Saturday, June 28, 2008

Club Support....

This morning I was in no shape to tackle the boys on the Hell ride, instead an easy roll on the local trails would be the order for the day. Bruce Dickey had organised a race intro ride day for MTBers interested in getting into racing. Myself and a few other Fatties members offered their time and knowlede to the group. We had a good turn out of 12-15 keen riders. I believe this is going to become a regular fixture during winter in an effort to increase numbers attending races. So keep an eye on the Fatties website for the next outing.

The man himself, Mr Bruce Dickey, passing on his knowledge and experience as we tackle some technical tracks..

This is most of the group, listening closely to James before we do two laps of the famous Dickey loop...

Friday, June 27, 2008


I am one of those guys who never get sick. My whole family can come down with the flu and I will be right as rain. That was until yesterday. I got the full all over body ache and didn't want/couldn't get out of bed this morning.

So, with the way I feel at the moment there will be no riding for me this weekend. But hopefully I will be well enough to help the Fatties out tomorrow in their introduction to MTB racing day at the Scout Hall.

Next week we're off to Warrnambol for a family holiday. It would be great to get some great riding in, but I will have to wait and see.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Weekend update..

Sorry for the delay in getting the weeks rides up, but my computer has been in for repairs for the past two weeks and I need to hijack Robyn's to make a post.
Saturday I was out on the Hell Ride again. It was a tough outing due to the strong winds and rain. All went smoothly considering the conditions except when a dog walking pedestrian made us look extremely bad when he gave no warning and steeped onto the road at a crossing point. The entire group was brought to a halt in a very messy manner, with some riders using feet on the road to wipe off speed in the slippery conditions. It could have been much worse, all riders stayed upright and hopefully we scared the pedestrian enough that he won't do that again.
So, with 150km in the legs from Saturday it was off for a ride in the Dandenong's on Sunday as a farewell ride to Rohin and Ivan as the departed for Europe and the world marathon champs on Monday. Rohin has written the ride up over here, I will just add these two pics.
The group at the top of the Nongs..
and Randall, practiced his wheelies all day.

With more riding in the legs over the weekend than I have done in a long time, this week will be a little easier as we ease into the school holidays next week and a family holiday.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Product update...

I thought I had better get back to talking about a few of the products I have been testing/using lately. Firstly the new Ay Up head torch. These things have been getting a real flogging. My support crew at the Bendigo 12 hour raved about them. They found them to be very comfortable and supplied ample light ... they didn't even need to use the camping lights under the Kona tent. The night before the event, Jayden and I played footy using one head torch each and it was great. I keep one in the car and it gets plenty of use. So when you order your new set of AyUp lights, make sure you get yourself a head torch and you will get heaps of use out of it. I doubt there is another light on the market as versatile as the AyUp.

Then there are the Ozriders foam grips. I have now spent more than 24 hours riding on these and I must say I am impressed. The Black are super comfortable for the long days in the saddle. The whites are a bit firmer but the hexagonal design gives excellent feel and rider control with good comfort. I have used many grips in the past, trying to eliminate sore hands from holding on for such long periods. I have found these to be the most comfortable to date and will continue using them.

What about the Enduro Ceramic Bottom Brackets you might ask. Well, they have been ridden a whole heap in the wet and the dust and they still go round as smooth as they did the day they were put in, so nothing else to add really.

Mates, together at last....

Two of my good riding buddies (Ben Randall and Ryan Hawson) have finally come together to make the basis of Team Yeti Australia. Ryan has a couple more commitments with the Flight Centre Team but will be donning the turquoise soon enough. They have joined the Blogging community to keeps fans, friends, family and sponsors informed of their goings on, you can view it here.

Unfortunately for them I won't be joining their team, but with other mutual sponsors (ie. Ay Up) we will do some travelling and racing together on some of the best MTB race courses in the world. It is going to be a very interesting second half of the year indeed and I am excited to be travelling and racing alongside my good mates.

Two up Tuesday...

I have had a great start to the week in terms of getting out on the bike. Monday afternoon I ducked out on the Four Supreme for a quick spin around the local trails. Another rider (Peter, Evan Franzke's brother in-law) had the same idea as he followed me into some not very well known trails. He introduced himself and joined me for the rest of my ride only to brake his chain on a little pinch climb.

Last night I joined the boys for the Tour de Burbs. Not a very big group go out on a Tuesday night, but we made plans to ride two laps of the hill circuit in an attempt to boost Rohin Adam's fitness for the world Marathon Champs in three weeks time. I needed to ride conservatively, but enjoyed the challenge and clocked up 100km by the time I got home.

Melbourne's city scape sure is beautiful.

But all I got to see was a couple of arses.
Jack Lamshed from team Felt ventured out. For once he even brought his smile.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekend of Joy....

On Saturday I headed out on the Hell Ride. I am trying to get some extra fitness and this ride is well known to give a rider fitness. Mr Ash Thomas and myself enjoyed smashing ourselves stupid off the front on several occasions, including up Hopes Rise resulting in diminishing the group size to 30 or so from its' original size of 80ish. Too much fun.

Yesterday we decided to have a family ride with a few of our closes friends. 10,000 plus riders turned up. Melbourne sure is keen on riding. I don't think I fitted in because I didn't have a hybrid or a fluro yellow jacket. I have never seen so much mayhem in one ride before.

Jayden and myself covered about 15kms of the new eastlink freeway, while Robyn (on her new bike) rode 60km in her comeback ride with her sister Bev.

