Sunday, November 29, 2009

Kona 24

With a big year of pretty much Racing everything this year, Kona was all about just going down to have some fun, test & show off the new 2010 model bikes & generally just do a bit of socializing, cut a few laps & enjoy a good weekend away at a great event.

Well that's what happened in a matter of speaking! Just 24 got crammed into 6.

So with TEAM KAOS entered in the 3 man category, consisting of "Captain Kaos himself Andy", Shane & myself with the emphasis on having fun! There's that word again.

Arriving in Forrest with the Knowledge that I wouldn't be joined by Andy & Shane until mid to late afternoon at best, due to work commitments, then being informed that the mixed 4 Kaos team had two members pull the pin at the last minute, throw in to the mix a good bit race atmosphere & my decision was made, Andy & Shane could join the others to make up the 4 & I would race SOLO!

Feeling good about my decision, just couldn't help myself!
Got off to a good start sitting in second place for the first few hours & loving the brand new Titanium "CLEANSKIN" hardtail all XX'd up, it's an absolute weapon exclusively distributed by KAOS.

Not far into the 5th lap on the hardtail the heavens decided to open, with the course at saturation point due to the heavy storms the night before, but holding up pretty well, this down poor tipped them over the edge causing the trails to deteriorate very quickly with some real boggy section making it heavy going on the legs & even worse the very fast, flowy & smooth descents became littered with breaking bumps like corrugation's on an ungraded Oonadatta track.

My back was starting to ache so I backed it of a little (pardon the pun) for the remainder of the lap, which in turn allowed Bellie to join me, I was looking forward to jumping onto 4 inches of comfort, being my trusty BMC FSO1, settle in for the afternoon & roll around with Bellie for a while, at this point we were sitting in 2nd & 3rd with Jase a few minutes up the road.

Only a quarter of this 6th lap down & my Forks deciding they would give up the ghost, turning my non lock out forks into you guessed it? Fully rigid lock out mode!
Managing to stay with Bellie for the remainder of the lap for moral support more than anything as 40 or so minutes of that torture & knowing the forks were terminal, I knew my race was done as I wasn't prepared to finish the next 18hrs 50mins on the hardtail, given the condition & not to mention coming off a couple of bulged discs in my lower back 3 weeks ago.

So I wished Bellie all the best as we rolled into the pits & watched in disappointment as he rode off for lap # 7.

As night fell so too did the showers, making my retirement from the race a little easier to chew on, by this time Andy & Shane had arrived to we headed on over to the cosy Forrest Guesthouse for a great home cooked meal & some sticky date pudding, helping to ease the empty feeling of abandoning the race.

It's now time to soak up some summer sun, rest the old bones, work on the core a bit before I start to focus on 2010, with the focus looking like it's going to be, TERRA AUSTRALIS & Possibly chasing another stripey jersey:-)

In Sponsorship news, most of you would have already heard DIRTWORKS are no longer the distributors of BMC, they have been picked up by ECHOLON sports from Qld & it seems they will continue with there focus on Road & Tri, therefore unfortunately the Australian BMC Mtb team will be no longer.

A big thanks go out to DIRTWORKS/BMC for all their support & looks like they have some tricky looking new products for 2010, again to Andy at KAOS for his ongoing support, NIGHT LIGHTNING LIGHTS simply the Brightest & best system going round, DEFEET socks & aparel for keeping me comfy, PORTLAND designworks for great CO2 systems & tricky grips, PLANET BIKE for keeping me safe out there, FIRST PLACE OSTEO for getting me back on the bike earlier than expected time & time again, PULSE for a great massage, RECOVERY for keeping me fueled on the bike & healthy off it & MTB IMAGES for all your great pics.

I will keep you posted on 2010 prospects as it unfolds, one thing I will say though it's looking all GOOD!

Have a great summer!


Monday, November 16, 2009

State Enduro Series Final Round

Well I did manage to get on the start line at Officer on the weekend for the 6hr held by the Fatties for the last round of the state Enduro series,
Going into it with a slim 11 point advantage over the very much in form Phil Orr.

Not one to make excuses, it was always going to be a tall ask, with the preparation going in basically consisting of me flat on my back for 9 days trying to get over a couple of bulged discs in my lower back, getting back on the bike just 2 days prior, amazingly feeling more comfortable on the bike than any where else, go figure?

We all know about the theory of tapering for an event, however that's bordering on ridiculous, but you've got to be in it to win it!

Before I get into how the day went down, A huge thanks must go out to Dominic from 1stPlaceOsteopathy for all his great advice & 1st rate treatment, without him I wouldn't have been on the start line, Simple as that.

