Saturday, December 14, 2013

Magellan Cyclo505

Magellan Cyclo505

Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to test out the forthcoming Magellan Cyclo505.

This is the flagship model of the new Cyclo500 series, which are due to hit the AU and NZ shelves in Jan 2014.

Cyclo505 home screen

The Cyclo505 is a new approach to the standard cycling computer. It's tempting to compare it to a Garmin, but really it is quite a different product.

The Cyclo is less about structured training and metrics, and more about finding and exploring new places to ride. Being powered by the extensive Navman maps, the Cyclo has a strong map and routing technologies.

Rich navigation maps and routing

I will come back to the Cyclo's focus on exploring new places to ride shortly, but first lets look at some of the basics.

The 505 is has a large display, with the unit coming in around 61 x 103mm - at 129 grams.

Under the hood, the unit supports communicating with standard Ant+ sensors (ie heart rate, cadence, power etc), as well as newer Bluetooth sensors. 

The unit logs both an industry standard .FIT and .GPX file. These can then be processed by most 3rd party analysis tools. A cool little feature of the generated filenames of these files is that it includes a name of the location in which you were riding. This makes it a bit easier to spot which file you are interested in.

One of the novel communication features is that the unit has an inbuilt wifi module. The intention of having wifi support is that the unit can automatically sync completed rides - "recordings" in Cyclo talk - to the web site, and then onto other 3rd party sites such as TrainingPeaks or Strava.

This is a pretty neat feature, and certainly saves time post-ride from having to plug the unit into a PC/Mac and manually upload the workout files.

When you connect the Cyclo505 to a PC via USB, you will get two (2) mounted drives. The 2nd drive (Mio_data) will have your recordings under the /Dodge/Tracks// directory.  On a MAC, the device will mount as /Volumes/Mio_data/ and the .fit and .gpx files are under the /Volumes/Mio_data/Dodge/Tracks/.

Even with the large screen and these sensors, the claimed battery life is around 12 hours. 

Another unique communications feature is the ability to share your ride route with your fellow Cyclo friends via the "shake and share" feature. Simply shake your unit to initiate sharing your files with nearby units.

From a standard cycling computer perspective, the 505 supports all the standard display metrics. Time, heart rate, cadence, speed, elevation gains & loss etc. It also supports a range of basic power metrics - such as 3s avg, TSS, NP, avg power, 5m peak, 10m peak etc. 

The Cyclo505 allows a user to customise each "dashboard" view - selecting the number of display metrics (max 8 per page), and the individual elements.

Power metrics
Standard metrics
Custom dashboards

When you start a new ride, you start a new "recording". You press the little red button on the Dashboard screen to start.  Once started, you can choose to either stop or pause your ride.

A little tip is to press "pause" first. Pressing "stop" will clear all the dashboard screens, and if you want to review your ride metrics you have to go into the History screen.  So, at the end of your ride, hit pause, check out your dashboard stats and then hit stop.

History summary

Ride history details
You probably noticed in the above history screen the different profiles - Evo and Flash. The Cyclo has the concept of different "Profiles". You can add your different bikes under different profiles - ie race bike, mountain bike, city bike, running etc.  

These profiles serve a double purpose - one is to track which bike you did a ride on, and to associate sensors with different bikes. But the other is to set different options related to map routing.  

ie if you select a city bike, it can have different map navigation routing rules then your road bike. 

This leads to answering a question lots of people ask "What is the Surprise me" button?

Surprise me is one of those defining features of the 505 - providing unique ways to help the user find new places to ride and explore. Select the Surprise me button, enter a desired distance or time and your estimate riding speed - and the Cyclo will automatically generate you a route!

This same concept is applied if you select the "Workout" button. Again, you just enter the time or distance for your workout, and the unit will generate a route for you.

Time or distance workout

In both cases, the generated route will give you turn-by-turn navigation directions, along with audible alerts as you approach turns. There is also zoomable and scrollable maps so you can see more about where you are going. 

Map view

Overall, a pretty neat feature for find new and random places to explore and ride!

