Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Daily Chuckle

We've all seen the stickers on the top tube...'this bicycle is not designed for offroad use' blah blah etc etc. This however was a first for me.

That's on there to stay, 'grip firmly at both ends for best performance'. Good tip, and had me in silent stitches while wrenching away today.

On the riding front Sandown had the Christmas/New Years week off tonight and not wanting to miss my weekly pain session I soloed my way out to the 1in20 for some SE fun.

Looks like the mini-cold that kept me from the Mt. Beauty adventure hasn't knocked me around too much. 15.49 is a 34 second PB. Maybe the secret is in the lack of numbers. Doyletime has the Garmin to track the Nationals TT course so no heart rate, no cadence and I even restriced myself to only checking my speed every so often and not checking the time until I crossed the line. Suffering in its simplest form.

Good to see more mtb crew out for some bergs aswell, stumbling across Mr. 'EPIX' Jackson on the way home after having a chat to Alex Randall...who started descending the 1in20 just as I got to the top and decided not to wait. Meant I had to choke down whatever food was trying to jump out of me, turn and chase immediately...thanks mate.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Change

Although I didn't mention it I had a gander at some track racing a few weeks back. One of the most surprising things was being recognised by people I've never met. How you ask...Grover's Grumblings. Apparently people actually read it, which gives one motivation to continue.

Motivation brings us to change. You don't have to be too observant to notice there's been a facelift to freshen things up a bit and welcome in 2009. 2009, a year of change not only for the blog but for me. Fulltime work, hopefully broken up with some travel before I find myself a gig putting that piece of paper I collected a few weeks back to good use.

PS. Google has plonked some adds on the blog over on the right. Dunno if they're there to stay, but the more you click on 'em the more currency I collect to help get me overseas...so click on 'em.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Easy Rollin'

Still expectorating some funky colours so I remain resigned to the easy life. Never mind aerobic threshold, I'm working on the sweat threshold...if I sweat I'm going too hard.


Lucky for me Christmas combined with birthday shenanigans last night meant there were some others looking for a similarly easy roll, 3.5 hours chamois time for 65km along the beach kinda easy.


Rob is the (un)lucky guy that gets to share his birthday with Jesus...pictured practicing his 'cross skills in preperation for a trip to Belgium. Either that or doing his best 'Beloki just ate s*!^ and now I'm riding across a field' LA impression.


Every good beach roll deserves a nutrition stop, and seeing as it was 5.30pm by the time the others were in any shape to ride (yep, rough night) our stop was about 7...hence pizza instead of bacon and eggs or bakery treats.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Chrissy Hap'nings

Early bird catches the worm they say, the worm in this case was open road...

...and I caught it. No one in front...

...no one behind.

The body clock is well set to work hours so a chrissy sleep in was out of the question. Instead an easy traffic free roll to free up some of the congestion that this cold has left me with. Then home to unravel the Chrissy bling!

What's in the box?

Some new Avid stoppers!

Unfortunately I haven't quite shaken this cold so not wanting to spread it around and forever be known as 'the germ' I'm skipping the annual Mt. Beauty MTBers gathering...shattered.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

When Racing Goes Wrong

I've got some travel plans for next year, and I want to get quick so they eventuate.

So today I strapped on a single digit number, that means lining up against the serious hitters in Elite! The flaw in my plan was the cold that's slowly overtaking my body combined with the fatigue that follows a good friends wedding the day before.

Nearly missing the start after embarking on a practice lap with 30 minutes to spare was a good indicator to the length of the lap, with six still to come I was in for a long day. The extreme race length was confirmed with Mr Liston taking line honours in 2 hours 29! Results show I did four laps, I'd say half a lap was racing before realising it wasn't happening today, followed by 2.5 of riding...

...then one playing trash collector. Is it so hard to stow wrappers on your person to be disposed of properly post race?

Big thanks to DirtRiders for the race and XMAS BBQ, which included an appearance from the local road pro home for the offseason.

Judging by Mr Eva's gel inhalation witnessed on our trip home T-Lowe's offseason doesn't mean he goes slow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Summer Days


How good is summer! With the blue skies, warm temps and lack of bike cleaning to be done...well atleast that's how I remember it.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

MTBers In The Money

Sandown tonight with a few fat tyre enthusiasts crossing over as always.

Lukie, Scott and I...we gotta stick together when outnumbered by the darkside.

Scotty soon ditched us though.

Got in a group of four that stayed away to the finish. Can we still claim Mr. Braunsteins?

They had the field nicely strung out.

I'm in there somewhere, found myself nearish the front crossing the line aswell which was surprising.


Looks like it's Scott's shout.

Fixing the Skillz


That wind is playing havoc everywhere, even the dog walker highway has trees down. Good for working on the skillz fixie style.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Results

Found them...courtesty of Farkin. Apparently I was second behind a stupidly fast Craig Borham on a single speed, that man is a machine!
Thanks to Jo for backing up from her podium ride to play master cameraperson, and yes the Super Grover jersey came clean.

Fun In The Mud

GMBC hosted the third round of the National Series at the ever dry You Yangs yesterday.

Going over the Westgate we began to question the 'ever dry' status.

Jimbus had come prepared with tyres to suit the race lines.

Make that gumboots to walk through the puddles and leave me for dead as I tried to find a dry route around.

