Monday, December 20, 2010

Just a little crash


technology is awesome. CT scan of my shoulder showing my scapula in 3 pieces.

After work i was hopping around on my Yeti DJ/Trials bike and looped out landing flat on my left shoulder. It was a hard landing and i knew something wasn't right. Drove myself to hospital for xrays and CT scan.

Shoulder ok but Scapula is messed up... no surgery required, just rest time

So thats it for this year. 4 weeks in a sling then rehab and strength work. Its possible by mid feb i'll back on the mtb. Just in time for the Nationals!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bad Karma

Think I'm bad luck at the moment. don't believe it? read Rhinos report on our Jeep 24 Hour race. Not good.

Thankfully under an assumed name on the Felt team i managed to log some good laps and help the team to a win. (i think Neil would be happy with the times i posted...) Giant Check Shot!!

Got one more race on the calendar this year, unless i head to tassie for the national round, then is Christmas party's, beers and maybe new bikes!


So to make way for "upgrades" I'm selling my ARC


Medium Frame. XTR brakes, King Headset, Reba fork with XX hydro lockout




Thomson stem and post


819 rims, tubeless tyres. XO shifters and derailleur.


New chain, cassette and chainrings.

email me if interested... ben.randall1@gmail.com

Monday, November 22, 2010

You Yangs XC

If bad luck runs in threes then i should well and truly be out of it by now, but I could also say you make your own luck and my result at saturdays national round was more due to me just assuming "she'll be right mate" than any sort of voodoo hex thingo..... The vets field had a podium of contenders but at ground level I had the upper hand. Mainly due to the technical nature of the trails. The only thing to slow me would be other riders on the course.

After a practice ride on friday morn i decided the BigTop would be my weapon of choice. The descents weren't rough enough for 5 inches of travel and the climbs were sharp and required plenty of pedal mashing. hardtail rules. I even swapped in a 39/26 chainring setup to make the hard pinches a bit easier.

After transponder allocation and warmup we were called up on a third row behind the Under19 field. The start was hecktic with Rohin and I slotting into the U19 field after the start loop. As we entered the course and started to climb the rocky singletrack riders were being spat off the sides due to the tech nature of the climbs. (pretty sure it was designed to be ridden down)

My plan was to stay with rohin(or whoever was leading in vets) and make a move closer to the end. Figured I'd easily keep away in the trails. 3/4 up the first climb rohin got caught with some U19s who had stalled on a rock garden and i rode straight past. In the lead my plan changed. Go For It!

This was working as i monstered my way up the next technical climb, over the top past the downhill start ramp and into Travs Diamond. On friday Rhino and i had spent some time sessioning sections to get good lines through the rocks and i hit every marker. Pumped and with no vet riders in sight i headed into the next section of techo climbing with a couple of U19s, including the eventual U19 winner, Up the rough stuff and then down, berm, berm, rocks, berm, berm, final rock garden for the lap, pin it through and the back wheel tags the last rock on the exit.

pshhhhhhh, Flat tyre.... Yep, Still running tubes. Stupid mistake. Had plenty of time to convert the bike. Been meaning to convert the bike but just didn't quite get there.... Make your own luck....

So wheel out, tube in, get passed by 90% of the field, back on the bike and through the start/finish, lap 2, not really focused. Do some tricks for the spectators on a big rock slab climb. Got my shit together and decided to make it a race again. Catching people and moving up through the ranks. Got to the same area as my first flat and pshhhhhh, down again. Boo.

Rode it on the rim back to the feed/tech zone and with a flat tyre mono over the finish line i called it. Done. DNF. Out of tubes. Lesson learnt. Next time I'll follow my own advice......and maybe harden up a bit too

Monday, November 15, 2010

More trail repairs

Spent sunday morning doing some trail work. With the extra rain we've been getting this winter everything is growing and what used to just be dips in the trail are creeks and muddy bog holes.


Construction materials.

The plan was to trim the teetree and grass then build a bridge over the mudbog. The tree trimming went fine, once we managed to get the chainsaw running, sadly Mr Whippersnipper decided sunday morning was rest time and refused to stay running. Vroom, errrr, stall. Repeat.... bugger.

Neil and i grabbed building materials and got to work.


Neil brought his working boots....


Mid way through constructions, seems my phone camera got some condensation in it....


bridge done. As you can see on the left, its pretty muddy.

ready to ride...
Next weekend is the National Round at YouYangs. BigTop or ASR5??? hmmm, rocks, single track, tech decents, tough choice...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Dirtworks 100km Marathon

This was a great race for me last year. A perfect mix of singletrack and fireroad to suit my style.
Bigtop time... The 29er would be sweet on the fireroads and rail on the singletrack.

This year i was hoping to have a good ride, unsure of my fitness i entered vets again. Planned to just tap it out and try to stay with a front group.

That plan lasted till the 20km mark. I attacked. Got a gap in singletrack and didn't look back. I was cranking.

I started to catch the tail end of the elite group who had started 5 mins before us, getting closer the the half way mark and still feeling good. I still had plenty of Gu gels left and the halfway feed zone was coming up. Passing a track marshall i was informed i was in 6th, overall!

Through some singletrack i collected a stick in my chain but it didn't seem to cause any problems, i pulled it out and kept riding. The next climb i shifted up the cassette then crunch. Rear Derailleur cage gets caught in spokes and is dragged around, snapping my hanger, bending the cage, buckling the rear wheel, breaking a jockey wheel and b tension screw. Pretty much ending my race.



