Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fatties BBQ

Reminder to all the Fatties, tomorrow night there will be a BBQ and drinks after the ride. This year there is a change of venue, we will be meeting at the Eaglemont Tennis Club, just around the corner from the Scout Hall. BYO food and drinks.

Sneaky rides...

Today I ditched the kids and hit the trails. With such a wet and busy weekend I didn't get out on sunday as I had planned. The local trails have recovered well from the deluge. Making a great little ride.

School finishes at the end of the week, so this was probably a one off kind of ride. Oh well, we can always dream.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good weekend for ducks...

This morning I managed to sneak out the door for an hour spin before I needed to take the kids to their cousins 5th birthday party. Luckily I managed to miss the rain whilst out. As you can see from this pic, Melbourne has had a bit of rain in the last couple of day. I have never seen this creek this full. It is usually only a few metres wide at best, but currently it must be 30. I avoided riding this section (If I managed to sway off the foot bridge I would be in very deep flowing waters indeed) but rode a section further on that had most of my wheels underwater.
And in the wise words of my 4 year old, Olivia, it was a good day for ducks...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chasing the sun...

I am beginning to love base level training. With my courier background, base training has been foreign to me. Working was my base. But as it looks more and more like I won't get back to couriering, I need to get some longish slow rides with no real intensity for the next 6 to8 weeks.

Tonight I went out on the Tour de Burbs ride. Not many familiar faces out tonight amongst the 100 plus bunch. But with Clackers also out, I had some company out the back as he is in his base phase as well.

My AyUps came out for the ride but they weren't needed. The pic above was taken 500m from my housing. I love long sunny days.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunny days...

I love sunny days. This is how I sometimes pick the kids up from school. The planets need to be inline for it to happen (ie. Robyn at home with Jack and Olivia at the right kinder etc.) Next year I might need to hook up the baby seat on the back and bring Jack along for the ride.

This is how we tried to escape this morning.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

December for me is usually time to rest after a hectic finish to the year. But this year is a bit different. Because I took this year a easier on the race side of things, I am now fired up do get some good base k's in the legs and prepare myself for a manic start to next year. I have already scheduled over 100 hour of racing into my calendar by the end of April.

Today I rolled out the door for a little spin around Lysterfield on the Unit 29er. I had forgotten how harsh the rigid single speed was on the old body, but still it was fun. I bumped into a few friends whilst there. One of which ended up riding the last hour and a half with me, delivering me to my door. Evan Franzke (pictured below) deserves a mention, I have been racing this guy since I started doing Enduros back in 2005. He has since gone on to win many shorter enduro and as of this week will be riding on the Kona Factory Team. We might even team up in the Mont next year. So, good luck Evan in your new colors, enjoy the ride.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Fatties madness...

This was the result of a flat knacker head on whilst riding the Yarra trails last night on the Fatties ride. The pilot on this occasion was Randall. You should have seen the other guy, not a mark on him. The advantage of being built like a fridge I suppose.

Nice helmet indentation on the old forehead.

Dazed and missing a good bit of memory. Some thing aren't worth remembering anyway Ben, so don't worry about that buddy.

Better to be safe than sorry. Luckily he was released by the time I got home from the ride. Today he is sore but OK. He has posted his version of the events on the Yeti bog.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


This is why you should wear a helmet boys and girls.

Full story to follow.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Kona 24....

Sorry for the delay in getting this up. My Internet has been down since the weekend and I have had to hijack Robyn's computer, so I will make it quick.

Firstly I must say riding in a social team was a very relaxing way to spend the weekend. Everyone should experience it at least once in their life. As a team we weren't even worried if we had anybody on course. I was able to get out on each of the courses and enjoy the riding. Each of the three courses were fantastic. I recon you would struggle to find better riding in 24 hour event anywhere else in Australia.

Although I was there having fun, the competitive part of me wanted to be racing in a "proper" manner. So I have walked away from the event fired up to get some great training done and have a crack at some more 24 hour races next year.

Unfortunately for Jayden the kids race was not to be. He was fighting for the lead and had a altercation resulting in a nasty gash on his knee. It needed to be super glued back together, but in true Jayden form he was back on the bike within the hour.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Being realistic...

I have had an interesting week so far. Tuesday I headed back to the Osteo to make sure everything was inline etc for the weekends race. All seemed good until I woke up Wednesday morning only to put my back out big time whilst putting socks on my feet. I called my Osteo and was back on his table that afternoon. He was not overly concerned about what had happened but when I went riding with the Fatties that night my back was very stiff. Getting off the bike and straightening up was an effort. It has taken me a couple of days to come to terms with this, but I am unable to race solo at this weekends Kona 24 in Forrest. I am pretty annoyed with myself, but am also keen to put some steps in place (read, train more) to rectify things for some interesting 24 hour racing early in the new year.

