Saturday, December 31, 2011

Where did it go?

Well, here we are at the end of 2011....already!?!

I had great intentions of putting together some stats of rides I have done, people I had enjoyed being around, places I had flown to, bits I have broken (or had broken me!) and other such intriguing stories, but to be honest, after my first week back at work I am simply toooo munted to do anything much really. I doubt that I will make it past 8pm tonight! I may still carry through with this retrospective, however I guess it will lack all relevance when delivered a week or two after new year.

Suffice to say that 2012 will be a year where I will make more time to spend with friends, help out some strangers, train with more focus and I will tell my family that I love them, more often . Yes, all very Dudley Doo Right, but I do need to try harder.

Oh, and I might ride my bike some too........

See you all in the new year.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Yup, More Christmas Tidings

I cannot believe it is this time of the year again!

I was going to recite the "'Twas the night before christmas" poem by Clement Clarke Moore, but there is a beast upstairs that is "getting her tinsel in a tangle" as she wraps last minute christmas presents and some how it just didn't feel appropriate......

To all my mountain biking associates, have a great christmas and may your pedals spin easily after the binge!

To my bro at Road to Nowhere, I hope there is a new bike under the tree for you. Maybe one with an R and a 1 on it.

Anyway, to all of you, from Corky and I, have a great day tomorrow and please feel free to overindulge. I need all the help I can get on the climbs!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just like a bicycle with a motor

For the last month or so here at Flyboy HQ I have been trying to eat healthy low fat, low sugar food. We all know how hard this can be these days as we are bombarded with all sorts of rubbish masquerading as health foods.

Today, while doing a little shopping I stumbled upon this little beauty.

WTF? Tiramisu Almonds?  Apparently they have No Gluten, No Trans Fats and No Cholesterol AND are low GI ! Yeah, low GI before you coat them in that crap! But wait! They are made in Australia! Makes me so proud.....

Geez, some days you really have to wonder what chance the average punter has against all of this marketing spin.
If you feel the same way as I do, let these  health gurus know what you think of their munted almonds here.

End rant.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bringing the past into the Blogsphere, Part II

My first mountain biking holiday, the story continued :-

April 5th,2009. Two Passes Ride.
"Okay. Up early today and jump into the car and drive my steed and myself up to Hanmer Springs(about 1.5 hours north). There was a 12 hour race on last night so I am passed by dozens of cars mounted with numerous mountain bikes. I wonder, slightly nervously, how alert they are and edge the little rental car toward the left of the road each time one passes! I pick up a trail map at the Info centre in Hanmer Springs. I then drive half a km out of town to gear up and attack some of the trails. The plan is to ride some of the singletrack around Hanmer then ride the two passes loop. I decided to go up Jack's Pass, around the back of MT Isobel, then back over Jollies Pass. A total of about 30km or so depending on how much singletrack I add in.The singletrack here is picture perfect. I decided to nip along Dog Stream Track, then up the Jollifee Saddle track and onto the dirt road up to Jacks Pass.ImageImageImage
All good until I look up the road while climbing Jacks Pass. It just keeps climbing and climbing! The headwind is about 20 knots too! Once I reach the top, after a 'photographic' stop(nothing to do with the legs being tired) I see that it was a 500m climb. My heart rate during the climb is an indication of how much the previous day took out of me. My max heartrate on the climb is 20 bpm less than my normal range. I just can't push hard. That said I just grind away at a steady rate and get to the top with two stops(one to check a phone message. Thanks to my wife for the call!).ImageImage
It has become quite cool at the top and I am glad I have donned my undershirt and armwarmers at the start of the climb, despite the heat I knew I would generate during the climb. So, on to the intersection at the Clarence river. A quick photo and I turn right for the 10km ride to the Jollies pass turn. At the next turn I meet a guy and girl on MTBs wearing just shorts and t-shirts. I decide they are either locals or europeans. The english accent gives them away on this balmy 13 degree day!ImageImage
The grind up Jollies pass is an easy one. We seem to be on a plateau this side of Mt Isobel. All the climbing is on the Hanmer Springs side of the hill, which means there will be a high pucker factor on the descent! At the top of Jollies pass I veer off to the right as suggested in the Kennett Brothers book to enjoy a brake searing descent, as advertised. Around here I think I took a trail less travelled and found myself at the bottom of a very steep track with an electric fence blocking my progress! No probs. I saw a road on the other side of the paddock and after carrying my bike across the boggy mess to a gate, I am underway again.ImageImageImage
A gentle cruise into Hanmer via some more singletrack. Gentle, but not peaceful, as my chain is squealing in pain after 90km of dusty trails and no lube. I am too tight to buy some lube for the one or two times I will need it, just to leave it behind.(flammable and not compatible with travelling in an aircraft hold) So I cruise into Hamner to the bike shop in the main street, which is open at 2pm on a sunday! Here I meet Neil, who owns Krank cycle clothing and said bike shop. He very kindly lubed my chain and we had a chat about how good the trails are around here. He also comments on my bike as he is keen to upgrade from his Cannondale and this is the First Trek Fuel EX he has seen in the flesh. He has some pretty cool and practical looking MTB clothing which may be worth a look at. Huge thanks for the chain lube and the chat. A true gentleman. I pedal serenely back to the car for the drive back to Christchurch, slightly miffed that I forgot some appropriate clothing to try out the hot springs. I briefly flirt with the idea of wearing a set of bib nix, then decide that I do want to be able to travel to NZ again at some stage in the future! 
Totals for the day are 36km travelled and 990m of climbing. Woo Hoo, I am living the dream now! Just don't go to sleep on the drive into Christchurch!"

