Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Viagra announcement

(Courtesy of Chris Wayman)

Viagra have just released a new pill called 007. It doesn't make you James Bond, but it does make you Roger Moore.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Have You Settled For Less Than You Deserve?

(Courtesy of swimsmooth.com)

Simon says: -
I read this today from Swimsmooth and it hit a chord, I've lost count the number of times I've heard people say they can't swim, or can't improve their swim or some similar variance. I'm not always a "believer" myself but I keep trying to reset those doubt and get better - you should too (unless youre in my age-group of course haha).

When Louise Sawyer said "you get what you settle for" she was talking about relationships. But the same thing is true for your education, your career and also your swimming.

While swimming isn't as important as our relationships, it's saddening to see someone you care about settle for less than they deserve because they don't believe they can be better.

If you've read our new book, you'll have heard us talk about how an eleven year old can be such a fast swimmer despite having very little strength compared to an adult. One of reasons they can do that is that kids don't place limitations on themselves, every time they go to the pool they walk out excitedly on to the poolside with a clear head, jump in the water, go for it and see what they can do.

Maybe you've settled because of your age, your inexperience, your talent, your training time, your gender or your height. Are you sure the barriers you feel are not entirely self imposed? Take a leaf from that eleven year old's book: enjoy every moment, work hard, keep an open mind and believe you will become a better swimmer...

...and you will.

Swim Smooth

Amazing bird goes fishing

(Courtesy of Ian Hay)

Tell me you don't think this is amazing (if not a little scary too)!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Martyn Ashton doing a Danny MacAskill

(Courtesy of Kristoff and Disco Dave)

I'm sure many of you will have seen this by now but it's simply amazing so I couldn't go without posting it.

Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones

(Courtesy of Sian)

2 best friends graduated from medical school at the same time and decided that, in spite of two different specialties, they would open a practice together to share office space and personnel. Dr. Smith was the psychiatrist and Dr. Jones was the proctologist.

They put up a sign reading: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones: Hysterias and Posteriors". The town council was livid and insisted they change it.

So, the docs changed it to read: "Schizoids and Hemorrhoids". This was also not acceptable, so they again changed the sign.

"Catatonics and High Colonics" – No go.

Next, they tried "Manic Depressives and Anal Retentives" – thumbs down again. Then came "Minds and Behinds" – still no good.

Another attempt resulted in "Lost Souls and Butt Holes" –unacceptable again! So they tried "Analysis and Anal Cysts" – not a chance. "Nuts and Butts" – no way. "Freaks and Cheeks" – still no good. "Loons and Moons" – forget it.

Almost at their wit's end, the docs finally came up with: "Dr. Smith and Dr. Jones -
Specializing in Odds and Ends". Everyone loved it.

Swim Smooth - fascinating video


Shilpa had a bit of a panic this morning as her Blackberry rebooted and all of her new contacts and all of her photos were missing. I said not a problem I'm sure you back it up and sync it with your PC regularly like I've told you so many times...A troubled look came over her face and she said "Yes, 8 months ago" Whahahahahahaha.

Fortunately I got all the data and photos back without much problem but it just goes to show the power of backing up.

That reminded me of a joke I heard some years ago...

One day, Jesus and the Devil were having a discussion about who was best, so God suggested a typing competition. So God sat them down at two computers, one each, and told them to type up an article written on a piece of paper. The first to complete the typing would win.

Anyway, both Jesus and the Devil were typing away frantically, when there was a power cut and both computers switched off. Their typing work had disappeared from the two screens.

When the power was restored, and the computers re-booted, Jesus's work re-appeared on his screen, but the Devil could get nothing back and had lost all his work. So Jesus was declared the winner. The Devil complained bitterly to God saying that it wasn't fair at all and demanded a rematch, but God said,

"Stop whinging Satan, you know why Jesus got his work back - everyone knows "JESUS SAVES!"

Monday, October 08, 2012

Malaysian Triathlon Federation - Politics gone mad?

Simon says: -
I have just read this open letter on Facebook, I'm speechless and absolutely amazed. Surely there has to be another side to this story or maybe it's just the case that the wheels turn a little slower in Malaysia? I for one am not going to judge the Malaysian Triathlon Federation guys (not yet anyway), I know that they are good people and I have always thought that they have their hearts in the right place. I shall email this link to them and ask them to comment on it. I shall then publish their responses to give a balanced side of the story.
Steve Lumley is a world class coach and we are privileged to have him here helping us "Weekend Warriors" out but also working with the grass routes of Malaysian traithletes to get them on to the world stage. He needs our support and that of the Malaysian Traithlon Federation. So come on Traithlon community of Malaysia. Leave your comments of support for up and coming Malaysian triathletes competing and representing your country.
Let's keep everything positive for now, there's a time and a place to force change but in the meantime we owe it to the guys that represent TRIAM to put their side across.
An open letter from Steve Lumley

a letter to TRIAM:


I am mailing again to ask you again to reconsider the TRIAM policy to not allow Malaysian athletes entry to International Triathlon Union races
in general, and in particular the upcoming Asian Cup races.