I will still be heading down to Forrest. I don't want to miss the biggest event on the Victorian Enduro calendar. I will take Jayden so he can race the kids race if he wants to, and run a muck as usual, we might even ride a full lap of the main course together. I don't think I will be up for fast consistent laps on a competitive team but might get to ride a few laps in one of the Kona casual teams. It will be interesting for me to attend a 24 hour race and have some fun kicking back with mates. As sad as I am for missing the main event, I am looking forward to seeing the race from another angle.

On another note. I just wanted to say welcome to Melbourne Jimi.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Times up....

With less than one week until the Kona 24, time to get some more training in is up. Unfortunately I have had a nasty flu for the past two and a bit weeks (as has Robyn) and have been riding much less than my normal small amount. At this stage I think I will still race solo but my aim will have to be to have fun, enjoy the courses and not worry at all about the result.

I haven't finished the Kona in the past two year, so I am determined to finish this year even if I am not on the podium. I have told Robyn to go to bed if need be (she is still struggling with a nasty cough) because her job will be tough. Looking after all three kids (Jack will be on his first camping trip) and me. I am hopping a slower pace will mean I will be ok to roll around comfortably and keep all the "Kona gremlens" from previous years at bay.

So please, if you are heading to the event and feel like riding a lap with me, don't hesitate, the company will do me good.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It's now legal...

I keep forgetting to mention, I can now legally drive without glasses or contact lenses. I got assessed and my vision after the Lasik surgery is as good as can be expected. So if there is anyone out there who would like to have my inserts (A727) to suit many Adidas sunnies please let me know and I will get them to you. Obviously you will need to get new lenses to suit your prescription.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Team CSC...

Yesterday I went into to CSC's Melbourne office to talk about myself and my sport. I thought this would be a great opportunity to give a select audience a bit of an insight into what solo 24 hour MTB racing is all about. CSC as a company are at the for front of encouraging employees to participate in cycling. Obviously the global company has shown a huge interest in the sport of cycling with it's sponsorship of one of the best road teams in the world. Even the Melbourne Vice President, Peter Donnelly came along for a listen.

A nice gesture from Bob Spagnolo (formerly the Gooch TV man).

Today I have just about lost my voice. I am not sure if I will get any riding in this weekend and am looking like being well under done for the Kona 24 in two weeks time. Looking forweard to it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Maxxis Tyres...

I have been rolling around for the last twelve months or so using Maxxis tyre, mostly CrossMark LUST UST. I have found them to be a great tyre for racing. I have never had a flat tyre whilst using these and I put that down to their toughness, which comes without compromising speed.

I am very happy at say I am now sponsored to use these products. The whole Kona team will be rolling around on this great brand of rubber. It will be nice to have a choice of so many good tyres to cover all riding conditions.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekend review...

What a manic weekend. Things kicked off with Olivia's ballet concert Friday night, we were all out until 11pm, crazy hour to have the kids out and a I type this we are suffering the consequences of two very tired kids.

Olivia did a fantastic job. Below she is wearing her ballet costume (she also did a Jazz routine). We don't have any pics from the concert because they didn't allow cameras. She looks 4 going on fourteen. I'm getting scared already.

Saturday lunch was Jayden's 7th birthday party (his actual birthday was Friday). We had it at home and as usually I got to play host to 25 kids all hyped up on sugar. It was a lot of fun.
We also had another party at home for dinner, this time it was a BBQ with many family and friends attending. I think I will have a day of cleaning up the house early in the week, because as you will read below, I had no time for that today.

OK, now to talk about riding. Today I was out nice and early for a longish MTB ride. I took the 120 to Lysterfield for it's first go on some proper trails. I was very happy with how the bike rode, I don't think I will be changing anything to prepare it for the Kona 24 latter this month. The extra 20mm of travel makes it ride like it's floating on clouds. It really is an all day trail bike whilst still being light enough to race in varied formats.

You know you are out early when the main car park at Lysterfield looks like this. I had already completed one full lap in the dark before this shot was taken. Jack had us up early for a feed, so I took the opportunity to go riding and miss the sleep. At least the trails were rider free for a while.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

New Roadie..

I got a chance to build up my new roadie on Friday. I ended up buying the 2008 model of what I already had, a Look 555 with Ultegra. Of all the road bikes I have owned, the old 555 was the best to ride. It handles so well for a large frame. It is also great value for the money, I couldn't go past it.

Please, if you are tall and after a new roadie, check out my Garage, the old 555 if for sale. I also have my Four Supreme and a pair of Mavix SLR's up for grabs.

Slack As...

Sorry for the lack of posts lately, life has been busy with another busy week ahead. I will try and catch this week and get more stuff up.

