Saturday, December 22, 2007

An Early Present...Wet Sassa

Twas 3 days before christmas
and out on the bike
Were 5 lycra clad cyclists
in for a fight...

...with the ferny, viney, thorny, rooty, muddey etc etc inferno that is Sass Creek. Horrid weather meant a skeleton bunch started out on the Eva 100 mile come Maebus Mini Epic. AJ, Jimmy, Winny, Joel and myself set out for a 3 hour spin in our lovely summer weather sans Rob who is still on the sick list, and yes the 100 mile is merely postponed, not cancelled.

Following the Ben Randall Invitational invitational last weekend I hoped there had been some climbing legs developed, I was wrong. The boys decided the best way was straight up the fire road from Ferntree Gully to the top of One Tree Hill. Twenty Minutes, sections of twenty percent, and an average speed of 8.9km/h when I hit the top. The worst part, Joel decided the single speed was the weapon for the day, and rode everything. Contact him if you're willing to donate some knees.

With the climbing for the day out of the way we were left to enjoy the benefits of gravity. Winding our way down and around, trying to recall how to ride wet roots (myself having to try much harder than the rest it would appear and much practice is needed). We all had some 'Sassa Sting', the leech count was higher than last weekends flat count, and Winny had a bout of the odly named 'Sassa Smile'. It's weather like this when you're happy to ride a mtb, imagine how much the roadie would've sucked today!

On that note I'll leave you with a bit of roadie bling. Just completed today, the newest Parlee to hit the Australian roads. A big bike for a big boy, yet even in a 58cm this toy weighs in at 5.7kg!

Thursday, December 06, 2007


A poor soul called Al injured his wrist, which led to a rare occasion for me on the weekend. Turning a pedal in anger! 24 hours of wicked racing and even better trails thanks to Snozza and his FGP crew at the Kona24hour. The Otway Odyssey, Anglesea 6 hour, and now the Kona 24...why we haven't had events down that way before I don't know! Trails were some of the best I've ridden in a while. Raw, endless singletrack both up and down and thanks to the race format we got to experience a decent amount of it with not one, not two, but three different loops for the weekend.

Now to the race, I arrived Friday night to meet my team for the first time, the Goombah Vipers. A great bunch of mates there for a weekend away with some riding thrown in, and it turns out they're not too bad on the bike. They had 3 teams entered; alongside the Mixed 4 I was in there was a Male 4 and a Male 3. We cruised around the first loop with many a 'yahoo' echoing throughout the forrest, back in time to hit Apollo Bay for a few waves and a pre-race feed before cramming in some Z's as we were sure to miss a few the following night.

The bikes have been pampered, and await punishment.

Come midday the next day there was a number strapped to the front of the Yeti for the first time and it was racing up the middle of the Forrest footy oval somewhere in a cloud of dust. The Felt boys managed to catch it all on video and it appears that somehow I made it through in about 12th alongside a true Goombah Viper in Stu, riding on the Male 4's team.




Mariner's Run on Lap 1 - no breaks required, but finger poised just in case.

With a clear track and the adrenalin pumping there was no thought for the next 23 hours. Stu, myself and Al (Douglas) pushed each other the whole lap and an hour later when I rolled into transition there wasn't much left. Bonar blasted a quick one, Phil did the same, and then with great determination Amy took off, coming back 40 minutes quicker than her practice lap the previous night. I got another day lap in before the loops switched at 6pm.

Lights were on and my lack of night riding was immediately apparent, having to grab the anchors at every turn, it just didn't want to flow. So with night lap number two I backed it off, the heart rate was 10% lower, the brakes got a lot less use but the lap was only a minute slower. Moral of the story people, keep it smooth!

Did anyone else find this log seemed to get bigger as the race went on?

It was at this stage that our strategy came into play. Bonar and I were to sleep for 4 hours while Amy and Phil ticked off the night laps, with us to wake and set hot laps to the finish in hope of a podium. The 7am results had us 5th, 20 minutes off 3rd and so the chase began.

It's day again, and we're still racing.

The 3rd amazing track for the race.

