Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How far do you have to go for a ride?

With all of the activities going on at home lately it is proving nearly impossible to get out on my bike for any meaningful riding. I managed a quick spin sunday morning, with a run down Wallum Froglet here in Cornubia. It is shaping up nicely, but needs some work to improve the flow on a couple of corners.
The kids pestered me sunday afternoon to take them for a ride. It didn't take much effort on their part. Any excuse for a ride with the kids.

Sunday night brought work back into the picture with a trip to Perth. I had a cunning plan and packed my road shoes,gps, gloves and a biddon. A spot of breakfast at the trendy "Tiger Tiger", then on to the Red Cat bus to pick up a hire bike. I was in luck, as I had not booked, they had a Merida road bike available and I was quickly saddled up and on the bikepath heading toward the Narrows bridge.

It was a perfect morning for a ride too. Cool and dry. It felt great to be on the road again with the suburbs looking picturesque. Jutland Parade was it's usual immaculate self and I had to stop on the Esplanade at Peppermint Grove for some pictures. Unfortunately they do not do it justice. It really was a magic morning for a ride!

Moving along toward Fremantle and the slightly maladjusted seat was giving me some grief. It was slightly too high and too far back. Just one of the hazzards of going with a hire bike. I would have to find a friendly bike shop to borrow an allen key to adjust it. That shop turned out to be Fleet Cycles, in Adelaide st, Freo. Give them a try if you are in the area as they are very kind to interstate cyclists.
By this stage the tummy was beginning to rumble so I picked up just about the biggest chicken and avocado sandwich I had ever seen and headed to the Esplanade Park to chill and refuel. This is always a very pleasant spot to relax and I guess we can thank the winning of the "Americas Cup" for bringing this run down little seaside suburb back to life back in the 80s. It certainly has turned into a trendy and cosy spot over the ensuing years.

Freo is also the home to this little piece of heaven (which is in the background of the above photo)

If you have not tried a Little Creatures beer, do yourself a favour and neck a Pilsener or a Sparkling Ale. If, like me, you enjoy a refreshing beer you will not be disappointed. Plenty of people must be like me(god help us all!), as the last time I came here there was only one shed on the pier, not the three that currently stand tall.

Another point of interest is the Maritime Museum where you can view the remains of the Batavia. To stand there and look upon the bones of this ship built in 1628, wrecked just one year later and ponder her story is a humbling experience, which I again recommend to everyone.

It was now time to meander back toward the city with the wind at my back. I always enjoy the ride back from Freo via the southern shore of the Swan River. The suburban roads are quiet and once you hit the bike path along the Kwinana freeway with twenty knots pushing you along it is almost like a downhill run all the way back to The Causeway and "About Bike Hire", the home of my mount for the day. Just on 60k in the legs and time for some more grub, then attempt to catch a reasonable nap before the "all night show" at work. Those 60k certainly help to send me off to sleep and have become a regular part of my routine when here in the west.

So I guess the answer to my original question is 2066 nautical miles!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Rainy saturday afternoons

Well, some trail building was carried out today with a huge turnout! Thanks guys and girls. We charged through a lot of benching and tackled some of the technical gully crossings with style, if I do say so myself! Almost as good as actually getting the work done was beating the rain. My backyard now resembles the Somme circa 1916 with my own working trench system. Before you wonder, no, I am not going to go out and sit in it or let the neighbour shoot at me. It will be interesting to see how the new trail handles the wet stuff.

With outdoor activities on hold maybe it is time to crack a coldie and have a laugh (at other peoples expense of course!) Enjoy.

BUCS 2011 X.C Carnage! from Joe Bowman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Can't afford not to!

It has been head down, bum up around Flyboy HQ lately. The builders doing our renovations have me fairly well occupied, then throw in running around after the kids doesn't leave much time spare. Lets not forget there is work. I appreciate having more days off by working harder when I go to work, but ten hours on, ten hours in a hotel, eleven hours on, eleven hours in a hotel, followed by another ten hours strapped into an aircraft is catching up with me! These last two weeks have been the easy weeks this roster!! Yikes!!

Wedged into this hectic schedule are some calming moments. Trail building here in Cornubia is one of them. A few weeks ago we happened across this very nice waterfall, just below where our new trail will run.

Sorry about the Samsung Galaxy picture quality.

