Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Great Adventures / Racing in Brisbane

I am aware that I started this blog to write about training & racing, and other related facts, but I can't help adding what comes to my knowledge and I find to be of interest. At the end, there is or there will be a connection somehow and somewhere down the track.

Let me start with Italian adventurer Alex Bellini who left Peru 10 months ago, intending to row, or float, to Australia. Wait a minute, Italian = pasta = carbohydrates = cycling, here is the connection... Back to Alex, I keep trying to workout what was going through his mind when he decided to do something like that. Ten months alone on a small craft, crossing the Pacific and hoping that the trade winds and currents keep taking him in the right direction.

I crossed the Atlantic once, in 1985, with another three crew on a 38' sailing boat. The trip took us three weeks and that was tough enough. Ten months, alone, on a rowing craft, across the Pacific... it is such a higher level on the scales of adventure feats that I can't even imagine what drives people to get out and do something like that.

Alex didn't make it but he is a legend... or a mad man with some really crazy ideas going through his mind.

That brings me back to cycling and to how the Irish lads are going. These two are also engaged in a great adventure (see Irish Revolution) as they leave the comfort of their homes to ride their bicycles around the Globe. Although, they are meeting lots of people and having a beer or two on the way, the lads are doing tough too. The winter in Europe and the mountains they had to climb have made the first few weeks of their trip a challenge already. They are now heading to South America (not cycling or rowing there, I might as well add!), starting that leg in Buenos Aires, heading to La Paz and leaving the Continent via Colombia.

For the little I know, I can say that this is an epic and worth following journey. There are mountains, deserts, jungles and more on that leg of their adventure. I can also say that they are going to have the time of their lives. And there is project AWARE, which the lads are trying to support.

Good luck, lads!

Racing in Brisbane

Although I haven't been an active player in this topic for a while, the reason being is an old story now, I have witnessed the beginning of the unofficial (because it never starts and never ends) criterium season in Brisbane. The first one was the new Fusion Criterium a few weeks ago, followed by the first of the HPRW Twilight Series, which is run throughout the summer, and the last being the Siziling Summer Series (2 & 3) in February and March.

So, all I can put down here are my views on what I learned from the sidelines and from what I heard from riders that have been competing in these events.

Firstly, the events have been run very well and have been attracting great numbers, including of spectators, which is great for everyone. With the increase in popularity, clubs and organisers are able to attract more sponsors resulting in greater races for Brisbane. The weather has been very amicable which is lucky as we are in the storm season, still.

The races have been fast, very fast. That's what we all want. Apart from a couple of riding on the grass situations, the races have been fairly safe. What I mean is, no crashes so far. I say so far because crashing is part of bike racing and at the same time last year we were heading to the terrible eight crashes in eight races record... I hope we don't see anything like that this time.

One thing that we all noticed, and some have communicated to the race officials, is the way the races are finishing. In a big mess. That's because two races are on at the same time. Nothing wrong with that as they are two different grades, one faster than the other, and have different race times. The problem starts when the slower bunch is sprinting for the finish and the riders find themselves bunched up with the faster group.

So far, the officials have been able to pick the winners out of the mayhem of riders crossing the line, but what they can't see is some of the riders taking advantage of the situation by getting a bit of a draft from the faster riders going pass while others get caught in the traffic jam, caused by the two races getting together.

A solution? Officials must be able to communicate with the bunches, using flags is an option, in order to be able to tell they are being caught and have to slow down and allow the bunch on its last lap to go pass. At Nundah, there is a small loop to which a group may be diverted to. That would create a bigger gap in between the groups and we would see a cleaner sprint.

Then, there is team racing. There is nothing wrong with team racing apart for making the race a little unfair for the riders without a team. "Go and find a team then..." some will scream. No, a better solution, and for a fairer race, move all the "teams" to A grade. Then, it will be team against team and in numbers, riders who choose to race in teams might even be able to hang on and won't look so embarrassing if they get dropped...

And that should be for all the club criteriums!

Lastly, it would be good to make these races even greater and cycling even more popular by inviting friends and workmates to come and watch them. Spread the word.

See you out there!


Groover said...

Done! I've got a workmate coming down to watch tomorrow afternoon ...

Motorcycle Jacket said...


There are so many trainers are train the cyclist for competition and I think it is so better for cyclist because they think without training they cannot win.

AMRcyclist said...

Hi Motorcycle,
Thanks for the comment.
There are many factors to consider and luck is often one of them. Follow the right wheel, get in the right break,... but training for what you want to achieve is the big one.
Visited your site, do you race bicycles?

Kevlar Gloves said...


Trainers are so important for every where. for example Trainer train a boy for racing and trainers also trains teaching. So I think trainers are so important in every category of job.

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