Tuesday, April 29, 2008

snow in the hills

I hope the the last 48hrs of weather is a indication of what might lay ahead for us who like snow. Cold temps and some rain has brought 25 cm of snow to the hills in the last day of two. Whilst not of any use yet for training at least the snow will help cool off the ground for the coming winter. At least the pain of the new training is going to pay off (I hope) as my body is holding together after the last few roller ski and hill running sessions.

Today I went over to Lysterfeild to do a lap or 2 but was defeated by the amount of water on the surface of the trails. The lack of trail maintenance is beginning to show as there are heaps of rutted out trail, now full of water. I feel that the park needs to add some extra trail to help spread the work load the the current trails, but that is unlikely. Today I gave up trying to channel some puddles to drain them. I ran in to Tim Ferris out doing the same thing. He is getting ready for the world 24 hr solo champs ... (mad I reckon) to try and better his 2nd place in his age group last year. Best of luck!
So I have entered the first two Chase the Sun's and am doing them solo (which will be interesting, don't know what the body will say about that !). I am hoping for some decent weather for them as riding around in shit weather for 5 or 6 hours is not that much fun!


Saturday, April 26, 2008

words from the boys

locals doing it US side

England wins fifth stage, Lowe sets pace in Georgia
Reuters, Friday April 25 2008
By James Raia

DAHLONEGA, Georgia, April 25 (Reuters) - Former track specialist Richard England of Australia won the fifth stage of the Tour de Georgia in a tight sprint finish on Friday while compatriot Trent Lowe claimed the overall race lead.
The 26-year-old England, a double Australian team pursuit champion, bolted to the front over the last 500 metres to win the 214.7km leg from Suwanee to Dahlonega in five hours, 15 minutes, 15 seconds.
His compatriot Rory Sutherland finished second in the longest stage of the seven-day race, with American George Hincapie third.
England, Sutherland and Hincapie all posted the same time.
Lowe, who began the day sixth overall, 15 seconds behind race leader Greg Henderson of New Zealand, claimed the overall lead by finishing ninth in the stage.
Henderson tumbled to 93rd place, having lost more than 15 minutes after struggling for much of the stage in periodic rain.
American Levi Leipheimer, the race favourite, is in fourth place overall, four seconds behind Lowe.
The race continues on Saturday with the 142.3-km sixth stage featuring a climbing finish to Brasstown Bald Mountain, which at 1,487 metres is the highest point in Georgia.
It ends on Sunday with a 100.9-km circuit race in Atlanta.

Well its all good at the Tour of Georgia. Our local lads are doing Melburn proud. Ritchie pulled the win of his career off overnight wining stage 5. He out sprinted big George Hincappe and Rory Sutherland to win. Awesome! It has been a pleasure to know Ritchie over the years since racing on the track at Blackburn and watch him develop into the rider he is through serious hard work and determination. You can follow his diary of the tour on his blog through the side bar.

Trent Lowe has managed to grap the overall leaders jersey to continue a excellent year in the pro ranks with Slipstream. Bloody good effort by two local lads.

Before I forget to mention Gerro and his exploits in Europe. His for is coming along even managing a win at the Criterium International over coming Jens Voigt in the closing stages of the break away. He has also managed some great results in the Amstel Gold race a week ago with a 12th place so hopefully some more great results in the coming weeks.

It is great to see it all coming together for these local lads......hopefully its only the start!


Friday, April 25, 2008


Today is the one day I have to have off from work, ANZAC Day. It is the day in my eyes that Australia became a nation. As always I headed down to the dawn service with Tammie in tow and paid our respects with around 2000 other people at the Ringwood Clock Tower. Always moves me.... something about a lone piper and the last post.
Ever since serving my time in the Army I feel that this is one of the most important days, even more so since receiving my Defence Medal last year for peace time service. So today it was on my left breast whilst in attendance at the dawn service.
I then hit the road for some training.... coffee run to Threso's for a brew and chit chat with Shane. First ride all week as I have been doing some ski training.... boy it hurts!
This afternoon we headed with some friends to watch the Football at the MCG.... 90000 people attended the game, good fun and a few beers to celebrate.


