Sunday, January 11, 2009

First race of the year

On Thursday, the dirt crit was at Stromlo. The wind was up, the temperature was down. However the wind was in the good direction that blew you slightly up the hill. There was a decent turnout in A grade, Dylan Cooper, Brad Morton and a few other local guns. After doing some hill climbs the day before I wasn't sure how things were going to pan out. I managed to get the holeshot and got into the first tight bit first (Pic 1). At Stromlo this does help a bit. Dylan overtook me shortly after, and Brad took hold of my wheel for a couple of laps. On the 4th lap Brad went past along the straight, so I grabbed the wheel and got a bit of a tow. I noticed Nathan Rickerby slowly moving up on us for the next 2 laps. At an opportune moment with 3 laps to go I put in a small burst along the straight and got past Brad. I managed to hold onto this spot until the end with Dylan smashing it up for the deserved 1st place.
 
Russ Baker took some great shots. The one of me getting air is pretty exagerated (pic 2). This jump is tiny, and one that you tend to speed jump. I do not go this high really!!
 
After the race, a whole bunch of us did a climb up Mount Stromlo on the red trunk loop. Dylan led the way. This got us down to the cars at about 8:30pm. I managed to get a flat on the descent - pretty good with dark sunglasses on dusk.
 
On Friday morning, I met Trev at his place at 7:30am. I was a little tired from last night's racing, but keen to get smashed by a seasoned roadie. We had decided a week ago to go out to Corin Dam via the Cotter. I hadn't ever done this ride before, so it was all new to me. It was pretty cold, I was almost wishing that I had brought some knee warmers. I asked some good questions along the ride "Is this considered hard for a road ride?". Trev said that all of the 10% gradients do indeed make it hard. Fair enough. Trev is a full on jedi when he rides his bike. When we were climbing up to Gibraltar Falls, I couldn't hear him breathing, and his face was like Luke Perry from 90210 - just deadpan. I couldn't tell if he was hurting or not. Plus with his rotor rings he was able to do the cool TDF climb out of the saddle action.  I am not sure if he was impressed with the wheelie I did on his Cannondale Super Six - maybe this was his way of punishing me - come on a road ride in the country - it will be a good one! I do think I need a new road bike though.
 
He smashed me, 5 and a half hours later I got home from a proposed 4 hour ride. Kylie just laughed at me. I felt pretty good all things considered, so I did some paving out the back for a couple of hours.  This week will be a big one. Pure volume with quality. An extra day of man-paving has left me wanting to get on the bike and get the last prep done for the Australian Titles.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

the new year

It is finally 2009 and I am on holidays for 42 days!!!!
 
During this time, I have been riding, eating, sleeping, landscaping and surfing the net.
 
My first week off, I was very fortunate to put down about 18 hours of training. This has continued into the second week and with the absolute luxury of being able to sleep after my rides, I can recovery reasonably well.
 
But the riding is the main focus. There have been some great days so far.
Smashfest Tuesday, Stromlo road climb Wednesday, 70% humidity 120km mountain ride Monday, to name but a few.
 
New years eve was spent in the company of good friends Janie and Trev, Doug and Amy and of course Kylie. Lots of alcohol was consumed. Trev tried to get me wasted on Lemoncello. He is half Italian and knows the good stuff. There was no riding on New years day that's for sure.
 
The racing is starting up again whith the Thursday dirt crit this afternoon. This will continue weekly and lead up to the Nationals at Stromlo nicely. The weekend after that is the Mount Buller National round. I haven't raced XC at Buller for about 15 years. Back then (before singletrack was invented) it was bitumen, stairs and ski run climbs. Finally late in February I get to go overseas to Tasmania for the final round of the series.
 
After all the mud had settled in Geelong, I found myself 3rd overall in vet men XCO series rankings and 2nd overall in Open Male XCC series rankings. So there is a bit of work to do to get the top spots. We'll see how that goes as it wasn't an overall goal for this season. I was fortunate to achieve that success last season in both series. I do want to get some better placings however. Picking up the win for XCC in Geelong was a major result that I have been chasing for a while now.
 
I have lately been considering a new road bike. I took Trev's Cannondale Supersix for a spin. It has a good balance point for coaster wheelies :) and pretty good geometry for other riding.