Sunday, July 23, 2006

Round and round we go.

Velodromes abound in Melbourne and surrounds, we're quite spoiled. Now that the track bike is back in one piece I'm back rolling around my favourites - Preston's 250m track with the uphill back straight, Castlemaine's lovely 500m asphalt loop that's flat and open to the wind and Coburg's maximum security concrete track set among the factories. Kyneton velodrome is my closest, it's a 250m asphalt circuit, a bit bumpy in parts and with a slight but nasty rise in the back straight that demands a bit more effort to maintain a constant pace.

Kyneton was the venue for my latest attempt at my own modest hour record: 30.14km set back in March last year at Castlemaine. (Two other cracks have both yeilded times a shade over 29km/h each.) If I was all that serious about it, I'd be embarrassed, because I've probably done faster hours on the road, but it's not a mark set in earnest. But the beauty of such a modest achievement is that there's seemingly endless room for improvement. The problem is that something always seems to slow me down a little. The wind is the usual culprit, or the arrival of some kids on mountain bikes who want to roll around the duckboards, someone training their slobbering idiot dog in the middle. There's always an excuse.

I started out too fast today and while my average was 34km/h for the first few kilometres, it was far too fast to keep up for long. Before too long, the kick each lap to hold my speed through the home turn was beginning to hurt. By 30 minutes I'd sagged dramatically and was looking for a reason to quit. The rain which started at the 40 minute mark was most welcome and I shall have to content myslef with a PB for the 20km (41:06, or 28.8km/h!) Laugh all you like, it would have been world record pace in, um, 1878. The hour record is safe, for now.

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