Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Damage and Stars

Don't you hate that - you start out spinning squares and 100km later you're no closer to circles - not my smoothest day on the bike today.

It started with Damage and I heading out for what he'd planned to be an easy one, which suited me down to the ground not having been on the bike since the Kinglake hit out on Friday. While trying to get the feet going in circles we trundled out towards the 1in20. The pain was almost over when an clad bullet from the other direction disrupted our plans. We turned and rode to the bottom with Macca to accompany him back up. With the road pointing up though 15cc's of SE was on the cards for him so he promptly rode away and had us in a rather sizable box within a couple of minutes.

Finally hitting the tourist road he turned it down a tad and we rolled over into Montrose, Croydon, Ringwood - all the wonderful places on earth. He headed back home to Gazman's leaving us with more k's in the legs than we'd planned on doing already but still with an hour of riding to be done tomorrow's plan to do the KFC loop was in jeopardy. I finally got home having done twice as much as I planned, just ticking over the hunji k's, not to mention two bergs instead of one. Anyway, as I write this the skins are on and the KFC loop is still on the cards for tomorrow. At least Damage should be creeping as well to keep me company.

Oh, if you want to kill some time head over Paulie's blog to read about his incident filled Nationals weekend that still resulted in him being crowned the short and olympic distance junior national champion. The boy has talent.

Lastly - this blog has been lacking some decent pictures of late so I thought I'd throw one up of what I rate close to the best looking bike I've ever seen. Owner is Shannon of mtbprecision. All the good bits - Blacksheep, Industry9, Formula, Middleburn, Dirty Dog, Moots - see more pics and the details here. He's even healed up enough to ride it now - what a blast.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Roadie K's - plus a beach getaway

I've now been Scaleless for almost 4 days. Thursday night saw a fella called Anthony become the proud new owner of this.
I couldn't help but snap a piccy before it left. Got an email from the man confirming it's sweet after a burn around the Youies on Saturday. Glad you're happy Anthony.

Now onto the long weekend and thanks to Jimmy and Neil (and their Otways prep) I was forced to turn the legs over on the roadie. As the sun rose on Australia day I was up and on my way. Meeting them at 6.30am in Heidelberg we trundled our way out to Kinglake followed by Yarra Glen, Kangaroo Ground, Warrandyte and finally Eltham before leaving them to head home. 115km, a few good bergs - thanks guys.

Then the real surprise came - lazing on the couch in front of the cricket I was disturbed by Bails. We decided what better way to spend the rest of the weekend than at the beach. A quick call to Jess in Ocean Grove and we'd secured some accom and we were on our way. Not the greatest weather for surfing but perfect for Bails' new toy. Fourth time flying the kite, first time actually out on the water.
In other news - nationals in Canberra has been run and won - hats off to everyone who raced, course looks like an oven - anyone heard of shade? Anyway, Tory won the chicks - Jongers won the guys - Shaunie got up in U23 and took second overall. Other mentions to Muzza who pulled third overall - Norris and Maebus for second and third in U23 - top rides boys. And just to continue his amazing form - Paulie VDP won the U19's with speeds that would have seen only Jongers and Shaunie able to hold him off in the big boys race. Flying is an understatement.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Anthem Testing

Isn't the silly season meant to be over? Don't know why but work is picking up again. Have only turned the legs over four times in the last two weeks. The up side to that is that it's 3 to 1 mtb to roadie. Been having a ball flying around on a bit of dual squish I borrowed from Maebus.

Let's start with the roadie ride - Monday week ago I got the message from Damage which meant some bergs where on the cards. Summer had seemed to have disappeared meaning some very favourable conditions.
Meeting Chris on High Street we headed up to Belgrave, took a right at the round-a-bout, a nice gradual rise passing under the Puffing Billy bridge and then a quick roll down into the bottom of Perrins Creek Road. A nice steep one to finish with and it seems there was a positive out of the tummy bug of the week previous. A couple less kg's on the frame meant climbing was a breeze, well, still tough but the hurt box wasn't as big as usual when trying to follow Chris' wheel. A bit of fun swapping turns the whole way down the 1in20 and home we went.

That night I picked up Maebus' spare bike just to make sure I liked the dual squish before I lay down the dosh. Up late into the night getting it dialled, up early for work and then straight out to Lysterfield. A cold seemed to be taking hold but I couldn't resist.
A quick whirl through the start of the comm games track and the rock garden - thoughts, dual squish is fast - then up, up, up to the fence line - thoughts, dual squish is heavy. Down the fence line launching the water bars - dual squish is fun, climb back up to the comm games track - dual squish is still heavy.

A hot lap just to see what dual squish really does - 40 seconds slower than two weeks ago on the hardtail. Not bad considering the head cold, being 10 degrees hotter and not being used to the bike. Alot more comfortable aswell which is always a plus if the solo enduro thing is on the cards for later in the year. I think I'll get one.