The Continental junior cup races provide a valuable and scarce opportunity for young athletes to gain experience at an appropriate level.

 They cannot gain this in Malaysia. It seems logical to allow, and indeed encourage, as many as appropriate to race rather than preventing all from racing.

No 'invitation' is required from race organisers - any athlete and NF can request entry.

There are effectively no limits to numbers that can be entered as races are under-subscribed and each NF can enter at least 10 men and 10 women.

 So again, no reason to prevent entry or even set restrictive entry criteria.

Athletes are required to pay their own costs. Again, no reasons for TRIAM to prevent them racing.

 No TRIAM officials need to accompany athletes - again, no cost implication

No explanation or reason has been forthcoming for this effective ban.

A reason has been given for the refusal to allow the senior athlete from Malaysia to enter the senior race in Hong Kong. TRIAM is on record as stating that this because he didn't race when selected to race for Malaysia in 2010 (he actually couldn't afford to travel to race). Do TRIAM see it as appropriate to punish an athlete due to his economic circumstances or that of his family?

Also, if not racing in 2010 is the real reason for banning him, why was he selected for the Asian Championships in 2012? Is there another reason he is banned?

TRIAM has received several requests from a junior athlete who is eligible to be entered onto the wait list for the JUNIOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS.

 It appears that this has not been done, again without explanation.

TRIAM is supposed to be the body responsible for developing and promoting the sport of triathlon in Malaysia. It takes less time and effort to actually enter athletes into races than to avoid doing so and costs TRIAM nothing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

To busy? Seriously!

(Courtesy of John Preston)

I think I've posted this before but I love it and it's worth posting again I reckon!

Friday, September 21, 2012

You can't out exercise a bad diet!

Courtesy of John Preston.

Simon says: -
Never was a truer word said! Another expression that comes to mind that really sums this up is "You lose weight in the kitchen not in the *gym!"

*Replace "gym" with bike, pool, treadmill etc... The point is that exercise supports the weight loss mentality but the weight is lost by the decisions you make in what you put in your mouth!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Outstanding bike Jersey - I want one!

(Courtesy of John Proc)


Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Challenge Roth

Challenge Roth was my 21st Ironman (sue me WTC). I had really struggled to get ready for this one having given my all in March at Ironman Melbourne. I was mentally drained and having gone into IMMelbourne carrying a couple of injuries I was really finding it difficult to train let alone recover from the injuries.

So I turned up in Germany under trained but with a new perspective of simply enjoying myself. Don't get me wrong, I was going to nail myself to the wall but I wasn't going to destroy myself and end up miserable.

On a family note, Sid and Seb were still at school so Shilpa decided not to come as she has had enough Ironman spectating to last a life time. My Mum and Dad drove over from the UK though and my sister, Angela, husband, Markus and 3 out of 4 of her kids, Jan, Nico and Sven, came too from their home in the Black Forest, Germany.

The race is a bit fragmented as the swim is in a shipping canal but T1 and T2 are separate locations. Consequently the logistics are a bit tricky so I was very grateful to have Sam on hand who'd done the race two years before.

Come race day rain was forecast for 2pm and it was clear that the wind was going to play a large factor on the bike. As it turned out no rain materialised but the wind was a real drain on the bike times.

All good and very efficient, the usual German way. I was set up in no time and went in search of the portaloos for my 4th "sit-down" of the morning. As I got into a portaloo line I noticed that the guy at the front looked familiar..."Bryan" I yelled.

Bryan Payne from Canada had said he'd do this race and on that basis and the fact that Sam was doing it was enough for me to enter. Unfortunately Bryan was staying miles from where we were and together with on-line work commitments and keeping the family happy we didn't get to meet up throughout the whole event except for this fated moment.

My wave start was straight after the pros and Bryan was in a wave 30 minutes later. We had a great chat and a catch up and wished each other the best but I had to head to the water pretty sharpish. The downside to this is that I couldn't pull off his goggles as the gun went but the upside was that he couldn't try to draft off me haha.

I pushed my way through the gate to get a decent warm up at the same time as the pros. Unfortunately this triggered my chip and added an extra 10 minutes to my finish time as the timing system assumed that I started with the pro wave. It was all sorted out after the race but not in time to stop Bryan posting all sorts of abuse and gloating. Talk about having to eat humble pie, in the end the poor bloke got beat by an almighty 9 seconds and he's backpedalling to this day. I reckon I've got a few years mileage on this one. haha

SWIM 1:04:47
The gun went, my wave was probably 200 athletes but I was surprised how much I got beaten up and got the biggest kick to the goggles I've ever had. Ouch! The swim was up and down the canal, difficult to go too far off course but still not as straightforward as I'd hoped with buoys a long way apart and difficult to see. I had a reasonable swim although I might have hoped for a slightly quicker time as swimming had not been affected by injury and I'd not missed any swim sessions. Still a solid time nonetheless.

