Wednesday, November 24, 2010

its workn for me

Well half way through the week and I fell that I am finding to grove already with the training in the early morning. Just like back in the old school junior days, up early before school out training on very quiet roads. Whilst the roads around here have become somewhat busier due to urban sprawl in the last 20 years there is something nice about early rides and the feeling you have post ride. I dig it.
Ran in to the Belgium National Track Team out for a spin this arvo on the way home. I got a few nods and cheers of approval with my kit (Rapha Belgium Jersey). They were all having fun blowing out the cobwebs of jet lag. Me, I was just trying to get home as fast as I could to escape the heat and pick up the car from the mechanics. Hence with commuting today no mtb ride with the Fatties tonight. Next week though should be cool with the riders coming out of the wood work for the nostalgia ride.
For good reading head over to visit Andy White's Fyxomatosis site and read the Ghost Writer piece. It hits a cord with me about the issues of our sport at a grass roots level. The sport is attracting cashed up bogans.
I will say that I do support the local industry when it suits me, as I need to get as much value for my hard earned dollars. I have a family to support, hence I will look OS for deals on parts. It is only natural to get stuff cheap if it suits you, come on who wouldn't and lets face it Ebay can be a gold mine. I would support the local industry more if they supported the racing here more, all too often we are getting shafted by the local industry. Since bikes have outstripped cars sales for the last few years, surely bikes are getting cheaper.... maybe not, maybe I am thinking shit.
The one point it did raise was how the new comers to our sport are all to lacking about the culture and politics involved in this sport of cycling. Andy's blog brought me back to a place a few months ago.
I was at the LBS, my friend owns the LBS and has been in the trade 20 years, me I have been riding and racing for 21 years. I have been around, served the apprenticeship of coming through the junior ranks to seniors, ridden the majority of bunch rides before they were cool and turned into unofficial drag races.
Now I am in the LBS for some technical support, as I try to fix what I can. I am a little old school and don't have a huge interest in carbon, I am a steel fillet braised type of guy who happens to like Brooks products, hand built wheels, wool products.
Another customer is buying a TT bike, never really had the need for one even when I raced the Tour of Bright back in the early 90's, maybe I would slap a set of TT bars on back then. He looks at my bike and gives it a look over and starts criticising my choices. I am not one for this and ask him why he needs a TT bike. The explanation being is you need it for a few of the races (maybe 4 races) each year, a $7000 bike that only really performs in a straight line.
I kindly explain that when I started racing he was a itch in his Dad's pants and that it was uncool to ride bikes back then, the racing community was small, everyone new each other. Beach Road had a few bunches usually after the races on a Sunday at Dunlop Rd back then not the thousands it has now where he and his mates cruise on the weekend looking cool. That, when he gets bored and hangs it up I will still be riding, in the rain of winter with my mudguards, rocking on my steel frame, with my leather bar tape, wool jersey.
Hubbard's they are everywhere, even this years Tour of Bright finishes on the top of Tawonga Gap cause of successive years that fools drop em selves on the descent back down to Bright. Fuck me we are encouraging these guys!
I ride cause, I like it not cause its the new fukn golf!
Happy rolling!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

form.... I ain't got it

So, with illness behind me I ventured out a few times this week to get my show on the road. Its amazing how quick time flies by with it a month since I was in NZ. I have done little since then, and boy it shows.
I decided first ride back would be the Fattie's ride. With some replaced drive train on the geared 29er I was keen to get the legs and lungs moving. The 10 speed XT was sweet and smooth, how a drive train should be. The legs and lungs not so.
We entered Dickie's loop, me bringing up the rear, taking it as quick as I could comfortably. Half way through the loop.... BAM I was airborne. I went up and came down hard over the bars after clipping my pedal on a hidden log. The grass in the loop was as tall as me on the bike. Cool fun to ride through but it can hide some nice obstacles for you to hit. My camelbak bladder blew apart on landing, water pouring out, guess it saved my back. I laid there for a few minutes taking stock of the alarm sensors ringing through my brain. I was winded, but it seemed nothing broken apart from my pride. I picked myself up and limped out of the loop, the group waiting for me. I decided that maybe it was best for all that I head home, as I was feeling slightly fragile after the fall. I have a few bruises but nothing major, I was a bit stiff the next day.
I headed out to Lysterfield yesterday for a roll around the trails, I had not ridden it since the first Chase the Sun back in May. It had been closed for part of winter due to the sheer wet and mud factor, the trails were already rutted out then. I thought that there had been some maintenance done over winter, but needless to say little had changed. What had changed was the trails now have massive mud pools up to 3 metres wide in spots. Whole sections of trail are now not able to be ridden. I have heard that the park is going to get some trail works done soon, it needs it and it needs more trail to balance the volume of riders using the network. I don't think I will head back for a while, as I have better trails close by to here that I may be slightly over but at least they are intact and you can ride them. I still plan to go and do a few dirt crits to sort me out and give me a bit of fun racing.
I have commenced a new plan to get my kilometers done, as the Alpine is fast approaching. More than anything I need consistency, which since the birth of Grier and the Bosses return to work had been challenging. For the moment I am trying to get out early for a local loop on the road bike. Sure its a early start @ 0530hrs but it should provide me with some consistent days on the bike that fits in with the family and work commitments. Today I felt like the fat man, unfit, pedaling squares going nowhere slowly. This will improve, slowly, but man the countdown is on and I need to get it sorted.
Time to plan some longer days in the saddle, with some decent bergs in preparation for the Alpine in January.
Happy trails!