Thursday night I figured I'd see how squish goes at the dirt crits. After being in the surf down at Phillip Island for a couple of days I arrived home at 5pm, through some gear on and time-trialled into the city. Had a bit of fun doing it aswell with some fun lines through fed square/southbank. Arrived at Wesgate Park 10 minutes before what I thought was race time only to find out a surprise handicap was on the cards. The format, a pairs race - faster riders with slower riders - 3 laps for the quicker rider, 2 for the slower. Rachel Rademaker and myself managed to finish fourth overall - her being first female we managed to score our entry money back which is always nice. Then the ride home, always good to burn a few roadies when on the knobbies and that's what we did, until light caused an early close to play and we jumped in the back of Jase's van, thanks for the lift guys.

Perhaps the best thing about dirt crits was Adrian and Rachel giving me the heads up about a Gazman MTB ride in the nongs on Saturday morning. So early Saturday morning I jumped in Maebus' car and we were off. A fairly big crew - Gaz, James, myself, Rachel, Jase, Craig, Dan B, AJ and Catherine. A bit of an update on the gear before the ride as James and Catherine were on new steeds which meant plenty of 07 xtr among other bling. Finally we started rolling and with nationals only a week away and the word that there was about 8 minutes of climbing a lap but a fairly hectic start expected it was obvious that a couple of starts and 8 minute climbs were on the cards.

Starting near the bottom of the nongs DH track, Gazman put me on the front row with AJ, Maebus and Dan B. Gaz says go and away we go, my start isn't too shabby and I manage to mix it with them along the fireroad, as soon as we start going up through the singletrack I knew it wasn't gonna stay that was though. Eight minutes later I finally hit the top, a minute down on the three elite whippets, the heart rate showing 97% and nearly losing my breakfast. Not to mention the humidity, and going through about half a litre in that time. We hit up the actual DH track down to the bottom and go again. I'd had enough hurt for the day but the others weren't done so after hitting up what is turning into a little jumps park and Maebus headbutting a low hanging branch - 'high five' - we arrived at the bottom of some dirt road climb I don't know where. Gazman says 8 minutes, threshold, go and we're off. It hurt, but meant a nice quick dirt road decent at the end, always fun to get both wheels drifting so the pain was worth it.

Some more cool trails back to Gaz's house, a couple of muffins and home Jimmy and I went. Three decent rides on the duallie and I think I'm convinced. The order is placed - not too worried about the weight thing as James' spare I've been riding is 11.55kg, I can have mine at 10.4kg without much effort, got some parts lying around that should do it.

Now, the suns shining but the temps aren't cooking so I think I'm gonna go hit the roadie. Dandenongs here I come.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

For Sale: 2006 Scott Scale 20

For Sale: 2006 Scott Scale - $2300
$3000 with Brand New 2007 Mavic Crossmax SL Disc Wheels

Yep, that's right - I'm selling the weight weenie project. Thousands of dollars went into, I got it to 8.9kg and it flew. But different plans mean different bikes so one lucky person is going to get themselves an unreal race machine.

Scott call the frame a large but it definitely sits at the smaller end of the scale for large bikes. I'd ride a medium in anything else. The effective top tube is 23.6" or 600mm. See the rest of the geometry info here.

Full Specifications - 9.48kg (no pedals) - 9.23kg with the Crossmax
Frame: 2006 Scott Scale 20 - Large - Full Carbon - 1.1kg - Pace carbon armour protecting from cable rub etc. so not a mark on the frame.
Fork: 2006 Pace RC39XC - 100mm travel with remote lockout and carbon lowers.
Headset: FSA Orbit Z
Handlebar: Maxm MX-1 590mm 5degree
Stem: Syntace F99 105mm 6degree
Seatpost: Scott Racing 34.9x400mm
Seat: Selle Italia SLR XP
Grips: Extralite Neogrips
Cranks: Raceface Turbine LP 175mm
Chainrings: Middleburn Hardcoat Slickshift 22/32/44 or 30/42 for 2x9 setup
Shifters: 2007 SRAM X.9 Triggers with Matchmaker clamps
Front Deraileur: Shimano Deore XT
Rear Derailleur: SRAM X.0
Cassette: Shimano Deore XT 11-34
Chain: SRAM PC991 hollow pin
Hubs: DT Swiss Cerit
Spokes: DT Swiss Bladed
Rims: Mavic XM317disc
Brakes: 2007 Avid Juicy 7 with Matchmaker clamps

Brakes are brand spanking new. Grips, Chain, Cassette, Jockey Wheels and Shifters have about 5 hours use on them. Forks have just been serviced. Wheels are true and tensioned. Chainrings have Middleburns hardcoat finish which makes them go forever. As for tyres - take your pick from what I've got.
- Panaracer Razer 2.1
- Kenda Karma DTC 2.0
- Hutchinson Bulldog Airlight 2.1
- Tioga Black Turtle HE 1.9
- Geax Barro Mud 1.7
- Notubes The Crow 2.0
- Schwalbe BlackJack 2.1 UST
- Schwalbe Jimmy 2.1 UST

If pedals are required we'll talk about that - I've got a set of Exustar EPM25Ti pedals that weigh 208 grams/pair and of course they'll come with new cleats. If you want some extra bling/less grams I've got a Thomson Masterpiece seatpost for it aswell for some extra dollars. Want a brand new saddle? A few more dollars gets you a brand new Selle Italia SLR XC gel flow. Want the cheaper wheel option but still want tubeless? I'll put a couple of DT Swiss/Eclipse conversion kits on for a few extra dollars. Anything else, don't worry I'll sort you out. And just for comparisons sake, a Giant XTC1 would cost you $100 more and is 2kg heavier.

