Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Well it has been a quiet week for pedaling this week post the road trip to Forrest. We were luck enough to receive some special attention from Oakley (care of my Aunty Pat) and attend the Australian Open. The boss was luck enough to go and get into a players box for a game, which for a former tennis nut was awesome. So two hot days were spent cooking off in the sun watching various players smash that little yellow ball around the courts. Great to catch my aunt who is not down under often.
The temperatures in Melburn for the next couple of days are less than inspiring to ride in with it being 40+ till Sunday. Bloody stinker! and a bit of a challenge when working full time to get a pedal in.
The rest of the week has been spent working and sorting out a few minor things for the upcoming trip. It wont be long til I am
out smashing some km's under this sign with a smile on the dial.

One techno item that has caught my attention was the Garmin that Jase lent me for our road trip. It was a cool thing to be able to check out what and how you have ridden a loop. The thing we did find was she was a bit temperamental as it would not fire up on one occasion and we have put that down to a battery issue. Will test it out again on Friday on a group ride out Smiths Gully way. I still want one.
Man I am missing having a road bike, although I have noted that them happy drivers are back on the road again post the christmas holidays. I am ever hopeful that she will be here for my return in a couple of weeks.
Well off to take the fur children for a wander before the temperature goes through the roof!
Happy trails!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Forrest, The Otways adventure

Ok the 3 musketeers loaded up the car till there was barely any room left for the humans and pointed the car in the direction of The Otways for a 3 day riding road trip. After overcoming some traffic issues (overturned truck on the Eastern Fwy at rush hour) we made the rather long boring drive to Geelong to grab some needed supplies and fuel. Note to thy self.... never move to Geelong!
After a brief bit of lunch we pushed on and arrived at the Forrest caravan park. After locating the local lady that ran the place we put together the camp for the next couple of days riding. It is a simple caravan park with a set of toilets and showers and not much else apart from the pub across the road.
We kited up and hit the trails out at the Yaughter Rd trail head. First cab of the rank was Marriner's Run which has folklore status with those that have raced the Kona. The reason is tight bermed trails that brings a smile to the dial, as you descend down the gully swooping from side to side. After around 2 hrs of riding and mucking around in the trails we headed back to have a shower and hit the pub.
Nice cold jugs of beer and crazy locals added to the atmosphere of watching the sun go down over the farm land surrounding the pub. After a few beers we grabbed a few takeaways and headed home for dinner and to shoot the shit as Mister Sister had flown down for the trip from Brisbane, and we had not seen him since November.

Gav with some local wild life - Blue Tongue Lizard

Day 2 saw us head out to Lake Elizabeth and aim to ride Red Carpet which is the timed descent for the Otways race. After a bit of climbing and a trip down to the carpark for lake Elizabeth we came across the local Ranger. This stopped us from riding out to the lake as the walking track is for walkers only and the last thing we needed was a issue with the ranger. So we climbed back up to the start of Red Carpet and dived into the 20 minute descent back down to the dam. Nice tight single track greeted us with a couple of road crossings and a great cool ride through rainforrest and open woodland.

The crew at the base of Red Carpet taking time out in the shade

Post the descent we headed into the Forrest trail head and cruised the trail system which has some great single track with berm, jumps and log rides. It was a great morning, but hot. We called it a day and then headed down to Apollo Bay for a late lunch and supplies for a barbie dinner.
The last morning we were greeted with a cool crisp morning. We demolished breakfast and headed back to the Yaughter trails. We rode a loop using Marriner's Run and whilst out there the wind came up into gusty dust dumping storm. After 2 hours of mucking around riding sweet trails we headed back to camp to find my pop up marque demolished by the wind. Slightly disappointed by this we packed up camp and had showers and decided to go home via Torquay for a bit to eat. Driving was a night mare with the wind blowing the car all over the place with the bikes on the roof requiring extra tie downs.
Mister Sister was flying out of Avalon Airport back to Brisbane, but received a call saying his flight had been cancelled and would not be another until 10 pm.
We dropped Mister Sister at the airport and discovered that his nice Giro helmet and helmet pod was no where to be found in the car..... I think it might have been put on the roof and it is now a home for a small group of road side critters!
In all it was a awesome 3 days of trail riding. The trails are sweet, tight, well built and the area is primed for riding. This is proven by the fact that the Kona 24hr and the Otway Odyssey both run through here each year, not to mention a round of the state cross country series.
I will post some video when Gav gets done putting it together!

Some of us are big kids....

