A Bike Crash, A Sandstorm, And A Marriage Proposal

What a crazy few weeks it’s been. Let me start with some very exciting news. I’m getting married! The lucky girl is Belinda Coates, and we’re planning on getting married on the Gold Coast early next year. It all happened after an incident on my bike during the big week training for the Abu Dhabi Triathlon

Everything went according to the plan (at least for the most part), including the big 1000km bike week. On Sunday I needed to pull together 130km on the bike to finish out the 1,000km for the week.

I had no idea what was in store for me. As I was finishing off the big week, a car came from out of nowhere and hit my bike, literally breaking it in half. It all happened in the flash of a moment, and although I’m totally fine and completely uninjured, it’s hard to piece everything together. All I can say is that I’m extremely lucky my bike was the only casualty.

So Belinda picked me up and took me back home, broken bike in tow. I was still determined to get my goal for the week, so the second I got back, I hopped on my road bike and finished the ride. In spite of it all, I got my biggest week ever. 1,000kms on the bike! Oh, and this other little thing happened too. I proposed to Belinda. I figure a girl who’s there for me after a bike crash is a good find and definitely worth hanging onto.

Abu Dhabi was on the horizon, and although I came into the race feeling more prepared than ever, it didn’t go as planned. High winds, hot temperatures and the boys driving the bike very hard got the better of me.

I biked pretty hard through the first hour and a half, but then I started cramping. My nutrition was running out, and I knew it was only a matter of time before I’d hit the wall. I basically bonked about 150km into the bike. Matty White was right alongside me, we got off the bike 20min down and I was in a very bad way. We both decided to start the run to see how we flet but I only got to 5k in the run and pull the pin. The temperatures and exhaustion had run their course.

I’m definitely disappointed, I’m not ashamed. Only 16 of the 41 competitors managed to brave the temperatures and winds to the finish line, and the average finish time was one hour slower than last year’s race. It was a challenging day, and my hat goes off to those who finished.

Right now, I’m back in Oz enjoying the much more reasonable weather. I’ll be training in Lennox head with the crew for the next few weeks before the Port Macquarie and Busselton 70.3 races.

As always, I’ll keep you posted on the results.

 

Well, my favorite time of the year has arrived. Shimano just picked me up, and I’ve re-signed with all of my sponsors. I’ve got a boatload of new gear coming my way, and I couldn’t be happier. This is much better than Christmas. Wanna see what’s got me so excited? Have a look.

The New 2011 Canondale Slice
I just got this bike, and it rides like a dream. The Slice is the best tri bike I’ve ever ridden, and the results show. I won Challenge Copenhagen on this bike, and I think that if I weren’t riding it, I would have been much more tired for the run.

It all has to do with the way this bike is engineered. The Slice has a shock dampening micro suspension (called the SAVE system) on the rear. It reduces a lot of the wear you get from riding long distances, and in my case, it kept me feeling much more fresh once I hopped off the bike and did the run.

I’ve got some pretty serious bike training coming up in the next few weeks, so the new Slice will certainly come in handy. The Abu Dhabi triathlon features a 200k bike section, so I’m planning on slowly increasing my distance on the bike before I head over there in March. During my most intense week, I’ll be biking an insane 1000 kilometers. Just so you know, I’ve never done that before.

Shimano’s Dura Ace DI2 Electronic Shifting System
You can really see the evolution of bike racing with this new Shimano gear shifting system. There are no cables, so you get a super smooth transition between gears. This is actually really handy. When you add up all of the little delays in a race, something like this can make a big difference.

Being that these have be designed triathletes, the new system eliminates the need for me to change hand positions during shifting. I can change gears at the base bar as well as the bar extensions because the system is linked.

Also, the electronic rear derailleur system is the fastest & most precise shifting I have seen. It’s made from Aluminium and Carbon which is why the whole rear derailleur weighs in at only 225g.

But you haven’t even heard the best part. The DI2 self-tunes. What a timesaver. No more trekking across town to the bike shop to get it done (not that I mind it). What could be more useful in the middle of a big race?

Shimano has also been kind enough to give me some new shoes, wheels, and bars. Thanks again guys!

I’ve gotta shout out to Scody and Daikin. Thanks for your support.
What second Christmas is complete without some new clothes? Scody always has the most colorful and interesting designs out there. I love working with them because I get to be a part of the process, helping them come up with gear that makes me look good. It’s win-win all around.

I’ll be blogging about my training schedule shortly. Like I said, it looks like I’ve got a lot of intense weeks on the bike ahead of me. I’ll keep you all posted on my progress, and if they have to scrape me off the road during that 1000k week, you’ll know.