Friday, November 28, 2008


Its not often that work slows down and I get the option to have a day off paid by the man, yesterday was availavle so I grabbed it. It started off great with a hot day expected and a trip down to the Yarra so the dogs could have a swim and me a coffee and muffin action at the bakery.
Apart from some domestic duties, the plan was to pick up my replacement 29er Specialized Stumpjumper frame from the bike shop. Thank god it has arrived and I can now sever my ties with the shop after 20 years as it has new owners and Andy Steele has bought his own shop near by.

Always love opening boxes to find the surprise inside!

The frame will be going on Ebay Saturday so if anyone is keen have a bid on it, brand new fresh out the box. The frame has 2 drop outs so you can run it single or geared, great frame just too light for me.
I had also organised to hook up with Jase from Epix and have a roll around the local trails. He gave me a kick off time of 2pm and we had planned out a decent loop and had tacked on some other peices to extend it out a little. We decided to swing through some trail in Nth Warrandtye and drop down through a tiny part of trail that is not suppose to be ridden. Well it was our luck to be spotted in Nth Warrandyte by the Ranger and he had a guess about where we were heading and when we popped out of the bike free area we were pinged. Not much to say really and we were threatened with a fine (dont talk about it just give it to me) and dont come back here but hey in the words of the Terminator "I'll be back"! Found that some locals have been busy little beavers in a few spots adding to the network of trail that is popping up in various places.
The loop was a decent slog for 2 hours in the heat with a few stops for H2O and we made home just before some rather large storms hit the area which put on quite a display of thunder and some almond sized hail stones. One thing for sure is that Jase is no slouch on any bike and put me to shame yesterday despite me having gears...... to fit!
Happy trails!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

weather hold

With the weekend behind us now the perfect weather has returned. Melburn was hit with a cold Antarctic weather pattern that delivered snow to some of the local mountains and some decent rainfall. The weekend was spent house bound due to the weather as I figured heading out into the wet was only going to compound some issues for me from the week before.
I managed to get a ride in on Friday and play around a bit with the frankenstein 69er. Have to sort out the gearing as I have discovered that I really miss the simplicity of the singlespeed off road.
I hit the road Monday for a session with a nice gentle roll through Warrandyte, but the weather was average with that fine misty rain that we get which is not enough to wet the ground or worth putting on rain gear for.
Yesterday say the start of the Canada 09 preparations with a session of bounding with nordic ski poles. I thought it was going to be a breeze but soon realised how unfit I am at the moment. Having a 30km race to aim for in 9 weeks at least makes me keen to get the fitness sorted.

The new 29er frame has just rolled off the drawing board and the tubing has been ordered from all corners of the world and production should hopefully commence soon, but it is unlikely that it will be seen until late January because of Christmas.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Singlespeed Category for BC bike race

BC Bike Race adds singlespeed category

Somewhere in the middle of the pack
Photo ©: Jason Berry

The BC Bike Race confirmed the addition of a singlespeed category in the 2009 edition of the event, scheduled for June 28 to July 4. Both men's and women's leaders jerseys will be awarded.

"Having seen the global growing interest in singlespeed we thought it was only fitting that the singlespeeders have their own category. We are currently designing the leader's jerseys for these two categories," said President Dean Payne.

Dejay Birtch, an advocate for singlespeeders and a participant of the 2008 BC Bike Race was instrumental in pushing forward the new categories. "I think we (the singlespeeders) are looking to be recognized and as our numbers grow, our representation should as well," said an excited Birtch.

Organizers specified that the new singlespeed categories must have at a minimum five teams to be an official category. They will consider elevating other categories to full status if they have five or more teams.

"If all things go well in 2009, we look to increase the number of categories for the upcoming years," said Payne.

The seven-day race will run from Victoria to Whistler on the west coast of Canada. The route passes through lush rain forests, over the Coastal mountain range and spends the majority of its time on singletrack purpose-built for mountain bikers.

For more information on the race or to register, visit

Friday Fixx

On the road to recovery. Woke today feeling way better and it seems like the fatigue is disappearing. Two days of sleeping seem to have washed away my tiredness. Hit the Track World Cup last night and was thoroughly entertained by the hard and fast racing. The young Australians did us proud with some superb racing in the Mens points race and in the ladies scratch as well. The pursuit ride of Bobridge was something to behold with him catching the Russian in 5 laps and continuing on to post a time of 4.22. Awesome! Caught up with Ricthie who was coaching/ mechanic for a US racer (Rebecca Quinn) who went well with a 6th in the Scratch race. Tess Downing a local finished 13th in the same race which was awesome to see her still mactching it with the worlds best.
Hopefully I will summon the energy to get out today on the trail and test out the new set up of the 69er. Anyway happy trails!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

69er time

OK so the title got your attention and for some it will bring only one thing to the mind. Since the departing of the 29er from my house of steads I have had to re think the square a bit and have decided to build up a 69er. After looking at various pages on I realised that it was able to be done and I had all the parts. I returned to the bike shop yesterday and proceeded to strip down the Gorilla and then headed home to build this baby up. So far so good, and fingers crossed that it rides OK.

