Santoft Sizzler and The Back to Climie Race. I am The Grand Mountain Ninja

Sorry for taking a while. This will have to be a quickie though sorry. Kids are demanding wee critters…Anyway, I’ve finished the first 3 blocks of training in my buildup to my first major goals of the season – i.e. the iRIDE Specialized PNP Sprint MTB Series.

Now its nearing the race section of my training I’ve been able to hit out at a couple of fun events in the last couple of weeks, as above, and I won both. ZING!!!




5 hour race in the Santoft Forest near Bulls. Yikes 2 hour trip by car each way from Tropical Karori. Worth it for the lovely sandy forest riding. Poured with rain all week but cleared for the race and the sand was a great non-muddy surface. Basically, Justin Price and I went away from the start. He always kept a 30sec – 1 minute lead for the first hour. My plan was to keep an eye on him, taking note of his position and seeing how long it took me to ride to that point and always keeping it within that time. I came back to him with no increase in effort at about the 2.30 mark. I jumped off his wheel straight away and buried it for about 1.5 laps. Check out my heart rate on the Strava you can see where I launched at 2.21. I tried to stay out of his line of sight so that he wouldn’t be able to pace himself and it worked. That trick is an old standard of MTB racing – Don’t tell anyone. I won and even beat all the teams. Quite pleased.  I won a nice floor pump, a beanie, and most important a spray painted gold pinecone.



“The Return To Mount Climie”

Kim Hurst mainly organised this as a fundraiser to get her tame mechanic Ricky “Slackboy” Pincott to the 24 Hour Worlds with her. The idea was to recreate the iconic races on Mt Climie from the early ’90’s when it was a part of Karapoti weekend. They did a great job. The race was in 2 parts – Up – Down and the combined time which denoted the overalls winners. Kim won the womens. I put my carbon rigid fork on and made some lightweight mods like removing the grips and taping on skateboard bar tape instead. That saved 50 grams. The fork saved about 2 pounds so the bike ended up about 3 pounds lighter than usual. I plugged this into and everything being equal, it says that that’s worth about 1 minute. More than I thought so totally worth it. The mods were terrible for the descent of course, but my plan was to make the time buffer from the climb good enough to more than cancel it out and, lo, ’twas. It was even in the UH Leader. That’s my 15 seconds of fame. Totally worth it. Rob Kilvington and Jonny Waghorn were the other podiums and thats fine with me they are great climbers.

As far as the ride goes, it was the first time I’d bought the road bike along for a while to warm up on – and with the Turbo Trainer I used the Team Sky Warmup. Its a 20 minute warmup routine that gets all your systems ready for a time trial. it seemed to work great.

This was the first time in a while I really got to open up and let it rip. All the way up I kept an eye on my heart rate to stay at 168-170 and kept thinking “rhythm rhythm rhythm…” and blocking out the pain. I had the elapsed time on my Garmin showing and at about 25min I started to bring it up to 170+ and at about 27min turned it up to 11. The result was that I broke the record by about 90 seconds. The Strava segment is ‘Gate to Trig’. The truth is that if you want to go fast up a hill, all you need to do is  test and know your physiological limits and then go out and do them. It’s not complicated – so it appeals to thickies like me.

I wanted to get the record on Climie because its one of the biggest MTB climbs in Wellington. Almost 700 vertical metres.  Here’s a secret. After the season this year I tried, and missed the record by 1sec. Dave Sharpe had the record. Well, I’m probably going better now because I have a better programme and I get more out of my training because of having a power meter. (see prev posts).  I’m pleased to have a Fitlab Training Programme.

Frankly, I’m a little too fat right now, at about 76.5kg, and not at the top of the programme. With 2-3kg off my giant arse and a month of hill intervals under the belt I could take heaps off that. Next time I will.

Oh one last thing. Sometimes – when telling silly cycling yarns after a big result – someone says something like “Oh man, how did you feel afterwards?” Well, the truth is that when you are fit – it feels easy. Like you could have gone harder. It felt like that this time too. It felt like a complete piece of piss – and I should have gone faster. I could have ridden down and up again just as quick – probably faster – thats just the truth. I finished 2nd at the Karapoti Classic about 1million years ago and it was the same. Some people asked “…how munted did you feel?” and the truth is ‘not at all’ – should’a gone faster – could’a done it twice…Now that I’m 1000 years old I know the feeling – it feels familiar.

Peaking physiologically is an interesting thing. It’s slightly deflating actually because when you are on form it feels like everything’s easier than you expected.






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