Thursday, December 31, 2009

slow week

Started the commute thing to get the km's in for the Otway. All went to plan on Monday with a cruise home through the bergs of Warrandyte and nothing has gone right since. Got stuck at work for 18hrs on Tuesday into Wednesday morning, killer of a shift but hey it does = $$$$$ for the next project.
New Years tonight and it will again be at work, I don't think a commute to work tomorrow is a good idea as it is a sure way to get skittled on the bike with people drink driving. The roads have been quiet with heaps of people clearly away for summer, actually it has been really nice on the road bike of late.
Looks like I might have to get the drop off at Smiths Gully on Saturday and ride home after the ride to get some extra kms in. Things have been so slow I have not even attempted to go to gym, but come next week, new year and go time as it will be some 7 weeks to go.
So have a happy new years and enjoy.
Happy trails

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas

Merry Christmas to all. Had a pleasant roll this morning with the Carlton Christmas Crew. 8 of us had a nice roll along the beach to Black Rock and then back to Carlton to eat some pizza/ sticky pastry and drink some coffee. Awesome day, eaten way to much! Get out there and enjoy yourself.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gellie Custom

Check out Ewen's page as he has turned out some sweet frames recently including a stainless frame with sweet etching on the down tube. He is also rolling round on a cross bike at them moment that is pretty tidy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

BBQ Fatties style

Stolen from Neil @ HTFU

Yesterday was a ride and BBQ for the Fatties crew who usually join forces on a Wednesday night for a rip along the Yarra Trails. Ben R had made his place available for beer and BBQ action (he has a pump track in the backyard, well more of a downhill course)but first there was some riding to be done. We did a lap of Han's loop and then headed out to the Templestowe Hill Climb and then back thorough Han's.
We followed up the ride with friendly banter and shooting the shit between stuffing down some sausages. A great day out.
Big thank you to Ben and Mel for organising it and allowing us to invade their house.
This morning I hit the local trails with a long time mate Huzza for a burn around the Mullum Valley. Had a fun morning despite smashing a massive gear, no doubt the legs will let me know later. Now I am going to stuff my face with some good fresh java and scrambled eggs.
Happy trails!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snakes, two up and revolution

Snakes are not my favourite animal in the world but hey I pay them there dues and respect them a lot. Mainly, cause I can currently see every day at work what a Tiger Snake can due to a human with the venom from its bite. The old chap at work is into his 2nd week in a induced coma and is in a serious amount of deep shit! Now I have seen my fair share of snakes all over Australia and like everyone have a few stories. But, Gav and I had a encounter, whilst brief took my respect of the Tiger Snake to a new level.
We decided on Tuesday night to head out for a pedal before the pairs racing at the Dirt Crits. We did familiar trails along side the Yarra (which happens to be the home of these creatures) River which are always fun and flowing, especially on a warm night.

Gav was leading and pulled up quick. I pulled up next to him and said whats up. He pointed and said snake.... all good I thought. We watched the snake (1.5 meters long and thick) cruising across the trail, I was amazed at the colour of the yellow stripes, and how black and shiny his head was. I have seen snakes a lot but always when you are flying down the trail, so you don't really get the close up look (hey we were 5 metres away, still too close in my books). The Tiger stopped when his head reached the longer grass. Gav and I thought, make some noise, stamp the feet all will be good and the snake will leave. Not such a good idea, as we stamped our feet the Tiger Snake reared up a 1/4 of its body length to check out what the movement and vibration was. It then faced us and made a quick movement towards us still with its raised head. It was at this stage I elected to get the fuck out of dodge as the bike was pointing the wrong way and the snake was going to win hands down. I think Gav was surprised at the speed I bailed, but seriously I ain't going to try and make friends.
The two up pairs at the Flat Hill Crits were a blast and we had 8 teams I think and everyone had fun. I paired up with Mal and had a ball, apart from braining myself on a low hanging branch. You can see some photos here of the changes in transition. The post race beer and chips session at the finish was well earned, and the beers went down easily. I would like to take this chance to thank Bruce and Cam and the helpers for running this event every couple of weeks. I know I look forward to it even though I get my arse handed to me on a platter every week. No matter what it is a great little event, 30 mins of pain on some fun single track.
Last night was the Revolution 5 track racing event which included the 112th Austral Wheelrace. A average turn out of fans in the stands, but we all know it is because the organisers don't advertise the bloody quality fields. We had 5 or 6 World Champions racing on the track last night so there is no excuse for not getting a bigger crowd in. The in field bar was a success as always and the motley crew of Jase, Nat and Gav who came with me gave it a fair old nudge in the beer department. Neil swears he is hanging it up for a track bike next year, time will tell. It turned out to be a funny night with a few gags going on (Yes Rich, you do look like me, and yes we did confuse a few of the drunk people by making em see double) and it was a great opportunity to catch up with people who I had not seen for a while.
Congratulations to Ben Sanders who won the Austral in a convincing manner and made his dad a big softy (Dave Sanders, VIS coach won it 31 years ago), a few tears were shed at the finish.
Training has been slow this week with plenty of interruption from social engagements as Christmas is fast approaching. So a few rides in the coming days including Ben R's Christmas Ride so all is looking up.
Happy trails and get out there!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Revolution 5 is coming

Get on down for some christmas cheer and some beer time whilst cheering on some local and international talent in the Austral Wheelrace. Hope to see familar faces in the infeild bar! I had a blast last year and Gav and I are attending again this year so get a ticket.

check this

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Smith's Christmas Ride

Last night saw the call out for the Smiths Gully Christmas ride. Despite the shit weather yesterday morning, attendance was well beyond what I was expecting. We were one of the first cars to turn up and over the next 30 mins cars keep arriving. We ended up with 20 plus riders which is always sweet when you are carving up the trails.
The plan was a 2hr loop of riding with some big ass hills (I clocked up 800 metres of climbing) and sweet trails which were all nice and tacky from the rain earlier in the day. I was glad I went up past the gold mine and not over the water bar climb as even Jase looked fizzled after that climb.
I think everyone had a ball and there were not to many disappointments for us, with I believe no mechanicals, just a few geographically embarrassed riders.

