Monday, June 29, 2009

Big Mak just registered for Kangaroo Hoppet 19

Big Mak just registered for Kangaroo Hoppet 19 on Active

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So as you can see I have committed myself to some pain come the end of August. The Kangaroo Hoppet is Australia's premier XC ski race.The Kangaroo Hoppet is part of the Word Loppet Series which sees racers from all over the world descend on Falls Creek for a marathon race. This will be my first attempt at the full distance (I usually do the 21 km event called the Australian Birkebeiner) but after a 30 km race in Canada earlier in the year has me keen to attempt it. Training is being done and the results are starting to show. I am now enjoying the running and surprisingly it is helping with the riding.
My only issue is work and it has hit big time with me doing a 18 hour shift yesterday. I have seen some seriously sick people in my time in ICU (7 years) but the last 24 hours have blown my mind at how sick young people can get with the latest round of influenza/ pneumonia going around town. I was glad to get out of work today after the marathon effort of OT. OT is a welcome thing because the cash is nice and helps when buying product for bikes and ski's but it leaves you pretty empty.
I picked up a Thomson post today from Rich (my brother from another mother) and was wrapped with the service from him and the BSC crew. I will be back for some much needed new rubber for the 29er, maybe for the Australian Marathon Champs.
Tomorrow will hopeful be a nice ride home from work via the Yarra Trails on the 29er, weather is expected to be shit but I need the training. I NEED SOME DIRT TIME AFTER THE REBUILD!
Later in the week sees my return to Falls Creek for a ski, hopefully some racing with the Birkebeiner Classic, if the snow comes. Looking at the forecast we should be right. I think Timmy Clarke is up for it and it should be nice to catch up with him for a ski hopefully. If no racing then some enjoyable skiing instead in fresh snow should be on the cards. Maybe even a swing by of the Bridge Road Brewery in Beechworth.
Happy trails!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

What the fuck Test Team Cervelo!

Call me biased but the local boy deserves a start at the TDF. His results prove that he should be there, sure there are some big names trying to squeeze in for a start on the Tour team.
He was picked up by Test Team Cervelo for the bloody Tour so go figure why he aint lining up. After the Giro stage win I thought Simon was a sure thing..... not to be!

Simon Gerrans dropped from Tour de France

June 24, 2009 12:30pm

EXCLUSIVE: MELBOURNE cyclist Simon Gerrans will be a shock absentee from the Tour de France after his team told him today he would not be selected.

Gerrans won a mountain stage of the Tour of Italy - the second most important race in the world - only two months ago, and a stage of the Tour de France last year.

He has also won the Herald Sun Tour twice and the Tour Down Under, and had strong form in European one-day races earlier in the season.

Cervelo, a new team based in Switzerland, recruited Gerrans this year, telling him he was to be the main helper for their gun rider, Spaniard Carlos Sastre, who won the Tour last year.

It was not immediately clear why Gerrans has been dropped but he told friends in Melbourne today that he was shocked and disappointed.

The Tour starts in Monaco, where Gerrans lives, on Saturday week.

Stolen from the Hearld Sun....

Some of the comments post this article were a little insulting especially from one individual who if he would like to argue some of the finer points of the sport..... I am up for it!

Another article here from cyclingnews and if you want join the support group I have started on facebook.

In other news I have been training well and can see that things are improving, first hit out on the ski's in a race in 10 days, if the snow is good!

Happy trails

Friday, June 19, 2009

one for the masses

Happy Friday

been awhile but enjoy!

Noosa Century

Ah cafe time at Mt Cootha!

