Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Muddy Sunday

So Sunday arrived and after a slow morning of breakfast, coffee and the paper we packed the car and headed down to Brunswick Velodrome for the first of the Urban Cyclocross series. As you can see by the photos it was the real deal. Plenty of barriers to keep you honest, mud galore, a hill run, and plenty of cross bikes. A fair turn out of both racers and spectators, some brandishing the good old cow bells.

That's me in the blue knicks testing out the dismount and run.... bloody hard, wish I had it down like the guy in the first photo!

The start of the cross race, I'm in there somewhere!

It has been a long wait for a cross series in Melbourne and I am happy to say it was a awesome afternoon. Whilst I suffered a mechanical (rear flat, in the first lap) I was stoked that some one had gotten this thing together. A big thank you to the Dirty Deeds crew for getting this off the ground.
The turn out was split into to two grades, the all comers with mountain bikes, fixies etc and those running cross bikes with drop bars and cantis. At least 40 odd lined up for the cross bikes race and I would say the the start was crazy flying across the park for the hole shot.
Nice weather was a bonus, but the course had plenty of wet spots that quickly turned to mud... perfect for cross.
Plenty of cross bikes came out of the woodwork for this event. Saw some pretty serious cross bikes on offer including Spots, Lynskey, Surly, Paconi just to mention a few. I really did not think that there was that many people out there running cross bikes but it clearly has a healthy following.
Lets hope that this 3 event series can turn into something bigger and better in years to come. A great event on a cool course that was easy for all to access. Looking forward to the next one at Darebin Parklands next month. Gives me a bit of time to perfect the smooth transition for the barriers ( will have to get out in the park and practice).... oh and get the mechanicals sorted so I can finish the next one.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cross time, bike is done!

This time tomorrow I will smashing it around a cross circuit in Melbourne. Did not think this would ever happen but it seems the want for cross is increasing. This will be a 3 race series backed by Cycling Australia. Going to be fun way to spend a Sunday. Get on down if you want to check it out.Bike came together at the 12hr, going to great if she holds together for the hour of the race. Running a single speed on my old road frame that had canti mounts installed on it a few years back.
Happy trails!

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Its that time of year again where I am waiting. Why you ask? Well my other love is XC skiing and from around now I am getting prepared to get out the skinny ski's and get them ready for the coming weeks of craziness. Previous years have seen me clock up some mammoth driving distance to catch races and get some snow time. Too early to tell what is going to happen for this season, I watch the various forums and reporting sites for feelings and serious weather reports (man some take themselves seriously when reporting the weather) about coming snow fall.

Hopefully the next 7 days will give us a start with some heavy falls possible.... not to fussed yet as I have until the end of August to get myself right for the Australian Birkebeiner. The above charts are showing some promise and the weather reports of some very cold weather from late Saturday and I have my fingers crossed. Only attempting the shorter 21km race this year unless I have some suicidal thoughts that the full marathon is achievable. Running to boost my ski fitness has started and my lower body is still trying to thank me for that little wake up call.
The cross bike is almost ready with the brake levers arriving yesterday in the mail. Just need to get some bar tape, cable inners and outers, and some time to finish her off. Looking forward to Sunday for a change of scenery, but I really don't know what to expect..... fun is my main expectation. Get on down if you can for a look and have a crack for something different. Info can be found here.
Weather for commuting was just bearable this week with a -0.5 on Tuesday morning. Despite many layers of thermal and wool, booties, belgie style cap, I really failed to get a sweat up. Saw some awesome frosted areas and cars on the way to work. Most pedestrians where tucked up in bed as the route to work was very quiet.
I made it up the Nongs this week for a quick roll. I am really loving getting back up there. Just need to get some more time booked in so I can do a up, over, up & over. Got the route planned, a old favourite of mine.
Not alot else to report ATM.
Happy trails
p.s Check out Chris Winn's (you can find it on the right) sight as he is ripping it in the US and had a spectacular last week in Minnesota.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Read, watch and maybe you be the judge

Read the below link and then follow over you you tube for some vision on the potential of mechanical doping. Nothing ceases to amaze me!

UCI will begin scanning equipment at the Tour de France to combat potential 'motorized doping' | VeloNation Cycling News

and learn..... might have to get me one of them!

