).

I used to get upset in a hall when people smoked and fouled the air. This was when smoking was in vogue and cool for sportsmen.I was also a teetotler, and for all practical purposes still am. Weight Training. I bought a set of weights soon after I left school, with a total weight of about 120 lbs.I practised the bench press and a few other exercises with them. I did this for upper body strength which I considered important for a sprinter.I'm still using the same weights bought 65 years ago.

On some evenings we would all meet at the track for training. We had no coaches so just played it by ear and learned from each other. We would warm up and then do a few laps with sprints in between. This was the same as interval training but we didn't have a name for it. At the week ends I would go for my long rides, many times up to 180 ks, cycling down to Durban from Pietermaritzburg and back on the same day and visiting a girlfriend and going for a swim in the sea. I worked in the bank not too far from the track . We had a long lunch break of one and a quarter hours so I would often take my bike to the track and do a short training spell. Another thing I did which other cyclists didn't do was to run a few laps after our training session. Our track wheels had fixed wheel cogs on each side, so I put a large one on the one side and would swap the wheel around after our track training. There was a very steep street adjacent to the track of about one hundred metres long. I would ride up as hard as I could and come down slowly. I repeated this a few times before going home.I always believed in as much rest as possible, by lying down rather than sitting or standing if at all possible.

At that time of my life I chose not to race on Sunday. It was my choice but never-the-less there was peer pressure from other young people in the church.In this day and age I would not have made the same stand. It interfered with my cycling career a great deal because there were so few meeting that I could ride in so didn't gain the track experience that I should have. I also never gained the fitness edge from racing as my meetings were so few and far between. Nevertheless I won the Natal quarter mile championship and a bronze in the 1000 Metre match sprint in the South African championships as well as a silver in the 2000 metre tandem with Mike Leppan. I had my mind set on the 1956 Olympics. In the end I had to choose between getting a science degree at University and the possible chance of going to the Olympics.

With this experience I'm trying to repeat what worked for me looking at my whole life and that is why I have planned the cycle route on roads that have little traffic and I can use it for different length training rides. At my age improvement is nigh impossible but at least I can try.I just don't know where this is all going.

That is how I used to travel with my track bike.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

My possible training course for a 150 k ride.

This course takes in five towns, Otane, Tikokino(I'm not sure its a town though), Onga Onga, Takapau, Waipukarauand back to Waipawa, plus the hamlet of Argyll East. I will only have to travel on main roads from Waipukurau to Waipawa ,a distance of seven ks. and along Highway 50 for about four ks. I can abort the ride in many places to cut it short.It is mostly flat except for a monster Argyll Hill or Col de Argyll of about three ks.



 Patangata Pub,first port of call.

 Otane Main Street. The building on the top left is the old library which was opened a few days after I was born.








Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Training is going well. Yesterday I managed 60ks. I tried to find roads without any hills. Its almost impossible as I had to ride up a two kilometre one just to get out of the town,but from thereon it was almost flat all the way. I just had to do it yesterday as from tomorrow the weather is turning bad for a few days will be back to the trainer and watching TV at the same time. Here is a picture taken on my birthday last month starting out on a birthday ride.This has been encouraging.I rode according to my HR and watched my cadence most of the way. In the past I was too concerned about my pace.Riding this way is much less stressful. My next milestone hopefully, will be 100ks.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is a painting by my daughter Janet of cyclists on the cycle path from Napier to Havelock North. My fitness is improving by leaps and bounds,well little jumps anyway. Yesterday I managed forty ks to Tikokino, on a very sunny warm day. I was a little tired on the last hill home but managed to keep my HR down most of the time. Only on the last steep bit did I let it go up. I don't know where all this is taking me to as I am really in uncharted territory.I'll just go on till something happens and/or gives.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I started to train a bit more seriously, just walking and running getting on to 50/50 by distance. I have also done three short rides. Its nearly seven weeks since my hernia operation so am getting more confident.Unfortunately I think I overdid it last Sunday and brought on a cold which prevented me training last week. I persuaded the doctor to give me a prescription for antibiotics to stem a cough that was developing. It seems to have done the trick. Its my 84th birthday coming up so have persuaded Elaine that I need a new carbon fibre frame, I don't see that I can be extravagant and buy a really expensive one but at Torpedo I found this no name frame for $799.I spoke to my neighbour who has a cycle shop and he thinks its ok and he will be able to transfer everything from my Avanti Corsa. I questioned Torpedo about the bike as there are no reviews and this is what they replied.
Hi there, most of what you are asking we can't really answer on behalf of the company if you want a totally unbiased response, but I can confirm that we have sold many of these frames and we have not yet had any bad comments made about it in any size. We've had a Large size frame on test for a while now with a few of the staff testing it out and all reports are good - but if you don't believe me then you'll need to wait for some of our customers to comment or review the frame. We back our products 100%, and it is covered by our warranty, so if you purchase it and you don't like it when you receive it then simply return it. If you ride it and you are not happy then simply tell us and we'll make it right.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Two years ago I fell down the stairs and caused quite an amount of damage to my foot and calf,but unbeknown to me I incurred a hernia which only became apparent three months later and became progressively  worse.Last month I was finally accepted for surgery and I am now it seems whole again without any pain at all. Thanks to the skill of the surgeon. I was operated on in a mobile surgical bus at Waipukurau. I started walking a few days after the operation and yesterday did five ks. I hope to back running and cycling soon.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This is a page from the last Time Magazine about Tommy Godwin. I raced against him in 1952 when I was selected for the Natal Team. I was a little annoyed that the selection came so late as I was not very fit. At that time of my life I didn't race on Sundays when most meetings were held so I trained specifically for the few and far between Saturday meetings, I had only three weeks to get fit.There were two meetings against the British Olympic Team. One in Maritzburg and one in Durban. Tommy Godwin is top centre of the programme cover.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Polar RS300X HRM