Apart from the race centre the course held up well, and just quitely I'm quite happy with myself for cleanly riding that uphill rock garden just before decending back into race central. There was no choice but to get through it though with the amount of support out on track, especially considering the constant drizzle accentuated by downpours...cowbells make racing fun, awesome atmosphere!

In terms of the race, I'll await some results as I don't know where I came and didn't hang around to find out. I will say my start was at snails pace...but from there I felt pretty consistant, battled some chainsuck, went past a few and didn't get passed by many so should be up there.

Special mention to Brian John and our telepathic connection yesterday in the feed zone. I ran out of hands to take on what I needed, so just opened my mouth as I rode past and Brian was right onto it stuffing the unopened gel in my mouth for me to deal with after putting everything else where it needed to go.


The new long sleeve thermal Rollin' jersey was gonna debut at the You Yangs yesterday, but stayed in the closet an extra 24 hours and kept itself clean on today's recovery spin.


Got some go fast bits at the shop this week, lucky they were post TOB or I may have been tempted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Commuter Cup

It's been quick this week. Not a spare second to work on my own bike means it's still in race trim...

...complete with number.


The HC climb, good for laying the smackdown on the fluro army.

The dirt, good for dialling the roadie drift style.

Darwin Awards

Is this guy a candidate?

Came into the shop saying his cranks kept falling off, I was amused thinking the tape was to reinforce what the bolt is meant to do. The amusement turned to disbelief when I removed the tape to discover the bolt was absent.

Tour Of Bright

Here's a few snaps from the weekend.

The 'chrono' machine from the pilot's seat.


Some of the carnage courtesy of the Tawonga decent. This guy was in a pretty bad way but as always the cycling community looked after their own...managed to get him breathing again and choppered out.


The entry goodies. Best entry pack I've ever received.


BBQ dinner Saturday night after everyone decided GC was out the window and could afford to carry a few extra grams.


The morning of the Hotham ascent, fog in the valley meant chilly at the top. Eight degrees chilly.

My race was finished after I forgot to tune the gears to the race wheels for stage one, with not enough adjustment in the barrel adjusters to do it on the road. The only gear it was happy in was the 26, which was way to small to follow any moves up Tawonga and the bunch rode away. My goal was revised after that to being less than 20 minutes down on GC at conclusion of the Tour, I missed it by 12 seconds...but did take five minutes off my Hotham ascent from last year trying.

Takin' Da P!ss

Rode You Yangs National Round course last note...in the wet.

I got lucky and crashed/rode into a tree in a section that's actually on dirt so the only damage was an Ay-Up mount down (yes, I was planning to do some laps under light). The rest of the course resembles a cheese grater though being never ending rock...oh, except for the start/finish area that was like quicksand and unrideable. Could be a matter of bring your running shoes if the rain hangs around, and make sure you've got ambulance cover. There will be carnage.

Oh, ran into these guys on the trail who have taken social riding to the next level.

Post ride trail side BBQ and beers! They've got it dialled.

Friday, December 05, 2008

The Whirlwind

Bit busy at the moment, AJ and I are just about to commence our trip to Bright for a weekend of roadie stylings.

TT machine and all thanks to Clarkey. Not gonna help as rumour has it one Paul VDP is the competition in B grade.

Oh yeah, in between returning from GVBR and departing for TOB there was a little thing called graduation last night. Apparently I'm now officially educated.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

GVBR...I'm home


The notorious 'bus chamois time' pair...they were later outdone by a dude who hadn't taken his knicks off for 3 days. That means riding, eating, sleeping and no showering. I reckon I could almost see the chamois mushrooms sprouting.

Of 4500 people associated with the GVBR supposedly I was the first to question this dude about his setup. A little backyard invention that is soon to turn into the first proto production run with patent and all. The idea is that the springs are loaded with the more powerful sections of the pedal stroke which then release some of their energy through the dead spot to snap you over it. It also loads up with accelerations to give you a bit more kick as well as being able to be preloaded for track starts. Not gonna be UCI legal but I'm sure there'll be dude's snapping them up to beat their buddies with. I can also see it smoothing out the pedal stroke a bit which could be good for the commuter crowd, considering the numbers I saw with knee pain this week.

This is the result of waking up at 8am to find breakfast all packed up. Was quite content with my scrounging.

The line of finely tuned machines that were my transport around the numerous country towns we visited. I'm not sorry to see the back of them.

GVBR attracts all types. I heard report of average speeds less than 10km/h. So while some were doing 10 hour days we enjoyed the local attractions, like $3 mini golf, which we weren't very good at...Chloe.

Supposedly there was some fancy smiley face constellation that we're not gonna see in our lifetime, I didn't capture it too well.

The Grampians were the drawcard to this years route, luckily no EPIX style hike a bike.

Every morning that was beginnings of the pace bunch...Chloe, Kate and Simon.

By the end of the day there were 20 or 30 hangers on and about 4000 riders passed.

That's my borrowed setup for the one day I rode. Please excuse pretty much everything; jousting sticks, odd shoes, foam dome helmet, fire engine red bike and kit, casual sunnies etc. etc.

Not much water around.

The skills a few seasons in Europe teach you...if anyone asks it says Teschner not Trek.

While the food was good considering they were cooking for 4500, the $10 lunch specials were a welcome change in Halls Gap.

Graduation tomorrow meant a mission to get home from Halls Gap. Five hours of bus time, Stawell was half an hour into the trip, all I saw for the rest of the trip was the back of my eyelids.