Friday, May 30, 2008

girl friday

Enjoy the pic readers!

On another note, I see that my comments section is starting a debate about Crossmax 29er wheels. I personally have no issues with these wheels and think that if you want to ride them.... ride them. Hence my nick name of Big Mak I am no small person at 6 foot 5 and 120 kg's (should be playing football, ice hockey or just crushing skulls) and choose not to ride pre built wheelsets like shimano or mavic. My experience has been disappointing on the road with them and I have witnessed people half my size destroy wheelsets. I chose to have a hand built set of wheels under me because;

A: good wheel builders are a dying breed and whilst I can I will get them hand built. Hand built wheels last me longer with out interruptions. I can get a spoke at most bike shops and don't have to wait on the slow supply of a mavic wholesaler to get me the repair parts that are often over priced and take decades to get to me

B: I choose every part that goes into a build and it is built for me by someone who knows me... not on a machine in a cheap labour factory, plus they are different to everyone else running a wheel set from a big name manufacturer

C: I have seen to many high end wheelsets get fucked up by normal sized people just riding on the road so I don't have much faith in them for off road riding

D: You see the wheels in the magazine advertisement and want them cause your favourite rider is on them just remember this point. Pro's run wheel sets cause they get em free and are paid to endorse them..... doesn't mean that the wheels are the best thing cause wheels to a pro racer are like a hammer to a carpenter, it does the job!

E: I ride single speed and quite frankly running a single speed specific hub for chain line with a appropriate freewheel is a better option than a spacer kit and cog in my eyes

Further more don't be dissing people and calling them wankers on this blog, even if it is tongue in cheek. So enough ranting by me!
This being said ride what you want and when you do ride it.... ride it like you stole it!

Monday, May 26, 2008

night time

Headed out Saturday night for a loop with the usual suspects. First night ride in about 6 months and it was a hoot. Apart from one incident of me versus a tree stump, it was perfect (the stump won and had me lying prone asking myself why I was out at night). The conditions were cool with a bit of early evening mist rolling across the the open grasslands and the trails tacky. Took awhile to get the eyes adjusted to performing night time trail reading and by the end I was loving it again.
I am trialing a set of Maxxis Crossmark 29er tyres as I have heard people rave about the 26 inch version. I threw them on today and took the bike out with my trusty four legged companion (Farlee the trail, roo & rabbit chasing wonder dog) and was impressed. I have mainly been using the Maxxis Ignitor which is similar but does not have the straight line speed. Managed to run them at about 32 psi (not bad under my big arse!) and they hugged the trails spot on and hooked up where they had to. Will see how they run this weekend at the Chase the Sun 2 out at Lysterfeild.
The ankle is getting better and should put up with the abuse of a six hour race I hope. Should try an get back on the roller ski's this week and start to crank out some km's with the ski season only weeks away.

Farlee chillin out after chase a roo....mad, mad , mad dog. Wants to chase anything and everything!

Not a lot else to report... working to much and trying when I can t get ready for the winter with strangth and conditioning work to improve the core strength. I have planned out some nordic races for winter so cometh the snow and lets get it on!

Happy trails

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the loop

Well yesterday i did a large loop from my house using the local trails to get over to the Yarra Trail system via Warrandyte's 4th Hill. I took my time and set off at a leisurely pace...(well as fast as a 32:20 gearing would allow) and smashed my way through the 4th Hill area grinding up the hills. I need to refine the route I took as some of it (3km) spent to much time on the road which sucked big time spinning out the gear. I headed over to the Yarra Trail system and completed a loop of the Tikalara Loop and then headed back home via the route of the Felt Epix lads though the Mullum Trail system. Needless to say the first 2hr plus ride nailed me a bit, but left me with a grin on the dial. I have only recently started using such a low gear and cant believe that a lot of SS 29er riders (derived from my research on forums) use this gear. It is a bit of a mountain goat gear cause when on the flats you have a to speed of 19km/h which does drive one nuts on a fire trail. Off road it is fine... compromise is what it is all about Reevaluation of the gearing is required to give me some extra oomph on the flats to stop the frustration of spinning out the gear. I will have to do this loop a couple of more times in preparation for the next CTS in a fortnight. Off to the osteopath today for a tune up of the ankle and hopefully back on the roller skis for some flatland training at the end of the week.
get out there and get on it!

