Thursday, February 25, 2010

Race Pics

Flying the yellow shoes on the way to a 2nd place...

First of the Lysterfield crits. More like a mini XC race with A grade doing 7 laps of the course. The course was slightly longer for A to make the everyone finish around the same time. Great racing to be had....

Next week will be a different course somewhere else in the park. I will be halfway between Thredbo and Narooma racing the Mountains To Beach with Rhino. 5 days and 400km.... Awesome.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dirt Crits At Lysterfield

Want another dirt crit to fill the week in??

Wednesdays, registration at TrailMix from 5:30pm, racing starts at 6:30pm.

New Course each week.

Checkout the TraixMix Website for info

Monday, February 15, 2010

Final Stage 7 Hells Gates

Tues Morn. 4x4 track, hardpack beach sand, deep sand 4x4 track, dirt roads and bitumen. 36km.
The final stage... Previous years had winning times of just under an hour so we would be averaging around 35kmph. I definitely wasn't looking forward to it. My main goal was to try and hang with the bunch along the beach.
Before the race. All smiles....
The stage started in town and was a controlled rollout in our groups to the startline just out of town. Passing through the banner it was Willo and Rob Eva attacking off the front. Funny to watch but I knew this would be the race when we hit the beach.
Onto the beach i was safely tucked into the group. The usual attacks and weaving was going on up front and i was holding on(just...) Sadly i missed one of the surges and just couldn't get back on. Damn.

off the back.....

So i was out in the open by myself. Cranking along but slowly loosing ground. Up ahead i could see Mark Fenner off the back of the bunch but this was more due getting caught by a some fishermans hook who seemed unaware that 400+ riders were going to be racing past. At this stage 2 riders had caught me up and i rolled turns with them to get off the beach.
Off the beach and onto dirt road I was still struggling and the 2 guys i'd been on the beach with rode away. Pretty annoyed with my legs at this stage I struggled along knowing the group behind me were catching. Thankfully the road turned off onto a sandy 4x4 trail and i could do what i'm best at. Mountainbiking...
I caught up a few places on the deep sand. Riding and running the trail just like in the Red Centre MTB Enduro. Moral up i was looking forward to the finish....
The 4x4 track changed back onto dirt roads and bitumen and I was cursing as i got repassed by 3 of those i passed in the deep sand. Pushing as hard as i could to the finish i knew this was my final position.

The finishline, finally...
So 7th in Open and 12th Overall. Slightly disappointed with my last stage ride, something to work on for next time, all in all though it was a sweet race and I was happy with the ride. Definitely going to do it again in 2012.
Big thanks to Melissa for being my support crew for the race. Driving the Campervan. Being at the end of each stage and looking after my food, etc over the 4 days.
After the race we stayed for a few more days to get some riding in.

Mel at Laughing Jack Lagoon. A 60km roundtrip from our campsite at Tarraleigh.

Some of the hydroelectric pipelines are still made from wood. (number plate still on, living the dream...)
We also rode the Glenorchy bike park just out of Hobart. Well worth the trip.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Competition Stage 6 Granville Harbour.

Mon Arvo. Rough coastal 4x4 track. Rocks and sand. Some creek crossings. 22km

The start of the stage was the dirt road climb out of Trial Harbour then we turn onto the 4x4 track that follows the coast upto Granville harbour. This time the climb wasn't so tough and i stuck with the lead bunch onto the turnoff.
As we got onto the 4x4 track things heated up a bit and i chased. Trying to keep in front of the guys i'd been riding around in other stages. The track we were on was like a technical dual track. Lots of rough bedrock with washouts, creek crossings, loose rocks, deep sand etc... perfect for me.

I could see the group stretching out on the winding trail and what looked like miles ahead was Sid smashing it off the front.

I settled into a good rhythm and seemed to be catching 2 riders up ahead, one Torq rider and one Specialized rider, who on being passed decided to pull the finger and passed me back. Oh well. At this point something was going on with my gears. I was down to about 4 usable options per chainring. Heaps, but not the nicer climbing gears. Turns out the gear outer had popped out of the endcap and jammed. Toughen up and press on. There wasn't much climbing. Lucky i wasn't stuck in the DOG.....

Somewhere early on i'd lost my drink bottle and was relying on my internal water stores to get me to the end. The sun was harsh and i could feel it burning my arms.
Finish line was up a short climb.
Happy to get some liquids in after 22km of dry mouth...
One more stage to go!!

Competition Stage 5 Spray Tunnel.

Mon Morn. Dual time trial. Open dirt track, single track. Dark tunnel. Open track. 6km.

Didn't checkout my times or starting time till the morning. Preferring to kick back at the Treasure Island Caravan Park in Zeehan. Start times went from slowest to fastest so i was pretty sure that I'd be near the end.

Checking the start list i had to laugh....

Me and Sid.... I told him i'd be trying to hold his wheel as long as possible. He laughed.

I stuck with him for a bit but couldn't hold it and had to let him go.... Pity, he won the stage.

It was tough. Minimal single track and then a long fireroad that slowly climbed to the finish. Being by myself didn't help but i could see the guys who started in front and tried to keep in contact.

After this stage we rode to a small community on the coast called Trial harbour. An amazing little place with no fences.

You probably wouldn't buy a car from there but it was nice to visit.....

Monday, February 8, 2010

Competition Stage 4 Montezuma Falls.

Sun Arvo. 6km bitumen climb. Tramway trail. The infamous suspension bridge. Singletrack and fireroad. 38km

The big stage. It was hot for the start and the 6km road climb straight out of the gate was going to be hard for me. I just tried to stick with the lead group as long a possible but as the climb progressed the 'quick guys' rode off and the rest of us spread out a bit. Finally the trail pointed down and we hit the old tramway. it was nice and cool in the trees and damp in places. Slowly weaving our way down to the suspension bridge at Montezuma Falls.

