Thursday, December 21, 2006

Working, working, working

Like Ash who did a crazy 75hrs at work last week I too can't get away, Xmas is around the corner and Chadstone certainly reflects that. No roadie time this week but did get out for a spin on the mtb a couple of times, unfortunately both times it just wasn't meant to be - Wednesday sees another Fatties ride. By the time an hours ride time was done the car keys had jumped out of my pocket, a bidon cage screw had come undone and the powerlink had come undone resulting in an awkward and painfull 'off'...I cracked the sads and went home.

Saturday was meant to be an easy spin around Lysterfield with a couple of guys from Camby GX and a loyal customer/Yeti rider, Russ. 10 minutes in - a flat resulting in tyre distortion off a drop resulting in me eating it. Stuffed left knee, stuffed right hip and gravel rash on left knee, above and below right knee plus right forearm and right butt cheek. Yeah, it sucked - toughed it out for an hour only to once again throw in the towel.

So now I'm hurting, still haven't been on the bike bar riding to work, and work has been everyday - bring on Xmas, new years, less work and more riding I say - money is overrated - well atleast at the moment while there's no cool bike bits I want to buy. That brings me to the GT Peace Single Speed - all paid for and built up. Hopefully I get some serious time on it in the very near future, put the fun back in. Maybe an Xmas day ride is in order.

Oh, and although they're delayed I found some pics from the Officer State Round dubbed 'El Scorcho' by Winny.
The start, me hanging on the back - no sense in starting on the pace if you aint gonna stay there.
Really hooking the corner...not - at this point I was rolling with a finish the goal, no matter how slow.
And it was very slow - slow enough to allow a reload between pics in that short distance.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Hot - the weather, not the bike...OK that's hot too

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There we go, the race bike is done ready for the summer, click the piccies if you want to see 'em bigger. Smack bang on 8.9kg as it's pictured so I'm pretty chuffed to say the least.

Not so good was yesterday's first round of the State Series run out at Officer by the Fatties. It's nice to go ride around, and that's all it was for me yesterday. The Polar tells me the temps were averaging 41 DC's, maxing out at 43 and I didn't have the intensity in me to start with, let alone to race in that weather. First lap sees the bottle escape from its prison three times in five minutes, then a brain fart sees a bad line and a ripped sidewall aka flat tyre. So no liquid and a flat resulted in a 29 minute lap when it should have been 24 and hence saw me in survival mode for the next three laps, a finish would be good enough - thanks to the whoever made the call to reduce the lap count, it was brutal enough.

Chugging along at snails pace, drinking half a litre every 10 minutes, I started to see some sense in my actions as guys I thought had left me for dead were dropping like flies in the heat. I ended up way off the pace with Scotty Chancelor blitzing the field for the W. Being last was finisher still meant 6th though and some points, almost 5th but Lewie caught a glimpse of me chasing and pulled the finger out - who's up for invisible lycra? Dan B's pedal fell off ending the battle at the front end of Elite leaving Winny to smash through the five laps solo for a four minute win. Good to see the Mont dust is all gone, he can breathe and is back on some pace for next week's National Round in Thredbo.

Well that's it for my racing until 2007, I aint making the trek to Thredbo. Plenty of riding though, afterall - I should be picking up a new GT Peace Single Speed today so I'll have to make use of it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Industry9 - oh yeah!

So results are up for the 6hour, a 5th place finish for myself is where I'd thought I'd finished, but still surprised myself. I thought it was a good kick start to some training but that kinda fell in a heap. Only been on the bike twice since - one of those times the 20km round trip to/from work so barely counts. Work is flat-knacker, went from no shifts to 36 hours this week, plus the work Christmas party writing off the following day and we see a distinct lack of ride time.

Day off tomorrow though so the hell ride it is with Damage and Co. I'm assuming a distinct lack of MTBers there though as the Kona 24hr is on this weekend. Hopefully Ash will be keeping us updated live via Felt Racing. Also good luck to Luke our friend from the UK who only today confirmed he had a bike when he picked Damage's up from work.

