Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Back to Beach rd

Well I have hit the beach after some 10 months away from it. I avoid the place really as it pulls a fair crowd, some of which are real wankers that destroy the publics image of cyclists using the roads (what red light, it was green!). I have also never seen so much bling on the road, people just love those really expensive all carbon bikes. I just dont get training on carbon tubulars... call me old school but a good set of training wheels will always get you where you need to be.
Mr Mooter contacted me about a Saturday morning ride and I was convinced it sounded good. I has the option of up the hills or down the beach. I chose the beach option as it would give me some speed work that I dont really get much of these days as I ride mainly on my own and rarely do I race. The other bonus is some long kilometers on relative flat roads.
We rolled down to the beach missing the Vets group that Mooter normally rolls with. We did pick em up on the way back from Frankston and rolled with em til I couldnt do it anymore. Actually in hindsight it would have been easier to roll with em, as the head wind when we pulled off was not friendly. We did eventually pick up another bunch and rolled quite happily up to St Kilda.
We pulled into Cafe Racer for a quick coffee and ended up having a quick chat with Gerro who was meeting some guys for a roll down to Mt Eliza to stretch out his legs before the Ballart Classic the next day. He was looking fit and well, I think he will do Ok this Sunday at the Worlds in Geelong.
By the time I had gotten home I had been out for almost 4hrs and covered 115kms. I was happy to get out for a long ride on the road bike as it has been along time since doing one.
I have been bogged down with family commitments and managed to get out on Monday on the geared 29er. I decided to do a modified Urban Epic loop from my place. I heard that I might get some nasty weather, what I copped was nothing short of shit.
I had only really gotten into the single track swing of things when mother nature started to dump rain on me and for the next 1.5 hrs I got wet, really wet. In the end I cut out some of the single track as it had quickly turned in to mini rivers. I ended up with a solid ride and some nice climbing, but it was wet and cold.
The Xx Reba forks have arrived and have been given the love with a shortening of steerer and are on the bike and ready to roll. They might get a brief test tomorrow if I wake up OK after my night shift. Otherwise I will do the same Monday loop on Saturday and give em a good test. The brief roll around the neighbourhood was sweet but lets face it the real test will be on the local single track.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

elbows are a needed thing

My elbow has been giving me some major headaches over the last few months. Despite osteo treatments and lots of massage, ice and stretching it never seems to fully recover from riding, particularly on the rigid 29er.
Surprisingly the ski season seemed to do it some good and the constant workload I put it under XC skiing didn't inflame it as much as rolling rigid. The final nail in the coffin was the Grinderman ride. The descent half way through Han's loop started to bring tears to the eyes and I rolled through the ruts on the 200m descent. Ice and anti inflamatories were the call of the day post the ride.
After much deliberation and trials of rolling rigid with different tyre pressures I have had to purchase a new fork. I have searched high and low for something sweet that was obtainable.... a Fox F29 would have been sweet but finding one to meet the budget was not. I did discover this at the right price!

I am hoping to have it in my hot little hands at the end of next week if Mr Fedex can get here on time.
Bruce from Flathill has been running a XX on his 26 SS and loves it so I thought why not and with the Aussie dollar being strong this week I decided it was time to purchase one.
Will report on it and let you know how she rolls.
Happy trails!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Grinderman photo's

Cam Wells from Flathill cranks out some seriously nice photos and has done a photo journal of Sunday's Grinderman ride. He took the photo in my title shot.
Check em out as they say a picture tells a thousand words!
Check here and click the shot of Brett & Alex!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grinderman Urban Epic

Yesterday dawned a little grey and rain was present as I stuffed down some breakfast. I was glad when I was driving towards the start point for the ride that there was going to be some sunshine. I stashed the car close to work so I could make it back to it in time to get to work (sometimes shift work sucks balls, but penalties for Sunday make up for it) and stash the bike.
I rolled out way to early and arrive at the start point with plenty of time to kill. Not fussed as I enjoyed chilling in the early sun and watching the roadies cruising along the Boulevard. Ewen was the first to turn up and was rocking his new 29er that he built for himself. Its rocking some S&S couplers and is a sweet ride. It breaks down into a suitcase for travel.