T1 2:22
Good transition - solid, no mishaps and straight onto bike. All good.

BIKE 5:30:23
This was a bit of a rude awakening. I was not happy throughout the bike, the wind was definitely a factor for me as we really don't get much in Malaysia, not often anyway and certainly not consistently. On top of that I just wasn't enjoying it and had some very very dark moments which I usually reserve for the run haha.

As I was in the first age-group wave there were very few other riders around me. At one point near halfway I saw an idiot in a car trying to squeeze onto the course next to a marshal truck with the marshals telling him in no uncertain terms not to. I kept well out of the way and continued up the road in the emergency lane. It took me about 4k to realise that I'd not seen another competitor for ages and in fact I was overtaking loads of bikes but they weren't in the race. I stopped and waited but no one in the race came past - SH*T! Maybe I should have turned at the truck. I rode back, very angry and very unhappy. Sure enough there was a turn I should have taken. I wasn't near enough to any other bikes to naturally follow them and the incident with the car had kept my focus on that rather than a turn I should have taken. Oh well ay! Get on with it I thought. Needless to say the dark thoughts and moments now got a little bit darker and lasted a little bit longer.

On the bright side there is one hill on the course that we do twice, it is about 500m longer, quite steep although not a big issue but it slows you down to a grind and the crowds there are ten deep and they literally part in front of you as you ride through them. It's just like you see in the Tour de France. You can't help yourself but to go up there with a silly grin on your face. WICKED!

I reckon I lost about 15 minutes on the bike detour but even so the time was rubbish by my standards even despite the wind. We'll put that down to burn out and a bad day at the office. Gladys was wonderful though despite her injury and I can't blame her at all.

T2 3:47
T2 was somewhat less smooth than T1, I was struggling to walk for a start, I'd got very stiff during the ride. Not too bad though and was soon set up for the run.

RUN 4:05:16
I was hoping for a sub 4 hour run but literally every stride of the entire run was dogged with a hamstring pain in my right leg. Mentally I could deal with it but mechanically it was shortening my stride and each stride was firing more slowly than had I been running normally. By kilometre 6 I was walking through the aid stations but they were small stations so the walks were short too.

The run was along the shipping canal and although some people called it boring I loved it. We were shaded from the sun, it was pancake flat and just beautiful surroundings. At either end we ran through little villages with huge support, it was wonderful (despite the pain).

I saw Bryan as I was heading back from the first turnaround and I reckoned I had a 40 minute lead over him, so with the wave start about 10 minutes in reality. He was moving really fast though. Stay focused I thought.

At about 20k some crazy German guy was running next to me chatting away as if I knew him...it was Jens. A great friend from KL who'd been moved back to Germany by his company. It was a real inspiration and a great lift to see him.

After that it was back to the grind and just trying to keep it together. At the other end of the canal you turn off and go and do an out and back to a village and then it's back on to the canal with about 12k to go. I saw Bryan again but he didn't see or hear me this time. He ran down the slope, to the aid station, didn't break stride, grabbed a drink and tore off. He literally didn't lose a second. OMFG, he's definitely catching me big time, rather than slugging out the last 12 painful kilometres I need to pick up the pace...this is gonna hurt...and it did.

Somehow, I ran the whole thing bar very short walks through the aid stations. The finish was brilliant, massive crowds and beer (albeit no-alcoholic) on tap and free as soon as you crossed the line.

I eventually met up with Sam and Carmen but somehow missed Bryan. I caught up with my sister and family before they had to drive home (work the next morning, so cool of them to come, thanks guys). I saw my mum too, unfortunately my dad was super sick (pneumonia that he caught somehow on the drive over) so he wasn't able to leave the caravan.

All in all a brilliant race that I reckon is one of the best I've done albeit I'd have enjoyed it more had I been fresh rather than semi-burnt out. So yes I would highly recommend it although be prepared for the logistical difficulties the different transition locations present, especially after the race when you're tired and just want to get your stuff your bike and get home.


Bryan has taken a bashing since the race, he thought he'd won, blogged about it, bragged about it, laughed at me about it and then put me back in my box when I suggested the results might be wrong. When eventually things were sorted and the official results posted the shoe was on the other foot...now being a quiet, demure, quiet kind of a guy...(oops no, that's someone else)...I am proud to say I have been (and will continue to) milking my 9 SECOND victory.

