Sunday, August 31, 2008

Weekend bliss...

I woke up Saturday morning feeling very tired. Jackson has decided he no longer needs to sleep so Robyn and myself are getting very minimal sleep. This is not good at all, I am running out of time to get some miles in my legs before the Day Night Thriller in NZ and I am not prepared to ride when I am that tired. I don't think I get any benefit from it and besides I get really crabby and annoy everyone else in the house. We made it to bed by 8:30 and managed to sleep for about 6hours in total so I decided a couple of hours on the road bike was in order. I rolled nice and easily to the base of the dandies and preceded to do two repeats up the One in Twenty (The Basin to Sassafras, about 7km). The first I didn't allow my heart rate to go over 140bpm, this made for a very pleasant climb. It felt really good to jump on the bike and not have to flog myself stupid.

I also managed to spend some time in the shed. On the left is a crank arm off Pop's bike which I have polished, one the right is one I haven't touched. I am pleased with how they turned out, but I have a long was to go. I have also started to straighten the wooden rims. Firstly I stripped them to bear wood, and got them nice and wet. Now they will live under heavy weights whilst they dry (hopefully a bit straighter).

Friday, August 29, 2008

Product Update...

As many are well aware, AyUp lights are one of the most versatile on the market. They have so many uses unlike most lighting system which are restricted to using on the bike. They will soon be releasing a stage programmed battery. It has 5 power settings plus a strobe mode. I have been using a prototype of this battery and even in its' development stage it is impressive. I have used it with a narrow been on my helmet to get a little more brightness out of it (it does drain the battery a bit quicker) and it is great in a dull mode (battery last much longer) for commuting etc on the road when extreme brightness is not required.

This first pic is the dullest mode. (all pics with narrow beam)

This one is in the middle mode (there is one setting between these first two pics)
And this is the brightest mode (there is one setting between these last two pics)

The prototype I have is the same size as the six hour battery. I am unsure if it will be available is both types, but keep an eye on the AyUp website to find the release date.

In other product news I am happy to inform you that the Enduro Ceramic Bottom Brackets are great value. After the third round of the Anaconda Enduro Series (the very wet one), I left my bike untouched for three weeks. Usually this would see the bottom bracket being removed and placed in the bin. When I had my bike in the stand the BB was almost totally seized, but by removing the seals, spaying with WD40, blowing out with compressed air and applying a thick chain lube all was good again. This can be put down to the fact that the bearing aren't metal so rust isn't a problem. I recon they where revived to about 85-90% as good as new, which still makes the better than a standard BB. Check out DIYMTB for the latest Enduro products.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Anaconda Enduro Round 4...

Sunday I drag myself out for the last round of the Anaconda Enduro Series at Lysterfield. It was an 8 hour outing this round, so race start was nice an early (8:30am) which is something I am not use to. Off the line I felt fantastic. I was with the leading group of team riders for a good few minutes before I made a tactical decision to drop off them and ride a conservative race. Rolling around on the first lap I knew I had two solo competitors in front of me but because this race was a little longer than the previous rounds I was confident I would slowly peg them back.

At about the 2 hour mark I caught second place and I has then happy in my decision to hold back. I soldered, on catching the leader (Stuart Brown) at the half way mark. I was happy to roll around with him for half lap or so until Clackers come past and I decided to put some power down, hold his wheel for a few hundred meters and pulled away from Stuart.

From then on I just wanted to ride consistent laps without hurting myself too much. I rolled in ofter lap 11 with 5 minutes to go, I thought I had enough lead to not go out for another lap but decided it would be good training and rolled through for anther. Lucky I did, because Stuart gave everything he had in the final few laps to come in from lap 12 only about 20-30 seconds behind me. I had absolutly no idea he was there and was quiet glad I didn't bludge the final lap and make it a sprint finish.

This is my support table, it did a great job and never missed a beat. Preparation is the key to good consistent racing.

I don't think I ever looked like I was hurting for the entire eight and a half hours.

11.5 kg of fluid and gel consumed, climbed 3000m and not a drop to spare.

The bootie, two wins and third in series. Ash has done a great job on the trophies. The kids have loved them enough to take them to show and tell.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Other projects....