The pub!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

grunting the loop

Been riding a local hilly loop to try and get some extra fitness but have found that I am popping the drive side bolt along the dropout despite it being tighter than a ducks but. The cure is at hand with one of these beastly looking Tuggnuts by Surly. Bloody big thing but should do the job and they come with the added bonus of bottle opener. Good for the car park or post race brew!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


SSWC09 Check it out!


How is this sudden summer scorcher! Bush fires have already sprung up in the southern states of Australia. It has really put a hold on riding yesterday and today with temps at 38 - 40 C. I got up early today to take the dogs for a run and was surprised to feel the heat at 30 C by 7 am, so now I am indoors having breakfast and thinking how to best fill in the morning before work. Hopefully the coming days will provide some relief and enable some pedal and roller ski time. Need the ski time with Canada approaching at a great rate of speed, only a couple of weeks to go.
Next week sees me and a select few head down to Forest for a couple of days riding around those sweet trails, and a couple of ales at the pub.
I have entered myself in some up coming events (check the links in the side bar) which some might be a bit nasty but it is always good to have some goals to get fit for. The Silverstar 75 in a couple of weeks will be a test as it is a ski race and I will have only a week on snow before hand. Might be pushing the luck but I will be keen as mustard as racing there last Feb was a blast.
Spent Monday morning ironing out the details of the new road frame with Ewen @ Gellie Custom. Lets say I m excited on how this will turn out. Should be a sweet steel road frame.
Steel is real baby!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Australian Road Race Titles

Yesterday I played the happy feeder role for a mate, Richard England at the Aussie National Titles. It is always a fun day on the hill watching the events unfold. I was kept company by Little Cam for the trip up and the duration of the race. Always a good day sitting road side watching the spectacle pass by with the occasional bit of argie barge to get your rider fed.
It was good to catch up with some familiar faces and shoot the shit as it has been a busy summer for most local and OS based riders.
The race was one of the more exciting ones of recent years with Trent Lowe getting himself in a early break with 5 others and managing to get the break out to 5 mins. The screws were turned up both in the break and the bunch and there were riders being shed from each group. Eventually the break was caught and then the games really started. After a flurry of attacks the final split was holding all the favourites and come the last lap the Dodger was going it solo attack mode up the final climb but was caught by little known McDonald. Eventually it came down to a 3 up sprint, Hansen, Rogers and McDonald. McDonald hit them and showed them a clean set of wheels to cross the line and take the title.
Hats off to Drapac, this team has nailed the title twice in as many years showing up other local teams and some big names based OS. Speaking of other local teams it is disappointing that you see riders pulling the pin after a couple of laps. This is the pinnacle of the Australian road racing year and most domestic riders should be able to go the distance. I would question the abilities of some riders and there spots on these teams if I was a major sponsor.
The crowd was the biggest I had seen in a long time with both sides of the feed zone on Midland Hwy full of spectators. There was quite a good atmosphere everywhere you went at the event. When driving the course 2 hours before start time there were crowds gathering at the KOM, some already had the barbie cooking and the wine flowing.
Richie gave it his all and got pulled with 2 laps to go. A little disappointing than last year but still a awesome effort. Chris Winn gave it a fair nudge for his first nationals and hung in there for a long time but eventually was one of the many casualties of a brutal course.
Today I am placing my order for a new road frame with Ewen @ Gellie Custom. The cost of sorting out the Ti frame with shipment back to the US aint worth it. So the plan is to go with a steel fillet brazed frame with a few little independent touches that you get when ordering a handmade frame. If it turns out like the 29er SS then it will be bliss.
Back on the roller skis today to get ready for the Canada trip. I just have to remember that pain is my friend cause it is a fair effort getting the muscle memory back into gear, but the fitness aint to bad given the lack of ski time since the end of the ski season.
Happy Trails!

Friday, January 9, 2009


After thinking of new places to ride and seeing the information on the Cog Cafe website I elected to head out to Mt Evelyn/Silvan today. I was pleasantly surprised with the trail I found. After parking at Cog I headed out on the Aqueduct trail and hit some nice fast single track. This dumped me eventually on a dirt road that I descended into the rear of Silvan Dam. The dam is located next to the Dandenong Ranges National park which contains some epic trail, some of which mountain bikers are not welcome on.
I hit some access roads and whilst cruising down the road found that there was some single track paralleling the road. I entered the trail that looked pretty fresh and seemed to get minimal traffic. The trail was sweet twisting its way through heavy timber country with a few log roll overs. I headed along the trail system and discovered it covered both sides of the road. Once crossing the road I continued further into the park. I heard a car approaching which normally spells trouble.
It appeared to be a Ranger who promptly did a u turn and I was expecting a blasting/ or a fine, as I was not to sure about the legality of the trail I was riding. No voice was heard and I continued to ride further. The car soon disappeared. I think that the driver was more concerned to see if I was a arsonist but obviously could see that I was clad in lycra and meant no harm.
Once popping out onto another trail I headed along access tracks and just enjoyed the ride. Eventually time ran out and I had to head back to the car retracing my steps. Whilst riding up a access trail I cam across the same 4WD I had earlier. Again expecting some trouble all I got was a wave. So lady luck was on my side today.
The area is primed for riding with trail popping up everywhere. With a little local knowledge and enough supplies you could make a day of slogging around the trails right up to the top of the mountain. I will have to return and give it some more exploring.
Happy Trails!

Monday, January 5, 2009

fresh single track

I have been exploring this week new trail options. These options are close to home and have not had the trail smashed by to many riders. The disappointment of rutted out trails and the same loops have force me searching for some new fresh trail to keep up the interest.
I accepted the offer too ride new trail from Brendan who was also throwing in dinner which was hard to refuse. We hooked up with Gav and headed out for a 2hr plus loop which was fun and it had all you could want.
Greeted with a warm sunny arvo we cruised out through the Rob Roy area and down some long fun brake eating descents (my rotors were red hot and hissing when I tested them with some water!) and into a area searching for some new single track. I had been told by Ewen, who had built my frame about this section of new trail that had been open up by locals.
After a brief search we were greeted some sweet new trail. It weaved the contour through some great open timber country and had enough to keep you interested and keen to see what was around the next corner. It was easy to ride on the single speed despite the occasional steep pinch. We popped out on a road and managed to find a awesome descent which had nice twisting single track care of local horse riders. Got to love trails made by horse riders as they always can be found in my local area and provide you with great link trail.
After a bit of a detour we discovered the trail we wanted and headed back toward where the cars were parked. We were greeted with more excellent trail, some of which Gav and I rode 12 months ago. The trail has changed little in this time which shows it relative hidden status that only locals know about and rarely ridden. This area will be revisited many times in the coming months by me as I think the area has a lot to offer.

Having a break on the new trail..... smiles all round and bike swapping by these two. By the end we had Brendan convinced on the 29er SS thing

Me contemplating the next move as I watch Gav and Brendan carve up a sweeping berm section of trail that we rode 3-4 times. Will post some video when I get it downloaded.

The above sign adorns the wall and door of a great mechanic and great little shop called Shifter Bikes. Dan Hale, for those of you who don't know him, is a master on the tools, builds some nice wheels ( I can testify to this as I ride them on the 29er) and the best person for all round single speed advice. He has many a contact when sourcing parts for your single speed, for retro fit outs of old roadies and high end street fixxies. I swung by today for a new chain, some other bits and pieces and to shoot the shit. He dropped in my Phil Wood BB and rustled up some matching Big Cheese grips and a nice new Izumi chain. Well worth a visit!
Next days off will see me checking some other trails close to home!
Happy trails!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

first post of 09

Well here we are in the new year, don't know where last year went. We had a low key New Years, in fact I was asleep on the couch after a few glasses of bubbly well before midnight. Did manage to get up and check out the local fire works around the hill, as the dogs were freakn out.
I managed to get out for a roll on the 29er on New Years eve along the Yarra Trails and had it all to myself which was nice. Some of the trail is pretty rooted in spots from over use. Still it was a nice spot to be in and Hans's loop was good despite me trying a way to big gear. I have settled on 32/19 which seems like the sweet spot!
New years day was great as I caught up with Shane for a pedal around the trails at Lysterfeild and had a general catch up as we don't see each other much these days due to our work commitments. Apart from a puncture on his bike we had a ball despite the occasional rain shower. I must commend the person who has removed a massive chest high log from one of my favorite trails that now allows me to run it with out stopping. We headed back to Shane's cafe were he turned on the machine and gave us the nectar of the god's, coffee.
I guess I have some other firsts apart from this being a first post of 2009.
I have hit the roller ski's this week for the first time in ages.... fitness not to bad so far...... 4 weeks to go till I get on the real white stuff.
Gerro has been the first team member of Test Team Cervelo to get a win, which was the first stage of the Bay Series yesterday. Well done on some early season form, those big base miles back up home must have done the trick!
A friend Cam Carlye (little cam) has for the first time stepped out in pink in the first stage of the Bay Series support race and ran second.
Tomorrow will be the first time in a long time that I have ridden up at St Andrews.

Gerro holding off the field and wining the sprint!

Cam leading his team mate through the corner, not to sure about the pink kit!

Enjoy the year people's and make something of it!