We swapped laps until 10.30 and sent Phil out while we did the math. Imagine our shock when we discovered that we were now first by a mere 2 minutes!

Bonar drew the short straw and had to re-kit for the final lap. Unfortunately Oldie was on course for our competition and caught Phil, leaving Bonar with a 5 minute deficit to make up on the last lap. Oh, and 3rd place was only two minutes behind us! Fair to say transition was rather pushed for space with 3 teams and their associated support crammed in awaiting a winner. To our delight Bonar dropped into transition 50 seconds clear, after 24 hours it had come down to 50 seconds!

With a closer look at the results it was discovered that a lap had been missed for one of the other teams somewhere in the wee hours so we ended second after all, but that hadn't dampened the excitement at the finish. I was even made an honorary Goombah for presentations!

Team Goombah BAAP - Amy, Me, Bonar, Phil

Results are up, and have been for sometime now thanks to the ever efficient Snozza and FGP crew. All I can say is keep 29/30 November free for the Kona24 2008, where do I sign up? Thanks must also go to OnTrackImages and Stephen Rowe for capturing the event on film once again.

So now I'm sick after backing up for a Christmas Party Sunday night and Basketball Monday night, but still very close to entering the Otway Odyssey so I can explore more of those fantastic trails. Someone had better give me a good reason not too. Oh wait, I'd also get to sit on the startline with Tinker...I'm racing.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Turquoise Twice, Splashes of Chrome

Toys have been coming in thick and fast at the shop. I decided to go the route of a new shock on the ASR to complete it...

...which I think it did very nicely.

Of course something had to keep the shock company on the trip from Yeti to us, some extra turquoise.

Technically not mine, but I'll be throwing a leg over at some stage(s). Coming together very nicely.

Enough about bits and more about riding them. Have managed to crank them over a little in the past couple of weeks, mainly roadie time doing the commuter thing into work.

I did manage to give the ASR a good test on Saturday morning chasing a pink pair in Rohin and Sam on a 60km loop from Ivanhoe out to Donvale and back. More than enough climbing for my liking with Sam throwing in some extras just because I was hurting. Plenty of sweet singletrack to offset it though.

The best part, how instantly I felt at home on the ASR, that elusive balance point is so easily found. Lucky I'm comfortable on it I suppose as I've now committed to racing in a Mixed 4 at this weekends Kona 24 in Forrest.

Oh, more bits.

New bar/stem/tape/hoods/spacers/top cap. Pimp my ride roadie style!
Yes that tape is chrome.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Stock In The Garage

I've finally got around to putting some stock into the garage. So click on over and check it out. More to come in the following days.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Return to Westage

Being in the area on Thursday evening and not having visited for a while I dropped in at FGP's dirt crits. Not quite making the start, traffic sucks, I resorted to camera duties. A good night to be a spectator as well with hotly contested racing. No one wanting to give an inch into the last corner resulting in at least one two person pile-up and mandatory scramble for the line. I make no promises as to the quality of my work, but hopefully there's a couple of good ones. Full album here.

Duncan ever impressive on the fixie.

James also returning after a long exodus from any dirt critting.

Erin and Adrian fighting for the win into the last corner.

Side by side into the last corner, shortly before taking each other out.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Kona Surfcoast 6hour MTB Festival

Better late than never, working 13-15 hours a day means no time for blogging (but lots of money for bike parts!).

Anyway, on October 27 while all the big guns were vying for bragging rights in Canberra Mr. Richard Grant and I made the much nicer trek down to Anglesea, to a little place called 'Eumeralla eco-camp'. The occasion, the inaugural Kona Surfcoast 6hour MTB Festival.

Not wanting to camp, and not feeling that either of us were in any shape to pedal around for 6 hours we both signed up for the no-lights required 3 hour event. This event was special for another reason, my first race in Super Grover kit.

The race kicked off at 4pm just as the heat of the day was going and a cool breeze seemed ever present. Being on the single speed (no, the yeti hasn't arrived yet) I had no choice but be near the front up the first climb and managed to lead over the top before Troy Bailey flew past on the decent never to be seen again on his way to winning the 6 hour event.