Workouts can also be set based on target calorie counts, power zones, and heart rate zones. ie I want to ride until I burn 2000 calories, or I want to ride for 1hr in my HR zone 4. 

These workouts are obviously a lot simpler then the more complex, highly interval structured workouts that you might find on a Garmin. For most users, this simpler functionality is all that is required. 

It's simple to set your target workout goal and just get out and ride to this. 

As you have probably picked up, the Cyclo505 is very focused around it's navigational routing and maps. This leads to some other neat functionality which can come in very handy, especially when riding in new or unfamiliar territory.

Like in a car navigational unit, you can search for nearby places. Some of the pre-canned categories include "Emergency" - which will find you pharmacies, medical and shops. "Bike Store" is pretty obvious and at least for the Canberra maps is very accurate and up to date. "Food and Drink" will take you to the pub, cafe or grocery stores.

The Cyclo505 is pretty simple to setup. Whether it be configuring your dashboard displays, routing preferences, wifi, or sensors - the setting screens are all pretty logical and self-explanatory.

Setting up and configuring ant+ and bluetooth sensors is quite simple. For each sensor type, you can select the communication method and either manually scan and set the sensor association, or just select automatic and the unit will automatically pickup your local sensors.  

Easy sensor setup

For the power meter sensor there is also the option to perform a zero offset calibration. 

I've tested the Cyclo505 with both my SRAM Quarq and Stages meter. Both detected fine. 

A note on the Cyclo505 and power meters. At least in the beta firmware which I have been testing with, the sample rate at which the .fit file is logged to is 2 seconds. What this means is that the norm power calculation will be lower then from units which log every second. 

Does this matter? Not really. The most important thing with power meters and their associated metrics is consistency. It does not really matter what the power numbers are, as long as they are consistently generated. ie do the exact same ride at the exact same output and you get the same numbers. So, if the Cyclo does result in a lower NP, that is ok as long as all your other power recordings are also done on the Cyclo.

Because the NP will be lower, you should adjust / re-determine your FTP. If you keep an FTP which you determined on a different head unit, then you will get low TSS and low IF values.  

Something I have not mentioned is the unit mount. The mount is quite simple, simply place on and twist. It locks solidly in place. Provided mounts include a stem or top-tube mount, which is attached via cable ties. There is also a mount which can be clamped onto your bars - extending the unit at the front of the bars. This is quite useful for the roadie.

I mentioned earlier on the auto wifi sync to the This is an equivalent to Garmin Connect - where your recordings can be uploaded and shared.

The interface is quite simple, clean and easy to use.  One little limitation is that on a MAC, you need to use Safari as Chrome is not supported.

The home page gives you a summary of all your rides.

Dashboard / home screen

Viewing your recordings / rides, gives you all the usual graphs and metrics you would expect. Note that you can directly share your ride from this page. ie facebook, twitter etc

Detailed ride statistics

This site also extends the concept of finding new places to ride and explore, providing a simple interface to search for rides by distance in a specific area. You can then download these routes to your device.  I think in the longer-term, this site will also provide an ability to custom build a route and down this to your Cyclo.

Searching for new places to ride

Overall, the Cyclo505 is an impressive unit.

The big screen is easy to read and interact with. The simplified metrics and workout concepts make it simple to setup and immediately use out of the box.

The features geared towards helping you explore and find new places places to ride are really cool - and quite simply make it real easy to go places you might not ordinarily know about.

The units are meant to hit the AU and NZ shops in Jan 2014, and the pricing is quite competitive. Something like $399 for a straight Cyclo505 unit, or $479 with a unit with cadence and heart rate ant+ sensors.

I'd definitely recommend checking these out!

I'm going to keep riding and training with this unit, and am looking forward to trying out more of the navigational features of this unit. I'll report back on how this goes over the coming months!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Highland Fling - 100 miler

1st - 06hr : 59min : 15 secs - 160km

The Highland Fling is one of my favorite races in the MTB calendar year.  It is a great way to finish off the main race season, and can usually be counted on to be a nice hot day in the office. But just not this year ...

