Hello Zwift London

Zwift rolled out the their new course some time today. It is great. The climbs are killers though. Short, sharp and nasty. You get rain, thunder and lightning, riding in tube tunnels, what sounds like Big Ben’s chimes and loads more. Check out these screen shots.



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There are a lot of turns on this one and it will be good when some clever bugger gets a map out. πŸ™‚

well done Zwift.

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Zwift, HDR and a Bucket

Last night was my first big bunch ride on Zwift. The first one that had a ride leader and the group stayed together.

Every Wednesday at 7PM Culburra beach time, the Hump Day Ride (HDR) takes off. I had joined it a couple of weeks back, but the ride leader didn’t make it and it all went to poop pretty quickly. There were bunches all over the road and I kept jumping between them depending on my abilities. Last night however, the big kahuna showed up and it was a solid group of 140-170 people for the first 3 laps of Watopia flat.

You can find all sorts of bunch rides here http://zwiftcalendar.com/ It gives you all the details you will need to participate.

So, from the details on the HDR ride…

Summary: Social pace ride led by Tim Searle. 60 minutes easyish laps + an optional harder 15 minute “After Party” ride.

Intensity: Main Ride: Easyish steady pace. We want to stay together. The leader will adjust the pace as necessary for the riders present. Generally 2-2.5W/Kg. You should not be above 3W/Kg at any time during the main part of the ride.
After Party: Harder pace, generally 3-3.5W/Kg as a guide. Although this part of the ride is faster, it is still a group ride & we want to try to stay together.

So that is 180-235W for me. A bit more than a steady pace for this Non Pro.

Just recently there have been some updates to the Zwift software, one of which is a staging area for all riders on a group ride.

You can sit there on a virtual trainer, in a virtual world, warming up. Seeing yourself on a pier on a turbo trainer in a virtual world has a bit of an Inception feel to it.

It is pretty cool, as 7PM approaches, seeing more and more riders joining. And the countdown sort of adds to the excitement. Well it does for me. I am easy sucked into these things.

Go time and everyone charges off. It was right about then that I realised I had made a huge rookie error. Check this out.

oh dear god, it was like a bloody Powerpoint presentation. my poor little laptop was slugging its guts out and riders were flying off into the water, the bush and the sky. It just couldn’t cope with 150+ virtual peleton. Lesson learned for next time.

The ride itself was pretty interesting. Tim Searle did an outstanding job keeping people in check. if a group got off the front, he asked them to ease off. Gave encouragement when all was going well. I have no idea how he managed it. Ride Ons (Zwift kudos) were raining down and again I dont know haw people managed. I was too busy trying to stay in the group and keep my power at the right level.

Things got even trickier when we hit the dirt.

I reckon that was when I was getting a massive 3 frames per second. Oh joy.

Lap 3 and the pace seemed to pick up a bit and I was starting to feel the pinch, and that was knowing that lap 4 was the party lap.

Lap 4. Party my arse, it damn near killed me and I thought I was going to spew my lunch all over the garage floor. hand me a bucket!

The bride walked it to see how I was going at one point. Most likely because she could here the laboured breathing from inside the house. “Can’t talk, have to keep up” was all I could manage as she looked at me, sweat pouring out of me, and walked off shaking her head.

See if you can spot when lap 4 started?

One of the really cool things with Zwift is the slip streaming that is modeled into the software. I was going ok in the bunch, but once the party started, I was in trouble. here are the 2nd, 3rd and 4th laps.

Full ride details below.

So, Zwift bunch rides. I reckon once I have the hardware and software sorted (lower resolution so I can see video, not a Zapruda like film) it will be great fun. For a lower end plodder like me, it will always be a struggle, but it should make me stronger over time. Well I hope so.

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Zwift, My First Bunch Ride.

If you are a cyclist, there is a pretty good chance you have heard of Zwift. A virtual world where you can ride on your turbo trainer against and with other people.

I have done a fair bit of riding on it so far, but last night was my first ever bunch ride. And it was awesome.

There is a bit to know about Zwift. This Unoffical Guide is a great starting point. There is a Group Ride Calendar. A map of the island. There are also a lot of great blogs about it. Google is your friend.

So, last night I joined the HDR (Hump Day Ride). kicking off at 7PM Culburra Beach time. I actually hopped on the trainer early to test some things out on the new Wahoo Kickr Snap. Then it was time to join the ride.

The meeting point is a pre determined spot.

As you can see, I had already done 20 odd Kms. And this was an issue as I had the fan going at 2/3rd speed, and got cold after waiting a while. Check out the cool jersey. Bike and Beer. πŸ™‚

At a bit after 7PM we finally got going. The ride leader seemed to be missing, so it was all a bit fragmented at the start, but it didnt take long for people to find a group to ride in.

The agreed level we were supposed to ride at was 1.5W/kg. Well that seemed to go out the window pretty quickly as can be seen below. As soon as we hit some rises in the road, the little fellas took off.

I took some work but I stayed with them and then we were onto lap 2 of the course.

This was supposed to be 2W/kg, but it didnt take long before it was a bit harder than that. But it settled down again and we had a good group going.

Things were going ok until we hit the dirt section. *cough cough*

We were coming to the end of the 2nd lap and I was busting for a nature break. But I had to nudge my wheel across the intermediate sprint point first in our group.