In other news, and definitely the most exciting - my Industry9 wheels showed up last night. Laced with the lighter of the options in hubs and spokes to Stan's ZTR355 rims I've ended up with a wheelset weighing in at 1445grams. Add to that the amazing stiffness and the hub quality and reliability of a King and you have what must be close to the best wheelset around for us XC guys. Thanks to Shannon at MTBPrecision for the time he's spent organising them for me. Look forward to some pics and a ride report as soon as I have the time to firstly get them on the bike, and secondly get myself on the bike for a ride.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Secret Training

So last week saw me spend a week in 'The Shack' down in Lorne with the uni mates. Total floor space of that thing can't have been more than our dining room and living room combined so with 8 people it was a bit of a squish, but also meant very little cleaning at the end so we made do.

Unfortunately the weather really didn't turn it on for us, well not what we were after anyway. Snow was special but not good surfing weather. I only hit the surf twice, once on the first day, and then at 3am on the second day for a night swim, found some penguins to chase around for a while. And of course being out and about that late in Lorne means a bit of a sesh on the trampolines. One positive out of the week was I got to put in some decent KM's on the roadie. Tuesday saw the Lorne-Ocean Grove-Lorne round trip for 150+, you gotta love headwinds, 2hrs 20 to Ocean Grove, 3hrs back. Plus it started raining, it did let up coming into Lorne though giving me ripping rainbow to capture. PS. Ocean Grove bakery - don't bother with the Ned Kelly Pie but the Lemon Meringue Pie's are tops.

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Wednesday was snow day so we made the trek into Erskine Falls to see it, and it was a trek after Dan decided it was safer to park the '62 EK wagon at the top of the hill rather than risk not being able to get back up the other side. Falls were cool, until it started raining again and made the trip a short one favouring the comfort of the car than trekking around, we did have time to lose the vortex though so that sucked.

Thursday saw me take off on the roadie again, this time the 100 KM's from Lorne to Apollo Bay and back. A much nicer ride, all Great Ocean Road, no highway, the sun was out and the headwind was on the way down, making the trip home all the more enjoyable. I did flat though, and wasn't carrying any Co2, meaning I had to use a pump, can't remember the last time I did that and don't plan on doing it again soon. PS. Apollo Bay Bakery - I hate sweet chilli but the Sweet Chilli and Cheese Sausage Roll goes down well, and the Apple and Cherry Slice is definitely edible. Decided to stop on the way home for a snap of the coast with the sun out to contrast my rainbow from the previous ride.

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Friday was home day, via Jeff's house in Ocean Grove (actually Jess's but with three Jess's out of eight people we gave them code names - Jeff = Jess F, Justin = Jess T, Jerry = Jess R). Won't ever be turning down an invite back there. We walk in, see a pool and spa, Bails jokingly asks, 'Where's the sauna?', the reply of 'inside' was not expected but pretty much sums the place up, very cool. We finally made it home about 7pm after lazing away many hours at Jeff's house and I got a night's sleep in my own bed.

Saturday night was spend on a lilo, in a tent, in Ballarat, for Sunday saw me taking on my first solo effort in the Ballarat 6hr Enduro and what an initiation it was. The aim was 9 laps, and with the heat what it was I thought was pretty reasonable. A couple of laps in and I'd pretty much learnt the course, really good fun with staying off the brakes a very doable and rewarding thing on the reasonably flowing but hairy descents. I'd punched out 6 in a little over 3 hours when the heat really hit - I later found out it hit 42 D's on the sixth lap - I had a seat with some ice to cool off not knowing or caring where I was overall - official results aren't out yet but it turns out I may have podiumed without it, then again, I may have also passed out. Anway, I ticked out another 3 laps only to reallise I still had 20 minutes to go before 6 hours were up. The only thing to do was go out for double figures, a croozy 10th lap saw a 10 minute break with an injured rider that couldn't walk before finishing what is hopefully the first of many solo enduro's. Special thanks to A Sleeman and S Liston for riding quick in all the previous rounds meaning we'd already wrapped up the three man category overall allowing me to put myself through the pain that is solo. A quick packup and drive home and I got to spend what seems to be a rather rare night in my own bed.

