Saturday, December 11, 2010

2010 Season Wrap

Well, with the last two races of the season postponed until 2011, that is it for the 2010 race calendar.

Not even a Dirt Crit left due to all the rain! Majura and Stromlo are flooded out, so it is road riding (and maybe some Bruce Ridge XC) over xmas.

But on the upside, with all the races rescheduled, January is looking a whole lot more fun!

  • 2nd Jan - 90km SCUM Enduro (Nowra)
  • 6/7th Jan - 360km roadie up around NSW Alps
  • 16th Jan - 100km Alpine Assault (Mt Beauty)
  • 5/6th Feb - Jet Black 24hr (Syndey)

This morning was another Bakery Bunch ride - 700w efforts to stay with the pack off at the traffic lights ... and then the usual sprint through Palmerston. 20 min peak power is going to be up in the high 300s again :)

Assuming the weather holds, I can foresee another few weeks of Bakery Bunch riding.

Hopefully by Jan my "evil twin" Scott Spark 10 will have arrived ... and by Feb I am hoping my Scott Scale 29er Pro will have arrived - aka the Mawson Marathon bike.

A big end of year thank you to Robyn - for all her support at races, in training - and for just generally putting up with my bike obsessions.

Thanks to Bailey and Stella for always eating my left over sandwiches and energy bars ... no matter how long they have been in my back pocket.

A big thanks to the ACT Bike Superstore for their support and for their great service. Brett has done a great job in keeping my bikes in excellent running order - despite how much mud & dirt the bikes have been through this year.

Thanks to Fenner for his words of wisdom, great training plans and regular chats.

Finally, thanks to all the guys I train and ride with - Jase, Garry, Kevin, Ed, Tommo, Brett, Robbie, Dave, Indi, Roger etc There is always something new to learn off one of you guys ... and having a group around that really can push each other is fantastic.

Bring on 2011!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Rockytrail GP 8hr - Stromlo

Rockytrail GP 8 hr - Mt Stromlo

2nd Solo Men, 12 laps @ 07:54:31

140km, 2400 vert/m

This weekend was the final round of the Rockytrail GP series.   An 8 hr race around a 12km loop at Mt Stromlo.

Although not an important race on the 2010 calendar, it is hard to pass up an opportunity to race at Stromlo.

That said, an 8 hr this weekend was always going to be a challenge, backing up after the 100 miler Highland Fling the weekend before.

The Fling definitely took more out of me then I thought it would, and I was energy-less all week. In fact, we only raced B grade at Dirt Crits - Jase, Blanko, Tommo and I were all feeling it.

But regardless, and ignoring Fenz's words of wisdom to just race 4 hrs, I packed up the car ready for 8 hrs of Stromlo fun. Not having ridden Stromlo since 24hr Worlds I was keen to get some hours in.

Getting set up, it was good to have a heap of mates around - Jase, Kevin, Ed, Gaz and Tommo were all there. Although, ironically we were all racing different categories!

The start was a good sprint around the crit track. Rockytrail races get a lot of beginners, so you really don't want to get stuck behind anyone heading into the single track. My Dirt Crits legs kicked in, and I was about 5th into the single track - and put in 15th fastest lap of the day.

That was the last I saw of any of the guys for the day :( Jase had mechanical issues, Ed busted a spoke and flatted, and Gaz was stuck back in traffic.

The track followed fence line and fire road up to the black berry climb (above the bridge).  It was all about the big-dog getting up that firetrail :)

Blackberry to Slant 6 to the round about area, then up blue tongue. Despite all the talk of ruds and washed out trails, all of this was fine. There were few more exposed rocks and ruts, but nothing bad.

The down little Seymour ... which was great fun. Some nice little rock drops and fast corners. The mud bog at the bottom was a bit nasty, but nothing compared to the Choc. Foot 7 hr race!

From there, we hit fireroad up to the new Willo-link. This bit of fireroad was good for taking in some gels and drink ... and good for peeing on the bike :)

From the top of Willo-link it was down Party Line (pipes) ... which is just an awesome run down. Nice berms, super quick and flows so well.

Then back onto the main windy trail back around, and down the big berm, over the 4x bridge and back onto the crit track.

After about 3hrs I was definitely feeling it - New Years resolutions #1 - when Fenner says do a 4 hr, listen to him :)  But I plodded on - silently wishing I was finishing at the 4 hr mark ...

The heat was tough - my Garmin reported temps up to 31 C!

Food wise, this race I intended to try to run on a little less food;

  • Torq gels
  • Torq bars
  • Torq energy
  • Couple of bananas
  • Hammer heed
  • Hammer perpetuem
Seemed to work ok - although I probably needed some more caffeine. Mid way through I could barely keep my eyes open!

Getting towards the end of the race, Robyn let me know I was about 10 - 15 minutes behind 1st. I honestly was not too fussed ... I had no intention of busting myself to make up this time. Similarly, when I came in at 7hrs 54, and I knew I was a lap up on 3rd there was no way I was going to head out for another lap!

A big thanks to my excellent support crew of Robyn and Bailey. Bailey made sure no food scraps went to waste ... and thought he was a guard dog all day.

Robyn is getting very good at keeping me fed and hydrated - and knowing what I need.

Thanks to Kevin too for his helping hand.

A big thanks to Brett from ACT Bike Superstore - after last weekend's race he put in a heap of work into my Scott Spark. New bearings in my front race wheel, re-packed the headset, cleaned and socked the derailleur and chain. He also put in a heap of time getting the 10 speed X0 shifting just right. Thanks!

The Spark performed well - again the Twin Lockout was fantastic. All the climbing in the mid-lockout and all the fireroads in full lockout. Great for getting out the saddle and having no bob!