Some sweet bikes were rolling around including Neils repainted Baum with some nice bling gold bits to highlight it. I was glad that there were other mad SS riders on the ride but I was in the red line from the word go and never really got my shit together. I should have ridden a bigger gear cause I kept spinning the gear out on the flats and slight inclines.
We made it back on dark and I was glad that I had a light for the last 5km as she got pretty dark. Ross (It think that is the owners name of Smiths Gully General Store) put on the grill for us and I know I consumed 2 burgers and a beer or two, Neil was 2.5 burgers and what ever else he could get his hands on.
So a big thank you to Mario for organising the masses for the turn out... if you knew and failed to show... too bad you missed a epic night out of fun and sweet tacky trails!
Happy trails!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

kick ass weekend

Gav and I rocked out some time on the bikes over the weekend. It was good to get out of town up to the Wombat Forest to ride trail up there, even though the loop was short. It just meant we tacked a few laps together. I know there is more out there after doing the BMC races but you seem to need some local knowledge to link it all together. Never the less we had a great ride Friday on sweet flowing trail.
To follow up the ride we headed to the Holgate Brew House for a spot of food and some local brews. It was a perfect way to end the day..... until a Mrs Doubtfire look a like entered the pub for a Friday arvo Chardonnay. A little disturbing, for us cause this dude in a dress pulled out the form guide for the horses and was dressed to the nines.... I swear it looked like Robin Williams. Anyway gave me and Gav something to chuckle about.

Sat was a low key day with a session at the gym and a bit of work around the house. I had planned to ride with Cam Wells and crew on the Sunday but word came through that it was going to be a trip to the You Yangs...... not for me as I have never had a lot of fun down there. So I called Gav and we came up with a plan for Sunday. It was simple meet at 8am at my place for a ride of at least 4 hours. This meant a little tinkering in the shed to swap to a appropriate gear.
Sunday came and I filled up on some serious amounts of breakfast delights and a few stiff coffees to get the body going. Gav turned up and we came up with a plan. We were going to use the local trails to get us to Warrandyte and then use Tee Pee trail to head us out towards Watsons Creek and then into the Smiths Gully trail system where we could make it longer or shorter. Perfect weather greeted us with clear sunny skies, perfect temps for cruising the trails.
We linked up the trails as we went and decided to climb Ridge Rd rather than descend it which was not to bad (last time for me it was a death march) and then linked in the the trails over at Rob Roy. We rode a new section of trail which is actually horse trail but it gets you off the narrow dirt roads on your way back out of Smiths Gully, always good as you don't want to end up a hood ornament on a red neck's 4wd. We had to bail off this piece of trail as we came to the back of about 20 horse riders, so rather than piss off 20 riders and get kicked in the head we jumped back onto the road.
We finished to loop and made it back to Warrandyte for a feed at the Bakery...mmmmm sausage rolls and tarts. It was a busy Sunday down there as Gav can attest as he was caught in a queue for some food. Once we made it home I was toasted. The Garmin however told us that after 4.5 hrs we had covered 65kms and climbed 1500 metres, not to shabby on rigid single speeds. We agreed that it was a worthy training loop for the upcoming Otway. I did spend the rest of the arvo napping and trying to recover cause I was in a bit of a box.
Tonight (I hope) is the Christmas ride up at Smiths, but I gather with the rain today Mario might pull stumps on it.... I hope not!
Happy trails!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

in's and out's

Having a bit of a ground hog week. Struggle town is a closer way of describing it. I struggled my way through the dirt crit on Tuesday night despite cruising around before hand for a warm up with Gav and today on the coffee run I was in bastard land. The crit course was awesome, what a difference a few little changes can make. The new part up the hill was testing on a large gear, but it depended if there was traffic in front. I lasted til 3 to go when I got lapped by the front runners so I pulled the pin. It was nice to see Ewen with his new monster cross and hearing that he is busy building frames. It sounds like he has some nice projects finished or on the drawing board. Plus he had a six pack of beer so I was a happy recipient of a Bright Ale.

Me on the down hill on the new single track @ the crit
Photo Cam Wells

Still smashing away in the gym and enjoying it. It will make the difference for many different activities I enjoy. The true pay off I hop will be in winter when I am on the ski's. I am having a bit of the white stuff withdrawal as it is usually this time of year I am planning a northern hemisphere ski trip.... not this year. What has made it nice though is I am not working my ring off to get money together to pay for it. Instead I am trying to enjoy the ability to get out on the bike, which I have to do so I am ready for the Otway.
The riding has been booked in for the next couple of days and will see me all over the place over the next week all so for some excellent bits of singles track between Melburn, Woodend and Smiths Gully. Looking forward to it all.
I was disappointed in the result of Cycling Australia to cut the budget for the High Performance Program of MTB in Australia. I don't think they remember that is where the current World Champion got his start.... dickheads!
As you can see I have joined twitter for a laugh, it is a interesting little application to play with.... more to come!
Happy trails and get out there and ride it like you stole it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

dickhead drivers, world champions

Been a busy couple of days with the whole riding thing. Been trying to get in some road miles as I feel that they will be crucial for getting fit for the Otway. As Jase said to me the other night when out riding you get efficient at riding a mtb, but riding on the road there is no hiding the fitness. So with that in mind I will continue my hilly little circuit out through the back blocks of Melbs North East.
Anyway Monday saw me take in the Rob Roy circuit. Great day to be out low 20's, and no wind which made a huge difference compared to the week before when it was in the mid 30's. I love the riding out there cause there is little traffic on the roads and no traffic lights make it a sweet solid ride. I have plenty of options to make the ride longer if I chose which I ended up doing this week which gave me more climbing (exactly what the doctor ordered).
Tuesday was a study day at work on aggression management (that's right people I had to learn how to deal with angry people..... nicely). Slow day but it did end in some kung fu moves with punching bags at the end of the day in the aid of self defense. Jase swung by and decided that he would join me on the Tour de Burbs ride. I thought there was a Tuesday bunch but we ran in to Malachi and his crew from Nacinoal Cafe Team and tagged on to it. I think we were invading their ride but fuck it it was unlikely I was going to hang on for long. In the end I blew apart on the Doncaster Rd hill and lost sight of them pretty quickly. Jase talked me into a hilly way home (not so cool, I thought but good none the less) its all for February I kept telling myself.