This is Robyn's new bike. I decided I would upgrade her old KHS soft tale in an attempt to get her keen to hit the trails (or at least bike paths). It's a nice and light 16" 2005 Kona Kula Primo with some of my old race bike bits (XTR Dual controllers and disc brakes). She found it a joy to ride and it sure does look the part.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Look Quartz

I have just been given these great looking Look Quarts MTB pedals to test. I don't think they are in the shops just yet, but shouldn't be far off. They use the same system Egg beaters use but the cleats aren't soft brass and they come with protection plates for your carbon soled shoes. At a very handy weight of 250g a pair. Very nice. I will let you know how they go.

BTW 24 hours after having the laser surgery on my eyes all is good - no discomfort and vision is great. I could see the bottom line on the chart and everything. Pretty happy camper indeed.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Crazy times...

All checked, tested and booked in. The lasers will be attacking my eyes this Thursday and I should be all good to be back on the bike by the weekend (probably have to stay on the road but). It really hit home how big a deal this surgery will be for me when I was waiting in the waiting room today for my appointment and an other penitent who had been through the surgery was given a for for Vic Roads to re-issue another licence because he needed the corrective eye wear condition removed. How bloody good is that. I am really looking forward to having this done and finally getting rid of contacts and glasses forever (well ever is a long time and I would be happy with 10 - 15 years).

Oh yeah, I have a plan, a crazy plan. It is in early stages at the moment and not sure if we can pull it off, but I will keep you informed.

Monday, June 9, 2008


You know those days when something is trying to tell you that you should have stayed in bed. Well yesterday morning I had this happen to me. The day started early (rolling by 5:45) to meet my riding partner for the day, Randall. The 45 mins spent by myself was spent wondering why my legs were feeling so heavy and hoping they would warm up and be fine. Picking up Randall and heading towards Kinglake on roads/towns I have never heard of I had my first flat tyre of the day. This was the start of the message my bike was sending to me.

We were both dressed ready to combat the coldest of conditions, but the day had other ideas. The sun was never too far away behind a thin layer of fog. We both felt a bit over dressed but I suppose it is better than having it the other way around and freezing for hours on end.

There is this little known climb to get yourself up to Kinglake. It was great. A very narrow road with plenty to see in the bushes and a nice gradient. My bike gave me another installment of "you should have stayed in bed" with a second flat tyre about half way up.

My legs never did warm up and I got a third flat tyre (all on the front) and Randall did end up ditching me up a couple little hills, but it was a great ride just for the fact we were on new roads for me and nowadays Ben and I don't get to ride together that often.

Friday, June 6, 2008

I can see clearly now.....

Just got back from a nice little spin on the bike paths. It was made a bit difficult because I put my neck out whilst asleep last night. A big pain in the butt. I have a great ride planned for Sunday and I don't want to miss it. Hopefully it will correct itself before then.

In other news, I have finally booked an assesment for laser eye surgery. For those that don't know, I can't even see my front wheel without corrective lens. This is very exciting for me and all things going well I could have the surgery as soon as next Thursday. In the meantime, I can't wear contact lenses. So my inserts for my Adidas sunnies will be getting well used. I usually only use them when I need to remove my contacts in long races but they do work very well indeed.

Thursday, June 5, 2008


With some racing under the belt last month I am beginning to feel fit and fast(ish) on the bike.

I am hearing all the stories of friends heading overseas to race at the highest level in their chosen discipline of MTB and I can't help but feel jealous. Rhino, Rohin and Fenner heading to Italy for the World Marathon Champs, Clackers, Troy, Fenner, Tim Ferres, Willo, Toohey all heading the Canada for the 24hr World Champs. And of cause AJ heading OS for his usual onslaught.

This month is very quiet on the race scene for me and I think I need to start looking interstate or towards NZ to find an event to suit my desire to race. Now that Jackson is a couple of months old and we are getting into a bit of a routine, I am going to attempt to fit four rides in a week. The extra two will start off as short tempo rides but will hopefully give me enough fitness to focus on some tougher racing.

Last night I was out on the usually Fatties ride. Randall was there showing off the best Yeti have to offer.

And AJ, what can you say about this man. Riding solo in the CTS 6hr on the weekend he finished almost a lap up on second and 5th in the pro pairs. Machine.

These guy are all motivating me to set some goals. I might have to put a world record attempt on the schedule.. .but more on that later.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

They grow so quick...

Here's one for the family and friends who we don't get to see often. I took these shots of Jackson on the weekend. He will be running around in no time, causing havoc as kids do.

His mum is in awe. Babies tend to do that to women.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Epix - Local trails combined....

My Sunday started with a 6am alarm call. Thinking I could grab an extra 15 minutes of shut eye, I slowly drifted into a deep sleep, waking at 7. This sent me in a flurry to get ready to roll down the driveway for 7:25. I wasn't heading out for another race, I was in fact riding to the start point of another Epix. I wasn't quite sure where we were heading on this fresh, foggy morning, but having done a few Epix in the past, I had written off the whole day.

I won't steel Ash's thunder and reveal all the details, but we did cover over 150km (mostly trails), we rode many of the trails known in the eastern parts of Melbourne and we did get home after dark.

It was a great ride. Enjoyed by all who braved the chilly start.

Ash was very happy when the sun finally broke through the fog.

We just missed the finish to the CTS race held at Lysterfield. We needed to get moving as we had our own Sun to chase.
You can view a log of the ride over here and keep an eye here as Ash fills in the details over the next few days.