Standing on the start line the Garmin was reading 5.5C, and the light rain began to fall.  I'd just been on a little warm up rid to the farm, and there was no shortage of dark clouds looming.  This was going to be one of those days.

With the Fling falling about 4 weeks after the Scott (or Wembo) 24hr, I opted to have another shot at the miler title this year. I'd done the miler in 2010 and took a 30 minute wrong turn detour, and then in 2011 both Jase English and I set cracking times, with a 2nd place for me.  In 2012, I took on the 100km  race as the Fling was part of the XCM series - that hurt. Post solo, you don't have your full top end back within 4 weeks - and trying to match the 100km elite race pace was really tough.

In having another shot at the miler, it was also a good chance to go another round against UK's Matt Page and of course Ed McDonald. With both Ed and Matt pulling out of the Wembo 24hr solo early, I was not sure how their legs would be matched against mine. Certainly, 4-6 weeks after a solo you have excellent chugger / diesel form. But little top end. What would these boys bring ...

Matt, myself and Ed - solo chugger reunion

Ed was already at the start line, eager as ever to get going. Matt rolled up with a nice little rain jacket on. I guess he has raced in the rain before ... A few sledges later about this is Australia and we don't wear rain jackets in 5C rain it was put sheepishly back into his jersey pocket.

The race started with Panther's "B Dog" going straight to the front and driving the pace. He says he was cold and was just trying to warm up, but I think he was secretly trying to smash us all :)

Across the grassy paddocks of the first stage

Either way, it was good having someone up the front driving the pace. After we hit the 2nd water crossing, the lead group already culled down to maybe 6 or 7 riders. Matt Page had not made the selection, and so it was just Ed, B-Dog, myself and some 100km riders.

As we raced through the undulating fireroad of the culled pine forest, I took a right hand corner and noticed a kangaroo out of the corner of my eye ... I hit the brakes just in time as the dumb roo bolted straight in front on me - almost brushing my front tire! #sketchy

I wanted to make sure Matt Page did not get back across, so I kept heading up the front and lifting the pace. As we hit the little hill just outside the xmas tree plantation, I'd had enough of hanging with the 100km riders - it was time to go. I punched it over the top when I heard Ed say "lets get out of here before anyone else gets over the top". It was like he read my mind ... #spooky ... so we hit the gas for the last kms into transition.

Under 56 minutes for this first section - not bad!

Ed and I hung out in transition for about 3.5 minutes, and were surprised to see two of the 100km guys head straight out. Especially in the 100km race, you really want to use up that full transition time so you have it up your sleeve in case it comes down to a sprint finish.

Ed and I caught them before the first of the damp Wingello singletrack. At the last minute I'd gone for the Conti Race Kings on the front - save a big of weight and rolling resistance over the X-Kings, but hitting the wet, slimy and loomy trails the Race Kings were all over the place. Luckily Ed too was on silly race tires, so it was a comical display of each of us trying to keep the bike going vaguely in the right direction!

The Wingello fireroads were a mixture of damp and wet, and I had a few "Tinker" moments of the old mud in the eye. Nothing like descending a fireroad at full speed with one eye closed ...

A little damp in the forest

Soon enough we came to the infamous "Wall" ... I was confident I would be able to muscle my 34T XX1 over the climb. As we rounded the left hander, I hit the brakes, clicked through the gears and hit the wall ready to climb. Whereas, Ed attacked it full on and tried to dump the gears a few pedal strokes in ... BANG!!

Ed's chain exploded and he found himself extremely intimate with his top tube and stem. I checked that he had a chain link, and his reply (a few octaves higher then normal) confirmed he did.

So now it was just me and the one 100km rider left. We worked out way through the remainder of the Wingello singletrack, and had a good chat. Turned out he is the brand manager for Magellan, so I got a one on one brief on all their new cool products and features. Sold!

He dropped off at the feed station, and from there it was a solo ride for me until around the 145km mark!