Every time I see one of his new frames they are better than the last, makes me want another. He told me that he can get the down tube dent removed from the Gorilla so after worlds I think I will get him to do it.
Anyway by the time 0830 rolled around we had at least 20 plus guys all bar one or two rolling single speeds. Awesome turn out and the weather was being kind so a good morning was going to be had. Unfortunately Gav missed the start and had a mechanical, so he was a no show.
Due to a event on the Boulevard we had to modify the start of the ride to avoid the crowds. We hit the trails and started having fun. The majority of the trails were in pretty good shape and we were ripping the trails in a massive conga line. A few have been pretty rooted from winter riding and still had massive amounts of stinky gloopy Yarra mud.
I had to pull up stumps early to get to work but managed to get in a lazy 60kms and rolled with the crew around Hans's loop. I stopped to help Hans fix a flat and by the time we got rolling again the crew had rolled on. I hope Hans caught em again. Me well I had to get to work shower and then devour a lot of food.
Awesome day out.... a big thank you to Bruce and Cam from Flathill for getting this going and leading a wicked ride. If you can watch out for the next one and come for a roll!
Happy trails

Saturday, September 18, 2010

its flying by

Hard to believe that it is mid September. The year has flown by. The weeks are getting shorter it seems. Had a few days in a new job this week so it really made time fly. At least the days are getting longer and its light at 6am. Makes for a nice change, as I am over the cold dark mornings that are often wet. The commute can only get better from here on in with the mud guards coming off briefly this week. Sure in a few months I will be whinging about the incessant heat in the afternoons.
I could still be skiing as there is still plenty of spring snow around. If it was not for the Singlespeed Worlds next month I would be skiing this morning after some fresh snow this week.
Road Worlds are only a a week and a bit away. Should be a blast watching the mens road race in Geelong.... that will be a big day. Will be calling in a favor or two so I can stay in Geelong the night before as it will be complete mayhem trying to get down there the day of the race.
Tomorrow is the Grindermen urban epic (80km's of singlespeed joy!), looking forward to it as some of the guys I haven't seen for months, good opportunity to catch up with the crew that is heading to NZ next month. I have to work a late shift so I will more than likely pull up stumps early so I can make the start of work a 1pm. So I should get a solid few hrs done and dusted. Dusted is the wrong thing to say as I feel that there will be some mud on the Yarra trails, hopefully not too bad as it has been reasonably dry this week in comparison to other weeks this winter.
Not alot else to report other than the maintenance continues in the workshop at home. Always something else to be done, will be time to sort out the road bike with new cables and a complete pull down and grease up after a long wet winter.
Happy trails!