Monday, April 21, 2008

monday fix

BMC 50.... a saunter in the forrest

Yesterday saw me get it on and have a race. This was the first big race for the year and I was a bit nervous having done little in the way of training over the last month due to work and bike issues. With a 5 am (way to early) rise and shine call to jump in the car and pick up Mister Sister on the way to the race we made the hour drive up to Woodend. When we lobbed into the car park the thermometer was telling me a lovely 3 degrees outside (not so fun). So I was glad that I brought some winter kit to warm up in. Manged to get our race numbers after a bit of a fuck around and then located Shane and his Shane's Espresso Cart.
Man Shane was pumping out fine coffee for all to enjoy and at a good price. The cart looked awesome and at times he had a line 10 people deep wanting his fine silky espresso..... its addictive people, very addictive!
9am saw the start of the race which started in 2 waves. I snuck into the first group and was soon down the back due to being on a single speed and the fire road start. I would have to say that for me personally there was to much fire road but it was a great course. More climbing than I expected but I got through it eventually. The single track was sweet and fun to ride with nice flowing tight trail with the occasional log ride or ramp. The trail builders have got there shit together and have built some nice track.
So the lack of training popped its head out at the 40km mark when the body started to not enjoy the hills. I had to walk a few of the last hills that I rode the week before without incident. The best bit was no mechanical although, the rear end still needs some sorting with a bit of brake rub ( and no I will not get Mavic Cross Max 29 wheels unless Mavic gives em to me to test!.... always open to a offer!)
Now the thing I don't get is people who don't have enough shit to get them through a race. I had a guy in the midst of the single track ask me for some GU (power gel GU... you dirty people) and then another guy 2 minutes on asking people for water. You don't have to be rocket scientist to work out that you have to be self sufficient out in the forrest when racing. The race organisers had put in 3 stops for water. So many people stopped at these things. That was where I made up time and places on some people cause they would stop and sit down..... go figure?
So I managed to get to the finish line and managed a 2nd in the single speed division so I was stoked with that and it looks like I might have made the top 50 in the race but I still need to see the results to work that bit out. The booty of second place was some nice product from Crank Brothers (pedals and a multi tool).
To top off a day of racing we snuck by the Holgate brew house in Woodend for a quiet ale before sauntering home. Today the legs and back are sore and me well I am tired but I am left with a smile!

Mister Sister ready for a hit out

Shane's Espresso Cart...where the magic happens!

I will have this if I win tattslotto.... mmm a BMC cross bike

The gorilla with the number ready to go

Monday, April 14, 2008

road trippin

Well spent a 3 day weekend around Central Victoria this weekend gone. Friday saw Mister Sister and myself head to Wombat Forrest to scope out the area for next weekends BMC race. Great little circuit, highly recommended (the guys at Woodend cycles helped us with directions to the trail head). We had a ball in the tight flowing single track. Mister Sister had a small spill but otherwise we were grinning from ear to ear. Broke a spoke which just added to the stress of my rear end on the gorilla over the weekend.
Post ride we headed to the Holgate Brewhouse in Woodend for a couple of their ales.... not bad beer!!! Took a few extra samplers to house at Daylesford. I can recommend the Pale Ale and there Big Red which recently pulled of a award.
NZ Gav joined us as well for the weekend but was non biking due to his recent knee surgery. He got to spend the weekend cruising with the ladies around town.
Saturday post hangover saw us try and find the Dry Diggings Trail for a pedal towards Castlemaine but with no map and little idea we got lost. Still managed to find a couple of fun trails for a great session to blow out the cobwebs from the night before. However I managed to cook myself coming down a set of stairs into a rock out crop with my right shoulder and arm. Scored some nice bruising and a dented ego, but determined to head back for some more and get on the right track system next time. Pays to have some local knowledge!
I am over the rear wheel that has come with the Stumpjumper and am going to get it rebuilt tomorrow as the low end spec hub is rat shit to put it mildly. I don't know why big bike companies do this save a few bucks as it often leads to resentment from the consumer.
Had a corker of a breakfast yesterday at a place called Beer and Breakfast. Located in the main street of Daylesford opposite the school. The fridge there has a amazing local and international beer selection...a place worth checking out for any beer lover. And the scrambled eggs were spot on!
Then to cap of a top weekend of bikes I got to watch the roubaix live on TV. Awesome stuff.... its the favorite race of the year for me... shame O' Grady couldn't pull it off 2 years in a row.

This week sees me licking the wounds and sorting out the gorilla before the BMC on Sunday.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

She is back

My over sized gorilla is back. Specialized came back with a new frame in a couple of days....a bike industry record! I got it rebuilt and back on the trails yesterday much to my inner joy.... it rode like a hot knife through butter. Very happy indeed. The only thing it needs sorted now is a decent rear hub which is on the way soon. The only thing that lets the bike down off the shelf is the puss of a rear hub that needed rebuilding recently after almost no mud time...fuckn disappointed. Its like they used all the cheap arse, warranty return hubs from shimano they could find and put the big S on them!!
Anyway it has been a busy working week with the power going out during those nasty storms on Wednesday.... Limited power in a ICU is a bad bad thing for everyone involved, trust me. Bike riding has been limited due to work and weather but I will be back at it this arvo with the sun a blazing. Off to ride part of the BMC course on Friday and then some stuff around Daylesford.... should be a good weekend. Needless to say it is time to get back on the roller skis and getting the body ready for the ski season which is creeping up on me.
In high rotation is the album by Jeff MIlls called Blue Potential....back to the electronic music part of my years...awesome awesome awesome!


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

shane's espresso cart

Ok, for those who know him Shane has been a regular fixture around the coffee and cycling scene for a while. Shane is the main guy behind the machines at Threshermans Bakehouse in Carlton. We often race together in the enduro races around the place. He has decided to get his mobile cart off the ground. His first event will be the BMC race at Woodend. I would say Shane does one of or the best brew going around town....... he knows his stuff after 17 years behind the machine.
Check his website for more info. He is looking at doing different events around the place so keep on the look out for him.
Further news is the new 29er frame that should be here at the end of the week for me from Specialized. Thanks to Andy @ Le Tour Cycles and Dan @ shifterbikes for helping me getting it sorted.