This is a photo of my Pop (my Mum's Dad). It was taken in 1945 during his time as a bike racer in Tasmania. He had a fair amount of success as a pioneer of the sport we all love. The stories that linger around my family are quite remarkable. There was no such thing as a bike industry in Australia back in his day, let alone in Tasmania. Cycling clothing was hand made, the frame you see here was made by a frame builder in Tasmania named Cyril Able to fit Pop. After Pop's passing in 1998 his frame and all the parts went to my Uncle Richie (the youngest brother of my Mum). His plan was to fully restore it to its former glory, but living fairly remote in Western Australia I decided to have a go. I plan on restoring the wheels (wooden rims in very poor shape-ie not round) and all the other components, whilst Richie wants to restore the frame. So between us we will hopefully have a priceless family heirloom to cherish for years to come.

As you can see from these two photos we have a lot of work ahead of us to pull this off. But the good bit is we don't need to source many components. Everything we need has been saved, except the perishable bits like tyres and toe straps.

I will be visiting the electroplater on Monday to see if he is able to bring some shine back into the parts. Everything is quality and stamped with "Made in England". It is this stamp that is critical to the restoration. So wish me luck and I will keep you updated with progress.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flip of a coin....

This weekend I have a couple of great rides to choose from - Epix are out for another chapter in their search for the ultimate single track, this time in Castlemaine and the other ride is the final round of the Anaconda Enduro Series at Lysterfield, this time it's an eight hour mud bash.

It is always great fun to ride unfamiliar trails with a bunch of great mates. We always walk away with fantastic memories and usually find trails that are well worth another visit. But with the NZ 12hour approaching and the need for me to find some form, the winner this weekend will be the Anaconda Enduro Series. I'm sure it will be just as muddy as three weeks ago and it will no doubt put some good old race pace stress into my body.

I will leave you with these two shots I took at the very first Epix adventure. Mud + 2500m of climbing + 5 mates on MTBs = bloody good fun.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I wish I could ride...

It's been a little frustrating lately. I drive around with a bike on the roof of my car hoping to get a spare hour or so to jump on the bit. But between trying to make a living and running around after kids it just doesn't seem to happen.

I managed to get out on the Kona Ute to grab some groceries tonight, yeh. Oh well, at least I am doing my bit for the environment by not starting the car.

I plan to make amends tomorrow with another courier day sandwiched between two stints on the mountain bike. It's gunna be fun.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Midweek rampage....

With only five weeks to go until I head over the NZ for the Day Night Thriller 12hr I need to spend a little more time in the saddle. One of my all time favourite training days is to incorporate a courier day with the Fatties ride. It takes a fair amount of commitment because once I leave the house at 8am on the mountain bike I know I won't be back home until after 10pm. I start with a 50min commute to the city, swap bikes (I leave a ss road bike locked up in town), courier till 5-5:30, swap bikes again and ride out to Ivanhoe for a few hours on the mountain bike, finishing with a 50min struggle back home.

Me commuting through the MCG car park.

This was a regular session last year, but with less time spent couriering 14 hours is just too much. By the time I got home I was well and truly knackered and that wasn't helped by the pace set out by Randall and Jason Jackson on the Fatties ride (this ride is back to full bore...yeh).
I just downloaded yesterdays riding from my Suunto, and it tells me to rest a bit before I get back on the bike. So feet up untill the Hell Ride on Saturday. Love It.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Might have to get me one of these. First look at this 2009 frame over here.

Sunday riding...

I managed to get out on the road bike this morning. The same group of roadies I usually ride to Blackrock with on a Saturday morning for the Hell Ride also do a Sunday Beach Road ride (personally I couldn't think of anything more boring, Beach Rd Sat & Sun). It was at a more sociable time of 7:30 and not quite the same pace or distance, but at least it was a ride.

This pic show Bowie putting air in his tyre. He did this at every red light on the way home instead of changing the tube, go figure. The guy in red (Roy) won B grade in a 150km road race in Shepparton yesterday, not bad for a Master.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

New toy....she goes.

I got myself a new toy yesterday. It was pretty much a spur of the moment thing and there was no point trying to justify it to Robyn because I know it is not justifiable. But I have wanted one for many years and it is loads of fun. It will also give me something else to do with the kids at the park. How could I live without one??

On the riding front, it has been a slow week. I made it out on the fatties ride Wednesday night. Decided to fling the Unit 29 around in the mud. Robyn needed to work today so the Hell ride was ruled out. Hopefully Sunday I will get a few k's in.