Red Bull rampage teaser

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mr Repairman

Well its been a busy few days. Winter has taken a toll on my bikes, thing is the more of them you have the more servicing you have to do. Now most bike servicing is common sense, keep it clean and the bike will love you back. I have most tools, only a few I don't which means a bit of car travel to get stuff done. I will say that I am probably a better nurse than bike mechanic, but persistence pays off....
My 29er single speed needed alot of love, I didn't ride it through winter as I skied alot so I thought it wont need to much. I checked the chain.... rooted, front chain ring.... rooted, bottom bracket... rooted, front brake needed a bleed.
Luckily I had a spare White Industries 32 tooth chain ring, but I had to travel to see Dan @ Shifter Bikes as he has the tool for my bottom bracket. Now I love my Phil Wood BB, apart from when it shits itself. Dan had it sorted in about 20 mins with new cartridge bearings, new chain slapped on and then we diagnosed some worn rear hub bolts, and a broken chain tensioner.... easy fix, just a quick stop for a few bolts at the local bolt shop.
Dan's workshop is worth a visit for some quality gear and wheel building, awesome little place with a no fuss approach. See his website for info.
I needed to bleed the front brake.... should be straight forward. Avid Elixir CR brakes.... easy to bleed... not for me, despite 5 attempts the level would depress to the bar. After a late night email to Ben Randall for some gun bleeding advice he gave me the secret tip. Turn the bike upside down.... extra air will come out... hey presto done!
So after some 7 hrs in the shed I had cleaned and sorted the single speed, cross bike, geared 29er and started my road bike. The road bike is still not finished but its going to be a wet week here so I am not in to much of a rush to clean it right now. I had to replace a rear axle that only took some 3 months to come from Japan for my Dura Ace 7800 hub. After a complete rebuild by the LBS she runs like a dream again.
Got in some quality time on the bikes this week. I have had 2 long rides doing the double up and over of Mt Dandenong. Had great weather for those 2 rides, good enough to be sitting out in the sun having a brew @ Ripe in Sassafras. The area is the stomping ground of Chris Winn when he is not in the US ripping up the domestic road scene. Great twisty narrow roads through some of the best forest doing around close to Melburn! Perrins Creek road is sorting me out with a couple of 14 -17% pinches in the climb. I have bought a 11-28 for the Alpine Classic in Jan 2011 and it was a dream for climbing that nasty hill.
I also headed out on the 29er SS and hit the local area for some choice, but wet trails. Another 2 hours of torture, pushing the lungs and legs to their limits. Great to be out on the single speed rolling simple, and loving it. The elbow held together not to bad, so I still may keep it rigid for worlds. Next weekends Grinder Man Epic may prove to throw the elbow some curve balls. Will have to see how the arm pulls up post that ride of 80 km's.
Today is the last day of my holidays and its been a good brake with skiing in the Aust Birke at Falls Creek, and extra skiing at Lake Mtn. I could still be skiing but I have hung that up for the year and put the skis to bed for summer. Still plenty of spring skiing @ Falls Creek and still a little at Lake Mtn. I would still be out there but needed to get the legs turning in circles in preparation to rip up the trails in Rotorua NZ for SSWC10.
Happy trails or tracks!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


The Black Spur..... chasing snow!

Not much going on last few days, been doing the Dad thing solo, as the Boss has headed back to work. Been fun times, plenty of laughs and thank god not to many tears (me or Jnr). The weather has been pretty woeful as most would know, the North East is under water after massive rainfall, some of which undid the work of mother nature's snow dump of the week before.
I did however get out on the ski's with Ryan Moody for a skate session at Lake Mtn last Friday. Glad we did it as the weather started that afternoon and gave it a fair hammering. We managed to ski almost the whole trail network last week in some softening snow cover on great grooming. Great morning of skiing was had by both of us. I was thinking that that might be the last ski of the season, however I saw the pic below today.....
Looks pretty sweet and just maybe worth the drive in the morning? Its rare to be able to ski this late @ Lake Mtn!
I am torn between getting out on the single speed or hitting the road for possibly the last ski of the season. I know I can ride other days this week, but I really need the time on the 29er to get those bike legs back.
I did get out on Sunday post fathers day lunch and rolled in some pretty average conditions for 1.5 hrs on the road bike. I was wrapped to be out there despite the shit rainy weather! I am looking forward to the warmer months just around the corner.w
Mmmmm got some thinking to do in regards to tomorrow.....
Happy trails!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Java Bean Run

Not much to say today.... got out for a quick roll just to pick up some gear for my other addiction, Java from my bean dealer @ Romeo's. A pretty short roll of 30 odd kms but it was nice to be out rollin free on the roadie again.
Missed out on any bike time yesterday as I had a early rise and shine to drive a 4 hr round trip to pick up some skis from Pullins @ Mansfield, plus it rained cats and dogs most of the day. Dropped the skis off last weekend on the way home from Falls Creed so the Wax Room there could give em a grind and hot box session. Pullins have a video which demonstrates what they did for me, just on my XC skate skis.

Pullins Wax Room from alex "chumpy" pullin on Vimeo.

They managed to get some of the nasty stone marks I picked up last year (I should have given them some love at the start of the season, might have made last weekend even more enjoyable). Cant wait to give them a go tomorrow!

I found this video, looked cool so thought I would drop it in!

Going to head to Lake Mtn tomorrow for what will most likely be the last ski of the year. Going to show Ryan Moody the local trails as he has never skied there before. Should be good as long as the temps stay in the negative tonight!
Weekend looks like a bit of a right off due to the major rain coming through. The predictions are for a big Pineapple Express (warm rain... bad for snow, bad for mtb trails, road riding, anything fun) dumping a months worth of rain in a day or two.
Happy trails!