10 hours and 46 minutes of racing and I win by a glorious 9 Seconds. As some of you may know my new Twitter name is now "9 SECONDS"...Bryan has done his best to be a good egg about it but you can see that it's eating away at him. In the end he even got his girlfriend of 20 years to post this little video. Nice to see she's a good sport but Bryan you got to let this go buddy. Don't let it upset you. I solemnly promise that if you let it go that I will too (in about 10 years Whahahahahahaha).

Friday, August 17, 2012

80 and still going strong

My dad's 80th birthday a few days ago. He just survived a scary attack of pneumonia and is now back on his feet and thinking about running again. Happy birthday dad, you put many a younger man to shame.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Never Quit

Oh yeah baby - this is the way life is!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The most important question

(Courtesy of Steve Lumley)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

No brainer

(Courtesy of CK Chew)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sid's Piano Recital

It was Sid's turn to amaze his Dad this time with his piano recital at school. It's quite amazing to me the level of ability they've achieved, don't forget he's only 6yo. He and Seb have more musical ability in their little fingers than I have achieved in my whole life.

Listen and decide for yourselves but this proud Dad scores straight 10s for Sid's performance.

The Senior Citizen and the Policeman

(Courtesy of CK Chew)
A senior citizen bought a brand new BMW Z4 convertible and drove it out of the salesroom. Taking off down the motorway, he floored it to 120mph; enjoying the wind blowing through what little hair he had left.

"Amazing!" he thought as he flew down the M4, enjoying pushing the pedal to the metal even more.  Looking in his rear view mirror, he saw a police car behind him, blue lights flashing and siren blaring.

"I can get away from him - no problem!" thought the elderly nutcase as he floored it to 140mph, then 150 then 160. Suddenly, he thought, "What on earth am I doing? I'm too old for this nonsense!" So he pulled over to the side of the road and waited for the police car to catch up with him.

Pulling in behind him, the police officer walked up the driver's side of the BMW, looked at his watch and said, "Sir, my shift ends in 10 minutes. Today is Friday and I'm taking off for the weekend. If you can give me a reason why you were speeding that I've never heard before, I'll let you go."

The old man, looked very seriously at the policeman and replied, "Years ago my wife ran off with a policeman. I thought you were bringing her back."

"Have a good day, Sir", said the policeman.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Witch hunt?

(courtesy of Rodney Buike)

Submitted by Tim Dockery on Jun 21, 2012 www.opposingviews.com

Imagine walking into a courtroom as the defendant in a lawsuit. The prosecuting attorney reads the charges against you citing nothing more than the testimony of anonymous witnesses as evidence. You object, claiming this is unjust! To your surprise the prosecutor walks to the judge’s bench, puts on a judge’s robe and denies your motion. The prosecutor, still wearing his judge’s robe, then takes out his cell phone and calls three of his friends to serve on your “independent” jury.

This fictitious, but obviously unjust situation is incredibly similar to the case Lance Armstrong currently faces from the United States Anti-doping Agency and its CEO Travis T. Tygart.

A similar investigation led by the United States Department of Justice concluded in February, 2012. After almost two years of investigation, and millions of US tax dollars spent researching Armstrong’s past, the USDOJ decided there wasn’t enough evidence to continue the investigation. So is this just another branch of the Federal government wasting millions of more tax dollars on the same investigation?

No, despite the officially sounding name, it turns out the “United States Anti-doping Agency is not a part of the federal government. Although it receives almost 90 percent of its funding from the federal grants, the USADA is a government program masquerading as a non-profit organization. This non-profit status allows it to investigate and prosecute athletes without affording them the constitutional and due process protections required of other federal agencies. This status also allows it to prosecute athletes with a lower burden of proof than the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard that would have been required in the previous investigation by the USDOJ. Finally, it allows a situation where the same man, Mr. Travis T. Tygart is allowed to serve as Prosecutor, Jury and Judge in the investigation of Lance Armstrong.

PROSECUTOR: Tygart initiated the charges.

On June 12, 2012, Travis Tygart and his staff at the USADA sent a letter to Armstrong accusing him of violating anti-doping rules. As evidence of this violation, Mr. Tygart and his staff were only able to cite previous drug tests that Armstrong had passed and the testimony of anonymous witnesses.

In the letter, Mr. Tygart informs Armstrong that he has 10 days to submit evidence to a Review Board that will determine if there is “sufficient evidence of doping” to continue with a full hearing. In his defense, Armstrong can only offer written materials to the Review Board. He will not even be allowed to know the names of the cyclists that have allegedly testified against him.

