Bali by Bike

When work announced there was going to be a trip for a conference a there was some excitement that it was going to be somewhere warm during the cold Australian winter.
So when Bali was confirmed I started to lookup places to ride and was inspired to take my bike. There was a contact from my racing days that used to take event photos - Jarrod Partridge who had started a travel company to do proper high end road bike tours. 
As I had never travelled to that part of the world I had a million questions and he was kind enough to answer them, set me up with some custom riding experiences and contacts with the local ex-pat riding community.

The first day was initially a nervous ride around the south in Nusa Dua. The area near my hotel had a lot to give:
- Skinny back roads
- Coastal vistas
- Punchy roller coaster terrain
- Plus we rode up to the massive statue that had finished being erected! It was visible from every angle in the south!!

By the end of the day I was weaving through traffic and overtaking scooters. What stayed with me was the crackle of powerlines on the side of the road and the dogs that would wander out on the road or try to think about chasing us. I think that was the biggest barrier to going out for a ride on my own. Although I was pretty stoked to grab a few QOM segments in the region. 

The next day I had lined up a 100km ride to the hills with the locals. I may have bitten off more than I could chew with this one. We had a group of 5 locals take off a little later than we expected and were running into the local traffic and lunch! We navigated around the parades and ate all remaining food in our pockets. The heat got to me - I had to launch myself up the final 12-15% punchy climbs up to the rim of the volcano. Lungs were screaming and legs were empty! 

The views from the top were worth it! 

The ride down back to the start was exciting and memorable. A chain of riders leapfrogging each other, faster than expected down the back-roads. At one point we were stopped by traffic outside a village with the Police directing things. I thought it was another parade until we heard the gun shots. The local riders got very nervous and got us out of there very quickly. By the end of the ride we were back in the flow of traffic and I was drafting scooters and made it back in time for my driver to take me home. I was very happy to jump in the pool when I got back!

During the conference we had team building events - one was to build a bike for a child in need and donate this to the charity.

The second event was to do a "race around the world" style of event to undertake activities and follow clues to dinner on the final night - one activity was to cycle downhill MTB through some rice fields. It was great!

A week later after the work conference was completed I did one more ride with my mate Kat Lee along the coast line. It was lovely to see the water temple, and rolling hills. I would love to come back to Bali again and with some forward planning, I could definitely take my bike again.

2018 Year in Review

  • New Years Day Crit in Ballarat
  • Ride from Bendigo to Ballarat
  • Daylesford 100km loop
  • Australian Nationals spectating
  • Tour Down Under (GirlRide RADelaide/Rapha Women's/Rapha Willunga Trip)
  • Solo Cadel Evans People's Ride
  • Ride Marysville - Lake mountain (1st time)

  • Ride to Melbourne for a BBQ lunch (135km) - train home
  • Kinglake ride for Herald Sun Tour with the ladies
  • Ballarat Cycle Classic
  • Perth visit!

  • Fi and Brad wedding
  • Ride Barwon heads
  • Santa Monica trip/Hollywood/Disneyland

  • San Francisco/Tahoe skiing at Alpine Meadows Ski resort for Easter
  • Test ride Specialized gravel Diverge
  • RCC Women's Overnighter

  • Brisbane Zwift trip
  • Riding with Rach and Shannon around BrisVegas
  • Mothers day 5km cancer classic walk in Horsham
  • Rapha Women’s Prestige Melbourne
  • New couch day!

  • Gave away a tonne of old cycling kit
  • Zwift Fondo training plan
  • Dinner at Underbar in Ballarat

  • Wangaratta ride somewhere different
  • Women's 100 Training Days
  • Riding in Jan Jac
  • Perth trip staying in Blue Tree-house Air BnB

  • Zwift Academy start
  • Women's 100 Training Days in Melbourne
  • Zwift session at Ergo Fitness in Adelaide
  • 2x Riding in Bali with personal tour
  • 100km volcano ride with Bali locals
  • Test Ride Specialized Tarmac Disc

  • Long beach trip to visit Zwift HQ
  • Finish Zwift Academy at Zwift!!
  • Rapha Women's 100 in Santa Monica
  • Interbike US tradeshow
  • Rapha Transfer Ride (160+180+127=467km)
  • Gears n Beers Gravel Fondo
  • Test ride Canyon Gravel Grail bike

  • Sick
  • Vic Masters Road Race - M2 champion
  • Canadian Thanksgiving
  • Ride Daylesford
  • Renew sponsorship with Thule

  • Sydney PROSCI training trip
  • TACX Neo 2 unboxing and test ride
  • Trainer Road new kit day/ramp test/fitness baseline

  • Amsterdam - DC Rainmaker Open House/ housewarming
  • Ride around in Amsterdam
  • Visit Tacx factory
  • Berlin hike of Teufelsberg (the hill Jens Voight Everested)
  • Christmas!
  • Rapha Festive 500km in Victoria, Australia

Zwift Academy Journey 100%

With a quick visit to Los Angeles this week, I piggy backed off the invite from Zwift HQ to my husband Shane to meet up with Kate V and finish my Zwift Academy on site at Zwift!

My setup was pretty nice with Wahoo Kickr trainers and Wahoo desk, iPad device and wireless fans. I had brought my own bike to L.A. for some outdoor rides so I knew the fit would be comfortable for the hard session to come. 