Not too much climbing meant the single speed was perfect, but the same can't be said for the hardtail. Sections of track being absolutely jarring making it difficult to keep the spin going. The limited fireroad was a nice touch and very promising single track that just needs a little riding in to turn into a very flowing track.

So around I rode for three hours, pushing the climbs, and coasting elsewhere. Big Rich turned from race rival to pit crew after snapping a derailleur hanger twenty minutes in. Watching the clock I started slowing up from lap 5 so that number 7 would finish right on the 3 hour mark. I ended up coming in a minute early anyway but went with the wait it out pre-finish line tactic, avoiding having to put the lights on and walked across the line, 7 laps in the bag in 3 hours, 11 seconds with darkness setting in.

A quick pack-up and Rich and I headed home for a lovely sleep in my own bed. We should have stuck around as the results indicate I managed to pull off the W. Big thanks to Mick, Shane and all the others down at Southern Exposure for the great race. The twilight concept is a good one. Race data is over at MotionBased, 87% average heart rate! I must have been off the bike for a while.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Anything is Possible


PS. this post is celebration of my not too distant acquisition of a fixie.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Back On The Bike

So the sun's out and I figured I was close enough. A 35km trundle on the skinnies today, from shop to shop. A couple of hours work at The Rouleur, try on some Sidi MTB shoes at BSC, drop into Richmond Cyclery in the hope of plopping my foot in a half size that BSC didn't have, and then onto Goldcross Camberwell to say hello and try and chase up a tyre for the man at the local bearing shop (a good man to have on your side, mmm ceramics).

Comfortable on the bike but certainly felt the lack of chamois time. Heart rate soaring to 91% over 300m on a slight incline on the way home, felling the burn and not even trying. A measly 25.8 clicks an hour, with an average HR of 56%. A long way back!

On the plus side, the trip from The Rouleur to BSC and back doubled as a test ride on wheels I never plan on buying, I'm sure I don't need to mention them again but they're worth eight gorillas and Joost Van Leijen rode them last Saturday and Sunday in the Herald Sun Tour. Meant that the bike weighed in at 6.4kg as pictured below, yes including the Garmin.

The first time I've ridden a wheel deeper than about 21mm and although I was mostly sheltered by buildings, any opening meant crosswinds and now I know why there's such a big deal made about wheel choice in crosswinds, and these are meant to be one of the good ones! It would be down right scary on a bad set of wheels in a crosswind. On the other hand, with the same perceived effort I was riding 3-4km/h quicker with these on, not to mention that it felt like the bike was trying to accelerate from under me with such a substantial drop in weight at the tyre/rim/spokes.

Now to the most important part, shoe colour. I've decided on a set of Sidi Action SRS in size 45.5 and can get them in a stylish blue to match the Super Grover jersey, or in the ever classy black. Which will it be? And don't say both! If you do I may have to and I really can't afford it.

Stylish Blue

Ever Classy Black

Finally, following Bellie's stroke of genius I too have a for sale blog. Grover's Garage is open for business, no stock yet but I'll let you know on here when some arrives.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Day At The Races

No, not horses but rather Stage 6 of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour. Results are already posted and how exciting for us ex-'billanookians' with Simon and Trent right at the pointy end. Clarkey brought it home in 12th today and now sits almost 15 minutes clear in the Young Riders Competition, only having to keep it upright tomorrow to take it out. Trent on the other hand still has plenty to race for, a mere 2 seconds shy of the stage win today, he's third overall 14 seconds down.

Simon courtesy Cyclingnews

Trent courtesy Cyclingnews

For anyone that isn't working tomorrow, yes I have to work, get down to watch the final days action. The stage is set for a repeat of last years captivating racing with every bonus sprint being fought out. Of course I expect everyone to have everything crossed for Trent, but if that doesn't work out then throw your support behind Joost Van Leijen, sitting in 4th, and the Netherlands National Team. Having had to travel light they weren't able to bring any time trial gear, we helped them out for today with some go-fast bits from Lew and Corima. Really nice guys and Joost will be on the stupid light Lew Pro VT-1's tomorrow as well.

