Saturday, February 24, 2007

7 straight

My last post was on the 13th, and that day was the first of 7 straight on the bike!!
13th - bergs on the roadie with SE's
14th - Fatties ride. Note to self: bring lights from now on, riding without seeing is fun until you find yourself off the bike
15th - Dirt Crits - found out it was a handicap, go hell for leather to finish and find out I had a 4 minute handicap and I didn't stand a chance to begin with. Add in the ride in and it's good k's in the legs though.
16th - Give the new (read bitsa) hardtail a thrashing to and from work. Had probably my first real commuter experience. Riding home, 10 o clock at night, old worn out Deore derailleur decides to shed a jockey wheel. No chance to find it so a single speed conversion with a multi-tool under the red glow of my tail light next to the bike path was good fun. It got me home trouble free though.
17th - Three and a half hours of Dandenongs on the roadie - went as quick as I can remember up the 1in20 so all is going well, only just though - would have cracked the hunji today until I nearly came off at 97, whatever I hit, it was small but threw the wheel a long way.
18th - Fatties HDATO 8 hr, John had to leave at 1pm so I got to do a bit more than 5 hours of the day - very lazy though, two easy laps, another three easy laps, one easy lap, finish off with a hot lap. Probably didn't spend enough calories to warrant the Buxton Burger stop on the way home but hey, when Eva stopped I couldn't say no.
19th - just the recovery roadie spin, but it's still riding and makes for 7 days straight on the bike.

Fatties ride again on Wednesday, forgot the lights - damn. Bellie was the only guy to bring them and guess what, he tried to make out with a tree (Valentine's was last Wednesday Bellie), anyway - he's got a nice little slice in his cheek. Doesn't affect the legs though so he'll still be flying.

Thursday nearly saw my breaking point with the heat, just couldn't stand to go riding in it again, so sticky. But I was good and went riding anyway, it was at 9 o clock at night though, night training just adds that extra edge. Two and a half hours, you see a different side to the world at night. Managed to make use of the new toy - two megapixels of camera in the new phone mean something close to respectable photos, not really at night but the day piccies come out alright.

Night piccies not so good - from the Thursday night roadie ride, these boys were obviously very impressed with their handiwork. Very red and very sparkly. Now don't go getting them confiscated.

Day piccies, respectable quality for a phone. Ash (the man with the beer) will be happy to know the camera works so I've now got no excuse to gets some pics on this blog. As for Erin, don't know what he's doing, but when you're going that quick you can do what you want.

Side note: We've got some pretty cool bikes in at work at the moment - this one is the only Fuji Team Issue hardtail in the Southern Hemisphere - 9.7kg out of the box with UST tyres and Reba's, has potential. You know what's even cooler, it aint for sale, purely show because...
PROTOTYPE
That stamp was on all the XTR gear. Special!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

SE? What's That

Three years, that's about how long I think it's been since I did some training - yeah I've always been riding the bike but not much more, no purpose to it. Today saw the return of some purpose with a few SE's out in the Dandenongs, the legs ache, but it's a good ache. With that extra effort up the bergs came an average speed for the ride around the 30 click mark, a couple of clicks higher than it usually is - nice!

Let's put this date down as the start of what can hopefully be some extended purposeful training. Another milestone today as well - hit up the Belgrave-Ferny Creek road and went faster again, still on the brakes a bit but know it pretty well now. I reckon next time will be no brakes and the hunji will be cracked, 98.5km/h today is however the fastest I've ever been on a bike - pity it's a 60 zone and I nearly ran up the back of a Nissan Patrol at the bottom, not to mention the kamikaze kid on a 16" that rolled down his driveway straight out into the road about 30 metres in front of me and a car coming the other way - both of us slammed the brakes and he received a spray from both of us.

Now off to basketball, can we turn last weeks win into a two game winning streak?

Oh, fatties ride tomorrow night is on the cards I think. I assume you'll all be there getting in some mtb chamois time before the weekends 8hr? Hans of the fatties has the form and so the MTBPrecision.com.au pair of John Uren and myself is all signed up. 38 degrees forecast so esky shopping is on the cards for tomorrow - a big one.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Anthem Scars

It's been ridden, it's been raced, it's been scarred.