The thing that amazes me most is still the attitude of drivers. On the way out on Tuesday night we were minding our own business spinning shit and cruising along when we cop this massive tirade of crap from a passenger in a BMW. Now I am OK until you call me C#$T. The usual thing happened of catching the car at the lights. The passenger was shocked to see that I filled up the whole window and was not some little weedy cyclist. I tried the door handle but luckily for him it was locked. After doing my block and smacking on the window it was all done. He had gotten the message that I was less than impressed by his actions, guess mine were not much better, clearly though at 60 plus years (he was seriously batting way above his average picking me) of age why yell abuse at 2 people riding along the road. He needs to help here I think and learn to love thy cyclist.
Last night I hooked up with Gav and we headed down to meet what is left of the Fatties ride. We arrived at the scout hall and were about to head out when Mario and a few others arrived so things were looking up. Just as we headed out four more turned up in a 4wd and caught us in the first part of single track. I did note a female dressed in all white looking very pro (Mario actually commented to her how pro she looked.... didn't get much of a response). We continued along the Yarra out towards Han's Loop. The female in the group was smashing it and was no slouch on 2 wheels. After a brief mechanical which turned into a night of annoyance for me at Heidelberg (continual loose crank) we continued out. The female of the group asked me how long it took to do the ride... nice young lady with a Welsh accent, interestingly looked familiar. It was then noted that her nice white shoes had world champs stripes and a name embellished on them. It said Cooke..... fuk me I muttered to myself its Nicole Cooke. Its not every day you get to smash it out on the dirt with a Olympic Champion and World Champion (take note Cadel being a normal person is OK!). As it turns out she was out visiting her brother who lives in Perth and has come over to Melburn town to check out the Worlds course for next year and believe it or not do the Kona 24 this week end. Some friends that live in Melburn had brought her out on the Fatties ride for some fun. I will say though we did manage to get her lost and her friends had to go and find her in the failing light so hopefully she will go OK in the dark at Kona. But I will say from the brief interactions with her she is a nice friendly person.
In the end it was a kick arse little Fatties ride with 9 or so people. I was amazed at how many people were out on the trails enjoying this indian summer weather.
Back to work today and I sit here tapping it out during a thunder storm so maybe its not such a bad thing I cant get out on the bike. Will head to the gym and have a few coffees before work and a read of the papers.
Happy trails!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

getting hot, headcolds suck

Had an easy Monday with the fur children doing a few laps of the hill on foot trying to blow the cold out of my head. No bike riding as I was blocked up and gurgling away like a drowning victim. I decided that Tuesday was going to be a cruise down to the Flat Hill Crits and see if I could really get the engine going.
The decision to drive was made (should have ridden down) as I had not ridden for a week and was not sure how the body would like it. I ended up getting to Burke Rd early and went towards Heidelberg along the single track spinning out the legs... feeling not to shabby.
I lined up for the race and lasted all of 5 laps before succumbing to the inability to breath due to fits of coughing from the dust. Bruce had put in a new piece of trail that was fun but the course needs to be a little longer to give you a chance against the geared folk.... there are rumours that there will be a extension, or re location at some stage to change it up a little.
About the time I pulled the pin I saw Neil looking at me as he was entering the single track. He muttered something about me being okay and then there was a god almighty crash. He had managed to roll his front tyre and ended up over the bars 10 odd meters from his bike. I was wondering what the fuck he had done as was he. That was our night over, well mine anyway, Neil continued on ridding and came apart again.
Yesterday saw me head out for a loop of the bergs behind where I live. I headed out on some familiar blacktop for which I have ignored for a few years. Nothing like riding quite back country roads with little traffic. I ended up with 2.5 hrs of sweet rolling hills (more like hard breathless climbing) around the back of Kangaroo Ground and Hurstbridge and no traffic lights. She was hot and sunny but it was great being out on the road bike. I was totally rooted by the time I got home but it is what the doctor ordered. Going to have to keep on getting out on that loop as it is a winner.
Today off to the gym for a bit of strength work and then off to drop off my forks for some love!
Happy trails!

Monday, November 16, 2009

the weekend that was

A very slow weekend for me trying to shake off the head cold from hell. The legs were hurting as they wanted to be in the sun on a bike and they were hurting from the leg work out on Friday at the gym.
It is a shame I missed the Psycho X as I would have liked to get out the old trust SS CX bike. Looks like all comers had a blast..... next time!
Saturday night was the high light of a very bland weekend of couch time. Simon and Rahna tied the knot. What a beautiful wedding over looking Albert Park Lake. Plenty of fun people having a blast. It was great to catch up with some old friends that have been like me very busy with life. All I can say is table 8 had a ball and it will be a night I fondly look back on in the years to come. We had Matthew Keenan on our table and was a fantastic guy with interesting stories. Turns out his sister is one of my big bosses at work.... bloody small world.
This week the plan is road bike time out through the dead roads above the Yarra Valley and around Kangaroo Ground. Tomorrow night I am planing on heading on down to the dirt crit and see if I can blow the last of this nasty cold out the door.
Off to give the fur kids a stroll.
Happy trails

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A very quiet week with only 3 trips to the gym and a single road ride on Tuesday. It appears that I have come down with the mother of all head colds as I am truly drowning in my snot. If only I had a tap in my head to turn off the constant flow of goop.
To add to the confusion I had to also get vaccinated for the H1N1 flu or Swine as it is known at work this week. The H1N1 has reappeared in Melburn this week and after looking after people in trouble with it I don't want to join them.... nasty stuff. The vaccination has probably added to the joys of the head cold.
I arranged for the gym to swap around my program with a instructor and after 1 session with a few squats and lunges added in I am feeling it big time today.
In a moment of confusion this week (most likely from my head cold) I entered myself in the Otway Odyssey. Mad I hear you say, well I might agree with you, but it gives me something to aim for. The boss cleared me to do it as long as the baby doesn't turn up early..... fingers crossed although I might want it to come early cause it will be a day of pain!
The picture up top is one of the current set up with the rigid front end. Looks sweet I think..... will be dropping my forks off to get the bushes done so I have something to ride in Feb at the Otway.
Not much else to report bar off to Simon's wedding tonight which should be a blast....
Happy trails