As an added benefit, I managed to meet my weekly goal on Zwift and clocked up some vertical kms towards to Tron/concept bike challenge.

I was pretty nervous (for some reason) with other riders and staff members working out around me and walking in/out of the Lab. Once I got into it, it all went smoothly just like my sessions at home.

The final unlock of kit was the magical ZA jersey and knicks making a complete set of socks, kit, gloves, glasses and cap.

The new paintwork on the Canyon bike looked slick and matches all the other kit so well!

The final checkpoint was to verify on the website that the final ride counted and registered. With this all in place, I was set!

Mega thanks to all that chatted along on the group rides and races. Those that have shared on the Facebook group. I hope those that are still chipping away on the session will be encouraged to keep on going. It it totally achievable!

Races Complete! Finishing ZA Strong

My winter escape is almost here and I’m eagerly preparing to take my bike to enjoy some sunshine in between the upcoming work conference. 
One of these steps was to try complete any races or group rides (variables in the ZA) around my current work days. 
There was some intent to get up early on Saturday to do one then, but sleep won that round! When I checked the upcoming schedule I noticed the races were starting this week! Yay!

As per most Zwift racing, the pace was on from the start gate. Within the first 5 minutes a good group of 5 was formed. It was great to see local racer M.Taylor on the start line as we haven’t ridden together since my last real live race on New Year’s Day! 

By the time we were halfway through the course the hill on Innsbruck had taken its toll and we were down to 4!

I tried a mad attack at the top third of the climb to break the group up. The tactic worked, till the second hill and my body couldn’t pull off what my mind thought it could. This did split the group with me in 3rd place, but I had dug a hole that I struggled to recover from. The reality in the trainer room was not pretty - desperately wishing my fan was just slightly tilted on an angle more toward my body and my towel sopping up all the drips. 

I tried to bridge to 3rd place on the last hill and got close. Indoor km goal met for the week was a nice touch as the ladies in front of me slowly pulled away. I held on for 4th overall. It was only later that I realised that one lady was in A-Grade so I made it to 3rd in B-Grade! Yay!

I didn’t think I would get a ride in last night, however when I checked the app at 6:30pm it said there was a 7pm race. Previous experience shows that doing back to back races is a bad idea. Shane was setting up for a live-stream coffee and chat ride so I thought I’d sneak into the trainer room and tick over the race with low expectations. 

The pre-race kms were not neutral and we had the top 3 for B-Grade in the split within the first 5-10mins. I love a flat course. This one was familiar from all the eCrit races last year. 
The aim of this was to stay focused in the bunch, not do too much, don’t get dropped off the back on the hill and finish strong. 

With 3km to go I interrupted Shane’s ride to ask advice. I was in top 3 spot and the hill was coming up. Do I use my Truck powerup on the hill or in a bunch sprint? After deliberating with the internet audience, I was already on the hill and my closest competition was passing me. I made the decision to use the powerup just as Shane said not to use it! I made it over the top just hanging off the back of the bunch. It was pulling apart slowly and I had to dig a little to come back up to the other two in the mix of A-graders. 
The final sprint went from 300m to go and I lifted then punched it. A.Hailstone was dropped and came up parallel. I pushed a little more and we crossed the line at the same time!! 2nd in B-Grade was a great outcome.

I think being 70% complete the next ride should unlock another reward. My guess is the final one will be a jersey, so I predict this one to be gloves. We will have to wait to see!! 5 more sessions to go. Happy riding!

Glass half full? 50% ZA

As predicted the weather here has been abysmal with temps in the negative. My paincave setup was in the garage and it was too cold for me! I was doing sessions without the fan and a thick jersey till the core temp went up then taking off the long sleeve and finishing off without the fan as the air movement was just too much for me.  
The next month should warm up a bit - I hope!

I won an Instagram competition for my pic of the Innsbruck course! That was nice surprise to receive and goooooood motivation for continuing on with me Zwift Academy rides. 

I had a bit of a technical meltdown on workout 6 this week with the iPad not connecting correctly with the Kickr17. As the earlier intervals/warmup was so low on power I didn’t notice it failing to hold the watts. I tried turning erg mode on screen off/on (don’t get me started on the button labelling of that in the UI - it confuses me every time!) then I stopped pedaling 2x for erg mode to try catch up and re-enable. That failed a few more intervals. It was only turning the Kickr off/on at the wall that kicked it in for the end of the workout. I think I will go back and re visit this one workout later in the Academy period. 

Workout 7 I was looking forward to a new style of session after the last 2 were quite similar. This one had more of a big block interval and I was pretty confident.   There were a lot of riders on course. Here is a shot of one of the men’s bunches coming for me during warmup! 

This session I was using the Tacx Neo and the power was great except for 2x dropouts in the cooldown. I was not feeling the best, but pushed through. The first 8mins was great of the “free ride” self selected interval, then I almost literally “hit the wall” and tried my best not to drop the last 2 minutes. The average was just over what I thought I could hold for the 10minutes. 

Now with 50% complete we have new sunglasses that are the Oakley Flight Jacket. Not the style I personally would wear- but good to see another exclusive item unlocked. 

Looking forward to the races this week. I have 1 booked in for early this week before I fly out later in the week for sunny Bali!