Thursday, May 28, 2009

stolen from fyxomatosis

low key

Taking it easy this week, with the CTS this weekend I will need all my energy. Feeling well apart from a blocked nose today, think the dusty dogs have a little to do with that.
I have noted that the race is full with 400 entries. Will be a interesting day as that is a lot of people for a 12km course. I am heading out there tomorrow for a few laps to check out the gearing so I can swap it out if needs be. The secret will be to have a big enough gear for the flats and majority of the climbs. I know one hill that I will run as it has a steep pinch in it that I am not going to gear specifically for.
I am actually geed up for the race this weekend as I am feeling good on the bike at the moment but a few light rides in the next couple of days should set me up for having some fun.
I am ever hopeful that my rim will turn up from Dirtworks in time to get it back on my white hub for the weekend. I am lucky to have a back up so I can race this week.
Shout out to Gav who had some lovely eye surgery and now is on the road to recovery - he is going to be the helper and motivator on Sunday at CTS.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Giro Win

Gerro has pulled another magic ride out of his hat and now adds a giro stage win to the trophy cabinet. Check out the video footage.

I started getting text messages when out on the bike this morning. Nice way to start the day usually but even better cause of Gerro's win.
Today I am going to make it an even better day by having a pancake Sunday!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

it was dark

Night riding can be a blast and I was having it last night with a full can of whoop ass. When numerous nation/ international level riders and one world 24hr champion turn up it is going to be on like donkey kong, and it was. It was a case of take no prisoners, but at least they waited for the mere mortals to catch up!
One minute all was good, the next darkness. Mental note to self..... take second battery when you are going to be out there a long time! The boss was surprised when I turned up outside the restaurant she was at for dinner.
Jase made it home after some 5 hrs of bike time, me I racked up 4,a good night!
Happy trails

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

autum days

Working flexible hours means that sometimes it can be fun with late starts enabling me to get in a ride as some much needed ying and yang to keep me sane. Yesterday was to be that, but it started out wrong, very wrong.
I had a sleep in and woke up to let the dog out to get the paper (its the high light of her day to fetch the paper) and she took forever to find it and was running up and down the hill looking for it. I slunk down in the slippers only to agree with the confused look on the dogs face that in fact there was no paper. I have been getting the paper delivered daily with out incident for 10 years to this address with out any issues until the news agents swapped owners recently. The paper has not been delivered 4 times in the last six weeks. In my books a very uncool thing.
Now I am a no nonsense type of guy and you are only as good as your word or your actions. I saw red and was pissed so I got in the car and drove up to get the paper from the newsagent (note that dog number 2 was wrapped at a trip in the car!) with out argument. I arrive the the shop to find a queue of 5 people all equally frustrated as their various transactions are not being well received. The simpletons that have taken ownership of the news agents couldn't even get a lotto ticket checked for customers in front of me.
My turn came and I explained that my paper had not been delivered and that I was taking the one in my hand, however I was asked for money to pay for it. I think the look on my face said enough and was not asked again for a financial transaction. Further I added that this was the 4th time in as many weeks that I had no paper delivery. I was meet with no sympathy and I cracked back with some stern words along the lines of "I pay, you deliver paper and everyone is happy. I pay, you not deliver, we got a problem" and indicated that it would be that last time that the paper is not delivered.
When my name was being added to the list of non deliveries I noted that I was the 3rd in my street which ain't a good look. It should be pretty easy to match street number to paper type as there is only 3 types of paper delivered.
After arriving home with my paper, I realised the coffee beans were out so no morning coffee..... this day was turning ugly!
Any way cause I was forced to have a late start at work due to some meetings I figured it was worth a pedal in. Sunny day, no wind, warm and too good to miss out on a pedal. I guessed it was worth heading via the coffee shop Romeo's for some beans for the home machine and a coffee or 2 on the way. I enjoyed the pedal in as I cruised along stopping once to adjust the seat height (bloody phantom mechanic in the shed has been fooling with bike). I realised I havent been on the roady for a few weeks as i mainly been attending dirt related rides. I was feeling great, just like Lance dancing on the pedals!
Once at Romeo's I got 2 brews on the house for buying the beans and read the paper. Post this I continued up Doncaster Rd enjoying the last bit of sunshine before winter gloom when this tool in his suit and 7 series BMW chopped me missing me by inches. Lucky for me he missed unlucky for him, he caught the next red light. I cruised up to the window and was happy to explain he fuck ass driving skills were going to get him a smack and that his 7 series was a excuse for his small genitals that his wife in the passenger seat could confirm! He tried to look cool but the beady sweat on his forehead and red face told me otherwise.
Anyway some times life's little pleasures are interrupted by fools..... seemed to me to come all in the same glorious morning.
Tonite is the Fatties ride where like always my arse will be handed to me on a platter of smash o rama!
Happy trails

Monday, May 18, 2009

saturday fun...