I ran the Scwalbe Rocket Ron this week. It is an impressive tire - and has lots of cornering bite. There were a few moments I thought I was going down, but the tire grips and pulls you out. I highly recommend this tire!!

Time to rest up now ... next weekend is a ride to the coast (and back) with the guys, then a light Brindies weekend, then off to Victoria for the Alpine Assault 100km!

Ed and Andrew


Monday, November 15, 2010

Highland Fling 100miles

Highland Fling - 100 miler - 8th

Wow - what a fun race. Nearly 2800 vert meters of climbing mixed up over the 160km course.

Although mostly fire road, there was some quite fun single track that flowed really well.

Before I go any more into those post, I have to let out a big aarrrrhhhhhhh ... mid way though the Tertini Wines stage I managed to miss a turn. This cost me 25 - 30 minutes and about 9km!! You can see this massive loop on the bottom of the Garmin map below. Had it not been for this, I could have been up there with Fenz and McAvoy in 4th/5th/6th... but that is the way it goes ... grrrr

Anyway, the race started off a blistering pace. Fenz and Blanko were leading out a string of 100km riders and really cranking. Jase, I and one or two other 100 milers were a bit scattered behind this lead group. We got within about 30 seconds, but they had a few minutes on us by the time we reached the first transition.

Gaz came through the transition a few minutes after we arrived, so it was great to all take off down the road together. We caught up to Tommo who was setting a fast pace down the open road.

Sweet - all the riding buddies are together ... until Jase loses a crank ... and then Gaz drops a chain ... then not long after the "Wall", Tommo was looking very worse for wear and dropped off.

So, then it was just me ... heading in the wrong direction! I realized I had gone off track, but had no idea where. So I followed the road I was on back around - it felt like it was going in the right direction. I knew I had lost a lot of time coming back on track with guys pushing their bikes up the hills!

Getting back to transition, Robyn and Kylie let me know that Jase was only 5 minutes ahead! He had fixed up his crank well enough to ride. I headed out pretty shitty and not in a good head space. Within the first 10km or so, another miler caught me up ... it was then that I started to get my head back into shape and then put the foot back down.

Come the finish, I would have claimed back 6 positions!

The final stage was quite fun - water crossings, pinchy hills and lots of 100km riders walking and looking worse for wear.

I finished feeling good - and had lots of power in the legs.

The Scott Spark was great. Nice and light up the hills, and the twin-lock was great. I rode the whole race in either full lockout or the middle (traction control) mode. Just flick the lock out on and you can get out of the saddle and really punch out the climb. Traction control mode was great over the cow paddocks as well.

I was going to run lighter tires, but a bad bearing in my front race wheel meant I was running my backup wheels - so it was a Specialized Captain up front, and a Larsen TT on the rear. This race definitely does not need knobbly tires. Next year I will be looking for much more low profile and lighter tires.

As for food and drink;
A big thank you to;
  • Robyn - for looking after me and knowing what I needed (even if I could not say it) ... and for looking after all those other riders!
  • Brett from ACT Bike Superstore for getting the Spark's dialed in (and dealing with the muddy cables following Dirt Crits!)
Next race - 8 hr at Stromlo this weekend - where I will try not to miss any turns!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Brindabella Mission

Time for a real post since the Worlds ...

With a bunch of races still to come before the end of the year, we have all had to keep our training legs on.

CORC Dirt Crits have started, and Jase and I have been stepping up and racing all four (4) grades ... why stand around watching when you can be racing around the Majura Singletrack? :) 45 minutes at crit pace is a far better work out too.

Today was a 100km+ Brindies missions. A good warm up for next weekend's Highland Fling 100miler.

We had a good turn out for 6:30am, Gaz, Jase, Ed, Bellchambers, Tommo and another SS rider.

Bellchambers set the cracking pace early on, as we wound our way into the low clouds around the lower brindies.

Gaz was never too far behind, keeping a firm eye on Brett, waiting for the Corey climb.

The Corey climb came, and Brett was off - dropping Gaz within 100 metres!

A nice 20 minute climb to the top, and we had some great views through the clouds into the valley below.

A dodgy decent, made extra fun by Brett's almost slick tires, and then around to two sticks.

Usually an uninterrupted 40 odd minute decent was broken by Tommo airing off a water bar, blowing off his rear tire and getting the tube wrapped around the rear hub! Very impressive.

The road back to Stromlo via Mt McDonald was a scorcher ... super quick, and picking up a few roadies in our wake.

My new Scott Spark keeps impressing me. All the road work was done in full lock out, all the climbing in the intermediate mode and the descents opened up. Although everyone else was on 29er hard tails, the Spark was no disadvantage!

The 2.1 Rocket Rons were great on the front - thin enough to dodge in between a lot of rocks and debris on the fireroads - and super grippy in the softer surfaces.

Next week - Highland Fling 100 miler!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

World Solo 24 hr Champs

Wow what a race!

24 hours of racing Mt Stromlo - 18km laps with 500 vert meters per lap.

11th Elite / 27th overall with 20 laps.

Happy snaps from the race ...

Before I continue any further with this post, I must first say a huge thank you to my amazing support crew;
  • Robyn - pit crew manager - did an exceptional job at keeping me fed, hydrated and organized. Not to mention all the packing and gear organization.
  • Brett - master mechanic - Bike Superstore spared their mechanic for me, and Brett serviced the bikes for the whole 24 hours! He also had good words of advice early in the morning when I was really digging deep.
Thanks also to Dave, Mick and Ben from the shop for dropping by and lending a hand (and getting all my bikes into shape before the race), and John & Patricia for helping pack up and get my home after the long race!

Back to the story ...

Heading into this race I really did not know what to expect. I did well at the Nationals earlier in the year, but I was wondering how much of this was beginners luck.

