Monday, May 31, 2010

Cyclocross anyone?

The rumour mill is fresh with the scent of a 3 series cyclocross winter series in Melburn town. As you can see from the attached photo (stolen from cyclingtips blog) the flyer was handed out @ Melburn Roobaix on the weekend.

First is on June 27th @ Brunswick Velodrome, so get them skinny tread tyres ready and head on down..... watch this space called Dirt Deeds CX for more info as it arrives. Seems like Big Red will have to come out of the shed and get dirty!

Big Red has been sleeping for a while!

Repairs anyone?

Whilst stewing on my poor perfomance at the CTS I got a call from Craig. He had read my post regaring the requirement for a new gruppo as the Dura Ace was on its way out. He asked me to come over so he could have a look. A few squirts of a can of contact cleaner and some silicon spray, the lever was working well and enjoying a new lease of life. A bit more love and it seems the lever has burst back into life as the clogging grease and grit was expelled from the moving parts. It will have to be tested this week on the commute, but the quick spin around the street was a big improvement.
Now Craig is starting his own repairs business being run from home. He has more tools than most shops, a true lover of bicycles and he like things being done right. He was proudly showing me his collecton of Park tools he has collected over the last few months (some I was impressed with) and gave me a run down of his plans. His workshop was cleaner than most kitchens and everything neatly organised. He is a lover of bicycles from way back and has a few really nice bikes himself including a Moots Vamoots that for many years has been and envy of all who see it.
If you want servicing done by someone who loves bikes, especially as much as you love your bike then contact him on this email address Please note he is in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne.

CTS round 1

Going to keep it short..... real short. Got up early downed some juice and my morning ritual of porridge and dried fruit with a splash of milk and golden syrup. Packed the last of the kit and the car and strapped the bike to the roof ( I found a new dent in my down tube from my head on a few weeks back with the Brazilian bird on the Yarra Trails, not happy at all!) and got ready to roll. I found that leaving way early only just got me a park in the car park where I hibernated in the car with the Sunday paper until I could be rooted to get out and kit up. After a short roll around, 1 strong coffee and a few words to various people I found myself looking for a location for the bottles and food stash. Spot found I headed to the start line.
Plan was simple, don't contest the start and take it from there.... 20 bottle necks later I was on the first lap and whilst comfortable, was not in the zone of zen like happiness. Whilst I usually like a pedal round Lysterfield the state of some of the trails were down right shite and muddy. After lap 2 enough was enough and I pulled the pin. My elbow was stinging for some reason (been a issue lately, falling apart I am!) so back and pack the car get a feed and off to Marty's for a brew and a muffin. Day done!
Happy trails

Saturday, May 29, 2010

time is flying

Another week has slammed past me, it seems like only yesterday it was Christmas. Winter is knocking on the door, although not really cold yet my attention is beginning to turn towards the thought of skiing. I have been a bit lazy and not roller skied this year, finding the time is another with a new family member zapping that. Running is on the cards now that my leg has finally healed, and I am still yet to make it to the gym.
Commuted to work on twice this week as the group set is playing havoc with its death groans, 8 years is nothing to cry about but you never want massive purchases. 1 snapped Dura Ace axle in one rear wheel with a more than likely 6 week wait for a spare as Shimano Australia don't have one in stock. Getting the part needed to sort out my shifter has fallen by the wayside as it too is out of stock. The other hub had to get sorted and rebuilt this week. Bloody frustrating I tell you as finding cash to buy some new 7900 Dura Ace is looking unlikely for the moment. I spent a hour down the LBS and many more surfing the net for some options. With 7900 being at least around the 2K mark (frankly me thinks Shimano are kidding them selves with the price) I am liking the sound of some SRAM Force. I don't need the Red and think the Force will keep me more than happy for my commute and a few side trips up the Nongs or around Bright. I am seriously considering a swap to compact with a straight block at the back. I do like the look of Campagnolo Chorus but it will need some new hubs. At least I can continue to use my current wheels to get me through cheaper options. Anyway I have managed to get the bike back on track and will continue to weigh up the options as I commute. The shifter just needs to last a few more weeks and then I will be happy to find some new gruppo.
I headed over to Lysterfield to pick up the race number and give the course a loop. I will have to say that she is going to be muddy and I am glad I am running single cause I can hear the dollar signs getting ground up as people roll around in that grit tomorrow. I have opted to run with what I have brung which is 32:17 which will keep me honest in the hills but sweet on the open fire roads sections. My race plan is simple..... race the course, not people and have fun. If the fun stops so will I and kick the feet up.
Happy trails!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