Saturday saw me hook up with the locals from the street for a loop of Smiths. I am lucky to have such neighbours, who love the single track, and are a fun couple of blokes to get out on the bike with. We had a few blow ins which always makes riding in a larger group more fun.
For once it was me showing the way, and was happy to do so as some of these trails are hidden gems. Matt even threw in a section of trail that made the ride with a awesome descent which i had seen the exit point but had little idea how to get into it.
Jase rode out from home and met us at Smiths, I was glad to be driven out there in the big silver van, warmth, mmm the warmth. It was a ride and a half out there and Jase left in the dark to make it, guess thats what you have to when you have family commitments and you want time on the bike!
I binned it hard in a corner on some new trail, got stuck in the loose stuff on the edge of the trail and managed to pull the tyre off the rim. The rim had a lovely taco to it but none the less it was no excuse, the ride had to go on. I hate binning it cause you always feel shit after wards as you start to stiffen up.
The guys were impressed with some of the trails including a road side descent that they all bombed down. It was smiles all round by the time we got back to the general store where we had parked, 2 hours of sweet trails.
Now it is time to put it all together from here at home and ride the whole loop out and back..... it will be 6 - 7 hour ride, a killer loop. Speaking to Jase yesterday we think it could be a goer for one of the Epix rides. We have other trail to throw into the mix which could easily knock out 8 hrs and riding very little of the same trail twice!
Happy trails!

Friday, May 15, 2009


Ok, had a 4hr ride today with the intention of making to Smiths and back..... ran out of time but have put it all together, at least in my mind. Found some sweet roadside single track as a plan B as a road I had intended to use is shut at the moment. I made it as far as time and energy would allow but I made it to part of the Smiths loop that we do.
I had a blast with some really sweet trail. More details later...... I think on the SS it would be a 6+ hour return ride with some descent climbing.
I was wrapped to get back to the bakery for a sausage roll straight fresh out of the oven....mmmmm!
Happy riding!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

tuesday crit

Rode over to the Tuesday Night Crit series being run by Flat Hill. The ride over was a bit of fun, riding some local trail to the freeway and then a bit of trail down the side of the freeway and into the Yarra trail system for a groove. On the way over a picked up a fencing nail.... luckily through the tread block and not into the tyre
Usual suspects plus a few new faces at the start line, always good for new faces to appear. It was a stella little race, I got a great start and heard the sound of rubbing tyres and some profanity followed by clang of metal hitting the ground. I was happy cause it would gap the field a bit, and being on the 29er I need the help.
I held off a few pursuers for a couple of laps by beating them on the open trail and gaping on the tight single track. The little rocky chute we normally go down was a up this week and caught a few by surprise including myself. It was handy to catch the person chasing you here as I could slowly get up it and gap someone into the open trail.
So a good night out with the boss picking me up for a drive home in the warmth of the car. Dont know what I finished and dont really care as I had a blast and was glad to have a hit out.
Gav turned up on the new bling bike, a new Giant Anthem Ltd. Not my cup of tea but a nice looking stead with a crazy trade in price of 1400 bucks..... he got the deal of the year given his other bike was having a few issues!
Tired today and had every intention of getting out this arvo with the fury friend (he is mad for it now it is cooler and recovered from the eye surgery) but after work I am cactus. Instead I changed my gear back to a nice sedate 32/20 and am putting together the mental map for the Smiths connector in the next little while. The trails are listed and found and now it will be time to ride it to see if it works! Tomorrow is another day and the fury friend and I will go out and test the local trails for some fun.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tee Pee trail