My training had been going well, and riding with Fenner's FTP training had really improved my riding, and doing training rides with the Jason, Kevin and Garry were confidence building.

My biggest concern going into the race was how to pace myself. This is something only experience can guide you in ... how will your body respond to a certain threshold after 6, 12, 18 hours ...

Leading up to race day was full of chaos ... my new Scott Spark 10 arrived on the Tuesday before the race. It took me a few rides to get it all dialed in and riding fast.

The Spark is a great bike - super light (10.4kg off the truck). It is really stiff, climbs well and is great in the technical descents. I highly recommend it!

I was going to run Rocket Ron tyres (evo/ust) since they are the lightest UST on the market ... but after just three runs through pork barrel they were like pin cushions! Stans flying out like blood from a vein in a bad horror movie!

To add to the confusion, some small weld burs on the inside of the new wheels were rubbing against the tyres causing even more flats!

Thanks to Dave for fixing up the rims, swapping over cassettes and rotors etc etc - and in the end I ran my Roval wheels on the Spark, with a Specialized Captain Control on the front and a Maxxis Larsen TT UST on the back.

The Captain tyre is certainly not the fastest XC tyre, but it still light (605g) for a really solid tyre. I have raced all year on these with out incident! The TT was a little heavy, but again I chose it for the reliability. I knew that pork barrel would shred many sidewalls, and I did not want to be changing tyres in the middle of the night.

I set up my Stumpy with the same tyres as well.

I was pretty nervous heading to the start line. I'd decided to race Elite rather then Age-Based. Racing a WSC at Stromlo, I thought Elite was the only way to go.  So lining up against a lot of Australia's and overseas best riders was pretty cool (and daunting).

The running start was not too bad ... although I could have done without it. Having a 15 minute head start on the age based + single speed riders meant there was little traffic on track and everyone was flowing along nicely.

The first 3 - 4 hours went pretty quickly - with my laps averaging a little over an hour. In retrospect, I let my pace stay too high for too long. My heart rate was up around the 150bmp - it should have been down at 140bpm. I think this contributed to a big slumb in the late evening and early morning.

I made my other big mistake early on to ... I had decided to run Fortsip as my primary liquid food for the first 12 hours. I asked Robyn to mix this into my HEED / Torq Energy drinks. Turns out that certain flavors of Fortisip will curdle in these mixtures!!

It took me a few bottles to work out what was going on - which by then I was feeling pretty sick and had missed some valuable carb/calorie intake.

With the combination of going out a bit too hard and the food stuff up, I had a big slump around 10pm. But this was nothing compared to the slump I was feeling at 2am.

Not even a double hit of no-doze helped lift my 2am feeling. I was desperate for the sun to come up, and there was definitely a few pit stops around 5am where I had no idea how I was going to finish the race.

I was in the hurt locker real bad ... digging deeper then I ever thought possible.  Interestingly, it was not the climbs which were getting to me - the main trunk trail ascent was almost relaxing - but the rough pork barrel --> deep creek decent was the killer. The bumpy / rutted trails just zapped the energy, and even more energy went with the focus required to ride these trails at a decent speed.

Aside from my pit crew, chatting with riders out on track really helped full me through. It was great seeing Ed for half a lap and eventual Jason.

Anyway, the last few hours finally came and with it that energy that comes with daylight. Not to mention I was hitting the Torq Banoffee Gels ... these Gels are amazing. Check them out if you have not tried them.

Heading out on the last lap I was told I was 2 minutes behind 10th place ... but I soon forgot this when I came across McAvoy to chat with. What a relief to have someone to ride with on the last lap. About half way through I remembered the 10th place was calling, and put down the hammer. Too little too late - missed 10th by 72 seconds :(

Oh well, next time.

Overall, a really tough race and a really good learning experience. I definitely dug deeper then I ever thought possible, and put everything I had into the ride.

The World Solo Champs will likely be in Europe next year. If I can sort out some more sponsorship I would love to be there!

Finally, well done to all the winners! You guys and girls are awesome!

Check some of the guys on the podium that I have the pleasure of riding with;

For reference, my food was;
  • Fortsip
  • Hammer HEED
  • Hammer Perpetuem
  • Hammer GEL
  • Torq Energy
  • Torq GEL
  • Banannas
  • Nutella sandwiches
 Below are Garmin stats for the course. I could not run the GPS for the whole 24 hours, so my race data is just HR (and elevation) only.

What's next? Highland Fling 100 miler ... just a few weeks away!!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fenner's World Solo Champs Training Camp

This week saw me down in the picturesque Kangaroo Valley for the FTP WSC Training Camp - with a week of big rides, an awesome bunch of guys and more fart jokes then I could ever have hoped for.

Over the six (6) days we cycled (road & xc) over 500km, ascended 7000 vert metres - and for those with power stats in mind - scored 1530 TSS in rides.  

The venue for this week was at the Twin Falls Bush Cottages, at Fitzroy Falls. Perched up against the bush land, it not just bordered on water falls and national park - but also 5km of xc single track - which will be used in an upcoming state XC round!

Not surprisingly, this place is owned by a cycling family - as in the well known former pro cyclist Brad McGee.

The week began with about 15 guys all pinging to finish their volume blocks off before entering the last three (3) weeks of taper before the Worlds. Although, not everyone there was prepping for the Worlds - including young Ben Henderson who was just warming up his legs for the start of his XC (World Cup) training season, and Scotty who was just looking to break a few of us on the roads.

Fenner has been talking up all the rides over the past few months, and everyone was prepared for a solid workout.