Last Friday saw Gav (the tolerant one) and myself jump a plane to Brisvagas. I lived in Brisvagas during my early adult years when I was in the Army.... I have some fond memories but they are far between the bad ones of long times in the jungle and desert digging holes and playing war.
Qantas happily took the bikes and got them to Brisvagas with out incident, but I had my sunscreen confiscated cause it had no top on it. Go figure, but the guys at the security point were happily singing the Banana Boat theme from the ad on the TV(small things amuse small minds!) as I walked off to get the plane.
Anyway Mister Sister was wrapped to have us there and was keen to show us the sights. One thing that struck me was how backwards Brisvagas is. The shops and restaurants still shut early and we were lucky to grab a meal on Friday night. We shot the shit and caught up as we haven't seen him for a while since he chased his love interest Brooke to Brisvagas.
Saturday we were greeted with warm weather, sunshine and a trip up Mt Cootha. Big Al was in town and Mister Sister had hooked him up to meet us at the cafe at the top of Mt Cootha. We rode out and up the Mt Cootha climb. I decided to take it easy and ride my version of tempo but the other two decided to race each other. Needless to say when I got to the top of the climb Gav was crawling out of the bushes after almost loosing his lunch, but boys will be boys when deciding who has the biggest set of testicles!

The three stooges with Brisvagas in the background!

We arrived after a little more climbing to the top and found a table with a view. Basically this is like being at Sky High at the Dandenongs in Melburn. Big Al arrived and we had a coffee and shot the shit before descending down the Mt Cootha rd at warp speed and rode home.
On the way home we swung past a cool bike shop called Velo. I see the the Brisvagas bike population love the high end bling factor with more Colnago, Pinarello, Look, Time bikes all costing more than the usual $$$$$$. But nice shop and there were a few gems amongst all the euro white bar tape and matching saddles including a Colnago Ferrari numbered 1 of 99 and a few steel beauties in Molteni orange.
Later in the day we rode down and collected our entry for the Nossa Century (Brisvagas version of Round the Bay) which started in the Botanical Gardens. The ride in was a tad tricky with me almost being taken out by a redneck driver and playing dodge the car and pothole on one of Brisvagas's busiest roads.
It was a early rise for Sunday with a 5am rise and shine to get ready to roll 160km's with the best of Brisvagus. We headed down to the start.
Now a few things that struck me as interesting about the Noosa Century....
It was not a race - but we were issued numbers, these numbers had to be worn on the front.... not cool
It was not a race but there was podium places on offer?
It was not a race but with the above information do you think people were going to ride 2 up and stop at red lights.... not really!
Me I had my plan, it was called get to the end. I rode it like the good old days of long training rides. I did find a bunch that I sat with on and off over the ride. Often I would start before them after the water stops and they would catch me further up the road.
I have never seen some many high end bikes with Zipp and Lightweight wheels..... the bike bug has really consumed Brisvagas and the bike accounts of many.
The course was good apart from the first 30km which was red light city and the there was alot of stop start. Once on the country roads the landscape opened up with some views of the Glasshouse Mountains, cane fields, pineapple plantations, lush tropical bush. It was a rolling course with a few hill, mainly short and sharp. One hill called Restaurant Hill (usually cause people blow some vomit on it as it is after the main rest stop) was a nasty 18 % and saw most walking it, I had a short walk on it at then jumped back on and rode the rest of it as walking in road shoes sucks big time.
The ride along the coast to Noosa was spectacular and apart from the wind was great for working on the tan lines. The added bonus was the finish on the river and given the 24 degrees it was nicer than a ride at home this time of year would be.
The other guys gave it a hit out and Mister Sister brought it home in 40 something place, Gav not far behind him, me somewhere way behind that at a finish time of 6hrs - not bad and I still had something left in the tank. Must be the long enduro races on the mountain bike which aided me in cruising the distance.

We spent the night in Noosa and as you can see by the photos it is a nice place to stop and rest. We finished the day off with a few beers and watch the sun go sown on what was a great weekend.
A big thank you to Mister Sister and his lady Brooke for putting us up and organising the logistics of picking us up and dropping us back at the airport and the trips to and from Noosa.
Happy trails!