I hope I haven't bored you with "blog filler". Looking back on these rides reminds me how green I was to mountain biking and all things cycling really. I have learnt so much since and without a shadow of a doubt I have volumes more to learn about this sport/lifestyle. I look forward to it!

Thank you for indulging my reminiscences.

Bringing the past into the Blogsphere

Following is a series of posts that I made on MTB Dirt back in April 2009, well before I knew anything about blogging. I thought I might import these into my blog as a study of my early mountain biking experience and to see how far I have come personally in that time.

April 1st,2009. Queenstown Ride.
"Well, finally here in NZ and the bike is still in the "Tardis" after four days. The weather has been perfect. Not a cloud in the sky and temps in the mid teens. I am busting to get the bike out!It seems today is the day with the kids worn out and in need of some rest time (read TV) and a wife with sore feet from too much walking (hehe).

So I am given early clearance to re-assemble the TREK. Woo Hoo! I promise to be just two hours or so. How much riding can I squeeze in around Queenstown in two hours or so? It turns out not much without the fitness of Jongewaard!I picked up a local trail map and decided on scooting out the Sunshine Bay track to Seven Mile MTB reserve.

The first touch of NZ dirt is on the Sunshine Track and it is awesome. I couldn't bring myself to stop for a picture until I was out the other end! A few km of sealed road and I am at the Seven Mile Track entrance(6km out of Queenstown) via the walking and MTB entrance. The first few corners and the downhill they are on quickly got my attention! What have I got myself in for? The "walking track" in is steep and rocky. This is to be a theme here in NZ. If you are planning on riding here, ride every hill you can in Brisbane and when you are finished, ride them 100 times again! Then ride the rock gardens 1000 times. This will prepare you nicely.

Once I get to the MTB tracks "proper" I start down "Eagles Nest" and I am in heaven! If you have the Kennett brothers book you can see several photos of this area with the raised log rides. All I can say about this area is that it lives up to it's reputation as an awesome trail network! Heaps of singletrack in a Beech/Pine forest with little streams and bridges.Image
Lake Wakatipu. A looong way from Daisy Hill.Image
At the exit of the Sunshine bay trail.Image
As the sign says!The first taste has been great and I can't wait for more! Total time 2:12. 26 km distance and 570 meters of climbing. More photos to come when I have the time."

And a few days later:-

April 4th,2009. Port Hills Ride.
"Today I packed the family off on the 7am Pac Blue flight to Brisbane, so it is time for some serious play!