With Sunday being the You Yangs state round I figured I should take the new bike for a burn at least once before race day. So Friday evening (after I finally got away from work - note to self: don't sell a bike with five minutes left in your shift) I jumped in the car headed Lysterfield way. After finally negotiating the Monash Carpark aka Freeway I was on the bike at quarter to seven. Hooned around the trails fiddling with bike setup encountering Joel Reid doing some secret training, three numpties without helmets and a family that reminded me of Cleetus from the Simpsons, that's how many kids there were, good passing moves practice though. By that time the fork and shock pressures were dialled along with the position on the bike. Finally an attempted hot lap of the comm games track, which turned out to not really be a hot lap thanks to the kamikaze roos out and about at dusk. A nice surprise when I finished with the time equalling that of recent hot laps although it didn't seem quick. Those beach road k's I've been roped into doing recently must have had some effect afterall. A contributing factor was probably also the Hutchi Piranha tyres the Felt boys have been raving about of late, quick with some bite, I like.

Saturday saw sleep take preference over the Hell Ride, and it looks like I chose wisely if Ash's experience is anything to go by, which brings us to Sunday and GMBC's state round.

After only an hours drive I was at the You Yangs - yep, only an hour, it's close, so close in fact I think I'll be there instead of Lysterfield a bit. Why? Because it's sweet - it's got the flowing bits like Lysterfield, but it has some climbs, and it has some unreal decents - northshore style wooden bridges and berms, rockfaces all included. Another reason for coming back on non-race days is of course so I can learn to stay on the bike out there. It seems everytime I race out there I eat it, and it's always where you think it impossible to come off, so annoying.

The first 'off' was a couple of minutes into the practice lap - letting the front wheel go a little wide on a sweeping left hanger in one of the nice flat flowing section it hits the sand and out it goes. A few scrapes but nothing major and I'm back on the bike to discover I've managed to bend the thumb paddle on the X.0 trigger, seems Truvativ's butter alloy is making its way into some SRAM components. Anyway, finally a use for the adjustability on those X.0 triggers, I rotate it around so it doesn't catch on the shifter body anymore and we're sweet, away for the remainder of an incident free lap.

Sitting on the startline in what is a relatively large field nature calls and upon return I'm relegated to the rear of the grid. With a rubbish position comes an equally rubbish start and I'm sitting second last through the flat winding single track. We hit the the first climb and any techy section sees a rider in front walking and hence, me walking. With the race already well gone up the road I cruise along with Sleeman for a while having a chat about his DH experience at buller last weekend and the resultant cracked rib. We hit the main climb and I figure I should make an effort. Picking up three positions up the climb without much effort, another two on the decent and one coming into the start finish area things seem to be looking up.

Onto lap two, 5 minutes in I come around the switchback at the top of a small climb and the track is wide and pointing downwards, big ring and pedal. Well I got maybe two pedal strokes in before clipping the end of my bar on a tree and doing my best superman impression (it must have been good, Duncan was coming the other way at the time and later told me he was preparing to scrape me of the track when he saw it). Anyway, the body didn't seem to beat up so I jumped up, pretty annoyed I'd done it again - I swear the trees have legs at the You Yangs and jump out in front of you, everytime I clip a bar out there - anyway, I was ready to ride, but the bike wasn't. The front end was facing the wrong way, and in order to get that way either the top tube or the brake lever had had to give - the top tube had a couple of gouges but the brake lever had been pulled out of the lever body. Two choices - ride what was almost four laps with one brake or call it a day, I chose the latter.

Meandering around the start/finish area it seemed those who had taken a tumble outweighed those who had stayed on. Maebus had managed to carry some rocks around embedded in his knee for a few laps on his way to third in Elite. Finally, that man Erin freaked us all out again, pulling second in expert after finishing an eight hour shift as a bike courier at 2am that morning. Check out the GMBC website for results and maybe some pics as there were a few photographers out and about.