Monday morning sees the phone ringing and suddenly I'm off to Torquay for another couple of days and another night on the lilo in a tent. Weather was finally right for the beach and we spent the day at Jan Juc with some ripping surf. Unfortunately Tuesday didn't turn out as it was predicted and the weather nor surf was working so no 'in the water' time was achieved, a couple of hours snoozing on the beach was still nice before an early trip home. At this stage it has to be said, it may be old but Dan's EK is the ultimate beach-mobile, just throw everything in, plus you look the part, except for those damn cycling tan lines, I swear I'm stained for life.

I haven't played b'ball seriously in 8 years but was supposedly pretty good at it back then, so Tuesday night was interesting. A mate from high school gave me a call saying they were short, did I want to play, what the hell, I wasn't going to sleep. Someone forgot to mention that you have to sprint in basketball and all that's left to say is I was shagged by the end, they want me playing every week so I must have done something right though, we'll see how the sprinting thing goes though, it hurt, alot.

The last couple of days have been more back into routine though. I figured I should probably start doing the training thing if I want to be anywhere near the pace over summer on the MTB so wednesday night saw three hours on the MTB including two with the FTF bunch, good weather saw a big turnout but with JD pressing the pace up front there were only four finishers of which I was only just one of, JD is flying. And following that, today, another hurt session, this time without the bike, I just have to keep telling myself this running thing will get easier.

Sorry about the lack of pics, I reckon I've got excuses though - can't take photos and ride the whole time at the 6hour, Torquay was pretty much eat/sleep/surf which is a very lazy lifestyle not compatible with photography, I know you don't care about basketball so didn't bother and everyone knows the Yarra Trails like the back of their hand so no point with pics of them. Now that it looks like I'll be home a bit more there shouldn't be much to write about, plus I'll be able to update more, so you won't have to read this much dribble on a regular basis.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

72! don't make me laugh

And so the riding begins, first ride post exams yesterday. Ever felt like you should just give up, yesterday was one of those days, going backwards all day. A croozy E1/E2 ride down along the beach until is started raining and I took any turn that headed to clear skies. Turned into about 80km via the city, with the heart rate jumping at any sign of an ascent. What's really funny, the Polar thinks I'm still fit - says my VO2 is at 72 - certainly made me laugh.

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My newest bike bits

In other news, had a staff meeting at work today, someone had their bike in for a few upgrades which involved ditching the panic levers from their roadie. I scored them and will now have to turn them into a fixie and/or cross bike, any suggestions or donations for the rest of it? I'm really hoping it doesn't go from one of those 'as cheap as possible' projects to the 'nothing but the best projects' as I really can't afford it.

PS. Already tuned them with alloy clamp bolts saving a whopping 2 grams per lever to make the set 86 grams.

Monday, October 16, 2006

ATB '06 - why?

Yesterday played host to the 2006 episode of 'Around The Bay In A Day' or as Ash likes to put it, 'Gay Day Play Day', and I couldn't agree more - 250km 'Legend' ride plus riding to the start and back can really fill a day. Work had paid my entry, so once again the anything free's worth having mentality saw me on my way for 300k. Let's just say I'm seriously reconsidering that mentality.

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Nice time for a ride, if it wasn't in the AM, on four hours sleep.

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Corner Warragul road and Monash freeway at 4am, who'd have thought there was ever a carless time.

