Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Flat Hill Dirt Crit 1

stolen from Flat Hill!

A great little event was run last night down by the Burke Rd overpass last night near the Eaglemont Tennis club just off the Yarra Trails. Bruce Dickey from the Fatties put on a cracker of a crit and around 20 people turned up. A great turn out given Melburn's first attempt at winter, which has been impressive with 20 cm's of snow on the distant hills.
We lined up in the cold rain and took on the crit course that has tight single track and open sections for passing. A few challenging little points especially once the mud had been unleashed that require a few cyclocross style runs. It was a fun little course taking 2-3 mins a lap.
I managed a good start and was into the single track in 4th and in the first couple of laps lost a couple of spots. It was the eternal battle of Geared vs SS and Age vs Youth, SS and age lost! I think I ended up 8th.... not bad but with some usual suspects wining, there was no chance of holding on in the top places. I was glad to hear 3 laps to go at the 30 min mark and kept the guy behind me at bay.
A big thank you to Bruce for a quality little fun race. Check out the future races on the Flat Hill blog.

Monday, April 27, 2009

the Classic's.... what a week

Simon far right in the bunch sprint at LBL

Local boy Gerro has just completed his 3rd top 10 in the Classics for the week. Simon pulled off a 6th place in Leige-Bastogne-Leige over night. In La Fleche Wallonne Simon came in at 8th and in the Amstel Gold race he was 7th after a attack on the final climb of the day called the Keutenberg. Simon is showing some form and fingers are crossed for a stage result if given the opportunity at the up coming Giro.

Me, I had a quiet week with work taking control of my life with night shift. Planning on racing Tuesday night at the first of the Nocturnal Crits and then next week end pedaling around the fire affected areas of Marysville and Lake Mtn. I am hoping for some nice weather as yesterday's cold snap has given Lake Mtn 20 cm of snow.

Happy pedaling

Sunday, April 26, 2009

sacred dawn

Yesterday is one of the most important dates for some Australians including myself. I guess since being a former member of the Defence Force I take great pride in attending a dawn service, to recognise those that have paid the ultimate price for serving their country. Since receiving recognition for my service with the presentation of the Australian Defence Medal I feel more compelled to attend the Dawn Service on ANZAC day. I was amazed at the turn out at the local service in Ringwood at the clock tower given the less than appealing weather, not a spare place to be found. Next year I will make the effort to attend the Dawn Service at the Shrine in Melburn.
Post the early morning rise and shine we attended the ANZAC Day match at the MCG with a group from work. We kicked off the afternoon by having a few beers and a BBQ in the Fitzroy Gardens. The service a the MCG is amazing, it is rare to get that many people (95000+) together to be silent for the last post and reveille.
It was a great way to spend the afternoon.
Lest We Forget

Thursday, April 23, 2009

random shots from Melburn Roobaix

Random photos from the Col D Ugly on the Melburn Roobaix.

Nights this week and man am I over it..... one more to go then back to the daytime hours again :)!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Melburn - Roobaix Video

Melburn- Roobaix & BMC 100 = a big weekend

What a weekend. I have had 2 of the best days on the bike in a long time. I attended both the Melburn - Roobaix and the BMC 100.
Saturday saw Huzza, Aaron and myself line up for Melburn Roobaix. It is a fun event run for the last 4 years by Andy from fyxomatosis. Over 300 riders turned up for it and made Federation Square in the centre of the CBD look like a giant bicycle car park. Many a fine example of bike was seen, with classic cinelli's, colnago, moser, merckx, and even a few gellie customs! The rules are basic, get your map and destination points worked out, line up and enjoy. It aint no race cause there is no prize for first or any place. Even a few cafes who served one of the event sponsers coffee were offered as places to get your fixx along the way. After the 13 sectors of pave you eventually end up on the Brunswick velodrome for a few laps and then off to the pub for a few beers (which I didnt get to as I had to get organised for the BMC). We had a fun day and got lost once or twice and had a ball riding the pave with other riders, and it was nice being in a part of town I rarely go to.
Basically it was a tour of North Melburn's pave alley ways with 12 sectors of pave all given familiar names of famous belgian pave. It was a bloody hoot and I will line up again next year.

The master of ceremony Andy White!

The nicest Kona Longboard 29er carrying a slab

Bikes and riders take over Fed Square

Dirt and gravel were included in the sectors of pave

Enjoying the pave of Nth Melburn

The Brunswick Velodrome

More pictures and stories will be available on the fyxomatosis website.... but I highly recommend this day to anyone!