In my last miler attempt, I'd lost a drink bottle on this inner loop and suffered in the heat - having only one bottle in over 2 hrs. This year I was determined not to let that happen, so I mounted to fricken tightest cages I could find. They are a complete pain in the #$@* to get bottles in and out of - but bottles won't fall out. So, past the feed zone I confidently reached for my 2nd bottle ... empty. WTF? A rock has pierced the bottom of the bottle and there is just a big hole there. grrrrrrrrr  Guess I'll just have to open my mouth and suck in the rain drops.

Have I mentioned it was wet and slimy?

Moving through the undulating climbs at the end of the inner loop it was not too bad. Most of the area's were protected from the rain and wind. But hitting the fireroad back to the transition it was nasty. Super strong head wind and horizontal freezing rain into the face. I was really wishing I had a Grant Johnston in front to draft off ...

Luckily for Ed, because he was a few minutes back he got in with some of the faster 100km riders, and was able to work with these guys across these open sections - #jealous

It was a little cold for Robyn in transition

The 2nd Wingello loop was a lot slower - 9 minutes slower. I was starting to fade - I think a combination of driving a high pace early on and the cold was taking it's toll. I had a few extra gels and hit some more caffeine to get me through.

The last 20km stage is just plain nasty. You know all the bad bits which are coming ... multiple creek crossings, pinchy singletrack climbs, grassy hill climbs and slow (crap) singletrack right at the end. And all you are thinking of is getting to the finish.

I was really feeling it now ... tired and cold. I kept looking back waiting to see Ed. It was on the first grassy climb I saw him ... ahhh crap, he looks fast. And we are still about 15km out.

He caught me up BrokeBack, and in typical Ed style stomped by. Dilemma time - do I let him go and keep chugging along, and be content with 2nd - or do I delve into the suitcase and fight for this. A quick gel to help the decision making process, and I was on it.

Fight mode to get back onto Ed's wheel

Ed has used a few matches showing off over the climb, so I was able to get back across to him and we came out of the singletrack together. We hit the fireroad, and I was very happy to sit in behind him - my first draft opportunity in over 100km!

He punched it up the "You choose" section, and got a little gap - but I was back on him as we got back onto the fireroad. It was about then I played the little mind game of saying to him "I bet you are wondering how long I spent in transition ...".  I'd played this game before, and knew to take as much of the 5 minutes in transition as possible. I was betting that Ed had been impatient and had gone through early. So all I had to do was sit on him.

We hit the final pinch over the grass paddocks and Ed attacked, he looked around to see if he had got a gap ... nope .... there was a little disappointment in his eyes.

It must have been funny watching two baked riders trying to sprint ... slowest sprint ever!

We hit the final corner, he punched it and crossed the line a few seconds before me.

The waiting game begins ... it would not be until nearly 2 hours later that we found how the exact transition timings, and knew how we each placed.

I'm just going to sit here for a while ...

Overall, I'm stoked to take the miler win - especially in such tough conditions.

A big thanks to Robyn for being support crew today. In transition she was wearing every piece of clothing we had in the car plus a rug and was still cold. Not bad for a 9 month pregnant wife!

As this rounds out my main race year, a big thanks to all our Cannondale-Sugoi team sponsors;
  • Cannondale Sports Unlimited - the F29er was flawless and the perfect bike for the Fling
  • Sugoi - RS kit comfy in the most trying conditions
  • SRAM - XX1 34T - not a single hint of chain suck or dropped chains!
  • Avid - XX brakes brilliant in the wet - sintered pads lasted the wet conditions no problems
  • Adidas Eyewear - kept the mud out of the eyes (once I remembered to put them on)
  • The Cyclery - great support as always
  • Enduro Bearings - after this race, some new ceramic bearers will be going in real soon
  • Frameskin - keeping the rocks and gritty sand off the pretty frame

Monday, October 14, 2013

World 24hr Solo Champs - Wembo

3rd overall / elite

440km, 10,300 vert m, 1052 TSS - 24hr : 31 mins

Another 24hr solo race done and dusted ... here is how it played out ...

There is no doubt that 24hr solo racing is tough. It's not something you specifically look forward to. You know you are going to have to work your arse off to get there, and that the race itself is going to put you through a meat grinder. But still there is a strange attraction to competing in a solo - a morbid fascination of wondering just how far you can push your body and mind.

