Thursday, July 19, 2007

Want bike bits? Be a dentist!

Castlemaine wasn't all good - I did manage to chew the stem, literally!

21 years of perfect dental hygiene, never a hole nor a filling and I take a chunk out of my front tooth trying to eat the top cap. Supposedly it's cracked straight up the middle as well, but if I can't see it it's not there, right?

We'll not go into details but it involved some cyclocross maneuvers to pass some slower riders and the front wheel bouncing off a rock rocketing the top cap into my face. What followed was a quick remount complete with spitting of toothy bits.

Moral of the story. If you've got expensive taste in bike bits you should be a dentist. 15 minutes I was in the chair for that $150.

PS. Twin Unicas Velocidades - if anyone's wondering where it came from it's quite simple. Twin Single Speeds in Portuguese.

You can still ride if it's wet!

Fatties ride last night - five people! You're all soft.

The mud bikes were in full swing with no duallies out for the adventure. In fact, three (myself included) were SSing it, Matty L going a couple of steps further with the rigid 29er SS employed.

Come the end of the night we were down to four and we'd all had a ball. The trails ranged from pig sty to small creek and ending up were you'd intended was something of a luxury.

Benny Randall followed Bellies' lead to go wrong side of the tree and end up having a lye down. Matty and I decided against this chute/water slide not wanting to be lucky number three, holstering the bikes 'cross style.

On a side note; Evan Jeffrey not only kills it on a bike but also knows how to point a camera. All his Castlemaine 6hr piccies are now up.

Look, it's me...

...and Jimmy, the other half of Twin Unicas Velocidades.

Finally, due to popular demand...

...I bought it.

Now I just need a dry event so I can wear it! No mud for this masterpiece.

Monday, July 16, 2007

6 hours of Castlemaine

Well that was the race, but there was so much more. Short track trivial pursuit, a 24solo screening, Tour highlights and a Tour live stage, dinner and the hotly contested 16" 4x.

Jack wasn't going too well.

Jack got good.

Practice got serious.

And it continued into the night.

Smooth...and on the back wheel out of the corner!

Ash suffered a little without brakes.

Finals finished well into the night with Al Farley pipping Jack for the cash and showing retirement hasn't hurt the skills.

An expression session never quite eventuated but there was 16" style in abundance.

The Tour was on the big screen until 1.30am, and then the mercury was somewhere in the negatives so sleep barely happened and before we knew it the sun was up and it was race time.

Jimmy dropped his chain on the start loop - single speed tensioners suck, gotta find that magic gear - but smashed the rest of the lap to catch me a bit short of being ready. I took off in anger only to get that white latex spray from the rear tyre 7 minutes in. A tube was thrown in, gassed up and that was it for hiccups for the day. A brilliant track, that was getting faster and faster as the slightly slick surface turned to extremely sticky.

It's me! For race pictures head to OnTrackImages
and of course Castlemaine's resident pro - Evan Jeffry

We were able to push the single speeds around all day staying surprisingly consistent with lap times and working back to 4th in the highly competitive male pairs category, which left us in 8th overall of 150 teams and we'll also claim the unofficial 1st for single speed teams.

Yep, Castlemaine turned it on again. It was widely proclaimed as the best of the series last year, and it didn't disappoint this year. Even managed sunny, fresh weather in this wet period.

A final note; Peter Jackson, father of Adrian Jackson passed away after a long battle with illness last week. The funeral was a testament to the popularity and success of the man with the crowd outnumbering seats 3 to 1. To the Jackson family, we're extremely sorry for your loss. AJ, we're here for you.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Roadie Season.

So they tour's here, Cadel is playing it safe and staying out of danger, and for anyone who saw stage 5 you'd have to agree that things are heating up. Especially when you get to build this hot piece of kit while you're watching it.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

My much rumored new toy, a special edition Team Saeco Cannondale complete with special edition Hollowgran Si cranks and one of those brilliant new SRAM road groups coming in at 7.2kg as pictured. Still awaiting some bits and pieces to reach its final spec/weight but it's complete for the time being and ready to shine for the Police Choppers on its maiden Hell Ride tomorrow (weather permitting). I'd better be good, no more hiding amongst the swarm of dull carbon bikes on this.