Today I headed to Bendigo for the Golden Triangle 105km Epic. I was originally planning on riding the event with Randall, but he got full of a nasty cold and had to pull the pin. This left me wondering what to do, do I race or just cruise all by myself. I decided 105km by my self was a long way, so I did the best I could to get it done as quick as possible.

Even this almost didn't happen. I haven't been doing any MTBing lately, and I thought my back was all good after receiving some treatment after the Scott. But after a very sort time in the bush I realised I need to get more work done to correct my alignment. I was in a bit of pain again, but with all the road (dirt and sealed) on this course I persevered. The race ended up being a great training ride, I had a nice high average HR and the legs were nice and spent by the end. Sorry no pics yet.

During the event I saw one of the funniest (or should that say saddest) things I have seen while racing. I was riding along a dirt road with a few kangaroos hopping along side me. At first I thought they were just trying to get out way but then I saw they were playing with me, if I sped up they sped up, if I slowed down they slowed down. The funny bit happened when one was doing this for about 1km on the other side of a fence, at first I thought it jumped on a rabbit but then I saw it was its' joey fell out of its' pouch. The mum didn't realised and just kept hopping for another km of so. Poor little guy.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Clean Fleet....

Today I got me some Pedros Bike Lust (silicon spray). Randall has been going on about this kind of stuff for ages and I finally got around to trying it. I got a bit carried away and ended up cleaning most of my bikes. The biggest advantage of this product is next time you wash your bike, the job is made much easier because the dirt has nothing to grip to and just slides off. It also gives the bike a fantastic shinny finish.
The "fleet" hanging out to dry....

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Pop Winning...

“Here is a pic of Pop ‘throwing for the line’ at Newtown to beat N. Wood and win the final of the Southern Tasmanian Half-Mile Championship in March 1950 (a pic from the Mercury newspaper 20 March 1950). Look at the frame, not sure if it is the one we have, it should be but perhaps with the original paint? The handlebars, headstem, cranks and chain ring are the ones we have – note the white toe straps. Check out the other guys elbow and arm pads, and the helmets (or stack hats as we used to call them). I remember I had one exactly like the other guys – there were two in the shed when I picked up the gear, but the leather was so badly rotted I didn’t keep them – I should have! On this pic you can see the lacing pattern if you zoom up. Note also on Pop’s back wheel there is a cog on either side of the hub, so he could choose a different gear for specific distances. The wheels on this bike are the alloy ones we have.”

I received this email from my Uncle Richie in WA today. Between him and myself Pop’s bike restoration may come together sooner than first thought. I am planning on sending the frame to Richie in the next week or two for him to organise the re-pray and hand painted decals. It’s all coming together nicely.

Monday, October 20, 2008

New Ride...

I finished putting my new ride together yesterday, a 2009 Kona One20 Supreme. I have gained 20mm of travel front and rear (over the Four Supreme) with only 60 grams weight gain in the frame. Once I get my new Rock Shox up front The whole bike will be set up considerably lighter than the Four Supreme was. Bring it on...

With a new bike comes the pending sale of my old one. I will hopefully have it all together soon, but it will be along the lines of 2008 22" Kona Four Supreme frame (less than 12months old) with mostly new bits on it. It will also have the option of upgrading the wheels to Mavic Crossmax SLR (6 bolt) in place of the stock ones. The wheels are up for grabs now if anyone wants them.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Restoration update....

I finally got the call from the electroplater on Friday. Pop's bike parts have been given a new lease on life and I am very happy with the result. Below is a sample of the work done.

Not bad hey. I'm guessing a lot of time has been spent polishing out impurities. I nearly gave up on saving this head set, but I handed it over to see what could be done and I am impressed.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Under Wraps...

Tomorrow I may get the chance to unwrap my new ride for 2009. This time I am going longer with 120mm of front and rear travel. Can't wait to see how where this bike will take me.

I am recovering quit well. I had a light spin yesterday and am planning to get out in the morning. My back is feeling good after seeing Phillip at Rosanna Remedial Massage this afternoon, I am once again all back in alignment and free from soreness.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Scott wrap up...

The Scott 24 is such a big event, it is the pinnacle race in Australia for an enduro MTB racer such as myself. Thanks everyone for your support and encouragement during this extremely demanding race. Of all the 24 hour races I have competed in, this was the first time I have come into trouble this early on and it was difficult to summon up the courage to continue racing knowing the pain I was in at the three hour mark was only going to multiply with every hour on the bike. But I think this just goes to show if you are determined to do something and are faced with huge obstacles, the human spirit can push on and ultimately push the demons aside.

This is where my weekend started. Leaving Melbourne Thursday afternoon in the Kona van with my brother, Daniel. I have made it a tradition of mine to camp somewhere off the Hume every year I have travelled north for this event. Always somewhere different. Friday morning we woke to a fresh but beautiful day, only 2 hours of driving to do before reaching Mt Stromlo.