Trail building is becoming a regular feature. 6am every saturday morning and a bunch of scruffy looking fourty somethings shuffle along the mean streets of Cornubia, carrying all manner of digging implements. Our destination is a narrow corridor of bushland in Cornubia Forest that has been named "Wallum Froglet". It will be one of the best "fire access" trails in this state when we have finished with it. It will link onto more sweet "fire access trail" that is yet to be crafted, creating a mecca for the "knowing, discerning" MTBer here in Brisbane. Singletrack connoisseurs need only apply.

Another bummer is that my instant fitness acquired in Rotorua is on the wane. This full schedule is only giving a very small window of opportunity to actually do some cycling. About one ride per week since I have been back. After some soul searching I have pinned down what is fuelling this lethargy. I believe it is the fact that I have resisted any self coercion to actually write up a race schedule. I have not actually sat down and mapped out my year ahead, meaning I have no training goals/plan. This means if I miss a ride, it doesn't matter! Dumb logic I know. I need to get off this blog and decide what races I want to ride this year before it is too late, then get off my arse and train.

I put some hurt on myself a couple of weeks ago by riding while I was suffering after effects of a cold. This made me reluctant to get out last week. Luckily I did though. I rode over to Underwood park and took part in the Brisbane South MTB Club club race day. I must say I had a good time. Not necessarily flogging myself, but riding hard, yet smart, I felt good and had a great time. Maybe it is time to get some scheduled training happening?

Some super sweet deals have been appearing on the interwebs of late and I have hatched yet another cunning plan for bicycle blinginess! I love Chain Reaction Cycles and the deals they provide. Some of the components are so cheap, You Can't Afford Not To buy them!!!! The Australia Post Santa arrived tuesday morning.........................

Stand by for some unbridled "blinginess" coming to a Trek near me!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fun in another mans eyes

I wish I had learnt how to jump as a kid. This looks......er, fun?

VCA 2010 RACE RUN from changoman on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back to reality

New Zealand and in particular, Rotorua are just a very pleasant memory now. I have been back to work, caught a cold, shaken it off and gone to work some more. My "happy place" now includes some sweet single track, huge redwoods and a Monteiths or two, so those "not so fun" days can be coped with somewhat more pleasantly.

When you think that you are getting around in some reasonably heavy metal you invariably get a wake up call that your ship really is just a light twin. This was demonstrated yesterday as I nestled up under this A330's tail. Those things are bloody huge!

Today was the first day on my bike since Rotorua due to work and illness. I must say it was very nice to be pedalling around the bush again. I checked out some of the trail work that went on while I was out of the country. The new bridge is a first class piece of work.

As is the re route to it. Just some armouring needed and it will be finished.

Up at the top of the hill I discovered a new dirt jump park. I am guessing it has been built by kids as you would need to bounce well when you ate sh!t over some of the jumps. It is amazing how industrious these guys can be. A massive amount of work has gone into them in just a few short weeks. If we could harness the energy for the legal trails there would be no more building to do! Unfortunately, cross country trails are not terribly exciting for these thrill seekers who just want to bash straight down hill, trashing the bush in the process. Yes, I see the irony. A few years ago this would have been me, but I have seen the light! There is really nothing worse than a reformed smoker or in this case a reformed hoon. :)

These kids need somewhere to play. They are essentially out there exercising and having fun. It is just a shame that it isn't legal or terribly kind to our little patch of bushland. They also tar us with the same brush in the eyes of "environmental" types and add fuel to their calls for zero access.

Anyway, I puffed my way into Daisy Hill for a look around and found that it was quite wet after riding 'Turning Japanese', so decided to motor home to the jobs I have been neglecting for the past few weeks.  I am just about to jump onto the chain saw and despatch some small gums that had the misfortune to grow where my new shed will be standing. Does anyone need some fire wood?
'Til next time, keep it rubber side down.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Bye bye to the land of the Long Winding Singletrack

Time is a funny thing. It can drag along, seemingly barely passing at all. Other times it zips by so fast you feel that you cannot take everything in. The last ten days have been more of the latter version of time perception.

I seems only yesterday that we were assembling our bikes and going for a ride at Woodhill in Auckland. Now, here we were, winging our way home.

The experience of riding the trails in bicycle mad New Zealand have forever changed how I will look at singletrack. I now know how good it can be. Even the trails we rode on a destination ride were unbelievable. Yes, New Zealand has something special going on, nation wide.

Thanks to the guys that shared the trip. It was a laid back, easygoing week that made the riding even better. According to my GPS we managed to be out on our bikes for 36 hours, ride 254 kilometres and climb 6836 metres vertically. Pretty much all on sweet singletrack. Thanks fellas!

Where will we go next time? Soooooo many choices.