Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Kona Photos....

Thanks to Tim and Stephen Rowe for some great images. Make sure you visit their site and purchase you photos. www.mtb-images.com.au

Before the fun begins.
What rain, did someone say it rained last night.

Nice new clean kit..

The shoes make me look fast..haha.

My knee gave up on me, what a long slow walk that was.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Kona 24

This race has for a long time now haunted me. DNF's, hospital visits, etc. This year I had one main goal, finish. The sleep deprivation started Friday night with plenty of wake-ups from a nasty storm that ripped through - destroying plenty of tents around us. Race day rose with tired racers assessing the damage. However, even with several inches of rain falling, the track seemed to be holding up ok.

By race start, the weather was fine, the atmosphere was pumping, the kids were having fun and I was ready to roll. Getting a good start kept me out of trouble as I settled into a nice easy pace. For the first few hours I rolled around with Carson Tully and Jason English, with a couple of riders smashing it out in front. With rain forecast overnight, I was happy to save the legs for when the going got tougher. Jason decided to chase down Troy and get himself in the lead. By the time I caught up with Troy the rain had begun and the track was getting slippery and very taxing on the legs. We were discussing the option of stopping, but I though back on my main goal and decided to persevere with the testing conditions and simply keep rolling around. Jason was slowly but consistently pulling away from me and Brad Davies shadowing me from a bit too close a distance. I was committed to giving all I could to keep the number two spot.

All was on track until a severe pain hit me in my right knee. Pain is something iI am pretty used to during these events, but this pain was bad. After loosing some precious minutes in the closing laps, I needed to make a decision . Do I go out on anther lap and risk a long term injury but possibly hold onto second or do I stop and more than likely fall off the podium. I decided to go out on another lap, but pretty soon after leaving I realised the pain was too much and I was reduced to walking. Brad came past me while I was on the side of the track and I knew that was it, finish this lap and third is the best I can do.

Overall, I am very happy with my race. For the first time ever I was able to eat without throwing up. And all it took was something my masseur said a couple of weeks ago. Amazing really after many doctors, nutritionists and other health professionals being unable to figure out or fix this major issue which has plagued my racing since the start. It has even given me motivation to do some proper training in preparation for next years major events.

I need to give a big thank you to Robyn (super pit chick), my parents (for doing a fantastic job with the kids, helping Robyn & driving us all home safely!), Ben from Kona (for keeping my bikes in tip top shape) and Ann Schilg (for helping Robyn out for many hours). Also, a big thanks to my sponsors, especially Kona, SRAM, Mavic, Pedros, Adidas Eyewear and AyUp.

Photos will be posted shortly, still haven't unpacked.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whilst we are being hit with stinking hot weather, Parks Vic prepare our park lands for a long dry summer....NOT.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


And out of the night comes the FURY....available in store very soon.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Randall's backyard bash...

Today Randall & Mel hosted a BBQ at their place. Amongst the reasons for the BBQ was to ride the newly finish "backyard trails".

Paulie getting some air.

Randall chasing down Troy, who is riding Randall's DH rig.

My choice of bike for the day was a poor one, although it got lots of points for uniqueness. It could have been worse, the stem snapped whilst riding back up the hill, not on the bumpy down hill ... LUCKY.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Become a fan of the Australian Kona Team...

Kona Australia has set up a Facebook page to promote all things Kona. Click here and see what it's all about. Become a fan.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Big George Invitational...

Yesterday got me back out on the MTB for a long awaited ride, The Big George Invitational (Stephen Van Dyke of Total Rush). It was a star studded field on a pristine Melbourne day. The plan was to ride four race courses in one ride. We linked Lysterfield, Harkaway, Upper Beaconsfield and Officer together, and had a ball doing so.

The Peleton, we only spent a few km's on the black top. Not bad for a ride just shy of 100km.

However, with plenty of rain the night before, there was a bit of this.

See what I mean...

The man with the longest arms in the world.

Hydration was the key. It was a great ride to get the body use to riding in the heat after struggling with heat stress in Queensland last weekend.

Joel Read, what more can you say, the man is an animal..

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Queensland 24hr wrap up...

It's back to the real world today. Yesterday was totally lost in travel, amazing how a 2hr flight can consume a whole day.

I am pretty happy with how the race panned out. My intention was always to ride as little as possible and just get back into the solo rhythm again. With the race starting at 2pm and continuing for about 9 hours after the sun came up on Sunday, it was always going to be tough in 30plus temperatures. I felt the early signs of heat stress only 2.5 hour in, throwing up and feeling very cooked. But luckily it was evident even the Queensland riders were also suffering in the heat. I decided to ride very conservatively through the heat and try to create a gap during the night and with any luck, wouldn't need to ride for the full 24hrs.

