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.

No comments: