Saturday, February 28, 2009

Next build project

Back from the painters and ready to be built!

some shit just goes wrong!

GAv shot this on the Fatties ride on Wednesday..... Even expensive bikes get caught out by nature!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

kinglake post fire photos

NZ Gav dropped me some photos of the climb up to Kinglake that was until a couple of weeks ago a green forrest.A fellow mtb lover eho has access to the area passed them on to him. These photos show the intense heat as all that is left is match sticks. Some of these trees may not sprout new growth. It is a great shame as the area was a pretty place to ride.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

back to the coal face

Today it is time to return to work. Luckily for me the headcold has cleared up in time to return to work (got to love good timing.... not). I have not even had a chance to swing a leg over a bike yet but should be rectifying that any day. I am hoping that the road frame will be in my hot little hands by the weekend and built by early next week..... looking forward to it.
I am already having widthdrawals from snow and skiing but know that it is on 4 months till the snow falls here and I have some projects and ideas to get sorted for the season here!
Happy trails!

Sunday, February 22, 2009


After 20+ hours of traveling we arrived home yesterday, slightly tired but glad to be home. It was a fantastic trip and something we hope to repeat again. The skiing was A+ and we have skied our arses off.
We had 24 hours in Vancouver and headed out to the Sequoia Grill for a last supper in Stanley Park. Whilst waiting for a taxi post dinner we spotted a couple of raccoon's out on a food hunt. They were less than impressed to be hassled by me and made a great hissing sound and scuttled off in to the dark.
I picked up a King Headset for the road frame from a brilliant little bike shop called Dream Cycles . Dream cycles only does steel frames and had some cool bikes from different frame builders such as Indy Fab. Darren the owner was a brilliant bloke who knows Andy from Fyxomotosis and was up for a chat.
Apart from a head cold I am looking forward to getting a leg over the 29er and getting out on the trails in the coming days.
Happy trails!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

XC ski races = pain

Cruising into the start finish area asking myself what I was doing!

OK I had reservations on doing the race from the first few days of being back on the skis. As time progressed I felt better but was struggling at times and was far from my previous fitness when it comes time to do the Birke back home. At the last minute I entered the 30km solo race and thought what the heck.

Me heading out for another lap - 3 to go!!

I awoke to find the weather a nice -9 and puking snow. This is not my most favourable conditions as new snow equals soft trail which means it will be slow and I will sink cause of my weight.
I lined up with about 150 other competitors and at 10am set off for a nice 4 laps of a 7.5 km circuit. As time went on I was made aware of my non existent fitness that I thought I had. At least I had Tam heckling me and a few people along the way who new me to give me some encouraging words, including the commentator who pumped me up each lap.
I though I wouldn't get the distance done as it was hurting alot on lap three but what the heck. So in under three hours I managed to get it done after being passed by some of the Okanagan's best XC skiers like I was standing still. I am still waiting for results and some photos of the start but am happy that I have done it and will be now focusing on the rest of the ski season at home to do some racing leading up to the Hoppet.
Happy trails or tracks!

The leaders coming through the start finish area, as you can see she was snowing bigtime!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

ready, set..... go!

Smiling at the summit of Silverstar after a decent grind to get there!

OK, I am almost ready for the onslaught of the Silverstar 75 ski loppet tomorrow. I am in the solo 30km class which will test me both mentally and physically. I have had some descent days of skiing this week with 2 trips over the summit of Silverstar mountain. I have had trouble adjusting to the altitude, but have tried to keep the fluids up, and have found it colder this time than other trips here. Whilst only at 1500 - 1850 metres I have struggled to get the engine ticking over consistently.
Today was a rest day so hopefully tomorrow I can make it through the distance comfortably. This will be a training run on not much training! but that aim is to get fit for the coming year.
Last night saw us road trip to the next town Kelowna and watch the WHL team called the Rockets play a hard game of ice hokey against the Vancouver Giants. The home team came out on top, much to the delight of the Kelowna crowd. We had seats in the restaurant which had a all you can eat smorgasbord. I had 3 odd trips plus cake through the various sections of food and washed it down with some Okanagan Spring Pale Ale. There were a few fights and some massive body checking during the game which brought a smile to my dial. It was a great night but a bit of a dodgy drive home in the dark as there are few street lights on the highway or the mountain road making it hard to follow in places.
So time for some dinner and bed.
Happy trails!