Day 1 was talked of as a quick drop into the Valley, out to Ettrema dam and back up Barrengarry Mtn for a 20 min FTP session. 80km and 1500 vert metres was a pretty good kick in the pants for a warm up ride.  Barrendarry goes from 66m to 630m in just 7km.  The group quickly spread out on this ascent - with Scotty and Hendo smashing it out in front. Young Taylor put on a good show to get in a 25 min climb, but I don’t think he was really thinking about the rest of the week to come - the pain on his face the following days said it all.  

As for me, I came up in 26 mins, putting out a norm power of 335 watts. I felt this was a little low - but I guess not too bad after 70km of rding.

Kudos to Richard for riding back from Ettrema with his foot and pedal taped to the crank! He’d busted a pedal on the way down and the trusty gaff tape was what got him back.

Day 2 was the highly talked about “Epic XC” ride. None of us slept too well the night before, and with an 8am chilly start it was going to be a tough day. The day started with a wicked descent (Cannonball) into the Valley - big steep switch backs down the mountain side - of which you really would not want to over shoot.

The ride then took us out again through the Ettrema area, and looped back for some amazing Barengarry single track. The rock work was incredible - and the single track was literally on a cliffs edge!

This ride had a few nice long climbs in it, but the final climb was the good one - Meryla Pass. 500 vert metres in 10km of fireroad. I made sure I took in a guarana filled Torq Gel at the bottom, and it definitely got me going. Hendo and Fenner took off like scalded cats, and I did not see them until the top. Blankenstein also took off with his pants on fire, but was looking pretty stuffed when I passed him about half way up. Scotty was the only other one in front, and after I reached him we just chatted for the remainder of the climb.

The prize of the day had to go to Blankenstein - who took out one (1) Torq bar and (1) Torq gel for the day - a 6 hr elapsed time, 96k m, 2000 vert meter xc ride! “Fenz, can I borrow one of your gels ... I’ll give it back later”!  If this boy eats right it will be unstoppable!

Day 3 was a wet recovery ride - not much to say except wet and McAvoy and I just went off the front to get home and dry as quick as possible.

Day 4 was called the “Tour of the Highlands”. Not as much vertical today (1840m), but a nice long (140km) road ride out to Mittagong and Bowral. Fenz had to bail shortly into the ride with a head cold, so the two groups were joined which made for some chaos.

Much fun was had with Scotty, McAvoy, Blankenstein and Mike up the front - enjoying some good attacks on both the flats and up the hills - and missing pretty much every turn. McAvoy, Blankenstein, Mike and I opted to take the long route back to get in a few more kms - which just turned into a smash-vest. One (1) minute peaks over 500 watts attacks came aplenty. Every time someone went for a bottle or pulled off the front the hammer would go down.  Any thought of a rotating pace line was smashed with Blankenstein rotating up at 600 watts!

Day 5 was back on the road bike for a “Tour of the Mountains” - four (4) x 20-30 min climbs. 2500 vertical metres in 104km. McAvoy and I headed out early and put the hammer down early. Pulling 500 watts out of the gate. We figured we would be seen as the rabbits and wanted to get a good buffer from the rest. Turns out we did one of the loops in the wrong direction, so we never did get caught.

The first two (2) climbs were not so bad, but the Cambewarra climb was never ending and steep. McAvoy has his pain face on and my legs were feeling pretty spent by the top.  Riding back towards Barrengarry pushing 300+ watts into a huge head wind was really pushing the legs. It was sure good to get to the top of Barrengarry and get the legs into the pool.

Day 6 was just a leisurely xc ride in Meryla Forest - the legs were definitely tired and grateful for a lower tempo and limited climbing.

Aside from the riding, the camp was an opportunity for Fenner (and others) to impart their knowledge about prep, nutrition, training and how to race the Worlds. Way too much to write down here ...

All up, a really good week on the bike - and lots of new friends found.

A big thanks to Mark and Sally Fenner for looking after us, and Dean from Torq for supplying us with his excellent Torq nutrition products.

Thanks to Jason, Kevin, Arran and Mike for being good room mates and sharing a very overloaded bathroom!

Thanks to Bike Superstore for getting the Epic and Tarmac in shape for the week ... and my fingers, toes, legs, arms and eyes are all crossed hoping my new Scott Sparc RC arrives in time.

Just three (3) weeks now until the World Solo Champs ... time for an afternoon nap!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Choc. Foot 7 hr - Stromlo

7th place - 13 laps in 7:06

Choc. Foot - Single track mind series - Stromlo 7 hr

Lap times;
  1.  22:50.8
  2.  30:31.2
  3.  31:08.6
  4.  31:54.3
  5.  31:40.8
  6.  33:41.0
  7.  34:06.8
  8.  34:10.8
  9.  34:43.0
  10.  34:46.7
  11. 35:40.7
  12. 35:50.1
  13. 35:01.1

This race was sure going to be popular.  7 hrs at Mt Stromlo - just a 6 weeks or so out from both the World Solo 24 hr champs and the Scott 24 hr races.

The 7 hr track included a couple of the climbs and the decent which will be part of the Worlds course - so there were a lot of people wanting to have a look.

As has been the weather in Canberra lately, it was cold and rainy all week - which just added more water to an already soaked mountain. I was expecting it to be pretty wet.

The Gibbon and I headed out there on Saturday for a look over the course - there were some puddles but not too bad. We figured most would get splashed out early on ... how we were wrong.

I soon also realized that my rear shock on the Epic had shat itself ... bugger this would mean I'd have to race the nice and clean Stumpjumper ...

Morning came and after a bit of scramble to get an ok pit position and setup we were ready. Well, I was ready, but the Gibbon was contemplating the poo-house line out - 350 riders + support and 3 loos ... with everyone thinking it was better out then in ...