Didn't really get a chance to look at the falls as i could see the front runners crossing as i arrived. But as only a few were allowed to cross at a time, they were gone by the time i got across.

The tramway then slowly climbed for what seemed like hours, huge puddles, switching lines and the occasional sleeper. Just about had enough of the slow climb when we started to descend again. This was more like it. I was riding just behind one of my close competitors and it was great to have someone to chase.

After some big ring descending we hit singletrack and i could feel myself getting a little vague. The guy i was riding with had some chain/shifting issues and after a quick "you ok mate" i was off again chewing at a gel.

The next section was 4x4 track that climbs up around Mt Razorback. I hit this and felt like i was going backwards. The trail at times seemed to be part of a river bed. Eventually the gel i'd had started to pick me up and I was on better roads. The 5km to go sign was a welcome sight.

300m to go and we turned off the road onto what looked to be a pile of sticks. Recent logging had left the last bit of trail a bit worse for wear.

At the end of this stage i was ready for some energy food.... roadtrip style

Sunday, February 7, 2010


The YETI ARC is a legend of a MTB frame, has been around for years, helped win many races....and it still one of my favourite bikes to ride.
They are a truly amazing frame....

Competition Stage 3 Sterling Valley.

Sun Morn. Rocky 4x4 track to a narrow horse track that climbs dense rainforest. At the top another rocky 4x4 track leads to an awesome single track decent. Rocks, roots and mud. 14km.

A fast start along rocky 4x4 saw Sid T off the side with a puncture. This was the story of the day for a few of the top riders. Quickly the 4x4 trail turned upwards and got narrow. Riding "tempo" I caught a few faster riders and managed to overtake.

In the course notes it warns of large unstable rocks when the track points down. I took this as a green light and cranked the old dh skills up leaving my chasers behind. Mackin the downs the track turned back onto the narrow horse trail and some of the sweetest tech sections. Passing Ben Mather(flat) then AJ(flat) i was havin a ball.

Plenty of rocks and roots. A couple of times i lost momentum and had to take the safer option and run. Mud also featured in this stage and one section while it looked solid, it quickly swallowed my front wheel. Stopping the bike dead and throwing me over the bars. After digging myself out of the bog it was back to pinning the d's. At the bottom we came out onto fireroad and headed for the finish. Turns out this stage I came 3rd in Open. Awesome!!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Competition Stage 2 Que River.

Sat Arvo. Smoother Fire road. Single track. Powerline track 4x4 access trails. 20km. Easier to get a flow happening.

The B group started about 2 mins after the A and I was looking to catch the back markers to drag myself back up. The start line was an unknown bunch and when the whistle blew they were off like a rocket. Funnily it was more like a sport XC start with one or 2 guys going flat out for 500m then slowing down. I took the lead in the early singletrack and smashed away chasing hard.

On one of the fast fire roads my chain dropped off and jammed up in the cranks. Quickly fixing the issue i'd only just been caught. Putting the power down i heard a crunch from the rear. My derailleur was being bent around the cassette. At this stage bellie rode past and i was in the middle of cracking the shits. Luckily the derailleur was good, only a small piece of the carbon cage was broken.

Back riding it was angry time. I caught bellie up and we rode together. Time trialing around the tailings dam of the Hellyer mining lease I was cranking it as i could see the back end of the A group up ahead.

Arriving at the Que river was a surprise for me. The trail dissapeared in the trees on the bank and i realised we had to get wet feet. Jumping off the bank with my bike i got a last minute warning from the camera man on the other side "its deep!! over knee height!" thanks mate. I nearly went under.

From there we were on a section that followed powerlines and i was back on form. Catching and passing the A group stragglers.... The strong ride had me back in the A group for day 2.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Competition Stage 1 Cradle.

Sat morning. Alpine terrain stage from Cradle Mountain. 16km. Mainly 4x4 trails. Pretty rough and hard to get a good flow going.
Rather than send everyone off as once we were split into groups according to our potential pace. I was in the A group, bellie too, Guess someone has heard of us...
Everything was good on the cruise to the start and when the starters whistle blew i was riding well. Crossing a small bridge I found myself no longer attached to my bike. i don't know what happened, those behind me couldn't tell me what went on. Landing heavily on my shoulder and knee it wasn't the start i was looking for...

Back on the bike and chasing the body seemed ok but a bit knocked about. Sadly I'd lost some air from the front tyre and while chasing the pack it let go. Tube time. Lost plenty of time and places and rolled into the finish disappointed.

Finished in 39th place. probably about 5-6 mins off the pace. Got a few gouges out of my knee and some bruising but luckily none of it effected the knee joint. So pedaling was still fine. Turns out my knee didn't hit the ground at all. All the damage was caused by it hitting the bladed spokes of my front wheel.

How did i figure this out??? (warning, unpleasantness ahead)

on fixing my front tyre at lunch i found a piece of my knee skin stuck to a spoke... boo..

Bellie had a bad first stage too and our average times relegated us to the B group. The arvo stage would be chase time.

Back from the West Coast...

well, it seems that Telstra has most of Tassie locked up. Which makes my Optus internet and Vodafone mobile useless.

Finally, a week later, I have connections again.

Wildside was a blast. unbelievable weather. Sunshine and sunburn was the order of the race. Brilliant.

I started with a fall and flat in stage 1 but dragged myself back to get 12th overall and 7th in open.

My impressions and stage breakdown shall be posted soon.