My plan worked well. I was happy with how I was riding and very glad I could take a rest for the last 4.5 hours of the race.

A good ride also by fellow AyUp rider Sean Bekkers to finish a very tough event only two laps down.

A huge thanks goes out to my parents for their efforts looking after our little tribe while we were away, Robyn for fuelling me and AyUp for getting we up north for the fantastic event.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Its over .... We hope!

There's a good chance the race is done. Just keeping an eye on 2nd & 3rd, but very unlikely they can make up the distance. Andy stopped riding at the 20hr mark, so he'd be pretty unhappy if he had to get up and ride! I wouldn't want to try waking him!

Starting to suffer

18hrs in and andy has a vomit right in the middle of the tent - thanks honey! Gone out on another lap now. Day is getting very hot already. Will need to get him off the course as soon as possible. Hopefully just 1 more lap needed to take the win...

Tired & dirty

Just came in on lap 30. Ready to stop when its a done deal. Just a few more hours... The sun's up & its going to be another great Qld day

Into the brutal hrs of the am

Lead extended to 3 laps so he's about 1.5hrs in front now. Andy struggling with stomach probs - but nothing new there. He's still riding well so he'll hopefully be right until I can get to a chemist in a few hrs.

Now 2 laps up. Still riding strong.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

8hrs in ....

Still strong. Now a lap up so taking the time to stop & eat. Nice mild night - all good.

6 hours in....

About 20mins up on Sean Bekkers. Doing consistent laps. All good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scott 24 Race Report...

Sorry for the delay getting this up. There has been a fair bit on of late.

This event has always been one of my favorite events on the 24 hour race calendar. CORC always put on a super slick event and even though I was never planning on racing this one solo (I just wanted a break from solo after 5 years straight) I wanted to race. You have probably heard people say that pairs over 24hr is tougher than solo, well I wanted to find out for myself, so I asked Randall to join me.

Our race plan was always going to be ride lap for lap until we needed to have a decent rest, then play it by ear as to how we continued. This plan ended up working very well. We didn't get any idea on how we were placed until about the 9 hour mark due to a stuff up in the timing and by this stage we were about 0ne lap up on our competitors. we didn't let this new information slow us down. We persisted on our lap for lap plan all the way to the end. This allowed us to finish at 11am, have a hot shower and put our feet up.
I started at a pretty conservative pace knowing I have two more solo 24's to race in the six week following, but Randall went hell for leather. He only dropped out of the dog on a few occasions during the night. And to his credit, he didn't once complain about being tired. For me, I found the riding part great. The course was so much fun, you just wanted to get out there and ride. The time off the bike wasn't that much fun when is got really cold. But overall, I would say it is much easier than a solo 24.
A big thanks goes out to Ben from Kona. He looked after our bikes and mad sure we didn't fall asleep in the beanbag during our short stints off the bike. Also a big thanks to Randall for a great partner. It makes things a whole lot easier when you don't have to worry about your partner putting in their fair share.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Scott 24 race report still to come...

Sorry, I am waiting on the fantastic photos from Sportograf before I do the full report. Hopefully it won't be long now..

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My new look....

It arrived a day too late to take up to the Scott, but here she is, my 2010 Kona Hei Hei 100. I am back on the 4 inch program after 12 months off. More on the new rig latter.

The new kit below has been my baby. I have worked on it for the past 9 months. It all began when I decided I wanted to ride a higher quality pair of knicks. Firstly I tested several brands over many rides to find something I was happy with. Then I worked closely with Ventou (won the comfort competition hands down) on the design and material choices to come up with this.

I have found these Knicks to be the most comfortable I have ever used. I went for a compression tech fabric, an integrated shammy and silicone leg compression bands. Ventou have been very good to work with, and I would highly recommend them. Being an Australian company is also a huge plus in my book.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Worst ride ever...

I type this post as I walk to meet Robyn after a few mishaps. First my chain dropped off during a lazy change, sucking the chain up snapping the inner cage on my rear mech. Then I got a flat and while fixing it I hung m bike from it's seat on o fence, it feel, braking the body of the rear mech. Flat was fixed, gears still shifted (gotta love SRAM) and off I went. 30 mins latter the bead had popped off the rim and no longer passed through the frame. I have no pump and have run out of gas. Big boo....

Oh well, I can honestly say, in the 14 years I have been with Robyn, this is the first time I have called to be rescued.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Just a quick note.