Monday, June 14, 2010

winter sun

This arvo I finally got my mojo on and kitted up for a roll. The video below was inciting me to get out and roll some backwoods. Whilst not being what I planned in my head I was glad to get out all the same. I had planned to roll up the Nongs, but time was running out. After wrestling with my inner self to get out and make the most of it and pumping up the tyres (front tube blew out and I had to replace it), once rolling I was smiling from ear to ear. Some thing about this time of year when you get cool crisp days with little wind and the occasional sunny afternoon, makes riding even more pleasurable.
As I was rolling along I was taken back to my childhood of bike riding on the old 7 speed with other kids from my street, pedaling as hard as you could racing each other for am imaginary finish line. Rolling through big piles of leaves, skidding over wet front lawns and cruising from house to house. Such freedom you have as a child with few boundaries, guess it is one reason why I get out on the bike now as it gives you a sense of freedom, independence, peace.
Commuting is also a escape I have found recently that gets me in a good head space after work as being surrounded by people who are critically ill and unlikely to experience such joys anytime soon, or if ever again. Usually the ride home allows me to process the days events in my head, sorting through and storing what I want, seems I discard most.
A quiet week this week as I am on night shift, so maybe a few short arvo rides if I am up for it after sleeping all day, we shall see. Might pedal out for a brew if the weather is good over to Romeo's in Greythorn.
Happy trails.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

yo stay dry

After some conversations recently about fenders/ mudguards I found this quote....
.....fenderlessness is a sign of cycling immaturity (racing bikes and offroad bikes excluded). Realizing you need fenders is as elementary as toilet training, and in both cases there’s nothing as immature as not knowing how to keep your own ass dry.

Winter express

Bloody fresh today outside (I did notice this whilst the dog grabbed the paper from the street), glad I have the day off from work and didn't have to pedal to work. It is much warmer from inside the house than out on a bike. You can feel winter has truly arrived today, Frosty is blowing the cool wet weather our way.
I am looking forward to some ski time in the next few weeks if it all comes together with the weather patterns dumping some snow. Looking around the various ski fields today I was glad to see this picture at my local mountain called Lake Mountain.

The mountain was devastated by the Black Saturday fires 18 months ago. Alot of work has been done and still continues to be done to get the area back up and running. I did ski there a little last year but the season was poor for Lake Mountain and the town of Marysville was nothing but rubble after the fires and was in the process of restoring basic amenities last winter, hopefully a better season this year.
One of the new things being built up there at Lake Mountain is a trail system for mountain bikes and I believe there will be a enduro race there in October. Looking forward to that if I can squeeze it in with the SSWC in NZ.
Not much else to say at the moment, seems like the world of blogging from the folk in Melburn has fallen by the wayside. Maybe its the weather, maybe people are just too busy. Me.... I shall continue, although a bit sparse of exciting news as I have been off the dirt, although keep checking back for the preparation of the upcoming cross races. I shall spend some time getting Big Red sorted.
Commuting is still keeping the legs rolling over, and me amused. I have noted that since the police found a dead body on my commute route in the Doncaster park lands the pedestrian traffic has been pretty low. Good for me and fellow commuters not so good for the poor sole murdered. Still don't understand why people walk around in the dark with out a torch or some reflective clothing..... I have had a few close calls with pedestrians in the dark dressed like ninjas in black.
I must say the the ride each day is good for the brain as I get to process the days work and chill, plus it is keeping me sane and fits well with family commitments. The weather is not bothering me too badly, mud guards are a dream for keeping me dry most of the time and the wool jersey & 3/4 roubaix bibs from Assos are doing my climate control well at 0530 in the morning. Cant do much when you get caught in a down poor but I must say rolling in the rain is great, as long as you have the right kit.
In other news Chris Winn has been proving himself on the road in the US with a nice result at the Mt Hood race last week. Check his adventures out here.

Chris providing some smack down at the race!

Last thing I will leave you with is some words by HG Wells as I return to a coffee, toast and the paper and watch the rain from the warm comfort of the kitchen!
"Everytime I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the human race"

Happy trails!

Friday, June 4, 2010


Another week over, super fast again. Quiet one with commuting and not much else other than work and family time split days off so I could have my wallet emptied by the dentist (I am in the wrong business!!).
For those who are interested here is a shot of the flyer for the cyclocross events this winter, get on down if ya are keen, just have to have either a 3 race permit or a CA licence.

Called into the new home of Shifter to check out the space and pick up a new wool walz cap to keep my head warm on the early mornings I am posting at the moment. Very cool space with some prime pieces of cycling history (the Motorola bike) good service, and those hard to find parts. Dan said he still had a way to go with getting the place perfect, but in my eyes it was looking good. You can find the studio above Knog in Chapel St, Prahran.
Elbow and shoulders are causing me grief so I am off for some sorting out next week and hope a bit of a rub and manipulation by the hands of a osteopath can get me sorted. Hopefully will get back into them hills soon for some winter riding either on the road or mud....
happy trails!