Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday morning wheeling

Well it is wednesday again and when I am not working that can only mean one thing.

Bloody cold.
Be there.
Some weren't.
I was.

I met Jim(CFSM) just around the corner from home and we proceeded to wind our way through the Cornubia singletrack to keep speeds down and warmth up. It worked, as I was dripping with sweat by the time we got to the top of the escarpment.
In Daisy we met up with a somewhat smaller group of three others, no doubt in part due to the chilly weather (it is all relative.10 degrees celcius is cold in a sub tropical climate!) and in part the school holidays.

The decision was made to keep moving to stay warm. It seemed to work...

......until it began to rain. Just lightly, but the gathering darkness was not a good sign as I had about 10 kilometres to ride home if it did decide to really tip down. Hurried goodbyes and thanks were exchanged as we exited Ripley's and I headed for home.
As I got closer to home the rain seemed to ease, so I decided to take the opportunity to ride the single track again and proceeded down Stupidly Happy, where it looked as if there had been no rain.

Now, as I am sure many people know, I am a slow learner. I bragged about not having the flu all year and pow, sick all last week. I was expounding the virtues of tubeless tyres to Jim this morning. "I have never had a puncture since going tubeless". POW! On a rocky 'G out' I staked the rear tyre on a sharp rock.

Luckily it was only about one kilometre from home so rather than throw a tube in, I walked and scootered down Resurrection into my backyard, wet but happy.

15 minutes early for babysitting duties too!
I will keep my mouth shut in future.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Enjoying the Simple things in life.

Sick of moping around the house, I decided to take the kids on a bush walk within a one kilometre radius of home. We are lucky to live where we do. I felt better right away.

I usually ride this trail so it was very interesting to walk it with the kids and take in some amazing sights. This bees nest was high in an old dead gum, right above the trail and would be about one metre (3 feet) across, fifty feet up in the air.
Interesting bark damage on this tree.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Well after much ado and six weeks of phone calls she is back. She went away as a cracking young thing with olive skin and has returned to me with a dark tan. Woo Hoo!

Not only have I scored a new frame, but as the rear shock pivots have been moved for 2010 I must have the Fox RP23 DRCV shock that fits this frame! Add to this the fact that they found my fork stanchions to be "worn beyond limits" (aviation term) and I effectively have a new bike with the wheel set being only two rides old.

Isn't it purrdy? I can see one of my cars in the reflection.

She has a pretty face, don't you think?!

Now normally I would have had the bike covered in mud by now but unfortunately I am holed up at home sipping chicken soup and wiping my dose with what feels like sandpaper.

After much skiting about not having had a cold this year, I have been struck down finally. It means five days off work (with the loss of the considerable overnight allowances a 2 and 3 day pairing bring). It also means my family get to put up with me suffering what I am sure is Avian/Swine flu but my wife brushes aside with a sideways glance as "Just Man Flu". I am only sick once or twice a year. Surely I can mope around looking for a tiny bit of sympathy?
Here is hoping that next time I am on here I can show some action shots of the new Trek sporting the new improved healthy me!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Varied Week

After Mt Perry there was a fair amount of cleaning and packing away of camping gear. Probably the bit I most dislike about camping, but it makes for an easy camp next time.
Before I know it, it is wednesday and time to gently blow the cobwebs out of the legs with the Regular Daisy Hill Wednesday Morning Ride. As I leave the driveway at 5:15am though I notice that Chris's garage is open with the light on. Ouch, this will hurt! No such thing as a gentle transit to Daisy Hill when accompanying Chris. I seem to set my new record transit times on mornings like this. Surprisingly my legs feel OK this morning, despite the hammering they took at Mt Perry three days earlier. The monday lunch cruise must have done them wonders!
Once at Daisy Hill we met up with four of the regulars for a very brisk ride. Luckily for me Floody noticed I was flagging at certain times and very kindly invoked a flat tyre to slow the pace for some recovery time. Jody asked me to take a photo because people say he never helps, but notice his left foot and Floody tugging at his good tube? If that is how he helps change a flat it is best he stands back and just gives cheek like the rest of us!

When I was suffering again shortly later we had some more of this.

Thanks for a great ride, as usual guys. You have got to LOVE winter in Brisbane!

Thursday was back to work with a quick trip to Bali to relax and prepare for the next Sunshine Series race at Karingal. Tough work and perhaps not the best preparation in hindsight, particularly the bit where we sat up all night at 38 000ft!

Note the third world smoothness of the runway!

Beer o'clock.

My Digs.

Home sweet home. You climbers may recognise some of the peaks in the distance. I love how clear the air is after a frontal system scours the contaminants away.

As for the race at Karingal, I started well, within sight of the leaders until the second climb. Then something went "pop" and my thighs felt like they were on fire and just wouldn't push for about a lap. They did come good on the last lap and I managed a safe top 10 finish out of a field of 40!(C grade mens) Happy days!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mt Perry Gold Rush

Mt Perry is one of the MUST DO events on the south east Queensland mountain bike calender. I was kicking myself last year for not doing the race and there was no way I would miss it this year.
For those not knowledgeable in things geographical, Mt Perry is much in the middle of nowhere, about 100km to the west southwest of Bundaberg is the nearest bearing I can give.
After loading enough provisions for three weeks for our three day camp into the mighty Prado we set off for Wolca Reserve not knowing quite what to expect. Five hours later we found a pleasant campground sporting flushing toilets and HOT showers! She who will be obeyed was most pleased.

