Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting Dust On New Tyres

Well I finally got the new bike out for a roll this morning. It has been hanging on the wall for over 2 weeks now, waiting for it's new wheelset to arrive.

These arrived Monday and I set straight to making them operational for tubeless running. This involves running Stan's yellow rim tape around the rim, fitting a tubeless valve then adding some Stan's Sealant then crossing one's fingers that you can get the bead to seat. 

Happily, it went silky smooth for me!

The maiden voyage was to be the Regular Wednesday Morning Ride in Daisy Hill Forest. Today was meant to the the coldest morning of the year so far at 9C (48F). Brrr. Well it is Winter!

It actually didn't feel that cold. Perhaps it was the inner warmth from riding a new bike that kept me from feeling the chill today?

I managed to catch Dean0 mid-chew and Chris contemplating riding his fat tyres back up that steep hill.

After a few laughs and some fun trails the guys peeled of to go back to the real world (work) and I, being at a loose end, headed back for breakfast, but not before taking in some more sweet single track goodness.

Burning? Yep, burning up the trails!

The verdict? The Merida feels very stiff and light climbing but the handling took some getting used to as the front end is so low. A result of it's race geometry. A new brand of tyre had me taking it quite gingerly as well but by the time I hit the down on Wallum Froglet, I was used to the slightly sketchier feel of the Racing Ralphs.


Hell Yeah!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lord Flashheart's Final Flight

I don't like to put up sad news here on A.V.F.A., but today there was some sad news out of the UK that deserves pause and a dip of the lid. 

Rik Mayall, aka, Rik, aka, Richard Richard, aka, The Lord Flashheart, passed away today at the all-too-young age of 56.

Quite simply, he made me laugh in the mid 80s with The Young Ones, then again in the early nineties with Bottom and his appearances on Blackadder.

"There were times when Rik and I were writing together when we almost died laughing. They were some of the most carefree stupid days I ever had, and I feel privileged to have shared them with him. And now he's died for real. Without me. Selfish bastard."
—Ade Edmondson

R.I.P. Rik.

That last trip to heaven will be one way.........

Friday, June 6, 2014

New Pony In The Stable

Despite my wife's insistance that I have too many bikes (clearly incorrect), I have not actually added to my stable for almost 5 years now. Yep, I have been riding the same bikes all that time. 

Occasionally (very occasionally) throwing some maintenance love their way, they have all served me well. Obviously, my clear favourite just from the number of metric miles I put on it, is my Giant XTC29er. She is the first generation 29" mountain bike from Giant, bought waaaay back in 2010. I have taken her on many rides both local and to far flung destinations. 

More recently I have raced her in the first two Yakima Sunshine Series rounds, here in South East QLD. Yep, rocking her complete with bar ends, touring bike style,  and all.

She has done about 6 000km(3750mi) now and they have all been hard kilometres, so it is time to think about a replacement.

Shhh. Don't let on or she might buck me next time we are out....

but her racing days are over..........


Sunday, June 1, 2014

Need A Good, Solid Ride?

Well, I did. 

I knew it had been a while since I had done anything other than a "Cornubia Bike Park" ride and I needed a kick in the arse to go for a decent pedal on my mountain bike.

Enter Troy, aka Area 54 on the local MTB forums, and his kind invitation for an early morning lap around and over Green Mountain, south of Canungra.

This mountain (hill really) has been ridden a few times before and I have posted about those rides here and here. This time though, Troy was going to be the tour guide as we climbed Duck Creek Rd then dropped down the main road to Canungra, then found our way via various back roads and cow tracks back to our starting point at the bottom of Duck Creek Rd. How far? I didn't ask the question but knew it would be about 100km(62mi). Perfect way to stretch the legs!

I did consider camping out for our 7am start but 7am isn't that early and it wasn't too far to drive so I had a great nights sleep in my own bed, a civilised breakfast and coffee then jumped in the truck and headed for Duck Creek.

Just on the southern side of Beaudesert I passed 3 hot air balloons being prepped for flight. 

The combination of their colour and the sunrise made for a most spectacular sight as the burners roared 10ft long bursts of flame in the still morning air.

I arrived at the meeting point early for a change and rode south to meet Troy as he rode north from his camping spot to meet me. 

Once linked up, we turned back toward Duck Creek rd and that hill. It was nice to be warmed up a bit before pointing the bike up.

We were soon at the gate marking the start of the climb. 

The road rises so steeply that within 10 minutes we were puffing hard and were looking back at views like this.

After a short stop to catch our(my) breath at the main lookout we climbed a little bit further to a "secret" spot. The views to the north were amazing and Troy floated the idea of a Sub 24hr (S24) bikepacking trip out to this spot, then home again. I like it!

We continued up the climb, noting how dry it was once we entered the rainforest section. Instead of turning right at the main road and heading for a coffee and breakfast at O'Reilly's we turned left and began the drop off the mountain toward Canungra.

This is an awesome piece of road. Great views and challenging bends. We passed several motorcycles enjoying their way up the mountain.

Tucked in and haulin'. Hell yeah!!

We blew through Canungra with just a short water and nibble stop. Riding out the western side of town was all new to me. Except for the bit where we rode past the Canungra 6 hour race course. That looked familiar. Shortly after we turned left and made tracks on nice quiet back roads.

Notice there are no photos of me in front of Troy? This is because he is a bloody strong rider and there is no way I was leading today. Luckily, it wasn't a race and while he smashed me on a few hills, we mostly rode along chatting about stuff. Really, that is what these rides are all about.

After a bit of farm road we motored along sealed, single backroad. I was finding the pace a bit harsh toward the end and dropped into a speed that I could maintain. Reading between the lines, Troy was SMASHING it and I was starting to grovel along, but I pulled into the parking spot where I had left the car just a few minutes behind.

While hurting a bit, I had a great morning out on the bike (how could I not?) taking in some familiar trail and some new roads as well. The profile is below.
Duck Creek Rd and Canugra Loop

Thanks Troy for the ride.

Take notice DeanO, Wayne and Troy. That Duck Creek Rd S24 is on, soon!