The plan today is to ride from my hotel on the northern side of Chrischurch city centre to the Port Hills trails from the western end at Halswell to the eastern end at Sumner and back to the hotel. About 80km of riding and 1200 meters of climbing. I set out along Halswell Rd to find Halswell's quarry and the start of the Port Hills. While I peruse the map at the quarry a couple of mountain bikes tear down the sealed road and a guy passes me and sets off up the climb. Good enough for me! Thats the way to go. On the climb I catch up with the gent that passed me while I was looking lost and he gives me some directions and we have a bit of a chat. I will pass and be passed by him and his son(who has already screamed up the hill)numerous time today and be shown some nice trails as well. It is much easier to have a guide than to try to follow a mudmap! We jump the fence onto Kennedy's bush track and I find I have missed the Crocodile track. It starts at the eastern side of Halswell's quarry. Oh well, I will come back in a few days and ride the Croc.ImageKennedy's to Summit Rd is about 8 km and 420 metres of climbing, so that had the arm warmers off pretty quickly. Nice easy sheep paddock with a wide trail.ImageImage         New NZ buddies. The young guy had been there long enough to set up camp while he waited! At least I rode the hill.Next I follow my guides along Summit rd to what I think is the Flying Nun. It is hard to keep track of where you are going when you zip along chatting with the locals. If it was the Flying Nun, this is better than Sally Fields ever was! Huge, steeply downhill berms that lead into jumps/rocks and the next berm! I am now in heaven!Image
Entrance to the Flying Nun. I should change my name....because I didn't!It ends all too soon and I am met by the two locals grinning at me and asking "How did you like that?". I contemplate climbing up to do it again and the remind myself that I have up to 80km to ride today without repeating any.Image
My guides tell me to fill my camelbak at the Sign of the Kiwi tearooms as this is the last water I will get until Sumner. This done we cycle up to Victoria park where my new friends have to drop down the hills and head for home(there are trails dropping down the hills everywhere. I would love to try them, but the 400m climb back up keeps me to the plan!).Image
Victoria Park. Farewells exchanged I continue on along the singletrack just below the Summit Rd toward Mt Vernon. Several photo stops along this track and a quick word with passing riders. There are guys and girls out everywhere, this being a warm ,24 degree, saturday morning.ImageImage
Before I left Oz I found some GPS tracks of the Port Hills that I downloaded to follow if needed. One was titled "Port hills with only one 'dab' on the Mt Vernon track". I had wondered what this meant at the time and now I was finding out! The Mt Vernon trail would be the rockiest on the Port Hills and while I didn't leave any of my skin behind, I was getting good at rapidly unclipping! A challenging, fun trail which I attacked for a while before arriving at Witch Hill for a rest and a bite to eat and watch the absailers on the rocky outcrop.Image
Resting at Witch Hill.I am glad I had a rest as I then grind up Summit rd to The Torrs. A little more singletrack here before some more sealed road under the Christchurch Gondolla.The John Britten reserve is the next section of singletrack, with breathtaking views off to the left.ImageImage
A bit more seal then jump into Greenwood Park trails. I saw no green wood here, but lots of rocks and some hooting downhill singletrack to the top of Evan's Pass road. My legs were starting to feel a tad secondhand,even on the downhill, in Greenwood! There are only 40km on them so far!Image
Bottom of Greenwood Park.There is quite a bit of trail to go if I continue on the Godley Head track, so I decide to drop down the Captain Thomas track. I thought the tough stuff was all over but the Captain Thomas track is unrideable in places for someone of my skill level! Huge rock drop-offs see me walking as much as riding! When I reach the bottom my hands are aching from hanging on so tight!Image
Locals on the only flat bit of Capt. Thomas track. From here I cycle along the main road through Sumner on to the City, being pushed along by a stiff sea breeze. Just as I had planned it!

Back at the hotel after 60km and 950 meters of climbing. Sounds on par with a local Daisy ride, but the first 13km was flat and the last 16 km was flat. So the climb was in the 31km in the middle. The Monteith's doesn't even touch the sides and the pasta really fills a hole. Another cool,cleansing ale and planning turns to tomorrows ride. Bring it on! P.S. This is a delayed telecast due to technical difficulties with photo re-sizing software. All sorted now though."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Morning After The Day Before

Late yesterday afternoon we had some huge thunderstorms here in Canberra. I had made the call not to ride in the afternoon and save Majura Pines for tomorrow. As it turned out this was a good call on several fronts. The weather being the first reason and the second being that CORC was holding a 3 Hour race at Majura Pines. This was bound to limit the number of trails available to ride and quite frankly Majura doesn't have a network of long trails, but a tangled web that intertwines through the forest. So, there I was, trapped in the pub in Civic, sipping down some Monteith's Summer Ale and texting Dean0 about how good it all was! can be fun pushing the jealousy buttons!