snow time

Top of Royston Road

Winter came with a vengeance last week and opened the door for some early skiing. Thing was I was on a tight schedule for time as I had a trip to Brisvagus for a catch up with Mister Sister and a short 160km ride. I did however manage to make one trip to check out Lake Mountain and i was not disappointed.
The heavy rain and low temps had dropped the snow level quite low and there was snow on the Black Spur. The road leading up to Lake Mountain had snow early on and the view to the surrounding hills was spectacular given that there is very little vegetation since the Black Saturday fires. The snow had brightened up the somewhat bleak surrounds of fire damaged forest and made the forest like a black and white photograph.
I found 30cms of snow at the control gates which you don't see that often which meant that there would be plenty of snow up on higher elevations. I was not disappointed with the amount of dry snow when I hit the trails.
I had a descent first ski of 3 hours of classic skiing on a soft base. Due to the fire the groomer was destroyed so they trails were being groomed by a Skidoo and bully piston which did the job. It was a great first ski which I rarely get in the first week of June.
I headed back yesterday and was greeted by a diminished snow base with a few rocks sticking through the trails. A week makes a big difference, but I still got a session in on some very ice covered trails. With snow forecast for next week I am hopeful for some more ski time before racing starts in July. The substitution training with some running is coming along, and rollerski sessions will be added from this week end combined with a little bike riding.... should be fun!
Happy trails

Top of Echo Flat near Triangle Junction

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

some fun stuff

Weekend was awesome.... sunshine a plenty and a nice 160km jaunt through the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. A big thank you to our hosts with the most Mister Sister and his lady who put us up and put up with us, many a laugh during the weekend.... More later, but enjoy this intermission!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Got one of these baby's this week. A nice Brooks Professional saddle in honey brown to match the bar tape. If Brooks saddles are good enough for the likes of past euro pro's such as Tom Simpson then it should suit me. I do note they are hard but got plenty of time to break it in. I think it has come up well on the bike.

Off to Brisvagus tonight for a few days of riding and a catch up with Mister Sister. Should be a great weekend, although doing the 160km ride to Noosa on Sunday will test me. Need a bunch ride like this one below!

Found this on my face book today from Simon. Simon is in Aspen doing some altitude training with the big boys from the European races in preparation for the TDF. Not everyday you get to head out with the likes of Lance and Levi. Imagine trying to hold these wheels at altitude!

Other news is that I have had my first ski of the season at Lake Mountain. Great snow, the forrest is burnt but still looks great. Will post some photos when I down load them. Had a hit out for 2hrs of classic skiing on fresh dry snow. Feeling it today but it is the combination of work and play!
Happy trails

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

weather for polar bears

Winters first major cold snap is here. Hey I am happy cause it might give me some skiable snow later in the week, but the rain is keeping me off the bike. I like it when the weather report is expecting snow on the nearby hills. Brings a smile on the dial
I am hitting Brisvagus on the week end for a weekend of riding, including a little ride to Noosa. I have not been on a bike since the CTS 10 days ago.
My training the last week has been running, and a bit of strength training, so next weekend will be interesting...... should be OK just take it easy and let the day roll on.
I am hoping to get the 29er back together this week with a new front wheel and get the fork redialed after its loving.
So I sit here tapping on the keys writing this and having a fresh brewed coffee watching the rain tumble down. Warm in here cold out there.... what to do?
Updated my race calender with my XC ski race plans for winter snow depending. Some serious traveling will be involved but hey to do what you love, what does it matter. Only one bike race over winter which will be part of the CTS series in a team of 3 with Gav and Marty (I will be in touch soon Marty!).

Happy trails!