JURY: Tygart gets to hand pick the Review Board

The “Review Board” will decide whether charges should be brought against Armstrong from the USADA, and whether the case shall go to a full arbitration hearing. Who serves on this review Board? According to USADA protocol 11(b) The independent “review board” shall be appointed by the USADA’s CEO. You read that correctly, Mr. Tygart is allowed to handpick the individuals that serve as the “Jury”, and decide if these charges should move forward. If an athlete had failed a drug test and the board was looking at objective evidence this process might make sense; however, Armstrong has never failed a drug test. All of the evidence in this case is subjective. Mr. Tygart has allegedly caught several other cyclists doping, and offered them immunity in exchange for their testimony against Lance. Shouldn’t the credibility of such a witness be at least considered? Well, let’s assume that Mr. Tygart’s buddies, I mean, the independent “review board” find enough evidence to move the investigation forward, what happens next?

JUDGE: Tygart and USADA staff recommends sanction

Under the Applicable rules, Travis Tygart and his staff at the USADA, will recommend a sanction that will be imposed which may include up to a lifetime of ineligibility from sport. Finally, if Armstrong disagrees with the sanction imposed on him by Mr. Tygart, he can appeal for a full arbitration hearing.

USADA lacks internal and external controls

If Mr. Tygart and staff have the power it appears, what are the internal and external controls at USADA? What would restrict an overly ambitious CEO with an “axe to grind?”According to USADA bylaws, the organization has a very small ten member board of directors. The current director’s are apparently impressed with Tygart and his “Tygarthian” prosecution style of accusing first and looking for evidence later. Unless Mr. Tygart received a pay cut last year, he’s been paid a total of over $1.2 million in compensation and $100,000 in bonuses over the past four years. The spokesperson at the USADA did respond to my e-mail, but she declined to comment whether Tygart’s bonuses were tied to finding a certain number of athletes or a particularly high profile athlete guilty of doping.

So, how are the USADA’s directors chosen? Although the Bylaws allow other organizations to nominate potential directors, the USADA Board essentially has the power to elect their own replacements. This could ensure that only directors sympathetic to the Tygart are ever elected, and removes the accountability that a non-profit board should provide.

Finally, there’s the office of National Drug Control Policy. This is the branch of the Federal government that funds the USADA $10 million a year of federal tax dollars to operate. According to legal counsel for the NDCP office, the $10 million grant is an “unsupervised non-competitive” grant. So, Tygart and staff are guaranteed $10 million a year in funding from the Federal government, but must answer to no one.


Do I think Mr. Tygart has some kind of personal vendetta against Lance? My personal opinion is yes, but I also think actions sometime speak louder than words. The 2012 London Olympic Games are a little more than a month away. Mr. Tygart and his staff are responsible for testing all US athletes headed to the games. However, he has chosen to use the majority of his offices resources investigating whether a retired cyclist doped 16 years ago.

The investigation and sanctioning process at the USADA is unconscionable. The partiality of the prosecutor, the lack of due process for the accused, and the lack of an independent fact finder are completely at odds with our American system of justice and fairness.

In the words of Heinlein, “To give a man power without accountability is to establish a tyrant.”

Simon says: -

I don't think I need to say anything do I? Did Lance dope? I don't know, there's a lot of smoke and as they say, there's no smoke without fire. However, I'm passionate in the edict of "Innocent until proven guilty" end of story.

I've also got to say that I'm a bit biased as I, like so many people in the world, want desperately to see Lance at Kona this year. Does such a desire justify letting a guilty man race? No! BUT he hasn't ever been found guilty. Come on WTC do the right thing for once!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sebastian's Piano Recital

Now this really blows my mind.

I used to complain when the boys were beginning to learn piano, it was like pulling teeth. Then I was let off and Shilpa took them while I was at work. Then a nightmare, Shilpa made us buy the boys a piano for Christmas and a piano teacher started coming home (while I was at work thank goodness).

But then one day I realised that the boys were playing the piano and actually reading the music as they played, it totally blew my mind.

Here's Seb at a little music recital at his school, he is in year one (6 years old) and you can see/hear why I am such a proud daddy.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

All-new Trek Madone 7

(Courtesy of Velo News)
Following hot on the heels its classics-themed Domane endurance frame release, Trek showed a brand new, wholly redesigned Madone at the first road stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné on Monday. Most of the RadioShack-Nissan team started the day aboard the new bike, the Madone 7, including likely Tour de France starters Andy Schleck, Yaroslav Popovich and Haimar Zubeldia.

With an official launch slated for later this month, Trek was tight-lipped about the frame itself, and wouldn’t allow VeloNews.com to take a model out of the team’s start-area paddock. Nonetheless, the wholesale redesign includes a number of visually obvious features.

Nods to aerodynamics

While the new Madone isn’t an aero road frame of the traditional Cervélo-esque, narrow tube-profile sort, it does contain a number of visible design features that look to be intended to cut down on aerodynamic drag.