The race started at the usual frantic pace - with fast team riders and some of the usual elite solo's heading up the firetrail.  The first firetrail had a little incline and then we headed into a bigger firetail climb which skirted the Nationals/Worlds feed zone area.

I really should have pushed harder to get up in front here - as the traffic jam that followed was painful.  I probably had 30 odd riders in front of me - but many were complete spastics on the singletrack and I was working had to get around them.

So, it was across the Nationals/World feed zone, through the trail cross over tunnel and up to the black berry climb.

This section is usually pretty fun and it was ... until the last right hand turn where the mud was actually a little underground river ... with 350 riders hitting this lap after lap it soon turned into ankle deep goop. You could sometime power through it - and risk getting bogged and falling into it, or take the annoying walk around it - battling the prickly blackberry bushes.

Anyways, once out of blackberry it is up the short but steep little fireroad section which is good for overtaking. Into the next single track (Slant 6) which also had a fair bit of mud and water - but held up ok.

Fast and flowy run through to the next single track climb - which *may* be in the Worlds Course. 

Again, puddles turned to gloop mud at the start of this climb - but it held up. This part of the climb has a bunch of rocky turns and areas to roll over. Traffic was pretty bad here as some struggled to navigate the rocks.

Over the fireroad and onto Heart breaker  - which is definitely part of the Worlds course. Sharp right hand climb into the mud - spinning the wheel to churn through it - left hander switch back over the big rock and then just a few switch backs to Skyline.

Skyline is a fantastic run down to the Downhill bridge ... it has recently been re-surfaced, making it gumby proof - but also means you can ride it as a pump track with no brakes or peddling. Nice to relax on as you fly down.

Through the downhill bridge on onto the Luge track - big bermed switch backs. Picking the high line entry point makes a huge difference here, and staying alert and aggressive through these can see you pick up a lot of speed.

Coming up to the last part of the berm track there was (yet another) mud bog - this one could stop you - literally ... and it seemed to shift as the day progressed. So you never knew which line was going to be safe.

Over the table tops, and big berm, around the 4x track - down the 4x track drops and you were back in transition.

Out of transition, there was the fence line / holden creek loop. Again, muddy, wet and a massive bog which had to be walked through.

Overall, this was a pretty intense track - although nothing compared to how the Worlds will be. This track saw 200m vert a lap, whereas Worlds is looking at 500m vert lap.

The Skyline / Luge / Berm track decent is pretty tough on the body - and you need to find the right places to rest. 

Same as on the climbs. You have to take it easy and recover energy whilst climbing.

The Stumpy turned out to be a good choice. With little fireroad and the big decent it worked well. Cleaning it will be a pain :( It and the Epic will be back out at the shop tomorrow to get it ready for the next race on Sunday.

Nothing new on the food front - same as usual.

Robyn (and special guest dog Darcy) provided excellent support as always - and finally Robyn had a nice sunny day to get sun burnt in.

Good work from Brett at the shop in getting the Stumpy rear shock replaced and it ready to race - hopefully the Epic will not be too far behind!

Next race is Sunday - 100km, 2500m vert - Angry Doctor in Mogo. 

Finger crossed there is good weather, as I'm not trashing another bike in the rain before the Worlds!!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Jet Black 12 hr

6th Male Solo / 10th Overall

21 laps @ 12hrs : 16 mins : 55 secs

Official lap times;
  1. 29:42
  2. 30:02
  3. 30:07
  4. 30:40
  5. 31:51
  6. 32:41
  7. 34:42
  8. 34:17
  9. 34:09
  10. 34:31
  11. 39:46
  12. 33:33
  13. 35:54
  14. 37:31
  15. 46:31
  16. 35:48
  17. 37:18
  18. 39:59
  19. 36:53
  20. 35:40
  21. 35:20
This race was another practice / training race - so the intent was to go out and take it easy.

Fenner's instructions were to take regular breaks and not push it.

So much to my ego's better judgement, I forced myself to keep the HR down and had about 16 minutes rest - 2 x 5 mins + 3 x 2 mins rest stops - which was nice having a chat with Robyn and Bailey.

The race started out at a usual higher intensity - it was important to get into a good position as the first pinch was just up the road, and would see a big traffic jam with riders walking up the slightly technical section.

Over the course of the first four (4) hours I just focused on getting the HR down to a good steady state average ~ 130 - 140 bpm. This meant I was being slow on some of the faster flats, but it did not matter.

Overall, this course only had 113 metres climbing per lap (2381m total) - so basically nothing, but pretty much all 113 m gained were in three (3) nasty pinch sections.

Most of the Dargle Farm course is set within a Y shaped valley - with the track bascially flowing up and back down each valley.

The first leg starts off with a little rocky single track climb, which is quite doable in a middle ring gear. From there it is a fast and sometimes rocky singletrack back down to the valley floor - with some pretty rocked out turn in the process.

Back on the valley floor it is across open paddock into a single track forest section - with just a slight up hill to it.

At the apex of the forest, the track hairpins to give a nice flowey single track run back down ready for a turn back into the next valley.

Since this course has had no use in 3 - 4 years it was very choose-your-own-adventure early on - I am sure quite a few deraillures met their match in these sections!

The ride up the next valley I nicked named to "Road to Mordor" - as it was long, open, bare - and had a bit of a head wind. On the up side, it was a great place to have a chat (thanks Ed and Brett) and holla out to your mates on the other side of the valley!

At the apex of this valley, the hairpin back around was pretty muddy and some big drifts could be made around the corner.

The single track back down this valley was pretty sticky with a light mud, but it still flowed pretty well.

Once out of this valley, there was a little series of rocky pinches which if you took the wrong line would see you spat into a tree or off the edge of the rocky trail :)

More paddock, with some rollers for entertainment and a slight climb and you are in the final fast running single track heading to the last climb. The only catch was some very nasty wet tree roots which spat a few people out, and the dead animal somewhere in the nearby bushes which was not a pleasant smell!