This year, once again, solos got to start on their bikes on the flatter (but longer) blue lap. I was happy to let a few riders ride away from me, after all this course is soooo demanding on the body and with much less time spent on the bike this year for me body conservation was my plan. If you look closely at my bike you can see the new forks I am running - SID Teams, these things rock.

Still rolling, but the pain is beginning to build.

I don't have many race pics yet (am waiting on the event photographers to upload theirs), so here is one of me straight off the bike after riding for the best part of 24 hours. I think all the pain I was focusing away hit me in one almighty wave. I was sore from head to toe and not to mention my back.

I was very happy to be standing on the number two spot of the dais. Jason rode a great race and I was relying on him struggling big time come dawn if I was going to have any chance. My recovery is going well. I think I may even do another solo 24 before the year is out.

Here I am again on the big screen. Bit scary hey??

A huge thanks goes out to my support team, in particular my wife Robyn for 1- having the skills to subdue the pain in my back and 2 - for knowing me well enough to make me push my body further than I thought I could. Ben Jones from Kona for looking after my bikes and making sure they ran smoothly. My brother Daniel for driving me almost all of the 1400km round trip, helping out at the race and taking some photos. And my parents for supporting me in my selfish pursuit as an athlete.

Also thanks to my sponsors, Kona, AyUp (seriously, the best lights ever), Mavic, Shimano, Rock Shox, Suunto, Adidas Eyewear, Maxxis, Ozriders, Pedros and Limar.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


I am not too sure what Ben and Robyn have posted so i will be brief and will add more when I get home.

I perservered with back issues and managed to ride through the field and finish second - one lap down on Jason English and one lap up on K.Kris (European National 24 MTB Champion).

I was a bit of a mess by the end, but very happy with how I performed.

Yeah Bellie!

Andrew is up to second and feeling pretty good, 4 hours and 40 minutes to go.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bellie up to 4th

Back problems are sorted and he is winding up those big legs. Ben.

Update from the Scott 24 hour

Howdy all. Just got a call from Robyn at the race site. As of 7:30pm Bellie is in 6th and Jason English leading, 45mins up.

Andrew has had some early issues with his back. Almost pulling out of the race a few hours in. But a quick massage and some motivational words from the pit crew got him back out. Back in the race way off the pace(60 somethingth place) he has moved back upto 6th.....

Night time and AYUPs ahoy!

The race doesn't start till dawn sunday they say and i reckon it'll be a close one...

More updates will be posted when i get them.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Winning combination??



I Just got handed a set of the new Crossmax SLR wheels. These things look trick. I will be running them on the Four Supreme over the weekend and of cause they will be running Maxxis Crossmarks and SPEX tyre sealant. I don’t expect to have any issues with such great products.

Friday, October 3, 2008

If only I could ride a 24 hour race eating M & M's. They are the best.


Life is back to normal life in Melbourne. The kids need to go back to school to give us some piece at home. It's come around too quick, but it's time to get all organised for the trip north to Canberra for the Scott 24hour. I am looking forward to this event. It was huge last year and looks to just as big this year.

One of the keys to riding a good 24 hour solo race is bike preparation. Some thing many may not know is that I do all my mechanical work etc myself. I believe having a sound understanding for your equipment is a great advantage. It gives you the power to choose the best equipment and bike set-up to suit riding style and make riding for 24 hour as comfortable as possible. Throughout the year my race bikes have been used across many shorter races, but when it comes to 24 hour set-up I like to make a few changes.

I have been trialling Ozirider's foam grips for a few month now and I really like their feel. I will be running the softer black ones on the Four Supreme and the newly released, firmer Blue ones on the Hei Hei. I find the slight change in density to give a slight relief to the hands as the race progresses. Oziriders latest product will also make its' way onto my bikes for this event, SPEX tyre sealant. From all reports it is the product to use if you want reliability.
Another product I have been testing of late is the Ascend Recovery Bars. I used them as my sole food energy source in the 12 Hour in NZ and am planning on doing the same at the Scott. The Felt Epix boys swear by Ascend products and I am beginning to see why.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Riding the Rim…

We are now in Christchurch, our final point of call on our NZ trip. Today Robyn decided to be super Mum and manage the kids while I went exploring another renowned MTB destination here in the Sth Island. Port Hills rests on the rim of an enticing and very large extinct volcano and is home to some great riding. The trails are by far the most technical trails I have ridden since being in NZ. As you could imagine, it is very rocky and steep. The trails flow well, although most are short and you need to link them together to get a decent ride in. It was heaps of fun bashing through the countless amount of rock gardens.

City one side, bay the other. Plenty to look at whilst riding.

Beautifully made trails.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Air time...

Randall and Rhino posted thier oics over the finishing stand at the Day Night Triller, so I thought I would also.