First and foremost is the use of Kamm tail tube shapes throughout the frame. The tubes are significantly wider than those used on Trek’s Speed Concept time trial frame, which also uses Kamm tails, but the theory remains the same: cut the back end off of an aero profile, taper the back edges correctly, and you end up with an aero shape while maintaining tube width (and thus stiffness). The trailing edge of the Madone 7’s wide downtube and head tube are lopped off, as are the trailing sides of the seat stays and seat tube, which curves a bit with the wheel as it enters the bottom bracket.

If there was any doubt as to the aero intentions of these tube shapes (which don’t look particularly aero, much like the Scott Foil tubes), it is erased by the large “KammTail Virtual Foil” logo on the downtube.

The Kamm-tailed fork is set wide, away from the spokes, and the fork blades themselves look rather small relative to the bulky head tube. The head tube juts out in front of the fork crown, neatly integrating the front brake, which Trek team liason Jordan Roessingh said is a Shimano-built brake “of the same generation as the stuff Sky is running.” That means it’s the integrated aero brake announced last week as part of the new Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 component group.

The rear brake has been moved from the seat stays to under the bottom bracket, like many time trial bikes. Again, Trek is using the new Dura-Ace 9000 integrated brake model. The internal cabling exits just in front the bottom bracket shell, with about four inches of housing exposed before entering the brake itself. It’s all extremely tidy, and a quick glance shows all the necessary bolts are easy to access, which should make wrenching a bit easier.

This isn’t the first time brakes have been integrated into a standard road frame — Ridley’s NOAH Fast is still the finest example, technically, with its carbon brake arms part of the frame mold itself — but it is a harbinger of a growing trend. As with time trial frames, which rarely had integrated brakes just a few years ago but now rarely launch without them, we expect to see increasing use of under-BB brake mounts and increased integration of front and rear brakes into frames and forks.

The industry now appears to be moving towards this integration as a whole, wich is a requirement since bikes need to be designed with these brakes in mind from the start. They use a two-bolt mount rather than the traditional single bolt; the Madone 7, at least as far as we could see, will only be compatible with these two-bolt front brakes, unless Trek has hidden a traditional single-bolt caliper mount in there. That makes the debut of Shimano’s 9000-series two-bolt integrated brake pivotal for the continuation of this trend. Though companies like TRP were the pioneers, and have offered similar models for some time (which are widely used on TT bikes), the backing of the biggest name in the sport and its relationships with frame manufacturers will likely result in a bloom in road frame brake integration over the next few years.

The more standard aero design cues are present as well. As with the Madone 6, all cables and housing are run internally. The Di2 cables on the RadioShack bikes exited the back end of the right chainstay, as they did before. The Di2 exit port for the front derailleur has been moved to the back of the seat tube to better integrate with the new, rear-facing plug on Dura-Ace Di2 9070. Both brake and derailleur cables enter at the headtube/downtube junction on the left side of the frame, as with the Domane.

The trend continues towards a balance between more traditional, wide tube shapes with some concessions made for aerodynamics, rather than a wholesale jump onto the anti-drag wagon. As anyone who read the May issue of Velo Magazine, and the aero road frame review within, will know, we dig this compromise, appreciating the free speed while treasuring true race-frame ride quality. Check back as the Tour de France approaches, when we should have an opportunity to get on the Madone 7 and find out if it checks all those boxes.

Simon says: -
I'm not sure how pretty this bike is but it's Kamm Tail all the way and quite radical. I must say I'm surprised they didn't go the whole hog with the front brakes built into the forks like they did with the Speed Concept and there's still an awful lot of cable and wires floating around at the front which surely can be buried internally somehow. Looks exciting and different though so we shall see. Check out this article with 25 pictures here.

The Corkscrew Open Water Turn

(Courtesy of Swim Smooth swimsmooth.com)
If you are looking to excel in open water races or triathlon swim legs then you need to regularly practise your turns. Every open water turn gives you the opportunity to save a few seconds and the possibility of dropping other swimmers who may be drafting off you.

In this post we're going to look at an advanced way of turning called a corkscrew turn. It's a fast and tight way to cut round a buoy and a very useful skill to have in your locker. Even if you are not an advanced swimmer give this a try in training, it's a lot of fun and makes turns a lot easier when you need to cut a tight line at a turn buoy.

The Corkscrew Turn

Take a look at the following image sequence of Paul Newsome demonstrating this turn:

Paul approaches at full speed (1) and slides his arm closest to the buoy (2) past it, note at this point he has his back to the buoy and can't see it. He then flips onto his back (3) and his recovering arm comes over the top as in backstroke, enters the water at the front (4) and continues the body rotation back onto his front again (5). Setting off on his new heading he quickly gets back up to speed using good stroke rhythm and a healthy burst of leg kick (6).