Now to get this lever fixed before the fatties HDATO 8 hour next weekend. On the plus side it looks to be an easy/cheap fix - the lever popping out is better than the lever snapping, well designed formula. In fact, brilliantly designed - a two minute phone call to the always helpful guys at MTBPrecision, five minutes of labour and not a cent spent. Excellent, doesn't even require a bleed - those Italians know what they're doing when it comes to bike parts.

Scarred

Good Lever

Bad Lever - see that silver bit pointing down from the lever, it's meant to be disappearing right into the little rubber sleeve. Five minutes later it was, not a cent spent and not even a bleed required. And now you can all call me soft for not doing it out on the trail and finishing the race - would have been hell with a multi tool though.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Damage and Stars...Again.

So for once I was up for it - I met Damage on Thursday morning, expecting him to be accompanied by Steiny and Rossi and ready for some decent bergs. It wasn't to be though, Steiny and Rossi had bailed and Damage had 'damaged' his knee, hehe, get it - terrible, anyway, we decided some easy k's would have to suffice so headed down to Mordialloc. To continue the star parade from Wednesday we ran into some green and gold stripes in the form of Murray Spink out spinning the legs in preparation for the Otway Odyssey, had a chat, bike bits this, bike bits that, what his plans were for the Odyssey etc. and those plans were pretty decent in the end as he managed to take out the big W by 8 minutes and the 3 G's on a cheque that followed. Check out the results and pics at Rapid Ascent or Cyclingnews. In the women Tory continued her dominance of Australian female mountain biking winning from Emma Colson.

And so back to our ride, Muzza left us at Black Rock and we barreled along until we ran into one of Damage's ex-Mapei mates. Into St. Kilda, over to Carlton for a brew stop (how good are home made cookies) and then home in a round about way to complete another 80 clicks. Not big numbers but hey, atleast I'm riding.

Friday was work, Saturday was a lazy day until I remembered basketball went back so I had to ref (I really should ditch that), Sunday was work, which brought us to Monday. What was shaping up to be a lazy day changed with a call from Steiny, an early evening spin occurred, a very sticky night. Only beach road again which is getting mind numbingly boring but a few funnies along the way made it worth while.

Funny Number 1
- hit beach road as a guy motorpacing goes past
- excellent, free motorpace
- ride onto back of motorpace
- motorpace is only going 30km/h!
- ride past motorpace
- can you say 'what's the point?'

Funny Number 2
- boredom is kicking in
- flat, straight, pedal
- then a struggling cyclist on the footpath
- he's trying to ride but the wheels won't turn
- i couldn't be bothered stopping to tell him that the lock he still had locked through his rear wheel and triangle would stop it from turning, surely he'd figure it out
- gave me a good 5 minutes of chuckling though, at least he's trying

And so the ride continued, into St. Kilda, Albert Park, a few laps of the course just so I could beat Steiny in some sprints and then the urban warrior route home via Olympic Boulevard and Swan Street at the end of peak hour.

Tuesday is basketball day so I told myself not to ride as this basketball thing is serious, gotta get a win on the board, and I didn't ride. I did something even more stupid, went running, idiot. We did manage to get a W at b'ball and I did manage to stay out to 4am for a going away/birthday celebration (ran into Norris, Maebus and D-Mac but it appears they softed out as I didn't see them past about 1am, the pro's gotta do what the pro's gotta do, still soft though). Right now, VMO is aching, quads just don't want to hold any contraction and I am scolding myself for that stupid running thing, idiot.

The hurt is eased somewhat though, got a seatpost today and so the duallie is done. 10.7kg and lookin' fine. You Yangs State Round this weekend, might go give it a whirl there. GMBC are advertising a new course and they're always good down that way. Two weeks from 'Hard Day at the Office' and it looks like i may be soloing it. Sleeman seems to be ditching me to ride in another team so no pairs for me. 8 hours solo! Maybe I should go get some k's in the legs instead of writing this. Cya - oh yeah, piccie of the new duallie below. Thanks Shannon aka MTBPrecision for the Formula Oro Puro brakes and Industry Nine Wheels. Unbelievably Sweet!!