Busted up good.



Where the hanger used to be. Seems i may have broken part of the frame tip as well. One of the hanger mounting bolts is missing and the hole it used to go through is gone as well. Damn. Lucky they are replaceable.

just riding along of course....

So i had to singlespeed it to get home. Sadly the chain kept trying to climb the cassette which was making some nasty noises and rear tyre was buzzing the frame where the wheel was buckled. Limp home time.

Great course though. Definately one to do again next year.

More flood damage


Sunday, October 31, 2010

One week on

and a downpour later....


normally the trail goes through here



No quite as fast or deep but about double the size of normal



totally flooded


The bridge work from my last post, needs to be extended slightly but otherwise perfect.



another section almost under water.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Bit more trail work


bridge work..


bit more trail "paving"


rocks and logs, nice ride, better than getting stuck in a mud hole


one handed riding video....

Sweet as


new shoes... Silver.



New fork! Tapered steerer, QR15, sweet as....

The bike feels a million bucks, took it out for some sweet trails and its now too fast.... super stiff front end and direct steering. Now my tyres feel like they are too low pressure. Yeah, back on, its trail rippin time....

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Worlds and the aftermath

Sadly I didn't really take any good photos from our time in canberra. I rode the solo course with bellie, the teams course with mel, The solo course by myself(and had a minor getoff, ouchy ribs)and the teams course with Rowney. Both courses were tough, solo course was rough and would be a test of toughness. The teams course was tight and would be tough to pass on. All good.

As usual midday saturday comes around quickly and there we were lined up.


Worlds Elite start line to the left...


....to the right

3am shot?? The phone camera doesn't do justice to the sight from up on the hill. Teams and Solo riders with all the tent setups and pit crews. It was a huge event.

The Solo presentation dinner. Packed into the ANU Bar with a huge Que for food our table decided beers would be better....


And the next day we drove home to Melbourne. Roadtrip done. A great week capped off with a great race. Bellie had a good race but had to stop early due to shoulder issues. The Gu/Yeti team won 4 man teams. Mel and I rode some sweet trails and had a nice week in the sun.


So welcome back to Melbourne, rain, cold, rain... I took some time out to do some weather proofing of a trail.

Bit more to do.... more photos next time i make the trip out.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pomingalarna Park Wagga Wagga

found a trail map for this place while searching for the Nail Can Hill map and given it was on the way we stopped in for a ride. Definitely a surprise, i didn't need to refer to the map at all. We just followed the arrows and they took us on a nice loop around the park.



The cutting



similar trails to Beechworth in areas, with the rocks, trees and winding trails. great fun.






Not a super tech area but the trails flowed well and made for a fun morning



Blair Witch trail....



bit further on in Blair Witch, a bone hanging from a tree...





The luge, reminded me of Melrose trails, winding down a gully with plenty of cool g-outs.
So another great place to ride on our way to Canberra. We have arrived at the 24hour Worlds site and setup the caravan. Managed to get in another ride around the solo course. Some typical stromolo rocky sections and cool flowing trail. Some which will get tough at 3am....
More riding to do on friday then maybe a quick loop saturday morn before I take my place in solo pit alley to help Bellie in his race. Hope to get some more pics of the race site and course up tomorrow, as long as the laptops battery lasts....

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nail Can Hill

I had no idea where to go, just a map and some trails marked on it. So i picked a trail and we headed for it..... turns out i picked the wrong one


Its marked as unemployment track i think and we walked up most of it. It reminded me of an Epix ride... to be fair it was more a walking path and probably not for riding. If you were to ride it i'd say head down on a long travel bike would be better. So we slogged our way up and onto the ridge road the cuts through the trail network.

Heading along that road we took a turn off to the left and hit the good trails... we ended up somewhere and after some loops, climbing and "just a bit further" I located where we were on the map.



some smooth winding trails, great fun



some rocky winding trails, also great fun



The 29er got a run today, again proving its a great ride. floating over the rocks with ease.



mel on the trails



Semi downhill track that cuts across the side of nail can hill another sweet trail


Great view off the hill.




another walking track?? i reckon you could ride it. Mel wasn't up for it.



more rocky trail. this is a great area for rocks. the trails are super sweet. sadly the map i had was a bit out of date and we probably missed a heap of great loops. Next time we'll try and hook up with some locals for a guided ride....



Art short.

So, Nail Can Hill, definitely worth a trip. I'd either take a local or a gps and map cause there is a heap of trail to enjoy.
I'm told new trail maps will be available once local councils and govt etc give the go ahead, hopefully that is soon.

Keep an eye on the Albury Wodonga Mountain Bikers site for the new map and upcoming races.


onward we go toward Canberra....

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mt Beauty

First place to stop on our riding road trip in Mt Beauty. The sun is shining and the trails are dry. Perfect weather for riding. Its been about 6 months since i last rode here and longer still since i raced the trails. Seems they've been busy building new trail....


Big Hill MTB Park...

Bit of "North Shore" inspired trail





Survey Track. A must ride when you come to Mt Beauty, great to ride up, unreal riding down...

ready to rock, i think....


can you spot mel.... ?

Mel got an owie...



Classic. Great flowing trail too


New trails are being made... Lukes Trail. Very nice.



Well worth a revisit. Next stop Nail Can Hill...