Monday, January 26, 2009

The Whirlwind

Results are here. Unfortunately I can't offer you much more as the camera didn't get a look in for the whole weekend.

Nationals was a blur this year. An important meeting on Friday meant an evening flight to Canberra. One practice lap Saturday before retiring to air conditioning for the rest of the day. With the starters gun firing at 8.30am an early night was on the cards and before I knew it I was on the startline wishing I'd had a couple more laps to dial in my lines through the technical challenges Stromlo's World Champs course offers up.

The race itself...after a warm up that consisted of rolling from the car to the marshalling area...went pretty well. Followed wheels and stayed out of the wind along the fireroad, was second into the singletrack climb and when the leader made an error I found myself leading the race with a good gap. I probably should have exploited it but feeling pretty tight and weak with no warm-up I just tempoed my way around the first lap being caught by two riders as we began the second lap.

One went away, we brought him back, the other went away and stayed away before I mad some errors on the technical climb and a gap formed to the second rider. Trying to concentrate on just riding smooth I probably eased the intensity a little and was put into fourth place as we started the bell lap.

This guy was flying and I didn't have the legs to hold his wheel up the climb. Knowing I was faster on the decent I let him go, the floor in my plan was the lap traffic I encountered on the decent which I was only able to pass half way down. I nailed the rest of the decent and ended up negative splitting the race, but it wasn't enough and I crossed the line fourth, a two second gap to third and 11 to second. I'd like to say next time, but looking at lap times I think next time will be with an elite plate on and I've got a ways to go before challenging for the podium there.

Straight home following the race due to work today meant I was only in Canberra for about 40 hours, and didn't even see the Elite boys and girls go round. Buller next weekend, looking forward to those Glen Jacobs trails.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

In the Nick of Time

Saul got them Wednesday, express to me today and an evening of tweaking nipples followed...
From 200901
...let's call that 30% done.

Is building your wheels the night before departing for the big dance a bit last minute? The good news is tension is amazingly even and they were a very easy build. Should be a solid race wheelset at 1382 grams.

PS. Jarrod was showing off a new steed at Sandown. No doubt courtesy of Garmin-Slipstreams visit down under.
From 200901
bah-ling!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Speed Work

Glenvale was on from the gun today. Brauny must have been having flashbacks to his mtb days and wanted the holeshot bad. Nothing was staying away today but that didn't stop every man and his dog trying. Glancing at the speed down the main straight showed 50+ more often than not. Quite happy to see the three laps to go, get out of the way and let the thoroughbreds do their thing to the line.


Extras followed...four hours down and still 25 clicks from home Jimmy was still spending some quality time with Larry Lactate. Smashing the flat at 45km/h wasn't on the agenda for Dmac and I on the homeward stretch and we just followed, but hats off to him for still having the legs.

A Normal Hour

I was awoken by the message tone this morning, I think I was expected to show for the hell ride. Alas, I rolled over opting for more sleep and did my riding around 11, when normal people are awake. Still plenty of people belting up and down the beach, which meant laps ala Chapel Street on a Saturday night. The mission was a simple hell ride loop with Chloe and Kate but with so many familiar faces I did U-bolt after U-bolt in order to have a chat and the km's just ticked away.

Noticed the Mounted Police had a presence today...gave me visions of horses escorting the hell ride around instead of the usual car/bike/chopper. Would be carnage.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Bushy Park Take Two

With the cool change coming through as promised I returned to Bushy Park tonight to experience the normal graded racing.

Starting at the back of our six man A grade field I followed through the unknown start loop.

Hot Dice rode straight off the front and was opening a gap.

I eventually picked my way through the field and got onto his wheel where I stayed for a few laps watching lines and trying not to get dropped as he powered up the climb.

I made the move and as planned got a gap. Not to plan was the gap slowly closing as Chris wasn't giving up. Luckily the bell lap came while the gap remained and I was able to stay away solo for the win.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mechanics Mayhem

That be the trail name, sister trail to one with the initials SS and definitely worth skipping Glenvale for.