I have just seen an enquiry about the Polar RX300S My blog has been pretty inactive just as I have. Only doing a little cycling but mostly running and walking. I fell down the stairs and think this caused a hernia which is troublesome and has handicapped me a bit. Also I have had other things to do which leave me little energy to ride.
Hi, not sure if my other comment got through (not too used to commenting on blogs), so am trying again on what appears to be your latest blog entry. I mentioned that I thought at 65 that I might be getting past doing a lot of training, but your blog has motivated me. I aslo bought an RS300X, and - as you say - the user manual hides some of the functions of the watch and Polar Personal Trainer (PPT). On one of your blogs, you show what looks like an Excel breakdown of one session of eight hill intervals with average and "lap end" heart rates. I would really like to know how you got this view, I have looked everywhere on PPT but cannot find it. Is it from other software, or did you have to set the watch up in a certain way before the session - e.g. "Intervals" or "Training Zones". Would appreciate any help you could give.



I'm not sure I can answer the question.You have to download all the information from the HRM using Websync. Then you go the the personal trainer and view all the information in the diary.I see now that the laps only record the average for the laps,so you have to get the information 'manually' from the HRM itself. I have just checked back to the training session on the 9 December 2010 where I recorded eight hill repeats and I see that they changed the format an no longer show the time at the end of the lap which is a problem.If you check manually you can get the max HR for the lap and the average but not the HR at the end of the lap. If you do a hard lap the max will only be shown in the next lap if you finish the lap fast, as the HR goes on going up for a few seconds after you finish the lap and slow down.Its important to know the HR at the beginning of the lap and that is not recorded any more.
This. is what I have been busy doing

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cycling can add five years to your life... but only if you pedal hard

Read about it here

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pictures of col de Galibier and Col de Lautaret


I took these pictures in 1987 when Elaine and I cycle toured on part of the route of le Tour between Briancon and Grenoble.I cycled up to the top of Col de Galibier.





Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tour de France Crash

There are just too many cars involved in the tour. It would be a precedent,but I think that those two cyclists involved in crashing after being hit by the car should be given the same time as the three in the breakaway, as I am pretty sure they whould have finished together.,especially Fletcha.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

July 2011 Training

Training for July 2010. 266ks with 11 sessions on the road and longest ride 45ks..

July 2011
1..........28.4ks. On the road to Pourere Beach.Trucks on the road and muddy in parts.cold and sunny when I started 8oC but it became very overcast and seemed to get colder. It was a very hilly ride. Got very cold so packed it up and Elaine and I travelled to the beach to see the damage and had a picnic in the car.





This is my training load chart showing the training load I must do over the next six weeks.Training for a nonexistent race in six weeks time.
23..........Rain.
24..........Rain and more rain
25..........Very cold and wet Under 5 o C all day

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 2011 Training

2.........31 mins. on trainer.
3.........21 mins. on trainer.
4.........32 mins. on trainer.Cold and rain.
5.........47.5 ks. Cycled from Havelock North to Waipawa. Beautiful warm day with wind behind me.Weather completely out of character. Rain was forecast.
7.........22 mins on trainer.
8.........34 mins on trainer
9.........31 m1ns on trainer
10........32 mins on trainer.
11........50.1 ks. Te Onepu and return. overcast coldish and no wind good ride.with losts of hills.
12........20 mins on trainer. sunny and cool with no wind
13........28.5 kms.good ride sunny and cool with no wind
14........31 mins on trainer.sunny day,but suddenly cooled down after 2pm.
15........39ks. Patangata Tavern Middle Rd.circuit. Cold wind against me coming home which made my HR go up highter than I wanted it to.I am well ahead of the training I did last June. My long rides are longer than last year.
16.........25 mins. on trainer.My Polar programme says it was a spinning day 110-120 rpms. Tried it for several minutes. Sunny day but coldish.
17........While I'm about it ,its 0 oC outside this morning.cold and cloudy all day...25 mins. on trainer.