Sunday saw me leave home at a little after 5am for the drive to Woodend for the BMC, which I had signed up to compete in the the 50km single speed. Thanks to my neibours who had a party starting at midnight, I got little sleep. Not long after leaving the comfort of home it started raining and became foggy which meant it was going to be a cold day on the bike. The rain continued all the way on the 1.5hr drive - not a good thing in my book.
This was the BMC's second year and the increase in numbers of riders was astounding. The car park was almost full (given that it is a massive paddock thats a lot of cars) and my number was in the 1100's so there were plenty of riders. The carpark entry was a nightmare and given that the start of the race used the same access road the race starts were delayed by the sheer volume of cars.
After getting the race kit and number I hopped back in the car and turned on the heated full bore. I eventually bit the bullet and suited up and rolled down to Shane who had his coffee cart and had a coffee and shot the shit. After a brief warm up and catching up with a few people that I hadnt seen in a while it was go time. I had hoped the I would have a good ride after a placing last year but I new that the cold and rain may reek havock making the trails slippery.
I lined up in the first group and off we went. I had a OK start but the legs felt heavy and the gear of 34:18 felt big but bearable. We entered the first single track and formed the conga line and wove our way. Some riders would not ride some of the obsticles and were holding up the trail so I spent some time jumping off and running around the blockages. As we progressed through the various sections of great single track in the first 25 kms, I was begining to feel good. I decided I needed a quick piss, so I swung off the trail (obviously I drank to much before the race start) and post finishing the business I saw Big Al. Just in front of him a rider ate a tree head on post a log roll over that had no down ramp. His chainring gripped the end of the ramp and catapulted him superman style.
People began asking if anyone had medical training and I stated I was a nurse. The rider was laying prone and was in a state of shock. He said he couldnt move his legs, which is something I dread hearing especially in the middle of the bush. I asked someone to ride back and tell the marshals that we needed a ambulance and maybe a spinal board to carry him out. After about 10 minutes he could move his legs and rolled himself over. He had a nasty gash on his nose from his glasses and a mouthful of dirt. He eventually recovered and could sit up and Al and I left him with a marshal. Lucky is the word I choose to use and things could have been far worse for him.
So after 20 -30 odd minutes on the side of the trail Al and I were cold and wet. We decided to ride together and have a chat as the race was effectively over. As the race progressed we rode to epic trail with ladder bridges over gullies, flowing single track, and log roll overs. However at about 20 km to go the single track started to dry up and then there was plenty of fire road and for those riding SS it became a chore. In my book there was to much fire trail but I understand it is hard to get 50kms of single track.
I was glad to get to the finish, and looking back the number of riders were maybe to big, but I will more than likely do it again next year. As yet I have no idea how I finished but it was fun none the less. I will admit that my gearing was too big for some sections of the climbing but spot on for the fire road.
We finished the day with a ale at the Holgate Brewery in Woodend, nice little pub in the main street serving great beer and meals.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Paris Roubaix

Well got the crew together at Huzza's place to watch the broadcast on SBS over a few beers and frites and mayo. Bloody funny night especial Huzza's baby son Finn who was mesmerized by the TV. It was a epic race to watch Boonen get his win, in the end it always turns into a race of attrion and usually the last man standing wins!

Guess you got to get em started early on bike racing

Huzza reminsing his days of racing in Belgium wearing his team strip

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

it's that time again

get there if you can....

its all good

Did a 50km loop with Gav yesterday in the tacky mud riding some nice flowing single track. All I can say is gearing is good on a 34/18, and the tyres were hooking up perfectly. Its all smiles and now for a few more sessions and I am confident of feeling good for the BMC. Now for cleaning the bike as she is slightly covered from yesterdays exploits!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

tree ho

Headed out to Smiths today to try and simulate the race in a couple of week. Took Jase's Garmin which I realise I cant work properly (well not today anyway) and was trying a new tyre set up and a big gear. The tyres are the 2.2 Mountain Kings more like a 2.0 and were sticky. At times I could feel the aggressive tread want to grab the front wheel and send it sideways. I was running a big gear of 34/18. Could ride it on the most but had a few points where I was regretting it. I need to get a bigger gear happening and the last couple of Fatties rides have shown my weakness since riding smaller gears. Further more there is plenty of fire road in the BMC and I want the ability to smash it along those sections rather than spin thy arse off.
The climb up Ridge Rd today made me regret every inch, but at least the next trail was worth it down the front of the dam. I entered the trail and just cruised along, until I had a pedal strike on a rock that threw me forward onto the bars and I steered it straight into a fuckn tree. A large crack was echoed through the forest and I was laying strewn on the ground looking at the sky. I got up after inspecting that all four limbs worked, noted the my shoulder had contacted the tree but the majority of the impact was taken by the bars (not to sure looking at my shoulder now). After a bit of trail side bar straighten I took off again.
Why is it after a fall your intentions go out the window and you feel so shit?
I climbed back up to Rob Roy and over towards the car parked at the store giving a second loop a miss. I need to get out in the next couple of days to see if I can go the distance (which I know I can but I want to use a big gear). I will have to see how the shoulder pulls up tomorrow... here's to anti inflammatories, ice/deep heat and a few pain killers!
The circuit has its fair share of climbing, next time I will do it in reverse which should take some of the sting out of it on such a big gear.
Happy trails!

Check out these images of a guys burnt orange 36er off ..... being a fan of the 29er I can see the benefits but climbing would be a nightmare. Hey can give it a decent huck too judging by the photo's.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Attended the FTF Wednesday ride last night. Shortest attended ride by myself cause I got lost! The speed was on by a few that made the majority suffer. I got gaped and there was no coming back. As I missed a turn and then continued apparently on the right path, but I was unsure the exact direction of the ride and cut my losses and headed home. There was none of the usual waiting at points along the way... it was all go, go ,go.
Gav stuck in there on the 29er single speed and finished with the front group. Gav said that there were a few falls but no one stopped to check on people.... uncool! I guess I could rave on about things from here and sound full of sour grapes, but the reality is why bother some would get it most wouldn't.
Hopeful to get out with Jase on Sunday for a trip around the trails in Smiths Gully, and get some other km's in over my four days off. Last real chance before the BMC.