In other news the Anthem is sold, for real this time, and I'm about 10 days away from being back on the bike. To celebrate the new ride should show up this week. I'm back on the Yeti program, hooray! ASR-SL here I come.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

eBay SUX!

Some fool bought my frame, and immediately emailed saying they didn't mean to. Seriously, what do you think will happen if you click BUY IT NOW? Pretty self explanatory I thought. Anyway, go to the new listing and buy it HERE.

Monday, October 08, 2007

All Systems Go!

Well says I'm allowed to ride as the foot 'happenings' have almost resolved. Problem is the pending end of semester and customary rush to complete assignments and pass exams that will prolong my lack of chamois time.

Did manage to turn the legs over today though, into the Royal Children's Hospital for a day of captivating lectures and tutorials on indigenous health and organ transplants. I just had to ride seeing as I'd just thrown together my newly polished single speed at a touch below 8.5kg. Polishing saved 70 grams, an added bonus!

My cheapest bike, and definitely my favourite. Something to be said for 'one-offs'. Pictures are up as it will be locked to a pole in the city during the day. If you spy it unlocked and ridden by someone other than me please decapitate them and bring it back to me.

Glenvale has started again, might try and get down for a race this Sunday.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nothing to Add

Clinics are over, very little sleep is being had, and I've got a big split in my foot. There's 15 weeks of catching up to be done with the whole course and it hurts to push the pedals. So while there's no riding content to add watch this, a mate's second attempt at expressing his insanity. Volume 1 may be there somewhere as well if you look hard enough.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

What the...

Three what the...'s

WT#1 - Sock height gone too far - anyone remember Brian Singh?
(supposedly motor biking around Australia as we speak)

Road K's today, racing sunset so decided to rock the business socks straight from work to save time in the change. An interesting day, faster, but felt slower, and couldn't hold the heart rate up there. Good or bad? I'm not sure. I'm thinking bad, a bit too much too quickly and only faster as for once the wind was on my side. We'll see how Fatties ride is tomorrow - I'll be either go or blow.

On the training thing, for those using the Garmin toy what software are you using? The supplied Garmin Training Centre, the free SportsTracks, the pricey TrainingPeaks, the web-based initially free then pricey MotionBased, something else, or a combination of a few?

WT#2 - UNDER the claimed weight!

A bargain at 25 bucks each just got better, 34 grams lighter than claimed. We'll make them the summer race tyres I think, if I actually get to a race.

WT#3 - Random pic from net, don't know why or how, but it's cool.

PS. CLINICS - 67 days down, 8 days to go!!!

Sunday, September 02, 2007


This is what it felt like today...

...nothing there! No legs.

After spending all day yesterday pushing into the wind solo it's fair to say I didn't wake up the freshest. Alas, I decided a quick SE up the 1in20 would be suitable before work. From home to the top and back is a quick 50 clicks, and a very common ride that I squeeze in when time's lacking. If I've done this right and you have Google Earth you should be able to see the route by clicking here.

Check the flag taking a beating, the wind is still here.

Felt rubbish all the way out there, pushed the gear over all the way to the top feeling like I was going backwards, and finished a measly 14 seconds slower than last weeks 'feelin' good' effort. Quite surprising, then the about-turn and home feeling rubbish all the way back again. But the average was still comfortably above 30 so it must be that getting some regular riding in is good for you. Training eh, maybe I'll try and stick with that.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Spring Saturday

Was there anything better than being out on a bike today?
Absolutely perfect!

Look at that sun beat down, the camera can't handle it.

A couple of hours in I cruised past Westgate Park, so decided to cut a lap. Roadie went surprisingly well, but, I REALLY want a cross bike.

A good day spent on the roadie, and going sans arm/knee warmers, those tan lines are coming along at a rapid rate. We'll catch up to the boys ala Norris in no time.

Tan Lines and Dust Masks

Um, it's Winter, well was until today. Winter, and already on the bike rocking jersey/knicks only = tan lines. Worse, winter and already coming home from the Fatties ride wearing the 'raccoon' dust mask.