Turning left (as shown above) you slide your left hand past the buoy to rotate onto your back, whilst turning right you slide your right arm past. Make sure you practise both! In a particularly tight turn you might not be able to turn sufficiently in a single corkscrew, in which case perform two in a row, one immediately followed by another.

If you are relatively new to swimming then this may look like an advanced skill but it is not actually that hard when you get the feel and timing of it.

Turns And Strategy

A conventional turn bends you through a wide arc as you stay on your front and you gradually stroke around the turn (blue line below) :

That's fine but if the wider path is blocked by slow swimmers you are going to be held up without the ability to perform a corkscrew turn which is much tighter (red). In relation to other swimmers drafting you, if they can't perform a tight turn themselves then you have a golden opportunity to shake them off your toes.

Practise In Training

There's very little chance of turning up on race day and performing a good corkscrew turn without practising them beforehand. Get together with some friends in open water, or in an open area of your pool, and work on getting the feel and rhythm of them. It's a lot of fun and like all open water skills can make a huge difference to your performance on race day, so much so that you should practise these skills all year round either in open water or in the pool.

Swim Smooth!

Simon says: -
This is a skill I haven't learnt or used yet but one I'm going to start incorporating in the coming months. Lots of practise is on the cards - it's all free time!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

An outdoors man

(Courtesy of Ian Hay)

During his physical examination, a doctor asked a man about his physical activity level.
He described a typical day this way:

"Well, yesterday afternoon, I took a five hour walk about 7km through some pretty rough terrain.
I waded along the edge of a lake. I pushed my way through brambles.
I got sand in my shoes and my eyes.
I avoided standing on a snake. I climbed several rocky hills.
I took a few 'leaks' behind some big trees.
The mental stress of it all left me shattered.
At the end of it all I drank eight beers"

Inspired by the story, the doctor said,
"You must be one hell of an outdoors man!"

"No," he replied

"I'm just a shit golfer".

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Alice Smith Summer Fair Aquathlon 2012

Shilpa was away so Daddy was in charge - what could go wrong? Nothing actually it was a perfect day. Seb was 3rd out of the water and 2nd boy.

Sid was in the main pack but after their amazing transitions Seb was into 2nd overall and Sid into 4th.

It was a 500m run and Sid stayed super focused to move into 2nd place but Seb wasn't giving up he went past Sid again at about the halfway mark. Super exciting stuff...

Sid could easily have got pschyced out here but he refocused, passed Seb again and finished in a comfortable 2nd overall while Seb came in a few seconds behind with a fantastic 3rd overall.

They both had a great attitude, congratualted Rowan who deservedly won and then went off for a game of tug-o-war.

Prizegiving a little later, where they got trophies that Daddy would have been proud of winning himself.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Mukah International Triathlon - Photo

(Photo courtesy of Hellena Easther Ining)

Cynthia Gan, Richard Tang, Simon "International" Cross, Albert (Race Director), Shahrom

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Mukah International Triathlon

As soon as I realised that I was the "I" in Mukah "International" Triathlon I started suggesting that I needed some appearance money. Strangely enough my demands fell on deaf ears and everyone thought I was joking...HELLO!!!...haha

This was a small race and in its 7th year. I thought it was a new race and I went just to show some support. As it turned out they'd been trying to promote it to just the locals and were now going further afield and thus advertised it through the Malaysian triathlon community with the aid of Facebook.

I knew Richard would be there having arrived back from Ironman South Africa on Wednesday. He'd had a crash in the race though so went for a run at three o'clock in the morning before going to the airport just to be sure his ankle would be OK.

I also met Shahrom at the airport, Malaysia's only profession Triathlete/Duathlete. A lovely guy but not someone you want to race against without a very healthy lead coming out of T2 if you want to win.

The army boys were also rumoured to be attending in force.

The Mukah festival was going on too, it was really cool to see all the excitement, goings on and stalls not to mention the amazing kites on the beach. A real cultural event. Sarawak and East Malaysia as a whole is so rich in culture and natural beauty and is somewhere I haven't spent enough time exploring.

However, onto the race...

It was announced that the triathlon would become a duathlon due to a serious jellyfish infestation. Two guys had ended up in hospital on drips having been badly stung the day before while training for the race. Oh well ay! very disappointing but...safety first.

My aspirations of a win were gone as Shahrom was going to swat me like fly in a duathlon format and I suspected a whole battalion of the army guys could run/bike/run a bit too.

I warmed up fearing for my poor under trained running legs. Lungs didn't feel right either but hey-ho, we lined up, the gun went and we were off for the first 1500m run.

I was horrified at how quickly everyone took off. It was a small field but I was somewhere around 30th after 500m and actually behind the old boys and quite a few girls. Slowly I started reeling people in. Shahrom was second and closing in on the fastest army guy. Richard was about 100m ahead at halfway but I was starting to close on him.