Me trying to be a wax tech for tomorrows race.... please Nordic Gods smile on the wax choice!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Road frame off to the painters

As you can see from the photos the road frame has come together nicely from the hand of Ewen @ Gellie Custom. Cant wait to see the finished product post the visit to the painters. I have some extras on this frame such as the diamond shaped bottle mounts, Llewellyn STI bosses, breezer style dropouts, chain peg...... to many to mention.

Other news from here that it is cold, -9 during the day with the sun out. Hard to get a decent glide from the ski wax today and had to work my ring off to ski. Looked at the race course for the Silverstar 75. Nice rolling course, but having a decent glide is the key, and seems the challenge to get in the cold temps. It makes the shortest climb into Mt Everest!
We have skied ourselves into a box over the last week and only managed a 12 km session today before the cold and the craving for coffee and warmth pushed us back indoors.
Anyway off to enjoy a outdoor hot tub and a nice meal of mexican with some wine.
Thanks to a reader called Nic who left me some info about Nat Morandi and his wife. Cant confirm it as yet but it seems a positive in a world of so much sadness.
Happy trails or tracks!

MTB community rallies.... get there if you can!

HDATO cancelled - You Yangs Relief Fund 6hr this Sunday instead

For obvious bush fire related reasons the HDATO @ Eildon has been cancelled.

However, a number of Victorian MTB Clubs have joined forces to run a 6hr enduro (10am to 4pm) this Sunday (15th) @ the You Yangs (Stockyards – Drysdale Rd).

Dure journée de difficultés

Hard Day For Hardship

All proceeds from the event will be going to the Fire Relief Fund.

Entries close this Friday the 13th @ Any previous HDATO entries will automatically we ‘swapped’ over for the Bush Fire Relief You Yangs 6hr. If this change in venue doesn’t suit and you would like a refund, please email Rohin @

The format of race day:

0800 Registration opens
0930 Registration closes
0935 Kids 6 minute Enduro
0950 Race Brief
1000 Race Start
1600 Race completion

I would like to thank the following sponsors for their donations, Croydon Cycleworks, Maxxis, Sram, GripSport, Dirt Works, Groupe Sportif, Rapid Ascent, Van Go Coffee and Trek Bicycles. We will raffle off some of the prizes to ‘pump’ up our Fire Relief donation, so please bring along some extra coin.

Thanks for your support



If I was OZ side I would be there, but if you can get on down to the you yangs!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


It was a bit distressing to see pictures and video of the fires that have scorched parts of Victoria. Even worse is we have friends that have lost their homes, but at least they still have each other as material items can be replaced.
It was only last week that Gav and I were riding through some of the local trail out at Smiths Gully. He and some of the MTB community were taking clothing and bedding to the general store at Smiths Gully to aid the locals.
We were shocked to see Marysville vanish. We know the town well as I spend a large chunk of winter skiing above the town. We still await news on Nat Morandi and his family who run the XC shop there that we frequent. We hope he is safe as are others that we see regularly skiing at Lake Mountain.
It is a true disaster and we are speechless at what we see on the TV here in Canada. Our thoughts are with those that have suffered loss.

Friday, February 6, 2009

its white and cold

Thankfully we have arrived here in Canada with out many issues. The flight over from Australia was interesting as it was on the new A380. Nice big chairs and plenty of room (good for me!). The guy seating in front of me whinged his arse off about everything, as such from his constant whining I got little sleep. We had a 5hr lay over at LAX which is the shittiest airport around. I did manage to have a kip on the carpet for a while to catch up on some needed sleep.
We had a night in Vancouver and caught up with a friend Nicole for a meal at the Yaletown brewery. I managed to sink a few 20 ounce beers and enjoyed a decent feed before retiring to bed and having a fantastic sleep.
We arrived here at Silverstar on Tuesday and had our first ski yesterday, which was nice but we didn't have our ski legs and couldn't tell if we were arthur or martha! Today we had a great morning ski on the classic skis and a gentle skate session to get the body moving. I had a interesting fall in front of the day lodge post waxing my ski's which looked like some out of a cartoon, much to the humour of Tammie. I was doing the backwards running man and then boom I was staring at the sky.
We came across a local who was whistling away. He told us about the local birds called camp robbers.

These pretty little birds when you hold your hand out with a little food will drop out of the tree and swing on to your hand. A pretty cool little experience.
Anyway we are having a ball and cant complain about being here to ski each day waking up to perfect snow and perfect trails!