The alarm went off at 6:30am, not exactly early, but early enough when you have been trapped in an ale house for a few hours by marauding thunderstorms. I jumped in the car to drive out to Majura Pines. I had a niggling feeling that I could ride out to the trails from the Canberra suburbs, but without local knowledge I considered that this would be an exercise in frustration, but more on this later.

I had the trails to myself this morning with no other cars in the parking area. The need to take it easy was at the front of my mind as Majura is a pine forest with exposed roots everywhere and combined with the rain would no doubt suit a Kiwi more than a dust chewing Aussie like me.

Majura can prove to be a frustrating navigation exercise too. This is my third visit to the trails, so while no expert, I feel I have a bit of an idea of how to find my way around. This knowing where I am in the forest thing is all well and good, but how the hell do you link up a flowing series of trails in here?! There are trails everywhere.

If you have been to Majura Pines you will know how funny this sign is.

Suffice to say that I went around in ever diminishing circles until I thought "screw this". It was time to climb up over the range and check out some of the cool trails in the Mt Ainsley parklands
 that I had stumbled upon the first time I had visited a couple of years ago. They provide more of a destination ride, rather than the corkscrewing trails of a mountain bike park, that I personally find satisfying.
I found my way up and over with no problem, but finding the elusive single track was proving somewhat more difficult. Finding the most massive Eastern Grey Kangaroos I have ever seen, however, was not a challenge at all! They were 2 metres tall and packed with solid muscle and seemed to take almost no interest in the red faced mountain biker that was puffing toward them until I was just a few metres away. Being a country lad, I have seen my fair share of roos, but these we impressive purely because of their massive size and ripped physique.

I finally found some single track and decided to follow it down to the suburbs so that I have a record of where to access this area and link into Majura. It turned out to be a quiet street in Hackett, but I am sure you could link in at many other points with some more time to explore.

As you can see from my stats, it was not a huge ride kilometres-wise, but as I have mentioned before, when you are riding unfamiliar trails the "unknown" definitely adds to the physical demands of the ride. I felt like this was enough for this morning as I wanted a fair bit left in the tank for my reprise of Mt Stromlo this afternoon! sucks to be me. Yes, I do know how lucky I am and to stay in the zone I was trying to mentally block out all of the jets blasting out of Fairburn Airport as they tried(successfully) to miss Mt Majura. But I did take one photo, just to show how close the airport is to the trails.

Anyway, another successful outing was had with no spills and plenty of fun. I just have to work on my jumping skills as there is a gap jump that I really want to do next time I return.

Now for some brunch and a bit of shuteye. This really is my kind of holiday!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Freedom of Sorts

With the mind numbing task of painting the house behind me, the last week and a half have been a chance to catch up with my kids again. Even though we live in the same house, with my work I am away too much and even when I am sleeping in my own bed, I quite often leave uber early or finish up extremely late, hence my chance to spend quality time with the kids is pretty limited. So, I loaded the car up with camping gear, bikes and the kids and pointed the Prado south.
Our first easy day saw us staying at the Nymboida Coaching Station Inn on the Nyboida river, just south of Grafton. This hotel is an amazing surprise, located on the Nymboida river, surrounded by rolling green hills with large modern motel rooms, a great little pub that serves first rate restaurant quality food and the Museum of Interesting Things. The interesting things are fairly varied, but most with a movie or showbiz theme. The person behind this gem in the rough is the inn's owner, one Russell Crow. Now, one of my little blokes favourite movies is that "pirate movie" that Russell starred in a few years ago.(Master and Commander) There on display is the original costume he wore in that movie, along with the gladiator costume he wore as Maximus in Gladiator, complete with chariot towed by two (stuffed) horses. There is a heap of other stuff that is really worth a look and the setting is a real deal clincher. We will definitely be back for another stay.
Nymboida River at the back of the Inn

Captain Jack Aubrey costume

Roman Chariot from Gladiator

OCC Chopper in Rabbitohs colours. He owns the Bunnies too!
From here we trucked to visit my parents for a few days and with the flat country and quiet roads in my home town, the kids literally rode their legs off! They just rode out the front drive and came home when they were hungry. Just like my brother and I did as kids. It was great to be able to give them this freedom that seems to be seriously lacking in the city.