My fist stop was Hayden's joint at 4am to collect him aswell as James (on the new bike) and Rob. We rolled from there, to the overpass bridge from Southern Cross/Spencer Street Station to Telstra Dome for a 5am meeting point with the rest of the Goldcross crew. They were late, so I must take some time to thank Telstra Dome for the conveniently placed exhaust fan, twas nice and warm, probably toxic but hey, I'm not dead yet. Also a special mention to the cafe that leaves their chairs out over night. Heat and a seat made the 20 minute wait as pleasant as possible, not to mention the view, pretty damn good for the big smoke.

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The Goldcross crew totalled 10 and we quickly had a decent bunch trailing us, especially with James aka Harry halfwheel pulling it along at about 40 clicks. Little did they know there wasn't much firepower in the rest of the Goldcross Train. After James, Rob and I were the quickest of the bunch and I don't know about him, but 300km is probably the sum total of my last month of riding. Preperation, meh, who needs it? I did!!

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The earlier stages, a good bunch, someone shoot the photographer though.

As I thought, the pace was too hot, it didn't even stay together to the Westgate. James, Rob, Hayden, one of the dude's from Hoppers, a loyal Hoppers customer and I rolled over and over for about 85km (105km stage for me), stopped at the Geelong rest station for the others and had the first of four 40 minute waits. It was somewhat eased by a nice chat with our favourite pair of Giant Bicycles Enduro MTB Girls Jo and Karen. We eventually rolled out of Geelong and were going along quite nicely, got through just before the highway was closed for the AmboChopper (RIP dude) only for James to flat 500m down the road.

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Who flatted?

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James flatted!

He threw a new tube in, I gased the sucker only to find the tyre shredded and the tube sticking through. A quick call and we had a new tyre on the way courtesty of one of the local boys' mums (is there anything they can't do). I came back from exploring the wasteland that is the side of a freeway to find them all standing around and ask, 'Has anyone ridden back to get the tyre off her? She won't be getting past that chopper anytime soon. Askign myself, 'Am I the only one with brain?' Anyway, I trundled back to get it myself, nearly got flattened by the chopper when it started up on the way back, I put the new tyre on, used another of those brilliant cartridges (mini pumps are for suckers) and we were going again. 40 minute wait number two done, and also my pictorial documentation of the ride, I was pretty much over riding already.

We soon splintered and it was down to the usual suspects. James, Hayden and Rob stopped, mumbling something as Hoppers boy, Hoppers customer and myself pedalled ourselves towards Portarlington, Ocean Grove, Queenscliff and most importantly...LUNCH!! 5km into that trip I was by myself, don't know where they went but I didn't care, food was calling me. I don't know if it was the four hours sleep the night before or the lack of real food (there's only so much GU and Powerbars can do) but the sleepmonsters were getting me and I was all over the road. I hit Queenscliff to receive my one measily sandwich and one apple that was about as big as a golf ball, they call that lunch, should I hit them or will you?

The next couple of hours went by with 40 minutes at Queenscliff waiting for the rest of the guys, however the hell long it was on the ferry (I was asleep leaning against the engine room, yes i was tired) and another 40 minutes waiting in Sorrento as they were on a later ferry. I did manage to polish off a burger with the lot and a hot chocolate from the local fish joint though so it wasn't all wasted. The rest of the crew hit Sorrento, we started riding, my legs had nothing but somehow I found myself riding solo with James 5 minutes down the road. The story went something like this until Frankston. I follow James' wheel, he drops me up any sort of rise, I come back to him on any sort of descent (hooray for bike handling sklls, thank you MTB). We got a call from the rest of the guys when we hit Frankston telling us to wait in Mordialloc for a few photos. I wasn't up for another 40 minutes wait so I called it a day and road home from Frankston. Cut the ride 50km short but 250 is still more than I've done in the last month. Can't say I'll be looking forward to ATBing next year but it's all good training...isn't it?

Exams in 8 days so if you don't hear anything from me for a while don't fret, I'm not dead.