We kept the pace going. Got about a 3 lap lead and then decided we would stop riding at 11am. Pretty happy with how things went full race report to follow.

Another update 2

We are about 2 laps up.... Yeah.
Track is holding up we. Randall is still firing. As for me, the time off the bike is tough, but I an getting into it.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Sorry I have posted yet, the new timing crew are having some troubles.

As of 10pm we were about 45mins up and both feeling pretty good. Our mixed 4 team is racing a close battle, only minutes down in third. And Campbell has just moved into 11th.

We are planning to keep going lap for lap and hope we hold up....

Morning at Stromlo...

This is home for the weekend. It should be a good weekend. We rode a lap yesterday and they have incorperated many of the good aspects of last years two courses and made one ripper one. Lap time will be a bit slower, which will suit us in a two man team.

I will try and update as we go...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Just Announced....

Looks like my prediction was right. Next years Scott 24hr will be hosting the World Solo 24HR MTB Championships. It hasn't been announced yet, buy will it also be our Nationals? This would make it one of the biggest races ever.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Avoca 2010 Nation Marathon course pre ride....

During the week I escaped the mad house for a test ride on the 2010 national marathon championship course in Avoca. Rohin required some company for the ride, so I didn't hesitate putting my hand up along with Randall and Willo.

It was always going to be an epic ride due to much of the single track not yet built.
We were also required to hike-a-bike for about 2 hours through some tough Aussie bushland. We ended up with 90km riding/walking, 3000 vertical metres and zero mechanicals (amazingly).

Two seconds before I took this shot, Rohin was looking a tad pissed, thinking of how much work is require to get this bush walking track up to scratch, but then he though how much fun it will be once the hard work is done.

This is the start/finish location for the event. The local are really getting behind the event. The aim is to get more Mountain bikers to the area to enjoy what they have to offer. Check out the event website, Big Hill Events.

Monday, September 28, 2009

New AyUp V4 kit Review...

I got hold of AyUp's latest offering to MTB riders, the V4 kit, (there are other new kits available, check their website for details). The new look kit has moved these lights up a step on the WOW factor with the introduction of a custom water proof hard case. Gone is the seldom used neoprene pouch.

Open the box and you can really see how well they have done finishing the product off. Nicely cut out foam piece with hard plastic backing holds all the goodies in place.
Remove the top tray to revel another layer.

The other upgrades from the old kit include, stage batteries featuring high, low and flashing. You get 2 x 1/2 Epic and 1 x Epic, no longer called 3 and 6 hour due to the different power usage on different stages. There are two red caps to place over the lights to give you an ultra bright rear flasher. The very useful head torch band is included as is the gecko mounting system. All these upgrades make for a great value for money kit that will allow you to ride very fast at night. Also worth a mention is the fact that due to ever improving technology, the lights themselves are brighter without using any more battery power.

Be sure to stop past their new website and check out the video. I think you will be impressed with this package. I have not included a full review of how the light perform because my original review included all this.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


What a great day to be riding in Melbourne. We had hail, rain, and trails that at times resembled creeks, but most of all we had a whole heap of fun.

With about 14 riders starting, we only had one mechanical. Our humble leader for the day, Jason Jackson managed to snap his derailleur clean off the hanger (go figure, the hanger was still intack).

An attempt was made to keep him on the trails, but the swing arm needed more movement, so with a chain tentioner it wasn't going to happen.

Cam grabbing a well earned lift from Ash (a non started due to being soft, oops, I mean sick). Cam rode his single speed 29er for pretty much the whole 75km ride, only oppting for a short cut right towards the end. Bloody top effort.

Both EPIX boys in the truck. Better luck next time. Thanks for organising a great ride guys.

Fun trails. I have never ridden in the St Andrews area. I will return.

Thanks again for the lift home Brian.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The scene has been set...

OK, the training has been done, the bike has been lubed and the course has been plotted (well, I hope so). This weekend is time for another episode with the Felt EPIX boys. These events are always a blast. Whether we get lost, muddy or extremely tired, it will be fun for all. Tune back next week and I will give you a run down on the whole ride. It will no doubt be a good hit out with only a couple of weeks to go before we head north again for the Scott 24 Hour.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Be safe out there..

Many of you will know off fellow 24hr rider Jeff Toohey. I just received news that he was struck by a car yesterday morning and had spent some time in a coma. As a rider this is one of our worst fears, but you can't let this fear ruin you desire to ride. My thoughts and wishes go out to Jeff and his family, hoping a full and speedy recovery.