Monday, April 28, 2008

More of the kids...

Kona have been so supportive of me. They have even gone to the trouble of custom making some Jerseys to fit the kids. They have their names on them and everything. I will have more pics when they come to hand. So now when you see them riding around lost at an event you will have no doubt they are mine and can send them in the right direction.

This is me on Jay's bike at a recent family event. It is exactly half the size of mine (11" frame), I doubt even I could break this bad boy.

Monday, April 21, 2008

The Three Amigos...

Rhino was in town today after he attempted to race the BMC marathon yesterday. With Ben "my calves are too big, they stretch the logo" Randall having an RDO, a Yarra Trails ride was in order. The three of us haven't done a ride together since Rhino deserted us and headed north almost two years ago. It was great to catch up and cruise the local trails.


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Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Bottom Bracket test...

The top video is standard bottom bracket, the bottom video is Enduro Ceramic bottom Bracket.


video


video

This is no clinical trial by any means, but it does highlight the minimal friction ceramic bearing offer riders. I did some very quick sums, at a cadence of 80 RPM x 60 mins = 4800 RPM per hour x 12hrs (assuming you are pedaling half the time during a 24 hour event)= 57,600 pedal strokes on each leg. Over this duration any reduction in resistance will help a lot.

I have chosen not to change the bearings in my Mavic Crossmax SLR's purely because we all know Mavic wheels roll better than anything else on the market.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Big wheel Wednesday...

I was out on the regular Fatties ride again last night. Once again I opted for the Unit. The new Mavic wheels were great, the bike accelerated out of corners much faster. I was also showing off the new retail Kona kit. The photo doesn't really do it justice. It is different, a little retro and you will stand out in it. You can also get matching Lycra arm and leg warmers. How sweet.

Jason Jackson from Felt Epix was also out for a fling into Westerfold. This shot was snapped pre ride, he is showing his desire to ride a Kona. I always thought Jason looked lovingly at my bikes;)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Westgate park...

Yesterday I was working at my sister inlaws house in Elwood. I had an hour to waste so I jumped on the cyclocross bike and headed for westgate park (30 min ride without even touching the road), the home of the Kona week in week out dirt crits. I have never riden in this park, but have often contemplated doing a crit out there as a way of working on my speed.

Now I know how good the race track is, I am now very keen to race on it. As for the perfect bike, my cyclocross of cause.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Upgrades...

I have a couple of upgrade plans on the go this weekend. The first was putting some C29ssmax (Mavic Crossmax 29ers) on the Kona Unit 29er. Crossmaxes make any bike look 10x better and this was no exception. What I wasn't expecting was the 550grams of weight saving across the pair of wheels. I'll let you know how the ride over the next few weeks, I think I will be very happy with the new wheels.



The second upgrade involves my race bikes. I have got hold of some Enduro bearings from DIYMTB and they are going to help me make my bike more efficient to ride. Firstly the standard BB was replaced with a Ceramic BB, now you can turn the pedals with a feather. I would also expect the ceramic BB to last longer when the rain come because there should be significantly less corrosion due to the non metallic surface. I also replaced the lower jockey wheels withe ceramic ones to reduce friction a little further.


Jaggered Plans...

I had a plan for Saturday's ride. Jackson is usually up for a feed at about 4am, it takes about an hour all up to feed him and get him back to sleep. My plan was to do all this then head out the door for an early morning MTB ride at Lysterfield. The kids had another plan, I was just about to walk out the door just after 5am when Olivia walked out of her room (very unusually for her). Once she is up that's it, no going back to sleep. Jayden wasn't far behind after Jack had a tantrum and probably woke the whole street. Robyn is on her second cause of antibiotics after a secondary infection came about on Thursday, meaning she is still very tender and needs lots of rest. With all this going against me, I got out of my new Kona Kit (I'll show that off latter) and went from athlete mode to daddy mode.


Not to be deterred, I came up with another plan. I waited until Jackson was in bed for the night (well a few hours at least) and the other two kids where almost ready to go to bed and kitted up again. I was able to get a few hours for riding in, but it wasn't living up to my expectations. Friday night was one of the toughest yet since Jackson's arrival, both Robyn and myself only getting a few hours sleep all most. This left me tired. Wednesday's work/Fatties ride on the Unit 29er also made me feel tired, even three days latter the legs were still feeling taxed.
Whilst heading to Lysterfield I came across this track in Churchhill Park. The trail fairies have been out in force (read bored school kids on holidays). Unfortunately I was riding up this downhill section, a nice two foot drop ramp into a sweeping left hand burm.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Troopie for the taking...



Kona are selling their Toyota Land Cruiser Troop Carrier and I thought I would lend a hand. It is a 2004 model with just 74,000km on it. They are only asking $30,000. If interested I can get you in contact with them.

Ride it like you stole it.....

Last nights Fatties ride was the debut MTB ride for my Kona Unit 29er. I decided it would be a great training tool; forcing me to push a fair bit harder to keep up with the bunch.




However, my first mistake for the night was when we decided the bunch was too big and needed to be split in two with one group heading in towards the city (slower more technical trails) and the other group heading out to Westerfold Park (faster flowing trails). Silly me chose the latter meaning I needed to spin my butt off. Adding to the pain was the fact I had just worked my first courier day in 3 weeks. I held the group well until it came time to ride the bike track back - I spun out for a short while, then I gave up and had a slow cruise back to the scout hall.

My second mistake came when I had an off after collecting a tree with the bars in a tight section of single track. The mistake wasn't the crash but not checking to see if I had lost anything from my pockets. It wasn't until I was back at the car I realised I had lost my Suunto GPS pod. I knew precisely at what point I had lost is (20.48km into the ride) because my Suunto T6 stopped recording distance at this point. So today's job was to head back out into the twisties of Westerfolds and retrieve the Pod.

Job done.

As for how the Unit 29er rode - bloody brilliantly. They are an absolute hoot to ride, you have to work on it (by that I mean everything to do with mountain biking) to get the most from the bike. But this is great for training. I think it will be heading out on may more rides in the future than first thought. It might even see a few upgrades ....

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Saddle up...

Yesterday I was part of a small posse Ash Thomas formed to head out into the hills for a leisurely cruise. Other riders included John Claxton (2nd two week ago at the 24hr Nationals), Jason Jackson (Felt Epix rider), Joel Read (Total Rush) and Grover. From the outset it was obvious everyone else was there to take turns riding with Joel on the front. The man is a machine and being fresh and fit set him apart from the rest of us.


For me this ride was about getting some base miles back into my legs after the body has had a good rest off the bike. There is no better way for doing this than with a great bunch of mates in the Dandenongs. The highlight of the ride (and my max heart rate,) was the decent down the One in Twenty (Sasafras to the Basin on Mountain Hwy). A bunch descent keeps you on your toes that's for sure. Working turns whilst keeping the pace very high. Heeeeaps of fun.


Joel Read - this man can pull a bunch along all day without complaint.


The posse rolling over the top of the 'nongs.


I love this sign at the top of the One in Twenty decent. Single file, bloody hell at the speeds we descend at, cars don't stand a chance of overtaking.