Thursday, December 31, 2009

slow week

Started the commute thing to get the km's in for the Otway. All went to plan on Monday with a cruise home through the bergs of Warrandyte and nothing has gone right since. Got stuck at work for 18hrs on Tuesday into Wednesday morning, killer of a shift but hey it does = $$$$$ for the next project.
New Years tonight and it will again be at work, I don't think a commute to work tomorrow is a good idea as it is a sure way to get skittled on the bike with people drink driving. The roads have been quiet with heaps of people clearly away for summer, actually it has been really nice on the road bike of late.
Looks like I might have to get the drop off at Smiths Gully on Saturday and ride home after the ride to get some extra kms in. Things have been so slow I have not even attempted to go to gym, but come next week, new year and go time as it will be some 7 weeks to go.
So have a happy new years and enjoy.
Happy trails

Friday, December 25, 2009

merry christmas

Merry Christmas to all. Had a pleasant roll this morning with the Carlton Christmas Crew. 8 of us had a nice roll along the beach to Black Rock and then back to Carlton to eat some pizza/ sticky pastry and drink some coffee. Awesome day, eaten way to much! Get out there and enjoy yourself.
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gellie Custom

Check out Ewen's page as he has turned out some sweet frames recently including a stainless frame with sweet etching on the down tube. He is also rolling round on a cross bike at them moment that is pretty tidy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

BBQ Fatties style

Stolen from Neil @ HTFU

Yesterday was a ride and BBQ for the Fatties crew who usually join forces on a Wednesday night for a rip along the Yarra Trails. Ben R had made his place available for beer and BBQ action (he has a pump track in the backyard, well more of a downhill course)but first there was some riding to be done. We did a lap of Han's loop and then headed out to the Templestowe Hill Climb and then back thorough Han's.
We followed up the ride with friendly banter and shooting the shit between stuffing down some sausages. A great day out.
Big thank you to Ben and Mel for organising it and allowing us to invade their house.
This morning I hit the local trails with a long time mate Huzza for a burn around the Mullum Valley. Had a fun morning despite smashing a massive gear, no doubt the legs will let me know later. Now I am going to stuff my face with some good fresh java and scrambled eggs.
Happy trails!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Snakes, two up and revolution

Snakes are not my favourite animal in the world but hey I pay them there dues and respect them a lot. Mainly, cause I can currently see every day at work what a Tiger Snake can due to a human with the venom from its bite. The old chap at work is into his 2nd week in a induced coma and is in a serious amount of deep shit! Now I have seen my fair share of snakes all over Australia and like everyone have a few stories. But, Gav and I had a encounter, whilst brief took my respect of the Tiger Snake to a new level.
We decided on Tuesday night to head out for a pedal before the pairs racing at the Dirt Crits. We did familiar trails along side the Yarra (which happens to be the home of these creatures) River which are always fun and flowing, especially on a warm night.

Gav was leading and pulled up quick. I pulled up next to him and said whats up. He pointed and said snake.... all good I thought. We watched the snake (1.5 meters long and thick) cruising across the trail, I was amazed at the colour of the yellow stripes, and how black and shiny his head was. I have seen snakes a lot but always when you are flying down the trail, so you don't really get the close up look (hey we were 5 metres away, still too close in my books). The Tiger stopped when his head reached the longer grass. Gav and I thought, make some noise, stamp the feet all will be good and the snake will leave. Not such a good idea, as we stamped our feet the Tiger Snake reared up a 1/4 of its body length to check out what the movement and vibration was. It then faced us and made a quick movement towards us still with its raised head. It was at this stage I elected to get the fuck out of dodge as the bike was pointing the wrong way and the snake was going to win hands down. I think Gav was surprised at the speed I bailed, but seriously I ain't going to try and make friends.
The two up pairs at the Flat Hill Crits were a blast and we had 8 teams I think and everyone had fun. I paired up with Mal and had a ball, apart from braining myself on a low hanging branch. You can see some photos here of the changes in transition. The post race beer and chips session at the finish was well earned, and the beers went down easily. I would like to take this chance to thank Bruce and Cam and the helpers for running this event every couple of weeks. I know I look forward to it even though I get my arse handed to me on a platter every week. No matter what it is a great little event, 30 mins of pain on some fun single track.
Last night was the Revolution 5 track racing event which included the 112th Austral Wheelrace. A average turn out of fans in the stands, but we all know it is because the organisers don't advertise the bloody quality fields. We had 5 or 6 World Champions racing on the track last night so there is no excuse for not getting a bigger crowd in. The in field bar was a success as always and the motley crew of Jase, Nat and Gav who came with me gave it a fair old nudge in the beer department. Neil swears he is hanging it up for a track bike next year, time will tell. It turned out to be a funny night with a few gags going on (Yes Rich, you do look like me, and yes we did confuse a few of the drunk people by making em see double) and it was a great opportunity to catch up with people who I had not seen for a while.
Congratulations to Ben Sanders who won the Austral in a convincing manner and made his dad a big softy (Dave Sanders, VIS coach won it 31 years ago), a few tears were shed at the finish.
Training has been slow this week with plenty of interruption from social engagements as Christmas is fast approaching. So a few rides in the coming days including Ben R's Christmas Ride so all is looking up.
Happy trails and get out there!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Revolution 5 is coming

Get on down for some christmas cheer and some beer time whilst cheering on some local and international talent in the Austral Wheelrace. Hope to see familar faces in the infeild bar! I had a blast last year and Gav and I are attending again this year so get a ticket.

check this

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Smith's Christmas Ride

Last night saw the call out for the Smiths Gully Christmas ride. Despite the shit weather yesterday morning, attendance was well beyond what I was expecting. We were one of the first cars to turn up and over the next 30 mins cars keep arriving. We ended up with 20 plus riders which is always sweet when you are carving up the trails.
The plan was a 2hr loop of riding with some big ass hills (I clocked up 800 metres of climbing) and sweet trails which were all nice and tacky from the rain earlier in the day. I was glad I went up past the gold mine and not over the water bar climb as even Jase looked fizzled after that climb.
I think everyone had a ball and there were not to many disappointments for us, with I believe no mechanicals, just a few geographically embarrassed riders.

