Thursday, November 26, 2009

dickhead drivers, world champions

Been a busy couple of days with the whole riding thing. Been trying to get in some road miles as I feel that they will be crucial for getting fit for the Otway. As Jase said to me the other night when out riding you get efficient at riding a mtb, but riding on the road there is no hiding the fitness. So with that in mind I will continue my hilly little circuit out through the back blocks of Melbs North East.
Anyway Monday saw me take in the Rob Roy circuit. Great day to be out low 20's, and no wind which made a huge difference compared to the week before when it was in the mid 30's. I love the riding out there cause there is little traffic on the roads and no traffic lights make it a sweet solid ride. I have plenty of options to make the ride longer if I chose which I ended up doing this week which gave me more climbing (exactly what the doctor ordered).
Tuesday was a study day at work on aggression management (that's right people I had to learn how to deal with angry people..... nicely). Slow day but it did end in some kung fu moves with punching bags at the end of the day in the aid of self defense. Jase swung by and decided that he would join me on the Tour de Burbs ride. I thought there was a Tuesday bunch but we ran in to Malachi and his crew from Nacinoal Cafe Team and tagged on to it. I think we were invading their ride but fuck it it was unlikely I was going to hang on for long. In the end I blew apart on the Doncaster Rd hill and lost sight of them pretty quickly. Jase talked me into a hilly way home (not so cool, I thought but good none the less) its all for February I kept telling myself.

The thing that amazes me most is still the attitude of drivers. On the way out on Tuesday night we were minding our own business spinning shit and cruising along when we cop this massive tirade of crap from a passenger in a BMW. Now I am OK until you call me C#$T. The usual thing happened of catching the car at the lights. The passenger was shocked to see that I filled up the whole window and was not some little weedy cyclist. I tried the door handle but luckily for him it was locked. After doing my block and smacking on the window it was all done. He had gotten the message that I was less than impressed by his actions, guess mine were not much better, clearly though at 60 plus years (he was seriously batting way above his average picking me) of age why yell abuse at 2 people riding along the road. He needs to help here I think and learn to love thy cyclist.
Last night I hooked up with Gav and we headed down to meet what is left of the Fatties ride. We arrived at the scout hall and were about to head out when Mario and a few others arrived so things were looking up. Just as we headed out four more turned up in a 4wd and caught us in the first part of single track. I did note a female dressed in all white looking very pro (Mario actually commented to her how pro she looked.... didn't get much of a response). We continued along the Yarra out towards Han's Loop. The female in the group was smashing it and was no slouch on 2 wheels. After a brief mechanical which turned into a night of annoyance for me at Heidelberg (continual loose crank) we continued out. The female of the group asked me how long it took to do the ride... nice young lady with a Welsh accent, interestingly looked familiar. It was then noted that her nice white shoes had world champs stripes and a name embellished on them. It said Cooke..... fuk me I muttered to myself its Nicole Cooke. Its not every day you get to smash it out on the dirt with a Olympic Champion and World Champion (take note Cadel being a normal person is OK!). As it turns out she was out visiting her brother who lives in Perth and has come over to Melburn town to check out the Worlds course for next year and believe it or not do the Kona 24 this week end. Some friends that live in Melburn had brought her out on the Fatties ride for some fun. I will say though we did manage to get her lost and her friends had to go and find her in the failing light so hopefully she will go OK in the dark at Kona. But I will say from the brief interactions with her she is a nice friendly person.
In the end it was a kick arse little Fatties ride with 9 or so people. I was amazed at how many people were out on the trails enjoying this indian summer weather.
Back to work today and I sit here tapping it out during a thunder storm so maybe its not such a bad thing I cant get out on the bike. Will head to the gym and have a few coffees before work and a read of the papers.
Happy trails!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

getting hot, headcolds suck

Had an easy Monday with the fur children doing a few laps of the hill on foot trying to blow the cold out of my head. No bike riding as I was blocked up and gurgling away like a drowning victim. I decided that Tuesday was going to be a cruise down to the Flat Hill Crits and see if I could really get the engine going.
The decision to drive was made (should have ridden down) as I had not ridden for a week and was not sure how the body would like it. I ended up getting to Burke Rd early and went towards Heidelberg along the single track spinning out the legs... feeling not to shabby.
I lined up for the race and lasted all of 5 laps before succumbing to the inability to breath due to fits of coughing from the dust. Bruce had put in a new piece of trail that was fun but the course needs to be a little longer to give you a chance against the geared folk.... there are rumours that there will be a extension, or re location at some stage to change it up a little.
About the time I pulled the pin I saw Neil looking at me as he was entering the single track. He muttered something about me being okay and then there was a god almighty crash. He had managed to roll his front tyre and ended up over the bars 10 odd meters from his bike. I was wondering what the fuck he had done as was he. That was our night over, well mine anyway, Neil continued on ridding and came apart again.
Yesterday saw me head out for a loop of the bergs behind where I live. I headed out on some familiar blacktop for which I have ignored for a few years. Nothing like riding quite back country roads with little traffic. I ended up with 2.5 hrs of sweet rolling hills (more like hard breathless climbing) around the back of Kangaroo Ground and Hurstbridge and no traffic lights. She was hot and sunny but it was great being out on the road bike. I was totally rooted by the time I got home but it is what the doctor ordered. Going to have to keep on getting out on that loop as it is a winner.
Today off to the gym for a bit of strength work and then off to drop off my forks for some love!
Happy trails!