The final climb out (at about the 9.8km mark) died pretty quickly. It was quite ridable in middle ring, but with so many riders (and walking riders) it quickly lost all top soil and just left damp slippery rocks exposed. So, it soon became a hike-a-bike walk only.

The little ascent made for a fast run down to the village - with some nice little rock ledges / jumps.

That said, taking little rock ledges at 40km/h whilst barralling towards a barbed-wire fence, hoping the 90 degree turn on wet grass over a water bar would hold was a little nerve racking!

Food and Drink for the day were in the capable hands of Robyn and Bailey - Bailey made sure no food scrap went to waste.

Drinks were altenating HEED and Perpetuem bottles - with a red bull around 7pm.

Food was a Hammer Gel each hour + either a bananna, nutella sandwitch or Hammer bar.

The stomach held up pretty well with this mix - although it was nearly time for the stomach to go into liquid only mode for a while.

As for lessons learnt, I need to put some reflective tape on my bike / helmet so Robyn can spot me coming in the dark - and I need some more velcro on my front battery pack. Oh - and Bananna flavored Gel is aweful!!

Again a big big thanks to Robyn (and Bailey) for being an excellent support crew - and apologies for not sharing my end of race beer with you.

Kudos to Rockytrail for having an beer in hand ready for each racer as they came across the finish line ... and as always a big thanks to Bike Superstore for keeping the Epic in running form.

Next race is a 6hr at Stromlo - which should see a heap more climbing and some fun decents!

I'll post some race pics here when they come out.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Shark Attack - 6hr - Nowra

3rd place

12 laps @ 6 hrs : 23 min :13 secs

* 122.5 km
* 19.1 km/h avg speed
* 2337 m ascent
* 155 bmp avg hr

Lap times;

* 12  31:55
* 11  31:52   
* 10  33:19   
* 9    33:45
* 8    32:56   
* 7    33:01  
* 6    32:11 
* 5    32:31   
* 4    32:09   
* 3    31:41   
* 2    30:57
* 1    26:56

A really nice day at the races.

This week I was really just approaching this as a training exercise.

I'd managed to get my mind into shape around the idea of just taking it easy, setting a constant pace and not getting carried away and pushing myself.

All, this race saw me get the very lucky race number 69!

Off the line, I let the few fast guys disappear around the corner and I jumped in behind one of the guys I usually race against, and was happy just sitting on his wheel for the first lap.

After the first lap, I just tried to keep the same pace - never feeling that I was pushing it - and focused on smooth cornering and good cadence.

I noticed I was picking up a few riders on the way, but was specially on the look out for Ed - super strong Mals SS rider. He got me a few times early in the year in the late stages, and I was super keep to catch him. To my surprise I came across Ed at the start of lap 11 and had a quick chat. Hooray - finally getting in front of one of these crazy Mals SS guys!!

I also tried a few different things with food this week.

Drinks where alternating bottles of Hammer HEED and Hammer Perpetuem - which seemed to work well.

Food was basically 1 x Hammer Gel per hour (+ 2 in last hour), substituted with 1 x banana, and 2 x Hammer Bars

This seemed to work well, with no stomach upsets and ensured my 70g carb/hour intake.

Robyn and Stella did a great job of keeping the food going, and ensuring I got some super fast transitions. I think I only had 2 or 3 foot down transitions!

The Coondoo Road XC track is really great stuff. Really fast flowing single track, and a little fireroad.

A few small climbs, but they are well worth it for the fast flowing descents through well cut sandy berms. There is nothing like feeling that your handlebars are just a few feet from touch the ground going through a corner!

Coondoo Rd is also known for all its log roll-overs, and as usual they do not disappoint. Some were certainly more of a challenge, and can sap the energy out - other were just great to fly over. They also always make for good entertainment with people going every which way over and off these.

So all in all, a great sunday ride!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Rockytrail - 8hr - Awaba

Sunday 3rd July

8 hr XC (shortened to 7.5 due to light).

3rd in open mens / 4th overall - 17 laps @ 7hrs:44mins:13sec

Lap times;
1   26:11
2   25:10
3   25:13
4   26:20
5   26:41
6   26:34
7   26:03
8   26:48
9   28:02
10 29:17
11 28:53
12 30:11
13 30:07
14 30:15
15 26:39
16 26:22
17 25:27

First 4 hours was pretty good - maybe pushed a tiny bit too hard. Next 2.5 hours were pretty crappy.

Throttled it right back - this was meant to be a training race and not push myself too hard.

Decided to put the foot back down for last 3 laps - needed to warm back up anyway, as it was getting pretty cold my now. 

Food was;

* Hammer Gel - 1x15 mins before starts, then 1 per hour
* Bananas - 1x30 mins before start, then 1 each 2 hours
* Vege sandwich - Just 1 mid way through

Drink was;
* HEED - 1 bottle per 2 -3 laps for first 5 hours
* Coke/RedBull - 1 bottle around 5 hr mark
* Hammer Perpetuem - 2 bottles @ 6 & 7 hour mark

Overall, no stomach problems - just felt crappy around 4 - 5 hour mark.  Deliberately did not  use iPod as practice for Worlds.

Traffic on course was pretty bad at times - some big slow trains of riders made it difficult to pull away from other riders. Easy to lose multiple minutes waiting for a passing opportunity.

Track was pretty good fun. Fast flow, fast little descents, tacky - just not too many passing opportunities.