Jase had a plan to head out yesterday to test his new camera with me being the test dummy. We were greeted by some gentle misty rain and surprisingly warm conditions. The ride plan was dialed in and we headed out through our old haunt of 100 acres and then went to our first location. This was new trail for me and I was impressed with the little loop that had some nice sweeping corners (just have to remove some deadfall next time) and a few nasty hills. The bike was spot on with the 32/20 gearing and the abdo strain wasnt complaining to much so perfecto! Jase has been having issues with getting his trigger finger and new toy to work but the photo's improved as the morning wore on.
We continued through Fourth Hill and into Warrandtye. Jase has always talked about the Tee Pee trail which I thought I had ridden before. I knew where it came out but was unsure of his entry point. So after climbing some fun roadside trail we descended into the riverside and into the trailhead which has some Tee Pee action. I gather these are saunas or something of the like were some of the locals get their mojo on.
The trail was tight and technical to start with with a few to many logs to hop over (we did place a few peices of deadfall to aid us in getting over these bad boys!) plus the rain was weighing down the undergrowth making it hard to see the trail. I admit it was a fair effort on the singlespeeds to get over the middle part of the trail in one direction but the trail then opened up into a lovely section of flowing trail following the river. We continued to follow the river and eventually popped out on to a section of fire trail which eventually connects to blacktop. We have noted that this will be our route to get connect up trail to get to Smiths and onto Kinglake that Matt is so keen to do.
So after reconnecting in reverse order, and a little house keeping along the trail we headed home. It was a great little trail that I had forgotten about. The next plan will be to see if we can find a connector to Smiths via some roadside single track.
Jase's photo's turned out pretty good. Below are some of the images and I have used one in the header of the blog. As you can see some of the trail was spot on, shame about the weather but it could have been far worse!

Tuesday see's the second round of the Night Crits run by Flat Hill, so get on down for some fun nocturnal racing.
Happy riding!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Urban Epic photos

They say photos tell a story..... so enjoy!

All photos stolen from Cam Wells!

Monday, May 4, 2009


S.S.S.S..... What is this you ask?
It was the Super Sunday Single Speed ride organised by Bruce Dickey. A day of urban single speed, single track madness through local trails around the eastern part of Melburn.
12 odd people turned up for a epic ride from Collingwood. The plan was to follow the single track of the Yarra Trails out through to Donvale, and the Mullum Valley trails followed but a run back down the Eastern Freeway single track. For me it was another day in the saddle backing up the previous days ride in Marysville. It would be a day of soul searching as I hit the wall.
I met Gav at his place in Ivanhoe for a early start, to ride in to the meeting point at 0830 hrs. We took a mix of road and single track to get to the start.
We hooked up with fellow single speeders who had a fantastic mix of bikes. Both 29er and 26er where represented, with some fine examples of what is out there. Bruce Dicky's Spot 29er with White Brothers carbon forks is a machine worth mentioning as was Lauren's Cog 29er called Home Brew. Both these bike were full of bling parts and nice paint as was Cam's blue single speed which just happens to have the same paint as my road bike.
We started by heading back along the river on some choice single track that if you get wrong. you go for a swim (just ask Jase from Epix). We encounted a few walkers but not to many, and those we did were friendly. One guy was a bit of a dick and chose to stand his ground on a narrow piece of trail.... not worth the argument, but fuk he was a cocky one, he had a nice cheesy little grin on his dial as he forced us to a halt.
Not to long into the ride NZ Gav came to grief with a major mechanical. He snapped his chain ring and had to bail. I was feeling guilty about leaving him but he was keen to get home and swap out his broken ring and re join us further down the trail. He some how rode his bike home doing half pedals!
We continued to follow trail and the speed was on for a Sunday ride. I was struggling after the day before, but kept gritting the teeth as I was determined to get round the loop. We did all the usual Yarra Trail single track out towards Westerfolds Park.
Gav managed to rejoin us in Heidelberg whilst we were fixing another mechanical (loose cranks). I was stoked to have him back. You feel bad when you hook up to ride with some one and then a shitty mechanical takes em out. After a bit of stuffing around we continued out through Hans loop (I sat that one out as I was feeling shitty and on the edge of a very large hole!) and on to the High Voltage Climb. This is a nasty bit of access road that heads out the back of Templestowe. I was reduced to being the last one up it walking!
From here it was Currawong Bush Park and into Donvale. Found some trail I didnt even realise existed but was glad to put it in the memory bank for next time. Man, there were some hills I had chosen to forget about in the local area, but Bruce found em all. We continued into my home trails and I showed the boys one piece that they did not know about.
We headed back down some short but fun bits of trail down the side of the Eastern Freeway, and I was glad to be on the home ward leg. Once back to the Yarra it was decided to call it quits as the day was gone. I had clocked up some 6 hrs in the saddle and was on the rivet. I estimate that it would have been some 60-70 km's of riding most of it single track.
Gav and I headed back to his place via the milk bar for some much needed Coke and a sugar fix. We followed this up with a nice burger from Bee Bee Q in Ivanhoe..... worth a stop, great burgers!
It was a awesome loop and what made it fun was the single speeds and a crew of good natured individuals. We encounted a few mechanicals, but none stopped us including Gav's chain ring. I had a blast and today I am paying for it big time but it was a great ride to put some miles on the clock.
Photos will be posted when I find and steal them care of Cam from Flat Hill
Keep a ear out for the next ride as it was a fun little urban epic!
Happy riding.