Friday, June 5, 2009


Well, a easy week this week has sought of been forced upon me. I have been blocked by the weather a little, plus with the ski season approaching I am forced to get my act together pronto. Work is slightly mad and has me tied up for 9 days straight before heading straight to Brisvagus to do the ride with Mister Sister and friends.
I hit the road on my running shoes rather than wheels this week as my first race on the skis is a month away, I do require snow, which is just around the corner. ( please note I am regularly doing a snow dance -naked of course- to get the season under way....come on snow gods)
I note that running hurts a lot, its bone jarring feelings are less than welcome but given some of the hurdles I must conquer this year on the skis it is a new best friend. So i smashed out a run along some undulating terrain around the area I live in and was happy when it was over. I am looking forward to some new skis that are somewhere between Austria and Melburn in the back of the cargo plane direct from Fischer. Cant wait to get them on my ski legs!
In bike related news, I have dropped the forks out of the 29er and they are now sorted and should be back together soon. Deep in contemplation about swapping out my stem on the 29er as I am slightly sceptical about its condition after the failure of the bars, mmmm thinking hard! I hooked myself up with some Brooks honey brown leather bar tape for the road bike that looks sweet on the bars and I am hopeful that I can find the funds (I hear the work OT alarm bells) for a matching leather saddle soon.
The only joy on the horizon will be a pedal with Craig on Sunday morning, if the predicted rain holds off, otherwise the run will be the only option.
Anyway off to work for some more tongue biting fun!
Happy trails!

Monday, June 1, 2009

CTS2 video

CTS notes of pain

Yesterday saw me take in the sights of Lysterfield for 5 hours in the 2nd round of the CTS series put on by Full Gas Promotions. Gav joined me for the day but was spectating from the sidelines post his eye surgery. It was a early start, but those who rise early get the worm (something like that anyway). We got a prime spot to set up near the trail to feed me and not to far from the amenities.
It was a typical Melbourne Autumn's day with fog and a bit of heavy dew leaving moisture on the trail making it perfect and tacky. I eventually got organised, kitted up and ensured the bike was right to go, and that I had everything.
Off to the race brief for the news of the start and the plan for the day, then it was time to line up. After much confusion the 300 odd start group lined up for a quick dash along the dam wall roads in various directions to get the riders spread out before the single track.
The usual madness of the first lap ensured that I would run cyclocross style to get round people caught up in the single track. I found my pace and was tacked on the back of a group and exchanged spots a few times with various riders. The great thing was the course change had taken out a big piece of fire road which meant it was going to be more competitive for the single speeders.
There was the usual argie bargie, one guy tried to come round me and was leaning into me so I gave him a flick of the elbow and he backed off. I am all for passing but let me know and don't try it with a approaching tree on the trail side. Saw a couple of spectacular falls on the first lap. One guy opted for a line everyone else avoided on the Red Gum trail and he hit a piece of rock and then shot across back towards us all over the bike and into a tree.
After a reasonable first lap I came through the finish shoot and headed back up towards the road. I pulled back on the bars to lift the wheel onto the road and snap! My bars were in two parts. I was a bit perplexed, and then headed back to the start line with my bike on my shoulder. Lucky was a word that passed through my brain a lot for the rest of the race as I thought about where in the course the bars could have failed. One lesson to be learned here is if you have a big off involving your bars, change em!
Anyway Gav and Marty (my fellow side burn fan) where at the start line and as Trail Mix was open I was in luck that they had a bar that would do the trick. Gav handed over the cash and Marty got on the tools to get me back up and running. I was amazed that I only lost 15 mins with the whole drama and then I was off and going.
The race continued and I found it to be a fun course as I haven't ridden the trails out there much of late, so boredom wasn't a issue. I eventually got 5 laps done, had the potential for a 6th but opted out as I was rooted and in need of a coffee. It looks like I had a average day coming in 51st out of 90 odd solo men. If I had not had the bar drama and had something a little more in that tank I may have gotten 6 or even 7 laps in. I am happy enough with the result but man solo does your head in a bit!
Gav and I rounded out the day with a few quiet ales and a bit of shooting the shit. I will post some photos soon as I can and a little video.
Now it is time to get on the road bike with the Brisbane to Noosa 160 km ride in a few weeks and get some road miles in the legs. Also with the ski season likely to get started in a few weeks I also need some specific ski training (I hear the sound of roller skis and some running).
The forks on the mountain bike blew a seal yesterday so time to get that fixed and will most likely pull down the whole 29er and give it a big clean up.
In other news, it is amazing that people read these blogs, and I was amazed to have people comment on this blog whilst out racing yesterday. Cheers for reading these ramblings, and good luck to those who love to ride their bikes!
Happy trails!