Front shifter (new X0 shifters!) broke whilst doing my warm up! Did not seem to be grabbing the cable. Grrr ... lucky this track had no firetrail or areas where big ring would be much use. So it was a 1x9 ride all day :)


* 7hrs:44 mins
* 130km
* 155bmp (avg)
* 16.7km/h (avg)
* 3063m ascent

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wed - Ainslie/Majura - Session 3 - 3hrs

* 10 min warm up - 138 avg/bmp
* 45 min zone 2 - 119 avg/bmp
* 20 min zone 4 - 152 avg/bmp
* 45 min zone 2 - 117 avg/bmp
* 20 min zone 4 - 155 avg/bmp
* 30 min zone 2-3 - 121 avg/bmp
* 10 min cool down

Zone 2 felt a little slow - prolly wanted a 130+ HR
Zone 4 work was good - need a good long hill to avoid any little breaks

Note - need to introduce a 3rd zone 4 ...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Monday - Lake George - 2:13

Avg HR 140

Felt good riding, but lacked a little power on the rolling uphills.

1 x gel

Sunday - Husky 100 - 4:35

100km race.


Riding Stumpy

HR Max - 190
HR Avg - 166
KCAL - 4093

Zone 160-172 --> 2:02
Zone <160 --> 1:08
Zone >172 --> 1:24

- 3 litres heed
- 4 gels + 1 pre race gel
- 2 small bananas mid race + 1 pre race
- 2 x toast + juice breaky

Comments -- drink more. Minor cramps around 70km mark due to lack of fluid intake.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wed - lake george - 2:16

Don't feel too bad after Mawson.

Lacking power but felt good to be riding.

Posted from Blogium for iPhone

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Saturday / Sunday - Aust 24 Solo - 24:20

Probably 6 hours of riding during the week leading up to this.

41 laps, 370km

Notes for next time;

- ice knees and wrists afterwards
- ice wrists 2-3 times a day for next 3 days
- panadol + ibprofen 3 times day for next 3 days
- more magnesium during lead up and event - stop cramping - "HEED", Endura?
- more electrolyte drinking post race
- take a spin on the trainer the day after (and for rest of week)
- valium for 2 nights before the race works wonders
- more ipod battery life needed
- more bananas
- ride to heart rate for first 10 hours
- warm coffee in morning is good
- need to experiment more with gu guts

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturday / Sunday - Mont 24 hr - 4 laps

6 person team - going slow as prep for next weekend.

Lap 1 - 53 minutes (running start + lots of traffic to wade through)

Lap 2 - 51 minutes (really pushed it - avg hr 175!)

Lap 3 - 60 minutes (night lap and deliberately took it easy - avg hr 140)

Lap 4 - 80 minutes (night lap + 2 flats, ripped side wall, tube begging and MacGyver repairs - should have been a 55 minute lap)

Lap 5 - Gave to another rider so I could go buy a new tyre :)

Friday - Ainslie/Red Hill/Mt Taylor/Stromlo - 3:20

Tour de Canberra with the Gibbon - albiet a little slower then with El-Presidento.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday - Majura - 2hs

Night ride in Majura with the Gibbon on the new stealth bike ...

Monday, March 15, 2010

Monday - XC - 3hrs

Presidents tour - Ainslie, Campbell, Red Hill, Mt Rogers, Stromlo - lots of hills

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Wed - Majura - 2:30

Not feeling too strong - couple of Majura laps - inc 2 x winery, 2 x auto alley and general single track'in

Tuesday - Stomlo Road Repeats - 3hr

6 fun filled repeats of Mt Stromlo

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday - Misc Road - 3:20

Round trip to Lake George, down to Woden --> Symerston --> Ainslie

Saturday - 8:38 - Stromlo 100 miler race

Rockytrail Entertainment / Real Insurance "cruise".

100 miles of Stromlo.

A bit wet and misty in the morning, but not too bad.

First 3 laps were good - except for a minor stack on the first lap - rolling off into the bushes after hitting a tree :)

4th and 5th lap sucked - gu gut, slow arse 50km riders, front tire puncture which stans took some time to fix, saddle bag failure

6th and 7th lap felt great - energy restored thanks to some coke and Vegemite sangers.

8th lap a little slow, but satisfying.

Notes for next time;

- more plain water in transition
- gaff table on the table
- cut sandwiches in half
- better music selection
- more water with gu's

Thursday - 2hrs - Majura

Wednesday - 3hrs - Majura/Ainslie

Tuesday - 3 hr - Majura

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sunday - Stromlo XC - 4 hrs

Bad weekend of little riding due to stupid work.

4 hrs at Stromlo got me 6 climbs - 5 skyline's + 1 out the back run

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday - O'Conner Ridge - hour or so

Gentle ride from the gibbon and chopper.

Lots of chit-chat followed by beers at Tilly's.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday - Majura / Ainslie - 2:45

Exploring mission around Anslie - picking random trails around the base of ainslie and around the back.

Then into Majura for normal single track fun

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday - Stromlo - 5:20

3 x full laps + 2 x skyline + 1 x porkies --> short cut back - so 6 climbs

Actually a pretty hot day which I was not expecting

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Saturday - Majura - 2:45

Nice morning in Majura. Tracks nice and tacky from rain drying out

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wed - Majura/Ainslie - 3hr

Headed to Majura to find it still soaked from the weekend rain. Over the saddle, around the back and up Ainslie. Down again, then left back around Ainslie, over saddle, around to Majura and over to horse tracks.

Back home for a round 3 hrs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday - Stromlo Road - 3 hrs

5 hill repeats Mt Stromlo + bonus lap of Burley Gerkin to make up to 3 hrs

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday - Lake George - 3hrs

Road ride to Lake George and back via Canberra "burbs"

Started out in the rain, and finished into a super strong head win.

Cold feed day.