Monday, May 19, 2008

checking out the local

I headed out for a quick look at part of the loop that the Felt Epix boys did with the Dickies last week. Happy to see some great trail that had recently been built which was sweet to ride but fairly wet after the rain of the weekend. I had ridden part of the loop many years ago and am glad to see that people have continued to ride it and break it in. I was only out for around a hour as that's the limit of the ankle at the moment. As the light was failing I lost the trail and took a wrong turn and popped up on a private drive way... oh well shit happens. But worth more a look and a good one to throw in to a loop through the Fourth Hill loop I have..... Have to see how long it takes me. I was riding a pissy gear of 32/20 which was good for the climbing and single track but weak as piss on the flats..... need to find a happy compromise.
W then headed out for a few cans of Sapporo beer and a meal of Wagu at Chocolate Buddha with Gav and Mister Sister and their partners.... good meal but the waiter was a fukn knob..... that's what puts people off dining ya tool!
Anyhow happy trails!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

winter winter...bring it on

OK the snow gods have started to bless us with some snow which whilst early can only help by cooling off the ground. I am ever hopeful of a good early season so I can train close to home like last year. The bad news is cold rainy days like yesterday truely suck even for riding on the dirt. So I was forced to sit it out drinking espresso and reading the paper watching the rain from the table indoors.
Speaking of espresso, Shane is up and running so check his website on the side bar. He is available for events...he did a fantastic job at the BMC recently and was turning out some of the finest brews I have had from a coffee cart!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

rainy days

little something to help clear up the grey wet weather of today and put a smile on the dial !!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

its on

OK good news, the ankle is well on its way to being sorted. After days of jamming it in ice cold water buckets and eating Voltaren Rapid like smarties I am now back on the bikes. I have had 3 days of gentle rolling around. The last 2 were on the road bike and toady I tested it out on the 29er at the local trails. I ran the gearing combo of 32/ 20 which was good for climbing but lacked omph on the flats but will persist with the gearing as I am going to do some old school hilly rides in the coming weeks to get my shit sorted. Found a trail today that I had forgotten but will be used again as it was nothing but sweet flat rolling single track that hasnt had much use judging by the leaf litter on the top of the trail. I love finding stuff I have forgotten about as it mixes up the bordem of the same trails.
I am waiting for some parts to turn up via the post. Finally the rear axel and ends are in (6 weeks to come from the US via Brisvagus.....mmm not cool) for the White rear hub so I will have to plan to get them operational soon. The question I still pose is to be tubeless or not? The other task is to swap out my 160 mm front rotor for a 180 mm which should pull up my large carcass a bit better.
Oh and before I forget does anyone know if the trails in Birdland near lysterfeild are worth checking out? If so drop me a note in the comments section

Friday, May 9, 2008

car drivers.... some are tools

Road rage driver causes Olympic training spill

Jacqueline Magnay and Dylan Welch
May 9, 2008

THE Commonwealth Games cycling champion and world silver medallist Ben Kersten has had his preparation for the Beijing Olympics interrupted by a road rage attack on 50 cyclists yesterday morning.

The group included Kate Nichols, who was badly injured in a crash in Germany in 2005 involving the Australian women's road cycling team that killed Amy Gillett. Nichols had just returned to group riding after a long break.

A driver of a Ford Falcon accelerated past the cyclists on an expressway near Sydney Airport at about 6.30am yesterday, reportedly swerving in front of the group and braking suddenly, giving the cyclists little time to stop.

Many Olympians were in the group including Kevin Nichols, Graeme Brown, Michelle Ferris and Matthew White. Ferris was at the front of the pack.

"We were all in the left-hand lane and this Ford Falcon came from the middle lane and swerved into the front of the bunch and braked suddenly," Ferris said.

"We were doing about 40 km/h. There was no way for me to go and I went straight into the back of his car and other riders went into me.

"My chin (hit) the back window and my bike was totalled."

The resulting smash led a semi-trailer to jack-knife and cars to swerve. "We were all very worried about (Kate Nichols)," Ferris said.