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

gravity wrap up

I was joined by Gav and Marty for the adventure of driving to the North East for the Gravity 12 hr. Weather was spot on compared to last year and we were all looking forward to the weekend. We drove up Friday to get a prime spot on the course to set up our base camp. Lots of nice classic hot rods on the way up as it was the Bright Rod Run. Sweet cars all along the highway, some made you just stare and wish you owned them especially the F100 truck I saw and drooled over. The new tent was a great investment and was handy over the weekend, although Marty slept in is car, felt safer I think as apparently there was some snoring in our tent. It made a impressive race HQ for Rocky J's Mutton Chop Review.
We woke early on race day and found that the sun by 8am was eating at your skin..... she was going to be a hot one. My previous outings on the first hot day of summer are usually not great as I discovered last year at the Surfcoast. We had a loose plan to race lap for lap and volunteered Marty for the leman style start. He did us proud and got us underway. Gav smashed out his lap leaving me to do mine, I was happy coming home in 40 mins.
The course was sweet but I soon realised I was riding a gear that was not enabling me to get over the sharp pinches of trail. Running in the sun was not fun on sandy loose trail, I should have stuck to my usual gear ratio but chose to run big. There was limited shade on course and the temp was rising fast and as the day continued it would hit 35+ degrees in the shade and near on 40 degrees in the sun. The dry dusty course was soon rutted out and the descent called Mojo was testing on the rigid forks. I had one flat, which seemed to take ages to get it fixed cause of the heat.
Marty headed out and struggled in the heat and cooked himself. He sat out a lap and Gav and I tried to run lap for lap for a while and were slowly being affected by the heat. I lost interest in food and was downing some serious fluid as was Gav.
Marty headed out again and got to the top of the first climb and had to pray on all fours to the vomit gods and limped home to pull the pin. Gav and I continued but at the 9 hr mark I had some nasty chamois rash and Gav was cramping so it was beer and BBQ time. I was so happy to stand under the shower and cool off, but the oppressive heat continued into the dark. We cheered on the rest of the riders as we sat in the shade and had dinner and a laugh.

Hats off to this guy with one leg.... awesome!

Next morning the plan was to trip to Bright or Falls for a ride but after inspection of my rear end I pulled any plan of putting more shorts on and getting on a bike. We packed up and headed to the Myrtleford Butter Factory for a sweet serving of eggs and coffee.

Neil trying to recover before getting back out there in the Baum pairs

BBQ time, juicy steaks and Marty's clown kettle!

Whilst not impressed at the end result of the team (39th in the male 3's) it highlighted a few pointers for me.... my fitness still needs much improvement, use chamois cream and choice of shorts is important, go with a proven gear ratio, and heat training is necessary.
So its time to get on the road bike for some road miles and fitness and hit the gym again..... got a appointment to get my program rejigged to shock the body. Need to find a few more races to do before the arrival of the baby at the end of Feb. I was planning on the Alpine Assault in December but feel that I am not ready for the challange of a 100km marathon on a singlespeed. I cant race the 6hr at Officer this weekend as I have Simon Gerrans wedding on sat night so I will have to scan the calender for some events in the next 10 weeks.
Off to get on the road bike!!!!
Happy trails

It was dirty out there!

Monday, November 9, 2009

spring video

A bit of video of spring riding and racing from the gravity 12 hr......
Had a good weekend up at the Gravity and will post more about it later.....

Happy trails!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Been a busy week with a trip to Perth for work (I remember a lot of beer time cause it was my birthday on the 29th) and then hanging around for a few days catching up with family. Spent a bit of time on the beach chillin out...... all good.
Got a couple of days to get sorted for the Gravity 12 hr so the first thing tomorrow is a decent ride...
Looking forward to the weekend and hopefully the sun gods will smile on us and I can get up to Falls Creek for a pedal on Sunday!
Happy trails

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Surfcoast 3hr

Great little event was held yesterday down near Anglesea. The Surfcoast has been running for a couple of years and is a event I have now penciled into my plans for years to come. Fun flowing single track and a well thought out rider friendly course greets riders at this event.
Gav and I headed down for what was our 2nd year of riding the 3 hour event. Last year was a little nasty with some shocking heat and flies but yesterday was perfect weather and no flies. We were in the single speed division and thought we would have some competition but only spotted 2 other single speeds at the whole event. Bit of a shame as it is a single speed friendly course, and we had a blast riding it rigid (one fire road descent was a little unfriendly but we got thorough it... unlike some) and single. After the dust had settled a few laps into the race it was a brilliant ride. The dust was thick in places and a few corners were sandy just to test the handling skills. As it would happen we ran 1st and 2nd respectively.... good for us! Always nice to get some prizes.

Me sucking it up running 2nd in Single speed and 29th overall in the 3hr

There were some less than impressive bike handling skills demonstrated in the first lap that caught Gav and me out with some exits off the trail to miss people laid out on the ground. Not to mention the dude who forgot to duck...... hope you are okay but needing the meat wagon with flashing lights is not a great way to end the night.
Few tips should be handed out to those who wanted to criticise the single speed. The word is that if I am riding as fast as you or faster with out a fancy carbon dual suspension geared bike pull ya head in and be nice. Sure I might look like Rich Grant but I bite harder particularly if you want to make out that I am a fat bastard (you know who you are!) you got to expect some words. I loved the heckler from the sidelines in the Top Gear Cycles tent..... seems I never saw you out there.... shame! Why not give it a go, you might find you like it, and you will live the simple single life.

Gav on his way to winning the Single speed class and finishing in a respectable 15th overall in the 3hr

Anyway off to the Gravity 12hr next..... cant wait for the little side trips I have planned.... hope they come together.
Happy trails!

Friday, October 23, 2009


Car is packed, bike is dialed, pumped for a weekend of racing, chilling, and lots of fun.........