The race started off at a fairly reasonable pace, nothing to crazy, with Adam Gibson being the only Solo rider getting away off the front, as he was not in contention for the series, I was more than happy to let him go, Phil was basically glued to my wheel for the first 4 - 5 laps, right where I wanted him as it enabled me to dictate the pace & keep an eye on him.

Due to being slightly cautious of my back I was opting for Granny gear on some of the steeper climbs, where under normal circumstances i would choose to power up in the middle chain ring, especially with someone like Phil on your wheel, so as not to show weakness,
However I chose to try & conserve, in doing so shifting into granny a smidge too early without enough tension on the chain it dropped passed onto the bottom bracket, causing me to stop to put the chain back on, giving Phil, Joel & Paul a 30 second gap.

Phil chose this to be an opportune time to attack, this being a defining moment in the race, I had no other option than to chase & try & get back on, putting in a decent effort on the next two climbs, they were within reach, then I over cooked it going into the shoot, (any of you who have ridden Officer know where I'm talking about, for those who haven't it's a steep rutted out bumpy descent that kinks left toward the bottom)Anyway I crashed quite heavily ending up with my mid rift wrapped around a fairly chunky tree.

After shaking the dust off & extracting myself from the tree, I couldn't believe I was OK apart from dirt ground grazes rite down the right side of my body, then noticing a wet sensation in my shoe, after checking my bottle for cracks, looked down to see it was indeed claret filling my shoe coming from a decent cut just bellow the knee, coating the shin & calf in a deep shade of Winns Coonawarra Shiraz Vintage 1999,
Proceeding to chase as the cut coagulated & a stoked feeling that the back had survived the impact, it became evident the rear hanger was bent as the gremlins were alive & kicking in the drive train, with a quick stop to realign in the attempt to quieten the gremlins down, I was again on my way.

Continuing to tap away as the heat of the day was kicking in, just hanging onto the slim thought that Phil too could have some bad luck,
That didn't happen, it was Mwa who had another mishap to slow progress in the shape of a flat tire whilst Phil continued to power on to a well deserved win & snatch the series in the process.

O well that's Racing & least I can go away from the experience knowing that I went down swinging.

I ended up 5th on the day & 2nd in the series, definitely no shame in coming 2nd to someone with the XC pedigree & form that Phil has, Congtrates Mate!

Again a huge thanks to Dom for getting me on the start line, Andy @ Kaos for keeping my bikes Running for what has been a long season of racing & to Dirtworks & BMC for your continued support, MTB Images for adding some colour to the report, last & so far from least to all the clubs who hosted the series, we are very lucky riders to have so many great trails all within easy reach of the Melbourne CBD.

Ride On,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Happy days to "not" in a flash

With a fun day had by all on Cup day at Ben Randell's, blatting around in his backyard, See Pic bellow.

Very much looking forward to the Gravity 12hr this weekend,
Until yesterday that is, when I put my back out lifting some timber up onto a balcony.

Confirmed today I have a "bulged disc" in my lower spine.........Boo!!!!!!!

Hopefully with a few days flat on back & anti inflammatories, It will settle down enough to get a bit of Dom's(First place Osteo) magic touch & be on the start line for OFFICER 6hr in 10 days time.....Fingers crossed.

Thanks Bellie for the pic, Me about to take flight & Ben on the hunt :-)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cadel Signs with BMC

The BMC Racing Team confirmed that it has signed World Champion Cadel Evans to a three-year contract on Sunday. The Australian was released from his Silence-Lotto squad by mutual agreement with the team on Saturday.

World Champion Cadel Evans now rides BMC
Evans made it clear that he is still targetting the Tour de France as a major goal. "I look forward to working with a new team, in a new environment, towards my same goals; honouring the rainbow jersey at the highest level of the sport, and ultimately at the highest step of the Tour de France podium”.

"Obviously, I would like to do better than my two second places at the Tour de France," he said.

Winning a Grand Tour
Cadel Evans took second place in both the 2007 and 2008 Tours de France. Now Cadel Evans wants to win a Grand Tour. “Cadel Evans hear about how our team was expanding by signing big-name riders like George Hincapie, Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt, Karsten Kroon and other strong racers, and this news immediately fired him up with the idea of riding for such a flexible, engaged and passionate team” explained BMC Bicycles owner and BMC Racing Team co-owner Andy Rihs. The thirty-two year old Australian cyclist who lives in Switzerland is looking forward to building a newly fortified program with the BMC Racing Team. Cadel Evans believes the BMC Racing Team will help him accomplish his goal of winning a Grand Tour.

KaosCustomBikes, Australia’s number 1 BMC dealer, will be proudly supporting both the current World Champion and BMC Racing Team.