Some sweet bikes were rolling around including Neils repainted Baum with some nice bling gold bits to highlight it. I was glad that there were other mad SS riders on the ride but I was in the red line from the word go and never really got my shit together. I should have ridden a bigger gear cause I kept spinning the gear out on the flats and slight inclines.
We made it back on dark and I was glad that I had a light for the last 5km as she got pretty dark. Ross (It think that is the owners name of Smiths Gully General Store) put on the grill for us and I know I consumed 2 burgers and a beer or two, Neil was 2.5 burgers and what ever else he could get his hands on.
So a big thank you to Mario for organising the masses for the turn out... if you knew and failed to show... too bad you missed a epic night out of fun and sweet tacky trails!
Happy trails!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

kick ass weekend

Gav and I rocked out some time on the bikes over the weekend. It was good to get out of town up to the Wombat Forest to ride trail up there, even though the loop was short. It just meant we tacked a few laps together. I know there is more out there after doing the BMC races but you seem to need some local knowledge to link it all together. Never the less we had a great ride Friday on sweet flowing trail.
To follow up the ride we headed to the Holgate Brew House for a spot of food and some local brews. It was a perfect way to end the day..... until a Mrs Doubtfire look a like entered the pub for a Friday arvo Chardonnay. A little disturbing, for us cause this dude in a dress pulled out the form guide for the horses and was dressed to the nines.... I swear it looked like Robin Williams. Anyway gave me and Gav something to chuckle about.

Sat was a low key day with a session at the gym and a bit of work around the house. I had planned to ride with Cam Wells and crew on the Sunday but word came through that it was going to be a trip to the You Yangs...... not for me as I have never had a lot of fun down there. So I called Gav and we came up with a plan for Sunday. It was simple meet at 8am at my place for a ride of at least 4 hours. This meant a little tinkering in the shed to swap to a appropriate gear.
Sunday came and I filled up on some serious amounts of breakfast delights and a few stiff coffees to get the body going. Gav turned up and we came up with a plan. We were going to use the local trails to get us to Warrandyte and then use Tee Pee trail to head us out towards Watsons Creek and then into the Smiths Gully trail system where we could make it longer or shorter. Perfect weather greeted us with clear sunny skies, perfect temps for cruising the trails.
We linked up the trails as we went and decided to climb Ridge Rd rather than descend it which was not to bad (last time for me it was a death march) and then linked in the the trails over at Rob Roy. We rode a new section of trail which is actually horse trail but it gets you off the narrow dirt roads on your way back out of Smiths Gully, always good as you don't want to end up a hood ornament on a red neck's 4wd. We had to bail off this piece of trail as we came to the back of about 20 horse riders, so rather than piss off 20 riders and get kicked in the head we jumped back onto the road.
We finished to loop and made it back to Warrandyte for a feed at the Bakery...mmmmm sausage rolls and tarts. It was a busy Sunday down there as Gav can attest as he was caught in a queue for some food. Once we made it home I was toasted. The Garmin however told us that after 4.5 hrs we had covered 65kms and climbed 1500 metres, not to shabby on rigid single speeds. We agreed that it was a worthy training loop for the upcoming Otway. I did spend the rest of the arvo napping and trying to recover cause I was in a bit of a box.
Tonight (I hope) is the Christmas ride up at Smiths, but I gather with the rain today Mario might pull stumps on it.... I hope not!
Happy trails!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

in's and out's

Having a bit of a ground hog week. Struggle town is a closer way of describing it. I struggled my way through the dirt crit on Tuesday night despite cruising around before hand for a warm up with Gav and today on the coffee run I was in bastard land. The crit course was awesome, what a difference a few little changes can make. The new part up the hill was testing on a large gear, but it depended if there was traffic in front. I lasted til 3 to go when I got lapped by the front runners so I pulled the pin. It was nice to see Ewen with his new monster cross and hearing that he is busy building frames. It sounds like he has some nice projects finished or on the drawing board. Plus he had a six pack of beer so I was a happy recipient of a Bright Ale.

Me on the down hill on the new single track @ the crit
Photo Cam Wells

Still smashing away in the gym and enjoying it. It will make the difference for many different activities I enjoy. The true pay off I hop will be in winter when I am on the ski's. I am having a bit of the white stuff withdrawal as it is usually this time of year I am planning a northern hemisphere ski trip.... not this year. What has made it nice though is I am not working my ring off to get money together to pay for it. Instead I am trying to enjoy the ability to get out on the bike, which I have to do so I am ready for the Otway.
The riding has been booked in for the next couple of days and will see me all over the place over the next week all so for some excellent bits of singles track between Melburn, Woodend and Smiths Gully. Looking forward to it all.
I was disappointed in the result of Cycling Australia to cut the budget for the High Performance Program of MTB in Australia. I don't think they remember that is where the current World Champion got his start.... dickheads!
As you can see I have joined twitter for a laugh, it is a interesting little application to play with.... more to come!
Happy trails and get out there and ride it like you stole it!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009