For me, the training for Wembo started for earnest back in May. All other races along the way become sideshow events. You still compete, but often after a full training week. Feeling constantly baked is all part of a 24hr build.

Over the weeks from May to October, I would be slowly ramping my training - dropping off the intensity, and building the volume up to 30 hours / week. Usually, most of my training is done on the roadie. You can get in big miles, and you don't pound the body. But for solo training, you have to get the hours in on the mountain bike.

Winter training with Scotty
Long days in the Brindies

My base training moved well through the cold months of May and June. The progressive overload of training was on track. In the graph below you can see the TSS increasing each week. Perfect.

Oh - for those who don't train with power. TSS is training stress score. Think of it as an objective measure of the impact of the ride. A one hour TT race is 100 TSS. On the roadie, 60 TSS / hour is tempo, 50 TSS is easy. On the MTB, 50 TSS / hour is solid training and 60+ TSS / hour is singletrack racing.

Anyway, my build in mid June took an unexpected turn. Whilst out riding the Googong Dam loop with Blair and Chalker, I stupidly drank some water from a flowing stream. By the end of that week, I was in the midst of full blown giardia.   You can see the drop in the TSS graph for two weeks.

TSS build to Wembo
Being stubborn, I pushed on with my build, eager to get back to the bigger miles. But, this would be a big mistake, resulting in another three (3) weeks of sickness. Quite simply, trying to do full blown training when your body is shooting out all the nutrition you are putting in, and none of it is absorbed quickly runs you down.

Finally, at the start of August and three (3) lots of antibiotics and countless blood tests later, I was able to get back into it ... well, for two (2) weeks at least until I caught the cold going around at work!!

That was a pretty sobering week, and I was pretty close to pulling the pin on Wembo - having had such a terrible six (6) weeks.

Thankfully, I was able to get in an exceptional four (4) week block - the Canberra weather was warming up, and apart from a few windy days, it was perfect training weather and I got stuck right into it.

As part of my final prep for the race, Cannondale-Sugoi team mate James Downing and I decided to race in the Scott 24hr 6x7 category. It would be a great opportunity to race an almost identical course to Wembo, but at a much faster speed :)

A key element of Solo racing is being able to ride smooth and efficiently. Going fast whilst using as little energy as possible. Racing the 6x7 hot laps against guys like Kyle Ward, Craig Gordon and Andy Fellows does actually help with knowing the course. You see the course with new eyes and new lines present themselves.

Scott 24hr - 6x7
Following the Scott, it was all about packing and prepping bikes for Wembo. I am always amazed just how much stuff you need to race a 24hr Solo.  Between bikes, spares, nutrition, food and comforts for your support crew, clothing for any and every weather condition - it is close to two (2) car loads full of stuff.

A big thanks to Cannondale Sports Unlimited for sending me down another Scalpel 29er. It's really important in a solo to run identical bikes - so you can swap between them during the race with no change to your body position or bike setup. Team mate James Downing stripped it, and re-built it from the frame up - decking it out to match my existing Scalpel 29er, with SRAM XX1, Avid World Cup brakes and all Enve wheels and components.

Embedded image permalink
2nd Scalpel 29er - thanks Cannondale Sports Unlimited

Race day - and the nerves are kicking in. You sit there in your marquee, noise is all around you with riders and support crew doing last minute unpacking and setup. But you find yourself just starring at the wall. So much is going through your head, and ultimately you are preparing your mind for what is to come.

The start gun goes off, and within 50 meters some of the internationals are jostling for positions. Matt Page wants to be on the front. I jokingly call out for Ed McDonald to attack :)

Race start - yeah, I'm already giving Page a sledge

We get a few km of fireroad before the singletrack starts. Ed and I have raced Stromlo a few times now, and happen to know it pretty well ... with everyone else trying to grab a good position, Ed, Ash and myself slipped through on the inside to get into the singletrack climb first. #sneaky

Now, Ed too has had a rough six (6) weeks of fatigue and flu. There was no way he was going to be able to finish this race, so when on the first lap he attacked shortly into the climb I was going to let him go.  That said, it was the first lap, so I did hit the gas a bit and also broke away from the main bunch.