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

bustin it out

Been a couple of sweet days riding since the weather broke. I did manage one fun ride last week between the very average days of weather.
Sunday saw me take in the Urban Epic again and with a great turn out of 20 riders were were having a fun Sunday morning. Interrupted by only a hand full of walkers who felt they ruled the trails. Karma did show that you are repaid when being a c@#t, as one walker fell over after chastising us. The guy who decided to stray in front of me on a fire break near Johnson St bridge re thought his idea and realised I was not so small close up and got out the way! Brilliant day for hitting the trails as they were in reasonable condition and pretty dry. Shame I had to call it a day early and head to work.

Me pointing out and heckling Cam's little fanny bag!

As you can see...worth the heckle (images from Cam Wells)

Monday the trip home was a corker as I was smashing a large gear as I had the day before and with perfect blue windless skies I rode the network all the way home. I had psyched myself up to miss any snakes and flew into a corner only to see stripes on the ground.... lucky for me it was a blue tongue lizard and not a famed Yarra Tiger snake.
Yesterday saw Jase (post his R&R in tropical QLD) head down for the Dirt Crit. 30 mins of pain shelled out by Paul VDP, not every day do you get to race talent like this. He showed everyone the dust, Jase helped himself into the embrace of a tree. Me I smashed it until I got lapped (at 3 to go, happy with that) and then turned it off for the weekend.
Saturday ses Gav and me head on down to the Surfcoast Six hour and race the 3hr singlespeed solo category. Looking forward to a weekend away to kick up the feet and chill.
Until next time..... Happy trails

Sunday, October 11, 2009

its on again - SSSS

Thats right people the urban epic (or as I call it the Single Speed Super Sunday) is happening again next Sunday. Usual starting point check the Flat Hill site for details!
Been a average week of riding, had a mechanical that ended my ride yesterday 20 mins in, the bb needs new bearings this week, so slightly frustrating week of training. The gym however continues to be enjoyable and I am averaging 3 trips a week.
With the first enduro race of spring for me in a few weeks it is time to step up the volume, so next week will be big, hope the rain holds off. After Tuesdays lashing of rain I have been on the interweb and pick myself up a rain jacket (never been one for a jacket) as I was so wet and cold both on Tuesday and on the Tee Pee Epix.
Not much else to report....
Happy trails

Friday, October 9, 2009

Good to see Ewen getting some publicity in the bike media!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

FHDC round 2

Headed out with Jase for the pedal down to the Flathill race on Tuesday night. He was flying off, around and over everything. The word was that there was a call put out for some ring ins to keep him under control. They showed up and he showed them... the rear tyre.
Amazingly the weather held out and then the heavens opened for the trip home. Wet and cold was the call of the day and Jase was keen to ride trail on the way home as he is off to sunny QLD next week surfing. Me not so keen to run trails as I was freezing and aptly dont like riding in the dark that much. Still good fun as always with Jase keeping me entertained.
I woke yesterday rooted after the last 2 days of riding and gym work.... had the day off instead and did some bike maintence.

first lap..... Newly crowned Vic Marathon Champ on the front

The above photo is from Cam Wells all round nice bloke who is handy with the camera..... check his picasa site for more shots from his experienced hand!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

quick week

The week has flown by. I am back at work after 2 months on the holiday tip. Good to see nothing changes and the place is still standing.
I have converted the 29er to rigid (thats right people, the 29er viagra has been given to stiffen things up!) with a fork built by Ewen and it has opened the eyes a little. The eyes are open cause you have to pick the line and concentrate a little more, there have been a few little incidents getting use to riding it. I am loving it and finding that it is not as bad as I thought it might be. The key is finding the right psi for the tyres. I was going to replace the bars with carbon but I have a fear of carbon and personally feel that it is over used in the bike world.... sure it has its place but not on my steel 29er.
Climbing is a dream with rigid forks and I seem to be only improving in that department off road at the moment. I have cleared a couple of local hills that have me jumping for joy (the lungs not so much).
The week has led me to get out with Jase and Gav on various rides around the local trails. Jase and I hit the Mullum trails and rode some a sweet peice of trail that the trail fairies have been putting together (we dont know who you are but are big fans of your work!) and highly rate.
Gav and I hit the Warrandyte trails yesterday after work and rode a tidy loop including Tee Pee which I was keen to show him cause he missed it last week. Great hit out of 2 plus hours. Gav is back on the bike riding some serious kms this week, including 2 nights of Tour de Burbs. He rode over to my place and would have ended up with a 5hr ride yesterday.
Had a few trips to the gym this week and I am really enjoying the gym work. Will have to mix it up a little in the coming weeks but have found it has helped with the riding. I have also entered the realm of using some more of the Ascend products. After a few conversations with Jase I have decided to give it a try.
I have bought the muscle starter pack and so far it seems to be all good. Easy to get down apart from the capsules which are a bit horse like. It does seem to aid in recovery, but could this be a placebo effect I dont know?
On the beer front I am tipping White Rabbit from Healesville. Fantastic dark ale that I have gulped down this week both at home and at Innocent Bystander on Wednesday for lunch with a spicy pork pizza. If this is the first beer cant wait for more styles out of the brewery!
Get on down this Tuesday for the Dirt Crit and support local racing - these guys put it on for your enjoyment so make the mot of it I say. More the better.
Happy trails!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

rain, mud, hail.... good times

Saturday saw 11 riders hook up in the burbs for a Epix. Kinda like the old days when all the kids in the streets would hook up go cruising the neighbourhood. There will be many takes on the day from Jase, Bellie, Ben, Troy, Matt. Check their blogs for the goings on. Shame about the no shows, but hey your loss!
Basically it was planned to hook the trails together to get us from our (Jase, Matt, and Me) front doors to the St Andrews pub to watch the grand final. It was a day full of laughs, wet muddy moments, spills, mechanicals and a day venturing with a great group of blokes. It turned out to be 75 -80% singletrack/ trail with a few runs of blacktop to hook it up, including our famed Tee Pee trail and a run through the infamous BT Bend.
I was hoping that I would get through the day okay as apart from a brief appearance from Gav I was the only one running a solo gear. In the end I missed the last section of trail at Rob Roy as my legs were shot, and being cold and muddy headed to the pub with Jase and Ash.
It was great to see Ash at half way with the car fridge full of Coke and plenty of snacks. The rain and hail shortly after the snack was not so appreciated! Hail is okay as long as it is small as you don't get wet.
Jase was unlucky to break his derailleur and tried to run it single but it didn't work out so he pulled the pin 3/4 of the way round. I did note he was enjoying the car heater in Ash's 4wd.
In the end the video sums up the day, sweet trails, great fun, good guys and a good beer and meal at the end!
Happy trails

tee pee epix

Epic day out. Will post the story in the coming days!

