Saturday, May 31, 2008

Anti-Preperation

The next episode of Felt's Epix is scheduled for tomorrow and earlier in the week I signed up for the adventure. Being holidays though I haven't missed a day on the bike since last Friday.

Amongst a photo finish second place at Tour De Burbs on Tuesday, the rigid single speed adventure on Wednesday and multiple 100km days running errands the legs were heavy yesterday. So I finished them off nicely with a 6 hour jaunt to Arthur's Seat where I was lucky enough to catch a block headwind all the way home to really roast them.

Fair to say they didn't like my mode of transport out and about last night...

...the new fixie (tweaks to setup still needed).

Everything's crossed I survive tomorrow, I think Monday will be a rest day. Time for plenty of water, plenty of pasta, a little easy roadie rolling, and hopefully not too many fixie k's tonight out and about.

Finally a call out, anyone have some gold parts? Another fixie project (not mine) requires anything in gold...seat/post/bar/stem/headset/cranks.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fading Light

Work last night



hence Yarra trails started in the light



I know what side of the fence I'd rather be.

The sun set, I arrived at Ivanhoe half an hour earlier than Fatties ride so didn't hang around.



The SS 69er and I had to find my phone which jumped out of my pocket somewhere in the vicinity of the picture above on the trip in.

Mark from America asked me to report on how I like the 69er. Well no real tests yet, but the big front wheel definitely smooths out the trail. Rigid is no longer as jarring.



This was certainly tempting on the way home, smashed legs from days of roadie k's made worse by spinning silly on the SS as I drafted behind the occasional commuter.

Got some good trails in, and weren't they slick, 2.5 hours all up before taking off to work.

PS. Found my phone, turns out it never jumped into my pocket and was at home all the time.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

69er

No not that, get you're mind out of the gutter. I'm talking about the newest version of the bike of many talents, it just keeps on changing.

The braking surface on the rear roadie wheel was wearing a bit thin so I rebuilt it with a new rim. Now I like building wheels, strangely therapeutic. Seems to free my mind from everything else and time just drifts by, an 1/8th of a turn at a time. Finding it hard to throw the old one out and feeling like building another, I laced it on a disc front hub thinking it could be the first half of a road wheelset for the mtb's. After all it was only the braking surface that was worn out, and that doesn't matter if I'm using a disc brake.

Then I noticed how much clearance there was in my rigid fork. Well a cable disc caliper and a 29er tyre later I have this monstrosity.


Funnily enough the rigid fork with a 29er wheel is the same ride height and same weight as the 26" wheel with the SID. Now I just gotta find time to ride it, I wonder if T-Brown is actually on to something with the concept. Time will tell.

Monday, May 19, 2008

2008 RockHop 6hour

My phone rooster was crowing again, does anyone else think it's odd that my alarm was set earlier on my days off than on my work days? It felt like I'd just got to sleep but it was time to get up if I was going to have any chance of making it out to the race.



and I made it, Scotty Liston was travel company today. Note the bike of many talents aka 'Grover Special' as termed by Rohin.



This was the track, and while it was muddy, I was hoping for slush and was constantly threatened throughout the day when I talkaed of the need for more rain. I'd overcompensated with my tyre choice and was not going quickly. Having lent my other tyres to Scott for the day, which happened to be ideal, I was left pushing tractor tyres through glue all day with heavy roadie legs.



My partner for the day was the ever flying Joel Reid. Who chose paper to my rock which resulted in me starting. As you can tell the hill they sent us up to start with had me cooked a minute in.



Beaconsfield is a rather techy track, and being wet and not having ridden there in a while my line choice wasn't great. First lap rock garden, I miss the line completely, and...





Great fun was had with my excessive tread depth, while making me creep most of the time, was biting well on the steep descents



and techy corners.



The sun came out and you can see it was getting rather warm in the long sleeve jersey and thermal base layer



and the track dried out even more



making my legs cry even more pushing the tractor tyres.

Now for the good news.



Joel Reid was my partner



and doesn't know how to go slow.

Moral of the story, equipment choice is important, Beaconsfield is a sweet course even with the wrong equipment, and you still do well when you ride with Joel. He brought it home to pickup a position in the last 300metres putting Total Rush Black onto the podium in third.

Results here. Joel snagged second fastest lap, only bettered by Scott on my tyres who was stomping around his local track. Thanks to Dirtriders for running it, TotalRush for giving me the chance to ride it, Scotty for the lift out and back and the photographers out on course for making everyone's race reports that much more colourful, Stephen Rowe and David Bailey.