Friday, November 12, 2010

illness strikes

So the week has officially been a right off. Apart from turning up on Wednesday night to the Fatties ride and having my arse handed back to me looking like like chop sui, both Jnr and I have been struck down with flu.
What started out as a hay fever like runny nose on the ride ended me yesterday lying on the couch with a hoodie and track pants on stating I was cold despite the nice 30 odd degrees outside. I self diagnosed myself and still went to the doctor and handed over my $65 bucks (I am in the wrong job) for a sick certificate.
Today I feel just as shit and have already been to the ED with Jnr as she is not to well. She has improved since this morning, and still cracks a smile at her dad. Did get a offer from a hooker at the ED to accept her cash to go to another hospital as she said Maroondah Hospital was shit. After growing up in the area I already new that but I told her to keep walking, seems her plans last night might have gotten the better of her!
I had planned to roll down the beach and have breakfast with Gerro but had to pull the pin on those plans. Shame, summer is short enough, it goes so fast when the Euro guys are back in town, leaving little time to catch each other.
My XT parts are almost at my door, so maybe they will turn up and give me some happiness for the weekend between moving from the couch to the bed.
So time to rest up and make the plans for my return to bike next week illness free.
Looking forward to the Fatties nostalgia ride. Thing is Neil has been keeping it alive, though the numbers have dropped, its still going. I will attend to see who drags themselves out of the wood work for a night of trail riding fun.
The Smith's Gully Christmas ride is planned for the start of December. Its another reason to smile and get on out and have fun, the post ride burgers are worth the turn out alone!
Happy trails!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Introduced Jnr to the joys of rolling on bikes.... She slept for some of the ride but seemed to enjoy it!

clear your tuesday nights!

Clear your Tuesday nights twice a month for some torture for 30mins as the boys from Flat Hill have summer crits back... more info here

Thursday, November 4, 2010

its got to start somewheree

So made it to the Fatties and hooked up with Neil, so the Wednesday night pain plan is now in effect. Lets face it, lots of rain and some rather high water was going to result in some detours. We did get some single track in and met up with a few of the other local lads. Bellie joined us for a pedal back out towards home and for a roll around Han's loop which still had some rather wet spots. Still good to get out and stretch the legs, as I had not gotten out since getting home a week ago.
Neil has a few shots of the water on his blog.
I was hurting myself a little last night and really struggling to hold wheels even though I had some gears..... I really need to get my shit sorted out.
Back to rolling to work on the daily commute from tomorrow, looks like the weather for the next few days will be sweet, but due to the water damage on some of the bike paths I will have to make a few short detours.... all will be sweet.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Well I am unsure were to go to from here, commitments are due to stuff other than bikes at the moment. Due to the NZ trip I have had to for go some other up coming races. The 50km single speed at Woodend has clashed with the Gravity 12hr this year, 2 events I normally get in each year but I have to work that weekend as I begged borrowed and sold my soul to get the NZ time off.
The only goal on the horizon is training up for the Alpine Classic on Australia day weekend. This is going to take a fair bit of effort as I need to commit to some weight loss and decent kilometre count.
I am committing myself to Wednesday nights with alternate weeks attending Fatties group rides and the other doing a summer crit on the dirt out at Lysterfield as NZ showed me that whilst fit to a degree, I had no speed whatsoever. Hopefully getting smashed on Wednesday nights starting tomorrow night will get me sorted in that department.
I am looking to maybe and that's a big maybe that I attend the Otway next year but I will make that decision soon.
I need to reign in the eating pattern as I am consuming enough food at the moment to feed a village in a 3rd world country and any weight loss, even a small one will benefit me beyond doubt.
Plans, always need one so focusing on January will be the main one for now. I nee to sort out the road bike from its winter commute and dedicate some time for some nice hills out in the Yarra Valley, in other words staying away from the beach! It has to be quality kilometers for the next couple of months both on the dirt and the road.
So time to shame myself with the weigh in!
Happy trails and get out there!

Rotovegas report 3

Ok so the last 2 days were spent chilling out with a tourist expo on the Sunday morning of the local hotsprings, market, coffee shops. Then we met up with Gav's outlaws for a fishing session on one of the many lakes. We managed to catch 3 2 plus kilo trout and Gav's father in law was kind enough to smoke them up.

This bad boy rumbles up when she gets going!

Never had trout before but I can testify the taste was awesome and there is something prime evil about catching prey and eating it.
Monday we headed back to the trails and hit up some of the must do trails. Corners will forever be my favourite as it offered a never ending roller coaster roll down hill with so many perfectly bermed corners and just when you thought it was over it started again. Granted the climb up Hill road was not fun but the reward at the top was pwell worth it. We also hit up Sweet and Sour and Dragons Tail (which is about to be logged) which I had fun in.

After making it back out to the car and refueling at a local burger place we headed to a local hot spring about 30 mins away to saok our tired muscles and end or NZ trip. Bloody amazing how hot this sucker was the closer you got to were it hit the surface. A very strange experience sitting in hot bath water in a running stream.
Wicked place, a must get to if you have the chance. The trails are awesome and the people easy to deal with and are very helpful.

The banks and berms are big in this forest

Here is some video from a US racer of the race, vision in the trails is a bit jumpy but you get the idea of the madness!

SSWC10 - The Race, A Teaser from Judd Rohwer on Vimeo.

Neil has some other photos here