Thursday arvo out on the roadie.
Melbourne's horrible in Winter isn't it, ha!

Weather is perfect for riding, now, but think summer, we're in for a stinker. Good reason to finally get your hands on an Edge 305 like I did this week so you can go exploring in the cooler, less dusty trails of the Dandenongs.

Unfortunately for me the day I got it Garmin announced their new Edge 605 and 705, with colour screens, base maps, longer battery life, SD card compatibility and plenty of others improvements including compatibility with other brands wireless power sensors. Not much more you could want, December release supposedly. I'll just keep telling myself the 305 is lighter and be happy, especially now that I'm in hand nirvana, picking up a set of these from Pearl Izumi, pure bliss!

That's all for now, Spring riding awaits.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lake Mountain

Eight bucks per bike to pass the gate 10km from the summit, so we went exploring.

Eventually made it.

Yep, it's snow.


Jimmy tests the temp, cold was the verdict.

Dropping a few psi was in order, Jimmy was down to 15!

Still smiling? Any time now! The mandatory auto timer shot.

Snow everywhere.

And what a day for it.

Jimmy attempted a snow man. If you can't see it then you get the point, supposedly the snow wasn't suited to snowman sculpturing, it wasn't great.

Oh yeah, got the Ti seatpost for the roadie, and am retesting the SLR, quite liking it.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

It's all about the bike!

Lance was wrong. A few bike setup tweaks and it's pain free sailing, or should that be riding. Throughout winter the single speed was a surprisingly comfortable and capable bike, so in a stroke of genius I decided to change the roadie and duallie to the same measurements and saddle, what a change!

Wednesday night, Fatties ride. Last week I felt I was riding a tractor, this week a race car. Ok the engine wasn't there, but the handling was. Managed to stick to the wheels of the freaks up front (you know who you are), until I got too close, didn't see a rut, lost a tyre in it and did my best to flatten a tree hip'n'shoulder style. 'Twas a big tree and I ended up sitting in the shrubs, on the other side of the track, facing the wrong way with my bike sprawled across the track, wheel still spinning and I9 hub still purring. Things that hurt checklist; left shoulder - tick, right lower back - tick, right forearm - tick, right hip - tick, left ankle - tick. Fair to say the rest of the night was a bit slower for me.

So Thursday, what better way to really test what hurts than to give the new setup on the roadie a run. A quick spin to the top of the 'nongs and back, new setup = no knee pain. Either that or everything else that hurt overshadowed it. I'm guessing the former though, as the new setup also had me in the 16's, 1.51 faster up the 1in20 than last Saturday. Yes, one minute and fifty-one seconds! May have to attribute some of that time drop to the incentive provided by the Rasmussen look-a-like and his bobbing buddy that tried to follow my wheel all the way up, staying put until the last k and a half.

Weekend riding, Ash says hell ride, Jimmy says MTBing in the snow. Sorry Ash, you're on your own.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Time = K's = Pain

With a new rotation came a new timetable, so some frequency to riding has been possible. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday all with some ride time every week for five weeks. A somewhat effective program can be made from that, mostly lone K's. Wednesday was Fatties ride where the Middleburn magic shone for the first time, but other than that it's been lone roadie time.

However, a quick hour and a half spin today gave me flashbacks to Scotty's blog, feeling some anterior patella pain. Too many hills straight up I guess so perhaps some boring beach k's will be in store. Oh yeah, that's why I haven't been hell riding...



...and repeat. Just look at it, beats the hell out of...flat, red light, chase like hell to catch bunch...and repeat doesn't it. So hell ride this week, see you there, if I wake up in time.

Finally, in answer to a query about the Middleburn Duo setup and chainline. I haven't used the RS-8 cranks with a CD spider so can't compare exacts, but the duo with a 113mm spindle sees the little ring line up with the 5th cog, and the big ring line up with the 7th cog. I've got 110 and 107 mm bb's hanging around so will fiddle when I get a chance. Click here for chainline pictures in every gear combination. Starts with little ring and runs through cassette big to small, then repeats for big ring. No problems riding in any combo last wednesday, but think it could be even better with a narrower chainline.