Then it was on to Canberra for some sightseeing, then the mother-in-laws for the kids to spend some quality time with their Nanny.
Carving up the forecourt on Parliment House!

 This is where my cunning plan was set to hatch. Out of five weeks leave I was going to get two days of just my bike and I, so I back tracked to Canberra. The trails in our national capital are, to put it bluntly, farkin fantastic! There are several organic, traditionally made trails networks like Majura Pines,Sparrow Hill and Kowen Forest. Then there is Mt Stromlo. The Stromlo trails have had several million dollars spent on them and quite frankly, it shows. They are built to IMBA standard and the rocky, gravelly soil makes the riding technical and challenging. How much riding could I squeeze in during forty eight hours of freedom? I was going to take my cue from the kids and ride my legs off!

Turning off the Hume Highway onto the Federal Highway I was faced with a wall of water in the sky. A solid front was passing through and dumping huge amounts of rain. As I was only about 70km out of Canberra I was concerned how the trails would hold up to the deluge. On arrival at Mt Stromlo I could see that my concerns were unwarranted. The gravelly soil had drained nicely to leave hero dirt.

Last time I was here, Dean0 and I rode straight up the face of the hill. I have learnt from that hurt-fest and took it a bit easier on  myself by climbing via the Fenceline,Blue Gums, Emu Run, ABC Switchback and City View trails.
The old observatory, burned in the Canberra bushfires in 2003.
This proved to be a great way to warm up, as I could link onto some of the more challenging trails from the top of the hill, without smashing my legs right off the bat.
Five days of rest had been beneficial for my legs and I felt great climbing the hill! This didn't stop me from swanning around at the top of the hill taking a few snaps of the and me!

I was planning on taking in the trails on the back side of Mt Stromlo this time and Pork Barrel and Double Dissolution didn't disappoint.

From here the Crim Track brought out the worst in me.

Various climbs and descents started to blur into each other. In a good way of course! These trails really are awesome.

After the ride I delighted in the decadence of being a single guy. No, I didn't go for a drive to Fyshwick, I had a huge meal then grabbed some shuteye for an hour or so. Those of you without children will not understand the significance of these simple pleasures, but it was a wistful glimpse into a window that closed for my wife and I years ago.

Now to rest up and see how much riding I can gorge myself on tomorrow!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Regular Wednesday Morning Daisy Hill Ride

I have only been riding mountain bikes for about four years now, but it is interesting to see how the cycle (please excuse the pun) goes around. After lurking in the background on for about six months, I finally worked up the courage to meet with a seasoned group of mountain bikers that rode in Daisy Hill at 6am on Wednesday mornings.

I can still remember that first morning ride, a bit like a first date with a girl you really wanted to impress. There I was wheezing along behind the group, feeling way out of my league and making vague, unintelligent comments when I felt it appropriate, not necessarily when it was appropriate. Some may say not much has changed at all.......but the point I am getting around to making is that back then in 2007/8, there were a lot of keen individuals organising group rides, online, all over south east Queensland. These were a great way to meet other MTBers and find out where the good trails were. I am so glad I made the plunge, way out of my comfort zone, back then. I met some great blokes who became friends and learnt a lot about this sport.

For the next year or so these group rides seemed to dry up. Some organisers got bitten by the popularity of their rides. Unprepared riders turned up, then blamed these volunteer organisers when things went pear shaped for the newbie, which made these few key players withdraw from organising these rides. Some organisers were just attacked by "angry middle aged white men" as is wont to happen on forums across the interwebs, and they unfortunately took a step back as well.

I am therefore very pleased to see that a few hardy individuals are organising group rides again. These rides are being very well attended by experienced, well prepared riders that are having a great time out in the bush. The next ride, which I helped pre-ride, appears to be being organised with a large degree of common sense and thought for various contingencies. It will be a challenging ride for most of us punters and I hope the attendees see it for what it is, a tough little test of one's intestinal fortitude, overlaid with a big smear of self deprecating Aussie humour. All followed up with the "Pump Daddy" pump track challenge. Bring it on!