Just to remind me of my roots amongst all this roadie talk Jimmy and I signed up for the Castlemaine 6hr at Jubberland on Sunday. It'll be a single speed pair flying under the title of 'Twin Unicas Velocidades' if anyone's keeping track. Stay tuned for the stories of pain as I suffer to concoct some resemblance of fitness in trying to get somewhere near Jimmy's lap times. Can't go letting him have too big a break between laps.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Aah, The Pain

My stint in rural Victoria was done and I'd escaped from severely soggy Sale safely (say that 10 times fast). I'd made sense of the mess that was my life packed into the back of the car and so it was time to hit the hills.

Old faithful, the 1in20. From home I started out in the sun and the base of the 'nongs was pretty similar. But it quickly turned to this.

It appears there's still a fair bit of precipitation hanging around and very welcome seeing as the hills hurt so good, straight into E4. Managed an average above 30 which was nice for a hills ride. Next stop, some time on the knobbies in all this wonderful mud.

PS. Cadel's in good shape after the prologue, once the bickering within Astana explodes and Kloden and Vino destroy each other he's the top GC rider. Aussies in Green and Gold at Lotto.

Monday, July 02, 2007

And Still It Comes /2

The blogging, not the water. Three posts in Four days, don't get used to it.

The last 4+ weeks have been spent on my Cardio rounds - so there's been a majority of two crowds; those that have been under the knife and those that belong in the chatty elderly population. Lots of good stories to be heard...if you've got three hours to spare...for each person.

It's been great, but not exactly my area of interest so I was quite happy to get a chance to fiddle with the Cybex machine today. One of the few ways one can train with isokinetic movements. With a bunch of us in attendance the decision was soon made that my right thigh would be tested - 'he's a cyclist, he'll be good' - little did they know how much I'd been slacking, and with more than a hunjie clicks in the legs I wasn't exactly thrilled at the idea.

Alas, I didn't disapoint, and somewhat shocked myself.
Quads power off the scale.
Wavering in hamstring curve = me being slack with core stability
Dip in first quads curve = my dodgy knee from basketball still giving me grief.
But we'll not dwell on that.

Quads endurance ~30% better than normal.
Hamstring endurance took a dive but recovered quickly.

Well at least that's how I read them being the first time I've used one. If you think I'm wrong let me know, it's how we learn. Oh, if anyone's wondering what's so good about isokinetic training - google it - but in short. You can train to your maximum throughout your range of movement instead of just the maximum of your weakest position in range, and there's no muscle soreness as there's no eccentric contractions.

So I am spoiling you all with updates, but there's a distinct lack of racing content. So I suggest you go here, here and here to get your fill.

PS. anyone skype? I haven't been on the program long, and I hadn't really thought of using it to prank people. But today I got my first prank call, some random from Sri Lanka started talking to me. I guess it's free so if you're bored...Anyone else been pranked on Skype?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

And Still It Comes

I thought we'd seen the peak of the floods, and with afternoon showers predicted I thought I'd get out before them. A nice big loop continually lined with fences resembling clothes lines due to the weeds that had been strung along them, and that was it for effects of the flood - oh, apart from the cracked bridge that I had to negotiate (detour didn't look too interesting).

But then three hours in and feeling fine, I'm halfway around the RAAF loop only to encounter this.

On Friday I'd done this loop and could see all of the fences either side, not to mention the road didn't have a drop of water on it. It appears water is still coming. So a quick about turn - yes, Ash I did adventure as far as possible in but there was no way I was getting to the other side - and it was time to retrace the steps. Still has to rise 10m to do any damage to my joint though so I'm pretty safe.

Oh, I think I need this.