From there on it got even faster and I had some troubles staying with the group. The heart rate was up as we approached the end of the lap, and knowing I had to stop for a piss, I put in a big effort and finished a little in front of this group.

I jumped off and took a leak. I jumped back on and did another few kilometres before I stopped for the night.

More ride data here…

It is a great way to get some trainer time in. Combined with The Sufferfest, I reckon this is going to make me a lot stronger than sitting on the couch because it is too cold or wet.

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“Let’s Take it Easy Today”, They Did Not Listen

Friday morning for the CuBeCyCl gang is supposed to be a no drop coffee ride. It is our most popular group ride because at the end we sit around and bull shit at the local bakery.
A couple of solid efforts on the trainer, and 2 hard sessions on the road on Monday and Tuesday had my legs feeling like mince.

A big crowd was at the start (a big crowd for us, 8 riders), including the real fast guys, Dan and Tim.

May as well knock this on the head right from the get go. “Let’s go easy today gents. No records!” There seemed to be enough smiles and nods for me to think the message had sunk in. 20 minutes later I was breathing out of my arse and struggling to hold on.

I will let the video tell the story of the final couple of kilometres. Bloody triathletes!

Ride data.

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At CyclingCentral for stage 8 of the Giro 2016

Once again I was lucky enough to get to wander the halls of Cycling central at SBS for stage 8 of the Giro d’Italia. And what a stage it was. I wont talk a lot about the experience, as I have already been through that here.


Instead, here are a few photos from the night.


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Once again a big thank you to Mike Tomalaris, Henk Vogels, Matt Keenan, Robbie McEwen and Cat Whelan for putting up with me wandering around all night. I was a thrill.

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Let’s See How Much a Metre Actually Matters, The Reply.

So, further to the incident on the weekend. I had actually asked on Twitter a while a go how we go about reporting incidents like the one from the weekend, and I got the following reply.

Fantastic. Couldn’t be easier. So I sent the report in on the weekend. Monday, an email…. (click to see full size)

So, it seems it isn’t that easy. I supplied them with the video and photos from the previous blog post as well as time and date. I am not sure exactly why I have to report this in person? Is it just to make it harder for people to do?

NSW Police, can you advise?

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Let’s See How Much a Metre Actually Matters.

So this happened on the way home from town today.

Now, I have asked NSW police on Twitter about reporting this sort of thing, and they advised me to use the Crimestoppers page.

So, today, I have reported it. I included these 2 photos and a link to the YouTube.

Will keep you updated if I hear anything.

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Woodhill Mountain, You Glorious Bitch!

Last Saturday Richard and i took off for a longish ride, including a local climb called Woodhill Mountain. I have never completed this climb without stopping before, so that was going to be the challenge of the day. Not much to say, just watch the video to see a struggle that is real.

And the fun part, when the extra kilograms actually help.

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Tour Down Under – Day 8

Oh no, the final day! It has gone by so quickly.

Today I had planned an early ride with my mate Carl. This would ensure I wouldn’t get lost in the bloody hills again. We met at the bottom of Norton Summit, for my 3rd trip up in the week. And by far the slowest.

Last trip up Norton Summit with Carl. #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #tdu

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Carl always manages to take a camera along, and snaps some interesting shots.





Oh good lord, the struggle is real.

It was actually a really enjoyable ride, if a little cool at some points. We bombed down the freeway and found a spot for a coffee at the crit track.

Coffee with Carl. #tdu #cycling #morningride #cubecycl

A photo posted by @norbsy on

Whilst there, we saw this…

Oh jesus! #cycling #morningride #cubecycl #TDU2016 #roadtrip

A video posted by @norbsy on

So, naturally…

And here is the ride on Strava…

Then it was off to the final stage around the city.

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With a few laps left, I headed back to the hotel to watch Caleb Ewan smash them again in the sprint.

So that dear reader, is my Tour Down Under for 2016.

A big thanks to all that have made comments on Twitter about the blog. I am glad people are enjoying my look at the TDU.

I big thanks to John Galloway from The Velocast for organising the media pass. It was great to be able to get up close to the riders.

See you all again next year.


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Tour Down Under – Day 7

Stage 5, the queen stage, Old Willunga Hill. Such a great stage around McLarenvale and up the hill. Having been there a few times now, I know a couple of tricks and one of them is getting a park about 10m from the start area. Don’t ask. πŸ™‚

It was windy and I was predicting echelons. I don’t think it happened, but I had a great day none the less. Here are some start line shots.

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Then it was time to shoot out to Aldinga Beach to check out the party atmosphere.

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It wasn’t long before the peloton came through, lead by the days break.

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Once the bunch got past, I was off, back to some spots I had been before. The fact they lap 3 times around the same course makes it a lot easier for me. Here are a bunch of shots from those 3 laps before they go up the hill.

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I then shot off to a new spot. An overhead bridge they ride under. And I am so glad I did. Apart from being muscled slightly off centre by a tubby bastard, I was super excited with how these turned out.

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Another good day out. I didn’t go up Old Willunga Hill, as I know just how busy it is and I freak out in huge crowds like that. There is always some nufty ready to smash into your camera or push you over.

I got back to the hotel and went for a swim and had a nap. After some dinner I went for a quick blast around the city, but once the sun went down, the cars got a little unpredictable for me, so I pulled the pin.

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