Friday, September 25, 2009

FHDC photos

Some excellent shots from Cam Wells from the Flat Hill Dirt Crit on Tuesday nite. Get on down for the next one!
Happy trails!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

rain go away

Headed out today for a pedal and pick up a part from DC @ Fitzroy Revolution for the up coming fork change. Thats right I am taking the 29er viagra and going rigid up front (should be interesting)!
Anyway I waited till the BOM radar gave me what I thought was a clear run into Fitzroy. Block/ cross head wind on the way in and pissing down rain on the way home. I discovered my hate for the route along Whitehorse Road as a Chinese pedestrain crosses the road with a bicycle and proceeds to walk straight in front of me. I had to take some evasive action, so I didn't take him out. The driver in Kew on the way home didn't do much better by forcing me into the gutter on the brakes as he tried to front parallel park. He and everyone else knew what I was feeling!
Anyway nice little spin of the legs if you minus the 2 incidents, and I was starting to almost enjoy the rain..... at least I don't have to do it for a job!
Tuesday saw the first of the Dirt crits @ Burke road overpass. I had forgotten how much pain they cause over 30 mins. Jase was on fire flying along and winning by a clear margin, me I was grovelling along and struggled a little. I should have joined Jase and Nat for the pedal out but drove instead. Get on down for these and support Bruce D for putting em on. More info here.
The Big Mak, Epix, Mr T Tee Pee adventure is on for Saturday and should be a interesting day in the saddle with the forecast of wintery weather, but hey no matter what it is on!
Happy trails

Even Hitler agrees 29er's are the way to go!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Its bound for NZ next year so keep your eyes peeled and clear the calander!

Monday, September 21, 2009


A decent weekend of pedaling was had by myself. I met up with long time mate Craig for a jaunt down to Frankston, up the beach for a brew and then the pedal home. A nice little 120km which had me feeling pretty hollow by the time I rolled home. The wind heading back up the beach was a fuckn giant killer. I knew when we were rolling down to Frankston rolling turns that I would pay for it on the way back. The return trip involved some gutter time and me blowing apart and rolling off the back of the group for the lone trip to the coffee shop.
Every man and their dog was present on Beach Rd obviously getting fit for the Round the Bay ride. Some pretty unskilled punters that I was glad to steer clear of.
Yesterday saw me coax Marty over to my side of town to hit up a loop out at Smiths. I was feeling empty from the day before and decided to leave a big gear on (mainly cause I was feeling lazy and couldnt be stuffed swapping out the 34 for the 32) and could see that it was going to hurt. We headed out and rode the sweet trails. The trail were in perfect nick after the recent rain bar a few puddles. Looks like there has been a few riders out there and it would be the first time I would see around 10 or so other riders on the trails. Obviously the word is out and people are getting out and enjoying the choice trails.
Marty said to me on the phone a few days before that he was told it was hilly out there. I had not really given it much thought and said nah cant be that bad cause I ride it ok. Yesterday I had to agree with him, it is hilly but it rocks! Marty was grinning after smashing some of the trails... I reckon he will be back for more!
New kit from Marty, sweet jersey and armwarmers, with a matching T shirt in the unform color of black and black!... sweet!
Heading out tomorrow night for the first of many Crits being run by Flathill. Just hope the weather backs off a bit from the forecast.
Time for me to pull the kit on and roll over to Romeo's for a coffee!
Happy trails!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Low key week

Kicking it at home again this week, chillin out and taking it easy.... sort of. I have been busy painting and playing Mr Fix it around the house. Almost finished painting and playing in the garden.
Done a couple of gym sessions and had a few rides, one with Jase and Nat running part of the trail for the up coming adventure next week. We ran out of light and had to turn around (cause the street lights were on and I promised Mum I would be home by then!) so we covered some descent km's. Jase was grinning from ear to ear cause he was on his Compulsion smashing it down the descents. Me I was smashing a big gear left on from the Urban Epix. but it didn't feel too bad. My legs told me otherwise the next day!
In other news I have had the final results for the Australian Ski Chase which has me 12th overall for the men born after 1960. Happy as Larry with that and it gives me something to improve on for next year as there were some talented current and former world level skiers in front of me. Not to worry plenty of time to get it going for next season, hence the commencement of strengthening the core at the gym.
Saw my rigid 29er forks today at the powdercoaters, thanks to the trusty hands of Ewen I should have them next week fingers crossed. Looking forward to trying out the rigid thing...... will it be a stayer? Time will tell.
Picked up some new MTB shoes from Andy S. A nice pair of Pro Specialized shoes which fit like a glove... will break em in this weekend with Marty up at Smiths Gully.
Keep it rubber side down and Happy Trails

Yes spring is here!

You know spring is here when your new feathered sprint training partner turns up!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

urban epic

Photo stolen from Neil

Short note to say this was the best fun I have had on a bike for while. Great turn out of 15 odd riders to start with. Weather was a bit overcast but perfect for a long ride on the singlespeed. The rain held off but the evidence of winter was around with some big bike sucking puddles, so I was covered in mud by the time I got home.
We ran into some familiar faces (Neil and Jimmy) and at one stage there was almost 30 riders riding in a massive congo line along the Yarra trails. As the ride progressed we lost a few riders as they had other things on for the day. We ended up with 8-10 riders keen for the whole loop and sweet trails were there to be ridden. I swung off near home after riding for some 4hrs/ 60 odd kms later.
Great way to spend the morning, good trails and great people.
Happy trails

Saturday, September 12, 2009

sweeet local trails

Headed out yesterday for a bit of the recon for the Epix/ Big Mak/Mr T Tee Pee Adventure that we have on in a couple of weeks. The good news is that the trails are dialed all bar the entry into Tee Pee as there is a mother of tree down over the trail (oh I need a chainsaw.... but the local greenies would kill me!). The trail needs a little love but Jase and I are going to scope the trail out a bit more and give it some lovin with a saw.
The rest of the trails I rode yesterday arvo were in great nick, which surprised me a little given the recent rain and wind storms we have had. I had a 3hr ride and loved every minute of it. The work in the gym is paying off, as my climbing has improved (i think) as I managed to sit down on a lot of climbs I would normally be out of the seat on.
Some of the new trail has bedded in well after the winter rains and constant riding by the local phantoms that build it. It is a shame about the cocks who like to pull and place dead fall over the trails. I cant wait to find the idiot that is doing this!! Revenge will be swift!
Tomorrow sees me join the FlatHill boys and do the single speed urban epic.... the pain from the last one is still etched in my mind (and the bonk I had on it that no amount of food could fix), but I am keen for it.
Anyway got to get sorted for tomorrow so
Happy Trails

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

gold........... lol!!!!