So, with this renewed enthusiasm for interweb organised dirty fun, it wasn't surprising to see a huge group out for the Regular Wednesday Morning Daisy Hill Ride last wednesday. Luckily I happened to have the GoPro along for the morning. Unfortunately I have been uber busy this last week to get around to editing it and posting the result up, but a few hours presented themselves and I grabbed them by the short and curlies. The result is.....not more "crotch cam"(I know you love it, no really, you do), but some "bottom bracket cam".

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scouting Ride

Sunday dawned relatively cool and clear. Today, Derek had planned a scouting ride to try to link up various pieces of single track here on the south side of Brisbane for an Epic ride he is planning shortly after christmas.

We had nine starters for the 6am start and we managed to finish up with eight. To my mind an acceptable loss rate on a ride like this!

Did I mention it was relatively cool? Well, this didn't last long. We were all drenched with sweat at the end of the first single track, just ten minutes into the day! It was hot, hot, HOT on sunday. I personally downed at least four litres of water laced with Endura and Nuuns.

Anyway, enough from me. You can get a feel for what it is all about here......I was toast by the time we hit is going to be a BIG ride.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Visual Pleasure

Being struck down by the man flu this week is as frustrating as always. Making it infuriating is the fact that I am on week one of my annual leave!

So, apart from painting the house and sniffling a lot, there isn't much happening. I have had to search around the interwebs for interesting mountain biking content. When I found this little number (actually, a huge file) I was awakened to a level of bike control that I am not sure I even knew existed!

For your viewing pleasure, MOUNTAIN Biking..........Into Thin Air

INTO THIN AIR | engl. Subtitles from infinite trails on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Karingal 4 Hour

Well, the good folk from Brisbane South Mountain Bike Club have put on another great mornings racing with the staging of their annual Karingal 4 Hour on Sunday.

The setup featured a new, spacious race base with plenty of room for setting up your tent, shelter or home away from home. Great prizes like Garmin 705s and new bikes were on offer thanks to major sponsor For The Riders. 

Another new feature this year was a dry track! No more mud and carnage as displayed last year. No sir, it was going to be fast and flowing so I thought I would take it down a notch by attacking the race on my trusty fully rigid single speed. Just to make sure I took the sting out of myself, I was saddled with the wrong gearing for this undulating little track. 32/18 is not the ratio for me to push here. FedEx wasn't going to have the 32/20 freewheel here in time and two teeth on the rear doesn't sound like much difference, but it is so much more forgiving on my pipe cleaner legs.

Undaunted, I lined up somewhere near the back so as not to hold anyone up when I blew up on the first hill! It was a very leisurely start with a 500 or so metre roll along the fire road to help sort everyone out before dropping into the singletrack. On said first hill, having only one speed, I could not entertain the speeds being showcased by my fellow back markers simply because my legs would not turn a 32/18 ratio that slowly on such a steep climb, so the only solution was to smash it! So I did for a while, then backed off for sustainability reasons. This was after all a 4 hour ride er....race. And that was how I paced myself for the day. A new toy helped with the pacing. As I completed each lap I pitted under our shelter, changed camera angles, grabbed a fresh water, a bite to eat and had a chat to Chris. All very civilized!

My goal was six laps and I must admit that on my third lap I was thinking to myself, as the morning warmed up, that there is no way I can double the number of laps in the time left. Just then, Shane, the eventual winner of Open mens, flew past me into a corner and gave me a little inspiration. Although there was no way I would be backing it in like he was! Really impressive to watch a seriously fast rider racing, if only briefly.

I continued to roll around, chat and generally enjoy myself for the remainder of the allotted time. In the end I pushed out six laps in about 4:20 with a moving time of 3:30. Obviously taking it pretty easy, but the legs were toast by the last lap.

Please bear with me a little as I attempt to figure out how to use the new camera. I promise I will change the mounting location in the future (unless I receive requests for more ;) ). In the mean time, I "scrote's-eye-view"! Look away if easily offended.

A huge thanks to all from BSMC that pitched in and helped out with the set up, running and of course the pack up after the event. Many club members choose not to race so as to provide everyone else with a great day out and I am selfishly in the riding group, so without mentioning names, this core group of volunteers always puts on a race day that equals professionally run mountain bike events. Take a bow ladies and gents. Top effort.