funny how things turn out

So Jase and I head out for a ride in perfect conditions Saturday arvo. All is sweet, talk subject is gold, trails great fun, having a laugh in the sun. We are cutting a lap of Han's Hill and talking the merits of tubeless tyres and why I don't run em on the SS. I am going through the list of tube vs tubeless and thinking to myself that come NZ in October I should be on some tubeless and bam.... the tyre pops a bead and ends up like so. Now why did this happen, the tyre was seated perfectly, the pressure was in the sweet spot.... could it have been the 2hrs in the sun at home outside the shed waiting for its trip to the trail head. I don't know, I am glad it didn't happen on a downhill!!!
Been bloody cold for the morning commutes lately, but today took the piss when Gav and I ventured up the Nongs. Nice frost in parts.... good weather for Eskimo's! Not a bad week with around 200km for the week. I am happy with that as if I can keep it going through winter it will keep the legs turning over. I am slowly discovering that consistency is the key, I dont need massive kilometres in the bank, just enough to keep the engine warm. Chase the Sun next week, still deciding on a game plan.... running a low gear v's a high gear... I don't know what to do. Will have to see what course has been plotted and how I feel come Sunday.
Happy trails!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cadel... where the hell are ya!

As Cadel does his usual thing of loosing time watching the wrong moves we end up with a new Aussie spectacular.... Ritchie Porte. Been a cracker of a week for Aussies on the world scene. Whilst I still do not count Cadel out of a 3 week tour, he did loose 11 mins today.... go figure!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I wish

This was on cyclingnews today.... yes please!

people are foolish

Head over here and check this out on the Fyxomatosis site. Andy sums it up perfect and I encourage you to send this person a email with your thoughts, I know I did.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

cool videos

Coastal Crew who were responsible for the Sandbox video I posted a weeks ago have a website with some awesome video. Check out here. Whilst not a freerider/ downhiller myself I can recognise the talent these boys possess and it does make you want to get out there and play in the dirt! Footage like this does make you want to find the best trail just like Jase and Ash over at Felt Epix have been trying to do for the last few years.

Not much else in my world just doing the commute to work (I am loving it to tell the truth as it clears my head), I have opted out of the Bendigo race for a bit of time around here. Plus I can get 3hrs of riding done here with out the 2hrs of commute to Bendigo. I think I will spend some of the weekend in the dirt playing on the SS!


Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Italian Way

How it should be done on @ a Grand Tour..... include the dirt!
It has so far been a corker of a Tour of Italy with 3 Aussies doing us proud.... nice work boys, keep it going.
In other news happy 30th to Gerro... welcome to the 30's club! Spoke to him yesterday and he is getting some altitude in Colorado, he posted this pic from a training ride, looks like summer, not!

You can follow his exploits here or here. Sounds like he has been putting in the miles for later this year....
Me, I am still rollin to work... nice warm 3 degrees today on the way in. Thank god for decent winter gear! Looking at some of these or these. The sks race blades are driving me nuts as the rear is warped and maybe I just like being different rocking a pair of timber fenders. Ahhh we will see, they do look cool!
Happy trails!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

the commute

OK I have bitten the bullet. If I want to get in some bike time with the new family plan, I have to ride to work. I have done this a little from time to time to get in some extra bike time during summer and to miss out on hot weather. I have the ability of a big locker at work and access to a shower with secure bike storage, so really there is no excuse.
I have dropped some mudguards made by SKS on the road bike and I have to say they are a must for pleasant rides in shit weather. Ultimately nothing will keep you dry in pissing rain but in the weather this week the race blades have kept me reasonably dry when combined with a decent jacket and booties. Note to self that the plastic guards don't like being stored in a hot shed over summer as my rear guard has a nice warp in it but I can still use it.
I rode to work Monday being the first day of my early morning commute. It was a bit fresh but I was having fun rocking the road with my helmet Vicious Power Arc lamp and getting into the grove. Tapping it out having fun until I noticed a car coming from my left at a intersection, oh and I was not running a red, I had a green and was in the right. The car was planning on turning left to merge with me, but the guy driving didn't even look nor slow down and powered through a give way sign.

