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