Sat/Sun - Washed out Husky

What was meant to be a lovely weekend of 100km Husky was 48 hours of rain ... no riding :(

Friday - O'Conner Ridge/Majura - 3hr

Gentle Mtn bike ride - O'Conner Ridge + back to Majura

Thursday - Majura - 1:30

Quick Majura ride - bike shop was a bit slow in getting the bike ready, so only a short ride

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Tuesday - Lake George + - 3 hrs

Road ride to Lake George, around Majura to the air port, around the lake to National Museum, ANU to home.

Nice fast pace 3 hr ride.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Saturday - Stromlo - 4:45

Early morning Stromlo ride - starting at 5:45 in the dark.

Very wet and windy ... not that pleasant.

Ride cut short by breaking a rear spoke :(

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wednesday - OConner Ridge - 1:20

Short ride - not really feeling it today ... might be a little flu going around.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Monday - Majura - 2:45

Boring ride in Majura - Saddle, 2 x winery hill, 2 x auto alley, saddle + back of mt ainslie

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday - Cotter/Uriarra - 2:45

Took Chopper for a CU loop - he was a bit under the weather and there was a killer head wind on the way back :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Friday - Stromlo - 2:45

3 1/2 climbs of Stromlo ... 1/2 due to a flat ... couple of skyline runs and out the back also

Saturday - Stromlo - 5hrs

4 lovely full laps (corc main trail, pork belly, slip rock, out the back, shadys, missing link, double dissolution, back around) and another run up and down skyline.

not too hot (finally)

Friday, January 29, 2010

Thursday - Majura - 3hrs

4 x auto alley, 3 x winery hill + general pines back and forth

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Monday - Stromlo Road - 2:30

5 hill repeats of Stromlo ... warm and toasty!

Tuesday - Majura - 2:30

Night ride in Majura. A bit cooler and always fun to play with the lights

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday - Federal HW - 2hrs

Lazy 2 hr road ride down the highway with Chopper.

Last 3 km back through Watson/Ainslie was a sprint - nice :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Saturday - Stromlo - 4:30

4 full loops of Stromlo.

Corc main trail, pork belly, slick rock back trails, shady's, missing link, double dissolution + back around.

Started at 0600 and still 27 degrees C!


Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday - Stromlo - 3hrs

Stromlo - 2 full out the back loops + a short skyline run

38 degrees C!!! Shitefully hot

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday - Majura - 3hrs

Majura Pines - with Gibbon joining for 2nd half of ride.

2 x auto alley, winery, mine shaft exit x 3

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sun - Stromlo - 3:45

Nice morning at Stromlo. Only did 3hrs 45, wanted to do 4:30 - but ran out of time :(

Oh well, just one lap short.

Red Belly Black Snake count +1

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sat - Stromlo

4:30 - 72kg

What better way to start a weekend then 4 1/2 hours at Stromlo ... got out nice and early before the heat and it was lovely.

The Gibbon joined me after a few hours also.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thur - Pines

2:15 - Majura Pines

Hills day on the mtn bike.

Up and over the Majura/Ainslie saddle into the pines.

3 x laps of winery hill, 2 x laps auto alley + some intestinal for good measure

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wed - Stromlo Rd

2 hrs - Mt Stromlo

Road ride with chopper out to Stromlo.

Only 2 laps ...

Very lazy ride.

Mon - Majura

2:20 - Majura Pines

3 full laps of the pines, inc. 2 x auto-alley runs.

Ran out of steam towards the end - not enough food at lunch.

Nice unclipping incident resulting in a big scratch of my bum!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sun - Tour de Stromlo

4:10 - Stromlo

No flats!!!! Hurray for Stans!

5 laps of Stromlo - taking in pretty much all the different tracks out the back.

Nice and toasty hot by the end.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Sat - Stromlo

2:40 - Stromlo

Got out nice and early with the Gibbon, 3 laps in and 3 stinky flats within 15 minutes!! Arrrrrrr

Abandoned rest of ride to setup Stans Tubeless ...

Fri - Pines

2:10 - Majura Pines

Very hot and legs a bit lethargic after the head wind yesterday.

Did a few laps, 2 x auto-alley (finally got it with no feet down!!)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Thur - Lake George

2:15 - Lake George and Back

Brown snake count ++

Quick road ride out to lake george and back.

Nasty head wind / cross wind on the way out, but a super fast run back!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wed - Pines

2:40 (-30 mins Gibbon chatting)

First hour in the pines was pretty lazy riding. The Gibbon was not feeling so great.

Next 20 - 30 mins was Gibbon chatting ...

Remainder of time was sprint laps through the pines + auto alley run.

Back up over the saddle on way out.

Feeling very strong - need to get out on a long ride and wear myself down ...

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Monday - Stromlo repeats

2:30 - Stromlo road repeats - 72.9kg

North Cbr --> Stromlo --> 5 repeats (big ring) --> North Cbr

Nice ride, not too hot ... and best part - no flats!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Afternoon in the pines

2:45 - Majura Pines

3 laps of 24 solo course. One fast.

Alternate lap with auto alley + reverse bak through the pines.

There is only so many alternate paths to do though here :)

One flat - ahhhhhhh

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weekend O'Flats

Fri - 1:30 - Cotter / Uriarra loop - 4 flats (road bike)
Sat - 1:00 - Stromlo - 3 flats (xc bike)

Ahhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrr ... Stans is on order and mtn bike will be tubeless before the end of the week.

The road bike has new slime tubes + new tyres ...

Fingers crossed I can get in a few hours this afternoon without any more tube changes!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Sparrow New Years Eve

2:50 - Sparrow Hill

Nice and fast running ride with El-Presidento through the endless single track of Sparrow Hill.

El-Presidento had a nice stack at the end ...