Patangata Pub on Middle Road.






I don't want this to happen again.

This was up Hatepe Hill. I was warned that many gave up on the hill not knowing that it was virtually downhill from the top. I took running shoes in preparation so virtually psyched myself out at the bottom.
18........Cold and wet.

19.........60 ks. I did what I set out to do today in spite of the weather being very damp Wind was against me for the first 18ks but then it was easy riding. A few spits on the way.Its been a good week.
21.........16.39ks. 3 x 1k hill intervals.First interval training for some time. sunny/cloudy and cold in the afternoon.
22.........30.29ks. Shortest day. Otane Tod Rd Ireland Rd Cold 11oC sunny, no wind. Its not true that I stop at every pub while training.
23.........20.38ks Otane via Ireland Rd.Cold sunny and no wind 11oC.


26.........31 mins on trainer. . Was going to go on the road come hell or high water but cold and wet so chickened out.
27.........41.31ks Patangata pub Otane circuit. 8o C at start and 10o when I finished. Sunny and no wind. Legs felt very heavy but kept my HR down except on the hills Av. 104. with max 126.

Main Street.Otane pub and Hotel


30...........26 mins on trainer. Cold and overcast with a bit of rain.

Training for June 2010 was 169 ks.

Training for June 2011 333Ks. So I have done better than last year.

Friday, June 3, 2011

My Time Trial Certificate.

All was not lost this last year. I received this in the post today.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Polar HRM RS300X Weekly Training Printout.

This is the printout for my weekly training from 1 November 2010 till the present. It shows the weekly duration and average Heart Rate for each week. It also shows how it went so badly when Elaine was ill and later when I damaged my foot in the fall down the stairs. Duration is better indication of training than distance as it records the time spent on the trainer.


Th bottom chart shows duration of training for May 2011.The colours represent time spent in each Training Zone.The kph looks bad because it includes time on the trainer where zero miles are registered bringing down my low average even further.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Birthday Greetings

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Back on the Road again. Part two

I'm elated by my ride today. My time for the ride was faster than I did three years ago. Maybe it was the beautiful day with no wind and sun but three years after eighty is a lot more than three years in your middle years.My damaged foot has been no handicap and the break with only training on the trainer has perhaps been beneficial.

I should have lost a lot over the last few years yet it has not happened as expected, so perhaps...Well I can dream.

Elaine's health has improved so much since her op and she is back to working a bit in the nursery. Last year I was in hospital twice which knocked me back a bit but the proceedures have helped me a lot.

When I competed in the South African Duathlon Championships at sixty seven years old, I found I was in the same group as a sixty year old. All groups were at five year intervals but then suddenly became 60+. I complained about it to no avail but was told they would fix it the next year. At the World Championships the groups went right up at intervals to eighty five. Anyway at the worlds I beat him by about seven minutes. But the point is that the divisions become even more important the older one gets. Even a year can make a difference.

There is a theory that when taking up an athleic sport late in life you can go on improving for seven years. So after my break from serious training,starting again three years ago, maybe I will go on improving for another four years!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 2011 Training

3 May............25ks to Otane via Tod Road. Weather cool,sunny and little wind going. Very easy ride.
4...............21mins on trainer.
5...............30ks to Argyll School and return. Cool, sunny and no wind. good ride.
7...............25mins on trainer. Rain all day.
8...............34.5ks.Over Argyll hills to Otane. Excellent ride and beautiful day for cycling. Warm sunny and no wind.
11.............28.5ks. Otane via Tod Road. Warm and sunny and no wind.
15.............39.1 Ks. Patangata Pub circuit. Sun/cloud very windy going.
16.............22 mins. on trainer. Very windy. not a nice day.
18.............23 mins on trainer. Nice sunny warm day.Worked on the new conservatory
19.............21 mins on trainer. Nice sunny warm day.Worked on the new conservatory.
20.............40ks toTilokino. Nice sunny day with no wind.Left ride a little late so sun was in my eyes going.
22.............50 ks. Te onepu and return.Lots of climbing. Fine sunny day warmish and no wind.Had very good ride. This May has been so much better than last year which was awful in comparison.I am also much further ahead in my training and feel much stronger. maybe its just the weather.
23............21 mins on trainer
24 ...........22 mins on trainer
25............14.5ks. three long hill repeats.cool and overcast.
26............25 mins on trainer. Went to Hastings. Warm and heavy rain much of the day.
27............27.2 ks .Otane via Tod Road. Weather fine,warm and sunny with little wind.
28............21 mins on trainer.
29............57.4ks. To 28k mark on Makorora Rd.Arms hurt me a bit and made me disinclined to do the whole circuit.Felt a bit bored with the ride trying to keep my HR down to under 75% Max. Coldish and sunny with no wind. Av HR 104.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Back on the Road Again.