It's important to get everyone out of their comfort zone early in the race.

A few laps in, and the main contenders were on my heels - English, Cory, Page, Lloyd and Herfoss were all close behind. Ed would get 10 minutes up the road before English could take it no longer and went off to find him.

A quick word about these main contenders;

* Jason English - not much to be said here ... well all know how good he is at these races :)
* Cory Wallace - Kona Factory rider, Canadian Solo 24hr champ - has spent most of 2013 racing in North America, Europe and Asia
* Matt Page - Pivot Factory rider, UK 24hr champ - has spent most of 2013 racing the toughest stage races through Europe and Asia
* Andy Lloyd - always improving enduro rider, making his mark on the local 8hr race scene. In my mind, a wildcard entry
* Troy Herfoss - comfortable in a two-wheel drift, could be riding World Cup short course when not perusing his professional moto GP riding career - he woke up one morning thinking he would give this 24hr racing a shot. Like Lloyd, another wildcard who could do really well here.
* Ash Hyatt - always a solid rider and always one to watch out on. I learnt that the hard way when Ash put an hour into me in the last six (6) hours at the National 24hr Solo in 2011!

Ed McDonald - he even busted out a brand new kit for this race!

As we all raced the first five (5) hours until lights on, it was hot. Stromlo still does not have much protection from the sun, and guys like Matt Page were feeling the heat.

I opted to take the F29er (hardtail) out for this first part of the race. Although it does place a little more fatigue on the body, the extra weight savings for the climb and nimbleness on the D make it a great choice. Psychologically, I love riding this bike - year to date, I have only raced twice on my Scalpel! The F29er is just fricken awesome.

Cannondale F29 - #awesome

Lights on the bike was 5:30pm, but another good tip for 24hr riding is to wait until the last trickle of day-light before turning your lights on. So, it was not until after 7:40pm that the Exposure lights were fired up.

A quick word on lights ... James and I are lucky enough to be sponsored by USE Exposure Lights, and they are exceptional lights. I ran a Reflex on the bars with a 3-cell piggy back. 2200 lumens, and this combo would last well over five (5) hours. On my helmet I ran a Diablo, again with a 3-cell piggy back in my jersey pocket. Only 108 grams on the head, and 1100 lumens for over four (4) hours.

The Reflex also has some smart technology - such as digital display which tells you how many minutes you have left, and a sensor which automatically adjusts the light output - saving burn time when you are climbing.

Diablo - 1100 lumens
Reflex bar mounted
Reflex - 2200 lumens

Reflex digital display

In a 24hr Solo, the night is always a welcome relief. The opening lap intensity is over, nerves are settling and you can just concentrate on maintaining a steady pace. The cooler temperatures are refreshing, and riding under lights keeps you focused.

Early in the night, I got word that Ed and Troy were out.  It was also clear that Page was suffering, and it was not too much longer until he too conceded to the brutality of Stromlo.

Midnight is a key milestone in a 24. You can't win a 24 in the first 12 hours, but you sure can loose it. Pacing and energy consumption are the highest priority leading up to midnight.

Into the night ...
My best tips for this part of the race is to ride as smooth as possible, and use as little energy as you can. Soft pedal - it should feel like you are hardly using your quads. Don't punch it out of corners, and when you over-take keep it smooth - don't accelerate hard back up to pace. Slowly get back to speed.   Where possible, don't take 'A' lines where you need to power up a section.

Avoid rocks and tree roots - ride around them, even if it is an extra second. Every bump adds up on your body. Find the smoothest lines.

At midnight, you should have a good feeling for how the rest of the race will unfold for you.

For me, I had some slow laps around 10pm, and then 2am until day break. Around 1am I was pretty close to pulling the pin. My wrists were hammered. I had a little too much PSI in one of my lefty's, and I could barely hold the bars. My slow laps were simply because I could not descend with any speed.

