Sunday, February 28, 2010

joining the club

I had been invited on the madness of these early morning rides for months. I could have been a honorary member of the club, but was lacking one vital ingredient, a child. Now that I have been lucky enough to be gifted with a fantastic bundle of joy I now join my fellow fathers for early morning madness.
Today I joined fellow fathers Jase & Matt for one of there regular rides. The only issue was a 6am start time, which meant lights and a bit of night riding (I don't really dig riding in the dark, previous night rides have educated me in pain well) and being prepared for some hurt time as these boys ain't slow.
The ride was a 65km jaunt around the hills behind Warrandyte, Christmas Hills and Yarra Glen on the mtbs. Basically it was a big loop around Sugarloaf Dam on dirt roads with lots of punchy hills. A cross bike would have been perfect for the occasion, maybe next time I will drop on the cross tires I have. Lots of climbing was involved and I constantly felt like I was fighting the bike. I am having issues with gears as I am so use to muscling up hills on the SS, but on the Karate Monkey I just want to grind up in the granny, go figure.
On this early morning loop many animals especially roos were to be seen. However one animal we did not expect to see was a herd of 5 Samba Deer in all their glory. I had heard that they were in the area but I had never spotted them on any of the rides out there that I have done. They are big units and I wouldnt want to run into one in a car or a bicycle. They do look pretty cool with those massive antlers, better alive than stuck on a board over a fire anyday.

The deer were quick to disappear, as they saw us as a threat I guess as most meetings with humans probably result in them being shot by hunters.
Around this same area we had a run in with a mob of Kangaroo's, we at least the pied piper of kangaroos, Jase did. As we were motoring down the road a few Kangaroos jumped across the road, one of the young roos borked and fell on the road in front of Jase and as it hit the deck Jase bunny hopped the roo. We think there was a little contact with the rear tyre but the roo got up and hopped off.
On the way home I hit the wall in a big way and was completely shattered and rolled home a destroyed unit. We did spot a car that had left the road and the police were in attendance checking it out. Looked to be a stolen car crashed by joy riders.
I was glad to get home and hoe down some oats and coffee. I spent the rest of the day recovering, went out for a little lunch with the family and rounded it off on the couch asleep with the kid. Great day!
A big thanks to the boys for smashing me!
Happy trails!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

times ticking by

Been a hectic week since I last jotted down a few notes on the blog. Trying to get into the swing of things here with a extra little person in the house. I have managed 2 rides this week, unfortunately one was cut short by a piece of fencing wire.
I was looking forward to stretching the legs out at Smiths but as I was heading out to Rob Roy I had a piece of wire snag itself through my rotor, take the chain off the SS drive train, around the hub and then attempt to rip the hose of my new elixirs. Needless to say 3 seconds of snagging took 10 mins to untangle the mess. I was able to roll back to car but was pissed as I had wasted a afternoon. I also had to order a new hose as the current one is a little worse for wear but still seems to work OK despite a few right angled turns in it.
I was going to get out on the Fatties ride tonight but was unable to do it as the boss (credit to her she wanted me to still go out) had to head back to hospital to get a few things sorted. So I have opted out of the Fatties ride to make sure that my 2 little ladies are sorted. Always another Wednesday nite to fill in soon enough.
I was happy to hear that the lads (Gav and Neil) did us proud and survived the Otway. Both have said that they were frustrated with their times, but the list of DNF's tell the story of how bloody hard the day was.
Word is out that there is a little ride getting put together for March out in the high country... mmm will have to check that calender and see if I can make it.
My plan is to get in some road miles and enjoy myself as the dirt is shitting me at the moment. I will say that Andy's photo journalism and related stories have inspired me a little to get out of town, so I think I will! Just have to pull out the SS cyclocross and get it on!
Get out and enjoy the sun, cause I will be.
Happy trails!

its on again soon!

Should be another set of drool worthy frames on film soon for all the handbuilt bike lovers in the world. I am still kicking myself for not attending a few years back when I had the chance. The NAHBS is a worth a look for those who want something more refined than a carbon road or MTB bike.