09 Singlespeed Nats

Might be worth the trip..... could the frequent flyer miles get me there to sunny Newcastle in November?
Happy trails

He does it again

Another brilliant ride by Simon again nets him a win in Grand Tour. He now has the triple, the complete set! with a stage win in all 3 Grand Tours.....Brilliant bloody brilliant. He is the first Australian to win a stage in all three...... I think!
Had me dancing around in the PJ's with my toast.... great way to start the day.
Happy trails

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Sittting, chillin out on the couch after a busy week. Plenty going on around here. It has been a regular domestic blitz with gardening, cleaning and organising. Mulched the front garden, but had to first shovel the mulch off a house down the street when the delivery was done to the wrong address. Nothing like double handling mulch. Anyway at least the garden supply company sent back a truck and a bloke to give me a hand.
A few rides on the rode bike with a trip to pick up some fine roasted beans from my favourite little java house Romeo's. Been a while since I have been on the blacktop on the road bike. Took a little while to get use to the different position but nice as always. I did however find a crack in the rear rim so I have had to swap the wheel out so I can get it repaired. Some things just don't last.... maybe its just the shear horse power!!!! lol!
Today I headed out with Jase for a jaunt around the local area on the road bikes. A nice lazy 1.5 hrs, talking crap and followed by a java and his wife's (Tessa is quite the cook of cakes and muffins!) excellent walnut and date loaf.
I hit the gym yesterday and worked out the core strengthening regime for the next few weeks. Lots of fit ball exercises which create lots of pain.... 90% of the workout is done on the fit ball using my body weight as resistance plus some free weights.
This week is going to be busy with some painting of the house, more work in the garden and a few trips to the gym. Don't worry I am planning a couple of long rides, cause I have to get going as I feel that I am struggling a bit on two wheels.
Great to see some fantastic results from the Aussies at the worlds in Canberra. You can read more over here. Some future stars are in the making!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Killin Nazi's

Went to the movies the other night to check out Tarantino's latest offering. Word to wise, get on down and check it out. A few light hearted moments.... bloody great film!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Could not agree more and I start my day with a few of these babies to get the heart and brain going!

Back on Big Wheels

Yesterday with near perfect riding weather (not to hot, not to cold, just right!) I met with my favorite NZer for a pedal on the 29ers. Gav is a bit of a hard arse and likes to push me a bit to ride nasty old hills. We met out at Smiths Gully General Store for a jaunt around the trails.
I was feeling a bit empty still since Saturday, but was keen to stretch the legs.
After riding some of the new trail that has been cut he got me to ride up a nasty old trail to Mine Shaft road. This trail climbs gently for a little way and then boom, up she goes. I was forced to walk it as I have lost a lot of cycling fitness (for riding single speed) during the ski season. Only way to fix this is get on it more now that the ski season is over. With some large rides on the horizon I best get them legs turning.
I took the camera to grab some shots but only snapped the ones of the 29ers that is in the title above. Not a bad little camera my Lumix, she grabs nice shots! I also did a little trail maintenance digging some drainage slits in the various large puddles that were hugging some of the single track. Better to get the water out than riding around it so the trail stays tight, shame more people don't do this to stop trails getting rooted - Lysterfield is a prime example!
We finished up the ride with a burger for lunch at the Smiths General Store. Sweet burgers, home baked rolls and packed with fresh goodness. A few javas and a nice chunk of sun time on the veranda, to shoot the shit with Gav. A perfect end to a great arvo.
In other news, the route for the next Epix is getting sorted tonight, yes its on Grand Final day but for those coming we have a end spot perfect for watching football.
I have discovered that I am in 10th spot for the Australian Ski Chase, with one more round to go that I am not contesting. I hope that I will hang in there in 10th spot. I am pretty happy with that result and it gives me something to improve on next year. It shows me the persistence and consistency (consistant bad skiing on my behalf!) pays off in the long run.

Anyway time to go as I am on yard duty, got to get the green thumb going to clean out the garden of weeds and give it some love!
Happy trails

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Foggy Wet Hoppet

The start of the 09 Kangaroo Hoppet!

After a week of stormy weather the day of the race came. I awoke to rain at our house in Bright. I packed my gear organised the crew and drove up through the fog and the rain to Windy Corner at Falls Creek. After little debate and silent looks at each other in the car that this was going to be a nasty day on the skis we headed into the day shelter to get organised. Everyone else had the same idea as there was not an inch of available space to get ready.
I spoke to a few people who all has the same view that it was going to be a interesting race because of the weather. The race jury decided to shorten the event due to the weather and the risk to competitors. The marathon had been shortened to 25km which in the end suited me. Some competitors were disappointed as they had flown half way around the world for this but hey the thought of freezing to death out there in extreme weather was not a inspiring thought.
I headed out for the warm up and to test the skis waxed by Paul Murray (Winter Olympian and nice bloke) for me. They would do the job nicely. The issue was that nothing much was going to get the skis going fast in these conditions as the snow was extra slow due to the rain damage.
So it was time to line up and get going. I lined up in the third group on the start grid!

Game face on and ready to go!

Crack that whip and slide them skis! GO GO GO!