Now to clean up



the Grover special



is filthy.



but how good are those cranks, mmm, polished.

No More Sleep

It seems there isn't enough time in the day again...

Clinics, bike shop, giro, my never ending bike tinkering, it feels like I actually don't have time to sleep.

This week



I got some super sweet new cranks for the 'bike of many talents'. Any guesses?



and also wasted some time tinkering with a new toy, patience people, details will come. (Quite Ash).

Friday came and I figured it was time to relax after a fairly hectic week



alas I wasted away the morning racing up some bergs in the 'nongs



doing monos



getting a 'cross fix



and came home shot. Then I realised I had a million things to do and spent the rest of the day running errands at Chadstone, basketball reffing and then got to bed at some silly hour of the morning after fixing a bike for a guy that had tracked me down after hearing stories that I was a good mechanic, odd but nice to know I've done some good work in the past for people to recommend me.

The alarm buzzed almost instantly to get me up for a spot of hell riding. Raining out=back to bed. Seems everyone agreed with me except Bellie and Clacka. Eventually I arose and got a call from Sammy B who'd done his back asking if I could race the Dirtriders RockHop 6hour. It was pouring out, so I filled the time before more reffing building a 'Grover Special' to suit the expected slush the following day. Again to bed at a silly hour of the morning after Tess' 21st with no packing for the race done.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skinny Racing

It's been four years but I pinned on a number and went around on the roadie yesterday. 17+1 laps of Phillip Island's GP Circuit, but we'll get to the plus one later.

Plenty of familiar faces when the hitters were out including

a Braunstein in Daniel (7) in the break as always


and Jimmy (94) rolling around to finish in the bunch.

Then I had a spin in B grade which was supposedly 17 laps.

I sat in for half the race


then got bored and had a couple off laps of the front with this dude that kept putting it in the gravel traps, an underlying urge to turn mtber perhaps?

Unable to sit idle in the bunch upon my return I had another couple of digs until I found myself leading a group of 4 off the front with 3 to go. Unfortunately the next time we came around we were shown 3 to go again, and that's where the +1 comes in. We were caught with half a lap to go, which should have been half way through the warm down lap. Alas...


...I had another go up the berg on the last lap, but the gap wasn't big enough and me (and my shadow) were swallowed up and spat out in the bunch kick. Quite happy to sit back and watch as half the group came down.

I then proceeded to play medic until the ambo arrived, holding a dude's thumb together, before heading home, so that's what I've missed in these past four years. I'll be back a couple more times at least as I was forced to buy a three race license when the 'friendly' event staff ran out of day license forms. Good training at least.

Thanks to Stephen Rowe for some piccies of me in action, it just so happened that Tim was out for his first road race with dad Steve along for the ride, so those quality pics we get from mtb races were provided for the roadies as well.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Special(ized) Makeover

That's what happened to Cam's bike yesterday, in a big strip and rebuild.



We eventually rescued it from it's Shimano clothing and had it down to it's birthday suit. A healthy 2.8kg. The new kit included bits from SRAM, Avid, New Ultimate, Middleburn, TWE, Ozriders, not to mention a bit of retro kit in the form of an STM headset, and it all weighed less than what came off.



Cam was impressed with lunch, so it got thrown on the scales as well. Probably about equal to the weight his bike dropped.



A couple of hours later and it's complete, until the weight weenie bug really bites Cam. The verdict, yes it does ride faster. Narrower Q-factor on the Middleburn cranks, near frictionless wheels from TWE and the lightning shifts and dumpability of a SRAM drivetrain. Cam's a happy boy.

A side note...is Trevva France bound? He's not in the Giro squad. Perhaps Mr. Vaughters is saving him for an assault on a certain other Grand Tour in July?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Racing Rain

Friday, hills pre-rain.



Started with some fireworks (well smoking engines at least) not 2km from home when someone decided not to give way.



Tapped our way out to the 1in20 and all proceeded to smash our way up. I came home in the low 16's despite a workman wrecking the beat with his stop sign. Half a min quicker than I've been in recent times though so quite happy.



Clouds were rolling in so we shot down the elbow to Ferntree Gulley and booted home. Lucky me got in with just a few drops falling, the others had another 15mins to get home and got drenched. I found it funny.



They all had some laughs as well though when this came by. Maybe the aftermath of earlier judging by the smoke that was pouring out of one of the cars.