After a sighting lap with Sparky (Chickendrinker's teammate) I was thinking "what have I got myself into"? It is technically a fairly challenging  eleven kilometre track, quite apart from the 280 metres of climbing per lap! I decided to go back out later in the afternoon to session the last few kilometres of track and calm my nerves, which was an excellent idea!

The night crit was interesting to watch as the kids enjoyed themselves and then the elites absolutely blasted around the one kilometre course.

Elite night crit start line.

After a night in the tent with kids, my sleep surplus was a thing of the past. Oh well, just work with what you have I tell myself.

The Daisy Hill Wednesday Morning Crew.

For the start I decide to try to postion myself toward the front in this mass start. With 300 riders entered, although not all on the track at once, it would save a lot of effort in the early stages to be ahead of as many people as possible. So it was that I found myself about four rows back from the start, with Sparky two rows in front of me. It was nice to have a familiar face close by and as it turned out, close by is how the opening lap panned out!

Start lap.

Sparky is just out of shot on the right here and I am leaving a safety margin to the next rider? Isn't this meant to be a race? I caught up to Sparky on the first climb and decided to sit on his rear wheel as his pace seemed about right. At "Hilltop Hooligans" I felt I could go a little faster and put a pass on him. He soon returned the favour just after "Fat Cow Highway". I cannot remember where I re-passed Sparky, but coming into the last kilometre or so I was in front again, but coming under attack.

This is about 100 metres away at the nine or ten km mark.

Less than a kilometre to go and he is right on my wheel!

Coming down through the last 500 metres of track I came up behind two slower riders and instead of calling track, slot in behind. Sparky (Graeme) calls track, flies by so fast he nearly parts my hair forward and I realise my rookie mistake and call "Track Right" and charge off after him but he is absolutely flying! It was quite impressive to watch. We crossed the line,"tagged" our teammates and pant like overworked cattle dogs, all the while grinning like idiots! In the wash up, Sparky put in a 36m:57s lap to my 36m:59s lap! AWESOME. How much fun is this race within a race?

Checking our lap times on the monitor.

From here it was a matter of resting a bit, filling the water bottle and trying to take in some energy food in what was the shortest 38 minutes, before Andrew came back in.

Laps two and three were a lot of fun. I pushed as hard as I possibly could and felt like I was scorching around the track, but in reality I think I was slowing on the climbs and making up time on the descents as I got to know the track better. Laps four and five were a painful grind on the way up the aptly named "Punisher", until "Hilltop Hooligans" again loomed large and the track pointed down for a while. On my fifth lap I was pushing the six hour mark, but was determined to get Andrew (sorry mate!) out there again for another lap. After 55km and nearly 1400 metres climbing at my own personal maximum intensity I think this photo shows best how I felt about Mt Perry.

Bloody hell that was FUN!!!!!

Team Framebusters managed ten laps in 6h:34m:28s, which put us in 12th place out of 33 in the two man teams. A huge thanks to my teammate, Andrew, who put in consitently quick laps and kept coming back in from his lap smiling!

The Monday finished up with a family cruise around the Mt Perry countryside with a look at an old gold mine and a railway tunnel that is now part of a farm road. The finish was beside a BBQ at the Mt Perry pub for the best tasting self made steak sandwich known to man!


Lucy smashing a huge hill on the Monday cruise! No wonder she was hungry when we got to the BBQ!

Chriss4242 and Lauren on the cruise.

Some horses along the way. Notice it is careful not to get too close to that hungry little girl.

After loading up and joining the procession back to the rat races, we all reflected on what a wonderful weekend we have just experienced. I had a blast riding in the race. The track was just good fun. The kids had a blast riding around the campground with their new friends all weekend and it is almost a given that they will be riding in the Dirt Dash next year. We will most definitely be back. Well done to Mike and all of the crew from Grindin' Gears that made the Mt Perry Gold Rush such a well run reality.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Time for the money shot!?

Ok, the fun of the race on the weekend is left behind. This week is one of two throughout the year when it is time to prove that I still have the physical and mental ability to earn my living, support my family, pay my mortgage and generally feel useful! So no stress then! It is time to step into one of these "time machines"

And to prove that I can still do this safely with numerous failures

The view from outside


Without ANY of this

Now, a certain  Australian ex Prime Minister seemed to think that "overpaid" taxi drivers was an apt title for my profession, but I have never seen a taxi driver leave such a huge black streak on the earth when he got it wrong(and these guys above actually got it very RIGHT ,condolences to the people on United 232 that didn't make it, quite a few did).
Not trying to talk what we do up, but it is a massively stressful couple of days for us. It is not like the check pilots say "That was close, lets try it again". You need to get it right the first time, otherwise the dole queue is the next best offer! Luckily for me I must contain a tiny bit more talent than I appear to posses, as I am good for another six months (unless I f#%k up in the mean time) and I can slightly relax and enjoy the sheer pleasure of belting through the Aussie bush on my mountain bike and the skies in a borrowed Boeing 737. Ever wondered why sheep jump 4 feet into the air as they leave the shearing shed? I live that feeling every six months!!