I came into T1 about 30m behind Richard and about 15th overall but had the fastest transition ever and moved into about 10th place including leapfrogging Richard. I did make lots of jibes afterwards about him putting on his high heels and make-up...sorry Richard, I couldn't resist, I do realise you were just taking a nap haha

I set off on the 30k bike and dropped a few people straightaway (This was Black Beauty's first race after coming out of retirement BTW). The first 3k were technical and bumpy, Black Beauty with her USE-Tula aerobars doesn't like that so I lost even more ground to Shahrom and the leading pack.

On to the highway though and I had one of the army guys with me and we set about reeling them in. I guess I was doing the lion's share of the work but my brother in arms was doing enough to give me time to recover before I did the next big pull. Some guys got spat off the back of the front group, they helped us for about a minute then got spat out the back too. After about 10k I was on Shahrom's wheel, we smiled at each other and then the fun and games were on.

The front pack was two army guys, Shahrom and me. I'd left the rest of my age-group long since behind but I wanted an overall podium position and to stay ahead of Richard so I sat back and laughed. Shahrom kept saying "just a little bit" and egging me on to the front...I just laughed some more. Fortunately he saw the funny side and understood that it was his race with the army guys. I was here for a holiday.

After the turnaround and a few more K of me laughing at the back I thought it was probably time that I did something and started taking on my turn to pull the group back over the last 10k and into a headwind I may add. I'd been resting so it didn't cost me too much and hopefully I hadn't pissed off the army guys too much by that point.

Into T2 an out in a flash I was leading the race...my 15 seconds of fame...Shahrom and his brother in arms came sprinting past me for the final 7k run. My Achilles was hurting like hell now and I knew I was going to pay over the next few days.

I was expecting my army buddy that I'd started the bike with to cruise past me too but it seems that even with my lack of running and dodgy legs my pace was still respectable. Shahrom took 4minutes out of me, his army buddy was about 100m ahead of me at the finish and the rest were nowhere to be seen. Richard was shocked to find he was 5 minutes behind me...I had to put that in after he gave me a running clinic in Powerman last year haha.

So 1st in my age-group (we shan't say much about how many were in the over 45s - just 4 actually but how silly was that? It should have been over 40s but hey ho I'm pleased to say I would still have been first).

I was 3rd overall, very pleased with that all things considered and interviewed by the local TV station. Another 15 seconds of fame. I was even in the local Chinese newspaper the next morning...STARDOM haha.

All in all it was great fun to do such a local "Kampung" race. Super friendly, wonderful people and yes I'll try to make it again next year, this kind of race is the grass roots of Triathlon where you make do with what happens, don't complain about the road surface, marshalling and race for the spirit of racing. Albert did a great job as always as race director, he was as friendly, hospitable, warm and welcoming as ever. Thanks Albert.

Transport was laid on without charge too and from the airport, entry was just RM40 (USD13) and I won RM800 (USD235) for my troubles. (As always Shilpa, the boys and the maids shared that so they were all happy too).

I can't speak highly enough of the trip, it was great fun and that's all that mattered - I liked the way Albert explained the marshalling, he said "The police have promised to do their best but can't promise anything, they will just do their best". Anywhere else I would have said "WTF" but here it was from the heart and as it turned out they did a magnificent job.

Very cool weekend!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why British Army Officers wear red

(Courtesy of Disco Dave's Mum and apologies in advance Jean Pierre)

During the recent royal wedding, the millions around the world saw that Prince William chose to wear a uniform that included the famous British "red coat."

Many people have asked, "Why did the British wear red coats in battle?"

A long time ago, Britain and France were at war. During one battle, the French captured a British Colonel. They took him to their headquarters, and the French General began to question him. Finally, as an afterthought, the French General asked, "Why do you British officers all wear red coats? Don't you know the red material makes you easier targets for us to shoot at?"
In his casual, matter-of-fact, way, the officer informed the General that the reason British officers wear red coats is so that if they are wounded, the blood won't show, and the men they are leading won't panic.

And that is why, from that day forward, all French Army officers wear brown trousers.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Shilpa's MBA Graduation

Something I was meaning to post, thought I had but clearly not - Shilpa's MBA graduation. She's spent the last 2 and a half years working like a crazy person to complete this monumental task while at the same time being the perfect mother to Sid and Seb.

She graduated with Merit (67% I think). Her dissertation was awesome and she scored 70% in that.

All in all an outstanding achievement, one that we are all extremely proud of. Here are a few pictures of the graduation day: -
Shilpa's Mum and Dad flew down especially for the occasion

A very happy and proud family Cross

Spot the smart cookie in the middle (a clue, it's not me)