"She's pretty shaken," Kate's father, 1984 Olympic gold medallist Kevin Nicholls, said. Kersten suffered whiplash and shock. He said his arm, hip and ankle were sore. "We're so lucky somebody isn't dead."

Australian cycling officials will delay a series of race-offs between Kersten and Shane Kelly for a remaining spot in the Beijing Olympic team.

Mr Nicholls said the group had not been holding up traffic and was obeying road rules.

The NRMA's senior adviser on road safety, Anne Morphett, said a large bike pack sometimes could stretch to 40 metres.

"They need to break them up so cars can overtake safely. You might have three across and five deep, but not 40 or 50 deep," Ms Morphett said. "We want to see people get their training in but they need to be in areas that are safe and these are public roads, not a training facility."

The president of the National Roads and Cyclists Association, Alan Odds, said cyclists had every right to be on the road but "they still get abuse hurled at them, stuff thrown at them, female cyclists get wolf-whistled".

"You wonder where this rage is coming from," he said. "For some reason, Lycra to motorists is like a red rag to a bull."

Police last night had not found the driver but have the car's number plate.


When are people going to understand that fooling around like dickheads will eventually kill some one. There is no excuse for that type of incident to happen and when they catch the person responsible give him a bike and take him for a pedal on a busy road to see how it feels, then post ride all take turns kickn the crumpet out of them.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Not Broken

Good news the ankle is not broken just sprained so got to stay off it for a week, so crutches are my friends. So will back and ready to smash it at the Chase the Sun 2. But fuck me it is expensive to see a doctor at a private hospital! Anyway thats the price you pay to get it sorted to quickly.
Happy.... very happy indeed!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

super endurance

Check this shit out. Imagine doing 1100 mile race through snow. Thats whats this guy does. Mike Curiak is a freak of the endurance racing scene. Mike has been quietly churning away in the endurance world before endurance racing was cool. His exploits include:
• 2005 350-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, 1st overall, course record
• 2005 142-mile Kokopelli Trail Race, 2nd overall (singlespeed)
• 2004 142-mile Kokopelli Trail Race, 1st overall, course record
• 2004 2,500-mile Great Divide Race, 1st overall, course record
• 2003 340-mile Grand Loop Race, 1st overall, course record
• 2003 142-mile Kokopelli Trail Race, 1st overall, course record
• 2002 1,151-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, 1st overall
• 2001 544-mile time-trial, Colorado section of the GDMBR, course record
• 2000 1,151-mile Iditarod Trail Invitational, 1st overall, course record
• 1994-2002 34 total 24-hour races, multiple 12-hour and • 100-mile races, with several wins, singlespeed records, and course records

I came across his bike on the Moots Blog and was amazed by the thing. Truely a crazy idea to race your bike through the wildeness of Alaska, but hey what ever makes you tick.

Snap crackle pop

That's the sound the ankle makes when it is rolln over on the netball court..... should have known it would happen to me sooner or later. Netball, I admit ain't the most manly game but I had been having fun the last few weeks playing it but.... no more!
I spent part of last night in the services of health care professionals at the local hospital and I ain't the best patient as I just hate being on the receiving end. I have to go back tomorrow for a bone scan to see if there are any cracks in the ankle bones as there is a shadow on the X ray. So after a uncomfortable nights sleep I am resigned to sitting on the couch with the feet up and hobbling around on crutches. Best I can hope for is a sprain and ligament damage which may see me on the bike in time for Chase the Sun 2 :(.
On a positive note I ordered some gear from web cyclery last Thursday and it arrived yesterday. That is impressive and puts Australian mail order to shame. Fast efficient service, that's what it is all about. I have on back order some parts with a Australian distributor in QLD and they cant even tell me when the said gear will arrive. The thing that shits me is they are poor at dropping you a update..... trust me I will not be using them again and at this stage I will not name em but time will tell.
So I guess I will have to polish the bikes and put em away for a while and wait and see what news I get tomorrow.

keep pedaling if you can!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

bike sunday

Finished work today and hit the trails with NZ Gav after his return from knee surgery. He was up for a easy jaunt so I checked the course out for next weeks Chase the Sun. Should be a entertaining loop for 5 hrs of solo racing. Still a bit nervous about it as I have little training of late specifically for racing.
Found this bit of bike porn

If I win tattslotto I will add one of these to the collection.