Support crew - Robyn and Aaron

It was my top support crew who got me to continue riding. A bit of Nerofen, a sh*t-tin of caffeine, some suspension tweaking and a big slap on the arse got me back out there.

After midnight, the next big milestone is day break. The sun brings warmth, and importantly just six (6) hours to go!!

Through the night, Jase built and sustained his lead, Lloyd continued to ride exceptionally well and consistent, jostling with Cory for 2nd place. A unexpected surprise was that Scotty Chancellor had moved up behind me to be in 5th place!

It's no surprise to see Scotty doing well at a solo, but given that he only decided to race the day before and had not done any training for the event, it was pretty impressive!

Scotty actually got within 12 minutes of me in the morning before he burnt his last match and had to pull the pin.

With four (4) hours left to race, I was told that my gap to Cory was dropping! What once was a 25 minute deficit was now only seven (7) minutes! Time to see what I had left in the tank, and to burn off any remaining energy. The thought of picking off Cory, and getting on the top 3 podium was a huge incentive so I stomped it!

On that first lap, I put 11 minutes into him! I've been there before, completely broken with just a few hours to go - when you can hardly turn the pedals over. When someone attacks, you have no response - there is nothing you can do but watch them go up the road.

Not to underestimate Cory, I kept the pace on - putting out four (4) of the fastest morning laps.

Heading out on my last lap, I got word that Cory was done and had finished early. Ahhh - time to do the slowest lap of the race.  Luckily, I had supporters and friends all around the track - Steve Hanley kept me company, and JD and Kylie popped up all over the place to offer final words of encouragement.

JD approving my sock height

A quick word on my nutrition strategy ... quite simple really, 48 x Clif gels, 5 x Clif shot-bloks and 24 bottles of Clif electrolyte drink.

Clif-Bar are not a sponsor - I choose them specifically because I believe they are the best gel and electrolyte drink out there. The gels are really simple - something like 5 ingredients and organic. Being so simple, they sit easily in the stomach.

I use the Shot-Bloks with the extra sodium content - this helps keep any cramps away in the hot weather.

Through the early morning I use the caffeine Clif gels. These come in various caffeine mg sizes - from 25 - 100 mg / gel. This makes it really easy to regulate your caffeine intake. I find it better to take 2 x 25mg caffeine gels / hour then a single 100mg caffeine gel. The body seems to cope better with a smooth caffeine intake, rather then spikes.

Finally, a few thanks ...

  • Robyn and Tommo - thanks for being a great pit crew - looking after me and the bikes
  • James - thanks for prepping the 2nd Scalpel
  • Cannondale Sports Unlimited - F29er (best bike in the world), and Scalpel 29ers were brilliant + the Sugoi RS clothing and gloves were super comfy
  • SRAM Australia - XX1 34T and Avid brakes - reliable and light.
  • Exposure Lights - bright, reliable, light and a pleasure to use
  • Adidas Eyewear - Evil Eyes all the way
  • The Cyclery - making sure JD and I always have the bits we need
  • Frameskin - keeping the Stromlo rocks off my frames!
  • Enduro bearings - top quality ceramic bearings in all my hubs and bottom brackets
  • Mark Fenner - FTP training - There are not too many people who understand 24hr racing - let alone those who can coach riders for these events - Fenz did a top job of my training schedule to prepare me for this race
  •  All the Wembo, CORC and DURT crew - Russ, Sarah, Jack and co - 2 x 24hr races in 2 weekends - well done!!
  • The drunk dudes at the top of the mountain at 1am - you said pull a wheelie if you are happy - but I was not happy :)
  • The other dudes at the bottom of the mountain with the cow-bells and horns
  • The bikini chick on course - Herfoss was excited and will bring his own moto pit-babes to the next race for sure
Well done also to Jason McAvoy and The Beard Bellchambers - 5th & 6th overall - go the Canberra solo riders!

What's next? Husky 100km in a few weeks (yeah, that will hurt) and then the 100miler Fling in a month (yeah, it will still hurt by then too).  

A few photos from the Scott last week ...