After sorting myself out on the start line the count down started and the GO. The start of a event like this is a little wild as everyone tries to get a good start but as the trail narrows all hell brakes loose. Saw some great falls in the first 1.5km's but I managed to keep clear. The fog had rolled in and you could only see 40 - 50 ms in front and at times it was like being in a bathroom after a hot shower - in Sun Valley it was complete white everywhere you looked.
After getting some clear snow I got into a rhythm and worked with a couple of guys and was feeling good. At the turn around point at Washbed Creek we headed in to the Two Pauls trail which was sloppy and churned up, I lost the game plan here with a massive fall on a descent, just missing some rocks. Once on the snow surface I got so wet, not great in driving winds. I found out I was in the impact area as a fellow racer just missed me, time to bail and quickly.
After negotiating the nice 40 + degree slope of the Lower Dam wall trail it was though the start finish for the second lap. This lap went by without issue apart from the hail and rain in the last kms, I managed to dump the couple of guys I was with and came down the finish chute alone.
I rolled in 148th out of 300 odd racers.... not to bad but clearly I need to work harder and earlier for next year. I am hoping that this result will keep me in the top 20 of the Aussie Ski Chase series as prior to the Hoppet I was 11th overall.
Time to hang up the skis for the year and get the bikes back out. I hear the gym calling me and also the roller skis to improve on my technique. So plans are a foot for the race next year already!
Congrats to Ben Sim for his win in the mens as this boy makes it look so easy on skis... hopefully he makes the 2010 Vancouver Olympics team as he is on fire at the moment. He edged out some very good overseas skiers. KT Calder from NZ won the womens (former Aussie!) so congrats to her as well.
On other news the Big Mak/ Felt Epix plans are coming together and the route will be sorted this week over a few beers.... looking forward to this little adventure as it finishes somewhere sweet!
I did get another ride in at Bright and found some more sweet trail above the town that kept me interested. I was having having a ball riding in the pine forest on tacky clay and pine needles.... bloody unreal fun!
Anyway stuff to do peoples so..... get out there and enjoy it
Happy trails!

Oh and I found this with the start of the race which shows how bad fog was but hey its XC skiing at its best!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

bright single track

After some impressive rain and wind overnight and with the weather forecasts expecting blizzards I decided that the better option was to explore with the 29er. We are staying on the outskirts of bright and I new of some trail the headed out of town following the river. I also am near where the Bright enduro is held so I felt that there would be plenty of trails available.

I hit the trail early and headed out towards Wandiligong via the river and was riding tight rooted and rocky single track. I was in my element and quickly came across little sections of trail that brought a smile to my dial. The occasional bridge was to be found along the trail had the swollen river flowing under it at a fast rate from the recent rains.

I came across a gate that had a sigh asking for it to be shut and for no motorbikes, nothing said no mtb so I opened it and followed the trail through the paddock. It is nice to see local landowners allowing access so that the trail can continue on, as long as you shut the gates!

After around 30 odd minutes of chasing the trails it ended up in the town of Wandiligong so I chose to double back to where I had started. I found some more trail and gave that a nudge and rode it each way to get the feel of it. I popped back out close to where we are staying and then found more trail this time taking me back on the other side of the river and into the local pine forest. Some of this trail was fast, tight and sweet.

In the end a fun cold muddy 2hr ride but enough to keep my interest…. Will have to check it out a bit more before I leave!

Happy trails!

Monday, August 24, 2009

The Wombat

Headed to Falls Creek Saturday for the warm up race for the Hoppet. Covered 20 1200km's in the car in 24 hrs, a lot of driving. The reaso being that we are expecting a baby and today we have a doctors appointment so I had to come back for that and then take the boss back up to Bright. Anyway weather was windy and grey with soft rain damaged snow. The race course was changed 3 times so we could still get in the 15km race. Me, it was struggle town, the first lap I was seriously wondering what the fuck I was doing out there. I just buried my head and got on with it cause there ain't no point in whining about it! In the end I got it done in around 55 mins and should get some points towards the Australian Ski Chase.
Snow is thinning out and I am wondering if its going to hold for the Hoppet next Saturday. Blizzard starting tonight fingers crossed for some love from the snow gods..... but I have taken the 29er for a bit of a look around Bright.... sweet trails I am told, just have to find em!
Happy trails

Gerro wins GP de Plouay

If you want to see determination and what guts are made of in cycling then watch Simon's win from yesterday..... Bloody awesome ride, showing his bosses exactly what he can do on 2 wheels!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Perfect trails during the morning today. We have been blessed with some fantastic weather on this trip to Snowfarm. Once the ice had eased off it was great skiing. Great way to end the skiing part of the trip. Back to Christchurch tomorrow for the vomit comet home!

Catch yo on the flip side

Happy trails!

Monday, August 17, 2009

NZ road trip pt 2

Ok it has been a busy couple of days and we have had ourselves totally running mad around Wanaka. I will start the story with the heli adventure today. We have been trying to get on a heli all the time we have been here. 3rd time lucky today with a 1.5hr flight around the back of Mt Aspiring to check out the glacier with a couple of snow landings. As you can see the glacier was massive and great to see up close. The only other way up here is to hump a pack and do a 5 day climb (not for the faint hearted).

The glacier with massive crevasses

Up on one of the landing sites near Mt Aspiring with the chopper in the back ground

Looking towards Mt Aspiring

We have had 3 days on the snow at Snowfarm. It is a nasty drive up with the road being full of serious mud and ruts. We are glad to have a hire car and it having 4WD is a bonus, trust me it is earning its keep driving up that road each day.

Me out trying to get it together!

The set up at Snowfarm is amazing and a lot of international teams train here in the winter. The Canadians, Koreans, Japanese teams are all here training. The skills of these guys is amazing and it is great to see XC skiing at its best.
The building is massive and houses guests, has a cafe/ restaurant, gym, ski hire. The trails are groomed perfectly and as you can see terrace there way down the escarpment. I did a loop out yesterday that wound its way out through the Pisa range/ plateau. The snow was a bit soft but still fun. I am getting my ski legs back and hopefully it will all pull together for the Hoppet.
We were blessed today with sunshine, fast snow and no wind.... it was fantastic!
Tomorrow sees us do our last day of skiing so fingers crossed for some good weather.

The Lodge sitting over the trails at Snowfarm

The Canadians out training..... fast, way fast!

I am outta here for now.... happy trails!