Some pictures below - obviously not exactly the spec it will be sold as because I don't have the brakes (or Crossmax if you want them) yet, they'll both be brand spanking new, straight off the new bike.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Beauty aint Beut

Starting to get some racing under the belt now with dirt crits and state round #2, although the body definitely isn't up to the task - still good fun. Thursday night saw a couple of hours of trails with Maebus before racing the dirt crits in at Westgate. Snozza was back running the show, I was in A grade, plenty of names turned out and I was ready to hurt. The gun went and the heart rate skyrocketed - stayed with it for about half a lap before the big guns turned the screws. Results are here showing Maebus taking the W.

Don't know what happened - could have been the combo of 3 hours sleep on Friday night and some potentially bad fish for dinner but Saturday saw me feeling dehydrated, nauseous and generally crap. Got in a couple of laps of Beauty (which I might say is superb and I expect to see everyone there for the National Round in Feb), lay in the creek for a while then had the biggest bowl of pasta my stomach could handle (about 6 spoonfuls) and went to bed at 7pm. Woke up raceday morning at 8am thinking the 13 hours shut-eye and the rain should have me firing and the track flying. Track was super quick, but no firing from me.

Got the lead from the gun and stayed there up the lower slopes but it wasn't to be, managed to get some funky forces going out of one of the dippers near the end of lap 1 which pulled the rear wheel and the group was gone so I got to solo it in with billowing lap times. Check out TMB for results and stay tuned for some pics as there where plenty of trigger happy photographers on course. I need two hats - the first to tip to Paulie VDP for starting with the Juniors a minute 30 down on elite and proceeding to catch and drop them all. The second hat gets tipped to Erin for blasting us all in Expert after catching the train/bus to Bright and riding the Gap just to get to the race.

Props to TMB for the track, good to see some serious techy bits coming back to the XC scene. Thanks to Maebus for driving, to Catherine (who managed 3rd behind Tory and Dellys) for the Accom and to Jordan aka Home-J for a couple of pics below.

And how are things now, whatever I've got isn't gone yet - not really eating and generally feeling rubbish. Something to keep me excited though - that period of thinking my bike purchasing is over for a while seems to be about to end - I want a duallie so if anyone wants a GT single speed or a Scott Scale that I've had weighing as low as 8.9kg then get in contact. I'll post details when things are more certain.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

OK, OK, I'll update

HMMM, December 21 - how the time flies - that's when you last heard from me. Christmas has gone, New Years has gone and I'm only updating it now so Ash doesn't e-yell at me anymore.

So what did Santa bring me - of most importance is the UGG boots, mmm, bring on winter and warm feet. Other things to note - the olds chipped in on the new helmet (carbon goodness on a Specialized Decibel) and Sis managed to swing me some schwag from Venice (a couple of Italian Silk Ties - probably worth more than my suit).

Made my brothers day with some flip flops - the trendy havanas (or however the hell you spell that) - accompanied by some SUGA - if you don't know Suga you need to find one - anyway both he and i highly recommend the Rhubarb and custard. Mum was pretty chuffed aswell - no longer does she have a little terracotta pot of little open packets of herbs and spices that end up spilt all over the kitchen. Bubs (little bro) and I hooked her up with a sweet spinning chrome/class/sprinkly top spice rack that fits perfectly after my custom mods.

New Years saw no plans until about 9 on the Eve - ended up at a mate's ex's house in Bayswater for a very bogan party. Not a big night but always good to catch up with some people you haven't seen in a while. The earlyish night meant one thing though - New Years Day riding. Goldcross softed out and decided not to open so I was free as a bird to hit the bergs on the roadie. Up the 1in20, down Belgrave Ferny Creek Road/Terry Avenue (no pedalling, on the brakes, 90km/h - a couple more runs and I'm thinking I'll crack the hunjie), up
Sherbrooke Road, down The Crescent/Sass Creek Road, up Perrins Creek Road and then down the 1in20 saw me pretty happy. Not too much hurt and not too slow either.

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The altitude profile from the bergs ride - mmm, fun. 150bpm average.

Other than that riding has been limited to some beach road action after work. However, I have been getting a fair bit in so hopefully there is still some resemblance of fitness for the second state round this weekend at Mt. Beauty. Going up saturday with J-Bus for a looksee at the track, he's hooked me up with a bed for the night at a very reasonable $10 so all is set. Even managed to get some tech skills tuning in on the MTB tonight with the Fatties crew aswell as a burn around Lysterfield solo just on twilight last Friday. Stay tuned for a report - and hopefully some of my own personal piccies of the sweet new Felt Virtues - rumour has it Paul VDP will have his for the weekend.