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

Kona24

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.


Going


Going


Gone


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.