Fire relief ride

Saturday saw Craig (on his 3rd ride back in 2 yrs) and I tackle the Fire Relief Ride in the fire affected area of Marysville and Lake Mountain. It was a fundraiser to help stimulate the area post the Black Saturday Fires.
Words cannot describe the devastation of Marysville and the surrounding towns of Granton, Narbethong and the valley's in between these towns. Sure I had expected to see fire damage but when you see the obliteration of a town it is gob smacking. I know Marysville really well and was almost brought to tears when I saw the 3 or so buildings left out of 500 or so. The left hand of the main street is completely gone and you can see out the valley. Not much was spared. Places I had stayed had been vapourised, and my beloved ski shop owned by Nat Morandi was a bare block of land. The forest surrounding the town was eery in the dawn light and mist.
We were greeted to a cold morning (4 degrees) but the sun soon shone and we got ready for what would be a long day in the saddle. Full winter kit was required as the the sun was warm but once you were rolling you were soon cold. We kicked off the day and headed out on our short loop of 70km which was to take in Buxton, Taggerty and back through Marysville and up to Lake Mountain with 1500 other riders.
Craig was quick off the mark but I chose to take it easy as I new the climb to the top of Lake Mountain was going to sort the men from the mice. We headed out through the rolling hills of the valley and noted how the fire had not spared much including the tree lined roads, paddocks, fences etc. The surrounding hills were scorched in places where I doubt the forest will re grow with out human intervention and re planting.
After the first 20kms of rather fast riding we did the u turn and headed back towards Marysville. Once back at the start area we quickly restocked with water and some much needed snacks for the 25 km of climbing ahead. We headed back into Marysville and took the road towards Lake Mountain.
The climb just kicks from the turn off and I could see the surprise on the faces around us indicating it was tough. On this first climb is the guest house Kerami. All that was left was a few walls and a chimney. The street light had melted into a molten ice like glob hanging over the road. Roofing iron could be seen wrapped around tree branches like tin foil in the surrounding trees.
We continued to climb and after about 2 kms or so the road kicks into a 10% pinch for around 1-2 km's. It was nasty.... I have never seen so many people hopping off their bikes to walk or chewing their handle bars climbing. I admit, I pulled over to have a break up the pinch. Remember that there is still 17 odd kms of climbing, although none is as bad as this pinch. I know Trent Lowe loves heading out on this road to train and now I can see why.
After getting through this pinch we continued the ascent and checked out the view of burnt, moonscapes and match stick like trees. Craig was suffering and kept saying he didn't think he would get to the top. I coaxed him along. After the pinch the climb just ticked away, and I started feeling OK.
Once on the Lake Mountain road past Snowy Junction I was climbing at a nice tempo, and soon realised that I had gaped Craig. I pulled up and waited for him and at times gave him a helping hand to get to the summit.

We rolled into the main carpark after some 1.5 hours of climbing and through the finish. I was amazed to see the main building still standing. The surrounding trees had been badly burnt and the out buildings had been wiped out. The reconstruction was underway with portable buildings ready for the up coming ski season, which I am looking forward to.
Snow was present on the ground and gave me a different experience as I have never ridden through snow lined roads. We hung around for a bit and stretched, grabbed a quick drink and then descended back down the 20+ km climb past other riders climbing with all manner of pained expressions. It was a awesome descent that seemed to last forever.

It was a brillant day, we were lucky with the weather. If you get the chance get out and ride these roads as they are fairly quiet and are full of quality riding. I know I will get back out there despite those nasty hills.
Happy trails!