My first ride after my fall from grace. I did 20 ks. to Otane and home and felt very comfortable.Seeing that I was doing only 20 mins on the trainer in the evenings I felt great so it was better than comfortable.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Time Front Page.

No its not me.You can tell that by the old fashioned bike the old geezer is riding.There is a whole article about the older generation acting young.I suppose that is what this blog is all about.
Getting old is navigating through and around a mine field of injuries and health problems. The accumulation of years and years of wear and tear.Eventually the mistakes you make when you are young catch up with you.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Update

My last post shows the injury to my right foot.Falling down the stairs is not funny. The stairs are narrow so it was not possible to tumble down. I just slid all the way down on my bum breaking my big toe, spraining my ankle and damaging ligaments in the foot as well as considerable tissue damage to my calf which swelled up like a balloon. In addition I took skin off my right forearm and received a bump on my forehead.. All because I missed the top step.Elaine had to drive and push me around in the wheelchair for a change when I had my foot X rayed.

Its taken over two weeks, and two visits to the physio to be able to walk without pain, but still with a bit of difficulty because of the damaged calf muscle. Still I have been able to have several twenty minute sessions on the bike trainer and I hope to be back on the road again soon.

Its the first accident of any kind that I have had in my life that has caused such injury.I have never been so traumatised as I was in the ten minutes following the fall. All other accidents have been very minor. The time I turned my fathers car over left me bodily unscathed even though I was not wearing a seat belt, as they were not fitted to cars.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Monday, March 14, 2011

March progress.

About a month ago Elaine went up to Auckland Hospital for the completion of a procedure first begun just before Christmas when she had a pacemaker inserted.Since then her condition has gradually improved with no further problems.The second procedure was to sever the nerve between the atrium and the ventricle to stop the ventricle fibrillating in concert with the atrium when it fibrillated.

This good news has allowed me to get on with training and on Sunday I did my longest ride thus far. It was seventy five Ks on mostly flat roads with just two hills of about one k each.I also did it in a very good time, while keeping my HR at between 60% and 75% of max. However today ,Monday, I feel a little tired so will forgo racing tomorrow which in any case will upset my training programme.

I now have to enter the 100k Flyer and get on to booking motels in Rotorua and Taupo. Last time around We booked two nights in Rotorua and had to travel back after the race.

I spent much of today trying to sort out problems with my bike.I found that I have for some time not been able to use my highest gear. Not that it mattered as it would only have been used downhill.I sorted out a rattle as well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tuesday Evening Club Races

A few weeks back I was competing in one of our weekly club races. As usual I had difficulty in keeping up with the pack as did a few others. After about twelve ks. I was caught by a young rider of about fifteen years old who had also been dropped by the bunch. I did my best to stay with him and even decided to go to the front , but he would have none of it and immediately passed me again,so I gave up. However he was riding very badly, with no toe clips and riding a gear much to high for such a young rider.Apart from that he was riding all over the road which made me think he didn’t like me being there. As we came into the home stretch I thought it would be nice of me to let him win but I wouldn’t make it easy for him so in the last hundred metres I pulled up almost level to him but let him win by a half a wheel. One kick and I would have passed him.

When the results came out I was mortified to find that another name was given the same time as his and I was relegated to place lower down five minutes behind. I didn’t want to make a fuss but the results are there on the internet for all to see. After some thought I emailed Penny, the results secretary, and also mother to a world champion Wesley Gough, that I didn’t want to make a big deal about it but my tired old legs were complaining, and also telling her about the young lad, and that I thought someone should take him in hand to help him. Well the results were soon amended and I thanked her and said I wasn’t always such a slouch and attached a picture of me on the track in Pietermaritzbug taken by my cousin Ron fifty six years ago.

Two weeks later when I went to enter at the club trailer someone said to me have you seen your picture posted on the door. Penny had enlarged it and pinned it up for all to see. One old lady said ‘You're older than my father and he can’t even ride a bike’. Another asked If I had represented New Zealand. In my dreams.

Well I ride in the weakest group and something has happened. Over the weeks during this summer they have got themselves fitter and stronger and are able to ride in a bunch, and whereas I was more or less able to keep up with them in the beginning, the distance between them and me has now grown exponentially. Eish! What else should I expect?