I was staring straight at the guy and his car was lit like a fuckn Christmas tree with a few hundred lumen's, still he ignored me and I jumped into the next lane cause he was on a mission. A bike rider flipping across his bonnet wouldn't have phased this guy. Me being slightly pissed off I launched my protective water bottle and missed him.... just.
So the decision was made that the next day of commute would be down the bike path. I normally try and avoid bike paths as previous experience has proven that pedestrians, dogs and bikes mix poorly. I will say that despite there being a quite a few people out for a early morning jaunt along the path it was a better option than being scuttled on the road by dick head drivers.
So I now have my route perfected and have a few options for some extra hills to tack on at the end to keep the lungs feeling fine and in burning form.
In other news at Big Mak central I am still recovering from my head on the other week with a nasty blood clot and bruising on my leg. I have not been able to run yet as walking on it kills me. I must have struck it on the crank arm whilst absorbing the hit from the other rider and the shin of my left leg came up with a ripper of a egg on it the day after the crash.
Plans are still coming together for a few races before the ski season rolls in, I am still undecided about the Bendigo 3hr but the first Chase the Sun is a goer.
I have been finalising a loop for winter XC riding on the single speed that can have extras added in for some hills in preparation for NZ later in the year. I have to keep the legs rolling over through the cooler months..... guess that's why the commute is important.
I will post some picks of the roadie dressed up for winter soon.
Happy trails!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Tonight was the first of the Flathill Single Speed Rides. As most of us are attending the SSWC10 in NZ later in the year Flathill decided to organise a group ride once a month under lights. These should complement well the longer rides around the Mullum Loop that Bruce is well known for.
Tonight was a blast despite the moonsoon like autum storm pushing its way through Melburn. 6 brave soles turned up and we rode for a hour which was heaps given the weather. Call us crazy, call us fools.... it was like being a kid again having fun in the mud with mates. The trails were overflowing with water in places and a little slick at times but still fast. Glasses were removed fast as they were fogging up and cover with crap in no time at all rendering the wearer blind.
It is time to swap out the Racing Ralph's for something a little more aggressive for the winter mud.
I was testing a new jacket made by Craft that went well in the downpour, I usually hate wearing rain jackets on the bike but it was a wise choice tonight. I think we had a reprieve from the rain for 10 mins on the whole loop a night that was only suitable for ducks!
The point was made though, if you organise a once a month ride then you have to turn up and roll no matter the weather!
Happy trails

Monday, May 3, 2010

Crank - world cycling blog rankings

stolen from loving the bike

Hey to all those out there that may read me, why not nominate me? Get them fingers slapping the keys!
There is more info over here.... so check it out

Sunday, May 2, 2010

head on

Had a spill today, head on actually on tight trail. I saw her late she didn't see me but felt me. Robert Crowe nicknamed me "block of flats" on the Hell Ride many years ago, guess he was right. I am no small guy at 120kg and 6 foot 6inches tall, I should have played contact sports instead of riding bikes. The other person involved in the accident was maybe 50 kilos and half my height.
Up until that moment I was having a ball out on the 29er SS cruising the Yarra Trails. It was perfect overcast, cool tacky trail weather. Only a few others out on a Sunday afternoon. I actually passed this rider earlier in the ride on my way out on my loop.
I would have to say my biggest fear was having a head on as I know of others who have had them along the hedge row like mazes in various parts of the Yarra Trail system.
Basically I had gone through a culvert and popped back up onto the trail and just turned a blind corner and saw the other rider heading towards me. I lock up and swung my hip and shoulder towards them bracing for the impact. I don't even think she got her brakes on as she was head down (I think) and bore head first into my shoulder. She went flying over her bars into the bushes on the side of the trail. Me, I was left standing and looked down at one very stunned person groaning. Patricia as I discovered her name early on was grabbing her leg and knee. After a inspection of the area I noticed quite a nasty gash that would most likely require some sutures at hospital. My biggest concern was getting her mobile and out of the area. After a bit of sorting out I got her to the bike path and offered her some company and assistance back to her car some 4 odd kms away. Her leg was bleeding quite fast with the pedalling so she took off her undershirt which we strapped around her leg. After a bit more recovery on the bike path she said she was feeling better and would make her own way back to the car. I felt rather poorly after the whole incident, not cause I was injured (a few bruises, reminds me of the days playing contact sport) but because as the result of hitting me she was bleeding and in pain. Luckily it was a fairly low speed impact as it could have been far worse.
I discovered before she left that she too works at the Austin Hospital.... I will be following her up later in the week as it is the least I can do. I would have to say we left each others company on a positive note both apologising and not accusing each other for the accident.
Shit way to end the day!
Happy trails