Sunday, May 26, 2013

Auckland's Best Group Rides

Sunday Albany Bunch: The best group ride, by a country mile, is the Sunday 7am Albany bunch. Its an 80km ride that draws the strongest cyclists from all over greater Auckland, including pro-conti and conti riders. Typically, about 50 people show up. After a warm-up on the old highway that runs north to Silverdale, the hammer goes down on the flat country roads that travel west. Flats turn to undulating rollers on the run into Helensville, before a really tough 5km step-climb that blows the group apart every time.

We then have a 20 minute ride to Kumeu. Its a long slow descent, broken up by more undulations, and some of NZ's roughest chip roads (highway 16). Usually, we stop at a Chinese Bakery in Kumeu for a few minutes. Then comes the ride back to Albany on Ridge Road. Its a quiet country road featuring 15km of undulation, false flats, and several short, steep power-climbs. The Sunday 7am Albany bunch is guaranteed to give you the best training conditions, regardless of whether you are in base, strength, or peak phases. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013 is a cool new website that analyses Strava KOM segments to produce a chart of rolling time gaps. The time gap shows where you gained and lost time relative to the KOM holder. The chart below is the Sunnyside Road KOM segment just outside Albany. 

Green is the elevation profile. The horizontal pink line is me, and the blue line is the KOM holder. The difference between the blue and pink lines represents the time difference (measured in seconds on the 2nd y-axis) between us over the distance. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

2013 Race Season: Looking Back; Looking Ahead

The 2013 racing season is now over for me. I planned to continue racing through April and May (mostly in local club races) but my last race was the Tour of Northland in March. Since then, moving into the city, a little burn-out, and other priorities kept me off the saddle most days of the week. 

So, lets look back at my 2013 season. My best result and most exciting race was finishing 12th at Taranaki Cycle Challenge. I managed to make the break at kilometer 90 and hold on for the last 58km. The Tour of Northland was my first stage race and first time racing in the same field as pros. I learned a lot, and really enjoyed stage-racing. I'll definitely be back in 2014. The Tour de Ranges and The Rev were decent races. I finished in the first group on both undulating courses.