Monday, November 16, 2009

the weekend that was

A very slow weekend for me trying to shake off the head cold from hell. The legs were hurting as they wanted to be in the sun on a bike and they were hurting from the leg work out on Friday at the gym.
It is a shame I missed the Psycho X as I would have liked to get out the old trust SS CX bike. Looks like all comers had a blast..... next time!
Saturday night was the high light of a very bland weekend of couch time. Simon and Rahna tied the knot. What a beautiful wedding over looking Albert Park Lake. Plenty of fun people having a blast. It was great to catch up with some old friends that have been like me very busy with life. All I can say is table 8 had a ball and it will be a night I fondly look back on in the years to come. We had Matthew Keenan on our table and was a fantastic guy with interesting stories. Turns out his sister is one of my big bosses at work.... bloody small world.
This week the plan is road bike time out through the dead roads above the Yarra Valley and around Kangaroo Ground. Tomorrow night I am planing on heading on down to the dirt crit and see if I can blow the last of this nasty cold out the door.
Off to give the fur kids a stroll.
Happy trails

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A very quiet week with only 3 trips to the gym and a single road ride on Tuesday. It appears that I have come down with the mother of all head colds as I am truly drowning in my snot. If only I had a tap in my head to turn off the constant flow of goop.
To add to the confusion I had to also get vaccinated for the H1N1 flu or Swine as it is known at work this week. The H1N1 has reappeared in Melburn this week and after looking after people in trouble with it I don't want to join them.... nasty stuff. The vaccination has probably added to the joys of the head cold.
I arranged for the gym to swap around my program with a instructor and after 1 session with a few squats and lunges added in I am feeling it big time today.
In a moment of confusion this week (most likely from my head cold) I entered myself in the Otway Odyssey. Mad I hear you say, well I might agree with you, but it gives me something to aim for. The boss cleared me to do it as long as the baby doesn't turn up early..... fingers crossed although I might want it to come early cause it will be a day of pain!
The picture up top is one of the current set up with the rigid front end. Looks sweet I think..... will be dropping my forks off to get the bushes done so I have something to ride in Feb at the Otway.
Not much else to report bar off to Simon's wedding tonight which should be a blast....
Happy trails

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

gravity wrap up

I was joined by Gav and Marty for the adventure of driving to the North East for the Gravity 12 hr. Weather was spot on compared to last year and we were all looking forward to the weekend. We drove up Friday to get a prime spot on the course to set up our base camp. Lots of nice classic hot rods on the way up as it was the Bright Rod Run. Sweet cars all along the highway, some made you just stare and wish you owned them especially the F100 truck I saw and drooled over. The new tent was a great investment and was handy over the weekend, although Marty slept in is car, felt safer I think as apparently there was some snoring in our tent. It made a impressive race HQ for Rocky J's Mutton Chop Review.
We woke early on race day and found that the sun by 8am was eating at your skin..... she was going to be a hot one. My previous outings on the first hot day of summer are usually not great as I discovered last year at the Surfcoast. We had a loose plan to race lap for lap and volunteered Marty for the leman style start. He did us proud and got us underway. Gav smashed out his lap leaving me to do mine, I was happy coming home in 40 mins.
The course was sweet but I soon realised I was riding a gear that was not enabling me to get over the sharp pinches of trail. Running in the sun was not fun on sandy loose trail, I should have stuck to my usual gear ratio but chose to run big. There was limited shade on course and the temp was rising fast and as the day continued it would hit 35+ degrees in the shade and near on 40 degrees in the sun. The dry dusty course was soon rutted out and the descent called Mojo was testing on the rigid forks. I had one flat, which seemed to take ages to get it fixed cause of the heat.
Marty headed out and struggled in the heat and cooked himself. He sat out a lap and Gav and I tried to run lap for lap for a while and were slowly being affected by the heat. I lost interest in food and was downing some serious fluid as was Gav.
Marty headed out again and got to the top of the first climb and had to pray on all fours to the vomit gods and limped home to pull the pin. Gav and I continued but at the 9 hr mark I had some nasty chamois rash and Gav was cramping so it was beer and BBQ time. I was so happy to stand under the shower and cool off, but the oppressive heat continued into the dark. We cheered on the rest of the riders as we sat in the shade and had dinner and a laugh.

Hats off to this guy with one leg.... awesome!

Next morning the plan was to trip to Bright or Falls for a ride but after inspection of my rear end I pulled any plan of putting more shorts on and getting on a bike. We packed up and headed to the Myrtleford Butter Factory for a sweet serving of eggs and coffee.

Neil trying to recover before getting back out there in the Baum pairs

BBQ time, juicy steaks and Marty's clown kettle!

Whilst not impressed at the end result of the team (39th in the male 3's) it highlighted a few pointers for me.... my fitness still needs much improvement, use chamois cream and choice of shorts is important, go with a proven gear ratio, and heat training is necessary.
So its time to get on the road bike for some road miles and fitness and hit the gym again..... got a appointment to get my program rejigged to shock the body. Need to find a few more races to do before the arrival of the baby at the end of Feb. I was planning on the Alpine Assault in December but feel that I am not ready for the challange of a 100km marathon on a singlespeed. I cant race the 6hr at Officer this weekend as I have Simon Gerrans wedding on sat night so I will have to scan the calender for some events in the next 10 weeks.
Off to get on the road bike!!!!
Happy trails

It was dirty out there!

Monday, November 9, 2009

spring video

A bit of video of spring riding and racing from the gravity 12 hr......
Had a good weekend up at the Gravity and will post more about it later.....

Happy trails!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Been a busy week with a trip to Perth for work (I remember a lot of beer time cause it was my birthday on the 29th) and then hanging around for a few days catching up with family. Spent a bit of time on the beach chillin out...... all good.
Got a couple of days to get sorted for the Gravity 12 hr so the first thing tomorrow is a decent ride...
Looking forward to the weekend and hopefully the sun gods will smile on us and I can get up to Falls Creek for a pedal on Sunday!
Happy trails