Especially on a perfect day like Sunday.I also thought it'd mean I didn't have to taste breakfast again, until we found this hill which just needed to be used for some efforts. Definitely compares to the ominous Gut Full Marathon climb.

At the top I stumbled across these two burnt out trees that I later likened to the pearly gates of heaven. Roll through them and just keep rolling through berms, doubles and the occasional wooden 'structure'.

With every epic trail comes the mandatory creek crossing, this particular one had a rather tricky exit.
Like Stink above none of us quite had the HP to clear it on the first run.

Jimmy went back for a second go though and seems to have it mastered.

With little use these trails are littered with debris of the natural kind...

...sometimes it's quite sizeable and even the SPEX wasn't up to task on one occasion which brought James to visual obscenities.

A stop by Damo's Cog Cafe to oggle the oldschool bling...

...and then it was time to make tracks as the shadows lengthened.

Unfortunately for me I'd been running a little late to the start, so met the others at the top of the first climb, which meant an ascent to finish my ride.

So much up that I was dreaming of down, which my camera seems to have realised as the photo below is of one of the steeper sections but somehow looks downhill?

Or is it just me being forever scarred by the climb?

The locals were certainly surprised to see me.

Lastly, Elixers...get on them. Saved my bacon a number of times as I rode lines that probably shouldn't have been ridden blind...

...no doubt the all new SID didn't detract from the surprising amount of control I had either.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Variety

Just to keep it interesting I ventured out to Bushy Park last night for some dirt crit action care of Knobbysports.

A good bunch of mates that congregate every Wednesday night to smash themselves for bragging rights. Unlucky for me my first attempt coincided with a handicap race rather than the usual graded racing. Upon arrival the handicapper eyed me up and down and proclaimed, 'you look like you're off scratch'...great!

So a five lap individual time trial followed as I tried to peg back one and a half laps to the 'bunny'. That was mission accomplished but a few snipers also got past him and I rolled over the line about fifth. I say about as no one really cares, it's just good fun as everyone tries to keep it just out of the red. We even followed it up with a team relay of hot laps just to give everyone a change to taste their lunch one more time. With some creative handicapping mid race it came down to half a wheel on the line.

Good to see Rollin Cycles' newest recruit Richard out enjoying the two wheeled life aswell. Be warned, he doesn't go slow.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Eccys

Today started simple enough with the plan to join Trent for a westside crit adventure.

Based at a driver training circuit it brought back memories of belting myself around the METEC circuit in high school. Good surface, small field and I decided to have a dig...I just dug a bit too deep and when I was caught and the counter attack went I was straight off the back never to rejoin.

Now is where the eccys come in. 'Hey Trent, bay crits are on in Geelong, let's go watch'...'OK'.

That view would have cracked a few riders in its time. Ride straight, then keep riding straight.

We had to overcome a few hiccups.

The trailer of fairy floss that had exploded all over the road.

The mandatory puncture...yeah that's right, hide your face, you should be ashamed.

But then it came...

...a bend!

Followed closely by Geelong and with a hunjie already in the legs it was bakery time.

A lovely 'French' bakery, that had some odd 'French' symbols beside its name.

Perfect timing saw us arrive to see the start of the main event.

Many a familiar face and many a famous face in that field.

One of those familiar face's was Rob's

who flatted in the dying laps for the second day in a row.

It was with great apprehension that we embarked on the return journey. Things were looking up when we reallised the wind had swung around to give us the round trip tail wind.

Before we knew it we were 5km from home smashing our bike track section with the yellow jersey in sight.

The catch came at 1km to go and there was no response leaving us to take line honours and complete a nice round figure of 100 eccy's on top of race distance.

Oh, we spotted another of those interesting Kennedy cycle fits aswell.

How aero can you get with a steerer extension? Whatever works for ya I guess.