As you can see it looks great, and was easy to slam together. I am going to run it 1x9 which will be something different but at least this will allow me to get out and on the dirt and continue to race. All that is left is to get the chain on and the gears set up and dial in the ride and I can get back to the single track soon.
Speaking of which there is going to be dirt crits in Warrandyte this summer so I am pumped to have something that is riding distance to the house. Looking forward to it!
Other news to hand is that choose you riding partners carefully as I discovered on Monday night. I was convinced that a ride with Jase and Matt from down the road would be a fun arvo. After about 20 mins I new I was in some serious trouble in the fitness stakes and was getting smashed up every hill, big or small. This has been the nail in the coffin this week and I am now unwell and flat as a tac. Hopefully with some sleep and a little rest I will be back at it on all cylinders soon. I will have to drop out the 42 front and drop in the usual 39 if I every plan to ride that loop again..... its now named the Vomit Loop!
Happy riding!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

its on like donkey kong

Next week end is a killer weekend in Melburn for cycling nuts. Apart from the film festival there is a round of the Track World Cup . I am going to try and get to both but with a early work christmas party it could be a big weekend!

Its on again this year the 2008 bicycle film festival...... check it out if you can.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


I headed out the other afternoon to meet with Ewen from Gellie Custom Frames. He has a quality reputation from some discerning customers so I figured he was the man to see when it came to building me a frame. I can hear people saying go buy from the US or buy a Baum, but in the end I wanted a small obscure builder (I like rarity) who loves to build frames and knows his thing.... Ewen fits the bill. So we are currently talking through the build and measurements and hopefully in a few months I will have one of these babies!

To say the least I am very excited, all I need to do is sell my soul to aid in paying for it but it will be worth it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

photos from the gravity

Dan Hale smashing out one of many laps in the pairs on a single speed cross bike!

The effects of lap 2 of the Gravity

2 of the Flaccid Rosters, Me and Brendan (Mr Keen)

Big Mak all systems go!

The calm before the le mans start

Gav Bringing it home

Gravity 12 hr

My brother from another mother and myself getting ready for my first lap!

A rainy start to a fun weekend was the call on the Friday road trip up. I have not seen rain like it for months, maybe years and it had me remembering my days in the Army. Driving to the event was long and arduous at times with the rain and poor visibility. The race area received nearly 50mm of rain in 13 hours.
The stop for some food in Benalla for the weekend of camping out proved to be weird to say the least with most of the occupants of the local supermarket checking out with a stare my rather large lamb chops.
We had some trouble locating the turn off for the event site with little signage and flew past it only to back track and find it in the failing light. We drove up the narrow trail into the site with some trepidation as we had the Subaru slipping and sliding, stopping to give way to some on coming traffic along the goat track. Once at the top of the hill the narrow track opened into a large grassed area that was to be home for the next 2 days. After locating a site we put up the tents as quick as we could in the pissing rain. Brendan our ever keen team mate arrived soon after with the family in tow and was just as quick to set up.
After checking out the area and sampling some fine brew from the Boytons catering area we hit the sack. We awoke to a clearing day with spectacular scenery around us. With race time approaching we sorted out the team order and awaited our fourth team member Sean.
The start was the usual mayhem with a Le mans style start which Brendan got through without incident. The racing was fast and by the reports coming back the trail was great fun and despite the rain some what dry. I was getting keen to get out there and cut a lap and soon enough my time came.
The course was fun flowing single track with some sections of connecting fire trail. A few short hills that let you know you were alive with burning lungs. After a sweet run I knocked over the lap in a nice time. All was good until my second lap which ended all to soon. I was whipping it down the first descent of flowing single track and as I was coming up to the start of Heartbreak Hill I felt a nice little twing and the bike stopped. I got off thinking something was wrong and saw the snapped frame in the drive side dropout. After some choice words I headed back to the start finish to get the next lap started. Luckily it all occurred near a marshaling point so the news could be sent back by radio and the next team member sent out.
I was fucking over the whole bike racing thing by the time I got back to the race/ camp area.
Nothing is more frustrating than watching others get out there and race and having a blast and you have to watch it slide by.
In the end the Flaccid Roosters pumped out enough laps to get us home in 20th place. Even Brendan's wife got a lap in for us which was fantastic to see.
The Gravity had all the good times including people cutting nude laps and plenty of single speed and 29er's on the go. It was also a great catch up with some friends of old who I hadn't seen in a year or two.
Sunday saw us cancel our plans of NZ Gav and me hit Falls Creek for a loop and head home via some breakfast at the Old Butter Factory in Mrytleford which was kick arse and the meal was something to be hold just ask Gav.
From there a quick detour to the Bridge Road brewery in Beechworth.


Monday, November 3, 2008

its over

Happy Monday!

OK back from the Harbour City and ready to get some riding in but have been defeated today by the rain (which we need desperately). Sydney was great but hey I wouldn't want to live there. Did manage to consume way to much beer and other assorted alcoholic beverages at the various social activities, some care of former colleagues who now work for various medical equipment companies. This week is about detoxing, packing and going to the Gravity 12 hr. Hopefully get some sunshine and a trip up to Falls Creek for a bit of a scope out and my own little version of a epix!.
Happy Trails!

p.s. If you are ever in Sydney check out the IVY. It is a playground for fun! Much fun was had there!
Oh and I found this gem which comes out soon for those interested. It will be called EMPIRE and it's all about fun on 2 wheels!

Empire from Empire on Vimeo.">