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Archive for July, 2009

Beach Road

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

The imminent opening of the latest Bike Boutique in Melbourne got me thinking about one of the most popular city rides and its Swiss counterpart.

 

Our version of the Beach Road Ride travels out from Port Melbourne with the Spirit of Tasmania along the coast turning at the flashy resort of Sorrento, second beach home to the rich and famous! We fly through St Kilda venue for the Commonwealth Games Tri and fun fair through trendy Brighton and windswept Mentone, all the time hugging the coast making our way to Safety Beach. Steve told me they re-named this place Safety Beach because of all the shark attacks. Apparently they were trying to re-launch the image?? (Not sure if he was just trying to fool this silly pom?) Then its on through beautiful Mount Eliza with its amazing golden beaches and blue blue sea. You know you are nearly at the turnaround as you reach the strip malls of Portsea and smell the hot chips and burgers.

 

The ride is mainly flat but you are often dogged by a constant headwind or buffeted by a nasty cross wind. One magic day we timed our ride perfectly with a tailwind out and back. The wind just literally turned with us and blew us home towards the silhouette of the CBD seeming to float in the sea in front of us.

 

Of course no ride on busy roads is perfect and Beach Road is certainly dogged by a lot of traffic lights. It gets incredibly busy at the weekend too and you are quite likely to turn around and find a mini peleton sucking your wheel if you are not too careful! Not my favourite!!! Or join in the Hell Ride which sees literally hundreds of riders making the pilgrimage along the coast together on a Saturday.

 

Today I did the Beach Road Ride Swiss style … nowhere near the sea and certainly not in Melbourne but incredibly beautiful nevertheless.

 

To do any flat riding you need to descend 17km from Leysin down to Aigle and this is how my day began. Then its on through the windy valley until you get your first sight of the water (Lac Leman) surrounded by mountains. Quite stunning, it never fails to bring a smile to my face.

 

 

 

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First stop is Montreux home to the famous Jazz festival (and very delicious coffee!!). Then you cruise past vineyards perched on the side of almost vertical hillsides

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and Chateaux sitting imposingly on the lakeside.

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We turn at Lausanne, Olympic town and home to numerous Tri European and World Championships and some incredibly elegant waterfront architecture.

Two very different beach roads one very happy Cervelo riding triathlete!

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Super Filth

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

In an effort to make life simpler and more healthy Steve and I decided to try and adopt the Super Food diet; packed full of vitamins and minerals and many other nutrients with amazing health benefits, it also makes life at the Co-op a whole lot easier.

 

Here are our top 5:-

 

1. Broccoli – also known as the “mega-super food” due to its cancer fighting properties, it also packs a mean vitamin C punch – and its not even orange!!!!

 

2. Blueberries, especially on oats. The blueberry is the fruit with the highest antioxidant capacity and can even fight ageing (good news as we are both getting on a bit). The oats provide complex carbs and fibre which slow the release of blood sugar providing a great slow energy source. No wonder I went to such trouble in Nice to try and find the elusive “flocons d’avoine” Apparently the French haven’t fully embraced the oat. Thanks mum for tracking them down!

 

3. Almonds – definitely raw and not roasted. Full of protein, fibre, minerals and deliciousness.

 

4. Avocado – (especially good on toast of the wholegrain variety). Full of good fats, fibre, Vitamin E and folic acid, it evens helps to reduce cholesterol.

 

5. Tea – no true Brit could leave out the national drink. Turns out it is good for us too … a rich source of antioxidants and also calming to this English persons nerves!!

 

Of course, not every bite can be super … so my top 5 filthy foods include:-

 

1. The doughnut, jammy and covered in sugar, perfection. Avoid the ring doughnut impostor, its jam or nothing.

 

2. The Mars bar – do like the Scots and deep fry it (not entirely sure about this) … also substitute for snickers, boost, twix …..

 

3. The mince pie. Americans seem to struggle with this one. No there is no meat in it, just sugar, fruit and lardy pastry. A Christmas delight with brandy butter.

 

4. My mum’s Victoria Sponge cake with jam and butter icing. So good it was the Dorchester County Show prize winner.

 

5. A cream tea – a West Country favourite – clotted cream and jam on a scone with a cup of tea. What more could you ask for?

 

Avoid the filth above at all costs if you want to be super.

The chocolate medal, again

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

Last weekend I experienced my first race of the year under truly clear blue skies. I have the sunburn and peeling skin to prove it!

The boss and I decided a few weeks earlier that I needed a good race to harden me up for my key race coming up later in the year. Ironman France, Nice seemed to fit the bill with a very tough bike course with over 5000ft of climbing. Lovely.

The swim was my first experience of a mass start. It can only be described as French arms and legs everywhere, mostly hitting the English girl. I remembered the boss’ advice about doing everything you have to to hang on (including punching and kicking – no biting this time) when I suddenly realised I should also be breathing. A minute of hyperventilating and panic later and I started to settle into a better rhythm and get going. I came out of the water 8 minutes behind the lead man which was an improvement on my Ironman Oz swim but there is still a lot of work to do.

Onto the bike and I was grateful for every uphill because it meant I wasn’t going downhill!!! Lets just say I am not a natural descender and it was frustrating to have girls pass me on the downhills. It made me very determined that I would have a good run however to make up for the time I had given away.

I hopped off my wonderful Cervelo P2 feeling almost as fresh as a slightly wilted daisy and set off at a solid pace I thought I could hold for the rest of the day. I ran as hard as I could passing a few girls early and picking off one more on the last lap. The run was a flat out and back x4, not very exciting but good for pacing. It was amazing to run through the turnaround and be lifted by the music and crowd, especially running past my mum and dad. My dad was even able to offer such useful advice as “smile!”. Thanks mum and dad.

on the run in the sun

on the run in the sun

All in all a solid race for me finishing 4th with a PB marathon and not melting in the sun … a chocolate medal (gold, silver, bronze, chocolate?????) earned, 4th again. I would love the real kind next time. Back to work for me!