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Well Monday saw Tam and I welcome in to the world our little daughter Grier weighing in @ 7lbs, 7oz.
A awesome experience, one I shall treasure for a long time. I will avoid all the juicy details, but one I will include is that the boss is as hard as nails and takes the Maillot Jeune for the whole birthing experience. I was truly speechless at her focus and ability to push on through the barriers. They come home tomorrow and I cant wait.
In other news I have been watching the Winter Olympics and enjoying myself immensely. I have managed a few hit outs on the bike and am happy with the back so far. Gym will start in the next couple of days and I am looking forward to the time off with the family.
Happy trails

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

About time

I was sitting outside this morning enjoying the weather and in the paper whilst drinking a fresh brew I discovered this article. It is informing the world that cars shall be removed from Beach Road in one suburb on the weekends. About time I say, however the locals have other opinions. One such opinion is that it is rewarding cyclists bad behaviour. WTF? How about it will probably save some lives! We all have a opinion and mine is as one sided as the next, at least in the cyclists favour.
I have been racing bikes now for 20+ years, hey time flies when you are having fun. I can remember a time when the races were at Dunlop Rd on a Sunday morning and the bunch would roll down the beach post race. This was the late 80's early 90's and cycling was yet to be a boom sport in Australia.

This was when people like Phil Anderson were path finding the way and paving the road for todays Australians in Europe. He got very little air play unlike todays riders in Europe. Anyway when the bunch made it to the beach and wound its way along Beach Road there were few cyclists to be seen. Jump forward 10 plus years and each year particularly in summer the Beach Road is a mecca for weekend cyclists. I believe that at least 10000 riders use it on a weekend and that would be scraping the surface. I guess the issue is that as numbers of cyclists have increased and this has resulted in more accidents, some of which I have seen. To have the road clear for a few hours each weekend morning so the flow of traffic and dangers are reduced is not a bad thing. I guess the locals will be pissed off regardless, as they view the invasion by lycra clad 2 wheelers of their suburb an issue. No doubt this topic will get some air play in the media over the coming weeks.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

on the mend

On the mend is a great place to be as it has been a miserable time the last few weeks. Actually it has been more frustration than anything else. After some good osteo treatment and a massage or two I am pain free and the stiffness is gone. After a afternoon nap on the floor this afternoon I feel great. The week was a bit up and down but I was able to get out and enjoy it a few times. I got out with the ultimate training partner on Monday (Farlee the one eyed border collie) who was happy with anything on offer and didn't complain once. We rolled the local trails and cut a few laps of some choice trail in the sun. Despite the puncture, a few loose bolts it was a pleasure to be out and about. I followed it up with a rub down and felt not to shabby.

I headed down to the Flathill Crews Dirt Crit Tuesday and handed my money over for a 3 lap ride as the back didn't agree with pushing a big gear. The difference a few weeks off can make is massive as the fitness has tailed off, the lungs ain't use to being flogged again just yet. I also rode down to the crit and headed home the back way but caved near home and phoned the boss for a pick up as the engine was cooked and the back shot.

I even made a national newspaper this week blurred out in the background, doing my thing at work. I got to say the press are annoying shits and managed to get in the way whilst doing their best to act like Hollywood paparazzi.
This week will see me back on the bike a few more times and maybe a trip to the gym. I will be strapping on the running shoes cause its time to get the game face on and whip this soul into shape. I am heading out to Lysterfield tomorrow for the first time in 6 plus months and am keen to roll as much trail as possible. Always fun out there more so when you haven't done it for a long time.
Winter Olympics start this week and I am keen to watch as much as possible as withdrawals from the snow are in full effect this summer. I am sure it will pump me up to get right back into winter preparations so I can be ready for the 2010 XC ski season.
Happy trails!

Monday, February 1, 2010

racing weight

This book should be arriving in my hot little hands for me to read very soon. It has come to my attention especially since rooting my back that some kilos could be removed from my frame. I have heard a bit about the book and am keen to see if it can help me achieve some goals for the year.
My back is on the mend and I am going to be hitting the trails later this morning to get the back moving again. I have a rub booked in to help try and relieve the tension issues that I seem to have accumulated over the last few months. More osteo time this week which will be needed after racing tomorrow night and hopefully the Fatties ride on Wednesday night if my body holds together.
Its come to the time of the year where ski preparation enters my mind, so a return to the running and pole bounding is about to start this week and in the next week or two a return to the roller skis. Also the Winter Olympics start soon so this will inspire some more training with winters goals in the back of the brain.
I have decided to give myself the goal of the Marathon Champs in April (now that I have some gears as a option if needed) and have entered myself for a session of pain in the 90km veterans class. Should be good fun and seeming that the Otway has slipped by the wayside now gives me a focus.
Life otherwise is cruising and the count down to the new edition is underway well and truly. Installed the baby seat today so it is coming closer to reality as we are in the last 4 weeks of the pregnancy. Looking forward to meeting the little one as most days I feel them kicking away doing aerobics in the bosses belly.
Happy trails!